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Jeremiah ostensibly predicted that Israel would be destroyed and be in captivity to Babylon for 70 years:

[Jer 25:11 NLT] 11 This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.

[Jer 29:10 NLT] 10 This is what the LORD says: "You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.

The angel Gabriel interprets Daniel's vision of "seventy weeks" (commonly taken as seventy years) as referring to the captivity followed by the salvation of Israel from Babylon via the Messiah:

[Dan 9:24 KJV] 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.

In Isaiah's prophecies it appears that Cyrus is identified as the Messiah who delivers the remnant and builds a new Jerusalem:

[Isa 45:1, 13 KJV] 1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; ... 13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.

So did Cyrus fulfill the prediction of the 70 weeks?

Note: What I'm investigating is Paul's use of the Babylonian captivity and whether he saw the verses he cites as being the original meaning or if he is appealing to the whole of the exile as metaphor/type of the then present "Babylon", Israel.

This paper argues that Paul's use of Isaiah has its precedent in Jesus citing Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 24:25-27, 44-45 and Paul "runs with it", treating Isaiah as a prophecy of his own current day. What I am inclined to proffer is that Isaiah, in its current form, is not about the 6th century BC exile to Babylon and nor is Daniel but rather about the 1st century AD.

But I'm not sure. It seems less contrived to suggest that both Isaiah and Daniel, writing in the context of a Babylonian exile of Israel and the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in his own time. However, there are clues that they were actually predicting Israel's demise hundreds of years later, in the first century AD.

So which it?:

  • the prophets did indeed all speak of the Messiah and the days of the Messiah, or,
  • the prophets spoke of their own day and it was "re-heated" by Jesus and Paul to refer to the Messiah and his day and accomplishments

Possibly relevant:

[Act 3:24 KJV] 24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

  • Also, the title asks about Daniel 9, but the body asks about all the prophets. Which angle do you want to take? – Jack Jan 12 '19 at 19:07
  • When you say Isaiah and Daniel are talking about the first century AD, do you mean the entirety of both books? I can agree with that. There are parts of Isaiah and parts of Daniel other than chapter 9 that definitely cover Jesus Christ's day (Paul said as much), but Daniel 9 is very specific about when the 70 sevens starts. We could say Daniel 9 is about the first century in the sense that Daniel 9 leads up to the first century, but no part of what Daniel 9 references on the timeline crosses 1 AD. – Jack Jan 12 '19 at 20:13
  • So is your argument that Daniel 9 never mentions the Messiah? Or that it never mentions Jesus? Or that the Messiah of Daniel 9:26 is Cyrus?: [Dan 9:26 KJV] 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: 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 unto the end of the war desolations are determined. – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 20:15
  • Well, Daniel has a lot of narrative, such as Daniel and the lion's den, etc., but yes, I'm saying that in their present form (I shall not opine here about "redactions") both books seem to me to NOT be about their then current exile but rather about the destruction of Israel in 70ad. At least, Paul and possibly Jesus et al took it that way, I think. But again, I'm not sure. I have a few theories but proving any view on this subject is fraught with hazards. – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 20:28
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    @Ruminator: They are about the roughly 70 x 7 = 490 years from 423 BC, when Darius II took over the throne of the Empire (Daniel 9:1-2; 11:1-4), to AD 70, when Jerusalem and its Temple were sacked by the Romans. We see that the Book of Daniel, in its fifth and sixth chapters, conflates Cyrus with Darius. – Lucian Jan 15 '19 at 14:04
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+100

Prophecy of 70 Years

There are at least two, arguably three 70 year prophecies in the Bible: one of Isaiah and one (or two) predicted by Jeremiah.

70 Years of Isaiah

Isa 23:15, 17, predicts that the city of Tyre would be destroyed and forgotten for 70 years after which, it would return to its previous “promiscuous” way. The history of ancient tyre is not known well enough to know when this was fulfilled. However, Nebuchadnezzar began a 13 year siege of Tyre in about 575 BC which ended in about 562 BC but Tyre resumed its sovereignty soon after Cyrus became sole ruler of Persia (about 537 BC). It was again captured and destroyed by Alexander in 332 BC. In 315 BC the city was again placed under siege by the Macedonian general Antigonus and captured the following year. In 126 BC Tyre gained its independence from the Seleucid Empire but became a Roman province in 64 BC.

It is also possible to interpret this 70 year period as “the span of a king”, an allusion to the kingdom of Babylon. If this is true then the 70 years is symbolic, in round numbers, for the duration of the 68 years of the Babylonian empire, after which, the city of Tyre recovered.

70 Years of Jeremiah

There are two prophecies of Jeremiah which are possibly the same prophecy. Both Jer 25:11, 12 and Jer 29:10 predict that Judah would serve the king of Babylon for 70 years, during which the land would become waste. This was fulfilled beginning in 605 BC when Nebuchadnezzar took about 10,000 people captive in the first Judean campaign. Two more campaigns followed in 597 BC, and the final in 586 BC. In Oct 539 BC Cyrus defeated the Babylonian kingdom. His first regnal year began in Sep 538 BC and he issued the decree recorded in Ezra 1 in 537 BC. It was also during this first regnal year that Daniel 9 is recorded and refers directly to the prophecies of Jeremiah and the 70 years. The decree went into effect when the Jews organised themselves and departed Babylon probably in 536 BC, 70 years (by inclusive reckoning) after the first captivity of Judah. 2 Chron 36:21 also quotes Jeremiah’s 70 years and says that “the land enjoyed its Sabbath rests all the time of its desolation.” This suggest that the 70 years was to make up for previous years when the 7th year of Sabbath rest was not observed making a total of about 490 previous years – about the total time of the Jewish monarchy from David to Zedekiah.

Daniel 9:2 also refers to Jeremiah’s 70 years of captivity. In Dan 9:2, Daniel says that the 70 years would be the duration of the city’s “desolation”, a reference to the fact that Jews had been held captive by Babylon for almost 70 years. The subsequent prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 is couched in terms that are seven times greater than the 70 years of Jeremiah.

70 Years of Zechariah

Zechariah 1:12 & 7:5 appears to allude to another 70 years during which the temple remained unbuilt. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 586 BC, and later, Zerubbabel and Haggai supervised the completion and rededication in 515 BC, about 70 years later.

70 Weeks of Daniel

Daniel 9:24-27 is a complex prophecy that I will not discuss here other than the main time element of 70 weeks consisting 7 weeks plus 62 weeks plus 1 week. In fact, it is a dual prophecy about the coming of Messiah (with time elements) and about the destruction of Jerusalem. The text simply states, "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city … So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks … "

The book of Ezra contains several decrees issued by Persian rulers that could possibly be the decree referenced by Daniel. However, Ezra 1:1-4 and Ezra 6:6-12 only contain decrees for rebuilding the temple. Ezra 7:12-26 contains the decree that was to enable the Jews to restore and rebuild the Jerusalem and establish their own government. The date is given as the 7th year of Artaxerxes. This can be dated reasonably well by the methods of Sir Isaac Newton ("Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St John") using the following references:

  1. Olympiad Dates: These lists from ancient Greece and Rome traced reigning kings via the 4 yearly cycles of “Olympiads”. Several such lists are available from Xenophon, Thucydides, Plutarch and Julius Afrikanus.
  2. Ptolemy’s Canon: The great Greek astronomer, mathematician, geographer and astrologer, Claudius Ptolemy (100 – 170 AD) created a very famous and accurate list of kings and their reigns beginning with Nabonassar (747 BC, Babylon) up to Aelius Antonius (160 AD, Rome).
  3. Elephantine Papyrus: The Island of elephantine in Aswan, Egypt, had a significant Jewish settlement and these people have left a huge trove of documents most of which have been double or triple dated with Babylonia, Persian and other kings in both the Babylonian/Persian lunar calendar and the Egyptian Solar calendar.
  4. Babylonian Cuneiform Tablets: These large group of documents provide lists of kings who ruled in the area from 626 BC to 75 AD.
  5. General archaeology: Numerous letters, coins, inscriptions and other varied documents all confirm the chronological data above.
  6. Astronomical records: There are numerous records of calculable astronomical events such as eclipses in the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and other kings that fix their chronologies.

Thus, Cyrus began his reign in October 539 BC (when Babylon finally fell), and that his first regnal year began in September 538 BC. Artaxerxes ("Longimanus") ascended the Persian throne in about Jan 464 BC, but the first regnal year of his reign began about Sep 464 BC. Therefore, the fifth month in his seventh year would be about July/August 457 BC. Using these same sources, Sir Isaac Newton correctly observed in his “Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel” (page 131): “Now the years of this Artaxerxes began about two or three months after the summer solstice, and his seventh year fell in with the third year of the eighteenth Olympiad; and the latter part thereof, wherein Ezra went up to Jerusalem, was in the Julian Period 4257” [= 457BC].

Final Week

From Daniel's prophecy, 7 weeks (of years) plus 62 weeks (of years) after 457 BC gives 27 AD. The Gospel of Luke records that the beginning of Jesus ministry was marked by His baptism, which, according to Luke 3:1 occurred in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Since Tiberius ascended the imperial throne on 19 August 14 AD, his “fifteenth year” would be the twelve months beginning 1 Ethanim (September/October) 27 AD by the non-accession reckoning of the Jews making Jesus’ Baptism occurred about October/November, 27 AD; a good agreement with Daniel.

[NOTE: There is further evidence of this date. Luke also records that Jesus was baptised when He was “about 30 years old” (Luke 3:23). While the exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, there is a narrow range from which to choose. It was after the Caesar Augustus’ census of 8 BC which took several years to complete. And, it was before Herod’s death in April 4 BC. Since shepherds were in the fields, Jesus must have been born before Nov 5 BC and probably about Aug - Oct 5 BC. In Oct 27 AD, He would have been 31 years old, or “about 30 years old”.]

It is during the last week of the 70 weeks (of years) that Messiah would be "cut off" in the midst of the week. (The prophecy also contains material about the "abomination of desolation", namely the destruction of Jerusalem - see below.)

The end of the last week marked the close of probation for the Jews as the chosen people which ended with the following events: • Acts 7:51, 57, 58: Stephen stoned, Jews reject Jesus as Messiah • Acts 8:1: Church scattered from Jerusalem • Acts 8:26, 27: First missionary to gentiles, Philip & the Ethiopian • Acts 9:11, 12, 15: Paul the apostle to gentiles appointed • Acts 10:11, 12: Peter’s vision to go to the gentiles • Acts 11:17, 18, 26: Gentiles become Christians and called such • Acts 11:19-21: Church headquarters moved to Antioch.

Jesus' Ministry

Jesus refers to Isa 61:1-3 as the keynote of His ministry in His first sermon (Luke 4:18, 19). Later, Jesus also quotes Daniel in Matt 24:15, 16, Mark 13:14, Luke 21:20-22. Unfortunately, this was fulfilled in 70 AD by General Titus under orders from his father, Emperor Vespasian.

