Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sceptics of Daniel

Last week I was reading some profiles on the prophet Daniel.  My sources included the Douay Bible, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, & the Reader’s Digest.  I found some interesting tidbits of information.

The Hebrew Bible (Holy Scriptures of Judaism) is traditionally divided into three parts:  the Torah, the Prophets, & the Writings.  Interestingly enough, Daniel isn’t included among the Prophets but rather in the Writings. 

The Reader’s Digest points out three apparent discrepancies in the book of Daniel:

1.      Nabonidus was the last ruler of Babylon, not Belshazzar.  This was dealt with in my article entitled THE CONQUEST OF BABYLON.  I think scholars agree that King Nabonidus was more interested in the study of foreign religions and history than in government.  Nabonidus took a ten year hiatus in Arabia and left his son Belshazzar at the helm as prince regent.  Also interesting is that Daniel’s reward for interpreting the “writing on the wall” was not the number two position behind Belshazzar but rather the number three position behind Belshazzar & Nabonidus.

2.      Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon, not the unknown Darius the Mede.  This was also dealt with in THE CONQUEST OF BABYLON.  Scholars are well familiar with Gubara or Ugbara (Greek, Gobryas) who conquered Babylon on October 12, 539 BC.  Many scholars, including William H. Shea, equate him with Darius the Mede.

3.      In Daniel 1:1, the prophet calls Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon.  That was 606 BC, the year of Daniel’s deportation.  Scholars agree that Nebuchadnezzar did not become king until after his father’s death in 605 BC.  Matthew Henry says Nebuchadnezzar reigned for some time in conjunction with his father.  It is also possible that he fulfilled the dual role of army general and prince regent if his father was absent or incapacitated.

1 comment:

  1. Like Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 1:1, Belshazzar was called the king of Babylon in Daniel 7:1. However Belshazzar was prince regent, acting as king in the absence of his father, which was revealed in my article entitled The Conquest of Babylon.