Daniel 9:24-26.

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My Dear Brother,
I beg to submit to your consideration, and that of the readers of the “Bible Treasury,” the following reflections on the subject of Daniel's seventy weeks, or rather of the sixty-nine weeks. If the Lord enables me to contribute any true thoughts on this subject, I shall be very thankful. Concerning Himself, as it so directly and immediately does, it cannot but be of the greatest interest to the Christian. We all agree that the seventy weeks date their commencement from the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, according to Neh. 2; but I have never seen a satisfactory elucidation of this period with respect to dates. This has caused me no little consideration, and with the result which I here lay, not dogmatically, but tentatively, before you. To me the matter has been rendered more difficult by the fact that the birth of our Savior was really three years before the nominal epoch; for it is evident that historical reckoning is affected by this circumstance. I also assume that the date of the accession of Artaxerxes (Longimanus) was 464 B.C. (common reckoning).
Before entering upon the computation, there are two or three introductory remarks I wish to make. In the first place, it does not appear that the birth or life of our Lord is referred to in Daniel, but only the crucial fact, or period, of His death. (Chap. 9: 24-26.) The prophet refers elsewhere to what would follow in due season, as also to political events preceding His being “cut off,” but he nowhere refers explicitly to the birth or life of our Lord. In the next place he refers to Him as “Messiah, the Prince” (chap. 9: 25), that is, as the royal Son of David. Moreover, the wicked king, or direct opposer of Christ as king, is spoken of in chapter 11: 39. It is as the Prince, as the rightful King, that Christ is spoken of, not as Prophet, or as Priest. Hence the Antichrist, but as the wicked king, is also brought upon the scene, and all is connected with Jerusalem, whether locally, or as to dates.
At His birth Jesus was announced as the Christ, and as the Son of God. Also at His baptism He was acknowledged as Son of man and Son of God. Thus there could be no mistake as to His personal glory. But I believe the terminus ad gum (as to the sixty-nine weeks) was not at His birth, or at His baptism, but at the formal presentation of Christ to Jerusalem as the King, the Son of David, as recorded in Matt. 21, John 12, and which was followed by His cleansing the temple. But the city of the great king as formally refused Him. This is the event we are, it appears to me, to reckon to, and His death, following almost immediately, leaves no great gap which the word “after” otherwise implies in, “after the three-score and ten weeks shall Messiah be cut off.” His presentation to Jerusalem as King, and as Son of David, and rejection, followed immediately by His death, is the grand point in the prophecy or revelation made to the prophet. The Messiah is at once brought into view, not as Prophet, but as King, and that in connection with Jerusalem, and He is rejected and “cut off.” No sojourn of His in the world (so precious to us) is alluded to.
Now as to the reckoning. Assuming that Artaxerxes came to the throne in B.C. 464, and allowing that the birth of Christ was three years before the nominal epoch, we find that the twentieth year of Artaxerxes would be 441 years before the actual birth of Christ. To this we should have to add 33, or rather 35, years (as it is usual in scripture to include parts of the first and last years as entire years), so that we get in all 476 years, and reducing these to prophetical years of 360 days to the year, the 476 become 483 years, that is, taking the complete number. But multiplying 69 by 7 is equal to 483. Hence the period seems thus made out, on the assumption of the correctness of dates now probably pretty well authenticated.
Yours affectionately, J. B. P.