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APPENDICES - Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant
APPENDIX A –
The various “commands” involving the Temple, and Jerusalem.
There were three commands (decrees) involved in the building of the 2 nd Temple and the restoration and re-building of Jerusalem. (Underlining mine)
The First Command only involved the Temple
Made by Cyrus I (Cyrus the Great) in 538 B.C. Ezra 1:1-4 “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” This command is centred only on the building of the house of God, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem in Judah. The building of the 2nd Temple was completed in 516 B.C. Counting forward 490 years from 538 when the command was given = 48 B.C. This date is not appropriate for either the coming of the Messiah or the ending of the 490 year period. A further passage of scripture mentions the multiple commandments by God and earthly rulers in relation to the building of the Temple – Ezra 6:14 “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.” This passage indicates the prolonged process and complicated stages by which the people of Judah were finally able to complete the building of the 2 nd Temple. Although it was commenced in 537 it was not finally completed until 516 B.C.
The Second Command restored Jerusalem as Capital
Made by Artaxerxes King of Persia in his 7 th Year in 458 B.C. Ezra 7:12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand... (vs.15-24 relate to provisions and finance for the house of God) ...v.25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of they God, and the law of the king, let judgement be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment..” This command included provisions to beautify the house of the Lord, but its main focus was to restore Jerusalem as Capital of Judah, giving them autonomous Government as a Nation; whilst giving Ezra the authority to re-establish the theocratic judicial law of God in Judah. Ezra exercised this decree on the 1st Nisan 458 B.C. Counting forward from 458 B.C. for 490 years = 32 A.D. an appropriate date to include the coming of Messiah at the beginning of the 70 th week, His death in 30 A.D. in the midst of the week, until the end of the 490 year period. This is the only command given in relation to the restoration of Jerusalem.
The Third Command restored Jerusalem’s Walls
Made by Artaxerxes in his 20th Year in 444 B.C. This command, or rather permission, was exercised by Nehemiah in 444 B.C. No day date is given, but Nehemiah mentions the month of Nisan. He later returned to Jerusalem specifically to rebuild the walls of the City. The walls of the city were completed on the 25 th day of Elul, (Nehemiah 6:15) and it took them 52 days, therefore the work must have started on the 3 rd Tammuz (4th month) 444 B.C. The details of Nehemiah’s request for permission to return to Jerusalem, is contained in Nehemiah 2:110. The King sent a military escort and letters with Nehemiah to ascertain safe passage, and provide lumber for the gates, but there is no record of an actual decree being made, Nehemiah 2:7-8. Nehemiah became the Governor of Judah for twelve years from the 20 th year of Artaxerxes to the 32nd year – therefore from 444 B.C. until 432 B.C. Much has been made of this date in relation to a work by Sir Robert Anderson called “The Coming Prince” in which he calculates that a 483 year period of “prophetic 360 day” years was completed from 1st Nisan 444 B.C. to Palm Sunday in Passover week 32 A.D. when Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King. He postulates that there is a 2,000 year “Church Age” gap between the 69 th and 70th week of the prophecy and therefore there is still a 7 year period to be fulfilled for the Jews in relation to Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks. However, many scholars refute 32 A.D. as the year of Jesus’ death, which rather destroys his position. Historical data from the Gospels supports the view that Jesus was born about 4/3 B.C. We know from scripture that Jesus was about 30 years of age when he began his ministry (Luke 3:23). We also know from history that Herod’s Temple was commenced early in 19 B.C. and had been forty-six years in building at the time of Jesus’ first Passover in Jerusalem, (John 2:20). This calculation puts the commencement of Jesus’ ministry at 27 A.D. which makes his death no later than 30 A.D., depending on whether you ascribe one, two or three years to his ministry. Counting forward from 444 B.C. for 490 years = 46 A.D. This date is too late either for the coming of the Messiah, or for the completion of the 490 year period.
