Their 70 Weeks Exposed

7. The L-RD'S Anointed

Isaiah 43:3

For I am the L-rd, your G-d, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba instead of you.

Isaiah 45:15

Truly, You are a G-d Who hides Yourself, O G-d of Israel, the Savior.

Isaiah 60:16

You shall suck the milk of the nations, and you shall suck the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, the L-rd, am your Savior, and the Mighty One of Jacob is your Redeemer.

Jeremiah 14:8

O Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of trouble....

These verses state unequivocally that although G-d employs emissaries to come to our physical and spiritual aid, He Himself is the Ultimate Savior and Redeemer of the Jewish people:

Isaiah 45:17

But Israel is saved by the L-rd with everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or confounded for all eternity.

However, one should not confuse the following Hebrew terms:

Goel - - Redeemer

Moshia - - Savior

Moshiach- - Messiah

We are concerned only with the title "Messiah," which Jews and missionaries agree will be applied to the Promised One. In the Hebrew Bible, "moshiach" always means "anointed":

Psalms 18:51

He gives His king great salvation and shows mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his seed, forevermore.

Isaiah 45:1

Thus says the L-rd to His anointed, to Cyrus....

"Messiah" and "anointed" are synonymous because the Messiah will be an anointed king. In fact, in the Biblical period anointing was used to consecrate all sacred officials:

High priests:

Leviticus 21:10

And the priest that is highest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and who has been consecrated to put on the garments....

Prophets:

I Kings 19:15-16

And the L-rd said to [Elijah], "....Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, you shall anoint as Prophet in your place."

Kings:

II Kings 9:6

And the Prophet arose and went into the house; and he poured the oil on [Jehu's] head and said to him: "Thus says the L-rd, the G-d of Israel: I have anointed you king over the people of the L-rd, over Israel."

Missionaries use the verses with which we began this chapter to "prove" that the Messiah is G-d Himself in the person of Jesus. When reading the following passages, it is important to remember that he was never anointed, as he himself admitted:

Luke 7:46

You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.


Psalms 2:1-2

Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples muttering in vain? The kings of the earth have stood up and rulers have taken counsel together against the L-rd, and against His anointed.

This passage appears in Acts 4:25-26 in reference to Jesus. Yet King David, the writer of this Psalm, was this anointed king:

Psalms 89:21-22

I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him. So that My hand shall ever abide with him, My arm also shall strengthen him.

The Hebrew Bible records that kings and rulers constantly took counsel against King David:

II Samuel 5:17

When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; but David heard of it and went down to the stronghold.

II Samuel 8:3

David also defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates.

This continuation of the Psalm under discussion further illustrates that David was speaking on his own behalf:

1.

Psalms 2:7

I will tell of the decree of the L-rd; He said to me: "You are My son; today I have begotten you."

By changing "son" to "Son," the New Testament quotes this verse as if G-d were speaking to Jesus (Acts 13:33)! Yet David is the "son" here:

Psalms 89:20, 27-28

Then You spoke in a vision to Your pious ones...." David shall call to Me: You are my Father, my G-d, and the Rock of my salvation. I also will appoint him firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth."

2.

Psalms 2:8

Ask of Me and I will give the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession.

After many wars, this promise to David was indeed fulfilled:

II Samuel 7:1

Now when the king [David] dwelt in his house, and the L-rd had given him rest from all his enemies round about....

I Chronicles 14:17

And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the L-rd brought the fear of him upon all nations.


Psalms 28:1-4

A Psalm of David: To You, O L-rd, I call; my Rock, be not deaf to me; lest You be silent to me and I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications as I cry to You for help, as I lift up my hands toward Your holy Sanctuary. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with evildoers who speak peace with their neighbors while mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the evil of their endeavors, give them after the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve.

As David's own words reveal immediately before this last verse, he is speaking on his own behalf.

The anointed King David concludes:

Psalms 28:6,8

Blessed be the L-rd, because He has heard the voice of my supplications....The L-rd is a strength to them [Israel], and He is the stronghold of salvation for His anointed.

