The Book of Daniel: Prophetic Proof the Bible is the Word of God

The Book of Daniel: Prophetic Proof the Bible is the Word of God

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The Book of Daniel:

 Proof that the Bible is the Word of the Living God

I. Introduction: Predictive Prophecy as Proof of the Truth of the Bible

II. Does the Book of Daniel Predict the Future? The Prophecies of Daniel Expounded

            A.) Daniel 2 & 7: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome

            B.) Daniel 8 & 11:  Medo-Persia and Greece

            C.) Daniel 9:  The Year and Day of the Messiah’s Coming to Jerusalem under the Romans

III. Has the Text of Daniel been Corrupted?  Evidence for the Preservation of Scripture

  1. Did Daniel Write the Book of Daniel? The Authorship of Daniel Defended

            A.) Introduction

            B.) The Book of Daniel’s Own Claims and their Reception

            C.) Early References to the Book of Daniel in Other Works

            D.) Manuscript Evidence Supporting Daniel’s Authorship

            E.) The 6th Century Hebrew and Aramaic Language of Daniel

            F.) The Knowledge of 6th Century History Supporting an Early Date for Daniel

            G.) Miscellaneous Evidences for the 6th Century Date of Daniel

            H.) Weak Arguments for a Late Maccabean Date for Daniel

  1. Unavoidable Predictive Prophecy in Daniel

            A.) Daniel’s Fourth Kingdom: Rome, not Greece

            B.) Daniel’s 70 weeks Prophecy an Unavoidable Prediction

  1. Conclusion: The Bible: A Supernatural Book—The Meaning for You

VII. Appendix: A Technical Linguistic Justification of the Translation of Daniel 9:24-27 in the Authorized Version (KJV) and of Related Questions Pertaining to the Coming of Messiah Jesus in A. D. 33.

VIII. Sources for Further Reading and Bibliography

            A.) Recommended Sources for Further Reading

            B.) Bibliography

 Introduction: Predictive Prophecy as Proof of the Truth of the Bible

 

Does absolute truth exist? Can we know what it is? Is there a God? If so, what does He want of us? Such questions are certainly important. I ask you then, dear reader, to carefully study this work in its entirety. Surely the answer to such questions—the most important you will ever have to answer, and ones with tremendous practical consequences for both your life now and for eternity to come—merit a few moments of your time. They would certainly deserve consideration for a period of time far less than that you have likely spent watching TV, standing in lines, and doing other trivialities. Carefully read this composition, seek to understand it, and acquire more information on anything you do not understand. (In this work, more technical information appears in the footnotes, the appendix, and certain other noted portions. These portions may not be necessary for every reader, but the main body of the text and the non-technical portions would be beneficial to all.)

Before we go any further, however, I must ask one thing of you. You will soon see in plain terms how you can know that the God of the Bible is the true and living God and that Scripture is His perfect, error-free revelation. If you accept these things as true and consequently act on them, it will result in a radical transformation of your life, for this Biblical God is King of Kings and Lord of lords; as such, He commands you to submit to Him in all your ways. Before reading this composition any further, therefore, you must determine something very important. Determine that you will be willing to do whatever the Scriptures say and to submit absolutely to the God revealed therein, if it is demonstrated that the Bible truly is God’s Word. If your desire to act, think, and live your own way is so great that you will do what you want regardless of the truth—if you would rather commit intellectual suicide by rejecting overwhelming evidence for the Bible than be willing to submit to its Divine Author—it would be better for you to give this study to someone else and read no further, for the more truth you reject, the more awful your eternal damnation will be. However, if you have made this terrible choice, and stubbornly refuse to change your mind, it will certainly be true of you what the Lord Jesus said of another lost sinner: “Good were it for that man, if he had never been born” (Mark 14:21). May your mind and heart not be closed in this matter! Please be truly willing to obey the truth. This request is very important: determine in your heart at this very moment that you will follow the truth, no matter where it leads you, or whatever the consequences are, and persevere in this determination through the whole course of your examination of the evidence. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “If any man will do (that is, “is willing to do”) His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).[i] Let us take the Lord up on this statement, be willing to do His will, and see if the Bible really is from the living God.

The Biblical book of Isaiah declares:

6 Thus saith the LORD[ii] the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. 8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. (Isaiah 44:6-8)

Here the God of the Bible asserts that He is the only true God, and that, as the Eternally Existent and All-Knowing One, He is able to show “the things that are coming, and shall come” (v. 7)—that is, He is able to successfully predict the future. He claims absolute uniqueness in this ability: “And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it[?]” (v. 7). In another passage, the God of the Bible contrasts His ability to predict the future with the absolute inability of all other so-called gods to do so:

21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. 24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. (Isaiah 41:21-24)

We see that the God of the Bible claims to be the only true God and declares that all may know this fact because He is able to predict the future—something which no man, false god, or false religion can do. We will shortly test this claim to predict the future in an undeniably supernatural way with some prophecies from one book of the Bible, the book of Daniel. Sometimes people say they would believe the Bible if they saw a miracle—you will shortly see standing evidence of something absolutely miraculous in Daniel’s prophecies.

First, however, notice that the Lord asserts that the words of the Bible are His words: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). When the Biblical writings, the Scriptures, claim to be “inspired,” they are claiming to be the very words of God—the word inspired in 2 Timothy 3:16 means “God-breathed.” This claim for inspiration means the Scripture is as much the words of God as the words on this page are those of their human author. The Bible further states that “the words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). “Every word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5). The Apostle Peter, on the mountain where Jesus Christ was transfigured, heard the audible voice of God, who said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:1-9).   Later, Peter wrote about this experience in an epistle:

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:16-21)

After recalling his experience of hearing God speak directly (vv. 16-18), Peter makes a remarkable claim for the Scriptures in verses 19-21—he calls them a “more sure word” than the audible voice of God! If someone told you something audibly, you could mishear him—however, if he wrote it down, you could examine it over and over again until you were sure that you understood the message correctly. The Bible makes the claim that its words are as surely God’s words as if one were to hear the Creator’s voice directly. It asserts that this is so because the Scripture “came not in old time by the will of man,” but as the prophets were “moved by the Holy Ghost.” One could compare the Bible’s claim about itself with the way we would write a letter with a pen; someone could say that it was really the pen that recorded the words, but each word was really the choice of the letter-writer. In the same way, while God used human individuals to be His “pen,” as it were, each word recorded in the Bible is really God’s word. We see, then, that the God of the Bible asserts that He is the only true God, and that the Bible is His perfect, error-free revelation. The Bible also claims that it is the all-sufficient, complete, and final revelation given in this manner (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Revelation 22:18-19)—it claims absolute exclusivity as the Word of God. This is a very strong claim to make (one which we shall soon see is supported by overwhelming evidence). It is interesting to note that many so-called “holy books,” including the great majority of the compositions of Eastern religions, do not even claim to be inspired in this sense, so a work of the kind you are reading would be out of place—these writings do not claim to be absolute truth or authoritative revelation. Whether one wishes to read or follow selected portions of them consequently becomes a matter of preference or indifference, somewhat comparable to one’s taste for various types of food, or one’s favorite sports team. The Bible’s claim, on the other hand, requires a much stronger affirmative or negative response because of its claim of absolutely exclusive authority. If the words of the Bible are the very words, thoughts, and perfect revelation of the Almighty God it speaks of, then the Bible in its entirety must be wholeheartedly obeyed. If it is not what it claims to be, it must be utterly repudiated as a frightful deception and a terrible imposition upon mankind.

The Bible contains sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament, which was composed before the time of Jesus Christ, and twenty-seven in the New Testament, which was penned after Christ’s coming. While the entire Bible is historically accurate,[iii] this composition will focus upon the book of Daniel. This Old Testament book was written by the prophet Daniel, a sixth-century Jew who, along with many other Israelites had been taken captive by the Babylonians.[iv] Daniel put the book together in its final and canonical form c. 530 B. C., after a long career of governmental service from the reign of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in the 590s to the rise of Cyrus the Great in the 530s. Chapter 2, 7, 8, 9, and 11 of Daniel’s book contain many absolutely remarkable prophecies that conclusively demonstrate the inspiration of the Bible to an unbiased reader. While the interpretation of these prophecies is clear to one willing to spend the time to examine them, some understanding of the history of the times within which Daniel so remarkably predicted the future is required, and shall be examined. It is noteworthy that when Christ gave parables, He did so for two reasons: to explain the truth to those who were open and searching (Mark 4:34), and to hide the truth from those who were not seeking or open (Mark 4:11-12). The book of Daniel similarly states concerning its prophecies: “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10).   Thus, one who does not care about the truth enough to search for it and find it, but blindly holds to his own baseless opinions with a “don’t confuse me with the facts” attitude, will, in his ignorance, generally neglect to evaluate these predictions in Daniel, and so will not discover the strength of the evidence they provide for the Bible. However, one who wants and seeks for the truth will be willing to actually study such a matter with an open mind and heart to see if it really proves the Bible is God’s Word. May you, dear reader, be in the latter category of people!

 

 

  1. Does the Book of Daniel Predict the Future?

The Prophecies of Daniel Expounded

A.) Daniel 2 & 7: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome

 

 

This study begins with an examination of the prophecies of Daniel two, seven, and eight. The chart below provides a graphical overview of the prophecies of these chapters:

Furthermore, consider that while these predictions employ the literary device of symbols, they cannot be twisted to signify whatever one wishes: Scripture has only one correct interpretation (2 Peter 1:20), and the Bible explains the significance of the symbols it employs. Thus we must, to give the text a fair meaning, interpret these texts literally—that is, the symbols represent what other passages of Scripture define them to mean. For example, Daniel 8:6 mentions a ram with two horns. Daniel 8:20 then states, “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” The ram represents the kings of Media and Persia, not the establishment of the United States, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or anything else. Daniel 8:5-8 mentions a goat with a notable horn, and Daniel 8:21 states, “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” It is not possible to take the prophecies of these chapters and make them mean whatever one wishes—the Bible defines its symbols and definitively specifies its meaning. Correct interpretation is not speculative, but exegetical—it comes from evaluating the plain declarations of the text, not reading into it what it does not say to create “predictive prophecy.” Taking the text for what it says, the reader discovers that God has made amazing predictions. This study begins with an examination of Daniel chapter two.

In this chapter, Daniel recounts and interprets a dream of king Nebuchadnezzar. He tells the king:

31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (Daniel 2:31-45)

The four sections of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream are said to represent four kingdoms, which will appear again in an examination of Daniel 7, 8, 9, and 11, with a different emphasis in each of these chapters. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon and representative of his empire, is said to represent the head of gold (v. 38).[v] During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, the Babylonians, who already controlled the ancient Near East, spread their dominion and influence as far as India, Tyre, Egypt, and further parts of North Africa. Other verses in Scripture refer to Babylon as the “golden city” (Isaiah 14:4), “abundant in treasures” (Jeremiah 51:13). Nebuchadnezzar enriched his capital with the spoils of other nations above any other city on earth, so that it became one of the wonders of the ancient world. Furthermore, his kingdom was more splendid than that of the world empires that were to follow, so that Babylon was appropriately denominated a head of gold.

Subsequent to Babylon, another “inferior” (v. 39) kingdom, represented by the breast and arms of silver (v. 32), would arise. This empire was Medo-Persia (see Daniel 5:28, 6:8, 10, 12, 8:20-21, 11:1-2; cf. Esther 1:3, 14, 18, 19, 10:2).[vi] Established when Cyrus conquered Babylon, and enduring through the reigns of his successors until subdued by Alexander the Great, it lasted from 538 B. C. to the overthrow of Darius Codomanus in 333 B. C. The two arms of the image likely represent the alliance of the Medes and Persians. Medo-Persia lacked the central authority and fine organization that characterized Babylonian rule and was thus appropriately termed inferior to the empire of Nebuchadnezzar. Furthermore, while Cyrus was an effective monarch, his successor, Cambyses, was a madman. The Persian kings who followed Cyrus were distinguished only for folly and crime. Subsequent to the days of Cyrus, the kingdom was also remarkable for its succession of military defeats, including the devastating losses of Cambyses in Africa and the famous failure of Mardonius and Xerxes to subdue the Greeks. From the days of Xerxes (479 B. C.) onward, corruption multiplied and the central government declined in power so that, in the reign of Darius Nothus (423 B. C.), the rulers of the distant provinces paid only token obedience to the king, while they were, in effect, sovereigns over their own territories: they even conducted wars against other provinces of the empire.

Such internal cancers prepared the way for the empire of the Greeks, the third in the vision of Daniel 2, the “kingdom of brass” (v. 39). Succeeding Medo-Persia, the Greek empire dominated the known world until the ascendancy of Rome in the first century B. C. Brass was a metal peculiarly appropriate for the Greeks, who were distinguished by their brazen armor, and whom ancient writers most commonly termed “the brazen-coated Greeks.” Their empire could appropriately be said to “bear rule over all the earth” (v. 39) because it essentially covered, in addition to all that had been under the domain of Babylon and Medo-Persia, all of the known world from Yugoslavia to India, except for that under the sway of the small but rising power of Rome. Alexander the Great, who never tasted military defeat in his entire career, even commanded that he should be addressed as “the king of all the world.” The two legs of the image probably represent, from the standpoint of Israel, the division of the Greek kingdom between Syria and Egypt, the East and the West.[vii]   Ancient history records[viii] that, after Alexander had conquered Tyre, he became enraged at the Jews for refusing to furnish supplies for his army during the siege, so he marched to Jerusalem, intending to take and to destroy it. Jaddua, the high priest, showed Alexander the prophecies of Daniel, which declared that one of the Greeks would destroy the empire of the Persians. Seeing this writing, Alexander stated that he was the man intended and was glad. He then offered sacrifices in the temple and granted to the Hebrews the freedom of their country and the exercise of their laws and religion. Of course, Alexander did indeed subdue the Medes and the Persians, and his empire continued to hold sway until the rise of the Romans, who, under Pompey the Great in 63 B. C., took over that part of the Near East that included the land of Israel.

The Roman Empire is described in the vision of Daniel 2 as the empire of iron, which “breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise” (2:40). Iron, a considerably stronger metal than gold, silver, or brass, aptly designated the Roman empire, which was certainly superior to the kingdoms that preceded it in power, as it conquered all—from the eastern nations, to Africa, the Danube, the Rhine, and Britain. The description of Rome as a nation that “breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things” fits well. In contrast to the common practice of the previous empires of the vision such as Babylon, where subdued people were often allowed some degree of independence while they paid tribute to their national overlord, the nations Rome subdued ceased to be kingdoms. They were reduced to provinces, lost all independence, and were brought into the most entire subjection. While Alexander the Great conquered by the rapidity of his troop movements and seldom crushed the people he conquered, the Roman Empire ruthlessly destroyed all who contended against its power, killed captives by the thousands, and sold them into slavery by the hundreds of thousands. The two legs of the image represent the Eastern and Western sections of the empire, which embraced the entire Mediterranean region as well as western Asia, and was ultimately recognized by the political division of the Roman Empire into eastern and western portions under Emperor Valentinian in A. D. 364.

The feet of the image, made partly of iron and partly of clay, speak of the time after the catching away or Rapture of the saints[ix] of this current church age, when Israel will again be God’s institution for His work in the world (Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 40-48; Hosea 1:10; 2:19-23; Romans 11). For the entire period described in the body of the image up to the description of Rome, Israel had served as God’s institution on earth.[x] Following the Rapture, the event in which all true believers on earth will be caught up to be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4), the seventieth period of seven years described in Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 9 will commence. This segment of future history is known as the Tribulation Period and is described in detail in Revelation 4-19. After this period of seven years, Christ will come again with His saints to establish His kingdom on earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20); then the eternal state will commence. The saved will fellowship with God forever in perfect joy, while the lost are doomed to damnation in the lake of fire (Revelation 21-22). While these details form a very interesting and important study, one can hardly use prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled to prove the veracity of the Bible, so the sections of the book of Daniel that pertain to the future will be passed over without much comment.[xi] When Christ has established His everlasting kingdom, there will be very little need to prove that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. The image in Daniel is said to have feet with, of course, ten toes. The toes pertain to the ten horns of Daniel 7, which are stated to represent ten kings, and about whom the reader receives more information in the book of Revelation (12:3; 13; 17). The “little horn” of Daniel 7 is the Antichrist, the “prince that shall come” of Daniel 9, and the ruler who will head the one-world government, which will accompany the one-world religion centered at Rome, in the Tribulation period, as described in Revelation 17. However, since none of these events have yet been fulfilled (although the present-day ecumenical movement is preparing the way for the establishment of one-world religion at Rome), this study will now proceed to an examination of the prophecy of Daniel chapter 7, focusing upon the sections that have been fulfilled up to this point.

The seventh chapter of the book of Daniel declares:

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. (Dan 7:1-28)

While significant sections of Daniel 7 relate to a future ten-kingdom confederacy and the time when the Antichrist (the king that will arise from it) will both reign over the revived Roman empire and suffer destruction at the coming of Christ, other portions of the chapter deal with a period of time now past. For instance, the description of the four beasts in 7:1-7, as interpreted in 7:16 and following, confirms the predictions of Daniel chapter 2 in its sequence of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires. Daniel 7:17 plainly states that the four beasts represent four kings or kingdoms (cf. 7:23). These arise out of the sea and represent the mass of Gentile humanity (cf. Isaiah 8:6-8, Jeremiah 46:7-8, 47:2, Revelation 13:1, 17:1, 15), the “earth” (Daniel 7:17), the non-Jewish world. The first beast to arise “was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings” (Daniel 7:4). This beast represents the royal power of the Babylonian empire, as does the head of gold in Daniel 2. The lion is obviously associated with royalty and power (cf. 1 Kings 10:20; 2 Chronicles 9:19; Ezekiel 19:2-3; Genesis 49:9; Joel 1:6); today it is commonly considered the king of the beasts, and similar associations existed in ancient times. Likewise, the eagle was the king of the birds. Winged lions guarded the gates of the royal palaces of the Babylonians, and the Babylonians’ swift conquests were appropriately compared to the swiftness of the eagle. Many passages of Scripture equate Babylon with both a lion and an eagle (Jeremiah 4:7, 13; 49:19, 22; 50:17, 44; Lamentation 4:19; Ezekiel 17:3, 12; Habakkuk 1:8). The image of the plucking of the wings and the replacement of a man’s heart for that of a lion appears to relate to the cessation of further rapid conquests in the Babylonian kingdom after the days of Nebuchadnezzar and the growing weakness of the kingdom; it is possible that it also relates to the humbling of Nebuchadnezzar detailed in Daniel chapter four.

The next beast, the bear, represents Medo-Persia, as did the silver breast and arms of the image in Daniel 2l The description of the animal as having “raised up itself on one side” (7:5) corresponds to the one-sided union of the Persians and the Medes; although Persia came up later, it quickly became the strongly dominant portion of the empire, as appears explicitly in Daniel 8:3 and 8:20. The empire is apparently described as a “bear” in contrast to Babylon as a lion because, while it is powerful and ferocious (cf. Isaiah 13:17-18), it was less majestic, swift, and glorious and was “inferior” to Babylon (Daniel 2:39), as silver is to gold (2:32). The three ribs refer to the conquest of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, and the devouring of “much flesh” describes the various conquests of the nation, probably after it already had defeated Babylon.[xii]

The leopard with four wings and four heads represents the Greek empire, as did the brass portion of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision (Daniel 2:32). (A leopard was particularly appropriate as a choice for the Greek empire in light of the swiftness of Alexander the Great’s conquests—cf. Habakkuk 1:8). The wings given the leopard further accentuate its swiftness; no conqueror in history spread his domains abroad as quickly. Further, the “four wings and heads” correspond to the four generals who assumed control of Alexander’s empire upon his death (cf. Daniel 8:8): Cassander took control of Macedonia and Greece; Lysimacus held Thrace, Bithynia, and most of Asia Minor; Seleucus took Syria and the eastern lands, including Babylonia; and Ptolemy established control over Egypt, Palestine, and Arabia Petraea.

The fourth beast, which is not compared to a specific animal as were the lion, bear, and leopard, is described as “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly,” with “great iron teeth.” This animal “devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it” (7:7). The “iron teeth” make it clear that this beast corresponds to the iron section of the image of Daniel 2; Rome is again in view. The great strength of the Roman power, distinguishing it from the empires that preceded it, is apparent in its longevity. From its first expansion in the subjugation of Sicily in 241 B. C., it next defeated Spain and then Carthage. In 202 B. C., Rome conquered the area north of Italy and then moved east to take Macedonia, Greece, and Asia Minor. In 63 B. C. the Roman general Pompey entered Jerusalem after defeating remnants of the Seleucid power. During the following decades, Rome subjugated southern Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany west of the Rhine; it continued to grow gradually for several centuries, reaching its height in A. D. 117. Its decline was likewise gradual, becoming obvious only in the fifth century. Byzantium, the capital of the eastern leg of the Roman empire, did not fall until A. D. 1453. Further, Rome’s legacy continues to this day in the Roman Catholic church, which exercises political control of the Papal states in Italy; and, although not as prominent as when it controlled the spiritual and temporal affairs of Europe in the Dark Ages (cf. Revelation 17:18), the Roman Church-State sends ambassadors to the nations of the earth and wields tremendous influence. This Roman influence will continue to exist until the Roman Empire revives, a situation projected to occur after the Rapture, as related in Daniel 7:7-8.

As noted before in the description in Daniel 2, so here in Chapter 7, details of the Church Age are largely passed over and the vision passes directly from the ancient Roman empire to the revived Roman empire where the Antichrist, the horn of 7:21, will oppress God’s people in the Tribulation period until Christ, the Son of Man, destroys him and sets up His own everlasting kingdom. Since the ten-kingdom confederacy described here and the final establishment of Christ’s kingdom is yet future, these aspects of Daniel will not receive further examination here.

 

B.) Daniel 8 & 11: Medo-Persia and Greece

 

As Daniel 7 provided more details than Chapter 2 concerning the predicted series of kingdoms, so Daniel 8 unveils even more specific information about the two middle kingdoms, Medo-Persia and Greece. Daniel 8 recounts:

1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. 2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. 3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. 5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. 15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. 20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. 23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. 26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. (Daniel 8:1-27)

Daniel had this vision in the third year of the Babylonian Belshazzar, who began his co-regency with Nabonidus in 553 B. C.[xiii] His first sight is a “ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last” (8:3). This ram, according to 8:20, represents Medo-Persia; the higher and latter horn represents the fact that Persia grew to dominate their alliance (cf. Dan 7:5). In Persian mythology, the guardian spirit of Persia’s kingdom was represented as a ram with clean feet and sharp, pointed horns; when the Persian king stood at the head of his army, he bore—not a crown—but the head of a ram. Furthermore, in astronomical geography of that day, Persia was represented in the Zodiac under the sign of Aries, the ram; while Greece shared with Syria (the primary seat of the Seleucid monarchy) the sign of Capricorn, the goat. The ram was “pushing westward, and northward, and southward” (8:4); however, easterly expansion is not mentioned. This description coincides perfectly with the major conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire, which were in these three directions: on the west, they overran Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Asia Minor; on the north, Colchis, Armenia, Iberia, and the regions around the Caspian Sea; and on the south, Palestine, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Lybia. On the east, they expanded only in a minor way. The ram “did according to his will, and became great,” for the Medo-Persian empire met no successful opposition in its early conquests, nor was its expansion halted until its failure to defeat the Greeks, a portent of its subsequent overthrow by Alexander the Great.

The “he goat” from the west that represented Greece (8:21) and defeated the ram had a “notable horn between his eyes” (8:5), which 8:21 states is “the first king”—Alexander the Great, who was from Macedonia. A goat with one horn was the old symbol of Macedon. The goat “came from the west” (v. 5), where Greece was located in relation to the land of Israel and the kingdom of Medo-Persia, and “was on the face of the whole earth” (v. 5), for Alexander conquered the known world, and was said to have wept because there were no other worlds to conquer. The goat “touched not the ground” (v. 5)—a picture denoting, as did the image of the leopard with wings in 7:6, the swiftness of his conquests. At age twenty-one, Alexander was chosen to lead the Greeks against the Persians; at the age of thirty-three he died, thus completing his vast expansion in the span of twelve years. In 334 B. C. he invaded Persia and defeated the Persians in the battle of the Granicus; in 333 he defeated them again at the battle of Issus; he also conquered Parthia, Bactria, Hyrcania, Sogdiana, and Asia Minor. In 332 he conquered Tyre and Egypt, and built Alexandria. In 331 he defeated Darius Codomanus, and in 330 completed the conquest of the Persian army. In 328 he defeated Porus, king of India, and pursued his march to the Ganges. In these six years alone he had already overrun nearly all the then known world.

The goat “came to the ram that had two horns . . . and ran unto him in the fury of his power” (8:6). The Greeks had harbored considerable animosity against the Persians for their earlier assaults—

when they had been turned back at Leuctra, Marathon, and Salamis; now Greece saw that the time for their retaliation had arrived. Thus, “moved with choler”—that is, in great anger, the goat “smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand” (8:7). No earthly power was able to deliver the Medo-Persian Empire from the hand of Alexander. Consequently, “the he-goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken” (8:8). This statement refers to the untimely death of Alexander the Great before the age of thirty-three in a state of drunken debauchery, which left his empire without an effective single leader. After his death there “came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” (8:8). These represent the four generals of Alexander who by 301 B. C. had divided up his kingdom, as noted earlier in the analysis of Daniel 7 (cf. Dan 7:6, 11:4). Alexander died in 323 B. C; Ptolemy Lagus took control of Egypt in 321 B. C.; Cassander had assumed the government in Macedon by the year 317; and Seleucus Nicator took possession of Syria in 311 B. C. In 301, Antigonus, who had reigned over Asia Minor and sought to control the entirety of Alexander’s empire, suffered defeat and death at the hands of the combined armies of Ptolemy, Cassander, and Lysimachus; and the kingdom was divided among the three of them and Seleucus. The four also assumed the title of “king” in 301 B. C. The divisions of their kingdoms were as follows: Seleucus Nicator obtained Syria, Babylonia, Media, Susiana, Armenia, part of Cappadocia, and Cilicia; his kingdom, at least in name, stretched from the Hellespont to the Indies. Lysimachus controlled part of Thrace, Asia Minor, part of Cappadocia, and the countries within the limits of Mount Taurus. Cassander possessed Macedonia, Thessaly, and part of Greece. Ptolemy acquired Egypt, Cyprus, Cyrene, and eventually Coelo-Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, and a part of Asia Minor and Thrace. Their conquests were “toward the four winds of heaven” (8:8)—for the dominions of Seleucus were in the east; those of Cassander in the west; those of Ptolemy in the south; and those of Lysimachus in the north.

The horn (8:9) that came out of one of the four kingdoms created upon the death of Alexander the Great clearly refers to Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B. C.), the eighth king in the Seleucid or Syrian dynasty. He was a great enemy and persecutor of the Jews, and so became a very important and very infamous figure in their history. His actions are prophesied in greater detail in Daniel 11. Daniel 8:23-26 describes him as one who would appear “in the latter time of their kingdom”—that is, he would be in power during the period of the four kingdoms of 8:22. Indeed, he was present during this period, since the division of Alexander’s kingdom occurred about 300 B. C., and Antiochus seized power in 175 B. C. The text portrays Antiochus IV Ephiphanes’ intelligence, his power derived from Satan, his exploits against the Jews, (“the mighty and the holy people”), his craft, his self-exaltation, and his employment of false peace to deceive and destroy. Nevertheless, he would be “broken without hand”—that is, die without human intervention, as he did of a foul disease. Daniel 8:9 predicts his growing “exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” Concerning the south, in 171 B. C. he declared war on Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt, and essentially conquered the whole land in 170, plundering Jerusalem on the way.[xiv] His greatness toward the east relates to his reinforcement of tribute in Persia and the eastern countries that were nominally subject to him (cf. 1 Maccabees 3:21-37). The “pleasant land” refers to Israel, which Antiochus invaded on his return from Egypt, robbing the temple and spreading desolation throughout the land (1 Maccabees 1). His waxing great “to the host of heaven,” some of which he “cast down . . . to the ground, and stamped upon them” (8:10), refers to his persecution of the faithful Jews, God’s people, who are represented as stars in other places in Scripture (cf. Genesis 15:5, 22:17, Daniel 12:3, Matthew 13:43). Antiochus “magnified himself even to the prince of the host” (8:11)—God Himself—by claiming divine honor. His name “Epiphanes” refers to a glorious manifestation such as belongs to God, and he gave himself the title of Theos, or God, on the coins he minted. Antiochus also stopped the “daily sacrifice” and “cast down” the “sanctuary” (8:11), for he intended to destroy the religion of Israel and promote a universal Hellenization. He forbade the offering of the daily temple sacrifices, prohibited the circumcision of children, burned copies of the Hebrew Scriptures, and ultimately erected an idol in the temple and offered a sacrifice of swine’s flesh on the altar of burnt offering. This period of desolation continued for “two thousand and three hundred days,” after which the sanctuary was again cleansed (8:14). This humiliating period began with Antiochus’ hostilities against the Jews and their religion, including the murder of the legitimate Jewish high priest, Onias III, and the inauguration of a line of pseudo-priests. The era concluded with the successes of the Maccabean revolt, when the Jews ably defeated their hostile Gentile opponents, purified the temple and reestablished worship there. Shortly afterwards, Antiochus died. The prophecy of Daniel 8:12-14 doubtless greatly comforted the Jews of Antiochus’ day, for they knew that Jehovah had predicted both the temporary desolation of the temple and their successful reestablishment of worship there.

Indeed, the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 would rightly have encouraged the Jews during the days of Antiochus Ephiphanes, for they would have seen how God had remarkably fulfilled all that His prophet Daniel had predicted from the sixth century up to their day. So observing God’s work, they could confidently trust that He would fulfill the predictions that related to their time, as well. However, to the one who rejects the infallibility of the Bible and the God who authored it, what can portend more certain doom than the predictions of the future reign of Christ, along with the destruction of His enemies, within the context of predictions that, in relation to events of the past, have been perfectly fulfilled? These predictions have not been read into the text of these chapters in the book of Daniel; they are plainly there and are plainly the fingerprint of the all-knowing God. Such witness is a powerful testimony to His reality and cries out to all who are willing to investigate the truth. The prophecies of Daniel that pertain to the future, such as the everlasting bliss of the righteous and the everlasting condemnation of the wicked (12:2), are as certain of fulfillment as those that relate to the past, which have been fulfilled in all their many details to the letter. Remember that the God of Israel said, as noted at the beginning of this composition, that He was the true God, and He would prove it by His ability to predict the future. Can predictions such as those of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 be explained as mere coincidence? Would you be willing to lose an eternity of bliss in heaven, for an eternity of torment in hell, upon such a supposition? Would it not be better to immediately forsake your sins, all non-Biblical religion (including agnosticism, atheism, or simply self-worship in the form of putting your desires before God’s will as revealed in His Word), your mental refusal to submit to the Word of God, and all else to submit to Him as your Lord, and find mercy and eternal joy at His hand? While the evidence above is more than sufficient, perhaps you are not yet convinced (or, God forbid, do not want to be convinced); God provides even more prophetic detail in Daniel chapter eleven. The examination of this chapter follows.

A divine messenger appeared to Daniel in 536 B. C. (Dan 10:1) and gave him a revelation of the future from Daniel’s day to the time of Antiochus IV Ephiphanes (175-164 B. C.) in 11:1-35. The rest of the chapter (11:36-45), introduced by a sharp break through the appearance of a new king (v. 36) at “the time of the end” (v. 35), discusses the coming of the Antichrist in the future Tribulation Period. This antichrist will be destroyed when the Lord returns with His saints to set up His rule on earth (11:45). Since the latter portion of this chapter deals with events still in the future, we will focus on the first thirty-five verses, which constitute a prophecy so detailed and specific that it renders indisputable the Divine authorship of the Bible. The chapter reads:

1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 2 And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. 5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. 6 And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. 7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: 8 And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. 10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. 11 And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. 12 And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it. 13 For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. 14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. 15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. 16 But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. 17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. 18 After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. 19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. 20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. 21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. 25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. 26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. 27 And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. 29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. 31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. (Dan 11:1-35)

The Babylonian empire having fallen in the lifetime of Daniel, and the Medo-Persian empire having established its dominance as predicted in Daniel 2 and 7, the prophecy stated that “there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia” (v. 2). The three future kings, who came after the death of the then current ruler, Cyrus II (550-530 B. C., Dan 10:1), are Cambyses (529-522 B. C.), Pseudo-Smerdis (522-521 B. C.), and Darius I Hystaspes (521-486 B. C., Ezra 5, 6). The fourth king, who exceeds them all in his riches, is Xerxes I (486-465 B. C., Ezra 4:6), who represented both the height of Persian power and the beginning of its dissolution. Xerxes spent four years gathering an army of hundreds of thousands of men from all parts of his vast kingdom to conquer Greece and assaulted that country in 480 B. C.; however, his attempted conquest failed disastrously. It only succeeded in spilling much blood and arousing much Greek hatred. The Greeks were able to revenge themselves on the Persians when Alexander the Great conquered them, as described in 11:3-4 (cf. 8:5-8, 7:6, 2:39): “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.” Alexander conquered more of the world, and so extended the power of Greece, to limits beyond what any man or empire had done before him. However, it was predicted that “when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those” (11:4). Upon Alexander’s sudden death in 323 B. C., his kingdom, as predicted, was shattered, and divided, not among his children, but to his four generals—Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, and Lysimachus. Alexander’s son Hercules was murdered by Polysperchon, and his other son, born posthumously of Roxana, was murdered in 310 B. C. The four generals did not preserve the glory and power that the empire had enjoyed in Alexander’s day and so did not rule “according to his dominion which he ruled” (11:4). From 11:5-35, the prophecy focuses upon the two remnants of the Greek empire that affected Israel—first, the kingdom “of the south,” Egypt under the Ptolemies (who ruled until the rise of the fourth beast of Daniel 2 and 7, the Roman empire) and second, the kingdom “of the north,” or the Seleucid dynasty, which ruled in Syria. These “south” and “north” kingdoms were to the south and north of Israel, respectively.

Verse five states that “the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.” The “king of the south” is Ptolemy I Soter (323-285 B. C.), and the one who “shall be strong above him, and have dominion” is the king of Syria, Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 B. C.). The two were temporarily associated as they sought to consolidate their power, but eventually Seleucus became stronger, as predicted: he gained control over the entire region from Asia Minor to India. Verse six then tells us that “in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.” After the passage of a good period of time (“in the end of the years”), the successors to the Egyptian and Syrian thrones, Ptolemy II Philadelphius (285-246 B. C.) and Antiochus II Theos (261-246 B. C.), “join[ed] themselves together” in a marriage alliance—Ptolemy II’s daughter, Berenice, married Antiochus II around 252 B. C. The union, however, required Antiochus to divorce his old wife, Laodiceia. They intended to unify their two kingdoms, but the attempt turned out badly. Within a few years of the marriage, Ptolemy died, after which Antiochus took back his old wife Laodiceia, who proceeded to murder him, his Egyptian bride Berenice, and their infant son. After this:

[O]ut of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: and shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. (Daniel 11:7-9)

Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-221 B. C.), the brother of Berenice and the son of Ptolemy II, sought to revenge himself upon the Syrians; he defeated their army, “enter[ed] into the fortress of the king of the north,” and took back to Egypt their princes as hostages, some of their idols, and their precious silver and gold vessels. After this time, however, the Syrian “sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through; then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress” (v. 10). The war with Egypt was carried on by the Syrian “sons” Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great, until the death of the former, when the “one” left alive successfully assembled a “multitude of great forces” and recovered Syria from Egyptian dominion, eventually also removing the land of Israel from Egyptian sovereignty.

At this advance of the Syrian power, “the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand” (Daniel 11:11). Ptolemy Philopator, who succeeded Ptolemy Euergetes in Egypt, assembled an army, which defeated the “great multitude”—sixty-two thousand foot soldiers, six thousand horsemen, and a hundred and two elephants, which had been set forth by his Syrian enemy—and recaptured Canaan. However, he was not ultimately “strengthened by it” (v. 12), for the Syrian king returned again fourteen years later in 203 B. C. with a “multitude greater than the former” (v. 13) and “much riches” that he had gained in conquests in the East, where he had advanced again to the borders of India and as far north as the Caspian. At this time “many st[ood] up against the king of the south” (v. 14), for, in addition to the oncoming Syrian armies under Antiochus the Great, Philip, king of Macedon, opposed him; and Agathocles excited a rebellion against him in Egypt. Also, the “robbers of thy people” (v. 14), the oppressive rulers of the Jews, took sides with the Syrians against the less severe Egyptians. Consequently, the “king of the north” came and “cast up a mount, and t[ook] the most fenced cities; and the arms of the south [did] not withstand” (v. 15) the assault.

After a number of battles, the Syrian forces ended up firmly in control of the land of Israel, “the glorious land” (v. 16), which was greatly “consumed” (v. 16) during the warfare that took place to control it. After this, Antiochus, because of conflict with the Romans, sought to bring the Egyptians into an alliance by “giv[ing] him the daughter of women” (v. 17): he arranged the marriage of his own daughter, Cleopatra, to Ptolemy Epiphanes, the son of Ptolemy Philopator, which took place in 193 B. C. However, Cleopatra did not “stand on [her father’s] side, neither [was] for him” (v. 17); she did not favor Syrian interests, but consistently preferred her Egyptian husband and his concerns. Nevertheless, as Antiochus pursued his wars with the Romans he “turn[ed] his face unto the isles, and [took] many” (v. 18), coming into control of many islands in the Mediterranean and the region around Greece. However, the Romans under Lucius Cornelius Scipio then caused the “reproach” (v. 18) brought by his victories to their national pride to cease, as Scipio won successive victories over him and finally brought upon him disastrous defeat. In his last battle before seeking a submissive peace with Rome, 50,000 infantry and 4,000 of his cavalry died; 1,500 prisoners were taken, and Antiochus himself barely escaped, while the Roman army lost only 325 men. Defeated and broken, Antiochus then had to “turn his face toward the fort of his own land” (v. 19). He died in an attempt to plunder a temple in Elam.

The prophecy of Daniel 11 then predicts that the successor to the Syrian Antiochus would be “a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.” The Romans forced the king foreseen here, Seleucus IV Philopator, to pay a thousand talents annually in tribute, a tremendous sum amounting to many millions of dollars in today’s currency. To meet these obligations, he raised taxes—especially in the land of Israel, the “glory of the kingdom.” Discovering the great riches of the Jerusalem temple, he had determined to plunder it, when he disappeared under mysterious circumstances, very possibly poisoned, so that his short reign did not end in rebellious tumults or excitements, in “anger,” or in “battle.” Verses twenty-one through thirty-five then describe the reign of the great enemy of the Jewish nation, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian king from 175 to 164 B. C., whom we already have seen in the exposition of the prophecy of Daniel 8 (v. 9-14, 23-25).

After the death of Seleucus IV Philopator, Antiochus IV Epiphanes stood up “in his estate,” as the next ruler, and is described in verse 21 as a “vile person,” one who was not “give[n] the honour of the kingdom” but who would “come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” The proper successor to Seleucus’ throne upon his death would have been his son Demetrius, at that time a hostage in Rome. Seleucus also had a younger son named Antiochus who was still a baby in Syria. Posing as the guardian of Seleucus’ infant son, Antiochus IV Ephiphanes took the throne through a variety of intrigues. The infant son was soon murdered, and Antiochus IV assumed the Syrian crown. His “arms” (v. 22), compared to the rushing waters of a flood (cf. Isaiah 8:8), went on to achieve notable military victories, “com[ing] up” (v. 23) and almost subduing Egypt, with which he had assumed covenantal obligations. He deceitfully attempted to bring the country under his control, asserting that he was coming “peaceably” (v. 24) to assist the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philometer in securing his power, but he instead plundered “the fattest places of the province” (v. 24). By means of this pillage, he “return[ed] into his land with great riches” (v. 28). Through treachery, he gained control of the country from Memphis to Alexandria and took the Egyptian king captive, and so obtained greater victories against his kingdom’s great rival than had “his fathers” or “his fathers’ fathers” (v. 24). While they had battled over Palestine, none had pierced so far into the heart of Egypt itself as he in his several invasions. Antiochus IV Ephiphanes defeated the “great army” of “the king of the south” so that “he [did] not stand” (v. 25) but “many [fell] down slain” (v. 26), aided by internal Egyptian dissensions. In the course of their battles, both the Syrian and Egyptian rulers made agreements that neither intended to keep, and so they “spoke lies at one table” (v. 27). However, Antiochus was not able to finally take Egypt; for, in desperation, the nation had called for aid from Rome. The Romans sent a delegation led by Caius Popilius Laenas, “the ships of Chittim” (v. 30), which sailed through Greece to Egypt, found Antiochus besieging Alexandria, and demanded that he leave Egypt immediately or face war with Rome. When Antiochus said he would lay the affair before his council, Popilius drew a circle with his staff around the king in the sand on which they stood and demanded an answer before he left the circle. Abashed, “grieved” (v. 30), and unwilling to fight Rome, Antiochus agreed to “return” (v. 30) to his own country, ended the siege of Alexandria, and left Egypt with his army.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes was no friend to the Jews and their Law; his heart was “against the holy covenant” (v. 28). He had deposed the legitimate Jewish high priest, Onias III, and put in one Jason, who had offered him a large bribe for the office. He had then deposed Jason in favor of Menelaus, who offered an even larger bribe than Jason. To meet his obligation to Antiochus, Menelaus proceeded to sell some of the votive offerings and golden utensils of the temple, at which sacrilege Onias earnestly protested, angering Menelaus, who had Onias killed. The Jewish population was furious at this deed, but Antiochus did not punish Menelaus. While Antiochus was in Egypt, Jerusalem received a false report of his death, and Jason organized a thousand armed supporters, shut Menelaus up in the Jerusalem citadel, and massacred a number of perceived opponents. Upon hearing this, Antiochus determined to suppress the Jewish religion entirely. After the Romans came on the “ships of Chittim” and commanded him to leave Egypt, he returned back through the Promised Land with “indignation against the holy covenant.” Further, he had “intelligence with them that fors[ook] the holy covenant” (v. 30), that is, with those Jews that wre unfaithful to their religion; and, with “arms [standing] on his part” (v. 31), Antiochus invaded Jerusalem with overwhelming force, released Menelaus, and massacred eighty thousand men, women, and children. He then “pollut[ed] the sanctuary of strength . . . [took] away the daily sacrifice . . . and [placed] the abomination that maketh desolate” (v. 31). He entered into the temple, desecrated the altar by offering a pig upon it, removed its golden vessels and other sacred objects, valued at the incredible sum of eighteen thousand talents, and set up the “abomination that maketh desolate”—an idol which he placed in the holy place of the temple. He ended the daily temple sacrifices, outlawed circumcision, commanded the Jews to profane the Sabbath and feast days, and sought to destroy all copies of the Scriptures. The desecration of the temple took place on December 16, 168 B. C. Antiochus found allies in unconverted “progressive” Jews, those who did “wickedly against the covenant” (v. 32), to whom he promised a variety of benefits in return for forsaking the God of Israel and His religion. Jehovah’s worship was thus threatened by Antiochus’ severe external repression and by the internal apostasy of those Jews who were willing to follow the spirit of the times.

God, however, preserved a faithful remnant within His chosen nation; “the people that [did] know their God [were] strong, and [did] exploits” (v. 32). This persecution purified true believers and ignited the Maccabean Revolution,[xv] which resisted the Syrian government of Antiochus and the pro-pagan Jews. These zealous patriots were stirred to action by a priest named Mattathias, the father of the Maccabean leaders Judas, Jonathan, and Simon, each of whom was involved in the successful liberation of Israel from Syrian control. These ones “that underst[ood] among the people [instructed] many” (v. 33) in the ways of God, although tremendous numbers of these faithful Jews fell “by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (v. 33). The initial forces of resistance were very small; but others, viewing their actions, bravery, and martyrdoms, and the evident manner in which God was with them, joined their cause: “when they [fell], they [were] holpen with a little help” (v. 34), in the prophetic language of Daniel. As they won victories, and the likelihood of ultimate success grew, “many,” who did not share their heart for the religion of Israel, but sought merely personal advancement, “cleave[d] to them with flatteries” (v. 34). Daniel predicted that through the difficulties of war, “some of them of understanding shall fall” (v. 35), as many of the original leaders of the revolt fell in battle. Those that were left were refined and purged until “the time of the end” which was “appointed” (v. 35), when the limits set by the sovereign God who controls the actions of nations brought their fight to its successful conclusion. The temple was purified in 165 B. C., and an independent Jewish kingdom was ultimately established by John Hyrcanus, the son of Simon Maccabaeus, and enlarged to its fullest extent by his own son, Alexander Jannaeus. In this manner, the greatest threat to the continuation of the religion and the nation of Israel that had ever then arisen (the persecutions under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a picture of the yet future trials of the nation under the Antichrist, v. 36-45), were repulsed.

Daniel 11 predicts the future in astounding detail from the time of contemporary events in the sixth century down to c. 165 B. C. Verses 1-35 contain approximately 135 prophetic statements, each one of which was historically fulfilled. The likelihood that mere chance explains why all these prophecies took place exactly as Daniel predicted is infinitesimally small. Recall Jehovah’s statement at the beginning of this composition that He would prove Himself the true God by His ability to predict the future (Isaiah 44:6-8). The descriptions in Daniel 11 provide such proof. To refuse to believe in and obey the Bible as the infallible Word of God is, in light of this chapter, utter intellectual irresponsibility, a product of a willful antagonism to its Author. However, the book of Daniel not only predicted the world empires that arose after its composition (as seen in chapters two, seven, and eight), and the sequence of events from the sixth century onwards that led to the tremendous struggles under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (as seen in chapter eleven); it also predicted the exact time of the coming of Jesus Christ in chapter nine.

 

C.) Daniel 9: The Day and Year of the Messiah’s Coming to Jerusalem under the Romans

 

At the beginning of chapter nine, the prophet Daniel “understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:2; cf. Jeremiah 25:1, 11, 29:10; 2 Chronicles 36:21, Leviticus 26:34-35). Jeremiah had predicted the captivity of Israel for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10), and in the sixty-ninth year of that period[xvi] Daniel received a revelation concerning a further period of seventy times seven years. Daniel anticipated the upcoming end of the seventy years of judgment predicted by Jeremiah and sought the Lord in fasting and prayer. God sent the Angel Gabriel to him, who both informed him of a coming “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:25), which necessarily involved the conclusion of the time of judgment described by Jeremiah, and outlined the course of future history for the holy city and the world under the rubric of a greater and then future “seventy.” Daniel learned:

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:24-27)

Verse twenty-four details the entire course of the seventy weeks. The following verse separates them into an initial division of seven and a second grouping of sixty-two weeks, while the final week is left without further mention until verse twenty-seven, where its events are given in some detail. Verse twenty-six unfolds the events after the sixty-ninth week but before the seventieth week. The first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel have been historically fulfilled—as we shall shortly see—and we are currently in the time period between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week of Daniel. The seventieth week of Daniel 9:27 will cover the period of time described in Revelation 4-19, Daniel 11:36-12:3, and other passages; however, since yet unfulfilled prophecy does not prove the infallibility of Scripture, we will focus on the historical fulfillment of the first sixty-nine weeks.

Before detailed examination of this prophecy in Daniel 9 can begin, the nature of the “weeks” must be determined. A variety of factors evidence that the “weeks” of this text are weeks of years, rather than seventy literal weeks, a period of one year and a few months.[xvii] Daniel had just inquired of God about a period of seventy years (9:2), which suggests year-weeks. Furthermore, the events of 9:27 cover the final “week” of the prophecy, but this “week” is really a seven-year period, for half of it is said to be 42 months, or 1,260 days—namely, three and a half years long (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 11:2, 3, 12:6, 14, 13:5).[xviii]   Since the seventieth “week” is seven years, it is reasonable to conclude that the other sixty-nine “weeks” represent periods of seven years, as well. Furthermore, the Hebrew word translated week is the same word as that for the number seven, so that one could translate Daniel 9:25 as “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven ‘sevens’ and threescore and two ‘sevens.’” Indeed, the Hebrew word translated “week” (sûaœb≈u®a{) in this passage is explicitly used for a seven-year period in the Mishnah.[xix] Also, Daniel 10:2-3, the only other reference to a “week” in Daniel, immediately after the prophecy we are examining in 9:24-27, specifies in Hebrew a “week of days” (sûaœb≈u{ˆîm yaœmˆîm, KJV, “full weeks,” v. 2, “whole weeks,” v. 3), distinguishing this literal week from the year-weeks of this passage. Finally, seven literal weeks are simply not enough time to rebuild the city of Jerusalem after the issuance of the decree. Nor would one expect that Jerusalem would be rebuilt in the fantastically quick period of seven literal weeks and then destroyed again only a few literal weeks later (Daniel 9:26). Nor would a mere sixty-nine literal weeks suit the time from the issuing of the decree in the era of the second world empire to the coming of the Messiah in the time of the fourth world empire predicted in the earlier chapters of Daniel. Thus, the natural and reasonable interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27 in light of its context and word choice—is that the passage deals with a period of seventy “sevens” of years—that is, 70 x 7 = 490 years, so that the first sixty-nine “sevens” or “weeks” refers to a period of 483 years.

Daniel 9:25 explains that “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince”—483 years—the first sixty-nine “weeks,”—shall pass.[xx] The decree to restore and build Jerusalem, including “the street . . . and the wall” (v. 25), issued by King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 B. C., is referred to in the book of Nehemiah.[xxi] This decree specifically refers to the restoration of the city (Nehemiah 2:3, 5) and its gates and walls (Nehemiah 2:3, 8). A letter was written to Asaph that provided for material to be used specifically for the walls (Nehemiah 2:8). The book of Nehemiah discusses extensively the names and sections of the wall that various men rebuilt (cf. Nehemiah 3). Furthermore, the various attempts by the idolatrous enemies of Israel to prevent the wall from being built clearly fulfill Daniel 9:25’s statement “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” The book of Nehemiah records trouble from contemptible mocking, to threatening to assassinate Nehemiah, to threatening to attack the city and kill everyone building the wall, until finally “the half [built the wall] . . . and the other half of them held both shields, and spears, and the bows, and the habergeons . . . they which builded the wall . . . every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon . . . for the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side . . . half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared” (Nehemiah 4:16-21). Thus, the decree recorded in Nehemiah fits the specifications of Daniel 9 exactly. No later decrees were issued by Persian kings pertaining to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.[xxii] Clearly, Daniel predicted that “the Messiah the Prince”[xxiii] (v. 25) would present Himself 483 years after the decree of King Artaxerxes “to restore and to build Jerusalem” in 444 B. C.[xxiv]

The 483 years of Daniel’s prophecy are prophetic, or Biblical, 360-day years, as opposed to modern, solar years of 365 days.[xxv] Several factors demonstrate this. First, a 360-day year is used elsewhere in the Bible. Genesis 7:11 states that the flood of Noah began on the seventeenth day of the second month. Genesis 8:4 declares that the Flood ended on the seventeenth day of the seventh month—that is, exactly five months later. Genesis 7:24 and 8:3 indicate that the duration of the Flood was 150 days. Therefore, five months equals 150 days; thus, each month is 30 days, and a year is 360 days.[xxvi] The New Testament demonstrates that the years of Daniel 9 are 360 days long, as a comparison of Revelation 12:6, 7, 14; 11:2, 3; and 13:5 shows. These verses indicate that 1,260 days equals 42 months, which equals three and a half years. Furthermore, since these verses specifically refer to the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27), indicating that the seventieth week is reckoned with 360-day years, the other sixty-nine “weeks” are also naturally reckoned with 360-day years. In addition, ancient India, Persia (in whose dominion the decree of Nehemiah 2 was issued), Babylonia and Assyria, Egypt, China, and even Central and South America all had 360-day years. Most had twelve 30-day months, while a few had eighteen 20-day months. They then had a variety of ways to play “catch up” to make these years work out to solar years. It was common, then, in ancient times to think of a 360-day year, and ancient commentators on Daniel recognized that the prophecy did not speak of solar, 365-day years.[xxvii] The prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27, then, predicted the Messiah the Prince 483 years (of 360 days each) after the 444 B. C. decree of Artaxerxes to restore and build Jerusalem.

To discover what year Daniel predicted “the Messiah the Prince,”[xxviii] all that remains is simple calculation:

I.) Convert 483 prophetic (360 day) years to days: 483×360=173,880 days.

II.) Convert to solar years: 173,880 days ÷ c. 365.25 days per solar year = 173,880/365.25=476 solar years.

III.) Move forward 476 years from 444 B.C.: 444–476=-32 (A. D. 32).

IV.) Add one year since there was no year zero: 32+1= A.D. 33.

V.) The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for Himself” in A. D. 33.

We see that Daniel predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for himself” (9:26) in A. D. 33.[xxix] “Cut off” is a Biblical term for an unnatural and violent death (i. e, Genesis 9:11, Exodus 31:14; Isaiah 53:8) with the implication of the receipt of God’s curse. It was the perfect term to use to predict Jesus Christ’s bearing the curse of God for the sins of the world on the cross (cf. Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Galatians 3:10-14). The Messiah would die under God’s curse, but “not for himself” (Daniel 9:26); He would die for the sake of others. The prophet Daniel predicted, over 500 years in advance, that the Messiah would die in A. D. 33, the exact year of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.[xxx]

To predict the death of Jesus Christ to the year in this manner constitutes a truly astonishing prophecy. However, Daniel’s prediction goes even beyond this. Artaxerxes’ decree would have been issued on March 5, 444 B. C.[xxxi] We proceed to crunch the numbers with precision:

I.) Convert 483 prophetic (360 day) years to days: 483×360=173,880 days.

II.) Convert to solar years: 173,880 days ÷ exactly 365.24219878 days per solar year = 476.06766299 years.

III.) Moving forward 476 years from 444 B. C. brings us to A. D. 33, since there is no year zero, as mentioned before. This leaves us with 0.06766299 of a year, which is 24.713379244 days, since 0.06766299 x 365.24219878 = 24.713379244.

IV.) Rounding off, we have 25 days. Exactly 476 years after March 5, 444 B. C, when the decree was issued, brings us to March 5, A. D. 33. Adding 25 days, one comes to March 30 of A. D. 33 for the exact day the sixty-nine weeks concluded.

The sixty-nine weeks of the Daniel 9 prophecy ended on March 30 of A. D. 33. This is the exact day of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when He officially presented Himself as the Messiah to Israel.[xxxii] Zechariah 9:9 reads, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Christ, proclaiming Himself the King predicted in Zechariah, entered the city on that day, sitting upon a donkey, while great crowds, knowing that He had recently raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11; 12:12), shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David [a Messianic title, Isaiah 11:1ff, 1 Chronicles 17:7-14, etc.]: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9). Jesus’ entry in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 asserted that He was the Messiah, and the crowds that came to meet Him recognized and shouted agreement with His claim. Luke 19:41-44 records Christ’s actions on the day Daniel 9:25-26 was fulfilled:

He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the all-knowing God, knew that the sixty-nine weeks His servant Daniel had prophesied about ended that day; He wept that Israel did not recognize it. He spoke of “this thy day” and “the time of thy visitation” because it was the exact day that the sixty-nine weeks of Daniel 9:25-26 were finished. Daniel 9 had predicted to the exact year and day the presentation of Jesus Christ to Israel as the Messiah.

Daniel predicted that “after” the sixty-nine weeks were over, the Messiah would be “cut off, but not for himself” (Daniel 9:26), referring to His substitutionary death. He then states, “The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” The “prince that shall come,” whose “people” shall destroy Jerusalem and its sanctuary, is the Antichrist,[xxxiii] who is spoken of in 9:27, 11:36-45, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Revelation 13, and other texts. Daniel 2 and 7 predicted that this future world ruler would arise from the fourth world empire Daniel foresaw, Rome. Consequently, the “people of the prince that shall come” are the Romans. Daniel predicted that, after the Messiah was cut off, the Romans would “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (9:26). In A. D. 70 the Romans, responding to a Jewish revolt, invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and leveled the temple. In Luke 19:41-44, immediately after Christ weeps over Jerusalem for not realizing that her “day,” the end of the sixty-ninth week of Daniel, had arrived, He tells the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground,” as judgment upon the city for rejecting Him, and in fulfillment of Daniel 9:26. He predicted that the temple would not have left “one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 21:6), and further warned His disciples to flee from Judea when Jerusalem would be “compassed with armies . . . [for then] the desolation thereof is nigh . . . and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles . . . that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24). This prediction of Daniel, confirmed by Christ[xxxiv] as He fulfilled the preceding section of the prophecy, took place exactly as stated.

Over five hundred years beforehand, Daniel 9 predicted that the Messiah would come in A. D. 33, specifically on March 30. On March 30, A. D. 33, Jesus Christ officially presented Himself as the Messiah to the nation of Israel. Daniel then predicted that the Messiah would die a substitutionary death, which Jesus Christ fulfilled four days later. After this, Daniel predicted that the Romans would destroy Jerusalem and the temple, a destruction which place in A. D. 70. These predictions could not have happened by chance. The prophecies of Daniel 9 prove beyond any doubt that the Bible is indeed the Word of the one true God.

 

III. Has the Text of Daniel been Corrupted?

Evidence for the Preservation of Scripture

 

The astonishingly accurate prophecies contained in Daniel could lead one to question if the book’s text itself has been changed. Is it possible that the prophecies of Daniel were changed after the events took place, so that the book was revised or edited after the fact to make it seem as if predictions were actually present in the book? The answer is an unambiguous “No”! First, Daniel has not been changed, because the Bible as a whole has not been changed. God promised that He would preserve His Word (Psalm 12:6-7; Isaiah 59:21; Matthew 5:18), and history confirms the truth of His promise. Overwhelming evidence testifies that the entire Old Testament, including Daniel, has been preserved free from corruption.[xxxv] The text-type found in modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible is present in even the most ancient witnesses and was considered authoritative even at that time.[xxxvi] The ancient Jewish Targums, Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew Scriptures, are based upon a text that had “almost complete identity” with the modern printed editions of the Old Testament.[xxxvii]

A portion of 4QGenb, a Qumran manuscript dating to c. A. D. 50, and the Lenningrad Codex, dating to A. D. 1008; both pictures show the text of Genesis 1:1ff. The Hebrew text in the medieval manuscript is exactly identical to that found in the Qumran text copied 1,000 years earlier.[xxxviii]

Thus, the “earliest textual evidence . . . include[s] . . . texts from Qumran and proto-Masoretic texts, which are identical to the medieval M [the textual basis of Masoretic Hebrew text found in modern printed editions of the Old Testament].”[xxxix] There is no justification whatever for the idea that the Hebrew text was edited at a later period, so that the type of wholesale corruption required to create the prophecies of Daniel could have taken place;[xl] on the contrary, the Bible has been preserved intact from the time of its original composition. The very earliest manuscript evidence confirms that the type of Hebrew text found in modern editions of the Bible has always been present in the majority of textual witnesses, and even the “earliest Qumran finds dating from the third pre-Christian century bear evidence . . . of a tradition of the exact copying of texts belonging to the Masoretic family”[xli]—rather than, say, sloppy copying or deliberate scribal corruption of the text to make allegedly fake prophecies work out correctly. As a result, even secular, anti-supernaturalist scholars admit: “[I]t is not easy to provide convincing proof of . . . errors in M [the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Bible].”[xlii]

Furthermore, we possess over 6,000 manuscripts of the Old Testament[xliii] and over 5,500 New Testament manuscripts.[xliv] No other document from antiquity comes close to the number of manuscripts available for the Bible. The closest work, Homer’s Illiad, has fewer than 30% of the number of Old Testament copies. Herodotus’s History is contained in 109 fragments, and Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War exists in only eight manuscripts. Livy’s History of Rome is found in about sixty copies. The Bible remains “by far the most attested ancient work. . . . if . . . skeptics . . . reject [its] transmissional reliability[,] . . . then they must also consider unreliable all other manuscripts of antiquity . . . [and] throw out [their] knowledge of the classical world.”[xlv] Indeed, skeptical scholars have admitted as much and, to maintain their skepticism when pressed by believers, have been forced to admit that their skepticism of the preservation of the Bible does indeed require skepticism of absolutely every extant ancient historical text, since the Bible has been preserved far better than any other comparable work.[xlvi] If the Bible has not been preserved, then nothing has been preserved. If anything in ancient history is reliable, then the Bible is reliable.

As the Bible as a whole has not been corrupted, similarly, the book of Daniel in particular has not been corrupted or changed. Among the extremely early textual witnesses known as the Dead Sea Scrolls and associated with the Qumran community, the only Biblical books found in greater number than Daniel were most of the Pentateuch, Isaiah, and the book of Psalms.[xlvii] The “Qumran manuscripts of Daniel follow the Masoretic text . . . [and] provide testimony to the faithfulness with which the biblical text was handed down over the centuries.”[xlviii]

4QDanc, a manuscript of Daniel dating to the second century B. C. Its Biblical text, and that of other manuscripts of Daniel from Qumran, confirm the accuracy of modern printed editions of the Hebrew Old Testament and the astonishingly careful preservation of Scripture.[xlix]

“The Hebrew and Aramaic text of Daniel has been well preserved . . . [t]he Qumran fragments demonstrate the faithfulness with which the biblical text was preserved over the centuries.”[l] “The published fragments . . . of Daniel which date to pre-Christian times have substantially the same text as the traditional one preserved in the Hebrew (Masoretic) text from which all of our Bibles are translated. . . . We may have high confidence in the essential accuracy of the preserved text, both Hebrew and Aramaic, of the canonical book of Daniel.”[li] The text of Daniel has not been changed or corrupted—its plain prophecies were present in the book from the very time of its composition. The manuscript evidence supplies no outlet for anti-supernaturalist attempts to avoid the plain implications of Daniel’s prophecies.

 

  1. Did Daniel Write the Book of Daniel? The Authorship of Daniel Defended

 

  1. Introduction

 

Since the plain predictive prophecies of the book of Daniel are so astonishingly specific, those who are not willing to admit that God can intervene in history and miraculously predict the future argue that, of necessity, the book of Daniel was written after the time when his prophecies were fulfilled. Someone whose worldview automatically rejects the supernatural as impossible must believe that the book of Daniel contains no genuine predictions, no matter what the evidence is to the contrary. However, in order to stubbornly maintain such an anti-supernatural worldview, the plain evidence of history must be rejected. Many lines of evidence prove that the book of Daniel was indeed composed by its confessed author in the sixth century, rather than by a forger who wrote centuries later and pretended to be Daniel the prophet.

 

  1. The Book of Daniel’s Own Claims and their Reception

 

There are many and conclusive lines of evidence proving that the prophet Daniel wrote the book of Daniel in the sixth century. The common anti-supernaturalist contention that dates the book no earlier than 165 B. C. in order to reduce the number of predictive prophecies it contains is unsustainable. First, the book clearly claims to have been written by Daniel. The book records that Daniel had the gift of prophecy (1:17) and that the visions of the future recorded in the book were given to him as a real historical person (2:19). Daniel testifies: “I saw . . . my vision . . . a vision appeared to me . . . I Daniel had seen the vision” (Daniel 7:2; 8:1, 15) and such like terminology in the book. At the conclusion of the book an angel tells Daniel: “O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book” (12:4). The idea that Daniel wrote the book bearing his name is not some traditional opinion imposed upon the book without any basis in fact. It is the plain testimony of the work itself.

Furthermore, “within the period covered by the Old Testament no example has so far come to light of a pseudepigraphon which was approved or cherished as an authoritative book . . . there is no clear proof of pseudonymity in the Old Testament and much evidence against it.”[lii] That is, not only is there no evidence within the Old Testament of its being acceptable for a book to be passed off under a false name,[liii] but evidence that this was acceptable for authoritative texts is also lacking in the ancient historical context. Both those who falsely claimed to receive revelation from Jehovah and those who claimed to speak from Him but had even one mistake in any prediction were to be executed (Deuteronomy 18:15-22). Israel would have considered worthy of death a person who, centuries after the fact, pretended to be Daniel and put invented prophecies in his mouth. Furthermore, ancient Assyrian and Babylonian texts did not employ pseudonymity. On the contrary, the evidence of a number of authors demonstrates that they “specifically avoided opportunities for pseudepigraphy.”[liv] The Greeks in that era likewise regarded interpolating an ancient text to be a serious crime for which one might suffer banishment.[lv]

Forging or creating pseudonymous documents of the sort that anti-supernaturalists allege Daniel to be would have been rejected with horror by recipients of the book.

