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Basic Worldview:
104 Why Christianity?


Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? (Part 2)

Judaism and Christianity Introduction and History
History of Judaism Continued
Scholarly Objections and Historicity of Daniel (P. 1)
Historicity of Daniel (P. 2) & Judeo-Christian Syncretism
A Few Words on Gnosticism
Christianity - A Sect of Judaism (P. 1)
Christianity - A Sect of Judaism (P. 2) & Prophecy in Judaism
Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? (P. 1)
Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? (P. 2)
List of Messianic Qualifications & the Resurrection of Jesus (P. 1)
The Resurrection of Jesus (Part 2)
Study Conclusions and Overall Comparisons

Additional Material
The Sufferings of Eyewitnesses
Comparison of Mystical Religions to Judeo-Christianity
Rabbinical Judaism Accepts Christian Interpretations (P. 1)
Rabbinical Judaism Accepts Christian Interpretations (P. 2)
Rabbinical Judaism Accepts Christian Interpretations (P. 3)
Rabbinical Judaism Accepts Christian Interpretations (P. 4)
Rabbinical Judaism Accepts Christian Interpretations (P. 5)
Rabbinical Judaism Accepts Christian Interpretations (P. 6)

Introduction
| Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3




(Continued from previous section.)

19. The Messiah will be a conquering king. (Psalm 2:2, 6, 9)

Reconciling these two well established roles of a suffering servant, who is rejected and put to death as a sin offering and a conquering king of Israel has resulted in the speculation mentioned earlier, that there are or will be two Jewish Messiahs. However, one wonders why both roles cannot be fulfilled in a singular figure. In fact, the scripture provides no indication that there is more than simply a single Jewish Messiah. The idea of two different Messiahs is merely a convention created by the need to reconcile the suffering, dying Messiah and the conquering hero Messiah. But, why couldn't the suffering servant Messiah who is rejected and put to death as a sin offering also be the conquering king of Israel?

After all, Joseph, after whom the Jewish scholars have named the suffering Messiah, was as Genesis 41-50 records also exalted to the highest position over Egypt where he was used by God to save His people from the famine. In this way Joseph, who is used by Jewish commentators to represent the suffering Messiah, actually contains an allusion the exalted Messiah of Isaiah 52 as well. So, upon examining Joseph as a representative of the Jewish Messiah, we see both the suffering servant role and the exalted hero role fulfilled in a single man, who first is rejected as the leader of his people, is betrayed, and falsely accused and then is exalted to the highest position of authority and used by God to save His people. So, if Joseph serves as a symbol of the Jewish Messiah, then he demonstrates both roles being fulfilled in the same person, and not two different persons.

Indeed, the reason that two Messiah's have been suggested by so many Jewish scholars is because of an inability to conceive of how the two roles could be reconciled in one man. The primary difficulty, or course, is the death of the suffering Messiah, which Jewish scholars seem to believe prevents his also being the conquering and exalted Messiah. However, the final two passages that we will take a look at seem to indicate a mechanism by which a single man can serve in both capacities.

Psalm 16:1 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. 2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; 3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. 4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. 5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. 6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (7585); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption (7845). 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

The word translated as "hell" in verse 10 is the Hebrew word "sheol" (Strong's number 7585). The word translated as "corruption" in verse 10 is the Hebrew word "shachath" (Strong's number 7845). The definitions for both are below.

07585 sh@'owl{sheh-ole'} or sh@ol {sheh-ole'}
TWOT - 2303c from 07592
n f
1) sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit
a) the underworld
b) Sheol - the OT designation for the abode of the dead
1) place of no return
2) without praise of God
3) wicked sent there for punishment
4) righteous not abandoned to it
5) of the place of exile (fig)
6) of extreme degradation in sin
AV - grave 31, hell 31, pit 3; 65

07845 shachath {shakh'-ath}
TWOT - 2343.1c,2370d from 07743
n f
1) pit, destruction, grave
a) pit (for catching lions)
b) pit (of Hell)
AV - corruption 4, pit 14, destruction 2, ditch 2, grave 1; 23

Because of the words employed in verse 10, Psalm 16 could very well be indicating that God will not permit His holy one (Messiah) to remain dead or experience the bodily corruption brought by death.

(NOTE: The Jewish concept of sheol was not just a place for the wicked dead, but was also where the righteous dead dwelled. For more on this please see our article on Bible Cosmology in the In-Depth study section of our website.)

If this is the case, then Psalm 16:10 could well explain how one man could both die as the suffering Messiah and yet be able to also be the exalted, conquering, kingly Messiah. Psalm 16 at least suggests the possibility that upon his death God would not permit the Messiah to remain dead, not even long enough for his body to begin to decompose, but would promptly resurrect him, thus allowing him to act as the exalted, conquering, kingly Messiah as well.

We will continue our discussion of this notion of a resurrected Messiah with a look at our final Messianic prophecy, Daniel 9:20-27.

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 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, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 9 is an important passage to our discussion for several reasons, which will become clearer as we continue. However, the first thing we need to do is to demonstrate three things. One, that this prophecy is messianic. And two, that Daniel's "weeks" are periods of seven years. And three, when the seventy weeks began and ended.

To confirm that Daniel 9 is a messianic prophecy we point to several similarities between it and Isaiah 53, which we established earlier as a messianic prophecy recognized by Jewish scholars.

Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The first similarity between these two passages is what they are essentially discussing. Daniel 9:24 lists several things will be accomplished during the seventy weeks. Of note in the list are three things, which relate back to Isaiah 53 to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Similarly, Isaiah 53 was also discussing reconciliation for sin (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12).

Second, in Isaiah we saw that the Messiah would be wounded for our transgressions, bear the sin and iniquity of all, and be killed for the transgression of God's people as an offering for sin. Likewise, Daniel 9:26 states that the Messiah will "be cut off, but not for himself." These two passages seem to be clearly saying the same thing. The Messiah will die, not for himself, but as an offering for the sins of the people, to reconcile them to God.

Third, we must also recognize that neither Isaiah 53 nor Daniel 9, more importantly, discusses when or how the Messiah will come to be exalted in relation to his death. This is important so we will say it again. While Daniel 9 does present the Messiah's death and provide a timeframe for his coming and his death, it does NOT provide a timeframe for the Messiah's exaltation or a description of his conquests. So, we have a timeframe for the Messiah's coming and his death, but we have no timetable for his exaltation or conquests, nor an explanation for how his death, his exaltation, and conquest are related to one another.

In this way we understand that the period of seventy weeks is the amount of time, which it will take to accomplish these matters. More specifically, Daniel 9:25 states after the command to rebuild and restore Jerusalem unto the coming of the Messiah will be 69 weeks. And that after these 69 weeks the Messiah will be killed, as Isaiah 53 confirms, for the sins of others to reconcile them to God. This passage then is extremely significant because it not only confirms Isaiah 53's description that the Messiah will die for the sins of others to reconcile them to God, but because it provides a time frame for when the Messiah will come and accomplish this work.

But how should we understand the term "weeks?" The word translated as "weeks" in Daniel 9 is the word "shabuwa."

7620 shabuwa` {shaw-boo'-ah} or shabua` {shaw-boo'-ah} also (fem.) sh@bu`ah {sheb-oo-aw'}
TWOT - 2318d properly, pass part of 07650 as a denom. of 07651
n m
1) seven, period of seven (days or years), heptad, week
a) period of seven days, a week
1) Feast of Weeks
b) heptad, seven (of years)
AV - week 19, seven 1; 20

In verse 27 of Daniel 9, we see that a covenant is confirmed for one week, but that in the middle of this week the sacrifice and oblation will be stopped. It seems odd to think of a covenant being made for seven days. It seems more natural to think of a covenant being set up for a period of years. Also, because Daniel tells us that from the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem until the time when this task is finished is 69 weeks. This seems to be a rather large task to finish in a little over a year. So again, it seems more natural to interpret the passage's use of a week, not as seven days, but as a period of seven years. This would allow for plenty of time to accomplish the task of rebuilding Jerusalem and make more sense with the idea of a covenant being established.

