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Prophecies: The Anointed One (Daniel Chapter 9)



The starting year for this prophecy is BC 522 and the year in which it was fulfilled is AD 28. God issued this prophecy through Prophet Daniel / Angel Gabriel and bible reference for this prophecy is Daniel Chapter 9. Read on and be very blessed...

Prophecy of The Anointed One


Events leading to the Prophecy

In the year 539 BC, Cyrus - The Great gained control over Babylon, and issued the proclaimation to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem. This happened in accordance with the seventy year prophecy of Jeremiah 25. 


After the reign of Cyrus - The Great, Darius - The Mede, who was also known as Darius-I, came to power in the year 522 BC. It is in this year of 522 BC, corresponding to the first year of Darius - The Mede, that the prophecy in Daniel Chapter 9 was received (Refer Daniel 9:1). 

In the year 522BC, nearly 17 years had already passed since Cyrus - The Great had issued the decree to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem. But Jerusalem itself lay in ruins, and Daniel took it upon himself to seek forgiveness on behalf of his people and to pray for the restoration of Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:3-19).

While he was still praying, and at about the time of evening sacrifice, God sent his angel Gabriel to meet Daniel. Gabriel said that a word went out in answer to Daniel's prayer the moment he had started praying, and that he had come to give Daniel understanding of this word and prophetic vision.

This prophetic vision concerns the restoration of Jerusalem, the coming of the anointed one, and the events that would follow thereon. These are explained in the sections below.

 

 

The Prophecy of Daniel 9

The prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 is as quoted below. Certain word(s) are keys to understanding the prophecy. If you would like to avoid reading the detailed explanations in the next sections, you can also use the last section of this article that is titled "Key Words List" to get a quick overall understanding.

 "A period of seventy sets of sevenA has been decreed for your peopleB and your holy cityC to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm to the prophetic visionD, and to anoint the Most Holy PlaceE. Now listen and understand! Seven sets of sevenF plus sixty two sets of sevenG will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild JerusalemH until a ruler -- The Anointed OneJ -- comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with strong defences, despite the perilous timesK

After this period of sixty two sets of sevenG, the Anointed OneJ will be killedLappearing to have accomplished nothingM, and a rulerN will arise whose armiesP will destroy the cityC and the TempleQ. The end will come with a floodR, and war and its miseriesS are decreed from that timeT to the very endU. The rulerN will make a treatyV with the peopleB for a period of one set of sevenW, but after half this timeX, he will put an end to sacrifices and offeringsY. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecrationZ, until the fate decreed for this defilerN is finally pured out on himAA". (Daniel 9:24-27)

Activation of Daniel 9 Prophecy

Activation of Prophecy

Daniel 9:25 clearly states that the time calculation in the prophecy for the events that must follow, would start from the time the "command is given to rebuild Jerusalem".

Daniel received the prophecy during the first year of King Darius -The Mede (or King Darius the great), who ruled from 522 BC to 486 BC. In the year 496 BC, which is ten years before the end of the reign of King Darius the Mede, King Darius made his son Xerxes-1 coregent with him. So, the reign of Xerxes-1 was from 496BC to 475 BC. The titulature of Xerxes in Egypt and data of Diodorus confirms these dates. These dates are also confirmed by the Elephantine papyri. 

This King Xerxes-1(also known as Xerxes or Ahasuerus), was the same Xerxes who, took Esther to be his Queen (Esther 2:1). Xerxes-1 ruled until his assassination on 24 August 475 BC, as recorded in the astronomical tablet BM32234. The commander of the King Xerxes-1's royal bodyguard, Artabanus, conspired with an eunuch named Aspamitres, to assassinate Xerxes-1. In the ensuing confusion, Artabanus accused Crown Prince Darius (eldest son of Xerxes-1) of murdering Xerxes-1. As per Aristotle (in Politics 5.1311b), Artabanus however murdered both Xerxes-1 and the Crown Prince Darius. Following this, Artaxerxes-1 (who was another son of Xerxes-1) put Artabanus to death, and came to power in 475BC.

Nehemiah was the Royal Cup Bearer of this King Artaxerxes-1 (Nehemiah 1:1, 1:10). In the 20th year of Artaxerxes-1, which was 455 BC, he secured the command to rebuild Jerusalem from King Artaxerxes. The times stated in this prophecy therefore started from 455BC.

Knowing the Times

To know the method of calculation of times in Daniel 9 prophecy, we must understand the concept of Jubilee and Great Jubilee.

After each 6 years, God wanted Israel to honour the 7th year, as a sabbatical year of rest, for the land. These 6+1= 7 years form "One set of Seven" in Gabriel's calculation.

Thus,

a) One Set of Seven      = 1 Set x 7 Years

                                       = 7 Years

b) Seven Sets of Seven = 7 Sets x 7 years

                                       = 49 years (Jubilee Year)

Jubilee was a time when debts were forgiven and slaves set free in Israel

c) Seventy Sets of Seven = 70 sets x 7 years

                                       = 490 years (Great Jubilee)

The Great Jubilee has always coincided in Israel's history with an outpouring of goodness and mercies from the Lord. For example, the Exodus from Egypt had also occurred on such a Great Jubilee.


In the message brought by Gabriel,

= a period of "seventy sets of seven" must pass from the time the command is given to "rebuild Jerusalem". 

= 70 x 7 years must pass from the command to "rebuild Jerusalem"

= 490 years must pass from 455 BC for the Great Jubilee Event to take place.

Thus, the Great Jubilee event announced by Gabriel would take place in,

  490 years
- 455 years
    35 AD__

In other words, what Gabriel's message states that in the year AD 35 a great Jubilee event will take place for the people of Israel and the City of Jerusalem. At this time God would grant them grace to be able:

  1. to finish their rebellion
  2. to put an end to their sin
  3. to atone for their guilt
  4. to bring in everlasting righteousness
  5. to confirm the prophetic vision given through prophets
  6. have the Most Holy Place (in heaven) anointed

Now just like God provided a lamb, in place of Isaac, at Mount Moriah to Abraham, God found a way to accomplish all the above by sending His dear Son Jesus Christ to be sacrificed on this same Mount Moriah.

Knowing the Coming of the Lord

In Daniel 9:25, Gabriel says, "Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler --the Anointed One -- comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences despite perilous times."

Let us study the interpretation. As revealed through Gabriel, the Anointed One (Jesus Christ) would appear to offer himself as a sacrifice by,

= (Seven Sets of Seven) + (Sixty Two Sets of Seven)

= (7 *7 years)  + (62 * 7 years)

= 49 years + 434 years

= 483 years.

Calculation of this time of 483 years started from the time the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued in the year 455 BC. So the year when the Anointed One would appear is,

  483 years
- 455 BC years
    28 AD_____

Calculating the Birth Year of Lord Jesus Christ

Now, let us also calculate the Birth year of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us begin with the year of death of King Herod. King Herod's death is best documented in the account of Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus. As per Josephus, King Herod died a horrible death during the year 4 BC between a lunar eclipse at that time and the Passover that followed. This sets the date of King Herod's death to have occurred during March / April of 4 BC. This also corresponds with the start of reign of Archelaus as King, and also with the start of reigns of Antipas and Philip as tetrarchs.

Luke 2:2 states about a first census carried out by Quirinius. As per historian Ramsay, this occurred in 5 BC. The first enrolment for this census was made in Syria in 6-7 BC. But given the situation in Syria at that time, census at Judea occurred later in 5 BC. A later census was also carried out by Quirinius which ended in 6 AD when he was the governor of Syria, but this is ruled out since Luke 2:2 clearly states that he is referring to the "first" census. Further Luke 2:3-4 states that Joseph and Mary travelled from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea (their ancestral town). This would be possible only during the time of Herod the Great, since his Kingdom was united then. After Herod's death in 4BC, Nazareth in Galilee and Bethlehem in Judea came under different jurisdictions.

The birth of Jesus Christ is therefore timed at the early part of 5 BC. When Herod came to know the wise men were not going to return, he issued the order to kill infants. This order was issued during the time between the birth of Jesus in 5BC and Herod's own death in early 4BC. After being divinely warned, Joseph and Mary escaped to Egypt in 5 BC following the birth of Jesus (Mathew 2:13-18). When Herod died in early 4BC, Joseph and Mary were guided by the Lord's angel to return to the land of Israel (Mathew 2:19-21). But as Archelaus, Herod's son, was reigning in Judea, Mary and Joseph were again warned in a dream and guided to Nazareth of Galilee (Mathew 2:22,23). The reign of Archelaus was brought to an end in 6AD by Emperor Augustus. This implies that from His birth in 5BC to His death on the cross in AD 28, Jesus lived 33+ years. 

The above calculation also helps us to determine the time of John the Baptist's birth. As per the gospels, Mary conceived Jesus in 6th month of Elizabeth's pregnancy (Luke 1:26). So, John the Baptist was older than Jesus by 6 months. This helps to pin the year of John's birth to 6BC.


