Daniel’s 70 Weeks
Reckoned and Unreckoned Years
Yahweh keeps bringing me back to Daniel 9:24-27 and his 70 weeks prophecy. He continues to blow me away by giving me revelation in the darkest hours of my life. Sometimes it feels like a cruel joke, but I know He’s not like that. As we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of the Kingdom of Yahweh. I have two recent revelations to share, but one can wait for another post.
Let’s take yet another look at Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 9, let’s begin with verse 20 this time, “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Yahweh my Mighty One for the holy mountain of my Mighty One, 21yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man (angel) Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering (the second of the twice-daily oblation). 22And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. 23At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:
24 “Seventy weeks (shabuas, or sevens, most understand this to be 490 years, 70 X 7 = 490 years) are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall (Nehemiah’s 11 year and 52 day building project),
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then (in the last days) he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week (3 ½ years into the 70th week)
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.””
Ok, we’ve looked at these verses many times, but as I was reading a good Bible study from Pastor F.M. Riley, something just finally clicked in my brain. So, instead of mis-stating what Pastor Riley said, let me quote the relevant paragraph here:
“An overlooked Truth!
It doesn’t appear that many “prophecy teachers” today are even aware that the prophecies of Daniel’s 70th Week were given to Daniel while the children of Israel were still living under the Covenant of Law, Daniel 9:24-27. Any serious student of the Bible knows that 69 weeks [483 years] of this prophecy were fulfilled on the exact day the Lord Jesus Christ rode the donkey into Jerusalem, Luke 19:29-44; Zechariah 9:9. At the end of that day, the “dispensation of grace” intervened according to the Divine Appointment of Almighty God [Acts 17:26]. Christ was rejected and crucified four days later on Passover by the Jews in exact fulfillment of Daniel 9:26(a). This makes it evident that there were 7 more years of Law still to be fulfilled by Israel and the Jewish people. It is amazing how many “prophecy teachers” overlook or ignore this simple truth so plainly set forth in God’s Word. It is obvious that this final 7 years of Law upon the Jewish people correlates with the 70th Week of Daniel and the 7 years of the Tribulation period. Hello!”
Most scholars and prophecy teachers agree that the final 7-year tribulation and Daniel’s 70th week are one and the same. I tend to agree with that, but what clicked for me this time was Pastor Riley’s statement about the 483 years. I’ve been studying Scripture chronology for about six years now and I’ve seen the teachers say Messiah died in the 490th year or in the 487th year, as being in the middle of the 70th week, but I’ve not heard anyone, except Riley and myself, state that Yeshua died after the end of the 69th week, like Daniel 9:26a states, “And after the sixty-two weeks (7 plus 62 weeks = 69th week) Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;” But that’s still not what Yahweh showed me this time.
What’s cool is that most Bible students accept that Yahweh allows us to break off Daniel’s 70th week from the first 69 weeks and have a couple thousand “unreckoned” years before the 7-year tribulation period. We have a reckoned and unreckoned year problem to deal with, not just sequential 483 or 490 solar years to deal with.
Here’s the problem. Students and chronologists of the Scriptures somehow have to account for 490 solar years, but King Cyrus II’s decree was made in 551 BCE!! Uh oh. How do we get from 551 BCE to 30 CE and Yeshua’s crucifixion? That’s 581 years, not just 483 or 490 years!! Here’s what Yahweh showed me as I read Pastor Riley’s study. Look at Daniel 9:25 again. The command that was made was King Cyrus the Great’s decree allowing the Jews to return to Judea and restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which of course would include rebuilding the Temple. From the moment King Cyrus II uttered the decree until Messiah the Prince showed up to fulfill some prophecies was to be seven weeks AND sixty-two weeks. Yahweh Himself separated the first seven weeks, or 49 years, from the second sixty-two weeks, or 434 years, right there, in His Word in Daniel 9. Notice what Yahweh said, there will be seven “reckoned” weeks, or 49 years, followed by some “unreckoned” years, followed by sixty-two weeks, or 434 reckoned years, bringing us to 30 CE and Messiah’s crucifixion!
