The Season of the Lord’s Return
Most Bible chronologists determine the date for the start of Jesus’ ministry from scripture found in the book of Luke.
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:1-7).
THE BEGINNING OF JOHN AND JESUS’ MINISTRY IN AD 29
It is believed that John’s ministry began in late summer or early fall as that would have been the time to baptize the people while the waters of the Jordan River were still warm. Most scholars believe Jesus’ ministry began shortly after John’s. The official start of Jesus’ ministry began with his baptism by John. “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22). Jesus’ true baptism was not by John but by the Holy Spirit.
According to John’s Gospel, Jesus attended at least three annual Feasts of Passover through the course of His ministry: one in John 2:13, another in John 6:4, and the Passover of His crucifixion in John 11:55–57. Just based on that information, Jesus’ ministry lasted 2 years, at the very least. Because of the number of things that Jesus accomplished and the places He traveled during His ministry, many scholars believe there was another Passover not recorded in the Gospels. Some believe the feast mentioned in John 5:1, called “a feast of the Jews” was a fourth Passover attended by Jesus. The reason for this belief is found in the previous chapter of John. You say, There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). There are generally about four months from Passover until the harvest of the wheat crops in the summer months.
If Jesus’ ministry began in the fall of a certain year and he attended four Passovers, with his death occurring in the spring on the fourth Passover, then his ministry lasted for three-and-a-half years. This is the consensus of most theologians and Bible scholars. So now the pivotal question is when did the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar take place, as that is the year Jesus began his ministry. There are two main contenders or “sets of facts” regarding the answer to this question.
The most prevalent date for these two events is AD 29. Tiberius’s reign is said to have begun after Augustus’s death on August 19, AD 14, or his official investiture by the Senate on September 17, AD 14, making AD 28 or AD 29 his fifteenth year as emperor. The discrepancy of one year is due to the fact that there are three different ways a king or emperor’s reign is measured: 1) Factual year – includes year, months, and days. 2) non-inclusive or accession-year method. 3) inclusive or non-accession-year method (would amount to 1+ years more than the non-inclusive method). For more detailed information on these dating methods for reckoning Tiberius’s reign as emperor of Rome see the peer-review thesis by Andrew Steinmann called “Reckoning Tiberius’s Reign and Jesus’ Baptism: First-and Second-Century Evidence Concerning Tiberius’s Fifteenth Year (Luke 3:1).”
However, some have wished to date the fifteenth year of Tiberius earlier by claiming that Luke would have understood Tiberius’s reign as commencing sometime between AD 11 and 13 when Tiberius was granted joint authority with Augustus over the provinces. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, the declaration of his "co-Princeps" took place in the year AD 12, after Tiberius' return from Germania. 12 AD would be the earliest possible date/year for his co-regency with Augustus. If this is the case then John and Jesus’ ministry would have begun in AD 26 or 27.
There are many first and second-century writers that have examined this subject: Roman sources (Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio), Jewish sources both from a Palestinian Jew (Josephus) and a diaspora Jew (Philo), and Christian sources from the east (Clement) and the west (Tertullian). These are all unanimous in reckoning Tiberius’ reign after Augustus’s death.
NUMISMATIC EVIDENCE FOR TIBERIUS’ REIGN BEGINNING IN AD 14
Note: The following information in this article regarding numismatic and inscriptional evidence of Tiberius’s reign as emperor of Rome comes from the peer-review thesis by Andrew Steinmann called Reckoning Tiberius’s Reign and Jesus’ Baptism: First-and Second-Century Evidence Concerning Tiberius’s Fifteenth Year (Luke 3:1).
“Roman imperial coins can often be dated by their notation of honors and offices accorded a person depicted on the coin. Tribunicia potestas (tribunican power) was an office granted by the Senate annually. Augustus was granted this office for life in 23 BC, but during his reign others could also be granted this office. Tiberius first received “tribunicia potestsas” in 6 BC and was renewed in this office every year until Augustus’s death. Thus, a coin minted under Augustus and attesting to Tiberius’s tribunician power does not indicate that his reign began when he gained joint authority over the provinces with Augustus.
The honorary titles of Imperator and Consul were given out to military commanders and those with political power, such as Tiberius under the reign of Augustus, but were not an indication that Tiberius’ reign began when he gained joint authority over the provinces with Augustus.
Coins minted under Augustus often bore his portrait. However, it was not unusual for Augustan-era coins to bear the image of others, especially those in the imperial family including Gaius (Caligula), Livia, (Augustus’ wife), Agrippa, and Tiberius. However, on coins until his death in AD 14, only Augustus was accorded honors and titles reserved for the emperor, such as pontifex maximus (chief priest) or pater patriae (father of his country). Thus, there is no indication from Roman imperial coinage that Tiberius was considered a joint ruler with Augustus before the latter’s death in August AD 14.
A set of remarkably similar coins issued in the period of the transition from Augustus to Tiberius illustrate the difference between Tiberius before he was ruler and Tiberius as ruler. The first is a gold aureus issued during Augustus’s last year. The obverse depicts the laureate head of Augustus with the inscription CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F[ili] PATER PATRIAE, ‘Caesar Augustus, son of the divine, father of his country’. The reverse pictures Tiberius in a quadriga holding a laurel branch and four horses looking forward. The inscription reads: TI[berius] CAESARAVG[ustus] F[ili] TR[ibunicia] POT[estas] XV, ‘Tiberius Caesar son of Augustus ,tribunicia potestas 15’. This coin notes Tiberius’s fifteenth tribunicia potestas , 1 July AD 13 to 30 June AD 14. Note that while Tiberius is honored on the coin’s reverse, its obverse clearly identifies only Augustus as emperor, noting his status as the son of the divine Julius Caesar and his title pater patriae.
The second coin is also a gold aureus but was issued during Tiberius’s first year as emperor. It displays all the characteristics of a reissue of the previous aureus, but with key design changes made following the death of Augustus. The obverse depicts the laureate head of Tiberius with the revised inscription TI[berius] CAESAR DIVI AVG]ustus] F[ili] AVGVSTVS, meaning “Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the divine Augustus’. Augustus was deified after his death. Thus, during his reign, Tiberius is often characterized as son of the divine Augustus on coins and inscriptions, but never during Augustus’s reign. The reverse depicts the identical scene to the aureus issued under Augustus. The amended inscription reads: TR[ibunicia] POT[estas] XVI IMP[erator] VII. Tiberius’s sixteenth tribunicia potestas was 1 July AD 14 to 30 June AD 15, while his seventh imperatorial acclamation ran from AD 14 to AD 21. Therefore, this coin was issued in AD 14-15 after the death of Augustus, who for the first time on a coin is called ‘divine Augustus’.
The coins issued in the last years of Augustus’s reign and the first years of Tiberius’s reign are important because they demonstrate that Tiberius was not depicted as coregent with Augustus. Instead, only after Augustus’ death is he depicted holding the emperor’s office.
Overall, there are sixty-one known imperial coin types portraying Tiberius or bearing his name that were issued bearing marks for specific years of his reign. The evidence presented by Roman imperial coinage depicting Tiberius is clear: his reign was reckoned from after the death of Augustus, perhaps from his investiture on 14 September, as the senatus consulto inscription found on several coin types implies. Imperial coins minted in both the west and the east bear witness to the fact that Tiberius’s reign was not counted from his joint authority.
Provincial coins issued during Augustus’s reign seldom depicted Tiberius. When he was portrayed, it was never as emperor, and he is not accorded titles reserved for the emperor nor called son of the divine Augustus. Several Alexandrian coins suggest that Tiberius’s reign was reckoned from AD 14 in a non-inclusive manner. Tiberius reigned for twenty-three years until his death in AD 37. No Alexandrian coins are dated year twenty-four, as might be expected if the inclusive system were used. In addition, there are no coins marked years twenty-four, twenty-five, or twenty-six, which one might expect if Tiberius’s reign was reckoned from his joint rule of the provinces with Augustus. The coins minted under Tiberius uniformly demonstrate that his reign was reckoned from August or September AD 14 in a non-inclusive manner. The evidence is pervasive and widespread, covering all sectors of the Roman Empire, including both imperial and provincial coinage from Italy and the eastern and western provinces.”
