The 70 Weeks of David Reagan

David Reagan Gods PlanIn our ongoing efforts to understand how Daniel 9 and the prophecy of 70 weeks has influenced the world view of popular prophecy teachers, this week we will be looking at the 70 weeks of Dr. David Reagan. Dr. Reagan is the director and founder of Lamb and Lion Ministries. He is a respected author and teacher on prophecy and is well known for his straight forward no-nonsense approach to the subject.

Let me say up front Dr. Reagan has a special place in my heart. I don’t know him personally but I’ve read many of his books and I have great respect for his teachings on Bible prophecy. Many years ago when I was trying to contact many of the leading prophecy teachers of the day about Daniel 9, I emailed Dr. Reagan about the prophecy of 70 weeks and after a rather brief exchange Dr. Reagan’s final email to my question was just a few very important words:

It’s The CONTEXT!

To be honest, back then I thought his response was rather terse, but over the years his words have stuck with me and in a way they have challenged me to redouble my efforts to understand the prophecy of Daniel 9 in its original context.

As much as I respect Dr. Reagan’s teachings on prophetic topics I don’t agree with all of his positions especially those related to the prophecy of 70 weeks. As you will see, his view on the prophecy of Daniel 9 raises some interesting questions and unique challenges. As with our previous articles on Chuck Missler and Alan Kurschner, let’s first look at how Daniel 9 and the 70 weeks is incorporated into Dr. Reagan’s understanding of Bible prophecy. Then we will take a critical but respectful look at a few problematic aspects of his view of the 70 Weeks. Dr. Reagan’s quotes will be in green. Bold headings are my own.

The importance of Daniel 9
“One of the most remarkable and important prophecies in the Bible is found in Daniel 9:24-27. It is the cornerstone of Messianic prophecy because it establishes the timing of both the First and Second Advents of the Messiah.” 1

“For Christians, Daniel’s prophecy should serve to underscore the supernatural origin of the Bible. It should also serve as confirmation that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah.” 1

The Messianic focus of the prophecy ends with the death of the Messiah
“The prophecy concludes by focusing on the last week of years. It says that following the death of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem, “the prince who is to come” will make a covenant with the Jewish people that will enable them to reinstitute their sacrificial system. This prince will come from the same people who destroyed the Temple (the Romans).” 2

Daniel 9 Defines the Length of the Tribulation
“The prophet Daniel defined the length of the Tribulation. He said God would accomplish all His purposes for the Jewish people during a period of 70 weeks of years (490 years). Sixty-nine of those weeks of years (483 years) would lead up to the death of the Messiah. The final week of years would occur at the end of the age, right before the return of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). This concluding week of years (7 years) corresponds to the Tribulation for, as Daniel put it, it will mark the time when “the prince who is to come” will “make desolate” — a reference to the Antichrist.” 3

The 7-years begin with an Antichrist Treaty
The specific event that will mark the seven year countdown of the Tribulation will be the signing of a peace treaty negotiated between Israel and her Arab enemies by the Antichrist — a treaty that will allow the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). 4

The Great Tribulation is Seven Years
The Great Tribulation must begin and run its seven year course, resulting in the death of over half the world’s population (Revelation 6-18). 5

Daniel 9 indicates the identity of the army of 200 Million
The Army of 200 Million — Chapters 9 and 16 of Revelation state that an army of 200 million soldiers will march “from the east” toward Israel. Daniel 9 indicates that this will be an army representing nations in revolt against the Antichrist. 6

Daniel 9 and the Millennium
When you accept the plain sense meaning of Bible prophecy, you will clearly see that there is going to be a time of great tribulation lasting seven years which will be followed by a one thousand year reign of Jesus over all the nations of the earth. 7

The Bride of Christ during the Tribulation
 Likewise, Jesus has returned to Heaven to prepare a place for His bride, the Church. When He returns for His bride, He will take her to His Father’s heavenly home. There He will remain with His bride for seven years (the duration of the Tribulation). 8

Daniel 9 Uses Two Different Types of “Years”
“The indication of this passage is that Daniel interpreted Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years to be 70 regular years as defined by the Jewish lunar/solar calendar. And again, if his subsequent prophecy about the 70 weeks of years was to have any meaning to the Jewish people, it had to be understood in terms of regular years, not “prophetic years” of 360 days each.

