9:24 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.
“Seventy weeks” (lit. seventy sevens) - The weeks or sevens here represent a period or week of years. This is validated by the use of the same word as found in Genesis 29:27-28.
We have the account of Jacob working for Laban, for seven years, in order to be able to marry Rachel. However, Jacob realized that Laban had tricked him by giving him Leah, instead of Rachel.
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
Notice the word, “week”, here is equivalent to a period of seven years. This is the same word as we have here in Daniel 9.
Seventy weeks of years (70 x 7) = 490 years
“are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city”
The period of 490 years is said to be “determined upon thy people and thy holy city”. To ‘determine’ means to “cut out, mark off” and set apart as distinct, i.e., to be marked off with boundaries. That is, this 490 year period has been marked out of history and given the boundaries of these 490 years, for a final Divine dealing with the Jewish people and their city Jerusalem, which would also include the temple.
This 490 year period would be their final test to see if they would obey the Word of God or not. (See Luke 19:29-44 , “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” The word visitation has the base meaning of investigation, inspection, visitation. It is defined as “that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds, character of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad”).
As this would be their final test, they would either graduate and move forward into the Kingdom of God and His Christ through faith, joining the ranks of the Israel of God(Gal. 6:16) or they would miserably fail and cease to be the collective covenant people within the boundary of their land and city.
As is made clear throughout the New Covenant writings, being part of the people of God is about faith in Messiah, not your genetic constitution.