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Daniel 9:24-25 by Robert Dean
Series:Daniel (2001)
Duration:47 mins 38 secs

R. Dean: Daniel Lesson 42

Daniel's Answer; Timing for the Messiah – Daniel 9:24-25 

Open your Bible to Daniel 9:24 and we will continue our study of this incredible prophecy in Daniel, where Daniel gives an outline of a 490 year period for Israel's history.  Last time as we began our study of Daniel 9 we noticed that there are six major interpretive problems that we have to address in this passage.  Let's first of all review the passage briefly.  "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and hour holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 

Daniel 9:24, "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.  [26] Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.  And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.  [27] And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abomination will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."

Now these four verses are crucial for understanding many things related to Biblical prophecy and God's plan for Israel and the Tribulation itself and the nature of the antichrist.  But in order to get into this we have to address certain specific issues.  First of all, look at verse 24, when it begins with seventy weeks we said last time that is the Hebrew shib'ah shib'yim which means seventy periods of seven.  We have to discern what that means, that's the first interpretive problem.  The second interpretive problem is found at the beginning of verse 24, "So you are to know and discern from the issuing of a decree," which decree is that, can we identify that decree from human history.  Third, the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24-25 is divided into three segments.  There's a seven week segment, a sixty-two week segment and a one week segment.  What are these three periods of time and we need to answer the question, are any of them yet future to 2002. 

Foruth, once we figure out what these weeks are we need to then determine what calendar system it is that we're working with?  Are we working with a solar year calendar that has 365¼ days in it like the calendar that we use, or are we talking about a lunar calendar which operates on the cycle of the moon and thirty day months which ends up with a 360 day year.  That is the major interpre­tive question number four.  Number five, we need to ask the question, when are these six purposes fulfilled, the six purposes listed in verse 24.  And then the sixth major interpretive question comes in verse 2t and that is who is "the prince who is to come?" 

We have looked at these verses and what we have discovered is that the seventy weeks, that is that the first interpretive problem, the seventy weeks actually refers to seventy periods of seven and these are years, they're not weeks, they're not months but according to the context of the first part of Daniel 9:1-3 we see that Daniel is thinking in terms of years for Israel.  Last time when we answered this question we saw that this is based ultimately in 2 Chronicles 36:21 which made a point of condemning Israel because they had failed to apply the principle, the sabbatical year principle, for seventy years.  So there were seventy sabbatical years that they failed to rest.  Since a sabbatical year occurs once every seven years you can take the seventy sabbatical years, multiply that times seven, and you come up with a period of 490 years.  So there were 490 years when Israel did not obey the sabbatical year law.  So we have 490 years prior to Daniel's prophecy and that prophecy is going to describe an additional 490 years that come after the restoration to the land and the rebuilding and restoration of the city.

There have been a lot of attempts to try to identify these 490 years that precede Daniel's prophecy and it is unsure what these are.  For example, if we take the date, 586 BC which is the time in which the Babylonians destroyed the temple and Israel went out under the fifth cycle of discipline, if we take that and add 490 years to that we come up with a date of 1076 BC.  But that's only if these are 365 day solar years.  If they are lunar years then you have to take some time off of that and you end up with actually 476 solar years or just a little more which takes us to the day of approximately 1062 BC.  The problem that we have is that nothing that we know of occurred in 1062 BC unless that marks the beginning of Saul's decline and Saul's carnality.  Saul lived from 1075 to 1011 BC but that puts 1062, if our dates are correct…now when we get this far back we always have to recognize that we're basing this off of certain secular calculations on chronology and they're not always right.  There are always certain assumptions that seep into secular chronology that are contradictory to the Word of God so we can only go back so far.  I think 750 BC is the last sure undisputed date in ancient chronological schemes that everybody agrees on.  When you get beyond 750 BC there's a tremendous amount of disagreement and discord among scholars as to how to date various events.  But if we go back to 1062 BC that would be when Saul was approximately 13 years of age so that doesn't seem to fit at all. 

