7 year Tribulation?


The False expectation of a 7 year tribulation comes from the scripture in Daniel 9:27. I wish to prove here, that this entire premise is error and cannot be used to formulate this proposition! Those who preach a 7 year tribulation, have surgically removed a single portion of scripture out of context, and taken an already fulfilled prophecy, (which fortold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.) and cast it 2,000 years into the future, to promote a false teaching and support their "pre-tribulation" rapture doctrine.

This page is an addition to my main page dealing with the rapture. I believe in a tribulation and the rapture which will follow, that's right, "follow" the tribulation (post-tribulation rapture). This page simply contends with the "7" year tribulation theory built by many modern day preachers.

(Dan 9:24-27)  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.  (25)  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26)  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27)  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.


Here is a briefing on the above noted verses in Daniel chapter 9

9:24  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.  

70 weeks (490 years) were determined for the Jews to cease their sins! Daniel's prophecy was written around 600 B.C. and as his prophecy continues, will prophetically point to the exact date of the coming Messiah!

9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

In this verse, we have a time frame of events leading to the time when the Messiah, Jesus Christ, shall come!

The “Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge” illustrates the time frame as:

7 weeks       49  years     for the Restoration of Jerusalem
62 weeks   434  years    from that date to the announcement of the Messiah by John the Baptist
1 week            7 years    for the ministry of John and of Christ to the crucifixion
70 weeks    490 years


The commentators seem to agree that the time frame commences with Artaxerxes around 457-445 BC who gave a decree to Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem.


9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The Messiah is “cut off” and then it talks about a “prince that shall come and destroy the city…”  The scholars all have their formulas for exacting the date of the coming of Jesus Christ through this scripture, but it is certain, that these events were fulfilled with Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago!

This is the verse where the Pre-trib teachers destroy Biblical prophecy and force it into a current day event! They make this “prince” to be the antichrist of a future time which is yet to come! From the first half of the verse, which speaks of the death of the Messiah, to the “prince”, they have added (as of today) nearly 2,000 years of time!

Adam Clarke's commentary declares:

And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary - By the “prince” Titus, the son of Vespasian, is plainly intended; and “the people of that prince” are no other than the Romans, who, according to the prophecy, destroyed the sanctuary, hakkodesh, the holy place or temple, and, as a flood, swept away all, till the total destruction of that obstinate people finished the war. (9:26)

These seven years, added to the four hundred and eighty-three, complete the four hundred and ninety years, or seventy prophetic weeks; so that the whole of this prophecy, from the times and corresponding events, has been fulfilled to the very letter.
(9:25)

In my study library, the other Commentators all agree that this Prince is speaking of Vespasian (or his son Titus) and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. (ref. John Gill's Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge and John Wesley).


The following verse is where the Pre-Trib teachers have built the 7 year tribulation!

9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

While each of these commentators differ as to which of the two persons this verse is speaking about that makes the covenant for one week, Jesus the Messiah or Titus, it is clear that the “he” of verse 27 can ONLY be one of these two, and NOT a prophecy of the antichrist 2,000 years later!

How any student of Bible prophecy can take this verse which was fulfilled nearly 2,000 years ago, and throw it into the great Tribulation is beyond my comprehension. These teachers are deceitful in their strategy, but effective to sway the unlearned and those who do not know how to rightly divide the word of God! It is interesting how this scripture in Daniel is so very detailed to give the exact timing of the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the coming of our Lord, and then to the destruction of Jerusalem. Then, according to those who teach the 7 year tribulation, the scripture silently projects the final "week" over 2,000 years into the future without any reference to the missing 2,000 + years! Assuming Artaxerxes gave his order in the year 457 B.C., and today's date of 2005 A.D., the 70 weeks (490 years) prophecy has, to date, become a 2,462 year prophecy (or 351 + weeks and still counting)! Doesn't this seem suspicious to you? I contend, in agreement with Adam Clarke, that the 70 weeks are a fulfilled prophecy.

