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After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

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Prophet Daniel foretold time of Christ's first coming

 Prophet Daniel foretold exact time of Christ   

Book:  
The  Lives of the Holy Prophets, 
(Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista CO 1998)
Chapter:  
Prophet Daniel 
(commemorated December 17)
Section:  
THE SEVENTY YEARS

Daniel 9
  • 24  ¶ Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, 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.
  • 25  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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
  • 26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: 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.
  • 27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week 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, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
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"Seventy weeks have been determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out the iniquities, and to make propitiation for iniquities and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy." [Dan. 9:24]

Speaking of the Savior, St. Athanasios the Great writes: "Do you look for another?  But Daniel foretells the exact time... The most wise Daniel, who marks both the actual date, and the divine sojourn of the Savior."

St. John Chrysostom, in his discourse, says, "The time is not the time of captivity; what is memtioned is the length of time after which the captivity is going to come upon them,  We read: 'Seventy weeks have been determined upon thy people.'  No longer does God say, 'for My people.'  And yet the Prophet said, 'Cause Thy face to shine upon Thy desolate sanctuary.' [Dan. 9:17]  But God, thereafter, was estranged from them because of the bold crime they were going to commit.  What the Prophet means when saying 'for sin to be ended' is that the Jews are committing many sins, but the end of their evil deeds will be the day they slay their Master.  Christ also said this: 'Fill ye up also the measure of your fathers.' [Mt. 23:32]  But what does 'end' mean?  That no sin thereafter is left to commit, until 'everlasting righteousness' will be introduced.  But what is everlasting justice except the justification given by Christ?  'And to seal the vision and oriphet, and to anoint the Most Holy'; that is, until prophecies shall cease.  For that is what is meant by 'to seal,' namely, to bring anointing to an end, to bring vision to an end.  This is why Christ said: 'For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.' [Mt. 11:13]"

"And thou shalt know and understand that from the going forth of the command for the answer and the building of Jerusalenm until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted." [Dan. 9:25]

Saint Hippolytos remarks, "This in reality took place.  For the people returned and built the city, and the temple and the wall round about."

Saint Athanasios: "When did prophet and vision cease from Israel, save when Christ came, the Holy of Holies?  For it is a sign and an important proof of the coming of the Word of God, that Jerusalem no longer stands, nor is any prophet raised up mor vision revealed to them, -- and that very naturally.  For when He that was signified came, what need was there any longer of any to signify Him?  When the truth was there, what need any more of the shadow?  For this was the reason of their prophesying at all, -- namely, till the true Righteousness should come, and He that was to ransom the sins of all."

Saint Kyrill of Jerusalem also agrees that sixty-nine weeks of years make four hundred and eighty-three years.  Therefore, he declared that four hundred and eighty-three years after the building of Jerusalem, the rulers out of Juda failing, there was to come a certain foreign king, in whose reign Christ was to be born.


Saint Hippolytos, expounding on these verses, informs us that: having mentioned therefore seventy weeks, and having divided them into two parts, in order that what was spoken by him (Archangel Gabriel) to the Prophet might be better understood, he proceeds thus saying, "Until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks," which makes forty-nine years.  It was in the twenty-first year that Daniel saw these things in Babylon.  Hence the forty-nine years added to the twenty-ine, make up the sevety years from the captivity that befell them under Nebuchadnezzar; and after these things the people will return, and sacrifice and offering will be presented, when Christ is their prince.  Now of what Christ does he speak, but of Jesus the son of Josedec, who returned at that time along with the people, and offered sacrifice according to the Law, in the seventieth year, when the sanctuary was built?  For all the kinds and priests were styled christs, because they were anointed with holy oil, which Moses of old prepared.  These, then, bore the name of the Lord in their own persons, showing afore time the type, and presenting the image until the perfect King and Priest appeared from heaven, Who alone did the will of the Father; as also it is written (of Samuel, a type of Christ):  "And I will raise up to myself a faithful priest, who shall do all that is in my heart and in my soul; and I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before my Christ forever," [Kgs, 2:35]
In order, then, to show the time when He is to come Whom the blessed Daniel desired to see, he says that after seven weeks there are other threescore and two weeks [Dan. 9:25], which period embraces the space of 434 years.  For after the return of the people from Bablylon under the leadership of Jesus the some of Josedec, and Ezra the scribe, and Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, of the tribe of David, there were 434 years unto the coming of Christ, in order that the Priest of priests might be manifested in the world, and that He Who taketh away the sins of the world might be evidently set forth, as John speaks concerning Him: "Behold the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world!" [Jn. 1:29]  And in like manner, Gabriel says: "To blot out the iniquities and to make propitiation for iniquities."  But Who has blotted out our transgressions?  Paul the Apostle teaches us, saying, "He is our peace, the One Who made the both one" [Eph. 2:14], "having blotted out the bond written in ordinaces against us." [Col. 2:14] 
Gabriel says, "And to anoint the Most Holy."  And the Most Holy is none else but the Son of God alone, Who, when He came and manifested Himslef, said to them, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He hath anointed me," and so forth. [cf. Lk. 4:18; Is. 61:1]  Whosoever, therefore, believed on the heavenly Priest, was cleansed by that same Priest, and their sins were blotted out.  And whosoever believed not on Him, despising Him as a man, had their sins sealed, as those which could not be taken away; whence the angel, foreseeing that not all should believe on His, said, "To bring sin to an end, and to seal up transgressions."  For as many as continued to disbelieve Him, even to the end, had their sins no finished, but sealed to be kept for judgment.  But as many as will believe on Him as One able to remit sins, have their sins blotted out.  Wherefore he says: "And to seal the vision and the prophet."
For when He came Who is the fulfilling of the Law and of the Prophets (for the Law and the Prophets were till John), it is necessary that the things spoken by them should be confirmed (sealed), in order that at the coming of the Lord all things loosed should be brought to light, and that things bound of old should now be loosed by Him...