So our conclusion is that the 490 years of sabbath year violation that's mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:21 may not be continuous.  That means it's not 490 years in consecutive order.  One reason we can say that is these last 490 years that Daniel talks about in his prophecy are clearly divided up into three segments, you have a seven week segment, a sixty-two week segment and a one week segment.  So since that's not continuous all those 490 years don't flow together consecutively there's probable gaps in the 490 years previous.  We could expect that under David's rulership in the kingdom, when Israel was positive, that there was a time of sabbatical year observance.  After the revival, during the time of Hezekiah and again under King Josiah there again would be a time of sabbatical year observance.  So the seventy violated sabbatical years could easily be collective; that is, we go all the way back to 1406 BC when Israel first goes into the land and from that point up to 586 BC there were seventy sabbatical years that were violated, they were not all in a row.  So we can't some up with any firm date as to when that actually began and it's not necessary to, nothing hangs on that, nothing is contingent on that.

The next thing we did last time was that we investigated the six purposes that are outlined in Daniel 9:24.  These "seventy weeks," these 490 weeks "have been decreed for your people," that is the Jews, "and your holy city," that is Israel.  The issue here is God's plan and purpose for the nation Israel in human history.  The six purposes are listed there; the first one, "to finish the transgression," has to do with a definite article, that it is "the transgression," that is Israel's sin of rejecting God as their ruler.  Second, "to make an end of sin," and I made the point last time that even though in your English version you have a singular word "sin" there, in the Hebrew text it is a plural.  That is a textual problem in the Hebrew text; what is written is "sins," plural but what is written to be read that's in the margin that's called the [sounds like: keth eeb kar aye[?*] reading is the singular, "sin."  But either way it refers to the continuous sins, personal sins in the life of the nation which are based upon the fact that they have ultimately rejected God's rulership of the nation. 

Third, "to make atonement for iniquity," and I stated that even Christ paid the penalty and made atonement for iniquity at the cross, it isn't accepted and applied to Israel until the end of the Tribulation.  So these first three purposes, "to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, and to make atonement for iniquity are not fulfilled at the First Coming; they are fulfilled at the Second Coming, they are fulfilled till the end of the 490 year period.  So we haven't seen them yet, Israel has not turned to God as their leader, as their ruler of the kingdom, they have not ended personal sins, they have not made atonement for iniquity or accepted the atonement for their iniquity.  That does not happen until the Second Coming so none of the six purposes have been fulfilled.

Purpose number four was "to bring in everlasting righteousness" which is a phrase that relates to the righteous rule of the Messiah during the millennial kingdom.  The firth is "to seal up vision and prophecy," a term that relates to the completion of prophecy for Israel.  That too does not occur until the end of the Tribulation and the Second Coming.  And then finally, "to anoint the most holy place" which is a reference to establishing the millennial temple.  So these six purposes all relate to God's purpose for Israel and they are not completed until the end of the 490 year period. 

In Daniel 9:25 the angel, Gabriel, says to Daniel, "So you are to know and discern," that means that this information is clearly understandable, it is for us to "know and discern," we are able to understand this prophecy, it is not guess work, it is not something that is left to our imagination, it is not something that we are simply to guess at it and say oh well, in some general sense this must have been fulfilled.  We are to be able to actually understand all the details of this prophecy and the remarkable thing about this prophecy is the detail in which it was fulfilled.  The angel says we "are to know and discern that from" a starting point, that is an "issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks."  This means that there will be 69 weeks, or 69 times 7 which is 483 years between these two points of time. 

