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Mike Humphrey wrote:

Hi, guys —

Over the past few weeks, I've been reading Roy Schoeman's book: Salvation is from the Jews.
I highly recommend it! As you may know, Roy is a convert from Judaism.

On Page 81 and 82 he talks about the prophecy of Daniel in Chapter 9:24-27:

24 ‘Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seal on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting uprightness for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy, for anointing the holy of holies. 25 Know this, then, and understand: From the time there went out this message: “Return and rebuild Jerusalem” to the coming of an Anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty–two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble. 26 And after the sixty–two weeks an Anointed One put to death without his . . . city and sanctuary ruined by a prince who is to come. The end of that prince will be catastrophe and, until the end, there will be war and all the devastation decreed. 27 He will strike a firm alliance with many people for the space of a week; and for the space of one half–week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and on the wing of the Temple will be the appalling abomination until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator.'

The Hebrew evokes idols of Baal. Antiochus set up a statue of Zeus in the Temple.

In the book he explains:

A few keys are necessary to decipher this passage. The Hebrew for "week" is the same word for "seven", and a day represents one year; hence "seven weeks" is 49 years, "sixty-two weeks is 434 years, and "seventy weeks" is 490 years. The "going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem" refers to the order of King Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem recorded in Ezra 7:11-26, which was given in 458 B.C. It took exactly "seven weeks", or 49 years, to complete the building of the walls of Jerusalem, indicated by the fact that 49 years after Artaxerxes' decree, or in 409 B.C., Nehemiah ended his appointment as governor of Judah. Adding another sixty-two weeks, or 434 years, brings us to 26 A.D., which is the year which many, including the ancient Church historian Bishop Eusebius, give as the date of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan by John and the beginning of His public ministry. Then, in the "half of the week" — that is, three and a half years later — the "victim and the sacrifice shall fail". And it was about three years and four months after Jesus' baptism that He was crucified, at which time the Temple veil was rent in two as a sign that the Temple sacrifices would henceforth fail. (The fact that the Temple sacrifices failed at the time of the crucifixion is further confirmed in a passage in the Talmud — in Rosh Hashanah 31b) Then within a generation later, the Romans came and destroyed the Temple and the entire city of Jerusalem and sent the Jews into exile, fulfilling the verse, "a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation."

Pages 82 — 83

To break down the math and clarify of what I have quoted above:

[ 1 week = 7 years ]
[ 1/2 week = 3.5 years ]

So....
  7 weeks equal  49 years or (7 * 7 years)
62 weeks equal 434 years or (62 * 7 years)
70 weeks equal 490 years or (70 * 7 years)

Per Daniel 9:24-27

The "going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem" refers to the order of King Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem recorded in Ezra 7:11-26, which was given in 458 B.C. It took exactly "seven weeks", or 49 years, to complete the building of the walls of Jerusalem, indicated by the fact that 49 years after Artaxerxes' decree, or in 409 B.C., Nehemiah ended his appointment as governor of Judah.

From Page 82, above

458 B.C. - 49 B.C. = 409 B.C.

Adding another sixty-two weeks, per Daniel 9:26; or 434 years, brings us to 26 A.D., which is the year which many, including the ancient Church historian Bishop Eusebius, give as the date of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan by John and the beginning of His public ministry.

From Pages 82 — 83, above

409 B.C. - 434 B.C. = 25 A.D. or 26 A.D.

26 And after the sixty–two weeks, an Anointed One was put to death. (Daniel 9:26)

Then, in the "half of the week" — that is, three and a half years later — the "victim and the sacrifice shall fail". And it was about three years and four months after Jesus' baptism that He was crucified, at which time the Temple veil was rent in two as a sign that the Temple sacrifices would henceforth fail.

From Page 83, above

25 A.D. or 26 A.D. + 3.5 = 28.5 or 29.5, not 33 A.D. when Our Blessed Lord died on the Cross?

Small note: So the 70 weeks are a definite period divided into three parts:

  • 7 +
  • 62 +
  • {1 / 1.5}

When I read this part of Roy's book, being a Math minor, I was frustrated when the Math didn't come out exactly, but in my 1954 Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture for this Chapter,
the author notes:

"As these prophecies were uttered between the year 605-588 B.C. It is from these broad limits that the seven weeks are to be reckoned. We purposely allow this latitude to the terminus a quo because we do not attach a strict mathematical value to the number of weeks."

  • Can someone help me understand the math behind the prophecy of Daniel 9?

Mike

  { Can someone help me understand the math behind the prophecy of Daniel 9? }

Roy Schoeman replied:

Hi, Mike —

Glad you like the book.

RE: Page 82 — The resolution lies in the fact that Jesus was, most probably, born in 4B.C.

For one thing, King Herod died in 4 B.C. and both St. Luke and St. Matthew say that Jesus was born during his reign.

Our system of numbering years was only developed by Denys le Petit in 527 A.D. It was a complicated process, dependent on using other calendars based on the reign of Roman emperors, and Denys apparently erred.

For an exhaustive study of the problem, see (among other possible sources):

Jésus-Christ dans l'histoire by Arthur Loth.

There does not seem to be any disagreement about Herod's death date, so 4 B.C. is the latest that Jesus could have been born.

Roy Schoeman

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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