When was the book of Daniel written?

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kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:44 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:Sixty-nine of the 70 weeks would last until Messiah the leader (9:25). One problem that has destroyed many good attempts to calculate the 69 weeks, is the use of an erroneous chronology.


How about an erroneous interpretation?

In that prophecy we have three chronologies—49 years, between 434–441 years, and 490 years. Two of the chronologies have the same starting date, why give the third chronology a different starting date? Does that even make sense?

It should be acknowledged that our understanding of ancient history is not as strong as we would like it to be. Even the Roman dates are educated guesses, and could be off ±2 years. That’s “close enough for gummint work”.

The first time Cyrene was governor of Syria was in 7 BC, King Herod died in 4 BC, the 15th year of Tiberius including his ten year co-reign with Augustus was about 20 AD, Jesus was executed between 20–26 AD, the temple was destroyed about 70 AD, the end of the 490 years was about 73 AD. The only 483 year period in that prophecy was to the beginning of the final seven year period of war. Counting backwards from the 490 years gives us the date of 417 BC when Nehemiah was commanded to rebuild Jerusalem. That’s what’s indicated by the linguistic analysis of Daniel’s prophecy.

R.J. Furuli wrote:The accepted chronology for the Persian, Neo-Babylonian, and Neo-Assyrian empires is the chronology of the astronomer/astrologer Claudius Ptolemy from the second century CE. As we see in so many scientific disciplines, an idea is accepted by the majority, and this idea is then, through the generations, presented as a fact without ever being tested. I have tested this chronology by studying several thousand cuneiform business tablets from Persepolis and Babylonia, and I have calculated all the positions of the moon and the planets on 10 astronomical tablets from the Persian Empire (this material has been published). The most important conclusion that has a bearing on the 70 weeks is that Artaxerxes I became king in 475/74 BCE, which is ten years before the date given by the traditional chronology. This means that the 20th year of Artaxerxes I, which is a good starting point of the 70 weeks is 455/54 BCE and not 445/44 BCE, which is the traditional year. If you calculate 69 weeks from 455 BCE, you get a very interesting result.


Which brings up an interesting question, whose dates do we choose to follow, your dates or Biblical dates?

R.J. Furuli wrote:
Yet there seem to be references to Antiochus IV among the prophecies. For example, even secular histories mention that he invaded Egypt twice, the second time he was publicly humiliated by a Roman official who drew a circle around him. While he appears to be the little horn in Daniel 8, he’s definitely not the little horn in Daniel 7. Those are two different prophecies.


It is true there is evidence that Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Egypt two times. However, the words in Daniel 11, do not fit either of these campaigns of Antiochus. The first campaign of Antiochus against Egypt occurred in 170/69 BCE. The supposed “king of the south" was the boy Ptolemy VI Philometor. But Daniel 11:26 contradicts that. Please compare my translation with NIV

RJF: “Those eating his delicate food will crush him יִשְׁבְּר֖וּהוּ, and his army will overflow יִשְׁט֑וֹף, and many will fall down slain.”

NIV: “Those who eat from his from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him יִשְׁבְּר֖וּהוּ; his army will be swept away יִשְׁט֑וֹף, and many will fall in battle.”

The werb “crush” is Qal imperfect. In order to let Daniel’s words fit Ptolemy VI, NIV has a conative rendering. An imperfect can in rare instances have this sense. But to use it when the context does not clearly show that the action is not carried out is pure manipulation. The verb “overflow” is also Qal imperfect, which has an active meaning.


How do you know it is a Qal Yiqtol? For regular verbs, Qal, Niphal, Piel, Pual and Hophal share the same Yiqtol forms. In other words, the verb could be a Niphal, Pual or even Hophal, which are all passive. We need context to tell us the correct forms.

R.J. Furuli wrote:However, NIV uses a passive rendering, which is the opposite of what the text says. This is also pure manipulation. Ptolemy the VI was not killed, and his army did not overflow the army of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.


Was there an attempt at a palace coup against Ptolemy VI? That’s how I read the Hebrew, that there was an attempt to break (not crush nor kill) him.

