The Coming Prince

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  • The Coming Prince
  • Robert Anderson
  • 25 October 2017

10 thoughts on “The Coming Prince

  1. says:

    In his book Daniel in the Critics’ Den, Sir Robert Anderson provided a basic interpretation of that prophecy of the seventy weeks to rebut the arguments of a critic denying its Messianic nature. The Coming Prince is a more detailed exposition of his thesis in an effort to defend the authority of the scriptures by vindicating the accuracy of a controversial prophecy. As a believer in the inspiration and authority of the scriptures, I admire his goals in expounding on the prophecy of the seventy weeks. That said, I also recognize that different Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures also disagree on the meaning of this prophecy, with how they interpret the book of Revelation tending to be a deciding factor. I am most of the way through a study of Daniel, to be followed up with the Thessalonian letters and Revelation. One of my objectives of this extended study is to settle on an overall interpretive framework after carefully considering the different extant frameworks such as premillennialism, postmillennialism, amillennialism and preterist. Since I yet have a long way to go in this effort, I will not critique the framework chosen by Mr. Anderson but will comment on various details of his interpretation.

    Mr. Anderson holds that the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks extend from the issuing of an edict to rebuild Jerusalem to the cutting off of the Messiah, specifically the crucifixion of Jesus. Regarding the edict to rebuild Jerusalem, there are several candidate dates:

    • The decree of Cyrus allowing the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple (538 BC)
    • Artaxerxes’ commission to Ezra (458 BC)
    • The permission granted to Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (445 BC)

    Mr. Anderson considers 445 BC to be the correct starting point for the seventy weeks. He holds what is known as a chronological view, specifically that the seventy weeks, seventy sevens in the Hebrew, consists of 490 years. What sets him apart is his assumption that the years have a length of 360 days based on twelve thirty-day months per year, consistent with the forty-two months of Rev. 13:5 and the 1,260 days of Rev. 12:6, which is also paralleled in Rev. 11:2-3. One commentator I have been reading suggests that he was the first to propose the 360-day year. This combination of the 445 BC starting date and the 360-day year makes sense as this is the only way to fit 483 years between any of the possible starting points and a reasonable date for the crucifixion.

    In support of his rejection of the decree of Cyrus as a starting point seventy weeks, he proposes two different seventy-year periods as prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer. 25:11; 29:10):

    • Seventy years of serving the king of Babylon, with that clock starting in 605 BC, corresponding with the third year of Jehoiakim
    • Seventy years of desolation of Jerusalem, with that clock starting with the city’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC

    He bases the seventy years of servitude on Jeremiah’s wording and the seventy years of desolation on Dan. 9:2 in an effort to provide a theological explanation for the delays in fulfilling Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the temple as well as to argue that Cyrus’ decree is not a valid starting point. I find his argument to be faulty because Jeremiah prophesied seventy years of serving the king of Babylon, coupled with the desolation of the land (Jer. 258-11) and ties the end of the seventy years with a return to Israel, which was accomplished as a result of Cyrus’ decree in 538 BC. That said, the failure of this argument does not detract from his other reasoning for his chosen starting point.

    Mr. Anderson likewise identifies several 490-year cycles within Israelite history in support of his contention that the 490-years represent actual chronological time:

    • From the entrance into Canaan (1586-5 B.C.) to the establishment of the kingdom under Saul (1096 B.C.)
    • From the establishment of the kingdom (1096 B.C.) to the servitude to Babylon (606 B.C.)

    Perhaps the 1096 B.C. date was considered valid in his day, but based on the conventional date for Solomon’s accession to the throne, 970 B.C, and forty-year reigns for both David and Saul, the establishment of the kingdom would have taken place in 1050 B.C. Furthermore, a few years ago, when I was studying Exodus, I looked at available information on Egyptian dynasties to better understand its timing. Based on the statement in 1 Kings 6:1 that the exodus occurred 480 years prior to the fourth year of Solomon, I concluded that the exodus would have taken place around 1446 B.C during the eighteenth dynasty. Interestingly enough, this date for the exodus would have placed Moses’ birth in the reign of Ahmose, who drove the Semitic Hyksos out of Egypt and slaughtered their remnants at Sharuhen in southern Canaan. Given at least a century of Hyksos dominance in lower Egypt and northern upper Egypt, it would not be a stretch for the Theban Ahmose to sharply oppress Semitic populations such as the children of Israel and attempt to reduce their numbers by mandatory infanticide. While this is not necessarily definitive, I find that this undercuts Mr. Anderson’s arguments regarding these two 490-year periods of time. That said, I think this only shows his capacity for overstating his case for a chronological view. It doesn’t undermine his argument for 490 chronological years.

    Mr. Anderson proposes two princes, the Messiah cut off at the end of the sixty-two weeks and a second prince who makes a treaty for the final week and who violates it in the middle by suppressing the Jewish religion. Because this didn’t happen within seven years of the crucifixion, he proposes a gap between the end of the 69th week and the 70th week, with the 70th week set in the future as the tribulation period of Revelation. Others hold that it is the Messiah who makes the treaty and ends sacrifice in the middle of the week by virtue of his crucifixion and fulfillment of the law, basing their argument on the Hebrew wording of the prophecy. While I know some Hebrew, I don’t believe I know enough to be dangerous at this point and plan to hold off on an assessment of these two positions until I am better able to check the assertion for myself.

    Unlike many other premillennialists, he posits that the beasts of Daniel 7 represent nations of the tribulation period. This contrasts with a commonly held view that the beasts parallel the different parts of the stature of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. I find this speculation intriguing but unconvincing. The parallelism view is based in part on the statue showing the dignity of a government as it appears to man and the beasts showing the often law-of-the-jungle nature of government as it would appear to the God who delegated authority to human government for the sake of maintaining law and order and defending the weak from the strong. I find this argument more convincing.

    There is much more to Mr. Anderson’s book than is discussed in this review. Mr. Anderson was an investigator for Scotland Yard, not a theologian, and I appreciate his view that scholars function as witnesses providing testimony for us to evaluate just as jurors do in court. I consider his book as the testimony of an expert witness. What is my verdict? The jury is still out.

  2. says:

    A classic study of the prophet Daniel and the prophecies given to him. An essential read for any serious Bible student.
    "(Prophecies) abound in promises which God designed to feed his people's faith and fire their zeal, and a special blessing rests on those who read, and hear, and cherish them". A quote from the book that sums up the purpose and blessings of knowing God's perfectly laid out plans from the beginning. For, "the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets." [Amos 3:7]

  3. says:

    So far an intense study of the book of Daniel and the coming of the anti-christ. The study is done very thoroughly by the ex-head of the British Scotland Yard.

  4. says:

    This is a very helpful exposition of a challenging portion of scripture.

  5. says:

    Probably the best treatment of the book of Daniel ever. A foundation for so much later study.

  6. says:

    I am so thankful I learned of this book's existence. Truly a worthwhile read. It was recommended to me during a sermon preached by John Barnett. After doing some research on Anderson himself, I just knew that I had to pursue any works the man wrote.
    He was a brilliant investigator for Scotland Yard, knighted by the Crown and a devout theologian and lay preacher. Some of what I learned indicated he was one of the investigators during the "Jack the Ripper" cases, but other facts I learned indicate he was just a contemporary and worked there during those times. Still, very interesting. Even his death was notable, as he, like so many, died in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Truly interesting man.

    But about the book: Anderson has done us all a true service as he unpacks the book of Daniel, especially in terms of what is called "the 70 weeks of Daniel." Students of the Bible have been mining the meaning of this subject and it has been a very controversial topic. What I appreciated about Anderson was his absolute devotion to the truth of the Bible, without being dogmatic about any future events. His premise is that you look at what has been fulfilled to guide you to know that what has yet to be fulfilled will be. I'm probably not giving the best explanation, but his commitment to literal fulfillment of the prophecies given show how much he honors the written word of God.

    What stood out to me was his belief in the Scriptures about the Jewish people and how Daniel's prophecy related to them. Anderson died 30 years before Israel became a nation again, but even when Israel had no homeland, no status or recognition, he was claiming that the truth of these Biblical passages required for the belief that the Jews would one day return to the land of their fathers. We know that happened in 1948. It helped me more than I can say as I continued reading these pages.

    And of course I would be giving you a disservice if I failed to mention how he walks through his explanation of the entire Old Testament and the Jewish calendar to show the culmination of weeks 1 through 69 of these weeks, resulting in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the argument for the suspension of the 70th week until a time in the future.

    This is also a book where the footnotes might be just as interesting as the main body of the book's text. He is so thorough in his trains of thought.

    Do yourself a favor and read this book. Even if you do not agree with his conclusions, he will give you a better understanding of those who hold to literal interpretation to the prophecies of Scripture.

  7. says:

    I have read The Coming Prince more than five times over since about 1975.

    I have researched Sir Robert Anderson as well as the critics of this Christian classic originally published in 1894. In fact, I have spent over four decades doing research. Modern scholars have many assumptions that are proven faulty by statements recorded in the Mishnah (oral tradition of the Pharisees), with those Mishnah statements validated by the exact science of astronomy. Moreover, I have discovered that Babylonian cuneiform texts, the Elephantine papyri, the Cairo Sandstone Stele, and eyewitness accounts from ancient history validate Sir Robert Anderson to be correct. Recent discoveries now validate that the use of the 360 days per year biblical constant used by Sir Robert Anderson gives repeatability and always results in a precise period of 14,000 days that begins with Moses and ends in the 21st century. This repeatability occurs more than one time. Sir Robert Anderson is the first to validate this biblical constant. Pastor Charlie Garrett discovered that the use of the 360-day constant also unveils a precise period of 14,000 days at the time of Moses and Joshua.
    I would recommend a book that validates Sir Robert Anderson and goes well beyond the position and viewpoint of Sir Robert Anderson in the Title: Eternal Life - Why you should expect to live forever. For certain, these books go together like clay pressed into a mold.

  8. says:

    I bought this book as Chuck Missler recommended it in his writings on the Rapture and the book of Revelation. However, sadly for me, I could not get on with the old-fashion writing. I love Charles Dickins and other classics so I don't really understand why I found it so hard going. I only read the first chapter with difficulty. Other people may not have the same experience and no doubt the information is good.

  9. says:

    Very good read! Lots of information about the book of Daniel. Surprising how this man from the late 19th century had the insight to write these things nearly 100 years before the rest of Christianity caught up.

  10. says:


    This book gives great insight to the 70th week. However when this period behind it ends we still are not entirely sure.

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