SOLID INFORMATION ON 457BC OF DANIEL 9

 

As Seventh-day Adventists, we have long believed that the Daniel 9 time prophecy which is a part of the Daniel 8 prophecy commences in 457 BC. Do we have any solid evidence for this? Below is solid information to prove this point true. God bless as you read it through.

 

The Requirements of Dan 9:25 William H. Shea

 

Daniel 9:25 dates the beginning of these two prophetic time periods to the going forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Several different approaches have been taken toward the significance of this phrase. Historico- critical scholars date it to ca. 593, when Jeremiah received the prophetic word that Jerusalem would be restored after the 70-year period of exile. This is done in an effort to shorten the prophetic time period down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes in 165 B.C., but neither the dates nor the events involved work out.

 

A second approach has been to look for a royal decree from a king to re- build Jerusalem. For evangelical scholars, this has been taken as Artaxerxes letters to Nehemiah, as referred to in Neh 2:1Ð9, the 20th year of Artaxerxes, or 444 B.C. Nehemiah does refer to the broken down state of Jerusalem and ask permission to rebuild it. However, his specific request is only for letters to the western governors to permit him to pass on to Judah and to the keeper of the king’s forest for timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress. In contrast with Ezra 1, 6, and 7, where the royal decrees given to the Jews are quoted, the contents of the letters are not quoted here in this context.

 

Starting from 444 B.C. and adding 490 years to the time of the Messiah takes one more than a decade beyond the time of Jesus of Nazareth. This has required a shortening of the time period involved by using a lunar calendar calculation so complicated that it is unlikely that anyone in ancient (or modern) times could understand it.5 Thus, this approach has not worked out well.

 

This has led back to the royal decree of Artaxerxes that was given to Ezra. It is extensive, and it is quoted in the Aramaic in which it was written (Ezra 7:11Ð26). The problem here is not so much with the date as it is with the contents of the decree. The decree gives Ezra wide ranging authority, allowing him to inflict the death penalty (Ezra 7:26), to teach the Law of God, even to non- Judahites (v. 25), and to appoint legal magistrates in various places (v. 25). In addition, there were extensive offerings given to the temple by the Persian king. Of these offerings the king said, whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do, according to the will of your God (7:18). Thus, for Ezra to have used the balance of the silver and the gold for rebuilding Jerusalem would not be unexpected and, given the wide ranging authority granted to him, it is not surprising that he found it within the realm of his authority to start this building project. The evidence from the letter of the western governors in Ezra 4:11Ð23 indicates that he did.

 

 

 

Thus, there are internal grounds for using the decree of Artaxerxes in Ezra 7 for the starting point of the 70 weeks of Dan 9:24Ð27. Nevertheless, it is still awkward that the decree does not specifically authorize the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. There may be an exegetical way to make the application more specific. It requires an examination of the word used for the order to rebuild in Dan 9:25.

 

The word used here for the going forth of the Word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem is the common Hebrew noun dabar. It is the common word for Word that is used 1430 times in the Old Testament. Aside from the common meaning of the word, it can also mean an affair, thing, something. It is not the specific and technical term for a royal decree. It can commonly be the word from one person to another, and in a number of cases it can be the word of God to a person or persons. In the book of Daniel there are two words that are used for a royal decree. The decree of Nebuchadnezzar is referred to as a gezerah (Dan 4:17, 24). For the decree of Darius the Mede the word used is {esar (seven times in Dan 6). Both of these words are in Aramaic passages, however, and Dan 9:25 was written in Hebrew.

 

In the book of Ezra decrees of the kings are mentioned in a number of places, commonly with the Aramaic word te{ern (4:10, 21; 7:14, 21 = Artaxerxes; 5:13, 21 = Cyrus; 6:8, 11 = Darius). In the Hebrew portions of Ezra the word qoal is used for Cyrus decree in 1:1, but the same word is used for Ezra’s proclamation for the gathering of the people to Jerusalem to deal with the issue of foreign wives (10:7). This is the common word for voice, which leads to the idea of the order, command, or decree as being the spoken word of a person, royal or common.

 

In the book of Esther, written in Hebrew, the word dat is used nine times for decrees of Ahasuerus or Xerxes (2:8; 3:15; 4:3, 8; 8:14, 17; 9:1, 13, 14). This is a loan word from Old Persian meaning law. It is also used three times in the Aramaic of Daniel for decrees of Nebuchadnezzar (2:9, 13, 15).

 

From this brief lexical search of Ezra, Daniel, and Esther, no specific evidence has been found suggesting that we ought to translate the dabar of Dan 9:25 as a royal decree. It could just as well be the word of a person other than the king. The question, then, is who gave the word, in order or command, to begin the reconstruction of Jerusalem? It can only be said to be Artaxerxes in an indirect and oblique sense. Who gave the order or command in a more direct and specific sense? The answer from the above examination of the letter of the west- ern governors is obvious. The one who sent out the word to begin the reconstruction of Jerusalem was Ezra. It was not issued by a Persian king from Pasar- gadae or Persepolis, it was sent forth from Jerusalem by Ezra. Just as his voice or word went throughout the land to gather at Jerusalem to deal with the issue of foreign wives, so his word was sent forth after the episode to call the people back to Jerusalem for its reconstruction. Thus the going forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in Dan 9:25 was Ezra’s word, not the decree of Artaxerxes. Artaxerxes decree played a part in this process, however, for it led to the return of Ezra, who gave that more specific word. Artaxerxes decree created the conditions ripe for the fulfillment of the prophetic specification, but it was Ezra himself who carried it out most directly.

 

That raises the question of when Ezra sent forth this word to rebuild Jerusalem. In the chronology developed above, it was noted that this could only have taken place after the issue of foreign wives was dealt with. That process was completed by the first month of Nisan in 456 B.C. The going forth of Ezra’s word to rebuild should have taken place soon after that, in the late spring or early summer of 456 B.C. All of this still falls within the Jewish fall-to-fall calendar for the eighth year of Artaxerxes.

 

As outlined earlier in this study, the decree that Artaxerxes gave to Ezra for his return was undoubtedly given earlier in 457 B.C., in January or February. Then Ezra began his return in March-April, and he arrived in Jerusalem in July-August. Previous interpretations have held that Ezra’s arrival fulfilled the conditions of the decree of Artaxerxes, thus the count of 2300 day-years starts in the fall of 457 B.C. as the beginning of the first fall-to-fall year of the 2300. That takes us to the year from the fall of A.D. 1843 to the fall of 1844 as the last of the 2300 years. The historical points at the beginning are correct and the calculations are correct, starting from the fall New Year immediately after the arrival, fulfilling the conditions of the decree.

