An Eschatological Spasm: McFall’s Chronology of the Prophetic Weeks of Daniel

Posted By on March 4, 2011

Well, it took the women in ministry issue to drive me back to eschatology :-).

Just kidding.  I was reading through the blog comments tonight and was prompted to see if I could find an alternate source for Leslie McFall’s fascinating article on the chronology of the prophetic weeks of Daniel. It was just published (2009) and I had no way of obtaining it for blog consumption … until now.  Turns out Dr. McFall has a personal website, and he has a copy of the article posted on his site. No doubt a pre-edited version of the one that was published.  So here it is: “Do the 69 Weeks of Daniel Date the Messianic Mission of Nehemiah or Jesus?

McFall has been researching the field of biblical chronology for some time. This is 47 pages of chunky chronological goodness (with incredibly detailed charts — perhaps even mind-numbing). His thesis in this article is that the 69 weeks give us a very precise chronology ending in the time of Nehemiah.

NOTE: This article refers to an earlier article by McFall that dealt with the time of Nehemiah. McFall also has version of that article on his website here.

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12 Responses to “An Eschatological Spasm: McFall’s Chronology of the Prophetic Weeks of Daniel”

  1. Kurt says:

    wow… thanks for the pdfs. I feel like I’ve read 10 different takes on Daniel 9 in the last couple years. What the heck, might as well make it eleven! 😀

  2. Robbie says:

    Hi Mike,
    I was not aware of your recent posts on the matter of woman, ordination of woman in the church, and female church leadership prior to our visit Friday. In light of our conversation, and of the content of your posts, I believe with even greater certainty that the key to the success for the local church is for men to have an environment where they can form deep, abiding spiritually intimate relationships. Jesus initially gave His primary commandment to 11 men. They were the first to hear the idea of a commandment to love one another as He had love them. Strong, abiding, self-sacrificial male friendship.

    These kinds of relationships flourish in humility, which in turn sets the stage for the moving of God’s spirit in renewal. In the Upper Room, the men who had followed Jesus needed to come to grips with their own failures and weaknesses, particularly Peter. For it was not women who had forsaken and abandoned Jesus in His time of need. It was men. Although there were women present, the responsibility and calling to tarry fell to the 12 and the other male disciples who had witnessed Jesus earthly ministry.

    By no means do I endorse or advance a position of absolute patriarchal domination or the full subjugation of women to redeemed or unredeemed men under any and all circumstances. That is an absurdity. Our responsibility, though, as men, is to surrender the defective male ego we have inherited from Adam, and to allow the greater purposes of Jesus to come forth. This will permit a way for the church to regain influence within a largely emasculated post-modern and post-Christian culture.

    The answer is not to ordain women or pursue a course pandering to radical feminist apologetics. The door we must enter is the same one the early disciples did: humble ourselves, become dependent on His Spirit, trust one another man to man, and willingly submit to one another. Only then can we realize and fully claim any sort of spiritual authority, as such authority is only effective when subordinate to Christ.

    I look forward to seeing you again soon. Our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

  3. Cris Putnam says:

    One of the main problems I have with these sorts of interpretions is, “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” seems to match up with the events of 70 AD.

  4. Erasmus says:

    To all,

    Wading through the former (14…count’em) blogs/ responses on Eschatology cheating (and how little it is material to our “walk”), it comes to mind that there was a great fixation on what Christendom calls the “great commission” and this fairly skews the discussion regarding the “church” (meaning the Christian variety) in the “last days”. Mike used it a lot to show dispensationalism’s dark side (and I would agree with a lot of what he said), but disagree that it was addressed to the Christian church. In true dispys fashion (at least in principle) Jesus did not know what God had up His proverbial sleeve; it was a secret (musterion). That being said, there are many angles that should be looked at here; the first being “to whom it was addressed”. Then there is the, “why (if it was addressed to the Christian church) did that very body NOT carry out the Lord’s baptizing command in Matthew 28: 19?
    If we discuss the eschaton (without Jesus’ knowledge of the coming Christian church), then some of his comments about the sooness of his reappearance make much more sense and dispys (and others) don’t have to fabricate theological horse-apple reasons for them. There is some reason to look more closely then at the pre-mil reason for the last seven (7) years of Daniel’s prophetic timetable (from their perspective).

