Kickoff to the 70 Weeks
In the first article, we saw how 70 weeks of years must pass before Christ can begin his Messianic rule in Jerusalem. This adds up to a total of 490 years. Nevertheless, Daniel 9:25 tells us about the launch of the 70 weeks prophecy, and the length of time until the first coming of the Messiah.
The Kickoff to the 70 Weeks
The 70 weeks launch when the decree is issued to rebuild Jerusalem:
25 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. (Daniel 9:25 NASB) (1)
Before the Messiah (literally: “anointed one”) comes, there will be 7 weeks and 62 weeks.
7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks
As will become abundantly clear from context, these are weeks of years, not days. This is consistent with how Daniel’s prayer for his people refers to the 70 years of exile.
(7 x 7) = 49 years
+ (62 x 7) = 434 years
Therefore, from the time that the decree goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the Messiah comes, there will be 483 years.
Historically, there are four potential decrees to kick this off:
Cyrus decree (538 B.C.)
Darius I decree (520 B.C.)
Artaxerxes Longimanus decree (458 B.C.)
Artaxerxes Longimanus second decree (March 5. 444 B.C.)
What do these decrees pertain to?
538 B.C. – Decree relates to rebuilding of temple
520 B.C. – Decree relates to rebuilding of temple
458 B.C. – Decree relates to financing animal sacrifices
March 5. 444 B.C. – Decree relates to rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls (2)
Since the prophecy pertains to the restoring and rebuilding of Jerusalem (not the temple), the last decree is the launch date for the 483 years to begin. Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that a Jewish year is only 360 days, not 365. Furthermore, there is only 1 year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D.
483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days
483 Jewish years after the decree made in 444 B.C. lands on March 30, 33 A.D. This likely corresponds to the day after the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. (2)
This chart illustrates Daniel 9:25:
So far, we have only covered 69 weeks of the 70 weeks prophecy. There is still yet one final seven year period before the glorious reign of Christ can begin. However, its obviously been longer than 490 years since the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jersualem. As we will see in the next article, there is a large gap between the 69th week of years and the 70th week of years.
Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. As found in the https://www.biblegateway.com/
Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Springs, CO: Victor, an Imprint of Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Old Testament Edition