Missionaries claim that Jesus is here asking for vengeance upon his enemies. However, in the New Testament he asks for forgiveness, not vengeance:

Luke 23:34

And Jesus said: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do"....


Isaiah 61:1

The spirit of the L-rd, G-d, is upon me, because the L-rd has anointed me to bring good tidings to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty for the captives and the opening of the prison for them that are bound.

Isaiah, an anointed Prophet, was speaking about himself. He fulfilled the Divine mission described here, in part, by foretelling the great events of the Messianic Era:

Isaiah 61:4--6

[The Jewish people] shall rebuild the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the ravages of many generations. And strangers shall stand and pasture your sheep, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. And you shall be called "priests of the L-rd"; men shall call you "ministers of our G-d"; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.

Although these Messianic prophecies remained unfulfilled throughout Jesus' life, the New Testament depicts him reading this verse under discussion in a synagogue in his hometown and concluding:

Luke 4:21

Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.

Jesus then declared the congregants unworthy of seeing him perform miracles. Angered by his Messianic pretense, his neighbors tried to kill him:

Luke 4:28-30

When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away.

This hostility toward Jesus resurfaces elsewhere:

John 10:31

The Jews took up stones again to stone him.

John 10:39

Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

These verses reveal to us the real Jesus: a man who was despised by those who knew him best! Even his closest disciples deserted him at the first sign of trouble:

Matthew 26:56

...then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.


Daniel 9:24-27    

SECTION 1

24. Seventy weeks are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to finish the transgression, to end sin, to atone for iniquity, to bring eternal righteousness, to seal vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.

25. Know and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem until an anointed prince, will be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it will be built with street and moat, but in troubled times.

26. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off, and have nothing, and the people of a prince who will come shall destroy the city and the Sanctuary and its end will be with a flood. Until the end of a war desolations are decreed.

27. And he will make a firm covenant with many for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice and offering ...

To understand a passage one must always study it in context. In the beginning of Daniel chapter  9, we find:

Daniel 9:2

In the first year of Darius' reign, I, Daniel, considered in the Books the number of years about which the word of the L-rd came to Jeremiah the Prophet which must pass before the end of the ruins of Jerusalem, namely seventy years.

Daniel was living in Babylon in the exile after its army destroyed Jerusalem and the 1st Temple:

II Kings 25:21

...so Judah was carried away out of his land.

The prophecies Daniel was considering were:

Jeremiah 29:10

For thus says the L-rd: "When seventy years are finished for Babylon I will remember you, and fulfill for you My promise to bring you back to this place."

Jeremiah 30:18

Thus says the L-rd: "Behold, I will restore the captivity of Jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings, and the CITY SHALL BE REBUILT upon its mound, and the palace shall stand on its proper place."

In Daniel 9:3-20, Daniel prays for the Jewish people, praising G-d, and imploring Him to end the exile, and build the Temple and Jerusalem. He concludes:

Daniel 9:21-23

"While I was speaking in prayer the man Gabriel [angel] whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, and talked with me and said: 'O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you wisdom, and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications a word went forth, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly beloved, therefore, consider the word, and understand the vision'."

The angel then explained the major events that would occur during the first 490 years after the destruction of the 1st Temple:

Daniel 9:24

Seventy weeks are decreed upon your people, and upon your holy city...

A "week" is a 7 year period:

Leviticus 25:8

And you shall number seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, and there shall be to you the days of seven weeks of years, even forty-nine years.

Therefore, "70 weeks" equals 490 years.

Daniel 9:24

...to finish the transgression, to end sin, to atone for iniquity, and to bring eternal righteousness...

The purpose of this 490 year trial period was to give the Jewish people a chance to prove their loyalty to G-d, and His Torah by repenting properly. Had they done so, then AFTER it ended in 69 C.E. the Messiah would have ushered in the Messianic Era, and these blissful promises would have been fulfilled. Instead, the 2nd Temple was destroyed, and they were again exiled.

Daniel 9:24

...and to seal vision, and prophet...

During this 490 year period vision, and prophecy ceased with Malachi.

Daniel 9:24

...and to anoint the Holy of Holies.

This was the building of the 2nd Temple.

Daniel 9:25

...to restore and to build Jerusalem until an anointed prince will be seven weeks...

Seven weeks of years after the destruction of the 1st Temple this anointed prince was revealed:

Isaiah 45:1

Thus says the L-rd to His anointed, to Cyrus...

When Cyrus, king of Persia, conquered Babylon where the Jews were exiled after the destruction of the 1st Temple G-d chose him to proclaim their liberty:

Isaiah 45:13

I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness, and I will straighten all his ways, HE SHALL BUILD MY CITY and set My exiles free neither for price nor for reward says the L-rd of hosts.

This prophecy was fulfilled:

Ezra 1:1, 3

"Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order that the word of the L-rd by the MOUTH OF JEREMIAH might be accomplished the L-rd stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia to make a proclamation...Whoever there is among you of all His people his G-d be with him, let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the House of the L-rd, the G-d of Israel, He is the G-d Who is in Jerusalem."

Daniel 9:25

...and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built with street, and moat, but in troubled times.

Jerusalem endured this entire period despite the troubles caused by the surrounding enemy nations.

Daniel 9:26

And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one will be cut off, and have nothing...

This 2nd "anointed one" was King Agrippa II of Judah. During the war his Jewish subjects dethroned him, and he fled to the Roman side.

Daniel 9:26

...and the people of a prince who will come shall destroy the city, and the Sanctuary...

Jerusalem, and the 2nd Temple were destroyed by the Roman army originally led by General Vespasian. When he became the Roman emperor, his son Titus, the new crown prince, took over the command. Thus, he is the 3rd prince of Daniel. "Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was 97,000; as was the number of those that died during the whole siege,1,100,000". Josephus Wars, book 6, chapter 9, section 3.

Daniel 9:26

...and its end will be with a flood. Until the end of a war, desolations are decreed.

Jerusalem's end was like a flood. Compare:

Nahum 1:8

But with an overrunning flood, He will make a full end of its place...

Daniel 9:27

And he will make a firm covenant with many for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice, and offering ...

Vespasian made a peace agreement with the Jewish leaders. However, he broke this covenant after the 1st half week (3.5 years)112 and prohibited sacrifices.113

According to the Hebrew Bible these weeks of years begin with the destruction of the 1st Temple. Therefore, since Jesus died about 33 C.E. 36 years (5 weeks of years) before the destruction of the 2nd Temple he could not have been any one of these 3 individuals.

CALCULATION OF DATES

After Creation114

The "70 years" prophecy ---- 3338115 to 3408
From the destruction of the 1st Temple to the building of the 2nd Temple.
(Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:2)

70 weeks (490 years)---- 3338 to 3828
From the destruction of the 1st Temple to the destruction of the 2nd Temple.
(Daniel 9:24-27)

Of these 70 weeks:

7 weeks (52 years)---- 3338 to 3390
From the destruction of the 1st Temple to the decree of Cyrus, the 1st anointed prince.
(Daniel 9:25)

plus

62 weeks (438 years)---- 3390 to 3828
From the decree of Cyrus to King Agrippa II, the 2nd anointed.
(Daniel 9:25-26)

The 70th week----3821 to 3828
Involved Vespasian, Titus the 3rd prince, destruction of Jerusalem, and the 2nd Temple.
(Daniel 9:26-27)

THEIR "70  WEEKS"  EXPOSED

SECTION 2   Refutation of Missionary Translation, Interpretations, and Calculations

