By John Henry
April 8, 2012

Daniel 9:24-27

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
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 times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 9:24-27 is a very important prophetic passage. It gives the time of the Lord Jesus Christ's first coming as "Messiah the Prince" just prior to Passover and His crucifixion. It was fulfilled on the day that many of the Jews received Jesus as "the King that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Luke 19:38; cf. John 12:12).

A little over a hundred years ago a brilliant man by the name of Sir Robert Anderson was the head of investigation at Scotland Yard in London. In Anderson's study of the Prophet Daniel's prophecy of "Seventy Weeks" he carefully calculated the time from "the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince." He began with the historically verifiable date of March 14, 445 BC issued by King Artaxerxes of Persia. The event is recorded in the Bible in Nehemiah (Neh. 2:1-8).

Daniel's "Seventy Weeks" are not weeks of days, but of years. They are broken down into three sections:

             49 years: "seven weeks" (7 sevens)
           434 years: "threescore and two weeks" (62 sevens)
               7 years: "one week" (1 seven)
           490 years

The "Seventy Weeks" is broken down into three parts to distinguish  1) the period "to restore and to build Jerusalem" which took 49 years (cf. John 2:20),   2) the yet future 7 year Tribulation, and  3) the remaining 434 years ordained of God that ushered in the Lord's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem which, according to Anderson's calculations, occurred on April 6, 32 AD.

It is important to understand that the Biblical and Hebrew method of reckoning time that Anderson used in his calculations had 30 day months and 360 day years (30 x 12 = 360). Thus the 42 months (Rev. 11:2, 13:4) and 1260 days (Rev. 11:3, 12:6) designations are for half of the Tribulation (30 days x 42 months = 1260 days x 2 = 2520 days = 7 years)

However, in this study we are not interested in the final week of last 7 years, but only in the first 69 weeks or 483 years. Here is the math:

1. Add 7 + 62 weeks of years = 69 weeks of years in this prophecy

2. Multiply 69 (weeks) x 7 (to get the total number of years in this prophecy) = 483 years

3. Multiply 483 years x 360 (to get the total number of days in this prophecy) = 173,880 days

Therefore, from the time Artaxerxes issued the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (March 14, 445 BC) to Christ's Triumphant Entry (April 6, 32 AD) there were exactly 173,880 days or 483 lunar years of 360 days per year.

Matthew 12:40

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Sir Robert Anderson, realizing that it is impossible to have three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning, enrolled the aide of the Astronomer Royal of Greenwich Observatory to examine the problem. Astronomers can locate the position of the Sun and moon on any date in history (Genesis 1:14). Knowing that Passover is always on the full moon and on the 14th of Nisan every year the path of the Sun and Moon were charted for 32 AD and the date and day of the week recorded for that full moon. They found that the Lord's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem was on Sunday, the 10th of Nisan.

The 10th of Nisan was the day that the Hebrew people were to select a lamb without blemish that they would kill and eat on the evening of the 14th. God established this prophetic picture of the crucifixion of Christ through His Prophet Moses in Exodus 12.

Exodus 12:3-6

3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

It is important to understand that Hebrew days follow pattern of Genesis Chapter One "the evening and the morning" (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), that is the night first and then the day. Biblical days begin in the evening at twilight and run to the next evening, so just try to forget the way you are use to thinking of days running from 12PM to 12 PM. It may be a little confusing, but the chart below should help make some sense of it.

Passover / Resurrection Week Chart

10 Nisan
11 Nisan
12 Nisan
13 Nisan
14 Nisan
15 Nisan
16 Nisan
17 Nisan
lambs chosen.
Prince comes.
God's Lamb
He taught daily
in the temple.
He taught daily
in the temple.
He taught daily
in the temple.
lambs slain.
Supper eaten.
Christ taken
and Crucified.
An High Day or
Special Sabbath.
The first day
of the feast of
unleavened bread.
of Christ.
Feast of
Exodus 12:3
Daniel 9:25
John 12:12-15
Luke 19:47
Luke 19:47
Luke 19:47
Exodus 12:6
Luke 22:7-20
John 18:3-13, 14
28-29, 19:14-19
John 19:31
Leviticus 23:5-7
John 20:1-8
Leviticus 23:9-16
1st Day
of the week
Day 1
Night 1
Day 2
Night 2
Day 3
8th Day
Night 3
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)
Evening (Night)
Morning (Day)

It is of necessity that the 10th of Nisan was on "the first day of the week" in order to provide for the Lord's resurrection on "the first day of the week" (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). The Apostle John indicated that it was five days before Passover where he recorded that "the next day" after "six days before the passover" (John 12:1, 12). Therefore, the Lord's Triumphal entry into Jerusalem was five days before the Passover which occurred on Thursday the 14th of Nisan which allowed for "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt. 12:40). (An interesting side note is that the phrase, "the first day of the week" referring to the Lord's resurrection occurs five times in the Bible [Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; Five is the number of Grace], and the phrase occurs three more times on the subjects of church attendance, preaching, and giving for a total of eight times in the Bible [John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Eight is the number of new beginnings].)

Note too the precise fulfillment of the first 3 of the 7 feast of Israel in Leviticus 23:

5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

The Passover is always on the 14th of Nissan and the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the day after that, but the date of the Feast of Firstfruits fluctuates, because it always falls the day after the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread which is on the First day of the week. Note the sequence of events and typeology of the week of Christ bloody death on the cross:

1. Passover: The Lamb of God hung on the cross on 14 Nissan for about 3 hours from noon till 3PM when He gave up the ghost. "... For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7)
2. Unleavened Bread: The Lord's sinless body was placed in the tomb an hour or two before dark when the 1st day of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th of Nissan. "... Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body." (Matt 26:28)
3. Firstfruits: The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave before daybreak on the First day of the week on the 17th which was the Feast of Firstfruits. "... now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (1 Cor. 15:20)

So the Passover lamb was chosen on the 10 of Nisan which fell on Sunday in 32 AD, then the Passover was killed and eaten on a Thursday evening, the 14th, and Resurrection Morning was on the following Sunday, the 17th. From Thursday to Sunday there are three days and three nights, not 2 as the Roman Catholics prescribe. The Lord Jesus was crucified and hastily placed in the tomb during the daylight hours of the Passover. This end part of Thursday counted as day one. Then there were two full nights and days according to the Hebrew reckoning. Finally there was the night part of the first day of the week, and Christ rose before day brake.

Sir Robert Anderson, therefore, established that the first 69 weeks of Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks ended when the Lord Jesus was received as King on the 10 of Nisan, "the first day of the week" in 32 AD as the people were selecting their Passover lambs to be killed a few says later. This was the only day that Jesus ever allowed the people to hail Him as King (John 12:12-15; Zechariah 9:9). Today we call it Palm Sunday.

That day God revealed His chosen Passover Lamb for the people, "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)

The Bible says that a "... multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest" (Luke 19:37-38). Then when "... some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:39-40) This day was ordained in history. It was the appointed day for the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25. Shortly after this He began to condemned Jerusalem to utter destruction because they did not recognize the day of His visitation (Luke 19:41-44)

"And it was about the sixth hour [Noon], and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour [3 PM]. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (Luke 23:44-46; cf. Matt. 27:45-50)

The Jews had killed and eaten their lambs the the evening before as Passover began. But those lambs were only pictures of what was to take place on that day. During the day of Passover God created a miraculous darkness for the killing of "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), because Exodus 12:6 prescribed that they "kill it in the evening."

A solar eclipse could not have occurred on Passover because of the full moon. Solar eclipses only occur during the new moon phase, but the 14th of Nisan always corresponds to a full moon. The three hours of darkness as the Lord Jesus Christ hung between heaven and earth was a special miracle of God in order to comply with the prescription of Exodus 12:6.

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)