[b-hebrew] actual Hebrew question about Daniel 9:25

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 16:05:08 EDT 2006


I do suggest that Nehemiah's Artaxerxes was the same one who sent
Ezra. The question is which Artaxerxes was that?

People forget that before the fourth century AD there was no unified
dating system, not even in the Roman Empire. Add to that that most
ancient records have been lost leaves modern historians choosing what
is the most likely date, which may or may not be correct, but most
likely within a decade or more (close enough that it is not worth
arguing about unless new evidence can be found) (also psychologically
people don't like uncertainty). The further back one goes, the more
slight errors can compound. Those dates may or may not correspond to
Biblical dates.

The only reason that I emphasize that is in this discussion we are
trying to fit secular dates with prophecy. While that is a noble
effort, it is doomed to failure because the secular dates are fuzzy.
Further, what does "the 15th year Tiberius" mean, the 15th year after
he ascended the throne, or the 15th year after his being named the
successor of Augustus and the start of his de facto co-regency with
Augustus ten years earlier?

As for the plain reading, all it says in Nehemiah, chapter two, is
that the king was Artaxerxes, it does not say which Artaxerxes. There
is nothing in the book of Nehemiah that I know of that designates
which Artaxerxes. It could be either one.

In conclusion, move Alexander the Great about ten years earlier, the
second Artaxerxes a decade or so earlier, read the two divisions
within the seventy sevens as concurrent, recognizing that the dates
are fuzzy, and you have an almost perfect fit between prophecy and
history, including the seventieth seven. I personally find the reading
based on the earlier dates with the divisions consecutive problematic,
to say the least. Actually, there are problems with both schema.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/14/06, Peter Kirk <peter at qaya.org> wrote:
> On 14/09/2006 00:21, K Randolph wrote:
> > Dear Rev. Bryant J. Williams III:
> >
> > First of all, which king Artaxerxes was the king who sent Ezra to
> > Jerusalem? In doing a googlewhack and reading several articles, I came
> > up with two possibilities, one which would have brought Ezra to
> > Jerusalem at 457 BC, the other at 395 BC.
> >
> > Of the two, the earlier one is used most of the time on online
> > articles, and that is entirely because of a reading of 69 sevens of
> > years to Jesus' death and resurrection. ...
> Not entirely so. If Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in 395 BCE, what is he
> doing there in Nehemiah 8:1, which appears from its context in that book
> to be in the same year, probably 445 BCE, as Nehemiah's building of the
> wall. (I don't in fact know why no one seems to suggest that Nehemiah's
> Artaxerxes was also Artaxerxes II.) Thus a plain reading of the book of
> Nehemiah requires the c.457 BCE date. Maybe the plain reading is not the
> whole story, but this is certainly evidence favouring the earlier date
> quite independent of any interpretation of the 69 sevens.
> --
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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