The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by TedM »

Hi Bernard!

I'm writing to someone about the 70 weeks, and thought of your very interesting chart. I'm wondering if you have gotten any feedback from scholars on it? The terminology of 70 'sevens' of years seems to fit your scenario better than the traditional interpretation, to me.

EDIT: I am removing the rest of my post which was in error.

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by Ethan »

Book of Daniel is a pretext of Ezra-Nehemiah which begins with Artaxerxes.

2 Chronicles 36:21
To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah ... to fulfill seventy years.

Daniel 9:1 - Darius the son of Ahasuerus
Esther 1:1 - Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus

Daniel 9:1 ~ In the first year of Darius II, the son of Artaxerxes I

Josephus - Antiquities of the Jews - 11.1841
After the death of Xerxes, the kingdom came to be transferred to his son Cyrus, whom the Greeks called Artaxerxes.

The Cyrus in Ezra 1:2 was Artaxerxes I and minus 70 years is the era of Xerxes I

Diodorus.17, 110, 4-5 (Βοιώτιοι > יהודי)
A settlement of Boeotians established (in Sittacene, Babylon) there since the time of Xerxes.

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by TedM »

Can you clarify which mystery you are talking about and what chronology you think Daniel is using please? Are you saying that the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Cyrus (typically known to have been 539BC) was the same one as by Artaxerxes (much later) because he was the same person? Or something else? Wouldn't the Cyrus in Daniel 1:21 as well as the one in Ezra 1:1 have to be the earlier one?
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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by rakovsky »

Ben C. Smith wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:21 pm I have some fairly good information on how Daniel's seventy weeks were interpreted by later Jewish and Christian exegetes. But I have read and reread the relevant verses since my childhood and I am still not sure what they themselves are trying to say from the authorial perspective of Daniel:
Especially of interest are issues related to the messiah figure and to the future destruction of the city and the sanctuary. What is being predicted here (whether after the fact or before)?
Daniel prays about the end of Jeremiah's 70 years (Jer 25:9-13) for Israel to serve Nebuchadnezzar, and an angel gives Daniel a new, distinct prophecy of 490 years (70 weeks of years) for extreme spiritual events like ending sin, atoning for sin, bringing in everlasting righteousness, and anointing something called the "Holy of Holies".

-- The concept of "weeks" is used because it relates to the Torah command to give the land a rest every 7 years, as well as the Torah demand to observe a Jubilee year after 7 "weeks" of years (ie. on the 50th year, IIRC). Israel failed to observe the 7 year fallowing cycles and the Jubilee years, so God destroyed the first Temple and put the Israelites into exile. Consequently, God announces that the Israelites' return from exile will happen after 70 years, implicity using the same "7 weeks" concept.

-- Daniel's 490 year prediction is a greater prophecy that builds on Jeremiah's 70 year prediction. Just as Jeremiah's 70 years gave a prediction for the Israelites' return, Daniel's 490 years is a prediction for even greater blessings (ending sin, etc.). This sounds practically eschatological.

-- Mathematically, 483 of those years must end sometime after 125 BC:
c. 608 BC (the earliest when the Babylonian captivity would have started) minus 483 years = 125 BC
---- Many secular scholars prefer to relate this prophecy to Antiochus' persecution in the early 2nd century AD, on the theory that Daniel was writing during Antiochus' period. However, Daniel's 490 years ending after 125 BC does not actually count down to the chronology of the Antiochian persecution of the early 2nd century AD. So in order to support these scholars' Antiochian persecution theory, one must take it that Daniel's counting was mistaken. However, as I recall, Daniel elsewhere does describe the Antiochian persecution, giving a chronology for it that does mathematically count down to the Antiochian persecution, so this scholarly theory must be incorrect.

---- Instead of following those secular scholars' theory, one can theorize that just as Daniel's author used Jeremiah's prediction of 70 years to formulate a prediction about 490 years, the same author may have used his own descriptions and "predictions" of Antiochus' persecutions as a model or basis to predict even more extreme events. That is, Antiochus' persecution of the Jews and desecration of the Temple in the 2nd century could serve as a predictive basis for Daniel's prophecy of the destruction of the rebuilt Temple (the Second Temple).

-- A common misconception is that Josephus only related Daniel's prophecy to Antiochus' persecution. But in fact, Josephus relates Daniel's prophecy, like about 3 1/2 years of desecration, to both Antiochus's desecration and to the Temple's destruction of 70 AD.

-- Rabbinical Tradition, in particular the Rambam, sees Daniel as giving a calculation for the coming of the Messiah. I listened to Chabad's lecture series on Daniel, and the series considers the question of the prophecy's messianic fulfillment
( ... Daniel.htm). The lecture series asks how to understand the rabbinic idea that the Messiah did not come when Daniel had predicted. The lecturer suggests that the answer is that Daniel was making a prediction of an "Auspicious moment" for the Messiah to come, but that it isn't absolutely definitive that the Messiah could only come at that moment. Instead, there might only be major spiritual events that happen at that past auspicious moment, depending on the spiritual state of the Jewish people.

-- Christian interpretation commonly sees Daniel 9 as also making a Messianic prophecy, with one or both of the "anointed" ones in the 490 years being Jesus of Nazareth.
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