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Psalm Sunday - Prophecy Fulfilled.jpg

One area where the Bible far outshines the Quran and proves itself to be inspired by God is in the area of foreknowledge of future events. We call it prophecy.

One such prophecy concerns Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey to proclaim himself as Messiah to Israel. God gave all the signs in the Bible through prophets hundreds of years earlier. The Jews of Jesus' day should have known, and would have known if they had only paid attention to the TaNaKh. It is all laid out in Daniel 9:25-27.

Specifically, verse 25 and the first half of verse 26 state:

Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times. 
“And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself

The weeks here are weeks of years, or 483 years (69 x 7 = 483). To see this more clearly, I refer to John Woolvard in his Bible Knowledge Commentary. He begins by discussing the 70 weeks mentioned in verse 24, which then shifts focus to the first 69 weeks in verse 25:

"Since Daniel had been thinking of God’s program in terms of years (v. 1; cf. Jer. 25:11-12; 2 Chron. 36:21), it would be most natural for him to understand these “sevens” as years. Whereas people today think in units of tens (e.g., decades), Daniel’s people thought in terms of sevens (heptads). Seven days are in one week. Every seventh year was a sabbath rest year (Lev. 25:1-7). Seven “sevens” brought them to the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12). Seventy “sevens,” then, is a span of 490 years. The 490 could not designate days (about 1 years) for that would not be enough time for the events prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27 to occur. The same is true of 490 weeks of seven days each (i.e., 3,430 days, about 9 years). Also if days were intended one would expect Daniel to have added “of days” after “70 sevens” for in 10:2-3 he wrote literally, “three sevens of days” (NIV, “three weeks”)."

The time clock for the first 69 weeks of this 70 week prophecy begins with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. But there were several decrees issued to restore Jerusalem, beginning with Cyrus in 539 B.C. Which decree is in view here? Woolvord again provides some insight:

The 70 “sevens” would begin, Gabriel said, with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This decree was the fourth of four decrees made by Persian rulers in reference to the Jews. The first was Cyrus’ decree in 538 B.C. (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13). The second was the decree of Darius I (522-486) in 520 B.C. (Ezra 6:1, 6-12). This decree actually was a confirmation of the first decree. The third was the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (464-424) in 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26). The first two decrees pertain to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the third relates to finances for animal sacrifices at the temple. These three say nothing about the rebuilding of the city itself. Since an unwalled city was no threat to a military power, a religious temple could be rebuilt without jeopardizing the military authority of those granting permission to rebuild it. No one of these three decrees, then, was the decree that formed the beginning of the 70 sevens.
The fourth decree was also by Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued on March 5, 444 B.C. (Neh. 2:1-8). On that occasion Artaxerxes granted the Jews permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s city walls. This decree is the one referred to in Daniel 9:25.

If Daniel is accurate, we need to begin counting 483 years from March 5, 444 B.C. When 483 years expired, we should expect to see The Messiah. The 483 years from the fourth decree by Artaxerxes expired on March 30, 33 A.D., the very day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as prophesied by Zecheriah (Zech. 9:9), to present himself as Messiah to Israel.

Now, for those with a sharp eye, you might recognize that 444 B.C. to 33 A.D. does not equal 483 years. By simple math, 444 + 33 = 477. So it seems either Daniel was off in his math, Jesus rode into Jerusalem too soon, or this prophecy has nothing to do with Jesus. But wait. We must realize the Jewish calendar used a year of 360 days, whereas the Gregorian calendar of today uses a year of 365 days. A simple adjustment for this difference resolves this seeming discrepancy.

The puzzle is complete. Daniel was correct. The Bible is accurate. Jesus is the Messiah, presented to Israel just as prophesied hundreds of years earlier by Daniel, Zechariah, and other prophets.