AUTHOR: Camping, Harold
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies


                        By Harold Camping

                        Table of Contents


Chapter 1
    Is Nehemiah a Candidate?       
    Christ was Crucified in 33 A.D.       
    King Cyrus a Possibility?     
    Ezra Returns to Jerusalem     
    The Body of Christ – A Temple and A City     
    Ezra’s Bringing the Law Equals Building the City     
    An Exact Path is Found to Satisfy Daniel 9:24     
    Ezra to the Cross Equals Seventy Weeks       

Chapter 2
    A Second Path to Christ     
    First a Jubilee Period     
    The Year Immediately Following Ezra’s Return a Jubilee Year     
    A Period of 434 Years Follows a Jubilee Year       
    Jesus was Baptized in 29 A.D.     
    Christ Crucified         
    Christ is The City and The Sanctuary       
    Daniel 9:26 Predicts Christ’s Death on our Behalf         

Chapter 3
    Christ Confirms His Covenant     
    The Covenant of Salvation is in View     
    Sacrifice and Offering has Ceased     
    The End of the Seventieth Week       
    The Prerogative of God to Use Numbers as He Desires       
    Judgment Day is the End of the Seventy Sevens       
    Judgment Day Signifies that the Atonement has been Completed       
    Further Evidence         
    The Church Brings the Gospel during the Last Half of the
    Seventieth Week         
    Revelation 12 also Relates to Daniel 9         


251Copyright 1979 by
Family Stations, Inc.
290 Hegenberger Road
Oakland, California 94621

Scripture Texts are from the King James Version of the Bible

Reprinted 1986

Other books by Harold Camping

Adam When?
Feed My Sheep
First Principles of Bible Study
God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan
The Biblical Calendar of History
When is the Rapture?
Let the Oceans Speak

Other Bible guides by Harold Camping are available in paper and cassette form.


Every student of the Bible who has any interest at all in prophecy has spent 
time trying  to understand  the 70  weeks of  Daniel 9. Somehow we all sense
that these verses  have great significance in regard to the coming of the Lord
Jesus Christ.

In understanding God’s teachings in any part of the Bible, we know we  have 
not  arrived  at  a  satisfactory conclusion until every phrase of  the
passage  in question  can be  understood. In  other words,  while it may  be
readily possible  to find a solution that aligns with  a few of  the key
phrases  in a passage,  we can know that our conclusion  is still possibly 
unsatisfactory if it  does not harmonize with all the phrases of the passage.

Moreover,  a  further  test  must  be applied. Our conclusion must harmonize
with the other teachings of the Bible that relate in any way to the passage in

In this study we will suggest a solution to  the 70 weeks which we believe 
meets the  above criteria.  Every phrase  in these verses finds its logical 
place within this  solution. The solution  as a whole agrees with anything
else  the Bible might offer insofar  as the nature of God’s salvation program
is concerned,  including the coming of Christ.

We  trust that  you will  read this  thoughtfully and prayerfully. Because it 
is the  work of  man and  therefore is not infallible, there may be
corrections which can still be made to make it a more accurate study.

                            CHAPTER 1

One of the most intriguing passages in the Bible is that of Daniel 9:24-27. 
In this fascinating passage God  presents to us a vision which He  gave to
Daniel declaring that  certain events would take place during a  period of 70
weeks. Scholars  have worked long and hard to discover the  import of these
verses because  they seem to offer a timetable concerning the coming of the
Lord Jesus Christ.

A most serious problem in interpreting this passage is to discover the meaning
of the words of Daniel 9:25:

    “Know therefore and understand that, from the going forth
    of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto
    the Messiah the Prince . . . .”

This  event  of  the  setting  forth  of  a  commandment  to build Jerusalem
appears  to be  the beginning  point of  the 70 weeks or sevens. (The Hebrew 
word translated “week” can also be translated “seven.”)  In  order  to  obtain 
any  light  from the rest of the passage  it  does  appear  that  we  must 
determine  when  this commandment was given.

Most  students  of  the  Bible,  theologians,  and  commentaries understand
the  language of  restoring and  building Jerusalem  to refer to a  physical
rebuilding of the literal  city of Jerusalem. However,  as  we  shall  see, 
this  kind  of understanding is not required  by the Bible, nor  is it
possible to  find a solution to the 70 weeks by this means.  We shall discover
that the key to the 70 weeks is to understand that the Bible frequently uses
Jerusalem as a figure or type of Christ’s body  of believers. The command to
restore and to rebuild, therefore, will be found to  mean that the Word of God
was proclaimed  so that believers could come  into the Kingdom of God. We
shall develop this as we work out this study.

Is Nehemiah a Candidate?       

One  of the  most commonly  accepted beginning  points for  the 70 weeks is
the year  445 B.C., when Nehemiah, who was the cup bearer of the Persian King,
Artaxerxes, asked the  king for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the 
walls; and in a period of  52 days he indeed did rebuild the walls of

Nehemiah, however, is not a possible answer to our question  as to when  the 
70  sevens  were  to  begin.  First  of all, while King Artaxerxes gave
Nehemiah permission to build the walls, he did not command the rebuilding of 
the walls. Moreover, nowhere do we read that  God gave  such a  command either 
to the  Persian king or to Nehemiah. Therefore,  Nehemiah cannot  be related 
to Daniel 9:25, where God states that a command was  given. Furthermore, no
matter how  we  try,  we  cannot  go  through  the  70 sevens from a time
standpoint  and arrive  at anything  that properly  relates to the coming of
the Lord Jesus Christ.

There  is  one  solution,  beginning  with Nehemiah, that has been suggested;
namely, that we take all the days between 445 B.C.  and 32  A.D., assuming 365 
1/4 days in  a year, and  then divide this product by 360 days. By following
this computation, we get exactly 69 sevens, or 483 years of 360 days,  from
445 B.C. to 32 A.D. One can read about this in almost any study on the 70 
weeks of Daniel 9.

While this solution may  seem interesting and intriguing,  it does not appear
at all valid. There is no place in the Bible where this kind of  computation, 
wherein time  is first  calculated on the basis  of 365 1/4 days in  a year 
and then  divided by 360 days, is utilized. Therefore, we have no Biblical
authority for it.

Christ was Crucified in 33 A.D.         

Moreover, Christ  was not  crucified in  32 A.D.  We know from the Bible  that 
He  was  crucified  in  33  A.D.  In Luke 3:1, as God describes the preaching
of John the Baptist, at the time Jesus was baptized, we read:

    “Now  in  the  fifteenth  year  of  the reign of Tiberius
    Ceasar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea . . .”

This piece  of information  gives us  an historical  time clue. We know from
very accurate secular records that Tiberius Ceasar began to  reign  alone  in 
the  year  14  A.D.  His fifteenth year was, therefore, 29  A.D. We also 
know, as we  go carefully through the Gospel  of  John,  that  Jesus  actually 
preached for about 3 1/2 years. Since He  was crucified at the Passover, which
was observed in the spring of the year, His baptism would have been in the
fall of a previous year. Thus,  3 1/2 years following 29 A.D. brings us to 33
A.D., when He was crucified.

Furthermore, because of the moon phases which governed  the timing of  the
Jewish  feasts, the  year 32  A.D. could not possibly have been the year He
was  crucified. The timing of the  Passover Feast was related  to the full 
moon. Only 30  or 33 A.D.  were possible years that would agree with the
timing of the Passover observed at the  time  Jesus  was  crucified.  (See 
paragraph  459,  p.  296, “Handbook  of  Biblical  Chronology”,  by  Jack
Finegan, Princeton University  Press, 1964.) Therefore, the Biblical evidence
appears to  point  to  the  year  33  A.D.  as  the  year  that Christ was
crucified. When  we understand the 70 sevens  of Daniel 9, we will see  that 
it  also  shows  us  that  33  A.D. was the year of His crucifixion.

For  all  of  the  foregoing  reasons,  therefore,  we must reject Nehemiah’s 
activity  in  Jerusalem  as  being  a  solution to our problem.

King Cyrus a Possibility?     

A second solution has been  suggested by some. While it appears to be
attractive in some ways, it also will not meet all the criteria demanded  by 
Daniel  9.  This  solution involves a predecessor of Artaxerxes, a king named
Cyrus,  who defeated Babylon in 559  B.C. We read about him in II Chronicles
36:22, 23:

    “Now in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia, that the
    word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be
    accomplished,  the Lord  stirred up  the spirit of Cyrus,
    King of  Persia, that  he made  a proclamation throughout
    all his kingdom and put it also in writing, saying, “Thus
    saith  Cyrus,  King  of  Persia,  All the kingdoms of the
    earth hath the Lord  God of heaven given me;  and He hath
    charged me to build Him  an house in Jerusalem, which  is
    in  Judah. Who is there among  you of all His people? The
    Lord his God be with him and let him go up.”

Indeed, in 537 B.C.  about 50,000 Israelites who had been captives in the land 
of Persia, as a result of the command given by God to Cyrus to rebuild His
house in  Jerusalem, did return to Jerusalem; and they did lay the foundation
of the temple.

Significantly,  this activity  of Cyrus  was predicted  almost 200 years
earlier by Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as he declared in
Isaiah 44:28:
    “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd and shall perform
    all my pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, Thou  shalt be
    built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.”

Thus we see that Cyrus meets two qualifications demanded by Daniel 9:25; 
namely,  that  the  command  was  of  the Lord and that the command concerned
itself with the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, for his candidacy to be considered as the beginning of the 70
weeks, there is one fatal flaw. There is no possible way to relate the  year
537 B.C.,  on a 70-week  basis, with the  Lord Jesus, who was baptized  in the
year 29 A.D. and  crucified in the year 33 A.D. Thus Cyrus,  as well as
Nehemiah, must be reluctantly set aside as a solution to Daniel 9:24-27.

Ezra Returns to Jerusalem     

Now we must consider a third possibility, which we shall see meets all  the
requirements  of Daniel  9. This  solution relates to the return  of  Ezra 
to  Jerusalem  in  the  seventh  year  of  King Artaxerxes.  This  was  the 
year  458  B.C.,  at  which time Ezra returned to Jerusalem to reestablish 
the law. While preaching the Word of God  or teaching the law  of God seems
quite  unrelated to building  a  city,  we  will  see  that  the Bible does
show us an intimate relationship between these two activities.