 

Reviewing our understanding this far

If you have noticed, Gabriel said (Daniel 9:24) that the time decreed for Israel and Jerusalem's redemption is:

=70 sets of seven (Great Jubilee)

= 490 years (35AD)

But anointed one will come to provide atonement (Daniel 9:25) in:

          = 7 sets of seven + 62 sets of seven

= 69 sets of seven

= 483 years (28AD)

To remove any confusion, Gabriel clearly says in Daniel 9:26 that the Anointed One will be killed at the end of the 62 week period. So, the year of Christ's sacrifice on the cross occurred after:

= 28 AD (or at end of 69 sets of seven from decree to rebuild Jerusalem)

So note that:

 Great Jubilee      = 70 sets of 7 = 490 years = AD 35
 Christ's Sacrifice = 69 sets of 7 = 483 years = AD 28
 Difference          = 1 set of 7   = 7 years         _____

Why this difference of 1 set of 7? To understand better, let us see Christ's words on the cross where "Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24). After Christ's death and resurrection, and after the coming of the Holy Sprit, the Church started growing. Let us move forward to the time of Stephen's persecution and stoning. In Acts 7:60, Stephen says '"Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that he died'. Stephen thus became the first Martyr, setting an example for all of us who are disciples of Christ Jesus. This occurred in AD34, and during this period the disciples of the Lord came to wear the nature of Christ (as in the case of Stephen).

Acts 9:1 says, "Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord's followers." Also Acts 8:1 says that this "Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen" that had occurred in AD34. In the days that followed, bible says, "But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out men and women to throw them into prison."

In his zeal to destroy Christ's followers, Saul went to the High Priest. Acts 9:2 says, "He requested letters addressed to synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring the --both men and women --back to Jerusalem in chains."

This happened in AD 35. See how God's plan works so marvellously. AD 35 was the year of the great Jubilee fulfilling the "Seventy Sets of Seven" or 490 year prophecy given to Daniel through Gabriel in Daniel Chapter 9. What was promised in Daniel 9, reaches its fulfilment in Acts 9. The chapter of Acts 9 documents how the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, appeared to Saul and changed his life forever (as promised in Daniel 9:26 to Daniel's people) by:

  • taking away his rebellious nature
  • taking away his sinful nature
  • helping him to lose the guilt of what he had done so far
  • bringing everlasting righteousness into his life
  • giving him a new prophetic vision regarding his ministry
  • helping him to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.

The way God changed Saul "the sinner" to Paul "the righteous" during the Great Jubilee year of AD 35, also paved the way for salvation of many Jews and gentiles. Even our lives as Christ's followers are the fruit of his efforts. 

Rebuilding of Jerusalem in Perilous Times

In the last part of Daniel 9:25, the angel Gabriel assures Daniel that "Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences, despite perilous times." 

When the order was secured by Nehemiah in 455BC to rebuild Jerusalem, the entire book of Nehemiah documents the perils that they had faced and about how all the people risked their lives during reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem. Also, the second wall was completed by Herod the Great and the third wall of Jerusalem by Agrippa I, during the troubled times of Roman rule. The reconstruction of Jerusalem, the modification/extension of its temple, the development of its streets, the strengthening of its defences all went ahead successfully even during troubled times. 

This is evidenced in Mark 13:1 which says, 'As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”'

Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Daniel 9:26 says, "After this period of sixty two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, ..."

As we calculated earlier, the end of this sixty two sets of seven period, corresponds to the period after AD 28 when the Anointed One will be killed. In Mathew 16:21, Lord Jesus Christ himself prophesied that he will be killed as we can see below:


"From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day He would be raised from the dead."
 

Isaiah 53, and the gospels, document the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross as follows:

 

Isaiah 53:7-9
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that He died without descendants , that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave.

 

Mathew 27:35-44
After they nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A sign was fastened to the cross above Jesus' head, announcing the charge against him. It read: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "Look at you now!" they yelled at him. "You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!".

The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. "He saved others", they scoffed, "but he can't save himself. So, he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now and we will believe him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.

The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John record the arrest, crucifixion, resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and also His appearance to many after resurrection and His ascension to heaven before the watching disciples. 
 

Again after such a glorious life as that of Jesus Christ (where He performed endless miracles, showed compassion to the suffering, saved those who were condemned to death, healed all kinds of infirmities, drove away demons and freed the demon possessed, removed all kinds of sicknesses, raised the dead to life, and taught with an authority that even the teachers of the law did not possess), when He was suddenly arrested and crucified, it appeared to the watching world that He had accomplished nothing.

But they did not know that Jesus had not come to establish an earthly kingdom. In John 18:36, 'Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”'

Almost 600 years before Christ Jesus, prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53:10-12 that by offering himself on the cross, Lord Jesus had indeed won a great victory on the cross and this is as quoted below:

10But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
    and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
    he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
    and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
    he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
    my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
    for he will bear all their sins.
12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
    because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
    He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

Further, by His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus anointed the Most Holy Place in heaven (Daniel 9:24). This is no small matter. It secured our redemption forever. It also gave us a way to enter the Most Holy Place, as we can now approach God's presence in the name of Jesus.

