Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Messianic prophesy (Daniel 9: 24 – 27)

If you don't know, this so-called prophesy sounds convincing…Unfortunately, problems abound.
Daniel 9:24-27
24Seventy 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.

25Know 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.

26And 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.

27And 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.

(a) The words "week" and "weeks" come from the Hebrew word which means 7 days, not 7 years.

(b) Unlike the RSV which says, "Seventy weeks of years," the KJV says "Seventy weeks." These weeks are real weeks of seven days each, not years. Dan. 10:2-4 shows as much: (b1) "I Daniel was mourning 3 full weeks." Would he mourn 21 years? (b2) "I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till 3 whole weeks are fulfilled." Would he have gone without eating these things for 21 years? (b3) "And in the four and twentieth day (24th) of the first month...." Would he talk about the 24th day in verse 4 after just talking about 21 days (3 weeks) in verse 2 if these 3 weeks meant anything other than 21 days, such as 21 years? If 21 days means 21 years then the 24th day should be the 24th year. The KJV does not mention "years."

(c) 483 years were supposed to elapse from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of Jesus. The decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple and Jerusalem was made in 536 B.C. (Isa. 44:28) which is 532 years before the birth of Jesus in 4 B.C., not 483 years. The prophecy was 49 years short.

(d) The KJV says "the most Holy," which implies a person, not a place; while the RSV says "a most holy place" and shows a place, not a person, is being referred to.

(e) The word "Messiah" is never applied to the expected deliverer of the Israelites in the whole Bible. It is indifferently applied to kings, priests, prophets, and those who are inducted into their office.

(f) In order to make "Messiah the Prince" apply to Jesus one must distort the text because he was no prince or "Nagid". The Hebrew word "Nagid" always denotes a prince or ruler with temporal authority which Jesus lacked.

On DAN. 9:26 ("And after threescore and two weeks (62) or (7 X 62) = 434 years 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....").

(a) After what? If after Cyrus' decree in 536 B.C., there is a problem. Jesus died in 33 A.D according to most accounts. From 536 B.C. to 33 A.D. is 569 years. Five hundred and sixty-nine years exceed 434 years by 135 years. The prophecy is 135 years short.

(b) If after Jesus' birth, it would mean Jesus lived to be 434 years old.

(c) How could Jesus be cut off, i.e. die, after 62 weeks when verse 25 said he would not be born or appear until after 69 weeks?

(d) The word "and" implies that Jerusalem was destroyed when the Messiah came. Yet, this did not occur until 70 A.D. which was more than 40 years after the Messiah was cut off.

(e) When was Jerusalem ever destroyed by a literal flood?

Now here’s another FYI: Since the Book of Daniel was written by Jews, let me emphasize that according to the Jewish religion, the Messiah is very different from the Christian God-Man Jesus. Therefore, the term “messiah” doesn’t mean “Jesus” the savior.
Messiah means anointed in Hebrew. According to the Jews, the messiah doesn’t mean that he must be a divine king or priest. Maybe next time I will talk about the messiah concept of the Jews.

Another misunderstanding here was the belief that the Book of Daniel was written in 538 BCE. As observed by the late Isaac Asimov,
“Where Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel make no anachronistic mistakes concerning
the times supposed to be theirs; the Book of Daniel is replete with anachronisms
as far as it deals with the period of the Exile. It treats, however, of the
Greek period with easy correctness and while this might be explained by those
dedicated to the literal acceptance of the Bible as a case of prophetic insight,
it is odd that Daniel should be so correct in his view on what was to him the
"future" and so hazy about his view of what was to him the "present." It is
easier to believe that the writer was a man of Greek times, to whom the Exile
was an event that had taken place four centuries earlier and concerning the fine
details of which he was a bit uncertain.”
(Asimov's Guide to the Bible, Vol. 1, Old Testament, N.Y.: Avon, 1968, pp. 497-8.)

So it seems that the Book of Daniel was really written around 165 B.C. — long after the Exile — at a time of the Seleucid king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes and not in 538 BCE as most Christians insists. Daniel was not writing predictive prophecy, we now know, but rather history. Notice on these so-called prophesies. He made errors regarding events in the distant past (6th century BCE), was remarkably accurate in describing details of the events leading to the desecration of temple in 167BCE (Daniel was very accurate in "predicting" events leading to and including the desecration of the Jerusalem temple by Antiochus in December 167 BCE) and then made errors about events after that. Thus it is obvious that Daniel must have been written at a time after the temple desecration but before the death of Antiochus IV. In short between 167 and 164BCE. The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed 586 B.C.E.

Daniel 9: 24 – 27 refers to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. In 168 B.C.E. he prohibited the practice of the Jewish religion. The Temple-worship was suspended and on 15 Chisleu, a heathen altar (the abomination) was erected on the altar of Burnt-offering, and swine were sacrificed (which "makes desolate"). Just slightly over three years later (25 Chisleu, 165 B.C.E) the Temple was again purified and worship reestablished. That means it is not prophesy but a history. When the Book of Daniel was written, the so-called “prophesy” have already taken place.

Next time I will take a good look at the other claims.

Until next time,
John the Atheist
(Source: Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

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