Therefore, we should first  examine the scriptures to show  that a command to
reestablish the law was indeed equivalent to a  command to build Jerusalem.

Let  us  first  look  at  Cyrus  again.  As  we study the language concerning
him we  will begin to  see the close  relationship that exists between the
physical building of Jerusalem  and the sending forth of the Gospel. While he
was commanded to build Jerusalem and lay  the foundation  of the  temple, the 
prophecy of Isaiah 44:28 quoted above speaks of Cyrus as God’s shepherd. King
Cyrus was not a shepherd. He was a king. When the Bible speaks of a shepherd,
we immediately  think  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ, who was the Good

The  fact is, while God  is using the name  Cyrus in Isaiah 44 and 45,  and 
while  in  a  physical  sense  the  prophecy  of  Isaiah concerning Cyrus was 
fulfilled when the foundation  of the temple was laid about 537 B.C., in
another sense the language is pointing altogether  to the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is using Cyrus as a type or figure  of Christ.  Even as  Cyrus, the  king
of  the Persians, destroyed  Babylon  in  559  B.C.,  so  Christ, typified by
Cyrus, destroyed the kingdom of  Satan by going to the cross. We know, of
course,  from such passages as Revelation  18, that the kingdom of Satan is
typified by Babylon.

As Cyrus was commanded by  God to build a literal house of God, so Christ was
commanded by God to build a spiritual house. The temple and  the city that  He
came to  build is His  body. We already see this in Isaiah 45:13 as God, in
speaking of Cyrus declares: 

    “He shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives,
    not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.”     

Then He goes on in verse 17:

    “Israel shall be  saved in the  Lord with an  everlasting

Thus God  is equating the building of a city with salvation, which is
everlasting.  We see,  therefore, that  when God  speaks in the Book of Isaiah 
about Cyrus building a  city and a temple,  in its spiritual fulfillment God
has in  mind the Lord Jesus Christ,  who builds Christ’s body.

The Body of Christ – A Temple and A City       

The concept  that the temple  of God and  Jerusalem are figures of the  body 
of  Christ  is  amply  seen  in the Bible. We read, for example,  in Isaiah 
60:14, as  God speaks  of Israel and the fact that peoples from the world will
come to build its walls: 

    “. . .and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The
    Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”

In Isaiah 62:12 we read:

    And they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of
    the Lord; and thou shalt be called sought out, a city not

In both  of these passages God is equating  Israel with a city. In the  New
Testament  we see  the same  truth as  God uses  the word Jerusalem. In
Revelation 21 God presents  the picture of the bride of Christ coming down out 
of heaven. The bride is called the Holy City, the New  Jerusalem. The bride 
of Christ is  a people –  the people who are the body of Christ.  The bride
cannot be a physical city.  Yet  it  is  portrayed  in  Revelation  21  as  a
city with foundations, with gates and with a wall.

Moreover, in the New Testament God speaks about building walls and building
the ruins, and  doing so in the context  of sending forth the  Gospel. In Acts
15,  for example, we have  the account of the leaders of  the New Testament
church  puzzling and wondering about what  to do  with the  Gentiles who  were
coming  into the body of Christ. Therefore,  they held  a council  in
Jerusalem  to discuss this problem. Finally, it was  James who stood up to
speak  on the phenomenon of the Gentiles coming in. He said in verse 15:

    “And to this  agree the words  of the prophets;  as it is
    written, After  this I will return,  and will build again
    the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will
    build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That
    the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the
    Gentiles, upon  whom My Name  is called, saith  the Lord,
    who doeth all these things.”

You see, James rightly  was seeing that inclusion of  the Gentiles in  the 
body  of  Christ  was  a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies that 
spoke about the  rebuilding of the  walls and the ruins of Jerusalem. In other
words, the bringing of  the Gospel is an effort to build the city of

We see the same figure in Ephesians Chapter 2  which speaks of the believers
as  building blocks in the  temple of God. We  are not a physical temple, of
course, but in Ephesians 2:20, this is what we read about the body of Christ:

    “And are  built upon the  foundation of the  apostles and
    prophets,  Jesus  Christ  Himself  being  the  chief
    cornerstone:  in  whom  all  the  building  fitly framed
    together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  in who
    ye also  are builded  together for  an habitation  of God
    through the Spirit.”

See,  too, I Peter 2:4,  where  God  speaks of believers as lively stones in
the house of God.

You  see,  in  the  Bible  God  very distinctly uses the figure of Jerusalem, 
or  of  the  temple,  as  a  reference  to the body of believers.  I  believe
this  is the  clue with  which we can break open,  under the  guidance of  the
Holy  Spirit, the  70 sevens of Daniel  9.  This is  the key to  the correct
solution  to these 70 weeks.

Unfortunately,  most  theologians  get  tangled  up  looking for a command to
rebuild a  literal city.  So often, in  relationship to salvation and in
relationship to God’s salvation program, we  keep our  eyes on this sin-cursed
world,  and we never look beyond.  We never  look  at  the  true  nature  of 
salvation.  Salvation  is concerned with something  far more precious and
exciting than this sin-cursed world.  It has to do with  a people of God, a
salvation that is  eternal in  character.  We’re  going to  find that Daniel
9:25,  in which God speaks  about rebuilding Jerusalem, relates to bringing
the Gospel. Then the 70 sevens can be understood in every detail.

Ezra’s Bringing The Law Equals Building The City

Returning now to  Ezra, you’ll recall  that Ezra was  commanded by King
Artaxerxes, in  the year 458 B.C., to  reestablish the law in Jerusalem.  We 
read  in  Ezra  7:12,  13,  23  and 26, that King Artaxerxes declares:

    “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.

    Whatsoever is commanded  by the God of heaven,  let it be
    diligently done for the  house of the God of  heaven; for
    why should there be wrath  against the realm of the  king
    and his sons?

    And  whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the law
    of the king, let judgment  be executed speedily upon him,
    whether  it  be  unto  death  or  to  banishment  or  to
    confiscation of goods or to imprisonment.”

Ezra 7:10 supplies the additional information:

    “For Ezra had prepared his  heart to seek the law  of the
    Lord  and to  do it  and to  teach in Israel statutes and

To reestablish the law  is the equivalent of bringing  the Gospel, and
bringing the Gospel is the equivalent of building the city, as we  have  just 
seen.  Therefore  God,  through  the  king,  had effectively  given a 
command to  Ezra to  rebuild the city.  This command agrees with the statement
of Daniel 9:25, which places the beginning of  the seventy weeks  as the time 
when the command was given to rebuild the city.  We therefore are on very safe
Biblical ground to begin the seventy weeks at  the year 458 B.C., when Ezra
was given the command to reestablish the law in Jerusalem.

The  fact is, that even Ezra himself, under the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit, relates the teaching of the law to a literal building activity. 
While  the  foregoing  verses  in Ezra 7 indicate that Ezra,  the priest of
God,  was first concerned to teach the law of God, we might note that in Ezra
9:9, in his prayer concerning this command of God  through King Artaxerxes, 
Ezra uses language  that relates to a normal building activity:

    “For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in
    our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight
    of the kings of  Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up
    the  house  of  our  God,  and  to repair the desolations
    thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

From  the  foregoing  we  see  that  the  command  of  God to King Artaxerxes,
to send  Ezra to reestablish  the law in  the year 458 B.C., meets all the
requirements  of Daniel 9:25, where it  speaks about a command going forth to
restore and to build Jerusalem.

Returning to Daniel 9, we read in verse 24:

    “Seventy  weeks are  determined upon  thy people and upon
    thy Holy City, to  finish the transgression, and  to make
    an end of sins, and to make reconciliation  for iniquity,
    and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up
    the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

We  have  learned  thus  far  that  the  Holy  City referred to is actually
the  people of God, but  to what do the  other phrases in this verse refer,
and when do they find fulfillment?

An Exact Path is Found to Satisfy Daniel 9:24     

By answering the question of  when the phrases of Daniel 9:24 find
fulfillment,  we will also  discover to what  they refer. When did God  finish
the  transgression on  behalf of  those who  are being saved? When  did He 
make an  end of  our sins?  When did  He make reconciliation for iniquity?

Immediately you say, “Why, it was at  the cross, of course. Christ hung  on
the cross  to pay for  our sins. Anyone  knows that. This verse is  speaking
about the  cross.”  Yes, indeed,  this verse is pointing to the cross. At the
cross Christ did make reconciliation for  iniquity. He did make an end  of our
sins. He did undergo the judgment of God in order that we might be saved.

Does the timing of  the crucifixion of Christ in 33 A.D. relate to 458  B.C.?
Indeed it does!  If we go from  458 B.C., when Ezra was mandated by King 
Artaxerxes I to  go to Jerusalem  to reestablish the  law  (that  is,  to 
bring  the  Gospel there or to build the spiritual city), to 33 A.D. when
Christ hung  on the cross to make atonement  for sins,  we will  find that 
precisely 490  years are required. Let us see how this computation works out.

In going from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we must  add the Old
Testament years to  the New Testament years. From this sum we must  subtract
the number one to get the actual number of years between  the  two  events, 
one  of  which  took  place in the Old Testament and  the other  in the  New
Testament.  This is  because there is no year Zero.

Ezra to the Cross Equals Seventy Weeks       

Ezra went  to Jerusalem to  build a city,  that is, to reestablish the law, in 
the year 458 B.C. Christ hung on the cross in 33 A.D. If we add 458  to 33,
the sum is 491. Subtracting one from 491, we end up with 490 actual  years
from the going forth of  the command to rebuild the city to the  time of the
cross when Christ  brought in  everlasting  righteousness,  when  He  made
reconciliation for iniquity, when He finished the transgression. It was  at
the cross that  God put His seal  on the vision and  prophecy. And 490 years
equal 70  weeks; that is, 70 times 7 = 490  years. Immediately we see the
precise fulfillment of Daniel 9:24, 25.

The  phrase “sealed  up (or  sealed) the  vision and prophecy” (or prophet)
can  be understood to  mean that when  Christ hung on the cross, God put His
seal on the whole program of salvation and upon Christ as  the Savior.  It was 
the official  declaration that all God’s salvation program was absolutely
certain. The phrase “anoint the  most  holy”  points  to  the  cross,  at 
which  time  Christ established His Kingship.  The “most holy” is  a phrase
identified with the “holy of holies.” Inasmuch as Christ is the sanctuary . .
. “Destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it . . . ” He is the
One who is anointed in the sense of officially being our King, as well as an
everlasting Prophet and High Priest.

