the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
Vision of the Image composed of four Metals was given first to
Nebuchadnezzar, and then to Daniel in a dream: and
Daniel began then to be celebrated for revealing of secrets,
Ezek. xxviii. 3. The Vision of the four Beasts, and of the
Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, was also given to
Daniel in a dream. That of the Ram and the He-Goat appeared to
him in the day time, when he was by the bank of the river Ulay;
and was explained to him by the prophetic Angel Gabriel. It
concerns the Prince of the host, and the Prince of Princes:
and now in the first year of Darius the Mede over
Babylon, the same prophetic Angel appears to Daniel
again, and explains to him what is meant by the Son of man, by
the Prince of the host, and the Prince of Princes. The
Prophecy of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
relates to the second coming of Christ; that of the Prince
of the host relates to his first coming: and this Prophecy of the
Messiah, in explaining them, relates to both comings, and
assigns the times thereof. 
Prophecy, like all the rest of Daniel’s, consists of two
parts, an introductory prophecy and an explanation thereof; the whole
I thus translate and interpret.
weeks are ai
cut out upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to
finish transgression, and bii
to make an end of sins, to expiate iniquity, and to
bring in everlasting righteousness, to consummate the Vision
the Prophet, and to anoint the most Holy [Chap. ix. 24,
25, 26, 27.].
also and understand, that from the going forth of the
commandment to cause to return and to build Jerusalem, unto
the Anointed the Prince, shall be seven weeks.
threescore and two weeks shall ev
it return, and the street be built and the wall; but
in troublesome times: and after the threescore and two weeks,
the Anointed shall be cut off, and evi
it shall not be his; but the people of a Prince to come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof
shall be  with a flood, and unto the end of
the war, desolations are determined.
shall he confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in
half a week he shall muse the sacrifice and oblation to cease:
and upon a wing of abominations he shall make it desolate,
even until the consummation, and that which is determined
be poured upon the desolate.
weeks are cut out upon thy people, and upon thy holy city,
to finish transgression, &c. Here, by putting a week for
seven years, are reckoned 490 years from the time that the dispersed
Jews should be re-incorporated into a [a
See Isa. xxiii. 13.] people and a holy city, until the death
and resurrection of Christ; whereby transgression should be
finished, and sins ended, iniquity be expiated, and
everlasting righteousness brought in, and this Vision be
accomplished, and the Prophet consummated, that Prophet
whom the Jews expected; and whereby the most Holy
should be anointed, he who is therefore in the next words
called the Anointed, that is, the Messiah, or the
Christ. For by joining the accomplishment of the vision with
the expiation of sins, the 490 years are ended with the death of
Christ. Now the dispersed Jews became a people and city
when they first returned into a polity or body politick; and this was
in the seventh year  of Artaxerxes Longimanus,
when Ezra returned with a body of Jews from captivity,
and revived the Jewish worship; and by the King’s
commission created Magistrates in all the land, to judge and govern
the people according to the laws of God and the King, Ezra
vii. 25. There were but two returns from captivity, Zerubbabel’s
and Ezra’s; in Zerubbabel’s they had only
commission to build the Temple, in Ezra’s they first
became a polity or city by a government of their own. Now the years
of this Artaxerxes began about two or three months after the
summer solstice, and his seventh year fell in with the third year of
the eightieth Olympiad; and the latter part thereof, wherein
Ezra went up to Jerusalem, was in the year of the
Julian Period 4257. Count the time from thence to the
death of Christ, and you will find it just 490 years. If you
count in Judaic years commencing in autumn, and date the
reckoning from the first autumn after Ezra’s coming to
Jerusalem, when he put the King’s decree in execution;
the death of Christ will fall on the year of the Julian
Period 4747, Anno Domini 34; and the weeks will be
Judaic weeks, ending with sabbatical years; and this I take to
be the truth: but if you had rather place the death of Christ
in the year before, as is  commonly done, you may take
the year of Ezra’s journey into the reckoning.
also and understand, that from the going forth of the
commandment to cause to return and to build Jerusalem, unto
the Anointed the Prince, shall be seven weeks. The former
part of the Prophecy related to the first coming of Christ,
being dated to his coming as a Prophet; this being dated to his
coming to be Prince or King, seems to relate to his second coming.
There, the Prophet was consummate, and the most holy anointed: here,
he that was anointed comes to be Prince and to reign. For Daniel’s
Prophecies reach to the end of the world; and there is scarce a
Prophecy in the Old Testament concerning Christ, which doth
not in something or other relate to his second coming. If divers of
the antients, as avii
Julius Africanus, Hippolytus the martyr, and
Apollinaris Bishop of Laodicea, applied the half week
to the times of Antichrist; why may not we, by the same
liberty of interpretation, apply the seven weeks to the time when
Antichrist shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s
Israelites in the days of the antient Prophets, when the ten
Tribes were led into captivity, expected a double return; and that at
the  first the Jews should build a new Temple
inferior to Solomon’s, until the time of that age should
be fulfilled; and afterwards they should return from all places of
their captivity, and build Jerusalem and the Temple
gloriously, Tobit xiv. 4, 5, 6: and to express the glory and
excellence of this city, it is figuratively said to be built of
precious stones, Tobit xiii. 16, 17, 18. Isa. liv. 11,
12. Rev. xi. and called the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly
Jerusalem, the Holy City, the Lamb’s Wife,
the City of the Great King, the City into which the Kings
of the earth do bring their glory and honour. Now while such a
return from captivity was the expectation of Israel, even
before the times of Daniel, I know not why Daniel
should omit it in his Prophecy. This part of the Prophecy being
therefore not yet fulfilled, I shall not attempt a particular
interpretation of it, but content myself with observing, that as the
seventy and the sixty two weeks were Jewish weeks, ending with
sabbatical years; so the seven weeks are the compass of a Jubilee,
and begin and end with actions proper for a Jubilee, and of
the highest nature for which a Jubilee can be kept: and that
since the commandment to return and to build Jerusalem,
precedes the Messiah the Prince 49 years; it may perhaps come
forth not from the Jews themselves, but  from some
other kingdom friendly to them, and precede their return from
captivity, and give occasion to it; and lastly, that this rebuilding
of Jerusalem and the waste places of Judah is predicted
in Micah vii. 11. Amos ix. 11, 14. Ezek. xxxvi.
33, 35, 36, 38. Isa. liv. 3, 11, 12. lv. 12. lxi. 4. lxv. 18,
21, 22. and Tobit xiv. 5. and that the return from captivity
and coming of the Messiah and his kingdom are described in
Daniel vii. Rev. xix. Acts i. Mat. xxiv.
Joel. iii. Ezek. xxxvi. xxxvii. Isa. lx. lxii.
lxiii. lxv. and lxvi. and many other places of scripture. The manner
I know not. Let time be the Interpreter.
threescore and two weeks shall it return, and the street be
built and the wall, but in troublesome times: and after
the threescore and two weeks the Messiah shall be cut off,
and it shall not be his; but the people of a Prince to come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, &c. Having foretold
both comings of Christ, and dated the last from their
returning and building Jerusalem; to prevent the applying that
to the building Jerusalem by Nehemiah, he distinguishes
this from that, by saying that from this period to the Anointed
shall be, not seven weeks, but threescore and two weeks, and this not
in prosperous but in troublesome times; and at the end of these weeks
the Messiah shall  not be the Prince of the Jews,
but be cut off; and Jerusalem not be his, but the city and
sanctuary be destroyed. Now Nehemiah came to Jerusalem
in the 20th year of this same Artaxerxes, while Ezra
still continued there, Nehem. xii. 36, and found the city
lying waste, and the houses and wall unbuilt, Nehem. ii. 17.
vii. 4, and finished the wall the 25th day of the month Elul,
Nehem. vi. 15. in the 28th year of the King, that is, in
September in the year of the Julian Period 4278.
