Tag Archives: Daniel’s 70 Weeks

$500 Reward to Help Solve the Artaxerxes Assumption

I need some help. For nearly two decades now I’ve been searching the works of some of the most respected Biblical scholars, looking for answers for what I’ve termed, the Artaxerxes Assumption.  As I’ll explain in a moment, the Artaxerxes Assumption is a pivotal piece of Biblical history and to date I’ve only found a few scholars who have attempted to addressed the subject. I’ve come to realize, as much as I hate to admit it, that I can’t read every book or publication that might have been written on the subject so I’m asking for your help.

Here’s the offer. I’m offering $500 to the first person who can help me find one of today’s leading  Biblical authors who has (at some point previous to 1/25/2018 ) addressed several pertinent subjects which have direct bearing on the Artaxerxes Assumption. For right now I want to focus on the list of authors provided at the end of this article. If this challenge is successful I may expand the search at a later date.

Note: If you are one of these authors in the list below, and have not addressed the challenges related to the Artaxerxes Assumption, but would like to have the opportunity to address the subject I’d be happy to post your thoughts on the subject at this blog and at my site www.danielsseventyweeks.com. (Please note your explanations will not qualify for the $500.)

 If you are an author not listed in this article and would also like to have an opportunity to share your thoughts on the Artaxerxes Assumption I’d like to hear from you as well. (Please note your explanations will not qualify for the $500.) There are some additional terms and conditions, but I’ll explain them below.

The Keystone of Bible Prophecy
For a better understanding of the importance of the Artaxerxes Assumption, let me give you a brief overview of the subject. Most Christians have heard of the prophecy of 70 Weeks found in Daniel chapter 9. This prophecy is an amazingly specific prediction of when the Messiah will come. In fact, it is the only prophecy in the Bible which provides a specific chronologically verifiable starting point from which we can determine a date for the coming of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). No other prophecy in the Bible provides this information. To give you a sense of the importance of this prophecy, here are a couple of quotes from two highly knowledgeable and respected prophecy teachers:

“The interpretation of the revelation of Daniel concerning the seventy weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) constitutes one of the determining factors in the whole system of prophecy…. The interpretation of this passage inevitably colors all other prophetic views, and a proper understanding of it is the sine qua non of any student of prophecy.” – John F. Walvoord

 “I am convinced that in the predictions of 70 weeks, we have the indispensable chronological key to all New Testament prophecy” – Alva J. McClain

Pretty powerful statements, don’t you think? Not only does this great prophecy tell us when the Messiah will come, but as these two scholars acknowledge, the 70 Weeks prophecy is in fact the basis upon which much of our eschatological (end times) understanding rests. In other words, our understanding of the 70 Weeks prophecy is largely responsible for how we see the 1st and 2nd coming of the Messiah. It influences how we see the end of this age, the great (7 year) tribulation, the rapture, the Anti-Christ, the Jewish people’s return to the Promise Land, and even the millennial reign of Christ.

So with this heavy theological weight resting on it, it is only reasonable to expect that the starting point of this prophecy would be established upon a rock solid incontrovertible foundation, so that the eschatological interpretations we build upon that footing can be confidently shared as proof of the exceptional nature of the Bible’s prophetic record.

The Artaxerxes Assumption
This is where the Artaxerxes Assumption enters the picture. Today, the vast majority of interpretations of the 70 Weeks prophecy rests on a well-meaning assumption about the chronology of Ezra, Nehemiah, and a Persian king named Artaxerxes Longimanus.

Surprisingly, this assumption about Artaxerxes Longimanus didn’t originate in our generation. In fact, this intriguing chronological conundrum originated nearly 2000 years earlier with the Messianic expectations of the Jewish people in the 1st century BC & AD.  300 years ago one of most renowned scientists of all time had this to say about the subject:

Those Jews who took Herod for the Messiah, and were thence called Herodians, seem to have grounded their opinion upon the seventy weeks of years, which they found between the Reign of Cyrus and that of Herod: but afterwards, in applying the Prophesy to Theudas, and Judas of Galilee, and at length to Barchochab, they seem to have shortened the Reign of the Kingdom of Persia.”   

Anyone care to guess who made the quote above? It may come as a surprise to some, but it was Sir Isaac Newton who wrote those words in his book Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended. What’s fascinating about Newton’s discovery is that those early messianic expectations resulted in a series of assumptions which caused the Jewish people to eclipse over two centuries of Persian history.

Now two millennia later those assumptions are still influencing how we view the Bible and the chronology of the 2nd temple era. As Mark Twain is purported to have said,

 “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme”.   

To get to the real root of the problem, it is imperative to understand the prophecy within the context of the 2nd temple era. The starting point for the prophecy of Daniel 9 (which was the basis for each of the failed messianic claims noted by Newton) began with a “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem”.

 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks,… (Daniel 9:25a)

As explained in my article A Divine “Command” to Return and Build Jerusalem and in my book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy there was only one “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” the Jewish people would have readily recognized.  That command was the Divine command given by YHWH, proclaimed by Haggai and Zechariah and witnessed by Ezra 6:14.