R.J. Furuli wrote:In order to have a good foundation to conclude whether the book of Daniel contains prophecies or history in prophetic disguise, two thinga are necessary, 1) a careful and detailed study of the original text, and 2) a careful and detailed study of the ancient sources that write about Antiochus IV. The first point wil help us to see what the text really says, and the second point will help us to distinguish between clear historical data and the manipulated data.


The more I read ancient history, the more I realize how messed up it is. One of the more famous examples, did the Amarna letters come from an area largely depopulated with much of its population itinerate herders living in tents, or were they from an areas with built-up cities that could field thousands of soldiers and often hundreds of chariots? The former describes 13th century BC Canaan, the latter Canaan from about 800 BC. Which description do we find in the Amarna letters? That’s just one example. There are many more similar examples.

R.J. Furuli wrote:Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


Thanks for the discussion, even though I ended up disagreeing with it.

In computer terminology there’s the saying, “GIGO”—Garbage In Garbage Out. It doesn’t matter how careful a historian may be, if he starts out with erroneous data, the results of his study will be erroneous. This doesn’t impugn you as a person, rather states that you start out with erroneous data. That effects your results.

Karl W. Randolph.

R.J. Furuli
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:52 am

Dear Karl,

Which brings up an interesting question, whose dates do we choose to follow, your dates or Biblical dates?


What is the scientific procedure when you have two contradictory claims? To scrutinize both claims and see if one of them is trustworthy. Regarding Artaxerxes I, there are some hard facts to consider. According to the traditional chronology, Artaxerxes reigned 41 years. However, there are 41 cuneiform tablets that are dated to Artaxerxes I after the first tablet dated to Darius II, who followed Artaxerxes I. Among these talets are BM 65494 (BM=British Museum) that is dated on day 4, month 6, in year 50 of Artaxerxes I and CBM 1203, which is dated on day 20, month 12, year 51. These tablets indicate that Artaxerxes reigned 51 years, and not 41, which is the traditional view. The tablets corroborate the astronomical tables which indicate that Artaxerxes I started his reign in 475/74, ten years before the date given by Claudius Ptolemy.

The contrast is not between the chronology I have presented on the basis of cuneiform business tablets and astronomical tablets and the Biblical dates. The contrast is between the chronology of Claudius Ptolemy that is accepted and presented in textboos and lexicons and my chronology. As a matter of fact, my research support the Biblical chronology. For example, Jeremiah, Daniel, and the Chronicler explicitly say that the exile of the Jews in Babylon lasted 70 years. Most scholars do not accept this, but believe that the exile lasted 49 or 50 years. I present Babylonian data from business tablets, kingly tablets, and astronomical tablets in my book on Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian chronology, Vol II, that strongly suggest that the traditional Babylonian Chronology must be expanded by 20 years. This makes room for an exile of 70 years.

How do you know it is a Qal Yiqtol? For regular verbs, Qal, Niphal, Piel, Pual and Hophal share the same Yiqtol forms. In other words, the verb could be a Niphal, Pual or even Hophal, which are all passive. We need context to tell us the correct forms.


I know that יִשְׁבְּר֖וּהוּ is Qal imperfect because of the vowels. There is a Nifal form of the verb in Daniel 11:22. But Pual and Hofal do not exist.


Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:04 am

Dear Carl,

I copied the wrong verb in my post to you. The verb form you asked about is יִשְׁט֑וֹף, and a Nifal of this verb is found in Daniel 11:22.


Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:12 am

R.J. Furuli wrote:Dear Karl,

Which brings up an interesting question, whose dates do we choose to follow, your dates or Biblical dates?


Biblical chronology starts when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, and can be computed to the second year of Cyrus of Persia when Daniel retired. After that there’s a gap of unknown length, then a closing 490 year period that ends with the Jewish revolt of 66 AD. After that, we have no Biblical chronology.

How long did that gap last between Cyrus’ second year and about 417 BC the beginning of the 490 years? The official Persian chronology was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Egyptian records are garbage. How many of the business records can be interpreted in more than one way, making reconstructions based on business records questionable at best?