Count now from this year threescore and two weeks of years, that is
434 years, and the reckoning will end in September in the year
of the Julian Period 4712 which is the year in which
Christ was born, according to Clemens Alexandrinus,
Irenaeus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome,
Orosius, Cassiodorus, and other antients.; and this was
the general opinion, till Dionysius Exiguus invented the
vulgar account, in which Christ’s birth is placed two
years later. If with some you reckon that Christ was born
three or four years before the vulgar account, yet his birth will
fall in the latter part of the last week, which is enough. How after
these weeks Christ was cut off, and the city and sanctuary
destroyed by the Romans, is well known. 
shall he confirm the covenant with many for one week. He kept it,
notwithstanding his death, till the rejection of the Jews, and
calling of Cornelius and the Gentiles in the seventh
year after his passion.
in half a week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease;
that is, by the war of the Romans upon the Jews: which
war, after some commotions, began in the 13th year of Nero, A.
D. 67, in the spring, when Vespasian with an army invaded
them; and ended in the second year of Vespasian, A. D. 70, in
autumn, Sept. 7, when Titus took the city, having burnt
the Temple 27 days before: so that it lasted three years and an half.
upon a wing of abominations he shall cause desolation, even
until the consummation, and that which is determined be poured
upon the desolate. The Prophets, in representing kingdoms by
Beasts and Birds, put their wings stretcht out over any country for
their armies sent out to invade and rule over that country. Hence a
wing of abominations is an army of false Gods: for an abomination is
often put in scripture for a false God; as where Chemosh is
called the abomination of Moab, and Molech the
abomination of Ammon [1 Kings xi.].ix
The meaning therefore is, that the people of a Prince to come shall
destroy the sanctuary, and abolish the daily  worship of
the true God, and overspread the land with an army of false gods; and
by setting up their dominion and worship, cause desolation to the
Jews, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. For
Christ tells us, that the abomination of desolation spoken of
by Daniel was to be set up in the times of the Roman
Empire, Matth. xxiv. 15.
have we in this short Prophecy, a prediction of all the main periods
relating to the coming of the Messiah; the time of his birth,
that of his death, that of the rejection of the Jews, the
duration of the Jewish war whereby he caused the city and
sanctuary to be destroyed, and the time of his second coming: and so
the interpretation here given is more full and complete and adequate
to the design, than if we should restrain it to his first coming
only, as Interpreters usually do. We avoid also the doing violence to
the language of Daniel, by taking the seven weeks and
sixty two weeks for one number. Had that been Daniel’s
meaning, he would have said sixty and nine weeks, and not
seven weeks and sixty two weeks, a way of numbring used
by no nation. In our way the years are Jewish Luni-solar
as they  ought to be; and the seventy weeks of years
are Jewish weeks ending with sabbatical years, which is
very remarkable. For they end either with the year of the birth of
Christ, two years before the vulgar account, or with the year
of his death, or with the seventh year after it: all which are
sabbatical years. Others either count by Lunar years, or by
weeks not Judaic: and, which is worst, they ground their
interpretations on erroneous Chronology, excepting the opinion of
Funccius about the seventy weeks, which is the same
with ours. For they place Ezra and Nehemiah in the
reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon, and the building of the Temple in
the reign of Darius Nothus, and date the weeks of
Daniel from those two reigns.
grounds of the Chronology here followed, I will now set down as
briefly as I can.
Peloponnesian war began in spring An. 1 Olymp.
87, as Diodorus, Eusebius, and all other authors agree.
It began two months before Pythodorus ceased to be Archon,
Thucyd. l. 2. that is, in April, two months
before the end of the Olympic year. Now the years of this war
are most certainly determined by the 50 years distance of its first
year from the transit of Xerxes inclusively, Thucyd. l.
2. or 48 years exclusively, Eratosth. apud Clem.