The reader is informed that only non-Jewish historical dates the same which missionaries accept are quoted in Section 2. At the end of the 1st Temple Era they were 164 years earlier than traditional Jewish chronology. Because of this great divergence only the years from Creation as recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures were referenced in Section 1. (see Appendix)
The idea that Jesus was being foretold in our passage under discussion was a later thought. The writers of the New Testament did not claim that he was. This is very telling because anything that could have even remotely been referring to Jesus was quoted as definitely speaking of him. Nevertheless, missionaries were determined to lessen the impact its omission has upon people.
They did so, initially by saying "...from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem ..." was a prophecy which was foretelling King Artaxerxes' 1 decree in 445 B.C.E. And it was from then that the 70 weeks of years began. In contrast, we have shown in Section 1, that this 490 year period started when Jeremiah prophesied that Jerusalem and the Temple would be built. His prophecies were said after the 1st Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C.E. This is what "from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem... "     was referring to.
Because this proclamation was made about 620 years before Jesus died, far beyond the 490 year timeline, missionaries ignore it. Also they claim that Cyrus could not be the 1st anointed because his decree only mentioned the Temple, thus he did not build the city. But their assertion contradicts G-d's word through His Prophet Isaiah 45:13. (see Section 1)
Josephus, the 1st Century historian, also confirmed that the city was included in the decree of Cyrus. He quoted the letter that Cyrus wrote to the governors of Syria: "I have given them leave,... to build their CITY, and to build the Temple of G-d in Jerusalem..." (Antiquities Book X1, Chapter 1, Section 3)

THEIR TRANSLATION

DANIEL  9:25 -26

"Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks, and 60 and 2 weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times. And after 60 and 2 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;..."

a. This is the present day Kings James translation, the most popular Bible among missionaries. The comma after 7 weeks, and a colon after 60 and 2 weeks is just what they asked for - literally! Very tellingly, these punctuation marks are different from the ones found in the original 1611 C.E. version. There, the 70 weeks are divided into 3 separate weeks of years 7, 62 and 1, duplicating the traditional Jewish version:                          ...unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks; and 60 and 2 weeks, the street shall be built again,...

b. Missionaries claim that the "7 weeks" (49 years) are separated from the "62 weeks" because that was how long it took to build either the Temple, wall, or city. But this is another bluff. The Temple was built over a 20 year period (Ezra 3:8 -10, 6:15) 536 - 516 B.C.E. while Cyrus, and Darius Hystaspis were kings. This was years before the reign of Artaxerxes 1 even began! The wall was completed in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15) in 445 B.C.E. There is NO RECORD as to when the city was completed.

Other missionaries claim that there is no separation, just one period of 69 weeks, plus the 70th week. But this can not be true. In the Hebrew Bible sum totals are written only with their own numbers, 69 would be 60 and 9, or 9 and 60. Compare Genesis 5:27 and Ezra 2:4-5 in the Hebrew.

c. "...to restore and to build Jerusalem..." To build (Livnot) - manual labor. Compare:

1 Kings 5:9 "And I purpose to build a house..." (Livnot)

To restore / To bring back (L'hashiv) - returning the exiled Jews. This was in fulfillment of:

Jeremiah 29:10 "...When seventy years are finished for Babylon I will remember you and fulfill for you My promise to bring you back to this place." (L'hashiv))

The reference to the street and "wall" only symbolized the larger work of building the city. It is not a criteria per se in determining the real decree. Missionaries, however claim a prophetic connection between this wall and the wall Artaxerxes 1 permitted to be built in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:8). Thus, identifying this decree as starting the 490 years from 445 B.C.E.

But the two Hebrew words, both which they translate as "wall" are different. "Chomah" in Nehemiah literally means wall. Daniel's "charuts" literally means to cut in, or dig. It is primarily translated as moat. Also, if the wall is a signal pointing to the real decree, then the street must also be, yet none of the Persian decrees mentions it.

d. The Hebrew word mashiach appears in the Hebrew Bible 39 times. The Greek Septuagint translation completed in 246 B.C.E. understood it to mean anointed (xpiotoc), exclusively, as does traditional Judaism. Curiously, the King James Bible translates it only here as Messiah. The other 37 places has anointed.

e. In the Hebrew text, the definite article "the" represented by the letter hey before "mashiach" and before "Prince" does not exist. The insertion of them was to give the impression that the one and distinct Redeemer was being referred to. Compare this verse with Leviticus 4:3, 5 in the Hebrew. There, the letter hey which is written ha, does appear twice - ha-kohen ha-mashiach. The Priest the mashiach.

