An expert in the decoding of Mayan hieroglyphs declared that a stone tablet with a Mayan inscription indicates that the Mayan prediction of 2012 refers to a new era, rather than the end of the world. Sven Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia has been studying the Mayan tablet discovered years ago at the archeological site of Tortuguero in Mexico's coast state of Tabasco.
Gronemeyer, an expert in Mayan culture and languages, revealed that the 1,300-year-old-inscription describes the return of a mysterious Mayan god, Bolon Yokte, at the end of a cycle of 5,125 years which falls on December 21, 2012. Bolon Yokte is the Mayan god of creation and war and is predicted by this inscription to return in victory to establish this new era.
Thus, while "2012" proponents still believe that December of 2012 could bring a global apocalypse of some sort, we can breathe a sigh of relief in learning that the Mayan calendar and inscriptions are not predicting the end of the world in 2012. Interestingly, Bible prophecy agrees with that assessment. The Bible shows that the world cannot end in 2012; in fact, it cannot end for another 1,007 years, at least. How do we know that? The books of Daniel and Revelation provide that revelation.
Daniel 9:24-27 shows us there will be another, very unique, seven-year period on the earth. Revelation chapter 20 reveals the extra thousand years. We begin with Daniel and the coming seven-year era.
In Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel is given a vision from God of a 490-year prophetic period for "your people"—the Jews—and "your holy city"—Jerusalem. ("Seventy weeks," as presented in some English Bible translations refer to "seventy sevens," as the Hebrew word for "week" literally means "seven." Both the context and the fulfillment of the first 69 "sevens" show these periods of "sevens" refer to years. Thus, "seventy sevens" refer to 490 years.) This means that the focus of this special timeframe is on the Jews—specifically, the Jews in the land of Israel, as the co-focus of this prophetic period is Jerusalem.
This prophecy is introduced by six infinitive phrases which provide clues to the purpose of this 490-year prophetic era: It is designed to prepare Israel for the coming kingdom of God (which will arrive at the return of Christ). [For evidence on this view, see Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?] While this prophetic information was delivered to Daniel approximately 530 years before the birth of Christ, the clock would begin ticking on this 490-year period at the command of Artaxerxes (the Medo-Persian king) "to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (verse 25), which occurred on March 5 (Nissan 1 on the Jewish calendar), 444 B.C. This began a consecutive 483-year fulfillment which ended at the introduction of "Messiah the Prince" (verse 25).
Since there is a reference in this prophecy to the crucifixion of Jesus ("Messiah shall be cut off") AFTER the appearance of "Messiah the Prince," the first 483 years of this prediction must conclude BEFORE the crucifixion of Christ. This indicates that there must be a significant introduction of Jesus as Messiah to the Jews in Israel that would culminate this timeframe.
It is significant that this prophecy alludes to "Messiah the Prince" and not "Messiah the King." Based on the focus of this prediction, this is a reference to when Jews in Israel recognized Jesus as Messiah, which occurred at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see Matthew 21:8-11 and John 12:12-13). Since Jesus was not yet enthroned as king, the Jewish public recognition is perfectly portrayed by Daniel as "Messiah the Prince."
The best historical evidence points to the crucifixion of Jesus on April 4, A.D. 33, which puts the triumphal entry (occurring five days prior) at March 30 (Nissan 10 on a Jewish calendar), A.D. 33. On a Jewish calendar of 360 days (remember that this prophecy is to, and about, the Jews), the period of time from Artaxerxes' command until the triumphal entry is 173,880 days, which equals 483 prophetic years to the very day!
With that said, we can see there are seven years left to be fulfilled from this prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27—a brief year that has as its purpose to prepare Israel for the arrival of the kingdom of God. But the question arises: What brought a hiatus to the fulfillment of this 490-year prophecy? The answer is Jewish obstinacy, as signaled by the crucifixion of the Messiah, and which is why the crucifixion is mentioned in verse 26.
Since God determined to use the 490-year era to prepare Israel for the kingdom, He halted its progress—just before its total fulfillment—because the Jews were not ready for it. However, as the apostle Peter announced (in Acts 3:19-21), when Israel turns to the Lord, Jesus will return to establish the kingdom. Thus, at the right time, God will use the final seven years of this prophecy of Daniel to prepare Israel to turn to Him; and, as the apostle Paul proclaimed, at that point "all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26).
When will this seven-year period be initiated? The prophecy of Daniel 9 tells us; It will begin with a seven-year treaty with Israel (verse 27). (In connection with this treaty, Israel will be given "permission" to rebuild the Jewish temple. This can be seen by the fact that the breaking of the treaty will stop "sacrifices and offering," which can only be offered by the Jews when they have a temple.)
Since this treaty has not yet been initiated, we know the world cannot end in 2012, as God will work with Israel seven years after the treaty's inception. However, the world will not end at the completion of that seven-year era, as Jesus will then return to establish God's kingdom upon the earth. The book of Revelation shows us that, following His initiation of the kingdom, Jesus will rule the earth for a thousand years (see Revelation 20:2-7). This means there will be at least 1,007 years before the world will end.
Thus, with the latest revelation of a 1,300-year-old Mayan inscription, we see there appears to be agreement between Mayan predictions and Bible prophecy that the world will not end in 2012. Yet, the inscription provides other similarities to Bible prophecy—in fact, such remarkable comparisons that one wonders if the Mayans borrowed from the Bible in their prediction of the future. But we will save that discussion for next time.
[John Claeys serves with John Claeys Ministries through writing, speaking, and radio ministries and is the author of Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?, a riveting look of the events leading up to the return of Christ. See http://johnclaeys.com/ for more information.]