[b-hebrew] $B(YM in Daniel 9:24-27
farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 20 21:34:24 EDT 2004
The proposed new pointing (and its associated interpretation) I think is
somewhat new; however, the attempt to pin down the prophecy to specific
dates and events is not. Also, the understanding that the time period refers
to *years* is not new (for which see inter alios Goldingay; Lucas; Redditt;
Collins; Archer; Baldwin).
Since $NH and YMYM do not occur with $B(YM, I don't think the "weeks" need
be understood as chronological years or days. I'm happy with Vern
Poythress's ("Hermeneutical Factors in Determining the Beginning of the
Seventy Weeks (Daniel 9:25)," Trinity Journal 6 , 142-145) argument
that Gabriel's reply is put within a jubilary framework, ie Gabriel
structures salvation history into jubilee cycles, much like 1 Enoch 93:1-10;
91:12-17 and 11Q Melchizedek. Seven weeks, then, comprises one jubilee out
of ten, signifying a preliminary restoration; here a physical restoration of
Jerusalem. However, much lies still in the future: a cycle of ten jubilees
that culminate in final restoration.
Hope this helps some.
>In his recent study Osmo Alho suggests that by interpreting certain
>occurences of the word $B(YM in Daniel 9:24-27 as $:BU(AYIM [shvuayim]
>one gets a historically correct interpretation of the prophecy.
>For example, by reading the first $B(YM in Dan 9:25 as $:BU(AYIM, the
>verse becomes "From going forth of word to restore and to build
>Jerusalem until Messiah, Prince [will be] seven periods of fourteen
>years and sixty-two periods of seven years." This is 7x14 + 62x7 = 532
>years. Starting from the generally accepted year of the Cyrus
>Declaration, 538 B.C.E., one reaches the birth year of Jesus, 6 B.C.E.
>Seems like a perfect fit to me.
>Has this interpretation been published before?
>Below is the study in its entirety.
>A New Interpretation of the Prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.
>Basic Principles of the Interpretation.
>The vocalization of the Hebrew word $B(YM
>This word in unvocalized Hebrew, which is the original Biblical
>Hebrew, can be vocalized in three different ways:
> 1. $IB:(IYM [shiv`im] = seventy
> 2. $FBU(IYM [shavu`im] = weeks = periods of 7 days
> 3. $:BU(AYIM [shvu`a'yim] = two weeks = period or periods of 14 days
>The third vocalization has been used in Leviticus 12:5 so that it is,
>too, included in the vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible. In this new
>interpretation the third vocalization has been used two times in
>verses Daniel 9:24 and 25, even if in contradiction to the Masoretic
>The principle of YWM L$NH
>The principle of YWOM LA$.FNFH [yom lashshana(h)], which is that one day
>means one year, given in Numbers 14:34, has been often used in the Hebrew
>Bible, e.g. in Ezekiel 4:5. Thus, one week means period of seven years,
>two weeks means period or periods of fourteen years and half a week means
>half a period of seven years. This principle has been generally used also
>in the interpretations of the prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.
>The time definitions in Daniel 9:24-27.
>According to these two principles presented above the following time
>definitions can be found in Daniel 9:24-27.
>The Masoretic vocalization:
>$FBU(IYM $IB:(IYM [shavu`im shiv`im] = seventy periods of seven years = 70
>x 7 years = 490 years. This time interval does not fit in with any
>historical events. It has been used as one of the bases in Seder Olam
>chronology, but "a large error emerges in the Seder Olam author's
>calculation of the Persian period" (Encyclopædia Judaica, CD-ROM edition,
>article CHRONOLOGY, chapter In the Talmud).
>The new vocalization:
>$:BU(AYIM $IB:(IYM [shvu`a'yim shiv`im] = seventy periods of fourteen
>years = 70 x 14 years = 980 years. This time interval will give a very
>accurate fulfilment of the prophecy, as can be seen later.
>The Masoretic vocalization:
>$FBU(IYM $IB:(FH W:$FBU(IYM $I$.IYM W.$:NAYIM
>[shavu`im shiv`a(h) veshavu`im shishshim ushna'yim] = seven periods of
>seven years and sixty-two periods of seven years = 7 x 7 years + 62 x 7
>years = (49 + 434) years = 483 years. This time definition is illogical.
>If the meaning is really 483 years we can ask why it has not been said
>$FBU(IYM $I$.IYM W:TI$:(FH = 69 x 7 years = 483 years. In addition this
>time interval does not fit in with any historical events.
>The new vocalization:
>$:BU(AYIM $IB:(FH W:$FBU(IYM $I$.IYM W.$:NAYIM
>[shvu`a'yim shiv`a(h) veshavu`im shishshim ushna'yim] = seven periods of
>fourteen years and sixty-two periods of seven years = 7 x 14 years + 62 x
>7 years = (98 + 434) years = 532 years. This time interval will give again
>a very accurate fulfilment of the prophecy.
