Open Letter to Prophecy Teachers – RE: Daniel 9

An Open Letter To  Arno Froese, Chuck Missler, David Reagan, Dave Hunt, Tim LaHaye , Hal Lindsey, Todd Strandberg, Terry James, Jack Kelley, Sean Osborne

Dear Prophecy Teachers,

Just over twenty years ago, I attended my first prophecy conference in Orlando, Florida.  My mother, bless her heart, knew of my interest in Bible prophecy and for my eighteenth birthday she bought me a plane ticket to the Orlando conference.  That gift and the subsequent weekend was, in part, the catalyst for a lifelong love of Biblical history and Bible prophecy.  I will never forget stepping into the conference room that first day and realizing I was the only young person there. That fact was the impetus for one of the highlights of that day; during lunch break that day, Arno Froese and Texe Marrs invited me to lunch.  Their graciousness and genuine interest was something I will never forget.

Gentlemen, some of you are considered the patriarchs of Bible prophecy of my generation. If there is one point, besides the expectation of Yeshua’s return, that you have stressed over the years it was that each of us are responsible, as Bereans, to search the Scriptures to see if what you’ve taught is based upon a sound Scriptural foundation.  That admonishment is the reason for this letter.

Of all the prophecies in the Bible, Daniel’s Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9), is the only one which links the coming of the Messiah with specific dateable events.  This prophecy is also a cornerstone for a large part of today’s eschatological thought.  Without Daniel 9, we would have to reconsider much of what we believe about the 7 year “covenant,” the “tribulation,“ and the “anti-christ.”  Our understanding of the Book of Revelation would also have to be changed. To put it bluntly, without the prophecy of Seventy Weeks most of us would not recognize Bible prophecy as we know it today.

This brings me to a troubling question concerning many of the teachings on Daniel 9.  Most lay the chronological foundation for Daniel 9 upon the belief that Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of “Artaxerxes” Longimanus.   Considering this chronology is the foundational premise of most interpretations, it would be reasonable to assume its factual basis would be established on a footing commensurate with its importance.  How many have adequately addressed the following Scriptural challenges the chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah present to the premise that Artaxerxes = Longimanus:

  • Ezra 6:13-14
  • The two “Artaxerxes” in the book of Ezra. (One of them was an imposter)
  • Historically Darius “the Great” was known as “Artaxerxes”.
  • The natural chronological flow between Ezra 6 & 7
  • The death of Ezra’s father Seraiah.
  • The age of the Jewish leaders who returned with Joshua and Zerubabbel
  • Talmon and Akkub the porters.
  • The contemporaneous relationship of Ezra and the high priests.
  • The “Queen” mentioned in Nehemiah

Gentlemen, the evidence shows that by no reasonable rendering of the Old Testament chronological facts could Ezra and Nehemiah have been contemporaries of “Artaxerxes” Longimanus.  It is time to deal with the implications of the evidence.  Surely, the greatest messianic prophecy of the Scripture deserves a better foundation than the one it has been given.

In closing, let me say that at no point in the past forty one years of my life have I been more convinced that we are living in the generation that will see the literal return of Yeshua.  I also believe, despite the challenges which need to be addressed above, Daniel 9 and the Seventy Weeks prophecy proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Yeshua is the Messiah promised in the Scriptures.

Sincerely,
William Struse

Authors Note: Over the coming weeks I will be writing a series of articles on the 2nd temple era chronology as it relates to Daniel 9 and the Seventy Weeks prophecy.

 

 

More Articles related to the prophecy of 70 Weeks and 2nd temple era chronology:
The “Artaxerxes” Assumption – The best kept secret of Old Testament chronology.
The Fifth Command – Why do prophecy teachers ignore it?
Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part I – Defining “Artaxerxes” in the context of Ezra.
Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part II – Ezra, Darius even “Artaxerxes”.
Nehemiah: The Governor– Nehemiah’s place in the 2nd temple chronology
Queen of Persia – Part I – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
Queen of Persia – Part II – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
A New Testament Cipher – The key to unlocking the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.
Ezekiel’s 13th Month– Key to understanding Biblical “time” in the 2nd Temple era
6 milestones – Seventy Weeks - Defining the purpose of the Messiah within Daniel’s 70 “weeks”.
The Messiah Factors (Part I): Decoding 13 & 14 - Symbolism of the Messiah
The Messiah Factors (Part II): The Countdown - Proving Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah promised in Daniel 9.

 

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Editing for this article was provided by Bradley Rohr at:
PES

9 thoughts on “Open Letter to Prophecy Teachers – RE: Daniel 9

  1. Authors Note: In my emails to the prophecy teachers mentioned in the letter above I promised to post their replies here at my blog. The first reply came from Sean Osborne at Eschatology Today. I have reproduced it in it’s entirely below.

  2. William, the answer to your question is Ptolemy’s Canon. This canon provides us with all of our historical dates and matches the Bible perfectly. It is based upon thousands of astronomical events making the dates and the years in which differing kings ruled irrefutable. This includes Artaxerxes Longimanus. Some of the events listed in the canon have only occurred once in all of human history. There are no years missing or added in the canon. It is an impossibility to do so. The solar and lunar eclipses along with the stars and their conjunctions have no gaps. Neither does the canon. You might claim that this is a secular document and not Biblical… But that is the very thing that makes it irrefutable… It matches the Biblical record perfectly. Ptolemy had no interest in theology. His interest was astronomy. He had no theological bent, ax to grind or prophetic theory to prove.
    As for other theories on Daniel 9, they are abundant. Yet, truth has a way of proving itself over the course of time. I will tell you bluntly that Sir Robert Andreson was 99.9% correct and it is provable beyond any and all doubt. It appears by what you have written so far that you may be failing to address numerous aspects of the prophecy and are only focused on basics. As an example: “chârûwts” do you know what this is? If you are dealing with Daniel 9 you should. It is critical. Archeology provides the answer.

  3. Good Evening Michael,

    Sorry it took me so long to reply. I’ve had a busy couple of days. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
    My Open Letter does not question the veracity of the Persian period. Rather it questions the basis upon which Bible scholars and teachers have made their “Artaxerxes Assumption”. I am simply asking for reasonable Biblical evidence to support the belief that Longimanus was the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah and Ezra.

    In my article Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part 1 I provided real Biblical evidence to show which Persian king most reasonably qualifies as the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra. In my next article Ezra: Priest& Scribe – Part 2 I will show that the book of Ezra is a chronologically congruent account of the events surrounding the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem. An account I might add without any special gaps or added Persian kings.

    Regarding your position on Ptolemy’s Canon, we are in agreement in principle. We could argue a year or two here and there but overall his list is impressively accurate. I have never questioned the historical legitimacy of Cyrus, Darius, Longimanus, Memnon or any other Persian ruler. As you most accurately describe, the eclipse records taken as a whole, confirm the length of the Persian kingdom. One of the most exhaustive modern books dealing with eclipse records is Historical Eclipses and Earth’s Rotation: by Richard Stephenson. It is not a book about chronology but it dates an incredible amount of eclipse records as a means of determining the amount of change in the earth’s rotation. In most cases he went directly to the ancient eclipse records and had them translated. Several years ago I bought a copy and I can say without hesitation it was well worth the price.

    I have nothing but respect for Sir Robert Anderson and most of the other men listed in my Open Letter. The object of my letter was not to embarrass or judge these men. I truly believe they have the best of intentions. I’m just asking them to take a Berean’s look at this subject. The most important messianic prophecy in the Scripture should not be based unreasonable and unproven assumptions.

    Warm Regards,
    William Struse

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