This part of the prophecy being therefore not yet fulfilled, I shall not attempt a particular interpretation of it, but content myself with observing, that as the seventy and the sixty two weeks were Jewish weeks, ending with sabbatical years; so the seven weeks are the compass of the Jubilee, and begin and end with actions proper for a Jubilee, and of the highest nature for which a Jubilee can be kept: and that since the commandment to return and to build Jerusalem, precedes the Messiah the Prince 49 years; it may perhaps come forth not from the Jews themselves, but from some other kingdom friendly to them, and precede their return from captivity, and give occasion to it; and lastly, that this rebuilding of Jerusalem and the waste places of Judah is predicted in Micah 7:11. Amos 9:11, 14. Ezekiel 36:33, 35, 36, 38. Isaiah 54:3, 11, 12. 55:12. 61:4. 65:18, 21, 22. and Tobit 14:5. and that the return from captivity and coming of the Messiah and his kingdom are described in Daniel 7 Revelation 19 Acts 1 Matthew 24 Joel 3 Ezekiel 36, 37. Isaiah 60, 62. 63, 65. and 66:and many other places of scripture. The manner I know not. Let time be the Interpreter.
Yet threescore and two weeks shall it return, and the street be built and the wall, but in troublesome times: and after the threescore and two weeks the Messiah shall be cut off, and it shall not be his; but the people of a Prince to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, &c. Having foretold both comings of Christ, and dated the last from their returning and building Jerusalem; to prevent the applying that to the building Jerusalem by Nehemiah, he distinguishes this from that, by saying that from this period to the Anointed shall be, not seven weeks, but threescore and two weeks, and this not in prosperous but in troublesome times; and at the end of these weeks the Messiah shall not be the Prince of the Jews, but be cut off; and Jerusalem not be his, but the city and sanctuary be destroyed. Now Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in the 20th year of this same Artaxerxes, while Ezra still continued there, Nehemiah 12:36, and found the city lying waste, and the houses and wall unbuilt, Nehemiah 2:17. 7:4, and finished the wall the 25th day of the month Elul, Nehemiah 6:15, in the 28th year of the King, that is, in September in the year of the Julian Period 4278. Count now from this year threescore and two weeks of years, that is 434, years, and the reckoning will end in September in the year of the Julian Period 4712 which is the year in which Christ was born, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, Irenaeua, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, Orosius, Cassiodorus, and other ancients.; and this was the general opinion, till Dionysius Exiguus invented the vulgar account, in which Christ’s birth is placed two years later. If with some you reckon that Christ was born three or four years before the vulgar account, yet his birth will fall in the latter part of the last week, which is enough. How after these weeks Christ was cut off, and the city and sanctuary destroyed by the Romans, is well known.