>The Masoretic vocalization:
>)AX:AR"Y HA$.FBU(IM $I$.IYM W.$:NAYIM
>[acharei hashshavu`im shishshim ushna'yim] = after the sixty-two periods
>of seven years. No new time definition, but a reference to some undefined
>times after the time defined in the previous verse.
>No new vocalization.
>The Masoretic vocalization: Two different time definitions:
> 1) $FBW.(A )EXFD [shavu'a` 'echadh] = one period of seven years = 7
> 2) X:ACIY HA$.FBW.(A [chatzi hashshavu'a`] = half the period of seven
>years = 3 ½ years.
>No new vocalization.
>A New Translation of the Text in Daniel 9:24-27.
>24. Seventy periods of fourteen years have been decreed upon your
>people and upon your holy city to terminate the transgression and to
>end sin and to atone iniquity and to bring everlasting righteousness
>and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint holy of holies.
>25. And you should know and you should understand: From going forth of
>word to restore and to build Jerusalem until Messiah, Prince [will be]
>seven periods of fourteen years and sixty-two periods of seven years.
>It (= Jerusalem) will be restored and will be built, [even] square and
>trench, but in times of distress.
>26. And after the sixty-two periods of seven years Messiah will be cut
>off, but not for Himself. The people of a prince who is to come will
>destroy the city and the Sanctuary, but its end (= the end of the
>destroying people) [will be] in a flood. And until end of war
>desolations are decreed.
>27. It (= the destroying people) will \ strengthen / defeat \ an
>alliance of many [during] one period of seven years and [during] half
>the period of seven years. It (= the destroying people) will cease
>sacrifice and offering, and on wing of abominations (= in consequence
>of the idolatry) [will be] appalments, and [that will continue] until
>complete destruction as decreed will be poured upon desolator.
>Comments and Explanations.
>The logical beginning point of the defined time of 980 years is the
>moment when Jerusalem became the holy city, which occurred when the
>Divine Presence ($:KIYNFH [Shekhina(h)]) filled the First Temple
>during the dedication of Solomon's Temple. That year can be calculated
> David's conquest of Jerusalem (generally accepted year
>e.g. in Jerusalem's 3000 years celebration brochures) 1005 B.C.E.
> David as king in Jerusalem (I Kings 2:11) 33 years
> David's death 972 B.C.E.
> David and Solomon as kings jointly (I Kings 1 and 2) c. 2 years
> The 1st year of Solomon as king c. 974 B.C.E.
> The 4th year of Solomon as king, the beginning of
>the constructing of the Temple building (I Kings 6:1) c. 971 B.C.E.
> The constructing of the Temple building (I Kings 6:38) 7 years
> The 11th year of Solomon as king, the Temple
>building ready (I Kings 6:38) c. 964 B.C.E.
> The constructing of Solomon's palace and the making,
>transporting and installing of all the furnishings and
>vessels of the Temple (I Kings 7) 13 years
> The Temple ready for the dedication c. 951 B.C.E.
> The preparations for the dedication feast, like making
>of a temporary altar in the outer Temple court,
>distributing of invitations, gathering of the people
>etc. (I Kings 8) c. 1 year
> The dedication of the Temple c. 950 B.C.E.
>Because of the approximations of the time intervals not given in the
>Bible a time error is of course possible, and it can be estimated as ±
>2 years. The year of the dedication of the First Temple can so be
>written in the form 950 B.C.E. ± 2 years, which means one of the years
>952, 951, 950, 949 or 948 B.C.E.
>The calculation of the terminating point of the defined time of 980
>years can be presented graphically in the following diagram, where the
>time point A is the beginning moment of the Christian Era, which is in
>the Roman calendar the midnight moment between the 31st of December
>and the 1st of Ianuarius in the year 753 ab urbe condita. In the
>diagram it has been supposed that the beginning point of the defined
>time is exactly 950 B.C.E.
><-- B.C.E. |950| | 1 | 1 | | 31| C.E. -->
> 949 years 1 year 30 years
> 980 years
>Taking into account the possible time error of ± 2 years, the final
>result is 31 C.E. ± 2 years, which means one of the years 29, 30, 31,
>32 or 33 C.E.
>Inside these years are most of the estimations concerning the year of the
>crucifixion of Jesus Christ (= MF$IYXA Y:$W.(A [Mashi'ach Yeshu'a`]), in
>old commentaries generally 33 C.E. (e.g. the Scofield Reference Bible) and
>in new commentaries generally 30 C.E. (e.g. Encyclopædia Judaica, CD-ROM
>edition, article JESUS). So this interpretation of the verse Daniel 9:24
>gives very accurately the year of Jesus' death.
>According to the New Covenant Scriptures (SPRY HBRYT HXD$H) the death
>of Jesus as the Lamb of God is the atonement of all transgressions,
>sins and iniquities. This atonement gives everlasting righteousness to
>everyone who accepts it personally.
>In the same year also the holy congregation of the holies (= the believers
>in Jesus), which is the living Temple of the New Covenant, was anointed by
>the Holy Spirit during the Shavuot feast as has been described in Acts 2.