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  • I've been a student of scripture for many years. Until very recently I avoided both Revelation and Daniel because there didn't seem to be a "You are here" sign as there is in a mall. I think I get Revelation (at least it doesn't scare me). But my "nature" is such that details quickly overwhelm me. What you write appears convincing and I will ponder it. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain all of that history to me. I'm going to attempt an answer and I hope you'll have some feedback for me when I do as this is all still a bit above my pay grade. Again, thanks. – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 23:23
  • One question, though about the last week. What is the span of the 70 sevens? IE: Start date and end date. And what specifically do you see Titus fulfilling? Thanks. – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 23:31
  • That is highly contentious and depends upon whether you believe the 70 weeks are continuous (as I do) or that the final week is broken off and placed into the future (as per dispensationalism). If the 70 weeks are continuous, then Messiah was crucified in the middle of the final week (about April 31 AD) and Jewish probation ended in about 34 AD. – user25930 Jan 12 '19 at 23:40
  • The probation of the Jews ended with the following events: • Acts 7:51, 57, 58: Stephen stoned, Jews reject Jesus as Messiah • Acts 8:1: Church scattered from Jerusalem • Acts 8:26, 27: First missionary to gentiles, Philip & the Ethiopian • Acts 9:11, 12, 15: Paul the apostle to gentiles appointed • Acts 10:11, 12: Peter’s vision to go to the gentiles • Acts 11:17, 18, 26: Gentiles become Christians and called such • Acts 11:19-21: Church headquarters moved to Antioch – user25930 Jan 12 '19 at 23:41
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    About Titus: Daniel's prophecy contains two sets of predictions. v24 - 70 weeks are determined for on your people [2 word phrases]; & your holy city [3 word phrase] to: finish transgression, seal sin, expiate wickedness [2 word phrases] introduce everlasting righteousness, seal vision & prophet, anoint holy sanctuary [3 word phrases]. Thus, we have a prophecy about Messiah and the people and a second about the city. Vespasian began the siege of Jerusalem in 66 AD and Titus completed it in 70 AD. – user25930 Jan 13 '19 at 0:06
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I asked for clarification of your question, but in the mean time...

Bear these points in mind when reading Daniel 9:

  1. The word translated into "weeks" (שבעים) means "sevens" in a strict sense, not "weeks". See this answer "Does 'days' in prophecy equal 'years' (Daniel 9 - Seventy Weeks)".
  2. The 70 "sevens" are split into three distinct intervals. See this answer to "What is the meaning of 'seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks' in Daniel 9:25-26"? That answer explains the splits in these intervals. You ask in the body of your question if Cyrus fulfilled the 70 "weeks". Cyrus fulfilled the first interval of 7 "sevens". If we want to try to apply Daniel 9 to Jesus Christ's day, we should be able to explain why these intervals are divided and at the same time show how they apply to Jesus Christ's day. (I do not think that can be done, but somebody might prove it wrong).
  3. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and Paul all make references to specific places in the Old Testament that (as they say) directly apply to Jesus Christ. None of them ever refer to Daniel 9.
  4. The word "week" in Daniel 9:27 is translated from the Hebrew word (שבוע) that is translated in many other places in the Old Testament into "week" - a 168-hour, Sunday-to-Saturday kind of week. If Daniel 9 applies to Jesus Christ's day in a direct way, then a good explanation of Daniel 9 should address this 7-day week. (I do not think that can be done either, but again, somebody might prove it wrong.)

So to attempt to answer the question in the title... The 70 weeks sevens of Daniel and Jeremiah (Jeremiah never said anything about the 70 sevens) are about the Babylonian Exile of the 6th century BC. That interval had a definite starting point that occurred in the 6th century, and a definite ending point that occurred roughly a century before Jesus Christ was born.

Edit from Ruminator's comment

YLT Daniel 9:1-2

In the first year of Darius, son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who hath been made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans,

in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, have understood by books the number of the years, (in that a word (ךבר) of Jehovah hath been unto Jeremiah the prophet,) concerning the fulfilling of the wastes of Jerusalem -- seventy years;

...

Daniel was reading the word (דבר) that God sent through Jeremiah. That was what caused him to pray for verses 3-19. When Gabriel responds Gabriel says:

YLT Daniel 9:26

...

And thou dost know, and dost consider wisely, from the going forth of the word (same Hebrew word in Daniel 9:2 - דבר) to restore and to build Jerusalem till Messiah the Leader [anointed prince] is seven weeks [sevens],

...

The word that Gabriel refers to here is the same word that Daniel was reading at the beginning of the chapter. Jeremiah said Jerusalem would be destroyed and then rebuilt after 70 years. Gabriel said there would be 7 sevens between the going forth of that word to rebuild Jerusalem (the start of the same word that was Jeremiah's 70 years) and the "Messiah leader"/"anointed prince"/"Cyrus".

...[continuing verse 26] and sixty and two weeks: the broad place hath been built again, and the rampart, even in the distress of the times.

...

After the first interval of 7 sevens, there is a second interval of 62 sevens in which Jerusalem will be rebuilt - "even in the distress of the times."

So when I say Cyrus fulfilled the first interval, I am pinpointing that reference to "Messiah leader"/"anointed prince" that ends the first interval of 7 sevens. Cyrus died partway into the second interval (it was 434 years long after all). So to say he fulfilled all of the 70 sevens is not entirely accurate. Yes he had a big hand in the 70 sevens, but he was not alive for the whole thing.

