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Please comment on Daniel 9:25 and 26. Verse 25 states there will be no 69 weeks following the command to rebuild the wall to the coming of the Messiah, the Prince. Verse 26 states there will be 62 weeks until the Messiah is cut off.

Are both verses speaking of the time from the command to build the wall to the Messiah? The 69 weeks equal 483 years (each week equals 7 years). The second mention of weeks in verse 26 refers to just 62 weeks. Certainly the translators didn’t lose seven weeks, or did they?

It is helpful to understand the 490-year period (70 sevens) of Daniel’s prophecy by noting three distinct components within it. The first consists of 7 sevens, or 49 years, which are the years from the decree of Artaxerxes (king of dominating Persia) to rebuild the city of Jerusalem to the final completion of the project. We know that Nehemiah’s construction of the wall took only a few weeks (about 52 days), but additional years would have been needed to fully realize all that the rebuilding entailed.

The second group consists of 62 sevens, or 434 years. This period picks up and continues the time flow to conclude on the day of the Triumphal Entry of Christ, which fulfills Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” On this occasion, Messiah officially presented Himself to the nation. But, of course, Israel in her blindness and stubbornness rejected Him (read Luke 19:28–44).

The third component consists of just one week, or seven years. This last segment is separated from the other two and is yet to come. It is the seven-year tribulation period, the time during which the Antichrist will appear on the scene and rule (Daniel 9:26, 27). This last week will complete the 70 sevens, or 490 years.

You are asking about verse 26a, which mentions the 434 years, or 62 sevens. As you can see from distinguishing the three groups of sevens above, this verse would not include the first group of sevens (49 years) but focuses upon the 62 sevens. In contrast, verse 25 mentions all 69 weeks.

It is a wonderful testimony to the accuracy of Scripture that from the decree of Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2:1–8) to the Triumphal Entry of Christ, there are exactly 483 years, or 173,880 days! It is just as Daniel 9 states.

A number of books are available that chart and/or explain in detail the tabulations for these days and years, including Things to Come by J. Dwight Pentecost.

This article appeared in the “Q & A” column of the Baptist Bulletin (June 2000) by Norman A. Olson. 

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