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Christian believers may be divided into two classes those who 
believe without interesting themselves greatly in the source of 
their belief and the land which gave it birth, and those for whom 
the Semitic east, and especially our Saviour's native land, are the 
abode of romance and delight. It was the dwelling-place of 
Abraham and the Patriarchs ; and the home of the Jews after 
the Exodus, when the judges ruled and later the kings held sway. 
In these latter days, too, Assyria and Babylonia came upon the 
scene, and we are shown the ways of a still more romantic East 
in the case of Babylonia, moreover, an earlier home of the 
Hebrews, as well as a later one, stands revealed. 

Owing to these changes, doubtless, the Book of Daniel has 
always attracted considerable attention among all classes of 
students, from the most orthodox to those prominent in the 
opposite camp ; and it may also be said that it has attracted not 
a little attention from those who would banish Christianity and 
a belief in God entirely from the world. And this is not to be 
wondered at, especially when we read the well-reasoned and 
instructive pages which the Eev. Charles Boutflower here presents 
to us. If one might in this place make a parallel, the Book of 
Daniel is in a like case to the Book of Jonah in the matter 
of historical difficulties. But such difficulties as these are not 
seldom met with in the Old Testament. Earliest of all is the 
reference to Nimrod in Gen. x. 10. It is a name which is not 
found in the records of Babylonia and Assyria, but which we 
have nevertheless to explain. After this comes the question of 
the battle of the four kings against five in Gen. xiv., for now 
we have the complete list of the year-dates of Hammurabi, the 
kin<y who is apparently to be identified with Amraphel, and 
among them there is no record of an expedition to the Dead Sea 
region or to any of the lands adjacent thereto. Still later on 
there is the question of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia 
(Aram-Naharaim), whose name has still to be discovered or 
identified. And when we come to the time of Hezekiah, we are 
confronted with the doubt whether Sennacherib of Assyria made 
two expeditions against Judah and Jerusalem, or only one. And 



so the seeming discrepancies between the compiled history con- 
tained in the Old Testament and the contemporary documents 
of the Assyrians and the Babylonians goes on. 

But of all the Old Testament books which contain problems 
requiring solution, none would seem to surpass in importance the 
Book of Daniel. There is not only in it the question of the status 
of the Israelites who were captives at Babylon, and their treat- 
ment at the hands of their captors, but the reader is also faced 
by numerous historical questions due to events belonging to the 
period of their captivity. Did Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, 
really go mad, and did he, after regaining his reason, become a 
worshipper of the God of the Hebrews ? Was Belshazzar, son 
of Nabonidus, really the last native king of Babylon, and if so, 
how is it that Nebuchadrezzar, in Daniel, is stated to have been 
his father ? Both these assertions are against the testimony of 
the Babylonian contemporary records, and need explanation 
how are they to be explained ? As to Daniel being appointed 
the third ruler in the kingdom, that is bound up with the latter 
of these two questions, and has an important bearing upon it. 
Of equal difficulty, and of equal importance, is the identity of 
Darius the Median. Here we are again faced by a ruler whose 
name is absent from the inscriptions and chronological lists 
neither the Babylonians nor the Greek historians know anything 
of him, and the only personage either in the Babylonian Chronicle 
or in Xenophon " receiving the kingdom " (instead of Cyrus, the 
conqueror of Babylonia) from the last of the native rulers, was 
Gobryas, whom the Babylonians called Gubaru or Ugbaru (variant 
spellings which suggest the pronunciation G'baru). In no case, 
however, is he called Darius, which, moreover, is doubtfully a 
Median name. As to his nationality, the Babylonians describe 
Gubaru as being of Gutium, a mountainous district identified 
with " old Media," and the Arabic Jebel Judi. All the identifi- 
cations, however, are learnedly discussed by the author of this 
book, and will not fail to provide the reader with the needful 
material for deciding the question for himself. Incidentally he 
will acquire much information concerning many other potentates 
of those ancient days all of them historical personages and men 
of renown. 

In the end the reader will probably come to the conclusion 
that there is no more interesting examination of the Book of 
Daniel than the present work. Not only are the great problems 
contained in the Book examined and dealt with in the light of 
the records accessible to the author, but likewise all the lesser 
problems which the Hebrew record contains. In this book the 
reader will find explanations of all Daniel's prophetic dreams, 
and much strange information thereon is brought to light. His 


remarks upon the difference between Babylonians and Chaldeans 
are by no means to be neglected, though many an ethnic problem 
still remains to be solved. Whatever may have been said against 
it, and however much the Book of Daniel may have been, and 
may still be, criticised, it remains a most valuable record dealing 
with a great and proud people, who thought that they had a right 
to be proud. Was not their land the place of the earthly Paradise, 
and were not their priests every one of them princes, steeped in 
celestial lore ? Moreover, was not all the wisdom of the old 
Sumerians and Akkadians, reaching back through untold ages, 
when the god of wisdom came forth from the sea to teach them 
the arts and the things which a nation favoured by the gods ought 
to know -was not all this wisdom theirs ? 

Daniel and his contemporaries were eye-witnesses of the last 
glories of Babylon, and also of the assumption of its dominion by 
a foreign power that of Persia, the most beneficent rule in the 
world. We have still to learn what moved the Babylonians to 
accept it, but we may suppose that there was a feeling of great 
discontent in the country, and that the people thought that they 
could not do better than accept this foreign rule. If, however, 
they expected to retain their proud position in the world, and be 
considered, as of old, as one of the great nations, they were 
undeceived before many decades had passed. The Persians were 
not a nation whose rulers could be absorbed, as were absorbed 
the Amorites, the Kassites, and the Elamites of the dynasty of 
Larsa, into the Babylonian empire. " The beauty of the Chaldees' 
excellency," therefore, continued to decline until Babylon became 
the desolation which it is at the present day. As in the case of 
the Book of Jonah, the critics attack the Book of Daniel, aiming, 
through them, their shafts at the Churches, but both books remain 
among the most important in the Old Testament, for both contain 
pictures of phases of Eastern life and teaching not to be found 




Chronological Tables ... ... ... ... xv 

CHAPTEE I: Introduction ... ... ... ... 1 

Statement of the two views with respect to the Book of Daniel : the 
orthodox and the critical The critics, guided by chap, xi., do great 
violence to the rest of the Book Dr. Wright's explanation of that 
chapter a concession, but not improbable Interpolation of Holy Scrip- 
ture as witnessed by the Targums The visions of Daniel only to be 
made clear by their fulfilment Nevertheless this Book to engage the 
attention of many, and further light promised. 

CHAPTEE II: The Four Kingdoms ... ... ... 13 

The Grecian and the Roman scheme Chaps, vii. and viii. not parallels 
A curious piece of criticism The " little horn " of vii. 8 not identical 
with that of viii. 9 The " ten horns " wrongly treated by the critics 
Visions of chaps, vii. and viii. contrasted Difficulty presented by the 
words " another kingdom inferior to thee " Justification of a new 
rendering Daniel's silence as to the second kingdom Why the Grecian 
scheme first found favour Additional Note on Ararat, Minni, and 

CHAPTEE III : The Gold, the Silver, the Brass, and 

the Iron ... ... ... ... ... 24 

Hint from Josephus as to the meaning of the metals Their order con- 
sidered Babylon the golden kingdom, as testified by Herodotus and 
the inscriptions Persia the silver or monied kingdom Wealth the 
source of its strength Brass a picture of the Grecian arms " Brazen 
men from the sea " The leopard of chap. vii. symbolises the rapid 
advance of Alexander An argument from the Greek lexicon With the 
rise of the Roman power brass gives place to iron The Roman kingdom 
pictured by the fourth beast of chap. vii. Strength of the Roman 
kingdom proved by its duration Suitability of the metals from the 
mythological standpoint. 

CHAPTEE IV: The Chaldeans op the Book of Daniel 35 

The " Chaldeans " one proof of the authenticity of this Book The word 
not used as in Juvenal Its double meaning Home of the Kaldu 
" Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean " His father drives out the Assyrians 
and founds a Chaldean dynasty at Babylon A feature of Chaldean 



throne -names " The Chaldeans " not identical with the Babylonians 
Herodotus as to the Chaldean priesthood of Bel Testimony'of Dio- 
dorus Siculus confirmed by an inscription of Nabopolassar Strange 
absence of the name in Babylonian inscriptions A possible explanation 
An enlightening tablet of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar High social 
position of "the Chaldeans" Correct estimate of them formed by 

CHAPTEB V: The Great Mountain ... ... ... 45 

Shadti Rabu, " The Great Mountain," originally a title of En-lil of 
Nippur, the chief of the gods His supremacy and title presently trans- 
ferred to Merodach of Babylon The Aramaic Dhur Rabh of Dan. ii. 35 
the exact equivalent of the Babylonian Shadu Rabu How a Baby- 
lonian audience would understand Daniel's interpretation of the king's 
dream En-lil the storm-god His name signifies " lord of the wind " 
In this respect also he is superseded by Merodach This throws further 
light on the meaning of the dream The six mountains of the Book of 
Enoch suggested by Dan. ii. How they are to be understood Immense 
impression made on Nebuchadnezzar by the discovery and interpreta- 
tion of his dream Consequent fame of Daniel as attested by Ezekiel. 

CHAPTER VI: The Messianic Kingdom ... ... 55 

Striking reference in the Similitudes of Enoch to the vision of Dan. vii. 
13, 14 Growth of Messianic doctrine before the birth of Christ Dan. 
vii. 13, 14 interpreted by our Lord and His contemporaries as in the 
Similitudes Strange interpretation offered by the critics Driver's 
argument refuted by the fact that " the saints " belong to the vision 
and not merely to its interpretation Further refutation obtained by 
an analysis of the chapter Clear view of the author of the Similitudes 
The critics blinded by their low estimate of Daniel's Book A resem- 
blance between the Messianic kingdom and the first of the four king- 
doms Note on the date of the Similitudes. 

CHAPTER VII : The Royal Builder ... ... ... 65 

The legend of Megasthenes Its connection with the narrative of Dan. 
iv. The king walking upon his palace, possibly in the Hanging Gardens 
Eemarkable structure discovered by Koldewey Good view of Babylon 
obtainable therefrom Nebuchadnezzar one of the greatest builders 
The building inscriptions How they can be arranged in chronological 
order Some features of the longer inscriptions A fragment from the 
annals Babylon Nebuchadnezzar's only place of residence Excava- 
tion of the Old Palace rebuilt by him New palace to the north erected 
in fifteen days The rampart of "mighty stones" The two palaces 
formed into one acropolis represented by the Kasr mound A third 
palace at the north angle of the outer wall of Babylon represented by the 
mound Babil The temple of Merodach buried in the mound Amran 
The Hanging Gardens the centre of the whole Prom this point, close 
to the Ishtar Gate, may have been uttered the proud boast of Dan. iv. 30. 



CHAPTER VIII: The Royal Wood-cutter ... ... 78 

Light thrown by the inscriptions on the narrative of Dan. iv. Nebu- 
chadnezzar makes Babylon the centre of empire " Under her ever- 
lasting shadow have I gathered all men in peace " The vision of the 
great tree an exact picture of the king's idea of empire Nebuchad- 
nezzar's love for the Lebanon The Wady Brissa Inscription Its 
contents described Conquest of the Lebanon Royal visits to the 
cedar forest The king cuts down trees with his own hand Vivid light 
thrown on Hab. ii. Tyre a competitor for the Lebanon Strategic- 
position of Riblah Typical significance of the cedar The dream of 
Dan. iv. genuine " The basest of men " explained by an inscription of 
Nabopolassar This one of the strongest proofs of the authenticity 
of the Book of Daniel. 

CHAPTER IX: The Personality op Nebuchadnezzar ... 92 

Different character of the royal inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia 
The personality of the monarch sometimes visible in the inscriptions of 
the Neo-Babylonian kings This, in Nebuchadnezzar's case, a strong 
confirmation of , the authenticity of the Book of Daniel Monotheistic 
tendency in the Babylonian religion due originally to the supremacy of 
En-lil of Nippur That supremacy transferred to Merodach The Enlil- 
ship of Merodach strongly emphasised in passages of the India House 
Inscription In such passages can be traced the pen of Nebuchadnezzar 
Increasing monotheism of this king in his later years How it was 
possible for him to acknowledge the supremacy of the God of Israel 
Nabopolassar's exaltation of Shamash Nabonidus' devotion to Sin 
and Shamash Poetic style of Nebuchadnezzar in narrative as well as 
in hymns of praise An echo of this in the Book of Daniel Would an 
author of the Maccabean age write thus ? 

CHAPTER X: The Legend of Megasthenes ... ... 105 

Points of contact between the legend and the narrative of Dan. iv. 
The legend, though in a Greek dress, belongs to the early Persian 
period Its authors the Chaldean priests Their hatred to Nabonidus, 
whose training inclined him to Sin rather than to Merodach History 
of his reign Though united in their hatred to Nabonidus the priest- 
hood are divided over Cyrus The Cylinder of Cyrus Its language 
respecting Cyrus shows an acquaintance with the Book of Isaiah, and 
is in strong contrast to the contempt expressed in the legend Light 
thrown by the Book of Daniel on this division of opinion in the priest- 
hoodThe true story of Dan. iv. turned into a legend bewailing the 
departed Nebuchadnezzar and crediting him with the gift of prophecy 
Note on an inscription by the father of Nabonidus. 

CHAPTER XI: Belshazzar ... ... ... ... IU 

Belshazzar a distinctly historical personage Conjecture as to his age 
Trained in the cult of Sin, Shamash, and Anunit Early brought into 
connection with the court of Nebuchadnezzar His relation to that 



king merely a legal one, arising out of the anxiety of his father Naboni- 
du3 to legitimise his claim The " queen " of Dan. v. 10 probably the 
widow of Nebuchadnezzar Belshazzar in what sense king Important 
tablet from Erech, showing him to have been associated with his father 
during part of the reign of Nabonidus Hence the explanation of his 
" first " and " third " years Why his name is not found in the dating 
of the contract tablets His position as head of the nobility. 

CHAPTER XII: The Fall op Babylon ... ... 121 

Prophecy of Jer. chaps. 1., li. Its fulfilment as recorded in Dan. v. as 
well as in the pages of Herodotus and Xenophon Points of agreement 
between the narrative in Daniel and those of the two Greek writers 
form a voucher for the truth of all three records, no less than for the 
genuineness of the prophecy The native records on the Annalistic 
Tablet and the Cylinder of Cyrus Points of agreement with Dan. v. 
and with the statements of Herodotus and Xenophon A seeming 
difference explained by the light of the contract tablets Note on Cyrus' 
occupation of Babylon. 

CHAPTER XIII: The Handwriting on the Wall ... 133 

Discovery of the throne-room of the Babylonian kings Belshazzar's 
feast pictured His knowledge at first hand of Nebuchadnezzar's mad- 
ness The proffered rewards Daniel's stern address The four mystic 
words, probably written in Aramaic and in alphabetic characters 
Their seeming sense nonsense, but significant of some hidden meaning 
" The tablets of fate " explain the king's alarm Daniel's interpreta- 
tion confirms his forebodings The closing scene. 

CHAPTER XIV: Darius the Mede ... ... ... 142 

Darius the great historical crux of this Book In what sense he 
" received the kingdom " The six proposed identifications of Darius 
reduced to two The claim of Gobryas considered Preference given to 
Cambyses the son of Cyrus Evidence from the Annalistic Tablet that 
Cyrus appointed Cambyses to succeed Belshazzar Evidence from the 
contract tablets that for some ten months in the year after the capture 
of Babylon Cambyses bore the title " King of Babylon," his father being 
styled " King of the Countries " The two titles point to a distribution 
of authority Babylon formed into a sub-kingdom Cambyses in what 
sense a Mede and why so called Josephus' statement that Darius the 
Mede " had another name among the Greeks " Argument to show that 
this name was Cambyses " Darius " an appellative rather than a 
proper name The " Ahasuerus " of Dan. ix. 1 probably to be identified 
with Cyaxeres. 

CHAPTER XV: Darius the Mede continued ... ... 156 

Age of Darius not given in the LXX If the son of Amytis, the 
daughter of Astyages, he might be twelve years old when appointed 
king of Babylon Argument to show that 12, not 62, is the correct 



reading in Dan. v. 31 Letters of the alphabet early used for numbers 
Close resemblance about 500 B.C. between the letters which stand 
for 10 and 60 A 10 thus mistaken for 60 in Isa. vii. 8 Attempt to 
explain the remarkable reading of the LXX The story of Dan. vi. the 
best proof of the youthful age of Darius Cambyses not altogether bad 
His kindness to the Jews in Egypt, as related in the letter from 
Elephantine^ possibly to be explained by the narrative of Dan. vi. 
The " satraps " of Dan. vi. 1, 2 Reply to Charles' remarks on the title, 
sovereignty, and power ascribed to Darius Possible extent of his 
kingdom Explanation of the imperial style of his decree That style 
justified in the light of the inscription on the Cyrus Cylinder Dan. vi. 
helps to explain the removal of iCambyses : from the throne of. Babylon 
Note on the letters Samekh and Yod. 

CHAPTBE XVI: The Evangelic Prophecy ... ... 168 

Immense gulf between the critical and the orthodox interpretations 
Statement of the traditional view and of the critical Free treatment 
of Dan. ix. 24-27 at the hands of the LXX translator shown by placing 
a translation of the LXX side by side with the R.V. 'Examination of 
the mutilation of the passage by the LXX and the reason thereof 
explained The action of the LXX a strong proof that the prophecy 
does not refer to the Maccabean crisis Interpretation of the passage 
offered by the critics involves a glaring chronological error in a prophecy 
remarkable for its exact numbers Supposed Jewish ignorance of the 
chronology of the Persian period shown to be utterly unfounded The 
attempt of the critics as complete a failure as that of the LXX. 

CHAPTEE XVII: The Evangelic Prophecy continued ... 179 

Short summary of the traditional interpretation of Dan. ix. 24-27 
Occasion of the vision The seer overcome with the enormity of the 
national sin His earnest pleadings with God for the Holy City and the 
Chosen People The speedy answer Gabriel's kindly greeting Expan- 
sion of the seventy years into seventy weeks of years The order of the 
vision follows the order of Daniel's prayer ; the atonement for sin 
standing first The six clauses of verse 24 Translation of verses 25-27 
Punctuation of verse 25 in the A.V. explained and defended 
Terminus a quo of the prophecy The " troublous times " 'Public 
appearance of the Messiah at the end of the sixty-nine weeks " Prince 
Messiah " a compound title The title Messiah, whence taken Like 
Tsemach in Zech. iii. 8, here used as a proper name Statements con- 
cerning Messiah's death. 

