will see that your Bible clear says: the statement above is wrong.
Adventist church, as many
others, teaches that the commandment to restore Jerusalem was
received by Ezra in the 7th year of the government of Artaxerxes I in
457BC. From this year, despite of the principle of the prophetical time (p. 2),
the church begins to count 69 weeks as 483 years (we will discuss the 69 weeks
later) and comes to 27AD the year when supposedly Jesus was baptized
However 27AD doesn't have a proper base. Luke clearly said (3:1-2) that John
Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.
Tiberius became Caesar in 14AD, thus his 15-th year was 29AD.
That means Jesus could be baptized not earlier than 29AD. Bible said,
that John the Baptist began his ministry in 29AD, it doesn’t say that Jesus
was baptized in the same year - 29AD.
fact, when Jesus came to Jordan to be baptized,
John already was well known by “Jerusalem,
and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan”
(Mat.3:5: Mark 1:5), so it’s more likely that he was preaching more than a
couple months (nobody knows, which day Luke was counting as a beginning of the
year. At that time several calendars were aligned to start on the
birthday of Augustus, 23 September http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_year_(calendar)
And if it would be so, 29AD would just begin).
Adventists teach that 27AD
was the fifteenth year of Tiberius’ principality: for he was two years joint
emperor, previously to the death of Augustus, thus they teach 15th year of his government was in fact 27AD. Nevertheless an attentive study of the time of the
government of Augustus will clearly show the short time (less than 2 years),
when Tiberius was openly recognized by Augustus
as his successor and was allowed to Senate was not actually the time of
his co-governing: he did not issue laws and did not incur any responsibility for
wasn't a leader, he couldn't speak neither to the people, nor to Senate.
Augustus had approached him to himself because Tiberius wasn't a competitor for
him, the emperor didn't afraid that Tiberius would withdraw the respect of
Augustus' subjects to himself. Until his death Augustus had remained in good
mind and memory, in the year of his death he had recorded all his victories,
which he had achieved during his life ("The Deeds of the Divine
Augustus"). August had no needs for assistants.
the selfish and proud governor, who had realized well his merits in the
strengthening of the empire, it was pleasant to him, when the people had seen
the contrast between him, the old, but the wise leader and bright person, and
the future governor, the savage, recluse and suspicious man as Tiberius was.
Nobody perceived Tiberius as the governor of the empire at that time.
after Augustus' death Tiberius wasn't ready to accept the responsibility for the
empire. According to The
Annals of Tacitus, being very uncertain he had asked Senate, whether he can
take under the control only a some part of the empire. Senate answered,
that the empire can not be divided, and it has to be controlled by a one mind.
successor, not by blood but by Cesar’s own choice, Augustus completely
satisfied expectations of Roman people. As the first Roman emperor
he organized provincial government and the army, rebuilt Rome, and patronized
the arts and letters. His rule began a long period (200 years) of peace and
prosperity, called the Pax
Augustus (or Pax Romana). What he had done for empire was so great that it
seemed impossible for a human to do that, therefore many considered him as god
and worshipped him even after his death.
the time when Augustus was alive, Tiberius was only a shadow of the leader, the
Senate, and especially masses never perceived him as a governor of the empire,
while August was alive. Luke could not attribute to Tiberius' government the
last 2 years of Augustus by any means. That is why 29-th AD, not 27-th was the
year, when John the Baptist began to preach, and Jesus could come to him in 29
AD or later.
there is not logical
sequences of events in the traditional explanation of the prophecy. See by
yourself: the temple was built, then the city of Jerusalem, then the city wall.