And it is not unusual for the Old Testament to equate a day to a year in this manner.

Numbers 14:33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

Ezekiel 4:4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. 7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.

Notice as well that, like Daniel 9, both Numbers 14 and Ezekiel 4 are discussing the concept of consequences being borne for sin and are equating days with years. If we apply a similar concept to Daniel 9 we arrive at the conclusion that a week is a seven-year period.

Also, we should note that Daniel 9:27 tells us that during the final of these 70 weeks the sacrifice will be stopped and an abomination will occur.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

At the end of the Book of Daniel a reference is made back to this final week wherein the sacrifices are stopped and the abomination occurs during a conversation about how long these events of the final week will last.

Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

So, from Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12:11 we see that in the middle of the last of the 70 weeks the sacrifice will be stopped and an abomination, which makes desolate, will occur. We are told that the length of this second half of the final week is 1,290 days. The explanation of the number of days in a half of a week will be revisited later in our discussion, but for now we must note that it is a clear indication that the weeks of Daniel 9 are meant as seven-year periods, with half a week being 1,290 days, which is roughly 3-1/2 years.

In addition to the Biblical examples, which point to Daniel's weeks as seven year periods, we can also look at Jewish writing, which also confirms not only this interpretation of weeks, but that Daniel 9 is a prophecy providing the timeframe for the coming of the Messiah. Here are three quotes from the Talmud that discuss the realization that the weeks of Daniel are seven year periods and that the timeframe presented by Daniel 9 for the coming of the Messiah has passed. The first quote includes a direct reference to the Messiah ben David appearing at the end of the seventy weeks.

"B. San 97a: "Our masters taught as follows of the particular seven-year period at whose end [Messiah] son of David will appear..." - the Talmud

"B. San 97b: "Rav said: All times set for redemption have passed, and the matter now depends only on repentance and good deeds..." - the Talmud

B. San 97b: "R. Samuel bar Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blaste be the bones of those who presume to calculate the time of redemption. For they are apt to say, 'Since redemption has not come at the time expected, it will never come.' Rather, one must wait for it...what then delays its coming? The measure of justice delays it..." - the Talmud

Therefore, three factors lead us to interpret Daniel 9 as a timeframe for the coming of the Messiah defined by seventy seven-year periods, or 490 years. The first is that the events discussed in Daniel 9 point to a meaning for weeks, which is beyond seven days. The second is that elsewhere in the Bible days are used to represent the number of years that sins will be dealt with. The third is that Jewish rabbinical commentaries in the Talmud interpret Daniel's use of weeks as a seven-year period and the entire passage as a reference to the timeframe for the coming of the Messiah, which Jewish scholars have recognized is already passed.

So, in addition to the numerous other prophecies that we have gathered regarding identifiers for the Messiah, we now also have a timeframe for when he was to come. In order to know when Daniel's timeframe expires we first have to find out when it began. The crucial first question is to what decree is Daniel 9:25 referring?

(PLEASE NOTE: An alternate and very plausible understanding of the dates and decrees involved in Daniel's prophetic timetable of the "Seventy Weeks" is available at the following web address: Biblical Studies: Daniel's "Seventy Weeks". We highly recommended reading it.)

Daniel 9 gives us specific information as to which decree he is referring to.

Daniel 9:25 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, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

From Daniel 9:25, we can see that Daniel is interested in a decree, which calls for the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem, which results in the rebuilding of the city itself, its streets and its wall.

A decree for this task was issued to Ezra by Artaxerxes I, who reigned between 465 and 425 BC.

"Artaxerxes I - Achaemenid king of Persia ( reigned 465-425 BC)." - Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition 2004

The Book of Ezra records this decree being given to Ezra by Artaxerxes I in the seventh year of his reign, which would be 457 BC. (465 BC plus 7 years equals 458 BC.)

Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. 7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. 11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. 12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. 13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

The details of the decree are recorded in the following verses, which we have omitted here for the sake of being brief. However, Ezra 9:9 records that Ezra and those with him understood the decree to sanction the rebuilding of the Temple as well as the wall in Jerusalem as prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27.

Ezra 9: 9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah as well as non-Biblical sources record for us that the prophesied work went forward from the decree issued to Ezra by Artaxerxes in 458-457 BC under the leadership of Ezra and then also Nehemiah in troublesome times just as Daniel foretold.

"Jerusalem - The Temple was restored (515 BC) despite Samaritan opposition, and the city became the centre of the new statehood and its position strengthened when Nehemiah (c. 444) restored its fortifications." - Britannica.com

Nehemiah 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work... 17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

Nehemiah 6:1 Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) 2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. 5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand; 6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.

Nehemiah 12:26 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. 27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

"Nehemiah - flourished 5th century BC also spelled Nehemias Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the mid-5th century BC after his release from captivity by the Persian king Artaxerxes I." - Britannica.com

"Biblical Literature - The next task was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, which was undertaken by Nehemiah, a Babylonian Jew and court butler who was appointed governor of Judah and arrived in 444." - Britannica.com

"Nehemiah - The book narrates the return to Jerusalem of Nehemiah, the cup-bearer of Persian King Artaxerxes I, as governor of the city-state. In the first period of Nehemiah's governorship (445-433 B.C.) as related in the book, Jerusalem's walls were rebuilt." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Nehemiah - So about 444 BC Nehemiah journeyed to Jerusalem and aroused the people there to the necessity of repopulating the city and rebuilding its walls." - Britannica.com

"Nehemiah - The decisive constitutional event of the new community was the covenant subscribed to by its leaders in 444, making the Torah the law of the land: a charter granted by the Persian king Artaxerxes I to Ezra—scholar and priest of the Babylonian Exile—empowered him to enforce the Torah as the imperial law for the Jews of the province Avar-nahra (Beyond the River), in which the district of Judah (now reduced to a small area) was located." - Britannica.com

"Jerusalem - The Temple was restored (515 BC) despite Samaritan opposition, and the city became the centre of the new statehood and its position strengthened when Nehemiah (c. 444) restored its fortifications." - Britannica.com

So, we have a decree given to Ezra by Artaxerxes I in 458-457 BC authorizing the rebuilding of the Temple as well as Jerusalem and its walls and the reconstruction occurring under troublesome times exactly as Daniel 9:25 stated.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 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, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Notice that Daniel 9:25 says that duration of time between the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince was 7 weeks and 62 weeks for a total of 69 weeks, not 70 weeks. The word for "seventy" in verse 24 is the Hebrew word "shib'iym" (Strong's No. 07657), which simply means "70."

In stark contrast, Daniel seems to go out of his way to avoid the saying "70" weeks will pass between the command to rebuilt Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. Instead of simply using "shib'iym" for "70" again in verse 25, Daniel instead uses the Hebrew word "sheba" (Strong's No. 07651), simply meaning "the cardinal number seven" in combination with the Hebrew words "shishshiym" (Strong's No. 08346) and "shanayim" (Strong's No. 08147), which mean simply "60" and "2" respectively. So, as we can see, instead of simply using the single Hebrew word "shib'iym" for 70, Daniel goes through considerable effort to avoid "70" and to instead indicate only "69." In fact, Daniel repeats the designation of 69 twice (once in verse 25 and again in verse 26), so we know that Daniel's specification of only 69 weeks between the command and the Messiah's coming is absolutely intentional. He does intend to distinguish between the 70 weeks total and the 69 weeks that will pass between the command and the Messiah's coming.

The fact that this leaves 1 remaining week to occur at some other time is inconsequential to the timeframe Daniel is providing for the coming of the Messiah, which is 69 weeks after the command to rebuild Jerusalem. Simply put, although Daniel says that a total of 70 weeks are decreed but that only 69 of those weeks will occur between the command to rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. This leads us back to the question at hand.