CHAPTEE XVIII: The Evangelic Prophecy continued... 194 

"The coming Prince " identified with "Prince Messiah" The term 
usually points to Christ coming to judgment Stier on Matt. xxii. 7 
Dan. ix. 26b describes the judgment entailed by the crime of 26a The 
Prince makes a firm covenant with his subjects during the seventieth 
week, which ends with the death of Stephen Noticeable change of 



popular feeling towards Christianity after that event Jerusalem's day 
of grace extends to the close of the seventieth week ; but with Messiah's 
death in the middle of that week the Jewish sacrifices cease in God's 
sight The " desolator " of verse 27 not to be confounded with " the 
people of the coming Prince " of verse 26 The expression points to the 
Zealots Their atrocities as described by Josephus The wrath poured 
out on the desolator. 

CHAPTER XIX: Chronology of the Seventieth Week 206 

The prophecy not concerned with literal days and weeks, but only with 
, prophetic year-days Three independent calculations which point to 
A.D. 26 as the year in which Messiah was proclaimed present among 
His people The length of Christ's earthly ministry points to A.D. 
29-30, the fourth " day " of the seventieth " week," as the year in which 
He suffered Ramsay places the Crucifixion in A.D. 30, and the death 
of Stephen in A.D. 33 These two dates complete the chronology of the 
seventieth week For the glory of " Prince Messiah " as well as to take 
in Israel's day of grace the prophecy is carried down to that point at 
which the Messianic kingdom is proclaimed to the Gentile world. 

CHAPTEE XX : On the Scenes op the Two Visions 


Close connection of the visions in chaps, viii. and x.-xii. Why the 
earlier vision of chap. vii. was shown to Daniel on the shore of " the 
great sea " Why these more contracted visions on the banks of 
the Ulai and the Hiddekel Daniel present there only in spirit 
Physical features of Elam Elam in the Assyrian period Outlives 
Assyria Probable story of her downfall Western Elam, including 
Shushan, absorbed into the Babylonian Empire Shushan later the 
favourite residence of the Persian kings The fortress-palace at 
Shushan as pictured on a bas-relief The canal Ulai symbolic of the 
wealth of the Persian kingdom The Medo-Persian ram stands in front 
of this canal to guard his treasures The fabulous wealth captured by 
Alexander at Shushan God's voice heard between the banks of the 
Ulai The Hiddekel, or Tigris, styled in chap. x. "the great river," a 
name elsewhere only bestowed on the Euphrates The broad, still Ulai 
suggestive of commerce ; the deep, rapid Tigris of the onrush of war 
Why the vision of chaps, x.-xii. was shown by the Tigris rather than 
by the Euphrates or Orontes The word for " river " in xii. 5, elsewhere 
used only of the Nile The two names thus bestowed on the Tigris are 
suggestive of an overwhelming tyranny, a Babylon and Egypt combined, 
before which Judah must needs go under; but a Divine Person 
standing above the waters of the river is on her side This Person is 
the Christ who walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee Note on 
the site of the ancient Shushan and the reputed tomb of Daniel. 

CHAPTER XXI: The Language Evidence ... ... 226 

Driver's famous verdict modified by its author The Book of Daniel 
probably written in Aramaic Historic facts concerning the Arameans 



Babylonia ringed round with Aramean tribes Aramaic the language of 
diplomacy and commerce Not surprising that Daniel wrote in that 
language Aramaic inscriptions Discoveries made at Elephantine 
The Elephantine legal documents commence about sixty-five years after 
the time of Daniel The Elephantine letter of 408 B.C. Its purport 
English translation with notes Grammar and syntax of the letter the 
same as that of the Aramaic of Daniel A noticeable difference in one 
respect How explained "Eastern" and "Western Aramaic" mis- 
nomers The Aramaic of Daniel suggests that the Book was written in 
Babylonia rather than in Palestine. 

CHAPTEE XXII: Evidence of the Foreign Words ... 241 

The foreign words in the Book of Daniel a valuable evidence as to its 
authenticity Driver's verdict on the Old Persian words loses sight of 
some important facts Daniel's position well explains his use of such 
words The Aramaic in close contact with the Old Persian for at least 
two centuries before the time of Daniel Character of the majority of 
the Old Persian words used How the others are to be accounted for 
Daniel written in the early Persian period The Old Persian words 
stitch the two parts of the Book together The fewness of the Greek 
words fatal to the theory that the Book was written in 165 B.C. 
Greek musical instruments naturally bore Greek names Contact 
between the Assyrians and the Greeks in the latter half of the eighth 
and the earlier half of the seventh centuries B.C. Sennacherib, for the 
sake of commerce with the West, keeps open the "Cilician Road" in 
698 B.C. Traces of Greek architecture in Assyria and Ararat in the 
time of Sargon II. Striking Greek decorations on the facade of Nebu- 
chadnezzar's palace The artists probably Greek captives brought from 
Egypt The Nebuchadnezzar cameo Greek soldiers in the Babylonian 
army The musical instruments probably from Asiatic Greece Answer 
to the objection that two of the Greek words do not occur in classical 
Greek till long after the time of Daniel Greek instruments suit the 
tastes of the reigning monarch Assyro-Babylonian elements in the 
Book of Daniel The foreign words a voucher for the period at which 
the Book was written Light thrown by them on the region in which 
it was written, and on the person of the writer Appendices : I. On 
the Old Persian Words ; II. On the Assyro-Babylonian Words. 

CHAPTER XXIII: The Book of Daniel and the Jewish 

Apocalypses ... ... ... ... ... 268 

The Book of Enoch the most famous of the Apocalypses Driver's 
description of a Jewish apocalypse The pseudonymous character of 
these works, how to be accounted for The Book of Daniel classed by 
the critics with the Apocalypses The idea refuted (i) by the absence 
in this Book of any plain connecting link with the Old Testament 
mention of the hero whose name it bears ; (ii) but still more evidently 
by the writer's perfect acquaintance with Babylonian history and the 
peculiar linguistic features of his work Cause for thankfulness to God 
suggested by these facts. 



CHAPTER XXIV : On the Position op the Book op 

Daniel in the Canon op the Old Testament ... 276 

Little known about the formation of the Canon The present position 
of Daniel in the Canon not its original position The number of the 
Old Testament books indicated in 2 Esdras xiv. The threefold division 
referred to Luke xxiv. 44, and first mentioned in the prologue to Eccle- 
siasticus The Palestinian and Talmudic Canons Two statements from 
Josephus showing that in his day Daniel was placed in the Prophets 
Witness of Melito and Origen to the same effect In Jerome's day 
Daniel is found in the Hagiographa Possible reason for this change 
Surprise of Jerome at the position of the Book The Book depreciated 
by its new position Bearing of the above facts on Matt, xxiii. 35 The 
argument clenched "The books " in Dan. ix. 2 to be referred, not to 
a collection of sacred books, but to the writings of Jeremiah 

CHAPTER XXV: The Testimony of Christ ... ... 286 

The view held by Christ, if He be regarded merely as a human teacher 
steeped in Old Testament lore, demands nevertheless the consideration 
of doubters The Book of Daniel treated by Him with special honour 
Echoes of this Book in the Revelation The Revelation throws light on 
the appearances of Christ in the visions shown to Daniel It also helps 
to identify Daniel's Fourth Kingdom with Rome, pagan and papal 
That criticism which is higher than Christ must be looked upon as 
coming from beneath. 

Additional Note ... ... ... ... ... 294 

Indexes ... ... ... 297 



Plan op Babylon Frontispiece 

From Koldewey's "Excavations at Babylon." 

Principal Citadel op Babylon, built by Nebuchadnezzar 50 

Koldewey, Fig. 98. 

Plan of Eastern section op the Southern Citadel, showing the 

position op the hanging gardens 68 

Koldewty, Fig. 44. 

Stone Wall op Northern Citadel, built by Nebuchadnezzar ... 74. 


Koldewey, Fig. 110. ^ 

The Ishtar Gate 76 


Koldewey, Fig. 24. 

The India House Inscription 96 

Cylinder op Nabonidus, inscribed with a Prayer in behalf of his 

son Belshazzar 114. 

British Museum. 

Cylinder op Cyrus, with an Inscription describing his Capture of 

Babylon 128 

British Museum. 

Plan of the Central Part of the Southern Citadel, showing the 

Throne-room of the Neo-Babyloni^n Kings 134 

Koldewey, Fig. 63. 

The Teima Stone 158 

Decoration of the Facade of the Throne-room at Babylon, in the 

so-called Ionic Style 248 

Koldewey, Fig. 64. 

Gem in the Museum at the Hagce, with an Inscription op Nebu- 
chadnezzar , 250 

Cameo op Nebuchadnezzar now in the Museum at Florence 250 

Head of Shabitoku 252 

" Passing of tlve Empires," p. 360. 

Funerary Stele of a Lycaonian Soldier built into the S. Wall op 

Konieh, the Ancient Iconium 252 

Lewin's " Life and Epistles of St. Paul," Vol. I. p. 146. 



Chronology of the New Babylonian Empire 

26 B.C. Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, on the death of Ashurbanipal, 

king of Assyria. 
14 B.C. Nineveh besieged by Cyaxares of Media. 
12 B.C. Fall of Nineveh before the combined attack of Medes, 
Babylonians, and Scythians. 

310 B.C. Overthrow at Haran by an army of Babylonians and 
Scythians of the last vestiges of the kingdom of Assyria. 

J08 B.C. Pharaoh Necho slays Josiah at Megiddo, defeats Babylon at 
Carchemish ; and returning, places Jehoiakim on the throne of 
Judah in place of Jehoahaz. 

605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar's first visit to Jerusalem. After defeating 
Necho at Carchemish, he presses on through Judah, and invades 
Egypt ; then, hearing of the death of his father Nabopolassar, 
returns in haste across the desert to Babylon to receive the 
crown. Daniel and his friends brought to Babylon, along with 
other captives, Jewish, Syrian, Phoenician, Egyptian, and of " the 
nations belonging to Egypt " : Josephus c. Apion, i. 19. 

605-600 B.C. Early inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, telling of recent 

603 B.C. Daniel recovers and interprets the king's dream : Dan. ii. 1. 

600-593 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar rebuilds numerous temples, beginning 
with the completion of the temple-tower at Babylon and the 
rebuilding at Larsa of the temple of the Sun, the foundations 
of which had been swept bare by the winds. 

597 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar's second visit to Jerusalem : Zedekiah 
appointed to succeed Jehoiachin. On his way thither he cuts 
down cedars in the Lebanon. 

594 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar summons Zedekiah to Babylon : Jer. Ii. 59. 

592 B.C. Ezekiel's first mention of Daniel : chap. xiv. 14, 20. 

588 B.C. The Babylonian army pass through the Lebanon : Wady 
Brissa Inscription A cut. Cedars cut down and brought into 
Babylon by the Arakhtu canal between 588 and 586 B.C. 


587 B.C. January. Siege of Jerusalem begins: 2 Kings xxv. i. 

Ezekiel's second mention of Daniel : chap, xxviii. 3. In this 

year, according to the LXX and Peshitto, the golden image of 

Dan. iii. was set up. 
586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar's third visit to Jerusalem ; establishes his 

headquarters at Riblah in Hamath. Wady Brissa Inscription B 

cut. The city falls in July ; after which the siege of Tyre begins. 
573 B.C. Tyre taken after a thirteen years' siege : Ezek. xxix. 17-20. 
568 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt and encounters Amasis 

(fragment of the Annals). 
562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar dies, and is succeeded by his son Evil- 

merodach ( = Amel-Marduk, "servant of Merodach ''). 
560 B.C. Neriglissar (=Nergal-shar-utsur, " Nergal protect the 

king "), son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar, succeeds Evil-merodach. 
556iB.C. Labashi-Marduk, son of Neriglissar, reigns three months, 

and is succeeded by a usurper Nabonidus. Nabonidus, writing 

of the events of this year, mentions Cyrus as " king of Anshan," 

and calls him " Merodach 's little servant." 
553 B.C. The Median army deliver up Astyages to Cyrus, who after 

spoiling Ecbatana returns to Anshan. 
549 B.C. Belshazzar, son of Nabonidus, in command of the Baby- 
lonian army. 
547 B.C. Cyrus called " king of Persia " for the first time. 
539 B.C. Babylon taken by Cyrus. Nabonidus captured by Cyrus. 

Belshazzar slain in a night attack on the palace. 
538 B.C. Eirst year of Cyrus. Proclamation for the return of the 

Jews. Cambyses " king of Babylon " for nine months from the 

beginning of the year. 
536 B.C. Third year of Cyrus ; date of Daniel's latest -vision : chap. 

x. 1. 


To shoiv the wide diffusion of the Arameans, and their contact with 
Median tribes speaking the Old Persian some 200 years before 
the probable date of the Book of Daniel. 

1650 B.C. Agum-kakrimi, king of Babylon, styles himself "king of 
Padan and of Alman " ( = Arman, cf . Padan-Aram : Gen. xxviii. 2) 

1350 B.C. Pudi-ilu, king of Assyria, conquers the Akhlami, an 
Aramean tribe. 

TABLES xvii 

1150 B.C. Ashur-rish-ishi overthrows "the wide-spread host of the 

1120 B.C. Tiglathpileser I. speaks of "the Aramean Akhlami the 

foes of Ashur" as extending from the country of the Shuhites 

to Carchemish. 
1050 B.C. Saul fights against the Aramean "kings of Zobah " : 

1 Sam. xiv. 47. 
1010 B.C. David smites the Arameans of Syria, Damascus, and 

Aram-naharaim : 2 Sam. viii. 3-5, and Ps. lx. title. 
885-860 B.C. Ashurnatsirpal conquers Bit Adini (cf. 2 Kings xix. 12) 

and other Aramean states on the Middle Euphrates. 
850 B.C. Aramaic inscription of Zakir king of Hamath. 
770-730 B.C. Aramaic inscriptions of the kings of Samahla on the 

E. slope of Amanus, and a little N. of the N.E. angle of the 

745 B.C. Tiglathpileser III. speaks of " the land of the Arameans " 

as extending from the Tigris to where the Uknu (the river of 

Shushan) falls into the Persian Gulf, and mentions Aramean 

tribes conquered by him whose territories extended to the Median 

744 B.C. Tiglathpileser transports 65,000 Medes and Arameans to 

other parts of the empire. 
722 B.C. Sargon places captive Israelites among the Arameans on 

the Khabur, and in " the cities of the Medes " : 2 Kings xvii. 6. 
536 B.C. The Aramaic of Daniel, interspersed with twenty Old 

Persian words. 
471-411 B.C. The Jews of Elephantine write in Aramaic closely 

resembling the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel. 


To show the contact of Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt with the 
Asiatic Greeks for over a century before the age of Daniel. 

715 B.C. Sargon clears the E. Levant of Greek pirates: Cylinder 

Inscr., line 21. 
711 B.C. A Greek king in Ashdod : Khorsabad Inscr., line 95. 
707 B.C. Seven kings of Cyprus send presents to Sargon at Babylon : 

Ibid, line 196. 


xviii TABLES 

698 B.C. Sennacherib, to keep open the trade route, encounters the 
Greeks in Cilicia, and builds an " Athenian temple " at Tarsus : 
Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the Br. Museum, 
pt. xxvi. 

697 B.C. Sennacherib employs Greek captives to build him a fleet on 
the Tigris : Bull Inscr., No. 4, lines 56-60. 

674 B.C. Ten kings of Cyprus nine of thm with Greek names 
send materials to build Esarhaddon's palace at Nineveh : Esar- 
haddon, Cylinder B, col. 5, lines 19-27. 

664 B.C. Greeks help Psammetichus I. of Egypt to conquer the 
Dodekarchy. In return he uses Greek mercenaries, and plants 
two camps of them at Daphnse on either side of the Pelusiac 
branch of the Nile : Herod, bk. ii. 152, 154. 

605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, after his campaign against Egypt, plants 
colonies in Babylonia, consisting of Jews, Phenicians, Syrians, 
and " of the nations belonging to Egypt " : Joseph, c. Apion, 
bk. i. 19. 

595 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, rebuilding the Old Palace at Babylon, 
employs Greek architectural decorations on the faQade of ihe 
throne-room : Koldeivey's Excavations, pp. 104, 105, and plate 
opposite p. 130. 

587 B.C. In the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar (according to the 
LXX.), three instruments with Greek names are found in the 
king's band amongst " all kinds of music " : Dan. iii. 5. 




WITH the spread of learning and the issue from time to time 
of fresh commentaries on the Book of Daniel, it is now 
a matter of common knowledge that two very different 
views are held respecting that Book, which, for the sake of a name, 
may be styled respectively the orthodox and the critical not that 
all critics are on the same side, but simply that the majority of 
modern critics incline to the latter view. They may also be styled 
the Boman and the Grecian, according to the scheme of interpreta- 
tion adopted with regard to the Four Kingdoms in the vision of 
Daniel, chaps, ii. and vii. In a book written in defence of the 
orthodox position it may be well to devote the first chapter to 
explaining the main difficulty which confronts the upholders of 
that position, and to showing how that difficulty may be met with- 
out having recourse to the solution proposed by the critics a 
solution which does great violence to the Book of Daniel as a 
whole, and creates more difficulties than it removes. 

According to the orthodox view, the Book of Daniel is a 
narrative of some surprising events that happened in the life 
of a saintly Jewish captive, holding a very high position at the 
courts of Babylon and of Persia, a fragmentary biography of one 
who was a special favourite of heaven, including visions such as 
have been granted to no other man, except possibly the beloved 
apostle visions reaching to the end of time. Thus viewed, this 
Book occupies a unique position in the Old Testament, and as 
such it was treated by the Founder of Christianity, for there is 
no other Book of the Old Testament to which Christ pays greater 
honour than to this Book of Daniel. The estimate, however, of 
this Book formed by the critics is something far different. To 
them it appears as one of the Pseudepigrapha, or Jewish religious 



books, written under a false, or rather an assumed name, which 
appeared in the second and first centuries B.C., such as the Book 
of Enoch and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. They 
would probably confess it to be the most remarkable of those 
books, the noblest and the loftiest in its teaching, the grandest in 
its scope no less than in its descriptions, a literary work of super- 
lative merit ; but at the same time a merely human composition. 
To put the matter in another light, the critics look upon the Book 
of Daniel as a religious novel, resting upon a shadowy back- 
ground of history, written about 164 B.C. in the troublous days 
of the Maccabees, and written with this noble intention, viz. to 
encourage the faithful in a time of persecution and to support 
them under very severe trials. Accordingly they see much in 
this Book that meets with their approval, and are fully awake to 
its literary beauties. But, all the same, it is in their eyes a mere 
work of the imagination, cleverly put together, but containing 
not a few historical inaccuracies, owing to its having been written 
some three or four hundred years after the times which it describes, 
To them, therefore, its great facts are pure fancies ; its mighty 
miracles, mere feats of the imagination ; its so-called prophecies, 
past history clothed with the garb of prophecy a favourite 
practice in the apocalypses of the Pseudepigrapha. If this view 
of the matter be the correct one, the puzzle is, How did this Book 
of Daniel come to be included in the sacred Canon of the Old 
Testament ? and how came it to be treated by our Lord Jesus 
Christ with such special honour ? 

The question is altogether such an important one that we may 
well ask on what ground the critical view is based. And here it 
is not sufficient to answer that the critics as a body believe neither 
in miracle nor in prophecy. This doubtless is the case with 
some, but it is not the whole truth of the matter. To understand 
their position aright we must turn to the long and striking 
prophecy of Daniel, chap, xi., which foretells the sufferings of 
the Jewish people under the Greek empire of Syria, more particu- 
larly in the days of Antiochus the Great and his son Antiochus 
Epiphanes. This chapter is the great crux of the Book of Daniel, 
and on the remarkable features presented by it the critics base an 
argument, which at first sight seems unanswerable, to show that 
the Book was written, as stated above, in or about the year 
164 B.C. This argument is admirably set forth by the late 
Prof. Driver in his Commentary on Daniel. Speaking of chap. xi. 
Dr. Driver says, " The minuteness of the predictions, embracing 
even special events in the distant future, is out of harmony with 
the analogy of prophecy." This is certainly true, for we do not 


find such detailed prophecies in Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Zechariah ; 
and yet such an argument, taken alone, is not of itself fatal to 
the authenticity of a Book which in some respects is unique. 
For surely it may well be granted that the Almighty Ruler of the 
world knows the end from the beginning, and can, if He sees fit, 
unfold with minuteness the events even of a far-distant future. 
The real difficulty is explained by Dr. Driver in the following 
words : " While down to the period of Antiochus' persecution 
the actual facts are described with surprising distinctness, after 
this point the distinctness ceases : the closing events of Antiochus* 
own life are, to all appearance, not described as they actually 
occurred." * We venture to think that any honest critic who 
has studied the matter will be ready to endorse this statement. 
Thus, in chap. xi. 21-39 we find described many events in Antiochus' 
remarkable career, e.g. his coming into the kingdom by stealth 
and gaining power by flattery, v. 21 ; his lavish prodigality, 
v. 24 ; his two expeditions against Egypt (the second, owing to 
the interposition of the Eomans, terminating so differently from 
the first), vv. 25-80 ; his persecution of the Jews when returning 
from his first Egyptian expedition, v. 28 ; his attempt to put 
down and stamp out the temple worship when returning crest- 
fallen from his second expedition, v. 31 ; the early triumphs of 
the Maccabees, v. 34 ; the assumption by Antiochus of divine 
honours during the later years of his reign, when he appears on 
coins as " Antiochus, the God Manifest," v. 36 ; and, finally, the 
special honours paid by him to Jupiter Capitolinus, " the god of 
fortresses," vv. 88, 39. But when we pass over the evident pause 
at the close of this 39th verse, this distinctness ceases, and we 
make what Prof. Charles styles " a transition from history to 
prophecy " 2 : prophecy which fits in very badly if we restrict 
and apply it to the closing events of Antiochus' career. Thus, 
nothing is known from secular history of any further invasion of 
Egypt such as is described in vv. 40-42 ; whilst Antiochus him- 
self, so far from " having power over the treasures of gold and of 
silver and over all the precious things of Egypt," v. 43, was in 
sore financial straits towards the close of his life, and died, not in 
the Holy Land, as v. 45 seems to imply, but in Elymais, after a 
fruitless attempt to rob a temple of its treasures. If, then, we 
take these closing verses, 40-45, to apply to Antiochus Epiphanes, 
they appear before us as a prophecy that was never fulfilled ; in 
fact as nothing more than a vain surmise. From the above 
phenomena the critics have drawn the very evident conclusion 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, Introduction, p. lxvL 
a Century Bible, Daniel, p. 136. 


that this seeming prophecy was written just at the point of time 
where it begins to fail of accomplishment, so that verses 1-39 are 
nothing more than past history put into the garb of prophecy, and 
verses 40-45 a speculation on the part of the author as to what he 
thought likely to happen in the immediate future. 

At first sight the above argument seems unanswerable, since 
it certainly meets the great difficulty presented by this chapter. 
But it is certain nevertheless that it cannot be the true solution of 
that difficulty, since, however well it may solve the riddle of 
chap, xi., we are forced, if we accept it, to do the greatest violence 
to the rest of the Book. The critics, allowing themselves to be 
guided by conclusions based on this closing prophecy, use, if one 
may so say, the tail to waggle the dog, and whenever this is done 
the dog perforce must exhibit the most unnatural contortions. 
Thus, then, having arrived at the firm conviction, based on the 
phenomena presented by chap, xi., that the Book was written 
about 164 B.C., the critics proceed to make everything fit in with 
this theory, and treat all the other visions of this Book as so 
much past history put into the form of Jewish apocalyptic. 
Hence it follows that the four kingdoms of chap. ii. in their 
eyes cannot be Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Borne, but must be 
Babylon, Media, Persia, and Greece, seeing that in 164 B.C. 
Borne, though on her way to greatness, had not yet developed into 
a world power. By this wrenching asunder of Media and Persia 
great violence is done to chap, viii., where the unity of the Medo- 
Persian kingdom is so distinctly affirmed, first in the vision, 
where it appears as a ram with two horns of which the higher is 
seen springing up last, and secondly in the words of the inter- 
preting angel, " The ram which thou sawest that had the two 
horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia." 

Another striking instance of the same thing is found in the 
treatment dealt out by the critics to the Evangelic prophecy of 
chap, ix., a prophecy remarkable beyond all others for its exact 
chronological precision. In endeavouring to make this prophecy 
fit in with their views they are obliged to admit an error of no 
less than 67 years in the prophet's reckoning, which they un- 
blushingly ascribe to the writer's faulty information on points of 
past history ! 1 Other examples of forced interpretation will be 
given in the course of the next chapter, but enough has been 
adduced to show that by accepting this view of the critics, derived 
from the singular phenomena of chap, xi., we only plunge our- 
selves into far greater and graver difficulties than those which 

1 Century Bible, Daniel, p. 107. 


confront the orthodox expositor. It is best, then, to turn our 
attention to another explanation of that remarkable chapter, 
put forward by the late Dr. C. H. H. Wright in his scholarly work 
on the prophecies of the Book of Daniel. Dr. Wright maintains 
that Dan. chap. xi. is of the nature of a paraphrase or targum, 
in which a genuine prophecy of Daniel lies embedded. 1 In other 
words, a genuine prophecy is here interpolated and overlaid by 
real or supposed fulfilments. These interpolations and additions 
continue down to the end of verse 39, after which we have the 
original prophecy, copied out pure and simple without any 
paraphrase, down to its close at chap. xii. 4. Now, it is owing to 
these interpolations in the first thirty-nine verses of chap. xi. 
that we naturally look upon the closing verses, viz. 40-45, as a 
continued description of the events which are to happen in the 
career of Antiochus Epiphanes ; whereas it seems more likely, 
on further investigation, that these last verses, forming a part of 
the original prophecy of Daniel, contain an ideal picture of the 
overthrow of the heathen Greek-Syrian power on the mountains 
of Israel a picture called up before the mind of the seer by 
Isaiah's prophecy of the overthrow of the host of Sennacherib in 
Jehovah's land and upon His mountains. Thus regarded, the 
prophecy of verses 40-45 certainly received its fulfilment. It 
was in the little commonwealth of Judah, and in the days of the 
Maccabees, that God " chose the weak things of the world to 
put to shame the things that are strong, and the things that are 
not to bring to nought the things that are." 2 In the words of 
Dr. Wright, " The last and final overthrow of Greece, as a world- 
power antagonistic to truth and to God, took place on the 
mountains of Judea." 3 

The above explanation as to the earlier and larger part of 
chap. xi. having been interpolated will come as a surprise to many. 
In the first place, it certainly contains a concession to the argu- 
ment of the critics. Dr. Wright himself admits that " the closing 
prophecy of Daniel, in its present form, cannot be proved to go 
back to an earlier period than 164 B.C. " ; while he very wisely 
adds that "it by no means follows that such a statement is true 
with regard to the Book of Daniel as a whole." 4 In the second 
place, it will strike some minds that Holy Scripture has here been 
tampered with, and certainly the allegation is true ; and yet it 
is easily accounted for, if we regard the peculiar circumstances 

1 Daniel and his Prophecies, pp. 314, 315, 318. 

2 1 Cor. i. 27. 

3 Daniel and his Prophecies, p. 318. 
Ibid. p. 318. 


under which the Book of Daniel has been handed down to us. 
As noticed above, this Book is of a fragmentary nature, probably 
a book of extracts from some larger work. It gives us certain 
passages from the life of the seer and his friends, with his own 
account of his visions appended. Two of these visions, viz. those 
of chaps, viii. and xi., are found to be very closely connected 
both in subject-matter and in the language employed. They are 
evidently from the pen of the same author. Now, in both of 
these chapters the religious persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes 
figure largely. This would make the original work, from which 
we may suppose our present Book to have been taken, an object 
of especial detestation to the persecuting party, whose evil deed3 
are therein so clearly foretold. When they rent in pieces the 
Books of the Law, it is hardly likely that they would spare that 
Book which foretells so plainly their unrighteous doings., 1 So, 
then, like some noble cathedral which still bears the marks of the 
rough treatment which it received at the hands of Cromwell's 
soldiers, this sacred and venerable Book still shows some evident 
signs of its having come through the wars. In this way, and no 
other, can we explain the two languages in which it has come 
down to us. Chaps, i. to ii. 3, and viii. to xii. are written in 
Hebrew ; while the central portion of the Book, viz. ii. 4 to the 
end of vii., is in Aramaic, as is explained by the words " in 
Aramaic," inserted in the text of ii. 4, just as in the last clause of 
Ezra iv. 7. 2 The fact that the change of language in chap. ii. 
occurs in the very middle of a narrative is proof that the docu- 
ments used were imperfect. Either the Hebrew copy was used 
to supplement the Aramaic, or the Aramaic to supplement the 
Hebrew. Further, it is deserving of notice that in the opinion of 
most scholars the Book was originally written in Aramaic. In 
the words of Dr. Charles, " the Aramaic section of Daniel does 
not give the impression of a translation, and nowhere points to 
a Hebrew original ; the Hebrew sections, on the other hand, 
favour the hypothesis of an Aramaic original, since they contain 
frequent Aramaisms." 3 The eleventh chapter of Daniel is, then, 
in the first place, a translation from the original ; and, in the 
second place, it is a translation that has been added to by way of 
interpolation ; and to this is due the form in which it has come 
down to us. What has happened to the Greek Septuagint 

1 See 1 Mace. j. 56. 

2 Both in Dan. ii. 4, and in Ezra iv. 7, the words " in Aramaic " ought to 
be written in italics in the middle of a space left blank. 

3 Dr. Charles iB quoting the opinion of Marti and Wright, in which he 
himeelf concurs. Century Bible, Daniel, p. xxv. 


translation has happened also to the Hebrew translation of 
chap. xi. ; it has been added to, and the nature of the additions 
resembles to some extent the expository comments which we 
meet with in the Hebrew Targums. 

The writers of the Targums, or ancient Aramaic commentaries 
on the Scriptures of the Old Testament, loved to introduce into 
Scripture prophecies fulfilments, actual or supposed, in such a way 
that they appear as parts of the original prophecy. " In such 
paraphrases," writes Dr. Wright, " phrases of the original are 
retained, although often so modified and obscured by expository 
oomments that if we possessed only the Targum it would be often 
impossible to restore the original text." l Thus, in the Targum 
of Onkelos, the Blessing of Dan, Gen. xlix. 16-18, is made to 
include a prophecy of the exploits of Samson, which runs thus : 

" From the house of Dan will be chosen, and will arise, a man 
in whose days his people shall be delivered, and in whose years 
the tribes of Israel shall have rest together. A chosen man will 
arise from the house of Dan, the terror of whom shall fall upon 
the peoples, who will smite the Philistines with strength as the 
serpent, the deadly serpent lurking by the way ; he will smite 
the might of the Philistine host, the horsemen with the foot, he 
will weaken the horses and chariots and throw their riders back- 
wards. For thy salvation have I waited, Lord." 2 

Similarly, in the Palestinian Targum the blessing given to 
Abraham in Gen. xii. 3, " I will bless them that bless thee, and 
him that curseth thee will I curse, and in thee shall all the families 
of the earth be blessed," is paraphrased thus : "I will bless the 
priests who spread forth their hands in prayer, and Balaam who 
will curse thee, I will curse, and they shall slay him with the 
mouth of the sword : and in thee shall be blessed all the genera- 
tions of the earth." For another example of definite fulfilments 
introduced into the broad outlines of the original prophecy, take 
the blessing given by Isaac to Jacob, Gen. xxvii. 29, as we find it 
paraphrased in the Palestinian Targum : " Let peoples be subject 
to thee, all the sons of Esau, and kingdoms bend before thee, all 
the sons of Keturah, a chief and a ruler be thou over thy brethren, 
and let the sons of thy mother salute thee. Let them who curse 
thee, my son, be accursed as Balaam the son of Beor, and those 

1 Daniel and his Prophecies, p. 253. 

2 The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel on the Pentateuch, 
translated into English by J. W. Etheridge, London, 1862. 


who bless thee be blessed, as Moses the prophet, the scribe of 
Israel." One other instance, of some interest to us as forming 
an early exemplification of the two systems of interpretation of 
the Four Kingdoms of Daniel, chap, ii., serves at the same time 
to exhibit the extravagances of some of these Jewish paraphrases. 
I allude to the words of Gen. xv. 12 : " And when the sun was 
going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and lo, an horror of 
great darkness fell upon him." In the Palestinian Targum this 
passage is paraphrased thus : " And when the sun was nearing 
to set, a deep sleep was thrown upon Abraham, and behold four 
kingdoms rose to enslave his children : Horror, which is Babylon ; 
Darkness, which is Media ; Greatness, which is Javan (Greece) ; 
Falling, which is Persia, which is to fall and to have no uplifting." 
In the Jerusalem Targum the interpretation runs on similar 
lines, while the four kingdoms are identified with Babylon, Media 
(Medo-Persia), Greece, and Edom (Rome). Similar interpola- 
tions to those in the Targums are met with in the Peshitto or 
ancient Syriac version of the Book of Daniel. According to 
Wright, they are sometimes written in red ink, but appear in the 
London polyglot without any distinction of ink. In this version 
Dan. xi. 6 reads thus : 

" And at the end of years they shall agree (the daughter of 
Ptolemy he has given to Alexander the brother of Antiochus 
and Peter), and the daughter of the king of the south shall go to 
the king of the north (Alexander went and took Petra the daughter 
of Ptolemy to be his wife) to make peace between them (and 
Ptolemy came against Alexander his son-in-law to kill him), and 
there shall be no strength in her because of fear that she shall 
fear (and the daughter of Ptolemy she shall be given to Deme- 
trius after Alexander her husband is dead), and she shall be 
handed over, she and her bringers and her maidens and her 
strengthened at that time." 

In one respect it will be noticed that there is a very marked 
difference between the interpolated prophecy of Daniel, chap, xi., 
and the examples quoted from the Targums and the Peshitto. 
In the prophecy there is an entire absence of proper names, 
whereby a slightly obscuring veil is drawn over the different 
incidents. In the Targums and the Peshitto, on the other hand, 
all is made plain, definite, and specific. In this respect Dan. xi. 
resembles the Jewish Pseudepigrapha rather than the Targums. 
This is just what might be expected, since the interpolations 
date, as we have seen, from about 164 B.C., and were therefore 
made in the age of the Pseudepigrapha. 


Before we pass on from the difficulties presented by Daniel's 
latest vision, it will be well to direct attention to the words of the 
revealing angel, spoken at the close of that vision : " But thou, 
Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time 
of the end : many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be 
increased." " Shut up the words " : the angel is speaking, not 
merely of this one vision, but of all the visions shown to Daniel 
in this Book. This may be gathered from chap. x. 1, with which 
the vision opens, which should be rendered thus : "In the third 
year of Cyrus king of Persia, a word was revealed unto Daniel, 
whose name was called Belteshazzar, and the word was true, 
even a great warfare : and he understood the word, and had 
understanding of the vision." This last clause shows that the 
expressions " word " and " vision " are synonymous, as appears 
also from the last clause of chap. ix. 23, " therefore consider the 
word l and understand the vision." " The two expressions 
' word ' and ' vision,' " writes Dr. Charles, " mean practically the 
same thing, denoting its twofold relation, in regard to God and in 
regard to man." 2 But if " word " is thus equivalent to " vision," 
then the use of the plural " words " in xii. 4, shows that the 
angel is speaking, not only of the vision in chaps, x.-xii., but of 
all Daniel's visions, including that of chap, ii., which was shown 
to Daniel as well as to Nebuchadnezzar, 3 and that we are justified 
in understanding the words " Seal the book," to apply to all the 
Beer's recorded visions, and in some sense to the whole Book of 
Daniel so far as it contains aught that is puzzling and mysterious. 
This wider sense of the words is warranted by the fact that the 
angel's words come at the close of the Book of Daniel as it has 
been preserved to us. 

In chap. xii. 4, Daniel is told to " Shut up the words and seal 
the book." Then, a little farther on, in verse 9, we read, " Go 
thy way, Daniel : for the words are shut up and sealed till the 
time of the end." The two statements seem to conflict, but the 
meaning is, that Daniel is to roll up and seal his scrolls of vision, 
first as being completed and requiring safe keeping, since it would 
be a long, long time before they would be fulfilled ; and secondly, 
as a symbolic act, indicating that in the Divine intention those 
visions were if one may use such a paradox hidden revelations, 
which would not be made plain till the far-off time of their fulfil- 
ment. " I heard, but I understood not," is the seer's own com- 
plaint, xii. 8. And again, in viii. 27, when his vision had been 

1 R.V. " matter." 

2 Century Bible, note on Dan. ix. 23. 
8 Dan. ii. 19. 


explained to him, he says, sadly, evidently including himself in 
the statement, " I was astonished at the vision, but none under- 
stood it," i.e. none fully comprehended it, indeed none could 
until the day of its fulfilment. How much more would this be 
the case with this last vision ! What commentator, even in this 
enlightened age, has been able to show the meaning of the mystic 
1290 days and 1335 days? Clearly these and other mysteries 
will remain hidden till the time of their fulfilment. It follows, 
then, that the best commentary on Daniel xii. 4 and 9, is that 
offered by Isa. xxix. 11 : 

" And all vision is become unto you as the words of a book 
that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Bead 
this, I pray thee : and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed : and the 
book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Bead this, 
I pray thee : and he saith, I am not learned." 

