When was the book of Daniel written?

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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:39 pm

kwrandolph wrote:
SteveMiller wrote:Could the 70 year captivity have begun with the first carrying away by Nebuchadnezzar in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim (Dan 1:1-2), when some of the vessels of the temple were carried away, and when Daniel was carried away captive? That was 19 years before the complete destruction of the temple in the 10th year of Zedekiah.


No. Nebuchadnezzar arrived in Judea in the third year, but when cross-referencing to other passages, he didn’t capture Jerusalem itself until the 11th year of Jehoiakim. Then reading 2 Chronicles 36 further, that was 11 years before the final destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

In ancient times, sieges of cities could often last years. Even over a decade. Cities tried to store enough food to outlast a siege. Further, how long did it take for Nebuchadnezzar to pacify the countryside and outlying fortified cities before he moved against Jerusalem itself? So an eight year siege by Nebuchadnezzar’s troops is not out of the question.

Thanks Karl. I see what you mean.
Dan 1:1-2 seems like Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim, but 2Ki 24:1 says Jehoiakim only served Nebuchadnezzar 3 years, so that would mean Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in the 8th year of Jehoiakim. Why do you say the 11th year?

2Chron 36:21, which you brought up, indicates that the 70 years started with the destruction of Jerusalem in the 10th year of Zedekiah.

But how do you reconcile that with
Jer 29:10 For thus says the LORD, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.

Jer 29:10 was given before the destruction of Jerusalem. It seems to be shortly after Jeconiah was taken captive (v2), which would be 10 years before the destruction. Yet Jer 25:10 sounds like the 70 years have already begun. There it sounds like the 70 years began with Jeconiah's captivity.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:41 am

SteveMiller wrote:Thanks Karl. I see what you mean.
Dan 1:1-2 seems like Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim,


Daniel mentions that Nebuchadnezzar invaded in the third year, but doesn’t mention how long after his invasion that the city fell to his forces. Eight years can fit within those verses.

SteveMiller wrote:but 2Ki 24:1 says Jehoiakim only served Nebuchadnezzar 3 years, so that would mean Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in the 8th year of Jehoiakim. Why do you say the 11th year?


2 Chronicles 36:5. Jehoiakim reigned three years as a vassal king to Nebuchadnezzar, then rebelled. That makes a total of 11 years.

SteveMiller wrote:2Chron 36:21, which you brought up, indicates that the 70 years started with the destruction of Jerusalem in the 10th year of Zedekiah.


2 Chronicles 36:11 Zedekiah reigned 11 years.

SteveMiller wrote:But how do you reconcile that with
Jer 29:10 For thus says the LORD, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.

Jer 29:10 was given before the destruction of Jerusalem. It seems to be shortly after Jeconiah was taken captive (v2), which would be 10 years before the destruction. Yet Jer 25:10 sounds like the 70 years have already begun. There it sounds like the 70 years began with Jeconiah's captivity.


Jeremiah had been prophesying that Judea would be completely depopulated. And that it was Babylon that would depopulate the land. At the time he wrote this letter to those already exiled, the first part of his prophesy had not yet been fulfilled. My understanding is that after the total depopulation, then there would be another 70 years. But I admit that taking Jeremiah 29:10 in isolation is not that clear, I get my understanding from cross-referencing with other verses.

Karl W. Randolph.

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

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:18 am

Dear Karl,

You wrote:

Jeremiah had been prophesying that Judea would be completely depopulated. And that it was Babylon that would depopulate the land. At the time he wrote this letter to those already exiled, the first part of his prophesy had not yet been fulfilled. My understanding is that after the total depopulation, then there would be another 70 years. But I admit that taking Jeremiah 29:10 in isolation is not that clear, I get my understanding from cross-referencing with other verses.


