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It Didn’t Add Up!

In Daniel 9:25, the prophet Daniel was told that from the going forth of the commandment to restore Jerusalem “unto the Messiah” would be 69 weeks of years (cf. Gen. 29:27; Lev. 25:8). Frankly, this very specific prophecy baffled Bible students for many years, for the predicted time of 483 years (69×7) “unto the Messiah” did not match up with the time of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then, in his book The Coming Prince, a Bible teacher named Sir Robert Anderson realized the problem lay in the different ways Jews and Gentiles mark time. We number our years using a solar calendar wherein each year has 365¼ days, but the Jews used a 360-day lunar calendar, with each year consisting of 12 months of 30 days each.

Evidence of this is found in Genesis 7:11, where we read that the deluge began “in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month,” yet exactly “an hundred and fifty days” later (v. 24), “the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month” (8:3,4). The only way an exact period of five equal months can end 150 days later on the same day of the month is if each of those months has 30 days. Further evidence of this is seen when we remember that the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week is sometimes said to last “forty and two months” (Rev. 11:2), and sometimes it is said to last “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (v. 3). The only way 42 equal months can work out to 1260 days is if each of those months has 30 days.

Once Sir Robert recalculated the prophecy using lunar years, he found that the 69 weeks “unto the Messiah” worked out to the very day the Lord Jesus rode the colt into Jerusalem and made an official presentation of Himself to Israel. No wonder the Lord lamented later that day, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!” (Luke 19:42).

The point? When you are asked why men should trust the God of the Bible, why not give the reason God Himself gives—fulfilled prophecy! (Isa. 42:8,9; 44:7,8 cf. John 13:19). To those who would tout the gods of the world’s other religions, God says, “Produce your cause…bring forth your strong reasons…let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen…shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods” (Isa. 41:21-24).

The God of the Bible alone is God!

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.