 

What is suggested here is that there is another way of arriving at this final end point. If one counts from the fall-to-fall year of 457Ð456 B.C., Artaxerxes eighth year, one can count directly from the time when Ezra’s word was sent out to rebuild Jerusalem. This is a way, therefore, of counting that same year as the first year of the 2300. The conclusion is the same, that from the fall of A.D. 1843 to the fall of 1844 was the 2300th year of Dan 8:14. One can reach that conclusion indirectly from Artaxerxes decree or one can count it directly from the time when Ezra’s word went forth for the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Given the fact that Ezra’s word fulfills the specification of Dan 9:25 more directly, that appears to be the preferable route to follow.

 

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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

 

This well-known starting date for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. (Ezra 7:13). Remember this date was also the beginning of the 490 years God gave Israel to end their rebellion and so the 490 year probation period ended in A.D. 34 where the Jews ceased to be God’s chosen people. Daniel 9:24-25 informs us the Messiah would be anointed after a total of 69 (7 + 62) of these prophetic weeks had passed. That is 483 years (490-7) from the 457 B.C. decree date and brings us to the year A.D. 27. This was the exact year Jesus was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit anointed Him for His ministry. The Greek word “Messiah” means “Anointed One” and so we know this can only be the fulfilment of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy that the Messiah would appear in A.D. 27. The Jewish probation period was 70 weeks but Jesus appears as the “Messiah” after 69 weeks. So the 70th and final week is left for Christ to minister before the Jews probation ended. What happened in this 70th and final week?

 

Daniel 9:27 gives the answer, “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.

 

The Decree to Rebuild Jerusalem

 

 

The “midst of the week” is half of 7 days being of course 3.5 prophetic days, which is 3.5 literal years being the time from the baptism of Jesus to His crucifixion. And as you would expect, the Bible confirms the ministry of Jesus lasted exactly 3.5 years. When they crucified Jesus in the spring of A.D. 31, the temple veil was rent from top to bottom, (Matthew 27:51) which signified the end of the sacrificial system. By His own death Jesus caused the “sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” The remaining 3.5 literal years brings us to the end of the 70 weeks and the Jewish probation. The disciples laboured mainly for the Jews during those three and a half years and in A.D. 34, the 70 weeks ended when Stephen was stoned after his immense speech before the council in Acts chapter 7. The Jews had rejected the Gospel message and so were no longer God’s chosen people and thus the Gospel began to go to the Gentiles (Acts 8:4). The Jews now receive salvation as individuals in the same way we do.

 

Note 1: There are different opinions on who “the people of the prince” refers to in Daniel 9:26 but the majority of scholars however do agree that the destruction of “the city and the sanctuary” applies to the second destruction of Jerusalem and the rebuilt sanctuary by Roman armies under Prince Titus in 70 A.D.

 

Note 2: Remember the 70 weeks or 490 years was the time God gave His chosen nation to end their rebellion where they would then be forgiven for their transgressions. Now note that Jesus references this prophetic time period while conversing with Peter on the topic forgiveness. 70 times 7 is of course 490.

 

Matthew 18:21 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

 

For those wondering, the well-known and accepted day for a year rule is correct or otherwise the entire ministry of Jesus would have only been 3.5 days instead of 3.5 years and the entire prophecy would have only lasted about 1.3 years. That would be from 457 B.C. to approximately 455 B.C. The temple and the streets and the walls of Jerusalem etc would have had to have been rebuilt in 49 days. This would be an impossible task and it certainly did take every bit of the 49 years as one would expect. So let’s just clarify these times again. Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined upon your people” Seventy weeks is 70 * 7 days which is 490 prophetic days, which on the day for a year rule is 490 years.

 

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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

 

Daniel 9:25 states that from the decree to rebuild the temple until the Messiah (means anointed one), which can only be Jesus, is 7 weeks and threescore and two weeks, Three score is 60, plus two equals 62 weeks. So this is 7 + 62 = 69 weeks from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the beginning of Christ’s ministry. The ministry of Jesus began at the allowed age of 30 years with His baptism.

 

Luke 3:22-23 NIV “And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. 23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry…

 

So how do we get the year of baptism to be 27 A.D. when it states Jesus was about thirty years old? When the time of this was first calculated there was an error of 4 years made as many now know. Herod was still alive when Christ was born and did all he could to try and kill Jesus at that time. But History records Herod’s death to be in 4 B.C. After the error was recognized, the historic facts became even clearer. Jesus was born in 4 B.C. and then baptized in 27 A.D. at the age of 30. The 7 weeks (49 days = 49 years) was the time it took to rebuild the Temple and streets etc and the remaining 62 weeks brings us to the Baptism of the Messiah. Note that Christ means the “anointed one” in Greek while Messiah means the “anointed one” in Hebrew.

 

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.

 

This leaves only the final 70th week, which is 7 years to complete the 70 weeks of Daniel, (7 + 62 + 1 = 70 weeks or 490 years). We are told that after the threescore and two weeks (60 + 2 = 62) that the Messiah would be cut off. In other words, cut off from the land of the living, that is, killed by crucifixion. This happens after the 62 week period which follows the 7 weeks, so this is 69 weeks into the prophecy. Note that is says “after” this time period and not at the end of the 69 weeks exactly. So how long after the 62nd week was it when Jesus was crucified?

 

Daniel 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 9:27 tells us exactly when after the total of 69 weeks Jesus was “cut off, but not for Himself,” for He was cut off for us as He died for our sins. Note that it states that He, Jesus, caused “the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” in the “middle” of the final week (7 years), which is 3.5 years of course. When Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on the cross, He became our one and final perfect sacrifice and put an end to the temple sacrifices. This was signified by the temple curtain been torn from top to bottom.

 

Matthew 27:51 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

 

This still leaves 3.5 years before the end of Daniel’s 70 weeks (490 years) and the close of probation for Israel. The Gospel was still to go the Jews exclusively for this remaining time. So what happened at the end of the 490 years? Stephen gave one immense and very significant speech before the Sanhedrin. This was God giving the Jews their final chance to repent. How did they respond and what did they do?

 

Acts 7:54-60 “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

 

Notice that this is an extremely significant event as we see Stephen say, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” It is also interesting to note that Stephen effectively said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” The final 3.5 years, which was the same length of time as the ministry of Jesus Christ, ended with the death of Stephen and him effectively saying the same words as Jesus when He was crucified. This marked the end of a very significant time period being the end of the Daniel’s 70 weeks.

 

In the autumn of the year 34 A.D., the Jewish leaders rejected the Gospel message. They openly declared this rejection by the stoning of Stephen that was approved wholly by the leaders of Israel. The sad historical fact is Stephen was the first Christian martyr killed by the hands of the Jewish nation itself. The 490 years were up and the Jews not only did not repent but they killed the very Messiah they had been waiting for as well as the final messenger that was sent to give them their final chance to repent. The Jews were now rejected as God’s chosen nation and were no different from the Gentiles.

