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So you are to know and understand 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; it will be built again, with streets and moat, even in times of distress.

What event is "until Messiah the Prince"?
Jesus' birth? Beginning of ministry at 30? Resurrection?

And is it saying that "until Messiah the Prince" is exactly the endpoint or merely that this event is after 69th?

Do not base your answer on year computations.
I want to know the answer based on the meaning of the terms.

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  • Great Q. Hopefully I've answered it to your satisfaction. Upvoted +1. Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 2:18

4 Answers 4

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It is a pity that the great Messianic prophecy of Dan 9:24-27 has been so misunderstood - Sir Isaac newton correctly understood it more than 300 years ago.

As described above, Dan 9:24-27 describes five dates, four of which are given significance in the prophecy. These four dates are discussed below.

The Beginning:

The issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Several decrees issued by Persian kings are listed in Ezra

  1. Ezra 1:1-4 - 1st year of Cyrus, about 537 BC. This decree was to allow the scattered Jews to return to Jerusalem and Judah.
  2. Ezra 6:3-12 - probably in the 2nd or 4th year of Darius (about 515 BC) Zech 1:1, 7, 12, 7:1, 5. This decree was to allow the rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem only
  3. Ezra 7:12-26 - 7th years of Artaxerxes, 457 BC (Ezra 7:7, 8). This decree was specifically for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and a restoration of its polity and thus is the likely candidate for the start of the 70 weeks.

Thus, only one of these, Ezra 7, is directed at rebuilding Jerusalem, and restoring its political independence. [The other decrees were only intended to re-establish the temple or allow the people to return.] This decree is precisely dated as being, according to Ezra’s reckoning, in the 7th year of Artaxerxes.

Now it is clear that Ezra and Nehemiah used a calendar similar to that used in some places even today, one that started in the seventh month. That is, for example, in any given civil year, since the seventh month marked the year’s beginning, the first and second month came after the seventh. Examine Neh 1:1-4 and 2:1 for an example of this – the first month of Nissan came after the ninth month of Kislev in the 20th year of the King. Next, when a king ascended the throne part way through a year, the first incomplete calendar year of his reign was regarded as his accession year; his first year of reign was counted as beginning on the next New Year’s Day. Thus, Artaxerxes ascended the Persian throne in about Jan 464 BC, but the first year of his reign began about Sep 464 BC. Therefore, the fifth month in his seventh year would be about July/August 457 BC. See appendix 1 below.

Messiah Anointed:

The seventy-week period is divided into three contiguous parts, seven weeks, 62 weeks and the final week (Dan 9:25, 27), in that order. The Hebrew, “messiah” and the Greek, “christos”, both mean the anointed one. 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. Unlike the Persian calendar, the Jews in New Testament times used the non-accession year dating, or inclusive reckoning. This means that when a monarch ascended the throne, the first incomplete calendar year (no matter how small) was counted as the first year. 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. Since Jesus’ ministry lasted 3½ years according to the Gospel’s record (see below for this date), Jesus’ Baptism occurred about October/November, 27 AD. See appendix 2 below.

Thus, we find the beginning of the final week of the 70 weeks when Messiah would “confirm covenant with many for one week”, namely, 27 AD. This suggests that it was the official transition from the “Old Covenant” to the “New Covenant” as promised in Jer 31:31-34 and fulfilled in Matt 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 1 Cor 11:25 by Jesus.

APPENDIX 1 - Sources for Chronology of Start of 70 week Prophecy

The dating of kings with their associated chronologies is very well established for the period of about 750 BC to 100 AD, often to the precise day. Multiple original sources can be used to verify these dates:

  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 Babylonian, Persian and other kings in both the Babylonian-Persian luni-solar calendar and the Egyptian Solar calendar.
  4. Babylonian Cuneiform Tablets: This large group of documents provides 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 beyond doubt.

Thus, we can be quite confident that Cyrus began his reign in October 539 BC, and that his first regnal year began in September 538 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]

APPENDIX 2 - Date of Jesus Baptism

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 Sep/Oct 5 BC. In Oct 27 AD, He would have been 31 years old, or “about 30 years old”. Later dates suggested by some would stretch the meaning of Luke’s age too far.

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  • Later dates suggested by some would stretch the meaning of Luke’s age too far - unless of course the Schurer hypothesis is incorrect, and Herod died in 1 BC or AD 1 =). I know, we've covered this before. But this is a thorough answer, upvoted +1 Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 0:37
  • @HoldToTheRod - fair point but then Jesus would have been only 27 at His baptism.
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 7:46
  • @HoldToTheRod The exact date of Jesus' birth is known: September 11, 3 BC (Rev 12 sign). Priests had to be 30 years old to serve so +30 = AD 28 on Tishri 1 because Jews used their calendar not the Roman one which started in 45 BC. Three Passovers were mentioned so earliest crucifixion is AD 29, AD 30, AD 31 but earliest with Nisan 14 on Friday is AD 33. This disproves that Jesus' ministry was 3.5 years and thus the theory that Daniel 9: 27 and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering applies to 1st century. Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 14:47
  • @Dottard You can use the desktop or smartphone app Stellarium to verify the Rev 12 sign (but careful because its year 0 = 1 BC so year -2=3 BC and set your location to Jerusalem). And you'll note that 9-11 3 BC is a "last trump" i.e. when Tishri 1 ends: moon visibility is 0.1% on Sep 9 and >1% on Sep 10 so that starts day of Tishri 1 which ends on Sep 11 when moon is at her feet. Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 14:47
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    @Maximus1987 & Dottard I know we won't solve this here =). FWIW, my calculations put His birth between Spring 2 BC and Spring 1 BC, and His baptism in AD 29, at age 30 or 31. I enjoy chronology and am always up for reading someone else's calculations. Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 16:43
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Daniel 9:25 - What is end point of 69 Weeks?

What we can gather from Dan 9:25 is that 7 + 62 Weeks (69 Weeks) have to be completed (within the "70 Weeks" prophecy) until Messiah the Prince, becomes evidentiary. The obvious question then becomes...When did the 7 + 62 Weeks end? Historians and Theologians alike, whether past or present, have not been shy of expounding their theories.

Jesus' birth? Hardly! There is no relevant Persian king's decree that could have possibly started and ended at Jesus' birth, no matter what date, within reason, one comes up with for that momentous event.

Beginning of ministry at 30? Many a plausible argument has been made for this, but all fall flat when the traditional 365.2422 day long year is insisted upon (instead of the prophetic 360 day year). Why? Well firstly, they argue for a prophecy start date commensurate with the decree expounded in Artaxerxes I's 7th regnal year, when the 20th regnal year, favored by many, would appear to be more appropriate. Secondly, they argue for a 4 BC, or even 5 BC, instead of the more than likely 2 BC, birth date.

Resurrection? Now here, no matter what you may have been led to believe, we may indeed have something. See below.

Incidentally, if you want to see a more in depth view of my take on all of the above and more, which quite frankly I believe is a must, you can go to my own following Q and my subsequent A to:- When did the 7 + 62 (69) Weeks(483 years in fact) start and .... [Q.68388].... There you will find out, not only the date of Jesus' actual death, heralding the actual end of the 69 Weeks but you will also see that I have even ascertained the date of the beginning of same.

Mediatorial Dominium of Jesus Christ

There is a book on the above subject, written by the late William Symington, D. D., where he qualifies Messiah the Prince in no uncertain terms. First of all in talking about the Necessity of the mediatorial dominion, of Christ, he says:-

It was deemed essential to the salvation of men that their Redeemer should possess the powers at once .... of a prophet, a priest, and a king.

Some bible verses to ponder:-

... and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler ("prince" in KJV) of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and released us from our sins by his blood. Rev 1:5 [NASB].

He (Jesus) is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 [NASB].

Resurrection

Here's a quote from Chapter IV, of Symington's book, headed up APPOINTMENT OF CHRIST TO MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

  1. Christ's appointment was still farther intimated by his actual investiture with regal power at and after his resurrection. This might be called the inauguration solemnity of the mediatorial king. What took place in the counsels of eternity was made known in the fullness of time; but it was still more largely and clearly exhibited when the Son of God rose from the dead. The kingly office of Christ being essential to the mediatorial character, must of course have existed from eternity, and must also have been exercised from the beginning of time; yet the Scriptures speak of it as conferred in reward of his obedience unto death. 'Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.' Its having been conferred at his resurrection may seem inconsistent with having existed from the beginning. They are, however, both true. The Holy Spirit always existed in the church, and yet was not given until Christ was glorified. After Christ was glorified there was a more copious manifestation, a more full dispensation of the Spirit. In like manner, at his resurrection, there was a more ample display, a more extensive exercise of Christ's regal power. His power was, from the first, exercised on the footing of his meritorious death. But when the death had really occurred, it was fitting that there should be a display of the power which resulted from it, and which had all along a regard to it. In short, the exercise of the kingly office before and after Christ's resurrection, bear much the same relation to one another, as the exercise of the same office before and after the coronation of an earthly king. The ceremony of coronation makes a public, solemn, august display of the sovereign's investiture with regal power; but the power itself existed before;- in an hereditary government, from the moment of the demise of his predecessor; in an elective government, from the time of his being chosen by the people. After the resurrection of our Redeemer from the grave, there was a more full, explicit, and expressive recognition than before of his appointment to mediatorial rule. Then did it appear that all power was given unto him in heaven and in earth. 'His being by the right hand of God exalted,' was the means of 'letting all the house of Israel know assuredly that God had made that same Jesus whom men had crucified both Lord and Christ' (Acts 2:33,36).'When he raised him from the dead, he set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come' (Eph 1:21,22). ' When he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high' (Heb 1:3). He was king from eternity; from the entrance of sin into our world he exercised the regal functions; in the lowest depths of his humiliation, occasional signs of dignity and power appeared. But not until his resurrection from the dead and Ascension to the throne of the Father, was his investiture with this power publicly and formerly recognized. Then, however, did his regal splendour come out from the cloud of obscurity in which it had been formerly wrapped; his diadem shone forth with transcendent lustre; his sceptre, the weight of which had before been comparatively unfelt, began now to be wielded with new power; angels sang his coronation anthem:-

'Ye gates, lift up your heads on high;

Ye doors that last for aye,

Be lifted up that so the king

Of glory enter may;'

And, amid the loud acclaim of these celestial attendants, he ascended his throne, and entered on the formal administration of his kingdom.

Conclusion

Jesus could not have become "Messiah the Prince" until after his death, until his resurrection in fact, which by all accounts would have been a short lived title, at least until he had finished with all his 'earthly' apparitions, prior to him taking up his kingship at the right hand of God, the Father in heaven. Messiah the Prince literally means Anointed Ruler. The anointing at Jesus' baptism was not the beginning of his rule however, the true anointing came, as per the 6th point in Dan 9:24, when Jesus sat at the right hand of God, in the Holiest of Holies, in the heavenly realm.

As for the 70th Week, well I've written about this extensively on this site also. But that's another story, which doesn't need to be gone into at this point. I will say, however, that it didn't run in consecutive order to the 69th. There indeed was a gap in time, but all had to be concluded in the 1st Cent AD and also incorporate 70 AD.

