Daniel 9 – A True Biblical Interpretation
Shared from Judaism for Jews Blue highlighted. All Red are comments for intellectual debate only. Anyone of course is entitled to their own beliefs. There is a myraid of beliefs on Google and Wikipedia. But Know Thy Self.
The book of Daniel is filled with Messianic illusions and calculations that even left Daniel pondering their meanings. Additionally, a large proportion of the book is written in Aramaic rather than the traditional Hebrew adding to the complexity of these biblical texts. Agree, but Daniel was shown the interpretation by Gabriel.
The ninth chapter has been of particular interest to both Jews and Christians. Agree
The message of a merciful God communicated in verse 18, “for not because of our righteousness do we pour out supplications before You, but because of Your great compassion.” has been a foundation of a Jews personal and spiritual relationship with God. Noted
Christians, on the other hand, tend to focus on verses 24 -26. The following is the Christian translation of those verses: Agree
24) Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your 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.
25)”Know therefore and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again with plaza and moat but in troubled times.
26) Then after sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off but not for himself and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.”
Many Christians assert that these passages are a prophecy that predicts the exact dates that the Messiah will come and also die. They believe that Jesus fulfilled these predictions. That is the interpretation of many Christians.
Before examining these verses it is important to point out that: 1) Based on the Hebrew original and context, Jews have very valid reasons for rejecting the Christian interpretation and 2) the New Testament authors never quote these passages and calculations as a proof-text. Very correct.
To understand this chapter, we must begin with an explanation of the term “weeks.” Correct
Daniel chapter 9 uses the Hebrew word (שבעים ~ Shavuim) to represents a period of time multiplied by seven. For various reasons this word is translated as “weeks” and means a multiple of seven years rather than a multiple of seven days. Correct
- a) We see a similar use in the verse, “You shall count~ שבע שבתת השנים) seven Shabbaths of years), seven years seven times… forty-nine years.” Leviticus 25:8 Correct
b) A Shabbath is a period of seven days and shares the same Hebrew root for the word
(שבועה~Shevuah) that means “week”. Correct
c) Normally the plural of week would be (שבעות ~ Shavuot) in Daniel it uses the masculine “ים” ending for ( שבעים~ Shavuim) similar to (years ~ שנים) This indicates that (שבעים~ Shavuim) is referring to a multiple of seven years. Correct
d) Both Jews and Christian agree that this is referring to a multiple of years. Correct
Therefore in Daniel chapter 9, each week is a period of seven years. Correct
Christian polemicists interpret these passages in the following way. These passages are being spoken by Daniel after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the evil Babylonian empire. At some point after the destruction, there will be a “decree” issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Starting from the issuing of that decree, 7 and 62 weeks totaling 69 weeks of years (483 years), will pass and then the Messiah will come and in that same seven year period “week” he will be cut off, but not for himself, but for the sins of mankind. Then the city and sanctuary will be destroyed. Christian assert that their calculation proves that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy to the exact day. That is the incorrect interpretation of many Christians.
After the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, any Jews that survived the Babylonian slaughter were exiled from their land. Daniel, for example, lived in Babylon. Eventually, the Babylonians were conquered by the Persian Empire. The book of Daniel has to be written after the books of Maccabees. Daniel never lived in Babylon. Daniel uses the book of Maccabees in the revelation of the final week of 70 weeks. Daniel was written in the 2nd century after the great victory of Judas Maccabees.
Christians claim that the decree mentioned in Daniel 9:25 was issued by the Persian King Artaxerxes in the year 444 BCE, based on Nehemiah 2:1-8. These passages speak about the king giving Nehemiah “letters” (אגרות ~ Iggrot) for safe passage and permission to rebuild the Temple. That is the incorrect interpretation of many Christians.
The building of Jerusalem was started and halted several times, and there are three additional decrees mentioned earlier in the Bible.
1) In Ezra 1:1-4, King Cyrus issues a proclamation (קול ~ Kol) and writings (מכתב ~ Mechtav) granting the Jews permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
2) Ezra 6:12-13, King Darius issues a decree (טעם ~Taim) granting permission to rebuilt the Temple.
3) Ezra 7:11-16, Artaxerxex, issues a decree (טעם ~Taim) granting permission to rebuilt the Temple. (Artaxerxex is a Persian title of royalty and can refer to different leaders. This is similar to the way Pharaoh is the title of rulers of Egypt)
We will see latter that it is significant that in these verses there are four different words used to describe these proclamations, and none of them match the Hebrew word used in Daniel 9 which is (דבר ~ Devar) that means “word.” Correct
With four different proclamations, there is no historical justification to choose the one mentioned in Nehemiah 2 and there is no reliable source stating that it occurred exactly in 444 BCE. It seems that Christian picked this passage out of convenience and assigned it this specific date, because if you start at 444 BCE and count 69 weeks of years (483 years) you reach 39 CE. Whatever their reason for choosing Nehemiah’s reference and attributing it as having occurred in 444 BCE it is still seven years off from the year 32 CE when Jesus supposedly died. Agree
This seven-year discrepancy is resolved by Christian theologians who redefined the definition of a “year.” They claim that prophecies like Daniel’s are to be understood in “Prophetic years” that have 360 days rather than 365 ¼ days. The argument that Daniel might be speaking to Babylonians who may have had a 360 year is unsubstantiated and refuted by the fact that this particular passage is spoken in Hebrew to Jews who had a different calendar then and Babylonians who spoke Aramaic. Agree Christians use 360 days – 30 days per month. Agree Daniel was not speaking to Babylonians who had 360 year of 30 days each. Daniel was speaking to Jews and for specific reasons the Jewish scribes used 360 days promulgated from Gen. 8:3 and substantiated in Exod. 13:4 – see below – Sacred Year 15/1 Abib to 15/7 Tishi – 180 days in each year for 7 years of 1260 days.
One Christian attempt to prove this concept of Prophetic years is from the New Testament:
“They will tread underfoot the holy city for 42 months, and they will prophesy for 1260 days.” Revelations 11:2-3. Yes they use Rev. 11 carried right through from Exodus, Daniel 9:27 (1 week) and Dan. 12:11-13 and other places.
By dividing 1260 (days) by 42 (months) you get 30 days per month, they claim that each month is 30 days and a Prophetic Biblical year would therefore be being 360 days (30×12=360). Christianity is correct in this regards as the solar and lunar years cannot divide into 1260.
An additional proof-text utilizes the events surrounding the flood. The following verses are quoted to show how biblical months were periods of 30 days,
“the water prevailed upon the earth 150 days” Gen 7:24 and Agree the flood started on, “the 17th day of the second month” Gen 7:11, and ended on, Agree “the 17th day of the seventh month.” Gen 8:4. Agree…as these fully verify 30 days per month for scriptural admonition purposes.
They argue that by taking this exact five month period and dividing it into the150 days, you will see that there must be five months of 30 days each and therefore a year would be 360 days. Agree 150 days is again used in Revelation’s archetype – Rev. 9:5
The Christian argument continues that the difference between a solar year of 365 ¼ days and the so-called prophetic year of 360 days is what caused the seven-year discrepancy in their interpretation of Daniel 9, and the resolution of the problem is accomplished by converting the time period from “biblical” years to solar years. Some Christians incorrectly say this. But the 49 years before 434 years is identified in the books of Kings and Chronicles.
They argue that that by multiplying 360 days by 483 years (69 weeks of years) you get 173,880 prophetic days. To convert this to solar years, you divide the 173,880 days by 365 1/4 (days), and you will get 476 years. 444 BCE plus 476 years will give you the year 32 CE, which they claim is the year that Jesus not only made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Messiah’s arrival) but was also crucified (cut off ). Some Christians incorrectly say this.
Before explaining why this line of reasoning is absolutely false and a simply an act of desperation to resolve their 7year miscalculation, we must explore the correct meaning of Daniel 9 and the concept of a Jewish calendar year. Yes we must. Agree.
TRANSLATING DANIEL CORRECTLY
It is essential to a correct understanding of Daniel 9, to point out that it is incorrect to read this passage as if it were speaking about the Messiah. Agree. It was not speaking about Messiah.
