Numerous times in the past 44 years, I have been told by critics and scoffers of the Bible, that there is no such thing as Bible Prophecy. They say that the writers simply waited until the events took place, and then wrote and predicted these events would happen.
This tactic may work with some prognosticators, but not with the Bible. It is really quite easy to accurately date the prophecies of the Old Testament and understand from the facts of history that the Prophecies of the Messiah were written from 1,450-500 years before they were fulfilled in the New Testament.
For example: The prophecies of Zechariah, David, and Daniel, were in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, written between 285 and 246 B.C. We know this because the secular and Biblical records document this certainty. This means that the historical record proves that what these Old Testament prophets predicted, was already in the Bible nearly 300 years before Jesus was born!
When Alexander the Great was conquering the world, he wanted his citizens to be united under one language. As the Greeks were the world power at that time, it was the Greek language that was spoken by a majority of people. The Hebrew language was forgotten, and fell into disuse. The Jews who were living in a province of Alexander’s kingdom, who wanted to read their Hebrew scriptures in Greek, requested that their ancient Hebrew scriptures would be translated into the Greek language. Between 285 and 246 B.C., Ptolemy II Philadelphus commissioned seventy Hebrew scholars to translate the Five Books of Moses into Koine Greek. This translation became known as the “Septuagint Version” (from the Latin septuaginta, “seventy”).
This completed translation of the entire Hebrew Bible—known today as LXX—contained the entire text of Isaiah and Daniel, as well as all the prophets who are the subject of this book. For this reason, we know that the prophecies of Isaiah, some 131 in total, were in existence at least 300 years before Jesus fulfilled each one. In reality, Daniel wrote his prophecies during the period of 605-536 B.C.; Isaiah, 740-680 B.C.
Critics have claimed that the reason why Isaiah, Daniel, and the other prophets of the Old Testament were able to write such stunningly detailed predictions is because they penned these prophecies after the events took place. This assertion is impeached by the presence of the Greek version of all these prophets hundreds of years before the events transpired. In 1947, a young Bedouin shepherd discovered a cave at Qumran, just south of Jericho, that contained several leather scrolls, including one complete scroll of Isaiah. Scientific confirmation, by radiocarbon dating and Paleographic comparison, confirmed that this scroll of Isaiah is dated at least 150 years before Jesus came to Jerusalem.
The dates of these prophecies being confirmed, we now seek to understand how 40 different authors, who lived over a period of 1,500 years, were able to write a single, integrated narrative of precise prophecies with accurate perfection.
The answer, is, God told them what to write and He is the only One who knows all things from beginning to end. For the Hebrews, this is what distinguished their God from all the pagan gods of the world. He brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing (Romans 4:17).
I have published a concise, detailed treatise on the 400 Messianic Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, in my book: “The Prophecies of the Messiah.”
Amongst these prophecies that are most stunning in their declarations and details, are those penned by Zechariah, Daniel, and David, regarding the arrival of the Messiah on earth the first time. Isaiah wrote, 700 years before Jesus was born, that Messiah would come to earth on two occasions. Once for salvation to die for the sins of the world; a a second time, to return as a conquering King to rule over the world for one-thousand years.
In this essay I will present you with the prophecies of Zechariah 9:9. Psalms 118, and Daniel chapter 9:24-25. Zechariah predicts the arrival of Messiah on the foal of a donkey. Psalms 118 presents the Messiah as arriving on one specific day chosen by God from eternity. Daniel gives is the precise details of the exact day when the Messiah will come to Jerusalem on the day God chose, riding on a the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9: Messiah Coming On The Foal Of A Donkey, Predicted By Zechariah
“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.
Zechariah wrote this prophecy, describing the Messiah as coming to Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, about 600 years before Jesus was born.
When a king made his entrance into a city and his purpose was to conquer that city, he always rode on a great stallion. When a king was coming in peace, he would ride on the back of a donkey. Jesus was arriving in Jerusalem in fulfillment of Daniel’s and Zechariah’s prophecies, to proclaim the time when all people can make peace with God, by experiencing the forgiveness of their sins.
The Holy Spirit told us the precise day when the Messiah would arrive the first time as our Savior and Lord. On April 6th, 32 A.D. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on this specific day David predicted for Messiah.
Psalms 118:24-26: Messiah Coming On One Specific Day Chosen By God, Predicted By David
This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
See Prophecy 149 for more details.
