“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven[a] will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times. “After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end. The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.” Daniel 9:25-27
The 490 years can be hard to understand. If we look at it as a ballgame that should last an hour, the clock does not start until the ball is in play. An hour’s game can last four hours. We need to remember that these 490 years only apply to Israel. There will be three periods during the 490 years. The first period is 49 years. During this period, the Jews will rebuild the city of Jerusalem in troubled times. The key here is the date of the decree. This is not the decree of Cyrus in 538 BC permitting the Jews to return and rebuild the Temple. “In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom.” (Ezra 1:1) This was in 445 BC when Artaxerxes authorized Nehemiah to return and rebuild the walls.
The second period, Gabriel affirmed that 483 years are involved from the giving of the decree to the coming of the Anointed one, Jesus Christ. But the Anointed One will not be allowed to rule, the people will cry out, “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.” (John 19:15) “He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” (John 1:11) This speaks of His rejection by the Jewish nation and His crucifixion as a criminal, turned over to the Roman authorities. He died for the sins of the world, including the sins of the Jewish nation. Jesus arose from the dead and returned to heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to empower His people to bear witness to the whole world, but the Jews persecuted the church.