INSCRIPTIONAL EVIDENCE FOR TIBERIUS’S REIGN BEGINNING IN AD 14
“A second type of primary evidence for chronological information concerning Tiberius’s reign is inscriptional. Like the numismatic evidence, the inscriptional evidence (Latin, Egyptian, and Greek) does not support the notion that Tiberius’s reign might at times have been reckoned from his joint rule of the provinces with Augustus. Surviving inscriptions from Augustus’s reign name him alone as emperor and accord him titles fitting of the head of the Roman state. The inscriptions mirror the numismatic evidence in that Tiberius is called the son of the divine Augustus only after AD 14.
Contrast an inscription from shortly after Tiberius’s accession to the throne in AD 14, and an inscription from North Africa from the Forum of Vestus behind the Temple of Rome and Augustus: TI[berio] CAESARI DIVI AVG[usti] F[ilio AUGUSTOTo Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the divine Augustus. Thus almost immediately after Augustus’s death, Tiberius is called ‘son of the divine Augustus’, an appellation that is widely used on coins and inscriptions during his reign. There are forty-nine Latin inscriptions mentioning Tiberius during his reign. Thirty-nine of them are datable to a specific year. The years span his entire reign from AD 14 to AD 37. Thus, Latin inscriptions provide no support for the notion that Tiberius’s reign was reckoned from his joint authority over the provinces with Augustus.
Over 200 known Greek inscriptions mention Tiberius. The few Greek inscriptions from before AD 14 that mention Tiberius do not accord him standing as emperor, which was reserved exclusively for Augustus. Egyptian inscriptions suggest that Tiberius’s reign was reckoned from AD 14 in a non-inclusive manner. No Egyptian inscriptions are dated year twenty-four, as might be expected if the inclusive system were used. In addition, there are no inscriptions bearing dates for years twenty-four, twenty-five, or twenty-six, which one might expect if Tiberius’ reign was reckoned from his joint rule of the provinces with Augustus. Many inscriptions that are not dated to a particular year refer to Tiberius as ‘the son of the divine Augustus’. These inscriptions most certainly date to a time after Augustus’ death, since Augustus was not deified while he was alive.
From the various first and second-century evidence mentioned here, two important negative deductions can be confidently asserted. First, there is no support for the supposition that the beginning of Tiberius’s reign was reckoned from his joint rule of the provinces with Augustus. Second, there is no evidence for inclusive reckoning of Tiberius’s reign. There are also positive conclusions that can be stated. Tiberius’s reign was reckoned either by factual years or by the non-inclusive method. Under either reckoning, Jesus’ baptism in the summer or autumn of Tiberius’ fifteenth year would have taken place in AD 29. Given the pervasiveness of the early evidence for Tiberius’s reign, it is extremely unlikely that either Luke or his audience would have understood Luke 3:1 to place Jesus’s baptism in any other year than AD 29.”
THE TERMINUS AD QUEM OF DANIEL 9:25-26a – AD 33
Regarding a two-year ministry (instead of 3-3.5 years) for Jesus, we know AD 32 couldn’t have been the correct year for the crucifixion/resurrection, as Nisan 14 (crucifixion date) occurred on a Sunday or Monday that year, placing the resurrection on a Wednesday or Thursday. Because of astronomical evidence, we know Nisan 14 occurred on Monday in AD 31, placing the resurrection on Thursday. We know neither of these two years could be the correct crucifixion and resurrection year due to the fact that the resurrection occurred on “Palm” Sunday. The only two choices within the possible time frame are AD 30 and 33.
Most adherents to an AD 30 crucifixion believe two things are true. First, they believe Tiberius’s reign began when he was coregent with Augustus (before his death) in AD 11-12. Therefore his 15th year would have been in AD 26 or AD 27, so the crucifixion would have occurred in AD 30. The reason they are compelled to believe Tiberius’ reign began when he was coregent is because of the second condition. They also believe the 69 sevens (or 483 years) mentioned in Daniel 9:25 (the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince) began in 458 BC (Artaxerxes’ first decree) and ended in AD 26 with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Therefore Jesus’ death (vs.26) would have occurred three-and-a-half years later in AD 30. They can’t believe Tiberius’s reign began when it actually historically did, in AD 14 (and his 15th year being AD 29), and believe the 458 BC decree is the correct one because that would give you 486 years instead of 483 years (69 sevens). As I said, they are compelled to believe Tiberius’ reign began when he was coregent with Augustus.
