Most scholarship, I believe, puts the stoning of Stephen in 34 or 35 AD. Is there reason within the Scriptures to substantiate this claim? Yes, I believe there is! However, such substantiation comes from prophecy in both Old and New Testaments, but the understanding of these very prophecies is clouded by the interpretation of most scholarship, which puts the fulfillment of them at the second coming of Jesus.
I have written similar posts which had to do with Stephen’s death back in November of 2009. However, I think I should be clearer on this matter in order to have a better understanding of the timeline of early Acts with a particular interest in the placement of the High Priests for Stephen’s death, Paul’s persecution of the Jewish believers in Jesus in Acts 9:1, and when the “peace” occurred in Acts 9:31.
The Seventy Weeks Prophecy of Daniel 9 was supposed to offer the believer the identity of the Messiah by showing the exact time in which he would appear. The 70 Weeks Prophecy begins with the first sacrifice offered on the rebuilt altar on the Temple mount when Joshua, the High Priest, and Zerubbabel returned from the captivity. The Jews began to make daily offerings to God from the first day of the seventh month upon their return from captivity (Ezra 3:6). This is a very important date, as it represents the first time in decades that worship of the God of Israel was offered from the Temple mount, and it represents the “firstfruits” of the decree of the emperor, which I believe is implied in the prophecy. So, the date of the decree itself is not important, but date of the firstfruits of that decree is the important part of the prophecy in terms of when it begins. The Messiah was to come at the beginning of the 70th week or 483 years after the first sacrifice was offered by the returning captives.
No matter which year one chooses to begin the 70 Weeks Prophecy, the 484th year must begin in the fall and on the Feast of Trumpets. I submit that from Luke 4:16 and up to Luke 6:49 Luke shows Jesus beginning his ministry on the Feast of Trumpets (Luke 4:16) and each Sabbath mentioned thereafter is either an annual Holy Day or a seventh day Sabbath. The odd “second Sabbath after the first” in Luke 6:1 is the seventh day Sabbath which occurred in that year back to back with the annual Day of Atonement, a fast day, which is why the Apostles were hungry and began to take some grain from the fields on the Sabbath day, rubbing it in their hands and eating the kernels.
Anyway, long-story-short, 3 ½ years later Jesus was crucified, and the 70 Weeks prophecy foretold the Messiah would be ‘cut’ (offered for the covenant) in the midst or the middle of the prophetic week (Daniel 9:26-27). The 70th week comprises 7 years, 3 ½ of which represented Jesus public ministry culminating in his crucifixion and resurrection. Notice in Luke 10:18 that Jesus said he beheld Satan like lightning fall from heaven. This is shown in Revelation 12:7-10 where Michael/Jesus makes war with Satan. Now I am not saying Jesus is an angelic being, but I am saying Michel is Jesus—the Angel of the LORD who is God in the Old Testament. Anyway, Jesus with his disciples were waging spiritual warfare against Satan’s kingdom (cf. Luke 10:17). The angels in Revelation 12 represent the messengers of Jesus and Satan respectively. In the Gospels they are Jesus’ disciples waging war against Satan or the Pharisees and high priests who fought against Jesus and his disciples. The woman (the Jewish believers) had a place of safety for 1260 days (Revelation 12:6). This is the first part of the 70th prophetic week and represents Jesus care for his disciples—they were safe, and he lost no one.
In the second part of the week the disciples were also safe according to Revelation 12:14. The believers were spiritually nourished for a time (1) + times (2) and half a time (1/2) or 3 ½ years. Daniel refers to this time as the 1290 days.
Formerly, I had believed the 1290 days began on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, which if it did, the days would have culminated on the Day of Atonement in 34 AD. However, had they done this, it would have indicated national repentance, which didn’t occur, and the proof of this is Stephen’s death, which occurred on that day. Thus, the 1260 days ended in blood (the crucifixion), but the 1290 days were intended to end in repentance, but instead Stephen was stoned. Therefore the fulfillment of the 1290 days were delayed. There is a gap between the 1260 days and the 1290 days of nearly 40 years due to unbelief, and is typified by Israel’s wandering in the wilderness for 40 year due to their unbelief. The 1290 days begin when the Roman general, Cestius, surrounded Jerusalem with his armies (cf. Luke 21:20), tore down the northern wall of Jerusalem, but for no good reason retreated, allowing Jesus’ disciples to flee (Luke 21:21). They end, when Titus, the Roman general and son of the Emperor, surrounded Jerusalem with his armies, broke down the northern wall (that was repaired) and encamped inside the walls of Jerusalem. Thus the city fell.