Contact The 70th Week Of Daniel Study Author

by David on June 7, 2016

If you have questions about a particular 70th Week Of Daniel 9 study, please read the related studies, as they might answer your question.

If you disagree with an explanation, please provide scriptural evidence for your position.

Just saying that you disagree, or that your Pastor or a top radio/TV preacher teaches differently, is not enough.

For we must rely on scripture and the historical fulfillment of prophecy, not on speculations that have no proof.

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Thank you!

Mercy, peace, and love to you! 🙂

David Nikao

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Woodford February 13, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Hi David, I just have 3 questions:
(1) Why do you think the week (SHEBUAH) is 7 years in Daniel 9 when in every other place it is used in scripture it is a week of 7 days? When every other fulfilled prophecy of scripture which mentions a specific time period of known length (7 years, 40 years, 40 days etc) was fulfilled in exactly the same time period as it was prophesied, why should we believe that Dan9 is an exception to this rule (a week fulfilled in 7 years!)
(2) Why do you assume that the 70 weeks run concurrently (right after the other) when scripture divides them into 3 distinct periods? (7 weeks, 62 weeks and 1 week) Notice scripture never speaks of a period of 69 weeks!
(3) Why do you think the “many” are Jews when scripture does not say so?

A brother in Christ,
Bruce Woodford (Norwich, Ontario)

Reply

David February 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Hi Bruce. Great questions!

(1) The 70 week prophecy has a clear beginning, when the Jews were empowered to rebuild the temple and city, so it can’t point to 70 weeks, as it took 46 years to rebuild the temple, which shows that the 7 weeks that started the prophecy was pointing to 49 years. “Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?” John 2:20

(2) If a 70 week prophecy is not pointing to 70 consecutive weeks, then it makes no sense. Why would they be given a 70 week period that is not fulfilled in 70 weeks? How would they know when the promised Messiah would appear, if the 70 weeks aren’t consecutive?

The disciples knew the prophecy of the 70th week, as they were looking for the promised Messiah. “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” John 1:41

Messiah condemned the Jews because they did not know the time of His visitation, meaning they did not understand that He was the Messiah who appeared on time, in the 70th week of Daniel.

The prophecy points to a 7 week period, then a 62 week period; so by it saying that the Messiah would appear after the 62 week period, we can understand that it is saying after the 7 week and 62 week period, after 69 weeks, Messiah would appear.

It’s a 70 week prophecy that is broken down into time segments of 7, 62 and 1; to help Daniel and the Jews understand how it would be fulfilled.

(3) The prophecy was given to Daniel and His people. Who are Daniel’s people who are about to be released from captivity? The Jews. Who rejected Messiah and deliverer Him up to be killed? The Jews.

Who did the disciples preach to for the next 3 1/2 years after Messiah was killed? The Jews.

When you read the book of Acts, you see that 3,000 Jews believed in Messiah on the Feast of Pentecost. And you see that Jewish believers were added to the fellowship every day. So many Jews accepted Messiah, and were saved.

Who was desolated by the Romans (the ‘people of the prince’ of Daniel 9:26) in 70 A.D. The unbelieving Jews.

I hope that helps.

What are your answers to those three questions?

Your brother in the Messiah,
David

Reply

Bruce Woodford February 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Hi David,
(1)Scripture never uses a word consistently in one way and then in a single instance change the meaning of the word to something vastly different to its consistent usage elsewhere! “Week” (SHEBUAH) is never defined in scripture as “7 years” nor is it ever defined or used as “7 of anything” but days! There are other words in scripture translated “seven” and used of a variety of different items, but SHEBUA is never used in that way. You claim the 7 weeks cannot be literal weeks of days because the temple took 46 years to build. So what? The prophecy of the 7 weeks says nothing at all about the building of the temple!!

(2)Your assumption that 7 weeks and 62 weeks equals a total elapsed time of 69 weeks is just that, an assumption not stated in scripture. We do know when the 7 weeks began and we know that at the end of the 62 weeks is the Messiah and at some time after the 62 weeks Messiah is cut off. Your theory that the 70 weeks are 490 years which were completed 3 1/2 years after the death of Christ does NOT explain how “the transgression is finished”, “the end of sin is made” and how everlasting righteousness is brought in.” Furthermore no one (not Robert Anderson nor anyone since) has been able to show conclusively that it was exactly 483 years from the commandment to restore Jerusalem to the death of Christ! R.A’s calculation in ‘The Coming Prince” are proven to be way off the mark and no one (at least as far as I know) has done any better! Can you? Your position would demand that there be exactly 483 years from the commandment to the BIRTH OF CHRIST. Can you verify this historically?

