Daniel 9: 24-27
The chronological references for this study will use the "AH"
system (ano hominis) to indicate the years that have passed since the creation
of Adam, i.e., the year of man, which is designated as year 1 AH. Adam
thus died in the year 930 AH and the years are calculated according to
the various chronological notations throughout the bible, the accuracy
of which is not a concern of this present work.
The reference to BC dates will be according to the commonly accepted system
based on Ptolemy's king list which although is inaccurate, will be utilized
to facilitate an orientation to the events referenced.
Verse 24a - For Israel
1. Seventy weeks: shabha = a seven
A. a verb: to seven something, to swear or confirm an oath.
B. plural noun: sevens; therefore 70 sevens.
C. It does not mean "week" but seven. The subject can be days, months, sons, cows, or years, etc.
D. Daniel thought that the 70 years of captivity to Babylon would usher
in the promises of Jeremiah 30-33.
E. But Gabriel says no: The nation must first have a shot at another 490
years to fulfill her purpose as God's priestly agent.
1. The 70 years Babylonian captivity was because during
the previous 490 years, the nation failed to honor the sabbatical year. 2 Chronicles 36:20-21
2. In fact, 70 sabbatical years (490 years) were violated from Saul; the (biblical) year 3024 AH until 3520 AH
(1102 BC - 606 BC). (there is a 6 year period of usurpation by a non-Davidic king which does not count as the nation's years.)
3. So, from the return from Babylon in 536 BC, God is giving Israel 490 more years to fulfill their
commission. "For your people and your holy city."
4. The purpose of those 490 years is to bring Messiah on the scene; have Him accomplish His work; and then
spread the message of spiritual and "physical" peace to the world.
5. But the nation rejects the Messiah when He comes on the scene and as a result, the Messiah is cut off out of the
land of the living for whom the stroke was due (Isaiah 53:8).
6. The Messiah was rejected before the nation could fulfill its priestly purpose and was replaced by another nation;
a spiritual nation showing forth the fruits of the
kingdom. (Matthew 21:43).
7. The Messiah was cut off at the end of 483 years (the 69th "seven") which ended in 30 AD when the Messiah was
formally presented to the nation in the week before the crucifixion.
8. This interrupted God's plan for the nation and it was judged so that the final function of the nation as the
representative of God is postponed until the nation is restored to relationship with the God who created her.
9. "The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable." Thus, God will restore the nation and fulfill for her the
promises originally given to Abraham at Genesis 12:1-3
and which were subsequently extended to Isaac, Jacob and through Jacob, to the entire nation of Israel.
10. The 70th week is not the completion of God's plan for Israel but the final 7 years "before" that plan is
reinstituted during Messiah's earthly kingdom.
Verse 24b - The 6-fold purpose of Israel's future.
1. Three things that deal with the past:
A. To finish the transgression:
1. Finish: kalah = complete, bring to an end,
2. Transgression: pesha + definite article (the); the verb means to rebel
or go beyond a "limit."
a. With "the" = a specific transgression; THE
b. Cf. "sins" and "iniquity" which have no definite
article and indicates a "general" idea.
c. This refers to a "specific" transgression which is common
to the whole nation as a "national" sin.
3. It is THE sin of rejecting Divine policy for them as a
of the Messiah which was demonstrated by the rejection of the Messiah when
he came to the nation. Isaiah 53:1-4, 8; Hosea 5:14-15; 6:1-3; Matthew
23:33-39; Luke 19:41-44 (Isaiah 30:9-11, with application to the Messiah
4. So the end of the 70 weeks will see the end of Israel's national rebellion
and their rejection of the Messiah. Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 59:20; Hosea
B. To make an end of sins: This is not limited to just Israel, but refers to
all that is accomplished for the world through God's plan for Israel. "in
Abraham, all the nations of the world will be blessed."
Salvation is "to the Jew first, BUT also to the Gentiles."
Since God has chosen to revolve His plan of redemption around Israel (even
we of the church are Abe's seed, and heirs according to the promise), it is
appropriate that the end of sins refers to others than just Israel.
1. Make an end: tamam - finish, complete
2. sins: chatath - a missing of the goal, a miss-step plural, to refer
to "sins" in general -personal sins.
3. To bring to an end - takes place in 3 stages but it all depends on the
stage which is the sacrifice on the cross.
a. The cross
b. The 2nd advent (this includes the dealing with sin that occurs at the
end of the Mil Kingdom.
c. The last judgment
C. To make atonement (covering) for iniquity:
1. atonement: kaphar (piel infinitive) = to cover over, to make satisfaction.
Used in Leviticus 16 for the day of
atonement. This is another aspect of
Messiah's work on the cross.
2. Iniquity: awon - act of departure or
perversion from what is a natural
design or pattern. The condition of
guilt because of one's nature.
3. This word is used consistently for the "sin nature" that resides
in all men. Either the "nature" itself or the expressions of
independence that emanate from that sin nature.
4. This then represents divine judgment on the corrupt "sin"
nature of man, which was initiated on the cross and will be ultimately
via the resurrection of the righteous.
D. By the culmination of these 490 years, the failures of the past will
be resolved. Isaiah 53:5-6, 8; 40:1-2 (context)
1. national sin
2. personal sin
3. sin nature
E. And since the failures of the nation of Israel are used to represent
the failures of the entire human race; and since through the promises to
Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) the entire human race shares in the spiritual
blessings of the Jews (Galatians 3:7-9) the universal provision for sin
is also in view.
2. Three things that deal with the future:
A. To bring in everlasting righteousness:
1. bring in: bo, in the hiphil infinitive = cause to come in,
2. THE righteousness of perpetuity: tsedeq olam a specific kind of
righteousness which will avail to the human race and last forever.
3. It first refers to the imputation of God's righteousness on those who
trust in Messiah after His sacrifice on the cross. (Isaiah 53:11; 2 Corinthians
This is a permanent imputation of
divine righteousness on these believers which qualifies them for life with
God for all eternity.
4. But it also refers to the righteous reign of the Messiah which will
fill the earth with Divine righteousness. Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:3-5; 16:5; 33:5;
Isaiah 32:16-17; Ezekiel 17.22-24;
Jeremiah 33:15-16; 23:5-6; Isaiah 4:2; 11:1; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12-13;
B. To seal up vision and prophecy:
1. Seal up: chatham - speaks of fulfillment or completion Something
will be brought to completion by Messiah's fulfillment of Old Testament
2. vision: chazah - specific revelation
concerning the spiritual purpose of
Israel as the representative of Messiah.
3. and prophet: nabhiy (not prophecy - but prophet). This refers to the
instrument of the vision. The primary subject of the prophets' ministry
has always been the advent of the Messiah
4. So this refers to total fulfillment of all Messianic teachings that
have come through all of history.
C. And to anoint the most holy:
1. anoint: mashah - means to anoint, but is used to indicate a dedication
of something to a specific purpose. In this case, dedication to spiritual
2. The most holy: qodesh gadashiym - used throughout Leviticus and Exodus
in reference to many aspects of the Levitical code. utensils, altars, offerings,
3. So, in view of the context, it is clear that this phrase refers to the
new temple which will be established by the Messiah in His earthly kingdom.
D. Thus, at the culmination of the 490 year period, Messiah will fulfill
all the promises related to the great kingdom of righteousness.
1. Messiah's righteous reign
2. fulfillment of all prophecy
3. establishment of the new perfect temple
Verse 25a - The beginning of the 70 weeks:
1. So: introduces details of the chronology of the 490 year
2. You are to know: yada - basic perception
3. And discern: sakal - gain insight. This indicates
concentration and application to the frame of reference.
A. Take new information and correlate with previously learned information
and arrive at divine viewpoint orientation.
B. Proper growth process is always necessary to accurately understand divine policy for history and for one's personal
C. What kind of year? That involves an independent study, but the conclusion
is that it is the "normal" Jewish year of 354 days and not the
prophetic year of 360 days. (Every 3rd year there was a 13th month added
to bring the system up to par with the solar year)
4. That from the issuing of a decree: dabhar = a word
A. From: min - preposition to indicate the starting point for designation
of a specific time period.
B. A decree "in general" (no def. article)
C. But God's plan for His people is always verifiable from His word, so
for Daniel, there should be no guess work required to determine what decree
is in view.
5. To restore and rebuild Jerusalem:
A. Jerusalem includes both the city and the temple.
B. Restore and rebuild includes both the city and the temple.
C. Two words are used to emphasize a return to a former status.
D. It is the intent of Gabriel that Daniel should have clear understanding
of God's timetable.
E. Therefore, Daniel must be aware of the
decree in view.
1. He either knows now what decree is in view.
2. Or if not, he will be alive and aware of it when it comes.
F. Daniel's frame of reference which is to be used, contains the information
found in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1, 13. A prophecy that Cyrus would issue such
a decree as is in view.
G. Daniel will also be alive two years from "now" (the prophecy
was received in 538 BC [3587 AH]) when Cyrus will actually fulfill the
prophecy by issuing a decree.
Daniel 10:1; Ezra 1:1-4
H. Daniel is about 88 years old.
1. Daniel 1:1: 605 BC (3520 AH)
2. Daniel 1:4: youths = a young man, 20 or younger
3. 3520 AH + 68 years of captivity = 3587 AH (538 BC)
4. 20 years old + 68 years = 88 years old.
I. The context demands that Daniel either knows now of the decree or
will be alive when it is given.
J. Only one decree was prophesied. Cyrus. Even if another decree is given
later, if Daniel is not alive, that decree is no issue.
K. The next decree of Persia is given by Darius Hystaspes in his 2nd year - 3605 AH (520 BC) - Ezra 6:1-12 (18 years later).
Daniel would be about 106 years old if alive. And Daniel is not mentioned
as alive in the book of Ezra.
L. The decree of Darius is simply a confirmation of the decree issued by
Cyrus (Ezra 6:1-5) in 3589 AH (536 BC) and has no merit itself.
M. There are no other decrees issued that are pertinent to the facts before
1. Ezra 7:11-26: Artaxerxes (actually, still Darius) year 7. 515 BC
(3610 AH) A decree to all Jews that they are free to go to Jerusalem and
worship. With the decree are financial provisions for sacrifices and other needs.
2. Nehemiah 2:4-8: Artaxerxes (Darius), yr 20, (502 BC, 3623 AH).
a. Nehemiah asks to go Jerusalem to rebuild it
since the task has been incomplete since 536 BC.
b. The request is granted, but not in the form of a decree.
c. The king issues letters of credit to Nehemiah, not a decree to build,
since permission to build had already been established years before in 536 BC (3589 AH).
N. But it is contended that Cyrus did not fulfill the prophecy. And that
the decree was not issued until year 20 of Artaxerxes, which they claim
is not Darius and is the year 445 BC.
1. The context shows no evidence of a decree, just
simple letters of
2. 445 BC would be 93 years after 538 BC when Daniel was 88 years old.
So in 445 BC, he would be 181 which is very unlikely (besides the fact
that he is not mentioned).
3. But, it is necessary for Daniel to be alive at the issuing of the decree,
or to have specific knowledge of the decree.
4. Therefore, it is not logical for this event in 445 BC to fulfill the requirements of Gabriel's message.
5. A thorough study on "who" issued the decree as it relates
to the Persian king lists, the Jewish king list for Persia, and the Ptolemic
king list for Persia will resolve the apparent problem concerning where
the 483 years can fit. It is resolved by accepting the Jewish king list for the Persian Empire instead of Ptolemy's
king list which is highly suspect as to its accuracy. What it amounts to
adjusting the "BC" dates by 82 years in order to accommodate the "true" biblical chronology which "must"
begin with the decree of Cyrus.
Verse 25b - Until Messiah a Prince
1. Until: adh - indicates an ending of a time period as it is used in conjunction with the "min" above.
2. Messiah: mashiyach - with no def. article (the) anointed one (used 38 times)
A. used of the priests: Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16: 6:22
B. The king: 27 times
C. the believer: 2 times - 1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalm 105:15
D. Cyrus: Isaiah 45:1
E. Messiah: 1 Samuel 2:10; Ps. 2:2: 132:17; Daniel 9:25-26
3. Prince: nagiydh - without a definite article (the).
A. The two words together refer to a specific person who is an "anointed"
prince. But these are 2 nouns and should therefore be rendered as "Messiah
B. The word nagiydh is difficult here. It occurs 3 times in Daniel. And
yet, each time it seems to be referring to someone different.
1. At Daniel 11:22, the prince of the covenant is certainly an historical
reference to Onias who was the high priest murdered during the oppression
from that "despicable person" (v.21), Antiochus Ephiphanes.
2. Here in Daniel 9:25 we have a prince who is specifically noted as "anointed
one" or Messiah. In addition, at v.26a, he is specifically mentioned again as "the anointed one."
3. And v. 26, we have the people of the prince who is to come. The literal
reference cannot be mistaken here, in that it takes us forward to the Roman
army which destroys the city and the temple in 70 AD. There is no other historical reference to which this could
4. And in the context of Daniel we have 2 "princes" who have
a dominant role in the book, but neither one is referred to as a prince
except here in Daniel 9:25-26.
a. The Messiah, viewed at
Daniel 7:13,14, 27.
b. And the political oppressor who is viewed at, Daniel 7:23-26; 8:23-25
5. Furthermore, it should be obvious that it is not "the people
of 'Messiah Prince'" who will destroy the city and the temple, but
the people of a "human" ruler.
There is a theory that "an anointed one, a
prince," does not refer to Jesus the Messiah, and should not be translated as
"unto Messiah the Prince."
The person seen here is neither a PRIEST nor a
PRINCE, but he is a priest-king. The Old Testament does not show us anyone who
shall be BOTH priest AND king except the one who is the promised Savior. Zech.
6:11-13; Ps. 110:1-4. Melchizedek, who is indeed, both king and priest
(Genesis 14:18-19), is a person from the ancient past and is not a candidate
for fulfilling this prophecy. In fact, the status of Melchizedek and the
prophecy of Psalm 110:4 confirms that the one in view here is indeed, the
The lack of the definite article is not a problem, for the prophecy is not
looking to THE anointed prince, but speaks rather of an “unknown” SOMEONE who
will be demonstrated to be both priest and king via fulfillment of the various
and many prerequisites found in the Old Testament and known by the people.
This is the one spoken of so much in the book of Isaiah and the Psalms, that
there can be no misunderstanding as to the nature of the Messianic hope that
was the foundation for Israel’s theology and the expectation of the faithful
among the people. Surely the dozens of Messianic passages in Isaiah need not
be adduced at this time.
And all the prophets who prophesied about the
Messiah searched and investigated the details of the promise in order to
determine the arrival time of the Messiah (christos – the anointed one). But
it was revealed to them that they were speaking of a future generation; “you”
as Peter writes, referring to the generation of the first century AD. 1 Peter
SPECIFICALLY, for Daniel, there was previous
revelation given to him that pointed to “an anointed one, a prince,” Whom
Daniel understood to be the promised Messiah proclaimed by the previous
Verse 13, ”I was watching in the night visions, “And with the clouds of
the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of
Days and was escorted before him.”
This is a clear reference to
Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make
Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’”
This is a specific prophecy of the ascension of Jesus to the Father’s right
hand after His crucifixion and resurrection. The title “Son of man” should
connect the reader with Psalm 2:1-12, where this COMING ONE is designated as
the LORD’S Anointed one at verse 2, and at verse 7, “you are My Son,” and at
verse 12, as THE SON.
Verse 14, “To him was given
ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language
groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His
kingdom will not be destroyed.”
Here the issue of RULING
AUTHORITY is established, which clearly aligns with the term, PRINCE at Daniel
Psalm 2:4-10 shows us this factor with the word, KING, and the fact that He
will inherit the nations.
At Daniel 8:25, we are told
that an EVIL king will arise and oppose the “prince of princes.” Although a
different Hebrew word is used here (sar), it still speaks of ruling authority
and would add to Daniel’s frame of reference concerning the coming Messiah.
The great Messianic prophecy at Isaiah 9:6, would
be well known by Daniel.
”For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He
shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Again, “Prince of peace”
communicates the KINGLY nature of this coming Messiah.
The word for prince, is sar, as at Daniel 8:25, but the CONNECTION remains the
same; there are clear and specific prophecies of one to come, who is “an
anointed one, a prince.”
Let's go back even further: At
1 Samuel 2:10 we have a very clear reference to the Anointed One; the Messiah
in Hannah's beautiful prayer.
will judge the ends of the earth;
And he will give strength to his king,
And exalt the horn of his anointed (Messiah).
Ezekiel prophesied of this
FUTURE RULER, but used different vocabulary. Ezek. 21:25-27.
Speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem in THREE stages (605 BCE, 597 BCE and
586 BCE), the judgment is pronounced on the kingly line of Judah, which will
be removed and NOT be restored until the promised Messiah COMES.
”A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I shall make it. This also will be no more, UNTIL He
COMES, whose right it is; and I shall give it to Him.”
There was no king sitting on the throne of David from that time (586 BCE)
onward, and will not be until Jesus returns and takes His rightful place as
David’s princely and priestly heir.
CLAIM that since the Daniel 9 passage is not quoted in the New Testament, its
reference to the Messiah is suspect, is an invalid claim.
Many of these Isaiah passages
(Isaiah 9:6, for example) and from the other prophets are NOT QUOTED in the
New Testament, but we do not question their applicability to Jesus. Many times
there are GENERAL references to some passages, but we have similar GENERAL
references to the time line given to Daniel. The argument that such an
important passage SHOULD be quoted to give it validity is a very relative and
Genesis 3:15, the FIRST and KEY Messianic promise is not quoted in the New
FURTHERMORE, and perhaps even more compelling
that “an anointed one, a prince” is to be viewed as the coming Messiah, is
that in verse 24, TWO specific factors must be connected DIRECTLY with that
coming SAVIOR. At Daniel 9:24, of the 6 future resolutions that will come
through the fulfillment of the 490 years. Numbers TWO and THREE obtain ONLY
through the sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection of the Messiah.
Accordingly, it is most natural, and perhaps even NECESSARY, that the prophecy
include a specific reference to the arrival of The Messiah; the sin bearer of
Daniel was shown a time line that has pertinence
NOT TO 70 AD, directly, but specifically to the arrival of the promised
Messiah. Many of the faithful believers at the time of Christ’s birth KNEW
that it was time.
The term, “waiting for the
kingdom of God
(heaven),” indicates that these believers knew that the time was at
hand. Simeon was such a one who is described as
“expectantly looking for the comfort of
John’s message was “the time is fulfilled and the
kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mark
The Jews had counted the years. They used their
own system and the “natural” chronology that is in the Old Testament. They did
not use the distorted king list and chronology of Ptolemy. They knew that it
would be 483 years from the decree of Cyrus until the arrival of the Messiah.
The magi knew that the time had come for the
birth of the Messiah. It was not JUST because they saw “his star” in the East,
but because they had made the calculations themselves and the progression of
time TO that arrival date made the appearance of the star significant to them.
Everyone was looking for THE Messiah – the RULER
(king, prince) who would be an anointed one (priest). This was the REAL FOCUS
of Gabe’s message to Danny. It was not to focus on some event that would take
place a clear 40 years AFTER the MOST SIGNIFICANT event in all of human
history – the career of Jesus the Messiah.
4. So - Until Messiah Prince there will be 7 weeks: or sevens. Thus we have the first division of 7 sevens; i.e.,
groups of 7, which adds up to 49 of something. The unit in view is "years." Thus, the first division will be 49 years.
The phrase, "there will be" is not in the Hebrew but is properly translated
based on the construction.
5. And 62 weeks: or sevens, or groups of 7. The second division is 7 x 62 which = 434 years.
And the total of the first two divisions = 483 years.
6. The first division is explained in the last of the verse.
A. It: the city includes the temple.
B. Will be restored: This is a repetition of the earlier verb, shubh. Here,
it occurs as a qal imperfect, 3rd feminine singular.
C. and built again: And this is a
repetition of the earlier verb, banah.
Here, it is is a niphal perfect consecutive, 3rd feminine singular.
D. The repetition of these two verbs, shubh
and banah, gives a DIRECT connection to the first part of the verse and
shows that the fulfillment of the restoration and building does in fact,
take place in direct connection with the decree, thus, within the first 49
E. With plaza and moat: fully functional and protected
F. Even in times of distress: during the time of construction there is much conflict.
Ezra 4:4-5, 24; Nehemiah 1:3; 4:7-9
G. Fulfilled in yr. 32 of Darius Hystaspes: 3635 AH (490 BC)
1. Nehemiah 5:14 cf. 6:1, 15; 7:1, 4
2. 3589 AH to 3635 AH = 46 years - i.e., within the 49 years.
