Daniel 70 Weeks – A New and Accurate Analysis of When Messiah Came

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An Analysis and Critique of William Struse’s
Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy (Prophecies & Patterns Book 2)

By S. Douglas Woodward

A Tough Tackle but Worth the Effort

William Struse tackles tough issues. His books deal with some of the most complex mysteries of the scripture. Consequently, when readers open one of his volumes, they need to buckle the chinstrap on their intellectual helmet and brace for impact!

Struse - Daniel's 70 Weeks
Struse – Daniel’s 70 Weeks

In his most recent book, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy, Struse focuses on what most scholars acknowledge is the most important Bible prophecy of all – Daniel’s 70th Week. He builds his case with meticulous care so I cannot begin to recap his essential arguments in any sort of “review”. What is needed, however, is for students of Bible prophecy to be alerted to the important work he has done and get the gist of what he’s about. Therefore, I attempt in this analysis to hit what I regard to be the most important issues Struse raises.

Readers of this critique should enjoy the challenge to conventional thinking Struse imposes. And for those with the determination and will to wrestle the issue to the ground, William Struse’s book is a must read. Indeed, if Struse is right (and I think he is) about the “Seventy Weeks” (at least as far as timing goes), examining his argument is mandatory for all those who are serious about Christian apologetics and the evidence for biblical inerrancy made sure through Bible prophecy.

First, for reference throughout this review, we must begin by citing Daniel 9:24-27 (KJV):

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.

Of course, this is the famous passage of “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks” that provides specific information about the Messiah’s work, and precisely when He came to accomplish that work.

Daniel indicates that the “clock commences” from “the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Price”. Then after 69 “weeks” the Messiah shall be “cut off” (put to death). This passage is indeed crucial because it declares exactly when the Messiah will be born and commences his salvific work – and therefore, historically, discloses implicitly who the Messiah is. No surprise for Christians: it is Jesus (Yeshua).

Don’t Say “Week” – Say Shabuwa

Struse points out that that the 70 “sevens” (while called “weeks” as in weeks of years), should be understood not as years of 365.25 (or 360) days, or even as generic time periods, but best identified using the wording in Hebrew shabuwa (as pronounced in English) and the “seventy” is Hebrew shib’iym (as pronounced in English) and the concepts tied to these words as understood by ancient Hebrew timekeepers. Seventy sevens would be Shib’iym shabuwa.

The Shabuwa of Daniel
The Shabuwa of Daniel

He explains to us that this period must be understand in light of both lunar and solar calendric time keeping, considered together (which is the way Hebrews did it) although it is quite taxing for our modern day brains thoroughly ensconced in the “Gregorian calendar”.  For by recognizing this, it will enable us to resolve the puzzle of calculating the timing of the Seventy Sevens correctly and peg exactly when the Messiah was born, when His ministry began, and when His ministry was taken forth by the Apostles to the world. Struse insists this is necessary because the traditional timing evangelicals rely upon, Sir Robert Anderson’s calculations from his book The Coming Prince (performed over 100 years ago), were not based upon proper Hebrew calendric math and thus have led to erroneous calculations and inexplicable “gaps” between the 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and final week (or shabuwa) as set forth in Daniel’s chapter 9 prophecy. Numerous explanations to justify these gaps have been offered by different scholars. However, Struse provides a solution that requires “no gaps.” How it arrives at this solution is not simple but it is some stupendous work.

Not only are the 490 “years” (70 x 7 shabuwas) incorrectly calculated, the point at which Anderson’s calculation commences was also incorrect. This leads to a great mystery that Struse sets out to solve, and does so much to my satisfaction (and genuine delight). Underlying his study, first and foremost, is this concern that we establish the proper methodology for dating the coming of the Messiah. In a real sense, Struse seeks to correct the erroneous methodology and thereby reinforce one of the most powerful apologetics for the truth of the Bible and the fact that Jesus demonstrated He was the along awaited Messiah. Anderson speculated that:

The Julian date of that 10th Nisan was Sunday the 6th April, A.D. 32. What then was the length of the period intervening between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the public advent of ‘Messiah the Prince’, — between the 14th March, B.C. 445, and the 6th April, A.D. 32? THE INTERVAL CONTAINED EXACTLY AND TO THE VERY DAY 173,880 DAYS, OR SEVEN TIMES SIXTY-NINE PROPHETIC YEARS OF 360 DAYS, the first sixty-nine weeks of Gabriel’s prophecy.

The point when the clock should start running, according to Anderson, began at the specific command to go and rebuild Jerusalem as stated in Daniel 9:25: “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…” But to which commandment was Daniel referring? Struse examines all the various Media-Persian “kingly” decrees that might have been the starting point for the 490 years, and identifies what is the most likely historical as well as scriptural “decree”.   Anderson supposed the starting point was 14 March 445 B.C. Struse points out a number of historical impossibilities for this to have been the case. To get the right answer, Struse had to do some amazing historical and biblical sleuthing.

Persin Decrees

For purposes of avoiding being a spoiler for one of the book’s main reveals, I will only include the preliminary list of decrees that have traditionally been the decrees examined and put forth as the theorized decree to “restore and build Jerusalem” – I will not tell you what the actual decree is that Struse identifies. (The chart of the decrees is included as Figure 2.) Suffice it to say that Struse rejects the fourth and final decree known as the “decree of Longimanus” from 445 B.C. – which was the decree used by Anderson and typically followed by other scholars. It turns out that Anderson was not even close.   Since the error is so significant and the “70 Weeks” prophecy so vital to Christian claims, it’s hard to argue any other matter in all of biblical chronology and calendric analysis is more important than getting Daniel’s calculation correct.

How did Struse arrive at his startling conclusion? He did so by carefully studying the ages of various priests and contemporary characters mentioned in the Bible, as well as aligning the correct names for the characters involved. One-by-one, Struse eliminates the “wrong decrees” and fixes upon the correct one. It takes some time to get there, but his conclusion is most rewarding. And importantly, Struse’s approach (albeit challenging as we must learn a bit about intercalations, Hebrew months, the variance in the length of Hebrew lunar and solar years, etc.) seems more than plausible – it yields what I believe is a compelling truth about the matter of how we should come to understand Daniel’s calculation “unto the Messiah the Prince” – when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  Most importantly: his calculation works.

Lunar Years, Solar Years, and the Cycles of 13 and 14

In short, Struse breaks the code of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophetic calculation concerning the coming of Messiah in a much bolder, more intriguing, and all things considered, more compelling way. Struse’s approach involves reconciling lunar and solar years and a near mystical (but scriptural) insight about cycles of 13 and 14, which also resolves why the generational list in Matthew (regarding Jesus’ genealogy) is missing names – intentionally so – to encode a key to understanding the Hebrew calendric cycle.

Lunar and Solar

In short, it is not just about replacing Gregorian months and years with a 30-day prophetic month and a 360-day prophetic year – at least not specifically in respect to Daniel’s 70 Weeks. This is what Sir Robert did and it is not enough to explain Daniel’s prophecy. It isn’t that simple. It requires the 13 and 14-month cycles to rightly understand the Shabuwas which then yields the proper number of Gregorian years to link from the correct decree (that Struse convincingly proves) to the moment when the Messiah is conceived (the “Word became flesh”), which is about 5 B.C. In the process of accomplishing this, he makes historical sense of considerable biblical data and avoids the historical paradoxes that traditional perspectives produce (which also invalidate them and ruin the power of Daniel’s prophetic precision).

William Struse hasn’t received much press about his accomplishment. Hence, I determined it was well worth my time to try to bring forth his ideas to my audience and to other teachers and scholars in this overview, while giving Struse all the credit. Consequently, the particulars of his explanation and confirmation I leave to readers to study and judge for themselves whether Struse has settled the argument. Warning: it takes some time, but if you want to satisfy yourself that Struse has broken the code, you need to devote the time and tackle the issue. Given how precisely the Lord manages history, it remains a testimony to the providence of God, proof of His existence, validation of the Hebrew (and Christian) Bible, and Jesus as the Hebrew Messiah.

