Watchman's Teaching Letter #133 May 2009
This is my one hundred thirty-third monthly teaching letter and begins my twelfth year of publication. This is another in a series on the apostle Paul. In the last two lessons in this series it has been clearly demonstrated that Paul never taught a “secret rapture” of the church. There is yet much to be said on this subject, so this will be a continuation of that same theme. It may seem to the reader that the name of Paul isn’t being mentioned very much in this series exposing the secret rapture fallacy, but all of this data needs to be presented in order to clear Paul of teaching such a preposterous farce. In the last lesson it was pretty well demonstrated that every year of Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy (490 years) was fulfilled in its entirety, with nothing left over to project 2000 years into the future. A double witness will now be given by William Finck to confirm that thesis. This lesson will separate the serious student from the average surface reader:
William Finck’s (Nov. 2002) Notes Concerning I Esdras, Ezra (II Esdras) And Nehemiah:
Persian Kings of the period:
• Cyrus 550-529 B.C.
• Cambyses 529-522 B.C.
• Pseudo Smerdis (the magi) 522-521 B.C.
• Darius (Hystaspis) 521-486 B.C.
• Xerxes 486-465 B.C.
• Artaxerxes 465-445 B.C.
To show that this period is well-recorded in history, all of these Persian kings up to Xerxes were discussed at length by Herodotus. Shortly after Artaxerxes, the Peloponnesian wars among the Greeks began (431-404 B.C.). Darius Nothos (“the bastard”) ruled Persia from 426, and Artaxerxes II from 407 B.C. The brother of Artaxerxes II, Cyrus the Younger, led a rebellion against him and lost his life in its failure. This was a subject of Xenophon’s “Anabasis”. All of the dates here concur with John Clark Ridpath’s chronologies.
Because the Septuagint Greek was translated from the Hebrew at a time very close in antiquity to the actual events discussed here, especially compared to the A.V. English (and because the LXX is, I am starting to believe, more reliable than the Masoretic Text in many cases) I have chosen to adhere to that version for this study, although at times I may refer to or quote the A.V.
Both Ezra (often referred to as II Esdras) 4:6 and Daniel 9:1 mention an Assuerus (Ahasuerus), who must have been a satrap of Babylon, and nothing more. Satraps were often conquered or subservient kings, or appointees considered petty kings, under the emperor or great king.
Ezra 4:7, 4:8, 4:11, 4:23 and 6:14 all mention an Ἀρθασασθὰ, only transliterated by Brenton, where the corresponding A.V. passages have written “Artaxerxes”. I Esdras (the “apocryphal” book) at 2:16, 2:17 and 2:30, corresponds with these passages, and reads Ἀρταξέρξης, “Artaxerxes”.
This king called Ἀρθασασθὰ, or Ἀρταξέρξης, here can not be the Artaxerxes who is so well known to us through the Greek histories (and whose given name, according to Josephus, Antiq. 11:6:1 (11:184), was actually Cyrus also), but can only be Cambyses. Josephus, at Antiquities 11:2:2, verifies this.
Part of the reason for confusion is that Ἀρθασασθὰ (and Artaxerxes) is a title and not a name. Strong verifies this: refer to his Hebrew lexicon entries at #’s 325, 783 and 8660. That “Arthasastha” is a title is evident in the LXX text at Ezra 2:63, Neh. 7:65 (in a statement referring to Zorobabel, for which see the corrupted “Attharias” at I Esdras 5:40) and at Neh. 5:14 and 10:1 where the label is applied to Nehemiah. (The word also appears at Neh. 2:1 and 13:6).
The Hebrew confusion over these terms is not unlike that of the Greek, which is often commented upon. Herodotus at 6:98 states: “... Darius may be rendered ‘worker,’ Xerxes ‘warrior,’ and Artaxerxes ‘Great Warrior’. And so might we call these kings in our own language with propriety.”
