Does the Pentecost Interpretation solve the Daniel 9 Prophecy?
I must say I was initially intrigued with this new interpretative view, as it advocated patterns within other timelines. Put simply, this exposition argues that a “week” (“shabuwa”) refers to the Pentecost “Feast of Seven Days” celebrated every year (as spoken of in Deuteronomy 16). And because this “Feast of Week” is an annual event, it is therefore believed that the “70 weeks” of the Daniel 9 prophecy equates to a literal “70 years” (i.e. a ”week” means a “year”). And so, seeing that this viewpoint is unique, I have performed an intensive exegesis on this particular interpretation… only to find that it too has stretched the facts, which consequently forces it to join the abyss of other bias arguments.
The Pentecost Interpretation overview:
· 44 BC = 2 years before the prophecy starts = Julius Caesar gives the “decree to rebuild the Nehemiah walls”. However, the argument also states that 44 BC does not align to a Sabbath cycle, being off by one/two years.
· Therefore 42 BC is said to be the beginning of the prophecy = starting 2 years later after the “decree” of Julius Caesar, which is said to align to a Sabbath cycle.
· 42 BC to 36 BC = is the first “7 weeks” = which therefore equals “7 years” = representing the “troublesome times” as Herod recaptures the wall, having conquered the political and religious transgressions. Jewish leader Hycranus returns as the “Anointed One”.
· 35 BC to 27 AD = is the “62 weeks” = which is therefore the “62 years” = It’s difficult to see what is argued here!!??
· 27 AD / 28 AD = is the last “week” = which equates to “1 year” = and is the “abomination of desolation” where John introduces a new covenant to the Jews; while Jesus gets baptized and was tempted in the desert by the Devil.
· 28 AD = ends the prophecy = “seals off the vision; transgression of sin” = this week is representative of rebellion within Rome; including the fulfilment of Jeremiah 31 re forgiveness of sin and the new covenant via John the Baptist. However this week also includes something about Peter & 120 disciples at Pentecost having the Holy Spirit encounter… and seems to stretch across to 70 AD when the Jewish Temple was destroyed.
Although this interpretation argues that “one week” = “one feast of week”… upon further study, one can easily conclude that the Daniel 9 Prophecy is not talking about the “Feast of Weeks”. If it was, it would have clearly mentioned the word “feast”. The Daniel 9 passage uses language similar to other passages throughout scripture that also uses “shabuwa” arguing only “7 days”, and having nothing to do with “feast”. In other words, if “feast” was to be addressed, it would have said so, and we would have seen the phrase “chag-shabuwa” in the passage. The following 17 biblical references of “shabuwa” supports this claim:
· Genesis 29: 27-28: Jacob stayed with Laban seven days (shabuwa) before having to work another seven years for his wife Rachel (no implication of feast mentioned here)
· Exodus 34:22 states “Feast of Weeks” (chag – shabuwa)
· Leviticus 12:5 speaks of a woman’s period lasting seven days (shabuwa) (no implication of feast mentioned here)
· Numbers 28:26 bringing a meat offering to the Lord within a week (shabuwa) (no implication of feast mentioned here)
· Deuteronomy 16:9 “sheba shabuwa” = “seven weeks” equating to 49 days before putting a sickle to the corn for harvest (no implication of feast mentioned here)
· Deuteronomy 16:10 & 16 to keep the “feast of weeks” (chag – shabuwa)
· 2 Chronicles 8:13 also mentions “feast of weeks (chag – shabuwa)
· Jeremiah 5:24 reflects on the week of harvest (no implication of feast mentioned here)
· Daniel 9:24-27 names “seventy weeks”; “sixty two weeks” and “one week” (no implication of feast mentioned here)
· Daniel 10:2-3 also names “three day weeks” (21 days) (again no implication of feast mentioned here)
However, giving the Pentecost Interpretation the benefit of doubt, the other elements of this viewpoint still struggle to tick off all the other boxes. That is:
· Although some argue 48 BC, if the decree was issued by Caesar in 44 BC, then why would the prophecy start two years later in 42BC, where one would think it should start the same year!!??
· Re the first “7 weeks”, the argument shows 42BC to 36BC, but this is only “6 years” and not “7 years” as argued. If this was to be an argument, it should say that the “7 years” is from 42 BC to 35 BC (i.e. 42 – 35 = 7 years).