536 BC to 490 BC = 46 years.
There is a theory that the traditional
translation at Daniel
9:25, “. . . there will be 7 weeks and 62
weeks; it will be restored and built again . . .,” should be rendered, “. . .
there will be 7 weeks. Then for (or during) 62 weeks it shall be built again .
Since a major accentual divider in the verse, the
Atnach, occurs AFTER the words, “seven weeks” (that is, UNDER the first
occurrence of the word, “weeks”), some have decided to interpret the next
words, “and 62 weeks,” as an accusative of duration (thus, “and during 62
weeks). They accordingly, connect it directly with “it will restored, etc,”
and want there to be a duration of construction or EXISTENCE for that period
of 62 weeks (434 years).
However, there are three reasons that this is not
a viable interpretation.
According to the KEIL AND DELITZSCH commentary on Daniel, “This
circumstance, however, in and of itself decides nothing, since the Atnach does
not always separate clauses, but frequently also shows only the point of rest
within a clause; besides, it first was adopted by the Masoretes, and only
shows the interpretation of these men, without at all furnishing any guarantee
for its correctness.”
(2) This idea puts all the focus on the temple
which is very unreasonable, and just not true. The focus is on God’s promises
to His people and specifically THE MESSIANIC promise.
(3) The direct correlation between the TWO pairs
of verbs repeated two times:
The decree is TO RESTORE (shubh) and TO REBUILD (banah)
refers to the decree of Cyrus and refers DIRECTLY to the restoration and
rebuilding that will take place as a result of THAT decree.
This was completed within 49 years.
Later in the verse we encounter a strange
dilemma. All translations render this part at, “It will be built again . . .”
However, this is incorrect. The Hebrew REPEATS
the two verbs used earlier, “command to restore and to build,” and the phrase
should be translated as, “It (or she) shall be restored and be built.” What
all these translations have done is to take the second occurrence of SHUBH and
make it adverbial, thus, “It will be built AGAIN.”
But there is no basis for this. The REPETITION of
the two verbs is OBVIOUSLY an intentional connection to the first mention and
indicates clearly that this last phrase in the verse is given to show the
fulfillment of the command stated earlier.
KEIL AND DELITZSCH writes, “The words, tashubh (shubh)
wenibhnethah (banah), (it will be restored and rebuilt), refer undoubtedly to
the expression, lehashibh (shubh) welibhnoth (banah), (to restore and to
rebuild), according to which, tashubh is not to be joined adverbially to
wenibhnethah, but is to be rendered intransitively, corresponding to hashiybh
(shall be restored).”
Now – that might be a bit confusing so let me
We find at this verse, two phrases which are practically identical and should
accordingly be interpreted as intricately connected. (1) the decree to restore
and build. It has TWO verbs, shubh and banah. (2) then occurring after “7
weeks and 62 weeks,” is the phrase, “it will be restored and built (having the
same two verbs, shubh and banah) with plaza and mote, even in times of
Every English translation has IGNORED the second
occurrence of the verb, SHUBH, and has accordingly, not only distorted the
text, but has lost the DIRECT connection to the first occurrence of the verb.
I cannot speak to the reason WHY this has
happened. I can only state the FACT that the verb SHUBH occurs two times in
the verse and by its connection both times with BANAH, it is necessary to
translate BOTH times as “restore and rebuild.”
What this does of course, is to totally destroy
the theory, that the phrase, “and 62 weeks” should be “during (or for) 62
weeks,” and extends to the destruction of
Jerusalem in 70
This is also clear when we understand that the
city WAS IN FACT “restored and built” within that FIRST period of seven sevens
or 49 years, as shown above.
Nehemiah 6:1, “. . . it was reported . . . that I
had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time
I had not set up the doors in the gates.”
6:15, “so the
wall was completed on the 25th of the month.”
(This was in the year 3634 A.H. or 490 BCE in the
32nd year of Artaxerxes).
Someone might contend, “But this is no city!” But
we are not talking about a thriving metropolis here. We are talking about a
temple structure completed (Neh.
6:10) with SOLID
walls surrounding it in which there was no breach. THAT – is a rebuilt city.
The infra structure, of course will be built up over many additional years,
but the CITY is built.
Verse 26a The end of the 7 + 62 weeks (69 weeks)
1. then after: acheray - not before, not during, but after the 483 year
2. The 62 weeks: 7 + 62 = 69 = 483 years. The use of the word "after" with the word "until" indicates
that the event in view will take place immediately after the 69 weeks.
3. Messiah will be cut off: karath
A. Used in Genesis 9:11; Jeremiah 11:19; Psalm 37:9
B. This indicates then, a disassociation with the nation of Israel that
comes about by that nation's rejection of the Messiah and the resultant
death of the Messiah.
At Isaiah 53:8, the Messiah is "cut off" out of the land of the
living. This is not the same Hebrew word, but it refers to the same moment
of time when the Messiah is formally rejected by the nation as they have
C. Now as we will see, the rejection of the Messiah interrupts Israel's
time allotment at 69 weeks (483 yrs) and postpones the final week (7 years)
to a future generation which will "nationally" embrace Jesus
as the Messiah.
D. There is a definite event that ends the 69 weeks (the coming of the
Messiah) and a definite event that occurs after His coming.
E. What event constitutes the arrival of the Messiah?
1. His birth?
a. Prophecy: Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Is. 9
b. But there is no "Messianic" activity until much later. Luke
1:32-33; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:68-75; 2:25-35
c. The child: Luke 2:40, no Messianic activity. But compare
Luke 4:46-47, 49
d. 33+ years follow until "cut off."
This is not contextually feasable.
2. His baptism:
a. No prophecy except Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3 with
regard to the ministry
of the "forerunner."
b. Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:23; John 1:29-34
c. This event is personal: It is for John and the disciples.
d. Also, it is about 3 1/2 years until "cut off."
e. If one wants to make this period the first half of the 70th week, then
there must be a significant other "3 1/2" year period after the
crucifixion - which there is not.
There must be uniformity. If the first 3 1/2 years is specifically
referring to Christ's ministry, then the NEXT 3 1/2 years MUST refer to
something specific. But there is nothing. Contextually, there can be no
gap between the "two" 3 1/2 year periods.
3. The beginning of His ministry: much prophecy about it.
a. Matthew 4:12-17
b. Luke 4:16-21
c. These events are local without national impact even though He covers
d. And as above, there is still that period of 31/2 years before the crucifixion.
4. The Triumphal entry
a. Prophecy: Zechariah 9:8-10
b. Matthew 21:1-9; Luke 19:41-44; Matthew 23:37-39
c. Very clearly, a national focus.
d. Very clearly, worded as a climactic event.
e. Only a few days until "cut off."
f. Although the whole nation had encountered the message of Jesus, the
events of his final week constitute an official and "formal"
announcement and presentation of the Messiah to the nation.
g. This event is the focal point for both phrases in Daniel 9.25 "unto
Messiah" and "Messiah cut off."
h. the disciples related the kingdom to
Messiah's "formal" arrival at
THIS IS THE END OF THE 69TH WEEK.
4. And have nothing:
A. Isaiah 53:8-9; John 1:10-11
B. This is from the human perspective with regard to His earthly kingdom.
The nation rejects Him and is rejected. Acts 2:23
C. He does not take possession of a physical kingdom; He does not take
His seat upon the throne of David.
D. From a spiritual perspective, Messiah receives ultimate promotion
1. Resurrection and session:
Isaiah 52:13; 53:10-12; Hebrews 10:12-13; Philippians 2:9-11
2. The receipt of many brethren: the spiritual offspring of bringing many
sons into glory. Hebrews 2:10-13; Isaiah 53:10-12
V. 26b The nation's destruction
1. and the people: the armies of Rome as described by both the scriptural
and historical contexts.
2. Of the ruler who will come:
A. A ruler distinct from the one identified in verse 25 as "Messiah
B. A ruler revealed earlier in the book: Daniel 7:8, 21-25; 8:23-25; (11:36-39)
C. The ruler of the Roman Empire (both proper and revived).
3. Will destroy the city: fulfilled in 70 AD by Titus of Rome the son of
A. This did not happen between the restoration from Babylon and the
ascendancy of Rome.
B. And it will not happen in the end times, since Messiah will return and
deliver the city before it can be destroyed. Zechariah 14:1-3
4. And the sanctuary:
A. In 63 BC, Pompey destroyed the outer walls of the city, but not
the inner city or the temple.
B. But it happened in 70 AD.
5. And its end: qets - noun with 3ps suffix for possession and can either
be rendered as "its" or "his."
A. "His end" refers to the defeat and destruction of the
Roman ruler which would take our focus off the city and to a far distant
judgment from God on the oppressive prince. But "his" end is
described at the end of verse 27 and is not in view here.
B. "Its end" keeps our focus on the city and allows the next
phrase to naturally pick up from that "end" and move forward
from 70 AD concerning the history of the area until v. 27 comes to pass.
6. Will come with a flood: This certainly describes the nature of the destruction
of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD.
Some have suggested doubt that THIS destruction of the
city is looking to 70 AD, or indeed, even to a
significant PHYSICAL destruction of the city. The
following observations are offered in support of the
idea that 70 AD is the “ruin” that is in view.
1, The Hebrew word for DESTROY is shachath. It can
mean to spoil, ruin, destroy, corrupt, and the like.
It occurs in the Hiphil stem, which means to CAUSE to
ruin or destroy, etc. Thus, as a hiphil imperfect, the
simple rendering, DESTROY is the best translation.
I suppose that OUR understanding of RUIN can be taken
a variety of ways, but the USUAL use of this word in
this stem is to DESTROY or ruin something physically.
But TECHNICALLY it does have to mean a PHYSICAL
2. To further support the idea that this is a
DESTRUCTION that RUINS the city, and in fact, THE
specific destruction of 70 AD, we have the next
phrase at Dan. 9:26, which says, “and its END will
come like a flood.”
Here we have a sudden and violent destruction that
ENDS (for all intents and purposes) the status and
function of the city and the sanctuary.
We have no other historical event that does this, do
we? As already mentioned, in 63 BC, Pompey destroyed
the OUTER walls of the city but not the inner city or
3. Furthermore, I appeal once again to the chronology
of the passage. It appears to me that the NORMAL
understanding is that the events mentioned here are in
a rigid chronological order.
A. First: There is INDEED a chronology of events that
fits the specific
language of this passage.
B. There is no CLEAR reason to look for something other
than a precise
C. That precise order is:
1. 7 weeks
2. 62 weeks
3. Messiah cut off
4. People of the Roman prince destroy the city and
temple (its end)
5. indeterminate amount of time: UNTO THE END -
there will war.
6. He makes a covenant for 7 years
7. At the 3 1/2 year mark, he breaks the covenant.
8. Stops the sacrifices
9. Causes desolation
10. He comes to his end.
4. The HISTORICAL prophecy of Antiochus in 167 BC,
recorded at Daniel 11:31, does not fulfill Daniel 9:26
because there is no destruction of the city and the
temple at that time. While one could say that the
temple was RUINED, it was not destroyed, and certainly
the CITY was not destroyed.
In addition, there is a specific reference to the
destruction of the city and the captivity of the people at
Daniel 11:33. The details of that passage can be seen at:
7. The next phrase is quite emphatic having no regular verb to clarify.
A. CT = And unto the end, war; decreed desolations.
B. And unto the end: qetz - end. Two choices -
1. The end of the ruler's reign extending from 70 AD to Armageddon.
2. The end of the 70 sevens- which also comes to within a few days of Armageddon.
C. War: milchamah = feminine singular noun
1. Characterizes the historical trend of human history from the time
of Messiah's 1st advent until His return.
2. Interesting correlation at Matthew 24:6-8
D. The next statement is an independent clause that stands in apposition
1. A decree: charatz - niphal participle, feminine singular - to place
it in apposition with the word "war."
a. As a noun: "What is decreed,"
b. or as an adjective "decreed."
2. desolations: shamem = qal active participle used as a
plural = desolations
a. It is decreed as a specific
expression of divine
b. It will result in massive
desolations all over the
world. Matthew 24:7, "nation against nation -
kingdom against kingdom."
Verse 27 - the 70th week
1. And he: refers to the most recently mentioned of the 2 princes.
2. Will make a firm covenant:
A. make a firm: gabhar - means to be strong or mighty. It occurs in
the hiphil imperfect which means, "to cause" to be strong. Thus
to make firm - not make "a" firm, but to make "something" firm,
ie, a covenant. To establish.
B. with the many: the vast majority of the populous involved. In fact it
would indicate a particular social or national entity, as in having the
compliance of the leadership of that entity. And in fact, it refers to
the nation of Israel as the subject of the phrase "for your people
and your holy city."
C. For one week: keeping the literal perspective, this is a 7 year period
of time and refers to the final one of the 70, thus the term, "the
70th week of Daniel."
1. The Messiah was cut off at the end of 483 years.
2. The remaining 7 years cannot find fulfillment immediately after the crucifixion.
There is nothing that historically correlates with a specific 7 year period
nor with the language used to describe that 7 year period.
3. The final 3 1/2 years of that 7 year period is what is in view at Daniel
11:36-45 and at Daniel 12:1-11.
4. Daniel 12:6, "How long until the end of these wonders" relates
back specifically to the events which began at Daniel 11:36, but have been developed
all throughout the book as seen at Daniel 7:25.
3. The covenant:
A. The covenant has something to do with the temple and the sacrifices
since in the middle of the week the sacrifices are prohibited.
B. Since in verse 26, the city and the temple were destroyed, the covenant
must involve a restoration to temple activity. That would include not only
the building of a temple or sanctuary, but also the freedom to conduct
C. The temple was destroyed and the sacrifices stopped in 70 AD and have
not been a reality for Israel since then.
D. The prince who is to come will make a covenant with Israel that will
allow them to build a sanctuary and conduct sacrifices.
1. Daniel 8:23-25
a. skilled in intrigue: a political genius
b. deceit: suggests a false covenant
c. destroy many while at ease: the covenant "puts them to sleep,"
sets them up for the kill.
2. The implication that the covenant involves the temple and the sacrifices
is made from the fact that when the covenant is broken 3 1/2 years into
the week, the sacrifices are stopped
by the one who made the covenant.
4. And in the middle of the week (group of seven) he will put a stop to
sacrifice and grain offering.
A. According to Matthew 24:15, he sets up the abomination of desolation
in the "holy place" (ie, the sanctuary) which would obviously
put an end to the sacrifices.
B. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, the man of lawlessness will establish
himself in the "temple" and lay claim to being God.
C. It takes place at the 2nd seal (Rev. 6:3) and will involve the breaking
of THE peace established at the first seal (v.2).
D. According to Rev. 11:1, the holy city (including the temple) will be
"polluted" by the nations under the authority of the beast for
3 1/2 years (Revelation 13:5).
E. This is the period of time from the breaking of the covenant in the
middle of the week until the end of the week (3 1/2 years later) at which
time Christ will destroy the kingdom of the beast and the rebel nations
of the world at Armageddon.
F. Isaiah 33:1-12 has an historical application to Assyria in 711 BC but
based on the context from verses 13-24 and 34:1-17, it looks to the day
of the Lord and the oppression from the beast prior to the Messiah's return.
1. Thus, based on that, "destroyer" in v. 1-12 has application
specifically to the oppressor of the great tribulation.
2. And at verses 7-9 we find the condition of the land of Judah because
of that oppression and a mention of the
covenant being broken in verse 8,
"he has broken the covenant."
5. And on the wing: kanaph - fem. singular noun
(construct = wing of)
A. On: preposition, "al", used to indicate the instrument
of progress and success.
B. of abominations: shiquts- masc. plural noun=detestable things.
1. It is a reference to idolatrous practices
2. This is what happens after he removes the proper sacrifices from the
3. this will be the tool to further the
promotion of himself as God. The image at
Revelation 13:14-15; Matthew 24:15
4. It may even include the general "idolatry" that will be so
prevalent during this time (Revelation 9:20-21).
6. causing horror: verb - shamem -poel participle (adjectival) describes
the activity of the oppressor (BDB, page 1031).
7. Even until a completion: we adh kalah - in other words -
until what God has determined to allow comes to an end.
8. And what is determined: charats - niphal participle
(God's plan for the ruler)
9. Is poured out: Administration of divine justice in His
10. upon a desolator: al + shamem (poel participle used as a
noun) upon the one causing horror or desolation. This is the end of the
beast as described at Dan. 7:26; 8:25; 11:45
Corrected Translation of verse 27: And he will make firm a covenant with
the many for 1 week, (7 years) and in the middle of the week he will put
a stop to sacrifice and grain offering. And by means of (upon) the wing
of abominations, causing horror, even until a completion, AND what is decreed
is poured out on the one who causes horror.
This is fulfilled at Revelation 19:19-20
The big question that remains is by which system of measurement can
we trace the year from Cyrus' decree to the completion of the first 483
years? For according to the accepted chronology, that decree was made in
536 BC. But counting forward 483 years brings us to 53 BC, a whopping 82
years before the formal presentation of Messiah to the nation of Israel
in AD 30. The answer lies in the actual length of the Persian Empire and
determining the actual list of Persian kings who reigned between Cyrus
and Alexander the Great who conquered Persia in 331 BC.
I shall let another give the details. D. L. Cooper gave an excellent
analysis of this in Messiah: His First Coming Scheduled which was published
in 1937 by his Biblical Research Society. I here provide an orientation
to this chronological problem as presented in chapter 14, pages 446 to
The Uncertainty of the Data Underlying the Present System of Chronology
An examination of the data that underlie the current system of reckoning
time will reveal the fact that it is not built upon the firm foundation
of established facts but upon surmises, guesses, and hypotheses. The following
quotations from Anstey will make this point clear.
"The Sedar Olam Rabbah, i.e., The Large Chronicle of the World,
commonly called the Larger Chronicon, is a Jewish Talmudic Tract, containing
the chronology of the world as reckoned by the Jews. It treats of Scripture
times, and is continued down to the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 76-138). The
author is said to have been Rabbi Jose ben Chaliptha, who flourished a
little after the beginning of the 2nd Century after Christ, and was Master
to Rabbi Judah Hakkodesh, who composed the Mishna. Others say it dates
from A.D. 832, and that it was certainly written after the Babylonian Talmud,
as it contains many fables taken from thence.
"The Sedar Olam Zeutah, i.e., Small Chronicle of the World, commonly
called the Lesser Chronicle, is said to have been written A. D. 1123. It
is a short chronicle of the events of history from the beginning of the
world to the year A.D. 522.
"Both contain the Jewish tradition respecting the duration of the
Persian Empire. This tradition is 'that in the last year of Darius Hystaspes,
the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi died, that thereon the spirit
of prophecy ceased from among the Children of Israel, and that this was
the obsignatian or sealing up of vision and prophecy spoken of by the prophet
Daniel (Dan. 9: 24). The same tradition tells us that the Kingdom of the
Persians ceased also the same year, for they will have it that this was
the Darius whom Alexander the Great conquered, and that the whole continuance
of the Persian Empire was only 52 years, which they reckon thus
Darius the Median reigned 1 year
Cyrus 3 years
(whom they identify with the Ahasuerus who married Esther) 16 years
Darius (whom they will have to be the son of Esther) 32 years
Total = 52 years
"'This last Darius, they say, was the Artaxerxes who sent Ezra
and Nehemiah to Jerusalem to restore the state of the Jews, for they tell
us that Artaxerxes among the Persians was the common name for their Kings,
as that of Pharaoh was among the Egyptians.'
"Now we may say with Dr. Prideaux in his Historical Connection
of the Old and New Testaments, published in 1858, from which the above
extract is taken, that 'this shows how ill they have been acquainted with
the affairs of the Persian Empire,' and that 'their countryman, Josephus,
in the account which he gives of those times, seems to have been but very
little better informed concerning them,' or, we may draw the contrary conclusion,
that Josephus knew the history of his own country better than Ptolemy.
"How long did the Persian Empire last? We may ask the Persians
themselves, and if we do they will tell us that they have no records of
the period, these having been all swept away by the Greek and Mohammedan
Invasions. But they have certain vague, floating, national traditions,
cast into an epic poem by Firdusi, and from these we learn that the succession
of the Persian Monarchs was as follows: (1) Darius Hystaspes, (2) Artaxerxes
Longimanus, (3) Queen Homai, the mother of Darius Nothus, (4) Darius Nothus,
the bastard son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, and (5) Darius, who was conquered
by Alexander the Great. All the Kings between these two Dariuses they omit.
"Or again we may ask the Jews, and if we do they will tell us that
the Persian Empire lasted only 52 years, from the first of Cyrus to the
first of Alexander the Great. We may go to Ptolemy, and if we do he will
determine the length of the period and make out a list of kings for us
by means of astronomical calculations and conjectural identifications of
recorded with calculated eclipses, and then we shall get a Persian Empire
lasting 205 years. But if we take the account given in Nehemiah, and the
years specified by the prophet Daniel, we shall find that the Persian Empire
continued for a period of 123 years.
"The Jews shortened it to 52 years. 'Some of them,' says Sir Isaac
Newton, 'took Herod for the Messiah, and were thence called Herodians.
They seem to have grounded their opinion on the 70 weeks, which they reckoned
from the first year of Cyrus. But afterwards, in applying the prophecy
to Theudas and Judas of Galilee, and at length to Bar Cochab, they seem
to have Shortened the reign of the Kingdom of Persia.' This explains why
the Jews underestimated the duration of the Persian Empire, and it shows
that originally they reckoned about 123 years.
"Now, From 1st year Cyrus to 1st year Alexander the Great 123 years
From 1st year Alexander the Great to Herod (B.C. 331-4) 327 years
From 1st year Cyrus to the birth of Christ 450 years
"If, then, the wise men from the East had heard of Daniel's prophecy,
and had kept an accurate account of the years, and if the Jews of Palestine
were also expecting the Messiah at the very time when He was born (B.C.
4) on the ground that it was then within 33 years of the 483 predicted
in Daniel for His appearance, and therefore now time for Him to be born,
this would indicate that they reckoned the time between the 1st year of
Cyrus and the birth of Christ as a period of 450 years. And since the 327
years (B.C. 331 to B.C. 4) from Alexander the Great to the birth of Christ
were in all probability accurately computed by the Greeks, for they began
their reckoning by Olympiads within 60 years of Alexander's death, it leaves
exactly these 123 years for the duration of the Persian Empire, and abridges
the accepted Ptolemaic chronology by 82 years for 205 - 123 = 82, which
is the exact year expressed for these events in the Chronology of the Old
Testament, as developed in these pages, for Cyrus' 1st year is shown to
be the year AN. HOM. 3589, whence 3589 + 483 = 4071 (inclusive reckoning),
for the Crucifixion, and as Christ was about 30 years of age when He began
His ministry, and His ministry lasted three years, He was born AN. HOM.
4038, or exactly 450 years after the 1st year of Cyrus, Christ having been
born four years before the commencement of the Christian Era. But 450 years
before the actual date of the birth of Christ is B.C. 454. The true date
of the 1st year of Cyrus is therefore B.C. 454, not B.C. 536, which makes
the Chronology of this period 82 years too long.
"It may be objected that in the Battle of Marathon, which was fought
B.C. 490, Darius Hystaspes was defeated by the Greeks, and that the Greek
Chronology, which was reckoned by Olympiads from B.C. 776 onward, cannot
be at fault to the extent of 82 years. But that is just the very point
in dispute. The Greeks did not make a single calculation in Olympiads,
nor had they any accurate chronological records till sixty years after
the death of Alexander the Great. All that goes before that is guesswork,
and computation by generations, and other contrivances, not the testimony
of contemporary records.
"The Sedar Olam, therefore, may be called as a witness, and it
is not to be ruled out of court by any objection raised by the Greeks,
but it must be called as a witness only, not as arbitrator or Judge."
In another connection Anstey gives us the facts concerning the insecurity
of the chronology which is based upon Greek and Roman history. He also
calls our attention to the way in which the present era was begun. All
of the facts lead one to the conclusion that one cannot depend upon the
present scheme as it has been worked out and given to us. Mr. Anstey's
summary of the situation is very enlightening.
"It is through the Greeks that we have received our knowledge of
the history of the great Empires and civilizations of the East. Even Sanchoniathon
and Berosus and Manetho, have all come to us through the Greeks. It was
the Greeks who created the framework of the Chronology of the civilized
ages of the past, and fitted into it all the facts of history, which have
reached us through them. Apart from the Bible, the vague floating national
traditions of the Persians and the later Jews, and the direct results of
modern exploration, all our chronological knowledge reaches us through
Greek spectacles. Here as everywhere else it is 'thy sons 0 Zion against
thy sons, 0 Greece' (Zech. 9:13). It is Nehemiah and Daniel against Ptolemy
and Eratosthenes. It is Hebraic Chronology against Hellenic chronology.
And here the Greek has stolen a march upon the Hebrew, for he has stolen
his Old Testament and forced his own Greek Chronology into the Hebrew record,
Hellenizing the ages of the Hebrew Patriarchs in the Greek LXX.
"Are we then to accept the testimony of the Greek as correcting
or antiquating the testimony of the Hebrew? By no means. Let the Greek
be heard as a witness, but let him not presume to pronounce sentence as
a Judge. Clinton's Fasti Hellenici is perhaps the most valuable treatise
on Chronology ever produced. But it is not infallible. Clinton's standard
is Ptolemy's Canon; Sayce's standard is the Monuments. But neither of these
sources is competent to correct the Hebrew Old Testament, which must be
placed in the witness-box alongside of them, not in the dock, to be sentenced
"To begin at the beginning, the point of departure for Greek Chronology,
the 1st Olympiad, B.C. 776, upon which everything else depends, rests upon
no firmer foundation than that of tradition and computation by conjecture.
"The opening sentence of Clinton's Tables reveals the basis upon
which he builds. He says: 'The first Olympiad is placed by Censorinus in
the 1014th year before the Consulship of Ulpius and Pontianus, A.D. 238
= B.C. 776. Solinus attests that the 207th Olympiad fell within the Consulship
of Gallus and Verannius. These were Consuls A.D. 49, and if the 207th Games
were celebrated in July, A.D. 49, 206 Olympiads, or 824 years had elapsed,
and the first games were celebrated in July, 776.'
