Messiah/Christ means "Annointed One/Chosen One". In Dan 9:23, NASB, The angel Gabriel tells Daniel that he needs to ... give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision. And then, goes on to relate to him the "70 Weeks" prophecy. In Dan 9:25 we see the words ... until Messiah the Prince .... How are we to discern 1) the word "until", and 2) the title of "Messiah the Prince" so we can answer WHEN Jesus became "Messiah the Prince" as per Dan 9:25.

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    Given that you answered this previous (very similar question about the 69 weeks), it might be that you already have an answer in mind, as you hinted at in your answer. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/78742/…
    – Anne
    Mar 28 at 15:55
  • @Anne - Thank you for reminding me of that answer, not to mention the other one referenced in that answer, which I have again referenced in comments below. In those answers I suggest that Jesus could not have become "Messiah the Prince" until after his death and try and explain same to the best of my ability. However, ...tbc... (I have an appointment to keep)... Mar 28 at 16:45
  • @Anne ... cont'd ... it came to my attention recently, when watching Pastor Heitzig, in a "YouTube" Calvary Church video on the "70 Weeks" prophecy, Part 1 (he's a dispensationalist when it comes to Part 2, which I don't hold with), where he makes an interesting argument for Jesus becoming "Messiah the Prince" when he humbly identifies himself to the people of Jerusalem by riding into town on a donkey. Talk about grabbing one's attention. He having been only known in small circles before this. Heitzig then draws everyone's attention to Luke 19:40-44, which I think speaks for itself... Mar 29 at 0:16
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    @curiousdannii - Because to have truly become the "Messiah" there had to have been an anointing. His first official anointing came at his earthly baptism, by way of John's water baptism. The heavenly baptismal anointing, in the true "Holy of Holies", by way of the oil of gladness, see Heb 1:9, didn't come until after his resurrection. The Jewish people, as a whole, didn't get to observe, even if they didn't all recognize, his "Messiahship", as it were, until Nisan 10, of the year of his death. Jesus' birth, while extremely consequential, wasn't exactly an anointment IMO. Apr 2 at 16:01
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    Well let's not forget that Jesus was recognised as Messiah/Christ/King from birth (Mr 2:2,4). The "Wise men" and the chief priests certainly see the Christ as one who is "born" that way, in Jesus' case.
    – Steve can help
    Apr 7 at 22:22

4 Answers 4


The title, "Messiah the Prince" involved two aspects.

  1. Jesus was the Messiah, anointed person, to save from sin
  • Acts 4:27 - In fact, this is the very city where Herod and Pontius Pilate conspired with the Gentiles and the people of Israel against Your [God's] holy servant Jesus, whom You [God] anointed.
  • Acts 10:38 - Jesus from Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all those being oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.
  • Luke 4:18 - "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because of which He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance the oppressed,
  • Heb 1:9 - You have loved righteousness and have hated wickedness; because of this, God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultation above Your companions."

All these are allusions to Jesus' anointing by the Holy Spirit at His baptism as recorded in Matt 3:16, 17, Mark 1:10, 11, Luke 3:21, 22, John 1:32.

  • Matt 1:23 - She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
  1. Jesus was the inheritor of the Davidic Royal covenant and throne
  • Jesus is repeatedly called, "Son of David", Matt 1:1, 20, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30, 15, 21:9, 15, Mark 10:35, Luke 1:32, 33, 18:38, 39, John 1:49, Acts 13:32-37, Heb 1:8.
  • This was predicted in many places such as Ex 15:18, Ps 10:16, 61:7, 68:16, 92:8, 93:5, 146:10, Isa 9:7, 47:7, Lam 5:19, Micah 4:7, etc. It also meant that Jesus was, in addition to being the Son of David, was also the "Son of the Most High" -

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”

UNTIL (Dan 9:25)

The sense of Dan 9:25 is rather uncomplicated. The prophet predicts that the time between the decree to rebuild Jerusalem UNTIL Messiah shall be 7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks in total. That is 483 years.

  • 1. Acts 4:27; 10:38 & Luke 4:18 are all in reference to Jesus' earthly baptismal anointing by way of God's spirit. But, Heb 1:9 is in reference to his heavenly anointing, after his resurrection, by way of the oil of gladness above thy companions (angels) - see Meyer's NT Commentary/Expositor's Greek Testament. It is the latter that I see as the true anointing. 2. Jesus was indeed, the inheritor of the Davidic Royal covenant and throne, but at the true anointing, not before. UNTIL (Dan 9:25) Yes, 69 weeks, 483 years. But, when was the end of the 483 years? .. tbc.. post haste... Mar 27 at 23:26
  • I have now, after further enlightenment, answered my own Q. Some of which, but not all, now, comes down on the side of your own general reasoning, which should be small music to you. You will see that I'm also leaning towards Jesus' baptismal, as are you. Consequently, I have decided to delete yet another comment here and vote you up instead!!! Apr 22 at 21:51
  • @OldeEnglish - I am utterly delighted, not because your view is more similar to mine, but because you have been bold and brave enough to say that you have changed your mind. That takes real courage - a VERY rare moral characteristic indeed. I salute you for your intellectual honesty!
    – Dottard
    Apr 22 at 22:24
  • Aw shucks!!! It was nothing. Well, actually, maybe it was something. In fact, it was a lot to be quite frank...... Comment, very much, appreciated. Apr 23 at 0:38

Responses to the are liable to be opinion-based. Rather than attempting a single answer I will offer a survey from various perspectives.

The OP asks: "How are we to discern the title of "Messiah the Prince." This depends largely on translation. RSV renders this not as a title but a description, referring to "the coming of an anointed one, a prince." The reason for this is that the term messiah (משיח ~ moshiach) is used frequently to refer to other people than The Messiah. All Jewish kings were "anointed ones" and so were prophets and high priests. Here the reference is clearly to a prince, but this does not therefore mean it refers to the Christian Messiah, namely Jesus Christ. Proof of this is seen in the fact that the prophet Isaiah called the pagan ruler Cyrus of Persia "my anointed one" (Isaiah 45:1).

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
    and ungird the loins of kings,
to open doors before him
    that gates may not be closed:

Christians naturally take the verse as referring to the Christian Messiah. But other possibilities have also been suggested:

  • Based on the Testament of Levi (an apocryphal text apparently quoted by Paul and other Christian writers) the Jewish Encyclopedia mentions "a prince of the reigning priestly house of the Maccabees." This idea also fits with the theory that the Book of Daniel is a Maccabean text.

  • Another Jewish interpretation of Messiah the Prince is this: '"The "anointed," the "prince," mentioned after the first seven times seven units, must be Cyrus, who is called the anointed of the Lord in Isa. 45. 1... The last period of seven units must began with the murder of an anointed one — namely, the legitimate high priest Onias III. — and it was in the second half of this week of years that the Temple of the Lord was desecrated by an abomination — the silver altar erected by Antiochus Epiphanes in place of the Lord's altar for burnt offering (see I Macc. i.)'

  • Critics of a historicist approach to the prophecies of Daniel argue that it should not be understood to predict actual future events, but is rather an appeal to the people of the time to live "eschatologically."

  • Protestant as well as Catholic interpreters who understand Daniel a predicting the time of Jesus or the Last Days have offered various views on how to interpret "Messiah the Prince" and the 70 Weeks. Scholars and preachers differ widely on this issue. See the Wikipedia article for a general survey or this footnoted chart of four basic outlooks.

Since the title "Messiah the Prince" in the KJV etc. may also be rendered as "an anointed ruler" we cannot be certain if it is meant to refer to Jesus, or at what point he would receive that title. How to understand "until" and "seventy weeks" is a matter of opinion and highly controversial.

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    Whoa...there!! I really have to beg to differ. There is no doubt amongst the vast majority of theologians, past and present, and that includes me, that the reference to "Messiah the Prince" in Dan 9:25 is indeed referring to Jesus. We just, are not sure as to when he received the title. You should read my comments and previous Q & A under Dottard's answer, in order to see that I have not taken matters pertaining lightly. Mar 28 at 1:31
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    This doesn't answer the question at all. @OldeEnglish I edited your Q to make it more clear. Feel free to rollback or revise it further if I misunderstood your intention. Mar 28 at 10:59
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    It answered the ORIGINAL question not your edited version :-) The original asked how we can discern "the title of "Messiah the Prince". Mar 28 at 12:48
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    Reminder from the opening paragraph of the BH.se site tour "We welcome Jewish, Christian, Atheist, and other viewpoints, as long as they take seriously the process of understanding Biblical texts. " Mar 28 at 16:14

How can we know WHEN Jesus became "Messiah the Prince" as per Dan, 9:25. Was it at his baptism; arrival on a donkey; or at his death?

In @Anne's comment below my Q, above, she wondered if I may have been intending to answer my own Q, in furtherance of what I may have/had already, said on the matter. My intention, however, was not to do so, but to rather respond to any, indeed all, answers pertaining, accordingly. Obviously now, that view has changed, due to yet further diligence on this all important, and indeed all consuming, prophecy.