In the deep things of God the greatest doctor and the most 
illiterate believer stand in exactly the same position : both are 
alike unable to explain them. 

It was a grief to Daniel that he could not understand the 
visions vouchsafed to him, therefore in vv. 9 and 13 the angel 
says kindly to him, " Go thy way," or, as it is rendered in Theo- 
dotion's translation of v. 9, " Come hither, Daniel." Also int\ 4, 
by way of comfort, he is assured that during the long interval 
between the time of his receiving the visions and the time of 
their accomplishment " many shall run to and fro and knowledge 
shall be increased." It is his special honour to have received 
from heaven the most sublime and astonishing visions, which shall 
engage the attention of many devout students, whose labours as 
time goes on shall not be unrewarded. Here was comfort for 
the prophet, and here, likewise, is a stimulus to those who apply 
themselves to the study of his writings. The Hebrew word for 
" run to and fro " denotes earnest vigilance and scrutiny, with a 
fixed object. Thus, " the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through 
the whole earth," Zech. iv. 10, taking knowledge of, and paying 
the closest attention to, all that is going on. So, too, in Jer. v. 1, 
the same word is used, when the prophet directs a diligent search 
to be made throughout the streets of Jerusalem to see if there is 
one upright, honest man left. There also lies in the Hebrew root 
the idea of quick glancing motion, as in the strokes of a whip and 
the lashing of the water with oars. Here it is used of the quick 
motion of the eye glancing across the written page. 1 

1 From the root Bitf are derived bW " a whip," and c; " rowing," as 
whipping or lashing the water. 


" Many shall ran to and f ro " : as in the case of other Books of 
Holy Scripture, notably the Book of Isaiah, so in the case of this 
Book of Daniel, the extraordinary number of commentaries con- 
stantly issuing from the press bears witness to the intrinsic worth 
of the original prophecy. One stands amazed before the vast 
bibliography given by Wright in the Introduction to Daniel and 
its Critics. To this, then, already well-fulfilled prediction is 
added the promise, " knowledge shall be increased," a promise 
which the writer ventures to think is also being fulfilled in the 
vast development of knowledge with respect to the times of the 
prophet Daniel, opened up through the progress of cuneiform 
discovery. Thus, to quote some instances, the inscriptions of 
Nebuchadnezzar, as now made known, bear witness to the truth- 
fulness of the picture of that monarch given us in this Book of 
Daniel, and are even a voucher for its being the work of a contem- 
porary. The " Chaldeans " of this Book are now identified as the 
priests of the god Bel, men who formed the elite of Babylonian 
society. Belshazzar, whose very existence was long doubted of, 
stands before us as the energetic son of Nabonidus, the last king 
of Babylon, and one of Dr. Pinches' latest discoveries shows that 
he was associated with his father in the sovereignty. Darius the 
Mede, despite the difficulty caused by his age as given in chap. v. 
81, appears to the writer to be none other than Cambyses the 
son of Cyrus, who, in the first year after the capture of Babylon, 
reigned for some ten months as king of Babylon, being probably 
intended by his father to succeed Belshazzar. A fairly good case 
can also be made out for Gobryas. This view is adopted by 
Dr. Pinches ; the former one by the celebrated Assyriologist 
Winckler. 1 The circumstances of the capture of the royal palace 
in Babylon, as described in chap, v., are found to be in complete 
agreement with the details given us on the Annalistic Tablet of 
Cyrus. Finally, the foreign words which occur in the Book of 
Daniel, and which formed such a stumbling-block to the late 
Prof. Driver, appear rather to form a powerful proof of the 
genuineness of this Book, a voucher in fact that its author 
occupied a position such as was actually held by Daniel at the 
court of Persia at the close of his long life. In all these respects, 
which will be dealt with at large in the following pages, the writer 
sees a wonderful fulfilment of the promise, " knowledge shall be 
increased " : and it is this conviction, along with his deep love 
for so sublime a Book, that has led him to undertake a task, 

1 See Pinches' Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records of Assyria 
and Babylonia, p. 419, and Winckler in Schrader's Die KeilinschrifUn und da 
Alle Testament, p. 288. 


congenial enough in itself, but not unattended with difficulties. 
May the Divine Angel, who stands " above the waters of the 
river," 1 be pleased to use this work to stem the rising tide of 
destructive criticism : or, if it should be His will to let that tide 
rise yet higher, may it speedily, in the prophet's words, " over- 
flow and pass through." 2 And if this should be so, it will not 
be the first time that such a thing has happened in the annals of 
Biblical Criticism. 

1 Dan. xii. 6. 

a Isa. viii. 8, quoted in Dan. xi. 10 and 40. 



the four kingdoms (Dan. ii., vii., and viii.) 

REFEEENCE has already been made at the beginning of 
Chapter I. to the two main schemes of interpretation of the 
Book of Daniel and their bearing on the question of the 
Four Kingdoms of Daniel, chaps, ii. and vii. The matter may- 
be best presented to our readers by placing it before them in 
tabular form as follows : 


Chap. II 

Chap. VII 

Chap. VIII 

Golden head. 

=Lion with 
eagle's wings. 

= Babylonian 


Silver breast and 

= Bear with 
three ribs, etc. 

= First and 
shorter horn of 
the ram. 

= Median Empire. 

Brazen belly and 

= Leopard with 
four wings. 

= Second and 
longer horn of 
the ram. 

= Persian Empire. 

Iron legs, with 
feet and toes 
partly iron, part- 
ly clay. 

= Beast with 
iron teeth and 
ten horns. 

= Goat with 
one horn fol- 
lowed by four 

= Greek Empire 
of Alexander and 
his successors. 

Little horn 

which sprang 
up among the 
ten horns. 

= Little horn 
which sprang 
out of one of 
the four horns. 

= Antiochus Epi- 




Chap. II 


Chap. VIII 

Golden head. 

= Lion with 

eagle's wings. 

= Babylonian 

Silver breast and 

= Bear with 
three ribs, etc. 

= R a m with 
two horns. 

Medo - Persian 

Brazen belly and 

== Leopard with 
four wings. 

= Goat with one 
horn followed 
by four horns. 

= Greek Empire 
of Alexander and 
his successors. 

Little horn 
which sprang 
out of one of 
the four horns. 

= Antiochus Epi- 

Iron legs, with 
feet and toes 
partly iron, 
partly clay. 

= Beast with 
iron teeth and 
ten horns. 

b Roman Empire. 

Little horn 
which sprang 
up among the 
ten horns and 
uprooted three 
of them. 

= The temporal 
power of the 

Some of the difficulties which beset the Grecian scheme have 
already been touched on. It will, however, be necessary to go 
into them more at length in the course of the present chapter. 
The advocates of this scheme, as will be evident from the tabular 
statement just given, look upon chaps, vii. and viii. as parallel 
visions, saving that chap. viii. leaves out the Babylonian Empire, 
which was on the point of passing away at the time when the 
vision was shown to Daniel. According to the advocates of the 
Eoman scheme these chapters are not parallels. In their view 
the vision of chap. vii. takes a much wider range than that of 
chap, viii., alike geographically and historically, embracing both 
the Eoman Empire and an entirely fresh power which was to 
spring up after the disintegration of that empire : whilst the 
vision of chap. viii. is mainly concerned with a development of 
the Greek-Syrian kingdom and the sufferings and persecutions 


entailed thereby on the little Jewish community in Palestine. 
To put it shortly, chap. vii. is in their eyes a world-vision, chap. viii. 
only a Jewish vision. 

In working out an imaginary parallelism between chaps, vii. 
and viii. the Grecian critics, if we may so call them, are forced to 
equate the ram of chap. viii. with the bear and the leopard of 
chap, vii., that so the ram may stand for two empires, the Median 
and the Persian, which they affirm to be represented as distinct 
empires in this Book of Daniel. This, surely, is a very curious 
piece of criticism, for why should the visions of this Book represent 
these supposed two empires by two beasts in chap. vii. and by 
only one beast in chap. viii. ? May it not be said to such inter- 
preters not irreverently " those whom the seer hath joined 
together, let not his critics put asunder." Since Media and 
Persia are so evidently " one flesh " in the vision of chap, viii., no 
less than in the history of chaps, v. and vi., why should they be 
parted in the vision of chap. vii. ? 

Another point in this forced parallelism is the identifying the 
** little horn " of chap. vii. 8, with the " little horn " of chap. viii. 
9. It is true that both are persecuting powers, that both for 
awhile " practise and prosper," and that both magnify themselves 
against God ; but there the likeness ceases. Fundamentally 
these two powers are quite different. The little horn of chap. vii. 
is a fresh power springing up among already existing powers, and 
in some way different from them, able also ere long to uproot 
three of them and to take their place. The little horn of chap, viii., 
on the other hand, is described as a horn springing out of a horn, 
i.e. it represents, not a fresh power, nor a different kind of power, 
but a fresh development of an already existing power. Observe 
also that nothing is said of its uprooting and superseding any 
other powers. As regards interpretation, the advocates of the 
Greek system see in the little horn of chap. vii. and that of 
chap. viii. one and the same persecuting power, identifying both 
with Antiochus Epiphanes. To the advocates of the Eoman 
system the little horn of chap. vii. appears as a new and different 
kind of power, springing up among the ten kingdoms into which 
the Pioman Empire, in its Boman part as distinct from its Greek 
and Asiatic provinces, was presently to be divided, and is generally 
interpreted of the temporal power, so cleverly and craftily ac- 
quired, and so sternly and ruthlessly exercised by the Bishops of 
Borne. On the other hand, they regard the little horn springing 
out of a horn, described in chap, viii., as a fresh development 
of the Greek-Sj^rian kingdom, when under Antiochus Epiphanes 
and his two immediate successors it became a persecuting power. 


Also, before we leave the subject, there is one other point deserving 
of notice. The English reader must needs be warned that the 
Aramaic for " little horn " in chap. vii. and the Hebrew for 
" little horn " in chap. viii. are not equivalents. In chap. vii. 8, 
the Aramaic is correctly rendered " another horn, a little one," 
in the E.V. But in viii. 9, the Hebrew is remarkable, and admits 
of two renderings : either " a horn less than littleness," i.e. " a 
very little horn " ; or, " a horn from littleness," i.e. arising from 
a small beginning, an expression which lays emphasis on its 
growth. A third and equally faulty piece of criticism lies in the 
treatment meted out by the advocates of the Grecian scheme to 
the ten horns seen on the head of the fourth beast in chap. vii. 
These are regarded by them as denoting ten successive kings of 
Syria ; whereas, according to the analogy of the vision in 
chap. viii. where the four " notable horns," which take the place 
of the " great horn " on the head of the he-goat, represent four 
co-existing powers they should rather be regarded as coniem- 
foraneous. If succession were intended, it would be indicated, 
as in the case of the Medo-Persian ram, where one horn is seen to 
spring up after the other. Indeed, it may safely be said that when 
succession is intended it is always clearly indicated, either in the 
vision itself by one object appearing after another, or in the 
interpretation by plain statements admitting of inferences based 
thereon. Thus, in the vision of chap, ii., though the Four Kingdoms 
are symbolically presented in the great image at one and the same 
time, yet the interpretation plainly states that they are succes- 
sive, and that as we descend from the head to the feet we are 
really descending through the course of the ages, so that in this 
case the inference is a sound one that the iron legs, and feet and 
toes of " iron mixed with miry clay," represent respectively an 
earlier and later stage of the fourth kingdom, the toes represent- 
ing the latest stage of all. 

But apart from these faults of detail, the greatest error of the 
critics lies in their blind endeavour to cramp the grand world- 
wide vision of chap. vii. within the narrow Jewish limits of the 
vision of chap. viii. In some strange way the writers who advocate 
the Grecian scheme appear to have completely overlooked the 
utterly different character of these two visions. In proof of this, 
notice how the scene of vision in chap, viii., which is at first fairly 
wide, taking in the great contest for world-power between Persia 
and Greece, or, as one might say, between East and West, very 
rapidly contracts to much smaller limits, till it is focussed on the 
persecution raging in little Palestine, the " glorious land." 
Henceforth the vision is concerned, not with world-powers, but 


with the Jewish theocracy and ritual ; the atmosphere and 
colouring become strongly local and Levitical ; mention is made 
of the " host of heaven," " the stars," 1 the " Prince of the host," 
the " continual burnt-offering," 2 the " sanctuary and the host " 
mark the conjunction and time is reckoned in the Jewish 
fashion by so many " evenings and mornings." 3 In the vision 
of chap, vii., on the other hand, the theatre of vision is not only 
wide at the commencement, but remains so throughout, and is, 
if anything, widest at the close, tyo reference whatever is made 
in that chapter to the land of the Jews or to their sanctuary or 
ritual. It is true we read of " the saints," " the saints of the 
Most High " 4 a wider term by far than " the Prince of the 
host " and of a persecutor, who thinks " to change the times 
and the law " ; but we are under no necessity to understand these 
words in a narrow Jewish sense, for all local colouring is absent. 
Then, too, the mode of reckoning a period by " a time and times 
and a half time," chap. vii. 25, is not distinctively Jewish, since a 
similar expression is used of Nebuchadnezzar's madness, which 
was to last for " seven times," chap. iv. 16. Further, the expres- 
sions used to describe the kingdom of " one like unto a son of 
man," in chap. vii. 14, cannot be restricted to any merely Jewish 
kingdom, however widely extended, but must be placed side by 
side with the statements made respecting the same Divine king- 
dom, first by Daniel when interpreting the dream of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, chap. ii. 44, and secondly by the king himself when 
recovering from his madness, chap. iv. 34 ; while the mention of 
" the peoples, nations, and languages," chap. vii. 14, carries our 
thoughts, not to the kingdom of a David or even of a Solomon, 
but to the then empire of Babylon, with which the kingdom of 
the God of heaven is both compared and contrasted. Lastly, 
notice the strong contrast presented by the close of these two 
visions. The vision of chap. viii. ends with the cleansing of the 
sanctuary, verse 14 ; whilst that of chap. vii. widens out into a 
kingdom embracing all nations, and which is to last for ever ; 

1 Israel were to be as many as the starry host, Gen. xv. 5, Jer. xxxiii. 22. 

2 The word " burnt -offering " is absent in the original. " The continual," 
Hebrew TBnrj, included besides the daily burnt-offering, the offering of 
incense in the Holy Place, Exod. xxx. 8, the lighting the lamps, Lev. xxiv. 2, 
the placing of the shewbread on the table, Lev. xxiv. 8, and the meal-offering, 
Lev- vi. 20. As all these, with the exception of the shewbread, were attended 
to daily, it would be better, as Wright suggests, to substitute for "the 
continual burnt-offering," " the daily service." 

8 Gen. i. 5 ; the Jewish day commenced at sunset. 

* Even Nebuchadnezzar, a heathen, speaks of the " Most High God," 
Dan. iii. 26, and iv. 2, and Daniel speaks to him in similar terms, iv. 24, and 
also to Belshazzar, v. 18. 


in the words of the interpreting angel, v. 27, " the kingdom, 
and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms " note the 
plural " under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people 
of the saints of the Most High ; his kingdom is an everlasting 
kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." 

In view of the above considerations, it will, I think, be admitted 
that the critics who attempt to make chap. viii. run parallel to 
chap. vii. are attempting an impossibility. There is, however, 
one genuine difficulty presented by the Eoman scheme which 
demands our attention. I refer to the description given by 
Daniel of the second kingdom, when explaining to Nebuchad- 
nezzar the meaning of the composite image seen by that monarch 
in his dream. The seer's words are : " After thee shall arise 
another kingdom inferior to thee." 1 This statement that the 
second kingdom would be inferior to the first is agreeable so the 
Grecian critics tell us to the belief that the writer of this Book 
was under the idea that a weak Median kingdom followed the 
Babylonian, and in proof of this they point to the parallel vision 
of chap, vii., where the bear in their judgment represents a power 
inferior to that represented by the lion. As regards this pro- 
nouncement of the inferiority of the bear compared to the lion, 
the prophet Amos, a simple countryman, will join issue with them. 
Amos had rather meet a lion than a bear. " The Syrian bear," 
says Dr. Horton, 2 " is fiercer than the lion." But apart from 
this question of natural history, the description of the second 
kingdom, given in Dan. vii. 5, carries with it no suggestion what- 
ever of inferiority to the first as regards strength, but rather the 
reverse : " Behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it 
was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in his mouth 
between his teeth : and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much 
flesh." It is the voracity of the bear, not its inferiority to the 
lion, that is here emphasised. Aristotle calls the bear %$ov 
TTtifityayov, and this bear in the prophetic vision, though already 
gorged and unable to swallow down all its food, is seen raising 
itself up on one side as though preparing to strike, and is at the 
same moment summoned to seize upon a yet greater prey. Now, 
if with the advocates of the Boman scheme we understand by 
the bear the Medo-Persian kingdom, then we may venture the 
hypothesis that the carcase upon which it has been feasting is 
the empire of Assyria, and that the three ribs in its mouth, which 
it has been unable to gulp down, represent three buffer states on 
the Assyrian frontier, such as Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz, 

1 Dan. ii. 39. 

* Century Bible, on Amos v. 19. 


mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah, more than half a century- 
after Assyria had succumbed to the attack of the Medes, as 
semi-independent kingdoms though acknowledging a Median 
over-lordship. 1 The vision, then, of chap. vii. in no wise repre- 
sents the second kingdom as inferior to the first, and indeed, had 
it done so, it would have been belied by the event. For the 
New Babylonian Empire, under which Daniel lived, stood in no 
small fear of the Medes. When Cyaxares the Mede put down 
Assyria, Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, was most careful not to 
interfere with the military operations of his all-powerful northern 
ally. 2 The same policy was pursued by his son Nebuchadnezzar. 
No warlike campaigns, so far as we know, were undertaken by 
Nebuchadnezzar on the side of Media. This was the side on 
which he feared attack. Hence the strong fortresses erected by 
him at Babylon, so successfully excavated by Koldewey ; hence, 
too, the " Median wall," built by him from Sippara on the 
Euphrates to the site of the modern village of Jibbara on the 
Tigris, as recorded in the Wady Brissa Inscription and described 
by Xenophon. 3 Moreover, Nabonidus, the last king of the New 
Babylonian Empire, rejoices most unfeignedly over the over- 
throw of the Medes by Cyrus, king of Anshan, whom he styles 
Merodach's " little servant," 4 never imagining that this same 
Cyrus at the head of the Medo-Persian army would, within the 
next twenty years, overthrow the empire of Babylon. 

