Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Do the Math

Daniel 9:25 breaks apart the Seventy Sevens into seven sevens and sixty-two sevens, totaling sixty-nine sevens. Hold that thought…we’re left hanging as far as the last single batch of seven years. So, the 70 (7’s) is split into three distinct sections: 7 (7’s) + 62 (7’s) + 1 (7) =70 (7’s). You might need to refer to this simple math problem a few times because when you add the words of prophecy, it can get lost. Right off the bat, “the first 49 years” (see 7(7’s))…okay, everybody without a math degree with me? My math aptitude is lacking (very low SAT score!) so this is for me, just so you know. In the first 49 years, Jerusalem is rebuilt “with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.” (v. 25) This coincides with Nehemiah’s request for one in ten in Israel to build a house in Jerusalem (Walvoord, John F.; Every Prophecy in the Bible; p 255) upon completion of the wall. The people of Israel would bring to fulfillment the first seven sevens by rebuilding the city, streets and all, under the leadership of Nehemiah.
The second segment of 434 years (62 (7’s)) is added to the first 49 years, bringing the total to 483 years. Now, hold on to your seats! Remember verse 26 from my last post? The “Anointed One, (the Messiah) will be cut off and will have nothing” at this time…after the 483 years. It’s confusing if you are reading your Bible, which is a good idea! The verse says, “after sixty-two sevens.” Well, don’t give up! The prophecy refers to the middle group of 7’s…but more precisely, sixty-nine sevens had passed when you include the first group of 7’s. Remember 7 (7’s) + 62 (7’s)! Believe me, I’m getting lost writing this…I pray you are doing better reading it! The reason I’m stressing sixty-nine sevens when the verse says sixty-two sevens is the fitting of this prophecy into history. It is important to realize 483 years have passed at the cutting off of the Messiah—not just 434!!
Why? Why? Why?
If we neglect the first 7 (7’s) of v. 25, then the decree of Artaxerxes in 444 B.C. could not be the beginning of the Seventy Sevens yet it was this decree that made it all happen. AND there are no more decrees or logical events connected to Jerusalem’s renaissance 434 years previous to Jesus’ abrupt finish.. Nope, have to stick with 483 years, including the first seven sevens. We know Jesus, the Christ was crucified in 33 A.D., right? Just to keep this all very interesting, Dr. James Kennedy, among many, believes 30 A.D. was the year of Jesus’ crucifixion. What to do with this tangle. How bout I give the differing ideas and then the problem is yours! Ha! Dr. Kennedy calls this the “traditional view”. First of all, it does away with the Church Age gap between the 62 (7’s) and the final seven. This doesn’t float with me but more on that when we get there. Secondly, the interpretation gives the anointing of Christ, the entrance into ministry at His baptism, as the event following the 69 (7’s). Daniel says the Messiah will appear (perhaps His entry into Jerusalem) and is to be “cut-off” at this point, not anointed. But it is true that if you figure 26 A.D. as the crucial point of division (69 sevens), then the cutting off beautifully works out to be 30 A.D. Why must it be 30 A.D. and not 33? The historical records do show the exact dates of Tiberius Caesar’s reign which Luke used to date Jesus’ baptism. (3:1) The first census under Quirinius, governor of Syria, which took Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, also has a date on it and is referred to in Luke 2. These alterations in Biblical dating, I might mention, throw our calendar off by three years because Jesus was thirty years old when He went public (Luke 3:23)! Jesus wasn’t born at the Divide between B.C. and A.D.! Sends my brain spinning, soooo…I say, give it to God. Walvoord does not dwell on the historical dating of Jesus’ birth and so on, no doubt as a means to retaining his sanity. I invite anyone who has a clue about these things to lend a hand. You’ll find me at my local mental institution. Otherwise, leave a comment.
Returning to some semblance of logic, Walvoord does offer much more on the Seventy Sevens which is some of the most exciting news I have ever encountered. I first studied this in the Community Bible Study which used the teachings of respected theologian Charles Swindoll to portray the popular interpretation as opposed to the traditional view of Dr. Kennedy. The reason I’ve included the latter is because I have great respect for Coral Ridge Ministries and Kennedy’s teachings. These are not truths that should divide us at all but simply encourage us to keep seeking God’s true interpretation because both cannot be right.

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