R.J. Furuli wrote:What is the scientific procedure when you have two contradictory claims? To scrutinize both claims and see if one of them is trustworthy. … The contrast is not between the chronology I have presented on the basis of cuneiform business tablets and astronomical tablets and the Biblical dates. The contrast is between the chronology of Claudius Ptolemy that is accepted and presented in textboos and lexicons and my chronology. As a matter of fact, my research support the Biblical chronology. For example, Jeremiah, Daniel, and the Chronicler explicitly say that the exile of the Jews in Babylon lasted 70 years. Most scholars do not accept this, but believe that the exile lasted 49 or 50 years. I present Babylonian data from business tablets, kingly tablets, and astronomical tablets in my book on Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian chronology, Vol II, that strongly suggest that the traditional Babylonian Chronology must be expanded by 20 years. This makes room for an exile of 70 years.


My understanding is that more records survive from the Babylonian period than from the Persian period. But the question before us: how long did that Persian gap mentioned above last? That’s where your chronology differs from Biblical chronology. That’s where you insist that the 490 year prophesy last longer than 490 years.

R.J. Furuli wrote:
How do you know it is a Qal Yiqtol? For regular verbs, Qal, Niphal, Piel, Pual and Hophal share the same Yiqtol forms. In other words, the verb could be a Niphal, Pual or even Hophal, which are all passive. We need context to tell us the correct forms.


I know that יִשְׁבְּר֖וּהוּ is Qal imperfect because of the vowels. There is a Nifal form of the verb in Daniel 11:22. But Pual and Hofal do not exist.

I copied the wrong verb in my post to you. The verb form you asked about is יִשְׁט֑וֹף, and a Nifal of this verb is found in Daniel 11:22.


Correction noted' I made the same mistake, but corrected it before posting.

Biblical Hebrew has no written vowels. One can’t use what doesn’t exist as evidence.

The vowels we find in many modern editions of Tanakh are Tiberian Hebrew—a language that has a different grammar, different pronunciations, and many of its terms different meanings from Biblical Hebrew. Because of those differences, we can’t use Tiberian Hebrew vowel points as evidence for anything.

(Modern Hebrew is not a resurrection of Biblical Hebrew. Rather it’s a bringing to life and updating of a version of Hebrew that never was natively spoken before.)

R.J. Furuli wrote:Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Dear Karl,

How long did that gap last between Cyrus’ second year and about 417 BC the beginning of the 490 years? The official Persian chronology was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Egyptian records are garbage. How many of the business records can be interpreted in more than one way, making reconstructions based on business records questionable at best?

My understanding is that more records survive from the Babylonian period than from the Persian period. But the question before us: how long did that Persian gap mentioned above last? That’s where your chronology differs from Biblical chronology. That’s where you insist that the 490 year prophesy last longer than 490 years.


Your understanding that there are more cuneiform business-tablets from the Neo-Babylonian Empire than from the Persian Empire is correct. But there are enough tablets in the Persian Empire to make a chronology. The victories and other endeavors of Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian kings are often exaggerated and colored, and we cannot always know what is fact and what is fiction on these inscriptions. However, business tablets are different, because they show different transactions, sales, leasing of something for a certain period, and other things. They are dated to day, month, and year of a certain king. And the names of many witnesses to the transaction are written on the tablets. There is absolutely no reason to doubt the dates on these tablets, and they can only be interpreted in one way.

Astronomical tablet are necessary for making an absolute chronology. When a tablet contains different obserevations of the moon in relation to particular planets, or the relation between different planets, and these are dated to the day, month, and year of a named king, an absolute chronology can be made. There are so many astronomical tablets dated to the kings after the end of the reign of Artaxerxes I, that an absolute chronology for the Persian Empire after Artaxerxes I can be made. So there is no gap in the Persian Empire after Artaxerxes I.