We often quote this verse from Psalms 118 whenever there is a particularly beautiful day. However, the specific day that Psalms 118 was written for, is a day chosen—out of eternity. The day that the Messiah would come and be recognized.
Psalms 118 contains the language, “save now”, and “blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD”, because this is what those present when the Messiah arrived would proclaim with their shouts of praise. The people who had gathered to greet Jesus as the Messiah were well aware of Psalms 118, and this is why they were reciting this verse as Jesus made His entrance into the city.
On April 6th, 32 A.D. Jesus rides into Jerusalem and is proclaimed as the “Son of David”, the Messiah.
Daniel 9:24-25: The Day Messiah Rode Into Jerusalem, Predicted By Daniel
The Messiah will arrive “sixty-nine weeks” from the command to restore and build Jerusalem.
Old Testament Prediction:
Daniel 9:25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 21:8-9 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!“
What Is The Meaning Of “Week,” In The Bible?
The principle of a prophetic week is first illustrated in the Book of Genesis Chapter 29. As Jacob desires Rachel’s hand in marriage, he does not have the dowry required to pay Rachel’s father Laban. The purpose of a dowry was Alimony in advance. If a man should desire to marry a young woman and later divorce her without any financial support, her dowry, kept in the stewardship of her father, would serve as her support. Therefore, Rachel’s father Laban brokered a deal with Jacob in which he would work for him as a servant for seven years to pay for Rachel’s dowry.
After seven years when Rachel should have come to Jacob on their wedding night, Laban sends his oldest daughter Leah into the darkness of the bridal tent. As the marriage is consummated, the next morning Jacob realized that he has been with Leah, not Rachel. When he confronts Laban, Jacob learns that in their tradition, the oldest daughter must marry first before the younger. Laban tells Jacob to “fulfill the week” of Rachel, and he can have her also as his wife. At the end of verse 27, Laban defines how long this week will be by saying “serve with me still another seven years.”
Genesis 29:27 Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.
From this definition in Genesis 29, we understand that Daniel is describing seventy weeks as seventy, seven year periods, or 490 years (70 X 7 = 490).
In Daniel 9:25 the Lord is giving Israel the precise day that the Messiah will arrive. This prophecy is a companion to Zechariah 9:9, as both speak of the first arrival of the Messiah, when He announces the fulfillment of Daniel and Zechariah’s prophecies at Jerusalem.
- First, a command will be given, then seven weeks and sixty two weeks (69 weeks of years, 483) will pass “until the Messiah, the Prince” will come.
- In the first seven weeks (49 years), the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
- Second, At the conclusion of the sixty-two weeks (434 years), the Messiah will arrive.
The trigger to begin the countdown of this prophecy is the command to restore and build Jerusalem.
The Math Of Daniel’s Prophecy:
- The prophecy is for 69 times seven (69×7) years, or a total of 483 years.
- Encyclopedia Britannica records that Artaxerxes Longimanus issued this decree to release the captives of Israel in Babylon, on March 14, 445 B.C.
- The Babylonian calendar was based upon a 360-day per year cycle.
- 360 days per year multiplied by 483 years equals 173,880 days.
- Taking into account the calendar year change over from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. because there is no “0” year.
- Adding 116 days for leap years.
- 173,880 days added to March 14, 445 B.C.
- We come to the date of April 6th, the year 32 A.D.
Was there any event of particular importance that occurred on April 6, 32 A.D.? Luke records that on this day, Jesus instructed His disciples to go over to Bethphage and bring Him the foal of a donkey…
Luke 19:29-42 And it came to pass, when Jesus came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose him and bring him here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
This is the same donkey that Zechariah 9:9 is speaking of.
“…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…”
Consider that Jesus specifically instructs the disciples to bring the foal—not an older, more mature donkey. A foal is an unbroken young animal that has never had a man upon his back. Under normal circumstance, this young donkey would throw-off the first person that attempted to sit upon his back. Incredibly, Jesus rides this foal into Jerusalem on this day and allows the assembled crowd to hail Him as “The Son of David,” a clear title for the Messiah.
Matthew 21:8-9 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus’ Mother And His Disciples Had Urged Him To Tell Everyone He was The Messiah—He Refused
It is interesting that up to this point where Jesus tells His disciples to fetch the foal of a donkey for Him, He had refused all requests that He would announce to the world that He was the promised Messiah. Jesus had repeatedly told them: “My time has not yet come.”
His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him. Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.” ~John 7:3-6
Jesus was waiting for this one, specific day when Daniel, David, and Zechariah had predicted that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem.
