Daniel chapter 9 v 23-27
Logical questions are needed to understand this prophecy.
If the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, who gives the word? As it is God’s city, wouldn’t it be him that gives the word, the order?
Many different religions say it was through Artaxerxes, and they quote 455 BC – 490 years -36 CE. But, there were three decrees in all.
One by Cyrus in 538 BC – 68 CE
Artaxerxes to Ezra the scribe in 458 BC – 32 CE
Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 445 BC – 45 CE But no record of 455 BC – 36 CE.
None of the above dates end in 36 CE when the Jewish people came to an end with the forming of a new covenant with both Jews and gentiles as ONE flock under Jesus.
Where do the majority of religions get their date of 455 BC from?
For a prophecy to be absolutely correct in every detail all dates must fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
If the prophecy was correct and it did indeed lead to the year of the coming of the messiah in the first century as these religions show, why didn’t the scribes in Jesus day know this and prepare for his arrival. They would have been waiting for him, especially as they would have been very familiar with the book of Daniel.
All the details in Daniel seem to fit the details in the first century, but the destruction of the city and sanctuary occurred in 70 CE and not in 36 CE as the ending of the 490 years in which everything must take place.
It is also of interest to know, the temple had been destroyed again after Nebuchadnezzar’s day and had been rebuilt under King Herod.
All Daniel’s prophecies deal with the “latter” days, where he was told to seal up the book for the time of the end, in chapter 12.
This is what the angel Gabriel told Daniel.
23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
“Seventy ‘sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed”
End of quote!
So, even though Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians, Cyrus the king issued a decree for the Israelite’s to return to Jerusalem in 538 when he became king but only a remnant returned.
The following is what others believe but as for me, I believe they are wrong!
It is believed by many that the prophecy would begin with a decree from king Artaxerxes to restore and build Jerusalem. But, look at the evidence with me: ~
In actual fact, the captivity of Israel in Babylon for 70 years had already ended at the time of Daniels prayer, (in fact, that 70 years ended 16 years earlier in 538 BC, and the date of Daniel’s prayer was 522 BC) and the further 70 years for Jerusalem’s desolation had only six years to run, (586-516 BC) so logically speaking would the king need to issue any decree to restore and build Jerusalem as the period of desolation was nearing its end and the temple had almost been completed. (They were released by Cyrus when he became king in 538 and a remnant returned, they rebuilt the temple by 516 BC)
As they had already returned and rebuilt the temple before Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9 why would a decree be needed?
In fact two later decrees were issued by king Artaxerxes.
The first one was for Ezra the scribe to go to Jerusalem in 458 BC (Ezra chapter 7v1-14) and the second decree was for Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls in 445 BC. (Nehemiah chapter 13v6-30) This second decree took place 13 years later because Nehemiah had heard that the people around Jerusalem were having problems.
All evidence including the “Britannica encyclopaedia” points to the fact that Artaxerxes became king in 465 BC and reigned until 424 BC. It shows in Ezra chapter 7 that it was in his 7th year he wrote a letter for Ezra to return to Jerusalem, making that, 458 BC. But the temple had already been rebuilt 58 years earlier. Also Nehemiah received a letter from the king for him to return to Jerusalem which he issued in his 20th year, making that 445 BC. Thus showing it was 13 years after Ezra.
The decree from Cyrus in 538 is too early to fit the prophesy of Daniel chapter 9 because the city was prophesied to be desolate until 516 BC (586-516 covering 70 years of desolation) Although the people were back in Jerusalem once again, they had not received God’s blessings and there was chaos everywhere. Some of the temple priests tried to register themselves back to their duties but their names could not be found, all this can be found in Ezra.
The most feasible decree, if this is the correct application of prophecy, would have been the one to Ezra, because he was a scribe and a teacher of the law in 458 BC. His task would be to “restore” pure worship again in the city which has been stated in chapter 9 to cover the first 49 years from the decree.
So, from 458-409 BC the people will be restored back to the worship of their God by the laws of Moses being restored.