You may not appreciate what Yahweh is revealing in these statements, but for one who has been wrestling with these years in the realm of Sacred Chronology for so many years, it’s a breath of revelation air! Martin Anstey and Philip Mauro chopped about 70 years off of Persian history, just so King Cyrus II could utter his decree in 457 BCE. That way, Yeshua could die in the midst of the 70th week of Daniel. Eugene Faulstich ran Daniel’s 70 weeks continuously as 490 reckoned years from the time Cyrus II uttered the decree in 551 BCE, in his first year as king over Persia and Media. In Mr. Faulstich’s case, then the 490th year ends with the rise of Julius Caesar, never reaching to the Messiah!! Others have stated that the 490 years were fulfilled with Messiah being crucified in 33 CE. Talk about confusion for the Scripture chronologist! Just for the record, NO Scriptural decree was uttered in 457 BCE, relating to Hebrew history, prophecy, or destiny, simply because 457 BCE was 27 years AFTER the last act of the Old Testament, in 484 BCE, with Nehemiah 13:28, “And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me.”
But how does Yahweh mean for us to consider the matter and understand the vision? Let’s begin with Cyrus’ first year in 551 BCE and count seven weeks, or 49 years. That brings us to the year 502 BCE, which just happened to be Persian King Darius I Hystaspes’ (Artaxerxes) twentieth year, when Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem to be governor of Judea and rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, which took 11 years and 52 days (Nehemiah’s 12 years of governorship)!! Now, we have a real problem, because it’s 502 BCE, and we have only 434 more years to go for the Messiah to appear/die! How do we solve this? Let’s make the 483rd year end at the new year in the spring of 30 CE and back up in time! What does this give us? An “unreckoned” GAP in time of 97 years! The challenge for us is to discover what years, between the last day of Malachi’s prophecy and the last act in the Old Testament by Nehemiah and the day John the Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of Caesar Tiberius in 26 CE, make up this 97-year GAP!! And what happens after 30 CE? We have an “unreckoned” GAP in time of about 2,000 years, until the trigger event happens that puts us into the 70th week of Daniel, the final 7-year tribulation. HINT: read the first vision in Daniel chapter 8 to get an idea what that triggering event will be.
To get an in-depth appreciation for the concept of reckoned and unreckoned years in Yahweh’s plan of redemption, you may want to read the work of Franklin Paine and Arthur E. Ware, both great Scripture chronologists. You may also want to study the works of Martin Anstey and Philip Mauro, who discovered and documented the reckoned and unreckoned years between the Exodus and the building of the first Temple, in Solomon’s 4th year, which was a whole lot more than the 480 years we find in 1 Kings 6:1!
Now, here’s my current understanding of which years make up the 97-year GAP, or “unreckoned” years from Malachi and Nehemiah’s day until John the Baptist. For the most part, the Persians favored the Hebrew children, so all their years seem to be “reckoned.” The Greeks also seemed to favor the Jews, until Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the guy who slaughtered a pig on the altar of the Temple in Jerusalem, on Kislev 25, or December 13, 167 BCE, a Sabbath. How long did Antiochus IV Epiphanes rule? From 175 BCE until his death in insanity in the 9th month of 164 BCE, when the miracle of the oil in the Temple occurred and the Jews began the 8-day Feast known as Hanukkah on Kislev 25, December 8, 164 BCE, a Sabbath day! So we will give Antiochus IV Epiphanes 12 “unreckoned” years of our 97 “unreckoned” years to be dealt with. Then we have some more “reckoned” years until . . . the rise of Julius Caesar, of the Roman Empire, in 61 BCE, when the Romans took self-rule away from the Jewish people again!! So, we now have an 85-year “unreckoned” GAP until 26 CE, when John the Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of Caesar Tiberius, and the prophetic VOICE OF YAHWEH was heard in the earth again!! 12 + 85 = 97 “unreckoned” years now accounted for, from Cyrus II’s decree in 551 BCE, plus 483 “reckoned” years during this time make up ALL the years from 551 BCE until Yeshua’s crucifixion in 30 CE, AFTER the 69th week of Daniel!! Ok, so here’s our reckoned years:
551 BCE to 176 BCE = 376 reckoned years;
163 BCE to 61 BCE = 103 reckoned years;
26 CE to 30 CE = 4 reckoned years,
for a total of 483 “reckoned” years.
