Fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest gifts and signs of God’s influence that the church has today. God’s revelation to Daniel in chapter nine inspires prayer, reverence, and assurance of God’s love and story. Here is one part of the prophecy and the explanation of its unfolding.
Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times. — Daniel 9:25 NLT
The Hebrew word shabua means a period of seven, either seven days, a week, or seven years. Both periods of time were important on the Hebrew calendar and both concluded with a sabbath. The weekly sabbath is more familiar, but every seven years the fields were to lay unharvested or have a year of rest too.
Daniel is told that a period of time will pass that equals seven sevens and sixty-two sevens. Let’s look at this mathematically — information sourced from the booklet How Do We Know Jesus Is God? By Ralph O. Muncaster, pg 26, from Harvest House Publishers copyright 2000.
7 sevens + 62 sevens = 69 sevens of years.
69 sevens x 7 = 483 years.
483 years x 360 days (the Hebrew calendar was for a 360 day year) = 173,880 days.
The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes on March 14, 445 B.C. (the first day of Nisan from the Hebrew calendar that year — Nehemiah 2:1-7). This was 90 years after Daniel’s revelation.
Transfer those 173,880 days to our modern calendars by dividing by 365 days of the year. With adjustments for leap years, and the final scientific adjustment (leap year dropped every 128 years), this number of days brings us from March 14, 445 B.C. to a day that the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England confirms to have been the Sunday before Passover, April 6, 32 A.D. This was Palm Sunday.
Now consider Jesus’ words from Luke 19:41-44 NIV.
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes…44 because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’”
God announced the day the Anointed One, Jesus, would enter Jerusalem, but the people missed it. We have a record of this amazing prophecy given 566 years prior to its fulfillment. Daniel’s response to being amazed by the Scriptures at the beginning of chapter nine lead him directly to prayer. May our hearts be like Daniel’s, compelled to praise and thank God for how he reveals himself so clearly through prophecy given and fulfilled.
Pastor John Riley
Jr. High Ministry