When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem to read the laws of Moses he found a complete shambles, because while Israel was in Babylon they had broken the laws of their God and the written laws of Moses by marrying foreign women and had children by them, and even taking them all back to Jerusalem with them.
He needed to reform them if they were to receive God’s blessing again. So he gathered them all together and told them they had to send their foreign woman and children back and cleanse the land of Jerusalem once again. Pure worship had to be restored ready for their Messiah who was prophesied to come otherwise the lineage records would have been contaminated and not accurate.
He had a hard job on his own and so 13 years later in 445 BC the decree went from the king for Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and he found chaos everywhere. So he and Ezra set about readjusting the people back to the laws and had the walls rebuilt to protect the city. After the period of restoring them back to pure worship over the next 434 years the city would be built up to the time of the Messiah. A point of interest here: ~
Would it really take 434 years to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of Jesus? After all they rebuilt the temple in a relatively short period of time!
The people accepted Ezra and Nehemiah’s guidance but although they had returned to their land and their city of Jerusalem, they will remain under the gentile nations which includes the angelic princes over the earth (Daniel chapters 10,11) until God’s kingdom under out lord Jesus takes over the whole of the earth. God’s kingdom of Judah ended in 605 BC, now the gentile nations dominated the kingdom of Judah instead and they will never be an independent kingdom again.
According to popular beliefs: ~
From 405 BC-29 CE to the appearance of the Messiah. This was the year Jesus being about 30 years old went to John to be baptised by him.
The remaining seven years that completes the 70×7- 490 years, takes us from 29 CE to 36 CE with the death of our lord halfway through in 33 CE. But the covenant with the house of Israel remains until 36 CE, then with the ending of the covenant (490 years) the city as God’s people came to an end and the gentiles were invited to become part of a new spiritual city of Jerusalem with the Jews, with the apostles as the 12 foundation stones.
The Jewish nation came to an end as regards to God’s people.
Yes! It all sounds good BUT the dates do not match for this to be true, in fact all these popular beliefs do not add up. So logically speaking, the prophecy is NOT meant for the coming of the messiah in the first century unless it can be proved when the decree went out, but it could be for the latter days.
From 36 CE God’s people became a NEW SPIRITUAL CITY OF JERUSALEM under the Christ and they would be adopted as such through the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting to note this was a question the apostles asked Jesus when he was here “are you going to restore the kingdom to us at this time”? (Acts chapter 1v6-9)
The last seven years are divided into two halves. The first 3 ½ years is the harvesting of the Jews for a kingdom, to set up the body or bride of our lord which consists of his father giving to Jesus certain ones such as the apostles which he explains about in his prayer John chapter 17 they will become the foundation stones to the new spiritual temple.
At Pentecost after Jesus death the apostles were baptised with holy spirit and adopted as spiritual sons of God, they will now preach and teach people to put their faith in our lord Jesus and in 36 CE when the “old covenant” came to an end, Jerusalem was no longer needed and was destroyed as the centre of God’s people Israel.
Just as Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman at the well, In John chapter 4v20: ~ “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” The gentiles were now invited to share in the wonderful promises of Jesus Christ.
Jews and gentiles as one new people under the spirit. “SPIRITUAL JERUSALEM”.
Now the ancient city of Jerusalem was no longer God’s holy city it had been abandoned and a new city of Jerusalem formed a “spiritual city”. But in time after the death of the apostles, apostates soon took over the church and it will now need a complete refurbishment for the gathering of the remaining kingdom seed before the return of our lord Jesus. Hence, the application of Daniel’s prophesy in chapter 9.
This appears to be the application of the prophecy of Daniel chapter 9 which was given to him by the angel Gabriel.
But, as Daniel was told to shut up the words of the scroll of the book until the last days should we not instead be looking for a further application to this prophecy of “restore, and build Jerusalem to the coming of the messiah”?
A SPIRITUAL CITY OF JERUSALEM, where the temple inside represents the body of our lord, the city set up in the first century by Jesus Christ, daughter of Zion. This city became derelict after the apostles died off and now at this time of the end, needs “RESTORING AND REBUILDING” AGAIN, in readiness for the messiah to return.
This makes a lot more sense to me! Read part two!