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Seventy Weeks

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Rabbi Jonathan Blass

19 Adar 5764
Question
Hello, In Daniel 9:24-26 it speaks about seventy weeks that would be determined upon Daniels people and the holy city. It would appear that this timetable was to start at the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and from that time until Mashiyach would be 69 weeks. Are these "weeks" days, months or years and when did the countdown begin? Thank you for your consideration.
Answer
The traditional commentaries- Rashi and Metzudat David- explain that the reference is to the 490 years (70 periods of seven years each) between the destructions of the First and Second Temples. There were 52 years (seven of these seven year periods plus three) between the destruction of the First Temple and the reign of Cyrus who is called G-d's appointed and then there remained 62 such periods (plus a fraction) until the second desruction.
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