Here is how the “Artaxerxes Assumption” enters the picture.  The Divine command “to restore and to build Jerusalem” was given in the 2nd year of Darius who was also known historically as “Artaxerxes”. (Newton incorrectly attributed the commandment to Cyrus). When the Asmonaeans calculated the 70 weeks of Daniel from the 2nd year of Darius (Artaxerxes) it allowed them to claim that Judas Maccabaeus was the promised messiah. When Judas failed to usher in the Messianic kingdom, the prophecy was recycled for the next Jewish messianic figure.

Since the Divine command was given in the 2nd year of Darius also known as “Artaxerxes”, the next generation of Jewish messianic expectants just shifted the prophecy to the 2nd year of another Persian Artaxerxes so they could make their calculations work.   With the end of the Bar Cochab rebellion in the first part of the 2nd century, the use of Daniel 9 to claim the start of the Messianic era had run its course, the Rabbinic calendar was reset,  and 241 years of Persian history were erased from Jewish history. Along with that rewriting of 2nd temple history, the chronological context of the prophecy of Daniel 9 was left hopelessly muddled.

To this day, the Rabbinic calendar still reflects the chronological mistakes originating in the expectations of those early messianic believers.  Unfortunately, the “Artaxerxes Assumption” of the 1st centuries BC/AD set in motion the chronological confusion which our generation has inherited. It seems many Christian chronologists today have borrowed some of the historical errors of the early messianic expectants, most being unaware of the Biblical facts and chronology that gave rise to those errors.

This confusion was further compounded around the turn of the twentieth century, when a Scotland Yard investigator named Sir Robert Anderson wrote a wonderful book on the 70 Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 entitled The Coming Prince. In his explanation of this great prophecy, Anderson revitalized the “Artaxerxes Assumption.” This time instead of erasing the Persian chronology like his Jewish predecessors, Anderson stretched the Biblical chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah by inserting a 58 year gap between Ezra 6 & 7. Like his 1st century predecessors, Anderson borrowed the title of Artaxerxes from Darius ‘the Great’ and applied it to the Persian king Longimanus. Today, Anderson’s chronology is the basis for most scholars’ writings on the subject of Daniel 9. Regrettably, his good intentions were a little short on reasonable chronological evidence from the Bible.

First, Anderson ignored the contextual relevance of YHWH’s command “to restore and to build Jerusalem.”  Unlike his 1st century Jewish messianic predecessors, Anderson saw no reason to begin the prophecy with the words of YHWH the living God of the Bible.  Next, Anderson assumed the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah and Ezra was Artaxerxes Longimanus because that was the only way he could show that the prophecy of 70 Weeks was fulfilled in Yeshua (Jesus). Unfortunately, Anderson did not base this assumption upon any real Biblical evidence that he was willing to share, but instead upon a single well-meaning but unsubstantiated statement of the Christian historian Rawlinson, found in Rawlinson’s translation of Herodotus, vol. 4, p.217 . This quote as taken from Anderson’s The Coming Prince is as follows:

Artaxerxes I. reigned forty years, from 465 to 425. He is mentioned by Herodotus once (6. 98), by Thucydides frequently. Both writers were his contemporaries. There is every reason to believe that he was the king who sent Ezra and Nehemiah to Jerusalem, and sanctioned the restoration of the fortifications.” – RAWLINSON, Herodotus, vol. 4., p. 217.

“Every reason to believe” even coming from a Biblical historian of Rawlinson’s stature does not exactly constitute proof that Artaxerxes “was the king who sent Ezra and Nehemiah to Jerusalem.” But that statement is the sum of Anderson’s arguments for his Artaxerxes Assumption.

Anderson, by all accounts, was an exceptional Biblical scholar. To be fair to Anderson, his assumption was understandable, considering Ussher, Newton, Rawlinson, and Josephus were of the same general opinion concerning “Artaxerxes” and his contemporaneous relationship to Ezra and Nehemiah.

I mean, what kind of person argues with the opinion of some of the greatest Biblical chronologists of all time? Okay, I must admit this homeschooled high school educated plumber is raising his hand timidly from the back of the room. But with all due respect to these great men, it seemed to have been a case of each thinking the other had done his homework.

In the case of Daniel 9 and the Artaxerxes Assumption, it seems their messianic zeal, like their 1st century Jewish counterparts, have caused them to make an assumption which so far seems to be unsupported by a reasonable rendering of the Bible’s chronology.  I appreciate the fact that so many well respected and incredibly intelligent scholars believed Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Artaxerxes Longimanus and I understand the convenience of this assumption, but is that sufficient proof upon which to establish the most important prophecy in the Scripture?   Where is the reasonable Biblical evidence for such a pivotal determination?

Since I learned of Newton’s discovery and its associated Artaxerxes Assumption, I’ve been trying to understand how other authors and scholars who have studied the subject of Daniel 9 have reconciled the Bibles 2nd temple era chronology with an interpretation of Daniel 9 which sees Ezra and Nehemiah as contemporaries of the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus. What Biblical evidence is there for this association?  How did they reconcile the chronological statement of the Bible and secular history which seem to refute this assumption?

Your Help is Needed
So this is why I need your help. As I said before I can’t read every article or book ever written on the prophecy of Daniel 9, nor can I email, tweet, or facebook every author who has written on the subject asking if they would be willing to share with me the Biblical evidence they used to solve their Artaxerxes Assumption.

So I’m hoping with your help we might be able find out how these authors solved the Artaxerxes Assumption in their own explorations of the subject.

