#309. Dan. 9:25...Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem... John 12:12-13
If this is supposedly a prophecy that Jesus fulfilled -- the Temple was destroyed about 40 years after his death, not 483 years before his death.
In other words: Jesus did not announce anything to anyone about the Temple being destroyed 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem.
What of Daniel? Did he say 483 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the Temple's destruction.
That is not what Daniel says.
"Know and comprehend: From the emergence of the word to return and to build Jerusalem until the anointment of the prince will be seven septets, and fir sixty-two septets it will be rebuilt, street and moat but in troubled times." Daniel 9:25.
Not 483 years.
Seven septets (shavuim) and sixty-two septets (shavuim).
Daniel 9:26 says “after the sixty-two septets."
Not sixty-nine (483 years).
The first seven are separated from the sixty-two both grammatically and in the text itself. Grammatically there is an etnach (like a semi-colon, a "stop") in Daniel 9:25 "Know and comprehend: From the emergence of the word to return and to build Jerusalem until the anointment of the prince will be seven septets (שָׁבֻעִ֖ים / shavuim); (ETNACH / STOP) and for sixty-two septets (וְשָׁבֻעִ֞ים / v'shavuim) it will be rebuilt, street and moat, but in troubled times."
The 1611 King James had the semi-colon, but later versions ignored it. This ignoring of the grammar is still happening. The NASB translation has "there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks" -- ignoring the stop after seven weeks. Some have a comma -- but not a "stop" as a semi-colon or period would show. . .
If Daniel wanted to say sixty-nine he would have said sixty-nine. Daniel specified seven septets (shavuim) and sixty-two septets (shavuim).
The word to rebuild Jerusalem was given by Cyrus, the ruler of Persia, in 537 BCE (3387 AC). This is mentioned in the T'nach in
Divrei Hayamim Beit / 2 Chronicles 36:22 -23 "And in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, at the completion of the word of the L-rd in the mouth of Jeremiah, the L-rd aroused the spirit of Cyrus the king of Persia, and he issued a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying: "So said Cyrus the king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth has the L-rd G-d of the heavens delivered to me, and He commanded me to build Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judea. Who among you is of all His people, may the L-rd his G-d be with him, and he may ascend."
We are told this again in Ezra 1:1 - 2: "And in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, at the completion of the word of the L-rd from the mouth of Jeremiah, the L-rd aroused the Spirit of Cyrus, the king of Persia, and he issued a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also in writing, saying: So said Cyrus, the king of Persia, 'All the kingdoms of the earth the L-rd G-d of the heavens delivered to me, and He commanded me to build Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judea."
The Temple was destroyed in 68 CE. Since Cyrus gave the word to rebuild the Temple in 537 BCE this totals 605 years, not 483.
Since these numbers don't fit the missionary narrative they ignore Cyrus and choose a different starting point. They a different starting point, that of a decree by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah mentioned i n Nechamiah / Nehemiah 2:1 - 8. This would be 445/444 BCE (3479/3480 AC).
This date is incorrect -- but it is certainly closer in trying to "fit" the vision to Jesus. The problem is that the dates still don't fit Jesus.
445 BCE as a starting point + 68 CE (the date of the Temple's destruction) equals 513 years -- not 483.
Add 483 to 444 (BCE) and you arrive at 37 CE. Jesus, if born in the year "zero" would have been 37 -- and he died at 33. Many Christians say Jesus was born in 4 BCE (this has to do with Herod who died in 4 BCE) -- and that would put Jesus at age 41 in the year 37 CE -- but again, he supposedly died at the age of 33!
The dates don't work for Jesus even if you "pick" the latest possible starting date for 483 years. . .
The claim that the dates fit Jesus are flat out wrong.
How do we know that the starting point is Cyrus and not Artaxerxes ?
Remember the prophet Isaiah?
Y'shayahu / Isaiah 44:28. "Who says of Cyrus, "He is My shepherd, and all My desire he shall fulfill," and to say of Jerusalem, "It shall be built, and the Temple shall be founded."
Y'shayahu / Isaiah 45:1. "So said HaShem to His messiah, to Cyrus, whose right hand I held, to flatten nations before him, and the loins of kings I will loosen, to open portals before him, and gates shall not be closed."
G-d's messiah, Cyrus, (the first messiah mentioned in Daniel 9, will give the word "to say of Jerusalem, "It shall be built, and the Temple shall be founded."
In verse Y'shayahu / Isaiah 44:28. Cyrus is clearly referenced as the person who is to deliver the edict to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Also, in Y'shayahu / Isaiah 45:1 Cyrus is clearly called G-d's anointed (Messiah).
Josephus, the first century historian, wrote: "In the first year of the reign of Cyrus which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon, G-d commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people, according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the prophet, before the destruction of the city, that after they had served Nebuchadnezzar and his posterity, and after they had undergone that servitude seventy years, he would restore them again to the land of their fathers, and they should build their temple, and enjoy their ancient prosperity. And these things G-d did afford them; for he stirred up the mind of Cyrus, and made him write this throughout all Asia: "Thus said Cyrus the king: Since G-d Almighty has appointed me to be king of the habitable earth, I believe that he is that G-d which the nation of the Israelites worship; for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets, and that I should build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea."
2000 years ago we knew the starting point was Cyrus.
Cyrus' edict - by secular accounts - was issued in 537 BCE, exactly 7 weeks (or 49 years) after Babylon's sack of Jerusalem. It's a perfect fit for Daniel 9.
However, 62 or 63 weeks (or 414-421 years) after Cyrus puts us into the years 116-123 BCE, about 150 years before Jesus.
Missionaries ignore Isaiah. They ignore Josephus. They can't accept Cyrus as the starting point even though it is IN the T'nach. It is just WAY too early to fit Jesus hence it must be ignored. But even ignoring Cyrus the dating does not fit Jesus' timeline -- definitely not "to the day" as the list maker claims!
There is also a discrepancy between Jewish and secular dating (165 year variance) that should be considered. Some missionaries even made up (wholly fictional) a 360 day year. . . this never existed in Judaism. . . For a detailed analysis I suggest reading R' Moshe Shulman's excellent article on the Daniel 9 Chronology.
The missionaries are right about one thing: this vision is about a messiah who died 2000 years ago.
It is also about a messiah who lived 2500+ years ago.
Daniel was sitting in exile -- and he was wondering when that exile would end.
The vision he was given told him when the word to rebuild the Temple would be given (heralding the end of the exile) -- but warning if the Jews did not " terminate transgression, to end sin, to wipe away iniquity, to anoint the Holy of Holies" there would be an evil messiah who would bookend a second, much longer, exile.
That second messiah would be "יִכָּרֵ֥ת / yikkarét / he will be cut off and will exist no longer; " The Hebrew here is כרת -- kareit and it is a spiritual punishment because it is carried out by G-d -- an excommunication of the soul. . . This word is not used to speak of human's killing another human (as in execution). A few messiahs of 2000 years ago could fit this description. Some opine that it was Agrippa or the high priest (kohein gadol) Yannai -- both of whom lost their positions in the time frame in question.
In any case the claim that Jesus "fulfilled" a non-existent vision relating to 483 years let alone "to the exact day" is false.
From the Artscroll Stone Edition T'nach translation:
"In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus of the offspring of Media, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans,
9:2. in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, contemplated the calculations, the number of years about which the word of HaShem had come to the prophet Jeremiah, to complete the seventy years since the ruin of Jerusalem.
9:3. I set my face toward the L-rd, G-d, to beseech (with) prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. . .
9:21. I was still speaking in prayer, when the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, was lifted in flight approaching me, at about the time of the afternoon offering.
9:22. He made me understand and spoke with me. He said: Daniel, I have gone forth now to teach you understanding.
9:23. At the beginning of your supplications a word went forth, and I have come to relate it for you are beloved. Contemplate this matter and gain understanding in your vision.
9:24. Seventy septets (שָׁבֻעִ֖ים / shavuim) have been decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to terminate transgression, to end sin, to wipe away iniquity, to anoint the Holy of Holies.
9:25. Know and comprehend: From the emergence of the word to return and to build Jerusalem until the anointment of the prince will be seven septets (שָׁבֻעִ֖ים / shavuim) and for sixty-two septets (וְשָׁבֻעִ֞ים / v'shavuim) it will be rebuilt, street and moat, but in troubled times.
9:26. Then, after the sixty-two septets (הַשָּׁבֻעִים֙ / ha-shavuim) , the anointed one (messiah) will be cut off and will exist no longer; the people of the prince will come and destroy the city and the Sanctuary; but his end will be (to be swept away as) in a flood. Then, until the end of the war, desolation is decreed.
9:27. He will forge a strong covenant with the great ones for one septet (shavuim); but for half of that septet (שָׁב֣וּעַ / shavua) he will abolish sacrifice and meal-offering and the mute abominations will be upon soaring heights until extermination. as decreed will pour down upon the mute (abomination).
9:1 This is Darius the Mede, not Darius the Persian whose parents were King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther. According to the Talmud, this vision took place in the seventieth year after Nebuchadnezzar's subjugation of Jeconiah, eighteen years before the destruction of the Temple.
9:2 See Y'rmiyahu / Jeremiah 29:10.
9:24 Literally "seventy weeks," this phrase refers to seventy times seven years, or 490 years. This refers to the seventy years of exile that have passed from the Destruction of the First Temple until this vision and the entire 420 year period of the Second Temple (Rashi).
9:25. The "septets" (shavuim) refer to full seven-year periods. The prince of this verse is Cyrus, who gave permission to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. He ascended to the throne fifty-two years (seven full septets plus three years) after the exile had begun. From then until the second destruction of Jerusalem was 438 years, or sixty-two septets and four years (Rashi).
9:26. I.e. Agrippa, the last Jewish king, at the end of the Second Temple Era. After his death, the prince of this verse, the Roman Titus, would command the destruction of the Temple, which will not be rebuilt until after the War of Gog and Magog, in Messianic times (Rashi).
9:27. The Roman emperor would make a treaty with the Jewish nation for seven years; but for the second half of that term the Romans would violate that covenant and impede the Temple service. The "mute abomination," i.e., a temple of idolatry, was erected by the emperor Hadrian on the Temple Mount (Rashi).