Pearl of Great Value - Matt. 13:45-46

A Neat Prophetic Package

The Astonishing Accuracy of Daniel's Prophecy

By Richard Kirby

If a Bible exegete tries to force prophetic scriptures into too neat a package, it doesn’t work well. Some scriptures just don’t quite fit. The package has unsightly bulges and keeps coming apart. But I want to show you as neat a fulfillment as any Bible student could want. If we knew enough it would probably be fulfilled down to the very day and hour. I’m referring to Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, found in chapter 9.

 

Daniel 9:21b-27a: “Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, ‘Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.  Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision: 24 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 [Most Holy One].  25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, [Messiah the Prince] comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens’. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens’, the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing [or off, but not for Himself]. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.”

 

1) First of all let us assume that these are not 7-day weeks, but weeks of years. If the prophecy speaks of 7-day weeks, then they are referring to nothing historically significant. But if they refer to weeks of years, then (as I will show) they are most stunningly accurate.

 

2) Secondly, in the prophecy Gabriel refers to 70 weeks 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 One.” But the part of the prophecy I wish to call attention to is the 69 weeks of years:  “From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, [Messiah the Prince, NASB] comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens.’”  Seven sevens and sixty-two sevens are sixty-nine sevens, or weeks of years.

 

3)  The 70th week is left unaccounted for, except that it will “… 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” [most holy One].  This 70th week seems to refer to the final week of history, commonly known as the Great Tribulation, and this for several reasons. a) Nothing of significance occurred 7 years after Christ’s crucifixion. The first destruction of the city occurred more like 40 years later, not in the next 7 years.  b) The Crucifixion, while it did “atone for  wickedness,” did not (as I understand it) suffice “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin…, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy One” [i.e. see Christ on His earthly throne].”  This sounds more like events of the Second Coming.  c) They seems to fit the final week of years of human history as we know it, rather than the seven years following Christ’s atoning death. The rest of chapter 9 speaks of the “prince who is to come” in details that fit Antichrist and the Tribulation period better than any past events in history.   

                                                                                                                                                                       Dan. 9:26b-27: “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 on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

 

I know of no such covenant made by Titus and the Romans, no covenant broken in the middle of the 7-year period. But leave that as it may be; these are murky matters. I ask only that you to give me this much: From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the cutting off of Messiah (Christ) is predicted to be 69 weeks of years, or 69 X 7, which equals 483 years. No one is quite sure why the 69 weeks are divided into “seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens,’” but the time from the decree to the Crucifixion is said to be 483 years—The Messiah Prince will be cut off, but not for Himself.

 

So in what year was the decree given?  Three decrees are mentioned in the Bible:

 

  • Cyrus’s proclamation for the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 1:1-3), 536 B.C.
  • Artaxerxes’s decree to allow emigration to Jerusalem (Ezra 7), 458 B.C.
  • Decree of Artaxerxes (Longimanus) to rebuild the city (Neh. 2:4-8), 445 B.C., in the month of Nisan.

 

Nehemiah 2:5-6: “I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.” 6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?’ It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.”

 

Every source I consulted placed the date this “decree to rebuild the city” at 445 B.C., in the month of Nisan.

 

If we calculate 483 years from 445, we get A.D. 39 (445 – 483 = -38). Add 1 year between 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. and we get the year of the Crucifixion as 39 A.D.  That can’t be right. So what went wrong?

 

Well, the prophetic literature always uses lunar years of 360 days, not solar years. For example 42 months equals 1260 days equals 3 and a half years (Rev. 11:2: 12:6; Dan. 7:25). This shows that a year in prophetic time was 360 days.

 

So 483 times 360 equals 173880 days (483 X 360 = 173880). To convert a lunar year to a solar year we have to divide the number of lunar days by 365.25 (to account for leap year) to find the actual number of years by our calendar. 173880 divided by 365.25 equals 476 years.

 

Now subtract 476 from 445 and you get -31, or 3l A.D. Add the year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D., and we get 32 A.D. Gabriel told Daniel that the Messiah Prince would be crucified in Nisan of 32 A.D.

 

How’s that for a neat prophetic package?