Daniel 9:25 Index
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
Research Material

"Know therefore and understand..."

  • The period of seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days [70 x 7 = 490], of prophetic time, covers a period f four hundred and ninety years, during which Jewish history as such would continue. This four hundred and ninety years did not begin at once, for the angel said they should begin to reckon from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. The period of seventy weeks of Jewish history is thus divided by the angel: Seven [7 weeks]] weeks for building the walls and streets of Jerusalem; threescore and two [62 weeks] weeks till the work of the Messiah; and one [1 week] week, which would cover the period of His ministry and the time following until the gospel should go forth to the Gentiles. This last week is devoted to the confirmation of the covenant (Hebrews 2:3). (SNH 142)

"...from the going forth of the commandment...

  1. At the time this vision was given, Jerusalem and the Temple were still in ruins. Haven announces that a command will be issued to rebuild and restore, and that from that date a definite number of years will reach to the long-looked-for Messiah. (4BC 852-853)
  2. Three decrees dealing with the repatriation of the Jews are recorded in the book of Ezra: the first in the first year of Cyrus, about 537 B.C. (Ezra 1:1-4); the second in the reign of Darius I, soon after 520 B.C. (Ezra 6:1-12); the third in the 7th year of Artaxerxes, 458/457 B.C. (Ezra 7:1-26).... In their decrees neither Gyrus nor Darius made any genuine provision for the restoration of the civil state as a complete unit. though a restoration of both was promised in the prophecy of Daniel. The decree of the 7th year of Artaxerxes was the first to give the Jewish state full autonomy, subject to Persian overlordship. (4BC 853)

"...to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah..."

  1. Daniel [foretold] that the long-looked for Prince Messiah would appear at a specified time. To this time Jesus referred when He declared, "The time is fulfilled' (Mark 1:15; DA 233). Jesus was anointed at the time of His baptism in the autumn of A.D. 27 (Luke 3:21,22; Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18). (4BC 853)

"...the Prince..." (Daniel 11:22)

"...shall be seven weeks..."

  • For an understanding of the first division, the seven weeks or forty-nine years, we have the history as recorded in Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah (John 5:39). God raised up Cyrus and placed him on the throne, that he might restore the Jews to their native city. Long before the Babylonian captivity began, the prophet Isaiah wrote of Cyrus, "He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be guilt; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid." (Isaiah 44:28; II Chronicles 36:23; Isaiah 45:13).... In the first chapter of the book of Ezra is recorded the decree of Cyrus. The fulfillment by Cyrus of the prophecy of Isaiah is striking: "In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia... the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, the king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven... hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:1-10) (SNH 142-143)
  • Then it was that every Jew in Babylon was at liberty to return to Palestine. If necessary, the expenses of going would be borne by the government of Cyrus. There was ample provision for all the poor and the sick (Isaiah 66:20). Such a decree had never before been issued. Israel should have arisen en masse, taking with them all those of other nationalities, who, having heard the gospel, were willing to cast in their lot with the people of God (Isaiah 52:2). The land should have rung with shouts of praise and with the songs of the ransomed. The exodus from Babylon should have been a mighty witness to the nations of the earth of the power of the God of Israel (Jeremiah 16:14, 15). The exodus from Egypt, and the wonders attending the crossing of the Red Sea and the Jordan, and the feeding of the thousands in the wilderness, would have dwindled into insignificance had Israel taken advantage of the way which God had prepared (Ezra 2:64-67). (SNH 143-144)
  • What was the result of the decree? Daniel watched with anxiety the preparations which were made to depart, and at the end of the first year scarcely fifty thousand had journeyed from Babylon to Jerusalem. Cyrus was discouraged and disgusted because of the feeble response, and relapsed into indifference. Later the angel of God with Michael's help pleaded with him for three weeks in order to touch his heart again (Daniel 10:13)... The vessels taken from the temple to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar were returned to the leaders of the Jews, who carried them back to Jerusalem. In the second year of their coming into Palestine, the work of restoring the temple, which had been burned by Nebuchadnezzar, was hidden by rubbish, the accumulation of nearly seventy years (Ezra 3:10-11). The work of restoration was soon stopped by the Samaritans living in the country, and further progress was impossible until the issuing of a second decree by Darius, king of Persia, in 520 B.C (Ezra 4:24). Work on the house of God stopped for fifteen years. Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah rebuked the people for their inactivity (Ezra 5:1-2; Haggai 1:1 - 2: 23). (SNH 144)
  • It would seem that the Jews while professing to be God's people, yet built their own houses, and delayed work on the temple, because there was no direct command from the king to proceed (Haggai 1:4). But God wanted them to go forward, exercising faith, and when, in response to the word of the Lord by the prophet Haggai, they did go to work, the Lord stirred up the heart of the Persian king to help them (Haggai 2:18-19; Ezra 5:1-17). This will be further seen in Daniel 12. Men of the world, enemies of the Jews, openly complained to the king, but this, instead of hindering the work, occasioned a searching of the royal records, which revealed the decree of Cyrus. Then Darius, instead of rebuking the Jews, issued a decree that the work should go forward, and further commanded that the work of building be helped forward by money from the royal treasury. (SNH 144-145)
  • Jerusalem was subject to the Persian government until the days of Ezra in the reign of Artaxerxes. In the seventh year of the reign of that king, 457 B.C., was issued the third decree concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem. This decree:
    • 1) Permitted all Jews who os desired to return to Jerusalem,
    • 2) It allowed the taking of a free-will offering from all Babylon for the cause at Jerusalem,
    • 3) It proclaimed perfect freedom to follow the commands of God in all the territory west of the Jordan,
    • 4) It relieved all Levities and ministers from paying toll or tribute,
    • 5) it directed that the walls of Jerusalem be rebuilt,
    • 6) It arranged for the appointment of magistrates and judges in Palestine from among the Jews themselves, thus organizing a government of the people, a thing wholly foreign to the policy of an Oriental monarchy. (Ezra 7:11-16).
  • This was in the year 457 B.C., and is the time from which the period of seventy weeks should be reckoned, according to the words of Gabriel to Daniel. That it required the three decrees to constitute the commandment of Daniel 9:25, is evident from the words of Inspiration in Ezra 6:14: "They builded, and finished it,...according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes, king of Persia." The three decrees are thus connected. (SNH 146)
  • The "troublous times," during which the building should be carried forward are described by the prophet Nehemiah, who was a cupbearer for the king in Babylon, was mourning over the troubles in Jerusalem, and in answer to his petition he was permitted to go up to the city in behalf of the work. Under the direction of Nehemiah the people worked on the wall of Jerusalem with weapons fastened to their sides, "They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, everyone with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.... So we labored in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared." (Nehemiah 4:17-21).... Nehemiah in these times of trouble was a wonderful leader for Israel. His lessons to the people on the taking of usury, wages, and rent should be followed by Christians to-day (Nehemiah 5:1-17). The rebuilding of Jerusalem in troublous times is a fit symbol of carrying the gospel to all nations in the last days. Israel brought this trouble upon herself by her sins and lack of faith (Nehemiah 5:14-15); and what she should have done by way of warning the world in peace and quietude, had to be done in great distress. Furthermore, it will be noticed that a few years of rest always found sin and iniquity abounding in Israel (Nehemiah 9:28). The nation was scarcely from under the hands of Babylon till the people held their own brethren as slaves because of debt (Nehemiah 5:5-8). A proclamation of freedom must come from within their own borders before there could be peace and help from without (Zechariah 9:9-11; Haggai 2:15-19). When it should come from within, God's Word pledged the support of even their enemies (John 8:36). There principles are true in the body of Christians to-day. The spread of the gospel will be an easy work, and it will be as the voice of a mighty angel enlightening the world, when God's people proclaim liberty among themselves (Revelation 18:1). (SNH 146-147)

