One of the most profound prophecies in the Bible is found in the Book of Daniel. When Daniel considered the time of Judah’s 70 year captivity he humbled himself before God.
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus…in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” Daniel 9:1-2
Daniel realizing that the 70 year period was nearing completion set his face toward the Lord God ‘to make request by prayer and supplication, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.’
His prayer should be the model for America today.
“We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God…therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses…have been poured out on us because we have sinned against Him…And He has confirmed His words…by bringing upon us a great disaster…” Daniel 9:10-12
Israel had been warned in great detail 800 years earlier of the consequences if they did not obey God’s laws, yet they chose disobedience. Daniel confessed that God brought on the disaster which was confirmation of His numerous warnings which Israel had ignored.
God was pleased with Daniel’s humility and sincerity. The angel Gabriel was dispatched to Daniel to reveal God’s plan for Israel’s future.
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city…” Daniel 9:24
The Hebrew for ‘weeks’ does in fact mean ‘seven,’ specifically a period of seven years. Thus Gabriel was about to tell Daniel what was going to happen to the Israelites and Jerusalem in a future 490 year period. The word ‘weeks’ also carries the meaning of ‘full.’
The 490 year period was divided into 3 components. The initial component was 7 weeks or 49 years. The second component was 62 weeks or 434 years, and the final component consisted of a single week, or 7 years.
Either the starting point or ending point of the 490 year period must be known in order to determine where on history’s time span the period is found.
In this particular case, the beginning point is revealed.
“Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks…” Daniel 9:25
Therefore, the starting point is when the command is given to return to Judah to restore the city of Jerusalem.
The answer is found in the book of Nehemiah where he was the king’s cupbearer.
“And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes…I (Nehemiah) said to the king…I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Nehemiah 2:1, 4
Permission was granted in 445 BC. Therefore, a fixed point on the time span was determined.
It is believed that the initial 7 weeks, or 49 years marked the end of Malachi’s Old Testament prophecy. Of more significance is the end of the second component of 62 weeks, or 434 years. Adding the two components together totals 483 years. The end of that period is marked by the first Palm Sunday, i.e. ‘until Messiah the Prince.’ Therefore, there would be 483 years from the time the command was given to restore Jerusalem until Christ revealed Himself as Messiah.
But beginning with 445 BC and adding 483 years places Christ’s appearance at 38 AD. Several solutions are possible. One is to convert from prophetic years of 360 days to Julian years of 365.25 days which places the first Palm Sunday at 32 AD.
The Old Testament prophets weren’t aware of the church age between Christ’s death and return. Remember the church was a ‘mystery kept hidden from the foundation of the world.’
Therefore 1 week, or seven years remains of the 490.
It will begin with a covenant, or treaty, for pseudo peace initiated and signed by the anti-Christ.
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week…” Daniel 9:27
The first horseman is about to ride.
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