So, in conclusion, we have Persian King Cyrus II’s decree in 551 BCE, allowing the Jews to return to the Holy Land. From that year we see Daniel’s first 7 weeks of years, or 49 years, count down to the time of Nehemiah and his great wall building project. Then we have a 97-year gap of unreckoned years that we just accounted for above, before we conclude the 62 weeks, or 434 years, with the crucifixion of Yeshua in 30 CE. And what does Daniel say about this in 26a, “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;” Thank you Yeshua! Daniel’s 483 years worth of prophecy was poignantly punctuated by the death of our Savior. You could not ask for a better seal of approval on your prophecy than the death of Yahweh’s Son!! With simple logic we know that the 7 weeks came before the 62 weeks, so now we have 69 weeks accounted for, or reckoned, if you will, 483 out of 490 years, leaving only the final 1-week of seven years of tribulation. And that moment of “reckoned” prophetic time is about to be lit. Just read the current headlines about the Middle East. And what happens at the end of the 70th week? Verse 24, last phrase, “And to anoint the Most Holy.” What will we do at the end of the seven years tribulation? We will anoint Yeshua Ha Mashiach on His Coronation Day, as King of kings and Master of masters!!! You want your vote to count, so get saved today!!
Just to excite your heart a little more, consider and understand this. 551 BCE, with Cyrus’ decree, could be considered a Jubilee year of release!! Go back and reread the story in 2 Chronicles 36:20-23 and Ezra 1, to see the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25. Then, count 49 years, beginning with 551 BCE as year 1, until Nehemiah is commissioned as governor of Judea. Nehemiah is sent to Judea 50 years after Cyrus’ decree, so 502 BCE, Darius I Hystaspes’ 20th year, could also be considered a Jubilee year!! Is that great or what? Yahweh’s intimate dealings with His people Israel so often follow cycles of time, Jubilee cycles! Was Nehemiah an anointed prince of Israel? Of course he was, so we should count the rest of his life as “reckoned” years. We don’t know exactly how long he lived, but we know that after being governor of Judea for 12 years, he had to go back to Persia and deal with some issues, then he returned to Judea for a 2nd term as governor. So what? Well, our 97-year gap actually begins after the END of Nehemiah’s life, or after the END of the Old Testament record, which began a time of prophetic silence!! Wow, is Yahweh awesome or what!?! So, from my studies so far, it appears that Yahweh considers reckoned years when Israel is self-ruling, or under His command. This truth is borne out in the study of the Exodus to the first Temple build, as Martin Anstey so expertly proved. Finding all the exact reckoned versus unreckoned Hebrew years between 551 BCE and 30 CE required a little more study and meditation, but now we know it is exactly 483 reckoned and 97 unreckoned years, all accounted for in real time history!!
The daily oblation sacrifices have only been stopped a couple times in Hebrew history, and according to Daniel, will be stopped ONE more time, 3 ½ years into Daniel’s 70th week. This means an altar must once again be set up on the Temple mount. This means that the twice-daily oblations MUST begin again in real-time history. If we do not get raptured off this rock soon, we may well get to live and see Daniel’s prophecy fulfilled. BUT, the rapture will be an appropriate END to the dispensation of grace AND could be a simultaneous triggering event to begin the final 7-year tribulation!! The Jews have the altar parts ready and could set up an altar within an hour’s time. They’re ready, are you? Get saved today! Ask Yeshua to forgive your sins and save you right now! Time is . . . uh . . . running out!!! Now you know what people mean when they say a day of reckoning is coming. The final 7-year tribulation period is seven years of “reckoned” time in Yahweh’s redemption calendar. Don’t miss it, unless you get raptured first!!
Gene Benjamin II
December 16, 2011 CE
To see the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy laid out in history, ask for my Sacred Chronology spreadsheet, version 7.0.