This may appear obvious to Christians since their translations has the word “Messiah” mentioned twice in this chapter; however this is the result of a blatant and intentional mistranslation of the Hebrew word (משיח ~ Moshiach”). Agree
This word literally means “anointed” and is an adjective as in the 1 Samuel 10:1-2 where the word clearly means an act of consecration. It is not a personal pronoun that refers to a particular individual called “The Messiah.” The word (משיח ~ Moshiach”) is used throughout Jewish Scriptures no less than 100 times and refers to a variety of individuals and objects. For example:
Priests: Leviticus 4:3
Kings: 1 Kings 1:39
Prophets: Isaiah 61:1
Temple Alter: Exodus 40:9-11
Matzot ~ Unleavened Bread: Numbers 6:15
Cyrus ~ a non-Jewish Persian King: Isaiah 45:1 Agree
Even in Christian translations the word Moshiach is translated 99% of the time as “anointed.” The only exception is twice in Daniel 9 verses 25 and 26. This inconsistency is even more blatant since Christian translators translate the word (משיח ~ Moshiach) as “anointed” one verse earlier when it is used in Daniel 9:24. In this instance, it is referring to anointing the innermost chamber of the Holy Temple known as the “Holy of Holies,” (קדשים קדש ~ Kodesh Kedoshim). It is incorrect to translate this, as some missionaries do, to mean the “most holy one” in an attempt to have this refer to the Messiah rather than a place. Agree
Therefore, in Daniel, the passages should be correctly translated as:
Daniel 9:24 “Until an anointed prince” and not as “Until Messiah he prince.” Agree
Daniel 9:25. “an anointed one will be cut off” and not as “the Messiah will be cut off.” Agree
Additionally, in verse 25 there is no definite article (Hey ~ ה) before the word (משיח ~ Moshiach), and it is incorrect to translate this as “the Messiah” or “the anointed one” as if it were speaking about one exclusive individual. When translating correctly as an “anointed individual,7” the passages could be referring any one of a number of different individuals or objects that were anointed and not necessarily “the Messiah.” Agree
A careful examination of Daniel 9 will lead to a clear understand of exactly to whom and what this chapter is referring. Agree
An additional mistake made by Christians is the translation of 7 and 62 weeks as one undivided unity of 69 weeks. The Christian version makes it sound as if the arrival and “cutting off” of the “Messiah” will take place sixty-nine weeks (483 years) after a decree to restore Jerusalem. They add the 7 and 62 weeks together and have one person (the Messiah) and two events occurring towards the end of the 69th week. Christians make this error.
Actually, according to the Hebrew the 7 and 62 weeks are two separate and distinct periods. One event happens after seven weeks and another event after an additional 62 weeks. Correct, there are two events – these two events are recorded in Kings and Chronicles – Rehoboam means “freer of the people” after Shishak’s lightning raid and Cyrus means anointed – Isa. 45:1 – This saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus”.
Simply put, if you wanted to say 69 in Hebrew you would say “sixty and nine.” You would not say “seven and sixty two.” Correct
Furthermore, in Daniel it is written “7 weeks and 62 weeks rather than “7 and 62 weeks.” The use of the word “weeks” after each number also shows that they are separate events. The use of the definite article (ה ~ Hey) that means “the” in verse 26, “and after the 62 weeks shall an anointed one be cut off,” is sometimes deleted in Christian translations, but it’s presence in the Hebrew original clearly indicates that the 62 weeks is to be treated as separate period of time from the original 7 weeks. Correct
The correct translation should be:
“ until an anointed prince shall be 7 weeks (49 years),” “then for 62 weeks (434 years) it (Jerusalem) will be built again but in troubled times.” Then after (those) the 62 weeks shall an anointed one will be cut off.” Daniel 9:24-25 Correct. Rehoboam lead the revolt against Solomon, who was described as 666.
Two separate events and anointed ones, 62 weeks (434 years) apart. Correct …There is 434 years using the reign of kings dating in Kings and Chronicles. Modern Judaism has not seen the Ancient’s message!
Christians also incorrectly translated the Hebrew (V’ayn Lo ~ לו ואין), at the end of Daniel 9:26. They translate it that he will be cut off “but not for himself,” as if it refers to someone being cut off not for himself but cut off for us and indicating a form of vicarious attainment. However the Hebrew original means “and he will be no more” literally “and no more of him” and indicates the finality of his demise. Interestingly the Hebrew word (kares ~ כרת) translated as “cut off” biblically refers to someone who has sinned so grievously that they are put to death by heavenly decree as a divine punishment for their own transgressions. Noted
An awareness of these eight mistranslations is essential to understanding the ninth chapter of Daniel. To recap:
- (קדשים קדש) mean “holy of holies” not the “most holy one”
2. (דבר ~ Devar) that means “word” not decree.
3. (משיח ~ Moshiach”) means “anointed” not “Messiah” verse 23
4. (משיח ~ Moshiach”) means “anointed” not “Messiah” verse 24
5. “seven weeks and sixty-two ” means two events one at 7 weeks and the other 62 weeks later not one event after a cumulative 69 weeks
6. (Hey ~ ה) mean “the”
7. (V’ayn Lo ~ לו ואין) mean “will be no more” not “not for himself”
8. (kares ~ כרת) means death to a transgressor the cuts off their relationship to God. Correct
JEWISH CALANDER YEARS
In addition to these eight mistranslations Christians, as mentioned above, manipulate their calculation of the 69 weeks in Daniel 9 in an attempt to have them coincide with the arrival and death of Jesus in Jerusalem. Christians do that and fail to see the Ancient’s message also.
