PROPHECY IN DANIEL
“..he (King of the North).. have intelligence with them that forsook the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength and shall take away the daily sacrifice and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.” Daniel 11:31
“Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment (completion - point where the “commandment” ceased going forth) to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be build again and the wall, even in troublesome times.
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.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate even unto the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Some would contend that these passages are talking about a false messiah that is still to come, but that is not true. The messiah they are talking about is Jesus. He’s the messiah cut off in the middle of the week (sundown Tuesday night; which in the Jewish week is Wednesday - days run sundown to sundown). He also is the prince of the people who will come and destroy the city (Sovereign ruler over all creation, using the Romans to destroy Jerusalem). Jesus is the one confirming his covenant (with his people) and when he is “cut off” (atonement is taking place) the sacrifice is complete.
The passage in Daniel 9 beginning with verse 20, Daniel is praying for his people as well as confessing his sins and their sins. Gabriel comes to him and tells him “I’ve come forth to give you skill and understanding”. There is something concerning Daniel and his nation that God is about to reveal. Next he tells Daniel that he (Daniel) is greatly beloved of God and he goes on to explain what this vision (he had previously) means.
Right away the angel begins to expound to Daniel that 70 weeks is given for them to finish the transgression, end their sin, make reconciliation (to God), bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy (bring to a close upon themselves the kingdom they are suppose to inherit) and (most importantly) - anoint the Most Holy! Seventy weeks is given to them to see if they will accept their messiah.
Verse 25 talks about “restore and to build Jerusalem” and “the street” & “the wall” will be built (having already been completed). This is preceded by the “going fort of the commandment”. As we notice by looking at the phrase the going forth of the commandment has been completed.
The commandment and the building of Jerusalem, the street and the wall have all been accomplished at the point where this seventy weeks begins. This is also the point where the abomination is set up. The desolation (or destruction) of that abomination comes with the cutting off of the messiah; this we see in verse 27.
“490 years” and “middle of the week”:
Historically, the priest Ezra read the law the year before Nehemiah dedicated the wall when the people had returned from the Babylonian captivity. (Nehemiah 8:2,12:26&27) The “70 weeks” (seventy equal slots of seven in the Hebrew) has been interpreted as 70 X 7 (or 490) years.
One difficulty I have with this interpretation is we can’t fit a year into an equal slot of seven and nowhere in the Hebrew text does it indicate we are to multiply this number to get 490 years.
Many have attempted to calculate this 490 years out and have usually come to 30 A.D. as the year of the crucifixion. We have a problem with 30 A.D. because the Passover did not fall on a Thursday night in 30 A.D.
Sometimes people find other hoops to jump through and make proclamations that Jesus really wasn’t crucified on a Friday morning, he was crucified on Wednesday. They conclude this to fit into this passage in Daniel that talks about the messiah being cut off in the middle of the week and the “3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth”.
I think to be fair to the texts of Scripture though, we need to take the numbers contained there in and let them speak for themselves, not trying to force them into a formula of sorts. The Bible is written in a way that gives us those hidden clues if we know how to search for them. Often times the clues are right in front of our faces, we just need to look at what’s there.
The correct year of Jesus’s crucifixion, from all we can tell of when Passover fell on a Thursday into a Friday is 33 A.D. It’s highly likely Jesus was born in 7 B.C. because we know from historical record that Herod the Great died in 4B.C. Jesus was about 2 years old when the magi came and it seems he spent approximately a year in Egypt before Herod the Great died. This fits well, since 7 B.C. was a jubilee year, and Jesus was probably born in the fall, right around the time of the feast of tabernacles. (For God would tabernacle among them.) Jesus died in the spring of 33 which would have made him approximately 6 months shy of being 40 years old (since there is no year zero).
Back to the text in Daniel. What did it mean to culturally (or via the law) build Jerusalem, the street, and the wall? Rebuilding efforts historically took place after people had returned to Jerusalem. This was usually precipitated by God and a repentance of the nation.
The building efforts accompanied a return to the laws and ceremonies. This was the physical picture of what was to be spiritually happening in the hearts of the people. How does this apply to the first century though? The last prophet of “the covenant” meaning the Hebrew Scriptures was John the Baptist. Notice what he says:
“Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths strait!”
Here’s the “street” in Daniel.
“And there went out to him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Mk 1:5)
Here is the “building of Jerusalem”.
“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance and begin not to say within yourselves: ‘we have Abraham as our father’ for I say to you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Lk 3:8)
This is Daniel’s “wall”.
Herod the tetrarch of Galilee:
Going back to Daniel 11, we have the description of a king who is obviously a Jew (or at least partially Jewish) for it talks about things he’s done that:
- “his fathers have not done” (vs 24)
- “neither shall he regard the God of his fathers”. (vs 37)
- “And both these kings hearts shall do mischief and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper for the end shall be at a time appointed” (vs 27)
- “For the ships of Chittim (Greece) shall come against him, therefore he shall be grieved and return having indignation against the holy covenant...and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” (vs 30)
- “But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold and silver...”. (vs 38)
“he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the holy mountain” (vs 45)
All of these passages are descriptive of Herod the tetrarch of Galilee (and Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis - Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene (Luke 3:1))
Herod and Philip are the “kings who do mischief” and “speak lies at one table” This was at the point where he’d arrested John the Baptist.