It is clear, then, that neither in the vision of Dan. vii. nor in 
historical fact is the Median kingdom inferior to the Babylonian. 
If, then, we stick to the translation " inferior to thee," in Dan. ii. 
39, we are forced to qualify it in some way, e.g. inferior in magnifi- 
cence and outward show, which may very possibly have been the 
case, just as the bear in outward semblance is much inferior to 
the lion. But this again is an unlikely explanation, since if there 
be any comparison between the four kingdoms it must be rather 
on the score of strength, inasmuch as the iron kingdom, as 
Josephus well points out, 5 is to be the strongest of them all. 
There thus appears to be a very real difficulty with regard to this 
statement as to the inferiority of the Medo-Persian kingdom as 
compared with the Babylonian. But, as Driver observes, the 

1 See the note at the end of this chapter. 

2 See the very curious extract from an inscription of Nabonidus given by 
me in the Journal of Theological Studies for July, 1913, pp. 612, 513. 

3 See L' inscription en caracleres cursifs de I'Ouady Brissa, col. vi. 15-31, 
pp. 16, 17, by H. Pognon ; also Xenophon's Anabasis, ii. 4, 12. 

4 Records of the Past, New Series, vol v. p. 169. 
3 Ant. x. 10, 4. 


two Aramaic words rendered " inferior to thee " mean literally 
" lower than thou." 1 This literal meaning is here to be preferred, 
and it must be understood in a strictly topical sense, " below 
thee," i.e. lower down in the image ; for Daniel imagines Nebu- 
chadnezzar to be mentally contemplating the composite image 
which he saw in his dream, and which had just been recalled to 
his mind, and what he says to the king may be briefly paraphrased 
thus : " Thou, king, art the head of gold, and after thee shall 
arise another kingdom lower down in the image, and then a third 
kingdom of brass, to be followed by a fourth of iron." In favour 
of this rendering let it be noted that the parts of the image which 
belong respectively to the first, third, and fourth kingdoms are 
expressly mentioned in each case. Thus, the first kingdom is the 
head of gold, the third is represented by the brazen portion of 
the image, the fourth by the iron portion. If, therefore, we stick 
to the rendering " inferior to thee," it follows that the second 
kingdom alone remains unidentified with any portion of the 
image. The translation proposed removes this anomaly, for the 
second kingdom is thus pointed out to the monarch as the one 
" below thee " on the image, i.e. beloio the golden head, so that it 
answers to the breast and arms of silver. 2 

But it will be said that in thus escaping from one difficulty 
we have fallen into another, and that with the new rendering 
" below thee " we have introduced a second anomaly, seeing 
that the second kingdom, alone of all the four, is now left unde- 
scribed, nothing being said about it except the bare mention of 
its position in the image. Quite so ; and for this there is a good 
reason. On the first kingdom, the head of gold, the seer very 
naturally enlarges, since it is the then existing kingdom and he is 
addressing its all-powerful monarch. On the third he says a 
good deal in a few words : it is to " bear rule over all the earth." 
On the fourth kingdom, its strength and subsequent weakness, 
he speaks at great length, for this is evidently one of the main 
features of the vision. But of the second kingdom he says never 
a word. What is the reason for his silence ? It is that the subject 

1 Cambridge Bible, Dan. ii. 39. The Aramaic words *|fD N|HK mean 
literally "earthwards from thee." njhn is an adverb, compounded of in**. 
" earth " and the adverbial ending n t " towards." Jastrow in his Dictionary 
of the Targummin has hnpin "earthwards, that which is below." Targ. 
Jos. xvi. 3. 

% That those who understood the Aramaic words 1|Q KJ?"]ix in the sense 
" inferior to thee " felt the miss of some definite statement as to the position 
in the image occupied by the second kingdom may be gathered from the fact 
that the Codex Alexandrinug readB, k<x\ 6iri<xu> cov avaarrifferai fiaai\eia kripa 
gov, )tis t<jT\y d ipyvpos. 


is a very delicate one ; he is treading on dangerous ground. The 
great king of Babylon would scarcely like to hear of another power 
that would presently take his place, and all the more so since it 
was that very Medo-Persian power of which he was already so 
apprehensive. Daniel's silence, then, may be compared with 
the silence of Josephus when he is interpreting this very vision of 
the four kingdoms. Josephus, living under the iron empire of 
Eome and professing himself a friend of the Eomans, at the same 
time holding the Eoman view with regard to the four kingdoms, 
very naturally declines to declare the Messianic meaning of the 
Stone which shattered the image. Evidently he shrank from 
explaining that the kingdom of the God of heaven, with Messiah 
at its head, would by and by supersede the empire of Imperial 
Eome. As this writer is one of the early advocates of the orthodox 
view and the passage is one of considerable interest, it may be 
well for me to quote it in extenso. Josephus represents Daniel 
addressing Nebuchadnezzar thus : l 

" The head of gold denotes thee and the kings of Babylon 
that have been before thee : but the two hands and arms signify 
this, that your government shall be dissolved by two kings : 2 
but another king, that shall come from the west, armed with brass, 
shall destroy that government : and another kingdom, that shall 
be like unto iron, shall put an end to the power of the former, and 
shall have dominion over all the earth, on account of the nature of 
iron, which is stronger than that of gold, of silver, and of brass." 
" Daniel," adds the historian, " did also declare the meaning of 
the stone to the king : but I do not think proper to relate it, since 
I have only undertaken to describe things past or present, but not 
things that are future : yet if any one be so very desirous of 
knowing truth as not to waive such points of curiosity, and can- 
not curb his inclination for understanding the uncertainties of 
futurity, and whether they will happen or not, let him be diligent 
in reading the Book of Daniel, which he will find among the 
sacred writings." 

While most scholars will admit that the Aramaic of chap. ii. 
39 admits of the meaning " below thee " as well as " inferior to 
thee," I shall probably be reminded that the Septuagint favours 
the latter rendering, and that in a doubtful case this ought to 
turn the scale. My answer is that a translator might more easily 
imagine Daniel saying to Nebuchadnezzar " inferior to thee " 
than his saying " below thee," and that he would also be guided 

1 Ant. x. 10, 4. 

* Viz. Cyrus and Darius the Mede. 


to some extent by the idea of silver being inferior to gold. Further, 
it must be remembered that the Septuagint translator, writing 
before the full development of the Eoman power, probably 
adopted the Grecian scheme, and regarded the second kingdom, 
not as the Medo-Persian, but as the Median. Now, as he could 
hardly have known much about this Median kingdom, he would 
see nothing strange in its being described as " inferior " to the 

It may be well at this point, and before bringing this chapter 
to a close, to advert to the statement argumentatively advanced 
by the critics that the Grecian scheme was first in the field, and 
that traces of it are seen in a portion of the Sibylline Oracles 
written not later than 140 B.C. The bare fact we willingly admit, 
but when they go on to speak of it as the " older and true inter- 
pretation," 1 we must needs dissent from the latter statement. 
" Older " it must of necessity be, inasmuch as the Greek Empire 
appeared before the Eoman, and, offering in the days of Antiochus 
Epiphanes a fulfilment of a part of Daniel's prophetic visions, 
was very naturally supposed to offer the fulfilment of a larger 
portion of those visions than the actual terms of the prophecy 
warranted. The interpreters of those days would naturally 
adopt the Grecian scheme, just as Josephus, with more to go 
upon, naturally adopts the Boman. For as history bit by bit 
turns the future into the past, true, genuine prophecy is bit by 
bit unfolded. In the days of the Maccabees we should all have 
been on the Grecian side, and ready in our study of the Book of 
Daniel to see Antiochus Epiphanes everywhere. But the marvel 
is that in these later days scholars should revert to the older, and 
necessarily cruder attempt to interpret the visions of Daniel, 
made too at a time when criticism was in its infancy. 2 

Additional Note on Akarat, Minni, and Ashkenaz 

Winckler in Die Keilinschrijten und das Alte Testament, p. 108, 
speaks of Elam and Ararat as " Puffer-staaten " of Assyria. 
Ararat is the now well-known kingdom of Urartu, whose in- 

1 Century Bible, p. 68. Foot-note on the Four World Empires. 

a As regards the older commentators on the Book of Daniel, the Grecian 
scheme is favoured or adopted by the Septuagint, 145 B.C. (Charles), which as 
a paraphrase may well be called the oldest commentary on Daniel ; by 
Porphyry, A.D. 233-304 ; and by Ephrem Syrus, A.D. 300-350. It is also 
alluded to by the author of the Apocryphal Book, 4 Esdras, A.D. 81-96. The 
Roman scheme is adopted by St. John in the Revelation, A.D. 67 or 96 ; by 
the author of 4 Esdras ; by Josephus, A.D. 94 ; by the author of the Epistle 
of Barnabas, circa A.D. 100-120 ; and by Hippolytus, circa A.D. 220. 


scriptions have been deciphered and translated by Sayce. This 
kingdom centred round Lake Van. Minni is the kingdom of the 
Manna, which lay to the south of Urartu and north of Lak3 
Urumiah. These two kingdoms rose to importance about 
900 B.C. ; and Ararat was a powerful rival of Assyria, both in 
the ninth and eighth centuries B.C. Towards the close of the 
Assyrian Empire, in the days of Ashurbanipal, Ararat was on 
friendly terms with Assyria, whilst Minni was under Assyrian 
governors. Ashkenaz has been identified by Winckler with the 
Ashkuza of the Assyrian records, believed by him to be the 
Scythians. In the time of Esarhaddon, 678 B.C., Ishpakai of 
the Ashkuza, with his allies the Manna, was defeated by Assyria. 
Esarhaddon gave one of his daughters in marriage to Bartatua, 
king of the Ashkuza, whom Winckler identifies with Protothyes 
the Scythian, the father of Madyes. It was an inroad of the 
Scythians under Madyes which raised the siege of Nineveh and 
deferred the downfall of Assyria for a generation (Herod, i. 103). 
" The kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz " (Jer. li. 27) 
have thus some claim to be regarded as three ribs of the carcase 
of the old Assyrian lion, which the voracious Medo-Persian bear 
finds himself not quite able to gulp down (Dan. vii. 5). 



ONE of the strongest arguments for the Eoman scheme of 
interpretation of the vision of Dan. ii. may be derived 
from the metals severally assigned to the four kingdoms. 
Josephus seems to have had an inkling of this when he thus 
paraphrases Daniel's description of the advent of the third king- 
dom : " Another king that shall come from the west, armed with 
brass, shall destroy that government." 1 It is clear that in the 
armour of the Greeks he saw some reason for the Greek kingdom 
being represented by the brazen part of the image. What the 
Jewish historian thus hints at will form the subject of the present 
chapter. It will be my object to show that the gold is peculiarly 
appropriate to represent the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, even more so than a writer of the Maccabean age would 
be likely to know ; that the silver, so far from representing a 
merely Median empire, represents far more suitably the Medo- 
Persian power, more particularly in its later or Persian stage ; 
that the brass is far better fitted to represent the Grecian 
kingdom than the Persian ; and the iron a better representation 
of the firm, strong, and, if need be, severe rule of Home, than of 
the irresistible might of Alexander the Great. 

Gold, silver, brass, and iron occur in the same order in the Great 
Triumphal Inscription of Sargon II., save that between silver and 
brass he interjects vessels of gold and silver and precious stone. 
The order is seemingly a descending one. In the estimation of 
Nebuchadnezzar iron would certainly hold the lowest place. 
It is not even mentioned in his inscriptions. 2 The thoughts of 
this great king were so much set on the more showy and costly 
metals that it must have been something of a shock for him to 
be told that a time was coming when, in the figures of his pro- 

1 Ant. x. 10, 4. 

a Iron circlets were found by Koldewey on the site of Babylon, and on 
the contract tablets of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar iron is mentioned as used 
for fetters and brick-moulds. 



phetic vision, as given in Dan. iv., he would be indebted to tlie 
iron and the brass for the preservation of his kingdom. 1 As 
regards intrinsic worth, the metals are arranged in descending 
order, but since they are severally characteristic of the different 
powers which they represent, and since the seer dwells so emphati- 
cally on the strength of the iron kingdom, it may easily be guessed 
that the real order is an ascending one, and that the silver kingdom 
is to prove stronger than the gold, the brass stronger than the 
silver, and the iron strongest of all. 

To hear himself described as the head of gold must have been 
very pleasing to the Babylonian monarch, and if he looked upon 
the description as a suitable one, we cannot blame him. In any 
case it described the very temper of his soul, and he appears to 
have done his best to realise the meaning of the figure. Herodotus, 
who was at Babylon some ninety years after the era of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, was struck with astonishment at the amount of gold which 
he found within the precincts of the sanctuary of Bel. In the 
smaller temple, which stood on the top of the tower of Babylon, 
was a table of gold. In the second temple below 2 was an image 
of the god " all of gold," seated on a golden throne with a golden 
base and in front of " a large golden table." All the gold used to 
form these sacred objects amounted so the Chaldeans told him 
to eight hundred talents. Outside the temple there was also 
an altar of " solid gold." 3 

When we turn to the India House Inscription of Nebuchad- 
nezzar the same feature meets us. In the eyes of this monarch 
nothing is too precious to be bestowed on his beloved Babylon. 
All his thoughts are centred on beautifying the seat of Merodach, 
" the great lord, the god, my creator." " Silver, gold, glitter of 
precious stones, copper, palm-wood, cedar, whatsoever thing is 
precious, in large abundance ; the produce of mountains, the 
fulness of seas, a rich present, a splendid gift, to my city of Babylon 
into his presence I brought." 4 Accordingly, the walls of the 
cell of Merodach must be made " to glisten like suns," the hall of 
his temple must be overlaid with shining gold, lapis-lazuli, and 
alabaster ; 5 and " the chapel of his lordship, which a former 
king had fabricated in silver," Nebuchadnezzar declares that he 

1 The expression " a band of iron and brass," Dan. iv. 15, finds its expla- 
nation in the fact that iron was sometimes used with a bronze casting round it. 
Layard's Nineveh, and Babylon, p. 670. 

2 This was the famous temple of Merodach, E-sag-ila, " the house of tower- 
ing summit." 

3 Herod, i. 181, 183. 

4 India House Inscription, col. ii. 30-39. 
8 Ibid. ii. 43-49. 


overlaid " with bright gold." 1 The roofing of E-kua, the cell 
of Merodach, is also overlaid with " bright gold " 2 ; and the cell 
of Nebo at Borsippa is treated in the same manner. 3 In all this 
the royal builder was actuated by a double motive. A strain 
of real devotion to Merodach and Nebo runs through his long 
inscription, but at the same time he freely admits that all this 
magnificence and grandeur was designed to impress his subjects. 
Thus, when speaking of the Northern Citadel at Babylon he writes : 
" That house I caused to be made for gazings, and for the beholding 
of the multitude of the people with sculptures I had it filled. 
The awe of power, the dread of the splendour of sovereignty, its 
sides begird." 4 So, then, magnificence and display form the 
characteristics of the golden kingdom ; and they are intended, as 
we see, to set forth the greatness of the king and the greatness of 
his god. When we are reading the inscriptions of this monarch, 
we find ourselves, as it were, in the third chapter of Daniel, while 
a loud-voiced herald calls upon us to " fall down and worship the 
golden image which Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up." But 
is it likely that a writer of the Maccabean age would have known 
all this ? Hardly so. Look at the image of the god Bel, as it is 
described to us in the apocryphal book, Bel and the Dragon. What 
is it made of ? Of gold ? No ! but of " clay within and brass 
without " ! 5 

With the coming of the Medo-Persian kingdom all this is 
changed. The gold now gives place to the silver. In the Semitio 
languages keseph, kaspu, " silver," bears also the further meaning 
of " money," silver being the criterion of value and the medium 
of exchange. When, then, we speak of the gold giving place to 
the silver, we mean that with the coming of the second kingdom 
magnificence and outward show were exchanged for treasure, 
diligently collected by taxation and carefully hoarded up to form 
the sinews of war when occasion should require. If, then, we are 
inclined to act in the spirit of the far-famed vicar of Bray, instead 
of falling down to worship the golden image, we must now be up 
and doing, making it our main object to see that the king shall 
receive no damage, but that toll, tribute, and custom be regularly 
paid by the subject provinces. 

The Medo-Persian kingdom, so Herodotus tells us, had its 
commencement in the administration of justice by Deioces. 6 His 
grandson, Cyaxares, reorganised the army, 7 and made it such a 

1 Herod, iii. 1-7. 2 Ibid, iii. 27-29. 

1 Ibid. iii. 43-45. * Ibid. ix. 29-35. Compare Dan. iv. 30. 

5 Bel and the Dragon 7. 8 Herod, i. 96, 97. 

7 Ibid. I 103. 


formidable instrument that it proved more than a match for the 
veteran troops of Assyria. 1 A power that paid such attention to 
justice and military matters would hardly be likely to overlook 
finance. Accordingly, in the first year after the taking of Babylon, 
in the reign of Darius the Mede which synchronises with the first 
year of Cyrus we learn from Daniel, chap, vi., that an attempt 
was made to organise the finances of the empire. It may have 
been only an attempt, nevertheless Herodotus tells us that during 
all the reign of Cyrus, and afterwards when Cambyses ruled, 
though there was no fixed tribute, yet the nations severally 
brought gifts to the king. 2 He also tells us that the Pseudo- 
Smerdis, as soon as he came to the throne, in order to make 
himself popular, granted freedom from war-service and from taxes 
to every nation under his rule for the space of three years. 3 This 
shows that under Cambyses who, in his brief earlier reign as 
sub-king under his father Cyrus in the year after the capture of 
Babylon, figures in this Book of Daniel as " Darius the Mede " 4 
there was a system of taxation throughout the empire. However, 
it was under the second Darius, Darius- Hystaspes, that this system 
was brought to perfection. Herodotus furnishes us with a 
long and exact account of the twenty satrapies established by 
Darius and the yearly amount at which each was assessed. The 
tribute, he tells us, was paid in silver talents, except that of the 
Indians. The Indian satrapy was the richest of all, and yielded 
360 talents of gold-dust, which the historian reckons as equivalent 
to 4,680 talents of silver, thus showing that silver, as stated above, 
was the standard of value. 5 

That the Persians kept their eye steadily fixed on this main 
object, appears as clearly in the pages of the Old Testament as 
in the pages of Herodotus. The Persian monarchs, it was well 
known, were bent on raising all they could from the subject 
provinces. Accordingly, Artaxerxes is implored not to allow 
Jerusalem to be fortified ; for, " be it known now unto the king, 
that, if this city be builded, and the walls finished, they will not 
pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will endamage the 
kings." 6 Again, when the same king wishes to show special kind- 
ness to the Jews, he exempts all those who minister at the temple 
from paying taxes. 7 Nevertheless, Nehemiah in his long and 
touching confession is forced to admit that the Jews are servants 
in their own land, and that " it yield eth much increase unto the 

1 Herod, i. 106. 2 Ibid. iii. 89. 

3 Ibid. iii. 67. * See Chapter XIV. below. 

5 Herod, iii. 89-95. 6 Ezra iv. 13. 

7 Ibid. vii. 24. 


kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins." l So, 
then, in the prophetic summons to the Medo-Persian bear " Arise, 
devour much flesh " 2 it will be noted that the very tone of tho 
words is suggestive of greed and spoliation rather than of conquest 
and subjugation. In consequence of this policy of the silver 
kingdom the Persian kings became rich, and it is foretold in 
Ban. xi. 2 that the fourth king, Xerxes, " shall be far richer than 
they all ; and that when he is waxed strong through his riches 
he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece." The vast host 
which Xerxes collected for the invasion of Greece, and with which 
he crossed over into Europe, would have been an impossibility 
but for the system of finance perfected by his father Darius. 
So keen was Darius in amassing wealth that, according to Hero- 
dotus, he appeared to his subjects as a huckster, " one who looked 
to making a gain in everything." 3 Xerxes trod in his father's 
footsteps. As Darius had not hesitated to violate the tomb of 
Nitocris at Babylon in his vain search for treasure, 4 so Xerxes 
sent a detachment from his army to plunder the temple at Delphi. 
" Xerxes, as I am informed," says Herodotus, " was better 
acquainted with what there was worthy of note at Delphi, than 
even with what he had left in his own house ; so many of those 
about him were continually describing the treasures, more 
especially the offerings made by Croesus the son of Alyattes." 5 

It thus appears that no metal could so suitably picture the 
Medo-Persian kingdom as silver, and that this is especially true 
of the later phases of that kingdom. There may have been times 
when it could be said of the Medes, they "shall not regard silver " 6 ; 
but that could never be said of Darius Hystapes and his successors. 
They, at any rate, were all for riches, and by their riches they were 
strong. The silver kingdom was stronger than the golden kingdom, 
and consequently it lasted very much longer. Babylon was 
master of the ancient world for only 70 years ; Persia for over 
200 years. 

