The Missing 165 Years In Jewish History Intentionally Hides The Ability To Correctly Calculate Jesus as the Anointed Messiah
In my previous article, the prophecy of of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks was analyzed in great detail to correctly identify Jesus as the Messiah who was to be crucified on the Cross in 30 AD. Daniel’s Seventy-Weeks prophecy is perhaps the number one proof text which pointed to Christ as Messiah as the anointed King of the Jews. It also accurately predicted the time when the Jews would be restored in Israel a second time in the 20th century.
The Jewish rabbis throughout history and up to the present day have strongly disputed the Christian claim relative to the Seventy Weeks prophecy, and provide many (weak) logical counter-arguments based on the recording of events around the temple mount within their own history books. That is, many rabbis continue to use the Jewish calendar derived from the Seder Olam Rabba text which differs by the conventional secular calendar by a missing 168 years. Many scholars question whether this was primarily done in order to obfuscate the calculation of the dates for Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy. The Jewish argument against the validity of the Christian interpretation of the Seventy Weeks prophecy is further bolstered by the common mistakes made by many Christian missionaries today in fully understanding of the prophecy. That is, the Christian missionaries often incorrectly calculating either the starting and ending dates to the 490 year prophecy of Daniel 9 and have inserted a 7-year “gap” theory concept of 2000 years to fulfill the last and final week of the Seventy Weeks calculation.
This purpose of this article is to highlight and explain the differences between the Jewish and secular calendars and point out many of the diverting tactics used by the Jewish rabbis in their attempts to disprove that Daniel’s complex prophecy as THE number one valid Christian proof text for showing Jesus as Messiah. Amazingly, additional interpretive analysis reveals that Daniel’s complex prophecy provides further evidence that the secular dating of the decrees to rebuild and restore using Conventional Chronology predicted and validated the Jewish Diaspora’s return to Israel in 1948 AD and 1967 AD. If true, this is certainly a game-changer in the fight over which calendar is correct and authentic, the Jewish or Secular. Unfortunately, the different dating scheme provided and calculated by the Seder Olam Rabba text DOES NOT predict or validate the Jewish return to the Modern State of Israel by 1948. This new evidence presented here can serve as additional proof to discredit the authenticity of the “altered” Jewish Calendar dating over the secular Babylonian, Greek, Persian and Egyptian astronomical records. Were these dates intentionally modified or “forged” to make it impossible to identify Jesus as the Christ and “anointed one” identified in Daniel Chapter 9? Let’s take a closer look.
Jewish Chronology vs Secular Chronology – Who is Right?
There has been an ongoing dispute between Jewish and secular historians about when the first temple was destroyed. It is common knowledge through analysis of historical secular records that the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE. This date is also confirmed by many Jewish historians and rabbis. However, this date is in conflict to the history handed down by Chazal in the Talmud and in the Seder Olam Rabba by Rabbi Yose ben Halafta (2nd Century CE). Jewish sources place the destruction of the first temple around 423 to 421 BCE. According to Chazal, the Second Temple stood for a period of 420 years, and the time between the first temple destruction and second temple destruction was a period of 490 years (equivalent to Daniel’s seventy week period of years). Since the second temple was destroyed approximately 70 AD, this means they point to the date of the first temple destruction in the year 421 BCE. This 421 BCE dating results in a difference of 166 “missing” years from the conventional date of 587 BCE for the first temple destruction. Let’s take a look at a chart which sows a comparison of the Seder Olam chronology with the Conventional Chronology for the differences in dates of first temple destruction, return from Babylon, construction of the second temple and the start of the Greek Empire.
About 166 to 168 years approximately later than the secular view. Now how do we resolve this long standing dispute? The Jews say it is “our history” and “we know the dates better.” Their common argument between the differences in the dates is advocating the idea that the Jewish people most likely have the greatest insight on when their own important events in history took place. They believe the Jews more than any other nation have maintained their own history books and have kept track of events significant to them. So according to the internal records onf the Jewish calendar, many Jewish rabbis believe the temple was destroyed in the year 423 BCE. The commonly held date would be 586 BCE. This earlier date is commonly recognized by non-Jewish secular historians and even many Jewish academics who agree with the secular historians.