Hebrews 9:12
With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

Hebrews 10:20
By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.

Hebrews 10:19
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

Jesus Christ is now both our High Priest and our advocate in heaven. By Him we are able to see God, and Jesus has given us open doors, where we can go in and come out of heaven by faith, as recorded in case of Apostle Paul. Praise God!

Ruler who will destroy the City and the Temple

The second part of the verse in Daniel 9:26 states, "... and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end."

King Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, also known as King Nero, the emperor of Rome.

Attribution: By User:Bibi Saint-Pol, own work, 2007-02-08, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1814923 

 

The ruler referred here is Emperor Nero of Rome, who reigned from AD 54 to AD 68. Nero was the adopted son of his predecessor Claudius. Nero's mother's name was Agrippina and she was a sinful and ambitious lady wouldn't hesitate to kill for power. Her manipulations paved the way for Nero to succeed Emperor Claudius.

Nero was very young when he came to power, and Agrippina and other advisors had considerable control during his early reign. He considered himself to be a God (like his other predecessors), a singer, an actor, and a charioteer. He considered himself as popular with the masses given that he easily mingled with them, but he was also hated by the senators of his time. He had bouts of madness and was recklessness in decision making. His approach to the Jews and Jerusalem, and solutions to the issues that faced them was usually based on the advice of his advisors and his second wife Poppaea Augustus Sabina. The life of Nero, his parents, his wives, and friends were all lives of unspeakable sins, and it is not the purpose of this interpretation to dwell on them.

Let us focus only on Nero and his acts that affected the Jewish nation. Before Nero became King, Emperor Claudius had already appointed Felix as procurator of the Jews. The office of procurator is that of the same rank as that of Pontius Pilate at the time of crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Procurator Felix was selected at the request of Jewish high priest himself, showing the goodwill Jews had with emperor Claudius. It is this Felix who presided over the trail of Apostle Paul, and Felix was in office until his death in AD 60. Thereafter, Emperor Nero appointed the following procurators who mismanaged relations with the Jews with increasing deterioration. These 3 procurators were:

 

  1. Porcius Festus (AD 60-AD 62)
  2. Albinus (AD 62-64). 
  3. Gessius Florus (AD 64-AD66)

Discontent among Jews was rising, and attempts to surpress the same was met with further dissent. There were also an increasing number of robbers, who were called sicarii, and they were destabilizing the administration. There was also a revolutionary Zealots movement and it gained strength. 

A series of bad decisions taken by Procurator Albinus, and later by Procurator Gessius Florus caused an impasse in AD 66. After failed efforts of Syrian governor to surpress the revolt in AD 66, emperor Nero then ordered his commander Vespasian in AD 67 to lead the armies of Rome against Jerusalem and to suppress the rebellion.  

Emperor Vespasian

Attribution: By Originally uploaded by user:shakko - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3267302

 

Roman armies under Vespasian attacked Jerusalem from AD 67 to AD 70. When emperor Nero suddenly died in AD 68, there came within a span of one year a time of 4 different emperors. Vespasian's forces too declared him Emperor, and to gain control in Rome, Vespasian left Jerusalem's siege in the hands of his son Titus Caesar Vespasianus. 


Titus Caesar Vespasianus (Son of Emperor Vespasian)

Attribution: By Sailko - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30590321


The Roman forces under Titus were able to bring down the walls of Jerusalem, and proceeded to attack the second Temple area where the remaining Jewish resistance forces had taken refuge. When they overcame this resistance, Titus desired not damage the Temple. But his efforts and those of his centurions were not heeded by the frenzied soldiers of the Roman army, who were partly driven by rage and partly by greed of the treasures that lay inside the Temple of God. Like a raging flood, the Roman soldiers were so uncontrollable and they set fire to the temple and looted it. Even Titus's efforts to quench the flame were unsuccessful, as the flames had spread beyond control.

During this entire time between AD 66 to AD 70, there had been food shortages in the city. Even the wife of the high priest was seen scavenging the streets for food. After the fall of the Temple, there was widespread slaughter and blood flowed everywhere, and bodies were piling up amid deafening screams of those being killed. As Vespasian had now become emperor of Rome, this achievement of his son Titus was celebrated with great pomp and show in Rome in AD 71.

This part of the prophecy of Daniel 9:26 was also thus fulfilled.

 

Understanding Jewish Dissent in Roman Empire

For the Roman Empire, administering the Judea of Jews was always a troublesome affair. Until the end of days of Emperor Tiberius, there was a great moderation on behalf of the Roman administration in treatment of Jews. Although the Jews were believed in one God, which was very unlike the Romans who had many Gods, they still allowed Jews to worship God at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, provided a daily sacrifice was offered to God as prayers for the emperor and for the Roman Empire. The animals for the daily sacrifice were provided by the Romans. Although Tiberius was the first among Roman emperors requiring that he be worshipped as a God, the same was not imposed upon the Jews in his time. Jews also enjoyed many concessions during early Roman rule, which included trading with coins that did not have the emperors head embossed on it but this changed later. Taxation was always a cause of tensions among the Jews.

 

After the death of Emperor Tiberius, a tyrant Emperor Caligula came to power. He believed himself to be God and had his statues set up at various synagogues. A Jewish embassy was sent to seek his favor over Jewish affairs under Philo of Alexandria. But the emperor made them wait for 15 months before granting an audience. And when the audience was finally granted, it was for a short time in an informal setting. Rather than hearing and solving issues of the Jews, Caligula used it to make sport of them and did not do anything to help them. To quell Jewish dissent, Caligula in AD 40 decreed that a statue of himself be set up at the temple of God in Jerusalem and that he be worshipped. The governor of Syria, Publius Petronius was given this task but he delayed in its enforcement giving Agrippa-1 the change to convince Caligula to reverse the order. Although Caligula was later hacked to death in AD 41, the revolutionary Zealot movement of dissenting Jews and the increasing number of Sicarii (robbers) in successive years caused trouble for the Roman administration of the region. These woes increased in the days of the last 4 procurators of Judah starting with the administration under Procurator Felix (AD 52 to AD 60 ).

The procurators were officials of the same rank as Pontius Pilate of Jesus's time and they reported to the Roman governor in Syria. The residence of procurators was always at Caesarea, which had an equal population of Jews and Syrian. During the last days of Felix before AD 60, violent protests broke out between Jews and Syrians in Syria with each group claiming that the city was theirs. Felix sided with the Syrians and used him armies to subdue the violence. A large number of Jews were killed and arrests of many more were made. Representations comprising of leaders from both sides were sent by Felix to Nero. When Felix died in AD 60, procurator Procius Festus (AD 60 to AD 62) took charge. Again, a fresh set of Jewish leaders went to Nero to accuse previous procurator Felix of mistreatment. In the events that followed, Nero was influenced by his advisors to issue a decision in favor of Syrians and curbed the rights of the Jews. The Jewish leaders, mainly represented by priests, appear to have been arrested as shown by later events detailed below. This increased dissent further among Jewish Population of Judea.

While all this was going on, between AD 58 and AD 62, Emperor Nero became captivated by a promiscuous woman named Poppaea Augusta Sabina, who was initially his mistress and later on became empress in AD 62. She wielded a great influence on Nero and is even attributed to have instigated Nero to kill his own mother Agrippa.


Just prior to AD 62, Agrippa II modified a dining hall in his palace in such a way that it was elevated to provide a view of the priests' activities in the Temple of God at Jerusalem. This invaded the religious privacy of the Jews and caused them build a new wall that blocked this view. Agrippa II was offended, and both he and procurator Festus issued an order that this wall be brought down. But the priests petitioned Festus, to allow them an audience with Nero over the matter and their request was granted. Shortly after this Festus died and Procurator Albinus was given charge. At Rome, Empress Poppaea Augustus Sabina took up the Jewish cause and caused Nero to decide in their favour permitting them to retain the wall that they had constructed. 

The above details are central to our understanding of Daniel 9:27 which will be explained next.

Interpreting Daniel 9:27 Events

With the above background of events, we are now ready to begin understanding events of Daniel 9:27 which is a multi-part prophecy. Daniel 9:27 says,

"The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.”

Let us break this down for further study into 4 parts:

1) The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven

Jewish historian Josephus himself led a Jewish delegation to Rome in AD 64, to seek the release of priests who were previously arrested. They now had learned of Empress Poppaea Augustus Sabina, and how she had previously dealt favorably with the Jews concerning the wall. They sought to use her favor to secure the release of the priests. These events of AD 64 activated Daniel 9:27 prophecy.

When Josephus arrived in Rome, he met with a Jewish actor, Aliturus, who was a favorite actor and friend of Emperor Nero. This Aliturus introduced Josephus to Poppaea Augusta Sabina. Empress Sabina took up the cause that Josephus had brought to her, and she spoke on behalf of the Jews to Nero; and thereby secured their freedom. In addition, several acts of favor were also shown to Josephus Flavius, as acts of goodwill to the Jewish people. Josephus even mentions in his books that Poppaea Augusta Sabina had become a worshipper of God.

