New Discoveries in
Chronology and Prophecy
By Ernest L. Martin Ph.D., 1989
Edited by David Sielaff, November 2002
Read the accompanying Newsletter for November 2002
This will be an overview of biblical chronology with an emphasis on understanding prophecy relating to the end time, soon future to us. We need to see in detail what the Bible records will happen in the endtime generation so we have the tools to comprehend what God says will occur in our contemporary historical environment.
I will give you some observations on chronology and prophecy which to me seem certain. After I give you the chronological and prophetic overview, all of us can have in our hands some essential biblical factors to look for in world events in the next few years.
One other tool that you could get from your files is my earlier information on biblical chronology. 1 Those research studies are accurate in giving biblical chronology in the overview. Look at the biblical account of chronology from the creation of Adam to the emergence of the second or last Adam who is Jesus Christ. In this I will emphasize biblical and not secular chronology. That is what we should be looking at. If we are interested in what the Bible has to say in chronology and history, and if we reckon it as being the Word of God for us, the standard to know what will happen, then let us pay attention to it. If it happens to agree with secular chronology, then we would use any type of tool that the histories can give to us so we might better understand the overall view of world history and chronology. But the emphasis must always be on the biblical revelation. That is what God has given us and what we should pay attention to today.
I might say on the outset that there are some major differences between certain aspects of secular and biblical chronology, particularly in the late Babylonian and Persian periods of time. I am talking about from 600 to 400 years B.C.E. The Bible has some different information in it on a chronological basis, than what we find in secular chronology. We need to pay close attention to what the Bible says on these matters. I do not want to throw secular chronology out the window. We need to use all the tools available for us, but I am convinced that only the Bible has the overview of proper chronological factors for us to know, so we can realize what the prophecies for today and for the future are all about, as well as the prophecies dealing with Jesus Christ when He was to come into the world.
The Bible has an absolutely perfect chronology from the beginning of Adam in the book of Genesis all the way down to the 2nd Adam, to Christ. It is precise. It is accurate. It is to the point. It does not agree in a few areas with secular chronology, particularly in the last part of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, or the period of the Persians.
We need to look at what the Bible says. Once we do so, and compare it with chronological and astronomical data going back to the time of the Persians and the Babylonians, we might find that the Bible straightens out the chronology of the world as far as secular history is concerned. I can say this with dogmatism, and there is no question about this, the Bible presents—from the first chapters of Genesis, from Adam, all the way to the 2nd Adam—a consistent chronological scheme that can be understood by all people who understand the biblical revelation. It is not difficult to understand if a person will take into account certain keys (and they are simple keys), to get a proper overview of the chronology of the past. 2
Let us now look at this overview of biblical chronology.
[See the chronological tables in the articles mentioned in Footnote 1 above, "Chronology – The Key to Prophetic Understanding" – Parts I and II. If you do not have it available, you can create your own chart with the information below. DWS]
Look at the first chapters of Genesis with the creation of Adam in Genesis 5. Adam lived so many years and then had a son, Seth (not Abel), because from Seth comes forth all of the future generations of the line of Adam. Then see how long Seth lived before he bore a son, and then his son, and son, and so forth down to the time of Noah. In fact, you can go beyond the time of Noah and the flood through to the time beyond the time of Abraham, down to the time of Jacob, and to the time of Joseph, adding up the number of years. Add them up yourself. It is simple. Go right to the last year of Joseph’s life. He lived to 110 years of age.
What you find is that from the first year of Adam down until the 99th year of Abraham’s life, it comes to a period of 2,107 years. We are told that at the time of the Exodus, that from Abraham’s 99th year to the first year of the Exodus there is a 430-year period. That is just absolutely stated in Exodus 12:40 and is referred to by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:17, so there can be no doubt there is an exact 430 year period.
As I said, if you just want to add up the number of years of the patriarchs’ lives, as far as you can go would be to the time of Joseph and there it stops. With this 430 year period from the 99th year of Abraham’s life down to the 1st year of the Exodus, God bridges a gap which stops with Joseph.
From there, if you want to go farther, you can go down to the 4th year of Solomon almost 500 years later. In 1 Kings 6:1 it says that from the 1st year of the Exodus of Israel down to the 4th year of Solomon when he commenced to build the Temple in Jerusalem, there is an exact period of 480 years that elapsed. With those figures we can get an exact chronological scheme of things from a biblical point of view from Adam’s first year down to the 4th year of Solomon. This is only an overview and I am not proving it, but you can see it in that lesson. There are other ways of substantiating these figures.
If we then have the 480th year down to the time of Solomon, he reigned for 40 years. That means there were 36 more years of his reign. Put down that 36 years. You have the last year of Solomon’s reign and you can know how many years elapsed from Adam’s creation.
