OCCASION OF DANIEL BEING IN BABYLON.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim King of Judah. After the defeat and death of Josiah, the people of the land put on the throne Jehoahaz, or Shallum (Jeremiah 22:11), one of the sons of their late monarch (2 Kings 23:30). We see, by comparing 2 Kings 23:31 with 2 Kings 23:36, that in taking Jehoahaz to be their king they had passed over the law of primogeniture. The reason of this would not unlikely be that he represented the policy of his father Josiah, which may have meant the preference of a Babylonian to an Egyptian alliance. Dean Farrar thinks his warlike prowess might be the reason of the popular preference (Ezekiel 19:3). Whatever was the reason of popular preference, Pharaoh-Necho, on his return from his victorious campaign against the Hittites and the Babylonians, deposed him, and carried him down to Egypt. Necho placed on the throne in his stead, Eliakim, whom he named Jehoiakim. The change of name is not very significant: in the first case, it is "God raises up;" in the second, the adopted name, it is "Jehovah raises up." The assumption was that he claimed specially to be raised up by the covenant God of Israel. It might have been expected that he would be very zealous for the Lord of hosts, instead of which we find that "he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done." As he is presented to us in the prophecies of Jeremiah, he appears a cruel, regardless man. Necho did not mean the subjection of Jerusalem to be merely nominal, so he laid a heavy tribute on the new-made king. With all his defects, Jehoiakim seems to have been faithful to Egypt, to whose power he owed his crown. It should be noted, as one of the differences between the Septuagint Version and the text of the Massoretes, which is followed in our Authorized Version, that there is no word representing reign in the Septuagint. Came Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. Nebuchadnezzar is one of the greatest names in all history. Only here in Daniel is Nebuchadnezzar spelled in the Hebrew with a in the penultimate syllable. In Jeremiah and Ezekiel the name is generally transliterated differently and more accurately Nebuchad-rezzar. This more accurately represents Nabu-kudurri-utzur of the monuments, but alike in Kings and Chronicles the ר is changed into a . נ When it passed into Greek it became ναβυχοδονόσορ, even in Jeremiah. This is the form it assumed in Berosus. Abydenusis more accurate. The name, which means "Nebe protects the crown," had been borne by a predecessor, who reigned some five centuries earlier. The two forms of the name represent two processes that take place in regard to foreign names. Nebuchadrezzar (Jeremiah 21:2) is a transliteration of the Babylonian name Nebu-kudduri-utzur. Nebuchadnezzar, as here, is the name modified into elements, each of which is intelligible. Nebu was the god Nebo, chad meant "a vessel," and nezzar, "one who watches." He succeeded his father Nabopolassar, the founder of the more recent kingdom of Babylon, in the year b.c. 606. Few historical inscriptions of any length have come to hand dating from the reign of either father or son. We have the fragments of Berosus, and epitomes of portions of his worlds; and further, fragments of Megasthenes and Abydenus preserved chiefly in the Fathers. It may be observed that Herodotus does not so much as mention Nebuchadrezzar. Nabopolassar ascended the throne of Babylon in the year b.c. 625, so far as can be made out at present, on the overthrow of the Assyrians of Nineveh. Taking occasion of this event, Egypt, which had been conquered by Esarhaddon and Asshurbanipal, reasserted itself. The Assyrians had broken up Egypt into several principalities, over each of which they had set vassal kings. Psammetik, one of these vassal kings, rebelled, and united all Egypt under his rule. About sixteen years after the fall of Nineveh, his sou Pharaoh-Necho—determined to rival his predecessors, Thothmes and Rameses—invaded the territory of Babylon. He maintained his conquest only a little while, for Nebuchadnezzar, the young heroic son of the peaceful Nabopolassar, marched against the Egyptians. A great battle was fought at Carchemish, and the Egyptians were totally defeated. After this victory Nebuchadnezzar pursued his flying enemy toward Egypt, and probably visited Jerusalem and laid siege to it. He was not yet king, hut it is not to be reckoned an anachronism that the writer here calls him king. We speak of the Duke of Wellington gaining his first victory at Assaye, although his ducal title was not attained till long after. If we follow Berosus, as quoted by Josephus, while Nebuchadnezzar was engaged on the campaign of Palestine and Syria, he was summoned back to Babylon by the death of his father Nabopolassar. "Leaving the heavy-armed troops and baggage, he hurried, accompanied by a few troops, across the desert to Babylon." Josephus professes to be quoting the very words of Berosus, and no doubts have been thrown on his accuracy or good faith in such cases. Berosus was in a position to be well informed, and had no motive to speak other than the truth. The evidence of Berosus establishes that before his accession to the throne, [Nebuchadnezzar had made an expedition into Syria. If we take the statement in the verse before us along with that of Jeremiah 26:1 (where the text is, however, doubtful, as the clause is omitted in the LXX.), that the fourth year of Jehoiakim was the first of Nebuchadnezzar, and look at them in the light of the account given by Berosus of the accession of Nebuchadnezzar, we come to the conclusion that he ascended the throne the year after he visited Jerusalem. Moreover, we must remember that the first year of Nebuchadnezzar was not the year of his accession, but was the year following the next new year alter that event. If a monarch ascended the throne actually in the month Iyyar of one year, that year would be reckoned as "the beginning of his reign;" not till the first of the mouth Nisau in the following year did his first year begin. In Jerusalem the calculation of the years of a monarch began from his accession, and v/as independent of the calendar. Hence, if the Babylonian method of reckoning w,s applied to Jehoiakim's reign, what was reckoned his fourth year in Jerusalem would be only his third. Against both these texts and 2 Kings 25:8, and, moreover, against Berosus, is the statement in Jeremiah 46:2, which asserts the battle of Carchemish to have been fought in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. This contradicts the other statement, unless the battle were fought in the very beginning of the fourth year of Jehoiakim, of which we have no evidence. It has been noted by Dr. Sayce, as a characteristic instance of the carefulness with which the materials have been treated in Kings, that while Shalmaneser is said to have besieged Samaria, it is not said that he (Shalmaneser) took it. It is to be noted that there is an equal carefulness in the verse before us Nebuchadnezzar, we are told, came unto Jerusalem, and "besieged it." The usual and natural conclusion to such a statement would be "and took it;" the fact that this phrase is not added proves that the writer does not wish to assert that Nebuchadnezzar required to push the siege to extremities.
