Daniel's 3 year training and the 2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar.

by thirdwitness 91 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Leolaia
    So the apostates would argue that Daniel, as one of the “children” still learning the local language, had only been in the city several months before he was regarded as, not a child, but as an able-bodied man and one of the wise men of Babylon.

    You should start basing your arguments on the original Hebrew/Aramaic words rather than their English translation. What is rendered as "children" in the NWT in Daniel 1:4, 17 is h-yldym which does not necessarily imply childhood but rather indicates that one is an "offspring" (cf. verb yld "to give birth, sire offspring"), and so it is used to refer to an adult Philistine soldier in 2 Samuel 21:20 (who was a "descendent of Rapha," or lit. "child of Rapha") and the Anakim in Numbers 13:28, and it overwise is typically used to refer to males from birth to marriageable age (Goldingay, p. 5). It thus is relevant to consider that the yldym in Daniel 1:4 refer to the "sons of Israel, the royal seed and the nobility" in the previous verse, i.e. they are royal and noble offspring. "Young men" would be a better translation than "children," and the curriculum of higher education being described in the verse was customary of males in the teens in the Persian court (cf. the otherwise Persian coloring of the story). The LXX renders yldym with the word neaniskous "young men", which is the word that occurs in 1 Esdras 3:4 to refer to the three young men in the court of King Darius.

    I personally do not believe that ch. 2 is describing the same set of events as ch. 1 but for quite different reasons (i.e. ch. 2 has a different literary origin than ch. 1 and the tale is independent of the one in ch. 1). I'm surprised no one has mentioned the fact that the LXX of Daniel 2:1 places Nebuchadnezzar's dream in his twelfth year and that haplography may have caused the loss of the `shrh "ten" (since the eye can skip from shnt "year" to shtym "two"), or that the number could have been sht "six" and was substituted with the similar shtym "two".

    I also do not regard Daniel 1 as reporting a tradition of a siege of Jerusalem in 605-604 BC (cf. Josephus, Antiquities 10.6.1), but rather represents a conflation between (1) the siege mentioned in 2 Kings 24:1-2 that occurred later in Jehoiakim's reign and (2) the siege of 597 BC that occurred during Jehoiachin's reign as described in 2 Kings 24:10-16. It was this later siege that carried off "the treasures of the Temple of Yahweh and the treasures of the royal palace," as well as "all the nobles and all the notables," which corresponds to the "the royal seed and the nobility" in Daniel 1:3. The author of the Hebrew apocalypse was induced to conflate the two events on the basis of the Chronicler, who had already duplicated the exile of Jehoiachin into an exile of Jehoiakim:

    "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had attacked him [Jehoiakim], loaded him up with chains and carried him off to Babylon. To Babylon Nebuchadnezzar also carried off part of the furnishings of the Temple of Yahweh and put them in his palace in Babylon ... the vessels of the Temple of Yahweh which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the temple of his god" (2 Chronicles 36:6-7, Ezra 1:7).

    The author of Hebrew Daniel was literarily dependent on the Chronicler and shows verbatim agreement with his phrasing, showing that he is basing his account on the narrative of Jehoiakim's deportation in 2 Chronicles 36:

    "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hands, with part of the furnishings of the Temple of God. He took them away to the land of Shinar to the temple of his god, and placed the vessels of the house of God in the treasury of his god" (Daniel 1:1-2).