From the mentioned books we know, how many enemies, who tried to prevent Jews from rebuilding the temple, the Jews had around. Their neighbor nations were
dangerous for the Jews. There was no way for the Jews to rebuild the temple and
the city without rebuilding the city wall first. The city wall had no an
esthetic propose but the defensive one. It had to be rebuild first.
lets work with these books step by step.
history we know, that in 539BC Cyrus II (559-521BC) conquered Babylon and gave
the commandment to rebuilt the temple (Ezra 1:1-3). At Cyrus’ government, in
539-538 BC, the first Jews went from their captivity to Jerusalem and
Judah cities with Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8,11), the governor (Ezra 5:14), who first
put foundations of the temple (Ezra 5:16).
was Sheshbazzar, not Zerubbabel, who had received silver and gold from Cyrus
(Ezra 1:8). The name of Sheshbazzar wasn’t mentioned in the list of people,
who came with Zerubbabel, because Sheshbazzar led another group of, the very
second exodus occurred later with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2), the governor
(Hag.1:14). When they came and began to build the city of Jerusalem the neighbor
nations wrote the letter to king Artaxerxes I with a complaint on Jews, they
said in it: ““Be it known unto the king, that the
Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the
rebellious and the bad city, and have
set up the walls thereof, and joined the
foundations” (Ezra 4:12).
So, when exodus with Zerubbabel had occurred? In the government of Artaxerxes I
(465-424BC). What did people of Zerubbabel begin to do first? They began to fix
the walls and lay foundations.
says that in the second year of their return (Ezra 3:8) the foundations of the
temple were laid (Ezra 3:10). As we know Sheshbazzar already put a foundations
of the temple (Ezra 5:16). It just
means that too many years gone after Sheshbazzar put the foundations that it was
partially destroyed and probably it wasn’t even finished “So
this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem.
From that day to the present it has been under construction but is not yet
finished.” (Ezra 5:16), because
of a strong opposition from their neighbors the Jews met.
(or Tirshatha 1:1;10:1) was a very rich and respectful person (Neh.7:70). At
first he came to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel’s group (Neh.7:7; Ezra 2:2) and
together with priest Ezra he participated in the Feast of tabernacles
(Neh.8:9,17), which they didn’t have “since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun”
(Neh.8:1,17). The feast was held in seventh month (Ezra 3:4,6) in the first year of
Zerubbabel’s return to Jerusalem (Ezra 3:6,8). After that Nehemiah return to
Babylon to continue his work as the Artaxerxes’s I
about 10 years later (we will discuss this time period later) when he was in
Shushan (Neh.1:1 indicates that Nehemiah wasn’t staying in one place all these
years), he heard that people who went to Jerusalem are “in
great affliction and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and
the gates thereof are burned with fire” (Neh.1:3). Nehemiah was very
upset (1:3), because he was with Zerubabel’ people, when they fixed the walls.
It were probably neighbor tribes, who were against rebuilding of Jerusalem
and who burned the gates.
In the 20th year of the reign of the king
Artaxerxes I (ruled from 465 to 424BC) Nehemiah asked the king the permission to
go to the city of his forefathers and built it. The king sent Nehemiah to build
the city (Neh.2:1,5,6) and gave him a wood for building the city wall and
gates of Jerusalem (2:8). Nehemiah didn’t say that it was the commandment
to rebuilt the city, more likely it was just an answer to his request.
the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day
shall the decree be far
removed”– said the prophet
The wall was built despite
of all troubles (Neh.4:16,17),
despite of the threat of an assassination of
Nehemiah (6:10) in 52 days (6:15). Only after the wall was finished it became possible to built something inside of Jerusalem without of a death threat from
said: “Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us
build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach” (2:17).
Thus, Jerusalem was empty until the wall was built.
The construction of the city
wall always was a priority.
time of Nehemiah Jerusalem “was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded” (Neh.7:4).
commandment to rebuild Jerusalem was given by Nehemiah as the governor
(Neh.5:14) when city walls were built. Thus the commandment to rebuild
the city of Jerusalem was given by Nehemiah in the same 20th year of the
reign of the king Artaxerxes I, in
446BC. If it would be Ezra, who received the commandment to rebuilt Jerusalem 14
years before Nehemiah’s time (as it accepted in today’s teaching), there would
be some houses already built in the city.