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  • The only relevant year is the Jewish year, not 365.25 nor 360. Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 3:14
  • I did that, but you can't talk about one without at least some of the other, for what I thought were obvious reasons. As for the relevant year, I beg to differ. It is most definitely the 360 day prophetic year. The math doesn't work otherwise. Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 3:26
  • There is no such thing as 360-day prophetic year. The earth's orbit was 360-days at one point. Check the length of Noah's flood: one Jewish year + 10 days was 370 days. At some point, earth's orbit changed. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 1:57
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    This is a very insightful answer, upvoted +1. I appreciate the perspective on the relevance of both eternal & temporal matters. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 2:48
  • @Maximus1987 - You obviously don't like this A., or the other one. My guess is that you probably didn't even look at my own Q and A that I referenced. If you do nothing else on this site, you should at least click onto Hold To The Rod's calculations as eluded to under the other A. His video's are very relevant to your enquiry. So go on, I dare you. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 6:49
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Th End Point Since the 70th Week deals with the 3 and 1/2 year ministry of Messiah (Anointed One; He was "cut off" in the middle.), the start of that Week would be the End of the 69th Week, and the beginning of the 70th. In other words, the start of Jesus's ministry as an adult. Whether it is the Baptism, Presentation after the Temptation, the declaration in the synagogue of Nazareth, etc. is a miniscule conundrum. The 3 and 1/2 years lay ahead. As well, the ominous crucifixion also lay ahead! Christ be praised. Nevertheless, the End point of the 69th week, which is equal to the beginning of the 70th week, isthe start of the ministry of Jesus.

What Comes After? The reading of Daniel is that the 70th Week comes after the 69th. There is no mention of any gap of years, months, or days! It would be an unnatural reading to expect thousands of year to "come after" the prophecy of the 70 Weeks in order to fulfill it, since this prophetic word speaks of a limitation of time set down: 70.

Historical Confirmation And of course, history has a way of confirming or destroying any particular interpretation. So, did Jesus's ministry last for 3 and 1\2 years ending in His death? A listing of the Festivals in the book of John come to the three years measurement! And did it happen in the first century of the Roman Empire where the 70 Week time frame would place it? Absolutely. The answers confirm the interpretation.

{Notice that this answer does not violate the request of the OP by engaging in "CALCULATIONS>" like the other answers did. But sticks to the topics mentioned in the Gospels.}

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  • Jesus was born on 9-11 3BC. He turned 30 fall 28 AD, crucified 33 AD ie not 3.5 years. Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 0:25
  • Three and a Half Years There are many attempts at calculating specific dates. However the listing of Festivals in the Book of John line up to three and a half years, just like Daniel's angel prophesied! And Scripture cannot be broken. Peace.
    – ray grant
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 20:28
  • “There are many attempts” … therefore none are correct? Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 21:53
  • @Maximus1987-Whether any, none, or all calculations, are true is immaterial to this posted question,; and in violation of the questioner's request. Whatever the terminus a quo and terminus ad quem the fact is that Jesus ministry was 31/2 years according to scripture, not man's calculations. Amazing prophecy fulfilment! Amazing ministry! Amazing Savior!
    – ray grant
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 22:14
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    +1 This is the correct answer. Seeing it, I feel no need to submit an answer of my own. The only connection missed here is that the start of Jesus' ministry was AD 27. The OP may appreciate seeing this actual year as the end-point for the 69 weeks and the beginning point for the 70th. Jesus also gave the same time period when he addressed the "seventy times seven"--referencing the number of "times" (symbolically years) that one should be forgiven, and this number applied to the forgiveness of the Jews as a nation. The 490 years end in AD 34 with the stoning of Stephen.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 11:36
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I've seen every year argued from 29 to 33. I don't really understand what the points of argument are to make my own informed decision. Why is there so much disagreement about the most important date in history?! It's all so confusing I hardly know where to begin to unravel it.

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    @ Erik - Your consternation is perplexing to many others as well as yourself. However, the purpose of "Answers" is to provide an answer, not express opinions or feelings. Substantial facts, or references to research are needed to further the discussion, and bring enlightenment. Keep studying the Bible; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 22:33

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