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  • They are spelled out in the answers I reference. The second reference is a very long answer that I wrote. I can copy it here if you want me to. – Jack Jan 12 '19 at 20:05
  • Well, most is covered but what about this: Cyrus fulfilled the first interval of 7 "sevens". I'm trying to place that assertion into context. Thanks. – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 20:13
  • Also, this part I don't understand since you debunked the whole notion of a 7 day week, no?: "If Daniel 9 applies to Jesus Christ's day in a direct way, then a good explanation of Daniel 9 should address this 7-day week. (I do not think that can be done either, but again, somebody might prove it wrong.)" – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 20:37
  • This is confusing, isn't it? "Weeks" in verses 24, 25, and 26 mean "sevens". Those are all the same word. "Week" in verse 27 is a different word, and it means a 7-day week. – Jack Jan 12 '19 at 20:40
  • I may have confused you. I was mistaken about Daniel reading "seventy weeks". I would change my question but it would undermine your answer. So the 7 day thing is not an issue to me. FYI, I made the question specific to Daniel because I wanted to not deal in abstractions but I guess my question is the more whether the prophets indeed are all about the Messiah's day or the prophets (and specifically Paul) was just using them as a type. – Ruminator Jan 12 '19 at 20:42
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I wrote an essay (thesis and labor of love of sorts) which encompasses this question just this last Fall, entitled:-

....Daniel's "70 weeks",(490 years), jewel of a prophecy, 9th Chapter, verses 20-27. Does the 70th Week pertain to the 1st Cent. Jews, or present day Israel....

....which has only circulated amongst friends and family to date but in light of the present day pandemic, which smacks of the apocalyptic, I'm ready to bring it to a broader and hopefully more appreciative audience, so here it is. It's rather lengthy (3500 words or more) but as thesis' go, not so much....

While acknowledging the breaking of God's COVENANT(1,a) with Israel, through MOSES, Daniel besieges God in prayer, in the 1st year (538 BC) of Darius, the Mede (1,b) after recognizing the 70 year captivity and desolation of Jerusalem and of his people, was coming to an end, see Jer,25:11-12 ( not to be confused with the "70 Weeks" prophecy, which is a different time period). Daniel is visited by the angel Gabriel, who then relates to him the "70 Weeks" prophecy....Dan,9:25-27 shows that ordinary weeks cannot be meant however. The language does not imply weeks of days, it actually implies weeks of years[70 x 7(years)=490 years] and the "day for a year" bible rule is therefore very appropriate here and is the general consensus of opinion amongst the vast majority of theologians...Why 490 years? Well, it's apparently all to do with the so called children of Israel violating the "Sabbath Rest", when it came to cultivating their land and even pruning their vineyards, instead of letting the ground lie fallow for one full year in seven, as per God's instructions. They continued ploughing and sowing and pruning year in and year out for a period of 490 years before God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to intervene and destroy Jerusalem and it's temple, whereupon Daniel and other Israelite's were taken captive to Babylon, 70 years prior to 538 BC (a year's captivity for every sabbatical rest year denied) which would have to be 607 BC(1,c) when using the 360 day year, see Lev,26:34-35,43...The 70 x 7 years, is an amalgamation of 3 separate time periods, 7 x 7; 62 x 7; and finally 1 x 7 years(the 70th Week). The prophecy actually encompasses Dan,9:24-27 and is as follows, bracketed words and capitals are mine...even the italics...

         "Seventy weeks (490 years) have been decreed for your PEOPLE (Jews) and your HOLY CITY (Jerusalem), to, 1) Finish the transgression, 2) Make an end of sin, 3) Make atonement for iniquity, 4) Bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) Seal up vision and prophecy, and (finally), 6) Anoint the most holy place." Dan, 9:24....

....all 6 points of contention/fulfillment here, being brought about through Christ's death and subsequent resurrection, but not forsaking the PROPHETIC 40 year period from Christ's death until the mass suicide at Masada (see below). First 3 contentious points (most likely) made compensation for all of the Jews errors with respect to the Law Covenant. The 4th point, saw the value of Christ's death providing a reconciliation for all repentant believers, for everlasting righteousness's sake. By 73 AD, the the 5th point reached it's fulfillment. In the meantime the 6th point saw it's fulfillment when Jesus sat at the right hand of God in the Holiest of Holies in the heavenly realm. While the first 7 weeks and subsequent 62 weeks relate to the RESTORING and REBUILDING of Jerusalem and the Jewish PEOPLE, culminating in the crucifixion of Jesus, the 70th week must relate to the HOLY CITY and it's pending destruction, as a direct result of the Jews culpability in Jesus' death and for not accepting his foretold representation and as punishment for their increasingly egregious sinning ways.

    (1,a) While the Mosaic/Sinai (non everlasting) OLD COVENANT, which was, figuratively, nailed to the CROSS, at JESUS' death in 33 AD (see confirmation below), was broken, contributing to the devastation for the Jews, the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, at least for the circumcised Jew, one would surmise, was to be still in effect for one further week (66 AD thru 73 AD), even though 70 AD saw the end of SACRIFICE AND GRAIN OFFERING. The NEW COVENANT (everlasting) through Jesus, which superseded the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, takes center stage, after 73 AD, which was to include the GENTILES ( after the gospel was taken to them by Peter...Acts Ch.10), and be a covenant to all showing *true* FAITH in Jesus and his RANSOM SACRIFICE (sacrificial death of Jesus, made in order to reconcile sinners to a holy God...Mark,10:45), particularly benefiting those who will ultimately rule with Christ (the 144,000). The OC was based on promises to God, and was non everlasting, whereas the NC is based on God's promises to us, and God's word lasts for ever.

    (1,b) Although Darius the Mede is lost to history, it is thought that he may have ruled along side CYRUS THE GREAT, or indeed may have even been CYRUS THE GREAT.

    (1,c) Although most all historical records place the destruction of Jerusalem and it's temple by Nebuchadnezzar as being in 587/6 BC, this does not jive with the ABSOLUTE date of 539 BC, for the subsequent overthrow of Babylon by the Medes and Persians, and the 70 year captivity of Daniel and his fellow Israelite's, which we know ended in 538 BC. I feel therefore that *fulfilled* prophecy should trump the *apparent inaccuracy* of the historical record.

Now to the second subjected verse....

         "So you are to KNOW and DISCERN that from the issuing of a decree to RESTORE and REBUILD Jerusalem, (NOT the Temple, that was the *earlier* decree of Cyrus, the Persian) until MESSIAH the Prince [with a large P],(2,a), there will be SEVEN weeks and SIXTY_TWO weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress." Dan,9:25...

