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

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Fri Sep 15 11:17:04 EDT 2006

Dear Yigal,

I would like to suggest that we move the 20th year of Artaxerxes ten years
back in time. I have published a book with  76 pages discussing the 
chronological evidence from the reigns of Xerxes I (including Bardiya, and 
Nebuchadnezzar III and IV) and Artaxerxes I. On the basis of a consideration 
of the cuneiform evidence (the titles used by
Xerxes I in his different regnal years), Persian inscriptions and engravings
(placing Xerxes on an equal footing with his father Darius I), and the
corroboration of intercalary months in the last 11 years of Darius I and the
first 11 years of Xerxes I, a good case can be made of a coregency or Darius
I and Xerxes I of 11 years. If we take the dates of the cuneiform tablets
from the usurper Bardiya at face value, it is difficult to avoid the
conclusion that he reigned for 18 months and not for 7 (the Behistun
inscription). On this basis the beginning of the reign of Artaxerxes I can 
be pushed back by 10 years.

A colleague of mine, who is working on a doctoral dissertation discussing 
Achamenid chronology, but whose scheme differs from my chronologicl scheme 
in several respects, recently told me that he had made a study of the two 
lunar eclipses supposed to have occurred  in the death year of Xerxes I 
(found on tablet BM 32234). His conclusion is that the description of the 
eclipses fit perfectly the eclipses of June 26, and December 20, 475B.C.E. 
but that they do not fit well the eclipses of the year 465 B.C.E (See "H. 
Hunger (2001) Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia, vol. V, 
pp. 20, 21, 396).   I have only seen a picture of this tablet where the 
cuneiform signs were not perfectly clear, but if they can be clearly seen 
and interpreted by collation, this information also points to an end of the 
reign of Xerxes I ten years before the accepted date.

As for Artaxerxes I, my conclusion from a careful study of all the dated 
Elephantine tablets, is that they cannot definitely decide the question 
about the mentioned ten years. However, their dates are slightly in favor of 
the 475 date. The Greek evidence, particularly Thycudid, clearly points to 
an earlier date for the beginning of the reign of Artaxerxes I than is 
traditionally believed, and the intercalary months reported from his reign 
corroborates this. My suggestion, therefore, is that the 20th year of 
Artaxerxes when Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem was 455 B.C.E. and not 445 

Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

 Original Message ----- 
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, September 15, 2006 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] actual Hebrew question about Daniel 9:25

> Peter Kirk asked:
> I don't in fact know why no one seems to suggest that Nehemiah's
> Artaxerxes
> was also Artaxerxes II.
> The reason is simple: Shemaiah and Delaiah, sons of Sanbalat, are
> mentioned
> in one the Elephantine papyri dated (independently) to 402/1, year 3 of
> Artaxerxes II. This would mean that Nehemiah, Snabalat's contemporary,
> would
> have had to have lived before that date. The only possibility is
> Artaxerxes
> I, whose 20th year was 445. So that the date of Nehemiah's arrival as
> governor of Yehud is "fixed" at 445. The question that remains is the
> arrival of Ezra and his relationship with Nehemiah.
> Yigal Levin
> _______________________________________________

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