f. Conversely, "the" does appear before the second 60 and 2 weeks: "And after the 60 and 2 weeks shall..." but to conceal that our passage is foretelling 3 periods of time, 7, 62, and 1 week of years, it was omitted. This was done to make it seem as if 7 and 62 was a single time period of 69 weeks of years ( 69 x 7 ) = 483 years. This was the amount of time that is suppose to have elapsed from when Artaxerxes 1 issued his decree until the day Jesus the "Messiah" died and was "cut off". However, if this was correct, it would have said: "And after the 69 weeks shall mashiach be cut off,..."

g. Their faulty translation also caused an abrupt stop after the 69th week, leaving the 70th week detached. Their "solution" was to move back the end of the 69th week by several days, from the day Jesus died to Palm Sunday. This week was then placed in an imaginary "time zone", or "gap" connecting the 69th week to the 70th. This "week" has now been extended to almost 2000 years!

h. "will be cut off" (yikaret). Whether this was a spiritual, or physical punishment it is revealing that Jesus who is suppose to be sinless, is said to be a recipient of it!

Numbers 15:30 "But the person who does anything DEFIANTLY...will be cut off from among his people." (yikaret)

i. "but not for himself" is wrong. "ve'ein " means - and have nothing. Compare:

Proverbs 13:7 "There is one who pretends to be rich and has nothing" (ve'ein)

ARTAXERXES' 20th YEAR DECREE......NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 2

We saw in Section 1 that it was the decree of King Cyrus that was to be issued after the first 7 weeks of years. He did so in the year 538 B.C.E. However, this date was too early to be the starting point for Jesus to be the Messiah after their 483 years ended. This time period would have elapsed before he was even born. Therefore, the later decree of Artaxerxes 1 in 445 B.C.E. had to be chosen instead. It authorized Nehemiah to be supervisor over building the walls of Jerusalem. This was after Artaxerxes 1 stopped all construction in the city for years!

Ezra 4:21, 23 "Now issue a decree halting these people, this city shall not be built until a decree shall be issued by me...Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read...they went up in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and made them to cease by force and power."

Artaxerxes' 1 decree to appoint Nehemiah as supervisor and governor was issued:

Nehemiah 2:1 "...IN THE MONTH OF NISAN IN THE 20th YEAR OF ARTAXERXES..."

a. Scholars disagree which year it was issued in...445 B.C.E. or 444 B.C.E.

b. The day is lost. It is not written in the Hebrew Scriptures. There is no Jewish tradition about it, nor is there a general rule to follow when a date is not given. Missionaries, however need to begin their 483 years from the 1st day of Nisan. Therefore, they say that when the day is missing it is the Jewish custom to declare that it was the 1st day of the stated month. Usually, they don't cite a source of reference. This is because there is NONE.   If one is quoted, research it to see if it exists and if so, what does it really say.

c. If this was really a directive leading exactly to Palm Sunday 32 C.E., then the all - important day when it was announced would have been written, so that we would know the starting date of this "time prophecy".

d. Their 483 years from 445 B.C.E. arrived at 39 C.E.; years too late for Jesus to have died in. Usually, they don't tell you this, because it would be obvious that their additional math steps were needed only to end at an earlier year.

They hide their real end year of 39 C.E. by employing a triple digit multiplication of 69 x 7 x 360 = 173,880 days. This 360 day "prophetic" or calendar year multiplier is said to have been in use during the Hebrew Bible Era, although it is not known in the Jewish religion. (see Appendix)

The 173,880 days were then divided by 365; the number of days in a solar year. This reduced their 483 years to 476, and the original 39 C.E. end year became 32 C.E.

e. Nevertheless, a calculation designed to reach the year that Jesus died in is doomed to fail from the outset. THE YEAR IS NOT KNOWN. Therefore, their computations can not be proven right or wrong. So why study and publicize them? It is unknown because his crucifixion was only one of many thousands, and it was not the monumental event one is led to believe.

The above disputation was written to reveal the flaws in the explanation of Robert Anderson in 1894. He has a starting date of March 14, 445 B.C.E. and ends on Sunday, April 6, 32 C.E. But, since all of their calculations stem from the same translation of Daniel 9, and each of them begin their 483 years from a decree issued by Artaxerxes 1, much of it applies to each of them.

