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Prophet Daniel revealed amazing information about the End Times but he also revealed when Adon Y'shua HaNatzrati would be born as we will see in this study.
To most talmidim (followers) of Y'shua who have studied this section of Daniel what the prophet said seems very obvious. To most Jews this prophecy has nothing to do with him. Since most Jews do not believe Y'shua was sent from HaShem this should not be surprising. Let's look at the evidence. It will require us to do a bit math but don't be too concerned. We'll take it a step at a time. Here's the prophecy in question:
Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
9:24 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.
9:25 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.
9:26 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.
9:27 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 had been seeking HaShem for understanding. Verses 1-5 reveal Daniel's concern that his people, the House of Judah, had lost sight of their relationship with HaShem. Master Y'shua later will say that Daniel's concerns were well founded, that during the Babylonian captivity the "teachings of men" had all but replaced the teachings of HaShem (Matthew 15:9 etc). In reply to Daniel's study of the prophets, his fasting and prayers HaShem sent His messenger Gabriel to reveal this important prophecy to him (9:20).
Gabriel explains to him at 9:24 that Seventy weeks have been determined upon his people calling them to repentance.
These seventy weeks are composed of three divisions:
- The "7 sevens" in Daniel 9:25.
- The "62 sevens" in Daniel 9:25.
- And the 70th "seven" in Daniel 9:27.
7 + 62 + 1 = 70.
The 7 weeks and the 62 week are clearly concurrent while the final week (verse 27) is set apart (we'll discuss this seventieth week below).
In the Hebrew these "weeks" are shabua, literally "sevens" or multiples of seven years. We are therefore discussing 69 seven years periods. The scripture confirms that these "sevens" are seven year periods:
Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of HaShem came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
This refers here:
Jeremiah 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
25:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
The 69 "sevens" therefore clearly refer to 69 sets of seven years, which equals 483 years all together.
Daniel has therefore been told that 483 years after certain events take place "Messiah the Prince" (Moshiach Nagiyd: Messiah the Commander) will arrive (9:25).
The Western World uses a Pagan solar calendar as I discuss HERE while HaShem and His people use a lunar calendar. The solar calendar we use today has 365.25 days to a year while the biblical calendar has 360 days to a year, with an even 30 days per month (adjustments were made in various ways that do not concern us here). That this is the appropriate calculation can easily be demonstrated from the Bible but for the sake of brevity we'll move on (ask me if you are interested in this).
To translate the solar years into lunar years we need to multiply our figures 483 (the 69 weeks of seven) by 360 (the biblical lunar calendar). This brings us to 173,880 days.
So then the 69 weeks of years equals 173,880 days all together.
In order to determine how long this time period is according to our solar calendars we need to divide the 173,880 days into years of 365.25 days. When we do, we arrive at 476 solar years.
Gabriel has informed Daniel that Moshiach the Prince will appear 476 solar years after certain events takes place. So let's consider these events.
According to Gabriel the prophetic countdown to Moshiach begins when a decree is issued to rebuild Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). We saw this in our main text:
Daniel 9:25 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...
Therefore 476 solar years (69 weeks of years) after the command to restore and to build Yerushalayim is made Moshiach will come.
The Command To Restore and Build Yerushalayim
As I note on my time line of Eretz Israel four such decrees were made:
- 538 BCE: The "Decree of Cyrus" (see Ezra 1:1-4):
- 519 BCE: The decree from Darius (see Ezra 5:3-7)
- 457 BCE: The decree from Artaxerxes to Ezra (see Ezra 7:11-16)
- 444 BCE: The decree from Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to rebuild Yerushalayim and its walls (see Nehemiah 2:1-8)
Of these decrees the last is surely the one referenced by Gabriel to Daniel. Among the reasons we can be sure of this is the old adage that hindsight is 20/20. 476 solar years after the first three dates no one arose displaying the traits of Moshiach, however 476 solar years after the decree by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah something did happen that would forever alter the future.
Y'shua's Triumphal Entry to Yerushalayim
When we add 476 (solar years) to 444 BCE we arrive at 32 CE. Subtract 1 year because there was no year 0 and we have the year 31.
While the exact dates of Master Y'shua's activities on the planet remain in dispute, we do know that around 31 CE he was alive and based on best estimates this would be very close (if not exact) to the date he entered Yerushalayim seated on a colt to cries of "Hosanna to the King!"
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
As this event announced the final week of Y'shua's life this would also pinpoint his birth as having occurred around 3 or 4 B.C.E. as is generally held (7-4 is the most common view of scholars).
And there is more evidence contained in this prophecy that points to Y'shua:
Daniel 9:26 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.
Y'shua was "cut off, but not for himself" circa 31 CE and became Cohen Gadol to the world.
We do not know the exact date of his birth but in 70 CE the armies of Rome destroyed the city and the second Beit HaMikdash (Temple).
Some people point out that while this evidence appears compelling, Master Y'shua did not fulfill the Messianic requirements and hence could not have been the one spoken of by the Messenger of HaShem.
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.