Fixing Stephen’s death (Acts 7:51-60) to an exact day involves using prophecy, which, if true, will offer not only an element of certainty to this study but also place a great degree of importance of his death. That is, Stephen’s death would have a particular significance for the new body of believers and for time of the coming of the Kingdom of God. As I hope to show, Stephen’s death is tied up in the 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel 9. Daniel’s prophecy identifies the Messiah. Daniel points to him and, beyond all doubt, identifies Jesus as the long awaited Son of David, the Anointed of God.
The 70 Weeks Prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27), a prophecy extending over a period of 490 years, is divided into three parts. The first division covered the building of the Temple and the walls surrounding Jerusalem: 7 weeks of years or 49 years. The work was begun on the Feast of Trumpets, the first day of the seventh month, during the fall Holy Days when the first sacrifice was made by the returning captives from Babylon (Ezra 3:1-6) on the newly built altar. The work ended with the dedication of the walls in the seventh month 49 years later (Nehemiah 12:27; 7:73; 8:2). That is, the Temple and the walls of the city were finished in one jubilee. The jubilee year began with the blowing of trumpets on the 10th day of the first month of the 49th year (Leviticus 25:8-12). The fiftieth year was the same as the first year for the next 49 years. Therefore, there were 10 jubilees in the 70 Weeks Prophecy. With one jubilee year complete, there remained nine or another 441 years before the fulfillment of the prophecy.
The second division covered the time from the celebration of the finishing of the walls and the Temple, a period of 62 weeks of years or 434 years, (49 + 434 = 483 years), which brings us to the **beginning** of the Messiah’s ministry. This leaves us with the final week of years or 7 years, and it points us to the ministry of Jesus, thus, infallibly identifying him as the Messiah in the context of Daniel’s prophecy.
Scripture shows that the Messiah would be cut in the middle of the week or 3 ½ years into the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24). This is exactly what occurred with the crucifixion. This seventieth week is further divided in Daniel 12 where the angel tells Daniel how everything will end. The first part is described as “times, time and half a time” (Daniel 12:7), after which “the power of the holy people will be scattered.” The next division is 1290 days which is defined as a time, when the Daily Sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up (Daniel 12:11). Long-story-short, the “times, time and half a time” in Daniel answers to the 1260 days of Revelation (Daniel 12:7, compare Revelation 12:6). The 1290 days in Daniel answers to the “times, time and half of time” in Revelation (Daniel 12 :11, compare Revelation 12:14). Together, the 1260 days and the 1290 days comprise the 70th week of the 70 Weeks Prophecy, and both periods of time are prophesied to end in bloodshed.
These periods of time in Daniel and Revelation begin and end within the parameters of the annual Jewish Festivals named in Leviticus 23. They either begin and end on Holy Days, or a day that is important to the Holy Day season in question. There are exactly 1260 days between the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles that occurred during the month when Jesus began his ministry and the Passover Day when Jesus was crucified. This is the day upon which the Jews asked for a sign, but Jesus wouldn’t give them a sign, except for that of Jonah, which pointed to Jesus death. The 1290 days began when the Daily Sacrifice was taken away. The Septuagint translates the verse:
“And one week shall establish the covenant with many. And in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink offering shall be taken away: and on the Temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of the time an end shall be put to the desolation” (Daniel 9:24).
If we can agree that the Sacrifice and Drink Offering or the Daily Sacrifice was the shadow that pointed to the Reality (Jesus; see Colossians 2:16-17), then the “Daily Sacrifice” represents Jesus, the King of the Jews, and he was “taken away” to be crucified, and the abomination that brought desolation was set up in his place (viz. John 19:15). The Jews were given a space to repent (Revelation 2:20-21), but they didn’t. This is understood in the death of Stephen, the first blood that was shed among Jesus’ disciples.
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Prophecy could have ended in 34 AD with national repentance and the Jews receiving Jesus as their Messiah. There are exactly 1290 days between the date of Resurrection Sunday and the Day of Atonement, 3 ½ years later. The Day of Atonement represent the forgiveness of the nation’s sins, and God would have forgiven them, had they been repentant, but instead they killed Stephen on this very day according to this study of prophecy. Of course, this cannot be proved in natural history, but, if we accept prophecy as an indicator of truth, the we can prove his death occurred on the Day of Atonement in 34 AD.
In Revelation 12 it is noted that the woman (the disciples of Jesus or the church) had safety during the entire “week” of years. During the 1260 days, or the period of Jesus public ministry, the disciples were protected by Jesus and he didn’t lose one (John 17:12; 18:9). During the next 3 ½ years or a period of 1290 days the woman (the church) was again protected by God, but when it was complete, the persecution began. Stephen was the first martyr, so his death pointed to the Jews’ final rejection of their Messiah (Jezebel in Revelation 2:20-21), and do to this unbelief, the latter half of Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy would be delayed and end in tragedy for the nation (70 AD), instead of vindication (34 AD).
 This study has been revised from its original content. I have come to believe that and immediate application of the 1290 days after the fulfillment of the 1260 days would have represented national repentance. Therefore, the 1290 came to represent judgment upon the nation instead of its vindication or its repentance. Stephen’s death exposes the Jewish nation’s rebellion against God and their refusal to repent.