At about the same time, Nero had been having ideas about tearing down about a third of buildings in Rome for several new building projects that he had in mind. But the senate refused his desire. In AD 64 and at a time when he was not at Rome, a fire broke out in Rome that lasted a total of nine days. This fire, it is commonly believed, as having been caused by Nero himself, since certain anti-social elements were hindering the efforts to quench the fire. In the aftermath of the fire, Nero was quick to launch his construction projects in the areas destroyed by fire. This further aggravated the suspicions against Nero.

As Christians worshipped a single God, like Jews, and stayed aloof from the social way of life of the Romans, they were viewed as troublemakers. Nero was quick to accuse the Christians and to persecute them mercilessly. It is held that Poppaea Augusta Sabina's role was significant in ensuring that Jews (excluding Jewish Christian converts) were not persecuted for the fire. 

These acts of Nero in AD 64, whereby he showed goodwill towards the Jewish people is the onset of the Treaty as mentioned in Daniel 9:27 that was expected to last for a period of one set of seven (seven years till AD 70).

 

2) but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings:

Resentment against Romans however continued to simmer among the Jews. During the course of AD 66, a young priest name Eleazar Ben Hanania ceased prayers and offerings for the Emperor of Rome at the Temple of God in Jerusalem.

Later accounts from Talmud state that this was because of acts of mischief by an aggrieved person, who had wounded a sacrificial animal making it defective or unfit to be offered as sacrifice, and that no acts of disrespect to emperor were intended. But rejecting the emperor's sacrificial offerings amounted to rebellion against the Roman Empire itself, and the Romans stopped sending sacrificial animals to the Temple of God, given the stand taken by Eleazar Ben Hanania. This event is set at half the time between the 7 years starting from 64AD to Ad 70.

 

3)  And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration

At the recommendation of Poppaea Augusta Sabina for her friend's husband, Gessius Florus, the Emperor Nero had Procurator Albinus recalled. He then appointed Gessius Florus, as new procurator of Judea in Ad 64.

Acting on behalf of the emperor, Florus ordered his troops to enter the Temple of God in Jerusalem to take away 17 talents of Temple gold. This act of Florus is deemed to have been to support the building construction projects that Nero had started in Rome, in the aftermath of the 64AD fire that gutted 11 of the 14 districts in Rome. 

To make matters worse, on a particular Sabbath day certain Greek traders intentionally blocked the entrance to a synagogue. They then offered sacrifice to their Gods at the entrance of the synagogue, sparking uncontrollable violence in the ensuing period. The Jews viewed it as a sacrilegious act that had caused desecration. Even the motive for priest Eleazar Ben Hanania to reject the animals sent for Sacrifice by the Roman Emperor, and his acts of cessation of prayers offered for the Roman Emperor/ Empire, are believed to have been triggered by this sacrilegious act. When the Jews complained to Procurator Florus, he turned a blind eye to these events and had those who complained arrested. 

The events spiralled out of control giving rise to Jewish resistance forces that attacked Roman garrisons and Roman officials. Procurator Florus, Agrippa II and his sister, fled Jerusalem. The Legate of Syria, Gallus, attacked Jerusalem to subjugate the Jews in AD 66. But their forces were totally destroyed and their equipment was taken away by rebels, shocking the Roman Emperor and the senate.

To quench the revolt, in AD 67 Nero ordered Vespasian to lead the attack against Jerusalem. Vespasian was experienced, and instead of attacking Jerusalem directly, he started by crushing dissent in the region as a whole and freed Galilee of opposition forces. Following death of Nero in AD 68, and a period of instability ensued in Rome. It became known as the year of 4 Emperors. Vespasian's forces also declared him as Emperor. To gain control of Rome, he left the final conquest of Jerusalem in the hands of his son, Titus, under whom the first, second, and third walls of Jerusalem were breached successfully. Finally, the Temple was captured and set on fire, and there was great blood shed everywhere.

Records of the 4th Century fathers, Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis, states that the Christians of Jerusalem had fled to Pella, in the region of Decapolis, across the Jordan, before the fall of Jerusalem. Christians of Jerusalem had thus escaped the great massacre that occurred in AD 70. As Jesus had warned the Jews in Matthew 23:37-39 and in Luke 19:41-44, it appears that the Jewish Christian converts must have understood the sign of times and fled Jerusalem before its fall.  

4) Until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.