The issuing of the "decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem," now we have to understand some things about this decree.  It is a decree specifically for the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem.  Now there are four different decrees that could and have been suggested as historical decrees that are the fulfillment of this statement.  So let's look at them on the screen.  The first is a decree from Cyrus the Great in 538 BC for the Jews to go back to the land.  Actually it was in…as I'll point out in a minute there are some various problems in ancient chronology, this should be 535 BC, not 538.  Cyrus' decree in 535 BC for the Jews to go back to the land; that was so that Israel could return and this decree is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; it's mentioned in Ezra 1:14; it's mentioned in Isaiah 44:28 and again in Isaiah 45:13.  The question is, could the 490 years have begun with that degree, and if so then we have a problem because 483 years later would be approximately 57 BC and no Messiah showed up at that time.  Even if we make it lunar or solar years and we take 3 or 4 years off of that, no Messiah showed up around 60 BC or 62 BC, no Messiah showed up at that time at all.  So obviously Cyrus' decree could not be the decree that Daniel 9:25 is talking about.

The second decree that is mentioned as a possible candidate for this is a decree made by Darius Hystaspes that is mentioned in Ezra 6, but this is not a very serious contender because this was simply a confirmation or a restatement of the earlier decree made by Cyrus in 538 BC, it's a reconfirmation of that decree. 

Third, the first decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus, given in 457 BC, now this comes close because it's very close to the actual decree and would at least put us into the period of time, around 20 AD, during the time of the life of Christ.  This was a decree that was given to Ezra, it's described in Ezra 7 and it was a decree that Ezra should go back to Jerusalem and reestablish a functioning priesthood.  The temple has been rebuilt and he is to reestablish a functioning priesthood.  But that isn't what the decree of Daniel 25 is talking about.  Daniel 9:25 is talking about going back to the city and rebuilding and restoring the city, "a plaza and moat."  That is crucial at the end of the verse that describes the fact that it would rebuilt, "plaza and moat" and as we will see that has to do with its completed structure and its military fortification. 

The fourth decree that is usually suggested as the decree that is mentioned in Daniel 9 is the decree given by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 BC and that is the only possible decree that can fit the parameters.  It was given by Artaxerxes in 444 BC.  Now this decree is found in Nehemiah 2.  You remember a few weeks ago when we were looking at this prayer we went to Nehemiah's prayer as an example of prayer, very similar to Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9, when Nehemiah went to the Lord to pray for the restoration of the city.  Now if you look at the beginning o Nehemiah, Nehemiah 1:3 what caused Nehemiah's prayer was that he had heard a report that the walls were down, the city had not been…they had not finished rebuilding the city and it was still in a state of ruin.  And it caused him such despair that he went before the Lord in prayer and prayed for courage to go before Artaxerxes and to make a request that he be allowed to go back to Jerusalem and take a group of builders with him and reorganize the people and rebuild the city.  That is covered up through Nehemiah 2 and Nehemiah actually did go back to the land.  He obtained a decree from Artaxerxes and that's found in Nehemiah 2:5 and Nehemiah was given permission to go back to Jerusalem and to rebuild the walls.  So if we look at the Scriptures we know from that starting point and we'll look at the dates in a moment, from that starting point, that kicks off, that's the starting of the stopwatch on this decree in Daniel 9. 

Furthermore, notice that this decree says that it is "from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem."  Now the word for "restore" is the Hebrew word shuwb, which in the qal stem means to turn or return and is frequently used for the return of the people to the land.  But this is in the hiphil stem and the hiphil is a causative stem and when it's used in a construction like this where it is used to restore and to rebuild and to build with the verb banah it indicates that the restoration is a reconstruction.  This is used in other passages, for example in Psalm 8:4 and 8 it talks about the restoration of the people, sort of a rebuilding of the people spiritually.  So it has a connotation here in Daniel 9:25, not simply of returning to the land but of completely recon­structing Jerusalem to its former state.  So when we look at it that way the decree that Artaxerxes gave to Nehemiah best fits the Daniel 9:25 information.

Furthermore, the terminology, "plaza and moat," the plaza was the main square, the market square, the open market where all the economic activity of the city would take place, so to restore the plaza means to restore the city to full economic functioning and to restore the walls, "moat" indicates the defensive moat outside of the walls of the city and indicates that its military fortifications would be completely restored.  So you can't have real freedom in a nation without a military and throughout Israel's history they always maintained their freedom through a strong military.  When they had a weak military they lost their freedom and they were destroyed as a nation.  So we see the principle that freedom is always gained and maintained through military victory.  Even when they left Egypt at the Exodus there was military victory; it wasn't their military though, it was God empowering them, but there had to be a military defeat of the enemy, the Egyptians, before Israel could have their freedom. 

