“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 . . .” (Daniel 9:25).
Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks (of which the above quotation is a part) is one of the most amazing prophecies in Scripture. If the date of the issuance of the commandment, the date of the Messiah’s presenting Himself, and the meaning of the term “weeks” can be established, we can determine the predicted date of the Messiah and compare this with known historical data.
The only decree filling the terms of the prophecy is that of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah on the 5th of March, 444 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1–8). The date of Christ’s triumphal entry can be established to be March 30, A.D. 33. For details, the reader is referred to “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ,”by Harold Hoehner, in Bibliotheca Sacra, January 1975.
The term week means “a unit of seven”: The events described in Daniel 9:24–27 require that a week of years be assumed.
Sixty-nine weeks is therefore 483 years. These years, as was Jewish custom, consist of 360 days each; and 483 years is therefore equal to 173,880 days.
We now need to determine if 173,880 days actually transpired between March 5, 444 B.C. and March 3O, 33A.D. From 444 B.C. to 33 A.D. = 476 years (from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. = 1 year). Modern astronomers calculate a year to be 365.24219879 days. This number X 476 = 173,855 days. Since the commandment was given March 5 and the fulfillment was March 3O, 25 days need to be added giving 173,880 days: the same number of days predicted in the sixty-nine week prophecy.
Praise the Lord: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . .” (II Timothy 3:16). BRA