Bible Book of Daniel, Part 7 - Chapter 9

8 lamb goat daniel sharedfishWe are now eleven years after Daniel’s last vision in chapter eight concerning a ram and goat.

This earlier vision firstly provided further details of the little horn from Daniel’s very first vision of four beasts in chapter seven.

Secondly, it also mentioned a cleansing of a sanctuary, after a scene of judgement in his first dream in chapter seven.

We now have a new king reigning; Darius from the new Medo-Persian empire which had conquered Babylon.

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;” – Daniel 9:1

Daniel is looking into much older prophecy through Jeremiah, where God’s people would be in captive for seventy years.

He was aware that time was rolling on with around sixty-seven years after captivity, and therefore God’s people were coming towards the end of their prophesised time of captivity in Babylon.

However, there were no signs of them leaving Babylon, or even praying and seeking God, and now there was a Medo-Persian power in control. Therefore, he was understandably concerned.

Also, he would have been aware of his last vision many years ago possibly affacting things, with a specific time span of 2,300 years before the “sanctuary” was “cleansed”, however, with no interpretation of this part of the vision yet:

“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” – Daniel 8:14

Daniel was coming to a logical conclusion that the slow progress of rebuilding the temple and sanctuary in Jerusalem was linked with this prohesised time span, and maybe hindering this becoming true and the end of the seventy year exile.

“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.” – Daniel 9:17

His response was simple; to turn to God in prayer and fasting:

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:” – Daniel 9:3

Daniel realised that God’s people had sinned and gone against His commandments, therefore he’s repenting on their behalf:

“We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:” – Daniel 9:5

They have also specifically ignored God’s warning to them through former prophets:

“Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” – Daniel 9:6

Daniel then seeks God’s favour on Jerusalem and His people:

“O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.” – Daniel 9:16

The Eventual Answer

The angel Gabriel then appears in this chapter to provide an answer to his anguish, who was there at the previous vision many years ago:

“Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.” – Daniel 9:21 & 22

In order to explain the 2,300 year prophecy in the last chapter, the angel first begins with another one based on the 70-year period that Daniel is focusing on.

8 time lines daniel sharedfish

This initial one also leads us to a clear prophecy about the life of Jesus Christ on earth, plus is the same period by God used previously in Israel's life and a helpful reminder of how all these prophecies actually relate to real events.

Put another way, this first answer of the 70 years points to Jesus Christ's life and sacrifice hundreds of years later; the ultimate answer to both this immediate issue and then the original 2,300-years one.

Therefore, the angel begins with a start-date of when both these prophecies will run from; the command to rebuild Jerusalem:

“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.” – Daniel 9:25

457 years danielThere were actually three separate commands over time from Babylon and Medo-Persia, with the third and final one giving full authority to God’s people in Jerusalem in 457 BC.

Interestingly, starting at other ones can still lead to similar conclusions.

We now have a starting point to add both the first and second time spans on the display right next to chapter eight’s pictures, in order to align the correct timing.

Although this can appear complicated with the maths, if we take one step at a time through each point clearly from scripture, we can then see it making more sense:

The First Time Span

With the start date set, the first time span of seventy weeks is given relating to Israel and Jerusalem’s opportunity to bring everlasting righteousness and anoint the Most Holy.

“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” – Daniel 9:24

There are various interpretations of this time frame, however, this one being the most popular. Most others do in other ways still lead to the same eventual goal of Jesus Christ on earth.

Using the same day-year principle as previously, where one day symbolically represents one year literally, we total 490 days coverage (seven days over seventy weeks).

490 years daniel

These 490 years are then broken into three parts:

1. Seven Weeks

408 year danielThere is an initial seven-week period of Jerusalem’s reconstruction that equals 49 days or rather years (seven days times seven weeks).

“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,” – Daniel 9:25(a)

49 years from the starting point of 457 BC leads to the year 408 BC which is when Jerusalem was rebuilt through people like Ezra and Nehemiah.

2. Sixty Two Weeks

We then see reference to ‘three score and two’ which basically equals sixty-two weeks.

This then equates to 434 days and therefore years (62 x 7).

“and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” – Daniel 9:25(b)

27 year danielAdding this now to the previous date, this reaches the year 27 AD taking into account no year zero between the BC and AD time spans.

The interpretation specifically links the ‘Messiah’ to this date, which in 27 AD was when Jesus was alive on earth and the beginning of his three-year ministry when he was baptized with the Holy Spirit by John the Baptist and received an anointing from heaven.

3. The Last Week

8 490 time line daniel sharedfishThe last week of seven days, and therefore seven years, includes the first half of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and then the first part of the early church.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:” – Daniel 9:27(a)

The prophecy even splits this week in half, with the first half leading to Christ’s death in 31 AD:

“and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” – Daniel 9:27(b)

The previous verse after the last phase of sixty two weeks also clearly states Christ's death, and His life being cut-off (and later in 70 AD when Jerusalem was finally destroyed by the Romans):

"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." - Daniel 9:26

The end of this is then 34 AD when Stephen was stoned to death, and Paul was anointed to begin preaching to the Gentiles.

The Second Time Span

We can now go back to the original time space from the previous chapter eight that was left undated and unanswered:

“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” – Daniel 8:14

8 2300 time line daniel sharedfish

In the middle of this chapter, the angel was coming following Daniel’s prayer in order to answer this now, which begun with looking at another 490-day prophecy which as above, connects with the seventy weeks that Daniel was seeking clarity on.

“At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” – Daniel 9:23

8 lamb goat both times daniel sharedfishThe key now is the reference to being ‘determined', which means being ‘cut off’ or 'snipped' in verse 24. The word is used by tailors to cut cloth to make clothes:

“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.” – Daniel 9:24

This means that the seventy weeks are ‘cut off’, or ignored, from this date, therefore, in effect both begin from the same point of 457 BC.

Put another way, they are timed against each other.

Adding 2,300 years to the year 457 BC, we arrive at the year 1844 AD which we’re told is when the sanctuary was cleansed.

In summary, although Daniel was assuming this was the sanctuary temple in Jerusalem as it was being re-built and in reference to the seventy weeks prophecy, God first deals with that time frame leading to Jesus Christ on earth before he ascended to the heavenly sanctuary.

He then goes on to confirms that this 2,300 year prophecy from chapter eight is taken from the same point of Jerusalem’s re-build in 457 BC to lead to the year 1844 AD - and a different type of heavenly-sanctuary.

8 full side daniel sharedfish

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