Does the destruction of the Jewish Temple solve the Daniel 9 Prophecy?
Yes another derogatory comment has been slapped onto my Youtube channel stating that my documentary in Iran is “the most ridiculous rendition of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks ever spoken”… because (they say) that the 70 weeks obviously “ended with the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD”. Consequently, I must defend the truth against this “shoot at the hip” young mind, in the hope of reasoning together to see which of us believes in the ridiculous and who does not:
As unpacked in my book, The Prophetic Seventy Weeks Solved, I call this particular viewpoint Interpretation Three which argues time markers from King Cyrus the Great in 536BC through to the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 AD:
Those who advocate this model:
- the first “seven weeks” incorporates a much broader time period, beginning in the year 536 BC when King Cyrus issued the decree for the Jewish community to return to their homeland (after their seventy years of Babylonian captivity), and concludes in the year 445 BC (the supposed date when King Artaxerxes ruled Persia).
- The next prophetic section of time, the “62 weeks”, begins from this 445 BC marker and concludes around the death of Jesus (who is seen as the "Anointed One") in 25AD
- It is then argued that Messiah Jesus was “cut off” from his earthly life in the “middle” of the last week, where He offers himself as the one true sacrifice for all sins and inaugurates the “covenant that is confirmed with many”.
- In addition, some theologians argue that due to Jesus being the symbolic representation of the “Temple” (John 2:19), that this has connections with the destruction of the Jewish Temple back in 587 BC.
- Furthermore, the anti-Messiah figure is said to be Pontius Pilate exercising his power over the “last three and a half years” of Jesus’ ministry, where the final “last week” is said to incorporate the crucifixion of 25 AD as well as the destruction of King Herod’s Temple in 65-70 AD.
Those who argue against this model:
- Firstly, it seems questionable that Pontius Pilate had been exercising authority over Jesus’ last three years of ministry, as (1) his encounter with Jesus is recorded as being at the end of Jesus’ ministry, and is not recorded as being obstructive at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry… and (2) the biblical Gospels do not seem to portray Pilate as an anti-Messiah figure, but rather as someone who is extremely reluctant to execute Jesus.
- Secondly, the date of Artaxerxes is significantly questionable as many scholars argue that King Artaxerxes was present during the reign of King Cyrus and King Darius, positioning King Artaxerxes first year of power in 529BC (as recorded in Ezra 6:14) making the date 445 BC anachronistic.
- Thirdly, although Interpretation Three advocates a literal 490 years, simple mathematics again demonstrates inaccuracy:
- the “seven weeks” period does not equate to 49 years, but rather 91 years (i.e. 536 BC to 445 BC = 91 years);
- the “62 weeks” does not equate to 434 years, but rather 470 years (i.e. 445 BC to 25 AD = 470 years);
- and the “final week” does not add to 7 years, but rather 45 years (i.e. 25 AD to 70 AD = 45 years).
- Overall, this model does not equal 490 years, but rather 606 years
For a visual description of Interpretation Three, please refer to the chart below: