Gene Benjamin II
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks – By The Book
DANIEL’S SEVENTY WEEKS
BY THE BOOK
(Use Sacred Chronology Version 6.0 for this study)
Ok, folks, Yahweh has been speaking to me today (May 3, 2011 CE) about Daniel’s 70 weeks, again. I’ve read so many teachings about this subject, my head is still spinning. Yahweh wants to straighten out our doctrine of Daniel’s 70 weeks. Most believers in the universe do not understand this doctrine. I don’t claim to know much about it either, but it is the end time and Daniel’s little book is open, per Revelation 10:2a, “He had a little book open in his hand.” As you know, Daniel was instructed to seal up his little book, but John the Revelator was told to write down everything he saw and heard, except for what the seven thunders uttered. Daniel’s little book tastes sweet when we eat it, but it does make our stomach bitter as we watch the events of Daniel and Revelation unfold before our very eyes. The Book of Revelation is the Book of Daniel unsealed. They must be studied together to be understood at all. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s recap what we know. First thing you need to know is that the words Darius, Ahasuerus, and Artaxerxes are Persian throne TITLES, not personal names. This is similar to Pharaoh being a throne title for Egyptian kings. Daniel and Ezekiel were taken captive in 599 BCE by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in what has become known as the First Deportation of the Jews. Daniel was a young teenager at the time, maybe twelve to fifteen years old. Daniel quickly rose to a high governmental position in the Kingdom of Babylon. He was cheerfully serving Nebuchadnezzar until one day the King got all arrogant and went insane for seven years, starting in 577 BCE (Daniel 7:1). While Nebuchadnezzar was insane, his son Belshazzar took over the kingdom and served alongside his queenmother, while old Neb was nuts out in the fields eating grass like a j…donkey. Everyone is happy for a couple years except Nebuchadnezzar. In 575 BCE, Belshazzar’s 3rd year, Daniel 8:1, Cyaxares, king of Media, died, and Darius the Mede, Astyages, throne title of Ahasuerus, ascended the throne of Media. 575 BCE is Daniel’s 25th year in captivity, Ezekiel 40:1, “In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity (Nisan 10, 575 BCE), at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured (in 588 BCE).” 575 BCE is possibly the year the angel in Daniel 11:1-2 was referring to while speaking to Daniel in 549 BCE, or he may have been speaking of 574 BCE, Darius the Mede’s first regnal year over Babylon. Darius the Mede was Nebuchadnezzar’s brother-in-law. So when Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall and was slain in 574 BCE in Daniel 5, Darius the Mede, Astyages, or Ahasuerus, was given rule over Babylon by his sister, without a fight, because Nebuchadnezzar was still insane. Read the book. This was Daniel’s introduction to the Medes. Read Daniel 6 to see how well that went. So everyone except Nebuchadnezzar was happy for a couple more years. Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself and regained his Kingdom from Darius the Mede in 571 BCE, and then wrote Daniel 4. Per Josephus, Daniel then went to Media to serve Darius the Mede. By the way, Darius the Mede, Astyages, or Ahasuerus, married Esther in 568 BCE in his 7th year, Esther 2:16. Read her book.
Now we come to the story of prophesied Cyrus. Darius the Mede was old when he married Esther, they apparently did not have any male children together, but for a few years they did raise Cyrus (the Great) beginning about 565 BCE. Cyrus was the grandson of Darius the Mede by Darius’ daughter Mandane, married to Cambyses II, Cyrus’ dad. As you know, about 250 years before he was born, Cyrus was named and called by Yahweh through the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 44:28, “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”’” Read Isaiah 45 also to find out more of what Yahweh had to say about Cyrus. Either Esther or Daniel, or both, must have read Isaiah 44 and 45 to Cyrus, probably more than once. So, by the time Cyrus gained the throne of Medo-Persia, he already knew what his calling was.
