Daniel's Prophecy of Jesus
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Daniel 9 Explained
Unfortunately, the Jewish leaders were looking for a Messiah that would come in glory, a Messiah that would end all their woes and end the Roman oppression. This Messiah will come, but unfortunately, the Jews had their eyes closed to the Messiah described in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Daniel and the Psalms. This Messiah was to be humble and would come in peace, open the eyes of the blind, allow the deaf hear, heal the sick, preach good tidings to the poor, bring peace to the weary, be rejected by his people, suffer, die and be resurrected. The leaders of the Jewish people were not looking for this Messiah even though the general time-frame of His rejection was foretold by the prophet Daniel. In order to determine this time-frame we need to do some historical research, as well as some simple math to figure it out.
We know that Jesus’ birth occurred around 1 A.D. because the current Western calendar dating system is based on Jesus’ birth, nothing hard about that right? On a side note, I just want to add that I use B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, “The year of our Lord”) Not B.C.E. (Before Common Era) or C.E. (Common Era) because I do not believe in following the secularist view of taking God out of everything. After researching the New Testament we find that Jesus was born during the reign of Caesar Ausustus, and Quirinius was governing Syria, (Luke 2:1-2). Herod the Great who was king over Judea (Matthew 2:1). These facts are also based on eyewitness accounts, as well as historical and archaeological data compiled from Jewish and Roman history.
We also find that Jesus’ ministry began when he was about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23) in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar and that Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod II was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene (Luke 2:1).
Jesus’ Earthly ministry existed for about three years. This figure is based on the number of Passovers that Jesus had attended in Jerusalem, which we find listed in the Gospel of John. (John 2:13, 6:4, and 13:1). His ministry began after His baptism, just before the Passover and His crucifixion occurred during the third Passover listed in John. Luke tells us that Jesus’ ministry began when He was about thirty, as it is important to note that Luke gave an approximation of Jesus’ age. The key to verifying Jesus’ approximate age is to find out when Tiberius Caesar started his reign. He started his reign when Augustus Caesar died on August 19, 14 A.D.. When you add fifteen years onto that it would be around 29 A.D because the Passover occurs the following March – April. Three Passovers later is 32 A.D., which is when Jesus was likely crucified, died, buried and resurrected.
Establishing a base timeline, as we did above, is important because we want to verify the prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah and what better way to verify the accuracy of prophecy than to confirm dates based on real historical and archaeological data. It is important to recall approximate dates because occasionally, a prophecy may have a timeline associated with it.
Daniel was an obedient servant of God and thus a great prophet. His prophetic visions have been studied and restudied by Christians and Jews alike. One of the greatest of his prophecies are what I consider not only unbelievable miracles, but amazing historical facts for both the Gentiles and for the Jews. The following prophetic vision predicted the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem it’s second destruction, the coming of the messiah, his rejection by the Jews and the coming anti-Christ:
"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 Place.
"Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out 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. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be put to death 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. 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 at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." Daniel 9: 24-27 (NIV)
Daniel was making several prophecies here. Some were predicted to happen in the “Last Days” and some were predicted to occur within 500 years of the prophetic vision. What I find astonishing, is that there is a time line set which is unbelievably, numerically accurate.
It is important to remember that the reference to a week means seven years. Daniel states that there are “Seventy Sevens” decreed to the holy city to atone for wickedness, put an end to sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness….
So 7 x 70 = 490 years.
He then goes on to explain when the countdown begins, “From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.” This happened in 445 B.C. when Nehemiah was permitted by King Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem where he told the people of Jerusalem to begin rebuilding:
Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.
They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.
Daniel predicted that Jerusalem “will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble” And this is exactly how it occurred. It was a time a trouble just as Nehemiah tells the people and as we find throughout the Book of Ezra. Daniels prediction about it being a time of trouble was right on.
Let us look again at the decree issued in 445 B.C. and see how it relates to the seven sevens and sixty two sevens. When we multiply the seven sevens we end up with forty-nine years: 7 x 7 = 49. Forty-nine years after the decree, Jerusalem was completed. It just so happens, that every forty-ninth year is considered a year of Jubilee (a year of great celebration).
Then Daniel says After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. So when we do the math:
Jerusalem Completed Messiah Cut off
(7 x 7= 49) + (62 x 7 = 434)
49 + 434 = 483 years after the decree
So Daniel gives us a perfect timeline, a countdown of sorts for the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem as well as the time when the Messiah would be rejected, forty-nine years until Jerusalem is rebuilt and then an additional four hundred thirty-four years until the Messiah is rejected for a total of four hundred eighty-three years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Does this numerically add up? Let see:
- 445 + 483 = 38 A.D.
Since there is no year 0, we need to add 1 year since normal addition and subtraction will not account for that error. That brings us to 39 A.D.. Well, it doesn’t add up you say? That is because the Jewish calendar is 360 days consisting of twelve, thirty day months. This is important because when we look at the year the decree was issued in 445 B. C., it was a Jewish year of 360 days. Since we follow a solar calendar of 365.242 days per year we would need to add back the additional 5.242 days per year of the Gregorian Calendar. So let’s multiply the additional solar days to the 483 Jewish years:
5.242 days x 483 years = 2531.886 days
Then we need to turn this into solar years by dividing by 365.242:
2531.886 days/ 365.242 years = 6.932 years
So when we convert the Jewish years into Gregorian years we find that there is 6.9 years difference that needs to be subtracted from the date of 39 A.D.:
39 A.D. – 6.9 years = 32.9 A.D.
Most scholars believe that the Jesus Christ was crucified between 32 A.D. – 33 A.D.. It is numerically amazing that this prophecy so precisely predicted the date that Jerusalem would be completed and more importantly, the date the Messiah came and was cut off. The prophecies regarding the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus are so explicate that when compared with the descriptions found in the Gospels there is no mistaking the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, just not the one that the Jews were hoping or looking for.
The Bible is jam packed with such fabulous and incredible information and remains a book like no others. From it's Wisdom, Guidance, Mystery, Prophecies, History, its Supernatural background, and it overall Design, the Bible is a book you can read everyday for the rest of your life and can never learn it all, but always learn something new. The Bible is God's Love letter to you and me. If you are an atheist or an agnostic, I present you with a challenge. God promised to reveal Himself to anyone who calls upon his name. Test Him at His Word. Find out more about Christianity below. Just like you would research anything else, research the Bible . Even if you do not believe, ask God to show you the Truth.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord Shine His face upon you and give you peace.