There was no mistake in what the people were proclaiming about Jesus. The crowd was shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” The Pharisees understood what the people meant by these words: they believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah, and He was receiving their praise in acceptance of this truth.
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” ~Luke 19:39-42
Jesus told the Pharisees, “If you had known this your day…”
“This day” was one unique day in the history of the universe, when the Son of God would come to Jerusalem and be hailed as the Messiah. The Book of Psalms has a specific text that David wrote for this precise day.
This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! ~Psalms 118:24-26
This verse of prophetic scripture was written for one particular day in all of time and Eternity. It was written for the moment when the Messiah would come to Jerusalem and be recognized as the Messiah, who would fulfill all of the Old Testament prophecies. Psalm 118 contains the language, “save now” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD,” because this is what those present when the Messiah arrived, would proclaim with their shouts of praise. The people who had gathered to greet Jesus as the Messiah were well aware of Psalm 118, and this is why they were reciting these specific words as Jesus made His entrance into the city.
On April 6th, 32 A.D., Jesus rides upon the foal of a donkey into Jerusalem and is proclaimed the “Son of David,” the Messiah, thus fulfilling the prophecies of Daniel Chapter 9 and Zechariah Chapter 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. ~Zechariah 9:9
Zechariah wrote this prophecy of the Messiah’s arrival at Jerusalem, about 516 years before Jesus came into Jerusalem on this specific Palm Sunday. Daniel’s prophecy of the precise day the Messiah would come to Jerusalem, was written almost 549 years before Jesus arrived.
Further Details For The Prophecy Of 70 Weeks
In this section, we will examine the first 69 weeks of this prediction and evaluate its fulfillment from a historical vantage point.
In Daniel 9:25, the Lord is giving Israel the precise day that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem. First, a command will be given. Then “seven weeks” and “sixty two weeks…until the Messiah the Prince will come.”
- In the first seven weeks (49 years), the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.
- In the second sixty-two weeks (434 years), the Messiah will arrive.
The trigger for the countdown of this prophecy is the command to restore and build Jerusalem. A detailed discussion on the seventy weeks is explored in Prophecy 307.
The purpose of this 309th prophecy of Daniel chapter 9, verse 25, is to understand the complete details of the angel Gabriel’s words to Daniel, in comparison with the actual events of history.
The section of Daniel’s prophecy is for a total of 69 times 7 years, or a total of 483 years. Encyclopedia Britannica records that Artaxerxes Longimanus issued the command to release the captives of Israel in Babylon, on March 14, 445 B.C. So named “Longimanus” by the Greeks because his right hand was longer than his left.
The Babylonian calendar was based upon a 360 days per year cycle. 360 days per year times 483 years, equals 173,880 days. Taking into account the calendar year change over from 1 B.C. To 1 A.D. because there is no “0” year. Adding 116 days for leap years.
- 483 X 360 days = 173,880
- 173,880 days plus 116 years for leap years, added to March 14, 445 B.C. We come to the date of April 6th, the year 32 A.D.
How We Know The Command Came In 445 B.C?
The reign of Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) is computed from 465 B.C., according to the history of the Persians. Xerxes I, was murdered by Artabanus the commander of the royal bodyguard of the king. He was the most powerful of the officials in the court of the Persian king. With the help of Aspamitres, a eunuch, Artabanus assassinated Xerxes I, bringing Artaxerxes Longimanus to the throne in 465 B.C.
According to Nehemiah 2:1, Artaxerxes wrote the command for the Jews to return to Jerusalem in the 20th year of his reign.
Nehemiah 2:1 And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before.
Computing 20 years from Artaxerxes ascension to the throne in 465 B.C., we come to 445 B.C.
Hebrew months were not calculated in the same way that our current calendar months are determined. The first day of a Hebrew calendar month begins immediately following a new moon (when no moon is visible).
The way in which the first day of the month was determined in Israel during their ancient history was by observation. When at least two witnesses noticed that a new moon had occurred, they would notify the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. Upon verification of the beginning of the new moon, the leaders of Israel would declare the “rosh chodesh,” the first of the month. Messengers would then be dispatched over the land to notify the people that the new month had began.
In the year 445 B.C., the new moon occurred on the 13th day of March at 7:09 a.m. This would place the 1st day of April, the Hebrew month of Nissan, on March 14, 445 B.C. This was also the day that the Passover Lamb was offered.
Ezra and Nehemiah traveled together from Babylon, back to Jerusalem after Artaxerxes issued to command to return and rebuild the city. We know from Ezra’s account that they left Babylon on the first day of the first month, which is Nissan 1, or our calendar, the 14th of March, 445 B.C. Ezra says that he arrived back in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, Av by the Jewish calendar.
Ezra 7:9 On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
This verifies from the secular, historical, record and the Bible, that the date of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, from Artaxerxes, was in fact issued on March 14, 445, B.C.
According to Nehemiah 6:15, the walls of Jerusalem were completed after just 52 days on the 25th day of September. Counting backwards for 52 days, we come to the 3rd of Av. This confirms that Nehemiah would have arrived with Ezra on Av 1, according to Nehemiah 2:11.
Nehemiah 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days.
From the historical records of the Persians, the Jews, and the Hebrew scriptures, we can accurately compute the date of Artaxerxes command to return to Jerusalem as March 14, 445 B.C.
The Jews who had been held captive in Babylon for 70 years, were allowed by Artaxerxes command, to return to Jerusalem and begin building the city. This is the object of the first seven weeks, or 49 years of Daniel’s prophecy, which was precisely fulfilled according to the Book of Nehemiah, Chapters 3-6.
The second set of 62 weeks of years (483), ended at Jesus arrival in Jerusalem on April 6, 32 A.D. On the Hebrew Calendar, this was the 10th day of Nissan, 32 A.D., the day that the Passover Lamb was inspected for flaws before He would be sacrificed four days later on the 14th day of the month, the precise day the Passover Lamb should be sacrificed. Jesus died on this exact day, as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. See Prophecy 21.
The People At Jerusalem Understood Jesus Was The Messiah
There was no mistake in who the people were declaring Jesus to be. The crowd was shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David” and the Pharisees understood what they were saying. The people believed Jesus was the promised Messiah, and He was receiving their praise in acceptance of this fact that He had arrived in Jerusalem in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” ~Luke 19:39-40
Jesus said, “if you had know this your day…”
This was one unique day in all the history of the world when the Son of God would come to Jerusalem and be hailed as the Messiah. The book of Psalms contains specific text directed at this event:
Psalms 118:24-26 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
Because of the great distance between the prophecies of Jesus’ first arrival and the date they were fulfilled, there is NO CHANCE they were written after the fact, or falsified. This is the reason that the people who saw these events take place, are described by the writers of the New Testament as being stunned by what they saw. They knew what Zechariah, David, and Daniel had written. They were shocked and dismayed that the words of these prophets were being fulfilled before their very eyes.
The Old Testament prophets predicted the exact day Jesus would come the first time. We know the exact day Jesus will come physically to earth the second time. Daniel wrote that 1,260 days after the antichrist goes into the Holy of Holies at the third Temple at Jerusalem, and is proclaimed as God, there will be just three and one-half years, to the day, that Jesus will come again.
The Rapture of the church is a secret event that no one knows the day or hour of. We know that by the things that are taking place now on earth that this day must be soon, but we cannot predict the exact day. Jesus promised to come again, He will. It is our job to be ready for Him and living a righteous life for Him.
 Source: “The Greatest Archeological Discoveries and their Effects on the Bible,” Thomas Nelson, 1996, Open Bible Notes and Commentary. William White, Ph.D, Consulting Editor, Warrington, Pennsylvania.
 Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990 Edition.
 Plutarch, Artaxerxes, l. 1. c. 1. 11:129 – cited by Ussher, Annals, para. 1179
 R. Schmitt. of Iran “Art”axerxes. Encyclopædia Iranica. 15 December 1986. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
 1.Iran-e-Bastan/Pirnia Book, 1 page 873, 2. Dandamayev 3. History of Persian Empire-Olmstead pages 289-90
 From Judaism 101, http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm
 From a letter sent to Sir Robert Anderson: To the Royal Obseervatory, Greewich, June 26th, I877. “SIR, – I have had the moon’s place calculated from Largeteau’s Tables in Additions to the Connaisance des Tems 1846, by one of my assistants, and have no doubt of its correctness. The place being calculated for – 444, March 12d. 20h., French reckoning, or March 12d. 8h. P. M., it appears that the said time was short of New Moon by about 8h. 47m., and therefore the New Moon occurred at 4h. 47m. A. M., March 13th, Paris time.” I am, etc (the 13th day of March at 7:09 a.m)., ” (Signed,) G. B. AIRY.” Anderson, Sir Robert (2010-05-27). The Coming Prince (Kindle Locations 1737-1748). . Kindle Edition.
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