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Therefore, know and understand that from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, till the Messiah, the Prince [comes],

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[there will be] seven sets of seven.

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[There will be] 62 sets of seven,

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and then the street and a trench

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will be built again

during times of trouble.


Therefore, know and understand that from the time the command is issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (fulfilled by King Cyrus), till the time when the Messiah, the Prince, establishes His kingdom, there will be a full and complete collection of relevant activities. Breaking this down further, there will be an almost full set of relevant activities, and then the common way things are done will be reestablished; however this will be accomplished during times of hardship for the followers of God.


1: “comes”

No verb is given in Hebrew. One option would be to say “until the Messiah does what only the Messiah can do.” However, the word “comes” seems to fit well here and is less cumbersome. I think we all agree that this must refer to more than just his arrival as a baby, or even the beginning of His public ministry. I believe the concept of “coming as Messiah” pertains to the establishment of His rule as uncontested king. So “come” here means “He is proven to be the Messiah and His rule is fully established as He desired it to be.”


Can also be rendered “seven weeks.” I have chosen to use “sets of seven” in order to guide our focus away from the idea of time and toward the type of activity going on.


In symbolism 62 is smaller than 7 because 7 points to completeness and 62 points to something that is lacking because it is short of 70.

4: “a trench”

In ancient times, cities had ditches running down the middle of the streets that would carry sewage under the city gates and out of town. That is what this “trench” is referring to. A strong rain would wash away most of the sewage but the rest of the time it just sat there. This reference to streets and trenches is indicating a city built according to the normal pattern. It is a way of saying that everything will seem normal and proper.