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The Astounding Book of Daniel -- Minimalists Minimalized

The Old Testament book of Daniel records some of the most mesmerizing accounts of the entire Bible. Much of the Biblical record has been confirmed by the writings of ancient, non-Biblical historians, as well as a vast number of revelations uncovered by the archaeologists’ spades.
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The Astounding Book of Daniel -- Minimalists Minimalized

Article#: 1431

If Jesus Christ came incognito—void of the miracles—to preach in 1,000 of the world’s churches, 999 would not invite Him back.  He would be dubbed a man behind the times, a hate-monger, a homophobe, even a misogynist. 

From Abraham to Christ, there were 2,000 years.  Abraham was the father of faith and the father of Israel, the nation given the charge of the Word of God and the nation whose responsibility was to birth the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  They were the keepers of the flame.  But when the Messiah came, the keepers of the flame refused to recognize Him and even instigated His crucifixion. 

It has been 2,000 years since Christ’s ministry to this world and the so-called keepers of the Christian flame cannot recognize Him.  Fortunately for those of us who desire to know Christ as He is, God has given us His Word in all of its finite descriptions—those depicters never change.  Hebrews 13:8:

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Have you been born again as Jesus declares to Nicodemus—born a literal second time, this time of the Spirit of God?  Are you ready to know Jesus Christ as He is?  Are you ready to participate in the greatest miracle of all time, your personal miracle?  If you’ve answered yes, then today is your day of salvation.  Click onto Further With Jesus for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  Do it now.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, II Kings 24:10-17:

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and 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.

13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king''s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king''s mother, and the king''s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father''s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

MAN SAID:  The Bible’s histories are factually unreliable and its “miracles” are simply fairy tales.  When Bible believers attend church, they check their brains at the door. 

Now THE RECORD.   The accuracy of the Bible is central to the Word-walkers’ success.   We are required to build our lives here and our commitment to the Word of God has very serious consequences.  It will separate us from closest friends and even family.  It will dictate career choices, mental and physical health issues, even our retirement accounts.  Recreation and entertainment choices take a 180.  The books we read, the foods and drinks we consume, and even the holidays we observe—all are affected.  Our surrender to the leadership of the scriptures totally changes our self-perception, even the very physical formation of the brain.  Of course, it will also dictate where and with whom we will spend eternity.  We are required to build our lives here and, yes, our commitment to the Word of God has very serious consequences. 

Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature article 662 which will once again prove the certainty of the Bible.  These features are all archived here in text and streaming audio for the building up of the faith of the childlike and as bait for those who fish for the souls of the lost.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one. 

Thank you for coming.  May God’s face shine upon you with Light and Truth. 

The Old Testament book of Daniel records some of the most mesmerizing accounts of the entire Bible.  All of these accounts have been challenged, discounted, and discarded by the casual academics, but nevertheless, these miraculous accounts are all true—every single one.  Much of the Biblical record has been confirmed by the writings of ancient, non-Biblical historians, as well as a vast number of revelations uncovered by the archaeologists’ spades.  Consider the commentary and the actual ancient text of the non-Biblical and even anti-God Babylonian Chronicle.  The following excerpts are from the book, Documents from Old Testament Times:

The following Babylonian account can be compared in detail with the O.T. account of the fall of Jerusalem in 597 B.C. as given in 2 Kings xxiv.10-18; 2 Chr. Xxxi.9f:

In the seventh year, in the month of Kislev, the Babylonian king mustered his troops, and having marched to the land of Hatti, besieged the city of Judah, and on the second day of the month of Adar took the city and captured the king.  He appointed herein a king of his own choice, received its heavy tribute and sent (them) to Babylon.  [British Museum Tablet No. 21946 rev. 11-13 (Plate 5)] 

[Notes:  the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar (598/7 B.C.) as recorded in 2 Kings xxiv.10f. in the month of Kislev.  The Babylonian army was mustered in the month commencing 29 Nov. 598 B.C. or about three months before Jerusalem was captured.  While this confirms that Judah was the main objective of this year’s expedition, it may also indicate that the call-up resulted from the news of the death of Jehoiakim. 

