Much of the Bible concerns prophecy and a good portion of that prophecy is what is called messianic prophecy, prophecies (starting in Genesis) which
predict the coming of the Messiah. Many Christians state that there are over 300 passages in the Old Testament which are prophetic of the coming of
Jesus, the Messiah. However, I have studied many of these passages and have determined that calling them Messianic prophecies somewhat of an
intellectual stretch. However there are a few passages which are definitely Messianic and are very compelling. The single most important Messianic
passage (and most compelling) is probably Daniel 5:24 through Daniel 5:27, commonly known as the "70 Weeks of Daniel". The prophecy occurs near the
end of the Babylonian Captivity of Israel, the period of time that began with the conquest and destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar around the
year 586 B.C.
From the New International Version:
21. while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening
22. He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.
23. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message
and understand the vision:
24. "Seventy `sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to
bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
25. "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will
be seven `sevens,' and sixty-two `sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
26. After the sixty-two `sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the
city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27. He will confirm a covenant with many for one `seven.' In the middle of the `seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a
wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. "
From the American Standard:
21. yea, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me
about the time of the evening oblation.
22. And he instructed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee wisdom and understanding.
23. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment went forth, and I am come to tell thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore consider
the matter, and understand the vision.
24. Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation
for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.
25. Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed one, the prince,
shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.
26. And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.
27. And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease;
and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon
There has been some debate as to exactly what these passages mean, but almost every Christian agrees that it is a prediction for the advent of the
Messiah ("until the Anointed One, the ruler,"). Since the "Anointed One" is a term only applied to the Messiah, then there is little doubt that
these passages are Messianic prophecy. However it takes some unraveling to understand what has been written, but a little study of the text will
reveal the meaning of the passages. First we start with the decree since it is the starting point of the prophecy ("From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem"); the decree to rebuild Jerusalem is the starting point of the indicated time line.
Four decrees were issued concerning the repopulating and rebuilding of Jerusalem:
1. 538 B.C. - Cyrus II
Cyrus II issued a decree allowing Jews in Babylonian Captivity to return to Israel. In October 539 B.C., Cyrus the
Great conquered the city of Babylon and brought the rule of Belshazzar and the Chaldean Empire of Babylonia to an end. In a legendary episode, it
was been stated that Cyrus was successful in capturing the city by diverting the waters of the Tigris river. Under the leadership of Zerubbabel,
some 42,360 people left Babylon to return to Judah. Now not all Jews in Babylon did leave, some were too old and many Jews probably felt that they
were too well established in Babylonia to return.
The Decree of Cyrus has never been found, but archaeological remains of a similar decree, the famous Cyrus Cylinder, has been found. This decree was
issued to the Babylonians and indicates that is highly likely that the decree referred to in the Bible did indeed exist. The text of the Decree of
Cyrus is reputedly given in Ezra 1:2 and it matches closely the type of wording of the text on the Cyrus Cylinder. Therefore it seems likely that
Ezra 1:2 closely matches the text of the actual Decree of Cyrus to the Hebrews. Also we can assume that such a decree was indeed issued by Cyrus,
since some 42,000 people did not gather and leave Babylonia without some form of official permission. The text in Ezra also indicates that Cyrus
granted permission to rebuild the Temple.
1. In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of
Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:
2. "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "`The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to
build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3. Anyone of his people among you--may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of
Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.
4. And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill
offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.'"
For more information, reference:
2. 518 B.C. - Darius
The work on the Second Temple was started around 534 B.C. soon after Zerubbabel arrived in Jerusalem. The work on the Temple ground to a halt because
of interference and opposition from the "enemies of Judah and Benjamin". In 722 B.C. the Northern Kingdom (Samaria) was conquered by Sargon II of
Assyria. During the reigns of the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon (680-669 B.C.) and Ashurbanipal (668-ca. 630 B.C.), the Assyrian government encouraged
its residents to move to Israel and to settle there. These immigrant people worshiped pagan idols but also started worshiping Yahweh whom they
regarded as the god of the land in which they now lived. They intermarried with the Jews who had remained in Judah and eventually their descendants
became the Samaritans. The exiles who returned from Babylon and their descendants of the exiles despised them and apparently the feeling was mutual.
(Of course we know that contempt for the Samaritans extended down to at least the time of Jesus.) These Samaritan people managed to stop construction
on the Temple until the second year of the reign of Darius when it was restarted by Zerubbabel and Jeshua at the prompting of the prophets Haggai and
Zechariah. When questioned about this by Tattenai (Persian governor of the region), an appeal was made to Darius referencing the initial decree of
Cyrus. Darius subsequently issued a decree reaffirming the command to permit reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was completed in
the sixth year of the reign of Darius (515 B.C.). The opposition of "the people of the land" (to become the Samaritan sect) continued and was an
on-going problem throughout the entire rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem.