    However 2 Kings 24 knows nothing of a deportation of Jehoiakim and even claims that he died in peace and "slept with his fathers" (v. 6), and the LXX of 2 Chronicles 36:8 claims that Jehoiakim was buried in the Garden of Uzzah in Jerusalem. More to the point, neither Ezekiel nor Jeremiah know anything about the king's exile, and Jeremiah 22:19 and 36:30 explicitly claims that Jehoiakim would die in disgrace in Jerusalem and have his dead body dragged out of the gates of the city (and neither did Jeremiah, who wrote into the reign of Zedekiah, correct this statement if Jehoiakim was in fact taken prisoner). Josephus (Antiquities 10.6.3) historicized this in a narrative about the siege of Jerusalem which he placed at the end of Jehoiakim's reign (cf. 2 Kings 24:1-2), claiming that Nebuchadnezzar ordered Jehoiakim's body be thrown outside of the walls of Jerusalem and "made his son Jehoiachin king of the country and the city". Since Jehoiachin ruled for only three months, and since Josephus described him as installed by Nebuchadnezzar, he apparently has merged the two sieges into a single event, such that the prophet Ezekiel was taken prisoner at the end of this siege and the figure Josephus gives for the number of captives is the one given in Jeremiah 52 for the number taken after 597 BC. But even this account stands in tension with the one in 2 Kings 24:6. And Josephus makes Daniel and his friends exiles taken in the final fall of Jerusalem at the end of Zedekiah's reign (cf. Antiquities, 10.10.1).

    Further evidence of the conflation between Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin can be found in the fact that Ióakeim is the name given to both kings in 2 Kings 23-24 LXX, Matthew 1:11-12 also has Iekhonias (= Hebrew yknyh) as both the son of Josiah (i.e. Jehoiakim, cf. 2 Kings 23:34) and the father of Shealtiel (i.e. Jehoiachin, cf. 1 Chronicles 3:17), and the Jewish historian Eupolemus has combined the two kings into a single figure with the name Ionakhim (e.g. Jehoiakim + Jeconiah). Note also the thoroughgoing confusion of Hippolytus' account of the period:

    "Now there are born to the blessed Josiah these five sons--Jehoahaz, Eliakim, Johanan, Zedekiah, and Jeconiah (cf. 1 Chronicles 3:16 in which Jeconiah is really the son of Jehoiakim), and Sadum. And on his father's death, Jehoahaz is anointed as king by the people at the age of twenty-three years. Against him comes up Pharaoh-Necho, in the third month of his reign; and he takes him (Jehoahaz) prisoner, and carries him into Egypt, and imposes tribute on the land to the extent of one hundred talents of silver and ten talents of gold. And in his stead he sets up his brother Eliakim as king over the land, whose name also he changed to Jehoiakim (cf. 2 Kings 23:34), and who was then eleven years old (cf. 2 Kings 23:36 in which he was 25 years old; his reign was eleven years). Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and carries him off prisoner to Babylon, taking with him also some of the vessels of the house in Jerusalem (cf. the exile of Jehoiakim in 2 Chronicles 36:6-7). Thrown into prison as a friend of Pharaoh, and as one set up by him over the kingdom, he is released at length in the thirty-seventh year by Evil-Merodach king of Babylon (cf. the release of Jehoiachin in 2 Kings 25:27); and he cut his hair short, and was counsellor to him, and ate at his table until the day that he died. On his removal, his son Jehoiakim reigns three years (note: the same name as the previous king). And against him came up Nebuchadnezzar, and transports him and ten thousand of the men of his people to Babylon, and sets up in his stead his father's brother, whose name he changed also to Zedekiah; and after making agreement with him by oath and treaty, he returns to Babylon. This (Zedekiah), after a reign of eleven years, revolted from him and went over to Pharaoh king of Egypt. And in the tenth year Nebuchadnezzar came against him from (he land of the Chaldeans, and surrounded the city with a stockade, and environed it all round, and completely shut it up" (Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, 1).

    The exile alluded to in the beginning of Daniel thus probably reflects the events of the reign of Jehoiachin thrown back into the reign of Jehoiakim by the Chronicler, who also placed it at the terminus of Jehoiakim's reign (whereas 2 Kings does not date it and implies that Jehoiakim died in Jerusalem), allowing Josephus to combine the two sieges together into a single one (facilitated also by the brief reign of Jehoiachin), but in treating Jeremiah's datum about the death of Jehoiakim as historical he must sacrifice the claim by the Chronicler that Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiakim prisoner back to Babylon. It's pretty difficult to assess what the actual history is but I suspect that Jehoiakim's exile is a duplicate of the one of Jehoiachin and the author of the Hebrew apocalypse was influenced by this.

  • AlanF


    thirdwitness could easily answer the questions asked and challenges set forth if he took the time. But he does not. He merely ignores 95% of what is said, and comes back with ridiculous non-answers and evasions.

    Would you like examples?

    He finds the time to post new threads by cutting and pasting stuff from his favorite website. If he can do that, he can take the time to carefully answer challenges. He certainly should not post new material until he has fully answered existing challenges. I also want to add to my previous post the observation that each poster here has his and her own strengths. It is apparent to me that we often fill in for each others' deficiencies.


  • Hellrider


    It is absurd to say that Daniel 2 came before Daniel 1.

    Are you by this claiming that the Bible is chronological?

    Yes or no.

  • saki2fifty
    Alanf: Would you like examples?

    No thanks. I've been following the threads quietly, so I can see whats going on.

  • Leolaia

    Here's a listing of the intertexts for Daniel 1:1-2, nearly every word is accounted for:

    Daniel 1:1-2: "In the third year (b-shnt shlwsh) of the reign (l-mlkwt) of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (yhwyqym mlk-yhwdh), Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (nbwkdn'tsr mlk-bbl) came to Jerusalem and besieged it (b' .. yrwshlm w-ytsr `lyh). The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand (w-ytn ... b-ydn), with part of the furnishings of the house of God (w-mqtst kly byt h-'lhym), and he brought them to the land of Shinar (w-yby'm 'rts-shn`r) to the house of his god (byt 'lhyw), and brought the furnishings (w-'t h-klym hby') to the treasury of his god (byt 'wtsr 'lhyw)".
    2 Kings 24:1: "In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (nbwkdn'tsr mlk-bbl) came up (`lh) and Jehoiakim (yhwyqym) became his servant for three years (shlsh shnym), then he turned and rebelled against him".
    2 Kings 24:11-14: "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (nbwkdn'tsr mlk-bbl) came on the city and his servants besieged it (yb' ... `l h-`yr w-`bdyw tsrym `lyh). And Jehoiachin king of Judah (yhwykyn mlk-yhwdh) went out to the king of Babylon, with his mother and his servants and his princes and his officers, and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign (b-shnt shmnh l-mlkw). And he brought (w-ywts') all the treasures ('wtsrwt) of the house of Yahweh (byt yhwh), and the treasures of the king's house ('wtsrwt byt h-mlk), and cut in pieces all the gold furnishings ('t-ky kly hzhb), and he deported with him all the citizens of Jerusalem, and all the princes and nobles..."
    Jeremiah 20:4-5: "All of Judah I will deliver into the hand ('tn b-yd) of the king of Babylon ... and all the treasures ('wtsrwt) of the kings of Judah will I deliver into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them, and take them, and bring them to Babylon (w-hby'wm b-bbl)".
    2 Chronicles 36:5-7: "Jehoiakim (yhwyqym) was twenty-five years old when he began his reign (b-mlkw)...and against him (`lyh) Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (nbwkdn'tsr mlk-bbl) came up (`lh), and bound him in chains to carry him off to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also brought (hby') the furnishings of the house of Yahweh (m-kly byt yhwh), and put them in the temple in Babylon (ytnm b-hyklw b-bbl)".
    Ezra 1:7: "And Cyrus the king brought forth (hwtsy') the furnishings of the house of Yahweh ('t-kly byt yhwh), which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth (hwtsy') from Jerusalem and put in the house of his god (ytnm b-byt 'lhyw)".

    In brief, (1) the datum about Nebuchadnezzar coming in the "third year" of Jehoiakim corresponds in part to 2 Kings 24:1, (2) the part about "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it" reflects the wording in 2 Kings 24:11, (3) the part about God "delivering Jehoiakim into his hand" has its source in Jeremiah 20:4, (4) the part about "the furnishings of the house of God" reflects the wording in Ezra 1:7 (and has other parallels in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles), (5) the part about Nebuchadnezzar "bringing them to the land of Shinar" reflects Jeremiah 20:5 (and by' "bring" is paired with kly "furnishings" in 2 Chronicles 36:5-7), (6) the deposit of the treasures in "the house of his god" reflects the language in Ezra 1:7 (with a lesser parallel in 2 Chronicles 36:7), and (7) the bringing of the furnishings to the "treasury ('wtsr) ... of his god" reflects the wording in Ezra 1:7 and 2 Chronicles 36:7 with the reference to looted 'wtsrwt "treasures" reflecting 2 Kings 24 and Jeremiah 20:5. The literary evidence thus indicates that the story is based on material referring to both Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin.

    Another interesting datum with respect to the siege of 597 BC and the fate of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin can be found in the Babylonian Chronicle which provides the exact date of the end of Jehoiachin's reign:

    "In the seventh year [598/597], the month of Kislîmu, the king of Akkad mustered his troops, marched to the Hatti-land, and besieged the city of Judah and on the second day of the month of Addaru he seized the city and captured the king. He appointed there a king of his own choice [Zedekiah], received its heavy tribute and sent to Babylon" (B.M. 21946, rev. ll. 11-13).

    According to both 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings, Jehoiachin had a reign of just 3 months. That is practically equivalent of the span of time between Chislev (December 598-January 597 BC) and Adar 2 (16-17 March 597 BC; cf. 2 Chronicles 26:10 which also says that Jehoiachin set off for Babylon at the end of the year, i.e. Adar-Nisan), tho the Chronicler gives the length as 3 months and 10 days which is slightly longer and would imply that Jehoiakim had died before Nebuchadnezzar had arrived to Jerusalem (contra Josephus). On the other hand, if the reign was slightly shorter, there is an appeal to Josephus' account which claims that Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem unhindered, assassinated Jehoiakim and installed Jehoiachin, and then made a strategic move to besiege Jerusalem again shortly afterward (suspecting that Jehoiachin would be an unfaithful vassal because Nebuchadnezzar had killed his father) with the city falling again 3 months later. This would accommodate the 3 month-long siege mentioned in the Babylonian Chronicle, and the closeness of the two sieges could have led to the confusions of the Chronicler and the author of Hebrew Daniel. Against this however is the statement of 2 Kings 24, which implies that Nebuchadnezzar himself besieged Jerusalem only after Jehoiakim had died and that was after he had sent warriors of the surrounding nations against Jehoiakim (v. 1-2). An attractive solution is that in advance of Nebuchadnezzar's arrival to Jerusalem (i.e. before Chislev) he had dispatched the armies of the neighboring nations against Jerusalem to begin the siege, and it was during this siege that Jehoiakim died (which Josephus had misattributed to Nebuchadnezzar), i.e. 3 months and 10 days before Adar 2 (if the data in 2 Chronicles is reliable), and then Nebuchadnezzar arrived shortly afterward and continued the siege, possibly because he wanted someone other than from the pro-Egypt "house of Josiah" on the throne.

    It is more probable however that the attacks by the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites occurred earlier than 598 BC. The rebellion of Jehoiakim referred to in 2 Kings 24 comes after three years of submission to Nebuchadnezzar, and this agrees with the date given in the Babylonian Chronicle (i.e. 20 November 601 BC) for the battle of Nebuchadnezzar against Egypt (the "rebellion" would have involved allegiance with Egypt, and this was 3 years after Nebuchadnezzar received the "tribute of all the kings of Hatti"). The attacks by the neighboring nations would have then occurred at that time, as implied by v. 2, and since Nebuchadnezzar's army had sustained serious losses from its defeat by Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar relied on his client nations to pacify Jehoiakim (i.e. in 600 or 599 BC). Then the continued rebellion of Jehoiakim after these events provoked Nebuchadnezzar to set out in December 598 BC to deal with Jehoiakim who then died while Nebuchadnezzar was in transit.

  • AuldSoul


    I would like to add the following to AlanF's thoughts on thirdwitness. His style is abrupt and chiding (which AlanF repays in kind), he makes unsubstantiated statements of fact based on religious interpretation of secular data (including the Bible as secular data), and when challenged to substantiate the statements of fact he makes, he ridicules his challengers. This produces a predictable reaction.

    Because of this, it may appear he is being ganged up on. However, if a little Chihuahua steps boldly into the pit bulldog pen and starts trying to establish his dominance the outcome is predictable. If a stranger walks into a small community bar/billiards hall and starts challenging the regulars to a fight, the outcome is predictable.

    In the case of the little Chihuahua, I would feel protective because the little fellow didn't have the brains to know better. In the case of the bar/billiards hall, any fool with no more sense than that deserves the punishment his actions and attitudes evoke. It seems to me that your defense of thirdwitness could be perceived as an insult to his capacity to reason, if he arouses pity by the reaction to his chosen mode of interaction here.

    You obviously have sense enough to "scope a place out" before starting fights. Thirdwitness isn't a Chihuahua, he's just reaping what he chose to sow. He'll be alright.


  • hillary_step


    You obviously have sense enough to "scope a place out" before starting fights. Thirdwitness isn't a Chihuahua, he's just reaping what he chose to sow. He'll be alright.

    One also has to take into account that by his own admission ThirdWitness is not involved in this project alone and has background help and support, as does Scholar to his own admission also.

    I believe that this group is making a concerted and developed attempt to undermine the standpoint of 'apostates' on the Internet regarding the 607BCE hypothesis. It is clear that many active JW's are reading, talking and walking. The problem is that while the intellectual venom of this band is sprayed at the 'apostate' community, they also have taken on the complete world of secular history and scholarship and this they will never overcome with ad hominem, innuendo and flawed reasoning. Unlike the WTS the secular world has no agenda on its horizon but truth.

    Armaggedon is not coming to save the WTS. Inevitably they will have to change their views of the 607BCE dating system. Then as the old 'truth' gives way to a new 'truth', ThirdWitness, Scholar and their advisers will be back with another similar agenda, this time focused on some other issue.


  • Jeffro
    The dates are estimates. If you want to say that he became vassal king in the first part of 620 and revolted the very end of 618 that is acceptable and would coincide with the scriptures.

    LOL. So those dates can be estimates because your interpretation requires that they be estimates to be in agreement with the Society.

    But you reject the interpretation I have provided (well you've ignored it anyway) for the first two chapters of Daniel, even though I don't require that any of the durations be estimates, though I do allow for the possibility that they may be, and I am in complete agreement with not only Daniel, but all of the other related scriptures as well.

    Grow a clue.

  • Leolaia

    I forgot to mention one other text that evidences this confusion between the kings of the late kingdom of Judah: 1 Esdras, which is often neglected in biblical studies and which was compiled in c. 150 BC from a variant Hebrew recension of the work of the Chronicler. Whereas 2 Chronicles 36:1-2 claims that Josiah was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz, 1 Esdras 1:34-35 replaces him with "Jeconiah son of Josiah". The basis of the confusion seems to be that both Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin ruled for 3 months each before being taken captive (the former by the king of Egypt, the latter by the king of Babylon). As mentioned before, Jeconiah was actually the son of Jehoiakim, not the son of Josiah. Since the Jeconiah that is the father of Shealtiel in Matthew 1:11-12 is dubbed the "son of Josiah," the first evangelist may be influenced by this confusion from 1 Esdras. Jeconiah probably was not another name for Jehoahaz since Jeremiah 22:11 refers to him as Shallum, which is the name that occurs in the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3:15-16 that lists Shallum as a son of Josiah but does not mention Jehoahaz. In fact, the Lucianic recension of Jeremiah replaces "Shallum" with Ióakhaz in this verse.