Alex. by the 69 years distance of its end, or 27th 
year, from the beginning of Alexander’s reign in Greece;
by the acting of the Olympic games in its 4th and 12th years,
Thucyd. l. 5; and by three eclipses of the sun, and one
of the moon, mentioned by Thucydides and Xenophon. Now
Thucydides, an unquestionable witness, tells us, that the news
of the death of Artaxerxes Longimanus was brought to
Ephesus, and from thence by some Athenians to Athens,
in the 7th year of this Peloponnesian war, when the winter
half year was running; and therefore he died An. 4 Olymp.
88, in the end of An. J. P. 4289, suppose a
month or two before mid-winter; for so long the news would be in
coming. Now Artaxerxes Longimanus reigned 40 years, by
the consent of Diodorus, Eusebius, Jerome,
Sulpitius; or 41, according to Ptol. in can.
Clem. Alexand. l. 1. Strom. Chron.
Alexandr. Abulpharagius, Nicephorus, including
therein the reign of his successors Xerxes and Sogdian,
as Abulpharagius informs us. After Artaxerxes reigned
his son Xerxes two months, and Sogdian seven months;
but their reign is not reckoned apart in summing up the years of the
Kings, but is included in the 40 or 41 years reign of Artaxerxes:
omit these nine months, and the precise reign of Artaxerxes
will be thirty nine years and three months. And therefore since his
reign ended in the beginning  of winter An. J.
P. 4289, it began between midsummer and autumn, An. J.
same thing I gather also thus. Cambyses began his reign in
spring, An. J. P. 4185, and reigned eight years,
including the five months of Smerdes; and then Darius
Hystaspis began in spring An. J. P. 4193,
and reigned thirty six years, by the unanimous consent of all
Chronologers. The reigns of these two Kings are determined by three
eclipses of the moon observed at Babylon, and recorded by
Ptolemy; so that it cannot be disputed. One was in the seventh
year of Cambyses, An. J. P. 4191, Jul.
16, at 11 at night; another in the 20th year of Darius, An.
J. P. 4212, Nov. 19, at 11h. 45´
at night; a third in the 31st year of Darius, An. J.
P. 4223, Apr. 25, at 11h. 30´ at
night. By these eclipses, and the Prophecies of Haggai and
Zechary compared together, it is manifest that his years began
after the 24th day of the 11th Jewish month, and before the
25th day of April, and by consequence about March.
Xerxes therefore began in spring An. J. P.
4229: for Darius died in the fifth year after the battle at
Marathon, as Herodotus, lib. 7, and Plutarch
mention; and that battle was in October An. J.
P. 4224, ten years before the battle at Salamis. Xerxes
therefore began within less than a year after October An.
J. P. 4228, suppose in the spring following: for he
 spent his first five years, and something more, in
preparations for his expedition against the Greeks; and this
expedition was in the time of the Olympic games, An. 1
Olymp. 75, Calliade Athenis Archonte, 28
years after the Regifuge, and Consulship of the first Consul
Junius Brutus, Anno Urbis conditae 273, Fabio &
Furio Coss. The passage of Xerxes’s army
over the Hellespont began in the end of the fourth year of the
74th Olympiad, that is, in June An. J. P.
4234, and took up one month: and in autumn, three months after, on
the full moon, the 16th day of the month Munychion, was the
battle at Salamis, and a little after that an eclipse of the
sun, which by the calculation fell on Octob. 2. His sixth year
therefore began a little before June, suppose in spring An.
J. P. 4234, and his first year consequently in spring
An. J. P. 4229, as above. Now he reigned almost
twenty one years, by the consent of all writers. Add the 7 months of
Artabanus, and the sum will be 21 years and about four or five
months, which end between midsummer and autumn An. J.
P. 4250. At this time therefore began the reign of his
successor Artaxerxes, as was to be proved.
same thing is also confirmed by Julius Africanus, who
informs us out of former writers, that the 20th year of this
Artaxerxes was the 115th year from the beginning of the reign
of  Cyrus in Persia, and fell in with An.
