In 1894, Robert Anderson was Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard, the headquarters of Britain’s national police force. It was in this year that his most well-known work was published for the first time: Coming Prince, The (Sir Robert Anderson Library Series). In this book, Anderson used his extensive investigative powers to confirm perhaps the most remarkable prophecy in all the Bible. When he retired a few years later, this well-respected public servant was knighted by Queen Victoria to become Sir Robert Anderson. He lived to see ten editions of his book be published.
In his classic work, Anderson considers a very specific prophecy found in the book of Daniel: “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, 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 will be put to death…” This precise mathematical formula revealed the exact number of days that would separate two particular dates in history: when the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and when “the Anointed One” enters that very same city. The time separating the events equals seven ‘sevens’ (that’s 49 years) plus sixty-two ‘sevens’ (which is 434 years), for a total of 483 years. As Anderson carefully explains, each year in the culture of the day contained 360 days. This means that the two reference dates must be separated by exactly 173,880 days.
The first date can be found from ancient and independent records. In the words of Anderson, “The edict in question was the decree issued by Artaxerxes Longitmanus…the 1st of Nisan B.C. 445.” What calendar date lies exactly 173,800 days later? It’s the 10th Nisan A.D. 32. This was the very day on which Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem – a day we commemorate as Palm Sunday. The recorded words of Jesus, when the city of Jerusalem came into view, are given new meaning: “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace.” Approaching its gates, Jesus wept over the city.
Accurately fulfilled prophecies are crucially important, because no man knows the future. God, being outside of time, can reveal to us where his authentic words are found by inspiring authors to describe future events with considerable detail and accuracy. For those who care to find them, the Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies, revealing that it alone contains the message of God. Bible prophecies are not vague or ambiguous words written after the fact. On the contrary, the prophecy of Daniel, known to have been written well before the time of Christ, is a staggering example of precision.
As Sir Robert Anderson wrote in his book: “To believe that the facts and figures here detailed amount to nothing more than happy coincidences involves a greater exercise of faith than that of the Christian who accepts the book of Daniel as Divine. There is a point beyond which unbelief is impossible, and the mind in refusing truth must needs take refuge in a misbelief which is sheer credulity.”