In all 3 years of my participation on this site, my stance on Daniel's "70 Weeks" prophecy (Dan, 9:24 - 27) has been fairly consistent and indeed central even to all my thinking. I have often referred to it as my "pet project", which is probably why I can never leave it alone. Regretfully, but with all humility, my understanding has now changed somewhat, in that I no longer believe that the starting point for the "70 Weeks", is the "20th year of Artaxerxes I", but may well indeed be the "7th year of Artaxerxes I", which is the prevailing view of many here after all. Let me try and explain. And for all those interested, in getting to the possible real truth of the matter, I now highly recommend the following, and IMO truly inciteful link, from which I will endeavor to highlight certain, all important, aspects:- https://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/65/65-3/JETS_65.3_473-89_Young.pdf

The above links proponent, is of the belief that all "70 weeks" (of years, i.e. luni-solar years, of 365.242 days length), are continuous, with no "gap" between the 69th week and the 70th week, and that they actually end with Jesus' resurrection, NOT his crucifixion. The terminus a quo, as it were, is perceived to be Nisan 1, 458 BC, see Ezra 7:9, and to be more precise, April 8 (Julian), or, April 3 (Gregorian) - 490 astronomically correct years later - brings us to: April 5 (Julian), or, April 3 (Gregorian). The actual crucifixion would then be 2 days earlier, Friday, Nisan 14, 33 AD, April 3 (Julian), or, April 1 (Gregorian). Our proponent backs all this up, taking into account moon sightings, for the start of the Jewish months and in particular the first month of their year, not to mention "intercalary" months, of which 33 AD was prone, making for a 21st of March, Nisan 1, start to the Jewish year, rather than late April, which would have been the start to Nisan, had there not have been an "intercalary" month insertion.

Dan, 9:24 and those 6 points

All 6 points of contention/fulfillment here, were brought about by Christ's death, particularly the first 3 points. The 4th point, saw the value of Christ's death providing a reconciliation for all repentant believers, for everlasting righteousness's sake. Christ also by way of "the cross", so to speak, sealed up all vision and prophecy. And if the 6th point wasn't accomplished through Jesus' earthly baptism, it certainly should have been when he sat at the right hand of God in the "Holiest of Holies", in the heavenly realm. Our proponent, however, does not include the "Holiest of Holies" analogy, that is all mine.

NB: to the end of the 69th Week

"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; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress". Dan, 9:25, NASB

The 69th Week, when taking into account the above chronology, would have had to have ended on April 4, 26 AD, which would most likely have been in the early years of John the Baptist's, "crying in the wilderness", with his "descent into the Jordan district", not coming until the Spring of 29 AD, initially, through to the Fall of 29 AD, to coincide with the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, where, now having presumably reached the age of 30, he was able to not only preach with authenticity but baptize with all the authority given to him in the eyes of God. Jesus is then baptized by John at this time (3.5 years after the start of the 70th Week), whereupon Jesus then becomes, in all likelihood, as I am now won't to think, Messiah the Prince, the anointed one, being, himself, now about 30 years of age. See Luke 3:1-23. Having said this, there is at least one school of thought, hailing from the "Oxford Bible Church", alluded to by our said proponent, that considers the whole of the 70th week, as being the time of Messiah the Prince, which not only includes the 3.5 years of Jesus' ministry, but also the 3.5 years of John's, to all intents and purposes, ministry.

NB: to the efficacy of "Sacrifices and Offerings", Dan, 9:26,27

First of all, the "he" being mentioned here, cannot be "the Antichrist". The antecedent to which the "he" logically refers, must be Jesus (after his resurrection). We have to be talking 66-73 AD. The "prince" (small p) who is to come, has to be the Roman, General Titus (who later discarded his "princely" garb and became Emperor). Also, the desolator (Titus), is not destroyed. The destruction refers to the Jewish people; buildings (2nd Temple); and land.

With regard to "the middle", or, "midst" of the week, as portrayed to be the central point of the "final" week, within the 27th verse of Daniel's Ch 9, our proponent goes on to say that, the Hebrew transliteration: Wa-ha-si, or, Va-cha-Tzi, does not mean "middle", it means "half", and actually, most likely, refers to the "end" of Christ's ministry, but more precisely the day that shows to all that God accepted the sacrificial offering of His son (at his resurrection), thereby putting and end to the efficacy of the "Sacrifices and Offerings", of the Mosaic covenant. The "terminus a quem".


Until the Anointed One The context of "until" is in the statement of duration of time that reflects the whole Second Temple Era. The terminus ad quem is the appearance of the Messiah on the scene 483 years after the Return of the Jews from their punishment in Exile. (70 years). The Second Temple Era would last "until" the coming of the Messiah. It is interesting to note that Jewish rabbis are reluctant to write commentaries on Daniel because they recognize the time of the Messiah's coming, according to the 70 Weeks, as the first century. And that would involve considering Jesus as the One, and if He isn't it would negate Daniel's prediction! Conundrum!

