Good morning world, welcome to TheShiningLight
In the first year that Darius became ruler of the Empire of the Medes and Persians which was 522 B.C., Daniel fasted and prayed for the rebuilding of the temple and the city of Jerusalem.
At the decree of Cyrus some had gone to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple but their efforts had stalled and Daniel understanding that the temple was to be rebuilt in 70 years after it was burned; fasted and prayed that the construction would be resumed.
God responded by sending his prophets Haggai and Zechariah to exhort the people who had returned to Judea to resume the work of building the Jerusalem Temple.
God also sent his angel Gabriel to Daniel and revealed a new prophecy to Daniel. This new prophecy was that a decree to build the city Jerusalem was still coming and that the city would be built over 49 years.
The angel also revealed that there would be another 62 weeks of days or 483 total years from the decree to build the city of Jerusalem to the appearance and ministry Messiah the Christ.
We pick this prophecy up in Daniel 9:24 where the angel Gabriel told Daniel; seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city to finish 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.
This refers to a full prophecy of seventy weeks and today we are only covering the first 69 weeks. Therefore in Daniel 9:25 the angel said know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem
Note that this refers to the building of the city and not the temple therefore from the commandment to restore and to rebuild the city Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and then an additional three score and two weeks
The street shall be built again and the wall even in troublous times and a week having seven days the seven weeks refers to 49 days and the sixty-two weeks refers to 434 years.
Now we take this as one day representing a year and we have 49 days so this represents 49 years for the first section and the second section of threescore and two weeks that is sixty-two weeks equals 434 days and that at a day for a year represents 434 years.
Therefore we have the command to build a city and over 49 years the city would be built and once the city was completed there would be another 434 years for a total of 483 years until Messiah the Prince would be revealed and the Ministry of Jesus Christ would begin.
Therefore if we know the date that the decree to build the city Jerusalem was issued and we count forward the 483 years we will know the precise date, the precise year, that the Ministry of Jesus Christ was to begin; and if it did not begin then, there is no Christ, and if it did begin then, Jesus [or in the Hebrew Yeshua] was in fact the Christ.
So when was the decree issued ? We find that the first six chapters of the book of Ezra that they are a history of the building of the temple, however in chapter seven Ezra begins to account for his own activities and his own calling.
We find that from Daniel’s fast in the first year of Darius which was 522 B.C. that fifty-eight years would pass until king Ahaseurus whose reignal name was Artaxerxes Longamanus became king of the empire in 464 B.C.
After the completion of the temple in 516 B.C. the zeal of the people in Judea waned and many in Babylon drifted away from any zeal for sound doctrine just as very many have drifted away from their zeal in today’s assemblies.
Then 55 years after the temple was completed in 516 B.C.; in the third year of the new king Ahaseurus in 461 B.C. Vashti rebelled against the command of the king and she was put away and replaced as Queen by Hadassah a young woman of the tribe of Benjamin who had been raised up by her uncle Mordecai to be zealous for godliness.
King Ahaseurus took Hadassah to wife and made her queen of the realm and renamed her Esther; and she being exalted to a high position in the empire and guided by continual contact with her uncle Mordecai would have been a shining example of righteousness and godliness; and working together with Mordecai, with Ezra and others she would have helped to inspire a revival of godliness and true religion among the Jews at Babylon.
And being much loved and very close to the king she would have had a strong influence on him and she would have thus opened the way for the king to issue a decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem; which decree was issued in 457 B.C. and Ezra was sent to carry out that project.
The date of this decree marks the beginning of the construction work on the building of the city of Jerusalem, much more it also marks the beginning of a great revival of godliness among the Jews in Judea, when Ezra arrived there to restore true religion and build the city.
In addition, the date of this decree reveals the date that Messiah the Christ would appear and his ministry would begin; and if he did appear on that date and his ministry did begin on that date there was no Christ.
This is proof positive of the Messiah-ship of Jesus Christ.
King Ahaseurus whose reignal name was Artaxerxes Longimanus was the husband of Hadassah called Esther, and during the seventh year of his reign 457 B.C. he decreed and authorized Ezra the priest and scribe and all those who wished to join him to go to Jerusalem.
Artaxerxes granted him large amounts of silver and gold and decreed that he should restore true religion and build the city
Ezra 7:7 and then went up some of the children of Israel and of the priests and the Levites and the singers and the porters and the Nethanims. [who were the temple workers the Gibeonites. They went unto Jerusalem in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king] and he came to Jerusalem in the first day of the fifth month which was in the seventh year of the king for upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem according to the good hand of his God upon him for Ezra [and notice most importantly] Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Eternal and to do it and to teach in Israel that is in Judah in Jerusalem the statutes and judgments of the Eternal God.
We find the decree of Ahaseurus in Ezra 7:11
7:11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.
7:12 Artaxerxes King of Kings unto Ezra the priests a scribe of the law of the God of heaven perfect peace; and at such a time I make a decree that all they of the people of Israel and of his priests and Levites in my realm which are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee for as much as thou art sent of the king and of his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand
and to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered unto the God of Israel whose habitation is in Jerusalem and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon with the freewill offerings of the people and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem.
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullock’s rams lambs with the meat offerings and their drink offerings and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem and whatsoever shall seem good to you and to your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and gold, that do after the will of your God.
The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem and whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God which thou shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the King’s treasure house and I even I Artaxerxes the King do make a decree to all the treasurer’s which are beyond the river that whatsoever Ezra the priest the scribe of the law of the God of Jerusalem and shall require of you.
It must be done speedily unto a hundred talents of silver and to a hundred measures of wheat and to a hundred baths of wine and two hundred baths of oil and salt without prescribing how much, as for
7:23 whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons.
Also we certify you that touching the priests and levites, singers, porter’s, Nethinims they are ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose a toll, tribute custom, [tax] upon them.
In this first part of the decree we see that the King Ahaseurus commissioned Ezra to go and worship God at Jerusalem on behalf of the king and we see that King Ahaseurus provided everything that was needed for many sacrifices by the people of Israel/Judah on behalf of himself and his own kingdom.
We now come to an extremely important part of the decree:
Ezra 7:25 and thou Ezra after the wisdom of thy God that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges [which mean to judge all the people that are beyond the river that is the River Jordan] all such as know the laws of thy God and teaching them that know them not.
This King Ahaseurus had sent Ezra and commissioned him to teach the Word of God to the people and the priests and the Levites and all the people of Judah in Jerusalem and Judea and to set up a governmental system and structure which would enforce the laws and Word of God.
Verse 26 and whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the law of the king let judgment be executed speedily upon him whether it be unto death or to banishment or to confiscation of goods or to imprisonment.
The decree of Ahaseurus in 457 B.C. sent Ezra to Jerusalem to sacrifice at the already completed temple and to set up a governmental structure and to teach all the people all the law and Word of God; and to not only teach true religion but to enforce true religion by the authority of the new government of the Jews established by Ezra and by the authority of the king of the Medes and Persians.
I have little doubt that the zeal of the king of the Medes and Persians was largely due to the influence of his queen Hadassah called Esther, who over several years impressed him so deeply with her chaste, loyal and godly conduct.
When Ezra arrived at Jerusalem he found the people had strayed very far from any zeal to live every word of God, he found that many people were intermarrying to a very large degree with the local peoples including the Samaritans, the Canaanites and various other peoples: and he found that their wives were turning them away from any zeal for godliness and that they were allowing their wives to worship their idols and to teach their children to worship these idols; thereby committing the very same sins of Solomon for which Solomon lost ten tribes of Israel by the hand of God.
We find these things recorded in Ezra 9 and when Ezra arrived in the city and he saw this state of affairs and the lack of zeal for godliness among the people he rent his clothes and cried out in anguish over the lack of godliness and the sad moral state of the people.
Then Ezra became doubly committed to keep the commandment and decree of the king and restore true godliness and true religion in Jerusalem and Judea, and he began by seeking the Lord and repenting with a whole heart on behalf of all the people.
Asking God to turn them back to repentance.
Ezra 9:6 and said oh my God I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee my God, for our iniquities are increased above our heads and our trespass is thrown up into the heavens.
Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day and for our iniquities have we, our kings and our priests been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands to the sword to captivity, and to a spoil and to confusion of face as it is this day.
And now for a little space grace has been given from the Lord our God to leave us a remnant to escape and to give us a nail [to fasten us securely] in this holy place that our God may lighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage for we were born men he and our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage but hath extended mercy and to us in the sight of the kings of Persia to give us a reviving to set up the house of our God and to repair the desolations thereof and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
And now oh our God what shall we say after this for we have forsaken thy commandments which thou hast commanded by thy servants of prophets saying the land unto which we go to possess it has become an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands [the land unto which we go to possess it has become an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands] with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
Ezra then warns the people
Ezra 9:12 now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons need to take their daughters unto your sons nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever that ye may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.
The purpose of this command not to intermarry with the unconverted is to protect the people from being influenced by unconverted wives and from falling into idolatry and from having their children raised up in idolatry so that before long there would be no remembrance of God and the true Word of God in all the land. Then the people having departed from the Word of God, God would withdraw his blessings from the people.
Ezra 9:13 and after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great trespass seeing that thou our God has punished us less than our iniquities deserve and has given us such deliverance as this, should we again break thy Commandments and join in affinity with the people of these abominations would not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us so that there should be no more remnant nor escaping?
Oh Lord God of Israel thou art righteous for we remain yet escaped and free [from Babylon] as it is this day. Behold we are before thee in our trespasses for we cannot stand before thee.
Because of this prayer of repentance, Judah and the people began to repent and to seek God with a whole heart.
After this public prayer beginning the people wept and sincerely and wholeheartedly repented and Ezra began to restore true religion and he reestablished the civil government of the seventy which was based on the seventy elders that God gave to help Moses.
Ezra restored the ancient Levitical synagogue school system to teach godliness to the people from their youth upwards.
Ezra also established the temple ritual which remained until the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Under the inspiration of God he established the ceremony of light opening the Feast of Tabernacles and the ceremony of the pouring out of water during the Festivals which Jesus explained represented the pouring out of the Holy Spirit of God.
Ezra also established the post captivity Passover service which was used by Jesus Christ at his last Passover.
[Esther married the king in 461 – 460 B.C., then]
In his seventh year king Ahaseurus, disposed to hold the Jews in favor due to the influence of Queen Esther and Mordecai sent Ezra to rebuild the city Jerusalem and restore true religion in 457 B.C.
When Ezra arrived he learned of the general falling away of the people and their lack of zeal for godliness and called them to sincere repentance.
Many of the people did sincerely and wholeheartedly repent and Ezra concentrated on restoring true religion while the building of the city and the walls made little progress.
Then in the 12th year of King Ahasurus 452 B.C. Haman incensed by the favours granted to the Jews and angry that Mordecai refused to bow to him sought to destroy all the Jews and the Jews were saved by King Ahaseurus through the intervention of Mordecai and Esther.
Our next program begins in 444 B.C. when King Ahaseurus sent Nehemiah to help Ezra and build the city walls.