I don’t claim to understand all the expressions in Dan.9:24 but those events are prophesied to take place within 70 weeks (NOT 490 years!) ( those 70 weeks are divided into 3 separate periods, 7 weeks, 62 weeks and 1 week (NOT 49 years, 434 years and 1 year!)

(3) I think you have assumed that the covenant of Dan.9:27 is the New Covenant. BUT that covenant did not begin until the death of Christ, NOT 3 1/2 years earlier! If I have read you wrong here, what covenant do you believe is confirmed in 9:27?You also claim that the “people of the prince that shall come” was the Romans but then contradict yourself by saying that the pronoun “he” of Dan.9:27 does not refer to the Prince of the people that shall come (which is the immediate antecedent noun of verse 26 to which the pronoun “he” must refer to. Rather you claim, contrary to all the laws of grammar that “he” of 9:27 refers all the way back to “Messiah the Prince” of verse 25! Your logic, your grammar and you assumptions just do not fit what scripture clearly affirms. Nor does anything in the context of Dan.9 demand that the “many” with whom the covenant is made must be Jews! The term “thy people” is used in Daniel to clearly designate Daniel’s people the Jews. But that expression is not used with reference to the covenant! It is simply “many”. If it was the Jews, why would it be just with “many” of them and not all?

I was raised with the 70 weeks are “weeks” of years theory, but it just does not fit scripture at all! There is no way that 483 years fit between the commandment and the birth of Christ OR the death of Christ! Or do you have info on this matter of which I am unaware?

Look forward to your reply.

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

Reply

David February 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Hi Bruce, if you’re going to proclaim the 70 week prophecy is not pointing to 490 years, then please show me proof of how it was fulfilled in 70 weeks. When did the 70 week timeline begin and why did it start at that time?

How does that match up to Messiah appearing in the 70th week?

I’ll answer your questions when I get some more time, but I’m pretty busy right now.

Your brother in Messiah,
David

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Bruce Woodford February 14, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Hi David,
The 70 weeks began with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus was cut off after the end of the 62 weeks and I don’t know of any historical event which fits the 70th week, so I believe it is yet future and will be a week of 7 days just as the scripture clearly teaches with the consistent usage of the word SHEBUAH.

Both the Books of Daniel and Revelation speak of 1260 days (not 3 1/2 years!) And there are two periods of 1260 days that are offset by exactly 3 1/2 days.

The two witnesses prophecy for 1260 days then are killed and their bodies lie in the street for 3 1/2 days and then in the same hour as a great earthquake, they are caught up to heaven.

Another period, the Great tribulation also runs for 1260 days but ends with the great earthquake so this period starts 3 1/2 days after the prophecy of the two witnesses begins!

I believe the great tribulation begins in the middle of the 70th week (seven days) and the prophecy of the two witnesses commences at the same time as the covenant that is confirmed for one week (7 days).

More food for thought?

Bruce

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David February 15, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Hi Bruce. How would the Jews rebuild the temple and city in 69 weeks, which is 1 year and 4 months?

If Messiah died around 27 A.D., then projecting back 69 weeks, the 70 week prophecy started in 25 A.D.

The text says that the 70 week timeline starts when the command was given to rebuild the temple and city. So when was the command given in 25 A.D. and by who?

David

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Bruce Woodford February 15, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Hi David,
Contrary to your continued assumption, Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks has nothing to do with a rebuilding of the temple! Where do you get that in Daniel 9?

Your assumption that the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks run continuously and thus make a total time of 69 weeks is also an unsupported assumption which continues to hamper your thinking! The 70 weeks are divided into 3 separate periods and no theory put forth to date (to my knowledge at least) has been able to explain accurately the timeline of 70 continuous weeks or 70 continuous “periods of seven years”! It just does not fit with history! For your consideration….what was the date of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem? To that date add 483 years and what do you get? Add 7 more years and what do you get? It just does not fit with history!

It’s time we stopped saying “Seventy weeks are really 490 years.” and let scripture say exactly what it says….”Seventy weeks, 7 weeks, sixty two weeks and one week.” If there were really 70 weeks continuously without any interruption, there would not be any need to divide them into 7, 62 and 1! But failure to simply let scripture say what it says has resulted in all sorts of weird and wonderful “explanations” none of which can put scripture and history together accurately.