A walk through Ezra and Nehemiah with the proper chronology:
• I Esdras 1:57-58 mentions the seventy-year prophecy of Jeremiah concerning Jerusalem, found at Jer. 25:11-12 and 36:10 (or 29:10 in the A.V.). See Ezra 1:1.
• I Esdras 2:1 (Ezra 1:1) mentions the decree given in the first year of Cyrus, which was 550 B.C. (See Isaiah 44:28, 45:1 ff.) Note that Cyrus was the king when Daniel uttered his prophecy at Daniel 11:2.
• I Esdras 2:16 (Ezra 4:7): The Samaritans wrote to Cambyses complaining of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The text here helps to establish that the original decree included the rebuilding of the city also, and not only the temple. Herodotus portrays Cambyses as being exceptionally cruel, having even had his own brother, who the Greeks called Smerdis, slain for fear he would usurp the throne. According to Rawlinson, the inscriptions support this fact. (Rawlinson’s footnote at Herodotus 3:30). Cambyses is the first king of Daniel 11:2 (his successor, Pseudo-Smerdis, a magi and an impostor, was the second.).
• I Esdras 2:30 (Ezra 4:23): Cambyses ordered the rebuilding of Jerusalem to stop. The rebuilding of the temple was prevented until the second year of Darius the Persian, which year began in 520 B.C.
• I Esdras 4:43 ff., 5:4 ff.: Here the ‘apocryphal’ I Esdras differs significantly from Ezra. Where Ezra has the return of the group of 42,000-plus with Zorobabel upon the initial proclamation of Cyrus, I Esdras records that same group (with some minor variations in the list) as returning much later, upon the proclamation of Darius. I Esdras 2:8-15 does indicate a return of captives from Babylon to Judaea upon the proclamation of Cyrus, but gives no details, stating “... the chief of the families of Judah and of the tribe of Benjamin ... and the Levites ...”, which implies a separate and much earlier return of captives, of unknown number, preceding Zorobabel’s listed group. Nehemiah 12:22 seems to support I Esdras and the return of 42,000-plus in the reign of Darius, and not Cyrus. Josephus’ Antiquities seems to support both accounts, although Josephus certainly seems confused, compare 11:1:3 (11:18) with 11:3:10 (11:69). I Esdras 5:70-73 and 6:2 indicate that Zorobabel was present at the first return of captives (in the first year of Cyrus) and (30 years) later in the second year of Darius, as he began to finally build the temple (See Zech. 4:1-10).
• I Esdras 5:73 makes a statement which is certainly errant, and which is not repeated in the corresponding verse at Ezra 4:24. It states here that the Samaritans “... hindered the finishing of the building all the time that king Cyrus lived: so they were hindered from building for the space of two years, until the reign of Darius.” Darius here must be the Persian king (see vv. 3:1, 4:47, 5:2, 6:7 and 6:23) and no other, and since Cyrus followed by Cambyses and Pseudo-Smerdis all ruled for a total of 30 years before Darius, here I would expect to see that figure, or one close to it. In support of this long duration of time is the search of records necessary to find the proclamation of Cyrus concerning Jerusalem, related at I Esdras 6:21 ff. and Ezra 6:1 ff.
The error here is represented by three Greek words, where I Esdras reads: ἔτη δύο ἕως (Brenton’s “... for the space of two years, until ...”) Ezra has: ἕως δευτέρου ἔτους (“until the second year”), no other change being necessary, the three words in I Esdras 5:73 must be an error, and a reading of Ezra 4:24 correct. Note also I Esdras 2:30.
• I Esdras 6:21 ff. (Ezra 6:1 ff.): The second year of Darius, which would begin in 520 B.C., saw the resumption of the building of the temple (I Esdras 6:1-2). Darius is the third king of Daniel 11:2.
• I Esdras 7:5 (Ezra 6:15): The building of the temple was completed in the sixth year of Darius, which would begin in 516 B.C. If as many calculate, the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians occurred in 586 B.C. (although Ridpath has 588) then this would mark off the end of Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years of desolation.
Note that Josephus in Antiq. 11:4:7 (11:107) states that the temple was completed in the ninth year of Darius.
By this time, however, the city itself had not been rebuilt, although a command to do so surely existed, and work was at one time begun but had stopped (see I Esdras 2:16-18, 2:28, 4:43, 4:47, 4:53, Ezra 4:12 and Ezra 5:3-4).
I Esdras (and Ezra) are silent from the sixth year of Darius to the seventh year of Artaxerxes. It will be demonstrated that the Artaxerxes of I Esdras 8 (Ezra 7) is the historical king that we know as Artaxerxes I from Greek histories. This silence represents a space of roughly 58 years. As will also be demonstrated, it is here that events related in the Book of Nehemiah actually occurred. The entire Book of Nehemiah may be inserted between I Esdras 7 (Ezra 6) and I Esdras 8 (Ezra 7), and then will these books be in chronological order, and much better understood.
The latter years of the reign of Darius were consumed with wars, against the Scythians, Massagetae, Sakae, in India and in Greece (where one of his generals was defeated at Marathon in 490 B.C.), all of this recorded by Herodotus. Darius was also engaged for some time in a siege of Babylon, having to retake the city after it revolted, also recorded by Herodotus. The Battle of Marathon set the stage for his successor Xerxes, whose fate was to “rise up against all the kingdoms of the Greeks” (Daniel 11:2).
Darius must be the king of Persia, the z!D2"F"F2, mentioned by Nehemiah. Note that Cambyses reigned but 8 years, Xerxes for 21 and Artaxerxes 20, but Darius for 35 years. At Nehemiah 5:14, Nehemiah states that he ruled Judaea (as governor) “from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of Arthasastha, twelve years”. As previously demonstrated Arthasastha is a title used for any ruler, whether the great king of Persia or a petty local ruler. Although at Neh. 13:6 the “thirty-second year of Arthasastha king of Babylon” is mentioned, this may be an error, or may well be an allusion to the fact that Darius had recently reconquered Babylon after a revolt (see Herodotus 3:150-160).
Nehemiah, Ezra and Zorobabel were all contemporaries. In all of the lists which record the return of the 42,000-plus from captivity, Zorobabel and Nehemiah are mentioned together: Ezra 2:2, Nehemiah 7:7 and I Esdras 5:8. Where Ezra appears not in his own lists, he does at Neh. 7:7. Nehemiah and Ezra are mentioned together throughout Neh. 8 and at 12:26, among other places Zorobabel was the Arthersastha, or governor, of Judaea (I Esdras 6:27-29) and [the] object of that title where it is used at Ezra 2:63 (compare Neh. 7:65 and I Esdras 5:40 where the text is corrupted to “Attharias”). At I Esdras 5:40 Zorobabel and Nehemiah are mentioned together. Nehemiah followed Zorobabel in that dignity stated at Neh. 12:47. See Nehemiah 5:14 and 10:1, where Nehemiah is clearly “Athersastha” or “Artasastha”, both variations of the same title.
Nehemiah recollects some of the events which were recorded in chapters 1 through 8 of I Esdras (1 through 7 of Ezra), but none of the events of chapter 9 of I Esdras (8 through 10 of Ezra), which had not yet transpired. Nehemiah was concerned with the rebuilding of the city and walls of Jerusalem, a great part of which was certainly accomplished during the 12 years of his governorship. The 20th year of Darius, 14 years after Zorobabel completed the temple, began in 502 B.C., and the 32nd year, when Nehemiah left Jerusalem, began in 490 B.C. The ‘apocryphal’ Ecclesiasticus (Σοφια Σειραχ) 49:13 credits Nehemiah with building the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 11:27), but the buildings expected to inhabit the city were not necessarily complete (Neh. 7:4, 11:1-2).
• Neh. 7: Nehemiah recollects the list of Israelites who returned to Jerusalem in, as has been discussed above, the second year of Darius.
• Neh. 8: Nehemiah and Ezra are contemporaries, mentioned together throughout this chapter. Ezra here is called “the scribe”, “the priest” or even by both titles (8:9).
• Neh. 11: Nehemiah lists the families dwelling in Jerusalem, and specifically the priests and Levites (11:12 ff.), who were “the priests in the reign of Darius the Persian” which is a firm witness of the chronology for the service of Nehemiah purported here. When Ezra returned to Jerusalem for the second time, after the time of Nehemiah (as will be discussed below) he brought with him many other priests and Levites from those among the captivity (I Esdras 8:28 ff., Ezra 8:1 ff.) and after their arrival, he found that many of those priests and Levites which had long been in Jerusalem (Neh. 11) had taken strange wives, and he listed these (I Esdras 9:18 ff., Ezra 10:18 ff.).
As stated, Nehemiah’s mission ended by 489 B.C. Xerxes ascended to the Persian throne in 486 B.C. The entire first half of Xerxes’ reign was consumed by the war against Greece, which he personally attended to. All of the resources of the empire were busy about this war, which many of the children of Israel and Judah took part in. Not only the Danaans and Dorians and other Israelite tribes on the side of the Greeks, but Scythians, Sakae, Phoenicians and Palestinian Syrians (among others listed by Herodotus) on the Persian side. Xerxes led the Persian army to destroy Athens, and Salamis, the famed naval battle in which the Greeks destroyed the entire Persian fleet, was witnessed by Xerxes from Grecian shores in 480 B.C. After Salamis, Xerxes retreated, but left a good part of his army behind with a general to fight the Greeks on land. The Greeks defeated this army at Plataea and at Mycalé, both in 479 B.C., effectively ending any hopes by the Persians of conquering the west. It is likely that Xerxes’ long journey back to Susa kept him occupied until 478 or maybe even 477 B.C. It is absolutely unlikely that Xerxes is the “artaxerxes” of I Esdras 8, the “Arthasastha” of Ezra 7, since he began the seventh year of his reign, which started 480 B.C., sitting on the shores of Attica watching his greatest pride, his navy, sink to the bottom of the sea. Surely the good king of I Esdras 8 (Ezra 7) is Artaxerxes, who ascended the Persian throne in 465 B.C.
Before proceeding, it must be noted that Josephus made the fatal error of accepting the Esther story as a historical fact. He dated the Esther affair to the reign of Artaxerxes, Xerxes’ successor. See Antiquities 11:6 (11:184-296). The reasons for rejecting Esther as a fable are many, but it is outside of the purpose here to list them. Josephus’ acceptance of Esther caused him to artificially extend the length of the Xerxes’ reign far beyond what it actually was, attributing to Xerxes many events which are rightfully attributed to Artaxerxes his successor, or even Darius his predecessor.
• Josephus’ Antiquities 11:5:2 (11:135): Here Josephus states that Nehemiah “Was cupbearer to king Xerxes”, where it has been demonstrated that Nehemiah was in the employ of Darius.
• Josephus’ Antiquities 11:5:7 (11:168): Nehemiah “came to Jerusalem in the twenty and fifth year of the reign of Xerxes”.
• Josephus’ Antiquities 11:5:8 (11:179): “... And this trouble, he underwent for two years and four months; for in so long a time was the wall built in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Xerxes, in the ninth month.”
It is difficult to say how Josephus arrived at these conclusions, or from where he obtained his data, for these statements can not be corroborated by or reconciled with our Scriptures. One aspect of these statements does stand out, for the twenty-eighth year of Xerxes, who reigned but 21 years, would actually be the seventh year of Artaxerxes, the year which Ezra began to prepare for his second return to Jerusalem.
• I Esdras 8:1 (Ezra 7:1): Ezra received a commission from Artaxerxes, in his seventh year, to return to Jerusalem with a large contingent of priests, Levites and others of the captivity. Ezra is given much authority, “that they may look unto the affairs of Judaea and Jerusalem” (I Esdras 8:12) and “thou, Esdras, according to the wisdom of God ordain judges and justices, that they may judge in all Syria and Phenice ...” I Esdras 8:23). If Ezra was not actually appointed governor (there is a vague statement at I Esdras 9:49), as Zorobabel and Nehemiah were before him, he certainly was given authority which exceeded even theirs. (See Ezra 7:25-28). This return took Ezra over seven months to prepare for and complete, surely extending into (or at least approaching) the eighth year of Artaxerxes, which began in 457 B.C. (or 458 B.C.?)