    Random thoughts: All this talk about the Church = Kingdom and how no one thinks that Jesus is not on the “throne” yet; I don’t think he is…yet. Right hand of the Father, yes (a million references here), but given his kingdom yet…hell no (see Daniel 7: 13, 14). And I know Mike tried to prove it with the Colossians record where he “HAS” transferred us (meaning we’re in the kingdom…, but one can look at this in a different way than was explained. Yes, it’s aorist verbs and yes, it means that we WERE delivered and WERE transferred into the Kingdom, but we were also “SAVED”(there are many references here, but look at Titus 3:5 for an example) and that isn’t a full reality yet; it’s promised. The “already/ not yet” or “now/ not” yet theological viewpoint is quite valid regarding the kingdom. Further, I’m not with the whole “kingdom not being of this world (cosmos)” equaling Mike’s “simply means the kingdom isnt’ a human kingdom”; that was a theological stretch too. Kingdom discussions might be an interesting blog topic Mike.

  5. Erasmus says:

    And another thing…or two…
    The fixation on 70 CE as the point at which Jesus’ remarks (and other prophets, BTW) were focused. Poppycock if you’re a real dispensationalist. No total destruction there so why shoehorn the thing into your theology?
    Then there’s Hebrews 8:13 and what the date above does to it – “in the saying ‘new,’ he has made the first (covenant) old, and what is becoming obsolete and is growing old is nigh disappearing.” Notice all those participles, “is becoming old” and “is growing old”? Hebrews MUST have been written before the Temple was razed, they say. Or can we speculate that, if it was written afterward we still have the other covenant hanging in there? What if the old covenant wasn’t done away with entirely (a dispy position can apply here, BTW)? What if this fits right in that transitional language that the intercalation represents (things like “first fruit of the spirit” in Romans 8: 23)?
    And the dating of the Apocalypse; I come from the “old school” (early 20th Century Semitists) that sees a substrate of Hebrew/ Aramaic behind that book and date it much earlier (circa 48 CE) and still I’m a dispy. Why should a non-chronological view of this book be an impediment to a “future view” (cf. – MH – “Those who see Revelation as future prophecy assume the book is to be read straight through as a linear chronology.”). That’s not true at all.

    • MSH says:

      I don’t believe I’ve affirmed or denied a single thing in your post. In my series I was trying to point out what the arguments are on various sides. I honestly don’t care about the subject enough to take a position.

  6. Dax says:

    I really liked McFall’s approach. It made much sense to me both in the text itself and in context.

    His weakness, to me (and perhaps I’m missing something), is in the last week (the 70th year). What is that? He doesn’t really address it as clearly as the first 69 years (fitting Nehemiah, if Nehemiah had a first governorship prior to Nehemiah 1). I’m still left with, then, a gap to Antiochus. But that doesn’t fit into just 1 year. Its not enough to make the whole thing fall, but it is unsatisfactory in light of how well he’s fit the rest in. Again, it is possible I’m missing something, it is a new view to me.

    Doesn’t do away with the incredible revelation to Daniel about Nehemiah… or with the shadow of the future Messiah that remains behind this… but I still wish for a nice white bow around the whole thing… I know, idealistic. I’m waiting for heaven.

    Thanks, Mike, for all this posting.

    • MSH says:

      I actually have this on the slate to re-read this weekend. I’ll be utilizing some of it in my novel sequel, so I’m thrashing it around in my head again.

  7. Douglas Kent says:

    To whom it may concern

    I would like to state something about Daniel’s prophecy. This prophecy points out the date of this Christ’s death. Daniel’s prophecy starts in Artaxerxes 20th year, 445BC minus 69X7 = 483 years, = 38AD = Christ dies aged 40 years. If you add 483 years to 445BC you simply get 928BC for the start of Jeroboam over Israel. Jeroboam starts 928BC minus Ezekiel’s 390 years = 538BC = Israel stops sinning and released from Babylon.

    Leslie McFall, who I write to often has my work on my New Biblical Chronology. I can say at this time my work on a new chronology has not only upset Leslie, but also David Rohl and Kitchen, all have my work on this chronology and they simply do not know what to do with it. You can contact me for more information by writing to:


    • MSH says:

      I’m just not interested. I used to be into biblical chronology until I released the inherent ambiguities of all of it. I also doubt very much that the people you cite are unable to respond. They have their views and have moved on. I won’t be posting your disagreement to that assessment unless you forward me the emails you’ve had with them that say “this just blows my view away – I don’t have a response.” I’ve learned over the years to ask for proof to such things, and this is no exception.

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