Here is what I’m looking for in order for you to win this challenge. In any of the currently existing written works of the authors listed in the table below I am looking for examples where they have explained (Scripturally) the chronological challenges posed by the following six Biblical subjects related to the Artaxerxes Assumption:

Biblical Challenges to the Artaxerxes Assumption

  1. The statement of Ezra 6:13-15 and the identity of “Artaxerxes”
  2. The identities of the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra 4:7, 8:1; Nehemiah 2:1
  3. The age of Ezra whose father died in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar
  4. The age of the priests and Levites of Nehemiah 10 & 12
  5. Nehemiah 12:26 & the age of the 2nd temple porters of Neh. 11:19 & 12:25-27
  6. The chronological flow of Ezra 6 & 7

In order to collect the $500 you must be the 1st person to post in the comments section of this blog post, excerpts from the currently existing works (as of 1/25/2018) of any one of the authors listed in the table below which clearly explain how they reconciled the above six Biblical challenges to the Artaxerxes Assumption. In order for your entry to be considered valid the excerpted explanations you present from one of these authors must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The quotes provided must adhere to fair use guidelines and must be referenced.
  2. The author’s interpretation quoted must adhere to the Golden Rule of Bible interpretation as described by Dr. David L. Cooper:

“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” – Dr. David L. Cooper

  1. The author’s answers cannot contradict another passage of Scripture.
  2. The author’s explanation must adhere to the Exponential Decay Curve as explained by Ed Hindson and Thomas Ice in their book, Charting the Bible Chronologically – unless a reasonable argument, with supporting Biblical evidence and examples, can be made as to why an exception to this rule is justified in the case of any 2nd temple era individuals or groups.
  3. Any quoted explanation which uses as its basis an explanation which questions the integrity of the original Biblical texts will also be disqualified. (This does not include reasonable questions regarding differing interpretations of the text.)

Additional Prizes:
In addition to the $500 reward I’m also offering a free printed copy of one of my Prophecies & Patterns series books (your choice) to the first 25 readers of this blog who can find an author listed in the table below who has answered any two of the six Biblical challenges related to the Artaxerxes Assumption. (You must post their explanations in the comment section of this blog post.) I’ll send the printed book anywhere in the world the US postal service delivers. Same terms, conditions, and guidelines apply to these answers as are required for the $500.00 prize.

Stewardship as the Time Draws Near
In closing, I wish to stress that for those of us who are earnestly looking for the return of Yeshua, an accurate understanding of the prophecy of 70 Weeks is of paramount importance. As faithful stewards of Yahweh’s prophetic words, it is imperative that as this age draws to a close our prophetic worldview be based upon real Biblical evidence that does not call into question the credibility of the Biblical record.

My hope is that this challenge, will ultimately result in all of us holding each other to a higher standard of prophetic interpretation. No prophecy in the Bible is of any private interpretation and must find its foundation in the inspired words of the sixty six books we call the Bible.  I’m asking for your help to ensure that the 70 Weeks, the Bible premier prophecy, is established upon such a secure foundation.

I hope you’ll join me in this worthy endeavor.

Maranatha!

Further Terms and Conditions:
This challenge is void where prohibited. You must be 18 years or older to participate.  The $500 dollars reward will be sent as a check anywhere in the 50 US states or its territories. If you live outside the United States and would like to participate I will award the money in your name to a Biblically based charity of your choice (I reserve the right to exclude any charity that I do not approve of).

Authors Who Wish to Respond
If you are an author who has written about the prophecy of 70 Weeks (listed in this article or not)  and would like the opportunity to share your perspective on the six points related to the Artaxerxes Assumption, I’d love to hear from you. All I ask is you abide by the five guidelines above, you answer the six points, and you keep your explanations on topic, respectful, and as brief as possible. I also ask that you use your real name. If your explanation abides by all the terms outlined in this article I will provide you a dedicated blog page in your name where you can share your perspective.

Any explanations or comments that do not adhere to the above guidelines or that are in any way derogatory towards an individual or group will be rejected without explanation. Authors can email their explanation of the following six point of the Artaxerxes Assumption to me at williamstruse@danielsseventyweeks.com

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing the subject through your eyes.

Reminder:
To have your explanation published on this site please explain the following six points as they relate to the Artaxerxes Assumption, using the guidelines outlined above:

Biblical Challenges to the Artaxerxes Assumption

  1. The statement of Ezra 6:13-15 and the identity of “Artaxerxes”
  2. The identities of the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra 4:7, 8:1; Nehemiah 2:1
  3. The age of Ezra whose father died in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar
  4. The age of the priests and Levites of Nehemiah 10 & 12
  5. Nehemiah 12:26 & the age of the 2nd temple porters of Neh. 11:19 & 12:25-27
  6. The chronological flow of Ezra 6 & 7

Further Research on the Artaxerxes Assumption:
For those looking for more information on the Artaxerxes Assumption you can download my book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible prophecy for free by clicking on the following link: Book Download. You’ll also find several articles I’ve written about the subject in menu listed on the right side of this page.

 For a different point of view on the subject I would also recommend Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones’s book The Chronology of the Old Testament. Dr. Jones is one of the few Biblical scholars I’ve had the privilege of corresponding with who has tried to solve the Artaxerxes Assumption. Though I do not agree with his ultimate conclusions, he at least acknowledges the importance of the subject to Biblical history and Bible prophecy.