Neo was the 4th and last emperor of the Julio Claudian dynasty. His link to the Julio Claudian dynasty was a reason why the senate had been tolerating his excesses like his dismal behavior, his burning of Christians in streets and at his garden parties, his persecutions, his wayward lifestyle, his mingling with the masses (which in their view was an unbecoming act on the part of an emperor of Rome), and his not hesitating to kill anyone who stood in his way.

Nero's death shows that no ruler, however mighty, is above God's law. The Jews had forgotten this. Over the years they sent appeals and embassies of their leaders to Roman Emperors, who considered themselves to be Gods, instead of seeking refuge in God almighty who had so valiantly brought them out of Egypt and had made them a nation before the watching world. No wonder they were treated with contempt and were left to the whims and fancies of succesive emperors. All this just because they had stopped making the God of their fathers their only refuge. The Zealot movement and even the Sacarii depended on their own strength for success, and they were brought down according to God's master plan that was revealed to Daniel in Chapter 9. Even the Nero - The Great could not escape from this master plan of God.

Financing Nero's grand projects required money. His tax policies were burdensome. In AD 68, Vindex the governor of Gallia (Celtic Area in Italy) revolted against Nero's tax policies. Vindex sought support of Galba, governor of Hispania (Spain/Portugal region). Under Nero, the senate declare Galba a public enemy. Nero asked Rufus, governor of Germania Superior (Switzerland, France and Germany Region) to crush the rebellion. When Rufus managed to defeat Vindex, his forces wanted to declare him emperor but he refused to take a stand against Nero. This caused dissent within his legions. 

Despite being declared public enemy, support for Galba continued to increase. The prefect of Nero's imperial bodyguard, Sabinus, abandoned his allegiance to Nero and swore allegiance to Galba.

When Nero heard this, he fled Rome to escape to port of Ostia, from where he could escape to one of the provinces that were still loyal to him. Seeing Nero's freight, his army officers openly disobeyed his instructions and asked him if it was such a dreadful thing to die? So Nero changed his idea and considered fleeing to Parthia, or going to Galba himself and pleading for mercy, or presenting a play at Roman Forum where he could appeal to the people to forgive him. Then Nero returned to his palace and spent the evening there.

He awoke at midnight to find palace guards had left. The messages he dispatched requesting support from his friends received no response. He looked for someone adept at using a sword to kill him but found none and he declared, "Have I neither friend nor foe?" and ran towards theTiber river as if to throw himself into it.

But since he could not get himself to do it, he returned to the palace to find hiding place where he could recoup from his fears and think logically. An imperial freedman offered his house at about 6.4 kilometres from Rome. Along with a group of other four freedmen, Nero went to this house in disguise during the night. He then asked them to dig a grave for him there.

The senate was still not ready to abandon Nero because he belonged to the Julio-Claudian blood line and they thought of negotiating a truce with the governor so that a future heir of Nero might someday assume the throne of emperor. But it so happened that a messenger arrive at the villa where Nero had taken refuge and informed him that the Senate had declared him public enemy and that men had been dispatched with orders to apprehend Nero and to beat him to death, especially for his idea to present a play at the Roman Forum theatre where he planned to make an appeal to the masses. Nero panicked and came intent on committing suicide. He kept pacing up and down saying, "What an artist dies in me." As he feared killing himself, he asked one of the freedmen who had accompanied him to commit suicide so that Nero could see how it is done. At this point the sound of approaching horsemen was heard and Nero thought that his end had come. As he still lacked the courage, he asked his private secretary Epaphroditos to kill him and what he requested was done. The horsemen who arrived tried to stop the bleeding and to save him, but Nero uttered the last words "Too late! This is fidelity" and died. 

When the news of Nero's death reached the senate, they understood that there was no more point in defending Nero and declared Nero public enemy, to win the favor of incumbent emperor Galba. This there Rome in a chaotic time called the Year of Four Emperors, which ended with Vespasian taking command. 

Nero's life and death remind us that no man however great is above God, and that it is God alone who controls the times and lives of all men. The prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9 thus stands fulfilled to the last detail.

Key Words List

 A - Seventy Sets of Seven 

A set of "seven" = 7 years.

Time span of "seventy sets of seven" 

= 70 times * 7 years

490 years (Great Jubilee)

Note:

a) After every 6 years, the 7th year is a sabbatical year. This is one cycle

b) 7 cycles * 7 years per cycle
 

= 49 Years

Jubilee Year

Jubilee year is a year of forgiveness of debts and time to free slaves

c) 10 Jubilees * 49 years per Jubilee

= 490 years

Great Jubilee

Great Jubilee marks historical events when an outpouring of forgiveness and God's grace has been observed.