Christian scholars acknowledge four valid decrees to restore and rebuild Jerusalem after Babylonian exile. Many Christians either like to use the Artaxerxes decrees of 457 BCE or 444 BCE as the starting point for the calculations.
There is a difference of opinion in terms of setting the dates for many of these specific decree occurrences in this time of Jewish history. Many Jewish scholars try hard to attack the validity of the secular dates. The question we ask is, why is it so important for them, and is it because they believe the secular dates were forged by Christians, or are they afraid of the truth which becomes exposed in the secular dating of the royal decrees? A recent book called The Challenge of Jewish History by a British rabbi and author Alexander Hool attempts to reconcile the dates and validate the Jewish SO dating. Another example is “Fixing the History Books” by Brad Aaronson. Both of these provide examples discrediting the dating of the Greek accounts as forgeries and miscalculations based on folklore. Instead, they conclude that the traditional Jewish dating system calculates Nehemiah receiving permission to reinforce the walls of Jerusalem in 335 BCE, not 444 BCE. These Jewish scholars like Rabbi Michael Scobac then use this 335 BCE date to calculate Daniel 9:25-27 calculations:
“If we count 483 years from the Jewish understanding of when Nehemiah received permission from Artaxerxes, when we count 483 years from there, we get to the year 148 AD, so thereby assuming Jewish chronology for Jewish history, the ending date of Daniel takes us about 120 years after the death of Jesus. Sorry, Christians, but this calculation is not going to help your case for making Jesus the Messiah foretold in Daniel Chapter 9. The dating of the decree by Artexerces was NOT in 444 BCE, it was really in 335 BCE, and that would really take this entire chronology in the book of Daniel and make it totally irrelevant in terms of getting close to the dates of Jesus. The Christians rely on the secular view in order to have a chance of making this calculation in Daniel to work. “
There are others Orthodox Jewish scholars that give the same argument as Michael Skobac. However, the following Usnet post (see merrimack valley havurah’s blog site for the complete post) reveals an excellent debate which took place between an ultra-Orthodox Jew, who believe that the dating system of Midrash Seder Olam is historically correct, and a Jewish secular trained historian, who has a masterful understanding of the primary historical sources. This debate took place on a Usenet newsgroup back in 1996 by David Levene:
: Well, the Babylonian destruction was 490 years before the Roman
: one (70 years of exile and 420 years for the Second Temple), and
: since the latter was in 70 CE and there’s no year 0, the former
: was in -420, or 421 BCE. The difference is in the duration of the
: Persian period (and the very beginning of the Greek period).
: Jewish sources have Alexander conquering Persia 52 years after the
: Persians conquered Babylon. And a total of 4 Medean and Persian
: kings during this period. The Greeks gave the same period a total
: of 208 years and 10 kings.
: A lot comes down to who you consider more reliable. The Greek
: stories were collected folklore, basically. Lots of hearsay from
: people in foreign lands. Herodotus actually admits that he heard 4
: different and conflicting stories of the coming to power of Cyrus
: the Great, only bothering to tell the one he thought most likely.
: Greek stories that didn’t fit the consensus synthesis are
: considered, a priori, to be unreliable. For example, Xenophon
: records the rise of Cyrus in a way almost identical to the Jewish
: version, but since this contradicts Herodotus, it is dismissed as
: “an early historical novel”.
This is, I’m afraid, almost total nonsense. We do not get the standard Persian chronology from “Greek stories”: it is the one overwhelmingly supported by *all* sources – Persian, Babylonian and Greek alike. The rabbinic chronology, by contrast, is attested only centuries later, and is utterly unsustainable against the Babylonian and Persian documentation. (…) We have a large number of Babylonian astronomical records for the Persian period. For example, we have a record of virtually every lunar eclipse in the period, dated by the king’s reign; we have dated records of solar eclipses and planetary conjunctions and observations; we even have “astronomical diaries” – dated diaries in which astronomers recorded their day-by-day observations. The dates of these can be checked astronomically – and comprehensively confirm the total correctness of the standard chronology. There are numerous Babylonian astronomical records. (…) There are documents from Persian kings, describing their own relationships to their predecessors. Thus in the so-called Cyrus Cylinder, Cyrus describes his capture of Babylon from Nabonidus (…) For much of the Persian period our evidence is so full that we can date reigns not merely year by year, but month by month, and sometimes even day by day”
Possible Theories in the Divergent Jewish and Secular Chronologies
How did this difference in dating emerge between the Jewish view that the Persian Period was only 52 years and the historical secular view that the Persian period lasted for 207 years? It is really a question about how many Persian Kings reigned during this period of time. The Jewish view is consistent with Daniel 11 in that 4 Kings were considered over a 52 year period. But we know from historical records that there were 10 persian Kings over the 207 year period. There are a few theories in describing the differences in calendars. The best book on this subject is Jewish History in Conflict: A Study of the Major Discrepancy between Rabbinic and Conventional Chronology by Mitchell First, who states:
“According to Seder Olam Rabbah, the work that forms the basis for almost all rabbinic chronology, the period from the defeat of the Babylonians by the Medeo-Persians until the beginning of Greek rule, encompassed 52 years and spanned the reigns of three Persian kings. According to the chronology that is universally accepted by historians today (conventional chronology), this period of Persian rule over the land of Israel encompassed 207 years (539 to 332 BCE) and during this period more than ten Persian kings reigned. This discrepancy between the traditional Jewish chronology and conventional chronology has not gone unnoticed. The purpose of this study is to collect and categorize the variety of Jewish responses to this discrepancy, both by Jewish scholars and rabbinic authorities”
Scholars date Sedler Olam to approximately 169 CE. Many scholars agree that Seder Olam is not accurate and it was written to justify the rabbinical position that Jesus was not the messiah. Was it possible that the Jewish chronology kept by the rabbis was altered in some way? Possible reasons for the missing years could be:
1.The assumption by the Talmudic chronologists that 490 years of Daniel 9:24-27 can only be measured from the destruction of the first temple to the second temple. A popular explanation for the missing years suggests that the Jewish sages interpreted the prophecy and worked backwards from the destruction of the Second Temple (in 3828 AM), and incorrectly dated the destruction of the First Temple (in 3338 AM). That is, if we alternatively count backwards from 68 to 70 AD, the Jewish scholars concluded the temple was destroyed in 421 to 423 BCE. As a result, the rabbis will often counter to the Christian and secular dating of the 444 BCE royal decree commonly used to point to Jesus as the fulfillment of 70 weeks by saying it is an inaccurate date.
2.Calculations supporting Simon Bar Kochba as the Messiah. In the year 133 CE, Simon Bar Kochba was declared by Rabbi Akiva to be the long awaited Messiah, because he successfully fought off the Roman armies. It is suspected it was at this point that the rabbis modified 240 years off of the Jewish calendar to make it look like Simon Bar Kochba fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah and the fulfillment of Daniel 9:24-27. Even after Simon was forced out of Jerusalem and killed by the Romans, the rabbis still refused to correct the 240 year subtraction.
3. The Rabbianic Curse on Daniel The Rabbinical attempt to hide the dates of Daniel to “seal the book” per instructions of Daniel chapter 12 as a result of the the disaster of the Roman destruction by the zealots and the Bar Kochba revolt, and to also obscure the accuracy of the early Christian calculations pointing to Jesus as the fulfillment to Daniel. The Babylonian Talmud states the folliwing in Sanhendrin 97b:
“A Sage said: “May the curse of heaven fall upon those who calculate the date of the advent of the Messiah, and thus create political and social unrest among the people. (…) Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end. For they would say, since the predetermined time has arrived, and yet he has not come, he will never come”
Regardless of the root cause for the calendar mismatch, the Seder Olam achieved it’s goal in 160 AD by reducing the age of the chronology to counter Christianity. The majority of the Hebrew manuscripts of the Tanakh were destroyed in 70 AD and 135 AD siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, thus it was easy for a select few to change the chronological numbers to produce new texts such as the Seder Olam with a revised chronology. As a result, the early Talmudists were able to turn Jesus Christ into a false messiah with the claim he was born too early to fulfill the prophecies with his death on the cross between 30 to 33 AD. Seder Olam redefined the orthodox interpretation of the 490 years of Daniel 9:24 from a messianic to a non-messianic prophecy.
New Testament Proofs for Daniel’s 70 Weeks Fulfillment
A common argument the Jewish rabbis make against the Christian interpretation of Daniel’s 70 weeks is: “If Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy is such a powerful proof-text for proving Jesus is the Messiah, why doesn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke or John mention Daniel’s prophecy in any of their chapters as proof, out of all of the prophecies they use to support the messianic claim of Jesus?.” In this section we will cover a few pieces of evidence in the New Testament which gives support to the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25-27. Before we do that, let’s first examine the Christian interpretation and calculations which the Jewish scholars attempt to discredit and debunk.
Based on the differences in the calendar, the Jews today such as the anti-missionary group Jews for Judaism will use the argument that the 444/445 BCE royal decree to rebuild the town and walls of Jerusalem is an irrelevant and false calculation, because the historical Jewish date for the destruction of the first temple supposedly occurred after that in 423 BCE. The traditional view many Dispensationalists and Preterist interpreters of prophecy will calculate the timeline as follows by adding 476 years to 444 BC.
In order to get this calculation to work, the 483 years (i.e. 69 weeks x 7 years/week = 483 years) is converted to solar years to arrive at 476 years. Rabbi Michael Scobac loves to call this the “fudge factor” that is used often in physics and sciences to make it fit. Basically he is saying this is a false calculation because there is no such thing as a “biblical” or “prophetic year”. First of all, this is a stupid and ridiculous assumption and accusation. All advanced mathematics, geometry and trigonometric sciences and engineering are based on 360 degrees in a circle. The theory is that either the ancients observed the rotation of the stars (and earth around the sun) to be 360 days per year. There are 360 degrees in a circle! At the same time, the earth would orbit around the sun with a 360 degree rotation either in 365.25 days (per the solar calendar) or 354.37 days (per the Lunar calendar). To say there is no such thing as a 360-degree “year” is just plain nonsense, given the foundation of all mathematics is built upon this measurement, given the fact that the Seven Times punishment of Leviticus 26 and Daniel 4 is further symbolized by marching around the walls of Jericho seven times. They could only rotate around the town and walls with a 360 motion. Hence a “biblical” or “prophetic” year or “times” is 360 days in a year.
So then, Rabbi Michael Scobac, why are we not allowed to do calendar conversions within the prophecies? It can demonstrated that this calendar conversion is valid might even be required, specifically as it can be used with exact precision to show the salvation and return of the Jews in these recent last days. Therefore, part of the “sealing” and “unsealing” of the Book of Daniel in Chapter 12 is due to the required use of calendar conversion between a 360 “trigonometric/prophetic” year to that of 365 days/year “solar” year or 354 days/year “lunar year.” And we are given a directive in the first chapter of Genesis the key for interpreting signs and seasons are by the movements of the earth and moon around the sun, a natural “clock” for measuring the “Times” for the salvation of the Jews:
Genesis 1:14 – “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”
Measurement of “Times” and “Seasons” with the Solar/Lunar Clock
So Rabbi Scobac and the Jews for Judaism organization will shut down any possibility to consider 360 degrees in a circle as the standard measurement for the prophecies, and also calls the Christian assumption of a solar calendar conversion a “fudge factor”, saying we are faking the numbers to make them work. How fitting though, that the “Sun or Righteousness” would require the use of the “solar” calendar to prove the dates of Daniel! But ironically, Rabbi Scobac goes on to say the Jews use a Lunar calendar, and explains that ever three years a month needs to be added back into the lunar calendar to have it scale to the solar calendar. So watch what happens when we convert Daniel’s 70 weeks between solar and lunar calendars. It actually provides support and validates the 30 AD crucifixion date promoted by many biblical and historical scholars compared to using just a solar scaling conversion or “fudge factor. Here is how:
So if we follow the recommendation of using the lunar calendar and adding the 11 day per year difference between the solar and lunar calendars, we further see that 483 “solar” years becomes 469 “lunar” years. And as a result of Rabbi Scobac’s suggestion, we arrive at an even more accurate calculation that fits the historical data supporting the 30 AD crucifixion. However, we are not done yet with our calculations to support the 30 AD crucifixion evidence. We noted in the previous article, the 444 BC royal decree is not the primary decree to use. Notice that the anti-missionary groups like “Jews for Judaism” say NOTHING about the 457 BC royal decree. The primary question is: WHY DO THE ANTI-MISSIONARY JEWISH SCHOLARS IGNORE THE CALCULATIONS ASSUMING THE 457 BC ROYAL DECREE? If we add 483 years to the 457 BC decree, we calculate the year 27 AD which is the same year that Jesus was “anointed” through his baptist at the start of his 3 year ministry. without any calendar scaling between solar or lunar calendars. So 69 weeks, or 483 years, after the 457 Royal Decree we come to the final week of Daniel and the time of Jesus’s ministry with no calendar conversion or NO “FUDGE FACTOR” USING THE 457 ROYAL DECREE! Let examine our calculations once again:
Let’s review Daniel 9:25:
“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.”
The anti-missionary Jews will commonly use the argument that 69 weeks is not a common way in the Hebrew text to split apart numbers to arrive at 69 weeks. They would say, if 69 weeks is meant in the text, it would be split apart as “60 weeks and 9 weeks” in the prophecy. They then will disclaim the validity of the Christian assertion in the translations that there is no such thing as describing 69 weeks of years as “seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.” However, they don’t even consider the possibility that THE SPLITTING OF THE SIXTY-NINE WEEKS WAS INTENTIONAL BY THE AUTHOR TO HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANT HISTORICAL EVENTS! By the reading above in the King James version, we can clearly see that 62 weeks is broken up further between “threescore” (i.e. 20 x 3 = 60) and “two weeks.” This can be broken down as specified as follows:
70 Weeks = 7 Weeks + 60 Weeks + 2 Weeks + 1 Week
So now we come back to one of the earlier objections provided by the Jewish rabbis, who will often say “if Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy is such a powerful proof-text for proving Jesus is the Messiah, why doesn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke or John mention Daniel’s prophecy in any of their chapters as proof, out of all of the prophecies they use to support the messianic claim of Jesus?”
Daniel 9 Parallels in the Gospel of St. Luke
Well in fact, the New Testament does provide a solution for the final “two weeks” of the “69 weeks“, or the 68th and 69th week. This was done for a few reasons, depending on how we are interpreting Daniel 9:25-27 to either be a 490 year period, or a 2520 year period. Now for the 490-year messianic interpretation, we can see that for exactly “two weeks” of years, or 14 years before Jesus begins his ministry, Tiberius Caesar arose to power. The scriptures in Luke 3:1 states that Jesus was baptized in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. We know through historical records that Tiberius co-reigned with Augustus beginning in 12 A.D. The 15th year from that point would be 27 AD. Jesus’s ministry lasted for 3.5 years until 30 AD.