Dating New Testament events with true accuracy is not possible. Its information is too scant and vague. Outside sources are also not definitive. Therefore, scholars can only state that:

Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C.E.        And died between 30 and 36 C.E.

Jesus was baptized / ministry began between 27 and 29 C.E.        And lasted 1 to 3 years

ARTAXERXES' 7th YEAR DECREE.....EZRA CHAPTER 7

With these unknowns surrounding Jesus, one can see the recklessness in this other "70 weeks" calculation of theirs. Missionaries claim, without Scriptural evidence that Artaxerxes' 1 decree was issued:

Ezra 7:7 "... IN THE 7th YEAR OF ARTAXERXES THE KING..." and that it was from then that the 70 weeks of years began.

Historically, it is unknown whether his 7th year was in 458 B.C.E. or 457 B.C.E. The uncertainty here, as well as when his later decree was announced (Nehemiah 2:1 Section 2 above) stems from a disagreement among the leading authorities as to when his reign began....465 B.C.E. or 464 B.C.E. But they agree that the day and month when this decree was given is not known.

The Hebrew Bible introduces this decree by stating:

Ezra 7:1, 6 " Now after these things in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia,... the king granted Ezra all his request,....".

But if this decree really started the 490 year timeline directly to Jesus, then Scripture would have written "in the 7th year of," words which missionaries would have seized upon, instead of the vague "in the reign of." Also, why are we not told when and what "these things" were? Or what occurred between when the decree was announced and Ezra's departure to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:9-11)? Omissions that could have dated this decree.

Missionaries do not have an explanation for this blanket of silence at the exact point where they would expect the Hebrew Bible to be explicit. Therefore, they can only say that his decree did not go into effect when it was signed, but later, AFTER Ezra arrived in Jerusalem because he needed to give it to the Persian government officials who did not know about it! Besides the absurdity of their claim, there were details of the decree that needed to be accomplished immediately, even BEFORE the group were allowed to leave:

1. The decree said that any Jew who volunteered would be allowed to depart with the group (Ezra 7:13).      1,496 men besides the women and children accepted the offer (Ezra 8:1-14).

2. The silver and gold that the king "freely offered to the G-d of Israel" were to be taken with them (Ezra 7:15).

3. They were also ordered to gather and bring with them the silver, gold, and free-will offerings donated by the general population (Ezra 7:16).

From what had to be done to satisfy the king, plus the planning and preparation for caring for this large group of people travelling 4 months must have taken a considerable amount of time. How long is unknown.

The Jews and Persian officials who were in Jerusalem needed to be informed of the decree quickly so that they could facilitate the king's wishes before and after the group arrived. For instance, the decree specified that individuals working in the Temple be exempt from paying taxes (Ezra 7:24). The king did not need to wait until Ezra reached Jerusalem before it could be implemented, he had a fast and efficient communication network in place. The Book of Esther which also chronicles the Jews exiled in Persia informs us about it:

Esther 8:14 "So the posts that rode on swift horses that were used in the king's service went out being hastened and pressed on by the king's decree..."

Esther 9:30 "And he sent letters to all the Jews, to 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus,..."

........................................

1st month - Nisan (March/April)        5th month - Av (July/August)       7th month - Tishrei (September/October)

The Jewish year changes to the next in Tishrei, but it was never counted as the 1st calendar month, nor did its place as the 7th month ever change. Without exception, in the Hebrew Bible the 1st month is always Nisan:

Esther 3:7 "...the 1st month which is the month Nisan."

Exodus 12:2 "...It shall be the 1st month of the year to you."

Passover, the holiday during which Jesus died always falls out in Nisan.

Leviticus 23:5 "The L-rd's Passover begins at twilight on the 14th day of the 1st month"

Ezra 6:19 "And the children of the exile kept the Passover on the 14th day of the 1st month"

At this point, we confidently state that since Ezra departed to Jerusalem with the decree in his possession "on the 1st day of the 1st month"...in the 7th year of the king (Ezra 7:8-11), the decree was issued during the prior year, or even earlier.