    Then, as in the LXX of 2 Kings (i.e. 4Kgdms) the next two kings were both named Ióakeim "Jehoiakim" (1 Esdras 1:37, 43; the RV glosses over this in its translation). Either the redactor of 1 Esdras amended the names in 2 Chronicles to reflect those in 2 Kings LXX, or the version of 2 Chronicles that supplied the Vorlage of the text of 1 Esdras already contained this assimilation between the names of the two kings. This is thus another indication that "Jehoiakim" was a name that was applied to "Jehoiachin" during the Seleucid period.

    Finally, 1 Esdras preserves one other fragment of tradition about Jehoiakim not found in either 2 Kings or 2 Chronicles. According to 2 Chronicles 36:3-4, Pharaoh Necoh deposed Jehoahaz, laid a tribute on the land, installed his brother Eliakim/Jehoiakim as king. But 1 Esdras 1:38 adds what supposedly happened next: "Jehoiakim put the nobles in prison and seized his brother Zarius and brought him up out of Egypt," replacing the statement about Necoh bringing his brother Jehoahaz to Egypt in 2 Chronicles 36:4 with a statement about Jehoiakim taking his brother Zarius from Egypt. It is difficult to see how Zarius (= Hebrew Zeraiah) is supposed to be a name for Jehoahaz/Jeconiah, or where the name came from since it is not among the names of Josiah's sons in 1 Chronicles 3. And why would Jehoiakim arrest his own officials? Perhaps he was installed in a coup d'etat? The Lucianic text at least has Zarius deported "to Egypt" eis Aigupton rather than ex Aiguptou "from Egypt," which would make better sense of things. That would mean that Jehoiakim was installed as king through an overthrow of the Jehoahaz government that Jehoiakim took an active part in. The source of this tradition could well have been something like the "Midrash of the Kings of Judah and Israel" that was a source for the Chronicler. Whatever source was used, the redactor of 1 Esdras either did not realize that "Zeraiah" was the same person as Jehoahaz/Jeconiah or the original tradition did not name Zeraiah as a brother of Jehoiakim, or Jehoiakim sent more than one brother to Egypt.

  • Jeffro
    It is absurd to say that Daniel 2 came before Daniel 1. It is illogical and unreasonable that Daniel was already made district ruler and chief prefect of all the wise men in the middle of his training. In fact, he would not have been looked for to be executed if he was still in training because he was not yet one of the wise men in the king's service. He was learning the ways and language of the Chaldeans.

    1) Daniel was appointed to a position specifically because he interpreted the dream for Nebuchadnezzar. 2) Prior to interpreting the dream in chapter 2, Daniel was unknown to Nebuchadnezzar. 3) Daniel chapter 1 does not indicate that Daniel was unknown to Nebuchadnezzar when the trainees were brought before him. 4) Daniel 1:19 says that Daniel and his 3 friends continued to stand before the king, suggesting that they already had positions before the rest of the trainees were presented to Nebuchadnezzar. There is nothing unreasonable or illogical here at all, however it is unreasonable to suggest that someone who Nebuchadnezzar found to be "ten times wiser" than all of his wise men would not be known of at all in chapter 2.

    Your explanation is built upon sand and is irrational and the only reason you reach this conclusion is because you cannot admit JWs just may be right about it. If the situation was reverse and putting Daniel 1 before Daniel 2 disproved 607 there is no way that you would make the argument you are making. The same with the 40 year desolation of Egypt, the 70 year desolation of Judah, the 70 years upon Tyre. You have an opinion and you disregard what the Bible says to hold to that opinion. JWs on the other hand have reached the 607 date because it is supported by the logical reading of the scriptures.

    You cannot actually indicate what is supposedly irrational in what I have posted. You raise an irrelevant hypothetical regarding a fictional situation situation where Daniel were reversed for proving 607. But the point is that the evidence does not point to 607, and the events in the first two chapters of Daniel agree, along with all the other scriptural evidence, which is consistent with the known secular history. JWs have reached their conclusion for 607 specifically for their 1914 doctrine. That is also why they shifted the year from 606 to 607 when they learned there was no year 0 (duh). And it is why they tenaciously stated that the Jews returned in 537, whereas the facts indicate that they returned in Cyrus' first year, around October of 538.

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