Bible Prophecy                                                  KL Paulson
Bro. R. Spurgeon                                            March 27, 1994

Daniel's Prophecy

"(24)Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
(25)Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
(26)And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
(27)And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
  (Daniel 9:24-27)

   '2. The important factors in Daniel's prophecy. It is necessary to observe the major emphases in the prophecy given through Daniel. McClain summarizes these as follows:11

       1. The entire prophecy has to do with Daniel's "people" and Daniel's "city," that is, the Nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem (24).

       2. Two different princes are mentioned, who should not be con- fused: the first is named Messiah the Prince (25); and the second is described as the Prince that shall come (26).

       3. The entire time-period involved is exactly specified as Seventy Weeks (24); and these Seventy Weeks are further divided into three lesser periods: first, a period of seven weeks; after that a period of three-score and two weeks; and finally, a period of one week (25, 27).

       4. The beginning of the whole period of the Seventy Weeks is definitely fixed at "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" (25).

       5. The end of the seven weeks and threescore and two weeks (69 weeks) will be marked by the appearance of Messiah as the "Prince" of Israel (25).

       6. At a later time, "after [the] threescore and two weeks" which follows the first seven weeks (that is, after 69 weeks), Messiah the Prince will be "cut off," and Jerusalem will again be destroyed by the people of another "prince" who is yet to come (26).

       7. After these two important events, we come to the last, or Seventieth Week, the beginning of which will be marked by the establishment of a firm covenant or treaty between the Coming Prince and the Jewish nation for a period of "one week" (27).


   3. The meaning of weeks. Before one can determine the chronology of this prophecy it is first necessary to understand Daniel's use of the term weeks as it is here employed. On this McClain has written:

       The Hebrew word is shabua, which means literally a 'seven,' and it would be well to read the passage thus. . . . Thus the twenty-fourth verse of Daniel's ninth chapter simply asserts that 'seventy sevens are determined' . . . and what these 'sevens' are must be determined from the context and from other Scriptures. The evidence is quite clear and sufficient and follows:

       . . . the Jews had a 'seven' of years.... And this Biblical 'week' of years was just as familiar to the Jew....

       Now there are several reasons for believing that the 'Seventy Sevens' of Daniel's prophecy refer to this well known 'seven' of years. ....

   It is also necessary, in this consideration, to observe that the year in prophetic Scriptures is a year composed of 360 days. ...

   4. The beginning of the sixty-nine weeks. Daniel was told that this 490 year period would begin "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" (Dan. 9:25). In the Scriptures are contained several decrees that have to do with the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. There was the decree of Cyrus in 2 Chronicles 36:22- 23; Ezra 1:1-3; the decree of Darius in Ezra 6:3-8; and the decree of Artaxerxes in Ezra 7:7. .... When we turn to the decree of Artaxerxes, made in his twentieth year, recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8, for the first time is permission granted to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. This then becomes the beginning of the prophetic time appointed by God in this prophecy.

   It, then, becomes necessary to establish the date of the decree of Artaxerxes. On this point Anderson writes:

       The date of Artaxerxes's reign can be definitely ascertained-- the united voice of secular historians and chronologers.
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  
       The Persian edict which restored the autonomy of Judah was issued in the Jewish month of Nisan. It may in fact have been dated from the 1st of Nisan. . . . The seventy weeks are therefore to be computed from the 1st of Nisan B.C. 445.

       Now the great characteristic of the Jewish sacred year has remained unchanged ever since the memorable night when the equinoctial moon beamed down upon the huts of Israel in Egypt, bloodstained by the Paschal sacrifice; and there is neither doubt nor difficulty in fixing within narrow limits the Julian date of the 1st of Nisan in any year whatever. In B.C. 445 the new moon by which the Passover was regulated was on the 13th of March at 7h. 9m. A.M. And accordingly the 1st Nisan may be assigned to the 14th March.15

   5. The fulfillment of the sixty-nine weeks. No more careful study has been made of the problem of the seventy weeks of Daniel than that of Sir Robert Anderson in The Coming Prince.
Anderson reckons the chronology of the sixty-nine weeks thus:

       "[F]rom the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks[.]" An era therefore of sixty-nine "weeks," or 483 prophetic years reckoned from the 14th March, B.C. 445, should close with some event to satisfy the words, "unto the Messiah the Prince[.]"
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  
       No student of the Gospel narrative can fail to see that the Lord's last visit to Jerusalem was not only in fact, but in the purpose of it, the crisis of His ministry . . . His entry into the Holy City was to proclaim His Messiahship and to receive His doom. . . .
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  
       And the date of it can be ascertained. In accordance with the Jewish custom, the Lord went up to Jerusalem upon the 8th Nisan, "six days before the [P]assover[.]" But as the 14th, on which the Paschal Supper was eaten, fell that year upon a Thursday, the 8th was the preceding Friday. He must have spent the Sabbath, there- fore, at Bethany; and on the evening of the 9th, after the Sabbath had ended, the Supper took place in Martha's house. Upon the fol- lowing day, the 10th Nisan, He entered Jerusalem as recorded in the Gospels.

       The Julian date of that 10th Nisan was Sunday the 6th April, A.D. 32. What then was the length of the period intervening be- tween the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the public advent of "Messiah the Prince[,]"--between the 14th March, B.C. 445, and the 6th April, A.D. 32? THE INTERVAL CONTAINED EXACTLY AND TO THE VERY DAY 173,880 DAYS, OR SEVEN TIMES SIXTY-NINE PROPHETIC YEARS OF 360 DAYS, the first sixty-nine weeks of Gabriel's prophecy.16'

I arrive at my figures as follows:

  Calculation  |  Number of Days  |  Date
  18+270+5     |  293             |  14th March, B.C. 445 -
               |                  |  31st December, B.C. 445
  444x365      |  162,060         |  1st January, B.C. 444 -
               |                  |  31st December, B.C. 1
  31x365       |  11,315          |  1st January, A.D. 1 -
               |                  |  31st December, A.D. 31     
  31+28+31+6   |  96              |  1st January, A.D. 32 -
               |                  |  6th April, A.D. 32
  Sub total = 173,764 days
  Anderson's leap years = 116 days 
  Real days = 173,880 days

       'And 69 weeks of prophetic years of 360 days (or 69 x 7 x 360) = 173,880 days.17

Thus Anderson shows us that the sixty-nine weeks began with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and terminated at the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday of the week of the Lord's death. The...reading of Luke 19:42, spoken as our Lord came into Jerusalem on that day is most significant: "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."18 The ac- curacy of Daniel's prophecy is observed in that he states "after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off" (Dan. 9:26).

   6. Is there a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week?   ....

   .... The only con- clusion must be that the events of the seventieth week are as yet unfulfilled and await a future literal fulfillment.

   7. The beginning of the seventieth week.   It is evident from Daniel 9:27 that the seventieth week begins with a covenant that is made with "many" for one week, or for seven years. ....

.... It is the proclamation of this false covenant that marks the beginning of the seventieth week.

   8. The program of the seventieth week.   McClain has stated six features of this program that well summarize its relation to the prophetic picture.

       1. This Seventieth Week is a period of seven years which lies prophetically between the translation of the [saints] and the return of Christ in glory.

       2. This Seventieth Week also provides the exact chronological framework for the great events recorded in chapters six to nineteen of the Book of Revelation.

       3. The Seventieth Week will begin with the making of a 'firm covenant' between the coming Roman prince and the Jewish people.

       4. In the middle of the Seventieth Week, the Roman prince will suddenly reverse his friendly attitude toward the Jews and "cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease[.]"

       5. The breaking of the 'firm covenant' between the Jews and the Roman prince will make the beginning of a period of unparal- leled "desolations" for the Jewish people.

       6. The end of this final seven-year period will bring to its close the entire series of the Seventy Weeks, and therefore usher in the great blessings promised to Israel in Dan. 9:24.24

11 Ibid., pp. 9-10.
15 Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, pp. 121-23.
16 Ibid., pp. 124-28.
17 Ibid., p 128.
18 Ibid., p 126.
24 McClain, op. cit., pp. 45ff.