Leo and Nakissos,
Is the following a correct application of your information?
1. The 70 years were a declaration of the time limit of Babylon’s power. That period ended when Babylon fell to the Persians.
2. Daniel 9 is set at a time after Babylon had been defeated; hence the 70 years had finished.
3. From his studying/understanding of Jeremiah, Daniel realised that Jeremiah said the return to Jerusalem required a revolution in their attitude along with confession of their sin.
4. The answer came that, although Daniel’s prayer had been heard, the people had not yet put an end to their sinful ways. For this reason, the Jews’ punishment would continue. They had failed to heed God’s proclamation that Babylon would be dominant over them for 70 years, but now the Jews would be required to serve a period that was 7 times greater – 7 times 70 – but this time their servitude was to God. During this greater period of punishment, the nation was to demonstrate that it had truly changed its relationship with God.
“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 .
5. For this to take place, the nation’s religious functioning needed to be restored and obeyed (which answered Daniel’s prayer). The experiment with kings had ended, and now came the opportunity to ensure that God’s chosen nation would never again suffer the ignominy of domination by another nation. (Would not a cynic say that these words were written by the ideologues, the puritanical Jews, in an effort to ensure their power and influence?)
6. So when did this new period of testing begin? From the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild the city. By whom is that statement to “restore and rebuild” made? Not likely by a heathen king, since much is conveyed with “restoration” and “rebuilding” a people as well as a city. It is most likely that it refers to utterances of the word of God to restore the city as spoken through Jeremiah. That is where Daniel would have read of the promised return.
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree (dabar) to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.