Furthermore, no evidence exists that any Jew denied or even questioned Daniel’s authorship of the book bearing his name from the time of its composition until the beginning of the modern era.[lvi]

“The ancient Hebrews never called [Daniel’s] genuineness or authenticity in question,”[lvii] for “the book was always taken by the Jews at its face value . . . [and] had an unchallenged place in the Jewish canon.”[lviii] The earliest Jewish historian in antiquity, Josephus, believed without any question that Daniel authored the book bearing his name.[lix] Josephus describes Daniel as “one of the greatest of the prophets . . . for he did not only prophecy of future events, as did the other prophets, but he also determined the time of their accomplishment[.] . . . He also wrote and left behind him what made manifest the accuracy and undeniable veracity of his predictions.”[lx] Josephus even records that the Jews showed Alexander the Great the predictions of the book of Daniel—an event only possible if the book had been composed centuries before the date assigned by anti-supernaturalists—and Alexander showed the Jews favor because he recognized that the book predicted his conquests. The ancient Jewish historian wrote:

And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day he called them to him, and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him: whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired: and when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Media to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired: and when he said to the multitude, that if any of them would enlist themselves in his army on this condition, that they should continue under the law of their forefathers, and live according to them, he was willing to take them with him, many were ready to accompany him in his wars.[lxi]

The ancient Jewish historian also records that it was the belief of “all Jews” in his day that the canonical Hebrew Scriptures, including Daniel, were composed in the centuries before the 400s B. C., with the last books being inspired at that time. These canonical books are set in contrast to later writings—which, while interesting, are not the product of “prophets.” Indeed, concerning the canonical Old Testament, Josephus testifies that all the Jews would rather “die” than allow anyone “either to add anything to them, to take anything from them, or to make any change in them,” even as nobody has since their composition “been so bold as” to do so.[lxii] Ancient Judaism, with a united voice, ascribes the authorship of the Book of Daniel to the sixth-century prophet Daniel.

Likewise, no evidence exists of any Christian questioning Daniel’s authorship until modern times. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself unequivocally ascribed the book to “Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14), as did the early Christian community. The relevant voice of ancient Jewish and Christian historical testimony, by those who lived far closer to the time of its composition than modern skeptics, with one voice favors Daniel’s authorship of his book. Modern skeptics who reject Daniel’s authorship have no testimony from the time when the book was composed in their favor—rather, they have centuries of unanimous contrary testimony to overcome.

 

C.) Early References to the Book of Daniel in Other Works

 

Ezekiel prophesied only about fifteen years after Daniel was taken to Babylon and after the initial historical events recorded in the book of Daniel had taken place. His writings testify to the man Daniel’s righteousness and God-given wisdom, providing exactly the sort of evidence one would expect as validation of Daniel’s historicity. In Ezekiel’s Old Testament book, composed between 592 and 570 B. C.,[lxiii] the prophet plainly refers to his contemporary[lxiv] Daniel as a famous person of history known to his countrymen, one whose righteousness and wisdom stood in stark contrast to the majority of his rebellious and ungodly nation:

Ezek. 14:14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezek. 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Ezek. 28:3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:

Ezekiel refers to Daniel’s great wisdom (28:3), even as the book of Daniel indicates that “God gave . . . Daniel . . .wisdom” (Daniel 1:17), and the book of Daniel clearly evidences Daniel’s righteousness (cf. 6:16, 20; 12:2-3, 13). The evidence is clear: Ezekiel, in the sixth century B. C., could hardly refer to Daniel as the real person described in the book of Daniel were he a fiction invented centuries later. The book of Ezekiel authenticates the legitimacy of Daniel and his Biblical book.[lxv]

Early non-canonical works, as well as other books of the Old Testament itself such as Zechariah and Nehemiah,[lxvi] provide further evidence that the Book of Daniel existed far before an anti-supernatural dating system allows.[lxvii] Anti-supernaturalist writers claim that Daniel was written in the Maccabaean period, specifically in 165 B. C., in order to eliminate as many of the predictions in the book as possible. However, the fourth century B. C. Babylonian cuneiform text called “The Dynastic Prophecy . . . used Daniel’s prophecies as a pattern because Daniel’s prophecies had come true to date and so were well known.”[lxviii]

The Babylonian Dynastic Prophecy supports the existence of the Book of Daniel in the 4th century B. C.[lxix]

The book of Tobit, probably the oldest composition in the Apocrypha, is dated by scholars to the third century B. C., and it necessarily predates the Maccabaean period.[lxx] And yet, Tobit contains clear verbal allusions to Daniel.[lxxi] Likewise, the Book of Watchers, the first part of the pseudepigraphical Book of Enoch, is dated to the third century B. C. and necessarily predates the Maccabean era,[lxxii] as the early dates for the copies of the book found at Qumran[lxxiii] verify. Furthermore, the “Hellenistic Jewish historian Demetrius . . . had already . . . drawn up . . . [a] chronology” of the seventy-weeks prophecy in Daniel 9 “in the late third century B. C. . . . [in] his own time, which was the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator.”[lxxiv] It would have been impossible to make chronological calculations based on Daniel 9 many years before the book was supposedly forged in the following century. The apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus or Ben Sirach was composed, at the very latest, between 200-175 B. C., and has even been dated to the fourth century B. C.; it can by no means be dated to the Maccabean period.[lxxv] Nevertheless, Ecclesiasticus clearly refers to Daniel and contains a prayer that the prophecies of Daniel would be fulfilled soon.[lxxvi] Likewise, the book of Baruch predates the Maccabean era but contains clear allusions to Daniel.[lxxvii] Similarly, 1 Maccabees records Matthias on his deathbed counselling his sons to emulate the example of “Daniel[,] [who] for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions.” Matthias likewise challenges his sons to follow the example set by Daniel’s three Hebrew friends, who “because of their faith were saved from fire.”[lxxviii] However, the anti-supernaturalist dates Daniel after the death of Matthias. 1 Maccabees also contains verbal allusions to the LXX of Daniel, further requiring the existence of the book both in the original language and in translation.[lxxix] Finally, 3 Maccabees records the following prayer: “When the three companions in Babylonia willingly gave their lives to the fire so as not to serve vain things, you sprinkled the scorching furnace and rescued them unharmed, even so far as a hair, and sent the flame upon all their enemies. When Daniel, through envious slander, was thrown to the lions below the earth as food for wild beasts, you brought him up to the light unscathed” (3 Maccabees 6:6-7). The authors of 1 and 3 Maccabees had no doubts about the genuineness of Daniel, and since 1 Maccabees is recognized by scholars as “a very accurate and excellent history,”[lxxx] there is every reason to believe its accuracy when it records Matthias’s speaking about the book of Daniel prior to the date the anti-supernaturalist must assign it. Many lines of evidence, including Biblical books such as Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Nehemiah, the Babylonian Dynastic Prophecy, the Book of Watchers, the books of Tobit, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, 1 Maccabees, and 3 Maccabees, and the testimonies of Demetrius and Matthias support Daniel’s authorship of the book bearing his name.

 

D.) Manuscript Evidence Supporting Daniel’s Authorship

 

What is more, the evidence of early Hebrew manuscripts of Daniel and of the translation of Daniel in the Septuagint strongly militates against the late anti-supernaturalist date for the book. The evidence from the copies of Daniel found at Qumran makes a late date highly problematic:

[A] date for Daniel in the 2nd cent. B. C. is absolutely precluded by the evidence from Qumrân[.] . . . the dating of Daniel can now be settled at least negatively as a result of MS [manuscript] discoveries from the Dead Sea caves from 1947 onwards. Fragments from 1Q, along with some complete scrolls of Daniel from other caves, have testified to the popularity of the work at Qumrân. A florilegium recovered from 4Q spoke, like Mt. 24:15, of “Daniel the prophet,” furnishing eloquent second-century B. C. testimony to the way in which the book was revered and cited as Scripture. Since all the Qumrân fragments and scrolls are copies, the autograph of Daniel and other OT canonical works must of necessity be advanced well before the Maccabean period if the proper minimum of time is allowed for the book to be circulated and accepted as Scripture . . . the autograph of Daniel also must be several centuries in advance of the Maccabean period. . . . It is now clear from the Qumrân MSS that no part of the OT canonical literature was composed later than the 4th cent. B. C. This means that Daniel must of necessity be assigned to some point in the Neo-Babylonian era (626–539 B. C.), or a somewhat later period. If, following Near Eastern annalistic practices, the events and visions were recorded shortly after their occurrence, the book may well have been written progressively over a lengthy period of time, being finally collated by Daniel in the closing phases of his life[.] . . . There can no longer be any possible reason for considering the book as a Maccabean product.[lxxxi]

The traditional date for Daniel’s authorship of his book fits the manuscript evidence at Qumran far better than the late, anti-supernatural date. The Hebrew manuscripts of Daniel found at Qumran are too early for the anti-supernaturalist position.

Furthermore, the Letter of Aristeas[lxxxii] indicates that the common Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint (or LXX), was translated in Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285–247 B. C.).[lxxxiii] It is generally recognized by scholars that the translation indeed originated in the third century B. C.[lxxxiv]

Burney MS34 of the Letter of Aristeas or Letter to Philocrates. The Letter recounts the origin of the translation of the Old Testament into Greek (the LXX).[lxxxv]

However, the Letter to Aristeas is clear that the entire Old Testament, not only a portion such as the Pentateuch,[lxxxvi] was translated into Greek. The Letter states that “the president of the king’s library received vast sums of money for the purpose of collecting together, as far as he possibly could, all the books in the world. By means of purchase and transcription, he carried out, to the best of his ability, the purpose of the king.” On this account the Jewish holy books were said to be “worth transcribing” as worthy of “a place in [the] library.”[lxxxvii] What was acquired was a plural number of “books,” and not the “Law” in the strict sense of the Pentateuch alone, but also “others” of the holy Jewish books to be translated.[lxxxviii] An attempt to build a library with “all the books in the world” would not translate only a portion of the Hebrew Scriptures while leaving the rest untranslated. Furthermore, Aristeas teaches that “the whole law” with its plural “books” was translated, and that to this translation there was to be “no alteration . . . either by adding anything or changing in any way whatever any of the words that had been written or making any omission,” with a “curse” pronounced upon anyone who would dare to do so, in order that “the book might be preserved for all the future time unchanged.”[lxxxix] Such an explanation only makes sense if the entire Old Testament was in view. The people were not putting a curse upon anyone who would translate the book of Joshua or Isaiah right after rejoicing that the Pentateuch had been translated. The Letter to Aristeas teaches that the entire Old Testament was translated into Greek in the third century B. C. This conclusion was recognized by later writers commenting on the creation of the LXX. Josephus indicates that under Ptolemy, not the Pentateuch only, but “many books of laws among the Jews . . . [were] translated into the Greek tongue,”[xc] including all “the Jewish books”;[xci] that is, “the books of Jewish legislation with some others”[xcii]—a description which includes, at a minimum, the entire Old Testament. There is no extant evidence supporting the translation of the Book of Daniel late enough to support the anti-supernaturalist contention on the book’s origin. On the contrary, all the extant external evidence supports the idea that Daniel was translated into Greek before the time that many of its predictions were fulfilled.

 

E.) The 6th Century Hebrew and Aramaic Language of Daniel

 

The Hebrew and Aramaic of Daniel fit the lifetime of Daniel in the sixth century B. C.,[xciii] rather than the Hebrew and Aramaic of the second century when anti-supernaturalists affirm that the book was written. Concerning the Hebrew, Archer notes:

So far as the Hebrew of Daniel is concerned, we have already seen that it contains a significant number of Persian governmental terms, indicating its origin during the period of Persian domination. There is no trace whatsoever of Greek influence on the language. It is interesting to observe that the Hebrew text of Ecclesiasticus, dating from about 200–180 B. C., shortly before the Maccabean period, furnishes us with a fair sample of the type of Hebrew which would have been current at the time Daniel was written—according to the late-date theorists. . . . [I]t is quite striking that Ecclesiasticus exhibits later linguistic characteristics than Daniel, being somewhat rabbinical in tendency. Israel Levi in his Introduction to the Hebrew Text of Ecclesiasticus (1904) lists the following: (a) new verbal forms borrowed mainly from Aramaic, (b) excessive use of the hiphil and hithpael conjugations, and (c) peculiarities of various sorts heralding the approach of Mishnaic Hebrew. . . . So far as the Qumran material is concerned, none of the sectarian documents composed in Hebrew (The Manual of Discipline, The War of the Children of Light Against the Children of Darkness, The Thanksgiving Psalms) in that collection show any distinctive characteristics in common with the Hebrew chapters of Daniel.[xciv]

Concerning the Aramaic of Daniel, Kitchen notes:

The form or stage of language of Aramaic used in Ezra and Daniel is precisely that used in the Neo-Babylonian and Persian period (sixth to fourth centuries), and is currently termed Official Aramaic. . . . There is no good reason to deny the authenticity of the biblical Aramaic correspondence and other usages that we find in the biblical books relating to this period. . . . Several features of the Aramaic of Ezra and Daniel virtually preclude it having originated any later than the third century b. c. at the extreme; the fifth century fits better. The Hebrew is consistent with this[.] . . . The huge input of Greek military and cultural involvement in the Levant and beyond from the seventh to the fourth century b. c., long before Alexander, negates completely . . . a Hellenistic date for the book of Daniel. That dating rests entirely on particular [anti-supernaturalist] . . . a priori assumptions about . . . certain passages in Daniel[.] . . . There is much authentic Neo-Babylonian and Old Persian cultural content in the book of Daniel that links it with those periods, and needs to be taken into account.[xcv]

Summarizing the evidence from both languages, Archer notes:

[I]n the light of the linguistic evidence from Qumran . . . the language in which Daniel was written could not possibly date from the second century B. C. . . . [O]n the basis of a comparison with the Aramaic Genesis Apocryphon . . . the Aramaic chapters in Daniel represent a state of the language centuries earlier than the Apocryphon itself[.] . . . Since the latter is dated by the editors themselves as a first century B. C. copy of a work composed a century or two earlier, this evidence absolutely excludes the possibility of a Maccabean date for the Aramaic of Daniel. To this we now add an analysis of the Hebrew chapters of Daniel from the standpoint of vocabulary and grammar as compared with the sectarian Qumran documents from Qumran Cave One . . . in these [Qumran] writings we have an authentic sample of second-century Hebrew[.] . . . Distinct Aramaic traits appear in these scrolls which are not observable in Daniel’s Hebrew. . . . [Post-Biblical] syntax and morphology [presents a] most striking contrast[.]. . . [T]here is such a substantial number of words in common use in post-biblical times discoverable in the pages of the Qumran writings as to point very strongly toward a date of authorship considerably later than the time in which Daniel was written. . . . [T]he [Qumran] sectarian documents . . . point to the evolution of a new type of orthography that became standard in the later Mishnaic and Rabbinical Hebrew . . . [absent from] the biblical texts themselves . . . strongly suggest[ing] an entirely different period of composition for the Qumran second-century writings as compared with the date of Daniel[.] . . . Post-biblical Hebrew words . . . syntax and morphology . . . pronunciation and spelling . . . [and] words used with a post-biblical meaning . . . [render it] abundantly clear that a second-century date for the Hebrew chapters of Daniel is no longer tenable on linguistic grounds. In view of the markedly later development exhibited by these second-century documents in the areas of syntax, word order, morphology, vocabulary, spelling, and word-usage, there is absolutely no possibility of regarding Daniel as a contemporary. On the contrary the indications . . . of all the data . . . are that centuries must have intervened between them. . . . [N]othing in the linguistic data . . . militate[s] against a late sixth-century composition by the ostensible author himself[.] . . . In other words, we cone out to the same result as in the Aramaic chapters of Daniel as compared with the Genesis Apocryphon. Otherwise we must surrender linguistic evidence altogether and assert that it is completely devoid of value in the face of subjective theories derives from antisupernaturalistic bias. But any fair-minded investigator when faced with such an overwhelming body of objective data pointing to the interval of centuries between the two bodies of literature must conclude that a second-century date for the book of Daniel is completely out of the question. This verdict carries with it some far-reaching consequences. The possibility of explaining the predictive portions of this work as mere prophecy after the event is completely excluded. . . . The complete absence of Greek loan-words, apart from musical instruments of international currency, points unmistakably to a time of composition prior to the Alexandrian conquest. It is utterly inconceivable that after 160 years of Greek overlordship (as the Maccabean theory insists) there would be a complete absence of Greek terms pertaining to government and administration, whether in the Aramaic chapters or in the Hebrew, in a literary product of the 160’s B. C. But now that the considerable body of new documentation exhumed from the First Qumran Cave has been published and subjected to thorough analysis, it becomes patently evident that the Maccabean-date theory, despite all of its persuasive appeal to the rationalist, is altogether wrong.[xcvi]

The Genesis Apocryphon (1Q20) columns 1 and 2.[xcvii] The stage of Aramaic employed in the Book of Daniel is centuries older than the stage of Aramaic employed in the 3rd or 2nd century B. C. Genesis Apocryphon.

Linguistic evidence supports the conclusion that Daniel “could not possibly have been written in second-century Palestine, as the Maccabean theory demands.”[xcviii] That is:

[T]he dialect of Daniel containing, as it does, so many Persian, Hebrew, and Babylonian elements, and so few Greek words, with not one Egyptian, Latin or Arabic word, and so nearly allied in grammatical form and structure to the older Aramaic dialects and in its conglomerate vocabulary to the dialects of Ezra and Egypto-Aramaic, must have been used at or near Babylon at a time not long after the founding of the Persian Empire. . . . The evidence derived from forms and inflections and syntax is decidely, and that from the vocabulary is overwhelmingly, in favor of an early date and of an eastern[xcix] provenience. . . . [T]here never has been a time and place known to history save Babylon in the latter half of the 6th century B. C., in which an Aramaic dialect with just such an admixture of foreign ingredients and in just such proportions could have been brought into existence.[c]

Imagine if someone composed a play today and claimed that it was a long lost work of Shakespeare. Imagine if, furthermore, the forger had no serious access to historical documents from Shakespeare’s day, such as Shakespeare’s other plays and the compositions of other writers of that era, to compare with his newly minted forgery. In such a situation, evidence that the forged work was not really centuries old would necessarily emerge in the vocabulary, syntax, and other lingustic features of the document, no matter how hard the forger tried. Such an analogy is comparable to the situation found in the book of Daniel. Were it created in second-century Palestine rather than in sixth-century Babylon, irrefutable evidence of that fact would necessarily appear in the document. However, on the contrary, every linguistic indication favors the sixth-century Babylonian and Persian origin of the book.

Furthermore, the translation of Daniel into Greek in the LXX indicates the book’s early date. Archer notes:

A second line of evidence [for the early date] is found in the translation errors committed by the LXX of Daniel[.] . . . If Daniel itself had been composed in second-century Aramaic, as the late-date theory maintains then there should have been no difficulty in rendering any of the technical terms into Greek. But even in the single verse of Daniel 3:2 we find that the LXX translates adargazerayya (“counselors”) by hypatous (“magnates”); gedaberayya (“treasurers”) by dioiketas (“administrators”); and tiptaye or detaberayya (“magistrates,” “judges”) by the vague, general phrase tous ep exousion (“those in authority”). It is impossible to explain how within a few decades after the alleged composition of Daniel in the 160s B.C., the meaning of these terms could have been so completely forgotten by the Alexandrian Jews who composed the LXX that they did not know how to translate them correctly.[ci]

It is easy to see how terms common in sixth-century Hebrew and Aramaic could become obscure some centuries later when the Old Testament was translated into Greek. It strains credulity to think that Daniel was composed almost contemporaneously with the LXX but somehow already contained Hebrew and Aramaic so archaic that the Greek translator did not know its significance.

The following paragraphs summarize the bearing of modern linguistic evidence on the dating of Daniel:

The Maccabean date hypothesis was propounded long before the discovery of the Genesis Apocryphon from Qumran Cave 1. Before the publication of this scroll, there was no Palestinian Aramaic document extant from the third or second century B.C.; and it was therefore theoretically possible to date the Aramaic of Daniel as coming from the 160s B.C. But with the publication and linguistic analysis of the Apocryphon (which is a sort of midrash for Genesis), it has become apparent that Daniel is composed in a type of centuries-earlier Aramaic. . . . The Apocryphon was probably composed . . . in the third century B.C. . . . [y]et linguistic analysis indicates that in morphology, vocabulary, and syntax, the Apocryphon shows a considerably later stage of the Aramaic language than do the Aramaic chapters of Daniel.

 

As for the characteristic word-order, the Apocryphon tends to follow the normal sequence of Northwest Semitic—verb first, followed by subject, then object—in the characteristic structure of the clause. Beyond question this was the normal practice of Western Aramaic used in Palestine during the Maccabean period. But the Aramaic of Daniel shows a marked tendency for the verb to be deferred till a later position in the clause, often even after the noun object—somewhat like the word order of Akkadian (Babylonian and Assyrian) as used in Babylonia from the time of Sargon of Agade (twenty-fourth cent. B.C.) onward. On the basis of the word order alone, it is safe to conclude that Daniel could not have been composed in Palestine (as the Maccabean hypothesis demands) but in the eastern sector of the Fertile Crescent, in all probability in Babylon itself. . . .[P]ages [of evidence] . . . prove quite conclusively to any scholar that the second-century date and Palestinian provenance of the Book of Daniel cannot be upheld any longer without violence being done to the science of linguistics. . . .

 

[A] linguistic comparison between the Hebrew chapters of Daniel (1, 8-12) and the second-century B.C. Hebrew prose of lQS and 1QM, the two foremost documents composed for the Essenes of Qumran . . . contains a very large number of examples of later Hebrew morphology, syntax, and vocabulary appearing in 1QS and 1QM as contrasted with Daniel. . . . [F]rom the standpoint of linguistic science, there is no possibility that the text of Daniel could have been composed as late as the Maccabean uprising, and that there is every likelihood that the Aramaic comes from the same period, if not a century earlier, than the Aramaic of the Elephantine Papyri and of Ezra, which are admittedly fifth-century productions. It goes without saying that if the predictions concerning the period of Antiochus III and Antiochus IV (222–164 B.C.) are composed in language antedating the second-century and third-century B.C., then the whole effort to explain Daniel as a vaticinium ex eventu must be abandoned. We are still faced with the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy, even as regards Antiochus Epiphanes. . . . [L]inguistic evidence from Qumran makes the rationalistic explanation for Daniel no longer tenable. It is difficult to see how any scholar can defend this view and maintain intellectual respectability.[cii]

The language of Daniel indubitably and strongly supports his authorship of the book bearing his name.

 

F.) The Knowledge of 6th Century History Supporting an Early Date for Daniel

 

The book of Daniel fits perfectly into the historical milieu of its professed origin as a composition of the man Daniel, a high official in the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires, in the sixth century B. C. Its historical accuracy is not at all what one would expect of a forgery composed some four hundred years later. Its reference to the position of Belshazzar (Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1) in the declining days of the Babylonian empire before the overthrow of Babylon by the Medes and Persians provides remarkable evidence of a sixth-century date. For a long time, the reference to Belshazzar was viewed as clear evidence of Daniel’s inaccuracy by anti-supernaturalists, as there was no external confirmation of his existence. However, archaeology has now confirmed the accuracy of Daniel’s record:

Daniel says that Belshazzar was king of Babylon, that he was present in that city at a feast when Cyrus took the city, and was then slain. However, Berorus and Abydenus, both Babylonian historians, and Herodotus, the Greek historian, relate that Nabonidus was the last king of Babylon previous to the Persian conquest, and that instead of being at Babylon when the city was captured he had fled to the fortress of Borsippa, where Cyrus took him, and whence be banished him to Caramensa. A few years ago it was said in reference to this: “No hypothesis can reconcile this account with the other.” Recent discoveries, however, have solved the problem completely.

 

On the annalistic tablet of Cyrus, which was discovered by Mr. Pinches in 1880, Nabonidus makes mention of “Belshazzar (Belsarra-utsar) my first-born.” A mutilated cuneiform inscription, which was discovered amid the ruins of Babylon and which was translated in 1882 by Mr. Pinches, proved that Nabonidus had associated his first-born son, Belshazzar, with himself as king on the throne. On the annalistic tablet it is narrated that immediately before the fall of Babylon, Belshazzar was with the court and part of the army north of the city, while Nabonidus himself was south of Babylon, leading in person that part of the army which confronted the advancing host of Cyrus. It is reasonable to suppose that on the defeat and flight of Nabonidus and the retreat of his army towards Babylon, Belshazzar would advance into the city and try to join his forces with those of his father for a united stand against the invader. . . . It was undoubtedly in that struggle that Belshazzar lost his life. He is not mentioned afterward, no doubt for the reason that, as Daniel says, “on that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” He was king because he had been raised to that dignity by his father, and he was the only king left, as Nabonidus was either a prisoner or a fugitive. The accuracy of Daniel’s statement is thus fully corroborated. And thus we learn also why the reward offered by the king for interpreting the mysterious handwriting on the wall was the place of “third ruler in the kingdom” [Daniel 5:7, 16, 29.] Why the third? Pharaoh made Joseph the second; Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel second for interpreting the dream; Ahasuerus gave Mordecai the second place. The place next to the king was that of the highest honor. But since there were then two kings, the second place could not be given; it was occupied. The third place was the highest at the king’s disposal; and he conferred that honor on Daniel.[ciii]

This clay cylinder of Nabonidus describes a work on the temple of the moon god Sin at Ur and the following prayer to Sin: “Nabonidus, king of Babylon, save me from sinning against your great godhead and grant me as a present a life of long days, and as for Belshazzar, the eldest son my offspring, instill reverence for your great godhead in his heart and may he not commit any cultic mistake, may he be sated with a life of plenitude.”[civ]

Not only does Daniel accurately record the existence of Belshazzar, the book correctly notes the existence of a Babylonian co-regency so that Daniel could only be made the “third ruler” (Daniel 5) of the kingdom, not made second in command. Evaulating the current evidence for the historical accuracy of Daniel’s record of Belshazzar, Raymond Dougherty notes:

[O]f all non-Babylonian records dealing with the situation at the close of the Neo-Babylonian empire the fifth chapter of Daniel ranks next to cuneiform literature in accuracy so far as outstanding events are concerned. The Scriptural account may be interpreted as excelling because it employs the name Belshazzar, because it attributes royal power to Belshazzar, and because it recognizes that a dual rulership existed in the kingdom. Babylonian cuneiform documents of the sixth century B. C. furnish clear-cut evidence of the correctness of these three basic historical nuclei contained in the Biblical narrative dealing with the fall of Babylon. Cuneiform texts written under Persian influence in the sixth century B. C. have not preserved the name Belshazzar, but his rule as a crown prince entrusted with royal power during Nabonidus’ stay in Arabia is depicted convincingly. Two famous Greek historians of the fifth and fourth centuries B. C. do not mention Belshazzar by name and hint only vaguely at the actual political situation which existed in the time of Nabonidus. Annals in the Greek language ranging from about the beginning of the third century B. C. to the first century B. C. are absolutely silent concerning Belshazzar and the prominence which he had during the last reign of the Neo-Babylonian empire. The total information found in all available chronologically-fixed documents later than the cuneiform texts of the sixth century B. .C. and prior to the writings of Josephus of the first century A. D. could not have provided the necessary material for the historical framework of the fifth chapter of Daniel . . . The view that the fifth chapter of Daniel originated in the Maccabaean age is discredited. . . . [A] narrative characterized by such an accurate historical perspective as Daniel 5 ought to be entitled to a place much nearer in time to the reliable documents which belong to the general epoch with which it deals.[cv]

The book of Daniel accurately identified Belshazzar as the co-regent of the Babylonian empire and accurately described his death at the hands of the invading Medo-Persian forces. It is difficult to believe that a second-century forger would have accurately recorded this historical narrative when Belshazzar’s name is absent from the available extant records. It is easy to see how a sixth-century historical Daniel would have accurately recorded this information. “Archaeological discoveries . . . show that the Bible is accurate in regard to its indications concerning Belshazzar. . . . [F]ar from being an error in the Scriptures, [it] is one of the many striking confirmations of the Word of God that have been demonstrated by archaeology.”[cvi]

Daniel’s description of Nebuchadnezzar as the great builder of Babylon (Daniel 4:30) supports a sixth-century date for the book. Extant ancient historians such as Herodotus, Strabo, and Pliny never refer to Nebuchadnezzar as Babylon’s builder. That “new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar . . . [is] genuinely historical . . . [although] ignored by [extrabiblical] Hebrew and Greek historians.” On the anti-supernaturalist dating scheme, “We shall presumably never know how our author learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar (4:30).”[cvii] Recognizing Daniel as the author of the book bearing his name makes the explanation of his accurate information about Nebuchadnezzar’s activities obvious and natural.

Furthermore, the book of Daniel evidences knowledge of geographical divisions extant in sixth century Babylon that would have been unknown to a second-century Palestinian forger:

From the Greek and Roman historians, we learn that from Persian times Susa, or Shushan, was the capital of the province of Susiana; and Elam was restricted to the territory east of the Eulaeus River. Nevertheless we now know from cuneiform records that Shushan was part of the territory of Elam back in Chaldean times and before. It is very striking that Daniel 8:2 refers to “Susa in the province of Elam”—an item of information scarcely accessible to a second-century B.C. author.[cviii]

The geographical information in Daniel agrees with its descriptions of historical figures in dating the work to the sixth century. The cumulative weight of such facts justifies the assessment of Waltke: “It seems clear, then, from a straightforward reading of the narratives in the Book of Daniel that the author possessed a more accurate knowledge of Neo-Babylonia and early Achaemenid Persian history than any other known historian since the sixth century B.C.”[cix]

Many other notices in Daniel evidence the sixth-century date of the book. Daniel alludes to the sexagesimal system (numbering based on 60) invented and in use in Babylon (Daniel 3:1);[cx] would a Palestinian Jew attempting to forge the book four hundred years later have been aware of this fact? Daniel 5:5 records that the Babylonian palace walls were plastered (Daniel 5:5), a fact confirmed by archaeology.[cxi] Would a second-century Jew have known this fact? Furthermore, Daniel accurately records the differences between Babylonian and Persian customs that he, as a historical sixth-century figure involved in both the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires, would have been fully aware of:

We have seen, that at Babylon the wives and concubines of the king were, without any scruple, present at the feast. But in Esth. 1 we have an account of the positive refusal of queen Vashti to enter the guest-chamber of Ahasuerus. In other words, this was, and is, against the general custom of the East. How came a writer of the Maccabæan period to know this distinction between the customs of Babylon and of Persia? The author of the Sept. Version, a contemporary of this period, knows so little of such a matter that he even leaves out the passage respecting the presence of women at the feast. Why? Plainly because he thought this matter would be deemed incredible by his readers. In Xen[ophon’s] Cyrop[aedia] is an account of a feast of Belshazzar, where his concubines are represented as being present. Not only so, but we have elsewhere, in Greek and Roman writers, abundant testimony to usages of this kind, in their accounts of the Babylonish excesses. But how comes it about, that the forger of the book of Daniel, whose familiarity with those writings is not credible, should know so much more of Babylonish customs than the Septuagint translator?[cxii]

Furthermore:

Quite evidently the writer [of Daniel] knew enough about the customs of the sixth century B.C. to depict Nebuchadnezzar as able to enact and modify Babylonian laws with absolute sovereignty (Dan. 2:12f., 46), while representing Darius the Mede as being completely powerless to change the laws of the Medes and Persians (Dan. 6:8f.; cf. Est. 1:9; 8:8). Again, he was quite accurate in recording the change from punishment by fire under the Babylonians (Dan. 3:11) to punishment by being thrown to lions under the Persian regime (Dan. 6:7), since fire was sacred to the Zoroastrians of Persia . . . . In precisely the same way the author of Daniel was acquainted with the reasons for the setting up of the image of Nebuchadnezzar in the Plain of Dura, and the injunction compelling the populace to worship before it. Archaeological discoveries have shown that . . . Nebuchadnezzar had initiated a program of religious reform that sought to modify the sensuous rituals of antiquity and permit the worshipping public to participate as a group in the sacrificial offerings. This reform of ritual is reflected in Daniel 3, which records the decree ordering the people to worship an image of the king that had been set up by royal command in the Plain of Dura in such a manner that all would have ready access to it. . . . What was there new in the king’s act? Not the setting up of a statue, because each king in turn had done the same; the novelty was the command for general worship by the public: for a ritual performed by priests the king is substituting a form of congregational worship which all his subjects are obliged to attend.[cxiii]

Such knowledge of contemporary customs and actions makes perfect sense if Daniel wrote the book bearing his name in the region of Babylon in the sixth century B. C. It does not make sense if the book of Daniel is a second-century forgery composed in Palestine.

The book of Daniel declares that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were three friends of Daniel who possessed important positions in the Babylonian court (Daniel 1:11, 19) and who were miraculously delivered from death by the Son of God (Daniel 3).[cxiv] These three names are attested as high court officials on on a clay prism found in Babylon listing the names of leaders in Nebuchadnezzar’s government c. 593 B. C.[cxv]

Prism EŞ 7834 of Nebuchadnezzar II mentions Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 2:49), as important officials in Nebuchadnezzar’s government.[cxvi]

Is it more reasonable to think that an anonymous writer living in Judea in 165 B. C. happened to correctly guess the names of the officials king Nebuchadnezzar appointed in the distant country of Babylon over 450 years earlier, or that Daniel was a real historical figure in Nebuchadnezzar’s court who knew the names of his three fellow Jewish court officials?