• Daniel 9:25: “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 ...”
From 457 B.C., 69 weeks, or 483 years later, was 26 A.D. [The year that Yahshua Christ stood in the river Jordan to be baptized by John was, by the certainly accurate account in Luke, 28 A.D.], thus beginning His three and one-half year ministry in the flesh, the first half of Daniel’s 70th week (9:27).
[With all of this data, I haven’t even covered in detail Jeremiah’s 70 years of desolation mentioned in Dan. 9:2: v. Jer. 25:12 & 29:10.]
Here the phrase “going forth” must be examined:
• Hebrew: Strong’s #4161: “4161 מוצא môwtsâ’, mo-tsaw´; or מצא môtsâ’, mo-tsaw´; from 3318; a going forth, i.e. (the act) an egress, or strong•font-family: (the place) an exit; hence a source or product; specifically dawn, the rising of the sun (the East), exportation, utterance, a gate, a fountain, a mine, a meadow (as producing grass):– brought out, bud, that which came out, east, going forth, going out, that which (thing that) is gone out, outgoing, proceeded out, spring, vein, [water-] course [springs].”
For our purpose “môwtsâ’ or môtsâ’, ... a going forth, i.e. (the act) an egress, or (the place) an exit; hence a source or product ... dawn ... rising ... utterance ...”
• Septuagint Greek: ἔξοδος (Strong’s #1841); Liddell & Scott: “a going out ... 2. a marching out, military expedition ... 3. a solemn procession ... II. a way out, outlet ... III. an end, close ... the end or issue of an argument ...”
With Ezra’s return in 457 B.C., the “end”, “close” or better, the “product” of the command to build and restore the city of Jerusalem [may be perceived as having been completed. Yet if the time to actually do the building should also be counted, we can easily estimate that and arrive at 455 B.C., 483 years prior to the baptism of Yahshua Christ in 28 A.D.] With the chronology presented here, not only is the history of Jerusalem properly aligned with the utterance of the prophets, also Scripture is fully reconciled with the secular history of Persia which has come down to us. No longer do we have the difficulty which the many errant “mainstream” commentators leave themselves with when attempting to explain these books. No generally accepted dates from secular history must be distorted to meet the chronological requirements of the books discussed here, and no accusations are leveled at Scripture, for all of the problems discussed have been easily resolved. Surely there are some minor items left unmentioned in these few short hand-written pages, but all of the important statements in the books discussed, as pertaining to the chronology presented here, have been addressed, and I must conclude that the Word is surer than the understanding of men.
• 550 B.C. Cyrus king of Persia, first return of captives to Judaea.
• 529 B.C. Cambyses became king, some time before 522 he ordered the reconstruction of Jerusalem to stop.
• 522 B.C. Pseudo-Smerdis, the magi, usurped the Persian throne.
• 521 B.C. Darius Hystaspis became king.
• 520 B.C. Rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem commenced.
• 516 B.C. The temple completed in the sixth year of Darius. Jeremiah’s 70 years of desolation ended during this year.
• 502 B.C. Nehemiah commissioned by Darius. The rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem began during this period.
• 490 B.C. Nehemiah’s mission in Jerusalem ended. The city’s walls are complete and dedicated. Building construction within the city was under way. Persians defeated by Greeks at Marathon.
• 486 B.C. Xerxes became king, began preparations for the invasion of Greece.
• 480 B.C. Persian fleet lost at Salamis, Xerxes began his retreat home.
• 479 B.C. Partial Persian armies defeated simultaneously by Greek armies at Plataea and Mycené.
• 465 B.C. Artaxerxes became king.
