Tom Meyer is a professor at California’s Shasta Bible school, and he believes that math proves that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. And after reading an article about his theory in The Express, Meyer may have point.
Meyer refers to a prediction given to the prophet Daniel by the archangel Gabriel about the coming of the Messiah:
“While in exile, the prophet Daniel was informed by the angel Gabriel that 70 times seven or 490 years are marked out by God for the Jewish people. After the 490-year period, the God of Israel would establish his Kingdom on the earth.” — Tom Meyer, The Express
The passage that Meyer is referring to is found in the ninth chapter of Daniel:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. (Daniel 9: 24-25 NIV)
The Jews had been taken into captivity by Babylon, that was in turn defeated by the Persians who eventually allowed the Jews to return to the Promised Land.
Verse 25 states that the anointed one, (Hebrew mashiyach, literally Messiah), will show up in seven ‘sevens’ and sixty-two ‘sevens’ after the order was issued to rebuild Jerusalem.
While some Bible versions have translated “sevens” as week, “shabua” can refer to either seven days or seven years, and Meyer believes this refers to years. This means “seven sevens” refers to 49 years and sixty-two sevens would equal 434 years (49 years + 434 years = 483 years).
Since, Gabriel said the Messiah would arrive 483 years after the order was given to rebuild Jerusalem, the next problem is determining when that order was issued.
According to Meyer, Artaxerxes gave that order allowing the Jews to rebuild the city in 445 BC. Now you have to understand that the Jewish calendar was based on 360 days not our 365 days.
Meyer then explains the math:
“If you go forward 483 years from 445 BC – 173,880 days later when you used the standard ancient 360-day calendar — that brings you to approximately 38 AD.”
Meyer believes this 38 AD date coincides with Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem when the Jews proclaimed Jesus as the King or as the Archangel Daniel says “the Anointed One, the ruler”:
As Jesus rode a donkey into the fabled city, the people were crying out “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:39 ESV)
The Archangel Gabriel then adds that after the Anointed One’s arrival, He would be cut off, a reference to Christ’s crucifixion, and that Jerusalem and the temple will also be destroyed which took place in 70 AD when the Romans sacked Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26).
Now there is some disagreement on the date that the Persian government issued the order allowing Jerusalem to be rebuilt, but we are only talking about a handful of years difference and equally we can’t be absolutely certain when Jesus died.
Whatever the case, this prophecy indicates that the Anointed One would show up sometime in the first century AD, leaving only Jesus as the Messiah.
It is possible that Jesus may have even hinted at Daniel’s seventy-sevens prophecy, when He told the disciples:
21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22 NIV)
Using a similar type of calculation, Sir Isaac Newton predicted that Jesus’ Second Coming would take place after 2060 AD based on his interpretation of Revelation 12:6. Again like Daniel, Newton needed a start date: