Did you know the Old Testament predicts the exact year when the Messiah would die? This incredible prophecy is found in Daniel 9:24-27:
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
While this passage can be confusing, I will demonstrate how it foretells the date of the Messiah’s death and then explain how I arrived at my conclusion. Here is the math (who said math isn’t relevant?):
(7 weeks)(7 days in a week) + (62 weeks)(7 days in a week) = 483 days (one day = one prophetic year) = 483 years.
483 years X 360 days in the Persian calendar (the one used at the time of this prophecy) = 173,880 days.
173,880 days / 365.25 days in a modern calendar = 476 years in a modern calendar.
444 BC is the year King Artaxerxes I of Persia sends Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1 says it was in his 20th year and Artaxerxes I reigned from 465 to 424 so 444 BC would be the 20th year of his reign using the ascension year system of dating).
444 BC – 476 years = 32 AD + 1 year because there is no year zero going from BC to AD = 33 AD (the year of Christ’s crucifixion, “an anointed one shall be cut off”).
Now that I have outlined the math, I will explain how I arrived at my conclusion. We can calculate the date of the Messiah’s death by subtracting the date of “the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem” (444 BC according to Nehemiah 2:1) by the amount of time that Daniel gives. To get this number, we add 7 weeks to 62 weeks to get 69 weeks. Sixty-nine weeks is 483 days. Each day represents one prophetic year (other examples include Leviticus 25:8, Numbers 14:34, and Ezekiel 4:5-6 where a day represents a year). But these are years in the 360-day Persian calendar since Daniel lived in Persia when this prophecy was given and not the modern 365.25 days in a year one. Therefore we must convert it from 483 years to the more accurate 476 years. And 444 BC minus 476 years is 33 AD since there is no year zero. The ministry of Christ was three and a half years before his death and the second half of the 70th week is the church age which is symbolically referred to as three and a half years (Rev 11:2-3, 9, 11; 12:6; 13:5).
If Christ was crucified on April 3, 33 AD, then 173,880 days before that is March 13, 444 BC which is in the month of Nisan as Nehemiah 2:1 says.