Daniel’s Prophecy about the Coming of the Messiah

Gabriel says that God has given the Jews seventy sevens to finalize His judgment of sin.

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The Jews were taken captive to Babylon in 586BC because of their disobedience to God.
In Daniel 9:1-27, he knows the 70-year captivity of the Jews in Babylon that Jeremiah predicted in Jeremiah 25:11 (“This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.”) is coming to an end. As he’s praying for this restoration, the angel Gabriel appears to him in a vision to answer his prayer. Building on the 70-year motif, Gabriel says that God has given the Jews seventy sevens to finalize His judgment of sin, to atone for transgressions, and to bring in the eternal kingdom.

Gabriel tells Daniel of an amazing prophecy about the Messiah in Daniel 9:24-27. He states that the “Anointed One” (the Messiah) would come after 69 “sevens”. One seven represents 7 years, so 69 sevens represent 69 x 7 = 483 years of time. Gabriel says that this time would start with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. They had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586BC. The Persian King Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls on March 5th, 445BC. This was on the 1st day of the month of Nisan, see Nehemiah 2:1-6. So there would be 483 years from March 5th, 444BC when the Messiah would be revealed.

Using the standard Jewish Prophetic calendar of 360 days/year, 483 years x 360 days/year = 173,880 days. But we know one solar year is 365.242198 days. From 444BC to 33AD is 476 solar years. Remember that there is no year zero. So 476 solar years x 365.242198 = 173,855 solar days. But, you say, there is a difference between the two figured. Yes, there is. 173,880 – 173,855 = 25 days. To resolve this discrepancy, add the 25 days to March 5th and you’ll get March 30th, 33AD. This is the 10th of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which also happens to be Palm Sunday, the date that Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey announcing His Messiahship. This fulfills another prophecy about the Messiah in the Old Testament book of Zechariah 9:9 (“…See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey…”). A few days later, He would be “put to death”, crucified.

Then there seems to be a break in time, signified by the phrase “The people of the ruler who will come…”. The “times of the gentiles” started and will continue until the last 7 years are initiated sometime in the future. This 7 year period is known as the “Tribulation”.

The Jewish Temple was destroyed in 70AD by the Romans. Almost all of the Jewish genealogy records were lost. Because the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah in the line of David and Abraham, He had to come before 70AD. To be verified by the Jews as their Messiah. The only serious candidate for Messiah before 70AD was Jesus. His lineage on both His mother’s side (Luke 3:23-37) and His step-father’s side (Matthew 1:1-17). Amazingly enough, Jesus came into Jerusalem on the very day the prophet Daniel predicted He would.

Just a coincidence? I don’t think so!

 

 

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on  bsssb-llc

 

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About the Author

He earned a Michigan provisional teaching certificate and a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in physics and minors in astronomy, chemistry & mathematics. He has done graduate work in astro-physics, worked as a physics graduate teaching assistant and taught college astronomy. He has worked as a research & development laboratory manager at a plastics company, an automotive engineer, a chemist and a public & private high school teacher in math, physics & chemistry.He is currently retired from his own advanced materials tooling company. He has taught Christian adult education since the mid 1990’s at 2 churches. He was Director of Adult Education at one church and is now a teacher of Adult Education at his present church. Since becoming a Christ-follower in 1974, he has been an avid student of the Bible, with a special emphasis on apologetics (rationally defending the faith).He & his wife, Patti, have been married about 43 years and have 3 adult sons and 9 wonderful grandchildren.