Christians based their understand with a belief that the starting point of the prophesy begins in 444 BCE with the decree issued by King Artaxerxex (Ezra 7:ll-16). Sixty–nine weeks (483 years) would bring you to 39 CE. This is 7 years off the commonly accepted date of 32 CE being the year Jesus was put to death. As mentioned above they attempt to resolve this issue by transforming “prophetic years” into solar years. The problem is that according to Jewish tradition and scriptures there is no such thing as a prophetic year of 360 days. The sacred year is 180 days as type.
Jewish scripture clearly teaches that the Jewish calendar is both Solar and Lunar. As early as Genesis 1:14, that deals with the creation of the sun and the moon, we are told that “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years” Both luminaries are used to determine our calendar. The types on the OT are bases on an equal division of Sacred and Civil years with an Intercalary period to account for the difference. Jewish scripture may teach that the Jewish calendar is both Solar and Lunar however there is overwhelming evidence from Exodus, through Daniel to Revelation that the Sacred Year was to equal the Civil year and both were represented as 1260 days over 7 years. Daniel final week of 2520 days is broken into three identifiable periods – 2300, 10 and 210. Solar and Lunar years just don’t match the types through OT and NT.
A solar year is 365 1/4 days and a lunar year is 11 days shorter, 354 days long. Unlike the Gentile’s year where the length of the months is set by convention rather than a relationship to the lunar calendar, a Biblical Jewish calendar must coincide with both the sun (for seasons) and the moon. When God, commanded the people of Israel to sanctify the months he established the month that the Exodus took place as the first of the months. Exodus 12:1. God also commanded to observe Passover in the springtime as is says,
“Observe the month of springtime and perform the Passover for God, for in the month on springtime God took you out of Egypt.” Deut 16:1.
In other words, a biblical calendar must coincide the months with the seasons creating a Solar- Lunar calendar. The type of the Sacred = Civil introduced Governance into the Jewish recording and it is Jewish governance that is the topic of the two temple eras. There is no mention in the texts of 365 ½ not 354 ½ or ¼ as stated above. That is non-scriptural in either OT or NT.
There is an eleven day difference between a solar and lunar year. If Jewish holidays were established solely by a lunar year the holidays would move further and further away from their original seasons. This happens all the time with the Muslim Lunar calendar with Ramadan falling in a variety of seasons. A biblical Solar/Lunar calendar corrects this by adding a 13 month leap year approximately every 4 years. Some years have 12 months and the leap year has 13. The fabricated “prophetic year” of 360 days could not exist because it would not allow Jewish holidays to coincide with both months and seasons. 360 days was not a “prophetic year” as incorrectly claimed by Christianity. 360 days of 30 each however matches the symbols 1260, 2520, 180, 150 for five months etc.
Now we can return to the beginning of Daniel 9 and establish the correct starting point for Daniel’s prophesy. Yes, let’s do that.
The Christian major error in establishing the starting point of Daniel prophesy is caused by their mistranslation of the verse, “know therefore and discern that from the going forth of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” Daniel 9:25 Correct.
Since their translation asserts that the starting point of this prophesy is from the issuing of a certain decree to rebuild Jerusalem, they incorrectly assume that it is the decree of King Artaxerxex. However, as mentioned above, there were a number of different decrees made concerning returning and rebuilding Jerusalem. Correct.
In Daniel 9:25 the original Hebrew used the word (דבר ~ Devar) which is significantly different from a human decree. The word (דבר ~ Devar) refers to a prophetic word. In the beginning of Daniel 9 verse 2, this word is used when Daniel says that he wants to understand “the word of the Lord to the Prophet Jeremiah.” Correct.
As mentioned above, in all of the passages that mention some form of decree or proclamation concerning Jerusalem, none of them use the Hebrew word (דבר ~ Devar). Correct.
The correct translation of Daniel should be:
“Know therefore and discern that from the going forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” Daniel 9:25
Therefore the correct starting point of Daniel’s prophesy must be associated with the issuing of a prophetic word and not a human decree. Correct.
The word (דבר ~ Devar) is used in the beginning of Daniel chapter 9. A careful reading of the beginning of this chapter clarifies the correct meaning of the reference to the “word to restore and to build Jerusalem” mentioned in Daniel 9:25. Correct.