Then stay with the Kings of Judah. Remember that after the time of Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel split into two nations. There were ten tribes in the north and they were known as Israel. There were two tribes (rather three, if you include Levi and a little bit of Simeon) down south with their capital in Jerusalem. There were 19 kings of Judah all the way from the death of Solomon down to Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. Add up the length of those kings’ reigns, you find there were 393 years from the 1st year of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, down to the 11th year of Zedekiah, before the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchednezzar, King of Babylon. 3
Add that to the number of years back to Solomon’s 4th year of reign, back to the Exodus, back to Abraham’s 99th years, back to the time of Adam, you will have the exact biblical chronology from the 1st year of Adam, to the 11th year of Zedekiah the 19th King of Jerusalem. It is that simple, just add them up.
There is one difference in previous lessons I gave on this subject than what I have now. It involves a single year, but it is an important one. You will find that by reading Jeremiah 40 to 43, the year after King Zedekiah died, that one year was a time when they were still harvesting in the Jerusalem area. By harvesting in the Jerusalem area (after the fall, it goes into the next year) we actually have one more year of harvest before the 70 years where the land was to lie fallow, as Jeremiah was saying.
This is found several places in the Old Testament. In 2 Chronicles 36:19–23, it says that after the Temple would be destroyed and the area of Judea desolate of people, a 70 year period of letting the land lie fallow would transpire for the land of Judah and Israel. That was because Judah and Israel would not allow, in the earlier periods, for the sabbatical years to be enacted. This is what Jeremiah said. This is found several places in the Old Testament. There was supposed to be a 70-year period.
When did that 70-year period commence? Previously I said it started with the next year following the death of Zedekiah. But in fact, if you read Jeremiah 40 to 43 you find that Jeremiah himself told the Jews after the month of Tishri, in the last year of Zedekiah’s reign, to go ahead and harvest. It was only after that year that the 70-year period of the land being fallow was to be put into operation. It only involves a single year, but it is a very important one.
If you take the time when the Temple was begun to be built in the 4th year of Solomon, and add the 36 more years of Solomon’s reign, plus the 393 years of the 19 Kings of Judah, plus this one extra year during which the land could still be harvested, add that 36 + 393 years + 1 year, and you get exactly 430 years. That is most important because the same length of 430 years going from Abraham’s 99th year down to the Exodus period, the same number shows a sort of divine stamp of approval.
Now we find also exactly 430 years from the time the Temple began to be built in the 4th year of Solomon’s reign, down to the time of Jeremiah in the year after Zedekiah died. Putting that all together you again get exactly 430 years. That is why that extra year must be put in there. 5
You might say his 12th year has to be included. He died in the 11th year, that is quite true. But that extra year must be included in the period when they were not keeping sabbaticals, because Jeremiah even said to harvest the crops during the year after Zedekiah died.
Therefore, when do the 70 years of desolation mentioned in 2nd Chronicles 36:19–23 that was prophesied by Jeremiah, to take place? There was to be a 70-year period of desolation. That 70 year period was to last from the time the land lay desolate, as I said before, in the year after Zedekiah died, then add 70 years to that and come down to the 1st year of King Cyrus, King of Persia. This is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 36, and it is a most important one. It was the end of this 70-year period that the prophet Daniel saw its importance in a chronological prophecy leading up to Messiah the Prince, who was Jesus Christ. Look at Daniel 9 here,
"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem."
Here was Daniel near the end of that 70-year period. In fact, if you want to know the exact number of years left, there were 8 more years left when Daniel got this prophecy here. Back in Daniel 6 at the beginning, it says that Darius the Mede actually took over the kingdom when it was 62 years in existence. Here in the 1st year of Darius, after 62 years of the 70 years, Daniel was beginning to see the end of that period, as he had understood by the books that Jeremiah had written. (Jeremiah was dead by this time.) Daniel began to see that Jerusalem’s desolations in the land of Judea were about to be finished. So it continues,
"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes."
As a result of his petitions to God, Daniel received a grand vision. Gabriel the Archangel came and gave Daniel a majestic vision about a chronological period of time that would exist from the time of the 1st year of Cyrus, when a command would go forth to restore Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince (Christ Jesus), a set period of time was given here. This prophecy as we all know, is called "the 70 weeks prophecy." Here is the prophecy that the angel Gabriel gave to Daniel, directly from God Himself,
"Seventy weeks [of years it means, 490 years] are determined [are cut out, of history] upon thy people and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." 6
Going on with the prophecy, how are these 490 years to be divided up, because they are to be divided? They are to be "cut out." There are four sections of time to this 490 years. Let us see what they are here,
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks."
Seven and threescore and two, gets down to 69 weeks of years. A week is seven, 69 weeks of years means 7 x 69 = 483 years. This may seem confusing to people who do not know much about biblical chronology and prophecy, but I have been studying these matters for 35 years. Many of you have. This is a well-known biblical principal. There is not the slightest problem in understanding it when you put it all together. The 7 weeks plus the 62 weeks equals 69 weeks, for a period of 483 years.
When Daniel received this vision, Jerusalem was in desolation. It was still part of the 70-year period of desolation prophesied by Jeremiah. There were still 8 years to go because this was in the 62nd year of that 70-year period. Daniel wanted to see the restoration of Jerusalem. Daniel felt that at the end of the 70 years, Jerusalem would blossom forth again, and perhaps even the Messiah, who had been prophesied by Isaiah and others, might come on the scene at that time. Daniel thought that might be a distinct possibility. But that was not what Gabriel told him. He came with another chronological prophecy called the 70 weeks, the 490-year prophecy, divided into 4 different sections as I will show in just a moment.
He told Daniel, no, the prophesied Messiah that you anticipated to bring in the Kingdom of God on earth, and put down rebellion amongst the nations, that person would not come at the end of the 70 years. There were 8 more years to go for the 70 years, that is true, but Messiah the Prince, will come much later. How much later? Seven weeks plus 62 weeks equals 69 weeks of a 70 weeks period which has been cut out of the history of the world.
Again, this may sound confusing, but it is not. Daniel was told by Gabriel the archangel that in a short period of time ahead of him, no more that 8 years, a command was to go forth to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Once that command would go forth, you would wait 69 weeks, or 483 years, and then Messiah the Prince would be on the scene.
If you will add up those 483 years that Daniel was told about, which would finally see Messiah the Prince, to the 430 years from the 12th year of Zedekiah, back to the 4th year of Solomon, and then the 480 years back to the 1st year of the Exodus, the 430 years back to the 99th year of Abraham, and then the 2107 years back to the 1st year of Adam, add that all up and the number you get to exactly (not 1 year before, not 1 year after) 4,000 years to when the Messiah would appear on the scene.
A day with the Lord is as 1,000 years, as is mentioned in 2 Peter 3:8. We find also that Paul (who I believe wrote the book of Hebrews) said there remains a sabbotismos, a sabbath, for the people of God. He did not mean a particular 7th day sabbath, but rather a period of time that was preceded by 6 equal periods of time, and that each of those days was 1,000 years long. We find it shown in the book of Revelation that when Jesus Christ does come back to the earth, then will come a 1,000-year period. We are even told that in Revelation 20:2–5, during which Satan the Devil will be chained, and not be able to do the things he has done in the past, that 1,000 year period is known as a sabbatismos.
That means then, if a sabbatismos is to be for the people of God, which is a millennium of a 1,000 years, all sabbaths must be preceded by six equal periods of time. If it is a sabbath day, then it must be preceded by 6 actual days. If it is a sabbath week like Pentecost, then it must be preceded by 6 weekly periods. If it is a sabbath month, like we have with the month of Tishri (the 7th month), it must be preceded by 6 equal months. If it is a sabbath year, then it must be preceded by 6 equal years before the sabbath year can occur. If this 1,000-year period, as Paul says, is a sabbath period of 1,000 years, it must be preceded by an equal number of 6 periods of equal time, meaning 6,000 years. In other words, when you put together the years from the 1st Adam up through the 2nd Adam (the last Adam), and through to when the Kingdom of God would come on the earth, which would be a sabbath period of rest, the whole period of 7,000 years is given in the Bible. It is there for everyone to see.
Not only that, we have the 1st century document written by Barnabas. Whether or not it is the Barnabas associated with the apostle Paul, no one knows. But this document has come down to us and it explains what Christians believed in the 1st century. It says that there was a 6,000-year plan of God for man to do what he needed to do on this earth, followed by a 1,000-year millennium when Christ Jesus would be here and the Kingdom of God would be on the earth. In other words, there was a 7,000-year plan of God. That is most interesting because even Jewish traditions in the 1st century accepted this and said, that the 7,000-year plan of God was first spoken of by Elijah the Prophet. That is a tradition that you will not find in the Old Testament. But some of these traditions were valid.
The number of years to Messiah the Prince was exactly 4,000 years. If that Messiah was Jesus Christ, (and that is exactly who it was), then if Jesus came on the scene exactly at 4,000 years, for the full 6,000 years to take place, followed by a 1,000 year millennium, you have got 2,000 more years after this event. Whenever Messiah the Prince came on the scene, there would be 2,000 more years before the 1,000 years of the millennium starts.
Here is why this is important. You see, if it can be established clearly when the 4,000 years was over (and that was when Messiah, Christ Jesus, came on the scene), then for Him to start the Millennium, He must be back here on earth. That means 2,000 years from this event right here will mean the conclusion of the 6,000 years, the beginning of the Millennium and Christ Jesus’ return to earth. Jesus made it quite clear that not even the angels of heaven know the exact year when He will return. But Jesus said, and Daniel was told, that as the end times come closer, more knowledge and understanding of these prophecies would be given. You and I are living in that time right now.
Believe it or not, we can begin to know some of these things better than they did back there. I am not saying that I have a complete understanding of the chronology yet. I know what the Bible has to say, but when it relates to secular chronology and the history of the world, there are some problems we have to look at. As far as numbering the years from the 1st Adam to the 2nd Adam, you must deal with the 70 weeks prophecy, which adds up to 4,000 years exactly.
When was this 4,000th year when the Messiah the Prince would come on the scene? In this prophecy of the 70 weeks that Gabriel gave to Daniel, it does not say what portion of the life of Messiah the Prince is being mentioned. Was it His birth? Was it his 12th year when He would have a bar mitzvah? Could it be considered His 20th year when He was able to go to the army? Or, the 30th year is very interesting because that is when priests would assume their full mature responsibilities. Or, maybe it would be when he would become King Himself? Jesus was proclaimed King symbolically, but He did not actually have a crown put on His head nor did He begin to rule back then. Daniel had no way of knowing what year in His life was significant in this context.
However, it is quite possible for us to know when Messiah the Prince came on the scene. The only time in the New Testament that a chronological indication is given so that we who study the Bible can have an accurate relationship of biblical chronology to secular chronology that we can prove, or come very close to the time, is found in the 3rd chapter of Luke, the central book to the entire Bible, when you get the original order of the books properly arranged. The only indication in the New Testament of the chronological year associated with Christ is that related to the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar.
The 15th year of Tiberius Caesar is lightly disputed a little bit on whether you would have Roman time beginning in the 1st of January, or whether you would have Jewish time, but that is a minor problem. The 15th year of Tiberius Caesar really answers to 28 C.E. If you use the biblical time periods starting with Tishri, which the Old Testament did on civil matters (not religious) in which the Kingdom of God relates to, you would go from Tishri to Tishri. It would mean that the year 27 to 28 C.E. is the year indicated when the Messiah the Prince would come on the scene.
I have written considerably on this to show that there is no doubt that this prophecy of the 70 weeks unto Messiah the Prince is when Jesus became 30 years of age. That was the time when John the Baptist began his teaching followed soon after by Jesus, and that was 27 to 28 C.E. If that was the time period when the 4,000 ended from the 1st Adam to the last Adam, then 2,000 years from that event will bring you to 2027 to 2028 C.E.
As I compose in the middle of 1989, that gives us about 39 more years until the 2,000 years would be up. 7 If the 2,000 years will be up, then we would expect, you would think, the Millennium to come soon after that. So you see we are coming into the period of time known as "the end of the age." As this end of the age approaches, we are told in Daniel here that more knowledge of chronology and prophecy would be understood.
I cannot tell you I understand it perfectly, but what I am giving you about the overall chronological scheme from the 1st Adam to the 2nd Adam is well documented, and it can be shown to be accurate as far as the Bible is concerned. There are some people who will say, well, the Bible may say that, but when you come to the Persian period and the last part of the Babylonian period some 400 to 500 years before Christ, the Bible chronology and prophecy does not seem to go along with secular history. A few eclipse tablets coming from that time period support secular history. That is quite true.
About 15 to 17 years ago, I was doing study into this period about these eclipse tablets to see whether or not maybe something was wrong with them. Maybe people were misinterpreting these eclipse tablets and making wrong judgments on what secular history and chronology was giving to us. What I did was to study a particular eclipse tablet that gave a record in the 37th year of Nebuchednezzar. This tablet was discovered in the last century and was interpreted and translated in German in the earlier part of this century. Portions of it have been translated into English. What I did was to obtain the whole thing and I had it translated into English. This document was supposed to be the most powerful of about four to establish that the secular chronology was correct and that the biblical chronology did not agree with it.
My report on this one eclipse tablet will be most interesting to you. 8 This eclipse tablet has been misread by people. We will find that the biblical chronology will prove secular chronology inaccurate. Secular chronologists will have to go to the Bible to find out what was going on during the Babylonian and the Persian periods and they will not be able to get that information from disputed eclipse tablets. Eclipse tablets can be interpreted differently. I am of the firm belief that the Bible will prove to be accurate on this. One thing for certain, and I have not the slightest doubt about this, there is exactly a 4,000 year period from the 1st Adam to the 2nd Adam, and you can put it all together. It fits perfectly. 9
The rest of this 70-weeks prophecy, the last week of the prophecy, which is 7 years, has to do with the endtime that has not taken place yet, but will take place in the future. It has to occur before the end of the 6,000 years. We are coming into a very interesting time, one that we ought to keep our eyes opened to, looking especially on the Middle East.
It said that "70 weeks are determined upon your people," which was divided into 4 sections. The first 2 sections add up to 483 years leading up to the time of Jesus Christ. That part of the prophecy has been completely fulfilled. But in Daniel 9:26 it says, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself." Is it not interesting that after Jesus began to preach, he preached a little over 2 years? 10 When that period was over it says Messiah shall be cut off. He was cut off. That part of the prophecy has been fulfilled.
Then it goes on to say, "but not for himself." Jesus was not cut off for Himself. He was cut off out of the land of the living for us. He died for us. Then something was to happen after that,
"... and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."
About 40 years later the city of Jerusalem was completely destroyed. Now look at this, in verse 27 it says, "he [this prince] that shall come." This prince is a human prince. 11 That prince will confirm a covenant with many for 1 week, a week of years, 7 years. Those 7 years are in the future at the end of the age. Remember that these 70 weeks, as it says in the King James, are "determined upon your people." The word "determined" in English means one thing, but in Hebrew it means, "cut out" of time, and not necessarily do you find that the sections cut out are always successive. The last week of this 70 weeks here, or 7 years, has to do with the endtime. Virtually every biblical commentator that I know of today would accept that to be the case.
This prince that is to come in the future at the end of the age, will,
"... confirm the covenant with many [with the Jews, in Israel] for one week: and in the midst of the week [in the middle of the 7 years, after a 3½ year period] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation [the end], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [upon the desolator]."
That is rather a terse prophecy, but it is to the point and it makes sense when you put all the prophecies of Daniel together, along with those given by Christ and the apostles in the New Testament.
This last week is broken into 2 divisions, each of them 3½ years. You will find this in the New Testament, 42 months in one occasion, which is exactly 3½ years; 1260 days is mentioned, that also is 3½ years; and then a time, times and half a time, which also equal 3½ years. The 2 witnesses in the New Testament prophesy in the first 3½-year period. In the midst of the week, after 3½ years, Daniel’s prophecy said that this "prince that shall come," who is the evil prince, "shall cause the oblation and the sacrifice to cease." And then "the overspreading of abomination" shall take place, or the abomination of desolation shall be set up.
In the Olivet prophecy given by Christ to his apostles in the 24th chapter of Matthew, He says the abomination of desolation was something to occur after His time, in the future. It was a prophecy about the end of the age. This section of the prophecy about the abomination of desolation (which we also find in Daniel 11 and 12), all of it is future. It is future according to Christ. It deals with the end of the age into the time period that we are now approaching. If this last week of 7 years leads up to the coming of the true Messiah and the Kingdom of God emerging on earth, then this last week of 7 years is the last week of the 6,000 year period which will lead up to the Millennium.
If the 483 years from the time of Daniel (when a "going-forth" was given to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and that was in the 1st year of Cyrus, King of Persia), and 483 years of the 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled up to the coming of Christ, when He began to preach His gospel in Nazareth, and that was clearly demonstrated as the year that bridges into the New Testament period because the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar is the only time indicator, we have with secular chronology, from a biblical point of view, we can know then that the 4,000 years ended at that time. There should be 2,000 more years from 27–28 C.E. until the start of the millennium, and if we are adding our figures correctly—and I believe we are—somewhere in the early part of the next century, somewhere around 2027 to 2028 C.E. 12
Somewhere near that period of time the 6,000 years from the 1st Adam will have been completed, and we will be getting ready for the emergence of the 7th-1,000 year period, known as the millennium.
This last 7-year period is in the future to us. In the midst of that 7 year period, at the end of the 6,000 years, the abomination of desolation will be set up that Christ spoke about in Matthew 24:15 which deals with the period of time associated with His 2nd advent.
All these things are very important to realize, because we are coming into this period of time now. The prophecies of Daniel 7 and 8, if you read them carefully, say they are endtime prophecies. If you want to know about the setting up of the abomination which the 70 weeks of prophecy speaks about, it is given in complete detail in what is called the "Book of Truth" found in Daniel 11:1 to Daniel 12:5. It is a long prophecy that speaks about 7 kings, in fact 8 kings when you get the last king. 13 Gabriel in the interpretation given in Daniel 10, said that the whole of this prophecy here deals with the endtime—all of it—when it says at the beginning of the prophecy in Daniel 11:2,
"And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all ..."
These Persian kings are not the Persian kings back in the 5th century B.C. or even the 6th century. No. And the King that shall come up from Javan or Grecia is not Alexander the Great as so many people feel. And the Kings of the North that succeed this great King from Greece are not the Seleucid Kings from Syria that so many people feel today happens to be the case, and leading up to Antiochus Epiphanes, who supposedly set up an abomination of desolation in the Temple in 168 B.C. That is not possible because 168 B.C. is long before the time of Christ.
Christ said that the abomination of desolation was to be set up future to Him. When will that be? It will occur in the last week of years, the last 7-year period, in the middle of that 7-year period, just before the establishment of the millennium. That is when this prince that will come shall set up the abomination of desolation. It has nothing whatsoever to do with past history.
These are 4 Persian kings, which exist at the end of the age. This Greek ruler, as he is called here, is one at the end of the age. It will be 4 Persian, 1 Greek, that makes 5. Then if you look at the 2 Kings of the North, leading up to this man who sets up the abomination of desolation. In the latter part of Daniel 11 he claims himself to be God, and as Paul said, sits in the Temple of God. This is the 8th King in all of these kings mentioned here.
Go to the book of Revelation. When John saw this beast come out of the sea, it had 7 heads and it had 10 horns associated with it. He says that those heads represent kings. Five are fallen, 1 is, 1 is yet to come, and he will last but a short time. Then will come on the scene the 8th King who will set up the abomination of desolation, as Daniel says, in the midst of the week.
