Bible Query from
Q: In Dan, when was this book written?
A: Daniel was most likely written down shortly after the events occurred, in the 6th century B.C., according to The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1324. Many Jewish youths were taken to Babylon in 605 B.C, and some commentators guess that Daniel was about 16 years old. This would make Daniel about 85 years old when the Persians captured Babylon.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.596 claims it could have been written as late as 165 B.C. However, the Jewish historian Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews 11.8.5 (c.93-94 A.D.) records that when Alexander the Great approached Jerusalem (c.333 B.C.), the High Priest Jaddua met him and showed Alexander part of the book of Daniel where the Greeks would overcome the Persians. Alexander apparently was impressed, and left the Jews alone.
Origen (225-254 A.D.) says that when Alexander of Macedon came to Jerusalem, the Jewish high priest, clothed in his sacred robe met him. Alexander bowed before him, saying that he had seen someone with the same robe in his dream, announcing that he was to be the subjugator of all of Asia. Origen Against Celsus book 4 ch.50 p.565
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.367 for more info on Alexander, When Critics Ask p.291, and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.282-284 for more info in general on the date of the book of Daniel.
Q: Was Dan written down in the second century (after Alexanderís conquest), because of the Greek words found in Daniel?
A: No. While the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.597 claims "other subtle facets of the language used bespeak the Greek period rather than the time of Exile", there are only three Greek words in Daniel, which is less than the seven Persian words found. Here is more on these two points.
Only three Greek words are in Daniel (Daniel 3:5,10,15), and all three of them refer to musical instruments. However, this does not show second century authorship, as Assyrian inscriptions say Greek captives were in Mesopotamia in the 8th century B.C. In addition, in the 7th century, the Greek Alcaeus of Lebos mentions that his brother was serving in the Babylonian army. Likewise The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 1 p.247 also says, "There is little doubt that the names of the instruments in Daniel were Old Persian in character, and were assimilated by the Greeks into their own culture with some orthographic modifications. Consequently this particular argument is no longer important for the literary criticism of Daniel."
6 1/2 Persian words are in Daniel referring to administration (Daniel 6:1-4,6-7), and fell into disuse within a century after the Persian Empire fell to Alexander. As 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.193 says, "...Danielís correct use of these words simply cannot be explained if the author were an unknown second -century writer unfamiliar with the details of Persian government three hundred years before his time." (The word satrap is counted as a half, because it was actually a Medean word, which later was adopted by the Persians too.
Q: Was Dan written after Sirach, since Sirach 47-49 contains a fairly exhaustive list of the Old Testament, omitting Daniel, as Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.623 says?
A: The time of the Maccabees was until about 165 B.C. However, four pieces of evidence are against this second century theory.
1. In the Apocrypha, 1 Maccabees 2:49-60 mentions Daniel and the three young men in such a way to imply that the book was already written by then. Otherwise, how would the readers of 1 Maccabees be expected to understand Daniel and the three young men? See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.367 for more info on this.
2. Archaeologists have dated a copy of the manuscript of Daniel at 120 B.C. The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.436-438 mentions this, saying that this "brings into question the alleged Maccabean date of its composition."
3. Babylonian excavations show that the details of Daniel are correct. M. Lenormant says, "The more the knowledge of cuneiform texts advances, the more is felt the necessity to revise (correct) the too hasty condemnation of the book of Daniel by the German exegetical school" (La Magie p.14) (quoted from 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.367)
4. Also the reference in Josephus already mentioned in the previous question.
Q: In Dan, what are the similarities with the rest of the Bible?
A: Daniel can be considered the Revelation of the Old Testament. Here are the similarities with other books of the Bible.
|Concept or phrase||Daniel||Rest of the Bible|
|A beast with ten horns||Dan 7:4-7||Rev 13:1-3; 17:3|
|Wheels of fire on the heavenly throne||Dan 7:9||Ezek 1:15-28; 10:1-22|
|Ten thousand times ten thousand and the river of fire in heaven||Dan 7:10||Rev 19:14. See also Mt 16:27; Jude 14|
|Jesus comes with the clouds; every eye shall see Jesus return||Dan 7:13||Rev 1:7; Mt 24:30; Mk 13:26; Lk 21:27; Acts 1:11|
|Dragon casting down stars||Dan 8:10||Rev 12:4|
|Gabriel||Dan 8:16; 9:21||Lk 1:19|
|Corporate prayer of confession||Dan 9:4-19||Nehemiah 1:5-11|
|A flood, or river of water||Dan 9:26||Rev 12:15; Nahum 1:8|
|3 Ĺ years||Dan 9:26-27; 12:7,11||Rev 11:1-3; 12:6; 13:5|
|Abomination that causes desolation||Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11||Mt 24:15|
|Michael||Dan 12:1||Rev 12:7; Jude 9|
|The Book of Life||Dan 12:1||Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; Lk 10:20; Ex 2:32-33; Ps 69:28|
|Coming to life again||Dan 12:2||Rev 20:4-5|
|Do / Do not seal up words of a prophecy||Dan 12:4||Rev 22:10|
|Parts of Godís Revelation sealed up||Dan 12:9||Rev 10:4; Isa 29:11-12|
|Good and evil both increase||Dan 12:10||Rev 22:11|
Q: In Dan, what is an outline of this book?
A: Scholars differ on the best way to outline the book of Daniel. There are two overall outlines to the book of Daniel. On one hand, chapters 1-6 are Danielís life (and Nebuchadnezzarís visions) written in third person, and chapters 7-12 are Daniels visions, written in first person. The other way to outline the book is chapter 1 is Daniels early history in Hebrew, chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic as Danielís life prophesying the future of the Gentiles, and chapters 8-12 are written in Hebrew as the prophetic history of Israel. If we have puns (plays on words), could God have "plays on outlines"? Anyway, Here is a simple outline of the book of Daniel.
Dan 1-6 Danielís Life
Dan 1 Danielís Situation
Dan 2 Nebuchadnezzarís Dream of the Statue
Dan 3 Nebuchadnezzar Makes his Own Statue
Dan 4 Nebuchadnezzarís Dream of His Insanity
Dan 5 Belshazzarís Feast and Writing on the Wall
Dan 6 Dariusí 30-Day Decree
Dan 7-12 Danielís Visions
Dan 7 Vision of the Four Beasts
Dan 8 Vision of the Ram and the Goat
Dan 9 Vision of the Seventy Sevens
Dan 10-12 Vision of the Greeks
Q: In Dan 1:1, what do we know about Nebuchadnezzar II apart from the Bible?
A: His name is written in English both as Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadrezzar, but the latter is more similar to the way the Babylonians pronounced it. It means Nabo [a god] protect my frontier.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica (1972) Nebuchadnezzar II was the oldest son of Nabopolassar. He defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish in 605 B.C. When Nabopolassar died, Nebuchadnezzar II returned to Babylon and ruled from 605 B.C. to August/September 562 B.C. The Babylonian Chronicle gives details of his fighting Egypt, besieging Tyre, and defeating Judah in 597 B.C. He fought Elam in 596 B.C. and put down a revolt in 595 B.C.. After that the Babylonian Chronicle is missing here.
The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.696 has a photograph of a Babylonian decree listing the events from the last year of Nabopolassar to Nebuchadnezzar IIís 11th year. It mentions the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar built the hanging gardens of Babylon, which have been called one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. He built them for his wife Amytis, the daughter of king Astyages (Medean Iötumegu) of Media.
Q: In Dan 1:1, did Nebuchadnezzar invade Judah in the third year of Jehoiakim, or in the fourth year as Jer 46:2 says?
A: Both, and this was only one invasion, because the dating system used in Judah in the fifth century B.C. was different than the one used in Babylon.
There is an interesting side note here. As 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.192 points out, no Jew writing centuries later would use a Babylonian calendar system that gave a year different from what Jeremiah wrote. Rather than being an error in the book of Daniel, this confirms that Daniel was written in the fifth century rather than later.
When Critics Ask p.291-293 explains the details of the two calendar systems. The "Nisan" calendar system Jeremiah (and the Assyrians) used started in Nisan (April). Jehoiakim because of Judah a few days after the new year, so the first [full] year would start the first day of the following year. Daniel used the "Tishri" calendar where the new year started in "Tishri" around October. The first [full] year of Jehoiakimís reign started on that the first day of Tishri. The Babylonian invasion took place in the summer of 605 B.C. Also, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1328-1329 adds that the Babylonians did counted the part of a new kingís reign prior to the start of the new year as his first year, while the Jews did not.
See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.284-285 for more info.
Q: In Dan 1:2, where is Shinar?
A: Shinar is a synonym for the land of Babylonia. The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.599 claims this is anachronistic. However, literary writers often used synonyms for the same word, and Daniel is doing so here.
Q: In Dan 1:3-6, these four were not the only youths taken from Judah for the kingís service. Why do you think other youths are not mentioned anywhere in Daniel?
A: Perhaps the other youths thought they had no choice and ate the food offered to them. Once the made that compromise, then they might make other compromises. But remember, you always have a choice.
Q: In Dan 1:7, how do you pronounce Belteshazzar?
A: The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.216 pronounces it as bel-te-SHAZ-er. The first and third syllables have short vowels, the "te" has a long e with a dot over it, and the "er" has an e with a tilde over it.
Q: In Dan 1:6, what did these names mean?
A: Here is what they meant according to The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1330.
Belteshazzar was the Akkadian word Belet-sar-usur, which meant, "Lady, protect the King".
Shadrach was probably the Akkadian verb Saduraku, which meant "I am fearful [of a god]". Alternately, it might come from Aku, the Sumerian moon god.
Meshach possibly was the Akkadian verb mesaku, which meant "I despised, contemptible, humbled [before my god]".
Abednego meant servant of [the god named] Nebo. Nebo was the Babylonian god of writing and vegetables. He was the son of Bel.
The names seemed to serve the purpose of reminding them that they were a conquered people, and exalting the Babylonian gods.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.600 gives totally different meanings. It says Belteshazzar means "Bel protect his life", Shadrach means "Aku commands", Meshach was a word of doubtful meaning. He agrees that Abednego means "servant of Nebo".
Q: In Dan 1:7; 4:8, why did Daniel and the three other Jewish teenagers consent to have their names changed to be names that included pagan gods?
A: They probably did not have any choice in the matter. The Bible does not have a prohibition on someone having a name with a pagan idol, though a believer would normally not want to do so.
Q: In Dan 1:8-20, Daniel and the three other youths could have said, "since we have no choice" we must eat the food. On the other hand, they could have said, "we will die rather than eat that food." Do you think Danielís course of action was best?
A: Danielís course required trusting in God. He believed that God would keep them healthy, even though they were not eating the meat, or drinking the wine (which can reduce the ill-effects of bacteria-infested food).
Q: In Dan 1:9 (KJV), what is "tender love" here?
A: The NKJV translates this as "favor and goodwill". The NIV translates this as "favor and sympathy". The NRSV and NASB translate this as "favor and compassion". The NET Bible says "sympathetic".
Q: In Dan 1:10, why did Daniel and his friends not eat this food?
A: Since these Jewish youths took the Old Testament dietary commands seriously, there were at least three reasons.
1. Some of this undoubtedly included pork, shellfish, perhaps camel meat, and other animals they were prohibited to eat. In addition, even the clean animals probably were cooked in the same pots as the unclean ones.
2. For even the clean animals, the Jews could not eat the blood. We do not hear of ancient cultures draining the blood before cooking the animals.
3. The meat might have been first sacrificed to idols, and perhaps they did not want to eat that meat.
4. There were other laws, such as one could not cook a young animal in its motherís milk.
John Chrysostom (before 407 A.D.) eloquently discusses their plight in his treatise None Can Harm Him Who Dot Not Injure Himself ch.15 (NPNF vol.9) p.281-282.
Q: In Dan 1:10-15, why did these Jewish boys look healthier than the others?
A: While scripture does not say, it could be a combination of at least five reasons.
1. It might be a miracle, outside of nature.
2. Perhaps the Jewish youthsí simple food, with no pork or delicacies, did not have any parasites and the other food did.
3. There were no preservatives, refrigerators, and few spices back then. (Food poisoning was probably more common then.)
4. Perhaps many in the royal court drank wine excessively. Besides being bad for your liver, I have been told that extensive drinking can make a light-complected person have a redder-appearing face. This is because small capillaries burst and give the reddish appearance.
5. A very simple possibility is that cutting down on food that is very fatty and sweet can reduce the pimples on a personís face.
Q: In Dan 1:11 (KJV), who was "Melzar"?
A: This might have been a proper name. On the other hand, this might have been a title, such as "chief official" (NIV), "steward" (NKJV and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.1099-1100), "overseer" (NASB), or "guard" (NRSV).
Q: In Dan 1:12 (KJV), what is "pulse" to eat?
A: This word means vegetables, or non-meat food.
Q: In Dan 1:12, what kind of vegetables did they eat?
A: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1331 says this Hebrew word zeroaí was rather generic, and included grains and any food that was sown too.
Q: In Dan 1:12-16, was Daniel a vegetarian and not a wine drinker the rest of his life?
A: No, because in Dan 10:2-4 when Daniel mourned for three full weeks, he changed his diet and did not take meat or wine. This indicates he did have those normally.
Q: In Dan 1:20, were magicians and astrologers prominent in ancient Babylon?
A: Yes. In particular, western astrology traces its origins back to Babylon. Another, later source of astrology was Pergamum, in Asia Minor, but that was 400 years later, and that too came from Babylon.
Q: In Dan 1:21, did Daniel continue until the first year of Cyrus, or the third year as Dan 10:1 says?
A: Both, since Daniel continued even beyond the third year. Daniel 1:21 stresses that Daniel served as an official not only through the end of the Babylonian empire, but even into the Persian Empire. It does not say Daniel died or retired in the first year of Cyrus. Indeed, Daniel 10:1, perhaps written down slightly later, says even through the third year.
See When Critics Ask p.295 for more info.
Q: In Dan 2, when did this dream occur?
A: In Daniel 1 Daniel was carried off June-August 605 B.C.. On September 7, 605 B.C, King Nebopolasser, Nebuchadnezzarís father, died, and Nebuchadnezzar became the supreme ruler of Babylon. Daniel 2 was in the second year of Nebuchadnezzarís reign.
604 B.C. according to the NIV Study Bible notes p.1301 and the Evangelical Bible Commentary p.592
603 B.C. according to the New International Bible Commentary p.854 and Walvoordís Daniel : Key to Prophetic Understanding p.45-46.
Between April 603 B.C. and March 602 B.C. The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.7 p.39
About four years after 605 B.C. and the events of Daniel 1 according to the older Langeís Commentary on Daniel p.66 (published 1901). He believed that Nebuchadnezzar did not become sole ruler until a few years after his fatherís death.
Q: In Dan 2:1, why did God communicate directly to Nebuchadnezzar, an ungodly man, in a dream, instead of just speaking to Daniel?
A: A personís wickedness does nothing to restrict God from communicating with them or using them for His ends.
Q: In Dan 2:2-10; 2:18; 4:7; 5:7,11, who were the Chaldeans here?
A: While the Amorite Babylonian people were called Chaldeans, that is not what is meant here. Within Babylonian culture, the Chaldeans were a class of priests. The Amorites came from the northwest. The Chaldeans did not emerge from the Arabian desert, despite what Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.387 states.
Q: In Dan 2:2-10; 4:7; 5:7,11, does calling the priests Chaldeans show a later authorship, as some the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.601 maintains?
A: No. Gleason Archer has an extensive article in Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.285-286 discussing this.
1. Daniel uses the Hebrew term, Kasdim, not only to refer to priests, but also the Chaldean (Babylonian) people in Daniel 5:30. If using it to refer to priests showed a late authorship, then Daniel 5:30 would show an early authorship.
2. However, using this in two ways shows this was written around Danielís time. The Akkadian language, which Babylonians in Danielís time spoke, used the same word Kal-du (from the Sumerian Gal-du to refer to both the priests and the nation. A table dated in the 14th year of Shamash-shumukin (668-648 B.C.) uses Gal-du for the priests. Archer says the Babylonians prior to the fall of Assyria used Gasídu for the Chaldean people. After the fall of Assyria, they changed the consonant "s" in many words to the consonant "l".
3. The Greeks, who knew of the Babylonians long before Daniel was born, called the nation Chaldaioi.
See also When Critics Ask p.293 for more info.
Q: In Dan 2:2, how could Daniel be a Babylonian "wise man", since the wise men were trained in occultic arts?
A: The Jewish youths were trained in the language and literature of the Babylonians. It does not necessarily mean they were trained in religious or occultic arts, and even thought they might have been against their will, there was no evidence they practiced those. Notice in Daniel 2:2 that when Nebuchadnezzar summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, Daniel was not among them. Only later did Daniel hear about this. See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.194 for more info.
Q: In Dan 2:3-7, was King Nebuchadnezzar more unreasonable than other kings to tell the astrologers and fortune tellers they would be executed if they did not interpret his dream?
A: Not necessary. According to Herodotus in History book 14 p.134, when the Scythian king got sick, he asked for three soothsayers to tell which person made him sick by that person swearing falsely by the kingís hearth. If the accused person admitted it, the accused was executed. If the accused person denied it, then six more soothsayers were called, and if they did not pick out the same guy, then the original three soothsayers were bound and thrown on a cart with brushwood which was then set on fire.
This might be a case when a job might pay well, but there are still good reasons not take it. I think I will pass on trying to get a job as a royal soothsayer! Some jobs today, like working for organized crime, are not redeemable and you would not want. But some other jobs might be stressful, and you might get fired, but God wanted you there as a testimony to Him. For example, letís say you were elected as a politician where you had to choose between being beholden to one of two special interest groups. You could choose not to be beholden to any group, even though when the election came, you would have no campaign funds, get trounced in the election, and have to look for another job. Daniel was in a rather stressful job. But rather than run from that position, Daniel stood where God wanted him to be.
Q: What does Dan 2:4-16 tell us about Nebuchadnezzarís character?
A: Here are five things.
1. Nebuchadnezzar was capricious. He had these four Jewish youths trained, and after having them trained he was going to kill them along with al the other wise men, for something that no human could naturally do? Nebuchadnezzar was impressed with Daniel and his friends in Daniel 1:18-20, but they were going to be killed with the others in Daniel 2:17!
2. He was severe and harsh. In this part of the world, in Daniel 2:5 when they reduced a house to a pile of rubble, they did this by pulling out the wooden beams until everything collapsed. The family would still be in the house.
3. Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury.
4. Nebuchadnezzar was proud and arrogant.
5. Nebuchadnezzar was surprised that the astrologers answers him that no one could do this in Daniel 2:10-11. He seemed to have no clue as to how his words would make others fell or think. Or perhaps he did not care.
Q: In Dan 2:4 (KJV), what is "Syriack"?
A: This is another name for the "Syriac" or the Aramaic language often spoken in from Palestine to Babylonia.
Q: Why was Dan 2:4b-7:28 written in Aramaic, while Dan 8:1-12:13 were written in Hebrew?
A: Daniel or his one or more secretaries could write in whatever language they deemed best; there is nothing more sacred about Hebrew. We do not know why the human authors chose to write it this way. One reason might be that the first chapters related to nations in the Mideast, while the last chapters relate specifically to the Jews.
Ezra 4:8-6:18 and Ezra 7:12-26 also were written in Aramaic. Also note that in Daniel chapters 1-6 are written in third person, while verse 7:2 starts in first person.
The Aramaic portion starts immediately after "answered the king in Aramaic". It does not go back to Hebrew until Daniel 8:1.
Q: In Dan 2:4b-7:28, what else do we know about Aramaic?
A: Aramaic was an extremely long-lived language, closely related to Hebrew. It was spoken by Laban and people of Syria back in Abrahamís time (Genesis 31:47); it was spoken here, and in Jesusí time, and it was spoken for a few more centuries by Nestorians and other Christians in Syria and eastward. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 1 p.247 says that linguistic research has shown there were four principal groups of Aramaic: Old Aramaic, Official Aramaic, Levantine Aramaic, and Eastern Aramaic. The Assyrians from c.1100-605 B.C. spoke Official Aramaic.
Outside of the Bible, "Aramaisms", including some found in the book of Daniel, have been seen in writings from Ugarit during the Amarna period, around 1400 B.C. The Expositorís Bible Commentary also says the Aramaic of Daniel was used from the 7th century and on, and used in the fifth century by Jews in the papyrii in Elephantine, Egypt and in Ezra. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 1 p.403 says that this Aramaic is considerably different from the Aramaic written at Qumran near the time of Christ.
See The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.74-75 for a photograph of Aramaic written on pottery addressed to Eliashib, the probable commander of the fortress of Arad. The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.123 says that abundant examples have been found of the Babylonians (605-538 B.C.) and the Persians using Aramaic in their official letters. The Borchardt collection has 13 Persian letters, written in Aramaic, from Egypt.
Q: In Dan 2:6, what does this word "reards"imply?
A: "rewards" is a singular (not plural) word, and has the idea of a present more than a reward. See Daniel : Key to Prophetic Understanding p.50 for more info.
Q: In Dan 2:20-23 what are at least four reasons why did Daniel might have spent so much time praising God after God revealed the meaning to him?
A: This is a very beautiful prayer, that is well-composed. There might be these four reasons.
1. If Nebuchadnezzar had executed all of the wise men, Daniel 2:18 shows that Daniel and his three friends would have been executed too. Daniel was grateful because of the safety of him, his friends, and others.
2. Even apart from the danger that passed, Daniel was specifically grateful that God revealed His mysteries to Him. We should be grateful when God reveals things to us by His word.
3. Daniel was generally grateful and in the habit of praying to God, three times a day in Daniel 6:10. Daniel was in the habit of praising God and thanking Him.
4. This prayer might actually have served as "protection" for Daniel. IT was obvious that no human could do this, without Godís help. Daniel might have thought that he was rally something now, or that he was especially worthy of merit because he had such a close connection with God. This prayer was Danielís acknowledgement that it was all God, and he did not do anything apart from what God had revealed to him.
Q: In Dan 2:24, why did Daniel not let the pagan wise men of Babylon be killed?
A: Daniel had no hatred or ill-will toward them. One of Godís chosen people being involved in the occult or magic was punishable by death in the Old Testament. However, the Babylonian wise men were not all sorcerers, and even those that were probably did not know of the prohibitions in the Bible.
Q: In Dan 2:24-25, why did Arioch say he found Daniel, rather than Daniel came to him?
A: Perhaps Arioch wanted to get credit for something he did not do. Unfortunately, sometimes people today in business also want to get credit for things they did not do.
Q: In Dan 2:28-3:1, did Nebuchadnezzar believe in God after that?
A: Nebuchadnezzar at least believed that Danielís God was to be reckoned with, especially since Danielís God could set up and depose kingdoms. However, after that, in Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar set up an image that everyone had to bow down and worship.
Q: In Dan 2:30, why was Daniel so careful to make it clear this wisdom was not from him, but straight from God?
A: In a society where people and lifeless images were worshipped for the slightest of reasons, Daniel wanted to make sure to communicate that it was God who should be praised here, and not Daniel.
Today, even when there is no chance of us being worshipped, it is important to give God the glory, rather than letting others give us the glory when they should be focused on God.
Q: In Dan 2:31-35, what are the characteristics of these metals?
A: Gold is the most precious, heaviest, and least hard. Silver is second, and iron the last. Ignoring the fact that gold statues were typically gold-plated, not pure gold, this showed that the Babylonian Empire would seem the best, most stable, and unchallenged. The Persian Empire always had revolts from Greeks, Egyptians, and internally. The Greek (Macedonian) Empire split into four parts immediately upon Alexanderís death. The Roman Empire had more challengers than the other empires, and would seem the least secure (between the Gauls, Carthaginians, Germans, revolts, Huns, etc.) but it was the strongest. Of course there are other metals not mentioned in this dream. Likewise there are other empires not mentioned here, but they were not over the Jews. See Daniel: Key to Prophetic Understanding p.63 for more info.
Q: In Dan 2:35a, what might the wind that swept them away represent?
A: The wind here is not just the sands of time, but more likely it would be Godís working in history to fulfill the destiny He has planned.
Q: In Dan 2:35b, what was the mountain that filled the whole earth?
A: This would be the Kingdom of God, inaugurated by Jesus Christ. This is Jesus destroying the nations. This is fulfilled at the Battle of Armageddon according to 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.291-292.
Q: In Dan 2:37-44, what were these four kingdoms in the "monarchy-colossus" and the mountain?
A: They are the Babylonian (c.605-538 B.C.), Medeo-Persian (c.538 B.C.), Greek/Macedonian (c.333 B.C.), and Roman Empires. Here are three clues to help us arrive at the answer.
1. These were not just any four Empires, but four Empires that related to the Jews and superseded each other. Thus, Indian, Chinese, Mongol, and New World empires are not under consideration here.
2. Daniel 2:36-39 shows that the Neo-Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar is the first one. Thus, the Egyptian Empire cannot be one of the four, as it preceded the Babylonian Empire, yet existed in some form until Persian times. Likewise, the Assyrian Empire is not one of the four as it was destroyed forever prior to Nebuchadnezzar.
3. Jesus Christ, the Kings of Kings, will set up His kingdom during the time of the fourth empire.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.603 claims the Median and Persian Empire were counted as two empires, and the fourth empire was Alexanderís Macedonian Empire. Asimov probably says this because he believes Daniel was written after Alexander came to power (perhaps as late as 165 B.C. Asimov claims). However, the Medean Empire was never distinct from the Persians, anymore than the Roman Empire was distinct, before, during, or after Julius Caesarís time.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.290-291 for more info.
Q: In Dan 2:37-44, could the Empire of the Medes and Persians be two Empires instead of one?
A: No, because as Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.293 reminds us, Daniel 5:28 could not be any more plain. The writer knew imperial control passed directly from the Babylonian to the Medo-Persian Empire, not first to the Medes (whom the Persians had defeated prior to this time) and later to the Persians.
Q: In Dan 2:38, why might Daniel say Nebuchadnezzar had dominion over mankind, the beasts of the field, etc.?
A: While Nebuchadnezzar had dominion over the entire land of the fertile crescent, there might have been a more immediate reason. In the Babylonian New year Festival, they probably recited the Babylonian Epic of Creation, and the king was the representative of the god Marduk, who created everything. Daniel : Key to Prophetic Understanding p.65
Historically, everyone agrees that Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful king in the Mideast, but even everyone in Nebuchadnezzarís empire knew of kings who were not subject to him. So how would people in Bible times have understood this?
The Aramaic word in Daniel 2:38,39; 4:22 is Ďara (Strongís 772) which comes from the Hebrew word Ďerets (Strongís 776). It has a very broad range of meaning. According to Strongís Concordance the Hebrew word Ďerets means "common, country, earth, field, ground, land, x nations, way, + wilderness, world." So the word besides meaning earth, can just as easily mean land (i.e. Mesopotamia). A saying like this was both an idiom of speech and a title, as years earlier King Amar-Enzu of the Third Dynasty of Ur referred to himself as lugal dubdalimmubak, or "king of the Four Quarters of the earth" in his building inscriptions. This is according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.7 p.63. It would be understood by all listeners that this would not refer to the entire planet, as both in Nebuchadnezzarís time and Amar-Enzuís time, the Elam, Persia, Lydia, Egypt, and Greece were all independent lands well-known to them. However, Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful king in the Mideast, and the longer he reigned the more powerful he grew.
So there are two possibilities: Ďara (Ďerets) meant the entire planet earth or it meant the land of Mesopotamia. Note that Daniel 2:38,39 and 4:22 are NOT prophecies; toward the last part of Nebuchadnezzarís reign they are telling him what he already has. It has to be the second possibility, because nobody back then would have understood that the Babylonians ruled over Greece, Media, Lydia, etc.
As a side note, Nebuchadnezzar reigned from 605-562 B.C., and here are some of the military battles during his reign.
May/June/604 B.C. At Carchemish Babylonians defeat the Egyptians.
11-12/605/604 B.C. Babylonians sack Ashkelon in Phoenicia.
603 B.C. Babylonians sack Ekron in Phoenicia.
601 B.C. Babylonians and Egyptians fight to a draw; heavy losses.
600 B.C. Lydians destroy Smyrna in Asia Minor.
599-598 B.C. Babylonians fight Arabs.
16 Mar 597 B.C. Babylonians capture Jerusalem, but do not destroy it.
596 B.C. Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II fights the Elamites.
595-594 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II puts down revolt.
593/591 B.C. Egyptian Psamtik II+Greek, Phoenician and Jewish mercenaries defeat Nubia.
589-587 B.C. Jews rebel against Babylon. Jerusalem suffers a 30-month siege.
585-573 B.C. Babylonians besiege King Ethbaal II of Tyre.
585 B.C. War ends between Medes and Alyattes of Lydia after the eclipse of 28 May 585 B.C..
584-584 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II besieges Tyre.
581 B.C. Babylonians deport more from Judah.
570 B.C. Greeks and Cyrene fight in Cyrenaica.
570 B.C. Greeks in Cyrene defeat Apries of Egypt.
568-567 B.C. Apries and Babylonians try to invade Egypt.
560 B.C. Lydian King Croesus subjugates Ionian cities.
560-547/546 Persians subdue King Croesus of Lydia.
Q: In Dan 2:44, how would Christís kingdom break and destroy the other kingdoms?
A: It would break the other kingdoms in at least four ways.
Spiritually, demons have influence over kingdoms, as Daniel 10:13 shows.
Politically, kingdoms that claimed to be Christian, or at least pretended to be Christian, would rule much of the world, starting with the Roman Empire in Constantineís time (324 A.D.).
Culturally, A Christian worldview would dominate western thought for over fifteen hundred years.
Ultimately, (and this is most important) God the Son will come on the earth, set up His rule, every knee will bow to Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11), and all will be under His dominion (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).
Q: In Dan 2:46 (KJV), why did Daniel appear to accept oblation, incense, and worship from Nebuchadnezzar?
A: A better translation than "worship" is "praise". One issue is whether or not Daniel was wise to accept this praise. However, even assuming Daniel acted properly, this was praise and definitely not worship, as no king would want to compromise his authority by worshipping one of his subjects.
Q: In Dan 2:48-49, what was the final outcome of Nebuchadnezzarís harshness? What does this reveal about Nebuchadnezzarís character?
A: Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel a high position and lavished gifts on him. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar did this not out of love for Daniel, but rather to make an example of him so that others would want to loyally serve Nebuchadnezzar too.
Q: In Dan 3, what are some ways people try to play out what they think is their own destiny, - on their own terms?
A: People can see something as their destiny, fate, or Godís choice for their life based on their talents and gifts, their circumstances, what others tell them, or just the opportunities they see. Adults do this, but high-schoolers and college students are told they must do this to decide their career, or sometimes the kind of spouse they want. Once they think that something is for them, they naturally might go through the following steps.
Have an idea of what one or more successful outcomes would be.
They want to first visualize and believe it,
Then get others to believe their perceived destiny
Take small steps to realize it while hedging their bets or "keeping their day job".
Test the waters and see how things go so far.
Sometimes they might "count the cost" and decide if the dedicated investment in time, money is worth the goal.
At some point take the leap, and go all in for it, realizing they are cutting off their other options.
Then they either make it, or else go with a lesser, fallback option, or feel depressed because they completely failed and think they wonít get another chance to try anything. Or, they realize that there will be other days and other opportunities and they keep trying, perhaps at the same thing, or at something else.
The preceding might be a wise, natural way of accomplishing your goal, but notice that God has nothing to do with the preceding. Instead, why not start with prayer, and ask for Godís leading on being successful on what God wants you to be, as well as keeping your eyes open for situations that would set you up for failure.
Then pray for Godís leading, and then you can do the preceding steps, asking for Godís guidance and help each step of the way.
Q: In Dan 3:1, why did Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image, since he recognized the true God in Dan 2:46-47?
A: While the book of Daniel does not imply either a short or long time interval between the vision and the statue, the two were likely related. The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.831-832, points out that perhaps Nebuchadnezzar was trying to defy Godís message given in the kingís dream, that his kingdom would fall.
Q: In Dan 3:1, why make such a narrow image of a man 90 feet tall by 9 feet wide?
A: These were not necessarily the dimensions of the figure but of the statue. The sculpture probably was on a tall pedestal.
Q: In Dan 3:2-3 (KJV), who were the sheriffs?
A: The NASB, NIV, NET, NKJV, and NRSV Bible translations all translate the title of these Persian officials as magistrates.
Q: In Dan 3:12, since only three Jewish boys refused to bow to this idol, does that mean Daniel bowed to the idol?
A: No, because in both Daniel 1 and Daniel 6, Daniel showed that he would not do things disobedient to God. Daniel and other godly Jews were not caught, because they were not present there. When Critics Ask p.294 also mentions that since Daniel was a government official, he could have been out of town on business at the time.
Q: In Dan 3:17-18, were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego confident that God would save them, or did they have some uncertainty? Should we have confidence that God will always save us?
A: They had some uncertainty, as shown by verse 18. But even if God was not going to save them, they would rather die in the blazing fire than compromise by bowing to the statue.
Q: In Dan 3:19, how did Nebuchadnezzarís attitude change so that he was "no more Mr. nice guy"?
A: Before he thought he was kind to threaten them with being thrown into the fiery furnace, yet still give them one last chance. Now he no longer wanted to reason with them, but made the furnace hotter to make an example of them. In verse 22, it was so hot that even the soldiers throwing them in were burned up, but we have no indication that this even bothered Nebuchadnezzar at all. Many times kings and top leaders do not care about people, but about their position, and power derived from their subordinates following them. Sometimes even leaders, who do care about people, can abandon their care if they are put in a defensive position.
Q: In Dan 3:19, how could the fire be seven times hotter?
A: They could not measure the temperature of the fire. Rather, there were probably a number of air bellows used to feed oxygen to the fire, and seven (or seven times) as many were turned on to provide more heat. Long prior to this time, iron weapons were not very common because they could not make furnaces hot enough. But by the time of the Babylonians (and even earlier Assyrians) they could make furnaces that could melt and forge iron.
Q: In Dan 3:25, who was the fourth man here?
A: This is generally believed to be a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ Himself. While it could simply have been an angel, Nebuchadnezzarís comment that the fourth "is like a son of God" opens that possibility that it could be Christ. Early church writers who said this were Christ were Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian of Carthage
Hippolytus (225-235/6 A.D.) in fragment 3 (Commentary on Daniel) ch.2.93 p.188 also mentions that Jesus was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, though Jesus was not yet born on earth of a virgin. After Nicea Hilary and Augustine of Hippo taught the same. Jerome thought it was not Christ, but rather just an angel who prefigured in type Christ.
Q: In Dan 3:26, what is so strange about Nebuchadnezzar calling the Lord "the most High God, not only here, but in Dan 2:47 calling Him the God of gods?
A: This is the same Nebuchadnezzar who set up the statute to worship in Daniel 3:1. Apparently it did not click in his mind that if there was a Most High God, then we should pay attention to what He says, and not worship other so-called gods.
Q: In Dan 3:30, what end result did the people who accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Dan 3:8 see? What is the number one reason who think God did that?
A: They saw the three Jewish youths promoted. The number one reason was probably NOT as a reward to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It was probably that Godís name be magnified, and if others heard abut the promotion, they might be more inclined to listen to the Most High God. Jews especially, who might be tempted to drift away and assimilate, would be encouraged.
Q: In Dan 4:1-3, is this before Nebuchadnezzarís experience, or after?
A: This is after Danielís experience, because this first person account by Nebuchadnezzar is from the letter Nebuchadnezzar wrote later.
Q: In Dan 4:8-9,18, why did the king persist in calling Daniel Belteshazzar, and that the spirit of the "holy gods" is in him?
A: Daniel spoke that he served the Most High God (singular), but Nebuchadnezzar apparently heard that as Daniel served the gods (plural). Many times when we say things, and people say they believe us, they still filter what we say through their worldview, and re-interpret our words to fit their pre-conceived ideas.
Q: In Dan 4:10-17, why do you think God gave Nebuchadnezzar this dream?
A: It would not have the same credibility in the kingís eyes if the dream was given to Daniel or someone else. It was not given to Nebuchadnezzar because he was more spiritual, or better than Daniel, or because Nebuchadnezzar was godly at all. God giving it to the most appropriate person was for Godís purposes, and not due to any merit of Nebuchadnezzar.
Q: In Dan 4:13,23, what is a "watcher"?
A: This would be a type of angel. Jewish apocryphal literature also mentions angelic watchers, but they might have been written after Daniel. At the very least, the apocryphal literature shows that the Jews were familiar with the concept of a watcher class of angels.
Q: In Dan 4:33-37, when did Nebuchadnezzar temporarily leave the throne because he went insane?
A: Daniel 4 says that twelve months after this dream, God finally dealt with Nebuchadnezzarís pride and fulfilled this prophecy.
The Aramaic word here can mean "time or season" as well as "year". Thus, 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.195 points out that this might be less than two years rather than seven years.
The Believerís Bible Commentary p.1080-1081,1092 adds that this mental condition is called boanthropy (meaning ox-man.) Dr. R. K. Harrison discusses a man he met with this condition in his Introduction to the Old Testament p.1114-1117.
See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1343 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.1190 for more info.
Q: In Dan 4:33-37, is there any extra-Biblical evidence that Nebuchadnezzar temporarily went insane?
A: Perhaps. While the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.605 says there is none, but The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 7 p.63 mentions an interesting Aramaic Dead Sea scroll fragment found at Qumran in cave 4. It is a prayer attributed to Nabonidus that says, "The words of the prayer which Nabunai(d), King of Assyria and Babylon, the great king, prayed when he was smitten with an unpleasant skin-disease by the ordinance of God Most High in the city of Teima: Ď I was smitten with an unpleasant skin-disease for seven years ... to the name of God Most Highí" (This conjectural translation, dependent on several restorations of missing letters, was published by J.T. Milik in Revue Biblique, 63 (1956): 408; cf. Saggs, Babylon, p.154 for the English version above.) The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 7 p.63 says this might be a late, partially legendary fragment, that either could contain a true account either of a skin disease of Nabonidus. But, it says, "... a careful examination of the Nabonidus fragment shows that it is far more likely to have been a late, garbled tradition of the illness of Nebuchadnezzar himself, if indeed it does not represent a later illness that actually befell Nabonidus personally (whose ten years of confinement to the North Arabian city of Teima [Teman] may have been partly occasioned by the illness.)".
The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 1 p.246-247 says that the Prayer of Nabonidus is too mythical to be helpful, but adds that we still know of the madness of Nebuchadnezzar through Berossus, a third century Babylonians priest and historian, and the second century writer Abydenus, who said that Nebuchadnezzar was "possessed by some god or other", where he made a prophecy and disappeared from Babylon.
So, this evidence is certainly not conclusive, but it illustrates that the official Babylonian records and Greek history do not give all the details.
Q: In Dan 4:33-37, could the idea of Nebuchadnezzar acting like an animal have from Assyrian statues of bulls with human heads and birdís wings, as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.605 says is an attractive guess?
A: Not likely. First of all, humans with heads of bulls were known in ancient Egypt and Crete from the time of Moses. Second, these were Assyrian statues, not Babylonian. Daniel would have less reason to write something about an "animal-man", than Moses who lived in Egypt.
Q: In Dan 5:1 and Dan 5:30, who was Belshazzar?
A: The Greek historian Herodotus, writing only about 90 years after the fall of Babylon, never mentioned Belshazzar and explicitly said the last king was Nabonidus. Until the 20th century, that was the final word on the subject apart from the Bible. This would be one of the things Christians would have to accept that there would be an explanation someday, without knowing the explanation.
However, in the 20th century archaeologists have found a cuneiform table, called the "Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus". Belshazzar was the firstborn son of Nabonidus, and after his first three years of rule (553 B.C.), Nabonidus went into voluntary exile for ten years in Tema in Arabia, and Nabonidus appointed Belshazzar as the ruler. Significantly, when the Persians conquered Babylon, Nabonidus was not even there; he was in Tema in the northern part of modern Saudi Arabia. When Critics Ask p.209 concludes on this, "Since Belshazzar was the subordinate of Nabonidus, his name was forgotten, because the ancient Babylonian and Greek historians were primarily interested in the reigns of the official kings. Danielís record has proven to be amazingly accurate."
Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.286 mentions an "inscription of Nabunaid" uncovered at Ur. This is likely the same as the "Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus". Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.286 also adds that other cuneiform documents say how Belshazzar presented sheep and oxen offerings at the temples of Sippar as "an offering of the king."
Now Herodotus is considered generally to be very accurate. If Belshazzarís co-regency (under Nabonidus) was so insignificant that Herodotus, writing 90 years later, overlooked it, how could anyone expect the book of Daniel to naturally get this correct, unless Daniel were written at this time? Since Daniel knew more about this than Herodotus, is it simply amazing that some liberal scholars in the late Twentieth century still considered Daniel as a second century book. See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.193 for more on this.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.606 does not mention these details, except it says that Belshazzar (Bel-shar-utsur meaning "Bel, protect the king") was the firstborn son of Nabonidus.
See also Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.65-66, the New Geneva Study Bible p.1339-1340, and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.1170-1171 for more info.
Q: In Dan 5:1, what was the political climate in which Daniel was living at this time?
A: After Nebuchadnezzar of previous chapters died in 562 B.C., there were troubled times. Historians actually call this empire the Neo-Babylonian Empire, to distinguish it from the past Empire under Hammurapi. Here are the kings
627-605 B.C. Nabopolassar (Nabu-apal-usur)
605-Aug/Sept./562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II (Nabu-kudurri-usur)
562-August 560 B.C. Evil-Merodach (Amel-Marduk) Nebuchadnezzarís son (assassinated)
560-556 B.C. Neriglissar (Nergal-Sharezer) Nebuchadnezzarís son-in-law
May-June 556 B.C (2 months) Labashi-Marduk (assassinated)
556-539 B.C. Nabonidus (Nabu-naíia)
553- October 11 or 12/539 B.C. Belshazzar (Bel-shar-usur) (co-regent)
October 11 or 12.539 B.C. Persian governor Ugbar of Gutium captures Babylon
According to the Greek historian Herodotus (1:191) the way they captured it was ingenious. They built a large "lake" to temporarily divert the water of the Euphrates River. Then at night, they waded under the wall where the Euphrates River was and surprised the Babylonians, who were feasting.
See the New International Bible Commentary p.848 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1344-1345 for more info.
Q: In Dan 5:1, why in the world would the Babylonians feast at a banquet, with vast Medeo-Persian army outside the walls?
A: Perhaps it was general pride in their defenses, or else a sudden "in your face" show of bravado. The city wall was massive, and part of the wall was (seemingly) impossible to attack because the Euphrates River flowed under it. The city was built to hold food supplies for 20 years.
Also Nabonidusí mother was a high priestess of the moon god at Haran. He restored many temples, including the temple at Haran to the moon god, Sin. So perhaps one reason for taking out the vessels from the Temple in Jerusalem was to show the superiority of their gods. A related reason might have been to undo the influence of Nebuchadnezzar, promoting the God of Daniel.
Q: In Dan 5:1-5, why do you think God choose to miraculously write on the wall, and announce their fate, at exactly this time?
A: Two reasons. First, they were using expensive things given to Godís temple to praise pagan gods. Second and perhaps related, that night they would be slain by the Persians. The Persians by the way, took over Babylon, but did not destroy Babylon until years later.
Q: In Dan 5:1-5, what promise or prophesy did God fulfill by having the writing on the wall?
A: In Jeremiah 27:21-22, God said the holy vessels would be stored in Babylon, until the day He visited the vessels, and then they would be returned to Jerusalem. The Babylonians did not get much chance to use them though, before the writing on the wall appeared.
Q: In Dan 5:2, where did the gold goblets originally come from?
A: Solomon made a lot of gold and silver for the Lordís Temple about 950 B.C.. The interesting thing about gold is that even if you bury it in the ground, it does not tarnish or corrode. We donít know if they took the silver goblets from the temple, and the silver was protected from tarnishing, or if the silver goblets were not from the temple. On the other hand, while the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Theodotion all say gold and silver goblets, the Aramaic only says gold goblets.
Q: In Dan 5:29b, was it unusual that there would be a third ruler in the kingdom?
A: No, both Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions mention having a third ruler in the kingdom. The "third ruler" might be like a vizier, or "manager" under the king and his successor. Having a deeper line of succession woud also be safer if the top two kings got killed suddenly. See the New International Bible Commentary p.858 for more info.
Q: In Dan 5:10, why would the "queen" introduce Daniel?
A: Belshazzar did not think to do this, which indicates he did not have much association with Daniel, and did not value his advice. This is 23 years after Nebuchadnezzarís death, so Daniel was much older now. The "queen" here might have been the queen mother, perhaps a wife of Nebuchadnezzar, who remembered Daniel and brought him.
Q: In Dan 5:25-28, could the guests read the writing on the wall?
A: The four words were written in Aramaic, and Aramaic was widely spoken in Babylonia as well as Persia, so probably all those who could read could read the words. However, deciphering this riddle was another story.
Q: In Dan 5:25-28, what is the meaning of Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin?
A: Scholars are unsure of the meaning of these Aramaic words. There are three possibilities, and a play on words could include more than one.
a) They are words that referred to money. The mina, shekel, and half-mina were common coins. The Wycliffe Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology p.170 has a picture of a one mina weight from the time of Nebuchadnezzar.
b) They meant numbered, numbered, weighted, and divisions.
c) "u" in upharsin can mean "and". pharsin is the plural of peres, which would sound like their word for Persian.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.607 gives essentially the same answer. See the New International Dictionary of the Bible p.640 for more info.
Q: In Dan 5:25-28, how did the writing on the wall help Daniel?
A: Many people would certainly hear that Daniel predicted the Persians would defeat the Babylonians. A speculation is that if the Persians heard of this, they would be favorably impressed with Daniel, and they would be more likely to retain Daniel as a high official.
Q: In Dan 5:29, why was Daniel made the third highest ruler and not the second?
A: Belshazzar could not offer Daniel anything higher, as Nabonidus was the highest ruler, and Belshazzar himself was the second.
Q: In Dan 5:30, what is a list of Babylonian kings?
A: Historians actually call this empire the Neo-Babylonian Empire, to distinguish it from the past Empire under Hammurapi. Here are the kings.
627-605 B.C. Nabopolassar (Nabu-apal-usur)
605-Aug/Sept./562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II (Nabu-kudurri-usur)
562-560 B.C. Evil-Merodach (Amel-Marduk)
560-556 B.C. Neriglissar (Nergal-Sharezer)
556 B.C (2 months) Labashi-Marduk
556-539 B.C. Nabonidus (Nabu-naíia)
553-10/12/539 B.C. Belshazzar (Bel-shar-usur) (co-regent)
See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1326 for more info.
Q: In Dan 5:30-51 and Dan 9:1, what is the difference between a Mede and a Persian?
A: This question is more complicated than it first appears. Three points to consider in the answer.
1. The Medes and Persians were two distinct but related peoples. The Medes were very closely related to the Scythians and lived in central Iran, while the Persians lived in ancient Elam in southwestern Iran. The two peoples were always closely allied together, with the Medes being the dominant partner. This changed under Cyrus (a Persian who was one-fourth Mede), when he defeated his Median grandfather Astyges in 625 B.C.. From then on, the Persians had the dominant role, and Herodotus 3.91-96 says the Medes had to pay the annual tax to the Persian Empire.
2. However, Herodotus 1.135 also says the Persians adopted Median dress. "As Widengren notes, Ďboth Medes and Persians were often called simply Medes by the Greeks, and this usage evidently dates from the first contact between Greeks in Ionia and Iranians of the west." The Persians were known as Medes down to the age of Demosthenes (fourth century B.C.)." (Persia and the Bible p.56-57)
3. In the Bible, they were considered collectively as one people, "Medes and Persians", in Daniel 6:8,12,15, and "Persians and Medes" in Esther 1:3,14. Persia and the Bible p.57 also says that both were termed just "Medes" in Isaiah 13:17ff and Jeremiah 51:11,28).
Q: In Dan 5:30-6:1 and Dan 9:1 very briefly, who was Darius the Mede?
A: Most think he was the first governor of Babylon, named Gubaru, though some think it was Cyrus himself. The reason it says Darius is either:
a) a manuscript copyist error,
b) a throne name for Cyrus, or
c) the Jews did not have a good transliteration for "Gubaru".
See the next question for a more extensive answer.
Q: In Dan 5:30-6:1; Dan 9:1 who was this Darius the Mede?
A: First are some historical facts, then some Biblical observations, and finally the three views.
1. Historical Facts
1.1 The Medesí history is reconstructed exclusively from Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Greek sources, since no Medean writing has been found. The careful Greek historian Herodotus noted that he had heard four different accounts of the childhood of Cyrus. Ctesias was another Greek historian, but he was not very reliable.
1.2 In 625 B.C., the Medes conquered the Persians, and the Medes ruled over them until 553 B.C.
1.3 From 553 to 550 B.C., the Persian Cyrus the Great revolted, and succeeded with the help (in 550 B.C.) of the Medean chief Harpagus. The Medes still had the highest position after the Persians, and as the 1956 and 1972 editions of Encyclopedia Britannica say, "many noble Medes were employed as officials, satraps and generals."
1.4 Astyages (Medean Iötumegu) was the Medean King Cyrus overthrew in 550 B.C.. The historian Ctesias says that Cyrus treated Astyages well, and made him a satrap of Barcania or Hyrcania, but Oebares (Babylonian Ugbaru) killed Astyages.
1.5 In the Persian Empire, Medea was one of the 20 satrapies of the Persian Empire, but it was divided into two parts for taxation purposes. As a side note the 20 satrapies were subdivided into 120 districts, which were also sometimes called satrapies, but were more properly hyparchs.
1.6 Ugbaru, the Babylonian governor of Gutium (according to the Nabonidus Chronicle), defected to the Persians and became general of the Persian army that overthrew Babylon on 10/11 or 10/12 539 B.C. He died 11/6/539 B.C., almost a month later. While we do not know his ancestry, the liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.2 p.39 points out that Babylonians used the word Gutium to refer to the Northeast, and the Medes were in the northeast part of the Persian Empire. It also mentions that the historian Berossus lists Gutium with the tyrants of the Medes.
1.7 Cyrus himself was with other troops at Opis when Babylon was captured, and Cyrus did not enter Babylon until 10/29/539 B.C. Cyrus was said to be the grandson of Astyages, through Astyagesí daughter Mandane. However, the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.424 point out that this was not the Persian Emperor, because Darius here was "made king". Of course Daniel was called a "king" too in Daniel 5:29, and he was not an emperor.
1.8 Gubaru/Gaubaruwa (whom Xenophon the Greek confused with Ugbaru), was appointed the governor of Babylonia for a year or two by Cyrus.
1.9 Darius I, the son of Hystaspes/Vishtaspa, was a Persian (not a Mede) who became King in 522 B.C., after Cyrus and the false Bardiya reigned. Darius I was involved in putting down a revolt in Babylon in 520 B.C., 19 years after Persia conquered Babylon. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.287 points out that he was in his twenties when he began his rule, not 62 years old. The liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.2 p.39 says that his inscriptions say "I am a Persian, son of a Persian".
1.10 In the ancient world, Pharaohs and kings often had their birth-given name, and a second name given when they ascended the throne.
1.11 The Persian word Darius "Darayawush/Dareyawaes" is related to the Persian word dara which means king. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.288 says this might be title as well as just a proper name. The liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary p.39 also points out that darayarahu means "He who holds firm the good". This is the reason for the theory that Darius was a throne name.
1.12 Within a year or two of the capture, Cyrus made his son Cambyses governor of Babylon, replacing Gubaru.
1.13 In the Old Testament there are a number of copyist errors, especially on numbers and names. For example, the Greek version of Proto-Theodotion says "Artaxerxes", and not "Darius" in Daniel 6:1. In particular, there are a number of additions to the Greek translation (Septuagint) in the book of Daniel. Jerome mentions that while the early church generally used the Septuagint, they did not use the Septuagint of the book of Daniel, but rather the Greek version of Theodotion. Apparently, they saw too many problems with the Septuagint in Daniel.
1.14 All our "Hebrew" copies of Daniel have the middle section of Daniel, 2:4b-7:28, written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. Either it was originally written in Aramaic, or it was translated from an earlier Hebrew manuscript.
2. Biblical Observations
The Darius in Daniel was a Mede, 62 years old, who had 120 administration districts under him. He was the son of Ahasuerus. He could make decrees, and he was worshipped. In Daniel 6:6, he was called a king. From Daniel 9:1, this Darius, was emphasized to be a Mede, not the Persian Darius. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.287 mentions that the usual work malak means became king, but the word here homlak, which is a passive and means made king. The liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary vol. 2 p.39 also points this out. Thus a higher ruler made him ruler. Also, the phrase "all the earth" could be translated as "all the land".
3. Identity of Darius the Mede
Since Darius was the one who took over Babylon, there are three choices.
3.1 Cyrus: This was really Cyrus, and the incorrect name was transcribed, similar to how in Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim was incorrectly transcribed in a majority of Hebrew manuscripts when both the context and other manuscripts show it was Zedekiah. While Cyrus was a Persian, his mother, Mandane, was a Mede and the daughter of Astyages, and the Persian chief Cambyses. Either he really was a quarter Mede and a grandson of the previous king, or else he just claimed to be to keep the support of the Medes.
3.1.1 Since many kings had throne names, Cyrus might have had a throne name of Darius the Mede. Daniel 6:28 could be translated as "reign of Darius, "even the" reign of Cyrus the Persian" This view is advocated by D.J. Wiseman, and John F. Walvoord speaks well of this view in Daniel : The Key to Prophetic Interpretation p.134. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1347 also mentions this view but prefers the Gubaru view that follows. Other examples of synonyms or throne names being used in the Bible are:
Joram for Jehoram (2 Kings 8:23)
Jehoash for Joash (2 Kings 12:1)
Coniah for Jeconiah (Jeremiah 22:9)
Shallum for Jehoahaz (Jeremiah 22:11, 2 Kings 23:30-34)
3.1.2 Cyrus did not have the throne name of Darius. The name Darius got in here as a copyist error, confusing Cyrusí conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C. with Dariusí conquest of Babylon in 522 B.C.
3.2 Gubaru is mentioned here, since Cyrus appointed him the governor of Babylon, as When Critics Ask p.295 espouses. However, we have no historical record saying whether or not Gubaru was a Mede. Either Darius was how the Hebrews would refer to Gubaru, or else a confused Hebrew scribe put in the name Darius. While Gubaru was replaced by Cambyses after a year or two, Daniel never mentions anything beyond the first year. Governors could be called "kings", because the Behistun Rock says that Hystaspes was "made king" by Cyrus, as Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.287-288 says.
3.3 (not an answer) Darius here some might think might really be Darius I (a Persian), and there would be a 19-year gap between the Babylonians being overthrown in Daniel 5:30, and Darius mentioned at the end. However, this is highly unlikely because the book especially notes that this Darius was a Mede. Furthermore, no Bible verse says this Darius was over all the Medes and Persians, but rather that he was made king over just the Babylonians.
In summary: Since the third view is unlikely, the person intended here is either
S1. Gubaru, the first governor of Babylon under Cyrus, or
S2. Cyrus. Either Darius was a throne name for Cyrus, or the scribes had a manuscript error, where it should have said Cyrus.
Copyist errors and changes are not unknown in the Old Testament, and the Septuagint of the book of Daniel has a number of known changes.
Q: In Dan 5:31, when was Babylon captured?
A: Archaeologists believe it was the night of October 11 or 12, 539 B.C.. However, it is important to note that Babylon was not destroeyd until many years later.
Q: In Dan 5:31; 6:1, 9:1, how do you pronounce "Darius"?
A: The Crudenís Concordance and The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.254 have da-RI-us, with the a and u short, the i long, and the accept on the second syllable. Hebrews would pronounce it daryawesh, and Greeks pronounced it Darious. Now a Mede or Persian would pronounce Dariusí name similar to "Darayawush / Dareyawaes".
Q: In Dan 6:1, who were the 120 princes?
A: They were not sons of Darius, but rather 120 administrators. There were 20 provinces, called satraps, but they were subdivided into 120 districts, sometimes also called satraps, though really "hyparchs". These people were not generals of armies but accountants, "that the king might not suffer loss." Imagine having someone who was not only wise, but you knew you could trust to have integrity even when you were not watching him. The king probably would have greatly valued Daniel, and that is why he was one of the top three accounting officials.
Q: In Dan 6:1-5, why were the princes out to get Daniel?
A: Perhaps for two reasons.
Jealousy: Daniel was an outsider, a Jew, who was suddenly promoted above them.
Cold-hearted Practicality: Even if they did not have any hatred or ill-feelings toward Daniel, some unscrupulous people have no qualms about eliminating rivals in order to get ahead.
So the first thing they did was engage in a "fishing expedition". Since many officials had corruption, they could simply go exploring to discover Danielís corruption and expose it. Perhaps they thought that selectively exposing Danielís corruption or negligence, though not other officials, was all they had to do. When they unexpectedly discovered that they could find none, in verse 5 they went with "plan B", and looked for something in Godís law. Not everyone who looks into Godís word is doing so for good motives.
Q: In Dan 6:1,6,7 (KJV), who were the presidents?
A: These were the three people set over the 120 satraps. Daniel was one of these three officials.
Q: In Dan 6:6-9, how did they get all these officials throughout the empire to agree to this?
A: They did not. Perhaps they predicted the other officials would acquiesce to this demand. Note that if a typical pagan official agreed with suggesting this decree, he would have no idea that the whole point of this was to get Daniel and possibly other Jews. Alternately, perhaps they never would have got agreement at all and knew they misrepresented that they would even be able to get agreement. Also note that they told Darius a lie when they said the officials have "all" agreed. Daniel would not have agreed.
Q: In Dan 6:6-9, why would Darius make this decree that they could not pray to any god or man for thirty days?
A: While scripture does not say, we can speculate on a few reasons.
Rubber stamp: Darius was told (perhaps falsely) that all the other administrators agreed with this. (They certainly did not all agree, as Daniel did not.) Since Darius trusted his people, he merely signed what they said.
Empire Cohesion: A large and powerful group of subjects, the Babylonians, were until recently independent and fighting the Persian Empire. This would reinforce to both the Babylonians and the former subjects of the Babylonian Empire that they were no longer under the Babylonians but now the Persians. So they would have to stop worshipping Marduk, or other Babylonian gods for thirty days, because the Persians would be considered greater since they can command the halt of worship of other gods. Of course those who refused would be unmasked as traitors and dealt with.
Vain pride: Darius would be honored, not only that people were worshipping and praying to him, but they would not be praying to anyone else for thirty days.
Q: In Dan 6:6-9, is there any archaeological evidence for this thirty-day decree?
A: No, but this is something King Darius probably would not desire to have remembered either.
Q: In Dan 6:10, should we always kneel or do another posture when praying?
A: No and Yes. No, the Bible does not command us to have any particular posture when praying. Sometimes people prayed
Kneeling (Ezra 9:5-6; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:59-60; Ephesians 3:14)
On their face (Genesis 17:17,18; Joshua 6:7-9; Matthew 26:39)
Kneeling or face on the ground (Mark 14:35)
Standing (Genesis 18:22-23; 24:11-13; Nehemiah 9:4-5)
Sitting (2 Samuel 7:18; 1 Kings 19:4)
Lying down on their bed (2 Kings 20:2)
Unable to change their position (Judges 16:28; Nehemiah 2:3-4; Jonah 2:1; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46).
However, yes we are free to assume whatever posture is conducive to the prayer we are praying.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.235 for more info.
Q: In Dan 6:10, is it good to have a set time for prayer?
A: Yes. While nothing in the Bible says we have to have any specific set time, many have found it helpful to have a set time. Consistent prayer takes discipline, and having a set time can help with that. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.455 for more info.