 

After Jesus was baptized by John, Jesus states the following. Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” What is this time that is fulfilled that Jesus speaks of here? I am sure you already know but note the following Bible Commentary for confirmation.

 

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, LL.D., F.S.A., (1715-1832)

 

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled – That is, the time appointed for sending the Messiah; and particularly the time specified by Daniel, Dan 9:24-27.

 

The basics of the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9 are relatively simple and clear as I am sure you will now agree. The only thing that is not initially distinctly clear and that many dispute is the date evidence. How can we be sure that this prophecy did in fact begin in 457 B.C.? In order for this prophecy to prove that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, then the starting period has to come close to a year that can be reconciled with a date that could be aligned with the baptism and crucifixion of Jesus. As we discovered earlier, this starting date began with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

 

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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

 

The issuing of the command to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem begins with a specific decree, but the problem is that there are several different decrees in the Bible concerning rebuilding within Jerusalem.

 

Instigator Passage Date Particulars of the Decree
Cyrus Ezra 1:1-4 539 B.C. Allowed the Jews to return home and rebuild their Temple. The work ceased because of false allegations (Ezra 4:6-13).
Darius Ezra 6:8-12 520 B.C. Allowed the Jews to complete the rebuilding of the Temple
Artaxerxes Ezra 7:11-26 457 B.C. Gave authority to Ezra to lead the nation in the Laws of God
Artaxerxes Nehemiah 1 445 B.C. Gave permission to Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem

 

The first two dates are way too early to have any bearing upon the coming of the Messiah and the last one is way too late. Ezra was given his commission in the 7th year of Artaxerxes. So allowing for his ascension year, this Persian king began his reign in 464 B.C. This places the king’s decree to Ezra around 457 B.C. (464 B.C. – 7 years = 457 B.C.) We find Ezra also alludes to possibly been given permission in his prayer not only to rebuild the Temple but also to build the walls of Judah and Jerusalem.

 

Ezra 9:9 “For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

 

The conclusion of the 69 weeks is the coming of “Messiah the Prince” and theologians generally agree that this Anointed Prince is a reference to Jesus Christ. So this makes it a simple matter of looking at the four decrees and seeing which one aligns with the first coming of Jesus. Since there are some differences of opinion in these dates, I have given a range of the most accepted dates.

 

Daniel 9:25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks…

 

Instigator and date for each decree 483 Year date end
Cyrus Ezra 1:1-4 539-536 B.C. 56-53 B.C.
Darius Ezra 6:8-12 520-519 B.C. 37-36 B.C.
7th Year of Artaxerxes Ezra 7:11-26 458-457 B.C. 26-27 A.D.
20th Year of Artaxerxes Nehemiah 1 445-444 B.C. 39-40 A.D.

 

This chart makes it easy to see that the first decree of Artaxerxes that was given to Ezra in 457 B.C. is the beginning of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy since the date of 27 A.D. is within the timeline of the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. Note that more secular scholars date the seventh year of Artaxerxes mentioned in Ezra 7:7 to 458 B.C. instead of 457 B.C. Other years that some have used are impossible.

 

Historians have been able to establish absolute dates for the reign of Artaxerxes I using classical Greek sources and Egyptian and Babylonian astronomical and historical sources. We now know that Artaxerxes ascended to the throne late in 465 B.C. after his father, Xerxes, died and that his first full year was 464 B.C. There is no doubt for anyone familiar with the available chronological sources that we have the regnal years of Artaxerxes I accurately fixed. The dates are so well set in the cement of these sources for Daniel 9:25 that the Bible itself provides all the basic information we need in order to understand this prophetic period. If there is confusion in the scholarly world, it is because scholars feel uncomfortable with the historical information provided by the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

 

Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy pointed to a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem as the starting date for the 70 weeks. Information provided by Ezra indicates that this prophecy was fulfilled by the decree of Artaxerxes I in 457 B.C. which authorized Ezra to restore and rebuild Jerusalem by allowing him to establish a judicial system based on the Law of the Lord in Jerusalem and throughout the Trans-Euphrates province. The decree also allowed for the rebuilding of the city. Nehemiah makes it clear that in computing the years of the reign of Artaxerxes he was using a fall-to-fall calendar making it possible for us to identify the seventh year of the king as 457 B.C.

 

More Date Evidence for Daniel’s 70 Weeks

 

We are also given other pertinent information in scripture that helps confirm the date evidence. For example, Luke describes the preaching of John the Baptist at the time Jesus was baptized.

Luke 3:1 “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

 

This information also gives us an excellent historical time clue. It is remarkable that we know from very reliable secular records that Tiberius Caesar began his sole reign in 14 A.D. His fifteenth year would therefore be 28 A.D. This date however, is one year out using 457 B.C. and would mean the date of the decree would have to have been 456 B.C. For this reason only some have used this date but 456 B.C. is definitely wrong. The dates that most scholars agree on are either 457 B.C. or 458 B.C. but neither can be reconciled with 456 B.C. This means we cannot reconcile the dates and appear to have a one year error.

 

Tiberius Julius Caesar is said to have reigned from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D. but this is his sole reign. After his adoption in 4 A.D., Tiberius was given proconsular (military) and tribunician (legislative) power and in 13 A.D., he was given powers equal to that of Augustus effectively making him ruling co-emperor. So when Augustus died in 14 A.D., the question of succession was a non issue as Tiberius already had the powers of emperor. The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar using the date of his sole reign would make the baptism of Jesus 28 A.D. Many forget to use inclusive years and so erroneously get 29 A.D. The correct calculation is 14 A.D. + 15 – 1 years = 28 A.D. But this as we just noted still cannot be reconciled with the decree date to rebuild Jerusalem. But when you allow for the joint rule with Augustus for one year prior to 14 A.D., then the baptism of Jesus is of course one year earlier in 27 A.D. The calculation becomes 13 A.D. + 15 – 1 = 27 A.D. This now aligns with the other evidence we have for the starting date of 457 B.C. to rebuild Jerusalem. Observe the following two encyclopaedias for further verification.

