Doesn’t Isaiah 44:28 force the Daniel 9:25 clock to begin at the same time as Erza 1:2? This would makeg the clock wrong as it ends in the mid-50s BC or around there?


Good question.  I can see why someone might wonder about this.  In the Isaiah 44 passage we are told of Cyrus of Persia that he will “accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt.” and of the temple, “Let its foundation be laid.”  You are noting that the decree of Cyrus is found in Ezra 1:2f, and that this decree did not directly result in the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and its walls.
What we know from Ezra 1:2 is that Cyrus issued a decree that the Jews return to Jerusalem, not only to lay the foundation of the temple, but to actually build the temple.  We do not have a recorded written decree from Cyrus that the walls of Jerusalem ought to be built.  It is possible that he said this and that he did in fact issue such a decree, but that we do not have in our hands such a decree.  This does not mean that he did not do so, but that the decree, if it was written, did not make it into the Book of Ezra.  What we DO know is that the emperor Artaxerxes did in fact issue just such a decree in his seventh year (Ezra 7:11-28) and that it was this particular decree which was acted on and which led to the actual construction of the wall by Nehemiah a few years later.  And it was 490 years or so after Artaxerxes’ decree that Jesus did in fact come to Jerusalem to “seal up vision and prophecy” and to be “anointed the Most Holy.”
I see two possibilities.  The first is that the prophecy in Isaiah 44:28 concerns what, not only Cyrus, but also his successors would do, so that it includes Artaxerxes. Another possibility is that it is about a decrees of Cyrus, some parts of which were fulfilled, and others of which were only completed much later, under Artaxerxes.  I will confess that both theories are a bit ad hoc (created to match the data, not because of the data), but I am not prepared to declare the Word of God to be in error simply because of this one passage.  Besides, if your proposed interpretation were true, then that would mean that the Scripture is in error and that the Messiah never came, as there is no evidence of the Messiah coming around 50 BC.  Given who Jesus is and what he did, including all of his miracles and his resurrection on the third day, as well as all of his other fulfillment of prophecy, we have a compelling reason to create an ad hoc hypothesis about Isaiah 44:28 which is a reasonable one given all the evidence about how so many of the prophecies in Daniel were fulfilled in detail.
In conclusion, I say that you raise a good point and ask a good question, but that is my answer.  The decree of Cyrus does not necessarily force Daniel 9:25 to point to the Messiah coming around 48 BC.
John Oakes

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