I want you to notice here the emphasis on this answer to prayer is on Jerusalem and on Israel.  This is exactly what Daniel had prayed for in Daniel 9:16 where we see that Daniel prayed, "O Lord, in accordance with all Thy righteous acts, let now Thine anger and Thy wrath turn away from Thy city, Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain," and the emphasis there is on the temple mount.  The "holy mountain" refers to Mount Zion, which was originally Mount Moriah where Abraham had gone to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God in obedience to God's command to do so.  That is where God stayed his hand and substituted a ram for Isaac, but it was a test of Abraham's obedience to God and that Abraham fulfilled that was not a sign that he was willing to murder his son, but according to Hebrews 11 he recognized that his son was the promised seed and that God would either not allow him to take Isaac's life or He would immediately bring him back from the dead.  So Abraham wasn't at all concerned because he trusted God so implicitly.

Now that holy mountain is identified today and it is where the Al-Aqsa mosque exists and where the Dome of the Rock exists and wehre there must be a future temple, the third temple or the Tribulation temple must be built on that site.  And as I pointed out last time, something has to happen historically to Islam to remove them from the scene or at least reduce their military power because something is going to take place that is going to destroy those mosques on the temple mount to allow the rebuilding of the third temple.  But the temple is a key issue, that's why it's a key issue in the modern terrorist warfare and a key issue for the Palestinians, is control of the temple mount.  Satan does not want Israel to gain control of the temple mount because he knows that once they do so God's prophetic plan is going to march on inexorably and Satan will end up being defeated.  So he is doing everything he can, he will throw everything he can at the Jews to try to keep them from having control of the temple mount.

Daniel goes on to pray in Daniel 9:16, "because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people have become a reproach to all those around us."  And then in verse 17 he says, "So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Thy servant and to his supplications, and for Thy sake, O Lord, let Thy face shine on Thy desolate sanctuary."  Once again it is the temple and temple mount that is at the core of the importance of Jerusalem and core of the history of Israel.  We see this same element emphasized over and over again; in fact, when Daniel is interrupted in verse 20 he makes the point that "while I was speaking in prayer, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God," so we see here that the Scriptures put a tremendous emphasis on the temple and the holy mountain. 

So we see from this, just by way of review, that in verse 24 the seventy weeks are determined, they are determined for Israel and for the city, they are determined that during this time the six purposes will be fulfilled and not until the end of the 490 year period.  And then in Daniel 9:25 we read, "know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem," and that is that decree of Artaxerxes that was given in 444 BC.  Now let's look at a chart and begin to put these elements together.

The decree to restore is given on March 5, 444 BC.  We know that from not only Biblical information but from extra-Biblical sources.  We can date that precisely to March 5, I've converted the information over into our calendar, March 5, 444 BC was when Artaxerxes gave his decree, listed in Nehemiah 2:1-3.  The Scripture says that this first period is comprised of a seven week period and a sixty-two week period, combined that's sixty-nine weeks.  This is for the nation Israel.  Now let's understand the break.  This isn't just some arbitrary break, Gabriel isn't just talking this way figuratively, he's not going to say seven plus sixty-two because that fits some kind of a mystical number code.  There's something that happens.  So let's look at it in detail.

If these are years, then that first seven week period is a week period of 49 years.  We get that by taking the seven weeks times seven days in a week or seven times seven equals 49 years.  So the first 49 year period would extend for 17,640 days.  Now we get that by multiplying 49 years times 360 days.  Now I'm going to show you in a minute why the Biblical year is a 360 day lunar year and not a 365 day solar year but let's just accept it as fact for now.  If you take 49 years and multiply that by 360 days you come up with a figure of 17,640 days or just over 48 years; 48.3 years.  You take that, take 444 BC, and remember because we're in BC time we subtract instead of add years, take 444 BC and subtract 48 years and what you end up with is approximately 395 BC.  Now we don't know exactly what took place and when the exact date was that this ended in 395 BC because of a lack of both Biblical and historical information but it was approximately at this time that the struggle to complete Jerusalem was finished.