The correct understanding of Jeremiah 29:10 is connected with the preposition le. The most common renderings of the proposition le are “to” or “for,” and looking at 70 Bible translations in my personal library, I find only seven translations rendering it with the local meaning “at” in Jeremiah 29:10, namely, NWT, KJ, Harkavy, Spurrell, Lamsa, the Swedish Church Bible of 1917, and the Danish Church Bible of 1992. This difference is very important, because “when seventy years are completed at Babylon” would say that the very exile lasted 70 years, but “when seventy years are completed for Babylon” would give the 70 years a rather fuzzy.

Looking at the versions, both the Targum Jonathan and the Peshitta use the preposition le, which in both cases has about the same meaning as the Hebrew counterpart. However, the Septuagint has the dative form babuloni, the most natural meaning being “at Babylon.” The Latin Vulgate has in Babylone, the most natural meaning being “in Babylon” or “at Babylon,” and the Ge’ez version has westä babilon, which means “in Babylon” or “within Babylon.” So, the local meaning is the one extant in these versions.

But what about the meaning of the Hebrew preposition le? Can it really be used in the local sense “in” or “at”? It certainly can, and The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew lists about 30 examples of this meaning, one of which is Numbers 11:10, “each man at (le) the entrance of his tent.” So, in each case when le is used, it is the context that must decide its meaning. For example, in Jeremiah 51:2 the phrase לְבָבֶ֤ל׀ means “to Babylon,” because the preceding verb is “to send.” But לִירוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ in Jeremiah 3:17 in the clause, “all the nations will gather in Jerusalem” has the local meaning “in Jerusalem,” and the same is true with the phrase לִֽיהוּדָ֑ה in Jeremiah 40:11 in the clause, “the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah.”

On the basis of "cross-referencing," as you say—looking at everything that Jeremiah says about the exile, there are good reasons to translate לְבָבֶ֛ל in Jeremiah 29:10 with the words "at Babel."


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:11 pm

Thanks Rolf,
Yes, "70 years at Babylon" is much more definite than "70 years for Babylon", and makes more sense.
"When 70 years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you" - Would not that mean that the 70 years start from Jeconiah's captivity in Jer 29:2, which was in the 1st year of Zedekiah, 10 years before the destruction of Jerusalem?
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
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Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:24 am

SteveMiller wrote:…Would not that mean that the 70 years start from Jeconiah's captivity in Jer 29:2, which was in the 1st year of Zedekiah, 10 years before the destruction of Jerusalem?


Not necessarily.

In that verse, Jeremiah doesn’t nail down the starting date, but elsewhere he mentions that the land will be completely empty of inhabitants, and that the land would enjoy its Sabbaths for 70 years, neither of which happened until after Jerusalem was destroyed.

Secondly, Chronicles, which was written after the event, clearly indicates that the start of the 70 years was the depopulation of the land. So there’s no question there.

It’s dangerous to take isolated verses and build towers on them.

Karl W. Randolph.

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

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:44 pm

kwrandolph wrote:It’s dangerous to take isolated verses and build towers on them.


אָמֵן!

Entire theologies have been constructed off of one or two verses. That's probably something that should be avoided if at all possible. ;)
Jason Hare
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R.J. Furuli
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:23 am

Dear Steve,

You wrote:

Thanks Rolf,
Yes, "70 years at Babylon" is much more definite than "70 years for Babylon", and makes more sense.
"When 70 years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you" - Would not that mean that the 70 years start from Jeconiah's captivity in Jer 29:2, which was in the 1st year of Zedekiah, 10 years before the destruction of Jerusalem?


You are correct when you say that the words "when 70 years are filled at Babylon" in Jeremiah 29:10 do not tell when these years started. However, if we take the words "all these nations round about" (כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֖לֶּה סָבִ֑יב) in Jeremiah 25:9 as referreing to the tribes and clans of Israel and Judah, the desolate state mentioned in 25:10, 11 must refer to Judah with representatives of other tribes. Thus, the 70 years mentioned in 25:11-12 must refer to the exile of the Jews and not with the exiles of other nations. This accords with all the passages in Jeremiah referreing to a desolate condition of the land, that I mentioned in a previous post.