If you will check the Book of Truth carefully in Daniel 11 up to Daniel 12:5, you will find that what John is doing in the book of Revelation is giving a commentary on endtime events dealing with our period now. If we keep our eyes on the Middle East, which is where all the geographical prophecies take place, we should be able to see pretty soon—and without too much difficulty, the coming of that period of time known as the "end of the age."
These prophecies in Daniel 11 and 12 are events to occur in the endtime generation, all of them. They have nothing to do with past history. That is where people have made one of the biggest mistakes they can possibly make. That is why when we realize there are actually 8 kings being mentioned (just like the 8 kings of the book of Revelation), we can actually identify who those heads will be from the book of Revelation, though he did not identify them back there. He did not have to. They are all identified here in the Book of Truth. The first 4 heads are Persian. The 5th head is Greek. John was taken forward in vision, to the time of the 6th head, because it says, "five are fallen." The time he was taken to was near the end of the age. The book of Revelation is talking almost entirely about the endtime generation, and in fact, the last 7 years of that endtime generation. We all know this because we find in Revelation 42 months being mentioned; 1260 days being mentioned; a time, times and half a time being mentioned, which all have to do with the endtime prophecies of Daniel.
Yes, we can even identify who those heads were, mentioned in John when he saw this beast come out of the sea. They are all identified here in Daniel 11. It says that this 6th king will finally die and then in v. 20,
"Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle."
After he is destroyed, after a few days he lives, then in verse 21, "And in his estate shall stand up a vile person." This is the 8th king, the same 8th king mentioned back in the book of Revelation. It fits perfectly. This 8th king is the one who sets up the abomination of desolation in the Temple. He sits himself in the Temple of God, calling himself God, as the apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2. He stands up against the Prince of Princes, Christ Jesus (and he is not Antiochus Epiphanes who lived 165 years before the birth of Christ). This is a future King of the North. This king, called the vile person, succeeds the 7th king who, as it says in Daniel 11:20, has only a short reign. That is exactly what John said in Revelation 17:9. He said there were five kings already fallen, when John was taken forward into the time of the 6th king. He is mentioned in Daniel 11 in great detail about what this king will do in the near future. The 7th king "must continue a short space," Revelation 17:10, and that dovetails with Daniel 11:20 where it says, "within few days he shall be destroyed."
The next king is the 8th king of Daniel 11 and the 8th king in Revelation 17, the beast, the antichrist, the false messiah. This false messiah will come on the scene in the last 7 years of the history of the world before the millennium takes place.
Now I want to show you something, which I think, is most important, and it is new, but I want you to consider it because I think this is something of relevance. The 70 weeks prophecy in Daniel 9:24 and following says, "Seventy weeks are determined," that means 490 years "upon thy people" and the city of Jerusalem, "to bring in everlasting righteousness." Then he goes on to say,
"from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks."
That means 483 years as noted before. That happened exactly when Christ Jesus came on the earth. That part of the prophecy has already been fulfilled as far as Christ is concerned. Then it says, the "Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself."
After that is when the last week of 7 years will take place, divided in two, with the abomination of desolation being set up in the middle of it. The first part of this prophecy here, as far as the true Messiah is concerned, has already been fulfilled, and it will not be fulfilled again.
But do you know something? At the end of the age the Bible tells us clearly, that there will be a false messiah, a messiah that this world will think is the true messiah. He will have most of the credentials, on the surface, to be the Christ. Some will say, we all know that Christ came back there, but Jesus Christ is coming a 2nd time.
You know that there is a person coming out of heaven with his angels. He will be thrown out of heaven. When he comes back to this earth, he will come back with a grand display and it will not be the true Christ, like before, it will be the false Christ.
People today in the New Age movement are looking for aliens to come out of space. They think they will come. They will indeed get a grand display of it. It is found in Revelation 12, when Satan and his angels are thrown out of heaven, the world will think that is nothing more than the 2nd coming of Christ. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:14–15, that Satan the Devil looked like an angel of light and so do his angels coming with him. The world will think it is nothing less than the 2nd coming of Christ.
Satan will energize a person on this earth who will perform these duties of setting up the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11. He will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease in the Temple. He will seat himself in the Temple. That will be a human being, but he will be energized by this power that comes out of heaven, and the world will believe that it is Jesus Christ who has come back .
The apostle Paul said that God will send strong delusion upon this world so that they will believe the lie, (2 Thessalonians 2:11–17). People will believe that this man who will sit in the Temple of God is being energized by no less than Jesus Christ come back from heaven. It is not Jesus Christ when the 1st one comes. That is what the book of Revelation is trying to show us and what we find in the book of Daniel.
When it says in this 70 weeks prophecy that "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem," there would then be 483 years or 7 weeks of 69 weeks of years until Messiah the Prince. But when it says "Messiah the Prince" unless you read it carefully, people could get mixed up by that because there are two individuals called "Messiah the Prince" coming, one true and one false.