I believe the evidence from the Gospels supports a three-and-a-half-year ministry for Jesus. The duration of Jesus’ ministry began in the fall of AD 29 and ended in the spring of AD 33. Jesus was crucified on Nisan 14, AD 33. He was resurrected three days later on Sunday, Nisan 17, AD 33. In regard to Daniel’s 70 sevens prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27), the terminus a quo (start) would be in 445/444 BC when Artaxerxes (in his 20th year) issued a decree to Nehemiah and the Jews “to restore and build Jerusalem” and the terminus ad quem (end) of the 69 sevens of verses 25-26a occurred in AD 33. This amounts to only 476 solar years, but there are several theories as to why this should be considered 69 weeks or sevens. The most popular theory stipulates that the Bible authorizes the use of a “prophetic year” of 360 days. The 360 days are multiplied by 483 years (69 sevens), and the computation comes out at AD 33. This theory was made famous by Sir Robert Anderson. The other theory on the duration of the 69 sevens can be found in my article, The Sixty-Nine Shemitah Years of Daniel's Seventy Weeks Prophecy (rev310.net)
THE LORD’S 2000-YEAR ABSENCE
So, why is it important to know when Jesus was crucified, you might ask? I believe it is important not only because of historical reasons but because of eschatological reasons as well. The “season” (appointed time) of His first advent could be connected to the season of His second advent.
I have given several theoretical examples of possible future timelines for the seven-year Tribulation (70th seven of Daniel 9:24) and Jesus’ 2nd Coming in my article series “In The Midst”- Parts I – V. Based on limited evidence, I believe Part IV In the Midst – Part IV – The Return of the King (rev310.net) has the most merit, with 2026 as the start and 2033 as the finish. Hypothetically, in the year 2033, Jesus will return physically to the earth after a 2,000-year absence since he was crucified in the year AD 33. 2,000 years is as two days for the Lord according to the apostle Peter. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
The Old Testament prophet Hosea had this to say about the subject: “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction, they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days (2,000 years) He will revive us: in the third day (beginning of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus). He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hosea 5:15, 6:1-3). [Emphasis mine]. The latter rain occurs in the spring and represents Jesus’ first advent. The former rain occurs in the fall and represents Jesus’ second advent.
If you believe this view of a day with the Lord is exactly 1000 years (and He will return after a 2000-year absence) and still think AD 30 is the correct year for Jesus’ crucifixion, then the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation will both have to occur in this current year of AD 2023. I suppose we will find out soon enough if this is the case. However, if you find the evidence for an AD 33 crucifixion convincing, then we still have over three and a half years until the start of the Tribulation, and the Rapture could occur any time between now and then. For more details on the Jewish calendar being used in the day of the Lord, see The Jewish Calendar in Daniel’s Seventieth Week (rev310.net).
Jesus’ death, resurrection, and accession (and the start of the Holy Spirit-filled Church) occurred after about 4000 years of recorded history (Masoretic reckoning). See A Chronology of Mankind – 6000 Years of History (rev310.net) for more details. This would be like four days for the LORD. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). Remember what happened on the fourth day of creation. God made the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens. “And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between day and night to mark the seasons (appointed times – “moed”), and days, and years” (Genesis 1:14).
[Emphasis mine]. Jesus said He was the “light of the world” in John 8:12, so it seems appropriate that His first advent occurred after 4 days (4,000 years), at the “appointed time.”
After two more days (2000 years), Jesus will return to the earth to fulfill the prophecies regarding His second coming and His Millennial Kingdom. According to my chronology, we are getting close to completing 6000 years of recorded history for mankind. Wouldn’t it be just like God if Jesus was to return to the earth (second advent) at the end of the sixth day (6000 years)? On the 6th day of creation, God created man. “ Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). How fitting that the ‘Son of Man’ would return after the end of the sixth day (6000 years for the LORD) to defeat His enemies and save the remnant of His creation.
