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The Artaxerxes Theorem

A common miscalculation by the pretribulation and Preteristic persuasions places the starting point for the seven weeks segment of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy in the year 445 BC.

This date coincides with the approximate date King Artaxerxes issued an edict from his throne to bless and help the Israelites in whatever manner possible to finance the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:7–28).

From this start date, an attempt is made to calculate the 483 combined years of the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks segments of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel prophecy and then somehow bring the time line to the end at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Good luck with that…

The primary reason given for starting on this date comes from a slightly mistaken conjecture. It is asserted the Cyrus Decree did not contain provisions for rebuilding the city of Jerusalem itself, the temple, or its walls.

According to proponents for the Artaxerxes Theorem, King Cyrus only commanded the Israelites to rebuild the temple and not the city or walls.

Even if this had been accurate, major problems develop when beginning the Seventy Weeks of Daniel timeline with the date of 445 BC.

To simplify and reveal this error, merely add the years from 445 BC to AD 32. The sum equals 477 years.

This does not take into account the fact Jesus was born in approximately 3 BC. Nor does it seem to matter that the figure must equal at least 483 years before it can be remotely correct.

Oops! I guess they were counting on us not being able to count?


Bear in mind, there is a reasonable level of certainty Jerusalem’s wall was completed in 437 BC. And!

Contrary to prophetic fulfillment, the entire building project for the wall and streets was not completed during a period synonymous with troublesome times (Daniel 9:25).

The prophetic guidelines to fulfill Daniel 9:25b states and requires “… the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.”

This interpretive element cannot be fulfilled with a start-date of 445 BC.

With Jerusalem, the temple, and the walls being rebuilt between the dates of 536 BC and 437 BC, this time line aligns with a period recognized as trouble and upheaval for Israel.

Aside from the fact 2 Chronicles 36:14–23 also supports the period starting in 538 BC, the 445 BC starting point is just not tenable, since Isaiah 44:28 clearly states, “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid”’” (NKJV).

Even if the Cyrus Decree did not include one of these factors, God’s Word does.

Let God’s Word stand true and all others be found “presumptuous”?

You know where to get all the right answers for the coming End Times, right?

Have a blessed day!