Karl Randolph wrote:
Why take the 7 sevens and 62 sevens as sequential? I know that’s an almost universal practice, but I see no linguistic reason for that practice.
If you take them as sequential, why not take the 7 sevens as starting after the 70 sevens in order to maintain the same practice over the whole passage?
But if you take the 70 sevens and the 7 sevens as being concurrent starting at the same date, why not take the 62 sevens as also concurrent starting at the same date?
Why not be consistent?
If there is no linguistic reason, there may be a mathamatical one: 7+62+1 = 70.
A problem with trying to date with astronomical data is that astronomical events are cyclical, therefore can refer to several dates, not just one.
It is evident that you lack knowledge of astronomical dating. It is true that the movements of the planets and the moon are cyclical. For example,every 18 years and 11 days, the moon has almost, but not exactly, the same position. However, an astronomical tablet often has several positions. and when these positions are taken together, a date can be fixed to hour, day, month and year—these positions can only fit one year.
The basis for the year 455 as year 20 of Artaxerxes I and the start of the 70 weeks is the evidence that there was a co-regency between Darius I and Xerxes, and that Artaxerxes I started his reign in 475/74 and not in 465/64. My book, When Was the Book of Daniel Written? A Philological, Linguistic, and Historical Approach
, 210, 211 give an overview of the evidence:
"Which year corresponds to the 20th year of Artaxerxes I? According to the traditional chronology, that is year 445/44. However, dated cuneiform tablets from the reigns of Darius I, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes I, and various Greek and Egyptian sources indicate that Artaxerxes I started his reign ten years earlier, in 475/74 and not in 465/64. This means that the 20th year of Artaxerxes I is 455/54 BCE. The evidence is as follows: There are 3 cuneiform tablets with celestial positions that are connected with the reign of Artaxerxes I. The tablet BM 33478 was dated in year 24 of Artaxerxes I by Sachs and Hunger, but they admit that the celestial positions do not fit that year. A study of the celestial positions in all the regnal years of Artaxerxes I, Artaxerxes II, and Artaxerxes III reveals a perfect fit of the positions on BM 33478 only in 465/64. According to the traditional chronology, this is year 21 of Xerxes and the accession year of Artaxerxes I. The cuneiform tablet BM 33478 tells that in the year when the celestial positions were observed there was an intercalary Addaru (an extra month 13). However, the accession year of Artaxerxes I did not have an intercalary Addaru. Therefore, this tablet suggests that the traditional chronology is wrong, and 465/64 was not the accession year of Artaxerxes I. However, the 10th year of ArtaxerxesI had an intercalary Addaru, and this may suggest that 465/64 was the 10th year and not the 1st year of the reign of Artaxerxes I. The cuneiform tablet BM 32235 mentions the year in which Xerxes died, which was his 21st year. Two lunar eclipses are also mentioned on the tablet, one whose position in relation to the constellation Sagittarius is described, and the other is said to have occurred in month VIII and its magnitude is described. There were two lunar eclipses in the years 465/64 and 475/74 respectively, and it is interesting that the eclipses of 475/74 fit the description on the tablet perfectly, but that is not the case with the eclipses of 465/64 where the fit is only approximately correct. This suggests that 475/74 was the accession year of Artaxerxes I, and that his twentieth year was 455/54."
My book, Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Persian Chronology compared wit the Chronology of the Bible—VOLUME I Persian Chronology and the length of the Babylonian Exile of the Jews
, have a very detailed discussion of the evidence, including a calculation of all the celestical positions on the relevant astronomical tables. These positions cannot fit different years in an astronomical cycle.
Rolf J. Furuli