The decree went out in 444 BC and the book of Nehemiah is a description of all of the hostility… see there were, just as there are people in the land today who want to make a claim, who hate the Jews and today we call them Palestinians, there were a group of people who lived in Israel that the Assyrians had placed there, had exported from other areas, deported these people, put them into that area.  There were people, Gentiles who had come and settled in Judea during the time of the Babylonian captivity and these Gentiles hated the Jews and did not want the Jews to rebuild the city or rebuild the temple; same kind of scenario we have today.  But Nehemiah went back, they rebuilt the city, plaza and moat, they rebuilt the walls, Nehemiah is the story of the rebuilding of the walls but it was during that period of approximately 49 years that they continued to face hostility from these people in the land.  So it was a time of difficulty.

For example, we read at the end of Daniel 9:25 that "there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, the street shall be built again and the wall," actually that's the King James translation, the street has to do with the plaza and the moat, that has to do with the external defenses, "even in times of distress."  So it was during a time of distress and this is the time of opposition and struggle during that first period of 49 years.  That's the time of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem and getting everything functioning again, getting their economy back in order and getting their military rebuilt and their military defenses rebuilt. 

Then there's a sixty-two week period.  Now this is the period between the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the time that Messiah comes.  Now if we look at history, it's very clear that Artaxerxes gave this decree to return to the land in 444 BC, that Messiah did not come after that first seven year period, that would have been about 390 BC and nothing happened at that time, no Messiah came, so it must be that the Messiah doesn't come until after the sixty-two weeks, which is exactly what verse 26 states. 

Now there's another interpretational problem that we have to deal with and this is probably going to twist your brains a little bit, burn a few brain cells trying to figure this out.  One of the things that we learn from Daniel 9 is that the Bible addresses every area of human thought including mathematics, and you may not have had very good skills in arithmetic or geometry or algebra in high school, but nevertheless the Bible says we're to take every thought captive for Christ and the way most people take that verse is "every thought" just means I'm not going to have dirty thoughts or immoral thoughts and think of it in very superficial terms, but that verse means every category of human intellection and that means that whether it's talking about literature, fiction, non-fiction, whether it's talking about economic theory, military strategy theory, whether we're talking about physics, biology, chemistry, every area of human intellection needs to be brought under the control of Scripture and we need to think as God would have us to think.  And that includes even arithmetic.  So there are problems in arithmetic that are there because man is operating independently of God and there are solutions that have been found by mathematicians because they understand that God is in control of everything and there are absolutes even in the realm of mathematics.

Now here we have an interpretational problem; we have to answer the question, how long was a year in the ancient calendar.  Was it a 365 day year as today, so that when we look at this and ad 483 years to 444 BC we end up with a date of 37 AD which according to most calculations is after the death of Christ and that doesn't seem to fit.  So maybe it's not a 365 day year.  Now there were a lot of problems in understanding this up until the late 19th century.  Then a man who had been the director of Scotland Yard, and Englishman by the name of Sir Robert Anderson, who was a tremendous student of the book of Daniel, also did a lot of work on this particular passage and he wrote a classic work called The Coming Prince.  And in that he outlines a fantastic understanding of Daniel's seventy weeks.  He missed a couple of points simply because the calendar they were working with was based on chronology as understood by secular historians at that time and it had a couple of glitches in it but he basically hit on the correct solution.

