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A Chronology for the Events in Daniel 9

2016.01.16 - angel_danielAs with my last post, I realize that not everyone studies their Bibles and comes to a premillennial and pretribulational understanding of end times. However, my own study has led to such conclusions, which is true of my church, and here are some notes from my study this past couple of weeks.

The chronology below understands the “sevens” in Dan 9:24–27 to be future sets of seven years, each of which is a year of 360 days (cf. Gen 7:11, 24; 8:3–4; Rev 11:2–3; 12:6; 13:5). The Bible gives some historical markers that we can use to match and date fairly accurately with historical sources. Even the best of conservative biblical scholars find some of the dates below difficult to pinpoint, though any inaccuracies are limited to perhaps a year or so.

1095 BC: Israel began to neglect every seventh year of rest for the land for 490 years. See Dan 1:1; 9:1–2; Jer 25:11–12; 29:10; cf. Lev 25:1–7; 2 Chron 36:20–21.

605 BC: Daniel is taken captive. This captivity lasts 70 years to match Israel’s negligence of years of Sabbath rest. See Dan 1:1; 9:1–2; Jer 25:11–12; 29:10; cf. Lev 25:1–7; 2 Chron 36:20–21.

539 BC: Daniel reads Jeremiah’s prophecy about the 70-year captivity, 66 years into this captivity. Gabriel tells Daniel of Israel’s future events to take place over 490 years (not all of which are consecutive). See Dan 9:1–2, 20–27.

538 BC: Bringing an end to Daniel’s Jeremiah’s prophesied 70 years of captivity, the Persian Cyrus decrees the Jews may return to Israel. Zerubbabel led some of the Jews back to inhabit Jerusalem by about 536 BC. See Ezra 1:1; cf. Ezra 1–6; Jer 25:11–12; 29:10.

445 BC: Nehemiah leads more Jews back to Israel. He carries with him letters of authorization to rebuild Jerusalem. The first 49 of 490 years begins here (7 “sevens”). See Dan 9:25; Neh 2:1–8.

396 BC: After the 49 years end and Jerusalem is partially rebuilt, Jerusalem continues to be rebuilt for the next 434 years (62 “sevens”). Unlike the first 49 years, Gabriel describes these 434 years as “a troubled time.” See Dan 9:25.

5 BC: The traditional date given by conservative biblical scholars for the birth of Jesus is 4 or 5 BC.

AD 30: The traditional years given by conservative biblical scholars for the ministry of Jesus is AD 30 to 33, approximately ages 35 to 38 for Jesus (cf. Luke 3:23, ministry begins not exactly but “about thirty years of age”).

AD 33: The Messiah is cut off at the end of a “troubled time,” 434 years after the first 49 years, totaling 483 of the prophesied 490 years. Jesus dies at about 38 years old. The traditional date by conservative biblical scholars for the death of Jesus is AD 33. If Daniel’s 490 years began in Neh 2:1–8 in 445/444 BC, 483 years of 360 days each would have ended at this time when the Messiah was cut off. As elsewhere (cf. Isa 9:6–7; Isa 61:1–2; Luke 4:18–21), an unspecified gap of time between prophetic events takes place here between Daniel’s 483 and 7 years, that is, between the Messiah’s being “cut off” and the final 7 of 490 years characterized by the actions of the Antichrist. See Dan 9:25, 26.

AD ?: After an unspecified gap of time, the final 7 of 490 years takes place in the future and begins with the Antichrist’s covenant of peace with Israel. After 3.5 years, the Antichrist then rejects this covenant, profanes the temple, and persecutes Israel and believers for the remaining 3.5 years. See Dan 9:27; 12:11; cf. 2 Thess 2:3–4; Rev 13:14–15.

David Huffstutler

About David Huffstutler

David pastors First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, serves as a chaplain for his local police department, and teaches as adjunct faculty at Bob Jones University. David holds a Ph. D. in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His concentration in Christian Leadership focuses his contributions to pastoral and practical theology.

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