Daniel 9:24-26a Seventy weeks are decreed
about your people and your holy city—
to bring the rebellion to an end,
to put a stop to sin,
to wipe away iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most holy place.
25 Know and understand this:
From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem
until Messiah the Prince
will be seven weeks and 62 weeks.
It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat,
but in difficult times.
26 After those 62 weeks
the Messiah will be cut off
and will have nothing. (HCSB)
As we near Christmas Day and the end of these posts about the prophetic Simeon, we need to know a bit about why Simeon believed so firmly that he would see the Messiah in his lifetime. He had God’s word through the Holy Spirit, but he also had confirmation in Scripture, in the Word of God. The passage above in Daniel narrows the window of time that the Messiah will appear on earth quite considerably. You can choose one of two declarations to rebuild Jerusalem and then count from there.
Jesus was born in that window of time.
These words of Daniel were so widely understood that the magi, otherwise known as the wise men, used them as a time indicator. They saw the star because they were anticipating a sign of the arrival of the Messiah. They saw him as the long-desired Holy Prince who would bring peace and justice to the world.
Centuries before, Daniel had lived among the wise in Babylon. For a time, he had even been appointed as their leader by the king. Because of this, the groups that followed him studied his words and looked for signs to fulfill them.
The religious leaders in Jerusalem knew the signs and timing, too, but they weren’t looking for an infant Messiah to worship. They waited for a conqueror to overthrow Rome and establish Jerusalem as the world’s capital. They knew the signs so well that they weren’t surprised at the appearance of the magi.
But neither did they follow them.
Matthew 2: 4-5a So he [Herod] assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him. (HCSB)
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas