Day 6 – Daniel’s prophecy
Daniel from the Bible is still a well-known figure today, almost 2600 years after he lived. He was a contemporary of Confucius’ day. Though we mostly know Daniel by his first name, we associate him with such incredible life stories as Daniel in the Lion’s Den (when he was 83 years old!), Daniel and the Fiery Furnace, The Handwriting on the Wall, and his interpretation of dreams. He predicted the coming of the Messiah and the exact date of Jesus’ death – 600 years before it happened!
Daniel was a Jewish prophet and known to be a good man. Even his enemies regarded him as a man of integrity and faith. Nothing negative has ever been written about Daniel. While he was in captivity in Babylonia, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon thought highly of him and elevated him to a high rank in his kingdom. Jesus quoted Daniel in Matthew 24:15 when talking about the current and end-times prophecies. Daniel has proven to be one we can trust. And when you add up the math of his prophecies concerning the dates of Jesus, it cannot be easily dismissed.
In the following verses from Daniel’s prophecy, a “week” represents a 7-year period rather than 7 days, so the numbers are to be multiplied by 7 to get the total number of years in his prediction. The calculations in parentheses have been added for additional explanation.
While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God— while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness, about the time of the evening offering. He gave me this explanation:
Seventy weeks are decreed (70 x 7 = 490 years)
about your people and your holy city—
to bring the rebellion to an end,
to put a stop to sin,
to wipe away iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most holy place.
Know and understand this:
From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (rebuild the temple)
until Messiah the Prince
will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. (7×7= 49 years, 62×7= 434 years)
It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat,
but in difficult times.
(The temple was rebuilt from 445-396 BC in 49 years.
Exactly 434 years later, Jesus had the triumphal entry into Jerusalem before His death.)
After those 62 weeks
the Messiah will be cut off (put to death)
and will have nothing.
The people of the coming prince (anti-Christ)
will destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end will come with a flood,
and until the end there will be war;
desolations are decreed.
He will make a firm covenant
with many for one week, (1×7= 7 years of tribulation in future)
but in the middle of the week (3 ½ years)
he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. (anti-Christ will turn on the people)
And the abomination of desolation
will be on a wing of the temple
until the decreed destruction
is poured out on the desolator.
The entire decree is 70 weeks or 490 years. It begins with 49 years to rebuild the temple after the exile, then 434 years until the Messiah is killed, and the remaining 7 years is to happen in the future end-times with the anti-Christ. Daniel predicted the rebuilding of the temple, the coming Messiah, and the end-times with the anti-Christ. But Daniel is not the only one to talk of these things. The validity of the Bible is through many sources, over many years. Jesus talked about it and often referred to the Old Testament prophets. The Apostle Paul mentioned it in the book of 2 Thessalonians, and John, the disciple of Jesus, wrote about it in the book of Revelation.
May you not be fearful of the times still to come but
rejoice in the assurance we can have now in knowing
the Messiah who has already come!
Jesus came not to judge the world but to save it.
It is a free gift of salvation available to everyone,
but it is up to each of us to accept it and believe.
* Merry Christmas *
A Christmas Story Devotional: 31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John
Follow along for the 31 days of December and experience a new and exciting appreciation for the ancient Christmas story we celebrate today. The story of Jesus and the meaning behind the celebration of Christmas is woven throughout the entire Bible – from the beginning of mankind in Genesis to the resurrection of Jesus as told by the apostle John some 4000 years later.
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