As discussed in a previous post, Sir Isaac Newton believed that Daniel's prophecy regarding the 70 weeks could be divided into a portion anticipating the First Advent of Christ, and a portion anticipating the Second Advent of Christ. Daniel 9 states (NIV):
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
Newton thought the 62 weeks of years preceded the First Coming of Christ, and the 7 weeks of years preceded the Second Coming of Christ. Looking again at the possible beginning of the Final Jubilee in 2020, Leviticus 23 states (NIV):
26 "The Lord said to Moses,27 'The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the Lord.28 Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God.29 Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.30 I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day.31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.32 It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”
Starting from the likely candidate for the fall New Moon of the Festival of Trumpets (or Tishrei 1) we begin the day count on 9/17/2020. Per Leviticus 23:32, we count forward to sunset of the ninth day. This arrives at sunset 9/26/2020. This would be the beginning of the Final Jubilee. Counting backwards 49 years, we arrive at September 26, 1971. This is an interesting time period, as it falls between the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In other words, this was a time when the nation of Israel was establishing its modern borders.
What does the modern nation of Israel have to do with ancient Biblical prophecy? Everything. We return to Jesus' words in Matthew 24 (NIV):
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
The Bible uses the fig tree as a symbolic representation of the nation of Israel. For more in depth information on this topic, see https://www.factsaboutisrael.uk/israel-fig-tree/. The generation of Israel's reappearance and maturation would then be expected to see Daniel's 70th week, and the Second Coming of Christ. Israel officially became a reestablished nation on May 14, 1948. So how long is a generation? In Psalm 90, we read (NIV):
10 "Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away."
Adding 80 years to May 14, 1948, we arrive at May 14, 2028. We must then subtract the 2550 days of Daniel's 70th week to arrive at the end of the window of opportunity for the 70th week to begin using this method of interpretation. This lands on May 21, 2021. In other words, if the reappearance of Israel on the world stage set the clock ticking, Daniel's 70th week should begin by May 21, 2021. This means the final fall Festival season during which the Final Jubilee could begin would be fall of 2020.
So did the reappearance of Israel on May 14, 1948 truly have prophetic significance? Prophecy scholar Grant Jeffrey revealed the answer to this question, which is decidedly in the affirmative. You can find his explanation here: http://grantjeffrey.com/pdf/JeffBIBLE-EzekVision2.pdf
Are there other independent factors indicating Daniel's 70th week is near? There absolutely are. In the second chapter of Joel we read (NIV):
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
whom the Lord calls."
Before the coming of the day of the Lord, there will be "wonders in the heavens", including in the sun and moon. Specifically, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn to blood.
We will address these celestial signs further next time.