We have been absolutely shown who the true one is. That is Jesus Christ. That part of the prophecy has been fulfilled. But the world will accept another Messiah. If the 2,000 years (from the time the Messiah came on the scene back in 27–28 C.E.) ends in 2027 to 2028, the 7 year period before that would be from 2020 C.E. to about 2027 C.E. 14 This last 7 year period is when the false messiah will come on the scene.
Here is something that is most interesting. Do you know where it says, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people," of 490 years or 483 followed by a 7 year period, "until Messiah the Prince"? The prophecy ends with that last week of 7 years broken into two sections. That is to occur just before the real 2nd coming of Christ, and the real Millennium to be established. The Millennium would go forth somewhere around 2027–2028.
If you go back 490 years from that date backwards, you would come to the year 1537 C.E. What is important in that year? At that very time a majestic Turkish ruler in the Middle East called Suliman the Magnificent (named after Solomon the son of David) conquered Jerusalem. Being a Moslem and recognizing Jerusalem as the third holy site in all of Islam, he gave a command that the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt and the walls would be rebuilt around that city. That was the last time a command has gone forth to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. The wall that surrounds Jerusalem today was put there starting in 1537 by Suliman. At some of the gates in Arabic and also Turkish, they have the date when it began.
If you go from 1537 and go forth 483 years, you would go to 2020. If you go the full 490 years, you would come to 2027, which is exactly 2,000 years away from when the true Messiah was on earth. With this prophecy of the 70 weeks, God may very well be telling us that since we know the first part of the real prophecy is for the appearance of the true Messiah some 2,000 years ago, the last command to rebuild the city of Jerusalem was given by Suliman the Magnificent in 1537 C.E., and the 490 years time from that command leading up to the false messiah, would answer to this same period of time of 2027 to 2028. In other words, the last 7 years of this prophecy of the 70 weeks, in the midst of which the abomination of desolation will be put up, would be from the years 2020–2021 to 2027–2028. That is just less than 40 years in advance of us [from 1989, when Dr. Martin presented this tape].
Am I setting dates? No. I again say I am not. I am a historian. But I do believe that God’s Spirit can work with all of us. We need to see the chronology of these matters. We may have—indeed I believe we do have—a secondary sense to this prophecy here, leading up to the establishment of the false messiah. In fact, the last 7 years, the first part deals with the true Christ up to 27–28 C.E., but if you look at it with the false Christ in view, even a command was given forth in 1537 C.E. to rebuild the present city of Jerusalem, leading up to a prophecy of the false Christ.
Some have said to me, how can we tell the difference between the two? That is one of the easiest things in the world. The 1st individual who comes, even in glory, and appears in heaven, will not be the proper one. He will be the false Christ. The false Christ comes first. If anyone comes and says they are the Christ, even sitting in a Temple of God, saying he is Christ, Jesus said to us, "beware, many are going to come."
One in particular will come. At that exact time the resurrection from the dead will take place. If you and I are living at the time, we will be transformed to meet Him in the clouds. When the false Christ comes (some 3½ years before the true Christ), you will not be transformed. You and I will be changed into immortality right there when the resurrection of the dead takes place. When the false Christ comes, that will not occur. Even though there are vast miracles with him, even though he comes out of heaven with angels, it is not the proper one.
However, people will think that some people have been resurrected from the dead, but if you have not been changed, you can be certain that is not the true Christ. 15
There is one other thing. When the true Christ comes the Mount of Olives will split in two and form a valley on one side or the other. If some great powerful being with angels comes from heaven and that Mount of Olives is not torn into two as it says it will be in Zechariah 14:1–3, then you can be certain it is the antichrist, the false Christ.
However, the world will go over to him. Why? Because Paul says that, "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:11). He is coming in all power, the power of Satan the Devil.
We may find here in the 70-weeks prophecy a two-fold prophecy, one of the true Christ which has been completely fulfilled in Christ Jesus. When you add the 483 years or the 69 weeks leading up to the true Messiah and add that to the chronology of the past back to the 1st Adam, you get exactly 4,000 years. Then add 2,000 years from that point and you come to 2027–2028 C.E. for the true Christ coming back.
But if you look at it as a dual prophecy, a prophecy the world will accept, referring to the false messiah who will come, is it not interesting that Suliman the Magnificent, the great Turkish commander who controlled more territory of Africa and Asia than any other single person in the last 1000 years, he gave a command to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and those walls there today are of his manufacture. The year 1537 C.E. could be leading up to the false messiah, because Suliman the Magnificent was not Christian, he was a Moslem. They have been fighting over that area ever since, and will continue to fight over it until the last 7 years. We have it all here in the books of Daniel and Revelation.
The Book of Truth in Daniel 11 and 12 is yet future to us, and it involves several years of time, so pay attention to what happens in the Middle East at this present time. Particularly, watch what happens in Iran with the Ayatollah Khomeini. He is about to die, 16 but there are yet four kings in Persia. Then someone of power will come out of the Greek archipelago. Then out of that will come the 1st King of the North, then a short reign of the 2nd King of the North (the 7th King), then he will die and then will emerge this vile person who Satan the Devil will energize completely. He then will be the 8th King in Daniel and the 8th king in Revelation. He will stand up against the Prince of Princes, the King of Kings, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who will defeat this whole system? It will be Christ Jesus when the Millennium finally occurs. This is a new way of looking at things, but it is something for you to consider. God is opening up the understanding of the Holy Scriptures as never before.
Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D
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The article presented here is vitally important background information—along with the articles referenced in the footnotes—of the prophetic understanding of the Bible developed over the decades by Ernest Martin before his death in January 2002.
It is presented to provide a proper context for Dr. Martin’s last article on prophecy. That article, "The Great Generation," will be published, God willing, December 2002. A contextual background of the major prophetic issues was felt necessary because this last article was only edited twice before Dr. Martin’s death. He usually edited and reworked his articles about 5 to 7 times before publishing. I thought it necessary for the readers to be "brought up to speed" and to be as informed as possible about all the relevant issues before reading this last article from the keyboard of one of the world’s great biblical analysts. Only then can we all properly evaluate Dr. Martin’s last article.
Do not think that this is the "last word" on prophecy. The details of Bible prophecy appear endless, even though they shall eventually "fail" or end (1 Corinthians 13:8). Several books and articles will be produced from Dr. Martin’s published works and tapes, many of which have not been presented to earlier audiences.
Editorial Director, ASK
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This material was updated and is on the ASK Website in 1990 under the titles:
"Chronology – The Key to Prophetic Understanding – I," http://askelm.com/prophecy/p900901.htm.
"Chronology – The Key to Prophetic Understanding – II," http://askelm.com/prophecy/p900902.htm.
These articles should be read and studied in order to fully understand this article. The calculations are shown to you and made clear. If you do not have immediate access to a computer, go to your local library and they will assist you. You can usually print the articles right there. Or, ask a close relative, friend or teenager to help you print out these articles.
2 Even if secular chronology is accurate, and let us say that the Bible is giving a symbolic chronology, if that is the case (which I do not believe to be), we still have a chronological scheme beginning in the early chapters of Genesis through the Old Testament to the start of the New Testament period, which is consistent and it is perfect. It gives us a chronological number of years which leads us directly to Christ and the time of Christ, and combines chronology with prophecy to establish that Jesus was indeed the Christ. It goes along with prophetical teachings that we find in the Scripture that the early Christians believed in and that the early Jews believed in. We have records of this to show it.
3 It is interesting that in the two historical books of the Old Testament, the book of Kings and the book of Chronicles, which gives a harmony on the chronology and the history of the period, with Chronicles giving more teaching on what was happening in Judah and Jerusalem, both documents are consistent in the number of years of these kings, 393 years.
4 This difference is reflected in the articles on chronology mentioned above.
5 You might say this is a very technical matter, and should we actually pay attention to it? We should. It makes a very important point (as I will show you shortly) in relation to the chronology leading from the 1st Adam to the 2nd Adam, Jesus Christ. So I am going to put that extra year in there after Zedekiah’s 11th year. That is the only difference that you will find from a former article on chronology that I wrote in 1986. That makes exactly 430 years from the 4th year of Solomon when the Temple was started until the complete desolation of the land in the year after King Zedekiah.
6 In this case "the most Holy" does not mean an individual. It means the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem. Seventy weeks of years is 490 years. This can be absolutely proven to be a 490-year period or cut out of overall history and chronology.
7 The current date of republication in November 2002 would leave about 26 years according to this calculation.
9 I used to feel there were 3,999 full years, but not until I studied carefully, that the year following Zedekiah’s death they were still able to harvest the crops, that means you have to add one extra year to it, making a full 4,000 up to the time of Christ, to 27–28 C.E. That year, by the way, can be shown to be the time when the preaching of the Gospel first went out, 27–28 was when Jesus was 30 years of age.
10 Some have thought Jesus’ ministry was 3½ years, but in actual fact that is not the case, and can be shown to be a little over 2 years.
11 Remember that all human princes on earth have an equal prince in the heavens. That prince can either be good or that prince can be adversarial. There is a prince to come who is a human being, but he will be motivated by a heavenly prince. See Dr. Martin’s article "The Geography of Heaven," http://askelm.com/doctrine/d990501.htm. ELM
12 Again, I am not setting dates. All I am doing is explaining what the biblical revelation has to say about chronology. ELM
13 Almost every person today says only the last half of the prophecy has a prophetical application. They see the 1st half of the prophecy as having a relevance of history back in the early Persian period, that of Alexander the Great, the Seleucid kings of Syria and the Ptolemaic Kings in Egypt (who followed Alexander), and leading down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes in the middle of the 2nd century B.C.E. They see the prophecy of Daniel 11, the Book of Truth, fulfilled in history. ELM
14 Again, I am not setting dates, I am just trying to show what the biblical revelation says on this, so that we can have these things in our mind and study them, and ask God to help us to understand what is really going on in this world. ELM
15 Evil angels will likely masquerade as and claim to be resurrected humans.
16 Khomeini died later that year, in 1989 after production of this tape.
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