If I am wrong here, all you have to do is show the timeline from actual historical data. Robert Anderson tried to foist this view on the world and his explanation and calculations are so dishonest it is pathetic! Have you found some explanation better than his?

I am willing to be proven wrong and willing to fully accept an interpretation which honestly and accurately handles the relevant scriptures and historical data (without weird claims of 360 day “prophetic years”!)

Look forward to hearing how you have done this to your own satisfaction.

Your brother in Christ, Bruce

David February 15, 2018 at 8:23 pm

Bruce, here’s my explanation for the statements you made about the 1260 days in Revelation and Daniel, the great tribulation, and the Two Witnesses.

The 1,290 and 1335 days in Daniel 12 pointed to the desolation of the Jews from 66-70 A.D.; which fulfilled that the ‘people of the prince’, the Roman army who was sent by Messiah, to desolate the temple and city. Here’s that study. http://theolivetdiscourse.com/daniel-12-is-not-about-an-end-times-antichrist/

Messiah mentioned a time of great tribulation in His Olivet Discourse. That against points to the desolation of the Jews in that generation, just like He said. http://theolivetdiscourse.com/the-great-tribulation-of-matthew-24/

Here’s a study that addresses the other times of great tribulation to the martyrs of the Roman Emperors, and to the saints who were persecuted by the antichrist Popes of Rome. http://revelationtimelinedecoded.com/times-of-great-tribulation-in-bible-prophecy/

The Two Witnesses are the Scriptures and the Saints, both of which testified against the antichrist Popes of Rome during their 1,260 year reign of power, from 538-1798 A.D. The Popes banned and burned the Scriptures and caused over 50 million saints to be killed. Here’s the Two Witnesses study http://revelationtimelinedecoded.com/the-two-witnesses-of-revelation-11/

So the prophecies that pointed to ‘great tribulation’ and to ‘1,260 days’, have already been fulfilled. They are not yet future, so they don’t substantiate a future 70th week of Daniel.

I’m sure that you will object to all of that, but the studies prove it out.

Blessings to you,
David

Reply

Bruce Woodford February 16, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Hi David,
(First of all please excuse my comments on another thread which I mistakenly thought was this one and thought these comments had been deleted!)

Secondly, I’m glad you are at least willing to revisit the matter of dates and decrees etc.
But I am really baffled why you believe the Lord Jesus ministry commenced after the 69 weeks when scripture simply says he is cut off after the end of the 62 weeks. Can you explain why you say this?

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

Reply

David February 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Hi Bruce, I believe that the 70 weeks are broken down into three consecutive sections of 7 weeks (sevens); 62 weeks (sevens); and 1 week (seven).

The text declares that Messiah would appear AFTER the 62 week time period, which follows the 7 week time period; so that is 69 weeks.

There’s only one week left in the prophecy, so it’s obvious that 69 weeks have passed.

Messiah did not just show up and die in one day. The Gospels declare that several different Passover days occurred during His ministry.

The text declares that He would be ‘cut off’ in the midst of the week, so halfway through.

The website explains all of this, along with how the last half of the 70th week was fulfilled.

Your brother in Messiah,
David

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David February 15, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Bruce, for arguments sake, let’s remove the need to rebuild the temple. You still have not explained how the 69 weeks lines up with Messiah appearing. When did the 70 week prophecy start? And what signaled the start?

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Bruce Woodford February 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Hi David,
I don’t think there is any question about that, brother. Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the city starts the first seven weeks. Notice, scripture does not tell us when the 62 weeks start. It just tells us what happens after they are finished, Messiah is cut off. Nor does scripture tell us when the last week starts.

I would still like to hear how 70 continuous “weeks” of seven years fits between Cyrus’ decree and 3 1/2 years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Can you explain that?

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

Reply

David February 15, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Hi Bruce,
So you’re saying that the 7 weeks was started by Cyrus decree. And then the 62 weeks was fulfilled before Messiah appeared around 27 A.D.? And that the 70th week has not been fulfilled yet?

So that means that there are time gaps in between the 7 weeks and 62 weeks; and in between the 62 weeks and 1 week? Is that accurate?

David

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Bruce Woodford February 15, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Hi David, Yes, you have understood me correctly. Just let me clarify that scripture says that Messiah was cut off (not “appeared”) after the 62 weeks.

I am still waiting for your timeline from Cyrus’ decree to the end of your 70 “weeks” of seven years.

Your brother in Christ, Bruce

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David February 15, 2018 at 8:11 pm

Hi Bruce. Thanks, I now understand how you see the prophecy being fulfilled.

That said, why would the Father give a 70 week prophecy, if it’s not fulfilled in 70 consecutive weeks? That makes no sense!

Why define a 62 week period, when there is no clear time that the 62 weeks starts, in order to know when the promised Messiah would appear?

When the 7 and 62 weeks are consecutive, and we know the starting point, then we know when Messiah was supposed to appear.

Dan 9:25 tells us that Messiah would appear after the 7 weeks and 62 weeks, meaning after the 69 week. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:”

The Hebrew word for week is ‘shabuwa’; which means seven or week; so 70 sevens is 490.

“Seventy sevens are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.”

I believe that it was the third command, the one by Artaxerxes, that started the 70 week prophecy; as do the great theologians, such as Adam Clarke and John Gill. http://70thweekofdaniel.com/?s=Artaxerxes

That happened in 457 B.C., so subtract 483 years (7 + 62 sevens) and the 69 weeks are complete in 27 A.D.. After the 69th week, meaning in the 70th week, Messiah started His ministry when He was baptized and when He read the passage in Isaiah and proclaimed that it was being fulfilled.

Messiah and His disciples ‘confirmed’ with the Jews that He is the promised Messiah who came to ratify the ‘everlasting covenant’ with His blood as the Passover Lamb. They confirmed this for seven years, from 27-34 A.D., as they only preached the Gospel to the Jews.

Then after the 70th week was over, Acts shows a clear change, as the early church was scattered after Stephen was stoned to death, and they preached the Gospel to the gentile nations too.

So it’s not a new covenant, it’s the renewed covenant, the one that was made with Abraham. When Abraham was tested with sacrificing His Son, he said that Elohim would provide a lamb; and indeed He did, in Messiah, in the 70th week of Daniel.

Messiah was indeed ‘cut off’ after the 62nd week. And what is after the 69 (7+62) weeks? The 70th week. Daniel 9:27 declares that in the middle of the seven, He, Messiah, would end the need for temple sacrifices.

And is that not exactly what Messiah’s death did? Is that not why the Father tore the temple curtain in two? To proclaim that temple sacrifices were no longer necessary?

I’ll have to update the cite, as I think that the Geneva Bible study notes point to Cyrus instead.

I hope that provides clarity.
David

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Bruce Woodford February 16, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Hi David,
Yes, this provides a lot of clarity! It also shows the false assumptions upon which your position is based:
(1) You assume that the 70 weeks prophecy was given to prophecy when the promised Messiah would appear but this is not the case at all! Dan 9 says not a word about the appearance of the Messiah. What it references is his cutting off!
(2) Re the word SHABUAH…. it is always “week” except one instance where it is “seven” which designates “seven days”. It is NEVER used as the numeral “seven” for anything but days! Other similar Hebrew words are used as the numeral “seven” for a wide variety of different units. But SHEBUAH IS NEVER USED IN SUCH A WAY!
(3)Re the decree of Artaxerxes, is this found in scripture? What exactly did he decree? How is the date determined? Or was this event chosen simply because it was a closer date than Robert Anderson suggested and “more in the ball park” to maintain a traditional view of the prophecy?
(4) If the decree took place at the beginning of BC 457 then 483 years brings us to the beginning of AD26! If it took place at the end of BC457 then 483 years brings us to the end of AD 26 NOT AD 27. So 7 years later would be no later than the end of AD 33. Thus the crucifixion of Christ (if it happened in the midst of the week or seven years could not have taken place after the middle of AD30! Further, how do the 4 years difference between the supposed dates of the Lord Jesus actual birth fit into this calculation? (Was he born in 0 AD or 4AD?)
(5) Who confirmed the covenant? Grammatically in Dan 9 you have not answered the point that the immediately preceding noun to which “he” (verse 27) must refer back to is “the prince” of the people that shall come to destroy the city of verse 26. But to make it fit your theory, you must override the laws of grammar and make it refer back to “Messiah the Prince” of verse 25!!!
(6) Re your theory that the “covenant” which is confirmed is the Abrahamic covenant… this is foolish as that covenant had been confirmed centuries before! Why does a divinely made covenant which has been in force for centuries EVER NEED TO BE “RECONFIRMED”???
(7) You claim that the covenant made “with many” was made “with the Jews”! But if the covenant in question is the Abrahamic covenant, this is NOT TRUE! It was made with the seed of Abraham which includes all that are in Christ! See Galatians 3:27-29.
(8) You claim that the Messiah, in the midst of the seven, would end the need for the temple sacrifices. Rather it speaks of the prince of the people that shall come to destroy the city and the sanctuary shall confirm the covenant and cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

It is true, Jesus death at Calvary ended the NEED for sacrifices. But Dan 9 does not talk about the NEED, but rather the actual cessation of the sacrifice and oblation! The veil was patched back up and the sacrifices continued in the temple for decades after Calvary!

Brother, these are just a few of the many seemingly impossible problems that I have with accepting your traditional view of Daniel’s 70 weeks. So far you have not answered any of them but the difficulties with your position only seem to increase.
Am I missing something crucial here? OR is your view simply not a scriptural doctrine at all?

I am perfectly willing to be proven wrong with clear scriptural evidence. If evidence can be given and my objections answered with scripture, I will change my mind and do it publicly. Hope you can help me further if the traditional view actually is the sound and Biblical one.

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

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David February 16, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Hi Bruce,

You have rejected everything that I’ve said, and have not conceded one point; so it’s obvious that you have nothing to learn from me, and there really is no point in me continuing this discussion.

You have the studies on this website, which give my best explanation. Do I know everything? No! Is there enough evidence to prove out that the 70 weeks were fulfilled in the 490 years, and culminated in the appearance of the promised Messiah, who ratified the everlasting covenant with His blood as the Passover Lamb? Yes!

I pray that you will continue to pursue the truth about the 70 weeks of Daniel.

Your brother in Messiah,
David

BTW, there is no year 0, so 457 B.C. – 483 years = 27 A.D.

Reply

Bruce Woodford February 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm

Hi David,
I have not rejected what you have said just to be troublesome or rebellious! I have just compared what you have said with what scripture says and it doesn’t add up. That is why I have not conceded one point.

Rather than call an end to this discussion, why not clearly answer each one of my objections OR concede that they may be problems with your theory. If , in fact, they are…. maybe you should take a second look at the whole superstructure of false assumptions which have been used to build this “house of cards”.

Re the calendar issue…. BC and AD were not used till sometime after Christ. So don’t we need to base our dating of events by the calendars that were in use “BC”?

Further your claim that Artaxerxes decree in Ezra 7 is the one mentioned in Daniel 9 just is not true! That decree had everything to do with the temple, but nothing to do with the walls of the city! So what happens to your timeline now?

David, would you be willing to step back, set aside all the commentaries and commentators and start a fresh a study of this whole topic from a purely Biblical view. By that I mean (1) doing word studies of how Biblical words are used by the Holy Spirit in scripture rather than letting commentators tell you what words “mean”, (2) observe how all Biblical prophecies which have been fulfilled are worded, and how they are fulfilled…in the very same units of time as they were originally prophesied, and (3) carefully avoid inserting time periods such as “seven years”, “three and a half years”, “sixty nine weeks” etc into scripture when such are absent from scripture. Just use the precise terms that the Holy Spirit has used when you seek to explain scripture. Twelve hundred and sixty days is close to three and a half years but not quite! So if scripture says 1260 days, just agree with scripture. When scripture speaks of weeks just let scripture say what it says!

You will be amazed at what you will learn if you allow the scriptures to actually be your only and final authority! I highly commend them to you for your own consideration.

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

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Bruce Woodford February 17, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Hi David,
Yes I see what you mean on 27 AD. (If one subtracts 1 year from 457 it is 456. If one subtracts 457 from 457BC it is 1AD. Thus 483 from 457BC is 27AD. You are right and I concede this readily.
Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

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David February 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Hi Bruce, I am researching the commands to rebuild the city, to look at the dates that those were given, and will update the website with my findings.

That said, it doesn’t change the fulfillment. It doesn’t change that 70 sevens pointed to 490 years. It doesn’t change that Messiah started His ministry AFTER the 69th week, meaning in the 70th week. It doesn’t change that Messiah’s sacrifice ended the need for temple sacrifices.

I disagree with your explanations of the 1,260 days, and the Two Witnesses; so those are not proofs that the 70 weeks have not been fulfilled.

So we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Your brother in Messiah,
David

Case in point, one of your objections was the 483 years from 457 B.C. is 26 A.D. I pointed out that there is no year 0, so it would be 27 A.D. And you did not even concede that point.

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Rick Neubrander February 16, 2018 at 8:02 pm

Bruce,

As far as the starting dates, maybe this can help.

Ezra 6:14 provides a key perspective in support of Gabriel’s words with Artexerxes’ decree:

And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

Notice that the Jews “builded and finished it…according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.”

