[b-hebrew] actual Hebrew question about Daniel 9:25

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Sep 6 23:15:07 EDT 2006

Dear Kenneth,

> I was really hoping that someone would answer the question about the 
> order of the number and nouns in Hebrew because I am confused about that.

Also, in Daniel 9:25 it says "weeks 7" and 
"weeks 62". In Hebrew, wouldn't it usually be written with the number before 
the noun? Are numbers written after the noun in other quotes besides these 
in Daniel?

HH: Numbers in Hebrew can stand before or after the words they modify.

> I don't think that Daniel 9:27 says that the man will break the 
> covenant after half of the week, but it says that he will strengthen 
> the covenant with unidentified people for one week and half of the 
> week he will stop the sacrifices. I don't think you can say that 
> stopping sacrifices breaks a covenant if you don't know who the 
> covenant is with and what it is about. People are guessing about 
> unwritten information.
> I know that Daniel 12 mentions 1290 days which is 3 and a half years 
> so it sounds like half of a week of years, but it could just be a 
> coincidence . The whole idea of 70 weeks of years involves deciding 
> things that are not written like that a week is 7 years and that there 
> can be a whole week that can happen anytime long after the 69 other weeks.

HH: The Hebrew word can mean "seven" and so point to another entity than 
days, i.e., years. This is even in A Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the 
Old Testament, the most authoritative lexicon available. It also says 
that the Hebrew word means a "seven" or "week" of years in the Dead Sea 
Scrolls and in Middle Hebrew (post-biblical Hebrew such as we find in 
the Mishna).

> How do people explain the 7 weeks as 49 years of building Jerusalem? 
> Is that what they believe happened in the past? I did not read every 
> e-mail about Daniel lately.

HH: Here is an article that touches on this question. Here is a relevant 
quote from it:


The time span I am proposing from 457 B.C. to 27 A.D. is also supported 
by another amazing piece of evidence. Do you remember how Daniel divided 
the first 483 years into two periods of time, first 49 years and then 
434 years? Why did he do that? Go back and re-read Daniel 9:25 and 
notice that he makes specific reference to the rebuilding of the city of 
Jerusalem. Did he divide the period into two parts to indicate that the 
rebuilding of the city would occupy the first 49 years?

In a recent booklet entitled "The Daniel Papers," a publication of the 
Radio Bible Class, the author, Herb Vander Lugt, notes:
 According to Barnes and several other trustworthy Bible commentators, 
the historian Prideaux declared Nehemiah's last action in rebuilding the 
city occurred in the 15th year of the Persian ruler Darius Nothus (423 - 
404 B.C.). His 15th year was the 49th year from the 457 B.C. decree. 
Josephus seems to support this idea in his remarks about the death of 

Harold Holmyard

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