Friday, October 28, 2016

Daniel, part 2, An Amazing Mathematical Mystery Solved

Let’s solve a mystery.

Daniel 9: 24-27:

 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
 25 “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. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The seventy “sevens” are divided into seven “sevens” and sixty-two “sevens” in verse 25. Later in verse 27 the last “seven” is addressed. What are these sevens?
They are years.

Working from March 14, 445 B. C. (the date of Artaxerxes' second decree according to our calendar), it has been calculated by the use of astronomical calendars and charts that the day of the coming of the Messiah was April 6, A. D. 32. The timing of the Jewish new moons by which the Passovers are determined had to be considered in order to figure out that this was the accurate date that Christian scholars agree on. 

Between the decree of Artaxerxes and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is a period of 477 years and 24 days. To fit the prophecy it needs to be 483 years (7 x 7 + 62 x 7 = 483 Jewish years, Jewish years are 360 days, then 483 x 360 days = 173,880 days). After deducting one year to account for the fact that 1  B. C. and A. D. 1 are not two years but one, that leaves a total of 476 years 24 days or a total of 173,764 days. Oops, that’s still not the necessary 173,880 days.

But wait! When you add 119 days to this figure to include the 119 leap years represented by 476 years, then that results in a figure of 173,883 days. Closer, but three days too many. Hmm, someone realized that the Julian calendar (which we base our 365 day year on) is slightly inaccurate compared to an actual solar year. Well, well, well, someone by the name of Sir Robert Anderson checked with the Royal Observatory in London and found that a 365 day year exceeds a solar year by 1/128th of a day. That fraction of 476 years is three days, which when subtracted from 173,883 yields a difference of 173,880 days. Hooray! I mean, Hallelujah! That is exactly the number of days predicted in Daniel 9:25! Mystery solved.

Since Jesus was crucified after the end of the sixty-ninth week we still have one more “week of sevens” or seven years left. (Dan. 9:24). Verse 27 says that “he” (the Antichrist) "shall confirm the covenant with many.”  That hasn’t happened yet and so we find a long, long gap of time between the 69th and the 70th weeks. Guess what? We are living in that gap right now. The last “seven” will be the seven years of Tribulation. When will it begin? Watch and listen because it will begin when the Antichrist comes to confirm a covenant with Israel (v. 27).