70 Year Pattern
The prophet Jeremiah wrote of a 70-year punishment and exile on the people of Israel, which is dated from 586 BC and the destruction of the first Temple (Jeremiah 25). Years later, Daniel read Jeremiah’s prophecy and realized that the 70 years were soon to be fulfilled, and thus committed himself to extended prayer and fasting in order to see God’s word come to pass (Daniel 9:2). He then received from the angel Gabriel an additional prophecy concerning the 70 years.
In this new prophecy the pattern of the 70 years (70 “weeks” of years) was extended into the future to a new dimension concerning the coming of Messiah and the End Times (Daniel 9:24). Daniel saw a clear connection between the 70 years of Jeremiah’s prophecy and the 70 weeks of years in his own. Jeremiah’s prophecy was more historic and immediate, while Daniel’s was futuristic and Messianic.
A New Era
The 70 years of both Jeremiah and Daniel represent a spiritual pattern for us even today. The 70th year marks the end of a biblical period, particularly of national judgment. The Ten Commandments state that the effects of the sin of one generation will be experienced until the 3rd and 4th generations—also approximately 70 years (Exodus 20:5). This 70 year period is coming to an end as regarding the Holocaust. The last of the Holocaust survivors are gradually passing away and the direct psychological influence on their grandchildren and great-grandchildren is passing away with them. This spiritual change has both positive and negative effects.
We believe that in the coming year, the 70th after the end of the Holocaust, there will be a shift of paradigm in God’s dealings with Israel and the nations, particularly Europe. (There will be a parallel shift in East Asia concerning the relationship of Japan to the surrounding nations.) May we be like Daniel, setting our hearts to fast and pray concerning this new season; and may the Lord grant that we too receive insight for the end times–for a new period of restoration and revival as it was in the days of Zerubbabel.