4 Olymp. 83. It began therefore with the Olympic year,
soon after the summer Solstice, An. J. P. 4269.
Subduct nineteen years, and his first year will begin at the same
time of the year An. J. P. 4250, as above.
7th year therefore began after midsummer An. J. P.
4256: and the Journey of Ezra to Jerusalem in the
spring following fell on the beginning of An. J. P.
4257, as above. 
Newton’s note a: Cut upon. A phrase in Hebrew,
taken from the practise of numbring by cutting notches.
Newton’s note b: Heb. to seal, i.e. to finish or
consummate: a metaphor taken from sealing what is finished. So the
Jews compute, ad obsignatum Misna, ad obsignatum
Talmud, that is, ad absolutum.
Newton’s note c: Heb. the Prophet, not the Prophecy.
Newton’s note d: Heb. the Messiah, that is, in Greek,
the Christ; in English, the Anointed. I use the
English word, that the relation to this clause to the former
Newton’s note e: Jerusalem.
Newton’s note e (repeated in the text, but not in the
Newton’s note a: Iren. l. 5. Haer. c. 25.
Newton’s note b: Apud Hieron. in h. l.
Newton’s note a: The antient solar years of the eastern
nations consisted of 12 months, and every month of 30 days: and
hence came the division of a circle into 360 degrees. This year
seems to be used by Moses  in his history of the
Flood, and by John in the Apocalypse, where a time,
times and half a time, 42 months and 1260 days, are put equipollent.
But in reckoning by many of these years together, an account is to
be kept of the odd days which wore added to the end of these years.
For the Egyptians added five days to the end of this year;
and so did the Chaldeans long before the times of Daniel,
as appears by the Aera of Nabonassar: and the Persian
Magi used the same year of 365 days, till the Empire of the
Arabians. The antient Greeks also used the same solar
year of 12 equal months, or 360 days; but every other year added an
intercalary month, consisting of 10 and 11 days alternately.
year of the Jews, even from their coming out of Egypt,
was Luni-solar. It was solar, for the harvest always followed the
Passover, and the fruits of the land were always gathered before the
feast of Tabernacles, Levit. xxiii. But the months were
lunar, for the people were commanded by Moses in the
beginning of every month to blow with trumpets, and offer burnt
offerings with their drink offerings, Num. x. 10. xxviii. 11,
14. and this solemnity was kept on the new moons, Psal.
lxxxi. 3, 4, 6. 1 Chron. xxiii. 31. These months were called
by Moses the first, second, third, fourth month, &c.
and the first month was also called Abib, the second Zif,
the seventh Ethanim, the eighth Bull, Exod.
xiii. 4. 1 Kings vi. 37, 38. viii. 2. But in the Babylonian
captivity the Jews used the names of the Chaldean
months, and by those names understood the months of their own year;
so that the Jewish months then lost their old names, and are
now called by those of the Chaldeans.
Jews began their civil year from the autumnal Equinox, and
their sacred year from the vernal: and the first day of the first
month was on the visible new moon, which was nearest the Equinox.
Daniel used the Chaldaick or Jewish year, is
not very material; the difference being but six hours in a year, and
4 months in 480 years. But I take his months to be Jewish:
first, because Daniel was Jew, and the Jews
even by the names of the Chaldean months understood the
months of their own year: secondly, because this Prophecy is
grounded on Jeremiah’s concerning the 70 years
captivity, and therefore must be understood of the same sort of
years with the seventy; and those are Jewish, since that
Prophecy was given in Judea before the captivity: and lastly,
because Daniel reckons by weeks of years, which is a way of
reckoning peculiar to the Jewish years. For as their days ran
by sevens, and the last day of every seven was a sabbath; so their
years ran by sevens, and the last year of every seven was a
sabbatical year, and seven such weeks of years made a Jubilee.