Anderson is also noted at that time for writing a book called The Silence of God which is a classic refutation of the position that God continues to speak after the closing of the canon.  In The Silence of God he makes a case and he clearly documents the case that God is no longer speaking directly to mankind after the end of the apostolic age.  Of course, no matter how well something is written, no matter how excellent the argument, the best way to deal with something you can't answer is to ignore it and that's what's happened with most charismatics and Pentecostals, they have just ignored this particular book.  But it is kept in print and it's still available here and there and it's an excellent argument, an excellent demonstration of why God is no longer speaking directly to mankind today.  But that is beside the point.

We need to look at the question, why do we say this is a 360 day year.  Let's look at a couple of Scriptures.  In Genesis 7:11 we read, "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the deep burst open," we don't need to go any further than that.  Now this isn't the second month of the year, don't think in terms of February, just think this is the six hundredth year of Noah's life, so this is benchmark on Noah's birthday.  So just look at this as the second month, the seventeenth day, that is 2-17.  That's when the flood began, was on 2-17. 

Then we go to Genesis 8:3 and we read, "the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased."  Then in verse 4 we read that this is on "the seventh month, and on the seventeenth day," so we've gone from 2-17 to 7-17, seventh month, seventeenth day.  Well, 2-17 from 7-17 according to verse 3 is 150 days.  So that's five months; five months into 150 days means you have to have 30 day months.  You can't have any 31 day months in there so obviously the Bible is operating on a 30 day month or a lunar month.  Lunar months are built on the time based on the moon's revolution around the earth, not the earth's revolution around the sun.  A solar year is based on the earth's revolution around the sun and that is 365 days.  So the Bible uses a different time scale, as many of the ancient calendars did, even Islam operates today on a lunar calendar and not on a solar calendar. 

So Genesis chapter 7 and chapter 8 we see that the Bible uses a 360 day year.  And then in Revelation 11:2-3 we read the following; this has to do with the period of the Tribulation.  "And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months."  So for 42 months Jerusalem is going to be militarily oppressed by Gentiles in the Tribulation.  Then in verse 3 we read, "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."  So this refers to the same period.  Forty two months—one thousand two hundred and sixty days.  If you divide 1,260 by 42 you come up with 30 days.  So that means that those months are 30 day months. 

Now let's look at the rationale for this on this chart.  Daniel 9:27 describes this as a half a week; half way through the seventieth week the antichrist is going to commit the abomination of desolation, so there we have the time period a half a week, or three and a half days.  A week has seven days, divide that into three and a half days.  This is compared to another time frame that's given in Scripture, time, times, and a half a time.  This is found in verses like Daniel 7:25, where it says that the antichrist "will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times, and in law and there will be given into his hand for a time, times and a half a time."  This same phrase is also used in Daniel 12:7 and in Revelation 12:14 that the woman, that is Israel, will go into the wilderness and be nourished and protected for a time, times and a half a time. 

A third way of describing this same time period is found in Revelation 12:6 and as we saw in Revelation 11:3.  Revelation 12:6 says that "the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God so that she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days."  So that notation of 1260 days in Revelation 12:6 is in the same passage as time, times and a half a time in Revelation 12:14. 

Fourth, the term forty-two months, the time frame of forty-two months is given in Revelation 11:2 and in Revelation 13:5.  There we read "And there was given to him," that is the antichrist, "a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him."  Well, if we do a little math and divide 1260 days by 42 we end up with 30 days, so that 42 months equals 1260 days.  And that 1260 days, if you divide that by 360 days that comes out to three and a half years, and that is equivalent to the term time, that's one year; times, that's a dual, that's two years, so one plus two equals three; and a half a time, that's three and a half days, plus a half a week, that comes out to the full seven years of the Tribulation. 

Therefore we end up with the conclusion that a month equals 30 days and a year equals 360 days.  So that's how we arrive at our understanding that these years in Scripture are 360 day years.  Now let's take that conclusion and go back and look at what we find in Daniel to figure out how many days there are between the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild and the cutting off of Messiah.  Take 69, multiply it times 7, and then multiply that again by 360 days, you come up with the figure, 173,880 days.  Now from March 5, 444 BC is our starting point, that's when Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah the decree to go to Jerusalem and restore and rebuild it, if you add 173,880 days to March 5 you come up with March 30 AD 33. 

