Updated: Aug 13, 2022
EVIDENCE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE JEWISH MESSIAH SENT BY GOD
ONE of the most wonderful evidences of the Bible’s Divine origin is the prophecy of Daniel chapter 9. This prophecy, written over 500 years before Christ, gave the exact year the Messiah would appear, the duration of His ministry, and the very year He would die.
Daniel chapter 9 continues the interpretation of the prophecy of Daniel 8. Recall that the vision of chapter 8 contains four symbols:
The Little Horn
The 2300 days
The first three symbols were explained by the angel Gabriel.
1. THE RAM - MEDO-PERSIA
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had [two] horns: and the [two] horns [were] high; but one [was] higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither [was there any] that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great." Dan 8:3,4
"The ram which thou sawest having [two] horns [are] the kings of Media and Persia." Dan 8:20
2. THE HE-GOAT - GRECIA
Dan 8:5 "And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat [had] a notable horn between his eyes.
8:6 And he came to the ram that had [two] horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand."
"And the rough goat [is] the king of Grecia: and the great horn that [is] between his eyes [is] the first king." Dan 8:21
3. THE LITTLE HORN - ROME
8:8 "Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was
was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
Following the death of Alexander the Great, his Kingdom was divided among his four generals, symbolised by the four horns which arose after the great horn (Alexander) was broken: Seleucus, Ptolomey, Cassander & Lysimachus.
8:9 "And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant [land].
8:10 And it waxed great, [even] to the host of heaven; and it cast down [some] of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
8:11 Yea, he magnified [himself] even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily [sacrifice] was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
8:12 And an host was given [him] against the daily [sacrifice] by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain [saint] which spake, How long [shall be] the vision [concerning] the daily [sacrifice], and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
THE LITTLE HORN IS SYMBOLIC OF BOTH PAGAN ROME & PAPAL ROME
Note the identifying marks of the Little Horn in Daniel 8
Rome conquered the pleasant land (Palestine) - vs 9
It stamped upon the Host (God's people) - vs 10. cf He-Goat stamped upon the Ram
Rome crucified the Prince of the Host (Jesus) - vs 11
Armies (an host) aided Papal Rome in its establishment - vs 12
Papal Rome cast the truth to the ground - vs 12
Papal Rome practised & prospered - vs 12, 24
Rome, pagan & Papal trod underfoot (to stamp) God's sanctuary and people - vs 12
Rome follows the division of the Grecian empire (4 horns) - vs 22,23
Rome is described as the King of fierce countenance - vs 23
Rome spoke a language (Latin) which Daniel's people did not understand - vs 23
Moses spoke of this power - Deut 28:49,50
Jesus warned of this power - Matthew 24:15, Luke 21:20
Rome destroyed the mighty and holy people, i.e. Christians - vs 24
Rome shall magnify himself in his heart - vs 25, 2Thess 2:3,4, Dan 11:36, 37
Rome stood up against the Prince of princes, Jesus - vs 25
Rome is predicted to be broken without hand - vs 25, Compare Dan 2:45, 7:11 & 11:45
Hence the only part of the prophecy which was not explained by the angel Gabriel was the time portion of 2300 days.
Note: Daniel 8:26 "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told [is] true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it [shall be] for many days.
8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick [certain] days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood [it]."
The other aspects of the vision were explained but none understood the time prophecy of 2300 days in Daniel 8:14
The angel Gabriel returns in chapter 9 to explain the vision, the portion that was not understood i.e. the 2300 days and not surprisingly commences with "TIME" in Daniel 9:24
Daniel 9:21-23 "Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 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."
THE 70 WEEKS TIME PROPHECY
“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. 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 (69 weeks).” Daniel 9:24-25.
The word "determined" is from the Hebrew ‘chathak’ which means CUT OFF, or amputated. Hence the 70 weeks were cut off from a larger time prophecy and that prophecy is the 2300 days of the Daniel 8 vision. In fact it nails down the commencement of the 2300 days.
THE COMMANDMENT TO RESTORE AND REBUILD JERUSALEM
(which Babylon had destroyed) WAS GIVEN IN 457BC
Three Persian kings issued decrees concerning Jerusalem - Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes. The first two decrees only concerned building, not restoration. Not until King Artaxerxes' decree issued in his seventh year, 457BC, was Jewish religious and judicial power restored
fulfilling the requirements of the prophecy.
