I have often been intrigued with the theme of the heavenly Jerusalem/ spiritual Zion found in Isaiah, and also with the connection with Daniel 9. The more I followed this through the wider the study went, to the point where (I think around Isaiah 60) I couldn't manage it. The topic had gotten too wide, spilled over into several other books! But that is really a good thing. It taught me that this is truly an important truth for Christians - Jews and gentiles. Jerusalem, Earthly & Heavenly: Studies in Daniel 9 and Isaiah 40 – 66 One of the best ways to approach Daniel 9 (all of Daniel, for that matter) is to show how it points to Christ as fulfillment. Once that is done it should be easier to show earthly Judaism and earthly Jerusalem as being type and promise for something infinitely better. Or someOne infinitely better. By showing that the promises in Daniel 9 also are “Yes, and in Him Amen” (2nd Cor. 2:20) we make clearer the Christology of this wonderful book. As well, we can then better make the case that Judaism - as a nation and religion - no longer has it's God-given purpose without seeming to be an anti-Semite. A careful study of these things has shown me, rather, that I was being antichristian by denying some prophetic assages in the Old Testament their Messianic fulfillment. Daniel and ... fill in the blank "Daniel and Revelation", right? I believe that we have been so constantly taught through the years to associate the book of Daniel with Revelation that we have a hard time seeing other connections. Yet they are there. I hope (in a later post) to show the connection that Daniel has to Leviticus and Deuteronomy, helping us to understand the divine mathematics of God’s dealing with Israel. It was clearly a case of “I told you so”, but Israel went the way of all flesh anyway. Also, speaking of math, I hope to make the case as to where the original (previous) 490 years began (with the help of James Ussher and others). Unless I am mistaken - always a possibility : ) – it had to do with a certain “asked for” king who couldn’t wait for Samuel’s (or God’s) timing and made the offering that was the cause of his own desolation, though not the nation. Samuel said after this event that the Lord would not establish his kingdom, 1st Samuel 13:13- 14. Later he calls Saul’s rebellion against God to account and adds “The Lord has torn the kingdom from you today…”, 1st Samuel 15:28. From this time on Saul was a desolate man; all that was left for him was the actual dying. The King and the Countdown But because he acted as legal head of Israel – and they had asked for just that! – his misstep brought disaster on them as well. I believe that it was at this point (or either of these two points in time, chapter 13 or 15) that the first 70 weeks started (490 years). Adding that many years brings us to (1078 – 490) 588 BC, the very year of the fall of Jerusalem and the beginning of the deportation of the Jews! The main thing I want to reemphasize now is that we Christians need to get out of the rut of all the usual associations. We need to be on the lookout, in our daily study, of different and fresh associations, tying down familiar verses with unfamiliar. As God points out sections and passages that truly go together (as opposed to those which merely seem to) our Bible gets a better and better binding – how’s that for a metaphor? – New Testament with Old, and ancient promise with Christ-fulfillment.