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene” – Luke 3:1 (NASB)
“… the Lord has been revealed since the twelfth year of Tiberius Caesar.”(Tertullian – Against Marcion, Book 1, ch. 15)
Both calculations arrive at 26 AD or 27 AD as the start of Jesus ministry and his baptism or anointing, and consistent with the unscaled 457 BCE starting point, or the scaled lunar/solar converted date starting from 444 BCE. Thus we have identified one piece of evidence in the new testament that is tied directly with Daniel 9:25-27.
Daniel 9:24 and the start of Jesus’s ministry of Luke chapter 4
The next piece of evidence from the New Testament that closely aligns with Daniel 9:25 and 9:24 can be found in St. Luke chapter 4. We already have calculated based on the scriptures and historical records that Jesus’s ministry began in 27 AD, which is exactly 69 weeks after the start of the 457 (non-scaled) BC decree and the 444 (scaled Lunar/Solar) BC decree. This is consistent with what is written in Daniel 9:25 (NIV version) where Jesus is anointed by Baptism and anointed through the reading of the scripture of Isaiah which was fulfilled with the announcement by Jesus:
Daniel 9:25 (NIV) – “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
457 BCE + 483 years (+ 1) = 27 AD, 444 BCE + 469 years (+ 1) = 26 AD
Daniel 9:24 (KJV) – “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 has a strong parallel and fulfillment to the prophecy of Isaiah spoken of at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus described in in Luke 4:18-21:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
- The “finishing of the transgression” and of Daniel 9 is synonymous with “recovery of the sight to the blind” in Luke 4, so they could come to realize and see their sins and stop their trespasses.
- The “make an end of sins” and “make reconciliation for iniquity” of Daniel 9 is synonymous to “proclaim liberty to the captives” (of sin) in Luke 4
- The “bring of everlasting righteousness” of Daniel 9 is synonymous with “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” in Luke 4, to mark the fulfillment of Daniel 9 by the preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God on earth through the coming Church age.
- To “seal up the vision and prophecy” in Daniel 9 is synonymous with “today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” to announce that all messianic prophecies of Daniel and other Old Testament prophets will now come to pass.
- To “anoint the most Holy” in Daniel 9 is synonymous with the text “He has anointed Me” in Luke 4.
Daniel 9 Parallels in the Gospel of St. John and St. Matthew
In the Greek Septuagint we might a hidden clue to the crucifixion and last supper which would establish a New Covenant and new Bloodless Sacrifice for future generations. Instead of the traditional “taking away” of the sacrifice and drink offering, the word can be translated as “lifting up My sacrifice”. A direct transliteration would read:
27 καὶ [and] δυναμώσει [to strengthen] διαθήκην [covenant] πολλοῖς [many], ἑβδομὰς [seven] μία [one]· καὶ [and] ἐν [in] τῷ [the] ἡμίσει [half] τῆς [the] ἑβδομάδος [seven] ἀρθήσεταί [to lift up] μου [My] θυσία [sacrifice] καὶ [and] σπονδή [libation], καὶ [and] ἐπὶ [upon] τὸ [the] ἱερὸν [temple] βδέλυγμα [abomination] τῶν [the] ἐρημώσεων [devastation], καὶ [and] ἕως [even as] συντελείας [completion] καιροῦ [time] συντέλεια [end] δοθήσεται [to give] ἐπὶ [upon] τὴν [the] ἐρήμωσιν [desolation].