CYRUS: 536 BC
"In the first year of Cyrus the king [the same] Cyrus the king made a decree [concerning] the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof threescore cubits;" Ezra 6:3 See also Ezra 1:1-4
DARIUS: 519 BC
"Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon." Ezra 6:1
"Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king's goods, [even] of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered." Ezra 6:8
ARTAXERXES: 457 BC
"And I, [even] I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree.." Ezra 7:21
And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not."
"And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether [it be] unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment." Ezra 7:25, 26
So “...from the going forth of the commandment (457BC)...unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 69 weeks.”
How did 69 ‘weeks’ reach to the time of Christ, the Messiah?
Each day represented a year:
“I have given you each day for a year.” (Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34).
69 weeks = 483 days = 483 years
70 weeks = 490 days = 490 years
So 457BC + 69 ‘weeks (483 years) = AD27.
There was no year “0” so the maths is correct.
70x7=490. Jesus indirectly endorsed the day / year interpretation of time prophecy when asked the question by Peter: "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21,22
Messiah means “the Anointed One.”
It is equivalent to “Christ.” John 1:41 margin.
Was Jesus anointed becoming the Christ, the Messiah, in AD27?
Yes, the Bible states that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism, becoming the Messiah in “the 15th year of the reign of Tiberus Caesar [AD27].” (See Luke 3:1, 21-23).
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” Acts 10:38.
The Saviour Himself declared: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Luke 4:18.
Did Christ recognize that the 69 week prophecy was fulfilled?
Yes. After His baptism Christ went into Galilee, “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled.” Mark 1:14, 15.
What else did the prophecy foretell?
“And after [the] threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself...” Daniel 9:26.
Though He never sinned and did not deserve to die, Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be crucified, to pay the debt for sin that we deserve.
“Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
“He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” Isaiah 53:8.
What did Christ the Messiah do during the 70th week?
“And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” Daniel 9:27.
This is the last “week” of the seventy; it is the last seven years of the time given especially to the Jews. During this time, extending from AD27 to AD34, Christ, at first in person, and afterward by His disciples, extended the gospel invitation especially to the Jews (Matthew 10:5, 6). .
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” Hebrews 2:3; Romans 15:8; Mark 14:24.
What happened in the midst [middle] of the 70th week (AD31)?
“In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Daniel 9:27.
In the middle of the 70th week: AD31, three and a half years after His baptism, our Lord was crucified reconcilling us to God (Romans 5:1).
With the great sacrifice of Christ the system of sacrifices and oblations, which for four thousand years had pointed forward to the Lamb of God, was ended. Type had met antitype, and all the sacrifices and oblations of the ceremonial system were then to cease.
When Christ died, God tore the veil within the temple in two to show that the system of sacrifices and ordinances was ended, blotted out, nailed to the cross (Matt. 27:51;
Col 2:14-17; Eph 2:15).
When did the 70 weeks end?
The 70 weeks ended in AD34 when, through the action of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Jewish nation sealed its rejection of the gospel, by the martyrdom of Stephen the first Christian martyr, and the persecution of the followers of Christ. Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the Jews, was given to the world.
The disciples, forced by persecution to flee from Jerusalem, “went everywhere preaching the Word.” “Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ
unto them.” Acts 8:4, 5; 22:21. Peter, divinely guided, opened the gospel to the centurion of Cesarea. Paul was commissioned to carry the glad tidings “far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 8:4, 5; 22:21.
“The kingdom shall be taken from you”
Jesus told a parable about a vineyard in which the workers would not give to the Master the fruits he deserved. The Master sent servants to receive the fruits but the workers beat and killed them. “last of all he sent unto them His son,” and they killed him too. (Matthew 21:33-39). This parable refers to the Jewish nation which had not given God the fruits of righteousness and which had beaten and killed the prophets sent to them. Last of all, in the 70th and final week, God sent unto them His own Son, and they killed Him too. Because they would kill Jesus He said to His Jewish hearers, “The kingdom shall be taken from you
and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:43). That nation is the Christian Church which is made up of all who accept Christ.
“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” Acts 13:46.
A CHRIST CENTRED PROPHECY
The fulfillment of this prophecy is stunning evidence that God exists, and that Jesus is the Saviour sent from God to save us from sin by His self sacrificing love.
OTHER PROPHECIES JESUS FULFILLED
1. Born in Bethlehem. Mic 5:2 => Matthew 2:1
2. Hands & feet pierced. Ps 22:16 => John 20:25-27
3. No bones broken. Exo 12:46 => John 19:31-36
4. Died with criminals. Isa 53:12 => Matt 27:38
5. Buried with the rich. Isa 53:9 => Matt 27:57-60
Was Jesus ‘written up’ to fit the prophecies? No. His enemies knew the facts and would have quickly discredited any errors and the Christian religion would never have got
started. The facts were accurate even though His enemies didn’t want to accept them.
The Bible foretold the very year, month, and day when Jesus would die - the year, AD31, the month of Nisan, the 14th day. (Daniel 9:26-27; Leviticus 23:5).
The decrees of Cyrus and Darius only concerned building, not restoration (Ezra 6:3; 1:1-4; Ezra 6:1; 6-12).
Not until King Artaxerxes’ decree (issued in his seventh year, 457BC was Jewish religious and judicial power restored fulfilling the requirements of the prophecy (Ezra 7 esp. vs. 25-26) - “to restore and to build...”
God regarded all three decrees as forming the one “commandment.” Ezra 6:14.
The 7th year of Artaxerxes was 457BC by Jewish reckoning. See Horn & Wood, The Chronology of Ezra 7.
Such is the importance of Artaxerxes’ commandment of 457BC that an actual copy of it is recorded in the Bible in the original Aramaic langage in Ezra 7:12-23.
Many begin the prophecy with the issuing of some letters given to Nehemiah in 444BC (Neh 1:7) Is this correct?
Letters (plural) are not a commandment (singular).
The letters only concerned building not restoring. Nehemiah’s shock at hearing the gates at Jerusalem had been destroyed (Neh 1:2-4) indicates that the destruction was recent and therefore rebuilding work had already begun before these letters were issued.
As Nehemiah and company completed their work in just 52 days (Neh 6:15) rebuilding work must have been going on before Nehemiah arrived. Rebuilding had already begun before Nehemiah arrived (See Neh 2:16). It had been authorized by the decree of 457BC years before Nehemiah’s letters. 444BC + 483 years = AD38. Overshoots Christ’s life.
Was the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar AD27?
The 15th year was AD27 according to the ‘nonaccession’ year method of dating kings reigns, that was used in the early Roman Empire. In this method of reckoning any remaining portion of the year in which the new king took the throne was counted as his first ‘year.’ Tiberius’ first ‘year’ was therefore very short, from the death of Augustus, Aug. 19, 14AD, to the next Jewish New Year’s Day (Tishri 1 in Oct. 14AD). Tiberius’ 15th year was therefore Oct. 27AD to Oct. 28AD.
The fact that no coins from his first ‘year’ have ever been found indicates that Tiberius’ first ‘year’ was very short as would be the case if the non accession method was used. Christ was “about 30” when baptized (Luke 3:23) Jesus was born “in the days of Herod the king” (Matthew 2:1) and Herod died about 4BC (Enc. Britannica, 15th ed., 1983, Vol 4, p580).
If Jesus was born ~4BC + 30 years = Baptism AD27. (There was no year 0”).
See J. Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1964), 259-272.
Note that at least four or five of the solutions discussed lead to AD27 as the date Jesus began His ministry.
Christ Confirmed THE Covenant
In Daniel “THE Covenant” always refers to God’s Covenant. (See Dan 9:4, 27; 11:22, 28, 30, 32). The word “confirm” (Hebrew gabar), means to make strong or prevail, confirm, strengthen. (See Strongs). Had this referred to the making of a covenant we would expect the Hebrew word karath to be used because this is the word used in every instance where a covenant is made in the Old Testament! Daniel 9:27 is not speaking of anyone making (karath) a covenant but of Christ confirming (gabar) THE covenant.
Paul said "the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ” (Galatians 3:17).
Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made to the fathers.” (Romans 15:8).
False prophecy - There is no ‘Gap’
The idea that the 70th week is in the future and separated from the 69th week by an indefinite period of time, is possibly the biggest evangelical misinterpretation of the century. There is no gap. The 70th week immediately follows the 69th week just as the 62 weeks immediately followed the first 7 weeks. The passage makes no suggestion of any seven year
tribulation, and makes no mention of antichrist because the prophecy is about Jesus Christ.
Jesus ministered for 3 1/2 years (Half the 70th week) The ministry of Christ lasted just 3 1/2 years, for He attended just four Passovers and was crucified at the last (John 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 13:1).