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant
APPENDIX B –
Jesus’ Date of Birth and Death
Jesus’ date of birth and time of ministry can be placed in history from the internal evidence of scripture, and from the external historical evidence available to us today. We know from the Bible that Jesus was born sometime before the death of Herod the Great which is historically set at 4 B.C., and possibly (according to some sources) even earlier in 5 B.C. The story of Jesus’ birth in relation to Herod the cruel Edomite King is given in Matthew 2:1-22. When Herod heard about the Wise men from the East who had enquired about the whereabouts of the newborn King of the Jews, he summoned the chief priests and scribes to enquire where Christ (the anointed one) should be born. Having found the whereabouts to have been Bethlehem, and the timing of the appearance of the “star” he ordered the slaughter of all the children from two years old and under living in Bethlehem and surrounding areas. Since Herod was not dead yet at this point in time, we can only conclude that the children born between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. were the ones killed. The fact that the wise men from the East (Matthew 2) turned up in Judea at this very time prior to Herod’s death also lends credence to “the story” that they understood the time and season, not only from the appearance of the star, but perhaps from the writings of Daniel, (Dan 5:11) and that they may have been members of the Magi, a religious cast from Persia. Meantime, Joseph, Mary and Jesus had fled into Egypt, and were not ordered by the Angel to return until after Herod had died (v. 19) and being wary of Herod’s heir Archelaus they avoided Judea and went to live in Nazareth. This automatically puts Jesus birth some time prior to Herod’s death in 4 B.C. and possibly as early as 6 B.C. In Luke 3:21-23 we are told that at the time of Jesus’ Baptism by John, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove rested upon him, and the voice from heaven declared “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” The very next verse 23 states that “... Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of .....” After the long list of Jesus’ ancestry, Luke takes up the story again, showing that following Jesus’ return from Jordan (Luke 4:1-2) Jesus faced his temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:3-13). Luke inserts Jesus proclamation of anointing in the Synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:14-16) immediately after his temptation. According to John’s chronology Jesus then began to gather his disciples, attended the Wedding in Canaan, after which he attended the first Passover visit to Jerusalem when he cleansed the Temple. Allowing for all that happened prior to his attendance in Jerusalem at Passover, we could say that it was probably between two and four months. From John’s chronology we can count at least three Passovers which Jesus attended – John 2:13-25 – John 5:1 – (Possibly John 6:1-4) – and finally the Passover of his death John 12 >. This therefore makes Jesus aged about 33 or 34 at the time of his death, which calculates to about 30 A.D. Jesus also ministered to his disciples for over a month after his resurrection - Acts 1:3. It therefore appears that Jesus “time of visitation” lasted for about 3 years 4 months, from his appearance with John the Baptist as “the Lamb of God” until his ascension into heaven 10 days prior to the Day of Pentecost. 3
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant Supporting scriptures state that at the beginning of his ministry at his first Passover when Jesus spoke about his future death and resurrection, the Jews thought he was referring to the future demise of the Temple (John 2:19-20) and told him then that it had been 46 years in the building. Historical records show that it was begun by Herod in 20 B.C. This calculates the first Passover of Jesus ministry to have been about 26/27 B.C. and therefore setting his death in 30 A.D. (using a period of 3+ years ministry). The dating above referring to Jesus birth prior to 4 A.D. is therefore also supported by the dating of the Temple. Furthermore, in Luke 3:1-2 the writer gives the dates for John the Baptist’s ministry, commencing in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar. Since Tiberius assumed supreme power as co-ruler with Augustus in the year 12 A.D., John the Baptist would have begun preaching about 27 A.D. Together, this internal evidence from scripture and historic dating regarding the death of Herod, and the date for rebuilding the Temple, puts Jesus’ birth prior to Herod’s death in 4 B.C. and his own sacrificial death about 30 A.D. Although these records do not give absolutely perfect synchronisation of the facts available to us, they do give conclusive evidence for the complete fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks within the period of 490 years, which began in 457 B.C and extended to 34 A.D. With the appearance of Messiah in 27 A.D. and His death in the middle of the 70th week followed by the witness of the disciples until Stephen’s death in 34 A.D., the 7 year period of Daniel’s 70th Week for the Jews and Jerusalem was completed.
