The Messianic Time Table
Written by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
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Messiah would be present 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.
Messiah would be legally executed.
Messiah’s death would result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple
Messiah’s birth and death, therefore, must both have happened prior to 70 C.E.
The Seventieth Seven – 9:27
From where we stand in time today, the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy are still future, but it is with their conclusion that all six purposes of verse 24 will reach their fulfillment. The main points of the verse are as follows: first, the Seventieth Seven will begin only with the signing of a 7-year covenant or treaty between Israel and a major Gentile political leader. The pronoun “he” in verse 27 goes back to its nearest antecedent in verse 26, which is not the Messiah but “the prince who is to come.” This “prince” has been a topic of Daniel’s earlier prophecies in chapters 7-8. This political leader is better known to Christians as the Antichrist. Second, in the middle of the Seventieth Seven, that is, after 3 ½ years, this Gentile leader will break his treaty with Israel and cause a cessation of the sacrificial system. The implication here is that by this time, a Temple in Jerusalem will have been rebuilt; the sacrificial system of Moses will have been re-instituted, then be stopped by force. Third, the result of the breaking of this covenant is that the Temple will now be abominated. The “abomination” refers to an image or an idol. Just as it was in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, so it will be again in the future when a Gentile ruler will abominate the Temple by means of idolatry. Fourth, the “abomination” is to be followed by wrath and desolation, persecution and warfare, for the remaining half of the Seventieth Seven, or the final 3 ½ years. This is similar to the trials and tribulations the rabbis spoke of as preparation for the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. These terrible days were referred to as “the footsteps of the Messiah,” and also as “the birth-pangs of the Messiah.” Once those days have run their course, the last three things predicted in verse 24 will occur. The age of righteousness will be brought in; the most holy place will be anointed; and every vision and prophecy will be fulfilled. At this point the Messianic Kingdom for which the prophet Daniel yearned will be set up.
Obviously, the Messianic Kingdom requires the Messiah to rule as king. This means the Messiah will come after the Seventieth Seven. Yet earlier, Daniel stated that the Messiah would come and be killed after the Sixty-ninth Seven. This would appear to be a contradiction unless Daniel was speaking of two comings of the Messiah. The first time was to be after the Sixty-ninth Seven, when He would die a penal, substitutionary death for the sins of Israel and accomplish the first three purposes listed in verse 24. The second time, still future, was to be after the Seventieth Seven, when He will establish the Messianic Kingdom and accomplish the last three things of verse 24. There is also an important implication here that should not be missed: the Messiah would be killed after His First Coming, yet he would be alive at His Second Coming. The implication is that the Messiah would be resurrected from the dead after He was killed.
This dramatic prophecy features certain things in very clear and unmistakable terms. First, the Messiah was to be on earth 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Second, after His appearance on earth, He was to be killed – not for His own sins, but rather for those of others – and the death He would die was to be the death of the penalty of the Law. Third, the death of the Messiah had to come sometime before Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed again; this occurred in the year 70 C.E. Fourth, some time after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and following a long period of warfare, the Seventieth Seven will commence. Once that has run its course, Messiah’s Kingdom and age of righteousness will be established. For that to occur, the implication is that the Messiah who was killed would return again.
But who is this Messiah? Only one man fulfills all that is required in this passage: Yeshua of Nazareth. He was born into the Jewish world and proclaimed His messiahship 483 years after the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem was issued. In the year 30 C.E., Yeshua was executed by crucifixion. Daniel indicated that He would be cut off – not for Himself, but rather for others. Isaiah 53 also prophesied the death of the Messiah, pointing out that He would die a substitutionary death on behalf of His people Israel. The teaching of the New Testament is that Yeshua died a penal death by taking upon Himself the penalty of the Law as a substitute for His people. In keeping with Daniel 9:24, He died for the purpose of making an atonement for sins. Three days after His death, He was resurrected. Finally, the New Testament proclaims the fact that He will someday return to set up His kingdom and the age of righteousness.
If Daniel was right, then Messiah came and died prior to the year 70 C.E. If Daniel was right, then there are no other options for who the Messiah is: Yeshua of Nazareth. If Daniel was right, this Yeshua is destined to return and to set up the Messianic Kingdom.