"These seven years, added to the four hundred and eighty-three, complete the four hundred and ninety years, or seventy (70) prophetic weeks; so that the whole of this prophecy, from the times and corresponding events, has been fulfilled to the very letter." Adam Clarke (9:25)

The Scholars Commentaries have much detail to write about these verses in Daniel chapter 9. But the clear verdict, is that they all agree that the prophecy is complete! The only varience, is the question as to whether the scripture was speaking of Jesus, or Titus in verse 27. If you wish to dig deeper, you can download the Bible program with these commentators at   http://www.e-sword.net

John Gill's Commentary

and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; the daily sacrifice of the Jews, and all their other offerings; and which was literally fulfilled "in the half part" of this week, as it may be rendered; towards the close of the latter half of it, when the city of Jerusalem, being closely besieged by Titus, what through the closeness of the siege, the divisions of the people, and the want both of time and men, and beasts to offer, the daily sacrifice ceased, as Josephus says, to the great grief of the people; nor have the Jews, ever since the destruction of their city and temple, offered any sacrifice, esteeming it unlawful so to do in a strange land

Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible

He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease - The word "he," in this place, refers to the Messiah, if the interpretation of the former part of the verse is correct, for there can be no doubt that it is the same person who is mentioned in the phrase "he shall confirm the covenant with many.

Jamieson, Faussett and Brown Commentary

Dan 9:27 - he shall confirm the covenant--Christ. The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him also elsewhere. Isa_42:6, "I will give thee for a covenant of the people" (that is, He in whom the covenant between Israel and God is personally expressed); compare Luk_22:20, "The new testament in My blood"; Mal_3:1, "the angel of the covenant"; Jer_31:31-34, describes the Messianic covenant in full.


Matthew Henry's Commentary of the Whole Bible

(note: Matthew Henry's study places the end of the 490 years between the hour that Christ died, which agrees with his opinion, to 37 years after the death of Christ!

(The hour of Christ's death)
The learned Mr. Poole, in his Latin Synopsis, has a vast and most elaborate collection of what has been said, pro and con, concerning the different beginnings of these weeks, with which the learned may entertain themselves. [2.] Concerning the termination of them; and here likewise interpreters are not agreed. Some make them to end at the death of Christ, and think the express words of this famous prophecy will warrant us to conclude that from this very hour when Gabriel spoke to Daniel, at the time of the evening oblation, to the hour when Christ died, which was towards evening too, it was exactly 490 years; and I am willing enough to be of that opinion.

(3 1/2 yrs after the death of Christ)
But others think, because it is said that in the midst of the weeks (that is, the last of the seventy weeks) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, they end three years and a half after the death of Christ, when the Jews having rejected the gospel, the apostles turned to the Gentiles. But those who make them to end precisely at the death of Christ read it thus, “He shall make strong the testament to the many; the last seven, or the last week, yea, half that seven, or half that week (namely, the latter half, the three years and a half which Christ spent in his public ministry), shall bring to an end sacrifice and oblation.”

(37 years after the death of Christ)
Others make these 490 years to end with the destruction of Jerusalem, about thirty-seven years after the death of Christ, because these seventy weeks are said to be determined upon the people of the Jews and the holy city; and much is said here concerning the destruction of the city and the sanctuary. [3.] Concerning the division of them into seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, and one week; and the reason of this is as hard to account for as any thing else. In the first seven weeks, or forty-nine years, the temple and city were built; and in the last single week Christ preached his gospel, by which the Jewish economy was taken down, and the foundations were laid of the gospel city and temple, which were to be built upon the ruins of the former.




Conclusion

Identifying the 70th week as the Great Tribulation of a future date, was not even an option in Henry's study nor by any other noted scholar in his day! It is a Modern Day teaching!)

I trust that the Tribulation period is not a clear cut 7 Year period. The Great Tribulation does not have an exact, determinable, beginning date, which begins at the rapture of the church with the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and their enemies as pre-tribbers teach!  I do not anticipate a "covenent" being made by the anti-christ that would start a 7 year agreement which would then be broken after 3 1/2 years as many teachers declare. I contend that Daniel chapter 9 is NOT a prophecy for end times events! It is a fulfilled prophecy!

Although I agree that the scriptures do show a 3 1/2 year period in Rev. 11:3, I contend that the 7 year tribulation has no scriptural support to give it credence as being such a major doctrine it has become and believed by many Christians today!

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.