Welcome to another edition of The Teaching Lady. I am grateful you stopped by. Glory to the Lord for another day! Today, we are looking at the book of Daniel again, more specifically, the verses mentioned in Chapter 9. So grab your paper and pen and jot down some notes. First, we have to work on some math equations involving the 70 weeks in Daniel 9.
Let’s look at our discussion passages again.
Daniel 9:24-27, “24 “Seventy weeks[a] are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.[b] 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.
Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again[c] with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its[d] end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,[e] and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Time for some math.
The first number we see is 70.
The length of the captivity was 70 years as prophesied by the prophet, Jeremiah. Why 70 years? One year for every year, the nation had failed to keep the sabbatical rest of the land. – hence 70 times.
These specific passages don’t speak specifically about the 70 years in captivity Daniel had been praying about. He was nearing the end of captivity when the angel Gabrial showed up. The 70 weeks (years) in verses 24-27 are future events.
Verse 24 says that 70 weeks have been decreed for Daniel, his people, and his holy city. In part one of this series, we mentioned that the Lord was talking about his people Israel, and the holy city, Jerusalem.
What is it with the 70 weeks? Are we talking about literal weeks, or is God saying something more?
Many commentators agree that 70 weeks actually means 70 years. When we do the math according to Bible commentators, it comes out to a total of 490. 70 x 7 = 490.
Most Biblical scholars agree that it is 490 years, not weeks as we know weeks on a calendar. The word weeks in Hebrew refers to a unit of seven, or a heptad, with its meaning determined by context.
The second number we see is 7.
Verse 25 says, “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.
70 Weeks was the total given to Daniel. These 70 weeks are broken down into two parts. The first part is seven weeks. Seven weeks for what? Let’s do our math calculation first. If we follow the same guidelines used on the 70 weeks, it looks like this: 7 x 7 = 49 or 49 years.
49 years may refer to the complete restoration of Jeru, par, partially narrated in Ezra and Nehemiah’s books.
An interesting side note worth considering.
Jeremiah 25 prophesy about an impending invasion because, as Jeremiah puts it, and I am paraphrasing, “After 23 years of telling you what God says you are to do, you didn’t listen. So you will suffer the consequences.”
The Babylonians invaded Jerusalem three times. The first time in 605 BC, the second in 597 BC, and the last invasion and ultimate fall of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was 586 BC.
Biblical scholars believe Daniel was taken into exile during the first invasion by King Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC. Some say the clock starts in 605 BC and ends in 538 BC.
Others say the clock starts in 586 BC and ends in 516 BC.
The third number we see is 62.
The rest of verse 25 reads, “Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again.”
If we follow the same calculation pattern, we multiply 62 x 7 = 434, or 434 years.
According to the passage above, after 434 years have passed, the anointed one will be cut off. Therefore, we believe the anointed one is Jesus Christ.
If we take the numbers from above, specifically 7 and 62, add them together, we get 69. So we are looking at 69 weeks, or a total of 483 years. 49 + 434 = 483.
Ezra and Nehemiah both record a decree by King Artexerses regarding the rebuilding of Jerusalem. However, we aren’t specifically talking about rebuilding the temple because our focus passages mention rebuilding the city, not the temple, even though the temple gets rebuilt and, according to some scholars, is completed in 516 BC.
God tells Daniel when to start counting. Start counting when the city is being rebuilt, not the temple.
It is thought Ezra’s letter from King Artaxerxes came in 458 BC. It appears this letter allows them to return temple utensils and appoint civic leaders.
It is thought that Nehemiah’s letter from King Artaxerxes came in 444 BC. This letter addresses rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, which would be more in line with the passage reference rebuilding the city.
Calendars make a difference.
Theologians or Bible scholars have added up the number of days for the first 69 weeks. According to the timeline of Jewish calendars, the 69th week would lead up to Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey in the week of Passover, followed by his death and resurrection.
I mention the Jewish calendar because it is important to remember that the Jewish calendar does not operate the same as the Gregorian calendar we use in the U.S. For example, the Jewish calendar is 360 days/year, whereas the Gregorian calendar is 365 days/year. That makes a difference in the calculations.
If we take 69 weeks (483 lunar years) x 360 days (Jewish calendar) = 173,880 days
173,880 days / 365 days (Gregorian calendar) = 476 solar years.
Following so far?
I hope so. If not, go back and re-read the above a few times. I know it can be not very clear when weeks really mean years.
It is thought that Jesus Christ was born somewhere between 7 and 4 BC. His ministry started sometime around the age of 30, according to Luke 3:23. That would have been around AD 26 or 27, depending on the date of birth which no one knows for sure. Some scholars build the dates around King Herod’s death.
It is thought Jesus died at the age of 33, AD 30 because the Bible says his ministry was three years. So if he started his ministry at 30, he died sometime in his 33rd year and maybe closer to 34. One day I will ask him face to face, and then again, maybe not.
So let’s summarize the above information and see where we’re at regarding this prophecy by pulling all the pieces together.
According to Bible scholars, the starting point of the prophecy would have begun on Nisan 1 (March 5) 444 BC, followed by 69 weeks of 360 day years or 173,880 days, and culminated on Nisan 10 (March 30) AD 30, the date of Jesus the Messiah’s triumphal entry. However, some commentators show AD 33 for Jesus’ death.
So far, the Bible records all the events unfolding as prophesied in Daniel 9.
Whew! That’s a lot. It is indeed. But what is missing from the above calculations and prophecy? One week of sevens or the 70th week.
Let’s pick up the next time we are together and look into the final week, the 70th week of this prophecy from the book of Daniel. I hope you’ll join me.
The Teaching Lady