Four hundred and ninety years  equal seventy sevens, as called for in Daniel 
9:24. Therefore,  we see  a direct  path from 458 B.C., when  Ezra  was 
commanded  to  reestablish  the  law, that is, to rebuild the  city, until 
Christ hung  on the  cross. Thus we have discovered one certain solution to
the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.

That’s  only part of the prophecy, and  in the next chapter we are going to 
see that there  is another path  that God has  laid out, that also goes from
the time of the command to Ezra to reestablish the  law to the  time of the 
coming of Christ.  In this study, we have  seen a  direct path  from the 
going forth  of the law, or a command to reestablish  the law, to the cross,
as being exactly 70 sevens. Next we are going to see in Daniel 9 that there is
another path to Christ,  but this path is going to bring  us to the end of
time, when Christ comes again.

I  want to  leave this  thought with  you as  we talk about making
reconciliation for iniquity. What about your  sins? Have your sins been  paid 
for?  Have  you  repented  of  your sins and abandoned yourself to  the Lord 
Jesus Christ,  so that  you know  that this Gospel  which we are talking 
about refers to you,  too? This is a very important question, and I trust that
as we continue our study together, that you will be so exercised that you,
too, if  you are not already saved, will truly place your trust in Him.

                            CHAPTER 2

Thus far  in our study  of Daniel 9,  as we have  looked at the 70 weeks
referred to in verses 24-27,  we have seen that the key that unlocks the
mystery of this period of time is to remember that the command  to  restore 
and  build  Jerusalem  signified  the reestablishing of the law in
Jerusalem. To put it in New Testament language,  it  has  to  do  with  the
sending forth of the Gospel. Whenever  we  present  the  Gospel  to  anyone, 
whenever  we  are witnessing of the  Lord Jesus Christ,  we are temple 
builders. We are  city builders, building the city of God. Therefore, we
should not be  surprised to find in Revelation 21  that the whole body of
Christ is actually pictured as the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.

When  we  studied  Daniel  9:24  we  saw  that  this  verse can be understood
if we  realize that the beginning of  the time referred to here relates to
Ezra, a priest of God, who had been mandated by the  Persian  King  Artaxerxes 
I,  in  the  year  458  B.C.,  to reestablish the law in Jerusalem. Exactly
70 weeks of years later, that  is, 70 times seven or 490  years later, in the
year 33 A.D., Christ hung  on the cross.  There He finished  the
transgressions, that is,  He paid for the sins of all  who believe on Him. He
made reconciliation  for  iniquity  and  He  brought  in  everlasting
righteousness.  Only  because  He  went  to  the cross can we know everlasting 
life. Only because Christ went to the cross can we be covered by Christ’s
righteousness so that our sins no longer stand against  us. So, verse 24 has
given us a very distinct path of 490 years, beginning in 458 B.C. to the time
of the cross which was in 33 A.D.

A Second Path to Christ     

Beginning in verse 25 and going through verse  27, we are going to see that we 
have another path that leads to  Christ. This time it does not  lead to 
Christ hanging  on the  cross, but  it leads to Christ coming in judgment at
the end of time. This path  begins at the same point as the first  path, that
is, at 458 B.C.,  when the command  was given to  reestablish the law.  But
this path is more complicated,  because  it  is  impossible  to  chart  two 
events separated  by almost  2,000 years  by following  a path that deals only 
with  70  sevens  of  years.  There  must  be something more mysterious about
this second  path. As we study Daniel  9:25-27 we shall discover this second

Let us  begin our study of these verses.  In verse 25 of Daniel 9,
we read:

    “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,  and
    threescore  and  two  weeks:  the  street  shall be built
    again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

Immediately  the question surfaces: Why  does God divide this path into two 
parts, into  seven weeks,  which would  be 49 years, and into  62 sevens,
which  would be 434  years? Why doesn’t He simply say 69 sevens? God doesn’t
do anything accidentally. Everything in the  Bible is carefully put  there by
God and  has a very definite purpose.  So  as  we  puzzle  about  this 
initial seven sevens we wonder, what is significant about it?

First a Jubilee Period     

The  thought came  to me  years ago  that seven sevens signifies a Jubilee 
period. In Leviticus  25 we read  about the Jubilee year, which was to occur
every 50 years. Thus between successive Jubilee years there existed a period
of  49 years, which is equal to seven weeks  of years.  The  Jubilee year was 
the year when  all of the debts were  cancelled. It was the time when  the
land went back to its proper owners,  and every Israelite  who had been 
enslaved to another was set free.  Since a period of seven sevens  or 49 years
was the period between  two Jubilee years, immediately I  began to wonder… 
Is God saying that in this second path from 458 B.C. when  Ezra went to 
Jerusalem to reestablish  the law, that is, to build  the  spiritual  city, 
the  first  period  of  time  to  be considered  is a  Jubilee period?  Is He 
using the  phrase “seven weeks” to signify the period from one Jubilee year to
the next, so that we are to begin  the next period of three score and two
weeks the year after a Jubilee year?

Let us examine  this possibility by first looking  at the Biblical timetable
of the Jubilees.  We shall see how this  meshes with the language  of Daniel
9:25,  which suggests a  Jubilee period as the initial  part  of  the  second 
path  leading from 458 B.C. to the second coming of Christ.

Let us first determine which calendar years were Jubilee years. We can then
see  how that relates  to Ezra’s return  to Jerusalem. To determine  which
years were Jubilee years,  we must go back to the initial Jubilee year. In
Leviticus 25:2 God indicates that, at the time the nation  of Israel was  to
come into  the land of  Canaan, they were to  keep a Sabbath unto  the Lord.
He then  continues in verse 8 that they were to “number seven  times seven
years,” for a total  period of  49 years.  In verse  10, God  declares “ye
shall hallow the fiftieth year. It shall be a jubilee to  you.” Thus the 50th 
year after  they entered  Canaan would  have been  a Jubilee year. With this
knowledge,  if we can determine the  calendar year Israel  entered the land 
of Canaan, we  would know which calendar years were Jubilee years.

Because so much  work has been done in  recent times, particularly in relation
to the dating of the kings of Israel, this can be done rather  readily.  We 
are  particularly  indebted  to  the eminent scholar, Edwin R.  Thiele, whose
book, “The  Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew  Kings” (p. 52),  established the
date  of the death of Solomon  and the  division of  the kingdom  as 931 B.C.
(See, too, “Adam  When?”,  by  Harold  Camping,  pp.  137-153.) Since Solomon
reigned 40 years (I Kings 11:42), he would have begun to  reign in the year
971 B.C.  And since he began  to build the temple  in the fourth year  of his
reign (I Kings  6:1), this building would have begun in the year 967 B.C. (971
–  4 = 967). Thus we know that the foundation of the temple was laid in 967

Very significantly God gives us the time bridge from the exodus to the
beginning of the building of the temple. This is recorded in I Kings 6:1:

    “In the four hundred and eighteenth year after the people
    of  Israel came out  of the land  of Egypt, in the fourth
    year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv,
    which is the second month, he began to build the house of
    the Lord.

A time span of 480 years brings us to 1447 B.C. as the date of the Exodus (967
+ 480  = 1447). In view of the  fact that Israel spent exactly 40 years in the
wilderness going from Egypt  to Canaan, we know that  they entered the land 
of Canaan in the  year 1407 B.C. (1447 – 40 = 1407).

Remembering  what  we  learned  from  Leviticus  25:2-10,  we  can therefore
ascertain the date  of the first Jubilee year. Leviticus 25:2 declares that 
the year of entrance  into Canaan was to  be a Sabbath year. We have now
determined that to be the year 1407 B.C. This  was  to  be  followed  by 
seven  sevens  of years, with the following year  becoming the first  Jubilee
year. That  would have been the year  1357 B.C. (1407 – 50 =  1357).
Thereafter, in every century, every year that ended in 07 or 57 was a Jubilee
year. For example,  Jubilee years  would have  been 1357,  1307, 1257, 1207,

The Year Immediately Following Ezra’s Return a Jubilee Year   

Because  we are interested  in the period  of time around 458 B.C. when Ezra
returned to Jerusalem, when did the closest Jubilee year occur?  Of  course, 
it  was  the  year 457 B.C. which immediately followed  the year 458  B.C.
This certainly  is encouraging to our study, is it not?

Since  the last year  of each seven  of the seven  sevens of years that  made 
up  the  49  years  between  two Jubilee periods was a Sabbath year, we know
that the year before each Jubilee year was a Sabbath  year. Thus  the year 
458 B.C.  would have been a Sabbath year, while  the year 457,  which was a 
year ending in  57, would have been a Jubilee year.  Therefore, the concept
that the initial period spoken  of in  Daniel 9:25  is to  be considered  a
Jubilee period is greatly strengthened by the discovery that Ezra returned to
Jerusalem in a Sabbath year just  before a Jubilee period. Thus the seven
weeks spoken of in Daniel 9:25  fits very logically with the idea of an
initial Jubilee period.

Returning  now  to  Daniel  9:25  we  know  that  Ezra returned to Jerusalem 
in  the  year  458  B.C.  This,  as we have seen, was a Sabbath year. The next
year, 457 B.C., was a Jubilee year.

Going from  the Jubilee year of 457 B.C. to the next Jubilee year, which would
have  been seven sevens of years or 49 years later, we come to 407 B.C.  as
the next Jubilee year. The  next period of 62 weeks would then have  begun the
next year after  the Jubilee year of 407 B.C. That would have been the year
406 B.C.

A Period of 434 Years follows a Jubilee Period     

The Bible speaks of a period of three  score and two sevens, or 62 times seven
years. There is  no suggestion of a break  during this 62 sevens, which is a
period of 434 years. Therefore,  if we go in unbroken fashion through history
for 434 years from the next year, 406  B.C.,  which  immediately  followed 
the  Jubilee  period considered above, we come to the  year 29 A.D. This
arithmetic can be checked. First add the 406 years of the Old Testament to the
29 years  of the  New Testament.  This sum  equals 435. Then subtract one,
because there  is no year Zero, and we arrive at 434 years, which is 62 times

Thus  far we have seen  that God is giving  us a path which begins with the
command by King Artaxerxes to Ezra to reestablish the law in the year  458
B.C. God is  saying that until the  coming of the Messiah the Prince there
should be seven sevens and 62 sevens. The seven sevens is a Jubilee period
which follows 458 B.C., a Sabbath year.  The  first  Jubilee  period 
signified  by  seven sevens is therefore the period beginning in the year  457
B.C. and ending in 407 B.C. Beginning then  in the next year, 406 B.C., and
going for 434 years,  that is, for  62 sevens, we  arrive at 29  A.D. as the
year which ended the 62 sevens and begins the seventieth seven.

