Friday, February 20, 2015

Suleiman and the 70 Weeks of Daniel

I've argued on this Blog for why I believe the first 69 weeks of Daniel 9 were fulfilled from 454 BC-30 AD.  I decided later in response to those who are Futurists yet view the 70th Week as fulfilled, to investigate the possibility of the 70th week being fulfilled from 30-37 AD.  And then I came to the conclusion that the 70th Week is a Prophecy with a dual Fulfillment.

I eventually decided to contemplate in my mind the possibility of the first 69 weeks having a second fulfillment also.  This would require another decree to rebuild Jerusalem.  It need not seem identical to the one by Artaxerxes or any other Persian ruler.  It matters only that it fit what Daniel 9 says of it.  Interestingly Daniel 9's description of the Decree says nothing about Israelites returning to Jerusalem at this time, or anything about The Temple.  Only the City being restored and rebuilt with a specific emphasis on The Walls.

I decided to look at Wikipedia's Timeline of Jerusalem and saw that 1535-1538 AD Suleiman The Magnificent had Jerusalem rebuilt including The Walls which had been in ruin since at least 135 AD. Also The Dome of The Rock was renovated then.  These restored Walls are the Walls that stand to this day.  The story goes that he gave a decree to rebuild the Walls that was prompted by a divinely inspired dream he had.  Whatever prompted the Decree, we have archaeological evidence of it.
Building inscription commemorating the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem 
Jerusalem 
Ottoman period, 1535–1538 
Stone 
Israel Antiquities Authority 
Accession number: IAA 1942-265 
The Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent ordered the construction of new buildings in Jerusalem and the renovation of existing ones. Among his most notable projects were the renovation of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem city walls. The walls, reminiscent of those surrounding Istanbul, are the ones that still surround Jerusalem’s Old City today. This building inscription commemorates their renewal.
“Has decreed the construction of the wall he who has protected the home of Islam with his might and main and wiped out the tyranny of idols with his power and strength, he whom alone God has enabled to enslave the necks of kings in countries (far and wide) and deservedly acquire the throne of the Caliphate, the Sultan son of the Sultan son of the Sultan son of the Sultan, Suleyman.”
Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir
I've already addressed the usual argument against Date Setting.  

Problem is we don't know exactly when this "decree" was, it was in the range of 1535-1538 AD.  In my view in order for it to fit perfectly it needs to have been made in Nisan.  

I did some searching and found that others had noticed this possibility before me.  A lot of them however seem to incorporate mistakes about the 70 Weeks Prophecy I addressed in my earliest posts on it.

I saw on one website someone arguing that only this Decree could fit Daniel 9 and not any of the Persian ones.  They base it on seeing Daniel 9:25 as saying that the Wall must continually stand at least during the entirety of the 62 weeks.  The Walls built during Persian times were breached at least once before the earliest possible date one could give for the 62 weeks ending (106 BC and that requires a few assumptions I view as wrong, I as you know see them as ending in 30 AD), by Antiochus Epiphanes forces, Josephus Antiquities of The Jews Book 12 Chapter 5 does say he destroyed the walls.  Suleiman's Walls meanwhile have stood without interruption unto this very day.

The problem with that argument is that it removes the first Advent of Christ from the 70 Weeks.  Also Gabriel was clearly promising something in the near future, something at least some of Daniel's original readers would live to see.  What's said about the Walls standing has room for interpretation, Antiochus did not completely destroy them like the Romans did in 70 and 135 AD. 

It is a common feature of Double Fulfillment Prophecies that certain key details are not fulfilled in their truest sense till the second fulfillment, that's largely why we know it needs a second.  In the case of the 70 weeks we tend to see the 70th alone as what needs something yet future to be fulfilled.

But given what I argued already about my view of the 70th Week, the implication that perhaps the Walls could be torn down or breached when the Eschatological 70th Week starts is pretty provocative.  Since I am expecting the Nisan that starts The Week to include an Islamic conquest of Jerusalem in response to The Temple being rebuilt.  And a Decoy Antichrist will kill the true Antichrist who will be heralded as Messiah Ben-Joseph.

Most people believe if Jerusalem is conquered by a foreign enemy during the 70th Week it's at the midway point, at the same time as the Abomination of Desolation.  And I have other reasons for thinking an End Times deception could involve making people think the beginning of The Week was it's middle.  It was I think in Nisan that the Walls of Jericho fell.

If this theory is true, I think some discovery will be made before the 70th Week begins that will clarify exactly when Suleiman made his decree.  And if it was in Nisan on either the Rabbinic Hebrew, Kariete Hebrew or Samaritan Hebrew calendar, then I will start feeling this hypothesis is very possible.

The margin of error currently gives us Nisan of 2018-2021 for the start of the 70th week.  Tishri of 2021-2024 for the Midway Point ,when I place The Rapture/Second Coming, and when we all place the Abomination of Desolation.  And Nisan of 2025-2028 for the end of the 70th Week.

People have independently of this seen reasons to look to that range for the end times.  Some of those I might get into in future posts.  I've offered two possible 70th Week theories on this blog before, neither of which are compatible with this.  I'm trying to consider many possibilities.

Update: It seems the 1535-1538 range is really the time the walls were under construction, though other construction in Jerusalem continued for awhile after, 1541 for the Golden Gate, and then additional renovations after the 1546 Earthquake.  Which means the Decree could have likely been Nisan 1535 placing the 70th week as 2018-2025, with the Seventh Trumpet sounding on the First of Tishri in 2021, marking the Mid-Way Point.

I've come to view the 7 and 62 weeks distinction as that the 7 weeks is how long the construction went on.  I know of no documentation that anything was exactly finished in 1584, but it's possible, that's 38 years after the earthquake.

Also a correction on something I said above, it was April 1st 1969 not 68 reconstruction in the Old City was allowed.  I've seen one website suggest that the second fulfillment perhaps switched the order of the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks.  I think that's torturing the text a bit, but that it is a full jubilee from then to Nisan 2018 is interesting.

Update May 2017:   If you want to learn more about Suleiman himself in an eays and fun way, I recommend watching Extra History: Suleiman The Magnificent.

2 comments:

  1. It seems more plausible to me that the weeks of years would roll according to the secular Jewish calendar, from Tishri through Elul. That would put the midpoint of the tribulation week near the Spring Feasts. Jesus entered triumphant into Jerusalem on the tenth of Nisan, perhaps His counterfeit will want to emulate that idea as well. This consideration would also have Jesus' return aligning with the Fall feasts, which have not yet been fulfilled by Him, as the earlier feasts were.

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    1. I'm aware how popular that assumption is. But I"m aware of no Biblical precedent for the Secular Jewish calendar at all, and indeed only Rabbinic Jews acknowledge it, Karites do not.

      I'm not even convinced of the theory that the year begin with Tishri before the Exodus, even though I like the implication of the Ark landing on the 17th day of the 7th being the same day as the Resurrection, that day falling during Tabernacles could also possibly mean something.

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