Why then would there be a difference between the first 483 years and the last seven? I suspect it may relate to a statement made by Jesus in Matthew 24. He said the 70th week of Daniel will be “cut short” lest all life on earth be destroyed during that terrible period of tribulation (Matthew 24:22).” 9

457 Starting Point
“I believe a better solution is to interpret Daniel’s prophecy as speaking of lunar years adjusted periodically and thus amounting to regular years. I also believe that the best starting point for the prophecy is the decree issued to Ezra in 457 B.C.” 10

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The Influence of the 70 Weeks
As you can see Daniel 9 and 70 Weeks has had just as much influence on Dr. Reagan’s understanding of eschatology as it did on the other prophecy teachers we have looked at. From the quotes above there are three points I would like to look at further:

  1. 457 BC and the countdown to the Messiah
  2. The 360 versus 365.24 day calendar years
  3. Dating the second coming

1. The Starting Point of Daniel 9
Dr. Reagan proposes a 457 BC starting point for the prophecy of Daniel 9. This date is problematic for at least two reasons. First, as we learned when looking at Chuck Missler’s interpretation of the 70 Weeks, both 457 and 445 BC share a common unproven assumption that Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of the Persian king Longimanus. The Biblical record clearly does not support this. In fact all available Biblical chronological evidence shows that Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Darius ‘the Great’ Artaxerxes. (See my book or blog articles for more on this.)

Second, the commandment given to Ezra by the “Artaxerxes” in Ezra 7 is not dated in the text. Dr. Reagan has to assume a date from the information given. Ezra 7 tells us that Ezra went up to Jerusalem in the 7th year of an “Artaxerxes” but nowhere in the text does it tell us the date of the “commandment”. I find it difficult to believe that YHWH intended us to guess about the starting point of, as Dr. Reagan calls it, “the cornerstone of Messianic prophecy”.

2. Prophetic Lunar or Solar Years? 360/365.24
One of the reasons Dr. Reagan proposes a starting point in the 7th year of Artaxerxes (457 BC) is because he rightfully acknowledges the difficulty with the so called prophetic 360 day year. I’ll let him describe the problem:

“The first is his [speaking of Sir Robert Anderson] assumption that the years in the prophecy are lunar years of 360 days. That assumption is based upon the fact that the book of Revelation defines the 70th week of Daniel as lasting a total of 2,520 days (Revelation 11:3 and 12:6). The only way that can translate into seven years is by using lunar years of 360 days.

Now, on the surface, it seems logical to apply this Revelation principle to Daniel. If the years of the final week of Daniel’s prophecy are lunar years, then surely the first 483 years must also be lunar years.

But there is a flaw in this logic. Daniel’s prophecy was written to the people of his time to give them, among other things, an insight as to when the Messiah would come. And the fact of the matter is that Daniel does not even so much as hint that he is speaking of anything other than regular solar years.

Some would counter by saying that the Jews used a lunar calendar and therefore thought only in lunar terms when calculating time. But that simply is not true. The Jews have never relied on a pure lunar calendar, like the Muslims do. The Jews have always used a lunar/solar calendar. Their months are 30 days long [actually they are 29.53], but they insert what is called an intercalary month every so often to make adjustments for the true solar calendar.

For the Jews this is an absolute necessity because their major festivals (Passover, Harvest and Tabernacles) are all directly related to the agricultural cycle. If they did not make the solar adjustments, their festivals would migrate around the calendar, resulting in harvest festivals falling during seed planting times! This is exactly the case with the Muslim calendar which is a pure lunar calendar. And thus, the sacred festival of Ramadan circulates around the year. One year it will be in August, the next in September, and the next in October.

The point is that the Jews in Daniel’s time did not think in terms of 360 day years. Nor did Daniel. If you will look at Daniel 9:1-2 you will see that shortly before he was given the 70 Weeks of Years prophecy by Gabriel, he discovered Jeremiah’s prophecy that the Babylonian captivity would last 70 years. He realized immediately that he was very near the end of those 70 years.”  11

Daniel 9 and a 360 Day Lunar Year
Dr. Reagan is correct. When the 70 weeks were given to Daniel, the Jewish people used a Biblical calendar that was lunar/solar. In fact they still use the exact same calendar today.  As I demonstrated in my book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy, during the Second Temple era the Biblical calendar was based upon a 365.24 day solar cycle and a 29.53 day lunar cycle. We have sufficient historical evidence to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. Some ancient cultures did use a 360 day lunar calendar but they understood the necessity of intercalating the five missing days.

Unfortunately, Dr. Reagan does not keep a consistent interpretive measure for Daniel 9. He believes that at some point in the future the calendar will change to a 360 day year so that the months are 30 days in length. I quote:

“The indication of this passage is that Daniel interpreted Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years to be 70 regular years as defined by the Jewish lunar/solar calendar. And again, if his subsequent prophecy about the 70 weeks of years was to have any meaning to the Jewish people, it had to be understood in terms of regular years, not “prophetic years” of 360 days each.

Why then would there be a difference between the first 483 years and the last seven? I suspect it may relate to a statement made by Jesus in Matthew 24. He said the 70th week of Daniel will be “cut short” lest all life on earth be destroyed during that terrible period of tribulation (Matthew 24:22).” 12

Notice Dr. Reagan proposes that the final 7 years will be different than the 483 “years” which preceded them. This allows him to realign the prophecy of Daniel 9 with conventional Christian thought regarding the 42 months and the 1260 days found in the book of Revelation. This double standard is problematic on more than one level.

Consider the implications. According to Dr. Reagan, and a majority of today respected prophetic scholars, at some point before the seven year tribulation the Biblical calendar will change. Now this change isn’t just a rewriting of a wall calendar or a recalculation of computer code. The Biblical calendar is based upon orbit of the earth around the sun, the rotation of the earth, and the moons orbit around the earth relative to its orbit around the sun. In other words the Biblical calendar is really complicated because YHWH made it that way.

So here is the uncomfortable truth for those that believe that the Biblical calendar will change to a 360 day year at some point before the 7 year tribulation begins. The earth is a sphere which weighs about 1.32 x 1025 lbs. and it is spinning at 1,036 miles per hour. The earth is also hurtling around the sun at 67,108 mph per hour. Any celestial event strong enough to alter the earth’s and moon’s orbit in a short period of time would be extremely disruptive along the lines of what Velikovsky proposed in Worlds in Collision. In other words this proposed calendar change will be equal to or greater than any events described in the book of Revelation.

Keep in mind this calendar change cannot be gradual nor can it immediately precede the 70th week because, according to the logic of this theory, the calendar is already steady with 30 day months and a 360 day years by the time Daniel’s 70th week begins. It will take some time for the implied celestial events to shake out and the orbits to re-stabilize for this new Biblical calendar.

I must admit it does seem kind of ironic that Mark Biltz received a lot of criticism for his thoughts on the celestial mechanics of blood moons yet no one is willing to talk about the celestial mechanics of a 360 day calendar change. Frankly, Biltz’s blood moons seem rather tame in comparison to what a majority of Biblical eschatology scholars are proposing regarding the reordering of our solar system at some point before the seven year tribulation.

A Better Way
I think there is a better way to understand the events of Revelation. Instead of inserting an interpretational bias (based on an erroneous view of Daniel 9) into the chronological events of Revelation, how about we just take the statements at face value? When Revelation 11 & 13 mentions 42 months, let’s just assume it means the 42 months will be the same 29.53 day months that Daniel understood, the same 29.53 day months used by Yeshua and the very same 29.53 day months we see today. This straightforward reading of Revelation then would give us 42 months equaling 1240.26 days or 3.3957 solar years.

If we look at Revelation 12 in the same manner, the 1260 days, again taken at face value, would equal 42.668 Biblical months of 29.53 days each. These differences are not trivial. YHWH gave these numbers with a specific generation in mind and we need to be careful that our interpretations accurately reflect YHWH’s intended purpose not our own assumptions.

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3. Dating the Second Coming
The final point of Dr. Reagans interpretation of Daniel 9 that we will look at, regards his view that the 70th week provides the exact date of the second coming:

“This could not be a reference to the Second Coming because the Bible makes it crystal clear that Jesus will return to this earth exactly seven years after the Tribulation begins.” 13

Setting dates for the return of Yeshua is a tricky business. Clearly, Dr. Reagan’s view of the second coming is heavily dependent on Daniel 9 and the 70th week and as we have seen, his view has several problematic issues that need to be addressed. In light of this, I think a definitive statement regarding the timing of the second coming is premature. At some point in history I do believe that some generation, possible ours, may be able to determine the year of the second coming. I do not think it is possible to ever know the day or the hour with any certainty.

In light of the subject of date setting I think it is only fair to once again mention Mark Biltz since I think it illustrates an important point. Some have taken the rather general statements made by Biltz regarding the blood moons and tried to make the case that he is setting dates. I’ve read those quotes and statements and frankly I think his accusers are not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

But here’s my point, I love Dr. Reagan and I have great respect for many of his teachings on Bible prophecy but why is he held to a different standard than Mr. Biltz? Why do the critics of Mr. Biltz who share Dr. Reagan’s view on the second coming and the coming calendar change not hold themselves to the same standard they demand of Biltz? Folks, there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with each other over issues such as this but at the very least we should hold each other to the same Biblical standard. And for goodness sakes let’s keep our disagreements and admonitions in the spirit of humility and brotherly love. None of us have all he answers and instead of fighting each other let’s encourage each other with the intent of discovering the truth together.

Difficult times are on the horizon and we will need each other in the coming days. Let’s not forget that we are on the same team.

In summary Dr. Reagan’s view of Daniel 9 clearly influences his eschatological world view in many important ways. As such his interpretation of the 70 Weeks needs to be established upon an unassailable Biblical foundation. The 7th year of Artaxerxes in the year 457 BC clearly does not meet that standard. As always I encourage each of you to do your own due diligence as Bereans. Dig into the chronology of the Second Temple era because it is the very chronological context of the prophecy of the 70 Weeks.

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If you would like to learn more about Biblical time or the Second Temple era as it relates to the prophecy of Daniel 9, you might find my book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy helpful. Subscribers to my blog can download the book for free. If you would rather not become a subscriber you will find my books on Amazon here: William Struse

Next time we will look at the influence Daniel 9 has had the Islamic Antichrist teachings of Walid Shoebat and Joel Richardson. It is sure to be an interesting discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1Dr. David R. Reagan – Daniel’s 70 Weeks  Of  Years – When did it start? Has it ended, or is there a gap in it? http://www.raptureready.com/featured/reagan/dr31.html)

2Dr. David R. Reagan – Daniel’s 70 Weeks  Of  Years – When did it start? Has it ended, or is there a gap in it? http://www.raptureready.com/featured/reagan/dr31.html)

3 Reagan, David (2012-10-09). The Man of Lawlessness: The Antichrist in the Tribulation (Kindle Locations 294-298). Lamb & Lion Ministries. Kindle Edition.

4 Reagan, David (2012-10-09). The Man of Lawlessness: The Antichrist in the Tribulation (Kindle Locations 314-316). Lamb & Lion Ministries. Kindle Edition.

5 Reagan, David (2012-10-09). The Man of Lawlessness: The Antichrist in the Tribulation (Kindle Locations 3972-3973). Lamb & Lion Ministries. Kindle Edition.

6 Reagan, David (2014-01-08). Living on Borrowed Time: The Imminent Return of Jesus (Kindle Locations 3547-3549). Lamb & Lion Ministries. Kindle Edition.

7 8 Reagan, David (2012-04-04). God’s Plan For The Ages (Kindle Locations 4484-4486). . Kindle Edition.

9 10 11 12 Dr. David R. Reagan – Daniel’s 70 Weeks  Of  Years – When did it start? Has it ended, or is there a gap in it? http://www.raptureready.com/featured/reagan/dr31.html)

13 Reagan, David (2012-04-04). God’s Plan For The Ages (Kindle Locations 5461-5462). . Kindle Edition.)

5 thoughts on “The 70 Weeks of David Reagan

  1. Celeste

    These are fascinating. I agree that Mark Biltz was not and has not been given the benefit of the doubt regarding his comments on the blood moons. No matter how many times he stated he “never set dates” and “wasn’t setting dates” he was still accused (falsely, because he in fact never did.) I like your point and agree that many of these prophecy writers and preachers have done more to the side of date setting than he ever did. Thank you for all your hard work, it’s always inspiring.

    Reply
  2. Jorge

    Hello William, I like your statement above:
    “None of us have all the answers and instead of fighting each other let’s encourage each other with the intent of discovering the truth together.”
    In other words, put the carnal mind (ego) and its pride aside and find the truth instead of trying to be right. When Jesus called Peter “Satan” he wasn’t just saying that. “We have met the enemy and he is us”: that is why we need salvation.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: The Seventy Weeks of Wadi Shoebat & Joel Richardson | The 13th Enumeration

  4. Ben Gillis

    Does it not make the most sense to use *only* the biblical calendar? There is one in scripture. Ironically, scripture also commands us not to waiver from it, and that would be the case, e.g. Dan 7:25.

    The texts behind this are respectably objective and compelling: https://www.wake-up.org/charts/Zoom_Major_Charts/GrandGreatWeek.html
    It lines up rather nicely with scripture, history and current events.

    IMHO, any deviation from non-scriptural records I’d place subordinate to only scripture. We KNOW scripture is not wrong, ANY other historical records could be wrong.

    Godspeed brethren.

    Reply
  5. Ben Gillis

    Why then would there be a difference between the first 483 years and the last seven?

    Look into Larry Wilson’s discussion on why. In short, it’s an indicator the only decree to use would be a jubilee year. And, secondly, apocalyptic prophecy is an unbroken sequence of events, we cannot break the 70 weeks into two time segments. Lastly, it’s not necessary for everything to line up in history, scripture and current events.

    Dig into the texts. They’re worth a read. Decide for yourselves. Here’s a summary: end-times-prophecy/jesus-final-victory-book/prophecy-4-the-seventy-weeks

    Godspeed brethren.

    Reply

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