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    CHAPTER 4. The 70 Weeks and 2300 Days

    1. Where do we find a further explanation of Daniel 8
    2. Who on this occasion appeared to Daniel?
    3. To what does Daniel refer?
    4. What vision must this be?
    5. What did Gabriel say?
    6. How do these words suggest a connection with chapter 8?
    7. To what does the angel himself then refer?
    8. With what point does the angel here commence his explanation?
    9. What are his words?

    In the ninth chapter of Daniel we find a further explanation of Daniel 8. Mark the connection between the two chapters. 1. Gabriel appears again to Daniel, verse 21, the very one who in the vision of chapter 8 had been commanded to make him understand that vision, but who had not yet completed that mission. 2. Daniel refers to the vision at the beginning in which he had seen this angel. This must be the vision of chapter 8, as no other had intervened between that and this. 3. Gabriel said, “I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding,” the very work he was intrusted with in chapter 8, but had been obliged, on Daniel’s account, to postpone. 4. The angel then himself refers back to the vision of chapter 8, saying “understand the matter” and consider “the vision.” 5. He then commenced with the very matter omitted in chapter 8, namely, the explanation of the time: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people.” The word here rendered determined, signifies “cut off.” Seventy weeks are cut off. From what? From the 2300 days. Wherever the 70 weeks commence, there the 2300 days begin.SYNPT 22.1

    10. What does the word rendered “determined” signify?
    11. From what are the seventy weeks cut off?
    12. Does the commencement of the seventy weeks determine the commencement of the 2300 days?
    13. What event does Gabriel name as the starting point of the seventy weeks?
    14. What was the first decree issued after the giving of this vision?
    15. For what did this decree provide?
    16. How and when was this work hindered?
    17. Who reaffirmed the decree of Cyrus, and when?
    18. What must be said of the provisions of this decree?
    19. What was the next decree?
    20. Under what king and in what year did this decree go forth? Reference.
    21. What provisions were contained in this decree?

    Gabriel then proceeds to give the starting point. When a commandment should go forth to restore and build Jerusalem, the seventy weeks would begin. The first decree that was issued after this time, in any wise affecting Jerusalem, was the decree of Cyrus B.C. 536 for the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of the temple. Ezra 1. But this only provided for the temple, and fell far short of granting the “restoration” to which the prophecy points. This work was hindered by the enemies of the Jews in the reign of Artaxerxes the Magian, B.C. 522. Ezra 4. The decree of Cyrus was reaffirmed by Darius Hystaspes, B.C. 519, and the work on the temple again went forward. But this decree like that of Cyrus was too limited in its provisions. At length Ezra obtained a decree from Artaxerxes Longimanus, in the seventh year of his reign, B.C. 457, Ezra 7:7, containing provisions for the complete restoration of the Jewish State. This decree, written in the original in Chaldaic or Eastern Aramaic, the language of the Persian court, is found in full in Ezra 7:12-23. When this went forth, the prophecy was met, all three of the decrees constituting “the commandment,” as expressed in Ezra 6:14, and the date of its going forth being that point when the last one with its full provision, was carried into effect by Ezra. Ezra 7:9. The commission to Nehemiah 13 years later, was no decree, and is not to be taken into the account.SYNPT 23.1

    22. In what language was this originally written?
    23. Where is it found in full?
    24. Was the prophecy met in this decree?
    25. How much did it take to constitute the “commandment”? Reference.
    26. What can be said of the commission granted to Nehemiah?
    27. How much time was allotted to the building of the city?
    28. How and when was this completed?
    29. What is the next division of time, and to what does it reach?
    30. What is the meaning of the word Messiah?
    31. When was Christ set forth as the Messiah? References.
    32. Does this period then reach to his birth or to the commencement of his ministry?
    33. When did Christ’s ministry begin?
    34. When did John commence his ministry? Reference.
    35. What year was the 15th of Tiberius Caesar?

    Seven weeks or 49 years were allotted to the literal work of building the city, and arranging the affairs of the State. This was completed in the last act of reformation by Nehemiah, in the fifteenth year of Darius Nothus, B.C. 408, exactly 49 years from the commencement of the work by Ezra, B.C. 457. Sixty-two weeks, 434 years more, were to extend to Messiah the Prince. Christ was set forth as the Messiah, or the Anointed, at his baptism when he was anointed with the Holy Ghost. Acts 10:37, 38; 4:27; Luke 4:18, etc. This period therefore reaches to his ministry, which commenced in A.D. 27. For John began his ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, Luke 3:1, which was in A.D. 27, and Christ entered upon his work six month later, which would bring us to the autumn of that year. And to this point exactly, the 69 weeks or 483 years bring us, reckoned from B.C. 457, in the autumn when Ezra commenced his work at Jerusalem. Here Christ went forth proclaiming, “The time is fulfilled,” Mark 1:15, which can have reference to nothing else but the fulfillment of this period which was to bring us to Messiah the Prince.SYNPT 24.1

    36. How long after the commencement of John’s ministry did Christ enter upon his? (A priest could not enter upon his office before the age of 30. See Numbers 4:3, 23, 35, 39, 43, 47. It is supposed that John and Christ followed the same rule; and as Christ was six months younger than John, he would begin his work six months later. Of him it is said that he was about 30 years old at his baptism, and so was doubtless fully 30 when he began his public ministry.)
    37. To what point do the 69 weeks or 483 years bring us, reckoned from the autumn of B.C. 457?

    After the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks he was to be cut off, or in the middle of the 70th week, cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. These expressions point unmistakably to the crucifixion of Christ. The ministry of Christ continued just three years and a half; for he attended but four passovers, at the last of which he was crucified. John 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 13:1. If the sixty-ninth week ended in the autumn of A.D. 27, the middle of the 70th week, three and a half years further on would be in the spring of A.D. 31, and right there the crucifixion took place. See Hales’ Chronology. We go forward three years and a half more to the termination of that week, and find ourselves at the end of the 70 weeks in the autumn of A.D. 34, How much yet remains of the 2300 years? 2300 - 490 = 1810; and 34 + 1810 = 1844, where the whole period of 2300 years expired. So definitely and easily is the application of this period of 2300 years ascertained. The seventh year of Artaxerxes when Ezra received his commission is placed in B.C. 457 by Ptolemy’s canon, and the accuracy of that canon is demonstrated by the concurrent agreement of more than 20 eclipses. The starting point for the 2300 days cannot therefore be moved from B.C. 457 without showing the inaccuracy of Ptolemy’s record of these eclipses. But Prideaux says that they have been repeatedly calculated and have been found invariably to fall where Ptolemy has placed them. Connections, vol. i. p. 242.SYNPT 25.1

    38. Why did we reckon from the autumn?
    39. What announcement did Christ make at the commencement of his preaching?
    40. To what must this have had reference?
    41. What was to take place after the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks?
    42. When were the sacrifice and oblation to cease?
    43. To what must these expressions refer?
    44. How long was Christ’s ministry? References.
    45. To what point do 3 1/2 years from the autumn of A.D. 27 bring us?
    46. On what authority is the crucifixion placed in the spring of 31?
    47. Where did the 70 weeks terminate?
    48. How many days remain of the 2300 after the expiration of the 70 weeks?
    49. Where, then, did the 2300 days end?
    50. What celebrated work fixes the 7th of Artaxerxes to the year B.C. 457?
    51. By what is the accuracy of Ptolemy’s canon demonstrated?
    52. What does Prideaux say of the authority of this work?

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