[b-hebrew] Daniel and history

Tory Thorpe torythrp at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 30 14:44:29 EST 2009

Dear Rolf,

I apologize and didn't mean to suggest that your argument rests on the meaning of a single word. However, more importantly than me reading through Hebrew Jeremiah in its entirety, something I have done many times, there is also the traditional understanding of "the land as desolate waste without men and animal" for 70 years found in the commentaries and Seder Olam. The Sages have also read through Hebrew Jeremiah in its entirety many times but do not share your conclusion about the 70 years.

This of course doesn't mean you are wrong, but it does mean there is no a-priori reason to accept a conclusion that 70 years of desolation without men and animal is meant to be taken literally and so must mean a land without a single inhabitant or animal from the day the Temple was destroyed, and the exile commenced, to the 1st year of Cyrus. That does not square with the archealogical record anyway. Score one for the Sages.

Because of the statements in Zech 1:12-21, I don't think it is special pleading to say that even after the Exiles returned to Jerusalem and Judea and built homes in the 1st year of Cyrus, they, or at least the prophets among them, still regarded Jerusalem as a desolate waste so long as the Temple remained unfinished and in ruins. As the Sages would undoubtedly say, the Temple in ruins is the equivalent to Jerusalem utterly desolate and without man or beast.

Tory Thorpe
Modiin, Israel


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