The wrong conclusion that Nehemiah's time was after the time of Ezra and
the city and the temple were already rebuilt before Nehemiah came , probably was
made because Bible tells that there was the temple of God in Jerusalem in the
time of Nehemiah (Neh.6:10). However, in that time even
the place where the temple was before was called the house of God.
Thus, the altar was built in the
first year of the coming of Zerubbabel’ group (Ezra3:1,2,6,8), in the seventh
month. In the same seventh month (Neh.9:1) they “cast
the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our
God” (10:34). So there was only an altar, but the place was called the house of God.
said : “ Now in the second year of their coming unto
the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel .. and
Jeshua .. and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites.. to set
forward the work of the house of the LORD… the
foundation of the house of the LORD was laid” (3:8,11). Thus the
place was called house of God even when the house did not have a foundation.
There was no temple of God in Jerusalem
in Nehemiah’s time. Bible says that Artaxerxes I stopped all work on the
temple, and the work had not continue until the 2nd year of the government of
Darius (Ezra 4:24). If the temple was already built when Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, then how he would stop the work on the temple?
Besides of the
Artaxerxes’ commandment to stop the works on the temple Ezra mentioned a help
of Artaxerxes I in rebuilding of the temple
(Ezra 6:14) also. It lead to the confusion: did he stop rebuilding or did
he help with that? The king stopped the work on the temple, but allowed Nehemiah
to built the courts of the house of God (Neh. 2:8 “the palace of the
temple”; 13:7). It was a fortress inside of the place of the temple,
where the altar was, called the house of God. The temple was not built yet.
The temple was restored when all people of Jerusalem already had their
own houses (Hagg.1:4,9), but in
Nehemiah’s time houses were not built yet
(Neh.7:4). Thus, contrary to the traditional teaching, the temple could not be
built before Nehemiah’s time.
the chapter 4 Ezra described the troubles of the rebuilding of the temple the
Jews went through from the beginning of the exodus from Babylon until the time
Read carefully this chapter.
Jews had a strong opposition from their neighbors (Ezra 4:5): “all
the days of Cyrus (Cyrus II from the exit out of Babylon in 538BC till
521BC)… even until the reign of Darius (Darius
the reign of son of Darius I – Ahasuerus (486-465BC) there was the accusation
against Jews (Ezra 4:6), it happened in the same time when the king gave the
order to cause to perish all Jews in
his kingdom (Esther 3:7,13).
that Artaxerxes (Artaxerxes I 465-424BC)
stopped all works on the temple, and the work was “ceased
undo the second year of the reign of Darius” (Ezra 4:7,21,24). This was
Darius II, he reigned from 424 until 404BC.
Thus, in the second year of the government of Darius II (Ezra 5:5)
in 423BC “the
Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel…and the spirit of Josua …and they
came and did the work in the house of the Lord….in the second year of Darius
the king” (Haggai 1:14-15). Zechariah (4:9) said : “The
hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also
finish it” (The Jews actually considered that Zerubbabel not
Sheshbazzar had laid the foundation of the temple, because it was almost nothing
left from the first foundation and it wasn't even finished: “since
that time even until now hath it been in building and yet it is not finished”
we see, if Zerubbabel would come to Jerusalem in 538BC, as it is accepted to
consider today, in the times of Darius II, after 116 years, he, certainly, would
be dead already.
When it was reported to
king Darius II, that Jews have begun to build a temple according to the
commandment of the king Cyrus, Darius ordered
to find that commandment in the king's treasure house (Ezra 5:17, 6:1).
And only when he received the document with Cyrus' order in it he issued the
decree to continue a reconstruction of the temple. Cyrus II the Great was the legendary Persian king, and all his decrees were authoritative for each
subsequent king. Therefore Jews bravely referred to the Cyrus' decree even in
that time when other kings reigned. Thus people of Zarubbabel told their
neighbors about the Cyrus’ decree at
the time of the governing of Artaxerxes I (Ezra 4:3).
In the 6th year of the reign of Darius II (Ezra 6:15) the house of the Lord was
finished. So, the temple was rebuilt in 419BC.