We already studied the prophecies of Daniel two, seven and Revelation 12 and 13. But we must go on and finish the major prophecies of the Bible. There are so many opinions and false teachings that are leading people astray. Truth sets us free. We must always study for truth.
We will begin this section with Daniel nine. The first section is quite simple. It explains itself. Daniel is praying to the covenant-keeping God. God had foretold through Jeremiah that at the end of 70 years in captivity God would release the Jews back to Jerusalem. As that time is coming to a close, Daniel is praying to God to keep His covenant, even though the people were not worthy.
As he was praying, the angel Gabriel came to help Daniel to understand an earlier vision. This earlier vision was given to Daniel in the third year (about 547 BC) of King Belshazzar’s reign. It stated that “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated” or “cleansed”. Daniel 8:14. (This prophecy will be covered later.)
Now, in 539 BC, Gabriel is going to explain a portion of those 2,300 days (years in prophecy). In Daniel nine, starting with verse 24, we read where 70 weeks are “decreed for your people and your holy city…”.
The word translated in the NIV as "decreed" would be better translated, "cut off". The 70 weeks are cut off, or decreed for the Jewish people only. If I have a pound of chocolate cake and I "cut off" a portion of it for me, that portion is "decreed" for me. It is mine. The rest is yours.
The question is, what are the 70 weeks cut off from? Logically speaking, Gabriel expected Daniel to know. Therefore it would have to be in a prior message. The only logical prior time period given is in Chapter eight, verse 14, the 2300 days (years). Out of those 2300 days (years), 70 weeks (490 years) are specifically for the Jews and Jerusalem. That is the only logical and Biblical reality. The rest of the 2300 days are for us, the Gentiles.
Events During 70 Weeks
Put an end to sin
Atone for wickedness
Bring in everlasting righteousness
Seal up vision
Anoint the Most Holy
But before we can do all these things, we need to know when this 2300 day prophecy and the 70-week portion of it begin. "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem…." Verse 25. There it is. That is the key of when to start our time period. But when did that decree get issued?
In the history books, we find a decree issued by Artaxerxes in 457 BC that matches all requirements. Using this date as the beginning of the 2300 days and the 70 weeks produces some very interesting results.
The message continues to say that from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem "until the Anointed One, the Ruler, comes, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks."
Taking 457 BC and coming down 49 years (7x7 days)
we come to the end of the building of Jerusalem in the year 408 BC. The message said that Jerusalem would be built "with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble." If you want to read about this rebuilding and the trouble, and the decree to rebuild, you can do it by reading the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
That leaves us with 62 weeks to bring us down to the anointing of the Messiah. Continuing on from 408 BC we come down 62 weeks (434 years: 62x7) to AD 27. Now if you're doing the math, you will say, "Wait a minute, I get AD 26." That is correct. But you must remember, when the calendar was put together, they went from 1 BC to AD 1 without a zero in between. That is why we get AD 27. Is this date correct for the anointing of the Messiah? Right on the money.
Turning to Luke chapter three we find that Jesus was baptized in "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene." We can go back into history and see that the date AD 27 was when all these things took place. "Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus, b. Nov. 16, 42 BC, d. Mar. 16, AD 37, was the second emperor (r. AD 14-37) of Rome." "Pontius Pilate, the fifth Roman procurator (governor) of Judea (AD 26-36), condemned Jesus Christ to death."
*"About AD 525, a monk named Dionysius Exiguus suggested that years be counted from the birth of Christ, which was designated AD (anno Domini, "the year of the Lord") 1. This proposal came to be adopted throughout Christendom during the next 500 years. The year before AD 1 is designated 1 BC (before Christ). Dionysius had referred the year of Christ's birth to other eras.*
If we use AD 1 for the birth of Christ, Christ’s baptism comes in AD 29 making the anointing of Christ in the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign. However, we know that Tiberius reigned as co-regent with Augustus before he became emperor. Luke knew what we do not know, two thousand years later, that his actual reign started two years before, while Augustus was incapacitated and unable to actively reign. That would put the anointing of Christ in AD 27.
The message goes on in verse 26 to say that the Anointed One (Christ) would be cut off after AD 27. Was that so? In verse 27 it tells us exactly when. "He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’ (seven years). In the middle of the ‘seven’ (seven years) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering."
Did Jesus confirm the covenant for one week (seven years)?
Yes. Did He put an end to the sacrifice and offering in the middle of that week? Yes. Going from AD 27 three and a half years, we come to AD 30 and a half. It was in AD 30/31 that Jesus died on the cross and put an end to the sacrifices and offerings of the Temple. They were no longer needed as symbols or shadows. The true Lamb of God had died. “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51.
The word used in verse 26 that is translated “cut off” actually means “to be killed”. You will find it prophesied in Isaiah 53:8. The verse also says that He would have nothing. The actual translation is that He would have no “descendants”. That is correct. Jesus not only had nothing when He died; He also had no blood children. We are His children when we are obedient to His Ten Commandments as He was.
For the next three and a half years the disciples continued to confirm the covenant of love with the Jewish nation. But in AD 34 (AD 30 1/2 + 3 1/2 years) the Jews stoned Stephen to death. The covenant was broken by the Jews for the last time. They rejected the covenant of Love and God rejected them as a nation.
Now you can see the importance of the points in verse 24. The Jews were to finish transgression. They were to put an end to sin. They were to atone for their wickedness and bring in everlasting righteousness by accepting the Messiah. But no matter what they did, the vision would be fulfilled and the Most Holy would be anointed. As a nation they failed to finish transgression and put an end to sin. They failed to bring everlasting righteousness into their lives. They rejected the Messiah and proclaimed Caesar as their king.
The Bible says, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” That was so correct. It wasn’t the Romans that destroyed Jerusalem. Yes, they did physically. But it was the stubbornness of the Jews that destroyed Jerusalem. Titus pleaded with the Jews to surrender. He gave his word that Jerusalem and the temple would not be damaged if they would just give up their revolt. “Through your own fault you will lose the inheritance I gave you.” Jeremiah 17:4.
“The Romans set up a local dynasty, the house of Herod, to rule most of Palestine; Herod the Great (r.40-4 BC) rebuilt much of Jerusalem, including the Temple. The Roman governors, however, retained ultimate control; one of them, Pontius Pilate, authorized the execution of Jesus Christ. While suppressing a major Jewish revolt, the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70.”*
The same is true of us today. Jesus is pleading with us to give up our rebellion and sins. He is pleading with us to give in to His Way of living, to His Ten Commandments of righteousness. But if we refuse and continue our rebellion, we will destroy ourselves.