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23 When you began your petition, an answer was given which I have come to announce, because you are beloved. Therefore, mark the answer and understand the vision.

24 “Seventy weeks[a] are decreed
    for your people and for your holy city:
Then transgression will stop and sin will end,
    guilt will be expiated,
Everlasting justice will be introduced,
    vision and prophecy ratified,
    and a holy of holies will be anointed.
25     Know and understand:
From the utterance of the word
    that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt[b]
Until there is an anointed ruler,
    there shall be seven weeks.
In the course of sixty-two weeks
    it shall be rebuilt,
With squares and trenches,
    in time of affliction.

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  1. 9:24 Seventy weeks: i.e., of years. Just as Jeremiah’s seventy years was an approximation (see note on v. 2), the four hundred and ninety years here is not to be taken literally. Similarly, the distribution of the “weeks” in the following verses indicates only relative proportions of the total figure. A holy of holies: or “most holy”; could be understood as a place (e.g., the Jerusalem Temple) or a person (cf. 1 Chr 23:13).
  2. 9:25 From the utterance…to be rebuilt: from the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy. Anointed ruler: either Cyrus, who was called the anointed of the Lord to end the exile (Is 45:1), or the high priest Jeshua who presided over the rebuilding of the altar of sacrifice after the exile (Ezr 3:2). Seven weeks: forty-nine years, an approximation of the time of the exile. In the course of sixty-two weeks…rebuilt: a period of four hundred thirty-four years, roughly approximating the interval between the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the exile and the beginning of the Seleucid persecution.

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