 B - Your People 

Refers to the Nation of Israel


 C - Holy City 

Refers to the City of Jerusalem


 D - Prophetic Vision 

Refers to the prophetic vision in Daniel 9:24-26 and various prophecies about Jesus Christ, the messiah in the scriptures


 E - Most Holy Place 

Refers to the Most Holy Place in heaven

Hebrews 9:12
With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

Hebrews 10:20
By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.

Hebrews 10:19
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus


 F - Seven Sets of Seven 

A set of "seven" = 7 years.
Time span of "seven sets of seven" 

= 7 times x 7 years

49 years


 G - Sixty Two Sets of Seven 

A set of "seven" = 7 years.


Time span of "sixty two sets of seven" 

= 62 times * 7 years

434 years


 H - Command is given to rebuild Jerusalem 

This event occurred in during the month of Nissan (April/May) in 455 BC during the reign of Artaxerxes-I when Nehemiah received the permission to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:3-8)


 J - A ruler -- The Anointed One -- 

Refers to Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God


 K - Jerusalem will be rebuilt with strong defences despite perilious times 

Refers to reconstruction of Jerusalem during Nehemiah's time and also further strengthening and beautification of Jerusalem during days of Herod - The Great.


 L - Killed 

Refers to the Crucifixion of Lord Jesus Christ

Mathew 16:21
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day He would be raised from the dead.


 M - Appears to have accomplished nothing

After all that Jesus Christ did in this world, when he was suddenly crucified, to the watching world he appeared to have accomplished nothing. When this happened, even the disciples of Lord Jesus Christ were scattered. But Bible says all this was God's great plan and it was prophesied by prophets long ago as recorded in the scriptures.

Isaiah 53:7-9
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that He died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave.

 

John 18:36
Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

 

Mathew 27:35-44
After they nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A sign was fastened to the cross above Jesus' head, announcing the charge against him. It read: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "Look at you now!" they yelled at him. "You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!".

The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. "He saved others", they scoffed, "but he can't save himself. So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right ow and we will believe him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.


 N - A ruler / defiler 

King Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, also known as King Nero, the emperor of Rome.

Attribution: By User:Bibi Saint-Pol, own work, 2007-02-08, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1814923 


 P - Armies 

Refers to The Roman Army 

(Attribution / Image link)


 Q - Temple 

Refers to The Second Temple of God, whose construction was ordered by Cyrus The Great in 539 BC and which was expanded/beautified during the days of Herod The Great

 

Ezra 1:2
“This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: 'The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.'"

 

Mark 13:1
As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”


 R - Flood 

Refers to uncontrollable armies of the Roman Empire under Titus Caesar Vespasianus (Son of Roman Emperor Vespasian) who commanded the attack against Jerusalem on behalf of his father, Emperor Vespasian.


Titus Caesar Vespasianus (Son of Emperor Vespasian)

Attribution: By Sailko - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30590321

 

Emperor Vespasian

Attribution: By Originally uploaded by user:shakko - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3267302


 S - War and miseries 

Food shortages made even the wife of the High Priest to scavenge the streets for food. The war with Roman Empire that was sparked by events in 66AD lasted till 70 AD, and it was time of indiscriminate slaughter without regard to man/women/child or old/young. It was a terrible time of miseries and flow of blood. 


 T - That Time 

Time period starting from AD 70


 U - Very End 

Refers to the Final Judgement as in Revelation 20:11-15

"And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and the earth and the grave gave up their dead. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire".


 V - Treaty 

Refers to

Refers to acts of kindness shown by Emperor Nero, heeding to the requests his wife Poppaea Augusta Sabina made on behalf of Jewish people in AD 64.

Attribution: By TcfkaPanairjdde - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7396231


 W - One Set of Seven 

This means, 1 (set) * 7 years

= 7 years


 X - Half This Time 

Refers to half of one set of seven.
Thus as: 1 (set) * 7 years = 7 years

Half this time = 7/2 = 3.5 years


 Y - End to sacrifices and offerings 

Daily sacrifice that was offered on behalf of the Emperor of Rome at the Temple of God in Jerusalem from BC 63, when Pompey's Roman armies captured Jerusalem. 


 Z - Sacrilegious object that causes desecration 

With the silent support of last Procurator of Judah, Gessius Florus, certain Greeks obstructed an entrance to a synagogue in Caesarea and offered sacrifices to their Gods. When the Jewish leaders complained, Gessius Florus sided with the Greeks (probably after receiving bribes) and left for Samaria. An embassy of Twelve was sent by the Jews to Gessius Florus, seeking protection from the Greeks. Instead of helping them, Gessius Florus had them imprisoned. 


 AA - poured out on him  

Refers to the events leading to Death of Nero in AD 68, two years before final destruction of the second Temple of God in Jerusalem.