In the words of historicist Marcos Thaler, “the decree was a process that Cyrus began, Darius affirmed, and Artaxerxes completed.” Upon completion of this decree process with the going forth of Artexerxes’ decree, the 70 Week Prophecy commenced fulfillment, for as already mentioned, only Artaxerxes’ decree restored Jerusalem’s independent self-governance.

When did the decree go into effect?

“From the going forth” of Artaxerxes’ decree… According to Ezra 7:7-9 this decree went into effect in “the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.” But of course, we want the B.C. year for this. Determining this year with conviction through historical scholarship is difficult but not impossible.

The date is given [in Ezra 7] in terms of a reigning year of a Persian ruler as reckoned by a Jew from Babylon who was writing for Palestinian Jews about events connected with Palestine. In order to assign these events with certainty to a BC date, we must answer a number of questions: What did Ezra mean by the 1st and the 5th month, and what kind of calendar did he use? What did he mean by dating his return to Jerusalem in the 7th year of the reign of King Artaxerxes? Did he reckon it from the date of accession or by calendar years? If the latter, did he use Persian or Jewish years, and if Jewish, which of the systems known to have been used by the Jews? Such varied elements enter into the problem of locating ancient events in the BC – AD scale.

The above quote is from the introduction to what is perhaps the most detailed investigation ever made into the subject, a 1953 paper titled “The Chronology of Ezra 7” by archeology professors Dr. Siegfried Horn and Dr. Lynn Wood. These researchers concluded that all historical evidence “taken together with the Biblical statements of Nehemiah and Ezra, lead to the inescapable conclusion that the decree of Artaxerxes 1 went into effect after Ezra’s return from Babylon, in the late summer or early fall of 457 B.C.”

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David February 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for sharing your insight Rick, I will read that article! 🙂

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Bruce Woodford February 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Hi Rick,
In order to properly respond to your message yesterday, I have copied it in its entirety below and inserted my comments within it. I take a high view of scripture and so work on the premise of the accuracy of the inspired record and that God means what He says. This means that the Holy Spirit understands human language better than we do and chose the very best Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek words to communicate His message to us in scripture. But whenever we say, “Scripture SAYS this, but let me tell you what it really MEANS”, we are claiming that we know better than the Holy Spirit how to communicate his mind in human language!!!

For example: when he says “days” he means days not years or ages; when he says weeks he means weeks and not “seven years”; when he says months, he means months; when he says years he means years not “times”; and when he uses indefinite units of time such as times or seasons he means times or seasons and not “years”. If we can manipulate scripturally recorded units of time in any manner that suits our fancy, we make the scriptures into an unintelligible hodge-podge of wild imagination with no objective standard by which to test our “interpretations”! But if we truly recognize the inspired record as the only and final authority for our doctrines and practices we must let scripture say precisely what it says. This is not to say that scripture does not use allegories, parables, similes etc. It certainly does. BUT the context always makes it clear when such are to be understood. It is NOT up to us to decide when we want to interpret plain statements as allegorical or parabolic etc!

What you wrote is indicated by “R:” and my comments by “B:”
R: Bruce,
As far as the starting dates, maybe this can help.
Ezra 6:14 provides a key perspective in support of Gabriel’s words with Artexerxes’ decree:
And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

B: What did they build according to the word of Haggai and Zechariah? Nothing but the temple, the house of God! Neither prophet spoke a word about building the city of Jerusalem!

R: Notice that the Jews “builded and finished it…according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.”

B: And what was “it” which all three kings commanded to be built? The house of God! See Cyrus’ command concerning the house of God in II Chron.36:23; Ezra 1:2-5. See Darius’ command concerning the house of God in Ezra 6:6-12 and Artaxerxes’ command concerning the house of God in Ezra 7:11-26.
R: In the words of historicist Marcos Thaler, “the decree was a process that Cyrus began, Darius affirmed, and Artaxerxes completed.” Upon completion of this decree process with the going forth of Artexerxes’ decree, the 70 Week Prophecy commenced fulfillment, for as already mentioned, only Artaxerxes’ decree restored Jerusalem’s independent self-governance.

B:This decree in the fifth month of the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king had nothing to do with building the city! It only had to do with the house of God! “Restoring self-governance” is NOT restoring and building the city!

R: When did the decree go into effect?
“From the going forth” of Artaxerxes’ decree… According to Ezra 7:7-9 this decree went into effect in “the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.” But of course, we want the B.C. year for this. Determining this year with conviction through historical scholarship is difficult but not impossible.