The Anointed One, the Prince The use of the adjectives in the Hebrew designate the Anointed One as also the Prince. The Messiah is also the Prince. So when did Jesus become a Prince? Here are N.T. verses to consider:

  • Him hath God exalted...to be a Prince and a Savior. (Acts 5:31)
  • Looking unto Jesus, the Prince and Finisher of faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
  • But ye denied the Holy One...and killed the Prince of Life. (Acts 3:14-15)

Becoming Prince The use of the word, PRINCE, by the translators gives a misleading connotation to the verses in the Bible. When we think of "prince" we modern expositors have in mind the royal hierarchies of Europe, and their ascent: Earl, Duke, Prince, King! But the Greek verbalizing does not reflect this at all.

The Hebrew word is nagid and according to Young's Analytical Concordance, it merely means leader. The NIV treats 9:25-26 as ruler. (The NASB uses prince still.)

The New Testament Greek word is archegon. Thayer's Greek Lexicon defines it as chief leader, author, leader by example, predecessor, prince. The Greek word appears in only four places: Acts 3:14-14, Acts 5:31. Hebrews 2:10, Hebrews 12:2.

In the Greek Septuagint, it appears three times: Isaiah 3:5, 2 Chronicles 23:14, and Micah 1:13. There the word is defined variously as chief leader, commander, beginning {leader in sinning}.

In none of the original words is there a hint of succession of hierarchy...a prince becoming king, etc. nor a person becoming a prince. Altho some modern translations use "prince" in one or two instances, some have instead used author, or captain (KJV), or have put 'leader' in their margin. The use of the word, prince, they realize, doesn't best reflect the meaning intended by the inspired authors. But one would think the translators would be consistent in their translations and not use the word at all, and use the one in the margins that the Lexicons define. (See Thayer, G.R. Berry's Greek Interlinear New Testament.)

From Everlasting to Everlasting Jesus existed "from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:1-2) As God He was instrumental in the creation of the whole universe. (John 1:1-3) He is the exact representation of God's glory. (Hebrews 1:3) So at Christmas, Jesus didn't transfer into a "man" as such; He "humbled himself", took off His crown and purple robes, and clothed Himself with human flesh...but He became God Incarnate, not just a man. (Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 2:14, Colossians 1:15-23)

The lesson we draw from this is that Jesus didn't have to progress from a "man" to a "prince" to a "King." Jesus was born, King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2) And His confession before Pilate was, Yes, it is as you say, I am King!. (John 18:37) Although He was not recognized as such by the Jewish powers that be, He still was King!

After His resurrection, ascension, "re-coronation" (put His crown back on symbolically), He sat down at the Father's right Hand! Worshipped as King of Kings! So the Question posted is moot, rather invalid(?), feckless. We don't have to inquire when Jesus became a Prince nor when Jesus became a King. There is no accession to the throne like Prince Charles the III had to do. The Anointed Ruler (of Daniel 9:25) came as "His Royal Majesty" to Earth, and ascended from Earth as victorious "Royal Majesty"!

  • 1. The context of "until" (even to/as far as) may indeed be within the statement of duration of time that reflects the Second Temple existence but it hardly refers to the whole era of the Second temple. The emphasis is on the end of the 69 weeks, which most probably came about (as per my answer) in the Spring of 26 AD. The temple era lasted until its destruction in 70 AD. 2. The 483 years (69 weeks), according to popular opinion, started in 458 BC, which is some 80 years after the Jews exile of 70 years....tbc... Jun 17 at 10:08
  • ... 3. When Jesus took up the throne of David (sat at the right hand of God, in the heavenly realm) he ceased being "The Prince", as it were, and became "King" of God's kingdom. But, thank you for your answer and if it was you that voted me up, thank you for that also. Jun 17 at 10:17
  • @OldeEnglish-"Prince" is a word used by KJV in many places, but in Greek is could just mean ruler, or chief ruler. Long live the King!
    – ray grant
    Jun 17 at 20:26
  • Subsequent to your edit (quite an alteration), I take your point regarding the more acceptable meaning of nagid, I even addressed this in my comments below my question. When all is said and done however, it's really a question of when was Jesus to be recognized/acknowledged as being Messiah the Prince/Leader/Ruler, "Anointed One" even, while in the context of the end of the 69 weeks. Jun 20 at 3:30
  • @OldeEnglish-Just read your comments, which were hidden. Ruler and leader are to be preferred as you say, instead of Prince (in modern British sense). It seems some did recognize Jesus as "King" from the git-go (Magi); the Jewish leaders never did (to this day); the crowds tried to make him an earthly king; Pilate recognized Him a sort of king, etc. But the Resurrection and Coronation in "Paradise" when He legally received the Kingdom, seems to be what the N.T. writers point to in their assurance that He really is the exalted, enthroned Ruler! (Daniel 7 Lu 23:43 Mtt. 28:18,Eph. 1:20-23).
    – ray grant
    Jun 20 at 20:34

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