Their journey lasted exactly 4 months. From the 1st of Nisan to the 1st of Av "...And he came to Jerusalem in the 5th month which was in the 7th year of the king" (Ezra 7:8-9). The earliest dates for their trip was from March to July, and the latest was from April to August. They arrived in the SUMMER. Missionaries agree with these dates, but they say that July / August 457 B.C.E. was in the Autumn / Fall, because they must begin their 3.5 years ministry from Autumn / Fall 27 C.E. and end in Spring 31 C.E. the season when Jesus died.

THEIR  CALCULATION

Autumn / Fall     457 B.C.E.    When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, and the decree went into effect.

Plus                    483 years     (69 weeks of years   69 x 7).

                        ----------------

Autumn / Fall       27 C.E.       When Jesus was baptized and began his ministry.

Plus                      3.5 years    The length of time his ministry lasted.

                        ----------------
Spring                   31 C.E.       When he died and was "cut off ".  

Their computation has Jesus being crucified 3.5 years AFTER their 483 years elapsed, in the 70th week, because their 69 weeks ended in 27 C.E., a year too early for him to have died in. This extended time period overlaps Daniel 9:26, which speaks about another person, "a prince". With the absence of the Hebrew letter hey (the) as a prefix, this is the correct translation. Therefore, this prince can not be conclusively identified with the one in verse 9:25, as certain missionary groups claim.

A 3.5 years ministry is too long. Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, and Luke 22-23 in detailing Jesus' public life after his baptism refer to only 1 Passover and that he died within 1 day of it. Thus, his ministry was not longer than 1 full year. John 19 agrees that this is when Jesus was crucified, but he also has 2 earlier Passovers during his ministry (John 2 and 6). So, according to him, Jesus' ministry lasted a maximum of  3 complete years.

This decree permitted all Jews the right to accompany Ezra to Jerusalem and ordered that magistrates and judges be appointed. It stated the penalties for disobeying the Laws of the Torah, or the king. The rest of it was concerned with the already built House of G-d, the altar, and the people working therein (Ezra 7:13-26).

APPENDIX

TRADITIONAL JEWISH CHRONOLOGY

1st Temple destroyed                                                                        422 B.C.E.
Cyrus' decree - Zerubbabel led return to Jerusalem                         370
2nd Temple construction begins                                                        369
Darius the Persian completed 2nd Temple construction                   349
Darius the Persian's decree - Ezra led return to Jerusalem              348
Darius the Persian's decree - Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem         335

The 490 years was from 422 B.C.E. to 69 C.E. It was the 70 years of Babylon exile, plus the 420 years that the 2nd Temple stood. Only AFTER its termination would the Messiah have been allowed to appear. Since Jesus died some 36 years BEFORE, he cannot be him.

Darius the Persian, was the son of King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther. Hence, he was Jewish. We do not acknowledge a king whose name was Artaxerxes. It was a throne title similar to Pharaoh. This is the reason why the non-Jewish chronology of the Persian era has 5 kings named Artaxerxes. They also have a 58 year silent period between the completion of the Temple (Ezra 6:15) and Artaxerxes' l decree to Ezra (Ezra 7:1).

HEBREW LUNAR BASED CALENDAR

The number of days that each of our months have alternates between 29 and 30, starting with Nisan which has 30 days. Therefore, our year has an average of 354 days. To synchronize our calendar with the solar year of 365.25 days, an extra month is added every 3rd year. During the Hebrew Bible Era, the 1st day of the month began when the new moon was seen by witnesses:

2 Kings 4:23 "It is neither new moon, nor Sabbath".

Isaiah 66:23 "From new moon to new moon,..."

Therefore, the sum of any consecutive 5 months period could not equal 150 days. However, the Torah says that the flood rain fell for exactly 5 months. The 17th day of the 2nd month to the 17th day of the 7th month, 150 days (Genesis 7:11,24; 8:4). It could have been that they had a 30 day month and a 360 day year. We do not know, because very often in Scripture numbers are not exact. They are rounded off to the nearest 10th or 100th, thus their last digits are either 0 or 00. The Book of Numbers has many of them. Hence, one should use caution before accepting a doctrine which is founded upon, or supported by one, or more of these numbers.

