Bob Hunt continues his study of Daniel 9:24-27. The two overarching areas of emphasis are first, whether these verses are concerning our past, present or our future and secondly, should we interpret this section literally or would a symbolic theological approach be better. Each session of this study will focus on one verse and unpack the meaning in light of these two concerns. Then in conclusion we will summarize our findings to draw an overall conclusion.
There are several views on this passage and many will debate it vigorously. Therefore, when a section like this is studied we gather evidence and then choose the most reasonable interpretation. Session one pointed to a more literal interpretation as being the most probable.
In this second-part epsiode, we will unpack verse 25 with the same two areas of concern in mind. This verse is describing events that have all concluded in the past. The starting point may be debated, but all commentators and theologians agree that the first coming of Jesus Christ is the end. Thus all 483 years laid out by Daniel have already occurred.
It is the second point that raises much debate and discussion. Those who take a more symbolic view of these 483 years hold to a starting point of 538BC and conclude with Jesus first coming. This period of time, with this approach, covers about 570 years and therefore they say it must be symbolic. It depicts a time of great struggle for the Jewish people leading up to the Messiah.
Those who hold to a literal view of this timeline point to another starting point. There are several theologians and historians who demonstrate how 483 years can be shown literally. The 49 years in this verse describe the time needed to rebuild Jerusalem. This was done under great distress as written in Ezra and Nehemiah.
If we can interpret a passage in a more literal way with a natural reading and common understanding then this should be our first approach. Certainly, Daniel would have understood it that way.
Be sure to look for Daniel 9:24-27 “Past, Present or Future” Part Three as we look at verse 9:26.