We now continue with our look at Daniel’s prophecy concerning the “seventy weeks”. First of all, it is quite obvious that we are not to take these as actual or literal days, because we know quite well that our Lord did not come, at his first advent, merely 490 days after the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, an impossible task.
These seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years, each SYMBOLIC day representing a year. And being so fulfilled in this, the only time prophecy directly relating to the first advent, it furnishes a key to some other prophecies, which until this KEY was properly understood have kept them hidden in SYMBOLIC NUMBERS, i.e. “a day for a year” (Compare Ezek 4:6; Num 13:44) until their DUE TIME had come for solution.
This prophecy was so worded that Daniel and other Jews might, if they chose, think it incredible, and in time forget it; or it might be remembered by those who “waited for the consolation of Israel,” and who might infer the time to be SYMBOLIC, as in the case of Ezekiel. Certain it is that faithful ones knew to expect Messiah; and it is even written that all men were in expectation of him (Luke 3:15), even if they were not all able to receive him in the way he came.
It should be noticed that the 69 symbolic weeks, or 483 years, reach unto Messiah the Prince, and not to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The Hebrew word “Messiah” corresponding to the Greek word “Christ”, signifies, The Anointed, and is a title rather than a name. Jesus was not the Anointed, the Messiah, the Christ, until after his baptism. Compare Acts 10:37, 38 and Matt 3:16. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit immediately on coming out of the water, (the symbolic representation of his surrendering or death of his personal will, for that of the Fathers). This was when he had attained manhood’s estate, which was at 30 years according to the Law, under which he was born, and to which he and every Jew was subject until he ended its dominion by fulfilling its conditions, i.e. “nailing it to his cross.”
Therefore the 69 weeks of this prophecy reach to the time of his baptism and anointing, from which time, and not before, he was the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed. Hence the 69 weeks, or 483 years, ended in the autumn of A.D. 29. And there that portion of the prophecy was fulfilled which says: “From the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (Dan 9:25), unto Messiah [the Anointed] the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two  weeks.” Beginning there we find the seventieth week fulfilled like the rest, a year for a day.
Most writers on this subject have commenced to count this period from the 7th year of Artaxerxes, when a commission was given to Ezra (Ezra 7: 7-14), supposed to be the enforcement of the decree of Cyrus. (Ezra 1:3; 5:13; 6:1-12) It should be noted, however, that Cyrus’ order was to build the house of the Lord, the Temple and its court wall. But there was another decree granted to Nehemiah in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (Neh 2:1) to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which at that time were still un-repaired. (Neh 2:3-8; 6:15; 7:1) And it is from this decree “to restore and build Jerusalem” that this prophecy of Daniel should be dated. The entire account harmonizes with this, there being but one seeming objection, in a prophecy concerning it by Isaiah, which had said of Cyrus, not only, “He shall let go my captives,” but also, “He shall build my city.” (Isa 45:13) This apparent objection we answer thus: The word here translated “city” is “ir”, and signifies a walled place. We understand the court walls of the Temple to be referred to here; and with this facts above referred to agree. The same word “ir” is rendered “court” in 2 Kings 20:4.
The date of Nehemiah’s commission is ordinarily stated to be B.C. 445. But Dr. Hale’s work on chronology (pages 449 and 531) and Dr. Priestlie’s treatise on the “Harmony of the Evangelists” (pages 24-38) show this common view to be 9 years short, which would give B.C.454 as the true date of Nehemiah’s commission; and with this date Daniel’s prediction (Chapter 9 verse 25), concerning the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, agrees.
Since 69 weeks (7 and 62), or 483 years, reach unto Messiah (the Anointed) the Prince, therefore from this period of 69 symbolic weeks, or 483 years, we deduct 454 years B.C. as the true date of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem; and the remainder 29 A.D. should be the year in which the Anointed (Messiah) would be manifested. This is in exact accord with what we have already shown, viz. that Jesus was baptized by John and received the anointing of the Spirit A.D. 29, about October 3rd, at which time he was 30 years of age, according to the true date of his birth. (See “Our Lord’s Birth” http://www.sickleoftruthblog.com/2016/12/25/our-lords-birth/)
We will continue with our next post.