 

Augustus. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 16 Jun. 2009

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/43047/Augustus/24835/

 

Although Augustus was now feeling his age, these years in association with Tiberius were marked by administrative innovations: … and the conversion of the hitherto occasional appointment of prefect of the city (praefectus urbi) into a permanent office (AD 13). When, in the same year, the powers of Augustus were renewed for 10 years—such renewals had been granted at intervals throughout the reign—Tiberius was made his equal in every constitutional respect. Read more…

 

Tiberius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius

 

The death of Gaius in AD 4 initiated a flurry of activity in the household of Augustus. Tiberius was adopted as full son and heir and in turn, he was required to adopt Augustus’ nephew, Germanicus, the son of his brother Drusus and Augustus’ niece Antonia Minor. Along with his adoption, Tiberius received tribunician power as well as a share of Augustus’s maius imperium, something that even Marcus Agrippa may never have had. In AD 7, Agrippa Postumus was disowned by Augustus and banned to the island of Planasia, to live in solitary confinment. Thus, when in AD 13, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal, rather than second, to Augustus’s own powers, he was for all intents and purposes a “co-princeps” with Augustus, and in the event of the latter’s passing, would simply continue to rule without an interregnum or possible upheaval. Augustus died in AD 14, at the age of 76.

 

So was Luke referring to the sole or joint reign of Tiberius Caesar? The table below not only reveals the answer but also confirms the correct year of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Since we have two pieces of historical information, all we have to do is find which columns we can reconcile dates with. So find which 15th year column matches which row with the date of the Baptism of Jesus. As you can see, the only row and column that does match, reveals the decree date to be 457 B.C. and so Luke had to be referring to joint reign of Tiberius. It is a simple addition now to get the crucifixion date of 31 A.D.

 

Date for the giving of the Decree

7th Year of Artaxerxes

Plus 483 Years

Jesus’ baptism

15th Year Tiberius
Joint reign 13 A.D.
15th Year Tiberius
Sole reign 14 A.D.
458 B.C. 26 A.D. 27 A.D. 28 A.D.
457 B.C. 27 A.D. 27 A.D. 28 A.D.

 

A careful study on the gospel of John also reveals that Jesus did preach for about 3.5 years just as Daniel’s 70 week prophecy reveals as it states Jesus was cut off in the middle of the final 7 years. Since Jesus was crucified at the Passover, which was observed in the spring of the year, then His baptism would have to be in the fall of a previous year. Thus, 3.5 years following 27 A.D. brings us to 31 A.D.

 

So using the historical evidence of the starting date of 457 B.C. for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, (Luke 3:1) while allowing for the one year joint reign with Augustus, gives us the identical date of 27 A.D. verifying it is correct. This also gives us the crucifixion date of 31 A.D. with no complications in reconciling any of the dates with the historical and Biblical evidence. Remember not to count year zero going from B.C. to A.D. as many have done or this will produce another one year error. The calculation should be 457 – 483 – 1 = 27 A.D.

 

 

 

Four Possible Decrees

 

Four dates have been suggested as the fulfillment of the decree to restore and build

Jerusalem. Notice the following chart:

 

 

The four dates which have been suggested as the fulfillment of the “decree to restore and build Jerusalem are: 536, 520, 457 and 445. Which of these is the correct date? Let’s examine each of them.

 

  1. The decree of Cyrus the Great in 536: This cannot be the date for the beginning of the 70 weeks for two reasons:

 

First of all, a beginning date of 536 makes it impossible for the 70 weeks to be fulfilled in the Messiah. Four hundred and eighty three years after 536 B. C., would take us to the year 53 B. C., a date far to early for the coming of the Messiah.

 

Secondly, both Ezra 1:2-4 and II Chronicles 36:23 make it crystal clear that Cyrus’ decree did not authorize the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem. It only gave permission to rebuild the temple. But what about Isaiah 44:28; 45:13? Don’t these texts say that Cyrus would give a decree to rebuild the city? These verses in Isaiah are to be understood as Cyrus beginning the process which would ultimately lead to the rebuilding of the city. They are not to be taken to mean that he would give a command to rebuild the city.

 

Both Ezra and II Chronicles give us the actual decree and nothing is said there about the rebuilding of the city. Finally, for the sake of argument, even if Cyrus had given a decree to rebuild the city (which he clearly did not) this would still not fulfill the specifications of the prophecy of Daniel 9:25. This prophecy requires a decree not only to rebuild Jerusalem but also to restore it. As we shall see later, restoring and building are two separate, though related, ideas.

 

  1. The Confirmatory Decree of Darius I (Darius the Persian) in 520: This decree does not fulfill the specifications of Daniel 9:25 either. The extant Biblical evidence indicates that when Cyrus gave his decree, many of God’s people returned to Jerusalem with great enthusiasm to rebuild the temple (Ezra 2). The foundation of the temple was quickly laid but then Samaritan opposition halted the work. As a result of this Samaritan opposition (Ezra 4:1-5), the people ceased building the temple and focused on their own personal affairs. This sad condition is described in Haggai 1:1-11. For over 15 years the temple remained with only the foundation laid. But then, in 520, Darius I reaffirmed the decree which had been given in 536 by Cyrus (Ezra 6:1-13). Even a cursory reading of this decree reveals that it was simply a reconfirmation of the decree which had been given previously by Cyrus. It gave only permission to rebuild the temple, not the city.

 

This decree led Zerubbabel, Joshua, Zechariah and Haggai to encourage the people to awaken from their slumber and continue the work of rebuilding the temple. The book of Haggai describes the renewed enthusiasm of the people. As a result of Darius’ decree and the leadership of Zerubbabel, Joshua, Zechariah and Haggai, the temple was finished in only five years (Nehemiah 6:15)!

 

  1. The Decree of Artaxerxes I in 457: The Biblical evidence indicates that this is the only decree which fulfills the specifications of Daniel 9:25. As we have already seen, neither of the previous two decrees gave permission for the Jews to rebuild and restore the city. On the other hand, this decree of Artaxerxes says nothing about the actual rebuilding of the temple, only that Artaxerxes gave gifts for the temple which had already been rebuilt! The book of Ezra leaves no doubt that this was the third decree given by Persian kings (Ezra 6:14-15. We have noted previously that the first two do not meet the specifications of Daniel 9:25 so we must take a closer look at this third decree which is found in Ezra 7:11-26 (see also, Prophets and Kings, p. 610).

 

But before we scrutinize the decree as such, it would be well to underline that Artaxerxes’ decree was given in the year 457 B. C. This date can be derived from Ezra 7:7-8 where we are told that the decree was given in the fall of the seventh year of Artaxerxes. The year 457 B. C., as the seventh year of king Artaxerxes, is one of the most firmly rooted dates in ancient history. The work of Siegfried Horn and Kenneth Wood, The Chronology of Ezra 7, is definitive in settling the reliability of this date.

