Daniel 9

How does Daniel 9, specifically the vision given to Daniel point us to Jesus? Lets work through it.

24 “Seventy weeks have been determined 

concerning your people and your holy city 

to put an end to rebellion, 

to bring sin to completion, 

to atone for iniquity, 

to bring in perpetual righteousness, 

to seal up the prophetic vision, 

and to anoint a Most Holy Place.

25 So know and understand: 

From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild 

Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, 

there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. 

It will again be built, with plaza and moat, 

but in distressful times.

26 Now after the sixty-two weeks, 

an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. 

As for the city and the sanctuary, 

the people of the coming prince will destroy them. 

But his end will come speedily like a flood. 

Until the end of the war that has been decreed 

there will be destruction.

27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. 

But in the middle of that week 

he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. 

On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, 

until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”

Daniel 9.24-27, NET

Gabriel unfolds the future for D as if it were a calendar of successive weeks. 

Seventy weeks have been determined

There is almost universal agreement among Bible scholars that this refers to seventy sets of seven years, so 70 x 7 = 490 years.

In ancient Hebrew, “weeks” simply refers to a unit of seven. Whereas people today think in units of tens (e.g., decades), Daniel’s people thought in terms of sevens (heptads). Since Daniel had been thinking of God’s program in terms of years,  (v.1, cf. Jeremiah 25.11-12), it would be most natural for him to understand these “weeks” as years. Really simply too, if days were intended we would expect Daniel to have said so, as he did in 10.2-3, wherein he wrote literally, “three sevens of days”.

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks. I ate no choice food, no meat or wine came to my lips, nor did I anoint myself with oil until the end of those three weeks.

So, Seventy weeks56 have been determined concerning your people and your holy city…” This prophecy, then, is concerned not with world history or church history, but with the history of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. Straight away in this vision we have a context, a world that this will take place in, the world of God’s people at the time, the Israelites and the holy city, Jerusalem.

This time has been decided,

  • To put an end to rebellion and sin
  • To atone for iniquity
  • To bring in perpetual righteousness
  • To seal up a prophetic vision 
  • To anoint a Most Holy Place

In Old Testament times and thinking, sealing something up is a sign of authentication, not of wrapping something up like a gift to be hidden from prying eyes.

Then Gabriel says look Daniel, know and understand

From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild 

Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, 

there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. 


The starting point for this prophecy then is the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.There is only really one command that fits here, 

Artaxerxes made a decree giving Nehemiah permission, safe passage and supplies to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the walls in 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

Not just the temple to be rebuilt as in Ezra, not just being allowed to leave, but to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Now the clock is ticking. For how long?

From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks

7 weeks and 62 weeks = 69 weeks. 69 periods of 7 years until an anointed one, a prince arrives. From the command to rebuild, until an anointed one, a Messiah, arrives, will be 483 years. (Are you writing all these numbers down? Are you doing a bit of Messianic mathematics?).

Some say the 483 years were completed at the time of Jesus’ birth (5 or 4 B.C.).

Dates don’t match.

Some say the 483 years were completed at His baptism, at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

Dates don’t match.

Some say the 483 years were completed at the triumphal entry of Jesus.

This, matches.

Are you ready for some serious Messianic mathematics?

First, calendars at the time had 360 days.

360 x 483 years = how many days? 173,880 days – write that one down.

Artaxerxes, the king who gave the order to go and rebuild in Nehemiah 2, started his reign in 465 B.C. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given on the first day of Nisan, in the 20th year of Artaxerxes. In our calendar system and language (the Julian calendar) that date is March 14, 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2.1)

Are you with me so far?

Jesus started His public ministry, as it’s known, in the 15th year of Tiberius (see Luke 3.1)., which was A.D. 29. 

Theologian Sir Robert Anderson believed that Jesus celebrated four Passovers during this adult public ministry, and His final Passover, according to Anderson, was in A.D. 32. Looking at old calendars and what not this puts Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which you can read about in the Gospel according Matthew, and Mark, and Luke, and John, as April 6, A.D. 32.

We’ve now got two dates there in our calendars – March 14, 445 B.C. and  April 6, A.D. 32.

From March 14, 445 B.C. when the command went out, to the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem April 6, A.D. 32. the total number of days including leap years and what not is 173,880 days.

Gabriel said

From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild 

Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, 

there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. 

Jesus rides in to Jerusalem fulfilling the prophecy to the day. 

The end goal of this prophecy is the appearance of the Anointed One, the Messiah, the coming Divine Ruler. Jesus rides in and fulfils this, to the day.

“Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!”

Matthew 21.9, NET

Yes, that is specifically concerning the nation of Israel, God’s covenantal family of people from which this anointed one came, but because of the fact that He was cut off not just for the Israelites, not just for the Hebrews, but also for the sins of the whole worldyou too can have eternal life. 

You too can ultimately, one day, live in perpetual righteousness

You too can be counted as God’s people.

You too can be forgiven, your iniquity can be atoned for.

You too can be redeemed.

And just like God’s people here in Daniel 9, there is nothing you have done, nor is there anything you can do to earn it.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: