The seventy weeks in Daniel has the meaning of one man’s salvation and coming of the Holy Spirit into him. Also it represents his time of being born again and reaching to the faith-growing step of Acts in the Bible arrangement.
Let us look at the Daniel chapter 9, verse 24, which is widely known as the description of the end times.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Here, many scholars interpret the seventy weeks in Daniel historically. So they calculate 490 years from the time when the temple was built in Jerusalem according to the history, and figures out the time when Jesus is born in the land of Israel. If we understand the seventy weeks just as a historical event, it will be a word having no connection with ‘me’ who is living now here.
The seventy weeks represents neither the end of the earth nor a page of the history of Israel. Spiritually it denotes the acceptable year when Jesus come inside of each of us with a new life. In that day, all our transgression, sins, and iniquity will be forgiven forever and everlasting righteousness will be manifested on us.
Like this, seventy weeks refers to the end of old man and the birth of new man of an individual. So it means born gain and baptism with Holy Spirit of a man. It does not say the end of the physical world. This will become quite evident if we read the dialogue between Jesus and Peter in Matthew.
Forgiveness of Seventy Sevens
Let us read Matthew Chapter 18, verse 21-22.
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
When you read this, please substitute you own name for ‘Peter.’ It is because Peter’s problem is ours, and he asked Him instead of us about the question we wanted to ask.
Peter asked Jesus. “How many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Until seven times?” Peter asked Him, by thinking he would be regarded as righteous if he forgave his brother until seven times. In other words, his question is: “How many times shall I forgive my brother if I would be considered righteous? Until seven times?”
Seven times for him has a great meaning. He had seen many miracles and powers of Jesus and confessed he was ready to die for Him. Forgiveness until seven times for him, therefore, is the forgiveness with all his life. It was the maximum value which men could reach.
Like Peter, our old man inside would ask “How many times shall I forgive my brother if I will get a passing grade as a righteous man?” We estimate the righteousness according to the number of forgiveness given to brothers.
Jesus answered to Peter in response to his question. “Until seventy times seven.” He said to forgive until seventy times seven. What would seventy times seven means? We, of course, know forgiveness until seventy times seven does not mean forgiving until 490 times and unforgiving at the 491st time.
Some people think ‘until seventy times seven’ as ‘endlessly’ or ‘without limit.’ It is not a right understanding because Peter said the number of forgiveness to seven for the purpose of currying favor with Jesus whom he followed at the risk of his life.
So the request over seven times is meaningless as long as Peter is concerned. Surely, Jesus did not mean by seventy times seven to ask Peter to forgive 490 times or without end.
He meant the forgiveness of “seventy times seven.” The seventy times seven (70×7) in here matches seventy weeks (70×7) in Daniel.
What is then the ‘forgiveness of seventy sevens’? This forgiveness is not of this world, but of the kingdom of God. So if we wish to forgive in this manner, our old man should end and be born again, which is the process of seventy weeks as in Daniel.
Only such a born again man would be able to forgive brothers seventy times seven. He came out of the world of the “law of sin and death,” and now is in the world of the “law of the Spirit of life” through the forgiveness of Jesus. The former is the ‘world’ and the latter is the ‘kingdom of God.’
If we are in the world, we are counting the numbers how many times we have forgiven brothers. Such ‘forgiveness of seven times’ is the mere thing of the sinful world itself. We should get out of such world by receiving the forgiveness of seventy times seven’ from Jesus.
Currently here in the Scriptures, Jesus is in the process of forgiving Peter and the disciples, and after three years Jesus is crucified and resurrected in them, the disciples. Thus, the disciples were born again with the life of Jesus. And Jesus appeared in front of the disciples giving them the Holy Spirit, and He said :
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Jesus saved the disciples. He gave the once-and-for-all forgiveness to them, and send them to give such forgiveness to the neighbors. Likewise, when we receive the ‘forgiveness of seventy times seven’, we also can forgive brother seventy times seven.
This is the ‘forgiveness until seventy times seven’ that Jesus wanted to give to Peter. Surely, such forgiveness cannot be counted seven times or eight.
If we speak this from the salvation point of view, we are to be saved first and are to save others in the manner as we are saved. We can do that because the life of Jesus has manifested in us.
In Matthew chapter 18, after telling Peter to forgive his brother until seventy times seven, Jesus speaks a parable. It is the parable of canceling the debt of a man who owed his master ten thousand talents (Mt 18:23-35). This is an important parable relating to the seventy weeks, so it will be touched in the following chapter of the faith in the Stage of Epistles.
You will know the seventy weeks indicates baptism with the Holy Spirit. He having attained to the seventy weeks has the faith in the stage of Acts.
(Taken from the title “Fresh Eyes to Read the Bible I – Biblical Steps for Growing in Faith”)