 

Now to the decree. It will be noticed that Daniel 9:25 requires a decree to both restore and build Jerusalem. Nothing short of this can fulfill the specifications of the prophecy. As we shall see below, restore and build, though related, do not mean the same thing. We shall find that “build” refers to the actual physical construction of the city, while “restore” is a reference to the reestablishment of the governance of the city according to the specifications of the Hebrew theocracy. It is clear that the decree of Artaxerxes gave Ezra the right to reestablish the theocratic governance of Israel by appointing magistrates and judges to judge the people according to the law of God (Ezra 7:25). It also gave the judges and magistrates the right to punish violations of the law of God even to the point of imposing the death penalty (Ezra 7:26). But what about permission to build?

 

 

 

In Ezra 4:7-23 (the passage, for some unexplainable reason, was inserted at this point in the book of Ezra though it is out of chronological order with what comes before and after) we are told that in the early reign of Artaxerxes, the returned exiles were in the process of rebuilding the city, when their enemies–Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of their Samaritan companions–sent a letter to King Artaxerxes complaining that the Jews were “building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.” (Ezra 4:12). They then requested that the king put a halt to the endeavor for his own good (Ezra 4:13-16). As a result, Artaxerxes sent a letter to the enemies of the Jews commanding them to compel the Jews to halt their work (Ezra 4:18-23). This they did, pronto! (Ezra 4:23). But notice that Artaxerxes left the door open because he said: “cause these men to cease, and that this city shall not be builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.” (Ezra 4:21). Though the word “another” is not part of the Hebrew text, it is interesting the KJV translators believed that a decree had already been given once before by Artaxerxes authorizing the city to be rebuilt!

 

It is highly unlikely that the Jews would have begun building the city without permission from the king. I believe that the scenario is as follows: The decree of 457 B. C., was the original decree given by Artaxerxes authorizing the rebuilding of the city by the Jews. But after he gave this decree, the enemies of the Jews, alarmed by the idea that the Jews would soon function as a theocracy again, sent a slanderous letter to the king which led him to suspend the decree he had given until the matter could be further reviewed. The building project was suspended and remained so until several years latter. In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes we find that Jerusalem was still in ruins. In fact, Nehemiah describes the situation to king Artaxerxes: “. . . . the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire. . . .” (Nehemiah 2:3). The significant point here is that the city was still in ruins in 445 B. C. even though Artaxerxes had given the decree to build and restore the city in 457 B. C. And why was it still in ruins? The best explanation is that Artaxerxes had suspended his first decree because of the slanderous accusations of the Samaritans.

 

We shall have much more to say about this decree when we analyze the meaning of the word “street” and “wall” in Daniel 9:25. But now let’s turn to the fourth “decree.”

 

  1. Permission Given to Nehemiah to Rebuild the City and Walls in 445: Why have I put the word “decree” in quotation marks? Simply because this was not a decree at all. It simply gave Nehemiah personal permission to go to Jerusalem and to lead out in the task of rebuilding the city and the walls. This was not a new decree, but rather a reinstatement of the suspended decree which was given in 457 B. C.

 

In Nehemiah 2-6 we find the fascinating story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The narration begins with Nehemiah downcast because the city of Jerusalem “lies waste and the gates are burned with fire” (Nehemiah 2:3). When Artaxerxes sees Nehemiah’s grief he asks why he is so downcast. Nehemiah explains that it is because of the condition of his beloved city. The king then says to Nehemiah: “For what dost thou make request?” (Nehemiah 2:4). This was the moment Nehemiah had been waiting for. He said to the king: “. . . . send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.” (Nehemiah 2:5). In response, the king gave Nehemiah letters of permission to return to Jerusalem to undertake the task of rebuilding and provided an escort (Nehemiah 2:7-9).

 

Chapters 2-6 describe the rebuilding of the walls and the gate in the midst of tremendous opposition from Sanballat, Tobias and Geshem. These men and their sympathizers used every stratagem in their arsenal to try and impede the work of rebuilding, but their every plot was disarmed. The result was extraordinary– the wall and gates were finished in only 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15; for more on this period of trial, read Prophets and Kings, pp. 609, 628-29, 635-680).

 

But what took place after the rebuilding was finished is as important at the building itself. When the construction was finished, genealogical records were set straight (chapter 7), the book of the law was read at the feast of booths–the captivity had ended and they now dwelt in their own land (chapter 8), the history of Israel was reviewed and the covenant renewed (chapter 9, especially verse 38), the covenant ritual was restored (chapter 10), the land was restored to those who had returned (chapter 11), and various violations of the book of the law were corrected (chapter 13). All of these actions in Nehemiah 7-13 constitute a restoration of the Hebrew theocracy in harmony with the laws of God.

 

No doubt there were still many things which needed to be corrected (the book of Malachi describes some of these) and no doubt the enemies of Israel continued to offer opposition. But by the year 408, the city had been fully rebuilt and the theocracy’s civil and religious system was in full force. The forty nine years between the giving of Artaxerxes’ decree and the completion of the building and restoring of Jerusalem were certainly turbulent and troublous times.

 

One further point. The permission given by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah cannot fulfill the decree of Daniel 9:25 for chronological reasons. As we shall see, the “anointed one” was to come 483 years after the decree was given. If we begin the 483 years in 445 B. C., the Messiah would have to have been baptized in 37 A. D. No scholar that I know of ever suggests that Jesus began his public ministry in 37 A. D. This would mean that Jesus was crucified in the year 41 A. D. and Stephen was stoned in the year 44. This simply does not fit the historical data.

 

We have seen that there were four “decrees” having to do with the Jews after the exile. Two of these decrees were “original” and the other two were simply “confirmatory.” Notice:

 

536: Original decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple –Suspended by Cambyses in 522.

 

520: Decree of Darius I – Confirmed Cyrus’ decree and revoked Cambyses’ suspension.

 

457: Original Decree of Artaxerxes I to restore and build Jerusalem – Suspended by

Artaxerxes himself early in his reign when the Samaritans complained.

 

445:    “Decree” of Artaxerxes I – Revoked his previous suspension and confirmed his original decree to Nehemiah.

 

Seventy Weeks Subdivided and Harmony of the Subdivision

 

The angel now relates to Daniel the event which is to mark the beginning of the seventy weeks. They were to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. Not only is the event given which determines the time of the commencement of this period, but also those events which take place at its close. Thus a double test is provided by which to try the application of this prophecy. But more than this, the period of seventy weeks is divided into three grand divisions. One of these is again divided, and the intermediate events are given which were to mark the termination of each one of these divisions. If we can find a date which will harmonize with all these events, we have beyond a doubt the true application, for none but that which is correct could meet and fulfill so many conditions.

 

Let the reader now take in at one view the points of harmony to be made, that he may be the better prepared to guard against a false application. We are to find at the beginning of the period a commandment going forth to restore and build Jerusalem. To this work of restoration seven weeks are allotted. As we reach the end of this first division, seven weeks from the beginning, we are to find Jerusalem restored in its material aspect, the work of building the street and the wall fully accomplished. From this point sixty-two weeks are measured off. As we reach the termination of this division, sixty-nine weeks from the beginning, we are to see the manifestation of Messiah the Prince before the world. One week more is given us, completing the seventy. In the midst of this week the Messiah is to be cut off, and to cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. At the expiration of that period which was allotted to the Jews as the time during which they were to be the special people of God, we naturally look for the going forth of the blessing and work of God to other people.

 

We now inquire for the initial date which will harmonize with all these particulars. The command respecting Jerusalem was to include more than mere building. There was to be restoration. By this we must understand all the forms and regulations of civil, political, and judicial society. When did such a command go forth? At the time these words were spoken to Daniel, Jerusalem lay in utter desolation, and had thus been lying for many years. The restoration pointed to in the future must be its restoration from this desolation. We then inquire, When and how was Jerusalem restored after the seventy years’ captivity?

 

 

 

There are four events which can be taken as answering to the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. These are:

 

  1. The decree of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the house of God, 536 B.C. (Ezr_1:1-4.)
  2. The decree of Darius for the prosecution of that work which had been hindered, 519 B.C. (Ezr_6:1-12.)
  3. The decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra, 457 B.C. [**] (Ezra 7.)
  4. The commission to Nehemiah from the same king in his twentieth year, 444 B.C. (Nehemiah 2.)

 

Dating from the first two of these decrees, the seventy weeks, or 490 literal years, would fall many years short of reaching even to the Christian Era. Besides this, these decrees had reference principally to the restoration of the temple and the temple worship of the Jews, not to the restoration of their civil state and polity, all of which must be included in the expression, “To restore and to build Jerusalem.” These two decrees made a beginning of the work. They were preliminary to what was afterward accomplished. But of themselves they were altogether insufficient to meet the requirements of the prophecy, both in their dates and in their nature. Thus falling short, they cannot be brought into the discussion as marking the point from which the seventy weeks are to begin. The only question now lies between the decrees which were granted to Ezra and to Nehemiah respectively.

 

The facts between which we are to decide here are briefly these: In 457 B.C., a decree was granted to Ezra by the Persian emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus to go up to Jerusalem with as many of his people as were minded to go with him. The commission granted him an unlimited amount of treasure, to beautify the house of God, to procure offerings for its service, and to whatever else might seem good to him. It empowered him to ordain laws, set magistrates and judges, and execute punishment even unto death; in other words, to restore the Jewish state, civil, and ecclesiastical, according to the law of God and the ancient customs of that people. Inspiration has seen fit to preserve this decree; and a full an accurate copy of it is given in Ezra 7. This decree is recorded not in Hebrew, like the rest of the book of Ezra, but in the official Chaldaic, or Eastern Aramaic. Thus we are referred to the original document by virtue of which Ezra was authorized to restore and build Jerusalem.

 

Thirteen years after this, in the twentieth year of the same king, 444 B.C., Nehemiah sought and obtained permission to go up to Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2.) Permission was granted him, but we have no evidence that it was anything more than oral. It pertained to him individually, since nothing was said about others going up with him. The king asked him how long a journey he wished to make, and when he would return. He received letters to the governors beyond the river to help him on his way to Judea, and an order to the keeper of the king’s forest for timber. When he arrived at Jerusalem, he found rulers and priests, nobles, and people, already engaged in the work of building Jerusalem. (Neh_2:16.) They were, of course, acting under the decree given to Ezra thirteen years before. Finally, after arriving at Jerusalem, Nehemiah finished in fifty-two days the work he came to accomplish. (Neh_6:15.)

 

Now which of these commissions, Ezra’s or Nehemiah’s, constitutes the decree for the restoration of Jerusalem, from which the seventy weeks are to be dated? It hardly seems that there can be any question on this point. Reckoning from the commission to Nehemiah, 444 B.C., the date throughout are entirely disarranged; for from that point the troublesome times which were to attend the building of the street and wall did not last seven weeks, or forty-nine years. If we reckon from that date, the sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, which were to extend to the Messiah the Prince would bring us to A.D. 40; but Jesus was baptized of John in Jordan, and the voice of the Father was heard from heaven declaring Him His Son, A.D. 27, thirteen years before. According to this calculation, the midst of the last or seventieth week, which is marked by the crucifixion, is placed in A.D. 44, but the crucifixion took place in A.D. 31, thirteen years previous. And lastly, the seventy weeks, or 490 years dating from the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, would extend to A.D. 47, with absolutely nothing to mark their termination. Hence if that be the year, and the grant to Nehemiah the event, from which to reckon, the prophecy has proved a failure. As it is, it only proves that the theory to be a failure which dates the seventy weeks from Nehemiah’s commission in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes.

 

 

It is thus evident that the decree granted to Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, 457 B.C., is the point form which to date the seventy weeks. That was the going forth of the decree in the sense of the prophecy. The two previous decrees were preparatory and preliminary to this. Indeed they are regarded by Ezra as parts of it, the tree being taken as one great whole. For in Ezr_6:14 we read: “They builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia,” It will be noticed that the decrees of these kings are spoken of as one,–“the commandment [margin, “decree,” singular number] of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes,” showing that they are all reckoned as a unit, the different decrees being but the successive steps by which the work was accomplished. This decree could not be said to have “gone forth” as intended by the prophecy, until the last permission which the prophecy required was embodied in the decree, and clothed with the authority of the empire. This point was reached in the grant given to Ezra, but not before. Here the decree assumed the proportions and covered the ground demanded by the prophecy, and from this point its “going forth” must be dated.

 

 

 

Will these dates harmonize if we reckon from the decree to Ezra? Let us see. Our starting point then is 457 B.C. Forty-nine years are allotted to the building of the city and the wall. On this point, Prideaux says:

 

“In the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus ended the first seven weeks of the seventy weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. For then the restoration of the church and state of the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea was fully finished, in that last act of reformation, which is recorded in the thirteenth chapter of Nehemiah, from the twenty-third verse to the end of the chapter, just forty-nine years after it had been first begun by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus.” This was 408 B.C.

 

So far we find harmony. Let us apply the measuring rod of the prophecy still further. Sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, were to extend to Messiah the Prince. Dating from 457 B.C., they end in A.D. 27. What event then occurred? Luke thus informs us:

 

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.” Luk_3:21-22. After this, Jesus came “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled.”

 

Mar_1:14-15. The time here mentioned must have been some specific, definite, and predicted period; but no prophetic period can be found terminating then except the sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy of Daniel, which were to extend to Messiah the Prince. The Messiah had now come, and with His own lips He announced the termination of that period which was to be marked by His manifestation.