B: Be careful not to jump to conclusions too quickly that this is the decree of Daniel 9:25. Remember that all three kings (Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes had issued proclamations or decrees relative to the building of the house of God. But the decree of Daniel 9:25 has to do specifically with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem!) No such commandment is found in the texts referenced above! The only commandment on scriptural record which had to do with the building of the city of Jerusalem is found in Nehemiah 2:3-8 where we read of Nehemiah’s sorrow over the condition of the city, his appeal to Artaxerxes and the king’s affirmative response to Nehemiah’s request. Notice that this event is dated in the month Nisan (the seventh month) in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes’ reign. THIS IS 13 YEARS AND TWO MONTHS AFTER THE DECREE OF EZRA CHAPTER 7!

R: The date is given [in Ezra 7] in terms of a reigning year of a Persian ruler as reckoned by a Jew from Babylon who was writing for Palestinian Jews about events connected with Palestine. In order to assign these events with certainty to a BC date, we must answer a number of questions: What did Ezra mean by the 1st and the 5th month, and what kind of calendar did he use? What did he mean by dating his return to Jerusalem in the 7th year of the reign of King Artaxerxes? Did he reckon it from the date of accession or by calendar years? If the latter, did he use Persian or Jewish years, and if Jewish, which of the systems known to have been used by the Jews? Such varied elements enter into the problem of locating ancient events in the BC – AD scale.

B: Then too, one must take into account that the BC-AD scale was not created until over 500 years after Christ and has been shown to be 4 to 6 years off!

R: The above quote is from the introduction to what is perhaps the most detailed investigation ever made into the subject, a 1953 paper titled “The Chronology of Ezra 7” by archeology professors Dr. Siegfried Horn and Dr. Lynn Wood. These researchers concluded that all historical evidence “taken together with the Biblical statements of Nehemiah and Ezra, lead to the inescapable conclusion that the decree of Artaxerxes 1 went into effect after Ezra’s return from Babylon, in the late summer or early fall of 457 B.C.”

B: If this was an “inescapable conclusion” for professors Horn and Wood, they must be able to show their own calculations. Do they show such in this paper?? If they do not, we are asked to simply take a blind leap in the dark to “trust the professionals”! But if we take their word as being accurate, this clearly sounds the death knell to the theory that the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks of Daniel are “weeks of sevens of years” and are fulfilled between the decree to restore and to build Jerusalem and the cutting off of Messiah. If the calculations above are correct, the theory only “comes close” IF THE DECREE OF EZRA 7 IS THE COMMAND TO RESTORE AND TO BUILD JERUSALEM! But since that command did not go forth for another 13 years and 2 months, as Nehemiah 2 makes perfectly clear, the entire theory falls apart at the seams for it is actually some 9 years off the mark!
There is another line of scriptural proof which bears out this same conclusion. This proof is based on the Holy Spirit’s use of words in the inspired record. The prophecy of Daniel 9:25 sets the commencement of the 70 weeks with “the going forth of the COMMANDMENT to restore and to build Jerusalem…” That word “commandment” is the Hebrew DABAR (Strong’s # 1697). Now if we look for that word (DABAR, Strong’s #1697 in the context of restoring and building Jerusalem in Cyrus’ decree of II Chron36 and Ezra 1 it is not there. Rather the Hebrew for his “proclamation’ is two Hebrew words ABAR and KOLE (Strong’s #’s 5674 and 6963). If we look for it in the context of restoring and building Jerusalem in Darius’ decree of Ezra 6 or in the context of restoring and building Jerusalem in Artaxerxes’ decree of Ezra 7 it is not there! Rather the Hebrew word for “decree” in both instances is TEHAME (Strong’s # 2942). It is only found in the context of restoring and building Jerusalem in Nehemiah 2:18 where Nehemiah is recounting the kings (Artaxerxes’) “words” translated from the Hebrew DABAR (Strong’s 1697).
So while Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes all gave proclamation (ABAR KOLE) and decree (TEHAME) regarding rebuilding the temple, only Artaxerxes gave “DABAR” (The word used in Dan.9:25) to restore and build the city of Jerusalem itself. That DABAR/command was not given until the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign which was the year 444BC. This crystal clear scriptural evidence shows that the commencement of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 occurs about 9 years too late for the “weeks are sevens of years theory” to have any credibility at all!
Since the 70 weeks commenced in the 7th month of the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign (444BC)… “69 sevens of years” or 483 more years brings us to the seventh month of the year 40AD after which the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, would have to be “cut off”. Then, if (as David claims) he was not crucified until half way through the 70th “week”, (or 3 ½ years later) this would place the crucifixion in the first month of 44AD! This is over 9 years off the mark for we know that he was crucified in 34 or 35AD. (If the year Jesus was born was 1AD (whether he was born in January or December), then his first birthday would have been in 2AD, he would have been baptized at age 30 (Luke 3:22,23) in 31AD. If the traditional idea of 3 1/2 years of his public ministry is true, that would take him well into 34AD or even 35AD to his crucifixion.)
Now, just for the sake of argument, let us ask, “What happens if the decree of Artaxerxes in the 5th month of the seventh year of his reign actually was the one which commenced the 70 weeks of years? That year was 457 BC. If we add 483 years to this we come to the 5th month of the year 27AD. Now if, as David claims, the Lord Jesus was crucified in the middle of the 70th week or 3 ½ years later, this takes us to the 11th month of the year 30AD. But we know that the Lord Jesus was crucified in 34 or 35 AD. So David’s scenario has the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion 4 years too early!!!
No matter how the dates are manipulated, the “70 weeks are 490 years theory” just cannot be reconciled with the scriptural record!