• 458 B.C. Ezra commissioned for his final return to Jerusalem.
• 457 B.C. Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy began around this time. [Need 455 B.C. for 32 A.D. crucifixion, and the building by Ezra may not have been completed until then.]
William Finck, 3rd November, 2002
Thank you William Finck for sharing the notes you put together 7 years ago on this portion of history, positioning the events during Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy. William substantiates his claim that the crucifixion took place in 32 A.D. in the notes of his translations of Luke, showing the beginning of Christ’s ministry to be in 28 A.D. William’s four notes on this at chapters 2 & 3 of Luke contain 1232 words and are too long to include here. When these translations are finally published, one will need to get a copy of them. William’s original notes appeared to have a discrepancy of two years, the difference between starting Daniel’s prophecy at 457 or 455 B.C. However there may not actually be a discrepancy at all, depending upon the interpretation of the Hebrew and Greek words defined above. Therefore the portions in brackets found above are recent amendments to the original notes.
It should also be noted that Howard B. Rand in his Study In Daniel also places the beginning of Christ’s ministry at 28 A.D., stating in part on page 232: “... (28 A.D.), when John the Baptist baptized Jesus and He was anointed by the Holy Spirit at that time for His mission.” There are two problems with Rand though. He uses the errant archbishop Ussher’s A.M. (After Man) chronology from the Masoretic text rather than the Septuagint, and he allows only a little over one year for Christ’s ministry, putting the crucifixion at 30 A.D. rather than 32 .
If you will remember, in the last WTL lesson #132, I presented a timeline on Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy (490 years) from Michael D. Bennett’s The Sabbatic 70 Years. The object here is to compare William Finck’s observations on the history of that period with those of Michael D. Bennett’s. In order to do that, it will be necessary to reproduce some of the charts that I made after the design that Bennett had produced in his exposé on the subject. Here they are again:
The next one we should consider will show a possible missing 70-year period, mathematically speaking (years B.C.):
1st Temple destroyed • 2nd Temple complete • Nehemiah builds walls
586 70 Years 516 70 Years 446
Then it was explained that there were nearly 70 unaccounted for prophetic years. I would prefer to call this additional 70 years “troublous times”, as that is what Gabriel called the building of the wall and street, but both designations may apply. The following graph will be similar to how Michael D. Bennett has it drawn, (years B.C.):
Jerusalem Ezra returns &
captured “rebuilding decree”
598 140 Years 458
140 Years Start of Daniel’s ò 70 weeks
Now for a graph by me representing the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy: (a) = 458 B.C. or Ezra’s return; (b) = B.C. to A.D. conversion; (†) = 32 A.D. or Christ’s crucifixion; (c) = 3½ years after Christ’s crucifixion or near Stephen’s stoning:
a 490 Years b † c
After I had compared some of the dates to Michael D. Bennett’s book, I noticed that both he and Finck place the completion of the rebuilding of the temple at 516 B.C. Therefore, I have to believe that Bennett is correct from the time the temple was destroyed until its rebuilding was complete. I see also that Bennett and Finck nearly agree on the beginning of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy at 458 B.C. Finck has it beginning at 457 [to 455] B.C. and Bennett has it “458/57”. In the chart of which I made a likeness, for lack of room and simplicity, I just made it “458”. I noticed Finck started his chronology notes at 550 B.C. with Cyrus king of Persia returning captives while Bennett started at 604 B.C. with Nebuchadnezzar’s first visit to Jerusalem deporting Daniel to Babylon. Therefore, I believe that both Finck and Bennett are in the ballpark, but coming from a different angle.
Another thing I should mention is that both Finck’s and Bennett’s dating show that there has to be a period of unaccounted for non-prophetic time between the completion of the rebuilding of the temple and the beginning of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy, and figuring from both of their dates, it comes to 59 years, except Bennett figures 140 years after the capture of Jerusalem in 598/97 by Nebuchadnezzar. Also, both Bennett and Finck agree that the completion of the rebuilding of the temple was 516 B.C. I should also inform the reader that Bennett and Finck were totally unaware of the other’s work in this area of endeavor.
