Fisherman, here's my five cents worth. I do not view the "seven times" and the "times of the Gentiles" as the same or mutually inclusive. The first has to do with kingship (Nebuchadnezzar vs. Jesus) and the latter with the trampling of Jerusalem.
Seven times: The “seven times” has to do with kingship and theocracy (Dan. 4:17; cf. 7:13, 14). This is a follow-up dream of Dan. 2.
There Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold (cf. 2:38, 44, 45). In Dan. 4 he is
depicted as a luxuriant “world tree,” which is chopped down. The remaining
stump is bound with bands of copper and iron until “seven times” pass over it
(4:13-16). As a primary fulfillment, “seven times” point to seven days, months
or years. Nebuchadnezzar would be out of action for seven times (Dan. 4:23-25).
If seven times =
7 years, it will allow for a secondary fulfillment. And this is a big "if." Seven years is a long time to leave your kingship unattended. Nothing in history to indicate such a long gap in his reign. If seven times = seven years, then a prophetic year is 360
days (3½ times = 42 months = 1,260 days: Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14). The “seven
times” (7 times x 360 = 2,520 days > 2,520 years), would then have started
in 607 BCE with the subjugation of Judahite king Jehoiakim by Nebuchadnezzar (2
Kings 24:1; 2 Chron. 36:5-8; Jer. 25:11; Dan. 1:1, 2).
Here it might be
noted that an interesting similarity exists between Nebuchadnezzar and Jesus.
At that stage in his life, Nebuchadnezzar was the crown prince and king in
waiting. His father Nabopolassar only died in 605 BCE.
Thus, counting from
607/606 BCE, the “seven times” end in the year 1914 CE when the principle “a
day for a year” applies (cf. Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6). The fact that God uses a
heathen king as a type of His son is not unusual. In Isaiah, Daniel and
Revelation the victorious Cyrus is presented as a type of God’s son and heir
(Is. 44:28-45:5; cf. Dan. 9:25; 11:44; Rev. 16:12).
Times of the Gentiles: Has to do with trampling of Jerusalem. Daniel,
a contemporary of Ezekiel, would predict a second destruction of Jerusalem and
its temple, this time by the Romans: “And
the city and the holy place the people of a leader that is coming will bring to
their ruin. And the end of it will be by the flood. And until [the] end there
will be war; what is decided upon is desolations. And upon the wing of
disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an
extermination, the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the
one lying desolate” (Dan. 9:26b, 27b). This fact Jesus would reiterate in his Olivet
discourse: “and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be
led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the
nations, until the appointed times of the nations [“times
of the Gentiles,” ESV, NET] are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). So, the "times of the Gentiles" start in 70 CE. The “appointed
times of the nations” are
to be fulfilled when Jesus, who has the legal right, receives his kingship,
this time in a heavenly setting (cf. Dan. 7:13, 14; cf. Rev. 11:2, 15, 18).