The 69th Week of Daniel
"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" (Dan.9:25).
The Lord Jesus' last visit to the city of Jerusalem was to proclaim His Messiahship. Earlier He had told His disciples that they should not make Him known (Mt.12:16), but when He rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday He accepted the acclamatory shouts of the people, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed be the King who cometh in the name of the Lord! " (Mt.21:9).
No day in the ministry of the Lord Jesus satisfies so well the words "unto Messiah the Prince" as does the day of His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem. But on His entrance the Lord Jesus wept over the city, saying:
"If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes" (Lk.19:42; ASV).
He continued, explaining that the significance of "this day" was hidden from their eyes because they "knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Lk.19:44).
Dr. Thomas Ice says"Our Lord prophetically described the judgment that would come upon Jerusalem and her people because of their rejection of Him (Luke 19:43-44a). Then He declared the reason for such judgment upon the city of Jerusalem which He greatly loved. It would be 'because you did not recognize the time of your visitation' (Luke 19:44b). How was it that Israel is being held accountable for 'this day' (Luke 19: 42) and 'the time of your visitation' (Luke 19:44b)? How were the Jews to have known when her Messiah was to visit them? Israel was to know these things because of prophecy" (Ice,The Time of Your Visitation ; The Thomas Ice Collection).
Year of Fulfillment
The triumphant entry into Jerusalem occurred in A.D.33. In order to find the year of the crucifixion we turn to the following verse:
"Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar...came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (Lk.3:1-3).
John the Baptist began his ministry in "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar". The Lord Jesus was baptized by John shortly after, so the Lord Jesus began His ministry during the same year.
According to historians the beginning of the reign of Tiberius Caesar was August 19th, AD 14.
If John the Baptist began his ministry sometimes in the fall of 29 AD then that would mean that the first Passover during the ministry of the Lord Jesus occurred in Nisan (March-April) in 30 AD. That would mean that the fourth Passover of His ministry took place in Nisan, 33 AD. It was on the tenth day of this month that the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Day of Fulfillment
The Lord Jesus was crucified during the time when the Jews were celebrating the Passover, and that occurred in the month of Nisan (March/April). The start of the Jewish year and the month of Nisan was determined by the first appearance of the new moon. Data from MoonCalc (A program which provides information relating to the appearance and visibility of the moon for any given date, time and location on the earth) demonstrates that in 33 AD the first possible sighting of the new moon was on March 20 (Julian), a Friday. Since the Lord Jesus was crucified on Nisan 15th ("the feast of unleavened bread", Lev.23), a Friday, then the date of the crucifixion can be assigned the date of April 3. The Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem occurred the previous Sunday (Palm Sunday), so that day was on March 29, 33 AD.
The Prophetic Year
We can see that the last week of Daniel's prophecy is made up of seven years, and one-half of this seven years is described as "a time, times, and half a time":
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" (Dan.7:25).
"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished" (Dan.12:7).
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent" (Rev.12:14).
This same three and one-half year period is also described as being forty two months:
"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months" (Rev.11:2).
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months" (Rev.13:5).
The same time period is also described as being of 1,260 days:
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (Rev.11:3).
"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (Rev.12:6).
Forty two months make up a time period of three and one-half years, and forty two months of 30 days comes to 1,260 days.
So we can see that the last three and one half years of the 70th Week of Daniel is stated in "Prophetic Years" of 360 days.
In order to determine the number of days there are in 69 prophetic years we simply multiply 69 by 360. And that total is 24,840 days.
When we count back that number of days from the Julian date of March 29, 33AD, we come to March 9, 444 BC. That is the date when the commandment to restore Jerusalem was issued.
Now let us take a look at the information we have concerning that commandment and see if the Julian date of March 9, 444 BC falls fits within that criteria.
The Beginning of the 69th Week
"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" (Dan.9:25).
The only place in the Scriptures that speaks of any commandment to restore Jerusalem to her previous state is found here:
"And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king...And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it...So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time" (Neh.2:1,5,6).
From archelogical evidence we know that the first year of the reign of king Artaxerxes would begin in the month of Tishri (Sept./Oct.) in 464 BC and ended twelve months later in 463 BC. That means that the 20th year of his reign began in the month of Tishri in 445 BC and ended twelve months later in 444 BC. Therefore the commandment to restore Jerusalem happened during the month of Nisan in the year 444 B.C.
From MoonCalc we know that the first day of the month of Nisan in 444 BC occurred on March 4. So the month of Nisan in that year would have begun on March 4 and would have ended thirty days later. Previously we had determined that the day the commandment was issued was March 9, 444 BC. So we can see that this date falls within the month on Nisan in 444 BC.