 

  1. Miscellaneous Evidences for the 6th Century Date of Daniel

 

Furthermore, the Book of Daniel predates the split of the Essenes from the Pharisees and Sadducees. Beckwith notes:

[B]oth the Essenes and the rest of the Jews accepted Daniel into the canon. . . . [Yet] Daniel is not an apocalypse of Essene origin. How, then, can its enormous influence on the Essenes be explained, and their acceptance of it as canonical, unless it had been known before Maccabean times? The Essenes seem to have dated their own definite emergence as a party between 171 and 167 BC . . . and any apocalypse produced from then on, if it had not come from the Essenes, would have come from their rivals, and would therefore not have secured Essene acceptance. . . . This extraordinary difference of treatment [in contrast with other books such as 1 Enoch] strongly suggests that Daniel cannot have been either of sectarian origin or of recent origin. Well before the emergence of the three contending religious parties in the Maccabean period, two of the books of 1 Enoch had already been written . . . probably dat[ing] from the second half of the third century . . . yet even so they had only achieved acceptance in narrow circles, as the later books of 1 Enoch were also to do. The Book of Daniel, on the contrary . . . [received] nationwide acceptance, as nothing less than Holy Scripture. The simplest explanation of this phenomenon would be that Daniel is the oldest of the apocalypses; that it did not, like the rest, have a secretive (much less a sectarian) origin; and that the production of other apocalypses, in imitation of it, was due not only to its impressive character as literature,5 but to the fact that, when they began to be written, it was already . . . [set] for a place in the canon.[cxvii]

Since the Book of Daniel predates the rise of the Essene sect, it also necessarily existed before the date assigned it by the anti-supernaturalist.

The idea that long periods of oral tradition preceeded the time when prophecies were written down has no support in the ancient historical evidence. On the contrary, the historical data uniformly support prophets recording their predictions immediately. Thus, the claim that later generations of disciples of a murky figure in the past could have created Daniel’s prophecies centuries after the alleged events and assigned them to the prophet has no support whatever in any ancient historical parallels. Kitchen notes:

Therefore we must now concisely review the question of oral presentation and the impact of writing, not as a theoretical exercise but as our extant external sources show it to be at first hand. Right from the presently attested beginning, at Mari, and at all other periods . . . as these messages were commonly of importance primarily to the king (whether in Mari in the nineteenth/eighteenth centuries or Assyria in the seventh), officials invariably relayed them promptly back to the royal palace—not orally, but in writing, and sent on with the least possible delay. An official might stress (no. 217) that he had sent on “the exact wording” of a prophetess. Such reports had to include any special circumstances, such as notice of symbolic actions by the prophet concerned—like the ecstatic at Mari who requested a lamb, and proceeded to devour it raw, a symbol of a devouring plague that would come if the local towns did not produce the expected sacred sacrifices. . . . Thus, at Mari, Nur-Sin sent on to King Zimri-lim the texts of three messages from two different prophets of the local forms of Adad, as lord of Kallassu and as lord of Aleppo. Another letter has three successive prophetic messages in their local historical context, the second being a response to a query sent by the king. This begins to be a forerunner of the Hebrew prophetical books, with prophecies in their historical contexts. . . .

 

Such procedures are also evident much later in the Neo-Assyrian examples, written on large tablets containing a whole series of pronouncements by various prophets and prophetesses. . . . [T]he picture is of individual prophecies quite promptly written down, which subsequently can be brought together into collective tablets for future reference. And named prophetic speakers are in a massive majority over unnamed ones.

 

In other areas the relationship of oral pronouncement and written record is the same. The early-second-millennium Egyptian text of Neferty depicts King Snofru eagerly reaching for his writing case, to take out a scroll, (pen and) ink palette and so to write down the sage’s words as spoken. Clearly this was understood as a natural thing to do; it does not leave much scope for long, imaginary periods of “oral tradition”! In Papyrus Chester Beatty IV of the late second millennium, the general allusions to the sages who foretold the future exalt their writing, not a “mouth to mouth” tradition of orality. In the West Semitic world, Zakkur king of Hamath lost no time in commemorating his deliverance from his foes, with appropriate mention of the promise of that deliverance via the seers and diviners of his deity Baal-shemayn. We would never have known of “The Book of the Afflictions of Balaam Son of Beor” if somebody had not set it out in neat lines of ink-written script on a plastered and whitened wall, for all the world like the pages of an oversized papyrus scroll. Clearly, just telling people by word of mouth was not deemed a sufficient means of record or of diffusion.

 

Thus, throughout the centuries, across the biblical world, the firsthand external evidence shows clearly and conclusively that the record of prophecies among contemporaries and their transmission down through time was not left to the memories of bystanders or to the memory-conditioned oral transmission—and modification—by imaginary “disciples” of a prophet or their equally imaginary successors for centuries before somebody took the remnants at a late date to weave them into books out of whole new cloth, having little or nothing to do with a reputed prophet of dim antiquity whose very name and existence might thus be doubted. For the mass of highly ingenious guesswork and scholarly imagination along these lines, poured out of the presses for over a century now, and never more than in recent decades, there is not one respectable scintilla of solid, firsthand evidence. Not one.

 

Quite the contrary. When ancient prophets (from Mari onward) spoke out, witnesses could be summoned to attest the authenticity of the actual process of scribing the very words, the ipsissima verba, of the prophet, to ensure that the real thing was sent to the king, and to eliminate any querying of the wording and content of the message(s) concerned from the start. There is worse. On one occasion a Mari seer explicitly demanded that a scribe of top-quality skills be employed to record his message in good style! . . .

 

The need for accurate and acceptable record and transmission of such prophecies resulted in their being archived both at Mari and in Assyria. At Mari, being within letters, they were filed as royal correspondence, for reference as events unfolded—evidently, in connection with possible fulfillment or new developments. In Assyria, prophecies collected under Esarhaddon were still kept in the archived files of Assurbanipal. They formed a “protobook” of prophecies, retained through the years for reference. Thus, for example, the goddess Ishtar had promised Esarhaddon victory over Mugallu of Tabal, but this prophetic promise was only fulfilled later under his son and successor Assurbanipal.

 

The fact is that the ultimate test of prophecy was its fulfillment. Thus an accurate, independent, and permanent record of prophecies was needed, to stand as lasting witness for when possible fulfillment might occur or be required to be checked. Human memory would crystallize and fade with time, and people die off, leaving no credible record (or no record at all). That was of no more use to ancient governments than to modern ones—and was as true for early Israel and Judah as for Mari or Assyria. The Hebrews’ need of prompt and faithful copies was as essential to check prophecy against fulfillment as anywhere else. When an infuriated Amaziah, priest at Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam II way up in Samaria, reporting the prophet as seditious, he would hardly have trudged all of thirty weary miles or more to shake his fist before the king to denounce Amos (Amos 7). Like numberless other officers before and after him (from Mari to Nineveh and beyond), he would have summoned the Bethel shrine’s scribe and sent a letter off by mounted messenger to the court at Samaria, we may be sure. As our external sources teach us, that was how it was done. And if he himself was not ready with a pen . . . Amos need not have gone far to find someone to write down his prophecies, both as witness against their future fulfillment and to refute any false claims sent to Samaria by Amaziah. Before Amos, the “Balaam” prophecy at Tell Deir Alla was written out promptly on a plastered wall. That it was all left to memory both then and for the next three hundred years is surely absurd in the light of the overwhelming external record of normal prophetic usage. [I]n a Hebrew prophet’s life . . . the example of Jer. 36 . . . suggests very strongly that the record of a prophet’s oracles and deeds was built up as he went along[.] . . .Theories of long chains of “disciples” transmitting (and perhaps even drastically editing) memories and then written text simply have no tangible documentary basis, by contrast with what Mari, Assyria, Egypt, and the rest have to teach us in matters of fact.[cxviii]

An anti-supernatualist contention that later disciples or editors compiled and edited Daniel’s predictions to make them fit the facts receives no support from the extant evidence. Daniel wrote the book that bears his name in the sixth century.

 

H.) Weak Arguments for a Late Maccabean Date for Daniel

 

If the evidence for Daniel’s sixth-century authorship of the book bearing his name is so strong, why do some continue to argue that the book was written in the Maccabean period c. 165 B. C.? By far, the most important reason that advocates maintain the late date is their a priori faith that God cannot miraculously intervene in history.[cxix] If one assumes miracles such as predictive prophecy are impossible, then the idea that Daniel did not write the book bearing his name necessarily follows: “Daniel did not prophesy the second century in the sixth because this would be impossible.”[cxx] No amount of historical evidence, and no degree of impausibility, must be allowed to overthrow dogmatic anti-supernaturalism. For example, Towner writes:

[Various predictions in Daniel] . . . maintai[n] a . . . remarkable fidelity to history as it has been recorded in secular sources. Therefore, to persons who understood it to have been written prior to the events that took place, it appears to be an impressively detailed and accurate prediction of future history. . . . [However,] [w]e need to assume that the vision as a whole is a prophecy after the fact. Why? Because human beings are unable accurately to predict future events centuries in advance and to say that Daniel could do so, even on the basis of a symbolic revelation vouchsafed to him by God and interpreted by an angel, is to fly in the face of the certainties of human nature. So what we have here is in fact not a road map of the future laid down in the sixth century B.C. but an interpretation of the events of the author’s own time[.] . . . [H]uman beings [possess] . . . an inability to foresee the future. To say otherwise is to fly in the face of one of our most cherished and hotly defended . . . verities[.][cxxi]

Such dogmatic anti-supernaturalism is not a matter of the intellect and of historical evidence, but of the will, a will in rebellion against God and unwilling to submit to His Lordship. Consider the words of the president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (the largest atheist organization in the United States), Dan Barker, on the related question of whether God miraculously raised His Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead:

Even if Jesus . . . rose from the dead [and] there’s a God [and] I don’t deny any of that . . . does NOT mean that he is my Lord. . . . I will go happily to hell. It would be worse of a hell for me to bow down before a Lord . . . regardless of the . . . historicity issue. . . . Even if I agreed 100%, I would still reject that Being as a Lord of my life . . . to live and enjoy . . . life unshakled from the demands . . . [of a] Lord. . . . I cannot accept Jesus as Lord. . . . To me, I think that’s more important than all this historicity stuff, [in] which . . . I might be wrong. . . . [When asked,] “What I’ve heard from you is even if He rose from the dead, you still would not accept him as Lord.” [Barker replied,] I’m proud of that.[cxxii]

Since the God of the Bible—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—exists and can predict the future, He is the living and true God, and all people are accountable to Him and need to submit to Him. Since He can predict the future, His claims in Isaiah 46:9-10 are verified: “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” For many, submission to the living God is simply not an acceptable conclusion. Consequently, the book of Daniel is denied to the historical sixth-century figure of that name and dated to a time when, the anti-supernaturalist hopes, the power of its predictive prophecies can be weakened enough to be ignored.

While anti-supernatural bias is unquestionably the most important reason the sixth-century date for the book of Daniel is rejected, other reasons are also proffered. For example, the presence of words of Greek origin in Daniel is alleged to prove that the book was not written during the time of the Babylonian and Persian empires, but after the rise of the Greek-speaking empire of Alexander the Great. In 1900, Samuel Driver wrote: “The verdict of the language of Daniel is thus clear. . . . [T]he Greek words demand . . . a date after the conquest of Palestine by Alexander the Great (b. c. 332).”[cxxiii] “[A]dvocates of the second-century date of the book [have] failed to change significantly their standard presentation since Driver—and this despite recent discoveries.”[cxxiv] Extensive recent evidence, however, demonstrates the invalidity of this anti-supernaturalist argument. Harman explains:

When S. R. Driver, at the end of the nineteenth century, made his comment on the linguistic situation in Daniel, it was assumed that the Greek words in Aramaic had to be dated later than the conquests of Alexander the Great. Now, however, much more evidence is available to show that Greek influence came very much earlier, a fact that J. A. Montgomery acknowledged in his commentary published as long ago as 1927: “The rebuttal of this evidence for a low date lies in the stressing of the potentialities of [Greek] influence in the Orient from the 6th [century] and on.”10 Much more evidence is now available to show that Greek influence in the Middle East was widespread, stemming from contacts prior even to 1000 bc.11 This leads to the conclusion that “The presence of Greek words in an Old Testament book is not a proof of Hellenistic date, in view of the abundant opportunities for contacts between the Aegean and the Near East before Alexander.”12 The few Greek words that appear are all musical terms that may well have been in currency in several languages.[cxxv]

The three words of possible or probable Greek origin in the book of Daniel are all words for musical instruments (Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15)[cxxvi] which would have been extant in Babylon and Persia in Daniel’s day. Archer explains:

The names of musical instruments . . . have always circulated beyond national boundaries as the instruments themselves have become available to the foreign market. These three . . . circulated with their Greek names in Near Eastern markets, just as foreign musical terms have made their way into our own language, like the Italian piano and viola. We know that as early as the reign of Sargon (722–705 b.c.) there were, according to the Assyrian records, Greek captives who were sold into slavery from Cyprus, Ionia, Lydia, and Cilicia. The Greek poet Alcaeus of Lesbos (fl. 600 b.c.) mentions that his brother Antimenidas served in the Babylonian army. It is therefore evident that Greek mercenaries, Greek slaves, and Greek musical instruments were current in the Semitic Near East long before the time of Daniel.”[cxxvii]

Harrison notes:

The linguistic evidence that critical [anti-supernaturalist] scholars once advanced with such enthusiasm as proof of a Maccabean date for Daniel has undergone sobering modification of late as a result of archaeological discoveries in the Near East. In 1891 S. R. Driver could write quite confidently that . . . the Greek words demanded . . . a date subsequent to the conquest of Palestine by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. This aphorism was widely quoted by English writers in succeeding decades[.] . . . [However, the] presence of three Greek names for musical instruments . . . no longer constitutes a serious problem in the criticism of the book, because as Albright has shown, it is now well recognized that Greek culture had penetrated the Near East long before the Neo-Babylonian period. The early nature and extent of Greek influence in the entire area can be judged from the presence of Greek colonies in mid-seventh-century B.C. Egypt at Naucratis and Tahpanhes, as well as by the fact that Greek mercenary troops served in both the Egyptian and Babylonian armies at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C. . . . Furthermore, while the names of the instruments mentioned may appear to be Greek in nature, the instruments themselves are of Mesopotamian origin. . . . The antiquity of the . . . “harp” . . . has been amply demonstrated by the work of Woolley at Ur, precluding the necessity of positing a Greek original for this type of instrument. . . . The [presence of the] “psaltery” . . . both on Assyrian reliefs and in eastern Mediterranean culture in the first millennium B.C. generally is amply attested. . . . In the light of the foregoing evidence, therefore, the arguments for the Maccabean dating of Daniel can hardly be said to be convincing.[cxxviii]

In fact, the presence of merely three Greek words—and those only for musical instruments—actually poses a significant problem for advocates of a second-century date of Daniel:

Actually, the argument based upon the presence of Greek words turns out to be one of the most compelling evidences of all that Daniel could not have been composed as late as the Greek period. By 170 b.c. a Greek-speaking government had been in control of Palestine for 160 years, and Greek political or administrative terms would surely have found their way into the language of the subject populace. The books of Maccabees testify to the very extensive intrusion of Greek culture and Greek customs into the life of the Jews by the first half of the second century, particularly in the big cities. . . . This is especially significant in view of the fact that the Aramaic of Daniel was a linguistic medium which readily absorbed foreign terminology. It includes approximately fifteen words of Persian origin, almost all of which relate to government and politics. It is hard to conceive, therefore, how after Greek had been the language of government for over 160 years, no single Greek term pertaining to politics or administration had ever intruded into Palestinian Aramaic. The same generalization holds good for the Hebrew portions of Daniel as well. . . . [T]he Hebrew chapters contain not a single word of Greek origin.[cxxix]

Thus, as the Hebrew and Aramaic of Daniel supports its sixth-century composition and undermines a second-century date for the book, so the very rare words of Greek origin in the book actually provide further support for its early origin rather than providing a case for a late date.[cxxx]

Anti-supernaturalists also like to argue that Daniel’s references to “Darius the Mede” (Daniel 11:1; 5:31-6:28; 9:1) are references to a mythical figure who the alleged forger of Daniel confused with Darius I Hystaspes (521–486 B. C.). [cxxxi] One anti-supernaturalist writer stated:

Darius the Mede appears therefore to have been the product of . . . the historical confusion of the author’s mind and . . . the fame of the great Darius Hystaspis and . . . induced the Biblical writer to ascribe in a vague way certain events of the life of the former to the reign of the latter. It seems apparent that the interpolation of Darius the Mede must be regarded as the most glaring inaccuracy of the Book of Daniel. In fact, this error of the author alone is proof positive that he must have lived at a very late period, when the record of most of the earlier historical events had become hopelessly confused and perverted.[cxxxii]

However, subsequent evidence makes clear that Darius the Mede[cxxxiii] was a historical person “mentioned in numerous cuneiform texts [who] was appointed by Cyrus as the ‘Governor of Babylon and the Region beyond the River.’”[cxxxiv]

The Nabonidus Chronicle confirms the Biblical account of Darius the Mede.[cxxxv]

His position as a subordinate ruler[cxxxvi] is affirmed in the text of Daniel, which teaches that he received the kingdom from another (Daniel 5:31)[cxxxvii] and was “made king”[cxxxviii] (Dan 9:1).[cxxxix] History demonstrates that Cyrus did not assume the title “King of Babylon” for a period of time, only the title “King of Lands.”[cxl] Thus, “there is too much evidence of him as a person in history . . . to dismiss him as fiction[.] . . .The archaeological information of recent years thoroughly undermines the rationalistic skepticism of the historical existence of Darius the Mede and that he is the result of a confusion.”[cxli] Daniel’s record concerning Darius the Mede is historically accurate.[cxlii]

Anti-supernaturalists have also affirmed that Daniel dated the accession of Nebuchadnezzar to the throne erroneously. Daniel 1:1 states: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.” However, Jeremiah 25:1, 9; 46:2 refer to related events in the “fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.” Consequently, the anti-supernaturalist S. R. Driver argued: “Whether [Daniel 1:1] is historically correct is doubtful. Jehoiakim’s reign lasted eleven years (b. c. 608–597); and the Book of Jeremiah (25:1) equates his fourth year with the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.”[cxliii] However, the discovery that the Babylonians and Judeans employed a different method of reckoning the beginning of a king’s reign eliminates the alleged contradiction. Clear historical evidence demonstrates that when a new king ascended the throne, Judeans reckoned the calendar year in which he assumed power as the first year of his reign, while Babylonians considered the start of the next calendar year to be the first year of a new king’s reign. In other words (using a modern calendar), if a new king ascended to his throne on July 12, 1973, then Judeans would reckon January 1, 1973 as the first year of his reign, while Babylonians would reckon January 1, 1974 as his first year. Waltke explains:

But how can one square the statement in Daniel 1:1 that Nebuchadnezzar in his first year as king besieged Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim with the statement in Jeremiah 25:1, 9; 46:1 that Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Necho in the fourth year of Jehoiakim? . . . Daniel is using the Babylonian system of dating the king’s reign whereas Jeremiah is using the Palestinian system of dating.[cxliv] In Babylonia the year in which the king ascended the throne was designated specifically as “the year of accession to the kingdom,” and this was followed by the first, second, and subsequent years of rule. In Palestine, on the other hand, there was no accession year as such, so that the length of rule was computed differently, with the year of accession being regarded as the first year of the king’s reign. If this plausible explanation is correct, the alleged contradiction actually supports a sixth century date for the book. Had the author Daniel been an unknown Jew of the second century B.C., it is unlikely that he would have followed the obsolete Babylonian chronological system of computation in preference to his own Palestinian method, which had the sanction of so important a personage as the prophet Jeremiah.[cxlv]

Indeed, the author of Daniel is clearly aware of the book of Jeremiah, as the work records Daniel reading the book of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2). The fact that Daniel does not specify the “fourth year” as specifically found in Jeremiah, in accordance with the Judean or Palestinian dating system, but instead speaks of the “third year,” in accordance with the sixth-century Babylonian dating system, is so far from being a contradiction that it provides further corroboration for Daniel’s authorship of the book bearing his name. Would a second-century Jewish forger “have followed the obsolete Babylonian chronological system of computation in preference to his own Palestinian method, which had the sanction of so important a personage as the prophet Jeremiah”?[cxlvi] Certainly not.

Anti-supernaturalists also claim that Daniel’s references to “Chaldeans” both as a nationality (Daniel 5:30; 9:1) and as a class of magicians and ministers of pagan gods (Daniel 2; 3:8; 4:7; 5:7, 11) is a historical blunder that requires a late date for the book.[cxlvii] However, the fifth-century historian Herodotus refers to the Chaldeans as a nationality[cxlviii] and also uses the term for a special class of ministers to pagan deities:

In the Babylonian temple there is another shrine below, where there is a great golden image of Zeus, sitting at a great golden table, and the footstool and the chair are also gold; the gold of the whole was said by the Chaldeans to be eight hundred talents’ weight. Outside the temple is a golden altar. There is also another great altar, on which are sacrificed the full-grown of the flocks; only nurslings may be sacrificed on the golden altar, but on the greater altar the Chaldeans even offer a thousand talents’ weight of frankincense yearly, when they keep the festival of this god; and in the days of Cyrus there was still in this sacred enclosure a statue of solid gold twenty feet high. I myself have not seen it, but I relate what is told by the Chaldeans.[cxlix]

As this quotation demonstrates, Herodotus not only “spoke of the Chaldeans in ethnic terms” and also “recognized their priestly office,” but even explicitly “accepted the fact that certain of their religious procedures went back to at least the time of Cyrus.”[cl] There is no reason whatsoever to think that Daniel could not have employed Chaldean in the dual way that Herodotus employed the word. Wilson concludes:

Summing up, then, the testimony of the ancient classical writers who have written about Babylon, we find that they make a distinction between the Babylonian, or Chaldean, people or peoples on the one hand, and the Chaldean priests or astrologers on the other; and that this distinction is held by them to have existed from the earliest tims to the time in which they respectively wrote. . . . []There is no evidence to show that . . . the author of Daniel . . . does not emply the term . . . “Chaldean” . . . consistently and that it may not have been used in Aramaic as a designation of a class of Babylonian wise men, or priests, as early as the sixth century B. C.[cli]

Daniel’s use of the word Chaldean is entirely consistent with a date for the traditional date of his composition of the book c. 530 B. C.

The arguments against Daniel’s sixth-century authorship of the book bearing his name are weak and unconvincing.[clii] They are fundamentally based upon a faith that God cannot intervene in history and perform miracles. Waltke notes:

But the question naturally arises, If the evidence for a sixth-century date of composition is so certain, why do scholars reject it in favor of an unsupportable Maccabean hypothesis? The reason is that most scholars embrace a liberal, naturalistic, and rationalistic philosophy. Naturalism and rationalism are ultimately based on faith rather than on evidence; therefore, this faith will not allow [its advocates] to accept the supernatural predictions. . . . The committed antisupernaturalist, who can only explain the successful predictions of Daniel as prophecies after the fulfillment . . . is not likely to be swayed by any amount of objective evidence whatever.[cliii]

Opponents of Daniel’s authorship of the book of Daniel do not hold their view because of the evidence but maintain their position because of their anti-Biblical faith and despite the evidence.

 

  1. Unavoidable Predictive Prophecy in Daniel

 

The evidence examined above clearly proves that the book of Daniel is filled with clear predictive prophecies. Many of these prophecies pertain to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. Since Daniel wrote his book in the sixth century B. C., as demonstrated above, the predictions pertaining to these three kingdoms are genuine predictions. Despite the strong evidence for the book’s sixth-century date, anti-supernaturalist critics date Daniel to c. 165 B. C. in order to evade the force of its predictive prophecies. However, even a 165 B. C. date does not eliminate the genuine predictive prophecies in Daniel, because the fourth empire of his visions is Rome, not Greece, and his prophecy of the coming of the Messiah in Daniel 9 cleary was fulfilled after 165 B. C.

A.) Daniel’s Fourth Kingdom: Rome, not Greece

 

To eliminate the predictive character of Daniel’s visions, anti-supernaturalist writers attempt to make the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 and 7 into Babylon, Media, Persia, and Greece[cliv] instead of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Since it is utterly impossible to date Daniel as late as the rise of the Roman empire, Daniel must by no means be allowed to predict the rise of Rome if one is to expunge the miraculous from the book. However, denying the fourth empire is Rome requires a plain distortion of what Daniel itself plainly teaches.

First, Daniel clearly affirms what is also apparent from history, that the world empire following Babylon was a united Medo-Persian kingdom, not an initial Median empire which was swallowed up by a later Persian one. The book states that the Babylonian “kingdom is . . . given to the Medes and Persians” under the sign “Peres” for “Persians” (Dan 5:28),[clv] with the result that “Darius the Mede took the kingdom” (5:31). The “Mede” executes “the law of the Medes and Persians” (6:1, 8, 12, 15), and “kings of Persia” are in the same empire as the “Mede” (11:1, 2). The single empire represented as a “ram . . . having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia” (8:20), which single animal with its “two horns” was defeated by the he goat representing the “king of Grecia” (8:7-8, 21). Other books of the Bible likewise refer to the united realm of “Persia and Media” (Esth 1:3, 14, 18, 19, 10:2). Archer explains:

It is fair to say that the weakest spot in the whole structure of the Maccabean theory is to be found in the identification of the fourth empire predicted in chapter 2. In order to maintain their position, the late-date theorists have to interpret this fourth empire as referring to the kingdom of the Macedonians or Greeks founded by Alexander the Great around 330 B. C. This means that the third empire must be identified with the Persian realm established by Cyrus the Great, and the second empire has to be the short-lived Median power, briefly maintained by the [supposedly] legendary Darius the Mede. According to this interpretation, then, the head of gold in chapter 2 represents the Chaldean empire, the breast of silver the Median empire, the belly and the thighs of brass the Persian empire, and the legs of iron the Greek empire. . . . [T]his identification of the four empires is . . . scarcely tenable in the light of internal evidence. That is to say, the text of Daniel itself gives the strongest indications that the author considered the Medes and Persians as components of the one and same empire, and that despite his designation of King Darius as “the Mede,” he never entertained the notion that there was at any time a separate and distinct Median empire previous to the Persian Empire.

 

In the first place, the symbolism of Dan. 7 precludes the possibility of identifying the second empire as Media and the third empire as Persia. In this chapter, the first kingdom is represented by a lion. (All scholars agree that this represents the Chaldean or Babylonian realm.) The second kingdom appears as a bear devouring three ribs. This would well correspond to the three major conquests of the Medo-Persian empire: Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt (under Cyrus the Great and Cambyses).[clvi] The third empire is represented as a leopard with four wings and four heads. There is no record that the Persian empire was divided into four parts, but it is well known that the empire of Alexander the Great separated into four parts subsequent to his death, namely, Macedon-Greece, Thrace-Asia Minor, the Seleucid empire (including Syria, Babylonia, and Persia), and Egypt. The natural inference, therefore, would be that the leopard represented the Greek empire. The fourth kingdom is presented as a fearsome ten-horned beast, incomparably more powerful than the others and able to devour the whole earth. The ten horns strongly suggest the ten toes of the image described in chapter 2, and it should be noted that these toes are described in chapter 2 as having a close connection with the two legs of iron. The two legs can easily be identified with the Roman empire, which in the time of Diocletian divided into the Eastern and the Western Roman empires. But there is no way in which they can be reconciled with the history of the Greek empire which followed upon Alexander’s death.

 

In Dan. 8 we have further symbolism to aid us in this identification of empires two and three. There a two-horned ram (one horn of which is higher than the other, just as Persia overshadowed Media in Cyrus’s empire) is finally overthrown by a hegoat, who at first shows but one horn (easily identified with Alexander the Great) but subsequently sprouts four horns (i.e., Macedon, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt), out of which there finally develops a little horn, that is, Antiochus Epiphanes. . . . From the standpoint of the symbolism of chapters 2, 7, and 8, therefore, the identification of the four empires with Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome presents a perfect correspondence, whereas the identifications involved in the Maccabean Date Theory present the most formidable discrepancies.[clvii]

Clearly, Daniel identifies the fourth empire as Rome, not Greece.[clviii] Anti-supernaturalists must torture the plain meaning of the text to affirm otherwise.

Furthermore, there was no separately existing Median empire at the time of the conquest of Babylon. On the contrary, the Medes and Persians had been united as a single body for many years when that conquest took place. Anti-supernaturalist commentators allege that Daniel created “a historical inaccuracy . . . by placing the Medes subsequent to the Babylonians and preceding the Persians, whereas historical records make it clear that Media had been absorbed into the Persian empire of Cyrus before the collapse of Babylonia.”[clix] That is:

Vital to this theory, then, is the proposition that the Maccabean author, confused and ill-informed as to the historical situation in the sixth century, supposed incorrectly (1) that it was the Medes and the Medes alone who overthrew the Chaldean Empire in 539; (2) that Darius the Mede was ruler in his own right and sovereign over the entire Middle East and the Near East as well; and (3) that, even though his reign lasted less than two years, his “empire” was put on the same level with the Babylonian Empire, which endured for 67 years, and the Persian Empire, which lasted for over 200 years, and the Greek Empire, which had been going on for over 160 years by the time of the Maccabees. The supposed Median stage could have lasted no more than a year and a half, according to the author of Daniel himself, since he never spoke of a later date than the “first year of Darius son of Xerxes” (9:1). The extremely brief and ephemeral character of this supposed “empire” is a very telling argument in its disfavor. It looks like a desperate evasion of the obvious inference from the text that the four empires represented the series: Chaldean, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman.[clx]

If the plain meaning of Daniel is accepted, then the second empire is Medo-Persia; the last empire is Rome; and there are no historical errors in Daniel’s sequence of events. To eliminate Daniel’s prediction of the Roman Empire, not only must the plain signification of the text be altered, but also historical accuracy must be altered into historical error.

It is not surprising that allusions elsewhere in Scripture identify the final empire of Daniel’s vision as Rome. Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2; and Revelation 12:3; 13:1ff. indicate that the Lord Jesus and the Apostles believed that the final empire spoken of in Daniel was not something that pertains to times of Greek domination in centuries past but to Rome. Early interpreters of Daniel also viewed the fourth empire as Rome. Thus, for example, the Pharisees in both pre-Christian and post-Christian times viewed the fourth empire as Rome.[clxi] Likewise, for “Josephus . . . the 4th kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue vision represented Rome.”[clxii] “Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them,”[clxiii] the ancient Jewish historian stated, as well as evidencing elsewhere his belief that the fourth empire seen by Daniel was Rome.[clxiv] Indeed, that Rome was the fourth empire was the view of pre-Christian Judaism, early post-Christian Judaism, and early Christendom:

On a strict reading of what is known of the history of the ancient Near East the three empires that in turn succeeded the neo-Babylonian would have to be the Persian, Greek (divided after the death of Alexander the Great), and Roman. This interpretation has found wide acceptance among commentators both early and recent. It is to be found consistently in the Talmud (e.g., ‘Abod. Zar. 2b) and among medieval Jewish commentators such as R. Saadiah Gaon, R. Moshe ben Maimon, and R. Moshe ben Nachman. This lead has been followed, in the main, within traditional Judaism. . . . Early Christian exegesis . . . [likewise] identif[ied] . . . the fourth kingdom with the . . . Roman empire.[clxv]

Thus, early Jewish interpretation was clear; and the “evidence in the writings of the Church [writers] is massive and in unison in favor of the Roman view,”[clxvi] also. In contrast, the view that the fourth empire is Greece did not exist for hundreds of years after the composition of Daniel.[clxvii] The reason for the unanimity of the early interpretation of Daniel is that the book plainly identifies Rome as the fourth empire predicted. Even granting the utterly unjustifiable late Maccabean date for the book of Daniel does not expunge predictive prophecy from the inspired work.

Daniel’s prediction of the rise and reign of the Roman empire is undeniable evidence of genuine and supernatural prophecy in Daniel, even on the false and late Maccabean dating of the book. Pusey notes:

Men will hardly turn round and say, that, in the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, it could have been foreseen that the Roman commonwealth, with its annually changing Consuls, would become a kingdom, and that, a kingdom of the world. Men’s consciences will surely hardly allow them. All these various strivings . . . to make the four empires end with Alexander’s successors, bear witness to their conviction, that it was beyond human sagacity, within any time which could be assigned to the book of Daniel, to predict the Roman Empire. Else they would not have invented so many farfetched and contradictory ways of excluding it.

 

But look at [Rome’s] state [in]164 B.C.[,] the year when Antiochus Epiphanes died. A generation only (37 years) had passed since the close of the 2nd Punic war, when the war had been carried to its own gates; Carthage, its rival, still stood over against it. It was felt by Romans to be a formidable foe. Witness the “delenda est Carthago,” [“Carthage must be destroyed”] and the unscrupulous policy adopted in encouraging the aggressions of Masinissa. Enriched by the commerce of the West, Carthage was recovering its resources, and fell through its [internal] divisions. Egypt and Antiochus had lately mustered powerful armies: Perseus, king of Macedonia, had been but recently defeated, and might have repelled the Romans, but for his timidity and avarice. They had defeated Antiochus the Great, and, by their enormous fine for the expenses of the war, had crippled him. But, true to their policy of dividing and conquering, supporting the weak whom they feared not against the strong whom they feared, they had diminished the empires, which were their rivals, by giving a portion of their possessions to the weaker, to be taken at their own will hereafter. Who should foresee that all these nations should remain blinded by their avarice; that common fear should never bind them in one; that they should never see, until their own turn came, that Rome used her instruments successively, and flung each aside, and found some excuse of quarrel against each, as soon as she had gained her end? The absence of any such fear on any side shews how little human wisdom could then foresee the world-empire, which as yet existed only in the embryo; and which the nations, whom Rome in the end subdued, were, in God’s Providence, the unwilling, unconscious, blinded, instruments of forming. To us it seems inconceivable that no experience should have opened men’s eyes, until it was too late. Each helped in turn to roll round the wheel, which crushed himself.

 

Rome had at that time (B.C. 164) no territory East or, except Sicily, South of Italy. Masinissa held the throne of Numidia; Rome had not a foot of ground in Africa. In Spain, she only held so much as had before been in the power of Carthage, the Western and Southern Provinces, now Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, Grenada: two centuries almost elapsed before it was finally reduced. Gaul and Germany were almost unknown countries. Even Cis-Alpine Gaul had not been formally made a Roman Province; Venetia was friendly; Carniola unsubdued; Istria recently subdued; (B.C. 177) Illyricum had been divided into three, yet left nominally free. The Battle of Pydna had destroyed the kingdom of Macedon four years before, (B.C. 168) but it seemed as if Rome knew not how to appropriate territory. It took nothing which it could not at once consolidate. Macedonia was only divided into four independent Republics. The territory which it required Antiochus to cede, it gave to Eumenes: Lycia and Caria, which it took from the Rhodians, it made independent.

 

Such was the impenetrable mask which it wore; everywhere professing to uphold the weak and maintain justice; every where unjust, as soon as the time came; setting free in order to enslave; aiding, in order to oppress. . . .The facts coincide with the instinct of Porphyry and his followers, that no one could have anticipated, in the days of Antiochus, that Rome would become the empress of the world. He then who foretold it must have had, on this ground also, a Divine foreknowledge.[clxviii]

Daniel’s predictions concerning the Roman empire are unavoidable evidence of the ability of the God of the Bible to perform miracles as the living and true Lord of all.

 

B.) Daniel’s 70 weeks Prophecy an Unavoidable Prediction

 

Furthermore, Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks (Daniel 9) cannot be honestly explained away, but constitutes a genuine and clear predictive prophecy. Anti-supernaturalist explanations that somehow attempt to make the prophecy fit a Maccabean context run into insuperable difficulties. Advocates of a Maccabean date for the end of the seventy weeks are divided upon when the prediction begins, upon when it ends, and upon whom it refers to. The prediction is turned into gobbledygook, with no consensus upon anything that it means. For example, one anti-supernaturalist (who totally ignored the Christian interpretation of the passage but examined only anti-supernaturalist interpretations, a practice which is sadly common) wrote:

[T]his leaves the “anointed leader” [KJV, “the Messiah the Prince”; “anointed leader” is a very inferior and biased translation in this passage[clxix]] unidentified, since we know of no particular person who fits this description[.] . . . The problem is further exacerbated by the next phrase in the verse . . . “and sixty-two ‘weeks.’” . . . [S]uch a calculation puts the anointed one in 55 BCE—a year in which no notable “anointed leaders” arose within Jerusalem. We cannot really argue from silence for a prominent leader at this time who is simply unknown to us, because our knowledge of Judah at this time (the Roman era) is quite well-informed. . . . There seems no satisfactory answer to this question. . . . It seems, then, that we are back to “square one”: however we calculate and identify the portions of the seventy “weeks” in the rest of the narrative, we are at an impasse with the first part of it here. Some commentators have recognised this and therefore tried to work through the problem backwards, but with little success. None of the proposed solutions is convincing, unless we allow considerable latitude for inaccuracy in matching the calculations to known events—that is, we think about “ballpark” matches between the numbers and the historical events, rather than specific matches. Such approaches, though, do not really “solve” the problem[.][clxx]

Other anti-supernaturalist commentators make similar statements. Collins argues that readers “should dispel any expectation of exactitude in the calculations” as the decree is connected to things “fictional.” Seow states: “The years are symbolic and, at best, only approximate historical periods. They are probably not literal and precise years.”[clxxi] Such conclusions are contrary to the plain indication of the context that specific years with a specific starting and ending point are in view:

[T]hose who argue for a symbolic understanding of the seventy weeks of years are overlooking the obvious. Daniel’s prayerful confession and plea on behalf of the nation in Daniel 9 began with his reading Jeremiah 25:11–12 and 29:10 that the nation’s exile in and servitude to Babylon would end after seventy years (not after 490 years) and the Babylonian king would be punished. Judah lost her independence in 609 B.C. when Pharaoh Neco II of Egypt killed King Josiah and Judah became a vassal state of Egypt, only to be made a vassal state of Babylon four years later. In 539 B.C.— seventy years later—Babylon was overthrown, and the prophecy of Jeremiah was literally fulfilled. Daniel hoped that Jerusalem’s desolations would be complete with Babylon’s downfall, but the Lord showed him that seventy sevens of years would still be needed for her desolations to be fulfilled. Since the latter was established on a foundation of seventy literal years, logically the extended period should be viewed as literal as well.[clxxii]

Furthermore, every system of interpretation of Daniel’s seventy-week prophecy prior to A. D. 70—Hellenistic, Essene, Pharisaic, and all others—viewed the weeks as a literal period of 490 years.[clxxiii] What is more, those living in the first century expected the fulfillment of the prediction of Daniel nine in their time.[clxxiv] The Talmud continued the earlier Jewish view that the Messiah would come during the time of Daniel’s fourth empire, Rome: “The son of David will come . . . when the evil kingdom of Rome will overspread the entire world. . . . [and the] son of David will come . . . when the monarchy [of Rome] will spread over Israel.”[clxxv] It recognizes that Daniel “contains the time of the Messiah”[clxxvi] in his prediction in chapter nine. Every ancient interpretation of Daniel 9’s prophecy, whether Zealot, “Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, and early Christian . . . aim[ed] at precision . . . trying to achieve exactness,” with “many Jewish and Christian interpretations” believing that the prophecy would be fulfilled around the time that the Lord Jesus actually fulfilled it, even if “inadequate chronological information” prevented them from determining every detail perfectly. What is more, the Jews living in the Maccabean period “did not regard [Daniel 9] as a fulfilled prophecy” pertaining to their own time “but as one yet to be fulfilled . . . relate[d] to . . . the Davidic Messiah.”[clxxvii] Thus:

There is strong evidence to show that the Essenes, the Pharisees, and the Zealots all thought that they could date . . . the time when the Son of David would come, and that in each case their calculations were based upon Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24-27), understood as 70 weeks of yaers. The later attempts of the Christian Fathers to show that this prophecy was fulfiled by the coming of Christ, and accord with the time at which He came, had therefore a considerable tradition behind them.[clxxviii]

Many first-century Jews likewise recognized that the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans—the people of the fourth world empire of Daniel—was a fulfillment of Daniel 9:26: “The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” As the Romans surrounded Jerusalem before its fall in A. D. 70, the bitter lament arose: “[W]ho is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them,—and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city[?] . . . It is God therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.”[clxxix] Jerusalem and its temple were only “destroyed”[clxxx] twice in Old Testament history—at the time of the original exile in 586 B. C. and in A. D. 70. Nothing like this happened in the Maccabean era. Thus, one has two options when approaching the prophecy of Daniel 9. Out of an unshakeable and blind faith in absolute naturalism and the impossibility of miracles, one can allegorize the passage, conclude that the prophecy has no clear starting date, no clear ending date, no clear reference to any particular person, and, indeed, no significant meaning at all. Alternatively, one can take the passage literally, in which case its timeline begins at an actual decree issued in 444 B. C. and continues to the actual year and even the actual day that the Lord Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah in Jerusalem in A. D. 33, as well as the Messiah’s substitutionary death shortly afterwards, followed by the predicted destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A. D. 70. That the latter is the correct option is obvious. Daniel 9 constitutes a clear and astonishingly specific instance of genuine predictive prophecy that even the anti-supernaturalist Maccabean dating system for the book cannot explain away.

Since Daniel clearly predicted both the Roman empire and the coming of the Messiah, even the anti-supernaturalist Maccabean dating system for the book does not explain away its clear and specific predictive prophecies. This fact validates that the God of the Bible is the living God. Therefore, His statements must be heeded: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: . . . yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:9-11).

 

  1. Conclusion: The Bible: A Supernatural Book—

The Meaning for You

 

In the book of Daniel, the God of the Bible has provided overwhelming evidence that He is the true God by predicting the future. Composed around 530 B. C, Daniel chapters two, seven, and eight predicted the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires with a significant amount of detail. In chapter eleven, the future history of Israel from the prophet Daniel’s day to the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes c. 165 B. C. is foreseen in breathtaking specificity. Then, in chapter nine, Daniel predicts the exact year and day of Jesus Christ’s presentation of Himself to Israel as the Messiah on March 30, A. D. 33, His subsequent death for the sins of the world, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A. D. 70 by the Romans. The Bible claims to be the Word of God, as much as if God Himself spoke directly, and it powerfully validates its claim through the prophecies of the book of Daniel. Furthermore, we have considered the prophetic content of only one book of the Bible; the Scriptures contain hundreds of other prophecies of similar power that validate its inspiration.[clxxxi] The God of the Bible says, “I am God, and there is none like me,” and He “declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:9-10); but no other religion, nor any other book that claims to be from God, has anything comparable to Biblical prophecy. The writings of Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Nostradamus, all western philosophers and eastern teachers, and every other religious and secular book whatever, contain nothing like the specific, detailed, and clear predictive prophecies of the Bible. Only the Bible is the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19). Since it is the Word of God, its prophecies concerning events still future are also infallibly sure. Daniel 12:2 predicts that a time is coming when those that “sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” You will either be one who has everlasting life or one who receives everlasting contempt. Thankfully, the Bible says that “ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13) and are in fellowship with God! You need to know four things:

 

A.) You are a Sinner

 

God’s standard is “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Mattthew 5:48), but you have fallen miserably short of His holy glory. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12). You can say, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5), since you sinned in the first man, Adam (Romans 5:12-19), and possess a “heart [that] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Your corrupt nature makes you “as an unclean thing, and all [your] righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). It only takes one sin to keep you out of God’s presence: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10), but you have committed numberless sins, every one of which is written down in God’s books (Revelation 20:11-15). The Lord Jesus Christ said that unjust anger is murder (Matthew 5:21-22), and a lustful thought is adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), so you are a murderer and an adulterer. You have lied (Proverbs 6:16), been proud (Proverbs 6:16-19), bitter (Romans 3:14), unthankful (2 Timothy 3:2), covetous (2 Timothy 3:2), and hypocritical (Isaiah 33:14). You have broken the greatest commandment of all: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Indeed, until you are born again, you “cannot please God” (Romans 8:8) in any way, but are “defiled and unbelieving” with “nothing pure; but even [your] mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). This very moment, “the wrath of God abideth” on you (John 3:36). You are “condemned already” (John 3:18). You “have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

 

B.) You Deserve a Penalty for Sin

 

God’s law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). You have not continuously and perfectly obeyed, so you are cursed. Since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), you are subject to both physical death, the separation of the soul and spirit from the body (Hebrews 9:27), and to spiritual death, the separation of a person from God. You are currently “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), your “damnation is just” (Romans 3:8), and you are consequently headed for the second death, eternal separation from God in the lake of fire: “This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15). In the lake of fire you “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and [you] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of [your] torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and [you] have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:10-11). The question arises: “How can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33).

 

C.) Jesus Christ Died for You

 

Jesus Christ is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). The Son of God, who existed from eternity past with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the three eternal Persons of the one and only true God (1 John 5:7), united to Himself a human nature, so that, although He was still 100% God, He became 100% Man as well. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross, where His Father “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He then rose bodily from the grave and ascended to heaven, from whence He will soon return to judge the world. On the cross God laid your transgressions upon His Son, who suffered to pay your sin debt. The law demands perfect righteousness for entry into heaven, but Christ died as your Substitute so that His death and shed blood could pay for your sin, and you could have His righteousness put to your account and be counted righteous in God’s sight for the Savior’s sake. You can be saved—not through your own works, but through His work; not by your attempts to obey the law, but His perfect obedience to it and death to satisfy it. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but [made alive] by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Since by “one offering he hath perfected for ever” those that are washed in His blood (Hebrews 10:14), there is nothing that you can do to save yourself, or to keep yourself saved. “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9).

 

D.) You Must Believe in Jesus Christ

 

To have the Lord Jesus’ blood wash away your sins, you must place your faith in Him. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Saving faith in Jesus Christ involves:

 

a.) Repentance. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die[?]” (Ezekiel 33:11). In repentance, you agree with God that you are as bad as the Bible says you are, that you are headed to hell and deserve it for your sins, and you turn from your sins to submit unconditionally to God as your Lord. Jesus Christ said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life [wants to live his own way and will not turn to God’s way] shall lose it [in hell]; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:34-36).

 

b.) Trust in the Lord Jesus alone to save. You do not believe on Jesus Christ for salvation if you think that any good deed you have done, are doing, or will do helps save you, or if you believe that any religious ritual, such as baptism or communion, has a particle to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace [undeserved favor] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” If salvation is “by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6). “[T]o him that worketh not, but believeth on [Jesus Christ] that justifieth [declares righteous] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Saving faith is also not just mental assent to facts, and nobody can say that he has always believed in Christ. You must come to a specific point in your life where you see yourself as a lost, helpless sinner, you turn from your sins, and you trust solely in the Lord Jesus for eternal life. You must forsake all confidence in your supposed goodness and your religious rituals and place your confidence in the Savior’s blood and righteousness alone.

If you will come to Jesus Christ for salvation, He will keep you saved; no one who has ever truly believed in Him can perish (Romans 8:28-39). Once you are saved, you are always saved, both from sin’s penalty, eternal damnation, and from sin’s power: “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you will repent and believe in Him, he promises you everlasting life with Him in heaven upon His return or your death, and a holy life on earth now, freed from the bondage of sin.

You need to receive Jesus Christ immediately to save you from your sin. He promises, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Turn to Him today—tomorrow it may be too late. “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). Remember that God promises that “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge [you] in the last day” (John 12:48).

 

VII. Appendix: A Technical Linguistic Justification of the Translation of Daniel 9:24-27 in the Authorized Version (KJV) and of Related Questions Pertaining to the Coming of Messiah Jesus in A. D. 33.

 

Note: the material in the section below is technical and may be difficult to understand for readers that do not know Hebrew. Such readers should simply recognize that the King James Version is correct in its translation of this prophecy and all the other prophecies of Daniel and proceed to the section that follows this one.

 

1.) Is the KJV correct in translating “seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,” or should the verse really read “seven weeks; and for sixty two weeks”?

a.) To divide the weeks changes the Hebrew. To say “and for sixty-two weeks” is to add to Scripture. The word “for” is not there. The only thing dividing the seven weeks and the sixty two weeks is ◊w, meaning “and.”

b.) One might object that the word “for” needs to be added one and the sets of weeks divided, despite the fact that the word is not there, because a disjunctive Hebrew accent (of which there are a variety in every verse in the Bible), the athnach, underlies the word “seven” (h¡DoVbIv) in “seven weeks” (Heb. “weeks seven”). However, this conclusion does not follow.

i.) Ancient translations, such as the LXX, Theodotion, the Syriac, and the Vulgate all make the sixty-nine weeks continuous. The large majority of modern Bible versions also make the sixty-nine weeks continuous. To assert that in the Greek Old Testament (LXX), centuries before the Lord Jesus was born, people mistranslated Daniel 9 to make the passage a prophecy about Him is ridiculous. To assert that the body of ancient versions and modern translations all incorrectly translate the passage is an amazing assertion of universal mistranslation among those who disagree with each other on all kinds of theological issues and certainly did not get together to form some sort of conspiracy to mistranslate Daniel 9. The minority of modern versions that mistranslate the passage in question and make the seven weeks non-continuous with the sixty two weeks generally do so because they want to destroy this Messianic prophecy, not because of the necessities of Hebrew grammar.

ii.) An athnach is sometimes present where one would not normally expect it. In the words of William Wickes’s standard work in English on the Hebrew accents:

In cases of specification, we often find the proper logical or syntactical division—particularly the latter—neglected, and the main musical pause introduced between the details or particulars given. Distinctness of enunciation, and emphasis (where necessary), were thus secured. The pause was introduced where it seemed likely to be most effective. Thus the logical division is disregarded[.] . . . Syntactical clauses are treated in the same way, and subject, object, &c. are cut in two—or members that belong together, separated—by the dichotomy. (A logical pause may occur in the verse or not).[clxxxii]

A number of instances of the phenomena described above can be adduced. For example, Wickes cites Numbers 28:19: “And ye shall offer a burnt-offering unto the LORD, two young bullocks and one ram (athnach), and seven he-lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish.” See also Genesis 7:13; 25:20; Exodus 35:23; Leviticus 16:2; Isaiah 49:21; 66:19. To try to use the athnach in Daniel 9:25 against the translation of the KJV is unjustified. Compare also the statement of a standard Hebrew grammar:

At the same time it must not be forgotten that the value of the accent as a mark of punctuation is always relative; thus, e. g., athnach as regards the logical structure of the sentence may at one time indicate a very important break (as in Gen 1:4); at another, one which is almost imperceptible (as in Gen 1:1).[clxxxiii]

Note that in Genesis 1:1 the athnach is under Elohim (God) and does not even receive a comma in the English text!

c.) Detaching the seven weeks from the sixty-two weeks is nonsensical. Such a division would mean that it took 434 years to build the “street . . . and the wall” (9:25), which does not fit history and demolishes the context.

d.) The city and the sanctuary were to be destroyed in the generation when the Messiah was cut off, but not for Himself; however, nothing in history even comes close to making sense of this fact if one divides the seven from the sixty two weeks.

e.) The first seven weeks, or 49 years, are probably set apart because it actually took that long to restore Jerusalem from being a ruin to being a thriving city. This fact would also justify the mention of rebuilding the “street” alongside the wall. The word “street” (bOj√r) has special reference to breadth, and so a wide street, marketplace, or other place of similar concourse would be in view, implying a restoration of the city to her former state.

f.) It is very difficult to make the text mean anything at all if one detaches the seven weeks from the sixty-two weeks. The main reason one would divide the passage in this manner would be to try desperately to avoid the Messianic conclusion intended by Daniel. Hebrew grammar or the plain meaning of the context will not stop such a person.

 

2.) Does the passage refer to two anointed ones, or to One, who is the Messiah the Prince?

a.) Since the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks form one period, not two, the possibility of a difference between the Messiah/Anointed One of v. 25 and the Messiah/Anointed One of v. 26 is eliminated.

b.) It is plain in context that the Anointed One/Messiah of v. 25 and of v. 26 is the same person. To deny this fact makes no sense at all, charges Daniel with error, and demolishes history. The only reason one would cut the verses in pieces like this would be if he wished to avoid the Messianic conclusion, which the God of Israel revealed through the prophet Daniel. Those who try to make the Anointed One/Messiah of v. 25 different from the One of v. 26 have been unsuccessful in their attempts to interpret the entire passage reasonably.

c.) Ancient Jewish exegesis and the Greek translation of Daniel 9 in the LXX and the other early Greek translations uniformly support the identity of the Anointed One of v. 25 and v. 26.

d.) “The Messiah the Prince” is a better translation than “an anointed one, a prince” in Daniel 9:24-27 for the following reasons:

i.) The word “Messiah” means “anointed one.” The Messiah is a very special Anointed One prefigured by the others who bore this title. The priests were “anointed” because they foreshadowed Jesus Christ, the Anointed One or Messiah; David also typified Him, as did Solomon and others. 1 Samuel 2:10, 35; Psalm 2:2, etc. also refer to Jesus as the Anointed or the Messiah. For example, in Psalm 2, the Anointed One must be the Messiah, and not just King David, because all the unconverted and wicked men and their kings do not take counsel against David, nor are they under his “bands” and “cords” (v. 1-3), but the wicked and their kings are certainly are united against the Lord and His Messiah, and they are under His “bands” and “cords.” King David neither asked for nor received “the uttermost parts of the earth” for his possession (v. 8); but the Messiah, the Son of God in Psalm 2 (cf. Daniel 3:25), will. Nor did David break with a rod of iron and dash in pieces like a potter’s vessel nations that he never conquered at the uttermost parts of the earth (v. 9). Nor is it true that all the kings of the earth needed to tremble before David, and “Kiss the Son, let He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little” (v. 12). Most of the kings of the earth had no idea who David was—what was he, for example, to the king of Japan? Such kings certainly did not need to worry that they would perish if they kindled David’s wrath but a little. But all the kings of the earth do need to fear the Son of God, the Messiah. Furthermore, “blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (v. 12) is ridiculous if it were to refer to David. The Bible consistently teaches that people should not trust in fallible men, but in the Lord their God. How could all be blessed by trusting in David? Such a notion would contradict the rest of the Bible. However, both the Old and New Testaments teach salvation by trusting in the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah. All who trust in Him are blessed, for they are saved by faith alone, not by works, just as Abraham was saved by faith alone (Genesis 15:6), not by works. Clearly the word anointed in Scripture can refer to the Great Anointed One, the Messiah. Such a reference in Daniel 9:25-26 is clear from the associated word “Prince.” This title refers to Christ, the Son of David, in Isaiah 55:4 (KJV “leader”), as well. Daniel 9:25 is the only place where the words “Anointed One/Messiah” and “Prince/Ruler” are found together and used of the same individual. The passage does not refer to any old anointed one; it speaks of the Messiah, the Prince.

ii.) “The Messiah, the Prince” is a better translation than “an anointed one, a prince.” Hebrew does not have a definite and an indefinite article; it simply has an article, h. The use of this article usually means nouns are definite, and dyYˆgÎn Ajy∞IvDm does indeed lack the article. However, to equate non-articularity and indefiniteness is to misunderstand Hebrew grammar. If it were an invalid adding of words to the passage to say “the” Messiah, “the” Prince, it would also be adding words to say “an” Anointed One, “a” Prince, for Hebrew has no indefinite article to correspond to the words “a/an,” and so such an article is obviously absent from the text. The lack of the h does not necessarily mean that the words are indefinite; indeed, since a noun without an article “is definite if it is definite in itself, [like] . . . a title . . . [or] a common noun that has acquired the value of a proper noun,”[clxxxiv] the requirements of grammar make the translation “the Messiah the Prince” far superior to “an anointed one, a prince” here. The phrase is a title, and the word mashiach is a common noun that acquires the value of a proper noun. Compare “Omri, the captain of the host” (1 Kings 16:16, aªDbDx_rAc y°îrVmDo), where neither “captain” nor “host” have a h to indicate they are definite, but their status as titles makes them so. See also 1 Samuel 2:8, “the world,” for an instance of a common noun made definite because of its acquisition of proper noun value, despite the lack of a h. To say that the KJV is in error in its translation in Daniel 9:25-26 is either to indicate a lack of understanding of Biblical Hebrew or to be intentionally dishonest with the text.

 

3.) Who are “the people of the prince that shall come?”

The people are the Romans, the fourth empire of Daniel 2 & 7, and the prince is the coming Antichrist. The “prince that shall come” of v. 26 is the one who confirms the covenant in v. 27. It is not Jesus Christ, and cannot be any other good man, because his people destroy Jerusalem and the sanctuary. It is not Christ, because he never “confirmed” an already-existing covenant, nor did He ever break such a covenant. Furthermore, while His death did render animal sacrifices inoperative, it did not cause them to cease immediately: men continued to sacrifice until Jerusalem was destroyed in A. D. 70. The one in view in v. 27 causes the sacrifices to cease in the midst of the seventieth week. The person in view in Daniel 9:27 correlates very well with the wicked person of Daniel 7:25, who there “changes times and laws” for “a time and times and the dividing of time”—that is, for a year, two years, and half a year (or 3 1/2 years)—exactly the same length of time as the one in Daniel 9:27, who changes times and laws by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease. (Half a “week” of seven years is also 3 1/2 years.) Notice also Daniel 12:7, which describes the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week as “a time, times, and an half,” and further indicates that this time period will be associated with a general bodily resurrection (Daniel 12:2)—an event certainly yet future!

 

4.) Is there a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel 9?

            It is necessary that a gap exists between the end of the 69th week and the commencement of the 70th week in Daniel 9. First, both the city and sanctuary are destroyed after the 69th week, but they are around again in the 70th week (v. 27). Second, the text records a great deal between the last mention of the 69th week and the first mention of the 70th week. Third, v. 24, which states what will happen at the end of the 70 weeks, is clearly yet future. Jews and Jerusalem still sin, so the transgression is not yet finished. Permanent reconciliation for iniquity has not yet occurred. Sins are not yet brought to an end. The world is obviously not ruled by an everlasting righteousness. All vision and prophecy in Daniel (and elsewhere) has not yet been “sealed up,” brought to an “end,” or fulfilled. (The verb MAtDj appears in Daniel only in 9:24 and 12:4, 9. In 12:4, 9 and one of the uses in 9:24 it is translated by a form of “seal” or “sealed up,” and in its other use in 9:24 it is rendered “end.”). Furthermore, the Most Holy Place in the Temple is certainly not anointed (since there is no temple yet at all, nor will the Shekinah glory enter there again until the Messiah’s Millennial kingdom [cf. Ezekiel 43:1-4; 40-48]). Finally, the Messiah is cut off “after” the sixty-ninth week, not “during” the seventieth week, providing even more proof that a gap is present.

 

VIII. Recommended Sources for Further Reading and Bibliography

 

A.) Recommended Sources for Further Reading

 

The sources in the divisions below are arranged in the order in which most readers would do best to read them, rather than being arranged alphabetically. Sources that can be accessed on the Internet for free have often been preferred. The other works can also be obtained for free in the United States by anyone who can join a local public library. Simply call or visit the library, state that you would like to obtain a book by means of Interlibrary Loan, and provide the bibliographical information for that work. The library will obtain it for you, and you will be able to borrow it and read it for free. Brief biographical information is also provided about authors of the recommended works.

 

Verse-by-Verse Commentaries on the Book of Daniel

 

Walvoord, John F., Daniel:  The Key to Prophetic Revelation.  Chicago, IL:  Moody Press, 1989 & Galaxie Software, 2008.

 

This work, a very solid introductory commentary on Daniel, is available free online at http://faithsaves.net/commentaries/.

 

            Dr. Walvoord, author of over 30 books and president of the Dallas Theological Seminary from 1952 to 1986, earned A. B. and D. D. degrees from Wheaton College, an A. M. from Texas Christian University in Philosophy, a Th. B., Th. M. and Th. D. in Systematic Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Litt. D. from Liberty Baptist Seminary.

 

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985.

 

            Gleason Archer earned a B. A., M. A., and Ph.D. in Classics from Harvard University, an L. L. B. from Suffolk Law School, and a B. D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as a Professor of Biblical Languages and Dean at Fuller Theological Seminary for seventeen years and as a Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for 21 years. He taught Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Akkadian, Egyptian, and Syriac, and was fluent in approximately thirty languages.

 

Miller, Stephen R., Daniel, Vol. 18, The New American Commentary. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994.

 

            Stephen Miller earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Union University and both a Th. M. and Ph. D. at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, where he now serves as the chairman of the Old Testament/Hebrew Department and where he is the Dean of the Doctor of Philosophy program.

 

Background to the Book of Daniel and Sources Defending its Authenticity

 

Waltke, Bruce, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 133 (1976) 319-326.

 

This article is available for free online at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

 

            Bruce Waltke earned a B. A. from Houghton College, a Th. M. and Th. D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph. D. from Harvard University. His doctorate at Dallas was in Greek and New Testament, and his doctorate at Harvard was in ancient Near Eastern languages and literature. He has held professorships in Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, Regent College, Westminster Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Knox Theological Seminary. He has written many scholarly books and served as a director for a number of archaeological investigations.

 

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 136:542 [April 1979] 129-147.

 

A fine survey and refutation of anti-supernaturalist views of Daniel.

 

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed.  Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1994.

 

This book is one of the best overall introductions to the Old Testament, with careful and scholarly defenses of the historicity of each book of the Hebrew Scriptures, including the book of Daniel.

 

Harrison, Roland K., Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1969.

 

This work is another worthwhile introduction to the Old Testament and defense of Biblical historicity.

 

Roland K. Harrison earned a B. D., Th. M., and Ph. D. at the University of London. After teaching at Clifton College, Bristol, he became Professor of Old Testament at Huron College, University of Western Ontario, and then Professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. The author of many books, he has been called one of the most competent Old Testament scholars of his day.

 

Wilson, Robert Dick, Studies in the Book of Daniel:  A Discussion of the Historical Questions, 2 Vol. New York, NY:  G. P. Putnam, 1917.

 

This work is available for free at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/. It is extremely detailed and thorough, representing some of the best scholarship of its day. Because of its detail, it is an advanced resource, not an introductory work.

 

            Robert Dick Wilson completed his undergraduate work at Princeton at the age of twenty. After studying at Western Theological Seminary and the University of Berlin, he proceeded to earn his Ph. D. from Princeton University. He then engaged in post-doctoral studies at the University of Berlin. He also received a D. D. from Lafayette College and an LL. D. from Wooster College. He became Professor of Semitic Philology and Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary before moving to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he taught for nearly three decades. He spent his final years teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary. He mastered Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, Latin, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and many other languages—a total of 26 in all. At the age of 25, he undertook the following program of study:

I decided that I would give my life . . . [to] the Old Testament. . . . I felt I might reasonably live till I was 70, so I divided my life into periods of 15 years. I gave myself the first 15 years to study languages . . . I would learn all the Semitic languages, every language which threw light on the vocabulary or the syntax of the Old Testament. Of course, I did already know Syriac, and Aramaic, and Hebrew, but there was Ethiopic and Phoenician and Babylonian, and Assyrian, and a number of others—about twelve different Aramaic dialects. Secondly, I would learn all languages that threw light on the history of the Old Testament, taking in Egyptian, Coptic, and others. Then, thirdly, I would learn all languages that threw light on the text of the Old Testament, down to the year 600 after Christ . . . that took me into Armenian and several other languages, Gothic, and Anglo-Saxon, etc. . . . The second part of my life I would devote to . . . studying the text of the Old Testament, the comparison of the Hebrew text with the Versions, Greek, Latin, Syriac, especially, and all the versions down to 600. . . . The last 15 years, after which I had acquianted myself with all the machinery, I would tackle the subject which is called the [anti-supernaturalist] Higher Criticism of the Old Testament, including all that the critics have said, and so be able by that time to defend the history, the veracity of the Old Testament.[clxxxv]

After many years of the highest level of scholarly research, what was Dr. Wilson’s conclusion? “The evidence in our possession has convinced me that . . . the OT in Hebrew [is] . . . immediately inspired by God . . . [and] by his singular care and providence [has] been kept pure in all ages . . . no one . . . [can] show that the Old Testament . . . is not true.”[clxxxvi] “I can tell you . . . with the fullest assurance that ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so.’”[clxxxvii]

 

Pusey, Edward B., Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes. Oxford: John Henry & James Parker; Rivingtons, 1864.

 

This advanced work also available for free online at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/. Even the most virulent of anti-supernaturalist Bible critics such as S. R. Driver admitted that “E. B. Pusey[’s] . . . Daniel the Prophet . . . [is] extremely learned and thorough.”[clxxxviii]

 

Dr. Pusey studied at Oxford, Göttingen, and Berlin. An extremely capable linguist and scholar, he was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford for 54 years.

 

Hengstenberg, Ernst Wilhelm, Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel.  Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1848.

 

This advanced work is also available for free online at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

 

Ernst W. Hengstenberg, a master philologist and scholar, received his doctorate from the Univesrity of Berlin, where he taught for many years.

 

Material specifically on Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks (Daniel 9)

 

Hoehner, Harold W., Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977.