"...shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks..."

  1. The natural method of calculating these weeks is to consider them consecutive, that is, the 62 weeks begin where the 7 weeks end. These divisions are components of the 70 weeks mentioned in Daniel 8:24 thus 7 + 62 + 1 = 70. (Daniel 8:27). (4BC 853)
  2. Beginning with the autumn of 457 B.C., when the decree went into effect, 69 prophetic weeks, or 483 years, reach to the baptism of Jesus in 27 A.D. (4BC 853)
  3. ... (7 + 62 = 69 weeks, or 483 prophetic days, or literal years). Messiah, in the Hebrew, and Christ, in the Greek, are the same as "anointed" in English (John 1:41). God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:38). This anointing took place at the time of His baptism. The sixty -nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years, reached to the baptism of Christ by John in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:14-15; Luke 3:21-22; Mark 1:10). (SNH 147)
  4. From the decree of Artaxerxes (Psalm 22:28), four hundred and fifty-seven years reach into the year a 1 A.D., in the present dispensation. But twenty-six years remained of the sixty-nine weeks (483 - 457 = 26), which terminated with the baptism of Christ. Twenty-six years added to the year 1 A.D., bring us to 27 A.D., in the fall of which year Christ was baptized. (Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21-23).... For years the Jewish nation had had the promise of a Deliverer. The close of the sixty-nine weeks found the Jews under the control of the fourth kingdom, the dreadful and terrible beast which Daniel had before described (Luke 2:1-2). The desire of every Jewish woman who was true to her God was to be the mother of the Saviour. Whenever a babe was presented to the Lord, it was with the hope that he might be the accepted One. The birthplace of the Messiah had been foretold (Micah 5:2). Malachi had prophesied concerning John, the forerunner of the Saviour, and for six months the voice of this witness had been heard throughout the land of Israel (Malachi 3:1). The time of the preaching of John is established by six historical facts (Luke 3:1-3). Israel and Judah flocked to the banks of the Jordan (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 3:5), and among them came Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 3:15). John recognized Him by a sign from heaven; and as He came out of the water, the heavens opened, and he saw the heavenly dove resting on His head, and heard the voice proclaiming Him the Son of God (John 1:31-34; Matthew 3:17). (SNH 148)
  5. The sixty-nine weeks had closed. Those who were at that time studying the prophecies of Daniel were looking for the Messiah, and believed the words of John when he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:35-37). Christ also said, "The time is fulfilled" (Mark 1:15), referring to the period of sixty-nine weeks of Daniel. But the nation as a whole was blind. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). They might have known (Luke 19:41-45). The book of Daniel was for them to study (Matthew 24:15). The same book, together with the book of Revelation, proclaims the hour of God's judgment (Daniel 7:9-10; Daniel 8:14; Revelation 14:6-12), and His second coming, but men will be taken unawares because they heed not the prophecies (Revelation 1:7; Luke 21:35). (SNH 148-149)