Ezra & Nehemiah Under Scrutiny - Timeline Of Daniel - I
Assembly Of Exiles
The Return Of The Babylonian Exiles
We must examine the biblical records associated with this period. These are thought to have been shaped by Ezra, as were certain other scrolls, according to a number of modern scholars who subscribe to some form of the documentary hypothesis. To begin a balanced examination of Ezra's merit, both as a source and a historic figure, we must read first from the accounts of the return to the land. The scrolls known as Ezra and Nehemiah, compiled from earlier Aramaic and Hebrew sources, came to be incorporated into the Tanakh, but there were other forms of the story such as 1Esdras which was clearly favoured by some learned Jews such as Titus Flavius Josephus, and 2Esdras, with two appendages (5,6Ezra), which is clearly fictional, with accounts that ascribe great prophetic attributes to Ezra, rivaling Moses. In truth this all begins in a prophetic scroll for the latter-days, describing contemporary events of the day, which were incorporated into greater Isaiah:
(1) Thus says יהוה, (2) the one speaking to Koresh, “My shepherd, and all my delight, he shall render complete. Even unto saying to Jerusalem, 'She shall be built, and a Temple, her foundation shall be laid.'” (3) Thus says יהוה unto his anointed, to Koresh, whom I strengthened in [the] right hand to beat down nations before his face. And loincloths of-kings I will unfasten, to open great gates before his face, and gates will not be closed.
Concerning the mention in Isaiah (Isa.44:28-45:8), this appears to be a blatant piece of politically correct prose grafted in to the authentic collection of prophesies by a certain scribe, as is the case for the end of Chronicles (2Chron.36:22-23), yet even this has been proven to have a degree of genuine prophetic merit in these latter-days, whether self-fulfilling or not, given the uncanny case for American President Donald Trump being a new Koresh (Cyrus) from his age of seventy in respect to attaining the United States presidency. The scroll known as Ezra was shaped as a continuation of Daniel, as detailed by Rashi, rather intricately too, according to his Jewish sources, so it must be mentioned here in accordance with the ancient expectation. King Koresh (II), of Persia, founder of the Achaemenid Empire, is thought to have lived seventy years, his reign enduring approximately thirty years. In addition to this, let it be stated that Koresh was the antithesis of Pharaoh, and he has been fulfilled in a biblically prophetic sense in these latter-days, through legacy, according to the promise to Israel's restoration given by President Donald Trump, the one given power over all the Earth from his seventieth year. Under Koresh the Achaemenid Empire came to be the greatest world power of the era, occupying all the previous civilised states of the ancient Near East, conquering most of Southwest Asia, much of Central Asia, and the Caucasus. The empire grew even larger under his successors and enveloped western regions from Bulgaria-Paeonia and Thrace-Macedonia (Balkan regions), and Eastern Europe, to the Indus Valley in the east, Cyrenaica, Egypt, and Nubia in the south. One estimate suggests that, at one time, over forty percent of the world's population was subject to this empire. Initially Daniel prophesied the formation of the empire to King Nebukadnetsar II, but subsequently to Belshatsar, and its demise (Dan.2:32, 39, 7:5, 8:1-7). From Ezekiel's testimony to a certain Daniel of wisdom (Ezek.14:14, 20, 28:3) it is plausible that he was born around 605BC (Dan.1:1-7) given that he was taken to Babylon as a boy by King Nebukadnetsar II's forces (c.597BC). The siege leading to the destruction of Jerusalem the following decade, around 587BC, provides an indication that Daniel's prayer for a return to Israel occurred during the period shortly before the fulfillment of 70 years in exile as his age lay heavy upon him (Dan.9:1-2), around 521BC. The words may mean that he was the force which caused Daniel's earlier prophecy of succession to begin, but it is also plausible that King Koresh II had made a decree, the literal interpretation of the relevant scrolls, but only at the end of his days, and succession threw any plans into disarray. Alternatively, Darius, his first enduring successor, was also known as The Great, and a dynastic title was rendered. The kings listed in the biblical scripture lack a firm degree of historic integrity in some instances, given other possible successors during this period such as Cambyses II or Bardiya/Smerdis, and the accounts in Ezra and Nehemia in particular have been influenced by many hands, and Artaxerxes was actually Darius' son, Hystaspes his father (cf. Dan.9:1). It may even be that Daniel made his most famous prayer around 517BC, perhaps two to four years later than his scroll suggests relative to our modern reckoning from limited ancient sources. Whatever the case it seems sure that the seventy years had to be fulfilled nigh this time if one is to believe the general premise of a bible regarding Daniel 9 (2Chron.36:21). The first ten years from 597BC are for the Ten Commandments broken, thirteen decades complete the cycle (c.457BC).
(4) And in the first year of King Koresh of Persia, unto the word of יהוה spoken by Jeremiah being fulfilled, יהוה roused the spirit of King Koresh of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his realm by word of mouth, and in writing, as follows: (5) Thus said King Koresh of Persia, all the kingdoms of the (known) Earth, יהוה, God of the heavens, has given me and has charged me with building Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. (6) Any-one of you, of all His people, may his God be with him and let him go up to Jerusalem, that is in Judah, and build a House of-יהוה, Israel's God, the God that is in Jerusalem.