Let's verify this.  How do we know that this is true?  Just take your simple math calculation.  Take 444 BC and add to it 33; that comes up with 477, but you have to subtract a year because there's no year zero in the calendar.  So that gives you 476 years.  Take those 476 years, multiply it by our solar calendar of 365¼ days, 365.2421989 and you come up with 173,855 days.  But then you have to make a distinction between March 5th and March 30th, which is 25 days, add 25 days to 173,855 and you come up with 173,880 days. 

So according to Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 9 there are going to be 173,880 days between the decree to return and the cutting off of Messiah.  Once more let's put this into another chart.  The decree to restore was on March 5, 444 BC, Nehemiah 2:1-3.  You have 69 weeks until Messiah the Prince comes and is cut off.  On March 30, 33 AD we know that that is when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in the triumphal entry when the people were singing Hosanna, all praise to the Lord from Psalm 110, and welcoming Him as Messiah.  That occurred; depending on how you work things out on the calendar on either Sunday or Monday but for traditional sake right now we'll just argue that it was on Sunday.  Then it was that next Wednesday that He was crucified.  So notice what the text says in Daniel 9:26, "after the sixty-two weeks," so He's not cut off until after the 173,880 days are complete.

So here's what we have for a conclusion.  Seventy times seven equals 490 years.  If you multiply 69 times 7 you come up with 483 years which equals 173,880 days.  The question now is what happened to the other seven years.  Now I want you to notice something important.  There is a clear break in the text.  In verse 26 it says "after the sixty-two weeks Messiah the Prince shall be cut off."  So the sixty-nine weeks are complete.  And then certain events are going to take place after…[tape turns] take place, this stopwatch stops at the end of the 69th week, and it's not going to start again until some other event.  And that's going to be clarified down in verse 27 when it says then "he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week," and the "he" there as we will see refers to the antichrist and when he makes this covenant with Israel that starts the stopwatch again.  That's why we know that the Tribulation doesn't begin when the rapture occurs; it begins at some time after the rapture when the antichrist makes that peace treaty with Israel. 

So what takes place between the end of the sixty-nine weeks and the beginning of the seventieth week?  The Messiah the Prince is cut off, then we have the destruction of the temple, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and we have the…what's called the intercalation, and that is the entire Church Age period which has now extended to almost 1900 years, and it will not be until after the rapture that the coming prince comes and then we have the Tribulation period. 

Now what this tells us as we look at this breakdown of Daniel's seventieth week is that the seventieth week has not taken place yet.  And remember, just as we have so clearly seen, every detail in the first 69 weeks has been fulfilled literally.  The time frame, the chronology, has been literal, it's been precise, it's been exact.  Now if we're going to begin with a precise literal interpretation of these weeks, then the last week must also be literal.  The problem is in amillennialism and postmillennialism and in what's happening now in the preterist camp is that this seventieth week is being allegorized or spiritualized; it's not an exact precise time period, it's just a very general allegorical symbolic time period.  And of course that violates the whole principle of hermeneutics of a literal interpretation and a consistent literal interpretation.  As I said a couple of weeks ago you have to stick with the old Texas principle, you gotta dance with the one who brung you.  That means if you start off with a literal interpretation you have to continue with that interpretation all the way through the Scripture.  And so in order to be consistent we have to take this last seven, this last week, Daniel's seventieth week as a literal seven year period for Israel, for my people Israel, for Jerusalem, and for the fulfillment of these 490 years to bring to completion the six things mentioned back in Daniel l9:24. 

So next time we will look at what the Bible says about a future for Israel, there is definitely a future for Israel.  God has a plan for Israel that has not yet been fulfilled.  That plan includes two international restorations; one restoration will be as a nation that is unsaved and unregenerate and then the second will be as a nation that is regenerate, they will be recovered from the corners of the earth, so we will look at that and a history of the modern state of Israel and how that has come about next time.