A remarkable prophecy pinpoints the time of the Messiah:
Daniel 9:25-26: “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: . . . And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.”
The starting point of this prophecy is the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. The only decree that fits is in Nehemiah 2:1, where King Artaxerxes Longimanus grants the request of Nehemiah to have the city rebuilt. The time period is given in verse 1: “In the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king.”
According to Smith and Eastman, the Hebrew tradition says that if the day of the month is not specifically given, then it means the first day of that month or, in this case, the first day of Nisan. This date of the decree of Artaxerxes corresponds to March 14, 445 B.C. The date indicated for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem above has been verified by astronomical calculations at the British Royal Observatory.
Many ancient calendar years were 360 days in length, including the biblical calendar years. According to Anderson, the length of the biblical prophetic year was also 360 days, from the internal evidence of the Bible itself. Therefore, for the prophetic calendar Jews used 360-day years. So how long would sixty-nine weeks of years be? It would be 69 x 7 years x 360 days = 483 years, or 173,880 days. This is the duration of the prophecy, the time between prediction and fulfillment.
The endpoint is the coming of the “Messiah the Prince.” The Hebrew word for “prince” is nagid, which actually means “king.” Now in the Gospels, on many occasions, people tried to take Jesus and make Him king by force. He did not allow that to happen until on a particular day, during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem ( now called Palm Sunday), four days before His crucifixion.
Can scriptural clues help us determine this date? In the Gospel of Luke, Luke informs us of the start of John the Baptist’s ministry: “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. . .the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:1, 2). In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, John the Baptist began his ministry. According to Anderson, Tiberius Caesar began to reign in August of 14 A.D. So the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar would have been 28 A.D. (the year Tiberius’s fifteenth year began, his first year beginning August of 14 A.D.), with Jesus beginning His ministry in the fall of that year. Most scholars agree there were four Passovers and three and a half years in Jesus’ ministry and that He was crucified on the last of those four Passovers. This would correspond to the year 32 A.D., on the fourteenth of Nisan. This was equivalent to April 10, 32 A.D., and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem would therefore be dated April 6, 32 A.D. (the tenth of Nisan).
So how does the data compare? We determined above that the beginning date for the prophecy was March 14, 445 B.C., that the length of time was 173,880 days and that the endpoint of the prophecy was April 6, 32 A.D. So how many days are actually between March 14, 445 B.C., and April 6, 32 A.D.?
From March 14, 445 B.C., to March 14, 32 A.D., is 476 years (remember: there is no year 0). That is 476 years x 365 days/year = 173,740 days. Leap year days need to be added, and they don’t occur in century years unless divisible by 400, so we must add 3 fewer leap year days in four centuries, which equals 116 total additional days. From March 14 to April 6 is an additional 24 days. So the total days = 173,740 + 116 + 24 = 173,880 days!! The exact number of days!! Coincidence?! Or an amazing demonstration that God is able to see the beginning from the end and that the inspirer of this prophecy indeed can see outside the time domain? Surely this has to be one of the most remarkable prophecies of the Bible..
 Smith and Eastman, Search for Messiah, 1996, 105-106.
 Sir Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, 1957, 124