The right approach to single verses, in my view, is to make a careful analysis, and then ask, 1) Which part(s) of the verse explcitly state one meaning or can only have one reference?, and, 2) which part(s) of the verse can have different meanings and different references? Then we compare the verses that may be ambigious with other verses, or the context, that have explicit statements.

In connection with the length of the exile, Daniel 9:2 and 2 Chronicles 36:21 explicitly show that the 70 years relate to the time when Judah and Jerusalem were desolate—an alternative interpretation is not linguistically possible. Both Daniel and the Chronicler refer to Jeremiah's prophecy. And that support the connection with the desolate state mentioned i Jeremiah 25:10, 11 with the 70 years mentioned in 25:11, 12.

The real problem with the length of the Babylonian exile. is that archaeologists and historians only accept a period of 49 or 50 years. Bible readers then try to conform the text of the Bible with this view, and that leads to may forced interpretations. A much better approach, in my view, is to take the text of the Bible at face view, and then carefulle study the basis for the 49/50 year view.

Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:49 am

Dear Rolf:

R.J. Furuli wrote:The real problem with the length of the Babylonian exile. is that archaeologists and historians only accept a period of 49 or 50 years. Bible readers then try to conform the text of the Bible with this view, and that leads to may forced interpretations. A much better approach, in my view, is to take the text of the Bible at face view, and then carefulle study the basis for the 49/50 year view.

Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


Could the answer to the temporal discrepancy be the rule of Darius the Mede?

From what I’ve seen, modern historians try to say that that rule never happened, therefore Daniel couldn’t have recorded actual history. Cyrus wrote him out of history because he wanted to legitimize his own rule. The Bible considers his rule as an extension of the Babylonian Exile because, except for a few details, he continued the Babylonian system. Alexander the Great did history a real disservice in that he destroyed the official Persian records, so anything we say today is guesswork, educated guesswork but guesswork nonetheless.

Daniel doesn’t tell how long Darius ruled, nor from where he ruled, merely that he ruled. Further, there’s no indication that he changed the status of any of the captive and exiled nations that the Babylonians captured. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, his rule was basically a continuation of the Babylonian system.

That’s how I understand it.

Karl W. Randolph.

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

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:39 am

Dear Karl,

You wrote:


Could the answer to the temporal discrepancy be the rule of Darius the Mede?

From what I’ve seen, modern historians try to say that that rule never happened, therefore Daniel couldn’t have recorded actual history. Cyrus wrote him out of history because he wanted to legitimize his own rule. The Bible considers his rule as an extension of the Babylonian Exile because, except for a few details, he continued the Babylonian system. Alexander the Great did history a real disservice in that he destroyed the official Persian records, so anything we say today is guesswork, educated guesswork but guesswork nonetheless.

Daniel doesn’t tell how long Darius ruled, nor from where he ruled, merely that he ruled. Further, there’s no indication that he changed the status of any of the captive and exiled nations that the Babylonians captured. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, his rule was basically a continuation of the Babylonian system.


The reign of Darius the Mede does not solve any chronological problems. I show in "When was the Book of Daniel Written? that what we know about Darius the Mede fits what we know about Ugbaru, who was the general of Cyrus, and who conquered Babylon in behalf of Cyrus. Ugbaru only ruled a few weeks before he died. The desolate condition of Jerusalem and Judah ended when the Jews returned to their land because of the proclamation of Cyrus. That must have been in 537 BCE, and at this time Darius the Mede had long been dead.

That the traditional view of the length of the Neo-Babylonian Empire is wrong, is proven by two lines of evidence, 1) dated business tablets, and astronomical tablets, particularly VAT 4956. The Babylonians used the accession year system. If a king died in month six of a year, this whole year was ascribed to this king, But month seven threough twelve of this year was the accession year of the next king. Thus, the first year of a king started on the first day of the year after the year that the previous king died. This means that dated tablets to the king who died can only be dated in the first six months of the king's year of death. And dated tablets to the next king can only be dated in months seven through twelve in his accession year.