Exursus on the alleged anachronism of Jeremiah 46:1 and Jeremiah 46:2.
Many strong statements have been made in regard to the alleged conflict between the chronology of the verse before us and that of Jeremiah and, it is said, other parts of Scripture. Even Lenormant declares the Book of Daniel to begin with a gross error, "L'erreur grossiere du premier verset du chapitre 1. mettant en l'an 3 de Joiakim la premiere prise de Jerusalem par Nebuchodorossor." A great deal is made of this by all assailants of the authenticity of Daniel. Thus Hitzig says, "The opening of the book is encumbered by an absurd date and a statement of fact which is prima facie doubtful."
What is the extent of this error, or rather of these errors? They are:
Against the second of these statements is placed Jeremiah 25:1, "In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah King of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon." Further, it is proclaimed that in this prophecy thus dated, the coming of the Babylonian king is threatened, and therefore it is concluded that he had not yet invaded Palestine. This is again set over against the third statement, and is supposed to prove it untrue. These two passages together are alleged to prove the first statement to be untrue. To take the second statement first, as really the less important, If there is truth in Berosus's statement that Nebuchadnezzar made his expedition into Syria while his father was yet living, he probably was not yet king; but as he became so immediately after, only a pedant in accuracy would find fault with the words as they stand. If we found it stated that the Duke of Wellington was at Eton in 1782, it would be the height of absurdity to declare this prolepsis an error. Little stress has been laid on this in the assault on Daniel; as little need be laid on it in the defence.
The other two statements are supposed to be erroneous in a more serious way. Even if we get over the above difficulty, Professor Beven says, "The difficulty remains—a siege of Jerusalem in Jehoiakim's third year, of which Jeremiah, a contemporary, says nothing." Confirmatory of this is supposed to be Jeremiah 46:2, "Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh-Necho King of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates … which Nebuchadrezzar King of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah King of Judah." If he fought and won the battle of Carchendsh in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, he could not in the third year of that monarch be in Palestine. Hitzig refers rather to Jeremiah 36:1-32 1-3, "It came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim … this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah hill hear all the evil that I purpose to do unto them;" compared with verse 29, "The King of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast." He refers also to verse 9, "And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah King of Judah, in the fifth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord," in consequence of the reading of the contents of the roll.
As it is clear that the whole case against the chronology of the verse rests on these statements m Jeremiah, it will be advantageous to examine them. As it is the weakest, we will consider Professor Hitzig's ground of objection first. Any one reading the thirty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah without allowing himself to be run away with by a prejudice, will see that there is nothing in the chapter which prevents such an expedition as that mentioned in this verse having taken place. The circumstances are, as it seems to us, the following: Jehoiakim had submitted to the Babylonian conqueror, but had begun to plot against his new suzerain, and to hanker after Egypt. The Egyptian alliance would, he hoped, deliver him from the oppression of Nebuchadnezzar, hence his rage at Jeremiah's prophecies of disaster, and hence his burning of the roll. There is nothing in the twenty-ninth verse that implies that Nebuchadnezzar had not been before in Palestine. The prophecy now is "that he shall come and cause to cease" from Judah "man and beast"—a thing that was not even approximately fulfilled till the loll of Jerusalem in the reign of Zedekiah. Yet Nebuchadnezzar had been m Palestine, and had carried away Jehoiachin. This chapter of Jeremiah, therefore, gives no evidence on the question at issue. Professor Bevan has 'been well advised not to drag it in as part of his proof.
The passages Professor Bevan has brought forward are relatively stronger. If we have in them the veritable words of Jeremiah, and if their evidence is confirmed by other parts of Scripture, they have some cogency If we now turn to Jeremiah 25:1, and compare the Massoretic text with the Septuagint, we find very considerable omissions, and omissions of great importance. In order that Professor Bevan may not politely impugn our honesty, as he does that of Hengstenberg, we shall translate the whale thirteen verses as they stand in the Greek text:
(10) And I will destroy from them voice of joy, and voice of gladness, voice of bridegroom, and voice of bride, scent of myrrh, and light of lamp.
(11) And all the land shall be for astonishment ( ἀφανισμὸν); and they shall be slaves among the nations seventy years.
(13) And I will bring upon that land all the words which I spake concerning it, all the things written in this book."