Q: In Dan 6:10 should we pray towards Jerusalem? Will God hear our prayers better if we pray in a certain direction?
A: In New Testament times the direction towards which we pray does not matter. In the Old Testament there is not a command to pray towards Jerusalem, or towards the temple, but perhaps Daniel was thinking of Solomonís prayer where He specifically asked God to hear those who prayed towards the temple and towards Jerusalem in 1 Kings 8:29,42,44,48. God spoke and answered Solomonís prayer in 1 Kings 9:3-9 in an encouraging, positive way, but God did not say anything about hearing prayers better facing any direction. In fact, God said though the temple looked very imposing, the day will come when people will be appalled at the temple site.
Q: In Dan 6:10-11, what would you do if you wanted to honor God in something, when continuing to do so would mean financial loss, embarrassment, or worse?
A: I would try to see if there was a way to continue to do a thing and not suffer loss. However, not only should Christians not be evil, they should avoid the appearance of evil. In the days of the early church, Christians were commanded to sacrifice to the Emperor as a God. Many Christians chose torture and death over idolatry. But others were weak and sinned by sacrificing. If someone paid a bribe so that they did not have to sacrifice but the bribed public official said that they did, they were still dishonoring God by having the appearance of sinning by sacrificing.
Q: In Dan 6:10-11, should Daniel have bought curtains? Metaphorically, when should we buy curtains today? And what about praying in secret?
A: Praying in secret, away from unbelievers is good, but Jesus command to pray in secret in the New Testament (Matthew 6:5-8) not the Old, and the New Testament was not given yet. Curtains would not have done any good, because the men already knew that he prayed, and they would have just come to see him anyway, as they did in Daniel 6:11.
Q: In Dan 6:12, what were these lions like?
A: Until people hunted them to extinction, lions roamed the Mideast. Many people, especially the Assyrians and Persians, were fond of hunting them. Samson killed a lion in Israel in Judges 14:5. An interesting article titled Asiaís Last Lions is in The National Geographic Magazine June 2001 p.46-61. Asiatic lions were somewhat smaller than African lions, have shorter manes, and have a fold of skin on their undersides that African lions lack. Their range was from north central India through Iraq, all the way to Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania.
Q: In Dan 6:14, why would it say Darius tried to rescue Daniel, since in Dan 6:16 the king ordered Daniel thrown into the lionís den?
A: Because both are true. Here was a powerful non-believer, who probably thought of himself as a good and just leader, who generally wanted to help Daniel, but his allegiance to following the customs was greater than his allegiance to doing what was right. Today there are many people who often want to do what is right, but their custom or precedent is the ultimate standard, and is more important than their conscience of following God.
Q: In Dan 6:24, was it not cruel to cast the menís wives and children to the lions too?
A: The Bible does not say the Persians were never cruel, or that they always did the correct thing. However, compared to the Assyrians, who gloried in torture, the Persians appeared kind.
Q: Dan 7 occurred prior to Dan 6. Why do you think the order is this way?
A: The previous chapters all had to do with Danielís life. These are visions that do not have any interaction with Danielís life. This vision occurred around 556-553 B.C.
Q: In Dan 7:2, what do the winds of heaven represent? Why are there four winds and not just one?
A: Four winds would be blowing in different directions, making the sea more agitated. The four winds could be the spirits behind the four empires.
The Expositors Bible Commentary vol.7 p.85 says the four winds are kept under control, until their release, by four angels in Revelation 9:14. However, there is scant evidence for this.
Q: In Dan 7:2, what does the sea represent?
A: The sea likely represents the throng of humanity. The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.7 p.85 says the same.
Q: In Dan 7:3-7,17-19, what are the four beasts?
A: Daniel 7:17 says these are four kings or kingdoms. They are Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece / Macedonia, and the Roman Empire. Here is how they fit the imagery.
Lion with eagle wings: Creatures appearing like winged lions covered the magnificent-looking Ishtar Gate in Babylon, which Nebuchadnezzar II built in 575 B.C.. Also, the facade of Nebuchadnezzarís throne room in the Verderasiatisches Museum in Berlin shows lions originally painted in yellow, white, blue, and red. A picture of this is in the book Babylon by Joan Oates p.150.
Babylon was referred to as a lion Jeremiah 4:7. Babylonís horses were swifter than eagles in Jeremiah 4:13. Babylon and Egypt were both referred to as eagles in Ezekiel 17:3,7. Later, the Babylonians treated the Jews well, when Daniel was in the court. Habakkuk 1:8-9 is not relevant here, as the Babylonian horses are compared to leopards and wolves, as well as eagles.
Bear raised on one side: The Medeo-Persian Empire had two parts, with the Persian side being dominant.
Leopard with four wings and four heads: Though a leopard is the fastest large land animal, reaching speeds of 60 miles (97 km) per hour, a leopard with four wings would be even faster. Alexander the Macedonian conquered the entire Persian Empire and parts of even India in a breathtaking thirteen years. After his death, the empire was divided up among his four generals. While the leopard of Africa was not a typical symbol of the Greeks, no other predatory animal could represent the speed of Alexanderís conquests any better.
Iron-toothed beast: The fourth beast was different, had horns, and was arrogant. The Roman Emperors had themselves declared as gods, and even had annual sacrifices made to them.
In addition, many see a dual fulfillment of this prophecy, with the Antichrist coming from a revived Roman Empire.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.610 claims the leopard was the Persian Empire, its four heads were four kings known to Daniel, and the fourth beast was Alexanderís Empire. Asimov says this because Asimov tries to separate the Median Empire from the Persian Empire. However, the Medes, aside from assisting the Babylonians in destroying Assyria, fighting the Scythians, and merging with the Persians, had no other independent effect on world history.
See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1350-1351, the Believerís Bible Commentary p.1082-1083, and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.290-291 for more info.
Q: In Dan 7:3-7,17-19, instead of the Roman Empire, does the fourth beast represent the ideal Jewish state, as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.610-611 says seems more likely?
A: No. Unless Asimov thinks the Jews thought an ideal Jewish state was a terrible, evil thing, Asimov is very confused here. Daniel 7:7 says, "...before me was a fourth beast - terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crush and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left... it had ten horns." In Daniel 7:11 (NIV) says, "...I kept looking until the [fourth] beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire." It is God who kills the fourth beast, so this fourth beast certainly is not a godly state.
Q: In Dan 7:5, what do the three ribs represent?
A: There are three different views.
Preceding Persia were three kingdoms: Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. Technically Persia did not conquer Assyria, because Assyria was already absorbed in the Babylonian Empire, which Persia conquered.
Conquered by Persia were three Empires: Egyptian, Babylonian, and Lydian. Most Empires up to this time conquered only one preceding Empire. However, Persia conquered three.
Tusks instead of ribs is how the NRSV translates this. However, the preceding two answers could apply to the tusks, so this is somewhat of a moot point.
Conclusion: Since the ribs were in the bearís mouth, it had to be three kingdoms "eaten" by the bear. Thus, Egypt, Babylon, and Lydia are the correct interpretation.
Q: In Dan 7:7-9, 20,24, what are the ten horns?
A: Daniel 10:24 tells us these are kings. The last king may be the Antichrist in the revived Roman Empire. Ten horns on a scarlet beast are discussed in Revelation 17:3,12-14.
Q: In Dan 7:9, when the Ancient of Days came, why would thrones (plural) be set in place?
A: Multiple thrones for the Father, and the Son of Man. However, "the court of was seated in Daniel 7:10b, so it would be elders and perhaps even us, who judge angels.
Q: Why is Dan 7:13-14 a good verse to share with Jews and Jehovahís Witnesses?
A: It mentions the Ancient of Days (the Father), and one like the Son of man coming to the ancient of days, then authority given to the son of man, and people properly worshipping Him. This refers to Jesus Christ.
Q: In Dan 7:16; 9:21 who is Gabriel?
A: Gabriel is the archangel who was a messenger to Daniel, and later a messenger to Mary the mother of Christ in Luke 1:19,26. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.65 for more info.
Q: In Dan 7:25, what is time oppression of the saints for a time, times, and half a time?
A: This is the same as the three and a half year period of half of the tribulation in Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 11:3; 12:6,14.
Q: In Dan 8:2, where is Shushan?
A: This used to be the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Elam, which is in the southwest part of modern Iran. It is close to the later capital of the Persian Empire.
Q: In Dan 8:2,16, where is the Ulai River?
A: Today we would call it a canal instead of a natural river. It ran north-south just west of the city of Susa (Shushan), according to The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1124.
Q: In Dan 8:3-4, what is the ram?
A: This represents the Empire of Medeo-Persia. The longer horn that came up later was Persia, the dominant part of the Empire. See the Believerís Bible Commentary p.1084 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1355-1356 say the same.
Q: Why would Dan 8:5 refer to the Empire of Alexander of Macedon as a goat?
A: Scripture does not say. However, a myth in Alexanderís time was that Alexander had two horns growing out of his head to show his semi-divine status.
Q: In Dan 8:8, why did the four horns grow towards the four winds of heaven?
A: These are the four generals of Alexander who took over his empire after his death. Cassander got Macedonia, Lysimachus got Thrace and Asia Minor, Seleucus got Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia, and Ptolemy got Egypt.
Q: In Dan 8:9-11, is the little horn the same as the little horn of Dan 7:8?
A: No, because the horn in Daniel 8:9-11 grow out of the third empire, not the fourth. Both the Seleucids and Romans had rulers intent on destroying Godís people.
Q: In Dan 8:9-11, why did the little horn grow out, instead of just a part of one of the other horns?
A: The little horn would be the Seleucid king, Antiochus Epiphanes. He was not actually a descendant of Seleucus. Antiochus Epiphanes is definitely referred to here, but this could also be a dual prophecy, with the second fulfillment being during the Tribulation.
Q: In Dan 8:13-17, could the 2,300 evenings and mornings be a prophecy the 2,300 years from the decree of Artaxerxes [allegedly 457 B.C.] to the manifestation of the Bab in 1844 A.D. as Bahaíis claim? (Some Answered Questions p.40-42)
A: No, there are four problems with this.
Wrong type of years: 1844 (A.D.) + 457 (B.C.) -1 (no 0 A.D.) = 2300 (365.25 day years). However, prophetic years in the Bible are 360-day religious years, no 365.25 day years.
Wrong duration: 2,300 is evenings and mornings, and nothing in Daniel says "evenings and mornings" are years.
Wrong starting point: The decree was in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes according to Nehemiah 2, so the starting point was 445/444 B.C., not 457 B.C.. 457 B.C was merely a decree from Artaxerxes confirming Cyrusí earlier decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem.
Wrong ending point: If you look at the rest of the words, not just the numbers, 2,300 evenings and mornings is the time when the sanctuary was brought low until the sanctuary is reconsecrated. Bahaíis would have to mean that Godís sanctuary was trampled and brought low when this Persian named Artaxerxes became king; it remained low through the time of Jesus until the Bab.
Conclusion: The only things Bahaíuíllah got wrong were the duration, starting point, and ending point. In other words, everything!
Q: In Dan 8:16; 9:21 and Dan 10:13,21; 12:1, what is interesting about the names Gabriel and Michael?
A: Daniel is the only Old Testament book where angels are named. Of course, both Gabriel and Michael appear in the New Testament too. Gabriel is in Luke 1:19,26, and Michael is in Jude 9 and Revelation 12:7.
Q: In Dan 8:17, why is Daniel called the Son of Man?
A: This simply means that Daniel was a human, a son of Adam. The Son of Man also refers to Christ too. In Daniel 7:13-14 this Son of Man, (Jesus Christ) received worship.
Q: In Dan 8:23-25, why would God allow this?
A: This sounds very catastrophic. The rebels have become completely wicked, there will be astounding devastation, destroying the mighty men and the holy people. The king will not just allow deceit, but cause it to prosper. Furthermore, this prophecy knows that God knew all of this and allowed it to happen.
Q: In Dan 8:27, why was Daniel "appalled" at the vision?
A: Daniel was so overwhelmed by the devastation of this vision, that with the stress he fell ill. While scripture does not say why Daniel was so shocked, we can see the probable reasons. This vision and the others showed that God was in control of history. But even so, Daniel was appalled at the terrible things that would happen, both to Godís people and Godís sanctuary. Since God was in control of history, why would God allow this to happen?
Today it is possible that we could get appalled at what God permits to happen. But we need to remember that God knows what He is doing, - better than we do.
Q: In Dan 9:1, who was Darius the Mede?
A: See the discussion on Daniel 5:30-6:1 for the answer.
Q: In Dan 9:2, what was the 70 years of the destruction of Jerusalem?
A: The seventy years, would be 360-day years. This is almost exactly 69 of our years. This was from 605/604 B.C. to 538/537 B.C. See the discussion on Jeremiah 29:10 for more info.
Q: In Dan 9:4-19, how does Danielís prayer of corporate confession compare with Neh 1:5-11?
A: Here are seven common elements.
1. Both prayed in regards to what they saw should have been happening but was not. In Nehemiahís case it was the external event of the city not being built, and in Danielís case it was the internal event of the 70 years of Jeremiah being almost over.
2. Both fasted and mourned - Daniel in sackcloth and ashes, and Nehemiah not, presumably because he was the cupbearer to the king.
3. Both start out mentioning Godís greatness and his covenant of mercy.
4. Both intermix the sins of the people with Godís just punishment.
5. Both mention not obeying the law of Moses.
6. All Christians know that we should pray prayers of confession, but there are different types of prayers of confession. These were both confession for the people as a whole. These were from a "historical confession" as opposed to an "emotional confession" as in Jeremiah. Their historical confession stresses what they did, Godís just punishment, what they did next, etc.
7. Both conclude with asking God to do something. Daniel asks that God turn His anger away from Jerusalem, while Nehemiah merely asked that God make the king favorable toward his request.
Q: In Dan 9:23, how did this vision answer Danielís question?
A: Daniel prayed that the people would return and Jerusalem would be rebuilt as God promised in Jeremiah 25:11-14. God not only repeated to Daniel that this would happen, God told him some of the details of then, and the how the exact timing of that would lay the groundwork for a future time when the Messiah would come.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, how does this refer to the Messiah?
A: In Daniel 9:25,26, the word "anointed one" is recognized by both Jews and Christians as the Messiah. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.318-320 for more info.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, since the New Testament writers quoted old testament prophecies as evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, why do none of them refer to one of the most amazing of all the Messianic prophecies, Dan. 9:24-27?
A: While I do not know for certain why the gospel writers did not refer to Daniel 9:24-27, I have a guess. They predominantly wrote on what Jesus said Himself. Jesus might not have publicly mentioned that prophecy because He would not want to give the false impression that they were in Godís will to crucify Him, or that they were forced to do this because of a prophecy. It was their own responsibility that they crucified Him, and the prophecy that announced that fact did not lessen their guilt.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, what are the seventy weeks?
A: Here is what they are, when they started, and when they were fulfilled.
1. These are seventy weeks of years. If the "weeks/sevens" were weeks of days, it would be incredible to say that people would rebuild the entire city in 42 workdays. Here is what Jews themselves said about the "sevens", when this prophecy should come to pass, and how it relates to the Messiah.
1a. Maimonides (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon): "Daniel has elucidated to us the knowledge of the end times. However, since they are secret, the wise [rabbis] have barred the calculation of the days of Messiahís coming so that the untutored populace will not be led astray when they see that the End Times have already come but there is no sign of the Messiah" (Igeret Teiman, chapter 3 p.24.)
1b. Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi: "I have examined and searched all the Holy Scriptures and have not found the time for the coming of Messiah clearly fixed, except in the words of Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, which are written in the 9th chapter of the prophecy of Daniel (The Messiah of the Targums, Talmuds and Rabbinical Writers, 1971) p.141-142
(These two quotes were taken from The Creator Beyond Time and Space by Mark Eastman, M.D. and Chuck Missler (The Word for Today, 1996)).
2. The starting point is March/April 444 B.C. Daniel 9:25 explicitly states the starting point was the decree to restore and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This decree is given in Nehemiah 2, and this is 444 B.C. Note that it is not Cyrusí 538/537 B.C. decree to allow the Jews to return home, and it is not Artaxerxesís decree in 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26) allowing the Jews to take back the gold and silver that the Babylonians looted from Solomonís Temple. The early Christian writer Julius Africanus, writing 232-245 A.D.) also mentions the command during Nehemiahís time as being the starting point. (Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 6 p.135)
3. 360-days years are used. The Jewish religious year was 12 months of 30 days each. Thus 7 sevens is 49*360 = 17,640 days. 7+62=69 sevens is 173,880 days. 1 seven is 2,520 days. Skipping the details of converting 360-day years to 265.25 day years (and 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. is 1 year, not 2), this gives dates of:
3a. 396/395 B.C. (June/July) the city will be rebuilt.
3b. 32/33 A.D. (March/April + 5 days) The Messiah will be killed. The Believerís Bible Commentary p.1092 says that Anderson computed this to April 6, 32 A.D. Dr. Harold Hoehner comes up with 33 A.D.
3c. Skipping a period of time (for reasons given in the next answer), the end times will be a period of 7 * 360/365.25 = 6.9 of our years.
God wanted to point out to people when His Messiah would come, and for those who cared to look, it is very clear.
See the Believerís Bible Commentary p.1085-1087, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.289-292, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1361-1365, The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.256-257, and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.285-286 for more info.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, could a week here be seven days instead of seven years?
A: No. Daniel was praying about the prophecy of Jeremiah, which is in years. Also in Daniel 9:25, it would be hard to rebuild the city in just 7 days. Hard Sayings of the Bible p.318-320 says that since the whole sabbatical year was laid out in terms of sevens, equating the "sevens" with years was not a problem for Jewish listeners, especially since the Jubilee was once every seven years in Leviticus 25.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, how do we know which is the correct decree?
A: There were in fact three decrees: For the Jews to return in 538/7 B.C., Artaxerxesí decree in 458 B.C. for the Jews to get back the gold and silver from their Temple, and Artaxerxesí decree in 444 B.C. However Daniel 9:25 explicitly says the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (not the Temple). Artaxerxesí decree of 444 B.C. is the only decree that fits this description.
The early Christian writer Julius Africanus, (232-245 A.D.) also discusses this in Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 6 Five Books of the Chronology of Julius Africanus ch.16.1 p.134. He mentions the command during Nehemiahís time as being the starting point. (p.135)
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, how do we know the decree in the 20th year of Artaxerxes I was 444 B.C., and how do we know it was not Artaxerxes II?
A: When Artaxerxes became king by defeating his brother Hystaspes in Bactria, this was almost immediately known in Egypt by January 2/3, 464 B.C., as the Elephantine Papyrus Cowley #6 proves. This first "reigning year" was counted as starting April 13, 464 B.C. The fired Athenian general Thucydides, who was also a historian, wrote about Artaxerxes I, as did the historians Ctesias and Diodorus Siculus (1st century B.C.).
We know this was Artaxerxes I (not II) because a Papyrus found in Elephantine Island, Egypt (Cowley #30), dated 407 B.C. mentions the sons of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria. (There was a Persian fort made up of Jewish mercenaries at Elephantine).
See Persia and the Bible p.242,247-248 for more info.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, why use a 360-day year?
A: Why use a 365.25-day year, since the Bible never does? The Jewish religious year was always 12 months of 30 days each. Periodically, the Jews added an extra month to get the calendar back in sync with the seasons. In the Bible, a 30-day month goes back to Noah in Gen 7:11,24; 8:3-4. Besides all the references to religious months in the Old Testament, in the New Testament 30 days is a month in Revelation 11:3,4. The early Christian writer Julius Africanus, writing 232-245 A.D.) also mentions converting from a 365.25 day year to the Jewish year. He said the Jewish year was 29.5 days, with 3 extra months added every 8 years. (Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 6 p.137)
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, what is the rationale for saying there is a gap between the 69th and 70th year?
A: Four points to consider in the answer.
1. Nothing in Daniel indicates that the last seven is immediately after the 69 sevens.
2. In contrast, Daniel 9:25 implies the 7 sevens and 62 sevens are one unit until the Messiah comes. There is no mention of the last seven being combined with any other period.
3. After the Messiah is cut off and has nothing, a number of events are listed that are not associated with either the middle period (62 sevens) or the last seven. Namely, the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and Temple, the end will come, war will come, and desolations. The last seven is not said to include these events. It only includes the ruler who will come making a covenant, and 3 1/2 years later breaking this covenant.
4. Many theologians call the gap before the last seven by a specific term, to describe a mystery God did not reveal until later. The term they use is "the church age".
In conclusion, treating the 69 sevens as one unit without treating the last seven, and mentioning a number of events between the end of the 69th seven and the start of the last seven, strongly implies a gap before the start of the last seven.
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, how does this square with the view that Jesus was born 4-5 B.C?
A: This prophecy neither supports nor refutes that view. The Bible does not say Jesus was thirty when he began his ministry. Rather, Luke 3:23 says that Jesus was about thirty years old
Q: In Dan 9:24, should this read "most holy one" or "most holy place"?
A: The Hebrew and Septuagint both simply say "most holy".
Q: In Dan 9:24-27, what did the early church teach about the seventy weeks?
A: They taught the same as Biblical Christians today, that it was Messianic.
Even Jewish writers Maimonides in Igeret Teiman and Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi in The Messiah of the Targums, Talmuds and Rabbinical Writers. Daniel 9:20-27 is messianic.
Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.) discusses Danielsí prophecies and says "and shall purpose to change times and laws; an [everything] shall be given into his hand until a time of times and half time.,í that is, for three years six months, during which time, when he comes, he shall reign over the earth." Irenaeus Against Heresies book 5 ch.25.3 p.553-554
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) says that Daniel 9:24-27 refers to Christ. Stromata book 1 ch.21 p.319
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) compares the chronology of history with Daniel 9. Answer to the Jews ch.8 p.158-161
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "For, after His advent, we read, according to Daniel, that the city itself had to be exterminated; and we recognise that so it has befallen." And then Tertullian quotes Daniel 9:26. Answer to the Jews ch.13 p.169
Hippolytus (222-235/6 A.D.) "ĎSeventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, to seal up sins and to blot out transgressions, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy; and thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of words for the answer, and for the building of Jerusalem, unto Christ the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.í" Visions of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar ch.12 p.180
Hippolytus bishop of Portus (222-235/236 A.D.) Commentary on the Prophet Daniel ch.2.22
Julius Africanus (235-245 A.D.) discusses the seventy weeks of Daniel and that prophecy was until John [the Baptist]. Five Books of the Chronology of Julius Africanus ch.16.1 p.134.
Origen (225-254 A.D.) Origen Against Celsus book 6 ch.46 p.594-595
Athanasius (c.318 A.D.) "the most wise Daniel, who marks both the actual date, and the divine sojourn of the Saviour, saying: ĎSeventy weeks are cut short upon thy people, and upon the holy city,..." Incarnation of the Word ch.39 p.57
Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) David prophesied about Jesus in Psalm16:10 as did Daniel 7:13. Epitome of the Divine Institutes ch.47 p.241. He also discusses Isaiah 7:14 in the Epitome of the Divine Institutes ch.44 p.239.
They taught the same after Nicea, except that the first person known to have said it was not Messianic was Julius Hilarianus (ca.397 A.D.) (non-Messianic view of Daniel 9) Chronologia sive Libellus de Mundi Duratione preserved in Jeromeís Commentary on Daniel
See the article by J. Paul Tanner: ĎIs Danielsí Seventy-Weeks Prophecy Messianic? Part 1" in Bibliotheca Sacra vol.166 (April-June 2009) p.181-200 for more info.
Q: In Dan 9:25, is it reasonable to understand the Messiah the Prince to mean Cyrus of Persia, as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.614 says?
A: No, Asimov apparently is confused on this point. According to Daniel 9:25 there will be 69 "sevens" of years, before the Messiah comes. Cyrus already came when Daniel was written. In addition, the Messiah is killed (cut off) in Daniel 9:26.
Q: In Dan 9:26, what flood is scripture referring to? I have seen a translation that says "The end of it will be like a flood", but most say "with a flood". Did Jerusalem suffer a flood in 70 AD when the Roman's destroyed the temple?
A: Jerusalem is on top of Mt. Zion, so it is not subject to floods of water, and none occurred in 70 A.D. In Hebrew the word "like" is not there, but the Hebrew word can be translated overflowing, so some translations apparently put in "like a flood" to reflect that, there is no indication this has to do with water.
The Expositor's Bible Commentary p.116 says, "More literally, this might be rendered thus: 'And the end of it will be in the overflowing, and unto the end there will be war, a strict determination of desolations' or 'the determined amount of desolations.' The general tenor of this sentence is in striking conformity with Christ's own prediction in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:7-22)."
Q: In Dan 10:2-4, was Daniel right to mourn three full weeks?
A: Yes. Mourning does not mean depression, or a psychological problem. There are times for believers to mourn, just as there are times to rejoice.
Q: In Dan 10:4, where is the Hiddekel River?
A: This was another name for the Tigris River. He donít know why Daniel used this uncommon word for the River, but sometimes common things can seem unfamiliar when we can seen more of what will happen in the future. Some universities with great Christian seminaries, such as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton, have been changed and become unfamiliar in the last century or so.
Q: In Dan 10:4-9, what can we learn about this angel here?
A: There are at least three things.
Physically the angel was dressed in linen, which would be white, with a gold belt. The angel sounds both difficult to look at, and handsome to look at, at the same time. His face like lightning would be so bright you would not want to look at it.
The effect on the others was for them to run in terror, even though they did not see the angel. The effect on Daniel was to drain his strength, and then fall down in a deep sleep.
Even though this angel was resisted by the Prince of Persia for 21 days, he did not look any the worse for being resisted so long.
We are not angels, and we will not become angels. Nevertheless we can find a few similarities between the angel and what our character should be. Our life and message should be attractive and winsome for others. Yet, people will feel conviction when they hear Godís message. Peopleís desire to sin should be reduced when they are around us, if we are having an impact on their lives.
Q: In Dan 10:5 and Jer 10:9, what is the fine gold of Uphaz?
A: We do not know, but there are two views. Perhaps Uphaz was a place in Africa (Ophir), or another location. Alternately, perhaps Uphaz was not a place at all, but an adjective describing very high-quality gold.
See The New International Bible Dictionary p.1044 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.1758 for more info.
Q: In Dan 10:5-10,13-21, with whom was Daniel speaking?
A: This glorious being was an angel of God. We do not know his name, and it was not necessarily Gabriel, who spoke to Daniel earlier.
Q: In Dan 10:7,8,15-19, as well as Rev 1:17, why are people weak when they see a heavenly being?
A: When a person on earth comes in contact with Godís holiness, or the holiness reflected in His angels, they not only feel sinful and inadequate, but they physically lose their strength. In Isaiah 6:5 Isaiah was in terror, saying "Woe is me".
Q: In Dan 10:13,21, 12:1 who is the angel Michael?
A: Daniel 10:13 simply says he is one of the chief princes. Daniel 10:21 says he is the chief prince of Israel, and Daniel 12:1 says he is "the great prince." The New Testament tells us more. Revelation 12:7 says he is the archangel who led the armies of heaven against the dragon. Jude 9 says he disputed with Satan over the body of Moses and said "The Lord rebuke you." See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.65 for more info.
Q: In Dan 10:16 (KJV), what is similitude of the sons of men?
A: This King James Version expression means he looked like a human male.
Q: In Dan 10:21, how do you pronounce "Michael"?
A: Most people say "MI kel", as in English, though I heard it pronounced "mi KA el", in a Bible Bee. (The seventh-grade contestant misspelled it.)
Q: In Dan 10:21, who is Michael the prince over?
A: Michael was the prince over the Jewish people. In the other two times Michael appears in scripture, he is contending about something. In Jude 9, Michael the archangel said "The Lord rebuke you" to Satan. In Revelation 12:7 it is Michael who is fighting against the dragon in Heaven.
Q: In Dan 10:21, could Michael be Jesus Christ?
A: No. Unlike Jehovahís Witnesses say, Michael is not Jesus Christ. One reason is that in Jude 9, Michael said for the Lord (Jesus) to rebuke Satan; Michael did not rebuke Satan himself. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.339 for more info.
Q: In Dan 10:21, what is the scripture of truth?
A: There are two similar views.
a) The Bible which had been revealed up to that time. This includes the Torah and most of the prophets.
b) "Godís record of truth in general, of which the Bible is one expression" (Daniel : The Key to Prophetic Revelation p.250).
Q: In Dan 11, do you think God is only interested in the big picture, or also in the details?
A: When you read this entire chapter, the length of this passage, as well as all of the details of who defeated who when, show that God is very detail-oriented, in addition to looking at the overall big picture.
Q: In Dan 11, most other prophecies in the Old Testament do not have this avalanche of detail; even other prophecies in Daniel. Why do you think there might be so many details here?
A: Scripture does not say, but there are two likely reasons.
First, if you draw a line on land connecting Syria in the north and Egypt in the south, the line passes directly through Israel. You have to go out of your way somewhat to go through Ammon, Moab, and Edom. In this seesaw of battles and fortunes many of the battlefields were in Israel.
Second, there was a 400 year gap where there were no prophets or prophecies given for Godís people. This gap was finally broken when John the Baptist, the forerunner, came. But during these four centuries, Godís people could lose heart, or think they were out of Godís plan, with this long silence. The gap might have been to build expectation for John the Baptist, who built the expectation for the Messiah. But they were not forgotten during this gap; just prior to this, Daniel gave the details to show that God foreknew the history and the armies they would encounter.
Q: In Dan 11:1; 12:1, why is Michael called a "prince" when he is in fact an angel?
A: We observe that Michael is called one of the chief princes in Daniel 10:13; an angel is called a man in Daniel 10:5, or looked like a man in Daniel 10:18. Gabriel is called a man in Daniel 9:21. It is said to be a human hand writing on the wall in Daniel 5:5. In fact, the word "angel" is only used in Daniel 3:28 (by Nebuchadnezzar) and 6:22 (by Daniel). When Daniel uses the word angel in Daniel 6:22, he is referring to the effect of an angel stopping the mouths of the lions, and not anything that is visible. The word "messenger" is used in Daniel 4:13,17,23.