....these were to be weeks of (360 day) years...483 years (69 x 7 years), 173,880 days, to be more precise...360 x 483 = 173,880 days. The modern year equivalent of this time period, starting with 444 BC (see below) and ending in 33 AD (also see below) would have to be calculated as follows: 444 + 33, which would normally equal 477, but actually equals 476 here, once one takes account of the fact that there was NO, 0 year, when transcending from BC to AD (1 BC transcends straight into 1 AD). So, if one divides 173,880 by the regular days in the year i.e. 365.2422, one arrives at 476.067661, which is, near as damn it, 476. BUT, if one divides 173,880 by, the previously often used for calculation, 360 day year, one arrives at exactly 483...BINGO!!! The only decree, to involve the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem, out of a possible four candidates (2,b) that can survive this math, being the decree of Artaxerxes, in his 20th regnal year (444 BC). Also, after doing this math (again remember there is NO 0 year) you should note that we DO NOT come to the baptism of Christ, as some want to surmise (the start of his 3 and 1 half year ministry), which was in the Fall of 29 AD, BUT we come to his DEATH, in the Spring of 33 AD [see...7 clues tell us precisely when Jesus died (the year, month, day and hour revealed)...National Catholic Register]...see table below:

                                                       X
                                                  Crucifixion
                                                       /---prophetic 40 yrs--/
 /-----------------483 (360 day yrs)-------------------/....gap..../--7 yrs--/490 yrs
444  395               (Literal yrs)                  33          66   70   73
 BC   BC                                              AD          AD   AD   AD
Spr  Spr                                             Spr         Fall Spr/ Fall
 /7 Wks/----------------62 Wks------------------------/                Sum
 /----------------------69 Wks------------------------/.....gap..../--1 Wk---/70 Wks

I realize that there is 40 and 1 half (literal yrs) between the Spring of 33 AD (Crucifixion) and the Fall of 73 AD (mass suicide at Masada), whereas one would expect the period to be in keeping with the 360 day year time table and therefore be more like 39 and 1 half (literal years). I have not been able to ascertain why this was so, particularly as prophesying and witnessing in Jesus' name probably started at Pentecost. I can only think (presumably of course that there even is a 40 year significance to be reflected upon here) that the stoning of Stephen, or even the conversion of Saul may have been the true beginning of this extremely important, not to mention significant, period of Prophesying and witnessing. What, I can however, say is this...According to my studies, Christ was born in the fall of 2 BC, maybe even on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which was on the 29th of September of that year. 33 and 1 half (literal) years later, in April of 33 AD (remember no 0 year, when transcending from BC to AD), our Messiah (the Prince) became our "Ransom Sacrifice" and we arrived at the end of the 69th week. Then we have that all encompassing, much disputed, as to length of time, "gap" between the end of the 69th week and start of the 70th week (more on this "gap" later), which also encompasses 33 and 1 half (literal) years...a "prophetic" and "historically" NECESSARY interlude (more on this later), so we may have a deeper meaning here, as we would appear to have a parallel to Jesus' lifetime. This was the time of the true GREAT COMMISSION, the time spent by the "Apostles to Jesus" wherein they were to..."make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (capitals not mine for the holy spirit, but that's another story, for another time maybe), Matt.28:19. Could this have been in commemoration perhaps, of Jesus' lifetime, a divine necessity maybe, thus accounting for why there should have been a gap, "AT ALL", (of identical length, no less) between the end of the 69th week and start of the 70th...

             A NECESSARY AND VERY CONSTRUCTIVE *MOURNING* PERIOD !!!

...with, all but one of, the Apostles (themselves) being martyred (just like Jesus) to the cause, during said period (John lived to write his Gospel, as well as 1,2 & 3 John, not to mention receive and recite the Revelation). Peter and Paul, we know (at least according to Christianity.com) being martyred in Rome probably around 66 AD and therefore within the time allotted.

    (2,a) Messiah the Prince, literally means "Anointed Ruler". The anointing at Jesus' baptism was not the beginning of his RULE however, the true anointing came in the heavenly realm, as already indicated.

    (2,b) Candidate # 1....Jeremiah's 70 year prophecy, of around 607 BC (too early).
          Candidate # 2....Edict of Cyrus of 539/8 BC (also too early).
          Candidate # 3....First decree of Artaxerxes of 458/7 BC (7th regnal year) which involved the Jewish priest, Ezra, (closer..and the most popular amongst theologians, although they use the modern 365.2422 day year and base their calculations on an erroneous 27 AD baptism and 31 AD death of Jesus, instead of the 29 AD and 33 AD truth). [see above].
          Candidate # 4....Second degree of Artaxerxes (involving the Jewish leader, Nehemiah, rather than Ezra) of 445/4 BC (20th regnal year), the ONLY decree, especially when taken from the Spring of 444 BC - when using the, more relevant to the time, 360 day year - to survive the math. Artaxerxes' first regnal year started in the Spring of 464 BC (20 years before 444 BC), even though his father Xerxes died in August of 465 BC. This was due to the murderer of Xerxes, i.e. Artabanus (one of the King's ministers) usurping the throne, for apparently 7 months, before Artaxerxes killed him.

Third subjected verse....

  "Then (immediately) AFTER the SIXTY-TWO weeks (69 weeks of years, in actuality) the MESSIAH will be cut-off (CRUCIFIED) and have nothing, and the people of the prince (small p) who is to come(3) [Roman general Titus, who after his *princely* duties, then became Emperor], will destroy the city and the sanctuary (Jerusalem and it's Temple). And it's end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined." Dan,9:26...

....this climaxing, I think one can safely assume, in 70 AD, some 37 years after Christ's death, the death coinciding with the end of the 69th week...WHAT THEN, OF THE 70TH WEEK (remaining 7 years, of the 490 years) ???...you may well indeed ask. Bare with me here, as this is very contentious.

     (3) AS the Roman general Titus had still to COME, after the 69 weeks had already ended, this proves there to be a "gap" between the end of the 69th week and the start of the 70th week, amounting to some 33 and 1 half years.

Fourth and final subjected verse....

   " And he *will make a firm* COVENANT , with the MANY (1st Cent. Jews) for ONE WEEK (the 70th week), but in the MIDDLE of the week he will put a STOP TO SACRIFICE AND GRAIN OFFERING and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes DESOLATE, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed (determined), is poured out on *the one who makes desolate*." Dan,9:27...

Now, I've been using the NASB translations in this presentation (the words in capitals and brackets, italics, mine) but their translation into English, for Dan,9:27, would appear to be somewhat contrived. Most translations instead of...will make a firm COVENANT...say...will confirm a COVENANT (to confirm an existing COVENANT is to establish the truth, or correctness of same (see note 1,a). Then...the one who makes desolate...is often interpreted as...the one lying desolate, or, poured upon the desolate (poured on the desolate, NOT the desolator. The MOSAIC COVENANT, promised punishment on the Jewish state, not the person doing the desolating). The "he" being referred to here (twice), by the process of elimination, as per many a biblical commentary, must be JESUS, not some future Abomination of Desolation/Antichrist, or even Titus, himself. The Dispensationalists try to make all professing Christians believe that the "gap", after Christ's death and before the 70th week is to be an astonishing 2000 years(4), or so, and that the 70th week will be a futuristic " 7 year GREAT TRIBULATION," involving literal Israel; a literal 3rd Temple (not yet built, or likely to be built) and the future Abomination of Desolation/Antichrist, (General Titus, being the instigator of the initial abominations of Desolation, in the Antichrist mode). They were right to ascertain that there must be a gap between the end of the 69th and beginning of the 70th week, but the "gap" amounted ONLY to 33 and 1 half years.

     (4) There is no evidence that the prophets of Israel saw an elongated gap, particularly to be an astonishing 2000 years, or so, to equal the so called "Church Age", or "Age of Grace".

Furthermore, although the ACTUAL destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 AD, by Titus and his people (armies) only lasted for a period of 4 months and 25 days(5,a), much less than 7 years, Jerusalem's CONDEMNATION started with the JEWISH REVOLTS in the Spring of 66 AD, although, the first Roman retaliatory offence came by way of General Cestius Gallus and his 12th legion, in Oct/Nov of 66 AD (see Josephus' historical record, entitled "Wars of the Jews") and ended with the mass suicide at Masada (a DESOLATE place), in what should have been the Fall of 73 AD - although the historical record is quiet on this - so we have a late November, 66 AD, initial offence (not in historical dispute), which, if lasting 7 years, would have had to have ended around mid-October of 73 AD, the 360 day year being requisite. At the half (MIDDLE) of the week, in the Spring/Summer of 70 AD, SACRIFICE AND GRAIN OFFERING was literally STOPPED dead in it's tracks (although GRAIN OFFERING ran out in the Spring, whereas SACRIFICES continued on until 08/05), as a result of everything being destroyed. By the Fall of 73 AD, therefore, the COVENANT...confirmed (kept in force) for the MANY (1st Cent Jews), for one further week (the SEVENTIETH), came to it's CONCLUSION....WE SHOULD NOT, THEREFORE, STILL BE WAITING FOR THE 70TH WEEK TO HAPPEN...This is DELUSION...The TRIBULATION, such as it will be, because there still will be a SECOND ADVENT, I see mirroring, in typical DUAL FULFILLMENT of PROPHECY, Jerusalem's 70 AD destruction(5,b). In other words, the TRIBULATION may only last a matter of months, but unlike 70 AD, it will be WORLDWIDE...starting with BABYLON THE GREAT, but that's yet another story....

    (5,a) It just so happens that this period of 4 month's and 25 days could account for the extra time over and above the prophetic 40 year, plus, period between 33 AD and 73 AD. Should this extremely traumatic and death dealing time not be included therefore. It's a thought anyway.

    (5,b) According to Dr. Ellis [see(6)], who is sympathetic to PRETERIST and FUTURIST views, the 70 AD "Destruction" of Jerusalem and it's Temple - not withstanding all the slaughter of the Jews, whether amongst themselves, because of treachery and starvation, or by Roman sword, starting in the Fall of 66 AD, and continuing  past the Spring/Summer of 70 AD and until the Fall of 73 AD, an almost unbelievable , 7 year siege (albeit off and on) that claimed 1,100,000 lives and whereupon 97,000 Jewish rebels were captured and enslaved, many others fleeing - amounted to the actual "GREAT TRIBULATION" as prophesied by Jesus in the OLIVET DISCOURSES, and that the tribulation still to come, while it will be troubling and death dealing, should not invoke the kind of fear and suffering that befell the 1st Cent. Jews, even though it will involve the whole known world, which will be aside from any perceived, or would be, RAPTURE, an escape afforded only, I believe, to the remaining one's of the 144,000, still living at the "end time". See also, Matt, 24:35, which Dr. Ellis sees pertaining to the accessible EARTHLY part (Holy Place) and inaccessible HEAVENLY part (Holy of Holies) in regard to the sanctuaries of the 2nd Temple, which of course were destroyed (passed away).

Food for thought, on the 40 (and 1 half) literal years between Christ's death (end of 69th week, amounting to 483 (360 day) years) and the mass suicide at Masada...33 AD thru 73 AD...( the last 7 of which, completing the 490 (360 day) years)...This was a time of great WITNESSING, starting with the Apostles/Disciples to Jesus; continued by the Apostle Paul (Peter, Paul and James, that we know of, suffering MARTYRDOM within this period). New Testament writings started with Paul. There were some 40 PROPHECIES, of Jesus, on the fall of Jerusalem, fulfilled (6). The first Gentiles were brought into the equation, and so on and so on, putting more light still on the possible reasons for why there should have been a gap, AT ALL, between the 69th and 70th week...the number 40, of course, is very PROPHETIC....

     (6) See... 40 fulfilled prophecies - Escape to Reality 2018, by Dr. Paul Ellis, reflected on, in his "AD 70" book.

It is interesting and therefore possibly SHOULD BE of FURTHER note, that as in the case of the time period between Jesus' death and the mass suicide at Masada, bringing an end to the 70 weeks, IN THEIR ENTIRETY, thus completing the PUNISHMENT against the Israelites, as decreed by the MOSAIC COVENANT, if they were to stray, which they most certainly did, such time period being, again, 40 years, that the EXODUS generation of Israelites also had to endure PUNISHMENT, before being allowed to enter the "Promised Land", being made to wander and perish, for no less than 40 years, until such time as the unbelieving GENERATION had died off. The unmistakable comparison being, is that we are given, not one, but TWO, 40 year time periods involving PUNISHMENT and DEATH of a Generation of Israelites.

                    ________________________________________

The writing of the above narrative initially was done over a 3 month period, last Fall. I started with a somewhat rough outline of how I intended to proceed, but was under no misapprehension that it would not need perfecting to a certain extent. I never imagined that I would review and change the narrative as much as I have, due in no uncertain part to the fact that there is no, complete, consensus of opinion between many a learned theologian, alive or even LONG dead. Initially, I did not have the understanding that I have today. Insight, although forthcoming, came in fits and starts. I have been mesmerized and frustrated by this prophecy for decades. BUT, the day I figured out that the 483 years was not based on modernity, was a true revelation, a very euphoric moment. I had long thought that the second decree of Artaxerxes was the correct one to work from but there was so much misleading narrative. It took a lot of delving and the day I figured it all out was another truly euphoric moment. I have speculated about some of the aspects in this thesis but I stand by my 483 year timeline 100%. It's a no brainer now for me, BUT, I'm always open to other ideas, if I wasn't, that would be being to PRIDEFUL, a trap that we need to be aware of ALWAYS...Needless to say, I have read so many commentaries on this absolute jewel of a prophecy and discussed same with many people, from the ministerial, to friends and even family. Simplifying the narrative, while at the same time adding, non egregious, context, became quite a challenge, but necessary, in order for those with little scriptural education to even have a chance of understanding...In my humble opinion, it is in no uncertain terms a "Messianic Prophecy", warranting a "First Century" conclusion, involving the Jewish nation, that were under the "Covenant of Moses", spanning a period of some 523 (360) day years, of which 33 and 1 half years, were not even part of the so called 70 Weeks, but served as what I came to perceive and ultimately understand, as a "prophetic" and "historically" NECESSARY interlude between the, now often said, end of the 69th Week and start of the 70th Week. Many a Jew, after hearing the likes of Paul and other apostles witnessing during this apparent last chance to be afforded interlude, would have had ample time to convert to Christianity and flee to the hills, as it were, thus avoiding the inevitable calamity to be visited upon those who could, or would not change their beliefs. Christ's death in the year 33 AD, is a "given", at least from my studies, and concluded the 7 + 62 Weeks, which until then had run in consecutive sequence, ending in Christ's crucifixion, ( the first 7 Weeks, seeing the completion of the RESTORING & REBUILDING of Jerusalem, excluding the 2nd Temple, as the rebuilding of that was completed in 516/15 BC). To have then continued in consecutive sequence would have resulted in no fulfillment of prophecy, 40 AD being of no consequence at all. The prophecy had to end decisively and within the "straits of the times", and there was not going to be anything more decisive than that of the utter destruction and humility of the Jewish people and their Holy City, for the breaking of the "non everlasting", Mosaic covenant. The detractors and unbelievers will of course cry..."See, it didn't work! You just made it work". While the Dispensationalists will stick to their fantastical FUTURISTIC 70th Week, along with their misguided theories, such as...the 7 year Tribulation Period; the 7 year peace treaty (COVENANT, via Antichrist) with "literal" Israel, (ignoring the possibility that the "End Times" is more than likely referring to a "spiritual" Israel, including Gentiles) who are to be somewhat relevant again, even though previously condemned in no uncertain terms and who still deny Jesus' RANSOM SACRIFICE and even that Jesus could possibly have been the Messiah; a literal 3rd Temple, not yet built, or likely to be built, within which animal sacrifices are to be started up again, albeit temporarily; the ultimate Antichrist; and such tribulation to be preceded by their mythical rapture...not that there won't be some kind of tribulation, to involve a certain "Man of Lawlessness" (a deluding "Demagogue" much like that of a Donald Trump, most likely...!!!...see 2 Thessalonians, 2:1-12), to precede the time of the "Second Advent", leading into ARMAGEDDON, which will admittedly involve many more people and therefore be on a much bigger scale....When Jesus talked to his disciples on the "Mount of Olives" however, not long before his death and warned them of the coming TRIBULATION, which was to be GREAT, he said that, same would come in their life times and before all the Jewish generation of that time had passed away. Within the next 40 years, the full horror of that prophecy came true.......