The reader will observe that the clause declaring the synchronism between the first year of Nebuchadnezzar and the fourth of Jehoiakim, is not given. Had the clause in question been in any way one that supported the authenticity of Daniel, we are sure such a diligent student as Professor Bevan would not have failed to observe the fact that it was not in the Septuagint, and declare that it made it of doubtful authenticity. He, no doubt, recalls that this is the argument by which the last clause of 1 Samuel 2:22 is ruled out of court, when any one would bring it forward to prove the existence of the tabernacle during the youth of Samuel and the pontificate of Eli. We will not impeach his honesty, nor say that he fails to notify his readers of the fact of the non-occurrence of the clause in the Septuagint "to conceal its untrustworthiness." If there were not a suspicion that the omission of the words within square brackets is due to homoioteleuton, which somewhat invalidates the testimony of the Frederico-Augustan Codex, we might be inclined to maintain that not even was the year of Jehoiakim given in this prophecy. The reader will further observe that in the whole section there is not a word of Babylonians, or Chaldeans, or Nebuchadnezzar. Moreover, the passage purports to give a summary of the messages of all the prophets that for twenty-three years had been warning Judah and Jerusalem. That being the case, it is not wonderful that there is no reference to the appearance of the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar the previous year. So far from the publication of this summary implying that the Babylonians had not yet appeared in Syria and Palestine, the last verso we have quoted rather implies that they had. The argument is this: The prophets foretold this desolation of Judah which had just occurred, and now Jeremiah foretells that seventy years from this
. The capture of Jerusalem took plaice, according to M Oppert, in the year b.c. 587. The same authority places the capture of Babylon b.c.. 539, that is to say, forty-eight years after. This difference between seventy years and forty-eight years is too great to be put down merely to the use of round numbers, and it certainly would have been liable to be modified had there not been an earlier date from which to start. Professor Bevan takes the captivity of Jehoiachin, placed by Oppert at b.c. 598, and by himself at b.c. 599, as the starting-point, without assigning any reason. According to the one date it was only sixty, according to the other only fifty-nine, not seventy years after, that Babylon was taken. The difference is still too great. If we take the he conquered Syria, in b.c. 605 or 606, he would receive the submission of Jehoiakim. We have thus 'm interval of sixty-six or sixty-seven years between this date and the entrance of Cyrus into Babylon, and sixty-seven or sixty-eight years to the issue of the decree of Cyrus in Be. 538, which is a much closer approximation to seventy years than any other starting-point gives.
We have another synchronism of the kings of Judah and the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. We are told (2 Kings 25:2) that Jerusalem "was besieged unto the eleventh year of King Zedekiah" In verse 8 we are told that "in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar … . he entered Jerusalem." In Jeremiah 39:2 we are told, "In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, and the ninth day of the mouth, the city was broken up." We see, then, that the seventh of the fifth month of the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar coincided with the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah. We see further that, notwithstanding that Zedekiah is said to have reigned eleven years (2 Kings 24:18), he only reigned ten years and little more than three mouths. His nephew reigned three months (2 Kings 24:8), for three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9). We cannot assume that Jehoiakim reigned eleven complete years; the probability is that it was only ten years and some months. If we take—pace the critics—2 Chronicles 36:10 as relating a fact, then we may regard the reign of Jehoiachin as completing the eleventh year, reckoning from his father's accession. In that case the length of time from the accession of Jehoiakim to the capture of Jerusalem was twenty-one years and three months; from that subtract the eighteen years and four months of Nebuchadnezzar, and we have two years and eleven months.£
If this was the Babylonian reckoning of his reign, then Nebuchadnezzar had really ascended the throne during the previous year. Professor Bevan asserts the passage from Berosus, which is twice quoted in extenso by Josephus, once avowedly verbatim, to be "altogether untrustworthy" Dr. Hugo Winekler, to whom tie refers with respect (Critical Review 4:126), follows this incriminated passage in making Nebuchadnezzar command at Carchemish while his father yet lived. Indeed, when he has not to assail Daniel, Professor Bevan follows Berosus as quoted by Josephus. If Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho before his accession to the throne, then Jeremiah 46:2 is further at variance with Kings and Chronicles than we have made it out to be.
Another synchronism is pointed out by Kranichfeld. In 2 Kings 25:27 (Jeremiah 3:1-25 :31) it is said, "In the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin King of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, Evil-Merodach … in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin King of Judah out of prison." Berosus informs us that Nebuchadnezzar reigned forty-three years. If we may count the years of Nebuchadnezzar's reign according to the Babylonian mode of reckoning, we may neglect the fragments on either side, and reckon his reign forty-three years complete. We may subtract the thirty-seven years from the forty-three, and find that it was in the sixth year of Nebuchadnezzar that Jehoiachin was carried away captive, contradicting 2 Kings 24:12, and making it clear that, if this is the case, it was not the fourth but the fifth year of Jehoiakim that synchronized with the first of Nebuchadnezzar. This is not an insuperable difficulty to a student of Daniel, as Nebuchadnezzar would merely be called king by prolepsis in the verse before us. It is significant that Professor Bevan does not refer to any other possible basis of chronology. When any other is guilty of such an omission, he is severe in his criticism. It certainly would be interesting to see Professor Bevan attempting to harmonize Jeremiah 3:1-25 :31 with Jeremiah 25:1.
When we turn to 2 Kings 24:1-7, we find nothing at variance with what we find in Daniel, or in what we have deduced of the progress of events. Professor Bevan says, "That Jehoiakim was the vassal of Babylon during the latter part of his reign is certain." We should very much like to know the ground of his certainty that the latter part of Jehoiakim's reign was passed in a state of vassalage to Babylon. The Book of Kings in the passage before us distinctly says that after three years he rebelled. We do not know when the three years began, nor when they ended. We should like much to know what ground of certainty Professor Bevan has. If we take his words as they stand, they ought to mean that these three years ended with Jehoiakim's life, and that he never rebelled against the King of Babylon. Dr. Hugo Winckler, 'Geschichte Bob, und Assyr.,' 310, speaking of the struggle between Necho and Nebuchadnezzar, says, "The conflict took place at Carchemish, where Necho apparently intended to cross the Euphrates. Nebuchadnezzar was victorious, and compelled the Egyptians to evacuate Syria and Palestine. He himself pursued them and took possession of the provinces that were formerly Assyian, and made the vassal princes, one of whom was Jehoiakim of Judah, to do homage to himself." Dr. H. Winckler is under no such misapprehension as that which led Professor Bevan to assert that it was in the latter part only of Jehoiakim's reign that he submitted to Nebuchadnezzar. It was either the same year as the battle of Carehemish, or at most the year following, that Nebuchadnezzar reached Syria and Palestine. Even on the date in Jeremiah, that could not be later than the fifth year of Jehoiakim. We have seen that there is probably no date given in Jeremiah for the battle of Carehemish; it may as likely have been the second or third year of Jehoiakim as the fourth.
