Fixing the Date of Stephen’s Death

18 Jan
from Google Images

from Google Images

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.[1]

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).


[1] 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.


Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Christianity, Prophecy, Religion


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5 responses to “Fixing the Date of Stephen’s Death

  1. mithrandirolorin

    October 11, 2015 at 10:54

    “Fixing Stephen’s death (Acts 7:51-60) to an exact day involves using prophecy”

    That is your problem, the purpose of Prophecy is to Authenticate God’s Word. If you want to convince me the date of Stephen’s death fulfilled Prophecy, you need to prove independent of the Prophecy he died on that day. That is why I did on my Blog with the Death of Jesus.

    • Eddie

      October 11, 2015 at 14:37

      Greetings Jared and thank you for reading my blog, but especially for taking the time to leave a comment. First off, your link doesn’t work, but I believe you mean “The Crucifixion Happened in 30 AD“. That should get folks who read the comments to the correct place. If I’m in error please let me know and I’ll make the adjustment according to your reply.

      If, indeed, this is the correct link to your blogpost, I don’t see where you proved your case with history. Nevertheless, you may believe however you like. The process of getting the exact date or even the correct year of Jesus’ crucifixion may be a lot of fun, but it is really what Jesus did that really counts for us. I may be wrong about a lot of things I write on my blog, but whenever I find I’ve made an error, I change what I’ve written and usually add a footnote to show readers that something was changed.

      As far as Stephen’s Death being on the Day of Atonement, 34 AD, is concerned, I remain unconvinced that your version is more believable. I think you are doing damage to the text by trying to force the ministry of Jesus into one year. I think you tried to make a point in the link to your blogpost (that I provided) of atheists saying there is a contradiction between the Synoptics and John. I have found that atheists really don’t know how to read the Bible. If anything seems different from text to text, it **must** be a contradiction (according to them). It can never be ‘additional’ information. Yet, it seems to be a significant principle of multiple witnesses that ‘additional’ information would result from considering all the testimony. Multiple witnesses that agree on every point either have been coached or there is one witness and multiple copies of that single account. My point in saying this is that you seem to twist John’s witness of multiple Passover references to **force** it to agree with what you think the Synoptics are saying. Yet, I have found more than one Passover in the Synoptics that fall in Jesus’ ministry.

      Concerning Stephen’s death, his death doesn’t fulfill prophecy, but I believe it punctuates the end of the 70 Weeks Prophecy. I cannot repeat in a comment what it has taken about a dozen blogposts to say, but I will say here that a simple denial from you is not so convincing that I would be led to admit error and change my post.

      Have a good day, Jared, and the Lord bless you in your studies.

  2. Krissy

    July 29, 2011 at 12:05

    Enjoyed reading your post. I’m teaching in adult Sunday School on the life and letters of Paul and appreciate your research and thoughts.

    • Ed Bromfield

      July 29, 2011 at 12:19

      Thank you, Krissy, for your encouraging words, and may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, richly bless you in your ministry of teaching and may his Spirit open up to you and those you teach all the wonderful things that lay hidden in his word, awaiting understanding by those who ask God for his guidance.



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