Saturday, October 29, 2011


While "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16), the Book of Daniel is, by far, the most important in the Old Testament when it comes to showing the Bible is God's revelation. Written approximately five hundred years before the birth of Christ, it correctly predicts the identity of four successive world empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Daniel wrote the names of the first three (Babylon, the existing kingdom at the time (Dan. 2:38); Medo-Persia (Dan. 7:5; 8:20), and Greece (Dan. 7:6; 8:21). The fourth is identified by interpretation of the follow:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 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. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. 9:24-27).
Notice the fourth empire can be identified as the one which would kill the Messiah of Israel, and then destroy the Jewish Temple. Clearly, the fourth empire was Rome.

The Roman Empire ruled from the time of the first emperor, Augustus (44 BC), until it collapsed when Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer (AD 476). Since the above passage indicates that the Temple would be destroyed after the death of the Messiah, He had to die before AD 70, the year Emperor Vespasian had the future Emperor Titus destroy the city and Temple of Jerusalem. That means Israel's Messiah had to live between 44 BC and AD 70. From Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and the New Testament Gospels, it is clear that Jesus was Israel's Messiah.

Daniel 9:24-27 not only provides us with the identity of the fourth empire, it reveals the year the Messiah would be killed. "Weeks" in the Hebrew is translated from שָׁבֻעִ֨ים (sha·vu·'im), which actually means "a period of seven (days, months, or years), a heptad." The Messiah would be killed sixty-nine sevens after the "the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem." The final command to go rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple was given in 445 BC (Neh. 2:1-8). Because the Jewish year consisted of 360 days, mathematically, the time of the death of the Messiah would be 483 Jewish years from the decree. It happened!

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