The second day of the month of Adar, i.e. March 597 B.C., thus giving a firm date in both O.T. and the Babylonian chronology.

Captured the king, i.e. Jehoiachin, together with his mother, servants, royal household, and certain soldiers and craftsmen (2 Kings xxiv.12)

A king of his own choice.  Nebuchadnezzar appointed the twenty-one-year-old Mattaniah to succeed his nephew Jehoiachin and changed his name to Zedekiah (2 Kings xxiv.17)  The use of a new name marked the subservience of Judah on oath to Babylon.] [End of quote]

Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Judah and Jerusalem marks the beginning of the book of Daniel.  Special note:  the land of Hatti mentioned above is what the Babylonians called Syria and Palestine.  The Babylonian Chronicle confirms the historic accuracy of the Word of God. 

The following paragraphs are from the GodSaidManSaid feature, Archaeology Certifies Bible, Miracles and All:

Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace?

You’ll find the account in Daniel 3:19-30.  Fiery furnace of ca. 600 B.C.  Excavations at Babylon found what looked like a brick kiln; however, and inscription reads, “This is the place of burning where men who blasphemed the gods of Chaldea died by fire.”  An inscription of Ashurbanipal 668-627 BC reads, “Saulmagina my rebellious brother, who made war with me, they threw into a burning fiery furnace and destroyed his life.  

A king of Larsa (north of Ur), a contemporary of King Hammurabi gave sentence for a slave to be thrown into a furnace.  [End of quote]

They threw Daniel in the lion’s den, but he was not harmed.  Dr. McCoy continues:

Daniel 6:16.  Den of Lions ca. 538 B.C.  The excavator, Dieulafoy, at Babylon, fell into what looked like a well, but upon examination found an inscription, “The place of execution where men who angered the king died torn by wild animals.”

At the palace in Shushan (Suza), a record list was found of 484 men of high rank who had died in a lion’s den. 

One of Ashurbanipal’s inscriptions reads, “The rest of the people who had rebelled they threw alive among bulls and lions, as Sennacherib my father (grandfather) used to do, Lo, again following his footsteps, those men I threw into the midst of them.” [End of quotes]

Daniel died an old man and his beautiful tomb is found at Shush, a small town near Khuzistan in southwest Iran. 

The following excerpts are from the GodSaidManSaid feature Nebuchadnezzar:

Daniel 4:33 reads, “The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”  Could the Bible’s account of the seven years of bizarre madness that possessed Nebuchadnezzar actually be true?  Does extra-Biblical information exist to corroborate the veracity of the Word of God?  As you should suspect, the answer is “YES!” 

The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, is referrenced in ten Old Testament books of the Bible and the book of Daniel is directly quoted by Jesus Christ.  Nebuchadnezzar’s existence is questioned by virtually no one. 

The animalization of Nebuchadnezzar is recorded in secular history and it has been shown to have happened to others.  The scientific term, Lycanthropy, describes a psychological, or as a Christian would suspect, a spiritual malady.  M. Henze, in his book The Madness of King Nebuchadnezzar, quotes E. B. Pusey from his 1885 book published by Funk & Wagnalls.  It reads:

It is now conceded that the madness of Nebuchadnezzar agrees with the description of a rare sort of disease, called Lycanthropy, from one form of it, of which our earliest notice is in a Greek medical writer of the 4th century after our Lord, in which the sufferer retains his consciousness in other respects, but imagines himself to be changed into some animal, and acts, up to a certain point, in conformity with that persuasion.  Those who imagined themselves changed into wolves howled like wolves, and, (there is reason to believe, falsely) accused themselves of bloodshed.  Others imitated the cries of dogs; it is said that others thought themselves nightingales, lions, cats, or cocks, and these crowed like a cock. 

In his influential commentary from 1927, Montgomery followed Pusey’s medical explanation:

The amazing malady which possessed Nebuchadnezzar, known scientifically as Lycanthropy, is presented in a simple and natural way.  […] The disease is well known in the sad annals of the human mind and attested by scientific examination.  With it is associated the primitive werewolf superstition, which may have its rationalistic support in the actual frenzies of the human kind.  […] Even if the essence of the story were true, that Nebuchadnezzar was so afflicted, after the manner of “geniuses” and of many royal persons, as George III of England and Otho of Bavaria, corroboration of it can hardly ever be expected from archaeology, for royal families do not leave memorials of such frailties.  The alleged malady is not an impossibility.  [End of quote]

Agathangelos, a historian during the fifth century, wrote the book History of the Armenians, which is characterized as Christian hagiography, or in this case, the account of the Christianization of Armenia.  Hagiography is the study of the lives of saints.  The following excerpts are again from The Madness of King Nebuchadnezzar:

Twice in his History, Agathangelos refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s metamorphosis in Dan 4.  The first reference occurs in an account about the punishment of King Trdat, following the martyrdom of Gregory and a group of nuns:

The king spent six days in profound grief and deep mourning because of his passionate love for the beautiful Rhipsime.  Then afterwards he arranged to go hunting; he had his soldiers gather the pack of hounds, the beaters scattered, the nets fixed and the traps set; then he went out to hunt in the plain of Parakan Shemak.

But when the king, having mounted his chariot, was about to leave the city, then suddenly there fell on him punishment from the Lord.  An impure demon struck the king and knocked him down from his chariot.  And in the likeness of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, he lost his human nature for the likeness of wild pigs and went about like them and dwelt among them.  Then entering a reedy place, in senseless abandon he pastured on grass, and wallowed naked in the plain.

And again, Henze reports:

Later in the History, Agathangelos returns to the comparison to lay out in greater detail the similarities in appearance between the two monarchs.

For his whole body had become hairy, and on his limbs bristles had grown like those of great boars.  And the nails of his hands and feet had hardened like the claws of beasts that dig the earth or eat roots.  Similarly the appearance of his face had turned into the likeness of the hard snout of an animal living among reeds.  Because of the beast-like nature of his way of life, he had fallen from the honor of his throne, and he roamed about in the likeness of pasturing beasts among the animals in the reeds, lost to the society of men.   [End of quote]

According to Agathangelos, King Trdat was possessed by an evil spirit that brought about his animalization.

While the name of Nabonidus (556-539 BC) is nowhere attested in the Hebrew Bible, we are nevertheless well equipped with written documents about this intriguing figure.  The series of discoveries relating to the last monarch of the Neo-Babylonian empire began in the middle of the nineteenth century with the excavations at Ur.  In 1854, a number of inscribed cylinders were found at the hitherto unidentified Tell al-Muqayyar.  The cylinders were soon deciphered and provided some astonishing information.  First, it was recognized that the site was none other than the famous “Ur of the Chaldeans,” known from the book of Genesis (Gen. 11:28.31; 15:7).  And second, one of the inscriptions refers to Nabonidus as king of Babylon and gives a certain Bel-sarra-usur as the king’s son.  The latter was quickly identified as Belshazzar, the protagonist in Dan. 5 and alleged son of Nebuchadnezzar.  [End of quote]

The Prayer of Nabonidus was discovered in “Cave 4” during excavation of the ruins of Qumran.  In the caves of Qumran, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  The fragmented, non-Biblical text of the Prayer of Nabonidus (reprinted by Henze) follows:

      1. The words of the p[ra]yer which Nabonidus, king of [Baby]lon, [the great] king, prayed [when he was smitten]
      2. with a bad disease by the decree of G[o]d in Teima.  [I, Nabonidus, with a bad disease]
      3. was smitten for seven years and sin[ce] G[od] set [his face on me, he healed me]
      4. and as for my sin, he remitted it.  A diviner (he was a Jew fr[om among the exiles) came to me and said:]
      5. ‘Pro[cla]im and write to give honour and exal[tatio]n to the name of G[od Most High’, and I wrote as follows:]
      6. ‘I was smitted by a b[a] disease in Teima [by the decree of the Most High God.]
      7. For seven years [I] was praying [to] the gods of silver and gold, [bronze, iron,]
      8. wood, stone, clay, since [I thoug]ht that the[ey were] gods
      9. ] their [
        (frgs. 1, 2a, 2b, 3)
      10. ] apart from them.  I was made strong again
      11. ] from it he caused to pass.  The peace of [my] repo[se returned to me]
      12. ] my friends.  I was not able [
      13. ] how you are like [
      14. ] [