3. 458 B.C. - Artaxerxes
6. Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you, their fellow officials of that province, stay away from there.
7. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.
8. Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God: The expenses of these men are
to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop.
9. Whatever is needed--young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and oil, as requested by the
priests in Jerusalem--must be given them daily without fail,
10. so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.
11. Furthermore, I decree that if anyone changes this edict, a beam is to be pulled from his house and he is to be lifted up and impaled on it. And
for this crime his house is to be made a pile of rubble.
12. May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in
Jerusalem. I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.
In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes I, Ezra lead another contingent of Jewish returnees to Jerusalem (4000 to 5000). The decree of
Artaxerxes granted Ezra and any Jews who wished permission to go to Jerusalem. It also authorized payment of money apparently for the
"beautification" of the Temple ("as the freewill offerings of the people and priests for the temple of their God in Jerusalem"). It seems that
the Jews began construction of the walls of Jerusalem and the "people of the land" decided to put a stop to it. In a letter to Artaxerxes (around
464 B.C.), they lodged a complaint (Ezra Chapter 4:7 - 4:17); Artaxerxes issued a stop order (Ezra Chapter 4:18 - 4:23). Also it is possible that any
work done on reconstructing the walls was destroyed (Nehemiah Chapter 1:3, "The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with
fire"). Although in the book of Ezra, this incident is reported out of chronological order (it occurred after completion of the Second Temple as
reported in Ezra Chapters 5 and 6), it is in topical order, the reporting of continued opposition to the reconstruction of the city of Jerusalem by
the descendants of the Assyrians (i. e., the Samaritans). Also it does seem that Ezra did go beyond the license granted him by Artaxerxes which did
not specifically mention construction of a city wall unless one wants to apply a very liberal interpretation to Ezra Chapter 7:18 ("You and your
brother Jews may then do whatever seems best with the rest of the silver and gold, in accordance with the will of your God.").
4. 444 B.C. - Artaxerxes
11. This is a copy of the letter King Artaxerxes had given to Ezra the priest and teacher, a man learned in matters concerning the commands and
decrees of the LORD for Israel:
12. Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings.
13. Now I decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who wish to go to Jerusalem with you, may go.
14. You are sent by the king and his seven advisers to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God, which is in your hand.
15. Moreover, you are to take with you the silver and gold that the king and his advisers have freely given to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is
16. together with all the silver and gold you may obtain from the province of Babylon, as well as the freewill offerings of the people and priests
for the temple of their God in Jerusalem.
17. With this money be sure to buy bulls, rams and male lambs, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and sacrifice them on the
altar of the temple of your God in Jerusalem.
18. You and your brother Jews may then do whatever seems best with the rest of the silver and gold, in accordance with the will of your God.
19. Deliver to the God of Jerusalem all the articles entrusted to you for worship in the temple of your God.
20. And anything else needed for the temple of your God that you may have occasion to supply, you may provide from the royal treasury.
21. Now I, King Artaxerxes, order all the treasurers of Trans-Euphrates to provide with diligence whatever Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of
the God of heaven, may ask of you--
22. up to a hundred talents of silver, a hundred cors of wheat, a hundred baths of wine, a hundred baths of olive oil, and salt without limit.
23. Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should there be wrath against
the realm of the king and of his sons?
24. You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple
servants or other workers at this house of God.
25. And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the
people of Trans-Euphrates--all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them.
26. Whoever does not obey the law of your God and the law of the king must surely be punished by death, banishment, confiscation of property, or
On hearing the condition of Jerusalem ("the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire"), Nehemiah, cup bearer to
Artaxerxes, seeks his permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the city ("If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight,
let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it."). Nehemiah also gets permission to rebuild the walls of
Jerusalem and goes to Jerusalem with about an additional 42,000 Jewish exiles.
The Persians had just fought a war with the Greeks which was ended with the peace of Callias in 448 B.C. and Artaxerxes may have decided that it was
better to have Jerusalem defended than leaving it undefended.
1. In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not
been sad in his presence before;
2. so the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart." I was very much afraid,
3 . but I said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and
its gates have been destroyed by fire?"
4. The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven,
5. and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my
fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it."
6. Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?" It pleased the king
to send me; so I set a time.
7. I also said to him, "If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct
until I arrive in Judah?
8. And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple
and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?" And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.
This is where the wickets get sticky; there is indeed some contention among Biblical scholars as to which decree the "70 Weeks" prophecy refers;
there are basically four contenders (Cyrus - 536 B.C., Darius - 518 B.C., Artaxerxes - 458 B.C., and Artaxerxes - 445 B.C.). However before we go
much farther, the unit of time is seven years; the Hebrew word used is "shabuwa" which means "sevened, i.e. a week (specifically, of years)".
This is normally translated as "week" but here the term means "seven years". Hence when the prophecy says "one week" it means "seven years".
Notice that in the New International Version the term is translated as "sevens" while in the American Standard Version the term is translated as
"week". Also in the King James Version, the term is translated as "week". The Hebrew word "shabuwa" from which we get sabbath can refer to
seven of anything. You must read the rest of the text to figure out seven what. We make mentioned of this here to clear up any misunderstanding of
the time frame involved. There have been a few ignorant critics who have contended that the prophecy could not possibly be true because Jerusalem was
not rebuilt in sixty-nine weeks and it was "hundred of years" between the rebuilding of the Temple and the advent of Jesus Christ (basing this
contention only on the reading of the King James Version).
Now back to the subject of which decree. The Decree of Darius in 518 B.C. can be immediately rejected as the decree referenced in Daniel's prophecy;
this decree was merely a reaffirmation of a proceeding document (Cyrus in 536 B.C.). Also we can safely reject the Decree of Cyrus because it only
gave permission for Jews to return to Judah and to rebuild the Temple. There is no specific mention of the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and
definitely no mention of re fortification of the city. Daniel's prophecy makes specific mention of the rebuilding of city defenses ("It will be
rebuilt with streets and a trench"). This can also be translated as "rebuilt with streets and a wall". (Note that it was standard practice to
dig a trench around the walls of a fortification, e. g., the castle with its moat.) This leaves us with either the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in
458 B.C., or the decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 445 B.C.
We will deal with one other contention before considering which one of the decrees of Artaxerxes should be used as the starting point for Daniel's
"70 Weeks". There are a few scholars who state that none of the decrees we have discussed is the one referenced by Daniel's prophecy. This is a
quote from a Michael P. Germano, "The incidental resettlement of the city by Jews constituted a de facto rebuilding of the city, an evolutionary
process, extending over many decades. It began long before Artaxerxes issued his two decrees. The decrees in Ezra and Nehemiah either hindered or
advanced the process but there is no clear and convincing evidence that any of the four decrees considered in this analysis commissioned the launch of
the rebuilding of the city." Well the reconstruction of the city of Jerusalem probably started as soon as Nebuchadnezzar's army disappeared over
the horizon with the Jewish captives to be taken to Babylonia. A few people remained in Jerusalem even though the city was in ruins and just like the
bombed out cities of post World War II, the people left in Jerusalem started rebuilding at least their personal residences as soon as the war was
over. Also Daniel's prophecy states of the "decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem". The Hebrew term "shuwb" is used which has a meaning
"with the idea of return to the starting point". It also mentions rebuilding the city defenses. In other words the command that will permit
Jerusalem to return to its former glory which could not be done in an unwalled city. Indeed there could have been considerable reconstruction in
Jerusalem, but the key point is the rebuilding of the city fortifications. The Persians were not the French and would not have permitted any re
fortification of the capital city of a people who were enemies of the former empire (Babylonian) without granting permission. Had the residents of
Jerusalem started building a wall around the city without approval from the highest authority, it would had been seen as an act of war by the Persians
and treated as such.
When we read Nehemiah Chapter 3, we get detailed descriptions of construction projects, who repairs what gates, and in Nehemiah Chapters 4,5, and 6 we
can read about opposition to the work on Jerusalem's wall. Now Nehemiah seemed to be a man who could get things done, for in Nehemiah Chapter 6:
15. So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
16. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this
work had been done with the help of our God.
Nehemiah seems to have accomplished more work on the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days than was done in the previous 90 years. Also we can see that
completion of this construction project sparked a building boom in Jerusalem, for in Nehemiah Chapter 7 we read:
4. Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt.
Then in Nehemiah Chapter 11 we read:
Nehemiah Chapter 11
1. Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of every ten to live in Jerusalem, the
holy city, while the remaining nine were to stay in their own towns.
