1. Introduction

A review of Archangel Gabriel’s prophecy:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy

Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times (Daniel 9: 24 & 25)

2. 70 year periods were required to seal  up the vision and the prophecy

First, it may help to explain what scripture means by  unsealing  or opening a  vision and a prophecy?  To unseal a vision and  prophecy is  to reveal,  activate and fulfill the prophecy:

  • there are books of prophecy in heaven which are sealed. The prophecies are  ACTIVATED when they are unsealed.
  • For example, the book of  Revelation  5: 1 had seven seals.   Noone knew the contents of the books until Jesus unsealed them (Rev 5: 1- 7;  6 – 10).
  • After each book was unsealed, the prophetic events began to take place.
  • Therefore the unsealing of a prophecy causes it to be activated and fulfilled.
  • Following His temptation in the wilderness, Jesus went into the Temple, opened the book and read from Isaiah 61: 1-3. He closed the book and said, “this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4: 16-23).
  • He unsealed or explained the meaning of Isaiah’s prophecy in the hearing of the people.
  • He then closed the book to indicate that this prophecy had been fulfilled completely.

3.  Now, what does it mean to seal a vision and prophecy?

The interpretation varies depending on the context:

a. In one context, to seal a vision or prophecy is to hide its content:

  • Apostle John saw a Mighty Angel holding a small, open book. The angel cried with a loud voice and 7 thunders spoke mysteries which John was about to write. However, God called from heaven and told him to “seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered” (Revelation 10: 4).
  • God then commanded John to take the little book from the angel who commanded him to eat the book since he must prophesy again to many people, nations and Kings.
  • This meant that the words of the book were hidden in his spirit and would be revealed at the appointed time.

b. In another context, to seal a vision or prophecy means to reveal  the content, but to hide the meaning until a particular time:

  • As Daniel sought to understand the vision of  chapter 8, Archangel Gabriel gave him some clues, but told him to ‘shut it up” because its fulfillment was scheduled for  the distant future. Daniel fainted and went back to work; remaining astonished and perplexed about the meaning of the prophecy (Daniel 8: 26 – 27).
  • Archangel Gabriel later gave a prophecy to Daniel regarding the latter days of the Jewish people. Once again, the prophet did not understand it. Archangel Gabriel told him not to worry about it; because the “words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12: 9).
  • This prophecy would be understood by those living in the time of its fulfillment.

3. What did Archangel Gabriel mean when He spoke specifically about sealing the vision and prophecy in our text?

Archangel Gabriel meant that Jeremiah’s prophecy about the 70 year desolation of Jerusalem began its fulfillment in 586 BC.  However, when Archangel Gabriel told Daniel that 70 weeks were required to “seal up the vision and the prophecy,”

He meant that 70 year successive periods would elapse in history or time between the return from exile and the birth of the Messiah