DANIEL AND THE COMMAND TO “RESTORE”
If you study Daniel’s prophecy of Seventy Weeks, you need to consider not only the prophecy’s structure (covenantal redemption) and chronological value (weeks of years), as per our previous posts, but also the starting point for the beginning of the weeks.
When do the Seventy Weeks begin? This will determine when they end. They begin at a certain “command,” according to Daniel 9:25.
The “command” in Daniel 9:25 and reads: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem.” Initially, it would seem to refer to Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the temple in 538 BC. This command appears in 2 Chronicles 36:22–23 and in Ezra 1:1–4; 5:13, 17, 6:3. This is a vitally important decree impacting Israel’s history as she returns from the Babylonian captivity.
But this prophecy does not seem to start with Cyrus’ decree, as famous and as significant as it is. After all, Daniel specifically speaks of the command to “restore and build Jerusalem.” This is an important qualification to which we must give attention.