NB: I guess the over riding point to this story should be....Don't be waiting on the supposed, futuristic, 7 year TRIBULATION PERIOD, before getting one's house in order, thinking that you may have 7 years to do so (or maybe only 3 and a half), because that period may already have passed. Christ is going to come again like a thief in the night, when you least expect him (1 Thess,5:2-6) and the ANTICHRIST will precede him and only those with a particular insight will recognize this MAN of LAWLESSNESS. The DEMAGOGUE that we as Americans are having to put up with at this present time. Our PRETENDER to the throne, namely DONALD J TRUMP makes a great candidate, at least in my mind. I could give you a long list of reasons to fully explain the possibility but this post is long enough as it is. One more thing...DEMAGOGUE (a truly fitting description of Trump) is a French word, the first two letters meaning "OF", and the last two letters are not always necessary. GOG has a kingly connotation to it, as does DON. So if one was to drop the UE, and translate one can get OF-MAGOG and then if one was to put DON, excuse me GOG(silly me) in front, one could get GOG-OF-MAGOG !!!!!!......

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As is often the case, the less I understand a subject the more ill-formed is my question about that subject and that is the case here. I have learned that the "seventy weeks" is not "seventy weeks" but rather "seventy periods of 7" but that in 9:27 the word "week" does appear. The last week however is explicitly said to be a "week". I didn't correct the question because it would have invalidated the answers.

So what I am proposing as an answer to my question is this:

  • in the case of Daniel the distinction between referring to the exile or predictive of the Messiah is moot in that Daniel's seventy week span the time period from the edict to rebuild the temple, by Cyrus. Cyrus was an anointed one but not THE anointed one:

[Isa 45:1 KJV] 1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

[Dan 9:25 KJV] 25 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

  • in the case of Jesus, he clearly sees the scriptures as being largely a collection of explicit assertions and types of the Messiah (himself) which is documented in the paper I cited

  • in the case of Paul though there are completely different considerations for which I will raise another similar question

I confess that I'm a babe in relation to these matters and appreciate the serious, studied and I think either correct or pretty close. I hope that if my simple summary is off that I will receive some correction rather than just a down vote (someone has been going wild with down votes of my post). Many thanks to all for all the valuable help I've received with this passage.

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    I broadly agree with your comments but would be more specific. Dan 9:1 puts the vision at the start of the reign of Cyrus about 538 BC. Cyrus did NOT issue a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem - only permission for Jews to return and rebuild the temple. The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus about 457 BC from which the prophecy is dated. However, Artaxerxes' decree would not have been issued without the earlier decree of Cyrus, according to Ezra 6 and 7. – user25930 Jan 14 '19 at 9:44
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    Thus, Cyrus is called "anointed" or messiah (Isa 45:1-5) not because he is mentioned in Danial 9 (he is not mentioned nor referenced) but because he was the one who liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity and laid the foundation for what would become possible as prophesied in Daniel 9. – user25930 Jan 14 '19 at 10:43
  • @Mac'sMusings It is good to know one's limits and I think that reconstructing a subject that can't be unpacked without grasping many details such as names, dates, locations, etc. really goes against the fabric of my more literary and logical brain so I'm absolutely grateful for you and others here who are more comfortable sorting through all that. I think I'm getting the general idea. There is an article about Longimanus and his part here: jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1827-artaxerxes-i – Ruminator Jan 14 '19 at 10:59
  • @Mac'sMusings Would you say that you are also in broad agreement with Jack's answer? I'm wondering what remains controversial between your view and his because you both have well thought out views and I'm not qualified to compare them effectively to know which excellent answer to mark as "the Answer to Life's Persistent Questions"! – Ruminator Jan 14 '19 at 11:06
  • Artaxerxes has nothing to do with it. The word/decree (I really do not like to translate it as decree for this reason) Gabriel mentions in verse 25 is what Jeremiah wrote and what Daniel was reading at the beginning of Daniel 9. The word for decree in verse 25 is the same word translated into word in verse 2. Gabriel is referring to the word of God that came via Jeremiah. Gabriel says there are 7 sevens from the going forth of this word to an anointed. By the time we get to Cyrus we are already 7 sevens into it. – Jack Jan 14 '19 at 14:36
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Personally, I think the 70 sets of seven are regarding the True Habitation of God: Jesus (John 2:19-21). Daniel turned his heart to God's Habitation, but he kept thinking in terms of types and shadows instead of the reality. Thus, Gabriel comes to explain the timing, of which there are many ideas. However, I think it is clear that Christ is central.

As an aside, I believe that the prayer of Daniel 9 is the exact same prayer Daniel was caught praying and receiving an answer to in Daniel 6. Remember that scene? I think God set it up, even though it was Daniel's habit. Why? Because I think it pictures the cross - more specifically the heart of Christ seeking God's True Habitation (John 14). On that day, Daniel's enemies were pointing at this man and saying things like, "We have Him now!" Let's seem him escape this!" That is just like Jesus. Neither one gave heed to their personal peril, but kept their hearts focused on God and seeking what He wanted.

What did they both get? Both were put into an opening going into the earth. In other words, both went into a death. Then a large stone covered the opening and it was sealed with the government seal in both instances. In the dark, death could not keep either. Lions prowled seeking to devour, but the accuser could not open his mouth. Then both exited out the same opening alive. Those witnessing this "exit unto life" wrote letters to all the nations.

So there you go, I think it is about Christ's heart - even an open window in to His heart for God to get His Habitation = "Christ within you-folks, the expectation of glory" as in the glory that fills us the Holy of Holies.

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  • Welcome to BHSX. Thanks for your answer. On what basis do you suggest that the 70 weeks is discussing "Habitation" = living?? I cannot see the connection. And what do the 70 weeks mean? – user25930 Feb 7 '19 at 8:34
  • The context of the prayer in Daniel 9. See 9:17 "O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate." it is the same attitude displayed by Daniel in 6:10 ...he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. This is not a pointless habit, but the realization of an older man desiring to see God's Habitation rebuilt in Jerusalem. – Cam F Feb 8 '19 at 14:39

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