Daniel 9:25 – Gabriel Reveals the Events of the Sixty-Nine Weeks
By GF Herrin
This passage references the period of the first sixty-nine weeks of Gabriel’s Seventy Week revelation. This period spans from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until Jesus Christ presented Himself as messiah to the people of Israel. In question is when the prophetic clock for the period of seventy weeks actually began ticking. Philip Mauro contends that the decree that Cyrus gives (2Chron. 36:22-23) and Ezra 1:1-3) marks the beginning of the seventy weeks (Mauro, 19). Others have believed that the period might be identified by Artaxerxes’ decree given to Ezra in 458 BC (Ezra 6:3-8). However, these decrees only refer to the re-building of the temple in Jerusalem., not the actual city or city walls. The only reference in Scripture in which an actual command is given to rebuild the city of Jerusalem is the one from Artaxerxes given to Nehemiah (Neh 2:1-8) (Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, 1958, 244). The year it was given is widely believed to have been 445 BC (John Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, 1971, 228). Certainly, the book of Nehemiah validates the “troublesome times” that the builders would experience in thethe city of Jerusalem as they strived to restore their city, as predicted in Daniel 9:25.
The first seven periods of weeks refer to the length of time required to re-build Jerusalem. That period seems to have begun in 445 and concluded a generation, or forty-nine years, after the debris of Jerusalem had all been cleared out and the city was re-stored (Walvoord, 227). The second set of weeks, the sixty-two, or 434 years, is generally believed to have been completed in Jesus’ time. But which event signifies the time of Messiah the Prince mentioned in verse 26? Mauro argues that the time of messiah the Prince must have been the event of Jesus’ baptism that would have been the time of His “anointing” by the Holy Spirit (Mauro, 19).
However, Robert Anderson, who thoroughly researched the chronology of the time period from 445 B.C. to the time of Christ, calculates that the time of Messiah the Prince would have been April 6th, A.D. 32, the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was worshipped as King (Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, 1954, 126-27). This would have been 483 prophetic years, (360 days per year) or sixty-nine prophetic weeks, after the command to re-build Jerusalem was given, on March 14th, 445 B.C. According to Anderson (Anderson, 128), prophetic Scripture validates this event as a significant moment as well: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).
This time of Christ’s presentation to Israel (Matthew 21:1-12) would have represented the arrival of the long awaited King come to His people. It was the manifestation of the God-man coming in peace and mercy. Also, this represented the time that Jesus accepted the title of King and welcomed the worshipful cries of “Hosanna” because He knew that it was His appointed time. It was the time of Messiah the Prince. Anderson writes, “The twofold ministry of His words and His works had been fully rendered, and His entry into the Holy City was to proclaim His Messiahship and to receive His doom” (Walvoord, 229).
That this day was knowable by the Jews of Jesus’ time is attested by Jesus’ haunting message delivered to Israel:
Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation. (Luke 19:41-44).