If we may take the passage from Berosus as authoritative, and compare it with the passages in Kings, we reach the probability that it was in the second year of Jehoiakim that the battle of Carchemish took place. We know that Professor Bevan has declared this passage from Berosus "altogether untrustworthy." Had there not been some support for the authenticity of Daniel in this passage, it never could have been distrusted. When an author, writing seriously, refers to an authority, gives references, and writes down a long passage which he alleges to be quoted verbatim, we generally credit him with fair accuracy. If the passage in question is twice transcribed by him, we are yet more confirmed in our view. If other authors, acquainted alike with the author quoting and the author quoted, refer to this quotation without any sign that there was any bad faith, we have a chain of evidence of which only one recklessly prejudiced could venture to deny the cogency. Such is the case with the passage before us. Josephus quotes the passage twice ('Antiquities, ' 10.11. 2, and 'Contra Apionem,' 1.19); he gives the reference to the second book of Berosus's 'Chaldean History;' in the second of these cases he professes to be carefully quoting cerbatim, in the former he practically does so, the differences are such as might easily be due to copyists. Eusebius also quotes Berosus, and knows Josephus. and refers to this quotation, and makes no note that he found it incorrect. The words of Professor Bevan may indicate that it is Berosus he suspects. It seems hazardous for any one to do so in the face of the numerous confirmations that Berosus is receiving as to the succession of the monarchs within the historic period. We shall quote from Professor Bevan the beginning of the passage: "When Nebuchadnezzar's father heard that the satrap who had been set over Egypt and the regions of Coele-Syria and Phoencia had rebelled against him, he sent forth his son Nebnchadnezzar,"etc. Professor Bevan comments on the passage thus: "Berosus here assumes that Egypt as well as Coele-Syria had already been conquered by the Chaldeans before the death of Nabopolassar and the battle of Carchemish—a notion contrary to all evidene." Is this conclusion warranted? Is the interpretation Professor Bevan puts on the passage correct? The interpretation we put on it is a different one. Berosus regarded Necho as a satrap of the Babylonian monarch. This is advanced by Keil, and, there[ore, Professor Bevan must have known this answer as possible; why did he not endeavour to show it insufficient? There seems every probability that Necho himself or his immediate predecessors were the vassals of Asshurbanipal. Nabopolassar,who succeeded Asshurbanipal as King of Babylon, may well have claimed the submission of Pharaoh-Necho as the vassal of his predecessor, as Sargon did the submission of the vassals of Shalmaneser. It is quite after the manner of Babylonian and Assyrian monarchs to call resistance against their authority rebellion whenever there was any plausible historical excuse for doing so. We have really, then, in this passage from Berosus, a compendious account of the campaign which began with the victory of Carchemish. It is easy to impose a false interpretation on a passage and then, on the ground of that interpretation, reject it. On the interpretation we have given above, the account given by Berosus exactly fits in with the statements of Scripture.
Berosus, however, goes on to tell how Nebuchadnezzar was stopped in his career of conquest by the news of his father's death, and how he proceeded with only his light-armed troops across the desert,' and arrived in Babylon to assume the reins of government. All this suits very well the statements of Scripture, Daniel included. Professor Bevan does not end here; he further denies the possibility of a siege of Jerusalem trod of a plundering of the temple in the reign of Jehoiakim, on the ground of the silence of Jeremiah and Kings. But in 2 Kings 24:11 we are told that Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city in the reign of Jehoiachin; but in 2 Chronicles 36:1-23, there is no reference to a siege. As the critical decision is that Chronicles is derived from Kings, this silence is a thing to be noted; and we might thus deduce that the notice of such a siege was no part of the genuine text of Kings. We might, indeed, proceed to say, "In such a case the argument from silence is very strong, if not absolutely conclusive," as does Professor Bevan in another connection. In Jeremiah 36:30 we have the death of Jehoiakim prophesied. If the prophecy had been falsified by the result, the temptation would have been immense to omit or modify the prophecy; yet there is no account of his death, either in Kings or Chronicles, that fits the prophecy. The account josephus gives of the event suits the prophecy, and is not incredible in itself. The argument from silence is always hazardous, and doubly so in the present case.
Professor Bevan asserts that, according to Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar "plundered the temple." This is the third of the alleged contradictions of fact and Scripture which critics have found in Daniel 1:1. There is nothing about" plundering" in the passage; it is not even said that he took the city. It is said that Jehoiakim was taken, which might be without the city being captured, as was the case with Hoshea and Samaria. The fact that Nebuchadnezzar took "a portion of the vessels of the house of God" is decisive against there being any plundering. If the temple had been plundered after a successful siege, the portion of the vessels which escaped the hands of the Babylonians would have been inconsiderable. If the city had been taken, a fact of such importance would have been mentioned. In this case certainly "the argument from silence is very strong." The capture of the city was the natural termination of the process begun, and when that termination is not mentioned, the conclusion is inevitable that it was never reached.
