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Seventy sets of seven

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are decreed on your people and your holy city,

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to stop

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rebellious sin, to seal up

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guilt for sins

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to make atonement for depravity, to

usher in righteousness

forever, to seal up visions and prophecy,

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and to anoint the most holy of holiest.

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Be patient because absolutely all the complete actions that are required have been decreed for your people and your holy city, Jerusalem and everything it represents, in order to accomplish God’s purpose, e.g. to stop the continuation of rebellious sins,

to use the seal of His name to eliminate the guilt from sins, to atone for depravity, to usher in perpetual righteousness,

to place His seal of authentication on visions and prophecies and thus prove them true, and to anoint

the Holy Messiah as uncontested king.



The word used here is a form of the word “seven” and means “a period of seven.” It could refer to a period of seven days, or seven years, or whatever the context requires. Periods of time may be in mind here, but the important thing is not how long each period of time was but what happened during that time and the fact that the action which characterized that period was complete, full, not lacking in extent, intensity, or character.


The use of “city” here is not true symbolism, and yet it stands for more than just the metropolitan area. It refers to the systems and the institutions that enable society to function. This city was of special importance because God had chosen to put His name there in the form of the temple.


The Hebrew word used here means to “restrain, withhold, stop or finish.”


This word means to “seal, seal up or shut up, stop or make an end to.” This was a legal term because a seal was based on the authority of the one whose seal was used. The seal of God cannot be broken. If God “seals up the guilt of sins” it means that He has made a legal declaration indicating that the sinner is no longer guilty for his sins. We now know that this is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is called justification.


This word is commonly rendered simply as “sin,” however, it focuses on the guilty condition caused by sin and the need for punishment. In this context it seems that the issue of guilt is the intended focus. If guilt has been removed, there is no longer any need for punishment. And if sinning does not continue, no more guilt will be accumulated.


Jesus did not “seal up visions and prophecy” by stopping them but by fulfilling them. He authenticated them with His actions, not with a ball of hot wax as was typical of kings in ancient times.

7: “anoint the Holy of Holiest”

This entire verse is in reference to the Messiah, as well as the designation “the most holy one.” This phrase indicates the most holy condition imaginable. It was usually used in reference to the inner room called the Holy of Holies, and to the altar. Here it is used in an obvious reference to the expected Messiah. When was Jesus anointed as the Messiah? That can be argued in different ways. Remember that this points to a confirmation or proof of His Messiahship. It could have been the confirmation provided by His resurrection or His ascension, or the final confirmations spoken of in Mt 24, such as the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. I am convinced that all of His redemptive work confirmed that he was indeed the Messiah.

What Was the Goal of These Sevens?

The goal is to completely fulfill the redemptive work of God. This is definitely a spiritual matter. Many prophecy experts focus only (or primarily) on the geopolitical issues of that era and fail to see the hand of God or the opposition of God’s enemy.