Ok, so old Nebuchadnezzar died in 563 BCE. Read Esther 3:7, they cast Pur that Nisan in 563 BCE to see what time the Medes could kill the Jews. Of course they hung Haman for his plot against the Jews, and in the spring of 562 BCE, the Jews whipped up on their enemies all over the kingdom of Media. About 10 days after the first Feast of Purim in 562 BCE, Esther and/or Daniel and Mordecai obtained the release of Judah’s last imprisoned King Jehoiachin, in the first regnal year of Evil-Merodach, King of Babylon (Jer. 52:31). I hope you are taking note of the fact that all these events occurred during the 70-year Babylonian captivity of the Jews. Jeremiah 27:7, “So all nations shall serve him (Nebuchadnezzar) and his son (Belshazzar) and his son’s son (Evil-Merodach), until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.”
In 560 BCE, Cambyses II, king of Persia, died. He was the father of Cyrus the Great. Cyrus (the Great) ascended the throne of Persia in Anshan. Daniel, Esther, and Mordecai only had a few years to mentor and disciple Cyrus the Great, but it did pay off. In 551 BCE, Cyrus the Great conquered Media and deposed his grandpa, Darius the Mede, but he did let Darius live with him in the palace in Persia until his death in 540 BCE. Daniel retired from political life in 551 BCE, Daniel 1:21, “Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus (the Great).” Now Daniel could focus even more on his spiritual life and write his little book. So what grabbed Daniel’s attention again in 551 BCE? For one, Cyrus was now king of Medo-Persia. Second, Cyrus made his famous decree to let the Jews return to Judea and Jerusalem and rebuild the broken city and Temple, exactly as Isaiah had prophesied. Third, Daniel remembered from his vision in 574 BCE (Daniel 9), Jeremiah had stated 70 years, not 16 years in 574 BCE, or 39 years in 551 BCE, for the length of the Jewish captivity.
My friends, please read the entire chapter 9 of Daniel to get the context. Try to answer some questions: Why was Daniel confused and perplexed in 574 BCE and possibly again in 551 BCE? What period, timeline, prophecy of 70 (________) was Daniel concerned with? Which vision was Gabriel commanded from Yahweh Himself to give Daniel understanding of? Did Daniel know which vision Gabriel was speaking of? Would Yahweh through Gabriel deliberately try to confuse Daniel with a new vision, while Daniel was specifically praying about Jeremiah’s 70-years of punishment prophecy?
Daniel 9, “In the first year (574 BCE) of Darius (the Mede) the son of Ahasuerus (Cyaxares I), of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans (in 574 BCE)—2in the first year of his (Darius the Mede’s) reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of Yahweh through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3Then I set my face toward Yahweh Almighty to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4And I prayed to Yahweh my Mighty One, and made confession, and said, “O Yahweh, great and awesome Mighty One, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. 6Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. 7O Yahweh, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.
8“O Yahweh, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9To Yahweh our Mighty One belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10We have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh our Mighty One, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your Torah, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Torah of Moses the servant of the Mighty One have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. 12And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.
13“As it is written in the Torah of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before Yahweh our Mighty One, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. 14Therefore Yahweh has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for Yahweh our Mighty One is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15And now, O Yahweh our Mighty One, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
16“O Yahweh, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17Now therefore, our Mighty One, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for Yahweh’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18O my Mighty One, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19O Yahweh, hear! O Yahweh, forgive! O Yahweh, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my Mighty One, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
20Now 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 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 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 are determined (decreed)
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 (Place).
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem (Cyrus’ decree in 551 BCE)
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks (shabuas) and sixty-two weeks (shabuas);
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks (shabuas)
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 he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week (shabua);
But in the middle of the week (shabua)
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.””