The vision recorded at Daniel 9:24-27 has long been a mystery to many, and various errant theologies have been built upon it! Verse 27 says in part: “And he [Yahshua Christ] 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 ...” Anyone who tries to make this someone other than our savior is a liar! And anyone who proclaims that Christ died sometime other than the middle of Daniel’s 70th week of years is not correct for Daniel 9:27 states otherwise! A pastor, J.S. Brooks, wrote a small brochure entitled The Seventy Weeks Prophecy and promoted the idea that Daniel’s 70th week ended with Christ’s crucifixion. Evidently he didn’t read verse 27, or had some perverted idea of what he thought it meant! It can’t be both ways. It either has to be in the “midst” of the 70th week or at the end, and Daniel 9:27 definitely says “in the midst of the week”.
In the book Charting The Times by Tim Lahaye & Thomas Ice, on page 90 they show what they supposedly believe is the timeline for “The 70 Weeks of Daniel”. First of all, they have a date of 444 B.C. for the decree of Artaxerxes for rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls and they start their countdown for the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s 70 weeks, or 490 years. As you can see, Michael D. Bennett has the decree for the rebuilding of the walls at 458 B.C. If one will add 444 + 33 years (33 A.D. being their crucifixion date) one would arrive at a total of 477 years, or 13 years short of Daniel’s 490 years. According to these futurists, there are supposed to be only 7 years left over from Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy which they insist will be projected 2000 years into the future! What are they going to do with the other 4 years of their calculations (or as they figure it, 6 years)? Is it, according to their figures, going to be 13 years of tribulation instead? Come on now, let’s get real!
Daniel’s 70-weeks are broken down into 7 weeks + 62 weeks + ½ week + ½ week = 70 weeks. (Here 7 weeks = 49 years; 62 weeks = 434 years; and ½ week = 3½ years.) Now Tim Lahaye and Thomas Ice don’t even follow their mentor Cyrus I. Scofield, as a note in his Bible on Daniel 9:27 reads: “The years reckon, of course, from the end of the seven weeks, so that the whole time from ‘the going forth of the commandment to restore’ etc., ‘unto the Messiah’ is sixty-nine weeks of years, or 483 years.” What Scofield doesn’t say is that it was another 3½ years after the 483 years until the crucifixion! At this point it should be clear that there is no mathematical way there could be seven years left over of Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy to project 2000 years into the future! But some might claim that that still leaves 3½ to project into the future, but we must remember that Christ didn’t ascend immediately after His resurrection into heaven! The First Advent didn’t stop at the crucifixion!
What it all boils down to is, the position of the futurist doctrine rests primarily upon one major lie and several lesser lies. The major lie adopted by the futurists is that the people calling themselves “Jews” today are Israelites! On the other hand, history declares they are neither of the house of Israel nor of the house of Judah, but are rather Canaanites infused with the blood of Esau and Cain. Scripture indicates, though, that a few Judahites did mix their blood with the Canaanites at Jer. 2:21-22, but the majority of Judah remained racially pure! One of the other lies is that the temple will be rebuilt! The truth is, we don’t need a temple anymore, as Christ’s risen body became our Temple (Matt. 26:61; 27:40; Mark 14:58; 15:29; John 1:19; 2:20). Furthermore, at Jer. 19: 8-11 it is prophesied that the temple and city, once destroyed by the Romans, would never be rebuilt again! The futurists insist on a literal interpretation of prophecy, so why don’t they have a literal interpretation of the genetic makeup of the Canaanite- jews which is a literal fact?
The truth of the matter is the fact that the doctrine of futurism and the misnamed doctrine of pentecostalism were hatched in hell and bought and paid for by the Christ-killing Canaanite-jews. There was a true Pentecost, but today’s pentecostalism is a counterfeit. Paul never taught either of these doctrines! With the next lesson we’ll go into greater detail on these two corrupting, satanic doctrines!