 

While Hoehner’s entire book is not available online, the chapter of his book on Daniel’s 70 weeks is substantially reproduced from the article Harold W. Hoehner, “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, part 6: Daniel’s seventy weeks and New Testament Chronology,” Bibliotheca Sacra 132 (Jan-March 1975) 47-65, which is available for free online at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

 

            Harold Hoeher received a Th. M. and Th. D. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Ph. D. from Cambridge University. He engaged in postdoctoral studies at Tübingen University and Cambridge University. He joined the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary in 1955 and directed the seminary’s doctoral program from 1975 to 2002. He wrote many scholarly articles and several books.

 

Anderson, Robert, The Coming Prince. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2008 (repr. ed.)

 

This classic and detailed examination of Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks by theologian and lawyer Sir Robert Anderson explicates the compelling evidence that Daniel predicted the exact year and day upon which Christ presented Himself as the Messiah to Israel. It is available free online at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/. Hoehner’s analysis above, a more recent work, incorporates important discoveries made after Anderson’s original publication of his book in 1881.

 

Debates

 

“The Old Testament is Mainly Fiction, not Fact” (Dan Barker, Affirm; Thomas Ross, Deny) & “Prophecy and Archaeology Validate the Bible as the Word of God” (Thomas Ross, Affirm; Dan Barker, Deny). Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/.

 

Dan Barker is the president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the largest atheist organization in the United States. Thomas Ross (B. A., University of California, Berkeley; M. A., Fairhaven Bapitst College; M. Div., Great Plains Baptist Divinity School; Th. M., Anchor Baptist Theological Seminary, Ph. D. (cand.), Great Plains Baptist Divinity School) has taught at several independent Baptist seminaries and other educational institutions. He is the author of this composition, and he employed many arguments expounded in this work in his debates with Mr. Barker.

 

“Was Jesus a Myth?” (Dan Barker Affirm; James White, Deny). Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

Dr. White received a B. A. from Grand Canyon College, an M. A. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Th. M., D. Min, and Th. D. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary, where he serves as a faculty mentor.

 

Material on Other Clear Predictive Prophecies in the Bible

 

Ross, Thomas, Archaeology, History, and the Bible. Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net.

 

In addition to extensive material on archaeology and ancient history, both Messianic prophecy and other clear prophetic evidence for the Bible as the Word of God is examined in this composition, which is available for free online.

 

Ross, Thomas, “Truth from the Torah, Nevi’im, and Kethuvim [the Law, Prophets, and Writings].”

 

An introductory discussion of many of the Messianic prophecies of Scripture, available free online at http://faithsaves.net/Messiah-truth/.

 

Hengstenberg, Ernst Wilhelm, Christology of the Old Testament.  Mac Dill, FL: MacDonald Publishing, n. d.

 

An extremely detailed and careful analysis of many of the Old Testament’s Messianic prophecies, available free online at http://faithsaves.net/theology-proper-christology-and-pneumatology/.

 

The Bible and Archaeology

 

Ross, Thomas, Archaeology, History, and the Bible. Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net.

 

An introductory survey of the evidence supplied by archaeology and ancient historical documents for the accuracy of the Bible. The book is available for free online.

 

Cloud, David, Bible Times and Ancient Kingdoms: Treasures from Archaeology. London, Ontario: Way of Life Literature, 2014.

 

An easy-to-understand introductory examination of Biblical archaeology.

 

Free, Joseph P., rev. Howard F. Vos, Archaeology and Bible History.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1992.

 

This composition by Free and Vos is more detailed and technical than Cloud’s work but less so than Kenneth Kitchen’s work.

 

Joseph Free (B. A., M. A., Ph. D., Princeton University) engaged in post-doctoral studies at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago for 8 years following his receipt of his Ph. D. He was Professor of Archaeology at Wheaton College for 32 years and the director of the Archaeology program for 23 years. He also taught at Bemidji State College for 8 years. He also founded the Near East Archaelogical Society, engaged in very extensive archaeological excavations in the Holy Land, and served as Director of the Near East School of Archaeology on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. His testimony, after many years of study, was: “My position is that of the Bible believer. Although in college days I came to the place where I wondered whether God existed, I now hold to the historic and traditional position of the Christian church . . . because I became convinced that it is true. The evidences from archaeology, fulfilled prophecy, Christian experience, and many other areas left me with no other choice than to acknowledge the Bible as the Word of God in the most complete sense.”[clxxxix]

 

Kitchen, Kenneth A., Ancient Orient and Old Testament. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1966.

 

This work is an advanced scholarly study of the subject of the reliability of the Old Testament. It is available free online at http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/. The book below by Dr. Kitchen is more up-to-date, but it is not available for free online.

 

Kitchen, Kenneth A., On the Reliability of the Old Testament.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006.

 

This work by Dr. Kitchen is an advanced scholarly study of the subject.

 

Dr. Kitchen was Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics, and Oriental Studies, University of Liverpool, England. The author of over 250 books and journal articles, he is one of the leading Egyptologists of modern times. Concerning the historical reliability of the Bible, he wrote:

On the independent evidence from antiquity itself, we may safely deliver a firm “No” to [the] question . . . [of] whether or not . . . the Hebrew Bible . . . [is] pure fiction, unrelated to the world of the Near East in circa 2000–400 b.c. . . . What can be said of historical reliability? Here our answer—on the evidence available—is . . . positive. The periods most in the glare of contemporary documents—the divided monarchy and the exile and return—show a very high level of direct correlation (where adequate data exist) and of reliability. That fact should be graciously accepted by all, regardless of personal starting point, and with the firm exclusion of alien, hence irrelevant, modern “agendas.” When we go back (before ca. 1000) to periods when inscriptional mentions of a then-obscure tribal community and its antecedent families (and founding family) simply cannot be expected a priori, then chronologically typological comparisons of the biblical and external phenomena show clearly that the Hebrew founders bear the marks of reality and of a definite period. The same applies to the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt and appearance in Canaan . . . [and the] Sinai covenant (all three versions, Deuteronomy included)[.] . . . The phenomena of the united monarchy fit well into what we know of the period and of ancient royal usages. The primeval protohistory embodies early popular tradition going very far back, and is set in an early format. Thus we have a consistent level of good, fact-based correlations right through from circa 2000 b.c. (with earlier roots) down to 400 b.c. In terms of general reliability—and much more could have been instanced than there was room for here—the Old Testament comes out remarkably well, so long as its writings and writers are treated fairly and evenhandedly, in line with independent data, open to all. . . . Let us agree, at last, quietly to part with imaginary and outdated evolutionary schemes [those of anti-supernaturalist theories of the Old Testament] and give them decent and final burial.[cxc]

 

General Material on the Defense of Christianity

 

Cloud, David, An Unshakeable Faith: A Christian Apologetics Course. Port Huron, MI: Way of Life, 2001.

 

An easy-to-understand introduction to the evidences for Christianity.

 

Geisler, Norman L. ed., Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999.

 

This book is a valuable survey of many topics in the case for Christianity. There are many, many books on the subject; the articles in this Encyclopedia each contain a bibliography for those who desire to investigate further. The article “The Argument Against Miracles” has been reproduced by permission at http://faithsaves.net/argument-against-miracles/.

 

Norman Geisler (B. A., M. A., Wheaton College; Th. B., William Tyndale College; Ph. D., Loyola University) has taught at Wheaton College, Detroit Bible College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Dallas Theological Seminary. He was the dean of the Liberty Center for Research and Scholarship before co-founding Southern Evangelical Seminary, where he served for a number of years until he became the Chancellor of Veritas Evangelical Seminary. He has written over 100 books.

 

Answers to Alleged Bible Contradictions

 

“Answering Alleged Bible Contradictions and Difficulties,” http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

 

A basic overview available free on the Internet.

 

Cloud, David, Things Hard to be Understood: A Handbook of Biblical Difficulties. Port Huron, MI: Way of Life Literature, 2015.

 

A valuable overview of many of the alleged contradictions and problems in the Bible, demonstrating the consistency and non-contradictory nature of Biblical Christianity.

 

Archer, Gleason L., New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982.

 

A third useful work on this topic.

 

B.) Bibliography

 

 

Albright, William F., “The Date and Personality of the Chronicler.” Journal of Biblical Literature, XL (1921) 104-124.

 

Anderson, Robert, The Coming Prince. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2008 (repr. ed.)

 

Anderson, Robert A., Signs and Wonders: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984.

 

Anderson, Steven D., Darius the Mede:  A Reappraisal.  Grand Rapids, MI:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014. Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/darius-mede-anderson/.

 

“Answering Alleged Bible Contradictions and Difficulties,” http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

 

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed.  Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1994.

 

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985.

 

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 136:542 [April 1979] 129-147.

 

Archer, Gleason L., New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982.

 

Athas, George, “In Search of the Seventy ‘Weeks’ of Daniel 9,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9:2 (2009) 2-20.

 

Baldwin, Joyce G., “Is There Pseudonymity in the Old Testament?” Themelios 4:1 (January/September 1978) 6-12.

 

Barker, Dan & James White, “Was Jesus a Myth?” debate. Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/Gods-Word/.

 

Barker, Dan & Justin Bass, “Jesus of Nazareth: Lord or Legend?” debate on June 6, 2015; elec. acc. http://danielbwallace.com/2015/08/01/fact-checking-dan-barker-from-our-recent-debate-june-6-2015/.

 

Barker, Dan & Thomas Ross, “The Old Testament is Mainly Fiction, not Fact” & “Archaeology and Prophecy Validate the Bible as the Word of God.” Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/barker-ross-debate/.

 

Barnes, Albert, Notes on the Old Testament: Daniel.  London: Blackie & Son, 1853.

 

Barnes, Albert, Barnes’ Notes, Daniel.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 1998.

 

Bass, Justin, “Fact Checking Dan Barker: From Our Recent Debate June 6, 2015,” http://danielbwallace.com/2015/08/01/fact-checking-dan-barker-from-our-recent-debate-june-6-2015/.

 

Beckwith, Roger T., “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation.” Revue de Qumran 40 (1981) 521-542.

 

Beckwith, Roger T., “Early Traces of the Book of Daniel.” Tyndale Bulletin 53:1 (2002) 75-82.

 

Beckwith, Roger T., The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism.  London: SPCK, 1985.

 

Brand, Chad et al. ed., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003.

 

Brenton, Lancelot Charles Lee, The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation.  London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1870.

 

British Museum Images, elec. acc. http://britishmuseum.org.

 

Bromiley, Geoffrey W. ed., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised.  Eerdmans: 1979–1988.

 

Burney MS 34, the Letter of Aristeas or Letter to Philocrates. Elec. acc. http://bl.uk/manuscripts/.

 

Charles, Robert Henry ed., Apocrypha of the Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913.

 

Charles, Robert Henry ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 Vol. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913.

 

Cloud, David, An Unshakeable Faith: A Christian Apologetics Course. Port Huron, MI: Way of Life, 2001.

 

Cloud, David, Bible Times and Ancient Kingdoms: Treasures from Archaeology. London, Ontario: Way of Life Literature, 2014.

 

Cloud, David, Things Hard to be Understood: A Handbook of Biblical Difficulties. Port Huron, MI: Way of Life Literature, 2015.

 

Daubney, William Heaford, The Use of the Apocrypha in the Christian Church.  London: C. J. Clay and Sons; Cambridge University Press, 1900.

 

Davis, John D., “Exegetical Theology. Review of The Messages of the Bible: The Messages of the Apocalyptical Writers by Frank Chamberlain Porter.” The Princeton Theological Review IV, no. 1–4 (1906): 407-408.

 

Dines, Jennifer M. & Michael A. Knibb, The Septuagint.  London: T & T Clark, 2004.

 

Dougherty, Raymond Philip, Nabonidus and Belshazzar.  Yale Oriental Series Researches, vol. 15. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1929.

 

Douglas, George C. M., “The Book of Daniel.” The Presbyterian and Reformed Review 13:49–52 (1902): 224-253

 

Driver, Samuel Rolles, An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament. New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914.

 

Driver, Samuel Rolles, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900.

 

Ehrman, Bart, Bart Ehrman—James White Debate, (January 21, 2009, Fort Lauderdale, FL) “Does the Bible Misquote Jesus?” Elec acc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moHInA9fAsI&feature=youtu.be.

 

Elwell, Walter A. & Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988.

 

Free, Joseph P., rev. Howard F. Vos, Archaeology and Bible History.  Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1992.

 

Fuller, David Otis ed., Which Bible? Grand Rapids, MI: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1997.

 

Gaebelien, Frank E., ed., Expositor’s Bible Commentary.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990.

 

Gammie, John G., book review of Daniel:  Introduction and Commentary, by Joyce G. Baldwin.  Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980) 453.

 

Geisler, Norman L. & William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible. rev. & exp. ed.  Chicago, IL:  Moody Press, 1986.

 

Geisler, Norman L. ed., Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999.

 

Gesenius, Wilhelm, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, ed. E. Kautzch, trans. Cowley, 2nd. ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1910.

 

Glueck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 1959.

 

Goldingay, John E., Daniel. Word Biblical Commentary 30; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1989.

 

Goldingay, John E., “The Book of Daniel: Three Issues.” Themelios 2:2 (1977) 45-49.

 

Greenspahn, Frederick E., An Introduction to Aramaic, 2nd ed., Vol. 46, Resources for Biblical Study. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

 

Hallo, William W. & K. Lawson Younger, The Context of Scripture, 3 vol. Leiden: Brill, 1997-2002.

 

Harman, Allan M., A Study Commentary on Daniel, EP Study Commentary. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2007.

 

Harrison, Roland K., Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1969.

 

Hart, J. H. A., Ecclesiasticus: The Greek Text of Codex 248. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1909.

 

Hartman, Louis F. & Alexander A. Di Lella, The Book of Daniel: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary on Chapters 1-9, vol. 23, Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

 

Hengstenberg, Ernst Wilhelm, Christology of the Old Testament.  Mac Dill, FL: MacDonald Publishing, n. d.

 

Hengstenberg, Ernst Wilhelm, Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel.  Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1848.

 

Herodotus, Herodotus, with an English Translation by A. D. Godley, ed. A. D. Godley. Medford, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920.

 

Hoehner, Harold W., Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977.

 

Jerome, Jerome’s Commentary on Daniel, trans. Gleason L. Archer. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1977.

 

Jones, Clay, “The Bibliographical Test Updated.” Christian Research Journal 35:3 (2012).

 

Josephus, Flavius et al., Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary: Judean Antiquities, 5 vol. Boston, MA: Brill, 1999-2013.

 

Josephus, Flavius & William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987.

 

Keil, Carl Friedrich & Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996.

 

Kitchen, Kenneth A., Ancient Orient and Old Testament. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1966.

 

Kitchen, Kenneth A., On the Reliability of the Old Testament.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006.

 

Lampe, Joseph J., “The Authenticity and Genuineness of Daniel,” The Presbyterian and Reformed Review 6, no. 21–24 (1895) 440-480.

 

Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library. Elec. acc. http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/.

 

Mangano, Mark, Esther & Daniel, The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press, 2001.

 

Matthews, Victor Harold, Mark W. Chavalas & John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

 

Miller, Stephen R., Daniel, Vol. 18, The New American Commentary. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994.

 

Montgomery, J. A., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, International Critical Commentary Series. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1972 reprint.

 

Neusner, Jacob, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011.

 

Neusner, Jacob, Alan J. Avery-Peck & William Scott Green, eds., The Encyclopedia of Judaism. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

 

Nicks, Brian, “Life and Work of Robert Dick Wilson.” The Master’s Seminary Journal 19/1 (Spring 2008) 91-106.

 

Oesterley, William Oscar Emil, An Introduction to the Books of the Apocrypha. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1935.

 

Oesterley, William Oscar Emil, The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus in the Revised Version with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912.

 

Orr, James ed., The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia.  Chicago, IL: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915.

 

Payne, J. Barton ed., New Perspectives on the Old Testament. Waco: Word, 1970.

 

Pentecost, J. Dwight, Things to Come. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1958.

 

Pfeiffer, R. H., Introduction to the Old Testament.  New York, NY: Harper, 1941.

 

Prince, J. Dyneley, A Critical Commentary on the Book of Daniel: Designed Especially for Students of the English Bible. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1899.

 

Pusey, Edward B., Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes. Oxford: John Henry & James Parker; Rivingtons, 1864.

 

Pritchard, James Bennett, ed., The Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd ed. with Supplement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.

 

Riva, Rocio Da, “Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism ( 7834): A New Edition.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 2013 (103:2) 196-229.

 

Roberts, Alexander, James Donaldson & A. Cleveland Coxe ed., Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius, vol. 6, The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886.

 

Ross, Thomas, Archaeology, History, and the Bible. Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net.

 

Ross, Thomas, “Daniel 3:25—‘the Son of God,’ or ‘a son of the gods’?” Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/Daniel-325-Son-God/.

 

Ross, Thomas, “Evidences for the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points.” Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/Bibliology/.

 

Ross, Thomas, “Truth from the Torah, Nevi’im, and Kethuvim [the Law, Prophets, and Writings].” Elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/Messiah-truth/.

 

Sargent, Robert, Landmarks of Bible Prophecy.  Oak Harbor, WA:  Bible Baptist Church Publications, 1998.

 

Shea, William H., “Daniel 3:  Extra-Biblical Texts and the Convocation on the Plain of Dura,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 20:1 (Spring 1982) 29-52.

 

Shea, William H., Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Revised Edition, Vol. 1, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992.

 

Skehan, Patrick W. & Alexander A. Di Lella, The Wisdom of Ben Sira: A New Translation with Notes, Introduction and Commentary, Vol. 39, Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.

 

Skilton, John H. ed., The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies Prepared in Honor of Oswald Thompson Allis. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974.

 

Smith, Mark S. & Simon B. Parker, Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, Vol. 9, Writings from the Ancient World. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1997.

 

Tanner, J. Paul, “Is Daniel’s Seventy-Weeks Prophecy Messianic?” Part 1, Bibliotheca Sacra 166 (April-June 2009) 181-200.

 

Tanner, J. Paul, “Is Daniel’s Seventy-Weeks Prophecy Messianic?” Part 2, Bibliotheca Sacra 166 (July-September 2009) 319-335.

 

Tenney, Merrill C. ed., Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 5 Vol. Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1975.

 

Thiele, Edwin R., The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965.

 

Thiessen, Henry, Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1950.

 

Timothy H. Lim et al., The Dead Sea Scrolls in Their Historical Context. London: T&T Clark, 2004.

 

Tov, Emmanuel, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 2001.

 

Tov, Emmanuel, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 3rd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2012.

 

Towner, W. Sibley, Daniel, Interpretation. Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press, 1984.

 

Trevor, James E., Dead Sea Scrolls Images module, Accordance Bible Software (Altamonte Springs, FL: Oak Tree Software, 2017).

 

Unger, Eckhard, Babylon: Die Heilige Stad Nach Der Beschreibung Der Babylonier. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1931.

 

Van der Merwe, Christo H. J., J. Naude & J. Kroeze, A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar. Sheffield, England:  Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.

 

Waltke, Bruce K. & Michael Patrick O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990.

 

Waltke, Bruce, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 133 (1976) 319-326.

 

Walton, John H., “The Four Kingdoms of Daniel.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 29:1 (March 1986) 25-36.

 

Walvoord, John F., Daniel:  The Key to Prophetic Revelation.  Chicago, IL:  Moody Press, 1989 & Galaxie Software, 2008.

 

Wegner, Paul D., A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

 

Whitcomb, John C. Jr., Darius the Mede. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1959.

 

Wickes, William, Two Treatises on the Accentuation of the Old Testament. Brooklyn, NY: KTAV, 1881.

 

Wilson, Robert Dick, “Darius the Mede.” The Princeton Theological Review 20:1-4 (1922) 177-211.

 

Wilson, Robert Dick, Studies in the Book of Daniel:  A Discussion of the Historical Questions. New York, NY:  G. P. Putnam, 1917.

 

Wilson, Robert D., “The Aramaic of Daniel,” in Biblical and Theological Studies, by the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary.  New York, NY: Scribner’s, 1912.

 

Wiseman, D.J., T.C. Mitchell, R. Joyce, W.J. Martin & K.A. Kitchen, Notes on Some Problems in Daniel. London: Tyndale Press, 1965.

 

Wright, Charles H. H., Daniel and His Prophecies. London: Williams and Norgate, 1906.

 

Wyatt, Nicolas, Religious Texts from Ugarit, 2nd ed., Biblical Seminar, 53. London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.

 

Yamauchi, Edwin M., “Hermeneutical Issues in the Book of Daniel.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 23:1 (1980) 13-21.

 

Young, Edward J., An Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977.

 

Zuckerman, Bruce, ed., Leningrad Codex Images. Los Angeles, CA: West Semitic Research, 2015.

 

For more information, including evidence that the Bible is the Word of God, or for a free home Bible study, available in person or by mail, that explains more about salvation and other Biblical truths, visit, call, or write to:

 

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[i]           You are encouraged to look up the Bible references yourself and to examine the context; to do so, you must understand how verse references work. “John 7:17,” for example, means the book of John, chapter seven, verse seventeen. Bible references sometimes do not give the whole book name but an abbreviation for it: for example, “Jo 7:17” means “John 7:17.” The Table of Contents in your Bible will probably also give you the abbreviations for the various books. If you do not own a Bible, please contact those through whom you received this composition to obtain one, or download a free copy at http://faithsaves.net/Bible-studies/. The King James Version of the Bible is used throughout the text, because it is the best translation in English. Many other versions and paraphrases employ what is known as “dynamic equivalence,” where the translators decide what they believe the Hebrew and Greek mean and paraphrase this supposed meaning in English. (Hebrew and Greek are the original Biblical languages, in addition to Aramaic, which is used for a small portion of the Scripture.) While such Bible translators’ decisions often create a disappointingly non-literal translation, the King James Version utilizes what is known as “formal equivalence.” This translation method requires that every word in the translation represents something in the underlying language. For example, in Proverbs 30:5, we read: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Notice the “is” in italics—the italicization means that the word, though necessary for English grammar, is not in the original language, here Hebrew. All the other words represent equivalents in the original. (While there is no specific word in Hebrew for “is” in this verse, the idea of the word is involved in the Hebrew syntax, and is therefore supplied by the King James Bible.) The amazing accuracy of the King James Version explains why it has been the standard English Bible for over 400 years.

The author of this study knows all three of the Biblical languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.

[ii]           The word LORD in capital letters represents the Hebrew Yehowah (Jehovah), the personal and covenant name of God in the Old Testament. It is related to the third person form of the verb “to be” in Hebrew and thus also demonstrates God’s self-existence.

[iii]          Archaeologist Nelson Glueck wrote:

It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries. They form tesserae [tiles] in the vast mosaic of the Bible’s incredibly correct historical memory. (Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev. [New York: W. W. Norton, 1959], 31)

Dr. Glueck, former president of the Hebrew Union College, conducted pioneering work in Biblical archaeology that contributed to the discovery of 1,500 ancient sites.

[iv]          Daniel’s authorship of the book of Daniel is discussed and vindicated below.

[v]           While a variety of different sources were employed to garner the facts in the interpretation of the visions of the following chapters, the reader who desires more detail is referred to two of the primary sources for this section of this composition—John Walvoord’s Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), and Barnes’ Notes, Daniel, Albert Barnes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998 [orig. pub. 1853]). Walvoord’s bibliography contains an extensive listing of resources for one who desires to study this matter further. Also quite helpful is the volume on Daniel in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelien (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990).

[vi]          The anti-supernaturalist and unhistorical view that the Medes and the Persians were two different empires is discussed and refuted below in the section “Unavoidable Predictive Prophecy in Daniel” under the subheading “Daniel’s Fourth Kingdom: Rome, not Greece.”

[vii]          Compare the analysis of Daniel 11 below.

[viii]         Josephus, Antiquities, Book XI, chapter 8. While, of course, Josephus is not Scripture and is not infallible, there are good reasons to conclude that his account here, as in the great body of the other material that he records, is accurate. Other ancient writers, such as Pliny, Arrian, and Justin, testify to historical facts mentioned in this passage. For more information, see Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Daniel, Vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1853), 54. See also the discussion in the section below entitled “Early References to the Book of Daniel in Other Works.”

[ix]          In the Bible, a saint is not some higher class of spiritual person, nor does the position of sainthood occur after one’s death as a recognition from some religious organization. Every one of God’s people is a saint, and the designation is used of those still alive (Romans 1:7; 16:15; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 14:33; 16:1; Philippians 1:1; 4:22).

[x]           Biblical prophecy often proceeds without further notice from the time when Israel fell from her status as God’s chosen instrument for His work on earth through the Church Age to Israel’s future restoration after the rapture of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4). For example, Isaiah 61:1-2, which Christ quotes in Luke 4:17-18, proceeds directly from a prophecy of the Lord Jesus’ first coming (Isaiah 61:1-2a) to His second coming (Isaiah 61:2bff.). For this reason, Christ quotes to His hearers only Isaiah 61:1-2a to His hearers as fulfilled before them in that day—the rest of the prophecy still awaits future fulfillment in the Lord Jesus’ future thousand-year kingdom (Isaiah 2; Revelation 20). The Bible teaches that the return of Christ for His saints in this age will occur unexpectedly, so that men cannot know beforehand the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13). The immanency of Christ’s return would be impossible if prophecies that detailed the entire course of the church age existed. For much more detail on the Biblical doctrine of last things, see Robert Sargent, Landmarks of Bible Prophecy (Oak Harbor, WA: Bible Baptist Church Publications, 1998), the best general work on the subject, or J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1958), a classic which is also quite informative.

[xi]          For more on these sections of Daniel’s prophecies, please see the appropriate sections in John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation (Galaxie Software, 2008).

[xii]          For more detail on the necessary connection of the bear to the Medo-Persian empire, see E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 70–74.

[xiii]         See John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation (Galaxie Software, 2008), 178-180 for more details.

[xiv]         This historical event is described in 1 Maccabees 1:16-19. While the Apocrypha is not inspired, it does provide valuable insight into the time period predicted by Daniel.

[xv]          First and Second Maccabees provide a historical account of the times of the Maccabean revolution. These books are generally reliable, although 2 Maccabees is less accurate than 1 Maccabees.

[xvi]         See E. W. Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament. (MacDill, FL: MacDonald Publishing, n. d.) 803 & E. W. Hengstenberg, Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1848) 143ff.

[xvii]         Providing further evidence for the weeks being weeks of years, Hengstenberg writes:

But what right have we to interpret the weeks as weeks of years, or periods of seven years each? . . . The most forcible argument is founded upon the seventy years of Jeremiah. A reference to these is sufficient to show that seventy ordinary weeks cannot for a moment be thought of. For what comfort would it have afforded to Daniel, if he had been told, that, as a compensation for the seventy years of desolation, the city would stand for seventy ordinary weeks, and then be destroyed again? Moreover Daniel himself must have been able to perceive, from the magnitude of the events, which were to take place during this period, that something more was intended than ordinary weeks. But if they were not ordinary weeks, he would be led all the more naturally to think of weeks of years, both from the important position assigned to them in the law of Moses, and because the captivity had again so forcibly recalled them to mind, the seventy years’ desolation being generally regarded as a punishment for neglecting to keep the Sabbatical years (2 Chronicles 36:21). . . . [T]hese periods of seven years’ duration . . . were evidently looked upon as weeks, from the frequency with which the seventh year is spoken of as “the great Sabbath” or simply “the Sabbath” (Leviticus 25:2, 4, 5; 26:34, 35, 43; 2 Chronicles 36:21). . . . But what led the prophet to make use of this particular measure of time? . . . [A] reason may be found in the connexion between this prophecy and the seventy years of Jeremiah. It served to point out very clearly the relation in which the mercy of God stood to the wrath of God, that to the seventy years, spoken of in [Daniel 9:2] as having been accomplished on the desolations of Jerusalem, a seventy of another kind was opposed, as the period during which the city was to stand as rebuilt, namely, seven times seventy years. Moreover seven and seventy were perfect and sacred numbers, which were all the better adapted to the divine chronology, from their connexion with the creation of the world and other events in sacred history.—Lastly, the allusion to the year of jubilee is unmistakable. Seven weeks of years constituted this cycle, in the last year of which the civil restitutio in integrum took place, when all debts were cancelled, all slaves set free, and lands, which had been diverted from their original owners, were restored. The last of seventy weeks of years was the greatest of all Sabbaths, the period of spiritual restitution in integrum, of expiation and cancelling of every kind of guilt. (E. W. Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament. [MacDill, FL: MacDonald Publishing, n. d.] 808-809)

Note also that every ancient interpretation of the seventy weeks prophecy viewed it as referring to weeks of years: “The Essenes, the Pharisees, and Zealots all understood as 70 weeks of years . . . Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks” (Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 521). Likewise, ancient Christianity recongized that Daniel nine speaks of “seventy weeks of years, that is to say, four hundred and ninety years” (Julius Africanus, c. A. D. 225, cited in Jerome’s Commentary on Daniel, 9:24-27); Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Apollinarius of Laodicea agreed, and Jerome noted as the only Jewish view that year-weeks were referenced in the text (ibid).

[xviii]        1,260 days = 42 months of 30 days each = 3.5 years. Compare also Daniel 12:11-12, where the second half of the seventieth “week” is again assumed to be 1,260 days long and the following 30 and 45 days during which Christ judges the world and His 1,000 year kingdom is set up are brought into view. Cf. John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation (Galaxie Software, 2008), 294–297.

[xix]         “A sanhedrin which imposes the death penalty once in seven years [sûaœb≈u®a{] is called murderous. R. Eleazar b. Azariah says, ‘Once in seventy years’” (Makk. 1:10). “the other years of the seven year cycle [sûaœb≈u®a{]” (Shev. 4:7, 8, 9).

[xx]          It is noteworthy from the “Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a) that the Pharisees expected the Messiah at the end of a year-week . . . a future year-week . . . .no doubt of Daniel’s 70 weeks” (Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 531). See Jacob Neusner, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, Vol. 7b (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011), 92; & Vol. 16, 518, 732.

[xxi]         The view that the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 started with the decree of Artaxerxes as recorded in Nehemiah is ancient. For example, Julius Africanus (c. A. D. 225) wrote:

[T]he beginning of the numbers, that is, of the seventy weeks which make up 490 years, the angel instructs us to take from the going forth of the commandment to [restore] and to build Jerusalem. And this happened in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia. For Nehemiah his cup-bearer besought him, and received the answer that Jerusalem should be built. And the word went forth commanding these things; for up to that time the city was desolate. For when Cyrus, after the seventy years’ captivity, gave free permission to all to return who desired it, some of them under the leadership of Jesus the high priest and Zorobabel, and others after these under the leadership of Esdra, returned, but were prevented at first from building the temple, and from surrounding the city with a wall, on the plea that that had not been commanded. It remained in this position, accordingly, until Nehemiah and the reign of Artaxerxes, and the 115th year of the sovereignty of the Persians. And from the capture of Jerusalem that makes 185 years. And at that time King Artaxerxes gave order that the city should be built; and Nehemiah being despatched, superintended the work, and the street and the surrounding wall were built, as had been prophesied. (Dionysius of Alexandria, “The Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus,” in Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, trans. S. D. F. Salmond, vol. 6, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886), 134–135.)

See the discussion in J. Paul Tanner, “Is Daniel’s Seventy-Weeks Prophecy Messianic?” Part 1, Bibliotheca Sacra 166 (April-June 2009) 189-192. The interpretation of Daniel 9 advocated in this composition is not a modern novelty, but the natural interpretation of the passage, as has been recognized for many centuries.

[xxii]         The decree mentioned in Daniel 9:25 cannot be the earlier pronouncement of King Cyrus in 539 B. C. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-4, 6:3-5). Cyrus’ decree related specifically to the rebuilding of the temple and said nothing about the streets or walls of Jerusalem. It is very clear that later, just before Artaxerxes’ decree, which actually set the clock ticking on the Daniel 9 prophecy, “the wall of Jerusalem [was still] . . . broken down, and the gates thereof . . . burned with fire” (Neh 1:3. cf. 2:13-14). Nor can it refer to the decree of Darius of 519/518 B. C., because Darius’ decree simply confirmed Cyrus’ original decree and again specifically refers to the temple alone (Ezra 5:3-6:12). Nor is the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 B. C. in view, for this decree related to the return of more exiles with Ezra, the further enhancement of the temple and its accompanying worship, and the appointment of civil leaders (Ezra 7:11-26); it did not refer to the restoration and rebuilding of the streets and walls of Jerusalem, as Daniel 9 specifies. The decree of Daniel 9 simply must be the 444 B. C. pronouncement of Artaxerxes.

[xxiii]        Pusey notes:

[T]he name Messiah occurs absolutely here only in Holy Scripture—not (as it is every where else) “the Anointed of the Lord,” “Thy Anointed,” “His Anointed,” “the Anointed of the God of Jacob,” or “the anointed priest,”—but, as a proper name, Messiah, “Anointed,” they knew that He, so spoken of, was the same Whom other Scriptures taught them to look for. (E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes [Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864], 181–182.)

