If, as I believe, the Wise Men of Luke 2 were Babylonian disciples of the prophet Daniel, did they ascertain the timing of Messiah’s birth by studying Daniel 9? I believe it’s possible.
The last part of Daniel 9 is one of the most important and pivotal passages in all the Bible regarding the Great Tribulation and the return of Christ. It’s the famous passage about the seventy weeks, or the seventy periods of seven. Daniel 9:25 says:
Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One (literally, the Messiah), the ruler, comes, there will be seven “sevens” and sixty-two “sevens.” It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two “sevens,” the Anointed One (literally, the Messiah) will be put to death….
When Daniel received this prophecy, his city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. It was rubble. It has been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. But Daniel was told that a decree would shortly be issued to rebuild Jerusalem, and that decree would start a sequence of events. The clock would start ticking. There would be seven periods of seven years, followed by sixty-two periods of seven years. So here’s a little chart.
7 x 7 years = 49 years
62 x 7 years = 434 years
434 + 49 = 483 years
So Daniel predicted that one of the Gentile rulers would issue a decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and 483 years later the Anointed One, the Messiah, would come into the city and be put to death.
There are various ways of calculating this, but here’s the simple version: The order to rebuild Jerusalem was issued by King Artaxerxes in the book of Nehemiah. And 483 years later, Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem. Hundreds of years in advance, the book of Daniel predicted that the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt, that the Messiah would enter it, that He would be put to death, and that it would happen 483 years after the decree to rebuild the city.
If the Magi were the spiritual descendants of Daniel, they might have had a powerful clue as to the general time of Messiah’s birth, which would have heightened their interest in the Star of Bethlehem.
People who are truly wise know the Signs of the Times.