Consequently, I consider this aspect of Struse’s analysis to be a genuine breakthrough in biblical research. I commend it to the reader and to the community of Bible scholars and teachers to examine for themselves. Concerning the first coming of the Messiah, I think Struse gets it exactly right.

Now for where I think he goes awry. While Struse nails the information in Daniel 9:24-27 about the First Advent, Struse argues against several aspects the prophecy spells out regarding the Second Advent, details to which I subscribe (along with most futurists) and which I believe he may err.

But Was the Final Shabuwa Just About Messiah?

What is the stated purposed of Daniel’s Seventy Sevens (Shib’iym shabuwa)? It lists a six-fold purpose as illustrated in Figure 4 adjacent: 1. Finish the Transgression; 2. Make an end of sins; 3. Make reconciliation for iniquity; 4. Bring in everlasting righteousness; 5. Seal up vision and prophecy; and 6. Anoint the most holy.

Six Fold Meaning of 70 Weeks

What bothers Struse about the usual way that futurists interpret the passage of Daniel 9:24-27 is “mixing” the purpose of the Christ with information about the Antichrist. Struse wants the passage to be free from references to the Antichrist and be only about the Messiah. Struse summarizes his concern with these words:

Think about the implications: either those six goals were accomplished by Yeshua at His death and resurrection, or we are left with a prophecy that tells us only of His death, leaves us without any hope of His resurrection, and adding further confusion, demands we look away from the Messiah and to a future Antichrist as the fulfillment of the final shabuwa. Do you really think that is how YHWH intended the prophecy of 70 shabuwa to be remembered? [i]

In other words, Struse’s nose goes out of joint with conventional teaching proffered by futurists for insisting that the Antichrist is the subject of the final segment of the “Seventy Sevens” prophecy. However, should he be so disconcerted? Is the prophecy entirely about the Messiah (only) or does the Antichrist make an appearance in this passage as well (in verse 27 as well as verse 26), as virtually all futurists contend?

The Conflicting Messianic Timeline between Jews and Christians

It would be hard to imagine any passage being more at the center of debate between Christians and Jews since we Christians argue that rightly comprehending the meaning of this passage vindicates our claim that Jesus fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy “to the very day”. History also suggests that Yose ben Halafta (d. 160 A.D.) a disciple of the famous Rabbi Akiva altered the Jewish calendar attempting to prove that Simon bar Kokhba, leader of the “second revolt” against Rome, was the Messiah (not Jesus of Nazareth). Simon was executed in 135 A.D. after setting up an independent Jewish state for two and one-half years. Akiva had blessed Simon declaring him to be the “star of the Scepter” or promised Messiah (from Numbers 24:17) (See footnote for more information about Bar Kokhba.[ii]) The Seder Olam Rabbah (The Book of the Order of the World) compiled in the second century A.D. provides the calendric information mentioned here. [iii]

The first two verses in the selected passage of Daniel 9:24-27, speak to the mission of the Messiah and to the timing of His coming. To almost all scholars, Verse 26 appears to take the prophecy a different direction beginning with the phrase “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.” Virtually all agree that this portion of the scripture either: (1) deals with Titus and the Roman Army that destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Second Temple in 70 AD, OR (2) it foreshadows the Antichrist who has yet to be revealed (while some would say that it can in fact identify both events, past and future, as an example of “double fulfillment” of prophecy).

At issue is this: Does the remainder of verse 27 speak of the Antichrist, or does it speak of the Messiah who was initially the subject of the passage generally? Does the Messiah confirm a covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease because of His sacrifice? Or are we dealing with the Antichrist who confirms a covenant and then breaks the covenant halfway through the week when he desecrates the temple? In other words, “Who is the ‘he’ in verse 27?”

The traditional evangelical perspective is that the Antichrist breaks the covenant by desecrating the temple by claiming that he is God. This is known as the “abomination of desolation.” His claim makes the temple desolate – which implies at the very least that God no longer dwells within it.

What is the alternative view? It is that verse 27 does not reference Antichrist – only Messiah Jesus – who confirms the covenant to free people from sin by his death on the cross; and metaphorically, this implies that the sacrifice and oblation cease (no longer being necessary for the salvation of God’s people.)

To explore the argument a bit further, historicists (those that believe Bible prophecy concerning the Advent of Christ has entirely passed or already been fulfilled) insist that verse 27, as with the rest of the passage from 9:24 forward, refers only to the Messiah. They believe the main theme of the passage is what happens when the Messiah comes the first time and what He will do then and then only. Futurists (those that believe only prophecies relating to the First Advent of Christ are past, but prophecies related to the Second Advent are all future) believe the verse refers specifically to the Antichrist. They contend the passage addresses both Messiah Yeshua and the false Messiah, aka the Antichrist.

Struse proposes a completely different take on how to interpret this passage. He agrees with the “historicists” that verse 27 refers only to Christ at His first Advent but still counts himself a “futurist” – since he believes Bible prophecies elsewhere related to the Second Advent pertain to yet future events.

At stake is whether the passage in Daniel 9:27, comprises what Jesus referred to as the “abomination of desolation” declared in Matthew 24:15, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)” or if it instead constitutes a reference only to Daniel 12:11, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Verse 27 states the sacrifice and oblation will be stopped and it makes what appears to be a connected concluding statement in the verse, clearly referencing once more an abomination of desolation, “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

My position is that both verses reference one another and Christ has referenced both. The Antichrist is he who makes the temple desolate, not the Messiah by His sacrificial death, which causes the sacrifice of verse 27 to cease. I stand with convention and do not agree with Struse although I can appreciate why he asserts the position he does. He has a most biblical and commendable motive for wanting to express a distinctive point of view. But that does not convince me his assertion is correct.

Does Seeing Antichrist within Verse 27 “Desecrate”
Daniel 9:24-27?

Struse concludes his book with this stated goal for futurists in the days ahead:

To my futurist brethren, I say that in the few remaining years we have left before the Messiah Yeshua returns, we have a lot of serious work in front of us. Daniel 9, taken in its intended redemptive messianic context, was fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Yeshua. Our trading of the death and resurrection of the Messiah Yeshua for a yet-unfulfilled 70th week that centers around the Antichrist has influenced nearly every aspect of how we see the remaining unfulfilled prophecies of the Bible. As faithful stewards of the Word, we must now seriously consider an outline of end-time events that is independent of Daniel 9. I realize this will be challenging on many levels, but it must be done. The very credibility of futurist eschatology depends on it. [iv]

I think Struse has made two mistakes here. One is his conviction that evangelicals have essentially defiled the Daniel 9 prophecy by viewing Antichrist in verse 27. I don’t see any way to avoid the inclusion of Antichrist in the passage since (1) the people of the prince to come destroy the city (the Romans) has been plainly included earlier and (2) Jesus pointed to Daniel’s prophecy as testifying to the false Christ of all false Christs, i.e., the abomination of desolation. The Antichrist connects to the Roman people as he is the “prince of the people to come” (this connection J.R. Church explores in his book, Daniel Reveals the Blood Line of the Antichrist), and it is his people (not Messiah’s people) that destroy the city and the sanctuary (which they surely did in 70 A.D.). So the Antichrist already “is in there” within the passage. To cite the verse once more: “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.”

The issue becomes whether the reference to the Antichrist stops at that point in verse 26 or whether it continues on into verse 27. From my viewpoint, the “abomination of desolation” plainly appears in verse 27 and it is this aspect of the verse that links expressly to the Antichrist: “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation.” This is the abomination to which Jesus refers.

The second mistake Struse makes, in my opinion, is to state that a high priority for futurists is to “consider an outline for end-time events that is independent of Daniel 9.” I believe that is already well handled and fully supported with or without the provision included within the conventional interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27, which references a future Antichrist. Allow me to explain.

As Daniel indicates elsewhere (e.g., referencing the “little horn” and the “king of fierce countenance”), a personage will emerge who utters great boasts and blasphemies against the God of gods with which other biblical writers concur (especially Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:2-4). This is the “man of sin” aka the “son of perdition”. Paul tells us Antichrist is disclosed precisely when he declares himself to be God in the Temple. This would be an act of desecration. It would make the Temple desolate. It would cause the sacrifice (that will have been reinstituted prior to that time) to cease.

This certainly occurred when Antiochus IV Ephiphanes desecrated the Temple beginning at the time of the Maccabean Revolt (167-160 A.D.) The temple had to be purified. This desecration occurred again in 70 A.D. when Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. It has not been restored since. But the big question remains, “Will the desecration happen again in the future third temple?” In other words, “Will there be another Jewish Temple built and will it be desecrated?” Historicists say no – “one and done” (well, “two and done”). Struse appears to be saying, “Yes” but not based upon Daniel’s prophecy in 9:27, which is why he stakes out a different position than conventional dispensational “futurist” eschatologists. And so, since I agree with convention, on this topic I disagree with him.

Christ indicates that Daniel the prophet speaks of the abomination of desolation; and Daniel 9:27b along with Daniel 12:11 both appear to be clear points of reference to Jesus’ statement. To suppose that verse 27a and 27b do not relate cause and effect to the Antichrist seems to be most difficult way to understand the prophet’s meaning. It seems, in effect, an unwillingness to read the plain meaning of the scripture and a failure to correctly correlate the reference Jesus makes to Daniel as cited in Matthew 24:15.  At least, that is my perspective.

The Prophetic Month and Year: Valid Only for the Second Advent?

While disagreeing with Mr. Struse on how to understand Daniel 9:27 from the standpoint of whether or not the Antichrist is responsible for causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease, I still reaffirm again Struse’s invaluable exegetical work on the timing of the “commandment to go forth and build Jerusalem”. His dating methodology is vital to correctly understand the timing of Messiah’s first coming. That is an enormous contribution.

However, there is one final matter that should be discussed because it relates to timing calculations in the books of Daniel and Revelation that transcend the First Advent and speak to the Second. Struse rightly points out, in my estimation, that Daniel’s timeline of the 70 Shabuwas leads us to the moment of Jesus’s birth (or possibly the conception within the Virgin Mary). Sir Robert Anderson was wrong to employ the notion of 30-day months and 360-day years to calculate Messiah’s first coming. But this does not mean that usefulness of the prophetic month and year is altogether invalidated. Indeed, Daniel and John both use this timekeeping approach to establish a timeline for the final shabuwa, the last week of years, which Struse believes is past, but when conventional scholars (and I) argue is future.

Indeed, there remain strong biblical references to a 30-day month and 360-day year “method of timekeeping” in reference to, at the very least, the time of the end – the period of Great Tribulation – when Antichrist dominates the scene and makes war against the people of God.

To recap these references:

  • The first reference in Revelation pertains to the “time of the gentiles” and the duration of the “two witnesses” in Jerusalem supposedly during the period of the tribulation. John states regarding the measurement of the temple in Jerusalem: But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:2). The next verse addresses the same duration, the time of the two witnesses: “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3)
  • The second references is specified in Revelation 12:6 and 12:14. This is the reference to the woman that brought forth a man-child (Israel). John the Revelator tells us (in Revelation 12:6 where he states): And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (1,260 days) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” The time, times, and half a time is equivalent to “a single, a douple, and half of another single”, which scholars believe asserts 42 months or 3.5 years.
  • In Revelation 13:5, a third reference is given. We learn that the beast aka Antichrist, is given authority to reign for a specific period of time: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” This echoes the words of Daniel 7:25 which also specifies this same period of blasphemy: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Note the interchangeability of 360-day year and “a time” or 1,260 days and “time, times, and half a time.” The concept of timekeeping here does not require the intercalation method of reconciling lunar and solar years. It appears to be a simple count of ‘x’ number of days, months, or prophetic years.

Conclusion

Therefore, in conclusion, there is a timekeeping method that is consistent with Hebrew calendar keeping, related to lunar and solar cycles, involving 13 and 14-month cycles, and is crucial to understand how to calculate Daniel’s prophecy regarding the timing of Messiah’s coming. William Struse nails this and connects it to Daniel’s “Seventy Weeks” in a compelling way. However, this does not invalidate the notion of a prophetic month of 30 days and a prophetic year of 360 days that was employed by Sir Robert Anderson. We see how other passages in the prophecies of Daniel and in Revelation employ this method. Both methods can be ascribed validity and can be counted on to provide 100% accuracy in providing prophetic information “to the very day” for the subjects about which they each refer. Thus, in my view one size does not fit all. Giving the compelling argument that Struse has constructed in his book, Daniel’s 70 Weeks, one method relates to the First Advent; the second method appears to relate solely to the Second Advent.

