The seventy weeks is as single block of time
The Gap View (Dispensational, Pre-Tribulation interpretation) requires a growing gap between the 69th Week and the 70th Week. Certainly there are several obvious reasons why this is not possible. Is there a sinkhole in this Messianic prophecy?
Gerhard Hasel gives us a linguistic proof as to why it is not possible to split the 70th Week away from the other 69 Weeks. He demonstrates that in Daniel 9 the Hebrew phrase “seventy weeks” functions as a collective noun. This means that “seventy weeks” must be understood as a whole unit, a complete set of time, a unified sequence without a gap.
Even in English we cannot use the word ‘week’ to mean 6 days in succession and the 7th day of that same week floating out in the future at some unknown point. That is not customary speech for us and it isn’t in Hebrew either.
To go outside the plain sense of “week” is to allegorize it. Hasel explains in great detail why Hebrew linguistics will not allow for placing a gap in the expression “seventy weeks.” See his article, The Hebrew Masculine Plural for ‘Weeks’ in the Expression ‘Seventy Weeks’ in Daniel, Andrews University, 1993.
Another problem with putting a gap between 69 and 70 is that it alters the “decreed” time frame. It is a definite time frame, not open ended, subject to completion in the future. In other words, this set of years is a determined unit of time. It’s not an indefinite period. Peter preached that “this Jesus, [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).
The 490 years is the unit of time “determined” as the KJV translates it. This passage is not written in an allegorical mode.
Gabriel is not telling Daniel,
“You may think it’s 490 years, but really it’s 490 years plus 2000 years with no end in sight as far you can see. God may be saying 490 years, but His doesn’t mean it. You have to re-interpret His words correctly as an indeterminate period of years overall – proly, 2400 years, but you still can’t be sure.”
The Gap View pushes pause within a unified set of time. The Gap View requires an awkward cessation before the unit is complete. It’s like sitting down to watch a play and being told by the cast that we the audience need to leave and come back in 2 or 3 decades to see the conclusion, the final act of the play. The 70 Weeks of Daniel 9 is not like a stop action film.
The Gap View misunderstands that the 6 blessings promised (Dan 9:24) are “decreed” to come within that set period of years, the 490 years (more on these blessings in note B). The Gap View has the most blessed event in history – the Cross and Resurrection – happening outside the 70 Weeks in an ambiguous gap.
Daniel is appealing to Yahweh for assurance of covenant renewal after the Babylonian Captivity. God does not build up Daniel’s faith by doing a bait and switch. God does not give a definite period and then expect him to use a method of interpretation that re-configures His divine decree into an indefinite period (483 + growing gap + 7 = ?).
In fact, some interpreters see the 490 years leading to the ultimate Jubilee in the person of Christ at his 1st Advent. As we see in Leviticus 25 the period leading up a jubilee doesn’t allow for a gap. In fact, was deemed a sin to postpone a jubilee set for the 49th year. In Christ we are now enjoying the progression of the Ultimate Jubilee as it heads to it consummation.
It is also incongruous to argue, as many do, for literal days continuously running in the Creation account and then to argue, as they also do, that in Daniel 9 a literal unit of years does not literally run in succession. If one holds to a literal interpretation of Scripture, then that should be applied consistently.
The plain sense reading of Gabriel’s words speak of a definite and continuous period without amputation of its tail portion to be held in reserve for an indeterminate future moment.
The idea of an end time 7 Year Tribulation Period rests on the 70th week being future. Dispensational views on the Olivet or parts of the Apocalypse are not possible if the 70th week is already complete.
Both Scripture and history show the 70th week is past.
These differences notwithstanding we should continue working alongside each other WHILE giving time and space to work out these areas of eschatology. The subject of Last Things can be complex at times. As we seek truth we can cultivate grace and love.