Why was Daniel confused and perplexed in 574 BCE and possibly again in 551 BCE? Because he knew that the Jews were supposed to remain in captivity for 70 years, according to Jeremiah’s famous 70-year prophecy. Cyrus made his decree in 551 BCE and Nebuchadnezzar had begun his final siege on Jerusalem in 590 BCE; the Jews were hemmed in until the final destruction of Jerusalem in 588 BCE. 590 BCE to 574 BCE is only 16 years into the 70 years physical captivity. I would have been confused and perplexed also, how about you? Even if you went clear back to Nebuchadnezzar’s 1st year (per Hebrew reckoning) in 606 BCE, Jer. 25:1, when he whipped Pharaoh Necho of Egypt at Carchemish, Jer. 46:2, you still would only be 55 years into any kind of captivity under the Babylonians when Cyrus made his decree. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t even enter Judah until 605 BCE, the 5th year of Jehoiakim, when he was busy burning the Torah scroll, Jer. 36. Daniel needed understanding regarding Jeremiah’s 70-year prophecy, not some end-time conspiracy theory about an unknown 7-year tribulation, or some 490-year unheard of Messianic prophecy. Daniel was praying concerning Jeremiah’s 70-year prophetic vision of Israeli captivity. In Daniel 9:23, the angel Gabriel was referring to Jeremiah’s 70-year prophetic vision of Israeli captivity. He was NOT giving Daniel some new end-time vision. He was causing Daniel to understand Jeremiah’s 70-year prophecy. That is the context of Daniel 9, take it or leave it, believe it or not. Make no mistake, Daniel was perplexed by the fact that when Gabriel visited him in 574 BCE (Daniel 9), Judah was only 16 years into the 70 years of Jeremiah’s prophecy, and then again in 551 BCE, when Cyrus made his decree, Judah was only 39 years into the 70-year captivity.
The common, ordinary, everyday Jew and Joe knew nothing about our wild 21st century end-time prophecy scenarios. But they did know what a Shabua was. It meant a couple different time periods that were commonly known to all Jews and Israelis. The first common shabua was the normal everyday 7-day week. Work 6 days for self and take the 7th day Sabbath off and go to Temple or synagogue and worship Yahweh. They practiced this shabua everyday, weekly, their whole life. If Daniel had meant 70 of these shabuas, that would only total up to about a year and a half (70 X 7 days in a week = 490 days), not (70 X 7 years = ) 490 years, not (70 X 49 = ) 3,430 years. If Daniel had meant 70 weeks of years, don’t you think the Holy Spirit would have inspired him to write “seventy shabuas of years”? It’s a tragic mistake to force the Scriptures to say what you want them to say. But what DID the Holy Spirit inspire Daniel to write? “Seventy shabuas”. So Yahweh either meant 70 weekly Sabbaths, which equal 490 solar days, OR, He meant something else. Remember, the context of Daniel 9 is Daniel earnestly seeking Yahweh specifically for understanding of Jeremiah’s seventy years of captivity prophecy. So, did Yahweh send the mighty angel Gabriel to Daniel to confuse him more, or to deceive him? I don’t think so. Yahweh sent Gabriel specifically to give Daniel understanding regarding Jeremiah’s 70-year captivity prophecy.
So what did the Holy Spirit mean by “seventy shabuas”? The other commonly known shabua to the Jews was a period of time they recognized, and celebrated every year, their whole lives. It is known as the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Shavuot, the Feast of Pentecost. It is a seven-week celebration that ends on the Day of Pentecost every year. It begins on the Feast of FirstFruits, the Sunday after the Sabbath that occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, every year since the Exodus. The Hebrews know what it is, the Israelis know what it is, the Jews know what it is. When a Hebrew spoke the word shabua, singular, all other Hebrews knew the person was speaking about the weekly Sabbath and its 7-day cycle. When a Hebrew spoke the word shabuas, plural weeks, all other Hebrews knew that the person was speaking about the Feast of Weeks, the seven week spring Harvest festival, ending on Pentecost. Maybe we wacked out western mindset Gentile believers need to learn what the Hebrews mean. If you add 50 days to the Sabbath day that occurs during the shabua of Unleavened Bread, you come to a Sunday, seven Sabbaths after Passover. That is the day of Pentecost, the Feast of Shavuot, a holy convocation day. This is a 7-week celebration of the spring wheat harvest, capped off with a day of special offerings to Yahweh, including the two-loaf wave offering. The Hebrews celebrate it as the day Yahweh gave us the 10 commandments. Read Leviticus 23 and chapter 2, Exodus 23 and 34, Num. 18 and 28, Deut. 18 and 26, to gain a little understanding of this Feast of Shabuas, the spring Feast of Harvest.
So, did Daniel mean 70 Feasts of Weeks of the spring harvest? In context, I do believe that is exactly what Daniel meant. That would represent 70 solar years, or 70 spring harvests, or 70 Feasts of Shavuot, or Pentecost, or 70 FirstFruits offerings during Unleavened Bread shabua, or 70 wave loaf offerings on Pentecost, 50 days after the FirstFruits offerings, or the whole seven week celebration. So, what was Yahweh’s judgment on Judah spoken through Jeremiah? 70 solar years of captivity outside the land of Israel.
What did the Hebrew historian write about the destruction of Jerusalem in 588 BCE? 2 Chronicles 36:17-23, “Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. 18And all the articles from the house of Yahweh, great and small, the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. 19Then they burned the house (Solomon’s Temple) of Yahweh, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. 20And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 21to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. 22Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (551 BCE), that the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth Yahweh Almighty of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house (second Temple) at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May Yahweh his Mighty One be with him, and let him go up!”
Notice the word used twice in verse 21. It’s the word Sabbath, the Hebrew word Shabbath, not shabua. What Sabbath of the land is Yahweh talking about? The 7-year sabbatical year, the 7th year of rest for the land of Isreal, which was to be observed every 7th year in the Land, from Joshua’s day forward. Apparently, the Hebrews were being punished with 70 years in captivity in Babylon, one year for each 7th year Sabbath of the Land of Israel that they HAD NOT OBSERVED out of the last 1,000 years up to Daniel’s day. Read Leviticus 25 to understand the commandment concerning the Land rest years, the Sabbath sabbatons, rest years. But Cyrus gave his decree of release about 30 years before the 70 years were up. So what gives? What’s Yahweh up to? Golly, is it possible our loving heavenly Father is relenting and having mercy on his children, Israel? Sometime in late 588 BCE or in 587 BCE, Yahweh spoke through Jeremiah in 42:10, “‘If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you.” Who would have ever thought that our Mighty King should be so gracious!
Here’s what Jeremiah prophesied back in 606 BCE: Jeremiah 25:8-14, ““Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘Because you have not heard My words (regarding the 7th-year land rest years, the Sabbath sabbatons), 9behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ says Yahweh, ‘and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. 10Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says Yahweh; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation. 13So I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning all the nations. 14(For many nations and great kings shall be served by them also; and I will repay them according to their deeds and according to the works of their own hands.)’””
And again Jeremiah prophesies: Jeremiah 29:10-14, “For thus says Yahweh: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, says Yahweh, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says Yahweh, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”
See Zechariah chapters 1 and 7 for more about the 70-year captivity.
Yahweh promised destruction for disobedience, then restoration for those who would seek Him with all their hearts. That is what Daniel was doing in 574 BCE, fasting, praying, seeking Yahweh with his whole heart. So much so, that he received a visitation from Gabriel himself. So what was Daniel’s 70 shabuas about? If Yahweh had used the term 70 Sabbath sabbatons, we would know He meant 70 X 7 years, or 490 years, but Yahweh did not say Sabbath sabbatons. The Jews were suffering a year of punishment for each Sabbath sabbaton they had missed since Joshua led them in conquest of the Promised Land. Get that in your heads, a year for a year, not 7 years for a year, or a year for 7 years, and not a day for a year, so the day equals a year principle does not apply here. So, in the context of Daniel 9 and in the context of the living history of Daniel’s experience, Daniel’s 70 Weeks can only mean 70 shabuas, or 70 Feasts of Weeks, occurring over 70 consecutive solar years in exile. Think of the 70 shabuas as cogs in a wheel of time that Yahweh was using to mark off the 70 years of punishment against His children. A 70-year wheel, not a 490-year or a 3,430-year wheel, and no missing cogs, NO GAPS, no missing years.
Remember, the Israeli men were commanded to go to Jerusalem three times a year for three of the major Feasts. Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks (on Pentecost), and Tabernacles. They were judged so that most Jews missed 70 of these commanded Feasts of the spring harvest during the 70-year Babylonian captivity. Because of their rebellion and disobedience, most of the Israelis were made to be lawbreakers for 70 years so Yahweh could observe 70 years of land rest for His Land, one year for each Sabbath sabbaton that his children HAD NOT OBSERVED over the course of the previous 1,000 years. Daddy wanted some peace and quiet in His Land.
Ok, so here’s what Yahweh just showed me while I was typing this up, expecting Him to give me revelation on this matter. Even after the Temple was destroyed in 588 BCE, apparently the Jews could still go up to Jerusalem to bring offerings to the remnant of priests and to Yahweh, until the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar, Hebrew reckoning. Does anyone recall what happened during Nebuchadnezzar’s 23rd year? That’s right, the THIRD DEPORTATION OF THE JEWS from Jerusalem, including the last of all the officials and priests. There was now no more purified priests to receive offerings from the children of Israel!!! Jeremiah 52:30, “in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred and forty-five persons. All the persons were four thousand six hundred.” Friends, this is the STOPPING OF THE OBLATIONS that Daniel speaks of in Daniel 12:11, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Folks, 1290 prophetic years from 584 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar’s 23rd year per Hebrew reckoning, is 688 CE, the year the Muslims began building the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem!!! The abomination of desolation is an it, not a he, check it out in Mark 13:14. Nebuchadnezzar took away the daily oblations, in 584 BCE, which of course means no more Feasts of Weeks celebrations in Jerusalem, then 1290 prophetic years later, the Muslims do their abomination of desolation thing. Then 690 CE, the year of completion of the Dome of the Rock, begins the TIMES OF THE GENTILES!!! to June 7, 1967, when Israel recaptured their Temple Mount!!! 690 CE plus 1260 prophetic years, 42 prophetic months, or three and one half prophetic time, times and a half, equal 1967. Kudos to Joseph Cortes of www.teachingfaith.com for teaching us the simple conversion factor between Daniel’s prophetic 360-day years and our solar years. 360 / 365.24219 = .9856. Of course, I have this stuff laid out on my latest Sacred Chronology spreadsheet, version 6.0.
So, what else can we learn from Daniel’s 70 Shabuas? Here’s what Yahweh has shown me this morning, May 4, 2011 CE, as I’ve been meditating on this passage again. Yahweh’s kingdom is upside down from our world of physical understanding. Yahweh declares the end from the beginning. Look at Daniel 9:24 where Gabriel lists six things Yahweh is going to accomplish in Daniel’s 70 shabuas. What is the last thing that He will accomplish? He’s going to anoint the Most Holy Place. While Gabriel is speaking, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were lying in desolation. No anointing there. Look at Daniel 9:17 and 18, Daniel knew that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were desolate in 574 BCE, “. . . for Yahweh’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18O my Mighty One, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name. . .” Jeremiah gives evidence of a time after the burning of the Temple in the summer of 588 BCE, when offerings were still being given to Yahweh, in Jeremiah 41:4-5, “And it happened, on the second day after he had killed Gedaliah (made governor of Judah by the Babylonians), when as yet no one knew it, 5that certain men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, eighty men with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of Yahweh.” See, they were still making offerings and daily oblations on the Temple Mount for a time after the Temple was destroyed! Read the story in Jeremiah, it’s a great one! So my friends, we have evidence of the fact that the Jews, even after King Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed their city and their sanctuary in his nineteenth year, Hebrew reckoning, in 588 BCE, (2 Kings 25:8-10), were still allowed to make offerings on the Temple Mount, possibly through covenant or agreement with Nebuchadnezzar! Look again at Daniel 9:27, the desolator made a treaty with the Jews to allow them to continue to make offerings for one shabua. I propose to you that Nebuchadnezzar is the desolator being spoken of in verse 27, and the one shabua spoken of in verse 27 is the FIRST shabua of Daniel’s 70, 584 BCE, the year when Nebuchadnezzar, in his 23rd year, Hebrew reckoning, STOPPED THE DAILY! Yahweh declared to Daniel the end from the beginning. I propose to you that Nebuchadnezzar stopped the daily in 584 BCE right in the middle of the seven week Feast of Shavuot celebration, 25 days into counting the Omer. Yahweh had promised in Jeremiah’s prophecy to punish Nebuchadnezzar for harming Judah and STOPPING THE DAILY OBLATIONS! Nebuchadnezzar sealed his fate and the fate of his nation in 584 BCE when he STOPPED THE DAILY OBLATIONS from being offered to Yahweh.