The Seleucid calendar started in the year 312/11 BCE, and this calendar was used by 1 Maccabees and 2. Maccabees. There is no problem today to make exact calculations from the first half of the first century CE and back to 455/54 BCE. Persons living in the first part of the first century CE could also make good calculations of the same period. One tool that the Jews could use was the sabbath years, which in many cases in the books of Maccabees and in Josephus were mentioned and connected with regnal years of particular kings. One example of such an calculation is found in the DSS Damascus Document 1:4-11. The document says that there was a period of 390 years + 20 years from the time Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Jerusalem until the arrival of The Teacher of Rightousness. By using the year 607 for Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem, and counting 70 years for the Babylonian exile, we arrive at the yeat 197 BCE. This year fits very well the history of the community at Qumran. But the important point is that the author of the Damascus Document could calculate the years all the way back to the beginning of the exile.


Biblical Hebrew has no written vowels. One can’t use what doesn’t exist as evidence.

The vowels we find in many modern editions of Tanakh are Tiberian Hebrew—a language that has a different grammar, different pronunciations, and many of its terms different meanings from Biblical Hebrew. Because of those differences, we can’t use Tiberian Hebrew vowel points as evidence for anything.


Your observation regarding the vowels is correct. However, the DSS abound with matres lexionis, and when we compare these and old Hebrew inscriptions with the Masoretic system of vocalization, we see that this system is even older than the DSS, and is trustworthy. Of course, we have no tools that can be used to prove that the vocalization of single verbs, for example the two in Daniel 11:26, is correct. Bible translators follow the vocalization of the Masoretic text. In a few rare cases, lexical semantics and the context suggest that a word is wrongly vocalized. However, there is absolutely no such reason to claim that the vocalization of Daniel 11:26 is wrong. Therefore, I have a very good reason to say that the translators of NIV have manipulated the text of this verse.


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

kwrandolph
Posts: 813
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:02 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:Dear Karl,

How long did that gap last between Cyrus’ second year and about 417 BC the beginning of the 490 years? The official Persian chronology was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Egyptian records are garbage. How many of the business records can be interpreted in more than one way, making reconstructions based on business records questionable at best?

My understanding is that more records survive from the Babylonian period than from the Persian period. But the question before us: how long did that Persian gap mentioned above last? That’s where your chronology differs from Biblical chronology. That’s where you insist that the 490 year prophesy last longer than 490 years.


Your understanding that there are more cuneiform business-tablets from the Neo-Babylonian Empire than from the Persian Empire is correct. But there are enough tablets in the Persian Empire to make a chronology. The victories and other endeavors of Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian kings are often exaggerated and colored, and we cannot always know what is fact and what is fiction on these inscriptions. However, business tablets are different, because they show different transactions, sales, leasing of something for a certain period, and other things. They are dated to day, month, and year of a certain king. And the names of many witnesses to the transaction are written on the tablets. There is absolutely no reason to doubt the dates on these tablets, and they can only be interpreted in one way.


There’s still the assumption of which king? Were there one, two or three kings named Artaxerxes? A business transaction dated in year two of Artaxerxes could refer to three different dates.

R.J. Furuli wrote:Astronomical tablet are necessary for making an absolute chronology. When a tablet contains different obserevations of the moon in relation to particular planets, or the relation between different planets, and these are dated to the day, month, and year of a named king, an absolute chronology can be made. There are so many astronomical tablets dated to the kings after the end of the reign of Artaxerxes I, that an absolute chronology for the Persian Empire after Artaxerxes I can be made. So there is no gap in the Persian Empire after Artaxerxes I.


Two points: 1) many of those astrological events are cyclical, and 2) what evidence is there that Artaxerxes 1 was not also Artaxerxes 2? I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but when I look at different sources and find different lists of kings, I can’t help but question all of them.

R.J. Furuli wrote:The Seleucid calendar started in the year 312/11 BCE, and this calendar was used by 1 Maccabees and 2. Maccabees. There is no problem today to make exact calculations from the first half of the first century CE and back to 455/54 BCE.


There’s no problem, if there is a reason to make that calculation. There’s nothing in the Bible to make that calculation.

If you mean Daniel 9:25–27, that gives a beginning date of 417 BC.

