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The Book Of Daniel


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#41 Fortigurn

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 08:33 PM

The dating of the seige referred to in Daniel 1:1 is claimed by critics to be inaccurate, and yet the historical evidence reveals that the two different dating systems used by Jeremiah and Daniel are the real reason for the apparent inaccuracy:

It is still claimed in some circles that Dan 1:1 and Jer 46:2 are in conflict and yet recent discoveries have shown that each is using different dating techniques. [contra Rowley (1950): 156; Porteus, 25-6; Farrar, 45-6; Davies (1988): 29-30; Larue, 405); Lacocque (1979): 7; Collins (1984): 51, (1992): 29; McNamara (1970): 132; Montgomery, 72-3; Taylor; Heuvel, 4-5]

As Richards points out "[n]o Jew writing the Book of Daniel in the second century B.C. would have gone against Jeremiah 46:2 and dated the invasion using a Babylonian system [that was] three centuries out of date." He notes that this is "a most compelling argument for fifth-century authorship." [page 210; see also Hasel (Spr. 1981): 48-9; (1986): 118-21] "Had the author of Daniel been an unknown Jew of the second century B.C. as critical scholars have been wont to insist, it is unlikely that he would have followed the obsolete Babylonian chronological system of computation in preference to his own Palestinian method, which had the sanction of so important a personage as the prophet Jeremiah." [Harrison (1969): 1112-3; Emery, 21 notes that these "too-obvious blunders" could have been removed "by any later copyist or editor"; see also page 113.]

On this issue Waltke writes, "But how can one square the statement in Daniel 1:1 that Nebuchadnezzar in his first year as king besieged Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim with the statement in Jeremiah 25:1, 9; 46:1 that Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Necho in the fourth year of Jehoiakim?

Edwin Thiele harmonizes this conflicting date by proposing that Daniel is using the Babylonian system of dating the king's reign whereas Jeremiah is using the Palestinian system of dating [The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, 163, 165].

In Babylonia the year in which the king ascended the throne was designated specifically as 'the year of accession to the kingdom,' and this was followed by the first, second, and subsequent years of rule. In Palestine, on the other hand, there was no accession year as such, so that the length of rule was computed differently, with the year of accession being regarded as the first year of the king's reign.

David Conklin, 'Evidences Relating to the Date of the Book of Daniel', 2000



#42 Fortigurn

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 08:33 PM

It is further objected that the seige did not even take place:

Canon Driver says:

That Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and carried away captive some of the sacred vessels in the third year of Jehoiakim (Dan. 1:1f.) though it cannot, strictly speaking, be disproved, is highly improbable, because, Jeremiah in the following year (c. 25 & c.; see v. 1) speaks of the Chaldeans in a manner which appears distinctly to imply that their arms had not yet been seen in Judah. [1]

Prof. Cornill says:

Daniel’s fixing the carrying away into captivity in the third year of Jehoiakim (Dan. 1:1) contradicts all contemporaneous accounts and can only be explained as due to a combination of 2Chron. 36:6, 7, with an erroneous interpretation of 2 Kings 24:1. [2]

Prof. Bevan says:

It was not till after the defeat of the Egyptian army at Carchemish on the Euphrates in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Jer. 46:2) that there could be any question of Nebuchadnezzar’s invading Palestine, where for some years the Egyptians had enjoyed undisputed supremacy. [3]

[1] LOT p. 408.
[2] Introduction to the Canonical Books of the Old Testament, p. 384.
[3] The book of Daniel, p. 16.

Robert D Wilson, 'Studies in the Book of Daniel: A Discussion of the Historical Questions', pages 62-3 1917



#43 Fortigurn

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 08:33 PM

A summary of the available historical evidence, however, demonstrates that the Biblical account is perfectly consistent with what is known:

1. That Kings, Chronicles, Berosus, Josephus, and Daniel all affirm that Nebuchadnezzar did come up against Jerusalm in the days of Jehoiakim.

2. That Chronicles, Daniel, Berosus, and Josephus unite in saying that Nebuchadnezzar carried many captives from Judea to Babylon in the reign of Jehoiakim.

3. That Berosus supports the statement of Daniel with regard to the carrying away of some of the vessels of the house of the Lord by saying that Nebuchadnezzar brought spoils from Judea which were put in the temple of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.

4. That Berosus supports Daniel in declaring an expedition against Jerusalem to have occurred before the death of Nabopolassar.

5. That since Nabopolassar died while Nebuchadnezzar was in the midst of his expedition against Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar may have been king de jure before he came up against Jerusalem; for it would take the news of the death of Nabopolassar several weeks to reach Jerusalem, and in those weeks there would have been abundance of time for Nebuchadnezzar to have captured Jerusalem, especially if Jehoiakim surrendered at this time without fighting or after a brief siege, as Josephus says that he did in his eleventh year. [1]

6. That the book of Jeremiah is silent with regard to all of these events. It does not say that Nebuchadnezzar did not come up to Jerusalem in the reign of Jehoiakim. It simply says nothing about it. Why it says nothing about it we do not know. The expedition or expeditions may have been mentioned in 'the many like words' recorded by Baruch (Jer. xxxvi, 32), which have not been preserved for us.

7. That finally, the statement of Daniel 1:1-3, that Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim and carried captive to Babylon certain of the nobility, and some of the vessels of the house of the Lord, stands absolutely unimpugned by any testimony to be produced from any reliable source of information.

[1] 1 Jos., Ant. X, vi, 3. Josephus says that Jehoiakim received Nebuchadnezzar into the city out of fear of a prediction of Jeremiah “supposing that he should suffer nothing that was terrible, because he neither shut the gate, nor fought against him.”

Robert D Wilson, 'Studies in the Book of Daniel: A Discussion of the Historical Questions', pages 58-9 1917






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