Continuing from above, St. Chrysostom adds, "Pay careful attention to me here, because here lies the whole question.  The seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks make four hundred and eighty-three years, for e is here speaking not of weeks of days or months but weeks of years.  From Cyrus to Antiochus Epiphanes and the captivity,... it was not 483 years.  Daniel makes it clear that he is not talking about the destruction of the temple under Antiochus but the subsequent destruction under Pompey, Vespasian, and Titus.  He further ectends the time and instructs us from what point we must start counting by showing us that our reckonin is not to start from the day of the return from captivity.  From what point ust we reckon?  From the going forth of the word of the answer that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt." 

"Jerusalem," writes St. Chrysostom, "was not rebuilt under Cyrus but under Artaxeres.  After the return of the Jews, Cambyses was ruler, then the Magians, and after them Darius Hystaspes.  Next came /darius' son, Xerxes, and after him Artabanus.  After Artabanus, Artaxerxes ruled Persia.  during the twentieth year of his kingship Nehemias returned and restored Jerusalem.  Ezra has given us an accountof this.  So then, if we count 483 years from this point, we will surely come to the time of the last destruction.  And so it is that the Prophet said, 'And the street shall be rebuilt, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted.'  Therefore, what he says is this: after the city has been rebuilt and has recovered its own appearance and form, count the seventy weeks from that point and you will see the slavery which has not yet come to an end...  When the Prophets predicted the other captivities, they spoke not only of the captivity, but also of the length of time it was appointed for each bondage to last; for this present captivity, however, they set no time, but to the contrary, said taht the desolation would endure to the end.

"And after the sixty-two weeks, the Anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in Him.  And he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming.  They shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolations. [Dan. 9:26]

"And one week shall establish the covenant with many.  And in the midst of the week My sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away.  And on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of the time an end shall be put to the desolation." [Dan. 9:27]

 
 St. Hippolytos:  For when the threescore and two weeeks are fulfilled, and Christ is come, and the Gospel is preached in every place, the time being then accomplished, there will remain only one week, the last.  At that time Elias will appear, and Enoch.  And in the midst of it the abomination of desolation will be manifested, namely, Antichrist, announcing desolation to the world.
The Prophet Daniel then sets forth those things concerning the Antichrist, who shall be shameless, a war-maker, and despot, who, exalting himself above all kings and above every god, shall build the city of Jerusalem, and restore the sanctuary.  The impious will worship him as God, and will bend the knee, thinking him to be the Christ.
For he shall cut off the two witnesses and forerunners of Christ, who proclaim His glorious kingdon from heaven, as it said, "And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." [Rev. 11:3]
And when he comes, the sacrifice and oblation will be removed, whuch now are offered to God in every place by the nations.  As also it was announced to Daniel: "And one week shall establish the covenant with many.  And in the midst of the week My sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away" -- that one one week might be shown to be divided into two.
The two witnesses, then, shall preach three years and a half; and Antichrist shall make war upon the saints during the rest of the week, and desolate the world, that what is written may be fulfilled: "And from the time of the removal of the perpetual sacrifice, when the abomination of desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." [Dan. 12:11]


Saint Ephraim explains that "because the mind of those who crucified Him was darkened, and they did not perceive what kind of Sun was mailed on the Cross, the sun which illumines the eyes became darkened... [cf. Lk. 23:44]  It was because the natural sun was darkened tha this darkness revealed the imminence of the destruction of their city.  'Behold the judgments concerning the destruction of Jerusalem have come and are here.' [cf. Dan. 9:2]  This city did not receive the One Who had built it.  All that remains for you is to see its destruction." 

In Blessed Jerome's commentary, we find:  "The Roman people demolished the city and sanctuary under Vespasian, the leader who was to come; upon his death the seven weeks, that is, forty-nine years, were complete, and Ælius Hadrian, by whom afterwards the city of Ælia was established up the ruins of Jerusalem, vanquished the revolting Jews in their conflict with the general Tinus Rufus.  It was at that time that the  sacraficial offering ceased, and 'the desolation will endure even unto the consummation and end of the world.'" [cf. Dan. 9:27]   The point is also made here of the idiomatic usage of the Hebrew language: "In the speech of the ancients, as for instance quoting a figure, the smaller number is given first and then the larger.  And so the fulfilllment is not to follow the literal order of the words, but it has been accomplished in terms of the whole sum, taken together."

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