Let us look at the probabilities of the case. Nebuchadnezzar pursues the broken Egyptian army, demanding the homage of all the recent vassals of Egypt, formerly, of course, vassals of Assyria. Jehoiakim had been placed on the throne by Egyptian power, superseding his younger brother, who had been crowned by the Babylonian party, anti, probably, passing over also his elder brother Johanan. All his interests were bound up in Egypt; he would not believe the defeat of Egypt was so utter and irretrievable; he was always hoping that the King of Egypt would venture again beyond the river of Egypt, and hence, even after his submission to Nebuchadnezzar, he rebelled against him. He would certainly shut his gates against the conquerors. That he should be made prisoner without the city being captured or plundered, might, we have said, easily happen. That its surrender should follow was also natural; that the conqueror should demand numerous hostages and a huge ransom, and that this ransom should have been supplied from the vessels of the house of the Lind, wits simply what had happened time and again before. Fairly interpreted, the words before us mean no more.
We see, then, that not later than the fifth year of Jehoiakim—even on the supposition that the date in Jeremiah 46:2 applies to the battle of Carchemish—Nebuchadnezzar must have received the submission of Jehoiakim. In the verses before us this is said to have taken place in the third year of Jehoiakim; the difference, then, is simply the mutter of one year, or at most two. No student of Scripture can be ignorant of the hopeless confusion of the chronology of the Books of Kings, and how completely they are at variance with the Assyrian Canon. Much can be done to get over these difficulties by showing that there were different modes of reckoning. Sometimes a king associated his son with him, and the son's reign might be reckoned from his father's death or his association with his father. Even in matters much more recent there may be statements as to dates differing by as much as the date given in Daniel differs from that deduced from Jeremiah. Professor Rawson Gardiner, in his 'History of the Great Civil War,' under date January 30, 1649, tells us of the execution of Charles I. In the appendix he gives the text of the warrant, and it is dated January 29, 1648, and commands the execution to take place "on the morrowe." When we turn to Clarendon's 'History of the Great Rebellion,' bk. 11; we find him saying, "This unparalleled murder and parricide was committed upon the thirtieth January in the year, according to the account used in England, 16t87 Critics of the type of Professor Bevan ought necessarily to declare Professor Gardener's history altogether unworthy of credit, because of this difference. The only thing that might hinder them would be the fact that they, as do all intelligent people, know that, according to "the account used in England," at that time the year began, not with January l, but with March 25. Did they not feel that they held a brief against the authenticity of Daniel, they would realize how weak the argument was which depended merely on the difference of one year. There was, according to some, a difference of nearly six months between the Jewish calendar and the Babylonian. We know, further, that there were two ways of reckoning the years of a king's reign—the Babylonian and Assyrian, which did not begin to reckon till the new year after the king's accession; and the Jewish, which dated the king's years from his accession. It might easily be that Daniel used the one mode of reckoning, and Jeremiah the other. We will not press the fact that the whole critical argument assumes the statements in Jeremiah to be accurate, although it is notorious that the text of that book is in a woeful condition. The assertions of critics who ground so much on so little ought to be received with the same reserve as we receive the statements of the counsel for one side or the other in a case before a court of law, The critics, however, wish to be regarded as judges summing up evidence.
We must, however, notice the method by which Hengstenberg gets over this alleged chronological difficulty, in which he is followed by Kranichfeld and Keil. He says that בוֹא means "to set out for," as well as "to come," and brings an instance, Jonah 1:3, "a ship going ( בָאָה ) to Tarshish." Keil alleges numerous other instances which, however, must be considered of doubtful validity. Although we do not agree with this interpretation, the instance from Jonah prevents us endorsing the reckless statement of Professor Bevan, that Hengstenberg's interpretation is "no less contrary to Hebrew than English usage." A person standing on the landing-stage at Liverpool, seeing a Cunarder getting up steam to depart, would not say, "That is a ship coming to New York;" but a Jew could use בוא in such a case. Professor Bevan, as we have already said, holds a brief against the authenticity of Daniel, and he will spare no device to gain his case. We admit that the meaning which Hengstenberg and those who follow him attach to the word is not the common or natural one in the connection. If a person asked permission of a landowner to visit his demesne, and was answered, "If you wish to enter my grounds, I will let you," he would be surprised were his entrance opposed, and would think he was mocked if it were pointed out to him that "let' meant at times "to hinder."
Another attempt at getting over the difficulty here is that of Michaelis, Rashi, and other older commentators, Jewish and Christian. It is that the third year of Jehoiakim is, in the verse before us, reckoned from the time when he became vassal to the King of Babylon. This is the view which, in some sort, Professor Bevan adopts, not with the intention of getting over the difficulty, but, as Bertholdt, of explaining how the alleged blunder came to be committed. Although such a mode of reckoning the reign of a vassal king may have been used in Babylon, we know nothing of it; certainly there is no instance in Scripture of anything parallel. Moreover, it implies that for three or four years Nebuchadnezzar allowed Pharaoh-Necho to preserve, in the hands of his vassal Jehoiakim, a frontier fortress in Jerusalem Yet again the state of matters, as implied in the narrative of 2Ki 29; is that time elapsed during which bands of Chaldeans and Moabites ravaged Judaea. We feel this explanation is to be abandoned, as giving a non-natural sense to the words.
We would wish a further word with Professor Bevan and other critics of his school. Professor Bevan recognizes that it is not only necessary to point out a blunder, but also to show how it arose. As we have already said, Professor Bevan would explain this alleged blunder by a confusion of the three years of submission to Nebuchadnezzar with the years of Jehoiakim's reign. "The author of Daniel follows the account in Chronicles, at the same time assuming that 'the three years' in Kings date from the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, and that the bands of the Chaldeans were a regular army commanded by Nebuchadnezzar." By the above hypothesis the author of Daniel was well acquainted with Kings and Chronicles; elsewhere Professor Bevan assumes that he was intimately acquainted with the prophecies of Jeremiah. Let us look at this alleged blunder in the light of this knowledge.
The natural conclusion from 2 Chronicles 36:7, 2 Chronicles 36:8, compared with Jeremiah 36:30, is that Jehoiakim was bound in order to be carried to Babylon, but was put to death by Nebuchadnezzar instead. This is very much the idea of what happened according to Josephus. How was it that the author of Daniel started with the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim? In the light of Chronicles this made his reign really only three years, but Chronicles and Kings make his reign eleven years. He knew the Book of Jeremiah intimately: how did he not know that the fourth year of Jehoiakim coincided with the first of Nebuchadnezzar? He knew the Book of Kings, he knew the various chronological notes in it; how could he conceivably be ignorant, to the extent Professor Bevan imagines him to be, of what naturally follows from these notes? There are only two suppositions—that he knew a solution of the apparent contradiction, and took it for granted that everybody else knew it also—a mood of mind more natural to a contemporary of the events he is narrating, than to a fatsarius writing centuries after; or these chronological notes were not in the text of these books when he wrote, in which case they are late interpolations, and therefore valueless. Professor Bevan cannot be permitted to invalidate proofs of the authenticity of Daniel drawn from the accuracy of the statements concerning Babylonian habits, by asserting that these statements might have been deduced from Jeremiah and Kings, and then assail the authenticity of Daniel, because some of its statements differ from Jeremiah. If he had shown Daniel ignorant of one or other of these documents, and, from this, convicted him of incorrectness, the argument would have had weight, but, as it is, his arguments are mutually destructive.
We have thus endeavoured to show that there is no chronological blunder in the verses before us, that the basis on which the assertion is made is in the highest degree doubtful, and that the arguments depend on such minute points, that to lay stress on them proves such an animus as deprives the decision of all the weight that otherwise would be due to the learning of the writer.
And the Lord gave Jehoiakim King of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god. The Greek versions of this verse agree with each other and with the Msssoretic text, save that the Septuagint has κυρίου instead of θεοῦ in the end of the first clause, and omits οἴκου. The Syriac Version omits the statement that it was "part" of the vessels of the house of God that was taken. It is to be observed that our translators have not printed the word "Lord" in capitals, but in ordinary type, to indicate that the word in the original is not the sacred covenant name usually written in English "Jehovah," but Adonai. That the Lord gave Jehoiakim into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar does not prove that Jerusalem was captured by him. Far from it, the natural deduction is rather that he did not capture the city, although he captured the king. Thus in 2 Kings 17:4 we are told that Shalmaneser shut up Hoshea "and bound him in prison;" in the following verse we are informed that the King of Assyria "besieged Samaria three years." That is to say, after Shalmaneser had captured Hoshea the king, he had still to besiege the city. A similar event occurred earlier in the history of Judah and Israel. When Joash of Israel defeated Amaziah and took him prisoner, he proceeded then to Jerusalem. The city opened its gates to the conqueror, and he carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and of the king's house, and all the vessels of the house of the Lord, and a large number of hostages, and then returned north. Something like this seems to have occurred now. The king was taken by the Babylonians, and the city submitted and ransomed the king by handing over a portion of the vessels of the house of the Lord. The city, however, was not taken by assault. Miqtzath, "part of," occurs also in Nehemiah 7:70 in this sense: we have it three times later in this chapter—Nehemiah 7:5, Nehemiah 7:15, and Nehemiah 7:18; but in .these cases it means "end." A word consonantally the same occurs in the sense before us in 18:2, translated "coasts." Gesenius would write the word miqq tzath, and regard mi as representing the partitive preposition min. He would therefore translate, "He took some from the numbtr of the vessels." Kranichfeld objects to Hitzig's assertion that קאת means "a part," and is followed by Keil and Zöckler in regarding it, as a short form of the phrase, "from end to end," equivalent to the whole, thus making miqtzath mean "a portion from the whole." The omission from the Syriac of the words which indicate that the vessels taken were only a portion of those in the house of the Lord, shows how natural it was to imagine that the deportation was total, and therefore we may lay the more emphasis on its presence as proving that the temple was not plundered, but these vessels were the ransom paid for the freedom of the king. Several times had the treasures of the house of God been taken away. In the days of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:26) Shishak, acting probably as the ally of Jeroboam, took away all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and of the king's house, "he even took away all." It may be doubted whether Jerusalem was captured (2 Chronicles 12:7); certainly the name of Jerusalem has not been identified in the list of captured towns on the wall of the temple at Karnak. We have referred to the case of Joash and Amaziah. The succession of the phrases," Jehoiakim King of Judah," and "part of the vessels of the house of God," is remarked by Ewald as being abrupt, and he would insert," together with the noblest of the land." There is, however, no trace of any such omission to be found in the versions. It is possible that this chapter may be the work of the early collector and editor, and that he condensed this portion as well as, not unlikely, translated it from Aramaic into Hebrew. Captives certainly were taken as well as booty, as is implied by the rest of the narrative. Which he carried into the land of Shinar to, the house of his god. There is no word in the Hebrew corresponding to" which." The literal rendering is, "And he carried them," etc. It has been the subject of discussion whether we are to maintain that it is asserted here that Jeboiakim, along with the vessels and unmentioned captives, were carried to Babylon. Professor Bevan admits that it is doubtful. Were we dependent merely on grammar, certainly the probability, though not the certainty, would be that the plural suffix was intended to cover Jehoi-skim, but the conclusion forced on us by logic is different. He "carried them ( יְבִיאֵם ) to the house of his god." This seems to imply that only the vessels are spoken of. So strongly is this felt by Hitzig ('Das Buch Daniel,' 5) that he would regard the phrase, "the house of his god," as in apposition to "the land of Shinar,' and refers to two passages in Hosea (Hosea 8:1; Hosea 9:15) in which "house" is, he alleges, used for "land." Irrespective of the fact that these two instances occur in highly wrought poetical passages, and that to argue from the sense of a word in poetry to its sense in plain prose is unsafe, there is no great plausibility in his interpretation of these passages. He regards the last clause as contrasted with the earlier: while the captives were brought "into the land of Shinar," the vessels were brought into "the treasure-house of his god"—an argument in which there is plausibility were there not the extreme awkwardness of using בית, "house," first in the extended sense of "country," and then in the restricted sense of "temple." The last clause is rather to be looked upon as rhetorical climax. The land of Shinar is used for Babylonia four times in the Book of Genesis, twice in the portion set apart as Jehovist by Canon Driver; the remaining instances are in Genesis 14:1-24 ; both as the kingdom of Amraphel, which Canon Driver relegates to a special source. In the first instance (Genesis 10:10) it is the laud in which Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh were. In the next instance (Genesis 11:1-32.) it is the place in which the Tower of Babel is built. The name is applied to Babylonia in Isaiah 11:1-16. and Zechariah 5:11. One of the titles which the kings of Babylon assumed regularly was "King of Sumir and Accad." From the connection of Shinar and Accad in Genesis 10:20 we may deduce that "Shinar" is the Hebrew equivalent for "Sumir." It is not further removed from its original than is "Florence" from "Firenze," or "Leghorn" from "Livorno," or, to take a French instance, "Londres" from "London." The ingenious derivation of "Shiner" from שני, "two," and אר, "a river," which, however, implies the identification of and , א may have occasioned the modification, the more so as it was descriptive of Babylonia; hence the name "Aram-Naharaim," and its translation "Mesopotamia," applied to the tract between the Euphrates and the Tigris, north of Babylonia. In the Greek versions it becomes σεναάρ. It is omitted by Paulus Tellensis. The treasure-house of his god. The word rendered "god" here is the plural form, which is usually restricted to the true God, otherwise it is usually translated as "gods" To quote a few from many instances, Jephtha uses the word in the plural form of Chemosh ( 11:24), Elijah applies it to Baal (1 Kings 18:27), it is used of Nisroch (2 Kings 19:37) In Ezra 1:7 we have this same word translated plural in regard to the place in which Nebuchadnezzar had deposited the vessels of the house of God. In translating the verse before us, the Peshitta renders path-coroh, "his idol" This suits the translation of the LXX. εἰδωλείῳ. Paulus Tellensis renders it in the plural, "idols." The god in whose treasure-house the vessels of the house of God in Jerusalem were placed would necessarily be Merodach, whom Nebuchadnezzar worshipped, almost to the exclusion of any other. The treasure-house of his god. Temples had not many precious gifts bestowed upon them by their worshippers which were not taken by needy monarchs; nevertheless, the treasures of kingdoms were often deposited in a temple, to be under the protection of its god. The temple of Bel-Merodach in Babylon was a structure of great magnificence. Herodotus (1:181) gives a description, which is in the main confirmed by Strabe (16:5): "In the midst of the sacred area is a strong tower built a stadium in length and breadth; upon this tower is another raised, and another upon it, till there are eight towers. There is a winding ascent made about all the towers. In the middle of the ascent there is a resting-place, where are seats on which those ascending may sit and rest. In the last tower is a spacious shrine, and in it a huge couch beautifully bespread, and by its side is placed a table of gold. No statue has been set up here, nor does any mortal pass the night here." There are still remains of a structure which suits to some extent the description here given, but investigators are divided whether to regard Birs Nimroud or Babil as most properly representing this famous temple of Bel-Merodach. In the "Standard Inscription" Nebuchadnezzar appears to refer to this temple, which he calls E-temen-ana-ki," the house of heaven and earth." He says, among other matters concerning it, that he "stored up inside it silver and gold and precious stones, and placed there the treasure-house of his kingdom." This amply explains why the vessels of the house of God were taken to the temple of Bel-Merodach. The fact is mentioned that the vessels of the house of God were carried to Babylon, and, as a climax, "and he placed them in the treasure-house of his god." We know what befell the statue of Dagon when the ark of God was placed in its presence, and the Jew, remembering this, relates awestruck the fact that these sacred vessels were placed in the temple of Bel. If no such disaster befell Bel-Merodach as befell Dagon, yet still the handwriting on the wall which appeared when these vessels were used to add to the splendour of the royal banquet, and which told the doom of the Chaldean monarchy, may be looked upon as the sequel to this act of what would necessarily appear to a Jew supreme sacrilege.