My book Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian Chronology, Vol II, shows that there are several overlaps of tablets dated to the Neo-Babylonian kings. For example, the last tablet dated in Nebuchandnezzar's 43rd year, is dated on day? month X (BM 55806), and the first tablet dated in the accession year of Evil Meridach is dated on day? month IV (BM 65270). There are 23 more tablets dated in the accession year of Evil Merodach in months IV through IX. This shows explicitly that there is one or more years between Nebuchadnezzar II and Evil Merodach that are not included in the traditional chronology. There is also a tablet dated on day 10, month X in the 45th year of Nebuchadnezzar II (BM 69931).

There is also an overlapping between Evil Merodach and Neriglissar. The last tablet dated to Evil Merodach, is dated on day 17, month X in his second year (BM 61325). The first tablet in the accession year of Neriglissar is dated on day 26, month II (AOAT 236,97). There are 41 more tablets that are dated in the accession year of Niriglissar before the last tablet dated in the second year of Evil Meridach. This explicitly shows that there must have been one or more years between Evil Merodach and Neriglissar that are not included in the traditional chronology.

The very backbone of the Neo-Bbylonian chronology is the astronomical tablet VAT 4956. It mentioned year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar, and it is believed that the celestial positions on this tablet fit the year 568/67. However, I have carefully studied all the cuneiform signs on the tablet and calculated the 13 positions of the moon given by the tablet. I found that all the 13 positions excellently fit the year 588/87 but only seven fit the year 568/67. (All the positions are given in my book, and they can easily be checked by a modern astronomical program.) The fit in the year 588/87 indicates that the time between the start of Nabopolassar's reign and the death of Nabonaid must be expanded by 20 years. The mentioned dated business tablets and several other dated tablets corroborate this expansion.

The conclusion is that those who believe the words of the Bible that the Babylonian exile lasted a full 70 years, on the basis of dated Babylonian tablets and the astronomical diary VAT 4956, have a very strong case.


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway.

kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:28 am

Dear Rolf:

There’s one group of people whom I have learned that I cannot trust to give an accurate picture of ancient history, namely professional historians. I can give several examples of why I can’t trust them. You seem to trust them.

Another group of people who have earned their reputation of being untrustworthy are ancient historians and their kings.

As far as Daniel is concerned, he lived through the historical events that he describes in his book. I trust that he told the truth, giving an accurate description of the events that surrounded him.

As for the Medo-Persian empire, Daniel describes it first with the Medes in ascendency, followed by the Persians. In Daniel 5:28 the Medes are listed first. Chapter six of Daniel is of an event that happened during the rule of Darius the Mede, who was 62 at the time he ascended the throne of Babylon. The final verse says that Daniel served into the first year of Cyrus the Persian. In Daniel 8:3, 20, a vision he had before the Medo-Persian empire, again one side is ascendant first, only to be eclipsed by the other side with the Medes listed first.

From the Book of Daniel, there’s no question that the Medo-Persian empire was ruled first by the Mede named Darius, later followed by the Persian Cyrus. Further, the implication is that Darius ruled for some years.

This was no Ugbaru, a general under Cyrus.

Cyrus had a motive to write Darius out of history—he wanted to claim that the Persians, and Cyrus in particular, were the rightful rulers of the empire. Most modern historians also have a motive to write Darius out of history—they as a group (there are exceptions) oppose the Bible’s teachings and one way to do that is to marshal “facts” that indicate that the Bible is untrustworthy, false.

It comes down to a matter of trust, who do you trust? Cyrus and the professional historians on one side, or the Bible on the other? I trust the Bible.

Karl W. Randolph.


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