Daniel the Prophet

In the Old Testament, Daniel the prophet was given the exact measure of time from an event clearly marked in his own day to the coming of the Messiah, and to his being "cut off." Moreover, in this connection, YEHOVAH God revealed to Daniel the marvellous things that were to be accomplished through the death of the Messiah -- and the overwhelming judgments that were to fall upon the city of Jerusalem, the Temple and the people.

The decree, which was to bring the captivity of the Jews to an end and authorize them to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, was to be the starting point of the "determined" period of seventy sevens of years. The epoch-making decree of Cyrus, in the first year of his reign as sole king, was both the termination of the 70 years captivity and also the starting point for the prophetic period of 70 sevens.

Unfortunately, the expositors and chronologers have turned aside from YEHOVAH's Word and have accepted a defective chronology based on pagan traditions -- claiming the decree was issued by Artaxerxes instead of Cyrus.

Some claim that the building of Jerusalem is not expressly mentioned in Ezra 1:1-4 -- however, Ezra does not quote the entire decree, and the city is not specifically mentioned. Nonetheless, he makes it perfectly clear that this was the "word to restore and to build Jerusalem."

The most important feature of the revelation to Daniel was the precise measure of time (69 sevens, or 483 years) "to Messiah, the Prince;" and the time when the Messiah was to be "cut off and have nothing." This course of time was to run from Cyrus' decree until the Messiah's anointing and baptism in the Jordan river. -- John D. Keyser.