Jesus’ millennial kingdom, the seventh day, will last for 1000 years, thus mankind’s history (before the new heavens and earth are created) will be for 7000 years. The millennial kingdom is a typology of the seventh day, the Sabbath, which comes after the six days of creation (work) and represents “rest.” Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28).
THE 19-YEAR CYCLE
The sun, earth, and moon come back into the same relative position every 19 years—a fact of astronomy. In one lunar month, the moon rotates around the earth. In one solar year, the earth revolves around the sun. But only once in every 19 years do they come back into the same precise conjunction. The Lunar cycle’s precise repetition occurs every 19 years when the Moon returns to exactly the same place (at the same longitude and against the same constellation) in the sky with the same phase, on the same solar calendar day. The Metonic cycle was made famous by Meton of Athens in 432 BC, although ancient civilizations had used it earlier. It is based on the fact that 235 lunations equal 19 tropical years almost exactly – about 6939.5 days. The modern Hebrew calendar is based on this cycle with intercalary months of 30 days added every two or three years to keep it in alignment with the solar calendar.
Example: The New Moon conjunction is when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the moon. The moon is completely dark at this stage and is not visible unless there is a solar eclipse. Let’s look at the first new moon of spring for 2023 and advance in 19-year cycles for the rest of the new moons in the 21st century. The new moon conjunction will occur on March 21, 2023, at 17:23 Universal Time. March 21, 2042 – 17:23 UT. March 21, 2061 – 17:23 UT. March 21, 2080 – 12:07 UT. March 21, 2099 – 22:48 UT.
According to my chronology articles, “Chronology of Mankind: 6000 Years for Mankind – Parts 1-5,” based on the Bible and secular historical records, Adam was created in approximately 3960 BC. This would be year 1 AM (anno mundi – the year of creation). After 19 years, 20 AM (3940 BC), the heavenly sky (moon, sun, stars) looked approximately the same as it did “in the beginning.” The same astronomical conjunction occurred again in 39 AM and 58 AM, etc. Jesus’ second year of ministry began in AD 31 (3990 AM), which is 210 nineteen-year epochs (210 x 19 = 3990) from creation.
Regarding our modern era, AD 1929 (5888 AM) witnessed the New York Stock Market crash, and riots & massacres of Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safed. If you add 19 more years to 1929 you come to 1948, a very historic and prophetic year for Israel. If you add 19 more years to 1948 you come to 1967, when the six-day war was fought and the Old City of Jerusalem was captured and brought under the control of Israel. Three more 19-year periods (57 years) bring you to AD 2024.
The chart below shows how the first-century sky at the “appointed” time of Jesus’ first advent (and a few years past) is in alignment with the twenty-first-century sky, 1995 years later (105 x 19). Could the last seven years (70th) of Daniel’s prophecy (the Tribulation) and Jesus’ second advent be included somewhere within this time frame? Nobody knows for sure, but one thing is certain, Jesus will appear at the appointed time.
1st Century 21st Century
AD 28 AD 2023
AD 29 AD 2024
AD 30 AD 2025
AD 31 AD 2026
AD 32 AD 2027
AD 33 AD 2028
AD 34 AD 2029
AD 35 AD 2030
AD 36 AD 2031
AD 37 AD 2032
AD 38 AD 2033
Note: If you do a search on “Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon” on AstroPixels - Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon for these years you will notice the dates for the different phases of the moon for those particular calendar years in the charts do not match (For example when you compare AD 28 with AD 2023). There are four reasons for this. 1) The earth’s elliptical orbit with the sun as a focus (Kepler’s three laws). 2) The calendar is not consistent as it either has 365 or 366 days (and days and hours) and over several centuries the calendar drifts by a day or two. 3) The 1st-century charts are reckoned by Julian dates and the 21st-century charts are Gregorian. You have to convert to either the proleptic Julian or the proleptic Gregorian calendar. 4) On October 4, 1582, the Julian calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar in most parts of Europe (1752 for the United States). The calendar advanced 10 days (to make up for the discrepancy between the Julian calendar and the astronomical seasons) and the following day became October 15, 1582. The days of the week were not changed.
