Posted by brittgillette on February 24th, 2007
One of the most amazing prophecies in the Old Testament is found in the Book of Daniel. The angel Gabriel appears to Daniel and reveals to him the exact number of days that will pass between the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem and the time the Messiah will appear in Jerusalem and be killed, “appearing to have accomplished nothing.” Only one historical person’s life fulfills this prophecy of the Messiah: Jesus of Nazareth.
This is what Gabriel tells Daniel:
“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to put down rebellion, to bring an end to sin, to atone for guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy One. Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times.”
“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the City and the Temple.” Daniel 9:24-26 (NLT)
According to the Book of Daniel, 483 years [(7 x 7) + (62 x 7)] will pass between the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes. Since a biblical year is 360 days, we’re actually being told that 173,880 days will pass. So to find out if this prophecy was fulfilled, we only need to count forward 173,880 days from the time of the command and see if anyone entered Jerusalem and was killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing. If such a person exists, the Word of God confirms that person is the Messiah.
So when was the command given? The Book of Nehemiah tells us.
“In the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never appeared sad in his presence before this time. So the king asked me, ‘Why are you so sad? You aren’t sick, are you? You look like a man with deep troubles.’”
“Then I was badly frightened, but I replied, ‘Long live the king! Why shouldn’t I be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been burned down.’ The king asked, ‘Well, how can I help you?’ With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, ‘If it please Your Majesty and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.’”
“The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, ‘How long will you be gone? When will you return?’ So the king agreed, and I set a date for my departure.”
“I also said to the king, ‘If it please Your Majesty, give me letters to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. And please send a letter to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself.’ And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me.” Nehemiah 2:1-8 (NLT)
According to the Book of Nehemiah, the command to rebuild Jerusalem was given in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes (446 B.C.) during the month of Nisan (March/April).
Using this Calendar Conversion Tool, we can calculate the time frame in which the prophecy must be fulfilled. Counting 173,880 days into the future from Nissan 1 to Nissan 30 in the year 446 B.C. (the year 3315 in the Jewish Calendar), we learn that the prophecy must be fulfilled between the dates of 13 April A.D. 31 and 12 May A.D. 31:
Gregorian Calendar: 20 March 446 B.C.
Jewish Calendar: 1 Nisan 3315
+173,880 days (360 days x 483 years)
Gregorian Calendar: 13 April A.D. 31
Jewish Calendar: 4 Iyyar 3791
Gregorian Calendar: 18 April 446 B.C.
Jewish Calendar: 30 Nisan 3315
+173,880 days (360 days x 483 years)
Gregorian Calendar: 12 May A.D. 31
Jewish Calendar: 4 Sivan 3791
Did anyone appear in Jerusalem between 13 April A.D. 31 and 12 May A.D. 31 who fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah and was killed, “appearing to accomplish nothing”?
Yes. Jesus of Nazareth.
During the Passover festivities in Jerusalem in the year A.D. 31, Jesus was killed in such a way. According to David Reagan’s commentary on the subject, the New Testament provides evidence that two Sabbaths occurred, one on Thursday and one on Saturday, during the week of Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion. Given other historical records and evidence, we can be certain that the crucifixion of Jesus occurred on the 24th of April A.D. 31, a date that falls between the predetermined timeframe of 13 April to 12 May for the Messiah’s appearance.
Thus, we can be certain that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the requirements of this messianic prophecy. He also fulfilled all the other messianic Old Testament prophecies. No other historical individual appeared during April/May of A.D. 31 who could fulfill this prophecy. Furthermore, Daniel 9:26 predicted, “after this period of sixty-two sets of seven… a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the City and the Temple.”
Did this happen?
In A.D. 70, thirty-nine years after Jesus was killed, a ruler named Titus (who later became Emperor of Rome), led the Roman legions into Jerusalem where they destroyed the City and the Temple. This completed the messianic prophecy of Daniel 9:24-26, and made it impossible for anyone to appear after the year A.D. 70 and make a legitimate claim to fulfillment of the messianic prophecies.
History and the Old Testament prophecies are clear: Jesus of Nazareth is the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Holy One of God, and the Lamb of God. As a human being, the most important thing you can do in your life is investigate these claims and build a personal relationship with Jesus.