Jesus was Baptized in 29 A.D.       

This is  becoming increasingly interesting because  29 A.D. is the year that 
Christ was  baptized in  the River  Jordan. Thus we are already beginning to
see that the computation called for in Daniel 9 identifies very clearly  with
the historical fact of  the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  You will
remember when we  followed the first path (in  verse 24), without  a break for 
70 sevens or  490 years, we arrived at the year 33 A.D. as the end of the 70
sevens. Christ was crucified  in the spring, that is,  on Passover Day, in the
year 33 A.D. He preached  for approximately 3 1/2 years, so it was 3 1/2 years
earlier that He was baptized in  the River Jordan. At this time He officially
began His role as High Priest, to offer the sacrificial lamb, which He Himself
was. Going back 3 1/2 years from  the spring of 33  A.D. will bring us  to the
fall of 29 A.D. But this  is the same year that ends  the 62 sevens, in
accordance with  the second path we have found in Daniel 9. You see how it is
all  beginning  to  tie  together  now?  Verse  25  of  Daniel  9, therefore,
brings us to 29 A.D.

Then verse 25 declares:

    “The  streets shall be built again, and the wall, even in
    troublous times.”

In other  words, God  is indicating  that there  is going  to be a rebuilding
of Jerusalem. The Gospel is going forth again. Remember in this  passage that 
the language  referring to  the building of Jerusalem is not  speaking of a 
physical building; it  is talking about building the  body of Christ. It is 
concerned with building the  spiritual  temple  which  is  the  body of
Christ. Christ, of course, came not only  as our sin bearer but also as a
preacher of the Gospel (Luke 4:43, 44).

If we go now to verse 26, we read:                             

    “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah  be cut
    off, but not for Himself . . . . ”

We know  that 3 1/2 years  after 29 A.D. was  33 A.D., when Christ was
crucified. Remember, 29  A.D. was the year which  ended the 62 sevens. Then it
was  indeed after the 62 sevens, or after 29 A.D., that the Messiah was cut 
off. In the language of the Bible, being cut off refers to being under  God’s
judgment. Any time we read in the Bible the phrase “cut off,” we can be sure
that it is speaking about being under the judgment of God.

Thus  we see that  phrase by phrase,  verse by verse,  this is all beginning
to identify precisely with the coming  of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was not
cut off  for Himself; He was cut off  on behalf of  you and me. He came under
judgment because of our sins. Christ was cut  off, that is, He experienced
God’s wrath for our sins, in the year 33  A.D. This was after  the year 29
A.D.,  which was the last year of the 62 weeks of Daniel 9:25.

Christ Crucified     

Verse 26 goes on:

    ” .  . .  And the  people of  the Prince  that shall come
    shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.’

Immediately  a  lot  of  theologians  think  of the destruction of Jerusalem
in 70  A.D. because, as we saw before, they have in mind a physical  city, a 
literal city.  But remember,  the key to this whole passage is that the  city
in view is not a  literal city; it is the body of Christ.

This passage speaks  of the people of the  Prince. The Prince that is referred
to is the Messiah. He came as  the Prince of Peace. He came as the King to die
for our sins. He  had a sign over His head when He hung on the cross, “This is
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Indeed He was the King. He established
His kingdom by going to  the  cross.  The  people  of  the  Prince, that is,
the Jewish nation, are the ones who made the decision to put Him to death. We
might  recall that  it was  the high  priest Caiaphas who made the decision 
that  Jesus  must  be  crucified.  In  John 11:50, as he condemned Jesus to be
crucified, he declared: “Better that one die for the nation rather than the
whole nation perish.”

Christ is the City and the Sanctuary       

What are the city and the sanctuary which were to  be destroyed by the people
of the prince who was to come? Remember how beautifully Christ  related  to 
this.  Maybe  you  have never thought of this before, but remember when Jesus 
was talking to the Pharisees,  He said,  “Destroy this temple and in  three
days I will rebuild it.” What was Jesus  speaking about when He  said that?
Did He  have in view the  physical temple?  That is  what the  Jews thought. 
They said, “This temple took 46  years to build, how can He  destroy it and
rebuild it in three days?”

But Jesus  was speaking of  His body, wasn’t  He? He, Himself, was the temple
of God that was to  be destroyed and rebuilt. We do not want to  fall into 
the same  snare that  the Jews  fell into when Jesus  talked about  Himself
being  the temple.  We do not want to begin to look for a physical temple
here. It says in Daniel  9:26, “The people  of the prince that shall  come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.”  Jesus said that He was  the
sanctuary. He was the  temple that  was to  be destroyed  and rebuilt in three
days. Thus Daniel 9:26 is  disclosing to us that the Jews,  who were the
people of Christ, would destroy Christ. Christ was the Prince that was to
come. Christ was the Sanctuary which was to be destroyed.