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Bruce Woodford February 16, 2018 at 8:16 pm

I’m a little puzzled how this page is set up. I’m responding to a response of David’s which does not seem to appear above so I have cut and pasted here in order to respond to it… David wrote….
Hi Bruce, I believe that the 70 weeks are broken down into three consecutive sections of 7 weeks (sevens); 62 weeks (sevens); and 1 week (seven).

The text declares that Messiah would appear AFTER the 62 week time period, which follows the 7 week time period; so that is 69 weeks.

There’s only one week left in the prophecy, so it’s obvious that 69 weeks have passed.

Messiah did not just show up and die in one day. The Gospels declare that several different Passover days occurred during His ministry.

The text declares that He would be ‘cut off’ in the midst of the week, so halfway through.

The website explains all of this, along with how the last half of the 70th week was fulfilled.

Your brother in Messiah,
David

Hi David, from the above I’m left with just this question, “What translation of Daniel 9 are you reading and using as your authority?” I’m wondering about the “appearing” of the Messiah and his cutting off “in the midst of the 70th week”.

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

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David February 17, 2018 at 3:07 am

Bruce, the comments are tiered, so that the conversion appears as a thread, so that people can follow the conversation.

I reference the King James, The Scriptures (ISR98), the Strong’s Hebrew.

Daniel 9:26 says that after the 62 weeks (which is after the 7 weeks, thus it is telling us that after the 69th week) Messiah will be ‘cut off’, meaning that He would be killed.

Daniel 9:27 says that in the midst of the 70th week, ‘He shall cause the oblation and sacrifice to cease.’

Put the two together and we see that when Messiah was killed, cut off, He ended the need for the temple sacrifices.

Isaiah 53 pointed to Messiah being ‘cut off’ for the transgressions of His people, which we know ended the need for temple sacrifices; and that He justified many.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was CUT OFF out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Isa 53:10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Isa 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant JUSTIFY MANY; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and HE BARE THE SIN OF MANY, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Bruce Woodford February 17, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Hi David,

The comment of yours to which I was responding was this….
“That said, it doesn’t change the fulfillment. It doesn’t change that 70 sevens pointed to 490 years. It doesn’t change that Messiah started His ministry AFTER the 69th week, meaning in the 70th week. It doesn’t change that Messiah’s sacrifice ended the need for temple sacrifices. ”

The KJV does NOT say that Messiah started his ministry after the 69th week, but rather that he was “cut off”!

Nor does the KJV say that Messiah’s sacrifice ended the need for temple sacrifices”! It says, “He (referring back to the prince of the people that shall come) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease…”

When you wrongly assume that weeks are “seven years”, that the prince of the people that shall come is “messiah the Prince” there is no end to all the resulting wrong deductions and conclusions to which false logic will lead you!

You have still not given one grammatical reason for interpreting the “he” of Dan.9:27 as referring back TWO VERSES to “Messiah the prince” instead of the immediately preceding noun “the prince of the people that shall come” in just the preceding verse 26. Can you explain once and for all what rule(s) of grammar have lead you to such a conclusion?

I am thoroughly puzzled by your lack of objective standards when it comes to understanding scripture. Can you help me here?

Your brother in Christ,
Bruce

Reply

David February 17, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Bruce, the KJ says “and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”, not “the prince of the people that shall come”. I’m not sure what Bible version you’re using, but it is wrongly making the prince the noun. So my explanation is consistent, that the he is pointing to the prince, Messiah. David

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