That is Daniel 9:27 Septuagint would read:
“And he will strengthen the covenant of many for one ‘seven’ and in the middle of the ‘seven’ he will lift up My sacrifice and My drink offering (…)
The Genealogy of Matthew Ch. 1 Confirms the Conventional Chronology
Another interest fact we can highlight is that the New Testament Genealogy of Christ appears to be in agreement with Daniel 9’s 490 time span as well as an accurate measurement of the time periods between David to Babylonian captivity, and from the Babylonian captivity to Joseph and Jesus. Recall from our last article, that we interpreted the alternate hidden meaning of Daniel 9 to be equivalent to the 2520-year or Seven Times” punishment of the Jews. Each generation is calculated to be 36 years per generation (by dividing 2520 years by 70 (“weeks”)). We also know that Jesus was cut off in his ministry at around age 33 in the middle of the 70th week, so had Jesus ideally fulfilled his ministry until the end of Daniel’s 70 weeks he would have been around 36 years of age. Now let’s examine the “validity” of the Genealogy of Christ, at least from David on down to subsequent generations, because Jesus would be called the “Son of David“. We know that King David was born around 1040 BCE and the Babylonian captivity ended around 539 BCE. Examining the Genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1 we count 14 generations between David and Babylon, and 14 generations between Babylon and Joseph:
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, 15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Now let’s confirm the validity of the Genealogy with some calculations:
- 14 generations x 36 years/generation = 504 years
- 1042 BCE (King David) – 504 years = 538 BCE !
- 538 BCE – 504 years = 34 BC (to Joseph)
- 34 BC + 36 years = 2 AD (to Jesus)
537 to 539 BCE is the exact time frame of King Cyrus rise to power and the 1st Royal Decree of Cyrus to return and rebuild the temple Jerusalem. We arrive at around 2 AD to Jesus, and are within a 5 year window of his birth between 2 to 4 BCE. Thus, it becomes clear to see that the timing between David to Babylon, and Babylon to Jesus gives evidence that the 14 generations before and after Babylon with 36 years per generation supports the correct Conventional Chronology of Cyrus at 539 BCE, and the destruction of the temple in 587 BCE (and not 421 BCE).
Final Evidence of Conventional Chronology – The 69 Weeks and the Return of the Jews to Israel
The Jewish anti-missionaries still try to promote the validity of the Seder Olam calender by promoting the destruction of the first temple in 421 BCE. They then turn around and state that the Christian Missionaries are choosing incorrect starting points and choosing the wrong royal decree of 444 BCE to calculate Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy to point to Christ with some “fudge factor.” They then say there is no such thing as a “69 week” period based on “7 + 62” weeks. Recall in our previous article on Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy we were able to show that the “Seven Times” punishment of the Jews is equivalent to the “69 weeks” of Daniel 9 when interpreted as a 2520-year period.
That is, “Seven Times” is calculated as 7 x 360 years = 2520 years. And 69/70 weeks of this period would calculate to 2520 x 69/70 = 2484 years. Then there is also the calculation of Ezekiel 4 for the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, which start from the fall to the Assyrians. Taken collectively together, we can observe the following dates and calculations in the chart below based on Conventional Chronology:
This is an amazing revelation through these series of calculations! Because Conventional Chronology asserts:
- The Northern Kingdom of Israel was to return and rebuild 69 weeks later (or 2687 years later) after Assyrian Captivity began in 740 BCE by the year 1948 AD
- The Northern Kingdom of Israel was to return and rebuild 69 weeks later (or 2687 years later) after Samaria fell in 722 BCE by the year 1967 AD
- The Southern Kingdom of Judah was to return and rebuild 69 weeks later (or 2484 years later) after the first deportation of Babylon in 605 BCE by the year 1878 AD (which is the return of the first Jews through Petra Tivka of 1878 AD and First Aliyah in 1882 AD
- The Southern Kingdom of Judah was to return and rebuild 69 weeks later (or 2484 years later) after the year the Temple of Solomon was destroyed in 586 BCE by the year 1897 AD (which is the year that Zionism was founded to establish a homeland in Palestine)
- The Southern Kingdom of Judah was to return and rebuild 69 weeks later (or 2484 years later) after the First Royal Decree of Cyrus in 536 BCE by the year 1948 AD (which is the exact year that the Modern Nation of Israel was founded)
- The Southern Kingdom of Judah was to return and rebuild 69 weeks later (or 2484 years later) after the completion of the Second Temple in in 517 BCE by the year 1967 AD (which is the exact year that Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem, ending the “Times of the Gentiles” reign over Jerusalem for the first time since the deportation of Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar)
- We have 69 weeks after the 3rd Royal Decree of 457 BCE which remains unfulfilled – 2027 AD. Based on past performance and fulfillments of the 69 weeks, we can speculate that a significant event in the history of Jerusalem will occur around this year.