In Danielís way of writing, he writes what he says, whether it be the shape of a man or a hand. Daniel only used the term "angel" once, when there was no physical appearance to see. God did not have an angel appear for no purpose, but every time it was to convey a message. Perhaps we should not be concerned about seeing angels, but rather benefitting from their effects in our lives.
Q: In Dan 11:1, why did the angel strengthen Darius?
A: This probably does not refer to physical strength or health, but rather to strengthening his position to become king and to remain king.
Q: Does Dan 11:1, contradict history, which says the Persian King who conquered Babylonia was Cyrus I, not Darius I?
A: Neither Cyrus I nor Darius I captured Babylon. The man who captured Babylon was a general under Cyrus, name Gubaru (Gobryas in Greek). This was likely the individual mentioned here under the name Darius. Gubaru was an interesting man. He was actually the Babylonian governor of Gutium, who defected to the Medes and Persians.
For the contrary view that Darius here was Cyrus, see the Concordia Self-Study Commentary p.577, 581-82 for more info. See Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.66-67 for more info. In addition, see the two questions on Daniel 5:30-6:1.
Q: In Dan 11:1-33, who were the kings of the Persian Empire?
A: They were:
Cyrus the Great (559 B.C. - Anshan, 550 B.C. Medeo-Persia - 530/529 B.C.
Cambyses II 530/529-523/522 B.C.
Pseudo-Smerdis (Guatama) 523/522-522/521 B.C.
Darius I 550-522/521-486 B.C.
Ahasuerus (Xerxes in Greek) 486-465/464 B.C.
Artaxerxes I 464-423 B.C.
Darius II 423-404 B.C.
Artaxerxes II 404- B.C.
Artaxerxes III -336 B.C.
Darius III 336-331 B.C.
Then Alexander of Macedon conquered Persia.
Q: To what does Dan 11:1-33 refer?
A: Both The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1367 and the New Geneva Study Bible says these refer to the Persian kings: Cambyses II (530-522 B.C.), Pseudo-Smerdis (Guatama) 523/522-522/521 B.C.), Darius I (550-522/521-486 B.C.), and Ahasuerus (Xerxes in Greek) (486-465/464 B.C.) The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.616 says the same.
The fourth king, Xerxes, invaded Greece. It was later, in verse 3, that Alexander the Great (356-336-324 B.C.) conquered the Persian Empire.
Finally, Alexanderís empire was split into four parts. Cassander ruled Macedonia
Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Anatolia
Seleucus (312-281 B.C.) ruled Syria, and
Ptolemy (I Soter) (323-285 B.C.) ruled Egypt.
The Believerís Bible Commentary p.1092 points out that Daniel 11:5-33 refer to the leaders of Syria and Egypt, and not to the same two rulers all throughout the text.
Q: In Dan 11:31, what was the abomination that causes desolation?
A: This prophecy had both a foreshadowing under Antiochus Epiphanes and a fulfillment that is future to us.
Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Temple. He entered the Holy of Holies, and according to one account put a pigís head there.
According to Hippolytusí Fragment 2 from his Commentaries (p.184) (225-235/6 A.D.) Danielís abomination of desolation occurs during the endtimes when the Antichrist comes.
See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.198 and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.290-291 for more info.
Q: In Dan 11:37-38, what exactly does the Hebrew word here for God mean?
A: The Hebrew word, elohim, has two meanings. It can refer to the One True God, or it can refer to false gods. The English word God/god is the same. However, unlike the English, elohim is a plural form, so it is The "royal we" for the One True God, and it can mean gods (plural). In Daniel 11:37-38, "gods of his fathers" refers to false idols, and "the one desired by women" refers to a false God (probably Tammuz). See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.288 for more info.
Q: In Dan 11:40-12:3, what does "Epiphanes" mean?
A: It means illustrious, or self-evident. As a side note, the Believerís Bible Commentary p.1092 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1369 say the Jews had another nickname for him, "Epimanes", which means madman. A photograph of a coin showing Antiochus Epiphanes, with the title "God manifest" is in The Journey from Texts to Translations p.52.
Q: In Dan 11:45, how did Antiochus Epiphanes IV "come to his end, with no one to help him" (NKJV)?
A: Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) reigned from 165-163 B.C. He was humiliated when the Roman Senate forbade him to invade Egypt again. The Anchor Bible Dictionary volume 1 p.271 says that the papyrus Appian Syr. 66 says that Antiochus IV withdrew to Tabae and died of consumption in late 164 B.C.
Q: In Dan 12:1, what time period will this be?
A: This and Daniel 11 refer to the future time during the Great Tribulation, when the Antichrist reigns. See the Believerís Bible Commentary p.1091, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1372, The NIV Study Bible p.1318, The Nelson Study Bible p.1442-1443, The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 7 p.149-152, and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.287.
In the early church, Hippolytus bishop of Rome (225-235/6 A.D.) in his Commentary on Daniel 12 also says this refers to the time of the Antichrist.
Q: Does Dan 12:2, indicate a separate resurrection for godly Jews?
A: No for two reasons.
If a passage discusses something that happens to one people, and a second passage mentions the same thing happening to other people, putting the two together does not indicate whether they will be raised together or separately.
But in this particular case, Daniel 12:2 says "your people Ė everyone whose name is found written in the book" While this could mean only elect Jews, it more naturally means everyone who is elect.
By the way, two later Jewish rabbis who affirmed these refer to physical resurrection are Saaidah the Gaon and Ibn Ezra, according to 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.280.
See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.139 for more info.
Q: In Dan 12:2, will "many" be raised, or will all be raised as Rev 20:5 says?
A: Both, in at least two events. The righteous will be raised from the dead first, and later all will be raised by the end of the Millennium in Revelation 20:5. Daniel 12:2 is the oldest passage of Scripture that says the ungodly will be raised as well as the godly. See When Critics Ask p.296 and The NIV Study Bible p.1318 for more info.
Q: In Dan 12:6, who were the two beings here?
A: These are two angels. The river here is the Tigris River (Daniel 10:4), not the Euphrates, which is more to the west. Therefore, these angels probably are not to be identified with the four angels at the Euphrates River in Revelation 9:14-15.
Q: In Dan 12:6, do angels know everything?
A: No, they do not know everything about the future, because one of the angels asked when this would happen. In 1 Peter 1:12, angels longed to look into the things coming of Christ.
Q: Could Dan 12:6 refer to the Bab as Bahaíis claim, since he appeared 1,260 years from the Hejira of Mohammed? (Some Answered Questions p.43)
A: No. They claim this because 3 Ĺ times or 3 Ĺ lunar 360-day years is 360 * 3 Ĺ = 1260 days. They say a day is a year, and the Bab appeared 1,260 lunar years from the Hejira of Mohammed.
First of all days does not mean years here. Second, the starting date they want to use is not what the Bible says. You have to also read what the end point is in Daniel 12:1-4. At this time multitudes of people will be raised from sleeping in the dust, and Michael, who protects the Jewish people will arise. This certainly did not happen; especially since the Holocaust happened after this.
Basically Bahaíis take nearly every Bible prophecy that proclaims future knowledge or deliverance, and begs the question by applying it to Bahaíuíllah. Then they can say, "See, this prophecy was fulfilled, therefore Bahaíuíllah is true."
Q: In Dan 12:8-10, why did Daniel himself not understand what he was writing?
A: Daniel understood the individual words, but not the meaning nor the significance. Unlike most writings in the Bible, this part was "mechanically dictated", in that Daniel merely wrote down what he heard from the angel. Of course, Satan and the demons would not be able to see what this said either.
Today, sometimes people will give up on understanding anything about something if they cannot understand everything. If you do not understand everything about love, does that mean you should not love anybody else? If you cannot understand everything about God, does that mean you cannot understand anything? - Of course not.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.320-321 for more info.
Q: In Dan 12:9, how did they seal things back then?
A: When a deed or other important document was needed, scribes would write two identical copies. One would be "public" and one would be sealed up and stored away in a safe place. They would seal a scroll by rolling it up, and each scribe would place his wax seal over it, so that if anyone tried to open it or tamper with it, the seal would be broken. If anyone tried to change the public copy, they could go to the sealed up copy and verify the original text.
Q: In Dan 12:9; Rev 6:1-3; 10:4, why does God seal things up?
A: There are three possible reasons.
a) God does not want people to know some things, at least until a future time. But God could have just not said anything, rather than said something that would be sealed up.
b) God wants us to realize now there is something important to know, that we will not learn until later.
c) Perhaps God does not want Satan or demons to hear this information about the future.
Q: In Dan 12:9 and 1 Pet 1:10-11, since the prophets did not understand everything they were saying, does that somehow support the Jehovahís Witness Watchtower leadership of making false prophecies?
A: No. Though the prophets did not fully understand everything, they truthfully, accurately, and faithfully communicated to us everything the God of truth wanted them to reveal. Likewise Jonah was not a false prophet, because the book of Jonah shows he communicated correctly, and that the prophecy of Ninevehís destruction was conditional on their repentance. (Of course, their destruction was not really taken away, only postponed.)
See Understanding Jehovahís Witnesses p.52-53 for more info.
Q: In Dan 12:10 and Rev 22:11, how are the pure purified, and the wicked continue to be wicked?
A: Once we have turned to God and repented from some sins, God still has a lot of work to do to develop our Christlike character and free us from other sins. We should not be discouraged with ourselves if you do not show complete Christlike character soon after coming to Christ. We also should not be discouraged with other brothers and sisters in the Lord, when they do not show complete Christlike character immediately.
Revelation 22:11 also say the wrong, and the vile, will continue to be wrong and vile; the right and holy will continue to be right and holy. There is not merely an "inertia" but also a trajectory that naturally leads sinners to more sin, and those who seek God to more righteousness.
Q: In Dan 12:11, what is the sign of the 1,290 days and 1,335 days?
A: A religious year was 360 days. 1,290 days is just over 3 years 7 months. 1,335 days is exactly 45 days later.
Q: In Dan 12:11-12, does the 1,290 days refer to the Bahaíullah being 1,290 years after Mohammed announced his mission as Bahaiís claim in Some Answered Questions p.43-44?
A: Bahaíuíllah made his claim 19 years after the Bab, so one would think they would say it was 1,279 years. However, since that does not fit 1,290 years, they move the starting date back to approximately when Mohammed said he was a prophet.
Q: In Dan, what would you do if you had knowledge of Godís will as great as Daniel had?
A: Daniel knew much beyond the people of his time; much beyond what anyone could naturally know. He used his knowledge to instruct others, encourage us, and warn others, even kings.
But we all have knowledge even greater than Daniel had. We know about the Messiah, and much more about His future coming too. But we should not be proud of the knowledge we have, but rather use our knowledge for others, as Daniel did. Our words and lives should be a mirror, reflecting God's word.
Daniel knew how to weather the storms of life. Whether uprooted or secure, in a palace or lionís den, Daniel was a man for all seasons. Whatever times we live in, we should be the same.
Q: Which verses of Daniel exist among the Dead Sea scrolls?
A: They are:
Dan 1:10-17 1Q71 (=1QDan a)
Dan 1:16-20 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 2:2-6 1Q71 (=1QDan a)
Dan 2:9-11, 19-49 4A112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 3:1-2 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 3:22-30 1Q71 (=1QDan a)
Dan 4:5?-9; 12-14 4Q115 (=4QDan d)
Dan 4:29-30 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 5:5-7, 12-14, 16-19 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 5:10-12, 14-16, 19-22 4Q113 (=4QDan b)
Dan 6:8-22, 27-29 4Q113 (=4QDan b)
Dan 7:1-6, 11(?), 26-28 4Q113 (=4QDan b)
Dan 7:5-7, 25-28 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 7:15-19; 21v-23? 4Q115 (=4QDan d)
Dan 8:1-5 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 8:1-8, 13-16 4Q113 (=4QDan b)
Dan 8:16, 17(?), 20, 21(?)4Q114 (=4QDan c), 6Q7 (=6QpapDan)
Dan 9:12-14; 15-16?; 17?
Dan 10:5-9,11-16,21 4Q114 (=4QDan c)
Dan 19:8-16 6Q7 (=6Qpap Dan)
Dan 10:16-20 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 11:1-2,13-17,25-29 4Q114 (=4QDan c)
Dan 11:13-16 4Q112 (=4QDan a)
Dan 11:33-36, 38 6Q7 (=6Qpap Dan)
See The Dead Sea Scrolls & Modern Translations of the Old Testament p.165 for more info. See also The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for more details.
Q: In Dan, what are some of the earliest manuscripts that still exist today?
A: Dead Sea scrolls: (120 B.C.) 8 separate copies according to the Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.30 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.436-438. The oldest manuscript is dated at 120 B.C.
1Q71 (=1QDan a) Dan 2:2-6; 3:22-30
1Q72 (=1QDan b)
4Q112 (=4QDan a) is dated to the late Hasmonean or early Herodian period. It contains Daniel 1:16-20, 2:9-11, 19-49; 3:1-2; 4:29-30; 5:5-7, 12-14, 16-19; 7:5-7, 25-28; 8:1-5; 10:16-20; 11:13-16
4Q113 (=4QDan b) is dated 20-50 A.D. It contains Daniel 5:10-12, 14-16, 19-22; 6:8-22, 27-29; 7:1-6, 11(?), 26-28; 8:1-8, 13-16
4Q114 (=4QDan c) is dated 125-100 B.C. It contains Daniel 10:5-9, 11-16, 21; 11:1-2, 13-17, 25-29
4Q115 (=4QDan d) has Dan 4:5?-9; 12-14; 7:15-19; 21v-23? according to The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by James VanderKam and Peter Flint on p.423.
4Q116 (=4QDan e) has "Dan 9:12-14, 15-16?, 17?" according to The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by James VanderKam and Peter Flint on p.423. The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated by Florentino Garcia Martinez on p.482 for manuscript 4Q116 (=4QDan(e)) said it contains "Remains of Dn 9" without specifying any verses.
6Q7 (=6QpapDan) contains Daniel 8:16; 17(?), 20, 21(?), 10:8-16; 11:33-36,38. The Dead Sea Scrolls & Modern Translations of the Old Testament p.77 says it is poorly preserved, but generally agrees with the proto-Masoretic text.
Overall, preserved in the Dead Sea scrolls are the following verses from Daniel: 1:10-20; 2:2-6,9-11,19-49; 3:1-2,22-30; 4:5?-9,12-14,29-30; 5:5-7,10-22; 6:8-22,27-29; 7:1-7,11?,25-28; 8:1-8,13-16,17?,20-21?; 9:12-15,16?,17?; 10:5-20; 11:1-2,13-17,25-29,33-36,38. See The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.423 for more details.
Theodotion was a Jew after the time of Christ who made a Greek translation of the Old Testament. We have copies of his translation of Daniel, as well as some other books.
Christian Bible manuscripts, from about 350 A.D., contain the Old Testament, including Daniel. The Chester Beatty Papyrii IX and X (2nd-4th century A.D.) contain Daniel according to The Earliest New Testament Manuscripts p.367 and The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge p.746.
