The seventy ‘weeks’ of Daniel 9
Daniel 9:24-27, King James Version:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make a reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to built 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. 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 of thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of the abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
The Christian interpretation of this prophecy
According to Christianity, this talks about Jesus, but this too is based upon wrong translations, wrong interpretations, and deceit.
“from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to built Jerusalem unto the messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:” This commandment was given in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, see Nehemiah 2. The claim is that this was in 445 BCE (before the common era) From this point are counted the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks, together 69 weeks. 69 weeks are 483 days. Every prophetic day is supposed to stand for a year of 360 days. This gives us 483 x 360 is 173880 days. In order to convert this to solar years we have to divide this by 365.25, and then we get 476 year.
Are you still with me?
Now when add 476 years to 445 BCE, then we come to 31 CE, the year of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Why the Christian interpretation is wrong
To begin with, the King James translation is quite bad in this prophecy. It’s mistakes begin with “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to built Jerusalem”. It doesn’t say “commandment”, it says “word”. Check the modern day translations which are not so much biased towards the Christian theology as the KJV.
Another mistranslation is: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” It doesn’t say: “but not for himself”, it says: “he will have nothing”. But “not for himself” fits so nice with the Christian theology; JC dying for the whole world, not for himself. The only problem is: It isn’t written there. There are more mistranslations to come further on.
The Christian explanation counts with years of 360 days. But a Jewish year is not 360 days long. A Jewish month is based on the moon. Every new moon a new month starts. A ‘moon-month’ is about 29.5 days long. Therefore a ‘moon-year’ of 12 ‘moon-months’ is 11 days shorter than the solar year. But this is compensated by the fact that there are in every 19 years 7 leap-years, in which there are not 12 months, but 13. This assures that the Jewish year stays in track with the solar year. So there is really no basis for a year of 360 days. And when we count from 445 BCE 483 solar years, then we end up in 38 CE, and everybody agrees that by then Jesus was dead and buried for quite a while.
Another problem is that in the original text of Daniel the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks are not connected. It says that the messiah (anointed one) has to come seven prophetic weeks after the outgoing of the word. The 62 weeks point to the time period of Jerusalem being rebuild.
The prophecy says: “And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. ” So after the 7 and 62 weeks, in the 70th week, will a messiah be cut of and the sanctuary, that is the Temple, destroyed. Jesus was crucified in 31 or 32 CE. The Temple was destroyed in 70, which is 38 years later. 38 years stand for 38 prophetic days. This is more than 5 prophetic weeks. That means that we get to a total of 69 + 5 = 74 weeks, which are 4 too many. So also here is the Christian interpretation wrong.
In order to squeeze in Jesus into this prophecy the years have to be shortened, the 7 and the 62 weeks have to be connected, and therefore the translation has to be corrupted.
The right explanation of the prophecy
The prophecy ends with the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary, this is the Temple. This destruction happened in 70 CE. The whole prophecy covers 70 prophetic weeks, which stand for 70 x 7 is 490 prophetic days, which are 490 years. The prophecy ends in 70 CE, so it starts in 70 minus 490 is 420 BCE. This prophecy covers the 70 years of the Babylonian exile and the 420 years that the second Temple stood. According to Jewish tradition, the first Temple was destroyed in the year 3338 from creation, this is 423 BCE.
The Hebrew text says: “from the outgoing of the word restore and to built Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks shall the street be built again and the wall, even in troubled times.” The 7 weeks and the 62 weeks are not connected in the text. It makes no sense to connect them, because when the Bible wants to give a time period of 69 weeks, why should it write then 7 weeks and 62 weeks, instead of 69 weeks? Therefore the Revised Standard Version says: “from the going forth of the word to restore and built Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again, with squares and moat, ….” The RSV has it right. Just like the RSV is correct in Isaiah 7:14; ‘young woman’ instead of ‘virgin’.
The King James in itself gives an reasonable literal translation of these verses as far as the time frames are concerned, except for the colon, the two dots on top of each other, right after the words ‘three score and two weeks:’ This colon is not to be found in the original text of Daniel. Read now the KJV text without this colon: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to built 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.” Here you see that without that colon inserted by the translators the KJV says basically the same as the RSV. Now you might understand why there is a big “King James only” movement. When you read the Bible in an accurate translation, Christianity already starts to fall apart.
The sad part of the story is that the original 1611 King James gave this verse in the right way, with the colon in the right place, as you can see HERE. Around 1800 the place of the colon is changed, and in a footnote they mentioned that that was done so that JC would fit in better. They openly admitted changing the translation to fit their Christian theology.
And also “The Message” translates this correct: “Here is what you must understand: From the time the word goes out to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Anointed Leader, there will be seven sevens. The rebuilding will take sixty-two sevens, including building streets and digging a moat. Those will be rough times.”
And also the English Standard Version translates this correct: “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.”
“from the going forth of the word to restore and built Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.” So seven prophetic weeks after the outgoing of the word, this is 49 years, a messiah has to come already. What is the outgoing of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem? The first one who spoke about the Jewish people returning from exile and rebuilding Jerusalem was the prophet Jeremiah, who prophesized this in the beginning of the Babylonian exile. It was his prophecies which Daniel was studying when he got the vision under discussion, see the beginning of Daniel 9. So from the outgoing of that word, until messiah the prince, would be seven weeks.
Who was the messiah? In order to understand this we first have to understand what is a messiah. Messiah comes from the Hebrew word ‘meshiach’ which means ‘anointed one’ It was the custom to anoint kings with oil before they came to power. There were already many anointed kings in Jewish history. Read for instance I Samuel 9:27 to10:1; Here Saul is anointed by Samuel the prophet. And thereby he became a messiah, an anointed one, See Samuel 11:13 up to 12:3: Here in verse 3 king Saul is called G.ds anointed, in the Hebrew ‘meshiach’. So also king Saul was a messiah. Look in I Samuel 16:12-13, here the prophet Samuel anoints David, the Hebrew verb for anointing is ‘mashach’, and he becomes an anointed one, as we can read in II Samuel 23:1; “David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed (in the Hebrew ‘meshiach’) of the G.d of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said; …”
I Kings 1:39; “And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed (Hebrew verb ‘mashach’) Solomon. And they blew the trumpet, and all the people said; G.d save king Solomon.” Also Solomon was an anointed one, or messiah: II Chronicles 6:42, here king Solomon prays: “O Lord turn not away the face of thine anointed, …” In the Hebrew: ‘meshiach’.
So now we know what is a messiah: An anointed king. And now we can start to figure out who is the messiah from Daniel 9:25
For one thing; we know now who could not have been the messiah from Daniel 9: Jesus. He never was anointed as king by a priest and/or prophet, and he never was a king, in other words: He never was a messiah. Therefore he is disqualified to be the messiah of Daniel 9.
Look in Ezra 1:1, there it says that King Cyrus of Persia gave the order to rebuild the Temple. Now look at Isaiah 45:1; “Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, …” We see here that G.d calls the non-Jewish king Cyrus ‘His anointed’. This is another cover up of the people who made the King James translation. Both in Isaiah 45:1 and in Daniel 9:25 the Hebrew word ‘meshiach’ is used, and in Daniel it is translated as ‘Messiah’, and in Isaiah it is translated as ‘the anointed’. The RSV is also here better, it consequentially translates it all with ‘anointed one’, also in Daniel 9:25.
King Cyrus, whom G.d calls His anointed (His messiah), ordered the rebuilding of Jerusalem, 52 years after the destruction of the first Temple and the exile of the Jewish people. The 52 years stand for 7 prophetic weeks plus three years.
So the anointed one spoken about in Daniel 9:25 is king Cyrus.
But after the commandment of king Cyrus the enemies of the Jewish people obstructed the rebuilding of the Temple. See Ezra 4. About 20 years later, in the year 3408 from creation, 353 BCE, under the reign of king Darius, the rebuilding of the Temple was completed: Ezra 4:24; “Then ceased the work of the house of G.d which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius, king of Persia.” These are the 70 years of the Babylonian exile.
The seven weeks start in the year 3338 after creation, 423 BCE, with the destruction of the first Temple and the exile of the Jewish people. They end in 3390 after creation, 377 BCE, with king Cyrus coming into power and ordering the rebuilding of Jerusalem. They are followed by the 62 weeks, which stand for 434 years, and that brings up to 3824 after creation, 63 CE. There is now one week left, who brings us up to 3831 after creation, 70 CE.
Christianity cannot make their account stick, therefore some say that the 70th week still hasn’t come yet, and is slated for somewhere in the unknown future. This is of course an act of desperation. After the 69th week comes the 70th week, and not some vacuum, lasting for thousands of years. Also according the Christian interpretation it can’t be that the 70th week hasn’t come yet, because according to Christian theology the animal sacrifices were abolished with the death of JC. In this prophecy it says: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,” This means that according to the Christian interpretation the death of JC must have been in the middle of the 70th week, that should have been in 31 CE, after which the destruction of the Temple in 70 comes way too late, because this is all scheduled for the last, the 70th week, a 7 year period. But of course, this prophecy has no bearing whatsoever on JC; this speaks about the Romans, who in reaction to the Jewish revolt in 66 laid a siege around Jerusalem which made it impossible for the Jews to bring in sheep and bulls into the city for the sacrificial service. The siege made it impossible to bring in sheep and bulls into the city, so that caused an interruption of the animal sacrifices.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off,” King James
“And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one shall be cut off,” RSV.
The KJV leaves out the word ‘an’. In Hebrew this word is never written, there is only an equivalent for ‘the’. When that Hebrew word that denotes definiteness is not written before a word, the word ‘an’ or ‘a’ is automatically implied. By leaving out this word ‘an’ the KJV implies that the word ‘Messiah’ is definite, like ‘the Messiah”, but also this is wrong; ‘a messiah’ is a better translation than just ‘messiah’.
This speaks about king Agrippas, the last Jewish king at the end of the second Temple period.
“and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” This speaks about the Roman Titus, who ordered the destruction of the second Temple.