Basically, there is about a 7 -9 day (average) difference in the dates. However, the lunar cycle comes back into precise conjunction with the solar cycle during these comparative calendar years. God’s heavenly calendar is always correct. It’s man’s calendars that are flawed.
FROM CAPTIVITY TO REGATHERING
The number one sign that we are living in the end times is the establishment of the modern nation of Israel back into the fold of nations/kingdoms of the world which occurred on May 14, 1948. This was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah: “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children” (Isaiah 66:8). During the war that followed Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, Jordan attacked Israel from the east and captured the Old City and Temple precincts.
It wasn’t until the 6-Day War (June 5 – June 11) in 1967 that Israel captured the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and the West Bank that includes East Jerusalem. After 19 years (1948 – 1967) of being a divided city, Jerusalem was once again a united city under the governorship of Israel. These 19 years for Israel and Jerusalem are in stark contrast to the 19 years of judgment that God levied against Judah from 605 to 586 BC. The return of the land of Judah and Jerusalem was prophesied by Jeremiah when he relayed God’s word to the people, “For behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah, says the Lord. And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it“ (Jeremiah 30:3).
From Babylon’s first invasion and captivity of Judah in 605 BC to Israel’s regathering into the land and her rebirth as a modern nation in AD 1948 was 2552 years. From Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BC to Jerusalem becoming a united city under the control of Israel in AD 1967 was 2552 years.
THE 2552-YEAR CYCLE
The first example of the 2552-year cycle is reckoned from 3960/3959 BC (creation/Adam) to 1407/1406 BC when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. See the above link regarding the chronology of mankind and the starting date of creation. It’s possible Adam and Eve could have exited the Garden of Eden (land of promise) sometime in their first year. His descendants from the lineage of Noah, Shem, Abraham, and Jacob (Israel) entered the Promised Land 2552 years later. Redeemed mankind will eventually enter into the Kingdom of God as “children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).
I’ve already mentioned the 2552 years from 606 BC to 1948 BC and 586 BC to 1967 BC. There are also 2552 years from 520 BC, when the second temple resumed construction after a decade of inactivity, to AD 1967 when Israel won the Six-Day War. Also, Jeremiah wrote Lamentations in 580 BC after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. From 580 BC to AD 1973, when the Yom Kippur War was fought, is 2552 years. The 2552 years duration between these examples appears to represent an exodus to a regathering to the Promised Land or from defeat to victory.
THE 490-YEAR CYCLE
We know that 490 is a number that represents spiritual completeness. It is a multiple of 7 (spiritual perfection and finality) and 10 (ordinal completeness). I discussed this in my last article, The Dual Reference Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27: Part III :: By Randy Nettles - Rapture Ready. Although the years 458 BC to AD 33 do not qualify for the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70 sevens prophecy, they are very significant nevertheless. The starting point of these 490 years began with Ezra’s return to Jerusalem in 458 BC to “teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” with regard to the Law of Moses (Mosaic covenant) and to install magistrates and judges. They were also to purchase the necessary animals and grain for sacrifices and offerings. In other words, the decree by Artaxerxes was to restore the Mosaic covenant in the newly built second temple. The end date, resurrection day in AD 33, was when the “new covenant” was confirmed after the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ shedding His holy blood on the cross. The end of Jesus’ first advent on the earth was the start of the new covenant. From that point on, the Holy Spirit would indwell the temple (body) of all believers in Jesus Christ.
Here is an interesting example of the completeness of the number 490. The children of Israel entered the Promised Land in 1406 BC after 40 years of wandering in the desert. When you multiply 490 times 7, the product is 3430 (490 Sabbath years or 70 Jubilees). From 1406/1405 BC to AD 2025/2026 is 3430 years. From 2026 to 2033 is 7 years. Do these years portend anything prophetically for Israel and the rest of the world, such as fulfilling Daniel’s 70th seven and the “great day of God’s wrath” (Revelation 6:17)? Only time will tell, and it’s quickly running out. Of course, there are only three years between now and the beginning of 2026 and four to the end. In this speculative scenario, the pre-tribulation Rapture will have to happen before this time. “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The wait is nearly over, brothers and sisters.
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
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