[xxiv]        The date of this decree can be determined from the Biblical record. First, Nehemiah 1:1 states that Nehemiah heard of Jerusalem’s desolate conditions in the month Chislev (November/December) in Artaxerxes’ twentieth year. Later in Artaxerxes’ twentieth year, in the month Nisan (March/April), Nehemiah was granted permission to restore the city and build its walls. To have Nisan after Chislev in the same year may seem strange unless one realizes that Nehemiah was using a Tishri to Tishri (September/October) dating method rather than the Persian Nisan to Nisan method. In so doing Nehemiah was following the example of the kings of Judah earlier in their history. (See The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Edwin R. Thiele, rev. ed.; [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965], 28-30, 161). Secondly, the time of the commencement of Artaxerxes’ rule can be established. His father Xerxes died shortly after December 17, 465 B. C., and his son immediately succeeded him. Since the accession-year system was used (in which the first year of a king’s reign was reckoned from the first day of the following New Year, so that Artaxerxes’ first year was considered to begin the first Nisan after December 17, 465 B. C.), the first year of Artaxerxes’ reign, according to the Persian Nisan to Nisan reckoning, would be Nisan 464 to Nisan 463. According to Jewish Tishri to Tishri reckoning, it would be Tishri 464 to Tishri 463. Consequently, the report to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:1-4) occurred in Chislev (Nov-Dec) of 445 B. C., and the decree of Artaxerxes (2:1), which set the clock ticking in the Daniel 9 prophecy, occurred in Nisan (March/April) of 444 B. C.

[xxv]         Modern calendars include leap years because solar years are actually approximately 365.25 days long (specifically 365.24219878 days long); that is, 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 49.75 seconds long.

[xxvi]       It is noteworthy that Hebrew also employs the same word for “new moon” and “month” (cf. 1 Samuel 20:5, Genesis 7:11, etc.), so a non-solar calendar is natural for this prophecy.

[xxvii]        For example, Julius Africanus wrote: “[T]he Hebrews . . . did not number their months according to the movement of the sun” (cited from Jerome’s Commentary on Daniel 9:24-27).

[xxviii]       The Hebrew word “Messiah” is the same as the Greek word “Christ,” both signifying “Anointed One” and referring to the great King predicted throughout the Old Testament who appeared in the New Testament as the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, Beckwith notes:

There is strong evidence to show that the Essenes, the Pharisees, and Zealots all thought that they could date . . . the time when the Son of David would come . . . based upon Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (Dan 9:24-27) understood as 70 weeks of years. . . . [T]he most usual interpretations in Judaism until after 70 A. D. [when, because Daniel 9 indicates that the Messiah would come before the destruction of Jerusalem, either one would have to recognize the Lord Jesus as the Messiah or modify the traditional view of Daniel 9], and in Christianity down until the end of the nineteenth century, were of the Messianic kind. (Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 521)

[xxix]        It is noteworthy that multitudes of Jews in the first century believed that the Messiah was going to come in that period, influenced to that position by Daniel’s prophecy. Josephus indicates that the Zealot party in First Century Israel believed that “about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth” based on an “oracle that was . . . found in their sacred writings.” This view was held by “many of the wise men” among them (War of the Jews 6:5:4), and would have been held by many among the Pharisees also, based on the fact that the Zealots and Pharisees agreed, except on the matter of rebellion (Antiquities 18:1:6). The view that Daniel contained the date of the Messiah was also present in the somewhat later Bar Kokba movement; only after “the time of the suppression of the Bar Kokba revolt [did] the Jewish reaction against the Messianic interpretation of Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy see[m] to have set in” (Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 539). Thus, “many Jewish and Christian interpretations . . . sought [the Daniel 9’s prophecy’s] fulfillment [in] those years . . . between 10 B. C. and 70 A. D.,” but were hindered in achieving an exact figure by “inadequate chronological information,” despite the universal “Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, and early Christian . . . aim at precision . . . trying to achieve exactness . . . [among] all its old interpreters, Jewish and Christian alike, from the second century B. C. onwards” (Ibid., 541-542). Thus, historical theology validates the natural character of the interpretation of the seventy-weeks prophecy set forth above, in that it was dominant among non-Christian Jews and Jews before the coming of the Lord Jesus. Note the discussion in Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 (1981) 529ff.

[xxx]         For evidence that A. D. 33 was the year of Christ’s crucifixion, see Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977) 95-114. Hoehner’s analysis on pages 115-140 constitutes an important source for much of the material on Daniel presented here.

[xxxi]        See Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977) 137-138.

[xxxii]        Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday, Nisan 14 (April 3) of A. D. 33. Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, presenting Himself as Israel’s Messiah, took place the previous Monday (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-16). Four days later, since Daniel 9 states, “After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself,” Christ was sacrificed as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. In fulfillment of the type of the firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9-14; 1 Corinthians 15:23) offered the day after the Sabbath, He rose again from the grave on Sunday (Matthew 18:1-15; Mark 19:1-20; Luke 24:1-35). For more detail on the day of Christ’s crucifixion and His final week, see Hoehner, Chronology 65-93.

[xxxiii]       The ruler mentioned in this part of Daniel 9:26 and of 9:27 is not Jesus Christ, but the future Antichrist, because his people destroy Jerusalem and its sanctuary; because Christ never “confirmed” an already-existing covenant; and because Christ never broke such a covenant. Also, this person causes sacrifices to cease in the midst of Daniel’s seventieth week. While Christ made such offerings unneeded, He did not make temple sacrifices cease immediately, since they continued to be offered until the destruction of the temple in A. D. 70. This “prince” is the wicked person of Daniel 7:25, who there “changes times and laws” for “a time and times and the dividing of time”—that is, for a year, two years, and half a year, or 3 1/2 years, exactly the same length of time as the one in Daniel 9:27 changes times and laws by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease.

Ancient commentators on Daniel, such as Hipploytus (c. A. D. 200ff.) and Apollinarius (300s A. D.) recognized that Daniel 9:27 speaks of the Antichrist (cf. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel 9:24-27).

[xxxiv]       It is noteworthy that the gospel of Luke was written c. A. D. 50, and, since Jerusalem was destroyed in A. D. 70, Jesus’ own words, spoken in A. D. 33 and enscripturated before the prophecy was fulfilled, are also an unmistakable instance of predictive prophecy. In 1 Timothy 5:18, the epistle of 1 Timothy, written by the apostle Paul c. A. D. 60, quotes Luke 10:7 as a book of “scripture.” It is very difficult to quote from and call a book Scripture that has not yet been written. Note that the quotation also happens a number of years before the Lord Jesus’ prediction recorded in Luke was fulfilled. Furthermore, the gospels of Matthew and Mark also record Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, and both of these were also written far before A. D. 70. For more information on the dating of the various New Testament books, see Archaeology, History, and the Bible, Thomas Ross, elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net. See also Introduction to the New Testament, Henry Thiessen, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1950.

[xxxv]        In relation to the argument that the vowels of the Hebrew Bible are late and arbitrary corruptions of the Hebrew consonantal text, Bruce Waltke notes:

In addition to ancient evidence for the general validity of the MT [Masoretic Text], there is modern evidence, both systematic and incidental. On the whole the grammar of the MT admirably fits the framework of Semitic philology, and this fact certifies the work of the Masoretes. When in the 1930s Paul Kahle announced his theory that the Masoretes made massive innovations, Gotthelf Bergsträsser sarcastically observed that they must have read Carl Brockelmann’s comparative Semitic grammar to have come up with forms so thoroughly in line with historical reconstructions. Further, there are numerous individual patterns of deviation within the MT which reflect ancient phonological and morphological features of Hebrew known from other sources; yet again, numerous isolated oddities in the MT have been confirmed by materials unearthed only in this century. The evidence shows that the language of the MT represents the grammar of the Hebrew used during the biblical period. (Bruce K. Waltke and Michael Patrick O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax [Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990], 28)

See also the evidence for the inspiration and preservation of the Hebrew vowels in the essay “Evidences for the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points,” Thomas Ross, at http://faithsaves.net/Bibliology/.

[xxxvi]       Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 115, 117, 284.

[xxxvii]       Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 123.

[xxxviii]      Picture of 4QGenb from the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, elec. acc. http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/. Picture of the Leningrad Codex from Bruce Zuckerman, ed., Leningrad Codex Images. Los Angeles: West Semitic Research, 2015. See also Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 3rd ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012) 31; Charles W. Draper with Fuller Russell, “Bible Texts and Versions,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003) 211.

[xxxix]       Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 3rd ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012) 28.

[xl]          Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 184.

[xli]          Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 190.

[xlii]         Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), 9. Because of Tov’s anti-supernatural presuppositions, he wishes to have an “assumption of corruptions in the biblical text” (10, cf. 232), but he admits that this idea is simply his unproven and unprovable “assumption,” not a proven fact.

[xliii]        Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 23.

[xliv]         Paul D. Wegner, A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 231.

[xlv]         See Clay Jones, “The Bibliographical Test Updated,” Christian Research Journal 35:3 (2012) for sources and further information.

[xlvi]         For example, the famous agnostic scholar Bart Ehrman, in a public debate with a Christian scholar, admitted: “[For] [t]he New Testament we have much earlier attestation than for any other book or manuscript . . . Well, then you can’t trust any book from antiquity. . . . [We] don’t know . . . what Plato actually wrote, or what Homer wrote, or Suetonius, or Tacitus, Euripides . . . we don’t have the original text for any writing from the ancient world” (Bart Ehrman—James White Debate, “Does the Bible Misquote Jesus?” January 21, 2009, Fort Lauderdale, FL), 27:00-28:00.

[xlvii]        Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 2nd rev. ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), 104-105.

[xlviii]       Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 50.

[xlix]         Picture from the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, elec. acc. http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/.

[l]           Stephen R. Miller, “Daniel, Book of,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 387.

[li]           Gerhard F. Hasel, “Chapter II: Establishing a Date for the Book of Daniel,” in Symposium on Daniel: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Vol. 2, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, DC: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 148.

[lii]          Joyce G Baldwin, “Is There Pseudonymity in the Old Testament?” Themelios: Volume 4, No. 1, January/September 1978 (1978): 8, 11.

[liii]         Young notes:

The book of Daniel purports to be serious history. It claims to be a revelation from the God of heaven which concerns the future welfare of men and nations. If this book were issued at the time of the Maccabees for the purpose of strengthening the faith of the people of that time, and the impression was thereby created that Daniel, a Jew of the sixth century were the author, then, whether we like it or no—the book is a fraud. There is no escaping this conclusion. . . . It is one thing to issue a harmless romance under a pseudonym; it is an entirely different thing to issue under a pseudonym a book claiming to be a revelation of God and having to do with the conduct of men and to regard such a book as canonical. . . . [T]here is no evidence that . . . [t]he Jews of the inter-testamental period . . . ever did the second. (Edward J. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament. [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977], 363)

[liv]          Joyce G Baldwin, “Is There Pseudonymity in the Old Testament?” Themelios: Volume 4, No. 1, January/September 1978 (1978): 7.

[lv]          Joyce G Baldwin, “Is There Pseudonymity in the Old Testament?” Themelios: Volume 4, No. 1, January/September 1978 (1978): 8.

[lvi]          The first known Jewish opponent of Daniel’s authorship of the Book of Daniel was Uriel Acosta, who wrote in the 1600s. No evidence of Jewish opposition exists from the inter-testamental period, the ancient church period, or the medieval period. The only known opponent of Daniel’s authorship before that time is the pagan Porphyry, who explicitly based his opposition on his philosophical rejection of Biblical miracles; there is no evidence that he even claimed to possess any factual or historical evidence for his position. See Edward J. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977), 362-363.

[lvii]         Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Daniel, Vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1853), 8.

[lviii]        Roger T. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism (London: SPCK, 1985), 357.

[lix]          See, e. g., Flavius Josephus et al., Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary: Judean Antiquities Books 8-10, Vol. 5 (Boston; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 205-317; “Josephus, Biblical Figures in,” in Jacob Neusner, Alan J. Avery-Peck, and William Scott Green, eds., The Encyclopedia of Judaism (Leiden; Boston; Köln: Brill, 2000), 1788.

[lx]          Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), Antiquities 10:266-270.

[lxi]          Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), Antiquities 11:337-339. Note the extensive and careful defense of the genuineness of Josephus’ testimony in E. W. Hengstenberg, Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1848) 225-233.

[lxii]         Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), Contra Apion 1:8. Note the discussion in E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (London: John Henry and James Parker; Rivingtons, 1864), 292-295.

[lxiii]        Gleason Archer Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 410. Note that even the body of anti-supernaturalist critics of Scripture who deny the book of Ezekiel to the historical Israelite prophet bearing that name do not place the composition of Ezekiel late enough to deny the existence of genuine predictive prophecy in Daniel.

[lxiv]         Pusey remarks:

[I]t has been remarked long ago, that Ezekiel names as characteristics of Daniel, qualities which appear in him in early life. In the eleventh year, [Ezekiel 26:1] (i.e. as Ezekiel dates, of Jehoiachin’s captivity, [Ezekiel 1:2] B.C. 588) Ezekiel, in his prophecies to the prince of Tyre, says in irony [Ezekiel 28:2]; Behold thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee. Of the manifold varieties of human wisdom, Ezekiel selected that form, for which Daniel was celebrated [Daniel 1:17, 20] in the 2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar, i.e. the 5th of Jehoiakim, B.C. 606, eighteen years before this date. It is that for which the king praises the God of Daniel, that He is a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret [Daniel 2:47]. In asking him to explain his own later dream as to himself, the king says to him, no secret troubleth thee [4:9]. The Queen-mother spake of him to Belshazzar, shewing of hard sentences and dissolving of doubts were found in the same Daniel [5:12]. One who had his wisdom from God, but was placed by a heathen king as head over those far-famed wise-men, the Magi, might well stand as an eminent pattern of Divine wisdom in man. Tyre and its prince boasted themselves against the people of God in its overthrow, and plumed themselves on their human wisdom and sagacity. It is an anti-Theistic boast. Human wisdom would be wiser than Divine. The prince of Tyre claimed by his wisdom to have created all this wealth for himself [Ezekiel 28:4-5]. He despised Hebrew wisdom and the wisdom of God in it, because it was oppressed. The event, Ezekiel says, should shew. Plainly, unless Ezekiel had meant to speak of a contemporary, over against the contemporary prince of Tyre, the wisdom of Solomon had been the more obvious instance to select.

In the other place in Ezekiel [14:13-21], God says, that, when the time of His judgment upon the land was come, whether it were famine, or noisome beasts, or the sword, or the pestilence, no righteousness of any individuals in it should avert His then irrevocable sentence; and, as pre-eminent instances of righteousness, He gives Noah, Daniel and Job. It is objected, “How came Ezekiel to mention Daniel his contemporary? And, if he did, how came he to place him between those two ancient patriarchs, Noah and Job?” . . .

Daniel now, in the 6th year [Ezekiel so dates chapter 8:1 in the sixth year, in the sixth month. He dates chapter 20 in the seventh year, in the fifth month.] of the captivity of Jehoiachin, had, according to his book, passed through some twelve years of greatness, trying above others to men, for its novelty and his youth. There is then, at least, nothing inharmonious in the selection of Daniel, to be united with Noah and Job. Rather it has a special force, that God joined with those two great departed patriarchs, a living saint. The Jews, as they trusted afterwards because Abraham was their father [Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8; John 8:33, 39], so now they hoped that, amid their own unholiness, they should be spared for the righteousness or intercession of others. To cut at the root of this hope, God singles out the great living example of righteous life, and pronounces him, in this early life, one of His chief saints, and says, that, though not he only, but two also of the greatest before him, were among them, their holiness should be unavailing except for themselves. The eyes of all the Jews must have been the more fixed upon Daniel, the more marvellous his rise, at that early age, from being a captive boy, though of royal blood, to be ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief over the governors of all the Magi of Babylon. The more depressed their lot, the more they must have looked to him, whom God, in His Providence, had so raised up to be a bright star in the night of their captivity, a protection to themselves, declaring the glory of their God.

In this case, also, had not the selection of a contemporary had an especial force, we should have looked rather for one of the names of the righteous men of old, who interceded with God, as [did] Abraham. But Noah, Daniel, and Job, do all agree in these things; 1) that all had had especial praise of God, over against the world. Noah was the unlistened-to preacher of righteousness during those 120 years in which the flood was delayed. God singles out Job, in answer to Satan who had been going to and fro in the earth and walking up and down in it [Job 2:2. See Zündel, Daniel, p. 264.], as his domain and his kingdom. “How greatly Daniel’s piety and prayer weighed in that scale, wherein Belshazzar was too light, the fact may attest, that he, like David and Abraham, and afterwards, the Virgin at Nazareth, was marked out as one greatly beloved, whereas the word of God comes to the contemporary prophet, son of man” [Ib. p. 266, 7; Lu 1:27, 8; Dan. 9:23, 10:11].

2) All the three stood too, as representatives of a distinct relation of God to the world; Noah at the head “of the newly cleansed and as it were reborn world;” Job, as a worshipper of God in purity among the heathen world; Daniel, as the revealer, to the heathen world, of that kingdom, which was hereafter to supersede and absorb the kingdoms of the world [Zündel, p. 267].

The order in which the three saints stand is explained by the application which Ezekiel makes of their history. All were holy, all interceded; but Job was heard, for the time, least of all. It is a climax of seeming failure [Hävern. on Ezek. 14:14. p. 207]. To Noah, his wife and his three sons and their wives were given; Daniel delivered his three friends by his prayer to God; Job was for the time bared of all. He sanctified [his sons and daughters] and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings, according to the number of them all, for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned; and he saved neither son nor daughter [Job 1:5]. In Job especially was that fulfilled, which Ezekiel gives as the result of the whole, “though these three men were in it, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, they only shall be delivered” [14:16, 18].

The mention of Daniel, then, by Ezekiel, in both cases, has the more force from the fact that he was a contemporary; both correspond with his actual character, as stated in his book. Granted the historical truth of Daniel, no one would doubt that Ezekiel did refer to Daniel, as described in his book. But then the objection is only the usual begging of the question. “Ezekiel is not likely to have referred to Daniel, a contemporary, unless he was distinguished by extraordinary gifts or graces.” “But his book not being genuine, there is no proof that he was so distinguished.” “Therefore,” &c.

Scripture is in harmony with itself. Ezekiel is the first witness to the book of Daniel. The book of Daniel explains the allusions of Ezekiel. No other explanation can be given of Ezekiel’s words. Ezekiel manifestly refers to one, well known to those to whom he spoke; one, as well known as the great Patriarchs, Noah and Job. Such was Daniel, under whose shadow they of the captivity lived. But, apart from him, where is this man, renowned for his wisdom, holy as the holiest whose memory had survived from the foundation of the world; whom the Jews would recognize at once, as they would Noah and Job? “He does but name him,” says an opponent rightly [Bleek, p. 284], “because he could presuppose that he was already sufficiently known by all as a pattern of righteousness and wisdom.” (E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes [Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864], 102–107)

[lxv]         See “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel,” Gleason Archer (Bibliotheca Sacra 136 [1979] 133-134) for conclusive evidence against the anti-supernaturalist argument based on the alternative formations d≈aœnˆî}eœl and d≈aœni}eœl. (Note that the LXX renders both forms as Danieœl.) The desperate anti-supernaturalist argument that the Daniel referenced by Ezekiel is not the righteous and wise servant of Jehovah who authored the book of Daniel and who is compared to Noah and Job as comparable righteous worshippers of Jehovah, all three of whom are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, but is an ungodly worshipper of the god Baal called Dan’el who is referenced in a ancient legend, is surely an argument made out of desperation in order to avoid the obvious implications of Ezekiel’s validation of the Jewish prophet Daniel and his inspired Book. Archer comments:

[The anti-supernaturalist theory that] the Daniel referred to in Ezekiel must have been the ancient hero named Dan’el, whose life story is narrated in the Ugaritic legend of AqhΩat (dating from about the fifteenth century B.C.) . . . [has extremely] serious difficulties[.] . . [T]he Lord’s declaration quoted in Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and 28:3 amounts to this: Even though such godly leaders as Noah (at the dawn of history), and Job (in the time of Moses or a little before), and Daniel (from the contemporary scene in Ezekiel’s own generation) should all unite in interceding for apostate Judah, God could not hear their prayers on behalf of that rebellious nation. . . . The . . . difficulty with identifying the Daniel of Ezekiel 14 with the Dan’el of the Ugaritic epic is found in the character and spiritual condition of Dan’el himself. When the legend of AqhΩat is studied in its full context, which relates the story of Dan’el, the father of young AqhΩat, it is found that he is praised as being a faithful idol-worshiper, principally occupied with seven-day periods of sacrifices to the various gods of the Canaanite pantheon, such as Baal and El. His relationship to Baal was especially close, and he made bold to petition him for a son, so that when Dan’el became so drunk at a wild party that he could not walk by himself, his son might assist him back to his home and bed, to sleep off his drunken stupor. Later on, after the promised son (AqhΩat) is born, and is later killed at the behest of the spiteful goddess Anath, Dan’el lifts up his voice in a terrible curse against the vulture (Samal) which had taken his son’s life. He prevails on Baal to break the wings of all the vultures that fly overhead, so that he can slit open their stomachs and see whether any of them contains the remains of his dead son. At last he discovers the grisly evidence in the belly of Samal, queen of the vultures. He then kills her and puts a curse on Abelim, the city of the vultures. The next seven years he spends in weeping and wailing for his dead son, and finally contrives to have his own daughter (PaghΩat) assassinate the warrior Yatpan, who was also involved in AqhΩat’s murder seven years before.

From this portrayal of Dan’el it is quite apparent that he could never have been associated with Noah and Job as a paragon of righteousness and purity of life. Nothing could be more unlikely than that a strict and zealous monotheist like Ezekiel would have regarded with appreciation a Baal-worshiper, a polytheistic pagan given to violent rage and unremitting vengefulness, a drunken carouser who needed assistance to find his way home to his own bed. Apart from a passing mention of Dan’el’s faithful fulfillment of his duties as a judge at the city gate—a requirement expected of all judges according to the Torah—there is no suggestion in the Ugaritic poem that he is any outstanding hero of the faith, eligible for inclusion with Noah and Job. It is therefore quite hopeless to maintain this identification of Ezekiel’s “Daniel” with the Dan’el of Ugaritic legend. (Ibid).

Thus, the Legend of Aqhat frequently mentions Dan’el’s worship of Baal, frequently connects Dan’el and drunkenness, emphasizes Dan’el’s son Aquat disobeying the goddess Anath, who kills Aqhat for his impiety, and speaks of a plot with Dan’el and his daughter to deceive and commit murder. The Legend of Aqhat never even once uses the adjectives “righteous” or “wise” for Dan’el. A simple reading of Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3 and the pagan Legend makes any identification of the person spoken of by Ezekiel and the person specified in the Legend an instance of insanity. Only the extreme difficulty for anti-supernaturalism contained in Ezekiel’s reference to the man Daniel, author of the inspired book of Daniel, explains anyone’s affirming what is so obviously false. The fact that such extreme measures must be pursued in order to attempt to eliminate Ezekiel’s testimony illustrates how powerful an evidence it is in favor of Daniel’s sixth century authorship of the book bearing his name, and thus of the reality of predictive prophecy.

For translations of the Legend of Aqhat, see Mark S. Smith and Simon B. Parker, Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, Vol. 9, Writings from the Ancient World (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1997), 49-78, 196-205 or N. Wyatt, Religious Texts from Ugarit, 2nd ed., Biblical Seminar, 53 (London; New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), 242–312.

[lxvi]         Thus, the “Book of Zechariah has . . . a direct connection with that of Daniel” (See Charles H. H. Wright, Daniel and His Prophecies [London: Williams and Norgate, 1906], xviii ff. for a discussion; cf. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet, 355-359; see also Zechariah 2 and its vision of the four horns, which cannot be understood without Daniel.). Pusey notes:

We have language of his prayer used in Nehemiah; reference to his visions in Zechariah; and, at the times in which the writer must have lived [on the anti-supernaturalist presupposition], had he not been the [6th century] prophet, viz. the Maccabee times, we have quotations not of the book only, but of its Greek translation, in the 3rd (the Jewish) Sibylline book. It is quoted in the 1st book of Maccabees, and at some time, at the least not later, in the book of Baruch; and, men allow too now, in the book of Enoch. (E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes [Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864], 353)

[lxvii]        On this topic, see Roger T. Beckwith, “Early Traces of the Book of Daniel,” Tyndale Bulletin 53:1 (2002) 75-82 & and Roger T. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism (London: SPCK, 1985), 355-358.

[lxviii]       Steven D. Anderson, Darius the Mede: A Reappraisal (Grand Rapids, MI: CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014) 95-97. A brief discussion of the parallels between the Dynastic Prophecy and Daniel appears in Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Hermeneutical Issues in the Book of Daniel,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 23:1 (1980) 15. See William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, The Context of Scripture (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 481-482 for a translation of the Prophecy’s text.

[lxix]         Picture of the Dynastic Prophecy, item BM40623, British Museum, England.

[lxx]         See W. O. E. Oesterley, An Introduction to the Books of the Apocrypha (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1935), 169; Robert Henry Charles, ed., Apocrypha of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), Tobit.

[lxxi]         Tobit 14:4-5; Daniel 2:21; 7:24; 8:14; 9:24; 12:7, 11-12. Beckwith notes:

Tobit is a work of primitive character, giving signs of belonging to the Persian period . . . and in the earlier text of it (that found in Codex Sinaiticus) it speaks of “the prophets of Israel” as predicting times and seasons, in the manner of Daniel, “until the time when the time of the seasons is fulfilled” (Tobit 14:4f; cp. Dan. 2, 7–9, 11–12). Similarly, it has become a commonplace in Tobit and in other intertestamental works to assume that pious Jews of the exilic period would have avoided eating the unclean food of the Gentiles (Tobit 1:10–13; Judith 10:5; 12:2; Rest of Esther 14:17, addition C); but these incidental references all seem likely to go back to the extended narrative of Dan. 1:5–16. (Roger T. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism [London: SPCK, 1985])

[lxxii]        Beckwith notes:

There are close links between Daniel and the first book of 1 Enoch, the Book of Watchers (1 En. 1–36), showing dependence . . . on the side of the Book of Watchers. The links are the designation “watchers” for angels (Dan. 4:13, 17, 23; cp. 1 En. 10.9, 15; 12.2–4; 13.10 etc.), the names Michael and Gabriel for two of the angels (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; 10:13, 21; 12:1; cp. 1 En. 9.1; 10.9, 11 etc.) and the striking parallel between the vision of God in Dan. 7:9f. and that in 1 En. 14.18–22. But the age of the MSS of the Book of Watchers from Qumran indicates that its composition goes back to the latter half of the third century B. C., so the composition of Daniel must go back to a still earlier date. (Roger T. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism [London: SPCK, 1985], 357)

[lxxiii]       See Timothy H. Lim et al., The Dead Sea Scrolls in Their Historical Context (London; New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 104.

[lxxiv]        Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981], 523, 528.

[lxxv]        See the discussion in Patrick W. Skehan and Alexander A. Di Lella O.F.M., The Wisdom of Ben Sira: A New Translation with Notes, Introduction and Commentary, Vol. 39, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008), 8-10; Robert Henry Charles, ed., Apocrypha of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), Sirach, sec. 6; W. O. E. Oesterley, The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus in the Revised Version with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912), xx-xxiii. The early date for Ecclesiasticus is defended in E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), Lecture 6, and in J. H. A. Hart, Ecclesiasticus: The Greek Text of Codex 248 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909) 249-266.

[lxxvi]        Ecclesiasticus 36:10 is a prayer for the coming of the “end” and “appointed time” referred to in Daniel 8:19; 11:27, 29, 35; 12:4, 9. In the LXX a slightly different numbering system is employed, and Ecclesiasticus 36:10 is 36:7. Note the discussion in Roger T. Beckwith, “Early Traces of the Book of Daniel,” Tyndale Bulletin 53:1 (2002) 80-81. Beckwith concludes that Ben Sirach’s prayer “was made with full knowledge of the prophecies contained in Daniel 8 or 11-12, and asks explicitly that they may soon be fulfilled. . . . Ben Sira evidently knew the Book of Daniel” (pg. 81).

[lxxvii]       See Daniel 9:4-19; Baruch 1:15-2:19 & E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 359–362.

[lxxviii]      1 Maccabees 2:59-60; see Daniel 3, 6. 1 Maccabees 2:49 also alludes to Daniel 8:19.

[lxxix]        See 1 Maccabees 1:54, where “abomination of desolation” alludes to the same Greek words in Daniel 9:27 & 11:31.

[lxxx]        William Heaford Daubney, The Use of the Apocrypha in the Christian Church (London: C. J. Clay and Sons; Cambridge University Press, 1900), 85.

[lxxxi]        R. K. Harrison, “Daniel, Book of,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 861–862.

[lxxxii]       For an introduction to and translation of the Letter to Aristeas, see Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 83-122. While the letter of Aristeas provides useful historical information, no affirmation is made here that the work is free of legendary or unhistorical statements.

[lxxxiii]      See H. St. J. Thackeray, “Septuagint,” ed. James Orr et al., The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915), 2723ff.

[lxxxiv]       Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton, The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1870), “Introduction.”; Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, Rev. and expanded. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 345. In addition to the “historical plausibility” of Aristeas, and the “historical nucleus” to his work, despite some questionable accretions, there is further evidence for the existence of the LXX in the 3rd century: “Biblical quotations or allusions supposing knowledge of the LXX occur in Hellenistic Jewish writers from the end of the third century BCE onwards. . . . [Also,] [t]he Greek of the Pentateuch reflects an identifiable stage in the development of Koine (the ‘common’ language of the Hellenistic period) consonant with the early-third century. This is probably the strongest argument” (Jennifer M. Dines and Michael A. Knibb, The Septuagint [London: New York: T&T Clark, 2004], 40–42).

[lxxxv]       Folio1r of Burney MS 34, the Letter of Aristeas or Letter to Philocrates. Elec. acc. http://bl.uk/manuscripts/.

[lxxxvi]       The view that only the Pentateuch was originally translated—with the rest of the Old Testament being translated later—is common, especially among those who reject the inerrancy of Scripture. However, no external data support such a contention, and its advocates confess that the fact that books such as Daniel speak of events in the Maccabean period—that is, they contain predictive prophecy if their traditional date is accepted—supply the core reason for the attribution of a later date to the translation of these books: “The prophetic books . . . are mostly assigned to the mid-second century bce and later, largely from their supposed reflection of, and, in some cases, allusions to, contemporary events (Maccabean, Hasmonean, Roman, etc.)” (Jennifer M. Dines and Michael A. Knibb, The Septuagint [London; New York: T&T Clark, 2004], 46). That is, late dates are assigned to the translation of these books because of an anti-supernatural faith that predictive prophecy is impossible, not on facts.

Furthermore, the translation of Deuteronomy 32:8 and Isaiah 30:4 in the LXX presupposes the existence of the book of Daniel (cf. E. W. Hengstenberg, Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel [Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1848], 234-235 & E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes [Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864], 362), so even an admission that the Pentateuch was translated into Greek in the third century B. C. supports the existence of the book of Daniel at that time.

[lxxxvii]      Aristeas 1-11; Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 95.

[lxxxviii]     Aristeas 30; Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 98. Note that Aristeas 30 actually refers to the Hebrew Scriptures already existing in translation before the origination of the LXX—the LXX was to be an improvement upon even earlier translation work, not the first translation of the Old Testament into Greek.

[lxxxix]       Aristeas 309-311; Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 95

[xc]          Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), Antiquities 12:2:1.

[xci]         Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), Antiquities 12:2:4; cf. 12:2:11.

[xcii]         Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), Antiquities 12:2:4.

[xciii]        In addition to the sources mentioned below, see E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 560, 571-593 & 598-605 for detailed proof that “the character of [the book of Daniel’s] Hebrew exactly fits with the period of Daniel, that of its Chaldee excludes any later period” (560).

[xciv]        Gleason Archer Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 435.

[xcv]         K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), 78.

[xcvi]        “The Hebrew of Daniel Compared With the Qumran Sectarian Documents,” Gleason L. Archer, in John H. Skilton, ed., The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies Prepared in Honor of Oswald Thompson Allis. (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974), 470-471, 474-481. See this article for an examination of the many technical linguistic details of the Hebrew language proving Archer’s assertions.

[xcvii]        James E. Trevor, Dead Sea Scrolls Images, 1Q20, Accordance Bible Software.

[xcviii]       Gleason Archer Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 435.

[xcix]        That is, Daniel was composed around Babylon in the East, not around Judea in the West.

