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70 Weeks Prophecy (Part 7) - Dan 9:25 (Part B)

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A. The following is my case from the scripture that Dan 9:25 refers to the decree of Cyrus.
i. In the first year of his reign, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation that the Jews were to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezr 1:1-4; 2Ch 36:22-23).
ii. Opponents of the decree of Cyrus claim that Cyrus only decreed that the house of God be built in Jerusalem, not the city, the wall, and the street as Dan 9:25 prophesied.

iii. Though it is not recorded that Cyrus' proclamation included rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, it can be concluded by reasoning from the scriptures.

a. It was prophesied that Cyrus would command that Jerusalem would be built (Isa 44:28).
(i) If God said that Cyrus would say to Jerusalem "thou shalt be built", then Cyrus said to Jerusalem "thou shalt be built."
(ii) God again prophesied of Cyrus (Isa 45:1) that "he shall build my city (build Jersusalem), and he shall let go my captives (restore Jerusalem)" (Isa 45:13).
(iii) If the Lord said Cyrus would do it, then Cyrus did it! (Isa 46:9-10)
(iv) The decree of Cyrus which is recorded in Ezr 1:1-4 and 2Ch 36:22-23 was not the entire decree that Cyrus made because the decree (or at least part of it) was found and read in Ezr 6:1-5 which included a lot more information than was recorded in Ezr 1:1-4 and 2Ch 36:22-23.
(v) Since Ezra didn't record the entire decree in Ezr 1:1-4, there is no proof that he included the entire decree in Ezr 6:3-5 either, though more of it was included in chapter 6 than chapter 1.
(vi) Therefore, since the entire decree was not recorded in Ezr 1:1-4, it is logical to conclude that Cyrus' decree included a commandment to rebuild Jerusalem just as God said that it would in Isa 44:28.

b. Furthermore, in order for the Jews to return and build the temple in Jerusalem (Ezr 1:3), they would have to dwell in Jerusalem which means that Jerusalem would have to be built.
(i) They built houses when they returned to Jerusalem before they built the temple (Hag 1:4).
(ii) They built the wall of Jerusalem when they returned to Jerusalem to rebuild it at Cyrus' commandment (Dan 9:25 c/w Ezr 4:12 c/w Ezr 9:9).
1. The wall was part of the city that Cyrus commanded them to build (Isa 44:28; Isa 45:13).
2. It would have been necessary to build the wall to protect the city while they rebuilt it and the temple.
(iii) They also built streets in Jerusalem at the commandment of Cyrus (Dan 9:25 c/w Ezr 10:9 c/w Isa 44:28).

c. The street and the wall were built during troublous times (Dan 9:25).
(i) This happened after Cyrus made his decree in the days of Ezra when the Jews rebuilt the city and the temple.
(ii) The people of the land "troubled them in building" (Ezr 4:4).
(iii) They gave them legal trouble to try to stop the building program (Ezr 4:5-24).

iv. Proponents of the decree of Artaxerses Longanimus argue that the enemies of the Jews accused them of trying to the rebuild the city which caused the suspension of the building of the temple for a period of time (Eza 4:11-24), and had the Jews only been building the temple, there would have been no authority to stop it since the decrees of the Medo-Persian kings could not be altered (Est 8:8; Dan 6:8).

a. This argument is flawed for the following reasons:

(i) First of all, notice that the enemies of the Jews "hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia" (Ezr 4:4-5).
1. However, they did not write a letter to Babylon trying to get the building of the city stopped until the beginning of the reign of king Ahasuerus (Ezr 4:6) after Cyrus was dead.
2. It appears that Ahasuerus was another name for Artaxerxes to whom they wrote the letter (Ezr 4:7, 11) - see Matthew Henry on Ezra 4:6-16.
3. If Cyrus' decree only gave them permission to build the temple, but not to build the city, then why didn't they write the letter to Cyrus complaining that the Jews were rebuilding the city?
4. They didn't write the letter to Cyrus because he was the one who made the decree for them to build Jerusalem (Isa 44:28).
5. Thus they waited until Cyrus was no longer king to write to king Ahasuerus to complain about the Jews rebuilding Jerusalem.

(ii) Secondly, the enemies of the Jews did not give as a reason that the decree of Cyrus only included a decree to rebuild the temple but not the city.
1. In fact they never mentioned Cyrus' decree at all in their letter.
2. Their argument was that the former city of Jerusalem was a rebellious city, and if it was allowed to be rebuilt it would be harmful to the king because they would not pay tribute (Ezr 4:11-16).
3. They wanted the king Artaxerxes to search through the records to find that the former city was a rebellious city (Ezr 4:15), not to search through the records to find Cyrus' decree and see that it only made mention of rebuilding the temple, not the city (which is not true - see above).
4. The king had the records searched and found that Jerusalem had been a rebellious city and therefore ordered that the rebuilding of the city stop (Ezr 4:17-21).
5. The result of the king's commandment to stop the rebuilding of the city resulted in the rebuilding of the temple to be stopped (Ezr 4:23-24).
6. The king made no mention of the decree of Cyrus because search was not made for it, and he apparently knew nothing about it.
7. If king Artaxerxes knew about the decree of Cyrus he would have been explicit in his order that the building of the temple was to continue because the decree of Cyrus could not be altered.

(iii) The Jews then began to work on the temple again, and when they were questioned about it they sent a letter to king Darius and asked him to make a search for the decree of Cyrus (Ezr 5:17).
1. The king found the decree of Cyrus and gave them permission to resume rebuilding the temple (Ezr 6:1-12).
2. It is obvious that the reason that king Artaxerxes commanded that the rebuilding of the city cease in Ezra 4 is because he knew nothing of the decree of Cyrus that authorized it.

v. The proclamation (Ezr 1:1), decree (Ezr 6:3), and commandment (Ezr 6:14) of Cyrus was the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (Dan 9:25 c/w Ezr 1:1-3 c/w Ezr 6:3, 14 c/w Isa 44:28).
a. Commandment n. - 1. An authoritative order or injunction; a precept given by authority.
b. Decree n. - 1. An ordinance or edict set forth by the civil or other authority; an authoritative decision having the force of law.
(i) Ordinance n. - 7. An authoritative direction, decree, or command; in more restricted sense, a public injunction or rule of narrower scope, less permanent nature, or less constitutional character than a law or statute, as a decree of a sovereign, an enactment of a municipal or other local body, etc.
(ii) Edict n. - 1. That which is proclaimed by authority as a rule of action; an order issued by a sovereign to his subjects; an ordinance or proclamation having the force of law
c. Proclamation n. - 1. The action of proclaiming; the official giving of public notice.
d. Proclaim v. - 1. trans. To make official announcement of (something), by word of mouth in some public place; also, to cause this to be done by officers or agents. The object may be a n. or clause.