Scheide Papyrii 1 contains Ezekiel, Daniel, and Esther. It is dated the early third century A.D. It originally had 118 leaves, of which 109 survive today. For more info and a photograph of it see Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.70-71.
Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.) has preserved all of Daniel.
There are no parts of Daniel in Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.)
Alexandrinus (c.450 A.D.) has preserved all of Daniel.
Christian writers also referred extensively to Daniel as the next question shows.
Q: Which early writers referred to Daniel?
A: Pre-Nicene writers who referenced or alluded to verses in Daniel are:
Clement of Rome (96-98 A.D.) (allusion) "For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel cast into the den of lions by such as feared God? Were Ananias, and Azarias, and Michael shut up in a furnace of fire by those who observed the great and glorious worship of the Most High? Far from us be such a thought!" He references Daniel 6:16 and Daniel 3:20. 1 Clement ch.45 p.17
Epistle of Barnabas (c.70-130 A.D.) ch.4 p.138 "In like manner Daniel says concerning the same, ĎAnd I beheld the fourth beast, wicked and powerful, and more savage than all the beasts of the earth, and how from it sprang up ten horns, and out of them a little budding horn, and how it subdued under one three of the great horns."
Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) "ĎOf these and such like words written by the prophets, O Trypho,í said I, Ďsome have reference to the first advent of Christ, in which He is preached as inglorious, obscure, and of mortal appearance: but others had reference to His second advent, when He shall appear in glory and above the clouds; and your nation shall see and know Him whom they have pierced, as Hosea, one of the twelve prophets, and Daniel, foretold.í" Dialogue with Trypho the Jew ch.14 p.202
Melito/Meleto of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) lists all the books of the Old Testament, and he includes every book we have except Nehemiah and Esther. Fragment 4 From the Book of Extracts p.759.
Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) "But so far as regards the periods we speak of, we are corroborated by Berosus, the Chaldean philosopher, who made the Greeks acquainted with the Chaldaean literature, and uttered some things concerning the deluge, and many other points of history, in agreement with Moses; and with the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel also, he spoke in a measure of agreement." Theophilus to Autolycus book 3 ch.29 p.121
Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.) quotes half of Daniel 2:34 as by Daniel. Irenaeus Against Heresies book 3 ch.21.7 p.453
Clement of Alexandria (193-205 A.D.) "And Daniel the prophet says, ĎThe mystery which the king asks, it is not in the power of the wise, the Magi, the diviners, the Gazarenes, to tell the king; but it is God in heaven who revealeth it.í" Stromata book 1 ch.3 p.304
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "and then of such as concerned all nations up to the very end of the world. For after He had declared that ĎJerusalem was to be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled,í -meaning, of course, those which were to be chosen of God, and gathered in with the remnant of Israel-He then goes on to proclaim, against this world and dispensation (even as Joel had done, and Daniel, and all the prophets with one consent), that Ďthere should be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.í" On the Resurrection of the Flesh ch.22 p.560-561
Tertullian (207/208 A.D.) "He also was revealed to Daniel himself expressly as Ďthe Son of man, coming in the clouds of heavení as a Judge, as also the Scripture shows." Five Books Against Marcion book 4 ch.10 p.359
Hippolytus (225-235/6 A.D.) wrote a commentary on Daniel. Specifically we have quotes of parts of chapters 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 12, the apocryphal Song of the Three Children and Susannah.
Origen (225-254 A.D.) "Any one, moreover, who likes may find the prophecy in Daniel respecting antichrist." Origen Against Celsus book 2 ch.50 p.451
Anonymous Treatise Against Novatian (c.246-258 A.D.) ch.17 p.662-663 "17. Like things to these also says Daniel:" and then quotes Daniel 7:9-10.
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) quotes from "Daniel" in Treatise 12 the third book 10.
Firmilian of Caesarea to Cyprian (256 A.D.) For the grace of God is mighty to associate and join together in the bond of charity and unity even those things which seem to be divided by a considerable space of earth, according to the way in which of old also the divine power associated in the bond of unanimity Ezekiel and Daniel, though later in their age, and separated from them by a long space of time, to Job and Noah, who were among the first; so that although they were separated by long periods, yet by divine inspiration they felt the same truths." Letters of Cyprian Letter 74.3 p.390
Adamantius (c.300 A.D.) quotes Daniel 7:13 as by Daniel, following the Septuagint and Theodotion, in Dialogue on the True Faith First Part no.25 p.69
Victorinus of Petau (martyred 304 A.D.) "Thence here he places, and by and by here he renews, that of which the Lord, admonishing His churches concerning the last times and their dangers, says: ĎBut when ye shall see the contempt which is spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him who readeth understand.í" Commentary on the Apocalypse from the Thirteenth chapter no.13 p.357
Athanasius (c.318 A.D.) "the most wise Daniel, who marks both the actual date, and the divine sojourn of the Saviour, saying: ĎSeventy weeks are cut short upon thy people, and upon the holy city,..." Incarnation of the Word ch.39 p.57
Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) "Daniel also foretold similar things: ĎI saw,í he said, "in a vision of the night, and, behold, one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, and He came even to the Ancient of days. And they who stood by brought Him near before Him. And there was given unto Him a kingdom, and glory, and dominion; and all people, tribes, and languages shall serve Him: and His dominion is everlasting, which shall never pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed.í" The Divine Institutes book 4 ch.12 p.111
Theodotion was a Jewish writer who translated Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek, independent of the Septuagint. He also included in Daniel the story of Susannah according to ANF vol.5 p.191 footnote 5. Susannah is also in the old Latin, Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic versions according to the same source.
Eusebius of Caesarea (318-339/340 A.D.) "For the Scripture, in the book of Daniel, having expressly mentioned a certain number of weeks until the coming of Christ..." Eusebiusí Ecclesiastical History book 1 ch.6 p.90
Aphrahat the Syrian (337-345 A.D.) "And again Daniel also spoke concerning this stone which is Christ." And quote Daniel 2:34-35. Select Demonstrations Demonstration 1 ch.8 p.347
Hilary of Poitiers (355-367/368 A.D.) mentions the Jewish children in the flames and Daniel, "did not fear the lionís den." On the Trinity book 10 ch.45-46 p.194
Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae (350-370 A.D. or 5th century)
Athanasius (367, 325-373 A.D.) lists Daniel with the rest of the books of the Old Testament in Paschal Letter 39 ch.4 p.552.
Life of Antony (356-362 A.D.) ch.82 p.217 (possibly by Athanasius) quotes Daniel 4:19 in the Septuagint as "is written in Daniel".
Ephraim the Syrian hymn-writer (350-378 A.D.) "For behold, Daniel also was melted and poured out on every side before the glory of the angel, whose vehement brightness suddenly shone upon him!" Three Homilies Homily 1 ch.27 p.316
Basil of Cappadocia (357-379 A.D.)
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.) refers to Daniel 4:9 as in Daniel. Catechetical Lectures Lecture 16.31 p.123
Ambrose of Milan (370-390 A.D.)
Gregory of Nanzianzen (330-391 A.D.)
Pacian of Barcelona (342-379/392 A.D.) "By prayer Daniel removed the sword over the wise men of Babylon." Letter 3 ch.24.1 p.66
Pacian of Barcelona (342-379/392 A.D.) alludes to Esther and Daniel. Letter 2 ch.5.1 p.33
Gregory of Nyssa (c.356-397 A.D.)
Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.) mentions all of the books of the Old Testament.
Rufinus (374-406 A.D.)
John Chrysostom (-407 A.D.) refers to Daniel 7:13-15 as by Daniel in vol.9 Letters to the Fallen Theodore ch.12 p.101
Sulpitius Severus (363-420 A.D.) refers to Daniel as Daniel in History book 2 ch.1-2 p.97
Jerome (373-420 A.D.)
Council of Carthage (218 bishops) (393-419 A.D.)
Augustine of Hippo (338-430 A.D.) mentions Daniel and Ezekiel in The City of God book 17 ch.34 p.380
The semi-Pelagian John Cassian (419-430 A.D.)
Theodoret of Cyrus (bishop and historian) (423-458 A.D.)
Jerome and Gennadius (c.485-492 A.D.)
Gregory of Rome (590-605 A.D) (allusion)
Among Heretics and spurious books
Megethius (c.300 A.D.) quotes Daniel 2:34-35, as by Daniel, following the Septuagint and Theodotion, in his debate with Adamantius. Dialogue on the True Faith First part no.25 p.68.
Q: In Dan, what are some of the translation differences between the Hebrew and the Greek Septuagint?
A: Focusing primarily on chapter 9, the first alternative is the Masoretic text, the second is the Septuagint, unless otherwise noted.
Dan 1:2 "to the land of Shinar" (Septuagint, Theodotion) vs. "to the land of Shinar to a house of his own" (Hebrew)
Dan 2:34-35a "You continued until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were together broken to pieces; and they became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. And the wind carried them away, so that no trace was found for them." (Hebrew) vs. "Thou saw until a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands, and it smote the image upon its feet of iron and earthenware, and utterly reduced them to powder. Then once for all the earthenware, the iron, the brass, the silver, the gold were ground to powerder, and became as chaff from the summer threshing floor; and the violence of the wind carried them away, and no place was found for them:" (Septuagint, Theodotion) vs. "I saw, and behold, a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the image and made it like a cloud of dust, and it was blown away by the wind." (Adamantius paraphrased (c.300 A.D.) Dialogue on the True Faith first part ch.25 p.68)
Dan 2:40 "just as iron crushes and smashes everything" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) vs. "just as iron crushes and smashes everything, and like iron that crushes" (Aramaic)
Dan 2:43 "in marriage (most) vs. "by human seed (Aramaic)
Dan 3:15 "that I have made, well and good" (most) vs. "that I have made" (Aramaic)
Dan 3:25 "appearance of a god" (most) vs. "appearance of a son of the gods" (Aramaic)
Dan 4:9 "Hear the dream" (most) vs. "Hear the vision of the dream" (Theodotion, Aramaic)
Dan 6:1 "Darius" (Masoretic text, Septuagint) vs. "Artaxerxes" (proto-Theodotion)
Dan 7:1 "[Daniel] told/said the sum of the matter" (Masoretic) vs. "[Daniel] the sum of the matter" (4QDana)
Dan 6:6 "wrote down the dream in a summary fashion" (Masoretic) vs. "wrote down the words" (Theodotion, according to the NET Bible)
Dan 7:5 "in its mouth between its teeth" (Masoretic) vs. "in its mouth" (Septuagint)
Dan 7:9-10 "I beheld a throne placed, and the Ancient of days sat upon it, and His clothing was as it were snow, and the hairs of His head as it were white wool: His throne was a flame of fire, its wheels were burning fire. A river of fire came forth before Him: thousand thousands ministered to Him, and thousand thousands stood before Him: He sat to judgment, and the books were opened." Anonymous Treatise Against Novatian (c.246-258 A.D.) ch.17 p.662-663
Dan 7:3 "...one like the Son of man came with the clouds of the heavens...." (Hebrew) vs. "one coming with the clouds of heaven as the Son of man..." (Septuagint, Theodotion) vs. "I saw One like a son of man coming through the clouds" (Adamantius (c.300 A.D.) Dialogue on the True Faith first part ch.25 p.69)
Dan 8:5 "a horn of vision" vs. "one horn" (Septuagint, Theodotion)
Dan 9:1 "was made king" vs. "who reigned"
Dan 9:2 "which came as the word" vs. "which was the word"
Dan 9:3 "seek by prayer" vs. "seek diligently by prayer"
Dan 9:4 "love Him ... His" vs. "love You ... Your"
Dan 9:7 "shame of our faces" vs. "confusion of face
Dan 9:8 "shame" vs. "confusion"
Dan 9:10 "by His servants" vs. "by the hands of His servants"
Dan 9:11 "that they might not" vs. "and refused"
Dan 9:13 "make our prayer before Jehovah" vs. "besought the Lord our God"
Dan 9:13 "and understand your truth" vs. "and have understanding in all thy truth"
Dan 9:14 "has looked / watched on the evil, and has made it come on us" vs. "also has watched, and brought them [the evils] upon us."
Dan 9:16 "O Lord, I pray to You, according to all Your righteousness, let" vs. "O Lord thy mercy is over all; let, I pray thee,"
Dan 9:16 "anger ... fury" vs. "wrath ... anger"
Dan 9:16 "For because of our sins and our fatherís iniquities" vs. "for we have sinned, and because of our iniquities, and those of our fathers,"
Dan 9:17 "holy desires" vs. "supplications"
Dan 9:17 "for the sake of the Lord" vs. "for your sake, O Lord"
Dan 9:19 "O Lord, forgive" vs. "be propitious, O Lord"
Dan 9:20 "my cry fall before" vs. "bringing my pitiful case before"
Dan 9:21 "setting my prayer in order" vs. "speaking my prayer"
Dan 9:21 "then the man" vs. "behold the man"
Dan 9:21 "touched me in [my] severe exhaustion" vs. "[came] flying, and he touched me"
Dan 9:22 "He made to understand / give you skill in understanding" (Hebrew) vs. "He instructed and spoke with me" (Hebrew according to the NET footnote) vs. "He came / to impart to you understanding" (Septuagint, Syriac) (The NRSV footnote does not completely agree with Brentonís translation.)
Dan 9:23 "pay attention" vs. "understand"
Dan 9:24 "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy," vs. "for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out the iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophet,"
Dan 9:24 "to anoint the most holy" (Qere, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) vs. "to seal up the Most Holy Place" (Ketubim, Theodotion)
Dan 9:25 "62 weeks. The street" vs. "62 weeks, and then [the time] shall return and the street"
Dan 9:25 "even in times of affliction" vs. "and the times shall be exhausted"
Dan 9:26 "Messiah shall be cut off, but not [for] Himself. And the people of a coming prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end [shall be] with the flood, and ruins are determined, until the end [shall be] war." vs. "anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint [the city] of desolations."
Dan 9:27 "covenant with many [for] one week." vs. "covenant with many"
Dan 9:27 "he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on a corner [of the altar] desolating abominations. Even until [the] end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator." vs. "and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away; and on the temple [shall be] the abomination of desolations; and at the end of the time an end shall be put to the desolation."
Dan 10:1 "Persia" vs. "the Persians"
Dan 10:1 "Belteshazzar" vs. "Baltasar"
Dan 10:13 "I was left there with the kings of Persia" vs. "I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia" (Septuagint, Theodotion)
Dan 10:16 "one who looked like a man" vs. one who looked like a son" (Thdototion, Vulgate), vs. "something that looked like a manís hand" (Septuagint, Dead Sea scrolls, one Hebrew Masoretic text)
Dan 10:17 "For as for me henceforth / from now" vs. "For I am shaking" (Septuagint) (NRSV)
Bibliography for this question: the Hebrew translation is from Jay P. Greenís Literal Translation and the Septuagint rendering is from Sir Lancelot C.L. Brentonís translation of The Septuagint : Greek and English. The Expositorís Bible Commentary and the footnotes in the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV Bibles also were used. Also used were The Dead Sea Scrolls & Modern Translations of the Old Testament.
by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.
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