Do The Sixty-Nine Weeks Of Daniel Date The Messianic Mission Of Nehemiah Or Jesus? -- By: Leslie McFall

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 52:4 (Dec 2009)
Article: Do The Sixty-Nine Weeks Of Daniel Date The Messianic Mission Of Nehemiah Or Jesus?
Author: Leslie McFall


Do The Sixty-Nine Weeks Of Daniel Date The Messianic Mission Of Nehemiah Or Jesus?

Leslie Mcfall*

* Leslie McFall resides at 25 Hillfield Road, Cumberton, Cambridgeshire, England CB23 7DB.

The pivotal date in the book of Daniel is 536 BC. This date marked the end of the 70 weeks of Dan 9:24 and the start of the 69 weeks of Dan 9:25-26, at the end of which a messiah would appear and Jerusalem would be rebuilt “in troublous times.” The purpose of this article is to show that Nehemiah was the prophesied messiah. He appeared 69 years after Cyrus issued his decree in 536 BC granting the Jews permission “to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem.”

The term “messiah,” which means “an anointed one,” was given a new linguistic significance when its Greek form Christos became the supreme way to refer to the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ—Jesus Messiah. Almost any leader who was anointed or appointed to his political or spiritual office was a “messiah.” So the term had the more mundane meaning of “leader” until Jesus became the supreme leader of Israel by God’s appointment. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to read this later, fully developed significance back into the OT use of the term.

Nehemiah was appointed by a foreign power to be governor of Judah (Pecha; Neh 5:14; 12:26; he is also called Tirshatha with control over priestly affairs, Neh 8:9; 10:1), and Cyrus, a foreign king, was appointed by Israel’s God to be his messiah over Israel.1

In a previous article, I concluded that the start of Nehemiah’s appointment as governor of Judah should be redated from the traditional date of 445 to 465 BC.2 We are told that Nehemiah was governor from “the twentieth year even unto the thirty and second year of Artaxerxes the king—twelve years” (Neh 5:14; cf. 13:6). In my previous article, I counted the twelve years from the end of the twentieth year.3 I now propose that the twelve years

should be counted from the beginning of the twentieth year.4 This will push back the start ...

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