For another perspective, David Austin at Creation.com has written an excellent article on the subject. Although I do not agree with his conclusions regarding Daniel 9 and a shorten Persian chronology, his article Darius is Artaxerxes provides a lot of good information on the subject. 

List of authors who may have written about the Artaxerxes Assumption:

·         Alan Kurschner ·         Joel Rosenberg
·         Andrew B. Ray ·         John Hagee
·         Andy Woods ·         John MacArthur
·         Arnold Fruchtenbaum ·         John Walvoord
·         Barry Horner ·         Jonathan Bernis
·         Bill Cloud ·         Jonathan Cahn
·         Bill Koenig ·         Joseph Farah
·         Bill Salus ·         Josh McDowell
·         Billy Crone ·         Ken Johnson
·         Billy Hallowell ·         Larry Spargimino
·         Bob Theil ·         Mark Biltz
·         Brian Godawa ·         Mark Hitchcock
·         Britt Gillette ·         Mark Toben
·         Bryant Wright ·         Matthew Hagee
·         Carl Gallups ·         Michael Heiser
·         Charles Dyer ·         Michael Brown
·         Chuck Missler ·         Michael Rydelnik
·         Dave Williams ·         Michael Vlach
·         David James ·         Michael Youssef
·         David Jeremiah ·         Mitch Glaser
·         David Limbaugh ·         Nathan Jones
·         David Reagan ·         Paul McGuire
·         Derrick Gilbert ·         Perry Stone
·         Don Perkins ·         Rabbi K.A. Schneider
·         Douglas Hamp ·         Randall Price
·         Douglas Stauffer ·         Ray Bentley
·         Douglas Woodward ·         Robert Jeffress
·         Ed Hindson ·         Rodrigo Silva
·         Frank Turek ·         Ron Cantor
·         Gary Stearman ·         Ron Rhodes
·         Greg Laurie ·         Russell Stendal
·         Hank Hanegraaff ·         Ryan Speakman
·         Jack Kelley ·         Samuel Whitefield
·         Jake McCandless ·         Sid Roth
·         James Prasch ·         Stan Guthrie
·         James White ·         Terry James
·         Jan Markell ·         Thomas Horn
·         JD Hall ·         Thomas Ice
·         Jeff Kinley ·         Tim LaHaye
·         Jim Fletcher ·         Troy Anderson
·         Joel Richardson ·         Walid Shoebat

The D70 Project

How well do you understand the prophecy of 70 Weeks? Have you ever wondered how today’s leading prophecy teachers compare when answering key questions about this wonderful prophecy? Do they base their interpretations on reasonable Biblical facts, circumstantial evidence, or well-meaning error?

Since I read my first book on the prophecy of Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) nearly three decades ago, I’ve had a passionate interest in the subject. Over the years I’ve been confounded at how just four verses can be viewed with such different perspectives that they engender literally hundreds of widely varying interpretations.

What I’ve discovered in my own studies of the subject is that most of the time the divergent views of the Seventy Weeks prophecy originate from an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of the chronological context of this prophecy.

After all, prophecy is a predication of future events and to have any real relevance it must have a clearly identifiable chronological context.

This is especially so for the prophecy of Daniel 9. The “Seventy Weeks” prophecy is the only prophetic revelation in the Bible which gives us a specific datable starting point for the coming of the Messiah. In essence, the prophecy of Seventy Weeks is a specific measurement, laid out on our Creator’s blueprint of mankind’s history. That measurement of time can only be properly understood if it is placed on the exact chronological starting point specified by the blueprint. This means that establishing that starting point is the most important part of interpreting the prophecy. Second to that is determining the measure of “time” used.

Now lest you think getting a general idea of the prophecy’s time frame is “good enough”, here are a couple of quotes from leading Biblical scholars which give you a sense of the significance of this wonderful prophecy.

“I am convinced that in the predictions of 70 weeks, we have the indispensable chronological key to all New Testament prophecy” – Alva J. McClain

“The interpretation of the revelation of Daniel concerning the seventy weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) constitutes one of the determining factors in the whole system of prophecy…. The interpretation of this passage inevitably colors all other prophetic views, and a proper understanding of it is the sine qua non of any student of prophecy.” – John F. Walvoord

For some though, the prophecy of Daniel’s seventy weeks may seem like just one of the hundreds of wonderful prophecies found in the Bible. But as the quotes above demonstrate, this is not the case. Daniel 9 and the seventy weeks is in fact the very keystone of the Bible’s prophetic record. This prophecy has directly and indirectly influenced how we see the 2nd coming of Yeshua (Jesus), the Great Tribulation, the Rapture, the Anti-Christ, the restoration of Israel, and the identity of final world power at the end of this age. For many of today’s most respected prophecy teachers, even though they often have different eschatological perspectives, the Seventy Weeks is the framework or backbone upon which the rest of their eschatological views are organized.
Think about that for a moment. Whether you know it or not, what you believe about Daniel 9 is in part responsible for how you see events unfolding in the world around you today. No other prophecy in the Bible carries this influential weight.

In consideration of this weighty reality, how can we make sense of all the divergent views of Daniel 9? How can we sift all of these strongly held perspectives and find the interpretations that are the most contextually accurate, so that our eschatological foundation rests upon rock solid Biblical truth?

I’ve come up with an idea that I hope will help you compare the divergent interpretations of the seventy weeks prophecy in order to ascertain which of these interpretations most accurately explains this incredibly influential prophecy.

I’m calling this the D70 Project.

What I’ve come up with is a 21 question survey which allows you to grade how each interpreter of the prophecy of 70 weeks address some of the most important questions related to the prophecy. My hope is that by comparing how each author answers a set of standardized questions  you will develop a more complete and accurate understanding of the prophecy and its many interpretational challenges. Yahweh willing, over the coming weeks, months, and years I will be exploring the work of some of today’s and yesterday’s most popular prophecy teachers. Names many of you will recognize like:

(to view completed D70 survey results click on author’s name with blue link )

·         Alan Kurschner ·         Joel Rosenberg
·         Andrew B. Ray ·         John Hagee
·         Andy Woods ·         John MacArthur
·         Arnold Fruchtenbaum ·         John Walvoord – D70 Score = 52
·         Barry Horner ·         Jonathan Bernis
·         Bill Cloud ·         Jonathan Cahn
·         Bill Koenig ·         Joseph Farah
·         Bill Salus ·         Josh McDowell
·         Billy Crone ·         Ken Johnson
·         Billy Hallowell ·         Larry Spargimino
·         Bob Theil ·         Mark Biltz
·         Brian Godawa ·         Mark Hitchcock
·         Britt Gillette ·         Mark Toben
·         Bryant Wright ·         Matthew Hagee
·         Carl Gallups ·         Michael Heiser
·         Charles Dyer ·         Michael Brown
·         Chuck Missler ·         Michael Rydelnik
·         Dave Williams ·         Michael Vlach
·         David James ·         Michael Youssef
·         David Jeremiah ·         Mitch Glaser
·         David Limbaugh ·         Nathan Jones
·         David Reagan ·         Nelson Walters
·         Derrick Gilbert ·         Paul McGuire
·         Don Perkins ·         Perry Stone
·         Douglas Hamp ·         Rabbi K.A. Schneider
·         Douglas Stauffer ·         Randall Price
·         Douglas Woodward ·         Ray Bentley
·         Ed Hindson ·         Robert Jeffress
·         Edwin Yamauchi ·         Rodrigo Silva
·         Frank Turek ·         Ron Cantor
·         Gary Stearman ·         Ron Rhodes
·         Greg Laurie ·         Russell Stendal
·         Hank Hanegraaff ·         Ryan Speakman
·         Isaac Newton ·         Samuel Whitefield
·         Jack Kelley ·         Sid Roth
·         Jake McCandless ·         Sir Robert Anderson
·         James Prasch ·         Stan Guthrie
·         James White ·         Terry James
·         Jan Markell ·         Thomas Horn
·         JD Hall ·         Thomas Ice
·         Jeff Kinley ·         Tim LaHaye
·         Jim Fletcher ·         Troy Anderson
·         Joel Richardson ·         Walid Shoebat

(to view completed D70 survey results click on author’s name with blue link )

For those of you who are one of the authors of one of the many interpretations of Daniel 9, my hope is that this survey will help you look at the strengths and weakness of your own interpretation so that you can establish it on a more contextually accurate Biblical foundation.

I’ll tell you up front this survey looks closely at how each interpreter explains the chronological context of the 2nd temple era. This was purposeful because the 2nd temple era is the period of time when the prophecy was given as well as the period of time in which most interpreters believe the prophecy of seventy weeks begins.

For those who appreciate the importance Daniel 9 plays in our eschatological (end times) world view, I’ll be posting all the surveys and scores of the above authors (and others) at my site www.danielsseventyweeks.com and occasionally some of the results at my 13Enumeration blog. My hope is that these surveys will give you a unique insight into how the prophecy of seventy weeks is understood by today’s prophetic community.

If you are a Berean who would like to participate in this effort I’ve made the Excel survey available for you to use. For those of you who make the effort and would like to share the results just send me a copy of the saved Excel file along with a word document of your survey and I’ll post your results at my Daniel’s Seventy Weeks blog. Please note that I will only post surveys if you include your real name and explanatory notes which clearly explain why you graded the interpretation the way you did. No surveys will be published that include any derogatory comments, innuendo, or other insulting language. This effort is meant to encourage, sharpen, and edify each other in the knowledge of Yahweh’s prophetic word. Each of us has a unique perspective through which we filter information, so please be respectful.

For those of you who have authored an interpretation of Daniel 9 that I or one of my readers have surveyed and you believe your perspective has been misrepresented or you would just like the opportunity to clarify your position I will be happy to share your thoughts and comments in full. Please keep your comments limited to the specific questions being addressed and be respectful. As I stated above, no negative comments, insults, or innuendo will be posted on any of my blogs. If you can’t respond in an edifying manner your comments and thoughts are not welcome and will not be posted.

If you are an adventurous soul who would like to offer constructive criticism of my view of Daniel 9 and the 70 sevens prophecy, I’d love to see the results of your survey after you’ve read my book Daniel’s Seventy Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy. I know I don’t have all the answers and I would love to get your perspective. A digital version of my exploration of Daniel 9 can be download for free by clicking here: Book Download. You can also find a printed version on Amazon at my cost.