Chapter 9 begins as follow:
“I Daniel considered (or contemplated) in the books the number of the years which the word (דבר ~ Devar) of G-d came to Jeremiah the Prophet that would accomplish to the destruction of Jerusalem” Daniel 9:2 Correct.
Here Daniel uses the word (דבר ~ Devar) when pondering the numbers of years that Jeremiah had spoken about. Jeremiah had twice prophesied concerning a 70 year period. Correct.
Once Jeremiah said:
“and these nation shall serve the King of Babylon 70 years and it shall come to pass when seventy years are accomplished that I will punish the King of Babylon and that nation … and make it everlasting desolation” Jeremiah 25: 11-12 Correct.
This prophesy states that Babylon would dominate Israel for a total of 70 years. Correct.
Jeremiah also says:
“After 70 years are accomplished to Babylon I will take heed of you and perform My good word towards you in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 29:l0 Correct.
This prophesy states, that after the 70 years, in addition to the end of Babylonian domination, the Jews would also return to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile. Correct.
There are two Jeremiah prophesies concerning: 1) subjugation, and 2) return to Jerusalem. Correct.
Jeremiah’s 70 years start from the initial subjugation of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This took place 18 years before the destruction of Jerusalem, as demonstrated by the following passages, Correct.
We know that the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in the 19th year of King Nebuchadnezzar. As it says:
“In the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the chief executioner was in service of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem… and destroyed the Temple of God” Jeremiah 52:12-13
The 19th year means that 18 full years had already been completed. Nebuchadnezzar started to subjugate Jerusalem in his first year of his rule; this can be derived from the following verses;
“in King Yehoyakim’s third year (three completed years) Nebuchadnezzar came to besiege Jerusalem” Daniel 1:1
“in the fourth year (three completed years) of Yehoyakim which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar” Jeremiah 25:1
These verses demonstrate that Nebuchadnezzar started to besiege Jerusalem in his first year and the destruction of Jerusalem took place in his “19th” year. Therefore, 18 complete years had passed from the beginning of the siege until the destruction of Jerusalem. During these 18 years Jerusalem was laid siege and completely surrounded. Correct.
Scriptures also indicate that the 70 years of Jeremiah were completed with the advent of Cyrus the King of the Persian Empire. As it says:
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled.” Ezra 1:1-3 Correct.
“Those who survived the sword he exiled to Babylon, where they became slaves to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia began to reign. This was the fulfillment of the word of God to Jeremiah, until the land would be appeased of its Sabbatical years, all the years of its desolation it rested, to the completion of 70 years. In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, upon the expiration of God’s prophesy spoken by Jeremiah. God aroused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia and he issues a proclamation… to build God a Temple in Jerusalem.” 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 Correct.
In addition to the Babylonian rule ended in fulfillment of Jeremiah 25:11-12, Cyrus also gave permission, in fulfillment of Jeremiah 29:l0, to the Jews to return to Jerusalem, as it says;
“Whoever is among you all his people, let his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord G-d of Israel.” Ezra 1:4 Correct.
It is important to remember that from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, 18 years before the fall of Jerusalem, until the fall of the Babylonian Empire, when Cyrus came into power, 70 years had elapsed. By subtracting the 18 years subjugation before the destruction of the first Temple from the total of 70 years we are left with 52 years. This proves that King Cyrus arose to power and fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophesy 52 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Correct.
This plays an essential role in understanding Daniel 9. Daniel yearned not only for the Babylonian Empire to cease 70 years after the subjugation of Jerusalem; he yearned to see the return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple. Correct. But Daniel, writing after the successful Maccabean revolt, was recalling recollected history. Wikipedia says Daniel was written in 2nd Century and this aligns with most commentators – after the ending of the 2nd Temple era by Antiochus Epiphanes and the victory of Judas Maccabees – the rock shattering the feet of iron and clay of Dan. 2.
When Daniel begins speaking in chapter 9 it is in the first year of Darius the Median. This Darius is mentioned earlier in Daniel 6:1 and called the Mede so that he would not be confused with Darius son of Achasverous the Persian, who was born later during the days of Haman and Esther. Correct. But Daniel, writing after the successful Maccabean revolt, was recalling recollected history using the dates in Kings and Chronicles, Ezekiel, and books of Maccabees.
