WHAT IS THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL?
In Daniel 9:24-27 it is written the following:
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after sixty-two weeks the Messiah shall be cut off, and shall not have: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and over the wings of the abominations will be the desolator, and until the consummation, and what is determined shall be poured upon the desolator.
In Daniel 9:25 it is written that since the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah Prince would be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.
Messiah means anointed, i.e. someone who was anointed with the holy anointing oil.
In Exodus 30:30 it is written that God commanded that the priests be anointed with the holy anointing oil.
Later, when God commanded that there be king in Israel, He ordered that the man chosen by Him to be king be anointed with the holy anointing oil, as we see in 1 Samuel 9:16, 10:1, 16:1 and 16:13 and in 1 Kings 1:39.
In 1 Kings 1:39 it is written that the anointing of king Solomon was made with oil of the Tabernacle, what proves that the oil used to anoint the king of Israel was the oil of holy anointing, mentioned in Exodus 30:22-33.
Jesus the Nazarene was not anointed with the holy anointing oil, because he was not a priest and was not anointed king.
Therefore, the Messiah mentioned in Daniel 9:25-26 cannot be Jesus the Nazarene.
The passage Daniel 9:24-27 shows that the Messiah Prince there mentioned would appear and would be cut off before the destruction of the Temple of God that occurred in the year 70 CE, because in Daniel 9:25 and in the first part of the verse Daniel 9:26 the Messiah Prince is mentioned and in Daniel 9:26 final part it is said that the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
In the period between the time in which God spoke these words to Daniel and the destruction of the Second Temple there was not in Israel any king of the dynasty of David.
Therefore, the Messiah Prince mentioned in Daniel 9:25-26 is not a king of the dynasty of David, but a priest who ruled.
Therefore, the Messiah Prince mentioned in Daniel 9:25-26 was one of the rulers of the dynasty of the Hasmoneans, who were priests and rulers at the same time.
The dynasty of the Hasmoneans began in 164 BCE, when Judah Maccabee, who was of the family of Hasmoneans, won the war against the Greeks of Syria and reconquered Jerusalem and purified the Temple of God, which had been desecrated by the Greeks of Syria. Thenceforth, Israel began to be ruled by priests of the dynasty of the Hasmoneans.
The going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem occurred in the year 539 BCE, when king Cyrus, of Persia, commanded the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and to build the Temple of God (Ezra 1:2-3).
The verses Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 and 45:13 prove that God considered the said command given by king Cyrus of Persia as being a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.
Therefore, the counting of the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks mentioned in Daniel 9:25, which give a total of sixty-nine weeks, starts from the year 539 BCE.
The weeks mentioned in Daniel 9:24-27 are sets of seven years, because the Hebrew word "shavua'", which is translated as "week", means a set of seven, because it is derived from the word shiv'ah, which means "seven", and could not be sets of seven days, because, if it were so, the sixty-nine weeks would have ended in an epoch in which there was no Messiah Prince, i.e., no anointed ruler, because there was no king of the dynasty of David, and also there was no priest ruler, and in Genesis 29:27-28 the word "shavua'" (week) is used to designate a set of seven years.
Therefore, the sixty-nine weeks mentioned in Daniel 9:25 correspond to sixty-nine sets of seven years, which gives a total of 483 years (69 * 7 = 483).
Counting 483 years from the year 539 BCE, one comes to the year 56 BCE (539 - 483 = 56).
Therefore, the Messiah Prince mentioned in Daniel 9:25-26 was the king Antigonus, son of king Aristobulus II, because in the year 63 BCE Antigonus was captured and taken to Rome, together with his father Aristobulus II, and in the year 57 BCE Antigonus escaped and returned to Judea, and in the year 40 BCE Antigonus was officially proclaimed king of Judea and high priest, and in the year 37 BCE Antigonus was defeated by the Romans and was executed by beheading. Antigonus was the last king of the Hasmonean dynasty.
Thus, the prophecy was fulfilled, because after the 69 weeks (483 years) the Messiah Prince was cut off, and he had no successor who was king of Judea.
The interpretation of the Christians, that says that the Messiah Prince mentioned in Daniel 9:25-26 would be cut off and would resurrect and would ascend to the heaven and would sit at the right hand of God and at the end of time will come to be the king of Israel, is a misinterpretation, because it is written in Daniel 9:26 "the Messiah shall be cut off, and shall not have", what shows that the there mentioned Messiah will not have the kingdom, so that he is not the same Messiah son of David who will be the king of Israel at the end of time, who is mentioned in other prophecies.
Moreover, the time of the life and the date of the death of Jesus the Nazarene do not coincide with the ending of the period of 69 weeks mentioned in Daniel 9:25-26, because Jesus the Nazarene was born at the time when Herod was king of Judea (Matthew 2:1 and Luke 1:5) and died when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea (Mathew 27:2, Mark 15:1 and Luke 23:1), and Herod became king of Judea in 37 BCE, and died in the year 4 BCE, and Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea since the year 26 CE until the year 36 CE, and the 69 weeks mentioned in Daniel 9:25 - 26, if counted from the order given by king Cyrus of Persia for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and reconstruct the Temple of God, that occurred in 539 BCE, would finish in the year 56 BCE (539 - 483 = 56), and if counted from the date when king Artaxerxes of Persia sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem to build it (Nehemiah 2:5-6), what occurred in the year 445 BCE, would finish in the year 38 CE (445 - 483 = -38), when Pontius Pilate was not governor of Judea anymore.
The Christians say that, if all years are computed as having only 360 days, the 483 years would finish in the year 31 CE. However, the years have 365,25 days, and not 360 days, and in the Jewish calendar, that is the calendar used in the Bible, some years have less than 365,25 days and others have more than 365,25 days, but on average, the years have 365,25 days, because God commanded that the Feast of the Unleavened Breads be celebrated always in the first month of the year (Exodus 12:18), and that the first month of the year be the month of Abib (Exodus 12:2 and 13:4), that is the month of the beginning of the spring, because in Hebrew abib means spring, so that is necessary that the years have 365,25 days on average, in order that the first month always coincide with the beginning of the spring.
The Christians say that the years must be computed as having only 360 days, because in Genesis 7:11 and 7:24 and 8:4 it is written that the flood lasted five months, and that the flood lasted 150 days, what gives 30 days for each month, so that 12 months would have 360 days. However, the fact that those 5 months had 30 days does not mean that all months of that year had 30 days, nor that every year has 12 months, because in the Jewish calendar, that is the biblical calendar, there are months that have 30 days and there are months that have 29 days, because all months must start at the time of the new moon, because month in Hebrew is “chodesh”, that means “new moon”, and there are years that have 13 months, because always the first month must coincide with the beginning of the spring, as already explained above, so that, on average, the years have 365,25.
The second part of the verse Daniel 9:26 was fulfilled when the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of God, in the year 70 CE.
After the Temple of God, in Jerusalem, is rebuilt, will be fulfilled what is predicted in the verse Daniel 9:27, i.e., a Roman prince will appear, who will strengthen a covenant with many for one week, i.e. for seven years, and in the half of the week, i.e. after three and a half years, he will cause to cease the sacrifice and the offering in the Temple of God, and the desolator will be over the wing of the abominations, and then God will destroy the desolator.
Yahveh bless you.
João Paulo Fernandes Pontes (Hebrew name: Yochanan Ben Yosef).
Published in January 28, 2014.
Updated in May 30, 2015.