· And the same miscalculation is for the “46 years” from Herod’s Temple Construction: although this interpretation argues 20 BC + 46 years = 27/28 AD, this actually calculates out at 47/48 years, because 20 BC + 46 years = 26 AD.
· Additionally, this interpretation’s date of when King Herod began construction work can also be contended, as most scholars state that Temple restoration started in 21BC …which therefore shows that Jesus ended his ministry in 25AD (21 BC + 46 years = 25 AD), and not 28 AD as argued.
· Furthermore, this interpretation argues that when Jesus made his statement to destroy the Temple in three days, that this was at the beginning of His ministry… but this too is contrary as most theologians position this event when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the end of his ministry (and not the beginning). Consequently, the dates from Herod’s Temple to the “end of Jesus’ ministry” will significantly upset this interpretations timeline of events.
· Overall, the above dates do not align, especially if Jesus was said to be “anointed in 28AD”. Contrary to the Book of Luke stating clearly that Jesus started his ministry at about 30 years old… but this interpretation basically asserts that Jesus was 32 years old when began his ministry.
· And if this interpretation argues that Jesus and John both started their ministry in the year 27/28AD (and that it was some 2 years later when Jesus finished his ministry), this would place Jesus on the cross in 30AD. However this ages Jesus to be over 34 years old… which again would obviously be challenged by most scholars arguing that Jesus was 32 years old at the cross.
· Additionally, to argue that the “end of the 70th week” was the “baptism of Jesus” can also contended, as the “end of the 70 weeks” is generally referred to as the Leviticus practice of “Atonement” which would “seal of the vision; finish transgression; make reconciliation for iniquity; and bring in righteousness” (Daniel 9:24). This phrase definitely resonates “atonement”… and certainly not “baptism” as this interpretation argues.
· Also the term “cut off” definitively means “death” (and does not mean “separated” or “set apart” as this interpretation argues). The Hebrew word for “cut off” is “karath” and there are 280 references that have all been translated to mean “death, perish, destroyed, or cut down”. This obviously did not happen at Jesus’ “baptism” as this interpretation states.
· And again, with regard to the “end of the 70th week”, I don’t quite see why this interpretation jumps forward in time some 42 plus years later involving the Temple being destroyed in 70 AD!!?? Although initially arguing the timeline of this prophecy ends in 28 AD, but for some reason has included the destruction of the Jewish Temple. This is difficult to understand as this significantly increases the 70 years argument to 114 years (i.e. 44 BC to 70 AD = 114 years in total)
· Even if we calculate the total years of the markers that this study truly advocates, it is not “70 years” as argued but rather “72 years” (i.e. 44 BC to 28 AD = 72 years)
Interestingly, I discovered that I could apply the Pentecost Interpretation ‘formula’ to Jeremiah’s 70 years warning towards the House of Judah and Babylon. That is:
· 608 BC = 2 years before the prophecy starts, Jehoiakim becomes King and gives the “decree” to rebuild/fortify the Walls against the potential Babylonian attack.
· Beginning of this prophecy = 606 BC = 2 years after the decree relates to a Sabbath cycle. That is, Pentecost started 2 years later after the decree within this Sabbath cycle.
· “7 weeks” = 7 years = 606 BC to 599/598 BC = “troublesome times” = during the “first siege” war of House of Judah attacked by Nebuchadnezzar
· “62 weeks” = 62 years = 599/598 BC to 537/536BC = the “second siege” of Nebuchadnezzar with more “troublesome times” of the Jews being held captive under Babylon
· “1 week” = 1 year = 536 BC = “abomination of desolation” = King Cyrus issues the decree and the Jews are “baptized” back into their homeland (immersed, set apart and separated) to go return to rebuild their Temple
· End of this period = “seals off the vision; transgression of sin” refers to the Jews are happy to return; and Jeremiah’s prophecy comes to fulfillment (i.e. Jeremiah 31 covenant predicting the Babylonian Empire ends, and the inauguration of the Persian Empire)
And as we can see, it is a very similar argument to the one provided... which seems to also work!!! However, although it looks like the truth according to the Pentecost Interpretation, it too falls significantly short of the renowned Daniel 9 prophecy (similar reasons as above).