THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL NINE
By Harold Camping
Table of Contents
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
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 is The City and The Sanctuary
Daniel 9:26 Predicts Christ’s Death on our Behalf
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
The Church Brings the Gospel during the Last Half of the
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
Other books by Harold Camping
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
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.
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
“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
“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.
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,
“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
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
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
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.
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
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