‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. . . . therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision . . . .’–Daniel 9:22-23 (NKJV)

Daniel was specifically chosen by God to communicate some of the most important prophecies recorded in Scripture. One of these is described here:

‘Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city . . . . That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks . . . .’ (Daniel 9:24-25 NKJV)

Let’s break this down into piece by piece. We need to understand that the original word here for weeks literally means ‘sevens.’ As one studies the use of this term, it becomes evident that ‘sevens’ actually represents seven-year periods of time. The two events foretold, the restoring of Jerusalem and the coming of Messiah, are separated by a period of time that equals seven seven-year periods plus 62 seven-year periods (that’s 69 seven-year periods, or 483 years). In other words, the Messiah of Israel would come 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

Several years after Daniel gave this prophecy, the order to rebuild Jerusalem was given. Historians tell us this happened March 14, 445 B.C. At that point God’s clock started ticking, and when you multiply 483 years by the number of days in a year during Daniel’s time (360), it comes to 173,880 days. Add these days to the day of the Jerusalem decree and the result is April 6, 32 A.D., or Palm Sunday, the day Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah to the nation of Israel (Matthew 21)!

The prophecy proved true, right down to the exact day. But that’s what we should expect when it comes to God’s Word. It’s absolutely accurate, so much so that Jesus held those in His day accountable for recognizing that His coming was the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy (Luke 19:41). Prophecy brings responsibility, the responsibility to order our lives according to what God has shown us in advance!