Daniel 9:24-27 is both a prophecy concerning the first coming of Messiah and a prophecy regarding the second coming of Messiah, with the interrupting presence of the Antichrist included in the passage. His presence does not reduce the importance of the Messianic disclosure. Indeed, it points out the ongoing and continued significance of Daniel’s prophecy today; not only because we can point to the exact time when Messiah first appeared on this earth, but because we can predict that an interloper, an imposter will appear in the near future promising to be the Messiah, but instead will be a deceiver who will confirm a covenant, consummating and then breaking this “treaty of death and hell” (Isaiah 28:15). This false Messiah will mislead many. Indeed, it is assumed that it is he of whom Jesus spoke, “When one comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43). This exact moment is the very climax of the biblical drama between God and Satan, between Christ and Antichrist. And it is this final act of the play for which the stage has been set and the curtains almost ready to be drawn.


 

 

NOTES

[i] Struse, William (2015-09-27). Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy (Prophecies & Patterns Book 2) (Kindle Locations 4207-4210). PalmoniQuest LLC. Kindle Edition.

[ii] See Wikipedia on Simon Bar Kokhba.

Documents discovered in the 20th century in the Cave of Letters give his original name, with variations: Simeon bar Kosevah (Hebrew: ‫שמעון בר כוסבה‎), Bar Koseva (בר כוסבא) or Ben Koseva (בן כוסבא). This may indicate his father or his place of origin was named Kosevah. The Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva indulged the possibility that Simon could be the Jewish messiah, and gave him the surname “Bar Kokhba” meaning “Son of the Star” in Aramaic, from the Star Prophecy verse from Numbers 24:17: “There shall come a star out of Jacob“. The name Bar Kokhba does not appear in the Talmud but in ecclesiastical sources. Rabbinical writers subsequent to Rabbi Akiva did not share Rabbi Akiva’s estimation of ben Kosiva. Akiva’s disciple, Yose ben Halaphta, in the Seder ‘Olam (chapter 30) called him  “bar Koziba” (Hebrew: ‫ברכוזיבא, “son of the lie”. The judgment of Bar Koseba that is implied by this change of name was carried on by later rabbinic scholarship at least to the time of the codification of the Talmudim, where the name is always rendered “Simon bar Koziba” (בר כוזיבא) or Bar Kozevah (בר כוזבה).

[iii] According to J.R. Church in his study (Appendix I) of Daniel reveals the Bloodline of the Antichrist (2010) the Jewish calendar is missing 240 years. Church points out a number of missing elements in the Seder Olam’s account. The most important is the book’s truncating the reign of Media/Persia Kings from 207 years (13 kings) to 53 years (5 kings). This gap accounts for most of the missing years. Therefore, instead of the Jewish calendar date being 5776 in 2016 (Gregorian), the year date should be 6015, according to Church. This is based upon Ussher’s dating of Bible Chronology that placed the dawn of Creation on Rosh Hashanah 4004 B.C. Others, such as friend and co-author Douglas Krieger have reworked Ussher’s chronology finding various mistakes and misinterpretations, proposing that the actual creation date was in the year 3975 B.C. Ussher was approximately 29 years off in his calculations. If that were to true, the Jewish calendar should be approximately year number 5986 or about 14 years before the beginning of the seventh millennium. Other calculations Krieger discusses in depth in his book, Signs in the Heave and on the Earth: Man’s Days are Numbered, where he proposes that the Gregorian years 2024/2025 will be when the Jewish calendar should hit 6000. If so, that would make the year 2016, the Jewish year of 5990. Of course, my friend cannot keep from suggesting that this date might have historical significance including the visible return of Jesus Christ in the years just ahead

[iv] Struse, William, op. cit., (Kindle Locations 4369-4375).