[c]           Robert D. Wilson, “The Aramaic of Daniel,” in Biblical and Theological Studies, by the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary (New York, NY: Scribener’s, 1912) 261-306.

[ci]          Gleason L. Archer Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), n.p.

[cii]          Gleason L. Archer Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), n.p.

[ciii]         Joseph J. Lampe, “The Authenticity and Genuineness of Daniel,” The Presbyterian and Reformed Review 6, no. 21–24 (1895): 449–450.

[civ]         William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 314 (2.123B). Image from the British Museum (BM91128), elec. acc. http://britishmuseum.org.

[cv]          Raymond Philip Dougherty, Nabonidus and Belshazzar (Yale Oriental Series. Researches, Vol. 15. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1929), 199, 200.

[cvi]         Joseph P. Free, rev. Howard F. Vos, Archaeology and Bible History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) 201-202.

[cvii]         Gleason L. Archer Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), n.p., referencing R.H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament (New York: Harper, 1941), 758-59. See Joseph P. Free, rev. Howard F. Vos, Archaeology and Bible History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) 196 for a description of Nebuchadnezzar’s building activities.

[cviii]        Gleason L. Archer Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), n.p. Archer also notes:

Critics who assume that nothing ever happens uniquely in history but that all true occurrences must be repetitive in nature—so that scientists may properly observe them—find great difficulty in accepting the historicity of the account in Daniel 4 of Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of madness (boanthropy). During this period he roamed the fields as a beast, imagining that he was an ox (4:33)—till finally his sanity returned to him, and he thanked the God of Daniel for his deliverance. As a matter of fact, we have no Babylonian record of any governmental activity at all on Nebuchadnezzar’s part between 582 and 575; so it may well be that this was the approximate period of his madness.

[cix]         Bruce Waltke, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 133 (1976) 328.

[cx]          Louis F. Hartman and Alexander A. Di Lella, The Book of Daniel: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary on Chapters 1-9, Vol. 23, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008), 160.

[cxi]         John E. Goldingay, Daniel (Word Biblical Commentary 30; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989), 108.

[cxii]         Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Daniel, Vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1853), 61.

[cxiii]        R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), 1120-1121.

[cxiv]        See http://faithsaves.net/Daniel-325-Son-God/ for a justification of the translation “the Son of God” in Daniel 3:25.

[cxv]         For the translated text of the prism, see James Bennett Pritchard, ed., The Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd ed. with Supplement. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 307–308 & Rocio Da Riva, “Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism ( 7834): A New Edition,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 2013 (103:2) 196-229. For a discussion of the text, see William H. Shea, “Daniel 3: Extra-Biblical Texts and the Convocation on the Plain of Dura,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 20:1 (Spring 1982) 29-52. Pictures of the prism are found in Da Riva and in Eckhard Unger, Babylon: Die Heilige Stad Nach Der Beschreibung Der Babylonier (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1931) plates 52-56 (282ff.)

[cxvi]        Rocio Da Riva, “Nebuchadnezzar II’s Prism ( 7834): A New Edition,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 2013 (103:2) 212. Picture from the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

[cxvii]        Roger T. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism (London: SPCK, 1985), 356–358.

[cxviii]       K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), 390–393. The footnotes in the quotation, providing many sources for Kitchen’s affirmation, have been removed in the quotation above; see the source for extensive documentation.

[cxix]        For an analysis and refutation of the general arguments against miracles made by skeptics such as David Hume, see “The Argument Against Miracles” at http://faithsaves.net/argument-against-miracles/, reproduced by permission from Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 457-468.

[cxx]         John E. Goldingay, “The Book of Daniel: Three Issues,” Themelios: Volume 2, No. 2, 1977 (1977): 48.

[cxxi]        W. Sibley Towner, Daniel, Interpretation (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1984), 115, 154, 178; cf. Mark Mangano, Esther & Daniel, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Publications, 2001), 130–131.

[cxxii]        “Jesus of Nazareth: Lord or Legend?” Dan Barker vs. Dr. Justin Bass, June 6, 2015; elec. acc. at “Fact Checking Dan Barker: From Our Recent Debate June 6, 2015,” http://danielbwallace.com/2015/08/01/fact-checking-dan-barker-from-our-recent-debate-june-6-2015/.

[cxxiii]       S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), lxiii. Italics in original.

[cxxiv]       John G. Gammie, book review of Daniel: Introduction and Commentary, by Joyce G. Baldwin. Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980) 453.

10          J. A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (ICC Series; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1972 reprint), p. 22.

11          For detailed discussion of this point, see Edwin M. Yamauchi, ‘The Greek Words in Daniel in the Light of Greek Influence in the Near East’, in J. Barton Payne, ed., New Perspectives on the Old Testament (Waco: Word, 1970), pp. 170–200.

12          Ibid, p. 192. The same conclusion is reached by T. C. Mitchell and R. Joyce, “The Musical Instruments in Nebuchadnezzar’s Orchestra,” in Wiseman et al., Notes on Some Problems in Daniel, p. 27.

[cxxv]        Allan M. Harman, A Study Commentary on Daniel, EP Study Commentary (Darlington, England; Webster, New York: Evangelical Press, 2007), 23.

[cxxvi]       The “harp” (qat◊roœs), “sackbut” (sab≈k≈aœ}), and “psaltery” (p≈§sant◊eœrˆîn).

[cxxvii]       Gleason Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 431.

[cxxviii]      R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), 1124–1127.

[cxxix]       Gleason Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 430–432.

[cxxx]        For further discussion of the Greek terms for these musical instruments and the absolute reasonableness of finding them in sixth-century Babylon, see E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 23–36.

[cxxxi]       See D. J. A. Clines, “Darius,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 867-868 on Darius I Hystaspes.

[cxxxii]       J. Dyneley Prince, A Critical Commentary on the Book of Daniel: Designed Especially for Students of the English Bible (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1899), 55–56.

[cxxxiii]      Concerning the change of the name Gubaru to Darius, see Robert Dick Wilson, “Darius the Mede,” The Princeton Theological Review XX, no. 1–4 (1922): 185–186 & George C. M. Douglas, “The Book of Daniel,” The Presbyterian and Reformed Review 13, no. 49–52 (1902): 237–238.

[cxxxiv]      R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1969), 1122. Compare W. F. Albright, Journal of Biblical Literature, XL (1921), 112f.

[cxxxv]       Picture from the British Museum, “Babylonian Chronicle,” item BM35382.

[cxxxvi]      “Darius did not overthrow the Chaldean kingdom, but received it (Dan. 6:1), and was made king (haœm§lak≈, Dan. 9:1), namely, by Cyrus” (Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 9 [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996], 621.) That he enacted a decree suggested by his nobles without knowing its cause, and was unable to retract it despite his passionate desire to do so (Daniel 6) and even despite laboring until the going down of the sun to reverse it (Daniel 6:14), likewise provides significant support for the fact that Darius the Mede was a subordinate ruler, not the absolute monarch of the Medo-Persian empire.

[cxxxvii]      The Aramaic verb qabbeœl, translated “took” in Daniel 5:31, is translated “receive” in Daniel 2:6. In all three instances where the verb appears in the Old Testament it has the sense of receiving something from another who is superior. In Daniel 2:6 wise men will receive gifts from Nebuchadnezzar if they meet his conditions; in Daniel 7:18 the saints will receive the kingdom from God; and in Daniel 5:31 Darius receives the kingdom from his Persian overlord, Cyrus. In each of these instances qabbeœl is in the Pael, the passive Aramaic equivalent to the Hebrew Pual (see, e. g., Frederick E. Greenspahn, An Introduction to Aramaic, 2nd ed., Vol. 46, Resources for Biblical Study [Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003], 33).

[cxxxviii]     Compare the uses of this expression for a subordinate ruler given authority by an overlord in 2 Kings 23:34 & 2 Chronicles 36:4 (Pharaoh Necho making Eliakim a vassal king); 2 Kings 24:17; 2 Chronicles 36:10; Jeremiah 37:1 & Ezekiel 17:16 (Nebuchadnezzar making Zedekiah a vassal king); Isaiah 7:6 (a plan to set up the son of Tabeal as a vassal king), etc.

[cxxxix]      See the discussion in Gleason Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 427.

[cxl]         William H. Shea, Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Revised Edition, Vol. 1, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 1992), 35–36.

[cxli]         Gerhard F. Hasel, “Chapter II: Establishing a Date for the Book of Daniel,” in Symposium on Daniel: Introductory and Exegetical Studies, ed. Frank B. Holbrook, Vol. 2, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series (Washington, DC: Biblical Research Institute, 1986), 116–117.

[cxlii]        For more on the historicity of Darius the Mede, see John C. Whitcomb, Jr.: Darius the Mede. Grand Rapids; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1959; Gleason Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 427–430; Merrill C. Tenney, ed., “Darius the Mede,” Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 5 Vol. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1975). For an alternative defense of Darius’ historicity, see Steven D. Anderson, Darius the Mede: A Reappraisal (Grand Rapids, MI: CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014), elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net/darius-mede-anderson/.

It ought also to be noted that claiming the Bible is in error because of the current absence of extra-biblical confirmation is a serious historiographical fallacy. As Yamauchi explains, there are many things evidenced only in written historical records, or only through epigraphical evidence, or only through archaeology, that nevertheless clearly exist. He illustrates from Aegean archaeology that denying what is attested only in written historical records would, for example, “prove” that something as common as an apple did not exist:

As I have pointed out elsewhere, the ancient historian has at his disposal three major bodies of evidence: (1) the traditions (e. g., the Old Testament, Homer, Herodotus); (2) the epigraphic evidence (inscriptions, letters, etc.); and (3) archaeological evidence (buildings, pottery). If one should plot these sources as three overlapping circles, one discovers that there are seven possible combinations. That these seven possibilities are actually found, e. g., in Aegean archaeology, may be illustrated from a chart of the evidence for plants and animals prepared by Emily Vermeule. In the following list tradition [is] Homer and the epigraphic evidence [is] Linear B.

  1. Tradition alone: apple
  2. Epigrapic evidence alone: mint
  3. Archaeological evidence alone: almond
  4. Both tradition and archeological evidence: pear
  5. Both tradition and archaeological evidence: cypress
  6. Both epigraphic and archaeological evidence: coriander
  7. All three sources: linen

The implication of this random distribution is that just as an object may be attested alone by excavations or alone by inscriptions, it may very often stand alone in the traditions without any necessary reflection upon its authenticity. This is particularly true in view of the relatively fragmentary nature of our excavations and the small extent of the publication of epigraphic and material remains which have been excavated. It is therefore quite unrealistic to demand external corroboration from either epigraphic or archaeological evidence before accepting elements in the traditions which are otherwise credible. . . . [M]any of the elements in the traditions have received their first external confirmation only in the discoveries of the last two decades. Let me add some further examples[.] . . . Though the Mesopotamians used millions of clay tablets for writing, no representation of a clay tablet has been found on their reliefs. . . . As yet no word “scribe” has been uncovered in the Linear B texts, although scribes did indeed write the tablets. . . . Archaeological evidence of Hannibal’s devastating sojourn of over a decade in Italy, as described by Polybius and Livy, is quite exiguous [very small.] . . . If it were not for two archaeological finds, there would be no evidence that Hannibal had ever existed at all except for the texts of the classical authors[.] . . . It has often been assumed in Old Testament studies that the historicity of a person in the Scriptures is suspect unless corroborated by inscriptional evidence[,] . . . [b]ut attempts to identify a person in the traditions with someone in the inscriptions may founder simply on the lack of overlapping evidence. Before cuneiform documents were discovered that identified Belshazzar as the son of Nabonidus, some declared his name a pure invention[.] . . . The same principle would hold true of New Testament studies. If we had to depend upon inscriptional evidence to prove the historicity of Pontius Pilate [Matthew 27:2], we would have had to wait until 1961, when the first epigraphical documentation concerning him was discovered at Caesarea. The first epigraphical attestation of Herod the Great [Matthew 2:1] was discovered in the 1963-65 expedition at Masada. The first inscriptional reference to Felix the procurator [Acts 23:24] was found 10 miles north of Caesarea in 1966.

We may thus conclude that external confirmation of the tradition is desirable, but cannot be held to be necessary. Those who have operated on the principle that external corroboration of the tradition is necessary, have made their cases upon the basis of a precarious argumentum ex silentio. . . . It is . . . very dangerous to draw dogmatic conclusions from existing material or to argue ex silentio. . . . [T]he witness which archaeology and the texts afford is and always will remain incomplete. The earth’s crust has preserved only a small portion of the monuments and objects of antiquity, and archaeology has recovered only a small proportion of these[.] . . . Thus archaeology can mitigate the silence of ancient texts to a certain degree, but one must also admit that lack of archeological evidence would not be sufficient in itself to cast doubt on the affirmations of the written witnesses. . . . [I]n those areas where the traditions still lack archaeological corroboration one can take them at face value or reject them. The negative course was adopted by a great many of the critics of the 19th and early 20th century. . . . [But a] striking change in attitude toward the traditions has [been] brought about . . . [by] archaeology. . . . It is indeed true that archaeology has revolutionized our attitude toward biblical historical traditions. A previous generation of scholars was inclined to make skepticism . . . an almost primary ingredient in the conclusions drawn from use of the . . . historical method[.] . . . Today most of us take a far more positive line . . . to give a tradition the benefit of the doubt . . . this is a basic and all-important scholarly shift in viewpoint, and archaeology is its cause. . . . [I]t would seem that the future of the study of the ancient traditions and archaeology lies with the optimists [about Biblical historicity] and not with the pessimists. (Edwin M. Yamauchi, “The Archaeological Confirmation of Suspect Elements in the Classical and the Biblical Traditions,” in John H. Skilton, ed., The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies Prepared in Honor of Oswald Thompson Allis. [Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974], 54-70)

Thus, even were there no extra-biblical confirmation of the historicity of Darius the Mede—which there is—carefully trained historians recognize the fallacy of equating a current absence of archaeological evidence with proof of historical absence. As Yamauchi notes, consistent application of such unjustified skepticism would have to conclude that Homer should be doubted when he referred to the existence of apples, or that clay tablets and the scribes who wrote on them never existed.

[cxliii]       S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), 1–2.

[cxliv]        Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1965), 163, 165.

[cxlv]        Bruce K. Waltke, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 133 (1976): 325-326.

[cxlvi]        R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), 1113.

[cxlvii]       E. g., S. R. Driver, An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914), 498.

[cxlviii]      See Herodotus, Herodotus, with an English Translation by A. D. Godley, ed. A. D. Godley (Medford, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920) 7:63:1.

[cxlix]        Herodotus, Herodotus, with an English Translation by A. D. Godley, ed. A. D. Godley (Medford, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920), 1:183:1-3.

[cl]          R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), 1113.

[cli]          Robert Dick Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel: A Discussion of the Historical Questions. (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1917), 337, 341. Note Wilson’s exhaustive discussion on pages 319-389, where the testimony of many other ancient historians is reviewed, along with other lines of evidence.

[clii]         Not every objection has been evaluated in this study; readers who want more information can consult the sources in the bibliography. Further objections include:

1.) The account of Nebuchadnezzar going crazy and thinking he was an animal for a period of time (Daniel 4) is not credible nor supported in extra-biblical history. In response, Nebuchadnezzar’s affliction is a known, although rare, condition known as boanthropy. It still exists today. Furthermore, the testimony of Daniel does in fact receive extra-biblical support from the records of the Babylonian priest Berossus, the second century B. C. author Abydenus, and, most importantly, from a Babylonian inscription from the period of Nebuchadnezzar himself. Furthermore, even apart from this external confirmation, a skeptical bias that discards every Biblical statement that pertains to history unless it also receives external confirmation is entirely unjustified and has been proven incorrect over and over again. For a discussion of Nebuchadnezzar and the affliction recorded in Daniel 4, see R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1969), 1114–1117.

2.) The book of Daniel has been criticized for referring to Nebuchadnezzar as the “father” of Belshazzar (Daniel 5:11, 18), since Belshazzar was not the immediate descendent of Nebuchadnezzar. However, there is evidence that Belshazzar’s mother was Nitocris, daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, so Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson. In Semitic usage there was not even a separate word for grandson; on the contrary, son was regularly used in the sense of “offspring” or for descendants other than immediate ones. For that matter, “in the ancient world, successive monarchs were often identified as sons of famous predecessors even when there was no dynastic or genealogical connections. So, for instance, on the black obelisk of Shalmaneser III, Jehu, king of Israel, is identified as ‘son of Omri,’ even though he had been responsible for wiping out the line of Omri and was no relation (a fact probably well known to the Assyrians)” (Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Da 5:2.). Thus, even if Belshazzar had not a drop of Nebuchadnezzar’s blood in him, the language employed in Daniel would be entirely appropriate. This objection is simply quibbling. See R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), 1120; Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 276–277 & E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 404–407, for further discussion.

3.) The fact that Daniel was classified with the “Writings” in the Hebrew canon rather than the “Prophets” is appealed to in support of a late date. However, the third division of the Hebrew canon contains early books such as Job, the Davidic Psalms, the writings of Solomon, Ruth, as well as later books such as Chronicles. The simple reason for assigning Daniel to the third division is that he was a statesman in a heathen court who had prophetic gifts, much like Joseph, rather than one who held the official office of prophet within the theocratic community, like Isaiah or Jeremiah. Indeed, the book of Daniel records a great deal of history that does not contain any specific prophecies, unlike all of the strictly prophetic books. Furthermore, all the extant early evidence clearly recognizes Daniel as a prophet. This argument has been classified as a weak and “almost desperate appeal” (R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1969], 1123) to weaken the clear supernaturalism of Daniel.

4.) Anti-supernaturalists point out that Daniel is not mentioned in the list of famous Israelites in Ecclesiasticus 44:1ff, written c. 180 B. C. Since Daniel is not mentioned in this passage, it is argued, he was unknown at the time. However, Job also goes unmentioned, as do all the judges except Samuel, Ezra, Mordecai, Asa, and Jehoshaphat. This argument from silence proves nothing. What is more, Ezekiel is mentioned (Ecclesiasticus 49:8-9), and Ezekiel mentions Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3), so Ecclesiasticus supports the existence of Daniel. Furthermore, “The shallowness and erroneous nature of [this objection] . . . has been amply demonstrated by the Qumran discoveries, which make it impossible to deny the popularity of Daniel at that period, if the numbers of copies and fragments of the composition may be taken as furnishing any indication at all of the situation” (R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969], 1123). Unless one wishes to argue the fantastically unhistorical position that Ezra, Gideon, Ehud, Othniel, Asa, and so on were unknown in 180 B. C., the absence of Daniel’s name in Ecclesiasticus proves nothing. What is more, Daniel is not mentioned in a section of Ecclesiasticus that deals with the second half of the Jewish canon, the nevi’im, but Daniel is found in the third division, the kethuvim, so “not mentioning him there implies no more than that the Jews in his time had the same arrangement [of books] as they have now . . . clearly . . . [there is no] argument against the existence of the book of Daniel, in the time of the son of Sirach, [from the fact] that writer did not speak of its author in a place which he did not occupy in the Canon” (E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes [Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864], 349, 352). Indeed, Ben Sira does not mention any authors outside of Israel (such as Jonah at Nineveh, Daniel at Babylon, or Mordecai in Persia), probably because of his nationalistic ideas, so the mention of Daniel in Ecclesiasticus would be unexpected.

What is more, there are textual evidences that, while Daniel’s name is not mentioned, nonetheless in Ecclesiasticus “the previous existence of the book of Daniel is presupposed, for the idea presented in Sirach 17:14, that God had given to that people an angel as hegemonos (sar), refers to Daniel 10:13, 20-11:1; 12:1 . . . Daniel is the author from whom this opinion was derived” (Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 9 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), 505. Greek and Hebrew characters have been transliterated.).

5.) Anti-supernaturalists appeal to certain passages of Daniel (e. g., 11:40-45) that, they claim, are about Antiochus Ephiphanes and state that, since Antiochus did not do what the passages say, the book contains historical error. However, these passages, which anti-supernaturalists claim are in reference to Antiochus, actually concern the future Antichrist; Antiochus Ephiphanes did not fulfill these passages because they did not deal with him. In ancient times “the Jews th[ought] Antichrist [was] spoken of . . . [in] this passage” (See Jerome, Jerome’s Commentary on Daniel, trans. Gleason Archer [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1977], comment on Daniel 11:36); such is the natural interpretation of the passage, not an arbitrary expedient to attempt to explain away an alleged false prophecy.

Indeed, the evident distinction between the actions of Antiochus and the statements of these passages constitutes a serious objection to the second century anti-supernaturalist date for the book. The alleged second-century forger of Daniel could successfully record the history of past centuries and of his own time with amazing accuracy. How could he have recorded allegedly contemporary events about Antiochus so inaccurately and, if he had done so, why would the Jews have accepted the forged and errant book into the canon of Scripture and unhesitatingly accepted its inerrancy almost immediately after the time of the alleged gross historical errors? “It is difficult to see how an intelligent second-century B. C. Jewish author could possibly have made such blunders as the critical scholars have ascribed to the compiler of Daniel[.] . . . Had the work contained as many frank errors as are usually credited to it, it is certain that the book would never have gained acceptance into the canon of Scripture, since it would have emerged very poorly by comparison with the writings of secular historians such as Herodotus, Ctesias, Menander, and others whose compositions are no longer extant” (R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969] 1122).

Skeptics may offer further objections (e. g., the golden image of Daniel 3 was too large—however, even apart from Nebuchadnezzar’s fantastic wealth, the image was almost certainly wood overlaid with gold rather than being solid gold; see, e. g. Exodus 37:25–26; 39:38; Isaiah 40:19; 41:7; Jeremiah 10:3–9; John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation [Galaxie Software, 2008], 79–81), but they receive easy and obvious answers.

[cliii]        Bruce Waltke, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” (Bibliotheca Sacra 133 [1976]), 329.

[cliv]         E. g., S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), 100. It is noteworthy that Driver admits that nothing at all in the actual text of Daniel contradicts the view that the last empire is Rome or teaches that the last empire is Greece, but he rejects this position for reasons external to the text (pg. 98ff.):

So far as the . . . symbolism of the vision goes, there is no objection to this interpretation. The kingdom which is to ‘tread down and break in pieces,’ with the strength of iron, ‘the whole earth’ (7:23; cf. 7:7, 2:40) might well be the empire of the Romans, who by their military conquests subdued, one after another, practically all the nations of the then known world; and it has been contended, not without some show of plausibility, that the imagery of the second kingdom agrees better with the Medo-Persian than with the Persian empire: the bear, it is urged, with its slow and heavy gait would be the most suitable symbol of the Medo-Persian empire, of which ‘heaviness,’ as exemplified by the vast and unwieldy armies which its kings brought into the field, was the leading national characteristic, while the three ribs in its mouth are more naturally explained of three provinces absorbed by the empire of the Persians, than of any conquests made by the Medes. (S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900], 97)

[clv]         Archer notes:

The third word of this announcement of doom was parsin (5:25), which was interpreted by Daniel himself in the singular form peres. Daniel 5:28 derives from peres (which may have appeared to mean “division into two” or “half shekel”) the verb perisat (“is divided”) and the noun paras (“Persians”). The only possible inference is that the author who wrote these words believed that imperial power was taken from the Babylonians under Belshazzar and given over directly and immediately to the Persians, who at the time of the capture of Babylon were already merged with the Medes in a single domain: “Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” The trilateral prs is involved in the linkage of a triple wordplay and there can be no legitimate alternative to the proposition that the author—whoever he was and whenever he wrote—believed that the second empire was the Medo-Persian, not the Median alone. This carries with it the fatal consequence that the third empire was Greek, not Persian, and that the fourth empire must have been one that superseded and overcame the Greek one and turned out to be the Roman Empire, which took over the Near East in the first century B.C., a century later than the death of Antiochus Epiphanes. (Gleason L. Archer Jr., Daniel [Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985], n.p.)

[clvi]         The successive advances of Persian Empire are as follows: in 550 B. C. Media merged with Persia; in 546 B. C. Lydia was conquered; in 539 B. C. Babylon was taken; in 525 B. C. Egypt was conquered (Psamtik III, 526–525) by Cambyses.

[clvii]        Gleason Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 439–440.

[clviii]       The only serious attempt at a textual case for making Greece the last empire falsely identifies the “horn” of chapter 8, Antiochus Ephiphanes, with the “horn” of chapter 7, the Antichrist (who is set forth in type by Antiochus). Davis explains:

[To] maintain . . . [that] the four kingdoms are understood to be the Babylonian, the Median, the Persian and the Grecian . . . it is necessary to interpret the second and third kingdoms contrary to the usage of the Book of Daniel itself, which repeatedly speaks of the Medes and Persians as one (5:28; 6:8; and especially 8:20). Capital is, indeed, commonly made out of the reference to a little horn in the prophecy of the seventh chapter and again in the eighth chapter. In the latter instance there is a general agreement among expositors that Antiochus Epiphanes is intended; and advocates of the theory that the Median and Persian kingdoms are distinct world-empires in the thought of the prophet urge that the little horn of the seventh chapter must also denote Antiochus, leaving out of consideration the fact that “horn” is the standing symbol for king and kingdom, and that the horn is described as little, not necessarily because referring to the same person, who in fact was not little, but because in each vision a horn is seen in the act of sprouting and, hence, is at first little. This interpretation of the four kingdoms ignores the fact also that the Roman power had already appeared in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and shown its supremacy over the Syrian monarchy at Magnesia, and that it is actually within the horizon of the writer of the Book of Daniel (11:18, 30). Impartial investigation, we think, would acknowledge these facts and allow them due weight. (John D. Davis, “Exegetical Theology. Review of The Messages of the Bible: The Messages of the Apocalyptical Writers by Frank Chamberlain Porter,” The Princeton Theological Review IV, no. 1–4 [1906]: 407)

Thus in Daniel the term “horn” is used for quite a variety of kings and kingdoms, from Alexander the Great (8:21) to the future Antichrist (7:21) to Antiochus Ephiphanes (8:9) to three future kings (7:20), since horns represent strength and authority in Scripture. The simple use of the word “horn” by no means identifies the two figures of Daniel 7 and 8. (See Daniel 7:8, 11, 20–21; 8:5, 8–9, 21.) It is true that “little horn” (qeren sΩsΩ§{ˆîraœh) is employed of Antiochus in chapter 8:9 and that the same English phrase appears in 7:8 (translating qeren z§{e®raœh) of the Antichrist. However, this usage is easily accounted for in that both Antiochus and the future Antichrist are predicted to start with a little power and then to grow strong. As well, Antiochus is a type of the Antichrist. Besides, the words for “little” in the original language are not even the same in the two passages (sΩsΩ§{ˆîraœh vs. z§{e®raœh; cf. LXX mikron vs. ischyron). Furthermore, the two horns are from different empires—in chapter 7 the horn arises from the fourth empire, in chapter 8 from the third.

[clix]         Robert A. Anderson, Signs and Wonders: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, International Theological Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984), 23.

[clx]         Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Daniel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary 7; ed. Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), n. p.

[clxi]         Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 525.

[clxii]        Flavius Josephus, et al., Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary: Judean Antiquities Books 8-10, vol. 5 (Boston; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 314–315.

[clxiii]       Josephus Antiquities 10:11:7.

[clxiv]        See Antiquities 10:10:4 & Flavius Josephus, et al., Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary: Judean Antiquities Books 8-10, Vol. 5 (Boston; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 283–284.

[clxv]        Robert A. Anderson, Signs and Wonders: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, International Theological Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984), 21–22.

[clxvi]        John H. Walton, “The Four Kingdoms of Daniel.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 29 (1986): 27.

[clxvii]       S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), 98–99.

[clxviii]      E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (London: John Henry and James Parker; Rivingtons, 1864), 157–161.

[clxix]        Note the technical analysis of Daniel 9:24-27 in Hebrew below for evidence.

[clxx]        George Athas, “In Search of the Seventy ‘Weeks’ of Daniel 9,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9:2 (2009): 4–6. After totally ignoring the Christian interpretation of the passage and evaluating only other anti-supernaturalist options, Athas gives his own opinion, but writes that his interpretation “may leave us feeling that the author of Daniel has performed some mathematical and historical gymnastics . . . [t]he theory I have proposed here is not what one would call intuitive” (ibid, 17-19).

[clxxi]        For sources, see George Athas, “In Search of the Seventy ‘Weeks’ of Daniel 9,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 9: 2 (2009) 6.

[clxxii]       J. Paul Tanner, “Is Daniel’s Seventy-Weeks Prophecy Messianic?” Part 2, Bibliotheca Sacra 166 (July-September 2009) 332.

[clxxiii]      See Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 521-542.

[clxxiv]       In examining the early interpretations of Daniel’s seventy-weeks prophecy, one discovers that those living in the first century do not provide evidence that they possessed the historical data needed to properly date the decree through which the clock began ticking on the chapter 9 prophecy. Nevertheless, Christ presented Himself as the Messiah to Israel on the very day that the sixty-ninth week of Daniel came to its conclusion and predicted the coming destruction of the Temple by the Romans (Luke 19:41-44) as also prophscied in Daniel 9. The idea that these events were simply contrived by those who had many ancient records with which to discover the exact timing of the decree to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem is simply not credible. There is no evidence that records allowing the precise dating of the decree were extant at that time. The Lord Jesus presented Himself on the correct day because, as the all-knowing God, He knew what it was, and modern archaeological investigations allow people today to verify the date of the decree issued in 444 B. C. and the date of Christ’s triumphal entry in A. D. 33.

[clxxv]       Jacob Neusner, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, Vol. 5a (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011), 32; also Vol. 16, 526. Of course, it is reasonable to believe that “world” signifies the known world of the writer, not necessarily the entire globe, although, as Christ came the first time during the time of Roman domination, so both Daniel and Revelation affirm that Christ’s second coming will occur when a one-world empire centered in Rome and ruled by the Antichrist literally controls the entire world.

[clxxvi]       Jacob Neusner, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, Vol. 7b (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011), 8; cf. E. B. Pusey, Daniel the Prophet: Nine Lectures, Delivered in the Divinity School of the University of Oxford, with Copious Notes (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1864), 596.

[clxxvii]      Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 538-542.

[clxxviii]     Roger T. Beckwith, “Daniel 9 and the Date of Messiah’s Coming in Essene, Hellenistic, Pharisaic, Zealot and Early Christian Computation,” Revue de Qumran 40 [1981] 521.

[clxxix]       Josephus, War 6:2:1.

[clxxx]       The verb in the verb tense used for “destroy” (sûaœhΩat◊ in the Hiphil), in connection with the word “city” ({ˆîr) found in Daniel 9:26, is used elsewhere in Scripture only for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:18 and 19:26. Only the actual destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple in A. D. 70 constitutes a fulfillment of Daniel 9:26. To affirm that at some point in the Maccabean era some people in Jerusalem were killed, and to assert that this fact is a fulfillment of Daniel 9:26, is to turn the text into gobbledygook in order to maintain the anti-supernaturalist dating system.

[clxxxi]       There are hundreds of predictive prophecies in the Bible. It has been calculated that the likelihood of just 48 of the predictions concerning the Lord Jesus being fulfilled by chance is impossibly small: “Mathematicians . . . have calculated the probability of sixteen predictions being fulfilled in one man (e.g., Jesus) at 1 in 1045. That forty-eight predictions might meet in one person, the probability is 1 in 10157. It is almost impossible to conceive of a number that large” (Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 613). See the resources at faithsaves.net for more information on predictive prophecies outside the book of Daniel (e. g., “Truth from the Torah, Nevi’im, and Kethuvim [the Law, Prophets, and Writings],” http://faithsaves.net/Messiah-truth/ and Archaeology, History, and the Bible, Thomas Ross, elec. acc. http://faithsaves.net.

[clxxxii]      William Wickes, Two Treatises on the Accentuation of the Old Testament. (Brooklyn, NY: KTAV Publishing, 1881 [orig. ed.]) 40-41.

[clxxxiii]     Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, ed. E. Kautzch, trans. Cowley, 2nd. ed, (Oxford: 1910), 58.

[clxxxiv]      Christo van der Merwe, J. Naude, & J. Kroeze, A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar. (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 187-188.

[clxxxv]      “Life and Work of Robert Dick Wilson,” Brian Nicks. The Master’s Seminary Journal 19/1 (Spring 2008) 94.

[clxxxvi]      “Life and Work of Robert Dick Wilson,” Brian Nicks. The Master’s Seminary Journal 19/1 (Spring 2008)102.

[clxxxvii]     See David Otis Fuller, ed., Which Bible? (Grand Rapids, MI: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1997) 39-48.

[clxxxviii]    S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel with Introduction and Notes, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1900), ciii–civ.

[clxxxix]      Joseph P. Free, Archaeology and Bible History, rev. & exp. Howard F. Vos. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) ix-x.

[cxc]         K. A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), 499-500.

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