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant
APPENDIX C A possible timetable for end-times would therefore be – * Spiritual apostasy and rebellion in the World, when Satan is enthroned in the hearts of the Ungodly. 2 Thess.2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 42 month period of Tribulation –
* The tribulation during which time the Beast (man of sin) and the False Prophet (Muslim leaders) together with a confederacy from 10 “horn” Islamic nations make war with Israel, and wear out the Tribulation Saints for 42 months (1278 days) - Rev.13:5-7. During this time, Israel flees to the wilderness for 1260 days – Rev. 12:6. For 1260 days of this 42 month period (1278 days) the two witnesses give their testimony. Rev. 11:3-6 * Satan makes the first of two last deceitful assaults on the hearts of mankind, via the “Wicked” one. 2 Thess. 2:8-12. At the end of this period 3 evil spirits from the Beast, the False Prophet and the Dragon, gather the kings of the earth to the battle of the great day of God at Armageddon - Rev. 16:13-14, and 16. * The two witnesses, the last of the tribulation martyrs are killed – c/f Revelation 6:11 “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” The two witnesses lie dead for 3 and 1/2 days. Rev.11:7-10
The Rapture - Rev. 11:11-12 - To the two dead witnesses a voice from heaven says “Come up hither...” Rev. 11:15 - “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” This is the 7th and last trump mentioned in Revelation – c/f 1 Cor. 15:52 “...at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” and 1 Thess. 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This resurrection of the dead saints, followed by the “rapture” gathering of the live faithful to Christ 1 Thess. 4:17 and 2 Thess.2:1, all occur at the precise moment in time just before Jesus comes as a thief on the eve of Armageddon. Rev. 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief, Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
The Battle of Armageddon Rev. 16:14, 16
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ
* Jesus Christ’s visible return to earth, to the Mount of Olives. Zech. 14:1-9 and Rev. 11:17 “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, It is done. Jude 14 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” * The Beast and False Prophet are cast into the lake burning with fire and brimstone where they remain for ever. Rev. 19:20 * Satan is cast into the bottomless pit where he is bound for 1,000 years. Rev. 20:1-3
Millenial reign of Christ from Jerusalem for 1,000 years. Rev. 20:4, 6.
Satan’s 2nd Deception –
* Satan is released to deceive the World a second time, led by Gog and Magog and Nations from North Eastern Turkey/Northern Iran area, Ethiopia and Libya. Rev. 20:7-8 and Ezekiel 38/39 * Gog and Magog are destroyed by Fire from heaven. Rev.20:9 * Satan is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where he joins the Beast and the False Prophet for ever. Rev. 20:10 * Jews bury the troops of Gog and Magog for 7 months and burn their weapons for 7 years. Ezekiel 39:9-16 * Great White Throne judgement. Rev. 20:11
New Heaven and New Earth
* New Heaven and New Earth come into existence. Rev. 21:1 * The jewelled City of New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven. Rev. 21 * The Eternal Kingdom of Righteousness. Rev. 22
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant
APPENDIX D Previous Covenants in Scripture – 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Noahic Covenant The Abrahamic Covenant The Mosaic Covenant The Davidic Covenant FINALLY – The Messenger of the Covenant
The first four covenants mentioned in the Old Testament and listed above dealt with other matters. Here they are so you can compare them –
The Noahic Covenant:
Genesis 9:16 “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” This was the Covenant made by God with Noah and all living creatures which has no conditions or obligations by mankind attached to it. “The covenant is, therefore, a sovereign administration of grace and forbearance, divine in its origin, disclosure, confirmation and fulfilment.” i It is a covenant of unmerited Grace, and dealt with the future preservation of mankind.
2. The Abrahamic Covenant: (Circa 1913 B.C.) Genesis 15:18 “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” This covenant centred on the geographical inheritance of the Children of Israel. Genesis 17:2 “And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” This part of the covenant dealt with Abraham’s physical seed and the Nations that would come from him. This covenant was conditional upon their circumcision. See Genesis 17:1-14. However, it was also a Covenant of Grace – unmerited by Abraham, and initiated by God while Abraham was sleeping. (Genesis 15:12-17) This same covenant was to be extended to his off-spring – Genesis 17:19 “...and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” See also Genesis 17:25, 28-34 This covenant had to do with the Promises given. “The three expressly mentioned in connection with the covenant are the possession of the land of Canaan, the multiplying of Abraham’s seed, and the promise that God would be a God to him and his seed after him.” ii
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant 3. The Mosaic Covenant: (Circa 1491 B.C.)