When was this decree given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and its walls? Well, we see from our online historical resources above that 458-457 B.C. was the year when Ezra was given this decree from Artaxerxes I.

So, Daniel's messianic timetable begins in the year 458-457 B.C. According to this timetable then, the Messiah would come and be killed 483 (69 weeks x 7 years per week) years after this decree is issued. And, we have also seen that in the Talmud Jewish scholars expressed their understanding that this was what was meant by this passage.

So, when does Daniel 9:25-26 tell us that the Messiah would come and be killed. Well, we just need add 483 years to the year 444 B.C. Since there is no zero year we arrive at the year 26 A.D. Thus, Daniel 9:25-26 tells us that the Messiah would come and be killed after 69 weeks of years, or after 483 years that started in 458-457 BC. And we also know that the Messiah's coming and death would occur before the destruction of the Temple, which Daniel prophesied would occur after the Messiah was killed. When we pull all of this information together from history and Biblical prophecy we can see that the Messiah would come and be killed after 26 BC, but before 70 AD when the Temple was destroyed. (As a side note, this of course, 26 AD the year that some scholars date the beginning of Jesus' ministry, placing his death three and a half years later in 30 AD.)

This timeframe of 26- 70 AD explains two things. First, it explains why the Talmud comments we saw earlier recognized that the messianic timeframe had already passed. And two we may have some additional insight as to why Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph proclaimed Simon bar Kokhba to be the Messiah. Rabbi Akiva would have been aware of the timetable from Daniel's prophecy and the need for the Jewish Messiah to come in that time frame. Since no Messiah was recognized as coming yet, Rabbi Akiva may have been motivated to proclaim bar Kokhba as the Messiah so that Daniel's prophecy would be fulfilled. Keep in mind that if Daniel's prophecy was not fulfilled then Daniel would have to be considered a false prophet.

So, was Simon bar Kokhba the Jewish Messiah as Rabbi Akiva proclaimed? Judaism correctly concludes that he was not. Though bar Kohkba was killed he does not fit in the timeframe outline by Daniel 9:25-26.

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:26 clearly states that after the first 69 weeks are concluded the Messiah will be cut off and Jerusalem and the Temple will again be destroyed. Of course, this destruction occurred under the Romans in the year 70 A.D.

"Talmudic Judaism - the normative form of Judaism that developed after the fall of the Temple of Jerusalem (AD 70)." - Britannica.com

"Old Testament - The Old Testament represents the confession of the people of Israel that God first became active in their affairs in the experience of their Hebrew pastoral ancestors. Through the centuries, he continued to protect, admonish, and guide their vulnerable descendants. Under Joshua they came into possession of the land of Canaan, which they inhabited, except for their exile (586-539 B.C.) in Babylon, until the Romans decimated the population of Jerusalem and burned the Temple in A.D. 70." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Judaism - The most important religious institution of the Jews until its destruction in 70 was the Temple in Jerusalem." - Britannica.com

However, as we saw earlier the bar Kokhba revolt did not occur until 132-135 A.D., over 6 decades after the Roman seige of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.

"Bar Kokhba - died AD 135 original name Simeon Bar Kosba, Kosba also spelled Koseba, Kosiba , or Kochba , also called Bar Koziba Jewish leader who led a bitter but unsuccessful revolt (AD 132-135) against Roman dominion in Palestine." - Britannica.com

So, because Simon bar Kokhba comes too late to fit within Daniel's timetable, we must agree with Jewish scholars and conclude that he was, in fact, a false Messiah.

And, at last we add one final messianic requirement for our list:

20. The Messiah will come and be killed after 26 A.D. and before the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.

Again, we must remember that while Daniel 9 does present the Messiah's death and provide a timeframe for his coming and his death, it does NOT provide a timeframe for the Messiah's exaltation or a description of his conquests. We have no timetable for his exaltation or conquests nor an explanation for how his death and his exaltation and conquest are related to one another.

Below is the composite list of key messianic identifiers contained in the prophecies of the Jewish scriptures that we have been developing.


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