Daniel 1:3, Daniel 1:4
And the king spoke unto Ash-penaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. The version of the LXX. here becomes important: "And the king spoke to Abiesdri, his own chief eunuch ( τῷ ἑαυτοῦ ἀρχιευνούχῳ), to lead to him from the sons of the nobles of Israel, and from the seed royal, and from the choice ones, four young men, without blemish, of goodly appearance, and understanding in all wisdom, and educated, and prudent, and wise, and strong, so that they may be in the house of the king, and may be taught the letters and tongue of the Chaldees." The version of Theodotion is in closer accordance with the Massoretic text, only it inserts "captivity" where the LXX. had "nobles," and reads, "from the sons of the captivity of Israel." In this version the name of the chief of the eunuchs is the same as the Massoretic; the word rendered "princes" in the Authorized Version is transliterated φορθομμίν. The rendering, "the seed of the kingdom," is more literal than that of the Authorized, "the king's seed" The Peshitta is in close agreement with the Massoretic text, save that, instead of "Ashpenaz," the name of the chief of the eunuchs is written "Aspaz," and the word translated "princes" (parte-mira) is transliterated Parthouia, which means literally "Parthians." Symmachus reads παρθῶν. The king spake unto Ashpenaz. There is assumed here that there were a large number of Israelitish hostages who would be reckoned captives whenever the conquered state gave cause of suspicion to the regnant power in whose hands the hostages were, and they were possibly eunuchized. It is possible that Nebuchadnezzar wished to use these hostages about the court, in order that, having tasted the pleasure and dignities of the magnificent court of Babylon, their influence would be exercised on their relatives to maintain them in fidelity. The phrase, "spake unto," has. in later Hebrew, the force of "command," especially when followed by an infinitive, as Esther 1:17. As translated in the Authorized Version. the impression conveyed is that of consultation. The name "Ash-penaz" has caused much discussion. As it stands, it is not Assyrian or Babylonian. The form it has suggests a Persian etymology, and on this fact, along with other similar alleged facts, an argument against the authenticity of Daniel has been based. One derivation would make it ashpa, "a horse;" nasa, "a nose," "horse nose"—by no means an impossible personal name for a Persian or Median. In one or two cuneiform inscriptions of the Persian period the name occurs. Nothing can be built on this, as in the Septuagint the name is given as ἀβιεσδρὶ: in the Peshitta it becomes "Ash-paz," as we have mentioned above. It would be easily possible to derive" Ashpaz" from "Ashpenaz," or vice versa; but there seems no relation between Abiesdri and either. By some, as Hitzig, the name has been identified with "Ashkenaz" (Genesis 10:3), and that again derived from אֶשֶׁד, "the cord of the testicle," and has, a Sanskrit root, "to destroy," and therefore the name would simply be "eunuch." Over and above the general improbability that is always present in regard to etymologies which imply the word in question to be a hybrid word, there is the improbability that one eunuch would receive a name applicable to the whole class of which he was a member. The name, as it appears in the Septuagint, is, as we have said, totally unconnected with that in the Massoretic text, but both may have sprung from some common source. Thus the French word eveque has not a single letter in common with "bishop," yet both words are derived from ἐπίσκοπος . The changes that a name might undergo in passing from any language, even a cognate one, into Hebrew wine very great; thus Assur-bani-pal became "Asnapper." Lenormant has endeavoured to recover the name in the present case. The process he has followed is the somewhat mechanical one of combining the two names, as if we were to strive to reach Asshur-bani-pal item a combination of "Asnapper" and "Sar-danapalus." He arrives at the name Ash-ben-azur, which is a possible Babylonian name. Professor Fuller has suggested Aba-(i)-istar, "the astronomer of the goddess Ishtar." The main objection to this is that it is drawn solely from the Septuagint Version. If we look at the tendency exhibited by the Hebrew equivalents of Babylonian names, we find that shortening was one that was nearly invariably present, as Asshur-akhi-iddin na became Esarhaddon, and Sin-akhi-irba became Sanherib. The only exception to this shortening process which occurs to us is Brodach for Marduk, and even it is scarcely an exception. Next there is a tendency, which Hebrew shares with other languages, of suiting a foreign word to the genius of the language. Hence we find "Ashpenaz" has such a close resemblance to "Ashkenaz" of Genesis 10:3, and that "Abiesdri" is identical with the form "Abiezer"—the name of the father of Gideon—assumes in the Septuagint. Judging from "Asnapper," the name might even begin with Asshur, only that, as Asshur was the national god of the Ninevites, names which contained the name of that divinity are rare in Babylon. The first element in the word might not impossibly be ablu, "son." The final element seems certainly to have been ezer or utzur. As to the office he tided in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, "the master of eunuchs," the name of the office in the text is Rab-Sarisim, which occurs in a slightly different form in 2 Kings 18:17, along with Rab-Shakeh, as if it were a proper name. From the fact that persons thus mutilated were employed in Eastern courts, the word became equivalent to "officer;" hence we find Petiphar is called saris, or "eunuch;" yet he had a wife. It therefore may be doubted whether Daniel and his companions are to be understood as placed in that condition. The title here given—Rab-Sarisim—becomes Sar-Sarisim in verses 7 and 10, Sat being the Hebrew equivalent of the more Babylonian Rab. It is also Aramaic. That he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes. It may be doubted at first sight whether these may not be separate classes—a view that seems to have been taken by most of the old translators, or whether the first class, "the children of Israel," does not include the two classes that follow. The rendering partemim, as "Parthians," adopted by Symmachus and the Peshitta, would make a contrast between "the children of Israel" and "the Parthians." That, however, is utterly unlikely. Were that translation the true one, a strong argument could be advanced for the late origin of Daniel. The fact that the text before Symmachus and the Peshitta translator admitted of that translation shows how far the tendency to modify the text into suitability with the knowledge of the scribe had gone, and therefore how little weight ought to be given to lateness of individual words. According to the LXX. and Theodotion, there is a word awanting in the first clause; the Septuagint translator would supply "nobles" ( μεγιστάνων) "from the nobles of Israel." Theodotion renders, "from the sons of the Captivity of Israel." If the sentence ran בני שרי ישראל, one might understand how it could be read בני שבי ישראל; the natural phrase for this is בני גלותי ישראל, but that would not explain the LXX. rendering. The name "Israel" is the covenant name of the whole nation, equally applicable to the southern and to the northern kingdoms. All the more so that the captivity of Judah contained members of three other tribes besides that of Judah, namely, those of Benjamin and Simeon an l Levi. Further, Josiah seems to have extended the bounds of the Davidic kingdom to embrace the remnant of the ten tribes (2 Chronicles 34:6, 2 Chronicles 34:9), therefore his sons would claim the same boundaries, and therefore hostages might be taken by Nebuchadnezzar from them to Babylon. And of the king's seed and of the princes. The two "ands" might be rendered "both … and," or "alike … and." The king's seed means, literally, "the seed of the kingdom," as it is translated by Theodotion. The phrase, "children of the kingdom," is applied by our Lord (Matthew 8:12) to all the Jews, and in