UNDERSTAND the stunning ‘ACCURACY’ of BIBLICAL PROPHECY
September 13 Bible Reading: Daniel Chapters 7-9
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself" (Dan. 9:25-26)
It was Bill Jones who once remarked: “Psalm 22 vividly describes how Christ would die...Isaiah 53 describes why Christ would die... (Daniel 9) adds to this verse by identifying when Christ would die”. In fact, God gave Daniel a preview of Jewish history that transcended beyond his lifetime. A day was coming that the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt and the temple of God would be restored. Not only that, the expected Messiah would come to the earth and die for the sins of humankind!
Any skeptic who reads the above passage concerning the Jewish Messiah with an open mind will be convinced about the authenticity of the divine scriptures after understanding the stunning accuracy of biblical prophecy. The archangel Gabriel, whom God had sent to Daniel, declared that seventy “sevens” were decreed for Daniel’s people (the Jews) and for the holy city (Jerusalem). The word “seven” can refer to seven days (as in Gen. 29:27–28) or seven years (as in Lev. 25:3–5). However, in this context (v. 25) God’s message seems to refer to seventy groups of seven years—a period of 490 years.
In the days of Daniel, Jerusalem lay in ruins, having been destroyed by the Babylonian army under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. This time period, God said, would be divided into two sections: the first section extended from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 445 B.C. (see Neh. 2:2–8) until the arrival of “Messiah the Prince”. This would be a time span that would be seven “sevens” and sixty-two “sevens” long. In other words, Daniel predicted that the timeline starting from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah would be 7 weeks (49 years) plus 62 weeks (434 years), yielding 69 weeks or 483 years. Thus, Daniel predicted that 483 years after the decree for rebuilding Jerusalem; the Messiah would come into Jerusalem and be put to death…and exactly 483 years later, the Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem and was crucified!
At the end of this period, the Messiah would be "cut off", and many believe this time period ended even on the very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem as Israel’s Messiah (Matt. 21:1–11). A century ago in his book ‘The Coming Prince’, Sir Robert Anderson gave detailed calculations of the sixty-nine weeks, using “prophetic years,” allowing for leap years, errors in the calendar, the change from B.C. to A.D., and figured that the sixty-nine weeks ended on the very day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, five days before his death, which was April 6, A.D. 32.
Our Lord Jesus came into this world exactly on the day that God had planned from eternity past as we understand from Apostle Paul: "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Gal. 4:4-5). We are also confirmed that God planned His Son’s death down to a precise day and time. The New Testament declares to us: “Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18). Daniel also prophesied that the "Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself" (v. 26). Jesus also died in utter poverty having just the clothes that He wore, exactly as was predicted (Isa. 53:8)!