Exodus 19:5-6 “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for the earth is mine; And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 34:10 “And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.” The Covenant made with the Children of Israel was a covenant that dealt with God’s relationship with them as a Nation. “This was made with Israel as a people who had been sovereignly chosen in love unto redemption and adoption.” iii The blessings of the covenant were conditional on their keeping the 10 laws given at Mt. Sinai. God entered into a covenant relationship with them in which he was to be their “husband”, and they were to be his “wife”. The Ark of the Covenant, and its Mercy Seat was their “life-line” to God where once a year their National sin was dealt with on the Day of Atonement. Their obedience to the Covenant would be displayed in the promised covenant blessings - Exodus 24:3-8, but their disobedience would bring cursing upon them. See also Deuteronomy 11:16-17 and Deut. 28:15-68. Even in this early covenant, there was a hint that God would expand this covenant to include the Gentile nations. Deuteronomy 29:9-15 “v.9 “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do... v.12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day; v. 13 That he may establish thee today for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. v. 14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; but with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day.” The idea that the Gentiles would be included in this covenant was prefigured in the provisions already made under the Mosaic covenant for the “stranger” and “sojourner” to join themselves to the Children of Israel. Leviticus 17:8-13, 22:18. In fact the Gentile Nations were included in Moses retrospective speech to the Israelites even as they and the “strangers and sojourners” underwent their betrothal to the God of Israel at Sinai, whilst promising to abide by His laws. This can only be an early allusion to God’s intention of including the Gentiles in the New Covenant for Sin which would eventually be fulfilled by the Messiah. At the end of Moses’ life (about 1451 B.C.), God promised to send them another prophet like Moses – The Messiah!
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant Deuteronomy 18:15-18 “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week...” This would include “many” Gentiles. As Jesus said in Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, (new covenant) which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The Davidic Covenant: (Circa 1048 B.C.?)
This was God’s promise to King David, of the tribe of Benjamin, and later extended to David’s son Solomon. Psalm 89:3-4, 26-37. v.3-4 “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations...” v.28 “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him... v. 34 “My covenant will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips v.36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.” Psalm 132:11-18 v.12-14 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” 2 Samuel 7:12-17 “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” ....v.16 “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.” 2 Samuel 23:5 “...yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” The above verses show that the Davidic Covenant centred on the establishment of a Royal Throne in the House of David, whose descendents would rule over Israel. It also deals with the establishment of a house for God to dwell in i.e. the Temple. The Davidic Covenant is eternal and everlastingly “messianic” in its ultimate reference, and is embellished and confirmed in the writings of Isaiah (Circa 712 B.C. prior to the Babylonian captivity), where the servant of the Lord is described as a “covenant to the people”. Isaiah 42:6, 8.
5. FINALLY - The Messenger of the Covenant Isaiah 42:1, 6; “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” v.6 “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” 9
Daniel’s Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant Isaiah 49:8 “Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” Isaiah 55:3-4 “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” “The Messiah is Himself the covenant because the blessings and provisions of God’s covenant with the people of God are to such an extent bound up with the Messiah that He is Himself the embodiment of these blessings and of the presence of the Lord with His people which the covenant ensures.” iv In this way the NEW COVENANT was introduced by the prophets of old. Earlier promises regarding the future Messiah of Israel were given by the prophet Micah (710 B.C.) Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” NOTE: These scriptural records show (in brief) about as much information as Daniel had regarding the future promises of rulership and redemption for the Nation of Israel.
New Bible Dictionary – London Inter-varsity Fellowship. 9162. Editors J.D. Douglas, F.F. Bruce, R.V.G. Tasker, J.I. Packer, D.J. Wiseman, - COVENANT p. 265 Ibid - The Abrahamic Covenant - p. 265 Ibid - The Mosaic Covenant - p. 266 Ibid - The Davidic Covenant – p. 266