"But Censorious wrote his De Die
Natali, A.D. 238, and Solinus
also belongs to the 3rd Century A.D. They are not, therefore, contemporary
witnesses, and we do not know how far their computations were derived from
hypothesis and conjecture, or how far they rest upon a basis of objective
fact. Nevertheless, this point has been made the first link in the chain
of the centuries, a chain flung out to float in the air, or attached, not
to the solid staple of fixed fact, but only to the rotten ring of computation
and conjecture. The Canon of Ptolemy rests upon this calculation. Eusebius
(A.D. 264-349) adopted it, and set the example of making Scripture dates
fit into the years of the Greek Era. Eusebius is based upon Manetho (3rd
Century B.C.), Berosus (3rd Century B.C.), Abydenus (2nd Century B.C.),
Polyhister (1st Century B.C.), Josephus (A.D. 37-103), Cephalion (1st Century
AD.), Africanus (3rd Century B.C.), and other sources now lost. Eusebius'
Chronology was contained in his 'chronocon.' This was translated by Jerome,
and has been followed by all subsequent writers down to the present day.
"The one infallible connecting link between sacred and profane
Chronology is given in Jeremiah 25:1. 'The fourth year of Jehoiakim, which
was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.' If the events of history had been
numbered forward from this point to the birth of Christ, or back from Christ
to it, we should have had a perfectly complete and satisfactory chronology.
But they were not. The distance between the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar
and the birth of Christ was not known. It has been fixed by conjecture,
with the assistance of Ptolemy. Clinton fixes it at B.C. 606, Sayce at
B.C. 604, and from this date, thus fixed, Chronologers reckon back to Adam
and on to Christ. The distance between the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar and
the birth of Christ has not been measured by the annals or chronicles of
any well-attested dated events. It was originally fixed by Ptolemy, by
means of computation and conjecture and recorded events have been fitted
into the interval by computing Chronologers as far as the fictitious framework
"The opening sentence of Sir Isaac Newton's Introduction to his
Short Chronicle from the first memory of things in Europe to the Conquest
of Persia by Alexander the Great shows how entirety fluid and indeterminate
were those first years of Grecian history.
"'The Greek Antiquities,' says Newton, 'are full of poetic fictions,
because the Greeks wrote nothing in prose before the conquest of Asia by
Cyrus the Persian.'
"The uncertainty as to the epoch of the foundation of Rome and
the Era which dates from that event, is just as great as the uncertainty
as to the beginnings of the history of Greece. The following is a list
of the dates that have been sanctioned by various writers
"Varro, Tacitus, Plutarch, Dion, Aulus
Gellius, Censorinus, etc.
Cato, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Solinus, Eusebius, etc. . .752 B.C.
Livy, Cicero, Pliny, and Velleius Paterculus 753 or 752 B.C.
Polybius 751 B.C.
Fabius Pictor and Diodorus Siculus 747 B.C.
L. Cincius 728 B.C.
A margin of 25 years.
"These uncertainties in Greek and Roman chronology, and the late
and purely conjectural character of the foundation upon which they rest,
show how impossible it is for us to erect the Chronology of the classic
literature of Greece and Rome into a standard by which to correct the Chronology
of the Hebrew Old Testament.
"Nearly all the great Empires of the East seem to have thrown the
origin of their dated history back into the 8th Century.
"Babylon (Nabonassarean Era) 747 B.C.
Greece (1st Olympiad) 776 B.C.
Rome (Foundation of the City) 753 B.C.
Lydia 716 B.C.
China 781 B.C.
Media 711 B.C.
"It may be of interest to add the following remarks respecting
the origin of the Vulgar Christian Era
"It was not until the year A.D. 532 that the Christian Era was
invented by Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian by birth, and a Roman Abbot.
He flourished in the reign of Justinian (A.D. 527-565). He was unwilling
to connect his cycles of dates with the era of the impious tyrant and persecutor
Diocletian, which began with the year A.D. 284, but chose rather to date
the times of the years from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ 'to
the end that the commencement of our hope might be better known to us and
that the cause of man's restoration, namely, our Redeemer's passion, might
appear with clearer evidence.' The year following that in which Dionysius
Exiguus wrote these words to Bishop Petronius was the year 248 of the Diocletian
Era. Hence the new Era of the Incarnation as it was then reckoned was 284
+ 248 = A.D. 532. Dionysius abhorred the memory of Diocletian with good
reasons, for in the 1st year of his reign, from which the Diocletian Era
begins, he caused a number of Christians who were celebrating Holy Communion
in a cave to be buried alive there. The Diocletian Era was, from this fact,
sometimes called the Era of the Martyrs.
"Dionysius reckoned the year of our Lord's birth to be the year
A.U.C. 753, according to Varro's computation, i.e., the year 45 of the
Julian Era. Dionysius obtained this date from Luke's statements that 'John
the Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius,'
and that 'Jesus was beginning to he about 30 years of age' (Luke 3:1-23).
Tiberius succeeded Augustus, August 19th, A.U.C. 767. Therefore his 15th
year was A.U.C. 782. Subtract the assumed year of the Nativity, 753, and
the remainder is 29 years complete or 30 current.
"But according to Matthew, Christ was born before the death of
Herod, that is, according to the computation of the Chronologers, before
749. Hence the year of the Incarnation, the year A.D. 1, was fixed four
years too late, and to remedy this we have to express the true date of
our Lord's birth by saying that He was born B.C. 4. It was subsequently
discovered that the source of the error lay, not with the Evangelists,
Matthew or Luke, but in the fact that Tiberius began to reign as colleague
or partner with Augustus some years before Augustus died, and that the
length of his reign after Augustus' death was not 26 years, but 22. In
this way the difficulties were cleared up. The Era of the Incarnation was
allowed to remain and the birth of Christ was set down as having occurred
in the year B.C. 4."
The accepted chronology contradicts many of the outstanding facts which
are clearly set forth in various writers during the period 480-340 B.C.E.
It creates more problems than it solves; in fact, it unravels none hut
makes many difficulties which otherwise would never appear. It necessitates
the forcing upon the record strained and unnatural meanings. We must, therefore,
reject it and take our stand upon the chronology which is afforded by the
correct interpretation of Daniel's inspired prophecy, and which was shown
in the preceding chapter.
The evidence which has been presented in this chapter shows conclusively
that a most serious error has been made in the received chronology with
reference to the length of the Persian period. Insurmountable difficulties
have been discovered which prevent one's accepting this system, that, as
we have seen, is based upon speculation and assumption. It is utterly impossible
to square the known facts, presented in the Scriptures, with this system
of reckoning time.
The decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, announced by Gabriel, was
issued by Cyrus. He did this in 3589 A.H. Zerubbabel with his principal
associate, Joshua the High Priest, began the long trek homeward and the
work of rehabilitation.
Since the history of the Persian period is in such hopeless confusion,
one cannot rely upon it for material out of which to construct a chronological
The time from 3589 A.H. must be reckoned by the seventy weeks of Daniel's
prophecy. From that year to the cutting off of King Messiah were to be
483 years (inclusive reckoning). We take our stand upon the infallible
Word of God and are convinced that He came on scheduled time.
The chronological difficulties that may be brought
to mind in reference to Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are easily resolved but
explanations are too lengthy for the scope of this article. Please inquire
if you find data that appears to be insurmountable to taking the written
word of God at its literal face value in reference to the decree of Cyrus
and the cutting off of the Messiah 483 years later.