|Daniel 9:24-25 |
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your 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 Holy of Holies.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah, the Prince, comes, shall be seven weeks, and sixty two weeks [69 total weeks].1 The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
1 The Jewish prophet, Daniel, prophesied the exact year of the Messiah's coming in the Book of Daniel, detailed below:
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. (Daniel Chapter 9, verse 24)
Know therefore and understand, that 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 [69 total weeks]. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times, [the rebuilders were frequently attacked by their fearful neighboring nations]. (Daniel 9:25)
69 weeks x 7 days/week=483 days.
The Book of Numbers 14:33-34 and the Book of Ezekiel 4:4-6, both show us how a day is a year in Old Testament prophecy:
Numbers: And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. Num 14:33-34
Ezekiel: Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year. Eze 4:4-6
By the Lord's explanations above, the 483 days of prophecy is really 483 years. The Messiah was prophesied by Daniel to appear 483 years after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem.
There are four decrees, all of which took place after the prophecy by Gabriel as reported by Daniel:
- The decree from Cyrus in 539 BC to rebuild the temple only. (see Ezra 1:1-3)
- The decree from Darius in 521 BC, which reaffirmed Cyrus's decree. (see Ezra 6:1-12)
- The decree from Artaxerxes to Ezra in 458 BC to transport the vessels of gold and silver to the temple under construction, and restore the sacrifice. (see Ezra 7:11-26)
- The decree from Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 BC to rebuild the wall and gates, which completed the city and made it safe. (see Nehemiah 2:1-8)
Whatever decree is used for the start of the date computation, they all show the Messiah to have long since come and gone. In that time a city was not a city without a wall and gates, so the 444 BC decree to Nehemiah is a strong choice; but either of the decrees from Artaxerxes computes to the life of Jesus, depending on whether you adjust the 360 day Jewish year to the 365.25 day of our calendar, which is computed by 483 x 360/365.25 = 476 years. There is no zero year going from BC to AD, so 458 becomes 457 years and 444 becomes 443 years.
|Decree||Computation without Adjusting for Solar Years||Computation with Adjusting for Solar Year|
|Artaxerxes 458 BC||483 yrs - 457 yrs=26 AD||476 yrs - 457 yrs=19 AD|
|Artaxerxes 444 BC||483 yrs - 443 yrs=40 AD||476 yrs - 443 yrs=33 AD|
The green dates all match the years when Jesus was alive. Unfortunately scholars have no agreement on the exact years of Christ's life; Wikipedia shows his birth ranging between 7 BC and 2 BC, and death ranging between 25 AD and 36 AD.* But we know the Messiah has come, and is not coming thousands of years later; and Jesus is obviously the only historical figure that could have possibly fulfilled the prophecy.
*There is a very convincing analysis of the exact date of the crucifixion of Jesus, which joins scripture's account of the eclipse of the sun to the historical dates of the lunar eclipse: "There was only one lunar eclipse visible from Jerusalem at the time of passover in the period from 26 - 36 AD. It occurred on Friday April 3, AD 33. The Moon rose above the horizon already in the midst of eclipse and would have progressively 'turned to blood' as the eclipse continued."
Jesus was not recognized for many reasons, chief of which was that the Jews were looking for the reestablishment of a physical kingdom and the defeat of their physical enemies in the world, such as the Romans. But the Kingdom that Jesus established was an everlasting spiritual kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven — which in within us and surrounds us — a different and higher dimension; and instead of physical enemies being defeated, Jesus brought Israel and the whole world the formula for defeating our spiritual enemies: lust, pride, lying, anger, envy, jealousy, covetousness, greed, fear, depression, etc. — accomplished through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial. The Jews had the scriptures and missed him; but those who had been taught by the Word of God that is in their hearts and mouths, recognized Jesus — and entered the Kingdom of Heaven, while still on the earth — to become priests and kings, having defeated their spiritual enemies (lust, pride, anger, envy, etc.) to forever serve God without fear in his presence, continually beholding his glory and power. Just as the Jews with the scriptures missed Jesus, so has most of Christendom missed the spiritual Jesus, who is in every man who comes into the world, waiting to be sought, listened to, heard, and obeyed.
To still be waiting on the Messiah, is to label Daniel a false prophet — who obviously was a true prophet, even recognized by the heathen king Nebuchadnezzar to be a prophet of the most high God.