My hope is the D70 Project will help us all gain a better understanding of this wonderful and influential prophecy with the ultimate goal that Yahweh and His plan of reconciliation for all mankind through Yeshua, is acknowledged and glorified.

Maranatha!

As Proverbs 27:17  says: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

D70 Project – 21 Question Survey Excel Workbook Download
The survey explores how each interpreter explains the following subjects:

  1. The “Covenant” found in Daniel 9:4.
  2. Daniel’s prayer as it relates to the 6 Messianic goals of the 70 Weeks.
  3. The word Weeks (Shabuwa).
  4. The use of the plural masculine form of Shabuwa in Daniel 9.
  5. The 2nd temple era chronology as it relates to several Persian “Artaxerxes”.
  6. Ezra 4 & its importance of understanding what Daniel 9:25 meant by “build Jerusalem”.
  7. Ezra 6:14-15 as it relates to Darius and “Artaxerxes”.
  8. Daniel’s perspective on building Jerusalem.
  9. The “commandment” (dabar) to restore & build Jerusalem. (Dan. 9:25)
  10. The chronology of Ezra & Nehemiah.
  11. The chronology of the 2nd temple era as it relates to the lists of priests and Levites found in Nehemiah 10 & 12.
  12. The Bible’s reckoning of “Time” as it relates to calculating the 70 Sevens.
  13. The 6 goals of Daniel 9:24 as they relate to the 1st coming of Yeshua (Jesus).
  14. The 6 goals of Daniel 9:24 as they relate to the 2nd coming of Yeshua and the Messianic Age.
  15. The identity of “he” who makes a “covenant with the many”. (Dan. 9:27)
  16. The “covenant” of Daniel 9:27
  17. The 7 Sevens from the “’Commandment” – unto the Messiah (Dan. 9:25)
  18. The 62 Sevens (Dan. 9:25)
  19. The cutting off (karath) of the Messiah.
  20. The wings of abomination (Dan. 9:27)
  21. The final seven of the 70 Sevens (Dan. 9:27)

Survey’s Completed:
To view results click on authors name
Dr. John F. Walvoord – Score 52

FREE Book Download:
If you would like to learn more about the prophecy of Daniel 9, Biblical history and Bible prophecy you might also appreciate my books in the Prophecies and Patterns series.

At the following link you may download one of the three books shown below.  If you like the book and would like to download the other two, all I ask is that you subscribe to my blog. I won’t share your email or spam you with advertisements or other requests. Just every couple of weeks I’ll share with you my love of Biblical history and Bible Prophecy. Should you decide you no longer wish to be a subscriber you can unsubscribe at any time.

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I hope you’ll join the adventure!

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Queen of 127 Provinces

Chapter-8“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) . . .”  Esther 1:1

To me one of the coolest statements in the book of Nehemiah is an often overlooked mention of the queen of Persia. It’s a statement that frankly seems out of place unless you understand the chronological context of the Persian era. In the past few chapters, we’ve learned that the Jewish people were shown amazing favor during the reign of Darius ‘the Great’ Artaxerxes. This king over 127 provinces went out of his way to financially support and encourage the construction of the temple of Jerusalem as well as the city itself. It turns out there is more to the story than most of us have realized, and the book of Nehemiah gives us a clue: Continue reading

The 70 Weeks of Alan Kurschner

Antichrist AlanKurschnerAs part of our ongoing effort to understand the influence of Daniel 9 on popular Christian eschatological thought, this week we will be looking at the influence of the 70 Weeks on the pre-wrath position of Alan Kurschner. Mr. Kurschner is the director of Eschatos Ministires and a leading apologists for the pre-wrath position. Like my previous article this is meant to be a critical but respectful look at the subject.

Daniel 9 and the Pre-wrath view of the Rapture For those who don’t know, briefly, the pre-wrath position places the rapture of the church after the revelation of the Antichrist but before the wrath of YHWH is poured out upon the earth. Continue reading

The 70 Weeks of Chuck Missler

Chuck Missler BookAs promised in my last blog article, over the next several weeks, we are going to look at the influence Daniel 9 and the 70 Weeks prophecy has had on the teachings of some of today’s respected prophecy teachers. I want to make it clear up front that these articles, though critical, are not meant to be disrespectful. None of us have all the answers and when discussing Bible prophecy a great deal of humility is required.

I decided to start this series by looking at Chuck Missler’s interpretation of Daniel 9. The reason, I start with Mr. Missler’s interpretation of the 70 Weeks, is because this is the predominately held view today and it will be most familiar to a majority of my readers. Mr. Missler is a respected prophecy teacher and I have enjoyed and learned from reading his material over the years. Continue reading

70 Weeks and the Blood Moon

Book2_400x600In all the hoopla surrounding the Blood Moons my hope is that the real significance of this day is not forgotten. You see, over 6000 years ago our Creator set in motion His heavenly Rolex so that you and I could see this incredible display. I know, many claim the world we live in is just the evolution of randomness, but just a glance into your child’s eyes will put the lie to that claim.

As someone who loves to dig into the history and chronology of the Bible, to me the blood moon is a spectacular reminder of a world changing Biblical event that happened long ago. For those of you who have read my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism or one of my blog articles on the subject you know that there is reasonable, if not conclusive, evidence that today, nearly 2018 years ago, a Jewish child was born who changed the history of the world.

We know Him as Jesus or by his Hebrew name Yeshua and today just happens to be his birthday. You see today is the Biblical Feast of Sukkot also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths and it was around this time of year that Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Interestingly, the traditional association of Christ’s birth with Christmas likely comes from the fact that it was nine months earlier during the Feast of Hanukah (in late December) when the conception of the Messiah took place. Over the years the lines between Hanukah (also known as the Festival of Lights / Feast of Dedication) and Christmas blurred due to the increasingly gentile make-up of the early church and slowly the messianic significance of the Jewish Festival of Lights was forgotten.

Did you know that Yeshua, during the Festival of Lights in Jerusalem, told his listeners that He was “the light of the world”? Indeed, when YHWH’s spirit brought about the conception of the Messiah in a Jewish maiden named Mary, a new hope was brought into a world blinded by the darkness of sin.

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him…

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing…..

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. John 9:1-7; 10:22 

Although Yeshua told us that He was the light of the world it was the apostle John who so eloquently alluded to the birth of Christ in words which remind us of the Feast of Tabernacles.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God….. 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2, 14 

So over the coming days when you look back on the “super blood moon” during the Feast of Tabernacles in 2015, no matter what your opinion on the subject, don’t forget about a lowly little Jewish child born in a manger who brought light and hope into this world.

Book2_400x600Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy
For those of you who would like real Biblical proof for the promised Messiah I’m happy to tell you that I’ve finished Book II in the Prophecy and Patterns series. Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy is finally finished!

As promised, subscribers to my blog may download it for free. If you are not yet a subscriber and would like to read the book please feel free to subscribe below. The book will also be up on Amazon in the coming days.

Let me tell you right up front the book will be controversial. This is not your ordinary book on the prophecy of Daniel 9. Those of you who have read my blog over the years know I often have an unconventional take on Biblical history and Bible prophecy. Here are just a few of the many topics we will look at in the book which I hope will give you a new appreciation for the subject:

  1. Can we date the birth of the Messiah from Daniel 9:25?
  2. Why does Daniel 9 point symbolically to the flood of Noah and the consequences of mankind’s sins?
  3. What is the significance of the Messiah being “cut off” after the 69th week?
  4. Who gave the “commandment” to restore and build Jerusalem?
  5. What is the significance of the covenant of Daniel 9:4 as it relates to the covenant of Daniel 9:27?
  6. Why have we ignored the Biblical evidence concerning the 2nd temple era?
  7. Who was the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra and Nehemiah?
  8. Why do many acknowledge that Yeshua fulfilled the Biblical feast days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits using a biblical lunar/solar calendar, but when it comes to Daniel 9 and the prophecy of 70 Weeks, they insist on a so called “prophetic” calendar which would wander through the seasons much like the Islamic calendar of today?
  9. Why both Historicists and the Futurists have used Daniel 9 and an erroneous chronology of the 2nd temple era to bolster their theological positions. (And the effect this has had on modern eschatological thought.)
  10. Why many scholars believe the Messianic message of Daniel 9 ends with the Messiah’s death.

I know some may be wondering why any of this even matters. Whether you know it or not, the truth is, Daniel 9 has in some way influenced nearly every aspect of how we see the Messiah Yeshua. This is especially true for our yet future eschatological expectations. Daniel 9 is the basis for our understanding of a 7 year tribulation, the anti-Christ, and many other end time events. Yet, surprisingly very few of us can provide a solid Biblical basis for our interpretation of this wonderful prophecy.

Today, I asked you to join me in a Biblical adventure with the goal of remedying that oversight. Together let’s look at the prophecy of 70 Weeks with an eye to its 2nd temple era context and a Biblical reckoning of time. I can’t promise you that you’ll agree with me on every point, but I will guarantee that by the time you have finished the book you will be in awe of YHWH’s love for His fallen Creation and how Daniel 9 is one of the greatest testimonies of that love found in the Bible.

To help you understand the extent to which Daniel 9 has influenced our view of the End Times, YHWH willing over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you how Daniel 9 has been incorporated into the teachings of some of today’s most popular prophecy teachers. We will take a respectful but critical look at how Daniel 9 is used to strengthen:

As we will see, though diverse in their opinions regarding Daniel 9, all have failed to address the most basic aspect of the prophecy of 70 Weeks – that is they have failed to establish the prophecy of Daniel 9 on a solid chronological basis in the Biblical and secular record. In other words, they have failed to provide a definitive starting point upon which to calculate the countdown to the Messiah. This oversight in turn has caused each of them to make assumptions about Daniel 9 which has altered their eschatological world view. Can their end-times world view survive this oversight? Stay tuned, the answer will surprise you.

Getting a Head Start
If you would like to get a head start on these upcoming discussions I encourage you to download a free copy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy. Verified blog subscribers may download a free copy of the book here: Subscribers Book Download

If you would like to become a subscriber you may use the form below. It’s free to subscribe and I won’t share your email nor will I spam you with junk mail. Long ago I made a commitment to make the information on this blog and my websites available free of charge in one form or another. So you won’t find advertisements on this blog or a donation button, just my unconventional take on Biblical history and Bible prophecy.