(1) Isa.44:24a, (2) Isa.44:28, (3) Isa.45:1, (4) Ezra1:1, (5) Ezra1:2, (6) Ezra1:3
Ezra & Nehemiah - Biblical Fraud Exposed
Timeline Of Events By Historic Record
(7) And the seventh month was established. And Israel's sons, in towns they gathered the people, as one man unto Jerusalem. (8) And Yeshua ben Yotsadak arose, and his brothers the Priests, and Zerubbabel ben Shehaltiel and his brothers, and they built an altar of-Israel's God unto the ascension by whole-burnt-offerings-arising on it, as it is written in Mosaic Torah, of-the higher man of God. (9) And they set up the altar on its site, since they were in dread on-account-of other-inhabitants of-the regions (Ezra4:4, Neh.4:(5)11-(7)13), and upon it they sent-whole-burnt-offerings-drifting-up to יהוה, whole-burnt-offerings-drifting-up at dawn and dusk. (10) And they observed the Festival of Sukkot, as it is written, and whole-burnt-offerings-drifted-up day by day in a count according to statute, a thing day in, day out. (11) And henceforth a whole-burnt-offering-drifting-up perpetually, and to New-Moons, and to all appointed times from those dedicated of יהוה, and to all who ventured freewill-offerings, a freewill-offering unto יהוה. (12) From Day One, unto the Seventh Month was the commencement unto the ascension of whole-burnt-offerings-drifting-up to יהוה. And יהוה's Temple was not yet founded. (13) And they delivered up money to the quarriers, and to the craftsmen, and food, and drink, and oil to Tsidonians, and to Tyrians unto coming with timbers of cedars from the Lebanon to Sea of-Jaffa by permission of Koresh, King of-Persia upon them. (14) And in the second year unto their coming to the House of God, to Jerusalem, in the second month, they started, Zerubbabel ben Shehaltiel, and Yeshua ben Yotsadak, and a remnant of their brethren, the Priests, and the Levites, and all those coming from the captivity [to] Jerusalem, and appointed the Levites from a son of a twentieth year, and up, to oversee according to affairs of-יהוה's House.
Concerning the timing of the reconstruction, upon the end of King Koresh's reign and considering the major monarchs, upon King Darius I's (The Great) reign (circa 522-486BC), and Xerxes I (circa 486-465BC), continuing until King Artaxerxes I (circa 465-424BC), there was eventually an enforced cessation due to political intervention by one of the kings (Ezra4:4-7), terminating some time around the second year (Ezra4:23-24, circa 463BC). Yet the initial Temple works were completed by the end of the Mosaic year, during the sixth year of Darius (circa 517BC), having been supposedly undertaken with the endorsement of the three foreign monarchs (Ezra6:13-15), a sum total of sixty years after the completion of seventy years in exile, that being ten years on from the initial violation of Solomon's Temple (2Kgs.24:8-13). Later on, but still around the time of King Artaxerxes I, in the latter part of the seventh year (circa 458BC), Ezra came up to Jerusalem in a substantial company (Ezra7:7), possibly of some thousands for security regarding the king's offering (Ezra7:15-16, 8:1-14). This was in fact after Nehemiah had taken up governance and Jerusalem was well on the path to being restored, the walls having been recently completed (Ezra9:9, Neh.7:1).
If one takes the biblical text at face value then there is an apparent contradiction in the chronology given that King Koresh died around 530BC, at least two years prior to the earliest possible reckoning of seventy years, if not twelve. Taking the claim of the sixth year of Darius is seemingly harmonious, since the interpretation of this date is 517BC, being the required seventy years distant to the time of the ultimate Babylonian conflict, being 587BC. If the latter case is acceptable, and in no disagreement with the date given in Daniel, then the only chronological error therein is that Xerxes I is not written as son to Darius I, but erroneously as his father (Dan.9:1), as previously stated.
Nehemiah commences with a chronology from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes (Neh.1:1, 2:1), circa 445BC and finishes some time after 433BC on that basis (Neh.13:6). That does not work at all given the chronology of Ezra and the double entwined seventy years, but if the unknown scribe has conflated King Xerxes I with King Artaxerxes I, and the authentic reckoning must be from the reign of the former, just as the mention of Koresh is treated leniently, then the relevant periods in Nehemia become 466BC and 454BC, another realistic proposition. This has to be the duration of Nehemia's governance, else Ezra has preceded him (Neh.5:14, Hag.2:18-23), and that seems irreconcilable given Ezra's intent for instituting Torah according to his own agenda. The real issue is the interference in the reconstruction efforts by a coalition of neighbouring states which results in a suspension of building work for nigh the duration of one king's reign, and a few years into that of his successor (Ezra4:6-24). These kings are named as Artaxerxes and Darius of Persia, but the latter clearly preceded the former. Logically the text should show Darius then Artaxerxes. The only remaining problem becomes Nehemia's chronology. If work recommenced in the second year of Artaxerxes, as I have suggested above, then his scroll has been found in error concerning the claim of the twentieth year and so forth. Certainly this scroll contains dates which do not reconcile well with the other biblical and historic data sources.
According to the text centred around his enforcement of ethnic segregation, Ezra is presented with allegations against his fellow Priests and Levites by the governing elect. The term used for the remnant of Israel is identical to that used by Isaiah, a holy seed (Ezra9:1(2)-2(3), Isa.6:13). The issue becomes one of context. Here we see another key Pharisaic principle coming into play, that of building a fence around Torah (Ezra3:(9)10), so that a law which was applicable to few now becomes applicable to all. The entire context simply seems too providential.
(7) Ezra3:1, (8) Ezra3:2, (9) Ezra3:3, (10) Ezra3:4, (11) Ezra3:5, (12) Ezra3:6, (13) Ezra3:7, (14) Ezra3:8.
© 2019 theomajor