R.J. Furuli wrote:Persons living in the first part of the first century CE could also make good calculations of the same period. One tool that the Jews could use was the sabbath years, which in many cases in the books of Maccabees and in Josephus were mentioned and connected with regnal years of particular kings. One example of such an calculation is found in the DSS Damascus Document 1:4-11. The document says that there was a period of 390 years + 20 years from the time Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Jerusalem until the arrival of The Teacher of Rightousness. By using the year 607 for Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem, and counting 70 years for the Babylonian exile, we arrive at the yeat 197 BCE. This year fits very well the history of the community at Qumran. But the important point is that the author of the Damascus Document could calculate the years all the way back to the beginning of the exile.


The present Jewish calendar also calculates for that time period. However, it gives a different number for the years than do secular histories.

R.J. Furuli wrote:
Biblical Hebrew has no written vowels. One can’t use what doesn’t exist as evidence.

The vowels we find in many modern editions of Tanakh are Tiberian Hebrew—a language that has a different grammar, different pronunciations, and many of its terms different meanings from Biblical Hebrew. Because of those differences, we can’t use Tiberian Hebrew vowel points as evidence for anything.


Your observation regarding the vowels is correct. However, the DSS abound with matres lexionis, and when we compare these and old Hebrew inscriptions with the Masoretic system of vocalization, we see that this system is even older than the DSS, and is trustworthy.


How many of the matres lexionis of Tanakh were really full-fledged consonants in Biblical Hebrew? In other words, they weren’t treated as vowels, rather they were true consonants. Only in later Hebrew were they treated as matres lexionis.

When a language is not spoken natively, rather is a second language of a speaker, pronunciation changes can happen within a generation.

For example, American English doesn’t have the Norwegian “ø”. Americans who try to speak that sound often pronounce it as the American “r”. In San Francisco, I’ve dealt with many people who speak Cantonese, which also has the “ø” sound. Those who are American born, or even those whose parents brought them over as young, often exchange the Cantonese “ø” with the American “r”. That’s how quickly pronunciation changes can happen.

There’s a dialect of Cantonese called “Toisan” which has more sounds not found in English—children of those parents don’t even try to speak that dialect. If they speak Chinese at all, they try for the more normative Cantonese, or just speak English.

Yes, I speak some Toisan as well as Cantonese.

What does this have to do with Hebrew?

There is evidence that the Jews who returned after the Babylonian exile did not speak Hebrew as their first language. So in a language which has no written vowels, they tended to give Hebrew the vowels of their native languages. So by the time of the LXX, there were already major changes in pronunciations. So what’s the probability that the matres lexionis of the DSS period accurately reproduce Biblical era pronunciations? Isn’t it about nil?

R.J. Furuli wrote:Of course, we have no tools that can be used to prove that the vocalization of single verbs, for example the two in Daniel 11:26, is correct. Bible translators follow the vocalization of the Masoretic text. In a few rare cases, lexical semantics and the context suggest that a word is wrongly vocalized. However, there is absolutely no such reason to claim that the vocalization of Daniel 11:26 is wrong. Therefore, I have a very good reason to say that the translators of NIV have manipulated the text of this verse.


It’s just as likely that the Masoretes manipulated the text in this case. And that the NIV translators recovered the original meaning of the text.

As for me, I discuss no translations, rather the Hebrew text itself. That’s what I read for my personal pleasure, not counting professional studies.

R.J. Furuli wrote:Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 63
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:11 am

Dear Karl,

We have stated our arguments, and I will leave it at that. Thank you for the discussion.



Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:29 pm

I take the word to restore and to build Jerusalem as Cyrus' command (Isa 44:28).
I know it does not fit the secular chronology.
The Messiah is cut off 69 weeks after the command. So if Jesus' crucifixion was in 30 AD then 483 years prior would be 454 BC for Cyrus' command.
Sincerely yours,
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http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

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Jason Hare
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby Jason Hare » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:28 am

SteveMiller wrote:I take the word to restore and to build Jerusalem as Cyrus' command (Isa 44:28).
I know it does not fit the secular chronology.
The Messiah is cut off 69 weeks after the command. So if Jesus' crucifixion was in 30 AD then 483 years prior would be 454 BC for Cyrus' command.


According to a major Jewish understanding of the text, the "anointed" that is "cut off" is several generations before Jesus. ;)

I think we should probably avoid giving our personal theological leanings over and beyond the sense of the Hebrew text. Since all interpretations of the text will lead to a point where we cannot discuss the text itself - because we will disagree too completely - we should probably keep our comments somewhat limited. Don't you think?

Maybe I'm wrong.

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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:35 am

Dear Jason,

According to a major Jewish understanding of the text, the "anointed" that is "cut off" is several generations before Jesus. ;)

I think we should probably avoid giving our personal theological leanings over and beyond the sense of the Hebrew text. Since all interpretations of the text will lead to a point where we cannot discuss the text itself - because we will disagree too completely - we should probably keep our comments somewhat limited. Don't you think?

Maybe I'm wrong.


Your words are well taken. We should discuss language and not theology. However, all of us have a certain horizon of understanding (= all the information and views we have in our mind that our attention is not directed toward at the moment). This horizon includes conscious or unconscious religious (atheism is also a religious view) and philosophical views and preferences. We must admit that our horizon of understanding influences our studies and scientific work, and therefore all of us are biased.

When we are doing scientific work or studying the text of the Tanach, it is important to admit that we are biased, in order to avoid as much as possible that our biases disturbs our data. As a matter of fact, theology will always play a role in linguistic studies and in bible translation. For example, a great number of scholars who believe that the book of Daniel, or a part of it, was written in the second century BCE and describes the life of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, build on the axiom that humans cannot foretell the future. (That was also the original basis for the view that the book of Isaiah has three authors) I for one take the oppostive position and believe that there is a Creator who inspired the man Daniel to write his book with prophecies about the future. Intelligent readers of my book and of the publications of those who defend a second century writing, should consider to which extent my biases and the biases of other authors have colored our interpretation of the data. In other words, they should analyze the data we are presenting and draw their own conclusions. Even though all scholars are biased, our books are important, because they contain much data that the interested reader of Daniel could not have gathered of his own.

Then I come to the point where I can make a direct comment on your thoughts.

A good linguistic approach, in my view, would be to carefully consider the expression מִן־מֹצָ֣א דָבָ֗ר לְהָשִׁיב֙ וְלִבְנ֤וֹת יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ (Daniel 9:25) from the point of view of lexical semantics. This would take some time. We are not doing linguistic research in a vacuum, to the point when we have found the lexical meaning and considered the grammar and syntax, we stop. I see no problem in trying to find and present the references of the words we are studying. Three different starting points for the 70 weeks have been suggested, the decree of Cyrus, Ezra's journey to Jerusalem in the 7th year of Artaxerxes I, and Nehemiah's journey to Jerusalem in the 20th year of Artaxerxes I. To continue our good research, we should carefully look at the three events and and see if the words in Daniel 9:25 fit any of these events.

To continue a good approach, we may compare the unique expression מָשִׁ֣יחַ נָגִ֔יד in 9:25 with the use of both words elsewhere in the Tanach. Then it would be interesting to see how different expositors, including Jewish ones, apply this expression. In order to give the context the attention it deserves, we should translate for ourselves Daniel 9:25-27. This is an interesting study, because there are different views as to the nuances in the Hebrew text. One important point to use as a time indicator is וְהָעִ֨יר וְהַקֹּ֜דֶשׁ יַ֠שְׁחִית in 9:26—The words in the 9:25-27 refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.

I agree with you that we should avoid statements that only represent tehological viewpoints. And I think we also agree that we should not read Daniel in the light of the New Testament. The text of the Tanach must be considered and analyzed in its own right, not in the light of the New Testament or the books of Maccabees. That does not mean that we cannot use information from these books—we should absolutely use pertinent information from these sources. But our primary source is the Hebrew text of Daniel 9:25-27, and all other sources are secondary. This reminds us of the fallacy of Bible translators who manipulate their translations in order to fit the life of Antiochus, and of expositors who manipulate historical data in order to fit the life of Antiochus.

I agree with you that we should stick to the Hebrew text. But I se no problem in a presentation of one's view of the historical reference of a Hebrew expression, as Jason did. A good approach in such a situation would be to connect the reference with words and nuances in the Hebrew text.


Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


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