Verse 26 also refers  to the destruction of  the city. To what  or whom does
this refer? Is this also a reference to Jesus? Indeed it is, as we shall see.

Remember that even  as Christ calls  Himself the temple,  He calls His body,
the believers, the temple. Our bodies are temples of the Holy  Spirit.  We 
are  built  into  a  holy temple, as we read in Ephesians 2. That is easy to
see, is it not? He is the head of the church, or the body of believers; and if
He is the temple, we  are the temple.

By the same  token, since He is the head of the body of believers, if the
believers are a city of God, He is the city of God. We have already seen  that
the Bible speaks of believers as being the city of God.  This is  shown
dramatically  in Revelation  21, where God speaks of the whole body of
believers, the bride of Christ, as the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.

If we are the city of God, then Christ as our head is the city. He is the
temple; we are the temple. He is the city; we are the city. If we are  a city
and we are “in Christ”  as we read so frequently in  the Bible, then  Christ
is also  a city. Thus  verse 26, which speaks  of  the  city  being 
destroyed,  is  also pointing to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Daniel 9:26 Predicts Christ’s Death On Our Behalf

We  can  see  now  how  we  are  to understand Daniel 9:26. “After threescore
and  two weeks .  . . ,”  that is, after  the 434 years that ends in the year
29 A.D., ” . . . Messiah  shall be cut off.” That is, He was crucified after
He was baptized in 29 A.D. It  was 3 1/2 years later, 3 1/2 years after the
434 years. He was cut off by  “the  people  of  the  prince,”  that  is,  the
Pharisees, the Sanhedrin,  and  the  high  priest,  who  headed  up the nation
of Israel. It was they who  would “come and destroy the city  and the
sanctuary.” They are the ones who caused Jesus to be crucified.

Verse 26 of Daniel 9 also  declares, ” . . . but not for Himself.” Christ  was
not crucified for Himself,  or because of His sins. He was  crucified  on  our 
behalf.  He  took  upon Himself our sins. Therefore He had to come under the
wrath of God.

Daniel 9:26 then declares:                                             

    “And the  end therof shall be with  a flood, and unto the
    end of the war desolations are determined.”

When the  Bible talks about a flood, it is talking about the wrath of God
being poured out. We see this figure in Genesis, Chapters 7 and 8, where God
details the flood of Noah’s day. Then God’s wrath was  poured out  by the 
flood, through  which He brought judgment against the wicked of that day. 
Likewise, when Christ hung on the cross, God poured out His wrath on Him, to
pay for our sins. There was Judgment  Day at the  cross. It was  typified by
the  flood of Noah’s day.

The phrase, “unto the end of the war,” of course has  reference to the warfare 
that exists between the Kingdom  of Christ on the one hand and the kingdom of
Satan on the other. That warfare continues to  the  end  of  time  in  one 
sense.  Revelation 19, therefore, describes the conclusion of that  warfare as
a great battle.  That battle  will be Judgment Day itself,  when all of
Christ’s enemies are judged and removed into hell.

But the end of the war also refers to the cross. For it was at the cross  that 
Christ  defeated  Satan.  Hebrews  2:14 declares that Christ by His death
destroyed Satan. It is at the end of the world that we will see Satan and all
his kingdom completely destroyed.

We have thus far looked at verses 24-26 of Daniel 9.  We have seen that  there
is one path  of 490 years that  goes directly from 458 B.C., when  Ezra was
commanded  by King Artaxerxes  to reestablish the law in  Jerusalem, that is,
to build the spiritual city. In 33 A.D. Christ hung on the cross to pay for
our sins (vs. 24).

We saw  that there is another  path that goes from  458 B.C. which also brings
us to Christ,  but it is more complex. It began with a period of  50 years, 
or a  Jubilee period  called seven sevens of years. This was followed by a
period of 434  years, bringing us to 29 A.D. Thus we  see that the seventieth
seven, the  last seven of years, began in 29 A.D.,  when Christ was singled
out as  the Lamb of  God that came to take away the  sins of the world. Next
in our study,  we are going  to look at  this seventieth seven in greater
detail. As we discover a  solution to the seventieth seven we will also  find 
a  solution  to  the  1,260  days, or the 42 months of Revelation 12, 13, and

It is imperative that we remember, as we make this study, that the Bible is
its  own interpreter. We must  let the Bible give  us the clues and the keys
whereby we can understand difficult Scriptures. We  cannot just look at
Scriptures and say, “Well, that looks like so and so. That  seems to make
sense; let’s go  on from there.” We have  to  make  sure  we  have  scriptural 
justification  for the conclusions we believe we receive from the Bible. In
this study we have seen that the Holy City is the body of Christ, or the body
of believers. We have also seen that the sanctuary and the city are a picture 
or figure  of Christ  Himself. There  is ample scriptural justification  for
this. We  have seen that,  having learned this, these  verses of  Daniel 9 
begin to  open up very beautifully. We begin to find that every phrase fits
into place.

Now  you  are  beginning  to  wonder,  “What  about the seventieth seven?” Let
us  go on with  the study and  see how that  period of seven years fits into

Continued in DANIEL9B.TXT

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