Missionaries claim that this was a 360 day yearly calendar, and that it was used throughout the Biblical Era, justifying its insertion into their 70 weeks equation: 69 x 7 x 360 days = 173,880 days. They even quote New Testament verses which were written 500 years AFTER our Bible closed as "proof"!


Deuteronomy 18:15

The L-rd, your G-d, will raise up for you a Prophet like me [Moses] from among you, of your brethren; to him you shall hearken....

The New Testament claims that Jesus was this prophet, fraudulently adding:

Acts 3:23

And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.

Yet the verse under discussion refers not to any specific individual, but to future prophets in general. In ancient Israel, a great many men and women strove to be worthy of Divine Inspiration, attending special schools run by acknowledged Prophets. The Hebrew Bible calls these students "prophets" and "sons of the Prophets":

I Samuel 10:10

And when they came to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met [Saul]; and the spirit of G-d came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them.

II Kings 2:7

And fifty men of the sons of the Prophets went and stood at some distance from [Elijah and Elisha] as they both stood by the Jordan.

Amos 2:11

"And I raised up some of your sons as Prophets, and some of your young men as Nazirites-is it not indeed so, O children of Israel?" says the L-rd.

Naturally, the competition and yearning for Divine communication were so intense that one was liable to wishfully believe oneself a prophet, or to deceitfully pass himself off as such. Consequently, the passage under discussion explains how to recognize a false prophet:

Deuteronomy 18:20

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.

Deuteronomy 18:22

When a prophet speaks in the Name of the L-rd, if the word does not come to pass, or come true, it is a word that the L-rd has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.

Jesus was such a false prophet:

Matthew 16:28

Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

That generation died nineteen centuries ago!

Matthew 12:40

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Jesus was "in the heart of the earth" for no more than thirty--six hours. He died Friday afternoon and was "resurrected" Sunday before dawn. When the women reached his tomb, he was already gone:

Luke 23:54--24:3

It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.... On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb,... but when they went in they did not find the body.



Genesis 2:16--17

And the L-rd, G-d, commanded the man, saying: "Of every tree in the garden, you may freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you must not eat of it, for the day you eat of it, you shall surely die."

Despite this warning, Adam did of course eat from the Tree, but he did not die that day. Rather, he became subject to death, i.e., he became mortal.

In the original Hebrew, "you shall surely die" is expressed by combining the future tense ("shall") with an imperative ("surely"). Such emphatic double verbs are common in the Hebrew Bible. For instance:

Genesis 26:11

So Abimelech warned all the people, saying: "Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."

Deuteronomy 15:8

But you shall surely open your hand to him, and you shall surely lend him enough for his need, whatever it may be.

I Kings 2:37

For on the day you go forth and cross the brook of Kidron, you shall surely know that you shall surely die....

Nonetheless, missionaries seize on the double verb here as something unique, interpreting it to mean that Adam and all mankind went straight to hell upon death, and remained there until Jesus saved them from their torment!

I Peter 3:18--19

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to G-d, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison....

But the New Testament itself refutes this doctrine, depicting Abraham and Lazarus in heaven before Jesus died, and "descended to hell": "

Luke 16:22--23

The poor man [Lazarus] died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom....

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According to the New Testament, Jesus told his disciples that he would be resurrected:

Matthew 17:22--23

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them: "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.

However, strange as it is, the New Testament itself, gives evidence that the disciples were not expecting him to be resurrected, and that the man who appeared to them was not Jesus.

Matthew 28:16--17

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted.

Mark 16:12--13

After this [Jesus] appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but neither did they believe them.

Elsewhere we are enlightened as to what "another form" means:

Luke 24:16

But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

John 20:20

When [Jesus] had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

And who did they think he was before he showed them some bruises?

John 21:12

...Now none of the disciples dared ask him: "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.

If "They knew it was the Lord," then why should the question "Who are you?" come to mind?

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