Daniel was confused because although he now witnessed that, with the advent of Darius the 70 years to the Babylonian subjugation were over in fulfillment of Jeremiah 25:11-12, Daniel had not yet seen the fulfillment of Jeremiah 29:10 that promised that after the 70 years the Jewish exiles would return and rebuild Jerusalem. He did not foresee that very shortly Cyrus world rule and fulfill this promise. But Daniel, writing after the successful Maccabean revolt, was recalling recollected history.
Daniel thought that perhaps, due to the sins of Israel the date had been delayed. This is why Daniel confesses for the sins of the people in verse 4-20 and says.
“Now I was still speaking and praying and confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel and casting my supplications before the Lord My God about the holy mountain (the Sanctuary as seen in Isaiah 56:7) of my God.” Daniel 9:20
This explains why at the beginning of chapter 9 Daniel contemplated the number of years to the destruction of Jerusalem and not to the subjugation, as it says.
“I Daniel contemplated the calculations, the number of years about that which the word of God came to the prophet Jeremiah, to complete the 70 years to the destruction (לחרבות ~ L’Charvot) of Jerusalem.” Daniel 9:2 Correct. But Daniel, writing after the successful Maccabean revolt, was recalling recollected history and shown all this be Gabriel. The book was open in the time of Daniel!
Daniel saw that the subjugation was over but he not only wanted to see the return to Jerusalem he wanted to know when the destruction would end with the building of the second Temple. Daniel with inspiration was recalling.
In fact, after one year of rule by Darius, King Cyrus took power and fulfilled Jeremiah 29 and allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. But Daniel’s desire to understand the years of Jeremiah to the destruction of Jerusalem, result in the revelation of a new and additional understanding of Jeremiah:
There are now three different prophesies concerning 70 years.
1) 70 years of subjugation (Jeremiah 25)
2) 70 years till they return to the Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29)
3) 70 years of the destruction of Jerusalem (Daniel 9). 70 is also a symbol of six score and ten – the days of our lives.
Whereas the calculations of the first two begin with the subjugation of Jerusalem 18 years before its destruction, Daniel’s new insight into the 70 years of total destruction must be calculated from a different starting point, the date that Jerusalem was destroyed. In fact, starting from the destruction of the first Temple until the completion of the building of second Temple was exactly 70 years. Yes Daniel’s interpretation is definitely from a different starting point! It starts after the destruction of their first king Saul. Saul brought destruction after the era of judges who ruled their community in harmony. See below.
As a result of Daniel’s praying, confessing and contemplating about the years to the destruction of Jerusalem, the angel Gabriel (verse 21), revealed to him and expanded prophesy of 70 weeks (490 years). Correct but the Jewish teacher of modernity cannot yet see the Ancient message.
The starting point of this prophesy “that from the going of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” Daniel 9:25, also begins from the Destruction of the First Temple. Incorrect – see below – it is from king David’s command to Solomon. See links to attachments.
The use of the Hebrew word (דבר ~ Devar) in both Daniel 9:25 and Daniel 9:2 also establishes that they share the same beginning point, the destruction of Jerusalem. Yes. But after king Saul.
Starting from the destruction of Jerusalem we can now see the meaning of Daniel 9:24-26. From the Prophetic word (דבר ~ Devar) that refers to the destruction of the first Temple until an anointed Prince (the Hebrew (נגיד ~ nageid) is correctly translated as Leader), will be seven weeks (49 years). As demonstrated earlier, from the destruction of Jerusalem until Cyrus was 52 years, this is within the 7th week (49 years and before the 8th weeks 56 years). Incorrect. There is no 8th weeks in scripture. There definitely is a period of 49 years from 1021 BC to 972 BC and then a further period of 434 from 972 BC to 538 BC – see Kings and Chronicles – and attached links to URL articles.
Cyrus not only initiated the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 1:1-3, Ezra 5:13, Ezra 6:3 and Isaiah 44:28), he is also called and identified as God’s anointed, as it says,
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, Cyrus” Isaiah 45:1
Remember there are two anointed subjects, one after seven weeks and another after an additional 62 weeks. Very correct.
The first “anointed” individual identified as a prince/leader in Daniel 9:25 is King Cyrus, who came seven weeks of years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Then from Cyrus’ Decree to rebuild Jerusalem, “it will be built again” for an additional 62 weeks (434 years). But “in troubled times,” Daniel 9:25, meaning under the foreign domination of the subsequent Persian, Greek and Roman rule. The Greek is mentioned in Daniel 11:2 and Roman alluded to in Daniel 1:30 where the word (כתים ~ Kittim) refers to the Roman capital of Constantinople) Incorrect This has nothing to do with Rome! See lexicons.
Then in the 69th week (483 years) after the destruction of the first Temple and one week (7 years) before the destruction of the second Temple, an anointed one is cut off. Noted. The 7 years or 2520 days is symbolic of the 2nd Temple era down to Judas Maccabees great victory over Antiochus Epiphanes. It is divided by Daniel into 2300 days of plunder (in the midst), 10 days of mourning and 210 days of burning the dead. Daniel uses 2300 to match the recording of Ezekiel and Maccabees – so that the total matches 2520 – the period required to complete the 70 weeks symbol. It is very straightforward.
The fact that there is no definite article indicates that this can refer to several different anointed subjects. King Agrippa the last King of Israel (Kings are considered anointed as it says in 1 Chronicles 11:3) who was killed during this time. It also refers to the last High Priest (priests are anointed as seen in Leviticus 4) and the sacrifices (indicated in Leviticus 8:10-11). All three subjects were considered anointed and were cut off during the final week before the destruction of the second Temple.
“The people of the prince will come and destroy the city and the Sanctuary” Daniel 9:26,refers to the Roman legions of Vespasian and Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem. Incorrect. The reference to Rome seems to be a western initiated distortion.
Additionally, the sacrificial system (that was anointed) ceased during this last week before the completion of the total 70 weeks of 490 years, as it says, “
“during half of week he will abolish sacrifice and meal-offerings” Daniel 9:27 Incorrect – midst of the week is the better interpretation than half.
Historically during the years before the destruction of the second Temple the Romans set up idolatry in the Temple fulfilling the final verse in Daniel 9 that says; Not the Roman. The Greeks set up idolatry in the 2nd Temple era with the support of many Jews who preferred to follow Grecian ways – verified in 1 Macc.
“upon wings of abomination shall come one who make desolate until the decreed destruction is poured out desolator” Daniel 9:27
The Romans, who are often symbolized by the Eagle Wings resting on their standards, would desecrate the Temple with idolatry; destroy the Temple that would remain desolate until the Roman exile is finished with the advent of the true Messianic age of complete peace, tranquility and knowledge of God. Today’s exile is considered an extension of the Roman exile that has lasted more than 2,000 years. This did not refer to the Romans. Daniel was not prophesying but recalling the knowing abomination during the 2nd temple era.
In Daniel 9 the original 70 years are from the destruction of the first Temple until the building of the second. If they had returned whole-heartedly, there would have been no need for the second Temple to be destroyed, and the events listed verse 24 would have been fulfilled. 70 years are until the freeing from Babylonian captivity. The first captivity was in about 606 BC and the 70 years stretch to 536 BC. Simple mathematics.
“Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity(atone for their past transgressions), and to bring in everlasting righteousness (Temple service that brings righteousness), and to seal up the vision and prophecy (fulfill the promises of the prophets and end the prophetic era) and, and to anoint the Holy of Holies (the Temple)” Daniel 9:24
The angel Gabriel reveals to Daniel this additional understanding of the 70 years extending them from 70 years to 70 weeks of years stretching the time span to 490 years that span from the destruction of the first Temple to the Destruction of the second Temple. This prophesy also included a description of events that would unfold if the Jewish people did not repent properly. The description is a lesson from the time of the appointment of kings. All lessons are for admonition. They are not a literal description of events that would unfold. Christians took the 490 years literally. Gabriel had to reveal to Daniel the true interpretation that was of their Jewish governance that lead to two captivities – Babylonian and Grecian.
These are the 70 years for the first exile (52 years until Cyrus and 18 additional years to dedicate the second Temple) and 420 years of the second Temple. Incorrect. Understand the ceremonial recording of Kings and Chronicles – see links at end.
Although there appears to be a discrepancy in chronology between the Jewish and secular Gregorian calendars of 166 years (with the secular dates earlier) it is clear that Jewish record keeping is more reliable and consistent concerning these events. Babylonian calendars changed arbitrarily with every new Babylonian king and limited archeological discoveries often reflect their arbitrary chronology. (According to secular chronology 586 BCE is the year incorrectly associated with the destruction of the first Temple the Jewish) Prior to Babylonian captivity it is ceremonial time – construction of dates in Kings and Chronicles is in ceremonial time. Nothing to do with Babylonian calendars.
This is how Daniel 9:24-26 should be correctly translated and understood:
24) Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon your people and upon your 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 Holy of Holies.”
25) Know therefore and discern that from the issuing of a word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (starting from its destruction) until an anointed Prince (Cyrus) will be seven weeks (49 years) and then for sixty-two weeks (434 years) it will be built again with plaza and moat but in troubled times. (Persian, Greek and Roman domination) Incorrect…influenced by western ideas.
26) Then after the sixty-two weeks (483 years from the destruction of the first Temple) an anointed one (sacrifices, last Jewish priest and king) will be cut off and will be no more, and the people of the prince (Romans) who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. (in the 70th week 490 years from the destruction of the first Temple)
This is a brief explanation of Daniel chapter 9. Any attempt to apply this chapter to Jesus is erroneous and wrought with mistranslations and misinterpretations. Correct
The book of Daniel relates to Jewish recalled orally transmitted records. For Israel a definite starting point is the decree by David to build the temple. Daniel’s symbols create form in the barbarous warrior mentality that existed in all surrounds. The form of Daniel is as follows:
- The three kingly beasts are Saul (lion), David (bear), and Solomon (leopard).
- The diverse kingdom beast is a representation of Israel and Judah.
- The ten heads are the ten tribes of Israel.
- The seven last kings of Judah are represented by the little horn.
- The book was open in Hezekiah’s reign and understood…he rebuilt temple.
- The three horns plucked by the roots are Asher, Manasseh, and Zebuluon.
- The symbol time and times and the dividing of times, forty-two months or three and a half years, are established.
- Daniel understood that the ram with two horns was Media-Persia.
- The he goat was the king of Greece.
- After Alexander the Great, the Grecian Empire broke into four.
- Antiochus Epiphanes was the king of fierce countenance who took away the daily sacrifice.
- Gabriel opens the book to Daniel — understood.
- Daniel finalizes form in the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24–27 with assistance from Gabriel.
Israel had moved from judges to kings and that had destroyed the serenity of society under the community rule of their judges. Saul was a great destroyer.
- “that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul” (1 Sam. 18:10)
- “and Saul became David’s enemy continually” (1 Sam. 18:29)
- “Saul sought to smite David even to the wall” (1 Sam. 19:10)
- “Saul sent messengers to take David” (1 Sam. 19:20) … “again the third time” (1 Sam. 19:21)
- “Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan” (1 Sam. 20:30)
- Saul disguised himself “and they came to the woman by night … pray thee, divine unto me” (1 Sam. 28:8)
- Saul “fell likewise upon his sword” (1 Sam. 31:5)
Saul was identified as the first beast (lion) of Daniel 7 by characteristics:
Daniel 7:4 says, “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given it.” (emphasis added). All these characteristics are only identifiable as Saul.
Likewise David is identified as the second beast (bear) of Daniel 7 by these characteristics:
In Daniel, three distinctive features are found relating to the second king. “And behold another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side (or “raised up one dominion” — see margin notes in KJV), and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh” (Dan. 7:5).
Likewise Solomon is identified as the third beast (leopard) of Daniel 7 by these characteristics:
The third beast was “like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl” (Dan. 7:6). Wings, as already stated, indicate wealth. “The beast had also “four heads,” illustrating much wisdom, as, “the wise man’s eyes are in his head” (Eccles. 2:14), which is synonymous with perceptiveness.
Using the same methodology it is easy to see that the diverse beast was called diverse as it related to kingdoms of Israel (the ten heads are the ten tribes of Israel) and Judah (the seven last kings of Judah are represented by the little horn).
24) Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon your people and upon your 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 Holy of Holies.”
25) Know therefore and discern that from the issuing of a word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (starting from its destruction of Saul) until an anointed Prince (Cyrus) will be seven weeks (49 years – to the invasion by Shashak in 972 BC and the freeing by Rehoboam “freer of the people” – Strong’s lexicon) and then for sixty-two weeks (434 years – 972 – 434 = 538) it will be built again with plaza and moat but in troubled times. (Persian, Greek).
26) Then after the sixty-two weeks (483 years from the destruction of the first Temple) an anointed one (Cyrus) will be cut off and will be no more, and the people of the prince (Greeks) who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. (in the 70th week i.e. 1 week = 2520 = 2300 Daniel, 10 Maccabees, 210 Ezekiel). This completes the 490 years – 483 ceremonial years recorded in Kings and Chronicles plus a final week – completing two Temple eras – completing Daniel’s 70 weeks of Dan. 9:24 as an admonition for understanding.
For confirmation go to:
The Mathematics of Daniel’s Recall
The Mathematics of Daniel’s Recall – Supplementary Index
Christian Beliefs Corrected – Dan. 9:25 – the final 1 week or 7 years
Additional Information regarding book of Daniel