(frg. 4) [End of quote]

According to F. M. Cross, author of The Ancient Library of Qumram, line three reads, “…for seven years, and from that time I was like unto a beast and I prayed to the Most High…” [End of quote]

There is some confusion regarding Nabonidus, who lived and reigned very close to the time of Nebuchadnezzar.  The Prayer of Nabonidus describes the same calamity that fell upon Nebuchadnezzar in many details, even to a Jewish minister who instructs him to humble himself and glorify the God of Israel.  Either Nabonidus suffered the very unlikely and identical judgment of God, as Nebuchadnezzar, or the historians have their monarchs switched. [End of quotes]

The GodSaidManSaid Feature, King Cyrus and the Minimalist:

Somehow it escapes the Biblical minimalists who go before men (and especially in religious circles) as the fount of God, but who, in fact, are the scribes and wolves in sheep’s clothing that Jesus warns of.  Yes, it escapes them that the Bible is a supernatural, inerrant, God-authored text.  It escapes the minimalists that prophets of God, by divine revelation, foretold and foretell the future. 

Something else has escaped the minimalists concerning the Bible book of Isaiah and its legendary prophecies of King Cyrus.  It is that the history of this issue is thoroughly recorded by Flavius Josephus.  Josephus is arguably the most famous ancient historian of all time and certainly the most read.  Josephus records the following:

Thus saith Cyrus the King: —“Since God Almighty hath appointed me to be king of the  habitable  earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the Israelites worship; for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets, and that I should build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea.”

This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies; for this prophet said that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision: —“My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple.”  This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished.  Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written; so he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, and the temple of God, for that he would be their assistant, and that he would write to the rulers and governors that were in the neighbourhood of their country of Judea, that they should contribute to them gold and silver for the building of the temple, and, besides that, beasts for their sacrifices.

Cyrus also sent an epistle to the governors that were in Syria, the contents whereof here follow:  —

“KING CYRUS TO SISINNES AND SATHRABUZANES, SENDETH GREETING

“I have given leave to as many of the Jews that dwell in my country as please to return to their own country, and to rebuild their city, and to build the temple of God at Jerusalem, on the same place where it was before.  I have also sent my treasurer, Mithridates, and Zorobabel, the governor of the Jews, that they may lay the foundations of the temple, and may build it sixty cubits high, and of the same latitude, making three edifices of polished stones, and one of the wood of the country, and the same order extends to the alter whereon they offer sacrifices to God.  I require also, that the expenses for these things may be given out of my revenues.  Moreover, I have also sent the vessels which king Nebuchadnezzar pillaged out of the temple, and have given them to Mithridates the treasurer, and to Zorobabel the governor of the Jews, that they may have them carried to Jerusalem, and may restore them to the temple of God." [End of quote]

The Greek author, soldier, and historian, Xenophon, born in 444 BC, speaks of King Cyrus and appends Isaiah’s description of him to him which was “God’s shepherd.”  Cyrus’ tomb can be seen today in Parsagarda in Iran. [End of quotes]

Cyrus marks the end of the prophet Daniel’s service to the kings of Babylon.  This Cyrus came as foretold by God’s prophets and he attests to the veracity of God’s Word with his own pen. 

The book of Daniel contains its wonders, and of course, they’re true. 

The book of Daniel also prophecies of the very last days, of the participating governments, of the anti-Christ, of the end of this world’s governments and the establishment of the everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Glory.

GOD SAID, II Kings 24:10-17:

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and 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.

13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king''s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king''s mother, and the king''s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father''s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

MAN SAID:  The Bible’s histories are factually unreliable and its “miracles” simply fairy tales.  When Bible believers attend church, they check their brains at the door. 

Now you have THE RECORD.

       

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

GodSaidManSaid, Archaeology Certifies Bible, Miracles and All

GodSaidManSaid, King Cyrus and the Minimalist

GodSaidManSaid, Nebuchadnezzar

Thomas, D., Documents from Old Testament Times, Harper & Row, 1958

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