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AUGUST 7, 2022
BIBLE TEACHER: CLIFTON JONES
THE BEGINNING OF THE 490 YEAR PROPHECY
INTRODUCTION (REVIEW OF ISRAEL’S PAST)
Israel had disobeyed God, they had transgressed God’s law, they had sinned against God
God instructed Israel concerning the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee (Lev.
Israel had not kept the sabbath years, 70 sabbath years had not been kept
Which was a time-period of 70 x 7, seventy sevens of years equals 490 years
Israel’s debt to God was 70 sabbath years, God said, you owe me 70 years, I will collect
Israel’s Babylonian captivity was for 70 years because of their neglect of the sabbatical years
Israel had violated 70 sabbaths, which covered a period of 490 years (2 Chronicles 36:21)
Their time of captivity looked backward to a time of 490 years of Israel’s transgression
God reveals to Daniel a prophecy concerning Israel for a future time of 490 years
The prophecy of 70 sevens looked forward for a determined time of 490 years (Daniel 9:24)
Another 490-year time-period before the 6 purposes of God would be fulfilled (vs 24)
The first coming of Jesus and the cross of Calvary made possible their fulfillment
The complete fulfillment of each one will not be applied until Christ returns to the earth
Daniel was given a vision of the future 490-years, Gabriel was sent to explain the vision
Dan 9:25 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
Why does Gabriel tell Daniel that he must “know and understand?”
The word “know” has the meaning of “to perceive, to discern, or to experience”
Gabriel told Daniel to perceive and understand what you have seen in the vision
It appears that Daniel had already seen the vision and Gabriel was sent to interpret it to Daniel
Gabriel told Daniel to “understand,” Daniel must have “spiritual insight” to understand
God had gifted Daniel with spiritual understanding when he was a young man, Dan 1:17 As for these
four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had
understanding in all visions and dreams.
Here the word “skill” is the same word as “understand” in Daniel 9:25
Daniel was gifted with understanding, yet God sent Gabriel that Daniel might “understand,”
Dan 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee
skill and understanding.
(Beyond what Daniel already possessed)
Again, the word “skill” is the same word as understand in Daniel 9:25
God sent Gabriel to Daniel to give him “skill,” meaning to give Daniel spiritual “insight”
To give Daniel “understanding” beyond that he possessed, to give him prophetic insight
God wanted Daniel to understand the truths of God revealed in the “Seventy Weeks”
Which reveals to us the significance and importance of Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks
God wants us to understand what He has written concerning the future, especially the last days
Understanding the 70 Weeks of Daniel is the key to understanding other related prophecies
For example, you cannot fully understand the NT “Revelation” apart from Daniel’s 70 weeks
We can say that the Revelation is a commentary on Daniel 9:24-27
Daniel is to understand the time of the beginning of the 70 Weeks
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Which is critical because it is a historical moment of utmost importance, outlining the future
The 490-year time-period begins with the commandment “to restore and to build Jerusalem”
There are several decrees related to the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of their homeland
But there is only one decree that agrees with the text of Daniel 9:25
It was issued in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes, which would be in 445 BC
Nehemiah stood before King Artaxerxes, Neh 2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the
twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto
Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
Nehemiah stood sadly before the king and the king recognized his sadness, Neh 2:2 Wherefore the king
said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick?
this is nothing else but sorrow of
Then I was very sore afraid,
Nehemiah’s sorrow was for the city of his people, Jerusalem, Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the
king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, (Jerusalem) the place of my
fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request?
So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Prayer strengthened Nehemiah to make his request and opened the door for God to answer
His request could have very well angered the king and brought death to Nehemiah
Nehemiah knew what he must do, he “prayed to the God of heaven” (Learn to do that?)
God answered his prayer, and we find a most remarkable request granted, Neh 2:5 And I said unto the
king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me
unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
Nehemiah asked the king to send him to the “city” of Jerusalem that he might “build it”
Artaxerxes allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem, Neh 2:6 And the king said unto me,
(the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return?
So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the city and the walls, Neh 2:8 And a letter unto
Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the
gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I
shall enter into.
And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Conservative Bible scholars agree that this is the decree referred to in Daniel 9:25
The decree was specifically to restore and rebuild Jerusalem
And it would be built in “troublous times,” times of distress, times of distressful circumstances
Severe “times of distress” took place during Nehemiah’s day
There are many references found in the book of Nehemiah describing how difficult it was
Nehemiah met with great opposition, even from Jews living outside the city (Neh.
Nehemiah armed his people with swords, spears, and bows
Half of them would work and the other half stood guard with their armor
There were those who worked with one hand and held a spear in the other hand
Everyone had a sword by their side and there were guards ready to sound an alarm
They stood ready to blow the trumpet in case of an attack
They slept with their clothes on in case of an attack at night
The only time they took off their clothes was to wash them
Nehemiah assured his people that they were in God’s hands, Neh 4:20 In what place therefore ye hear the
sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.
Again, we see the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy, Dan 9:25 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
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