Daniel 9:25: "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree 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.
According to Sir Robert Anderson (Robert Anderson, "The Coming Prince", Kregel. Reprinted in 1984.) the time that the prophecy begins is in Nehemiah in which he asks for a letter from the King for safe passage to Jerusalem. Notice that in Nehemiah 2:7 he asks for a letter ( ). However, when we get to Daniel 9:25 we find that a word ( ) has been translated as decree. As the atheists point out, this "letter" from the King can hardly be called a decree, so we must assume that it must be another decree that Daniel is talking about.
When we look at the meaning of the Hebrew word 'dabar' ( ) that Daniel uses in 9:25, we find that the word can be used for decree but this word is usually translated as "word" or "command".
Daniel uses the proper words for decree in Daniel 6:26, 6:15, 6:13, 6:12..., however, these earlier chapters were written in Aramaic. Hebrew uses different words for decree. Daniel 2:4-7:28 was written in Aramaic which is a close cognate language to Hebrew.
A Professor of Hebrew points out; "In Esther 1:19 the expression *debar malkuth* [lit. a royal word] is used for a "decree"; in 1:20 the expression *pithgam hammelek* means "the king's decree". In other places the word *dath* means "decree." In Daniel 9:25, the word for "decree" or "command" is the word *dabar* which is a very general word which most often means "word." But as Est. 1:19 indicates, the word of the king, or a royal word, can be considered a decree."
Hebrew does allow for the interchange between the letter from the king in Nehemiah 2:7 and the command (decree) in Daniel 9:25.
We also find that English translations in Daniel 9:25 King James Version and New King James Version allow for a more general usage of the word ( ).
Daniel 9:25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." KJV
Daniel 9:25: "Know therefore and understand , That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jeruslem Until Messiah the Prince There shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks; The street shall be built again and the wall Even in troublesome times." NKJV
To goto Part 4 see:Daniel 9:25 Is it a Trench or Wall?