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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 19:21:16 EDT 2006

Dear Rev. Bryant J. Williams III:

First of all, which king Artaxerxes was the king who sent Ezra to
Jerusalem? In doing a googlewhack and reading several articles, I came
up with two possibilities, one which would have brought Ezra to
Jerusalem at 457 BC, the other at 395 BC.

Of the two, the earlier one is used most of the time on online
articles, and that is entirely because of a reading of 69 sevens of
years to Jesus' death and resurrection. Thus we have a theological
interpretation driving which is the "correct" date. When I was young
in a context not influenced by dispensationalism (which I still
reject) I was taught that Ezra did his reforms around 400 BC.

There is also some disagreement as to who arrived in Jerusalem first,
Ezra or Nehemiah?

Secondly, are those dates accurate? It is amazing how sure those
numbers look on a page, but how sure are they really? For the most
part, historians have agreed to use certain dates because, even if
they are off a few years, up to a decade or more, that is still close
enough that to argue about them is more trouble than it's worth.
Especially since the surviving material is too fragmentary to prove
one date over another. There are many indications that the dates are,
at the very least, not set in stone.

It is when the variance gets beyond a couple of decades that the
arguments still occur: for example, was Raamses II "the Great" the
pharaoh of the Exodus or the one who sacked Jerusalem after Solomon
died? That's a difference of more than two centuries, and that
argument is still going on. (I favor the later date because my reading
of Exodus leads me to the understanding that the pharaoh of the Exodus
was Hyksos, not native Egyptian.)

So now, when I look at Daniel's prophecy, looking at fuzzy dates that
could be off by as much as a decade or more, where the reading gives
two shorter spans within the 70 sevens where it could be read either
as concurrent or consecutive, the text does not say which way to read
it, the question comes up which period does it refer to?

One question, who was the annointed leader who came seven sevens after
the command was given to rebuild Jerusalem? This was not a 49 year
rebuilding effort for Jerusalem, the book of Nehemiah tells that the
walls were rebuilt in less than two months and Jerusalem a bustling
city at the most a few years later, so who was that leader? He was
important enough to be mentioned in the prophecy, surely you have an
answer to that.

Second question, why do you say that a prophecy that specifically is
about the city and people should, inexplicably, stop four decades
before the end of the city and people?

Third, how does the seventieth seven not describe the seven year Jewish revolt?

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/12/06, Bryant J. Williams III <bjwvmw at com-pair.net> wrote:
> Karl and Yonah,
> I take the time of Ezra to be 457 BCE with Nehemiah 447-446 BCE. The 483
> years (62 weeks + 7 weeks = 69 weeks) would take one to the time of 27 AD.
> Nehemiah went to Jerusalem after obtaining permission of Artaxerxes IV to
> rebuild the walls of which was accomplished. I do not take the seven weeks
> of years to run concurrent. The text does not indicate that. The Mashiach is
> cut off at the end of the 69th week.
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

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