“Have indignation against the holy covenant”, “pollute the sanctuary of strength”, “take away the daily sacrifice” and “place the abomination” is at the point were Herod had killed John the Baptist.
Herod and John the Baptist:
John was the last prophet of the Hebrew covenant. He declared the proclamation of the messiah; who was to be the fulfillment of all the ancient promises. At the point where John died the “commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” was completed and “the street” and “the wall” were built.
From the point of John’s death until the messiah is cut off is “threescore and two weeks”. This is 62 weeks. There are 52 weeks in a year and John 6:4 tells us “Passover was near” upon the feeding of the five thousand.
Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us that the feeding of the five thousand came right after the death of John the Baptist for these people followed Jesus into the wilderness. Jesus went into the wilderness because of the death of John the Baptist and the fact that Herod was looking for Jesus. (Matt 14:1-13, Mk 6:7-31, Lk 9:7-11)
Herod and Jesus:
Now, let’s look at some of the other passages about Herod. In the beginning of Matthew & Luke we have “Herod” (Herod the Great) who died when Jesus was about three years old. After him, we have “Herod the tetrarch” who first appears in these verses related to the death of John the Baptist.
Lk 13:32 tells of a Pharisee who comes to Jesus and tells him that Herod will kill him (Jesus). Jesus tells this Pharisee to tell Herod that he (Jesus) does miracles and “on the third day I shall be perfected”.
Luke 23:7 also tells us that Herod was in Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion. This was the first time Herod had seen Jesus in person and when Jesus refuses to do miracles for Herod; he sends Jesus back to Pilate wearing “a gorgeous robe”. (Lk 23:11) Luke also says “Pilate and Herod were made friends together; for before they were at enmity between themselves.” (Lk 23:12)
Herod in the book of Acts:
Herod shows up next in the book of Acts. He kills James the brother of John and arrests Peter. Herod wishes to bring Peter before the Jews after Easter, (because it pleased the leaders of Israel) but that same night Peter is freed from the prison.
Peter goes to “the house of Mary the mother of John who’s surname was Mark” and knocks at the gate. A servant girl comes to the door and recognizes Peter’s voice; of course no-one believes her, but after they see him; he tells them to tell the others and leaves. (Acts 12:2-17)
Next we come to Acts 12:20 which speaks of how Herod is highly displeased with Tyre and Sidon but that the people of these regions come to him with one accord “having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.”
Herod comes out of the palace dressed in his royal robes to make a proclamation. Verse 22&23 say “And the People gave a shout, saying; It is the voice of a god and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him because he gave not God the glory and he was eaten of worms and gave up the ghost.”
On the following page I printed out a time line of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.
In this I included the point in which John appears in the wilderness up until
the point where Jesus ascends back to heaven in body.
John begins baptizing in the wilderness (counting the days back from the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 - we realize this was a Thursday) Jesus baptized (driven into wilderness)
(This is the Sunday of the following week) Satan comes to Jesus
(Tuesday - 30th day in the wilderness. This is where Jesus begins preaching). Jesus Begins public ministry.
(same day left wilderness - Saturday and probably co-insides with one of the appearances he made in the synagogue in Capernaum. This is probably why Andrew and Simon followed Jesus (they heard him preach in the synagogue). Sometime during that week (likely Sunday); he’d called them while they fished.) (Mark 1:14) Point in where Jesus collected all his disciples.
(In Luke 6:1 we find “the second Sabbath after the first”.)The “first” possibly being the Sabbath Jesus had come out of the wilderness. Verse 6 says “And it came to pass also on another Sabbath” Reason would have it that this would be the following Saturday. Verse 12 adds “And it came to pass in those days that he went out into the mountain to pray... And when it was day (Sunday morning) he called unto him his disciples...”) Beginning of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9
John the Baptist is killed just at the start of this 70 weeks. Also, we see gentile nations presented with Jesus’s message. Exactly 2 years after Jesus chose his Jewish followers. Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday to 3 days & 3 nights (in heart of earth)
(& End of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9) Satan is cast out of heaven (John 12:31) (also begins on a Tuesday) 3 days and 3 nights (ends on day of crucifixion)
(Sundown Tuesday till sundown Friday is exactly three 24 hour periods) (from the point Jesus leaves the temple Tuesday afternoon the “great tribulation” begins. All scatter on the night of the Passover (upon the appearance of the angel of death) and the “great tribulation” ends right before Jesus dies) Saturday
(After “it is finished” Jesus’s body rests in the tomb his soul is in heaven with the Father) Resurrection Sunday
Jesus ascends to heaven
(Friday - as a whole person (body and soul) he returns to heaven)