An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 161 of 304
The parallel between the prayer of Daniel here, and the prayer of
Nehemiah, after he, too, had heard about the desolation of the city, is too
marked to be accidental.  Nehemiah heard that:
'The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province 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).
The commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem was given by
Artaxerxes in his twentieth year, and from this date the 'seven sevens' of
Daniel 9:25 begin.  Forty -nine years, i.e. 'seven weeks', after, namely 405
b.c., the temple was dedicated, and the remaining sixty and two sevens ran
their course.
This command to build the walls of the city must not be confounded with
the subsequent proclamation of Cyrus, 'to build an house at Jerusalem' (Ezra
1:1 -4).  Cyrus was the son of the Artaxerxes who gave the command to build
Jerusalem as recorded in Nehemiah 2, and the son of Esther, who married that
king, as recorded in the book of Esther.  Esther cannot come after Ezra and
Nehemiah chronologically, for the people were then restored to Jerusalem,
whereas Haman describes captive Israel as:
'A certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in
all the provinces of thy kingdom' (Esther 3:8).
Again, in Esther 10:3, Mordecai is found 'seeking the wealth of his
people, and speaking peace to all his seed', thus preparing the way for the
emancipation of the Jews which should be proclaimed by the son of Esther,
Cyrus.  If we keep these two proclamations separate, remembering that one was
the command to build Jerusalem, with a few feeble Jews, the other the
permission to build the temple, we shall avoid serious chronological,
prophetic and dispensational mistakes.
Until the wall was built, and the temple was dedicated, Israel were
looked upon as lo -ammi, and prophetic periods were not reckoned.  From 405
b.c., however, prophetic time was resumed, and 434 years out of the 490 years
of Daniel 9 were fulfilled.  Israel were not set aside at the crucifixion,
but at Acts 28, and the Acts of the Apostles occupies some thirty -five
years, using up five more of the sevens yet to run.  At Acts 28, the
prophetic clock again stopped and will not be set going again until the
dispensation of the Mystery closes.  Then the closing days which usher in the
day of the Lord will occupy the remaining three sevens, the last 'week' being
the one concerning which both Daniel and the Revelation speak, for in the
midst of this week, the Beast will break the covenant made with Israel, the
three and a half years of persecution will begin, to be ended only with the
Advent of the Lord.  Detailed proofs of this, the reader will find in the
article entitled Seventy Weeks9.
From gold to clay, a process of deterioration
The English word 'clay' is cognate with 'clog' and 'cleave', and is
used of any earth which possesses sufficient ductility when kneaded with
water to be fashioned by hand or lathe.  The proverbial statement which
speaks of an idol having 'feet of clay' is evidently borrowed from Daniel 2