Ok, so Daniel’s 1 of 70 shabuas is taken care of, we know it was the year 584 BCE. So, let’s count down 7 more shabuas to 577 BCE, Daniel’s 8th shabua year. What happened that year? Nebuchadnezzar went insane, which directly led to his salvation. Read Daniel chapter 4. That 7 years of insanity finished Nebuchadnezzar’s transgressions, ended his life of sin, reconciled him to Yahweh, made him eternally righteous, and sealed up the visions and prophecies he had personally received. Nebuchadnezzar’s 7 years of insanity set up the circumstances that led directly to the future anointing of Israel’s Most Holy Place.
Ok, so Daniel’s first 8 shabuas are taken care of. Let’s now count down the final 62 shabuas. When does that take us to? You guessed it, the construction of the second Temple was finished in Daniel’s 70th shabua year, 515 BCE! Ezra described the event in Ezra 6:14-15, “So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the Mighty One of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, and Darius (I, Hystaspes), even (namely, or i.e.,) Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius (I).” Adar 3 in 515 BCE was February 3, 515 BCE, still in Darius I’s 6th year. The Most Holy Place, the second Temple, was dedicated and anointed in 515 BCE, Daniel’s 70th shabua!! All of Daniel’s 70 shabuas are accounted for. And what’s the plus?
Guess who was the anointed prince of Judah who showed up in 515 BCE to cut a covenant with Israel, per Daniel 9:26, after the final 62 shabuas? Ezra was commissioned by Darius I, Hystaspes, and came to Jerusalem from Persia in the summer of 515 BCE, Darius’ 7th year, beginning on Nisan 1, 515 BCE. Ezra 7:7-9, “Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes (Darius I, Hystaspes). 8And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his Mighty One upon him.” Darius I’s decree in Ezra 7 was the third decree of a Persian king regarding the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem.
The first decree of a Persian king was by Cyrus the Great, in his first year as king over Persia and Media, in 551 BCE, to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, Ezra 1 and quoted again in Ezra 6:3-5. Remember the story, read it in the book of Ezra/Nehemiah (the Hebrews wrote it as one book) the Temple construction was halted for many years, almost an entire generation! Then the second decree by a Persian king was by Darius I, Hystaspes, in his second year in 520/519 BCE to re-start the Temple construction project, Ezra 6:6-12. We just wrote about the third decree by a Persian king, written by Darius I in 515 BCE in his seventh year, which allowed Ezra to return to Judah to begin a great revival of Judaism, Ezra 7. The fourth decree by a Persian king was again by Darius I, in 502 BCE, in his 20th year, ordering Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah 2.
This was a phenomenal time in Israeli history. Daniel’s 70 shabuas were tied directly to Jeremiah’s 70 years of punishment by the angel Gabriel, sent straight from the throne of Yahweh. Gabriel was ordered to go to Daniel, who was specifically praying to understand Jeremiah’s prophecy, to give Daniel understanding of Jeremiah’s vision, not to give Daniel a new vision that future wacked out western mindset Gentiles could twist into some false Messianic prophecy. By the way, 490 years from 551 BCE only brings you to 61 BCE, the accession year of Julius Ceasar, not Yeshua’s birth, baptism, ministry, or crucifixion. Sorry.
Now we could go one step further and distinguish the physical captivity of Judah, from 590 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem to 520 BCE when Darius I, Hystaspes, allowed the Jews to restart the Temple construction project, from the spiritual captivity of Judah, from the stopping of the oblation offerings in 584 BCE to the completion, dedication, and anointing of the Temple in 515 BCE. But check out the separation of years 590 to 584 BCE inclusive reckoning is 7 years, one Sabbath sabbaton! Does Yahweh have a sense of humor or what? Please know, my friends, that it is a dangerous thing to twist Yahweh’s word to make it say strange things that it doesn’t say, just so you can sell books and DVDs. We all need to repent and prepare to meet our Maker.
We’ll have to take this up again later; I’ve stated enough for this post. I pray that the angel Gabriel comes to each of us to give us understanding of Daniel’s 70 shabuas.
Yahweh bless you to understand the single focused vision of Daniel 9,
Gene Benjamin II
May 4, 2011