My Gift to You
So today, on Yeshua biblical birthday, my gift to you is reasonable Biblical proof that Yeshua was the Messiah promised in the Scriptures. My hope is that you will enjoy the adventure as much as I have!

FREE Book Download:
If you would like to learn more about Biblical history and Bible prophecy, you might also appreciate my books in the Prophecies and Patterns series.

At the following link you may download one of the three books shown below.  If you like the book and would like to download the other two, all I ask is that you subscribe to my blog. I won’t share your email or spam you with advertisements or other requests. Just every couple of weeks I’ll share with you my love of Biblical history and Bible Prophecy. Should you decide you no longer wish to be a subscriber you can unsubscribe at any time.

Click the following link to download your Free book: Book Download

I hope you’ll join the adventure!

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Nehemiah: The Governor

Authors Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on the 2nd temple era chronology as it relates to the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks.

Nehemiah: The Governor

In 520 BC YHWH gave Joshua and Zerubbabel  a “commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.” (See my article Fifth Command for more information on the subject.)  Four years later the temple in Jerusalem was completed but very little progress had been made in building the walls of the ancient citadel.  The remnant of people who dwelt there was still being harassed by their enemies.

Back in Shushan, the winter palace of the Persian Kings, a Judean captive named Nehemiah was the cupbearer to king “Artaxerxes”. Nehemiah heard of the plight of his brethren in Jerusalem and set out to do something about it. After pouring his heart out to YHWH in prayer, Nehemiah petitioned king Artaxerxes to allow him to go up and repair the walls of Jerusalem. Artaxerxes granted his request and we learn later that Nehemiah also became governor (Tirshatha) of Jerusalem.

Most scholars today identify the Persian “Artaxerxes” in the book of Nehemiah as Artaxerxes Longimanus.  If you have read my articles the Artaxerxes Assumption, or Ezra: Priest & Scribe you know why this identification is without a reasonable basis in the Biblical record. A close look at the information provided in the book of Nehemiah further adds to that conclusion.

In Nehemiah 5:14, it states that Nehemiah was appointed governor from the 20th to the 32nd year of “Artaxerxes”.  This information allows us to limit our search for Nehemiah’s “Artaxerxes” to three Persian kings because only three ruled 32 years or longer than. Those kings are Darius, Longimanus, and Memnon. (Memnon ruled 46 yrs. but is not included in the list below. His rule commenced after Darius Nothus)
    Persian Rulers                     

So which of these three Persian kings provides a reasonable basis to claim he is the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah?  There are several pieces of evidence in the book of Nehemiah which give us the answer so let’s take a look:

  1. In Nehemiah 1:1 we find Nehemiah in the Shushan palace.  For those familiar with the book of Esther you know that Shushan was the palace of Esther’s King. In my articles on the Queen of Persia I showed that in the most reasonable rendering of the Biblical evidence, Esther was the Queen of Darius Hystaspes, king of 127 provinces. This premise is further strengthened by an unusual statement in Neh. 2:6 (Artaxerxes is addressing Nehemiah)And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return?
  2. Nehemiah 12:25-26 shows a contemporaneous relationship between the porters and Joiakim (son of Jeshua the high priest), Nehemiah, and Ezra. This is important, because this places Nehemiah as a first generation contemporary of those who returned under the mandate of Cyrus in 536 BC.Nehemiah 12:25-26  2Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.  These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.
  3. Nehemiah 12:47 links the governorships of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah and their ministrations to the singers and porters.Nehemiah 12:47 – 13:1  47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.
  4. In Nehemiah 8 it describes the celebration of the first Feast of Tabernacles which took place after the wall was finished. (21st year of Artaxerxes) The text identifies those who partook:Nehemiah 8:17   17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.

    Notice it says “them that were come again out of the captivity”. The most reasonable reading of this implies these people were the same generation as those who came up with Joshua and Zerubbabel in 536 BC.  This places them as the contemporary of Darius Hystaspes also known as Artaxerxes.
  5. Further supporting the above is the lists of Nehemiah 10 & 12. In Nehemiah 12 it lists the priests and Levites “chiefs of their fathers” who came up out of the captivity with Joshua and Zerubbabel by the decree of Cyrus in 536 BC.  Nehemiah 10 lists many of those same priests and Levites as still alive in the 21st year of “Artaxerxes”.

So which is the more reasonable explanation? These men were (at their youngest) 65-75 years old during the reign of Darius Hystaspes or they were (at their youngest) 122-132 years old during the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus.  Only one of these options does not strain the bounds of credibility.  Please see the chart below for comparison.

Nehemiah_10&12

In summary, it is clear that Nehemiah and Ezra were contemporaries of Darius Hystaspes, also known as Artaxerxes.  Any other rendering of the chronology requires one to ignore the most reasonable and natural reading of the book of Nehemiah.

FREE Book Download:
If you would like to learn more about Biblical history and Bible prophecy, you might also appreciate my books in the Prophecies and Patterns series.

At the following link you may download one of the three books shown below.  If you like the book and would like to download the other two, all I ask is that you subscribe to my blog. I won’t share your email or spam you with advertisements or other requests. Just every couple of weeks I’ll share with you my love of Biblical history and Bible Prophecy. Should you decide you no longer wish to be a subscriber you can unsubscribe at any time.

Click the following link to download your Free book: Book Download

I hope you’ll join the adventure!

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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.