- We have 69 weeks after the 4th and final Royal Decree of 444 BCE which remains unfulfilled – 2039 AD. Based on past performance and fulfillments of the 69 weeks, we can speculate that a significant event in the history of Jerusalem will occur around this year.
We can conclude based on the above observations, that the secular Conventional Chronology, which: a) is authenticated by many historical Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Egyptian records, and b) which supports both the timing and arrival of Christ and the return of the Jews to Palestine in the 19th and 20th centuries… to be the correct Chronology for interpreting the Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9.
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy continues to be promoted by Christians as the NUMBER ONE PROOF-TEXT for Jesus as Messiah and King of the Jews and Gentiles. It is also the one that is the most difficult to understand, and many Christian interpreters and denominations do a poor job of explaining the prophecy or incorrectly calculate the numbers to prove that Jesus was the Messiah foretold by Daniel and many other prophets. As a result, the Jewish anti-missionary scholars take advantage of these misunderstanding and weaknesses by the Christian missionaries to manipulate and discredit the proofs pointing to Jesus as Messiah. In this article, I have attempted to explain some of the points which can be used to counter argue these anti-missionary tactics:
- The Seder Olam calendar which removes 165 to 168 years out of the Jewish Chronology is proved to be incorrect through the many historical records from different empires and nations around the middle east. The Jewish Scholars might have attempted to confuse the calculations pointing to Christ as the anointed messiah by changing the calendar so it would be impossible to do the proper calculations
- The Septuagint translation, specifically the Theodotian, is the most accurate translation to use to fully understand Daniel’s 70 weeks. It not only provides insight into the “raising up of the sacrifice” of Jesus on the Cross, but the text of Daniel 12:7 is the only version which properly predicts the prophecies of Daniel would be unsealed and understood, within 1260 years after the abomination temple was completed and the dispersion of the Jews becomes complete. No other translation provides this clear of a key to interpretation as the Greek Theodotian text. The Jews have long sought to discredit the Greek translations, but ironically it is the Greek Septuagint translation that validates the authenticity of the Jewish return to Israel.
- The Conventional Chronology appears to be the correct one, and is further bolstered by the evidence in the New Testament. But even more amazing, that when we interpret the prophecies of the Seventy Weeks as the “Seven Times” punishment of the Jews foretold in Leviticus 26, Daniel 4 and Ezekiel 4, we can specifically calculate the completion of the 69 weeks around key events in Jewish History, that is 1878, 1882, 1897, 1917, 1948 and 1967. The Seder Olam calendar does not even come close. So we can all draw our own conclusion as both Jews and Gentiles on which sacred chronology is the correct one.
- There are strong references in the New Testament Gospels to Daniel’s 70 Weeks. We highlighted a few in this article which include the Genealogy of Jesus, the start of Tiberius Caesar’s reign in Luke chapter 4, the “raising” or “lifting up” of the Son of Man in John, and the anointing of Jesus at the start of his ministry in Luke.
Finally, Jesus himself in the Gospel of Matthew gives us a major clue on how long it will take before his fellow Jews will be forgiven. And he does this by referencing the Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel. This is found in Matthew Chapter 18:
Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV)- Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Certainly we are now closer than ever before. The “time” is at hand for the the forgiveness, repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ by the Jews, and this will finally come to pass after the “seventy times seven” and “seven times” era fully comes to completion in the next few decades!