Daniel Chapter 9 - A Time to be Born. A Time to Die

Updated: Jun 19

Evidence that Jesus is the 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.

The 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 Commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (which the kingdom of 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.

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.

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 killed, 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-centered 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 our selfish 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

No bones broken. Exo 12:46 => John 19:31-36

Died with criminals. Isa 53:12 => Matt 27:38

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).

Why 457BC?

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 in 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 lased 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).