 

Here, again, is indisputable harmony. But further, the Messiah was to confirm the covenant with many for one week. This would be the last week of the seventy, or the last seven years of the 490. In the midst of the week, the prophecy informs us, He should cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. These Jewish ordinances, pointing to the death of Christ, could cease only at the cross. There they did virtually come to an end when the veil of the temple was rent at the crucifixion of Christ, though the outward observance was kept up until the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. After threescore and two weeks, according to the record, the Messiah was to be cut off. It is the same as if it had read: After threescore and two weeks, in the midst of the seventieth week, shall Messiah be cut off, and cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. Now, as the word midst here means middle, the crucifixion is definitely located in the middle of the seventieth week.

 

 

 

Date of the Crucifixion in Connection to Passovers

 

After establishing some important information on the prophecy of Daniel 9, it now becomes an important point to determine in what year the crucifixion took place. This is the point in dispute and if we get it correct, the year AD 31 will surely be vindicated. It is not to be questioned that our Saviour attended every Passover that occurred during His public ministry, and we have mention of only four such occasions previous to His crucifixion. Though we have many evidences to vindicate this year, I will take the Passovers to determine this noble truce. The beloved disciple John is the sole evangelist to have noted these Passovers. These are found in the passages of John 2:13, John 5:1, John 6:4 and John 13:1. Lets take each verse independently:

 

The seventy weeks are to commence with “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.” It is of great importance that we be able to clearly establish this date.

 

The Commandment to Restore and to Build Jerusalem

 

  1. Note that the commandment was to be for the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem.
  2. Three important decrees associated with Jerusalem present themselves:
  1. Decree of Cyrus. Ezra 1: 1-4. 536 BC.
  2. Decree of Darius. Ezra 6:1-12. 519 BC.
  3. (3) Decree of Artaxerxes. Ezra 7 457 BC. 3. The first two commandments have reference only to the rebuilding of the temple and the city, and did not give permission to restore the civil power. Ezra 1:1-4; 4:12, 13.
  1. The decree of Darius was made to allow the finishing of the work which had been hindered. The temple was finished in Darius’s reign. Ezra 6: 15.
  2. The decree of Artaxerxes does not concern the building of the temple and the city, but gave Ezra full power to ordain laws. It is the only decree of the three which involves the restoration of the civil power. Ezra 7:25, 26.
  3. These three commandments combined, constitute “the commandment” to restore and to build Jerusalem. Ezra 6: 14.

 

The Date 457 BC. Established

 

  1. The Decree of Artaxerxes was given in his 7th year. Ezra 7: 7-9.
  2. The Canon of Ptolemy places the first year of Artaxerxes in the year 284 of the Canon, which corresponds to our year beginning Dec. 17, 465 BC That is, Artaxerxes came to the throne somewhere between Dec. 17, 465 BC and Dec. 17, 464 BC, for the Ptolemaic Canon reckons the year of a king not from his accession but from the preceding new year. SDA Source Book, Page 432, 433 (Browne); 433, 434 (Ptolemy’s Canon)
  3. Now from Nehemiah 1:1; 2:1 we see that both Chisleu and Nisan were in the same year of the king, and Ezra 7: 7-9 proves both the first and fifth months to be in the same year of Artexerxes, and the month Chisleu precedes Nisan in the same year of the king. Also the first month precedes the fifth. Chisleu 9th month Corresponds to November-December. Nisan 1st month Corresponds to April. 5th month Corresponds to August.
  4. Therefore, Artaxerxes must have come to the throne between August and November, i.e., in the autumn of 464 BC, for the autumn does not appear in the 465 BC portion of Ptolemy’s Canon.
  5. Therefore the first year of Artaxerxes would stretch from the autumn of 464 BC to the autumn of 463 BC.
  6. Therefore the seventh year of Artaxerxes would be from the autumn of 458 BC to the autumn of 457, BC.
  7. The decree was not carried into effect until some time in the autumn of 457 BC. Ezra 7:8, 9; 8:36
  8. Therefore the proof is unmistakable that the 2300 days commence in 457 BC (Autumn)

 

The Closing Date of the 2300 Years

  1. The Jewish year commenced in the spring. Hence the Jewish year 457 BC started in the spring, and since this was the method used at the beginning of the 2300 days, it would be consistent to hold to that method. Then since the decree did not go forth till the autumn, approximately half of the year was gone. Therefore we have only 456.50 years out of 2300, and another 1843.50 years are required to make up the required 2300. 1843 years, reckoning from the spring as the beginning of the year, would bring its to the spring of 1844. One-half year more would take us to the autumn Of 1844 the true termination.
  2. The same terminal is arrived at by taking the present reckoning of commencing the year in the winter (northern hemisphere). Reckoning thus, it will be that approximately three-quarters of 457 BC had passed before the decree went into effect. Therefore we can obtain only 456.25 years out of BC, and 1843.75 years are required to make up the 2300. But the year AD 1843.75 would bring us to autumn of 1844.

 

(Daniel 9)

Divisions Verses 24-27

  1. First. There are two main divisions: the 490 years and the 1810 years remaining.
  2. Second. The 490 years fall into three divisions:
  1. 7 weeks = 49 years for the rebuilding of Jerusalem
  2. 62 weeks = 434 years to the Messiah
  3. 1 week = 7 years, in the midst of which the Messiah would be cut off

 

Fulfillment

  1. The Rebuilding of Jerusalem. The rebuilding of Jerusalem occupied a period Of 49 years. Daniel And Revelation, Page 226 (Prideaux); SDA Source Book, Page 555, 556 (Pusey)
  2. “Unto the Messiah the Prince.” V. 25.
  1. 7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks (483 years) from 457 BC to Messiah.
  2. 483 years from autumn 457 BC would reach to autumn AD 27.
  3. Messiah = the Anointed One. John 1:41, margin.

 

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit Acts 10:38. This anointing took place at His baptism. Mark 1: 10. God’s time prophecy found its fulfillment in the event of the baptism in the autumn of AD 27. Mark 1:15.

  1. Messiah cut off. V. 26, 27.
  1. In the midst of the week Christ was to be crucified, and the ceremonial system was to cease.
  2. Christ commenced His mission in the autumn Of AD 27, and 3.50 years from here would bring us to the spring of AD 31.
  3. Christ attended 4 Passovers, at the last of which He was crucified. John 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 13:1.

 

Thus we have:

1st Passover in spring of AD 28

2nd AD 29

3rd AD 30

4th AD 31

 

The spring of AD 31 is just 3.50 years from the autumn of AD 27.

  1. At least 13 credible authorities locate the crucifixion of Christ in the spring of AD 31. Daniel And Revelation, Page 229.
  2. Following quickly upon the rejection of the Messiah comes the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in AD 70. Daniel 9: 26b-27b; Matthew 24:15; SDA Source Book, Page 561 (Clarke, Pusey).

 

  1. Close of the 490 years.
  1. 321 years from the spring of AD 31 brings us to the autumn of AD 34.
  2. In this year the Jews finally rejected the message of Christ by the stoning of Stephen. Soon after we have the conversion of Paul, the Gentile missionary Acts 9: 15

 

  1. Cleansing of the Sanctuary.
  1. 1810 years from’ the autumn of AD 34 bring us to the autumn of AD 1844.
  2. Hence, according to the type, in 1844 the last phase of Christ’s mediatorial work commenced in the heavenly sanctuary.
  3. We live in a solemn day. Leviticus 16:19, 30
  4. A view of the work. Daniel 7:9, 10, 13
  5. The final decree. Revelation 22:11, 12

 

“It would be well to underline that Artaxerxes’ decree was given in the year 457 B. C. This date can be derived from Ezra 7:7-8 where we are told that the decree was given in the fall of the seventh year of Artaxerxes. The year 457 B. C., as the seventh year of king Artaxerxes, is one of the most firmly rooted dates in ancient history. The work of Siegfried Hornand Kenneth Wood, The Chronology of Ezra 7, is definitive in settling the reliability of this date” Bohr

 

“The decree of 457 B. C., was the original decree given by Artaxerxes authorizing the rebuilding of the city by the Jews. But after he gave this decree, the enemies of the Jews, alarmed by the idea that the Jews would soon function as a theocracy again, sent a slanderous letter to the king which led him to suspend the decree he had given until the matter could be further reviewed. The building project was suspended and remained so until several years latter. In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes we find that Jerusalem was still in ruins. In fact, Nehemiah describes the situation to king Artaxerxes: “. . . . the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire. . . .” (Nehemiah 2:3). The significant point here is that the city was still in ruins in 445 B. C. even though Artaxerxes had given the decree to build and restore the city in 457 B. C. And why was it still in ruins? The best explanation is that Artaxerxes had suspended his first decree because of the slanderous accusations of the Samaritans” Bohr

 

 

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate [26-36 A. D.] being governor of Judaea, and Herod [Antipas: 4 B. C. – 39 A. D.] being tetrarch in Galilee, and his brother Philip [4 B. C. – 33/34 A. D.] tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias [dates not known] the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas [A. D. 6-14] and Caiphas being high priests, the Word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.”

 

The prophecy of the 70 weeks specifies that Messiah was to come “seven weeks and threescore and two weeks” after the decree of Artaxerxes. Beginning in 457 B. C. and going forward 483 years we arrive at 27 A. D. as the date for the manifestation of the Messiah (remember that there is no year “0″ so only one year transpires between 1 B. C. and 1 A. D.). We know that Christ was cut off or killed inthe middle of the last week, at springtime (Passover). This must mean that Messiah was manifested to Israel three and a half years earlier, in the fall (incidentally, this also means that Artaxerxes’ decree was given in the fall).

 

Marcos C. Thaler The 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar was not 28 A.D or 29 A.D., but 27 A.D. — if recognizing John’s account as commencing Tiberius’ reign at his joint reign, not sole reign. Jesus was born, not around 1 B.C., but about 3 B.C. or before. (More data on this can be found here: What Year was Jesus Born? [http://biblelight.net/year.htm] The following article by Fowler argues for a precise date of 3 B.C. here: When Was Jesus Born [http://www.endtimeissues.com/…/Article155-When%20Was…].) This would make him about 30 years old in 27 A.D., not 28 or 29 A.D. Those Dispensationalists who place the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius in 29 A.D. are directly adding 15 years to the commencement of Tiberius’ sole reign date of 14 A.D., but this does not allow for inclusive years. Note that 14 A.D. is the 1st year and 15 is the 2nd, 16 = 3rd, 17 = 4th, 18 = 5th, 19 = 6th, 20 = 7th, 21 = 8th, 22 = 9th, 23 = 10th, 24 = 11th, 25 = 12th, 26 = 13th, 27 = 14th and 28 A.D. is the 15th, not 29 A.D. Now while Tiberius is said to have reigned from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., we must remember that 14 A.D. is the starting year of his sole reign. But after his adoption in 4 B.C., Tiberius was granted tribunician (legislative) power and proconsular (military) power and in 13 B.C., his powers were made equal to that of Augustus effectively making him ruling co-emperor. So when Augustus died in 14 B.C., the question of succession was not an issue as Tiberius already had the powers of emperor. The 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar using his sole reign would make the baptism of Jesus in 28 A.D. Many get 29 A.D. because they forget to use inclusive years. Thus the calculation should actually be 14 A.D. + – 1 year = 28 A.D. But this of course cannot be reconciled with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. But if you allow for the fact that he ruled jointly with Augustus for one year prior to 14 A.D., then that would make the baptism of Jesus to be one year earlier in 27 A.D. This then aligns with the other evidence for the starting date of 457 B.C. to rebuild Jerusalem.

 

If you doubt this data, you’re welcome to verify it yourself in the following Encyclopedias:

 

Augustus: Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 16 Jun. 2009

 

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperi…/notes/augustus.html

 

“Although Augustus was now feeling his age, these years in association with Tiberius were marked by administrative innovations: … and the conversion of the hitherto occasional appointment of prefect of the city (praefectus urbi) into a permanent office (AD 13). When, in the same year, the powers of Augustus were renewed for 10 years–such renewals had been granted at intervals throughout the reign–Tiberius was made his equal in every constitutional respect….”

 

Tiberius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius

“The death of Gaius in AD 4 initiated a flurry of activity in the household of Augustus. Tiberius was adopted as full son and heir and in turn, he was required to adopt Augustus’ nephew, Germanicus, the son of his brother Drusus and Augustus’ niece Antonia Minor. Along with his adoption, Tiberius received tribunician power as well as a share of Augustus’s maius imperium, something that even Marcus Agrippa may never have had. In AD 7, Agrippa Postumus was disowned by Augustus and banned to the island of Planasia, to live in solitary confinment. Thus, when in AD 13, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal, rather than second, to Augustus’s own powers, he was for all intents and purposes a “co-princeps” with Augustus, and in the event of the latter’s passing, would simply continue to rule without an interregnum or possible upheaval. Augustus died in AD 14, at the age of 76….”

 

As we can see, Luke would have counted from Tiberius’ joint reign if we are to correctly reconcile the dates:

For PDF click this title: Solid Information on 457BC of Daniel 9

 

God’s Blessings

 

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