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
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.