God had determined [cut out, marked off] a period of Seventy sevens of time [490 years] for "thy people and thy holy city". This period of 490 years was cut out of time to accomplish some very specific things.
- to finish the transgression
- to make an end of sins
- to make reconciliation for iniquity
- to bring in everlasting righteousness
- to seal up the vision and prophecy
- to anoint the most Holy
The period of 490 years that had been "cut out/marked off" out of time, had a beginning point and a termination point. The beginning point was "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem." If one accepts the witness of God, this commandment can be none other than that given by Cyrus, King of Persia, for the reasons already stated here.
From the time the commandment was issued to the public appearance of the Messiah Prince, was to be a total of 69 weeks of years, or 483 years.
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:
Then after the 62 weeks of years had expired, the Messiah would be killed in a violent manner, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself." He was not cut off for His own sin or fault, but "for the transgression of my people was he stricken." [Isaiah 53:8]
During the final seven years (which is the final seven of the Seventy), “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week”. Again, many have tried to make this "he" a future antichrist. However, for all the reasons given here, the only individual in view here is the Messiah Prince, mentioned in verse 25. The prince signified in the "people of the prince", and the "he" who confirms the covenant is one and the same with the Messiah Prince who is cut off for the transgressions of His people.
This same One, in the midst of the week, "shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” It is by the cutting off of the Messiah Prince, Jesus of Nazareth, the sacrifices and oblations are caused to cease, i.e., no longer are they needed to speak to man's sins, for He has addressed the issue in finality. As the writer of Hebrews stated, "now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Here he states that Jesus appeared "in the end of the world [age]." The Messiah Prince appeared at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrificing of Himself. What age did He appear at the end of? The age determined upon "thy people and thy city", the 490 years. The Messiah Prince was to appear after a total of 69 of the 70 weeks. In any method of counting, that is at the end of the determined period.
In AD 70, forty years after His cutting off, the sacrifices and oblations also ceased with finality. There were several signs noted in the rabbinical writings that the sacrifices were no longer accepted by God, during the forty years previous to the temple's destruction [See Here].
Not only were the sacrifices and oblations finished, but also the city and temple were doomed to destruction because of “the overspreading of abominations.” As it is described in Revelation, Jerusalem had become "the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
After the cutting off of the Messiah for the transgressions of His people, the next prophetic event is “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Notice it is the people of the coming prince that is responsible for the destroying of the city and the temple, not the prince himself. In the context of this prophetic word, the prince here can be none other than the Messiah Prince who appeared after the 62 weeks of years and was then cut off. Therefore the people of the prince can be none other than the Jews themselves. Reasons for this are found here.
Because Jerusalem and its inhabitants had spread abominations into every corner, "he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." Again, the "he" spoke of here is the Messiah Prince. We know that historically, it was the Romans who were the ultimate avenue through which God destroyed the city and the temple. However, we must see that it was God's right hand, the Messiah Prince, who was the real commander of those Roman troops. Titus himself stated that they would have never been able to take the city had not God been assisting them to do so.
He shall make it (the city and temple) desolate, even to its consummation (complete destruction), and that which has been determined shall be poured out upon it (the desolate).