2. The people commended all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.
3. These are the provincial leaders who settled in Jerusalem (now some Israelites, priests, Levites, temple servants and descendants of Solomon's
servants lived in the towns of Judah, each on his own property in the various towns,
4. while other people from both Judah and Benjamin lived in Jerusalem): From the descendants of Judah: Athaiah son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah,
the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, a descendant of Perez;
5. and Maaseiah son of Baruch, the son of Col-Hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, a descendant of
6. The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem totaled 468 able men.
7. From the descendants of Benjamin: Sallu son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of
Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah,
8. and his followers, Gabbai and Sallai--928 men.
9. Joel son of Zicri was their chief officer, and Judah son of Hassenuah was over the Second District of the city.
10. From the priests: Jedaiah; the son of Joiarib; Jakin;
11. Seraiah son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, supervisor in the house of God,
12. and their associates, who carried on work for the temple--822 men; Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of
Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah,
13. and his associates, who were heads of families--242 men; Amashsai son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,
14. and his associates, who were able men--128. Their chief officer was Zabdiel son of Haggedolim.
15. From the Levites: Shemaiah son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
16. Shabbethai and Jozabad, two of the heads of the Levites, who had charge of the outside work of the house of God;
17. Mattaniah son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the director who led in thanksgiving and prayer; Bakbukiah, second among his
associates; and Abda son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
18. The Levites in the holy city totaled 284.
19. The gatekeepers: Akkub, Talmon and their associates, who kept watch at the gates--172 men.
While people such as Michael P. Germano may be correct that there was de facto construction in Jerusalem prior to the decrees of Artaxerxes, we get
from Nehemiah the sense that previous efforts were desultory except for reconstruction of the Temple, and as mentioned above, no one who have dared to
start building a wall around the city without permission from the Persian king. Jerusalem had few people living in it, but as soon as the city walls
were complete, people started to return to live in Jerusalem in large numbers. I read Nehemiah and get the sense that what once was a "sleepy
village" was suddenly becoming a city.
ARTAXERXES - 458 B.C. OR ARTAXERXES - 445 B.C.
There are three time periods mentioned in the "70 Weeks of Daniel" prophecy:
1. 7 "weeks" ---- 49 years,
2. 62 "weeks" - 434 years,
3. 1 "week" ------ 7 years, the final period is divided into a fourth period ("middle of the week").
We then can combine the three time periods into two basic periods: (7 "weeks" plus 62 "weeks" or 69 "weeks" for a period of 483 years) before
the advent of the Messiah, and then one "week" or seven years after the advent of the Messiah. Now no Christian scholar will contend that the first
69 "weeks" (or 483 years) does not represent fulfilled prophecy, the ministry of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the prophecy. However there is
some contention as to whether the final "week" represents fulfilled prophecy or an event yet to come. The preterists believe that the final
"week" refers to the events leading up to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. The futurists (or Dispensationalists) believe that the
final "week" refers to the End Times and belongs in the realm of eschatology. We will examine both contentions in the following paragraphs.
Now I will not attempt to "fine tune" the dating of the prophecy. There are those writers who will begin with an exact starting date (such as March
14, 445 B.C. - "the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes") and then compute the exact number of days in 483 years to arrive at an
exact day in the ministry of Jesus Christ. However these calculations tend to unravel because of technical difficulties. For example the date of
Artaxerxes second decree has also been given as 444 B.C. There is difficulty in lining up the ancient Hebrew calendar dates with our Julian calendar,
also there is questions as to what is exactly meant by the "twentieth year of the reign" or the "seventh year of King Artaxerxes". Is the year of
the reign calculated from the ascension date or from some arbitrary legal date? ("Yet Persian practice was to number the years of their kings from
Nisan, not from their anniversary dates.") This leads to the situation where there can be as much as a year difference in the dates given for the
various decrees; it would be better to write 445B.C. +/- 1 year. Also I question the exactness that should be applied to Biblical prophecy time
lines. Is a prediction of seventy years exactly seventy years to the day or a prediction as to what year an event would be expected to occur? Now if
we use the figure of 483 years as predicted and arrive at a date within the correct year, then we have a accuracy of +/- 0.207% (1/483*100). In my
book an error of 0.207% is not much to worry about.
We will now discuss the concept of the "prophetic year" which equals 360 days as opposed to the solar year of 365.25 days. This idea is not as far
fetched as some may want you to believe. For in Revelation 11:2-3 a period of 42 months is equated with 1260 days, with each month representing 30
days (12 x 30 = 360). In Revelation 12:6 and 12:14 a three and half year period ("time, times and half a time") is given as 1260 days (1260/3.5 =
360). Also in Genesis 7:11, 7:24, 8:3, and 8:4, we see Noah's Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat after a period of 150 days of 5 months. Furthermore
the Hebrews used a lunar calendar which has 30 day months.
The decree of Artaxerxes - 458 B.C. (Preterist View)
458 B.C. (or 457 B.C.) - Decree of Artaxerxes given to Ezra.
* 7 Weeks - 49 Years
* 49 year rebuilding of Jerusalem ("It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but
* in times of trouble"). There was constant opposition to the project from the
* descendants of the Assyrians who lived in Samaria. During the actual construction
* of the wall of Jerusalem, there was a plot to attack the city. The men working on
* the walls must always be armed in case of attack. There is an assassination plot
* against Nehemiah.
409 B.C. (or 408 B.C.) - Reconstruction of Jerusalem complete
* 62 Weeks - 434 Years
* Note there is no year 0; it goes 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. Therefore an additional year must
* added to your calculation when going from B.C. to A.D.
26 A.D. ( or 27 A.D.) - Advent of Jesus Christ
* Advent of Jesus Christ. This is the year Jesus begins his ministry and is considered to
* be the year He was baptized by John the Baptist and thus becomes "the Anointed One".
33 A.D. (or 34 A.D.)
* One Week - 7 Years
* Jesus Christ is crucified ("the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing",
* the term "cut off" means killed).
* "He will confirm a covenant with many for one `seven.' In the middle of the `seven'
* he will put an end to sacrifice and offering." During His ministry Jesus confirms the
* new Covenant with many (The Apostles and other followers). In the "middle" or
* "midst" of the time period, His crucifixion as a sin atonement terminates the need for
* animal sacrifices as "sin offerings" ("he will put and end to sacrifice and offering").
* The crucifixion also "makes an end to sins", "makes reconciliation for iniquity", and
* "brings everlasting righteousness". The Jews "finish the transgression" when
* crucify Jesus and reject Him as the Messiah. The transgression of Israel had
* long been the burden of the messages of God's prophets. It was for their
* transgressions that they had been sent into the Babylonia captivity. "The
* people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary", in
* the year 70 A.D., after several years of rebellion, the Roman army of Titus, the
* son of Vespasian, destroys the Second Temple and Jerusalem.
The decree of Artaxerxes - 445 B.C. (Furturist View)
Using the prophetic year of 360 days, we have two basic time periods: 49 years = 49*360 = 17,640 days, 434 years = 434*360 = 156,240 days or a total
of 173,380 days.
445 B.C. (or 444 B.C.) - Decree of Artaxerxes given to Ezra.
* 49 prophetic years = 17,640 days = 48.3 solar years
* The rebuilding of Jerusalem ("It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but
* in times of trouble"). As above, there is opposition to the project.
397 B.C. (or 396 B.C.) - Reconstruction of Jerusalem complete
* 434 prophetic years = 427.76 solar years
31 A.D. (or 32 A.D.)
* Year of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As above, His crucifixion as a sin atonement
* terminates the need for animal sacrifices as "sin offerings" ("he will put and end to
* sacrifice and offering"). The crucifixion also "makes an end to sins", "makes
* reconciliation for iniquity", and "brings everlasting righteousness". "The people of
* the ruler who will come" is of course a prophecy that the Second Temple will be
* destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D.
However, the futurists hold that there exists a gap between the fulfillment of the first 69 "weeks" of Daniel and the last "week". They assert
that this is a reference to the Antichrist who will make a covenant with Israel to rebuild the Temple. Since the Jews did not accept Jesus as
Messiah, they still fall under the Old Covenant, Mosaic Law, by which they were required to conduct sacrifices (the Day of Atonement) to cover the
sins of Israel. The Temple in Jerusalem is the only place that can be done. Therefore the Temple will be rebuilt, thus causing the sacrifice and
oblation to start again. In the midpoint of the seven year period, the Antichrist will blaspheme (the abomination of desolation) by declaring
himself to be God and will end sacrifices in the Third Temple.
Virtually all Christians believe that the first 69 weeks of the "70 Weeks of Daniel" represents fulfilled prophecy of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The difference of opinion is on whether the 70th Week represents a fulfilled prophecy or a prophecy of a time to come. Here I will leave it to the
readers to decide for themselves that issue. However what I do find compelling is that by starting with the date of 458 B.C., the first Decree of
Artaxerxes, and by using solar years you come to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. However if you start with the date of 445 B.C., the
second Decree of Artaxerxes, and use prophetic years you come to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I have reached the conclusion that this is not a
coincidence and that God intended it to be that way, that no matter where you start with the prophecy, you always end up pointing to Jesus.