Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 12, 2012

More Forgiveness

Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?  Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22

Wow!  That sounds exhausting!  And why seventy times seven?  Why not eighty times eight?

Was Jesus referring to himself?  There was a prophecy from Daniel: “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem [Cyrus’ decree] until the Anointed One [Jesus], the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It [the Second Temple] will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.  After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One [Jesus] will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler [Romans] who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood:  War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He [Jesus] will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering [the Crucifixion]. And at the temple he [not Jesus] will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”  Daniel 9:24-27

Jesus preached this seventy times seven forgiveness during his public ministry, in the first half of that last ‘seven’ that was decreed for the Jewish people.  After seventy times seven years, God would cast off his favor from his people Israel, and send his calling to the Gentiles.  All forgiveness of sins was accomplished in seventy times seven years (490 years) from the going forth of Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the Jewish Temple.  This period was exactly 455BC to 36AD – the conversion of Cornelius (a gentile).

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