>This very accurate fulfilling of the prophecy is also sealing Daniel's
>vision and his service as a prophet.
>The translation of the Hebrew words MF$IYXA NFGIYD [mashi'ach naghidh]
>as "Messiah, Prince" has been criticized because in the Hebrew text
>there is no definite article HA- [ha-], and therefore these words have
>been rendered e.g. in the ArtScroll Tanach Series translation as "an
>According to the Hebrew word order, however, "an anointed prince" is in
>Hebrew NFGIYD MF$IYXA [naghidh mashi'ach], like e.g. in Leviticus 4:3 the
>Hebrew expression HAK.OH"N HAM.F$IYXA [hakkohen hammashi'ach] means
>plainly "the anointed priest" and not "the Priest, the Messiah", even if
>there is now, according to the Hebrew usage, the definite article HA-
>[ha-] in both of the Hebrew words. Thus, the word order is in such
>expressions clearly more important than the definite article to show the
>real meaning of the expression.
>The word to restore and to build Jerusalem is logically "the Cyrus
>Declaration" (Ezra 1:1-4, II Chronicles 36:22-23 and Josephus:
>Antiquities, Book XI, Chapter I:1-2). This word gave the permission to
>rebuild both the Temple and the city, as can be seen from Haggai
>1:1-4. Concerning Cyrus' word there is also a very accurate prophecy
>in Isaiah 44:28. The generally accepted year of "the Cyrus
>Declaration" is 538 B.C.E. (e.g. Encyclopædia Judaica, CD-ROM edition,
>article PERSIA, chapter Pre-Islamic Persia).
>Beginning from this time point the following calculation can be made:
>The Cyrus Declaration 538 B.C.E.
>The defined time in Daniel 9:25 532 years
>The terminating point of this defined time 6 B.C.E.
>If we take again the time tolerance of ± 2 years, the final result can
>be written 6 B.C.E. ± 2 years, which means one of the years 8, 7, 6, 5
>or 4 B.C.E.
>Inside these years are all realistic estimations concerning the birthyear
>of Jesus Christ. As described in the New Covenant Scriptures, verses
>Matthew 2:1 and 22 Jesus was born during king Herod the Great, the father
>of Archelaus, and therefore the birthyear of Jesus cannot be after 4
>B.C.E., which is the year when Herod the Great died (e.g. Encyclopædia
>Judaica, CD-ROM edition, article HEROD I). So this new interpretation
>gives again a very accurate fulfilling of Daniel's prophecy.
>As has been said before, no new time definition has been given in this
>verse. The time reference to the latter part of the time definition in
>verse 25 means only that all the events mentioned in this verse 26
>will occur after Jesus' birth. The year of Jesus' death was already
>defined in verse 24 and the year of the destruction of the city (=
>Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (= the Second Temple) has not been given
>in this prophecy. Not depending of any time calculations, however,
>according to this verse the first advent of the Messiah has been
>clearly occurred already before the destruction of the Second Temple.
>The coming prince was the Roman military commander and later emperor
>Titus, the destroying people was the ancient Roman people, in practice
>its army, and the flood was the Great Migration of barbarian peoples,
>which ended the existence of the ancient Roman people. Every war means
>always desolations until the end of war.
>Taking into account all what has been said above, the meanings of the
>two time periods in this verse are logically the following:
>1) The Jewish War in 66-73 C.E., which lasted 7 years (e.g.
>Encyclopædia Judaica, CD-ROM edition, article HISTORY: SECOND TEMPLE
>PERIOD, chapter The Revolt (First Roman War)).
>2) The Bar Kokhba Revolt in 132-135 C.E., which "apparently lasted
>about three and a half years" (Encyclopædia Judaica, CD-ROM edition,
>article BAR KOKHBA, chapter Bar Kokhba Revolt).
>The attacking Roman army strengthened the mutual alliance of Jews
>especially in Gamla and in Masada (= MCDH [Metzadha(h)]) and defeated it
>especially in Jerusalem, thus fulfilling the both opposite interpretations
>of the Hebrew expression. The conquest of Jerusalem by the Roman army
>caused to cease the sacrifice and offering and brought along also the
>Roman idolatry with its abominations and appalments. That continued until
>the Byzantine period, which began in Jerusalem in 324 C.E. and during
>which the Roman idolatry was completely destroyed (e.g. Encyclopædia
>Judaica, CD-ROM edition, article JERUSALEM, chapter Byzantine Jerusalem).
>So this new interpretation fulfils very accurately also this part of the
>In this article a new interpretation of the prophecy given in Daniel
>9:24-27 has been presented. Concerning two time definitions in
>Daniel's text a new vocalization has been used instead of the
>Masoretic vocalization, but without changing the original unvocalized
>consonant text. As a consequence a more logical and reliable
>interpretation has been formed, which is giving a very accurate and
>realistic fulfilment of the whole prophecy.
>Karstula, Finland, March 2004.
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