Silver was stronger than gold ; but, as the Persan kings were 
soon to learn to their cost, brass was stronger than silver. 7 First 

1 Neh. ix. 37. 2 Dan. vii. 5. 3 Herod, iii. 89. 

4 Ibid. i. 187. 5 Ibid. viii. 35. 

6 Isa. xiii. 17 : referring to a time prior to the formation of the Median 
tribes into a nation. 

7 By brass we must understand bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. In 
three specimens found by Layard at Nineveh the proportions were as follows : 

Copper 89-51 89 "85 88-37 

Tin 10-63 9-78 1133 

100-14 99-63 99-70 


at Marathon, and then at Thermopylae and Salamis, there were 
alarming foreshadowings of the coming of the brazen kingdom. 
The power which wealth commands was soon to be proved inferior 
to the force of arms wielded by a brave and free people. " Another 
king shall come from the west armed with brass," is the brief 
interpretation of the third kingdom which Josephus puts into 
the lips of Daniel. The Jewish historian saw in the mention of 
a brazen kingdom an unmistakable prediction of the victorious 
arms of Alexander and his brazen-clad Greeks. If we glance 
through the ever fresh and delightful pages of Herodotus, we shall 
come to the conclusion that the inference is a true one. It is 
noticeable that when Herodotus is describing to us the equipment 
of the different nationalities that went to make up the vast host 
of Xerxes, he makes the not infrequent remark, more especially 
with regard to the crews of the fleet, that such and such nations 
were " armed " or " equipped in the Grecian fashion," or that 
they " wore the Grecian armour." 1 The Grecian islanders and 
inhabitants of the coastlands of Asia Minor, who, as we know, 
formed a part of Xerxes' host, would no doubt be armed in much 
the same way as their brethren on the mainland of Greece, against 
whom they were compelled to fight ; and this Grecian armour, 
famous from the days of Homer, must have presented a very 
marked contrast to the soft hat, tunic with sleeves, and trousers, 
worn by both the Medes and Persians. 2 When at Therniopylra 
the Greeks encountered first the Medes and then the famous 
Persian " Immortals," their brazen armour must have stood them 
in good stead and given them a decided advantage. In the time 
of Psammetichus I. of Egypt 664-610 B.C., a little earlier than 
the era of Nebuchadnezzar the fame of this brazen armour was 
already making itself felt. Psammetichus, being driven into 
banishment by the other kings of the Dodekarchy, went, we are 
told, to consult the oracle of Latona as to how he might take 
vengeance on his rivals. The oracle answered that " vengeance 
would come from the sea when brazen men should appear." Over 
this answer the king was incredulous at first, but presently a crew 
of Carians and Ionians, driven by stress of weather, landed on the 
coast of Egypt, all equipped in their brazen armour. This un- 
wonted sight startled the natives, and one of them hastened to 
Psammetichus with the news that " brazen men had come from 
the sea, and were plundering the plain." Seeing in this the 
accomplishment of the oracle, the Egyptian king made friendly 
advances to the new-comers, engaged them as mercenaries, and 

1 Herod, vii. 74, 89-95. 2 Ibid, vii. 61, 62. 


with their help worsted his opponents. 1 In the wonderful list 
given us by Ezekiel of the wares which the different nations 
brought to the great mart of Tyre, we are told that Javan, Tubal, 
and Meshech traded in vessels of brass. 2 By Javan we under- 
stand the Asiatic Greeks, in fact the word is only another form 
of "lafoveg, " Ionians." Also, the Hebrew word translated 
" vessels " would apply to anything made of brass, and is some- 
times used to describe the " entire equipment of warriors, armour 
or armament, offensive and defensive. 3 It thus appears that the 
brazen kingdom must represent a Greek kingdom rather than 
a Persian ; for, granting that there were " brazen men " to be 
found in the vast heterogeneous host of Xerxes, more especially 
in the contingents furnished by the Greek islanders, yet brazen 
armour was not the distinctive equipment of Median and Persian 
warriors, but a dress which, whether depicted in the sculptures of 
Persepolis or described in the pages of Herodotus, presents the most 
marked contrast. 

The above observations lead to the very evident inference 
that the third or tyrazen kingdom represents, not a Persian, but 
a Greek kingdom ; and this inference is confirmed when we turn 
to the description of the third kingdom given in the vision of 
chap, vii., where it appears as a leopard with four wings. The 
symbol points to the amazing rapidity of the career of Alexander 
the Great, the founder of the Greek kingdom. The leopard is 
remarkable for speed, 4 and in order to emphasise this point the 
leopard in the vision is seen to be furnished with four wings. 
Similarly, in the vision of chap, viii., which is infallibly interpreted 
for us by the angel Gabriel, attention is drawn to this same striking 
feature of Alexander's career. The mighty conqueror from 
Macedon is beheld as a he-goat coming from the west, which 
appeared not to touch the ground. Compare Lucan's description : 

" fulmenque, quod ornnes 
Percuteret pariter populos." 

The leopard is further remarkable for craft, vigilance, and cir- 
cumspection. 3 And this thought is accentuated by the leopard 
in the vision having four heads, and so being able to look in every 
direction. Alexander's swift career was guided by the most 
watchful circumspection. Hence the notable horn on the head 
of the he-goat, in chap. viii. 5, is seen to be placed between its 
eyes ; an indication that the force and fury of Alexander's attack 

1 Herod, ii. 152. 2 Ezek. xxvii. 13. 

3 See Francis Brown's Heb> Lex. under 'f??. 

4 Hab. i. 8. 5 Jer. v. 6 ; Hos. xiii. 7. 


would be guided and directed by rare intelligence and penetration. 
Unlike Kehoboam, this great king made use of the advice of his 
father's councillors. 

Passing now to the fourth or iron kingdom, which the advocates 
of the Grecian scheme seek to identify with the Greek kingdom 
of Alexander the Great and his successors, it may be allowed me 
to remark that, if the metals are to guide us in our interpretation 
of the vision of Dan. ii., a glance at the Greek lexicon is sufficient 
to refute this idea of the critics. In the eighth edition of Liddell 
and Scott's Greek Lexicon, 1901, the words compounded with 
XaAjcoe, " brass," occupy 6 columns, those compounded with 
aiSripoQ, " iron," only If columns. Brass, as we have already 
seen, points unmistakably to the Greeks. Iron is a poor descrip- 
tion of the Greek kingdom, but a very telling description of the 
Eoman. Further, in passing from the third to the fourth kingdom, 
we are actually nassing from a bronze to an iron age. To the 
Eoman poets bronze weapons spoke of the olden time. Thus, 
Virgil describing times long gone by, writes : 

" iEratseque micant peltaa, micat aureus ensis." Mneid. vii. 743 ; 

and again, describing the sack of Troy, he pictures Anchises calling 
out to his son : 

" Nate, exclamat, fuge, nate, propinquant 
Ardentes clypeos atquo eera micantia cerno." Mneid. ii. 734. 

In this connection the lines of Lucretius (99-55 B.C.), contrasting 
the past with the present, are especially deserving of notice : 

" Et prior aeris erat quam ferri cognitus usus. 
Mxe solum terra tractabant, sereque belli 
Miscebant fluctus, et vulnera vasta serebant. 
Inde minutatim processit ferreus ensis, 
Versaque in opprobrium species est falcis ahena." Lucret. v. 1285. 

Iron, to be sure, was in use long before the coming of the Bomans, 
but at the time of the development of the Bepublic into a world- 
power its use became much more general. Iron swords and breast- 
plates took the place of bronze. The change, as Lucretius points 
out, was a gradual one, and it was contemporary with the rise 
of the Eoman power. During that period both of these metals 
were employed in the making of arms and armour. Hence, in 
Dan. vii. 19 the fourth beast in its most aggressive stage is 
described as having teeth of iron and nails of brass. In Polybius' 
description of the arms and equipment of the Eoman infantry, 
written about 140 B.C., we seem as it were to see the brass giving 



place to the iron. 1 The Koman infantry soldier of the time of 
Polybius still wore a helmet and breastplate of bronze, but his 
shield had an iron boss, and the rim of it was plated with iron at 
the top and bottom. Above all, he carried with him that dis- 
tinctively Eoman weapon the jpilvm, capable of being used both 
as a pike and a javelin. The pilum was a weapon with a stout 
iron head, and a long iron neck fitted to a wooden shaft, the metal 
extending for about a third of its entire length. Livy, when 
contrasting the arms of the Eomans with those of the Mace- 
donians, makes special mention of the pilum, as follows ; 
" Macedonibus arma clypeus sarissasque ; Eomano scutum, 
majus corpore tegumentum, et pilum, haud paulo quam hasta 
vehementius ictu missuque telum." 2 From this point of view, 
then, the Greek kingdom being denoted by the brass, the Eoman 
might with equal suitability be denoted by the iron. But the 
feature which Daniel so strikingly brings out in his interpretation 
is the strength of the iron kingdom. " The fourth kingdom shall 
be strong as iron : forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and 
subdueth all things : and as iron that crusheth all these, shall it 
break in pieces and crush." 3 These words, it is true, might be 
used of the onward march of the Greek arms under Alexander, 
but they are ten times more descriptive of the progress of the 
Eoman power during the second and first centuries B.C. The 
special feature of Alexander's career was its amazing swiftness, 
so well pictured by the four-winged leopard, the third beast in 
the vision of chap. vii. But just as swiftness was symbolised by 
the aspect of the third beast, so what most impressed the seer in 
his vision of the fourth beast was its intense ferocity. " After 
this," he writes, " I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth 
beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly ; and it had 
great iron teeth : it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped 
the residue with his feet : and it was diverse from all the beasts 
that were before it." 4 The critics who favour the Grecian 
scheme assure us that in the words, " it devoured and brake in 
pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet," we are to see the 
overthrow of the older civilisation and its radical transformation 
by the spread of the Greek Empire, and more especially the tho- 
roughness with which the work was done. 5 But the words mean 
more than thoroughness ; they are descriptive of savage ferocity 
and ruthless severity. Their fulfilment is seen, not in the great 
changes wrought in the East by Alexander's conquests, but in the 

1 Polyb. Hist. vi. 23, 8. 3 Livy, bk. xxsviii. 7. 

8 Dan. ii. 40. * Ibid. vii. 7. 

8 Century Bible on Dan. vii. 7. 


severities practised by the Romans on all who resisted them ; 
witness the destruction of Carthage, the siege of Numantia, the 
War of the gladiators when the Appian Way was lined with six 
thousand crosses bearing aloft as many bodies, and, last but not 
least, the siege of Jerusalem and extinction of the Jewish 

One other characteristic of the fourth beast, which suits best 
the Roman power, is found in the statement that it " was diverse 
from all the beasts that were before it." x This is best illustrated 
by the following passage from the First Book of Maccabees, which 
is eloquent as to the impression made on the Jews by their first 
acquaintance with the Roman system of government ; " Whom- 
soever they will to succour and to make kings, these do they make 
kings ; and whomsoever they will, do they depose ; and they 
are exalted exceedingly : and for all this none of them did ever 
put on a diadem, neither did they clothe themselves with purple, 
to be magnified thereby " 2 ; after which follows a description 
of the senate and of the consular power ; the whole passage 
showing how very much the Oriental mind was impressed by this 
strange and to them novel form of government. But in the case 
of Alexander's rule there was nothing of this kind to impress 
and astonish his subjects. Alexander " liked Oriental splendour 
and the Oriental ceremony which placed an infinite distance 
between the king and his highest subjects ; great statesmen 
generally love to be absolute, and Alexander enjoyed Oriental 
despotism." 3 

But the strongest claim of the empire of Rome to be the actual 
fulfilment of the iron kingdom must ever be found, first, in the 
length of its duration, the best proof surely of its strength. The 
empire of Babylon lasted only 70 years ; the Persian empire 
200 years ; the Greek 130 years ; whilst Rome, in its undivided 
state, stood for some 500 years, and in its divided state as the 
ten kingdoms continues down to the present time. 4 Secondly, 
and this must never be overlooked, there is that wonderful 
prophecy of the papal power given in Dan. vii. 8 and 19-26, into 
which I have not entered here, because the subject has been so 
well and exhaustively treated by our Protestant commentators. 5 

1 Dan. vii. 7. a 1 Mace. viii. 13, 14. 

3 Encyc. Brit. 9th ed., under " Persia," p. 585, col. 1. 

4 It will be said that this criterion of strength fails in the case of the Greek 
Empire. But that empire, amazingly strong at first, soon became a divided 
empire : no sooner was the " great horn " broken than "four notable horns " 
Bprang up to take its place, Dan. viii. 8. 

5 See The First Two Visions of Daniel, by the late Prof. T. R. Birks, and 
Chapter XXV. below. 


The choice of gold, silver, brass, and iron, to represent severally 
the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Eome, in a vision 
granted to a Babylonian monarch, possesses also a marked suita- 
bility, arising from the fact that those different metals were 
assigned by the Babylonians to different gods. Thus, according 
to a Bay Ionian tablet, 1 Enlil, with whom, in the time of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, Merodach was identified, was the god of gold ; Anu, the 
god of silver ; and Ea, the god of brass, i.e. bronze ; whilst it may 
be surmised with a fair amount of probability that Ninib, the 
" strong one " of the gods, was the god of iron, since the same two 
cuneiform characters which stand for the god Ninib stand also 
for yarzillu, " iron." The fact that Enlil, i.e. Merodach, was the 
god of gold, not only accounts for the great quantity of gold 
employed in his temple at Babylon, but makes gold the most 
suitable representation of the Babylonian power, Merodach being 
the patron god of Babylon. In Anu, the god of silver, and at 
the same time, as his name signifies, the " sky-god," we see the 
nearest representative that the Babylonian pantheon could offer 
of Ahura-mazda, the great god of the Persians, whose eye is the 
resplendent sun and who clothes himself with a starry robe. 2 
Silver would thus most suitably picture the Persian power. Ea, 
the god of bronze, was also the sea-god, and bore the title " the 
lord of ships." Thus, the bronze portion of the image would 
point, not only to brazen-clad warriors, but to a power coming 
from beyond the sea, to those ships of Kittim which were to afflict 
Asshur and to afflict Eber, 3 i.e. the world-powers beyond the 
Euphrates. Ninib, the god of iron, has been identified by Jensen 
with Saturn. 4 Though Ninib was a god of war and Saturn a god 
of peace, yet both alike were patrons of agriculture. 5 Hence, 
Saturn is usually pictured with a scythe, iron being as useful in 
agriculture as in war. Saturn, according to Cicero, was especially 
worshipped in the West. 6 His connection with Latium, where 
he reigned during the golden age, and with the Capitoline Hill, 
where his altar stood even before the founding of Borne, enables 
us to see in the god of iron, Ninib-Saturn, a not unsuitable repre- 
sentative of the great power that was presently to rise out of the 

1 See Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, pt. xxiv., pi. 49, published 
by British Museum. 

8 Story of the Nations : Media, pp. 61, 62. 

3 Num. xxiv. 24. 

4 See Jensen's Kosmologie, pp. 136-139. 

6 Cf. the Monotheistio Tablet given in Pinches' Old Testament, 1st ed, 
p. 58, " Ninib is Merodach of the Garden." 
6 Cicero, De Natura Deontm, iii. c. 17. 



IT is one feature of the controversy which has so long raged 
round the Book of Daniel that points once looked upon as 
fatal to the early date of that Book are seen on further in- 
vestigation to be proofs of its authenticity. This is the case with 
the " Chaldeans " who figure so prominently in the narrative 
portion. The defenders of the orthodox view would now be as 
sorry to lose the presence of those jealous, contentious individuals 
as to have the once much-debated, much-doubted-of Belshazzar 
removed from the scene. 

The term " Chaldeans," being found along with such terms 
as " magicians," " enchanters," " sorcerers," and " soothsayers," 
has been supposed by the critics to be used in the same sense in 
which we find it in the pages of Juvenal, 1 viz. as a synonym for 
cheats and imposters. " In the eyes of the Assyriologist," 
writes Prof. Sayce, " the use of the word Kasdim (' Chaldeans ') 
in the Book of Daniel would alone be sufficient to indicate the date 
of the work with unerring certainty." This conclusion was, 
perhaps, not unnatural, and yet further investigation has shown 
that the " Chaldeans," so far from being looked upon as quacks 
and rogues, the parasites of heathen emperors and courts, were 
in their day regarded as the very elite of Babylonian society, 
men in whose ranks the monarch himself appears to have been 
enrolled. 2 

In the Old Testament the name Kasdim, " Chaldeans," is 

1 Cf. Satire, vi. 55-58 : 

" Chaldseis sed major erit fiducia : quicquid 
Dixerit astrologua, credent a fonte relatimi 
Hammonis, quoniam Delphi oracula cessant 
Et genua hurnanurn darunat caligo futuri." 

Also Satire, x. 93, referring to the Emperor Tiberius : 

" Principis augusta Caprearum in rupe sedentis 
Cum grege Chaldceo." 
a See below. 



invariably used in an ethnic sense until we come to the Book of 
Daniel. Thus, we read of " Ur of the Chaldees," of " Babylon 
the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride," of 
" the land of the Chaldeans " being utterly devastated by the 
Assyrian, of " the Chaldeans in the ships of their rejoicing," for 
they were a maritime people of " the Babylonians, the land of 
whose nativity is Chaldea," of " Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, 
the Chaldean," of " the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, 
which march through the breadth of the earth to posess dwelling- 
places that are not theirs," and of " the army of the Chaldeans " 
come to fight against Jerusalem. 1 When we arrive at the Book 
of Daniel the ethnic sense of the term is found to be still in use, 
as, for instance, when Darius the Mede is called " king over the 
realm of the Chaldeans." 2 But along with the old ethnic sense 
we meet now with an entirely new usage. Thus, in the narrative 
of chaps, ii., hi., iv., and v. the term is used of a privileged class, 
apparently the chief of the five classes into which the wise men of 
Babylon are divided. 

When we turn to the Assyrian inscriptions we find the word 
Kaldu, " Chaldeans," used invariably in an ethnic sense. The 
Kaldu are first mentioned by Ashurnatsirpal in the account of his 
campaign undertaken in the year 879 B.C. They are described 
as settled on the Lower Euphrates to the south of Babylonia 
proper. 3 From the inscriptions of Shalmaneser II., 860-825 B.C., 
and of Tiglathpileser III., 745-727 B.C., 3 we learn that they were 
a race of Semitic origin, divided into several small states, the chief 
of which and the most southerly, bordering on the Persian Gulf, 
was the " Country of the Sea," alluded to in the title of the pro- 
phetic burden : " The Burden of the Wilderness of the Sea," 
Isa. xxi, 1. This was the hereditary kingdom of Merodachbalaclan, 4 
who, in the days of Sargon king of Assyria, for twelve years 
wrested the throne of Babylon from the Assyrians. The fact that 
" Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean " belonged to the same conquering 
race as Merodachbalaclan, is that which lends point to Isaiah's 
threatening announcement to TIezekiah when the heart of the 
Jewish king was unduly elated at receiving an embassy from the 
Chaldean king of Babylon. " Behold the days come," cries the 
prophet, " that all ihat is in thine house, and that which thy 
fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to 

1 Gen. xi. 28 ; Isa. xiii. 19, xxiii. 13, xliii. 14 ; Ezek. xxiii. 15, R.V.M. ; 
Ezra v. 12 ; Hab. i. 6 ; Jer. xxxvii. 10. 
a Dan. ix. 1. 

3 Records of the Past, New Series, ii. 164 ; iv. 43, 79 ; v. 122, 123. 

4 See ibid. vol. v. p. 123, line 26. 


Babylon i nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy 
sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they 
take away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of 
Babylon." * We quote this prophecy at length, since the first 
chapter of Daniel shows us its fulfilment. Children of the Jewish 
royal family are there seen being trained to be courtiers and ser- 
vants to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean king of Babylon. 

The Chaldeans were always the bitter enemies of the Assyrians, 
yet, in spite of this hostility, in the closing years of the Assyrian 
Empire we find a Chaldean king, Nabopolassar the father of 
Nebuchadnezzar, seated on the throne of Babylon. How he got 
there we cannot tell, but he tells us himself that he was a man 
of very humble origin, and that he drove back the Assyrians out 
of northern Babylonia. In the final conflict with Assyria, Nabo- 
polassar joined hands with Cyaxares of Media, 2 the result being 
that the northern portion of the Assyrian Empire passed under the 
sway of Media, while the southern portion fell to Nabopolassar, 
and helped to form the New Babylonian Empire. The Chaldean 
origin of the dynasty of Nabopolassar is gathered chiefly from the 
Old Testament writers. Jeremiah speaks of the army of Nebu- 
chadnezzar as the " army of the Chaldeans." Ezekiel describes 
the ruling race at Babylon in the days of Nebuchadnezzar as 
hailing from Chaldea, whilst in the Book of Ezra, in a letter of 
the Persian governor Tattenai, Nebuchadnezzar is expressly called 
" the Chaldean." These statements of Scripture are confirmed 
by Berosus, a learned Chaldean priest, who in his history of Baby- 
lonia, Written about 300 B.C., tells us that the Chaldean notables 
at Babylon kept the throne for Nebuchadnezzar on his father's 
death. 3 Alexander Polyhistor, in the second century B.C., also 
speaks of the father of Nebuchadnezzar as being a Chaldean. 

During the Assyrian period Babylon was long a bone of con- 
tention between that people and their warlike neighbours in the 
south, and not a few Chaldean princes succeeded as the years 
rolled on in seating themselves on the throne of Bel. It is this 
which leads the prophet Isaiah to speak of Babylon as "the 
beauty of the Chaldeans' pride." 4 From the fact that these 
princes invariably have the names of the gods Bel and Nebo, the 
patron divinities severally of Babylon and Borsippa, incorporated 
in their throne-names, we gather that they were specially devoted 
to the worship of those gods. This was certainly the case with 

1 Isa. xsxix. 6, 7. 

2 . See Cory's Fragments, pp. 83-90. 

3 Josephus against Apion, i. 19. 

4 lea. xiii. 19. 


Nebuchadnezzar, as his inscriptions x testify ; with others it may 
have been a mere matter of policy. 

In later times the term " Chaldean " is used in an ethnic sense 
by classical writers from Herodotus downwards. Herodotus 
mentions them as one of the many nations who served in the army 
of Xerxes. 2 Whilst the geographer Strabo, who lived till A.D. 25, 
tells us that even in his day there were still some relics of this 
people in their old homeland, which he describes as a district of 
Babylonia bordering on the country of the Arabs and on the 
Persian Gulf. It will be evident from the above that we are not 
at liberty to look upon the " Chaldeans " as Babylonians, or to 
regard the two terms as equivalents. The Chaldeans, strictly 
speaking, were not Babylonians at all, though they were often 
masters of Babylon and probably looked upon themselves as its 
rightful lords. In the Book of Ezra, as we have seen, Nebuchad- 
nezzar is exactly described as " Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, 
the Chaldean." Josephus styles him " king of Babylon and of 
Chaldea." 3 And it is worthy of notice that the same writer 
calls Nabonidus, the father of Belshazzar, " a man of Babylon," 
but says of the historian Berosus that he was by birth a Chaldean. 4 
Similarly, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in his inscription on the 
Taylor Cylinder, speaks of Nergal-ushezib as " Shuzub of Babylon," 
while he styles Mushezib-Marduk " Shuzub the Chaldean." s In 
Dan. v. 29, Belshazzar is called " the Chaldean king," inasmuch 
as his father Nabonidus, a usurper, the last king of Babylon, 
though not himself a Chaldean, appears to have united himself 
by marriage with the Chaldean dynasty of Nabopolassar. 

The use of the term " Chaldean " in a class sense, to denote 
a certain caste among the wise men of Babylon, which forms the 
second subject of our investigations in this chapter, appears 
first in the Book of Daniel, and is found next in the pages of Hero- 
dotus. Herodotus was born about 484 B.C. His visit to Babylon 
was probably prior to 447 B.C., when he left Halicarnassus to go 
and live at Athens. His description of Babylon, which in its 
correctness of topographical detail bears frequent evidence to the 
testimony of an eyewitness, gives us a picture of the state of 
things in that city within ninety years after its capture by 
Cyrus, and therefore less than a century from the time of the 
prophet Daniel. Herodotus, then, when describing to us the 

1 See The Churchman for December, 1903, pp. 119-121. 
a Herod, vii. 63. 
Ant. i. 9, 7. 

* Josephus c. Apion, i. 20 compared with i. 19. 

Records of the Past, New Series, vi. 94, lino 35 compared with 97, line 41. 


temple-tower and precincts of the sanctuary of Bel makes mention 
of the " Chaldeans " as his guides and informers. The " Chal- 
deans " tell him of the astonishing amount of gold used in the 
temple at the foot of the tower. Outside this temple he sees a 
great altar, on which, as he tells us, " the Chaldeans burn the 
frankinoense, which is offered to the amount of a thousand talents' 
weight every year at the festival of the god." Again, speaking of 
a figure which stood in this temple in the time of Cyrus, he care- 
fully adds : " I myself did not see this figure, but I relate what the 
Chaldeans report concerning it." Finally, that we may be in 
no doubt as to the identity of these friendly ciceroni, we find in 
a previous paragraph the plain statement, " as the Chaldeans, the 
priests of the god, say." On the other hand, it is noticeable that 
when this chatty old historian leaves his description of the temple 
and its precincts and goes on to speak of the city of Babylon and 
the strange customs of its inhabitants, we hear no more of the 
" Chaldeans," but only of the " Babylonians." 1 It is, then, an 
error to state that the use of this word " Chaldean," as we find it in 
the pages of Herodotus, "dates really from a time when ' Chaldean' 
had become synonymous with ' Babylonian,' " 2 for Herodotus 
clearly does not use the two words as synonyms. The question, 
then, as to the identity of the " Chaldeans " of the Book of 
Daniel is settled by the plain statement of Herodotus. They were 
the priests of the great temple of Bel-Merodach, E-sag-ila, " the 
house of towering summit," the chief of the many temples in 
Babylon, and that in which, as recorded in Dan. i. 2, Nebuchad- 
nezzar placed the vessels taken from the house of God at 

Having thus satisfied ourselves as to the identity of these men, 
we may reasonably endeavour, from the statements of classical 
writers compared with those which meet us on contemporary 
documents, to obtain further information as to this Chaldean 
priesthood and also as to why they were called " Chaldeans." 

Diodorus Siculus, who flourished in the first century B.C., 
speaking of Belesys, 3 i.e. Nabopolassar, the founder of the New 
Babylonian Empire, calls him " the most distinguished of the 
priests, whom the Babylonians call Chaldeans." 4 This is the 
testimony of a late writer, but that some credence may be given 

1 Herod, i. 183, 181 compared with i. 195-200. 

8 Cambridge Bible : Daniel, p. 12, foot-note. 

5 Belesys, or Balasu, is a Chaldean name. Possibly it was the name of 
Nabopolassar before he asoended the throne. See Records of the Past, New 
Series, vol. v. p. 123, line 26. 

* Diod. Sio. Bibliotkeca, lib. ii. cap. 24. 


to it we gather from an inscription of Nabopolassar, in which he 
describes the part taken by himself and his two sons, Nebuchad- 
nezzar and Nabu-shum-lishir, in the rebuilding of the temple- 
tower of Bel-Merodach. The passage runs thus : 

" Unto Merodach, my lord, I bowed my neck ; I arrayed 
myself in my gown, the robe of my royalty. Bricks and mortar 
I carried on my head, a workman's cap I wore, and Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the firstborn, the chief son, beloved of my heart, I caused 
to carry mortar and gifts of wine and oil along with my workmen. 
Nabu-shum-lishir, his own brother, the offspring of my body, 
the junior, my darling, I caused to drag a truck with ropes, and 
a workman's hat I placed upon him, to Merodach my lord I pre- 
sented him as a gift." l 

The spirit of the above description, and the zest with which 
the king relates the part taken by himself and his two sons in the 
ceremonial of rebuilding the tower, is suggestivo that the founder 
of the empire was either a priest himself, or at any rate thought 
it politic to ally himself very closely with the priesthood and to 
make his younger son a member of that body. In any case we 
seem now to understand the prominent part taken by the 
" Chaldeans " in the Book of Daniel and the freedom of speech 
with which they address the king. 

To explain a possible way in which the priests of Bel may have 
acquired the name " Chaldeans," it will be necessary to advert 
to a very remarkable fact, which has hitherto received no explana- 
tion, viz. that in the documents of the New Babylonian Empire, 
i.e. in the royal inscriptions and the numerous business tablets, 
the word " Chaldean " is never found, either in an ethnic or in 
a class sense. The Assyrians, the Hebrews, the Greek and Latin 
writers, all use the term : the Assyrians only in an ethnic sense ; 
the Hebrews similarly, with the exception of the author of the 
Book of Daniel ; the Greek and Latin writers in both senses from 
Herodotus downwards. But we never find it used in either 
sense in the inscriptions of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, Neri- 
glissar, and Nabonidus. Further, on the contract tablets, while 
men are described as " Assyrians," " Egyptians," " Persians," 
and so forth, they are never called " Chaldeans." Possibly Baby- 
lonian vanity has something to do with this. It may be that the 
name " Chaldeans " was offensive to the Babylonians, as savour- 
ing too much of conquest by the foreigner, so that whilst a man 

1 See Eberhard Schrader's Keilinschriftliche Bibliothih, vol. iii. pt. ii. 
pp. 47. 


might be a Chaldean, yet if he aspired to become a ruler of Babylon, 
he must both " take the hands of Bel," and call himself a Baby- 
lonian. A ray of light on this subject comes to us from the writings 
of the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel, who lived in Northern Babylonia 
in the days of the New Empire, and was a contemporary of the 
prophet Daniel, speaking of the overtures made by the kingdom 
of Judah to idolatrous Babylon, writes thus : ' She saw men 
pourtrayed upon the walls, the images of the Chaldeans, pour- 
trayed with vermilion, girded with girdles upon their loins, exceed- 
ing in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look 
upon, after the likeness of the Babylonians, the land of whose 
nativity is Chaldea." l This language is remarkable. Ezekiel 
is evidently speaking of the ruling race : they are Babylonians by 
virtue of conquest, but Chaldea is where they spring from. The 
outside world calls them " Chaldeans," but they call themselves 
" Babylonians," either as being proud of their conquest, or else 
to humour the vanity of the conquered people. This may 
possibly explain how the name " Chaldean " came to be dropped 
by the Chaldeans themselves, though still applied to them by 
outsiders, such as the Hebrews, Greeks, and Latins. What 
still remains a mystery is how, being dropped in a national sense, 
it became attached to the priesthood of Bel in a class sense. 
Perhaps the simplest explanation is that in the days of the New 
Empire that priesthood became exclusive and only admitted to 
its ranks men of pure Chaldean lineage. Aulus Gellius, circa 
A.D. 130, speaking of the term " Chaldffii " as in his day the right 
term for astrologers and fortune-tellers, calls it vocabulum genti- 
licium, 2 " a name taken from a race." As, then, the conquerors 
generally were content to sink their origin, so the Chaldean priest- 
hood may have been no less proud to retain it. In any case, be 
this as it may, we are now able to adduce evidence from contem- 
porary tablets to show the truth of the statement of Gellius that 
these men were called " Chaldeans " because of their Chaldean 

A very interesting tablet of the seventeenth year of the reign 
of Nebuchadnezzar, which well indicates the office and high social 
position of the " Chaldeans," indicates no less certainly their 
nationality. As we have seen, the chief state of the Chaldeans 
was called " the Country of the Sea." This state, the Chaldean 
homeland, as being a specially privileged part of the empire, 
had a government of its own with a secretary, prefect, and sub- 

1 Ezek. xxiij. 14, 15. 

* Aul. Gellius, Nodes Atticce, lib. i, cap. 9. 


prefect. On the tablet in question a decision is given with respect 
to the ownership of a house, which had been in the possession of 
Baladhu, a dependant of the Secretary of the Country of the 
Sea, and among the judges whose names are affixed to the docu- 
ment we find the Prefect and Deputy-Prefect of that district, 
the Burgomaster of Uruk (Erech), the Priest, presumably the 
high-priest, of the temple of the Moon-god at Ur, and the Prefect 
of " the Other Side," probably that part of Babylon which lay 
on the right bank of the Euphrates. Here is a veritable con- 
course of notables ; but the two officials who interest us most 
stand last on the list. They are priests of the god Bel-Merodach, 
here styled Sliadu Babu, " the Great Mountain " ; one of them 
possibly is the high-priest. In these men we detect two undoubted 
members of the famous Chaldean priesthood, men who may have 
been present at some of the scenes described in the Book of 
Daniel. In a matter affecting the interests of a dependant of a 
great Chaldean official, such as the Secretary of the Country of 
the Sea, nothing would be more natural than to have two 
Chaldean priests among the judges. These two priests of Bel 
come originally from that district. They are Chaldeans as being 
of Chaldean nationality, and also in virtue of their membership 
in the priestly caste to which they belong. However, that our 
readers may be able to form their own judgment on the subject, 
we will let this tablet speak for itself. It runs thus : 

" These are the judges, before whom Shapik-zir the son of 
Zirutu and Baladhu the son of Nasikatum, the female slave of 
the Secretary of the Country of the Sea, went to law over an 
house, viz. with regard to the house and the tablet, which Zirutu 
the father of Shapik-zir had sealed and given unto Baladhu. 
They (the judges) made Baladhu and Shapik-zir change places. 
They assigned the house to Shapik-zir, and they took the tablet 
and gave it to Shapik-zir : 

" Nabu-itir-napshati, the Prefect of the Country of the Sea. 

" Nabu-shuzziz-anni, the Deputy-Prefect of the Country of the 

" Marduk-irba, the Burgomaster of Uruk. 

" Imbi-ili, the Priest of Ur. 

" Bel-uballidh, the son of Marduk-shum-ibni, the Prefect of 
the * Other Side.' 

" Apia, the son of Shuzubu, the son of Babutu. 

" Mushezib-Bel, the son of Nadin-akhi, the son of Babutu. 

" Mushezib-Marduk, the son of Nadin-akhi, the son of Shana- 


M Bania, the son of Apia, the priest of the temple of the 4 Great 


" Shamash-ibni, priest of the ' Great Mountain.' 

" Babylon, the 6th day of Nisan, the seventeenth year of 

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon." l 

On the above tablet the high social position of these priests of 
the " Great Mountain " is very evident. Neither Bania nor 
Shamash-ibni, we may feel sure, would be at all flattered to find 
themselves classed with the wandering fortune-tellers mentioned 
by Juvenal. These men belong to a privileged class, of which 
the king's younger brother is a member ; they are fit to rank with 
the notables of the land. No wonder, then, that in the Book of 
Daniel they come forward so confidently and take such a leading 
part. No wonder that they exhibit such a jealous spirit towards 
foreigners when they see them raised to posts of honour. In 
view of their social position as we now understand it, their conduct 
as described in that Book is just what we might have expected 
from them. 

Further evidence of a quite different kind, but pointing the 
same way as that which we have derived from the tablet, comes 
to us from the excavations made at Babylon by Koldewey. On 
the south side of the great court, in which stood the temple-tower 
of Babylon, that explorer discovered the foundations of what 
appeared to be priests' houses. Concerning these he remarks 8 

" The priests of E-temen-an-ki (the temple-tower) must have 
occupied very distinguished positions as representatives of the 
god who bestowed the kingship of Babylon, and the immense 
private houses to the south of our peribolos agree very well with 
the supposition in regard to this Vatican of Babylon, that the 
principal administrative apparatus would be lodged there." 2 

On the whole, then, we may say that the true position of the 
" Chaldeans " was rightly gauged so long ago as 1877 by A. J. 
Delattre, an able French writer, with whose estimate we may 
suitably bring this chapter to a close : 

" Parmi les diverses categories de sages auxquels Nabuchodo- 
nosor demande l'explication de ses songes, il en est une que le 
livre de Daniel distingue par la denomination speciale de Casdim, 
' Chaldeens.' Un tel emploi du mot Casdim serait etrange si 
tous les Babyloniens de ce temps avaient ete Chaldeens, II se 

1 Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, vol. iv. p. 188. 
* Excavations at Babylon, p. 190. 


justifie sans peine si Ton admet avec nous que les Chaldeens 
etaient une classe particuliere et d'origine etrangere dans le 
peuple babylonien. Des lors en effet, il etait assez natural d'appli- 
quer la denomination de Chaldeen a un college de pretres recrutes 
exclusivement parmi les hommes de cette classe. Ces docteurs 
Chaldeens nous les voyons encore par le livre de Daniel 
avaient le pas sur leurs confreres. Lorsque Nabuchodonosor, 
furieux de ce que les sages consulted par lui sont impuissantes 
a deviner le songe qu'il a eu, menace de les massacrer tous, ce 
sont le Chaldeens qui s'efforcent de calmer le monarque, et qui 
portent la parole au nom de tous. On a fait a propos d'un emploi 
si remarquable du mot Casdim des insinuations peu favorables au 
caractere du livre de Daniel, tandis qu'il fallait trouver enc cela 
meme une marque de son originalite." 1 

1 See the Bevue des Questions Historiques, torn. xxi. pp. 536-551. 



IN the last chapter the " Chaldeans " of the Book of Daniel 
were identified with the priests of the god Bel-Merodach, 
styled on the tablet at which we were looking, Shadu Babd, 
" The Great Mountain." This title of Merodach belonged originally 
to Enlil, the patron god of Nippur, to whom the most ancient 
of Babylonian temples, viz. that at Nippur, was dedicated. Hence, 
Sargon II. king of Assyria, who was of an antiquarian turn, speaks 
of " The Great Mountain, Enlil, the lord of the lands, dwelling in 
E-kharsag-gal-kurkurra," 1 i.e. " The House of the Great Mountain 
of the Lands," the name given to the temple at Nippur. In 
Babylonian mythology the gods were supposed to dwell in the 
sacred mountain called " the Mountain of the Lands," and, accord- 
ing to Jastrow, Enlil, as being the chief of the gods, was more 
particularly associated with this mountain, and from being 
regarded as the inhabitant of the mountain became identified with 
tlie mountain itself. 2 However, when Babylon rose into supremacy 
under Khammurabi, Merodach, its patron god, naturally came into 
prominence, and took the place of Enlil. In fact, an iuscription 
of his son, Samsu-iluna, represents Enlil as transferring his titles 
and offices to Merodach. 3 In consequenoe of this we find Nebuchad- 
nezzar speaking of " the Enlil of the gods, Merodach," and using 
the term to emphasise the supremacy of the god of Babylon. That 
this is its true signification may be gathered from the Monotheistic 
Tablet, which identifies the various gods with Merodach, and on 
which we read, " Enlil is Merodach of lordship and dominion." 4 
Further, in the days of the New Babylonian Empire, if we may 

1 Cheat Triumphal Inscription, line 175. 

8 Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 56. Jastrow speaks of the god 
as Bel, but the two cuneiform characters which used to be read " Bel " are 
now proved by the transcription given in Arainaio dockets to have the value 
" En-lil." 

8 See Sohrader's Keilinschriflliche Bibliotheh, vol. iii. pt. i. p. 130. 

* Pinches' The Old Testament in the Light of the, Historical Records of Assyria 
ind Babylonia, p. 58, 1st od. 



nudge from the contract tablets of Nabopolassar and Nebuchad- 
j ezzar, this epithet, " the Great Mountain," which belonged to 
the old god Enlil, came into fashion again and was now bestowed 
on Merodach. In the Strassmaier collection it occurs on no fewer 
than twenty-three tablets of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar as an 
element in proper names, such as Shadu-rabu-uballidh, Shadu- 
rabu-ushezib ; whilst in the important tablet given in the last 
chapter it is bestowed on Merodach himself. Now, the Aramaic 
rendering of the Babylonian shadu rabu is dhur rabh, dhur being 
the ordinary Aramaic word for " mountain " just as shadu is the 
ordinary Babylonian word, and rabh answering to the Babylonian 
rabu, and this very expression, dhur rabh, is the one which con- 
fronts us in Dan. ii. 35. When, then, the priests of Shadu Babu 
heard from the lips of a strict monotheist, reciting and inter- 
preting their monarch's dream, a statement to the effect that the 
kingdom of the God of Heaven, the God whom he worshipped, 
would become " a great mountain," or " the Great Mountain," 
for the words would convey either meaning to their ears the 
announcement must have had for them, as well as for the king 
himself, an altogether peculiar significance. Identifying kingdoms 
with their patron gods, they would understand it to mean that 
just as the supremacy had been taken away from the god of Nippur 
and bestowed on the god of Babylon, so it would presently be 
taken from Babylon, and after being bestowed for awhile on a 
second, third, and fourth kingdom in succession, would eventually, 
in all its fulness, be given to the kingdom of the God of Heaven, 
the " great God " 1 who had made known to the king what should 
come to pass hereafter, the God whose kingdom, starting from a 
small but mysterious beginning, would develop into, and be 
identified with, the Great Mountain, i.e. with the Godhead itself, 
until eventually it filled all the earth. 2 

In this closing feature of the vision there was also a further 
idea, which could not fail to strike the prophet's hearers, an idea 
that chimed in to some extent with their own mythology, as may 
be gathered from the pages of Jastrow. For speaking of the 
temples and temple-towers of Babylonia, this great authority 
writes thus : 

" The sacred edifices of Babylonia were intended to be imitations 
of mountains. It is Jensen's merit to have suggested the explana- 
tion for this rather surprising ideal of the Babylonian temple. 
According to Babylonian notions the earth is pictured as a huge 

* Dan. ii. 45. * Dan. ii. 34, 35. 


nountain. Among other names, the earth is called E-kur, 
' Mountain-house." The popular and early theology conceived 
he gods as sprung from the earth. They are born in Kharsag- 
:urkura, ' the mountain of all lands,' which is again naught but 
t designation for the earth." * 

/Vhen, then, the stone which smote the image was described in 
Daniel's recital of the vision as waxing into a great mountain, or 
nto the Great Mountain, and filling the whole earth, it would 
eem to his Chaldean auditors to realise an idea of their own 
nythology, since it had developed into the earth-mountain. It 
>nly remains to add that in order to convey some idea of all this 
q our English Bible it would be well to place in the margin of 
)an. ii. 35, as an alternative reading, " the Great Mountain," 
,nd in verse 45, " Mountain," spelt with a capital letter. 

If " The Great Mountain," thus recalling the Enlil-ship of 
lerodach, was suggestive of a Supreme Power, a Most High God, 
here was also another feature in the vision which must have 
iointed in the same direction, viz. the wind which swept away 
he fragments of the image. For Enlil is the storm-god. Hi3 
ery name signifies " Lord of the Wind." 2 According to Radau, 
e is " the storm " par excellence, and his epithets are " lord of 
he storm," " storm of terrible strength," " rushing storm." s 
'hat Merodach in this respect succeeded to the heritage of Enlil 
s capable of the clearest proof. Thus, in the struggle with Tiamat, 
lie dragon of chaos, Merodach is represented as master of the 
dnds. He sends against her " a hurricane, an evil wind, a storm, 

tempest, a fourfold wind, a sevenfold wind, a whirlwind." At 
rst the hurricane follows behind him, but as he draws near to 
le dragon he sends it in front, and causes it to enter into her so 
lat she cannot even close her lips. 4 An illustration of an entirely 
liferent kind may be drawn from the annals of Esarhaddon. 
sarhaddon, invading the country of Shupria, lays siege to the 
yal city Ubbumi, situated on a lofty crag. With some difficulty 
3 erects siegeworks against the city. These the besieged set 
e to by night. But " at the command of Merodach the king 

the gods, the North Wind blew, and the good lord of the gods 
rned the tongue of the devouring fire against Ubbumi," so that 

1 Jastrow's Religion, p. 614. 

2 See Langdon'a Sumerian Grammar, pp. 220, 282. 

3 Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, vol. xxix. 
L, series A. 

* Keilinschriftliche Bibliothelc, vol. vi. pp. 22-25. 



the giegeworks were spared and the town set on fire. 1 But we may 
take a later instance of Merodach's control of the winds which 
may very possibly have had some connection with Nebuchad- 
nezzar's dream. Early in the reign of this monarch there took 
place an event which seems to have made a deep impression on 
him at the time, and which, if it happened as early as his second 
year, helps to account for one of the closing features of his dream- 
vision. The inscription recording the rebuilding of the temple 
of the sun-god at Larsa 2 is looked upon as one of the early inscrip- 
tions of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Langdon places it second 
among the inscriptions written during the period 600-593 B.C. 3 
In this inscription the king tells us how Ebarra, the temple of 
Shamash at Larsa, had long lain in ruins ; so buried in the sand 
that even the outline of its walls could not be traced. " In my 
reign," he adds, " the great lord Merodach took pity on that 
temple. He caused the four winds to come, and swept away the 
soil so that its walls became visible. Me, Nebuchadnezzar king 
of Babylon, his shepherd, his worshipper, he authoritatively com- 
missioned to rebuild that temple." How easily might the strong 
impression made on the king's mind by this supposed act of Mero- 
dach, " the lord of the wind," have suggested that part of his 
dream in which he saw the fragments of the great colossus swept 
away by the wind, swept away, too, in order that something else 
might take its place ! After listening to Daniel's interpretation 
of his dream, Nebuchadnezzar would see in this action of the wind, 
no less than in the marvel of the stone rising up into a great 
mountain, the work of the Enlil of the gods, i.e. of the Most High 
God Himself. The same effect would be produced on the less 
prejudiced members of the Chaldean priesthood. The fact that 
their god was styled " the Great Mountain " would help them to 
grasp at once the main outlines of the kingdom of the God of 
Heaven as revealed to them in their monarch's vision. The 
stone which smote the image was contemptible enough in itself 
in comparison with the gold, the silver, the brass, and the iron, 
but then it was cut out of the Mountain, i.e. out of the Deity, and 
it was cut out " without hands," 4 i.e. by divine instrumentality. 
Further, after smiting the image and shivering it to atoms, the 

1 Altorientalische Forschungen, 2nd series, vol. i. pt. i., p. 32, article 
" Shupria," by Winckler. 

2 Building Inscriptions of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar, 
No. 10 : by Stephen Langdon. Paris, 1905. 

3 Ibid. pp. 21, 22. 

4 Cf. Dan. viii. 25, where it is said of the persecutor Antiochus Ephiphanes, 
" he shall be broken without baud." 


one itself became a great mountain and filled all the earth, 
scame in fact " lord of the lands," another epithet and attribute 
I Enlil. The subject thus viewed, it seems impossible to conceive 
! any more telling figures by which the great truths concerning 
le Messianic Kingdom could be conveyed to a Chaldean 

But if the dream would thus prove most enlightening to those 
ho first listened to its interpretation, it can be shown, also, 
3 regards Nebuchadnezzar himself, that such a dream- vision was 
lost natural, i.e. the king saw what he might almost be expected 
) see. " The night," says Bishop Hall, speaking of Solomon's 
ream- vision at Gibeon, " follows the temper of the day, and the 
eart so uses to sleep as it wakes." 1 We have seen an instance of 
lis in that part of the vision in which the wind was seen to sweep 
way the shattered fragments of the image. Let us take another 
lustration, and begin by asking, What was the waking heart of 
bis greatest of royal builders, when, like Solomon, he stood on 
he threshold of his long reign ? 2 The India House Inscription 
ives us a sufficiently plain answer. It shows us that he must 
onstantly have been planning the erection of temples and temple- 
owers, palaces and fortress-walls, mighty edifices to be piled up 
Ike mountains. Not only of the zikkurais, or temple-towers, 
loes he use such expressions as " I raised its summit." 3 The 
amparts of Babylon he has reared " mountain-high." 4 The 
emple of Shamash he has " constructed loftily." 5 The rebuilt 
,nd enlarged palace of Nabopolassar, as well as the new palace 
,djoining it on the north, he has reared " high as the wooded 
alls." 6 Whilst of the northern citadel he tells us, " On the 
lank of the wall of brick I made a great wall of huge stones the 
)roduct of great mountains, and like the mountains I reared its 
lummit." 7 Add to the above the famous Hanging Gardens 
)uilt for his favourite wife, a native of Media, to remind her of 
;he mountains of her native land and we shall come to the 
conclusion that there was no man more likely than Nebuchadnezzar 
to dream such a dream : to dream of a stone mysteriously cut out 
:>f a mountain did not he himself cut stones out of the mountain ? 
which presently itself swelled up into a mighty mountain, and 
filled all the earth. Size, strength, and height, no less than 

1 Compare the words of Artabanus to Xerxes respecting that monarch's 
dream : " Whatever a man has been thinking of during the day, is wont to 
hover round him in the visions of his dreams at night." Herod, vii. 16. 

2 It was only his second year when Nebuchadnezzar saw the vision. 
3 Col. iii. 17, 69. * Col. iv. 13. 6 CoL iv. 34. 

CoL viii. 2, 63. 7 Col. ix. 22-28. 


grandeur and magnificence, were in all this monarch's thoughts, 
and all find a place in his dream. 

In the Book of Enoch, 1 in the portion called the Similitudes, 
chaps, xxxvii.-lxxi., which is assigned by Dr. Charles to some 
date between 94 and 64 B.C., there is a curious reference to the 
vision of Dan. ii. The passage is so interesting that I give it in 
full. The writer, after telling how he had been carried away by a 
whirlwind to the confines of heaven, where he had seen all the 
visions of that which is hidden, continues as follows : 

" 2 There mine eyes saw all the secret things of heaven that shall 
be, a mountain of iron, and a mountain of copper, and a mountain 
of silver, and a mountain of gold, and a mountain of soft metal, 
and a mountain of lead. 8 And I asked the angel who went with 
me, saying, ' What things are these which I have seen in secret ?- ' 
4 And he said unto me : ' All these things which thou hast seen 
shall serve the dominion of His Anointed that he may be potent 
and mighty on the earth.' 5 And that angel of peace answered, 
saying unto me : ' Wait a little and there shall be revealed unto 
thee all the secret things which surround the Lord of Spirits. 
6 And these mountains which thine eyes have seen, the mountain 
of iron, and the mountain of copper, and the mountain of silver, 
and the mountain of gold, and the mountain of soft metal, and the 
mountain of lead, all these shall be in the presence of the Elect 
One, as wax before the fire, and like the water which streams 
down from above upon these mountains, and they shall become 
powerless before his feet. 7 And it shall come to pass in those 
days that none shall be saved, either by gold or by silver, and 
none shall be able to escape. 8 And there shall be no iron for war, 
nor shall one clothe oneself with a breastplate. Bronze shall be 
of no service, and tin shall be of no service and shall not be 
esteemed, and lead shall not be desired. 9 And all these things 
shall be denied and destroyed from the surface of the earth, when 
the Elect One shall appear before the face of the Lord of Spirits.' " 2 

In the above passage the author of the Similitudes, who is 
evidently a lover of the Book of Daniel and no mean interpreter 
of it, seeks, with the best intentions, to improve upon and supple- 
ment the vision of Dan. ii. Accordingly he takes the term 
" mountain," which in the Book of Daniel symbolises the developed 
Messianic kingdom, and transfers it to the world-kingdoms, since 
to him it bore quite a different meaning to that put upon it by a 
Chaldean audience. In making this change he wag no doubt 

1 Cf. The Booh of Enoch, pub. by S.P.C.K., 1917. 
a Book of Enoch, chap. lii. 2-9. 















influenced by such a passage as Jer. li. 25, where Babylon is 
addressed as a " destroying mountain." Compare also Ps. xlvi. 2. 
Further, he makes out the world-kingdoms to be six in number 
instead of four possibly in order that the Messianic kingdom may 
be the seventh, though this is not stated and intentionally 
reverses their order, that so, running up the stream of time instead 
of down, he may remind his readers that before the coming of 
Babylon, the Golden Kingdom, there were two other mighty 
world-powers, viz. Egypt and Assyria, that oppressed the people 
of God. Now, it is not his way to mention countries by name, 1 
he loves rather to veil his allusions, at the same time giving quiet 
hints for the benefit of those who study the Scriptures and know 
their Bibles. It is from this source that he draws his name for 
Egypt, " a mountain of lead," in allusion to the well-known words 
in the Song of Moses, " They sank as lead in the mighty waters." 2 
That passage is certainly in his mind, for only a little before in 
this same Similitude we find him saying of the kings and strong 
ones of the earth, " as lead in the water shall they sink before the 
face of the righteous." 3 That Assyria should be denoted by a 
mountain of soft metal is at first sight surprising, but this also 
receives explanation and confirmation from the page of Scripture. 
Micah, a prophet of the Assyrian period, tells how when the Lord 
cometh out of His place, " the mountains shall be molten under 
Him, and the valleys shall be cleft as wax before the fire, as waters 
that are poured down a steep place." 4 Now, these very words 
of Micah are distinctly referred to in the passage before us. And 
what was to happen indeed to all the " mountains," was to happen 
specially to the Assyrian mountain, the great world-power of 
Micah's day : it was to become " soft metal " at the coming of 
the Lord. 5 But that was by no means Assyria's former condition. 
So, then, when our author in the next two verses again refers to 
the metals of which the mountains were composed, he substitutes 
bronze for copper and tin for soft metal, i.e. he substitutes harder 
metals for the softer ones, since it is only in the presence of the 
Elect One that the strong mountains grow weak, that the brazen 
kingdom of Daniel so called in allusion to the brazen arms of 
the Greeks becomes a copper kingdom, and the military empire 
of Assyria is reduced to soft metal. 6 Finally, the utter destruction 

1 The mention of Media and Parthia in chap. lvi. 5, is considered an inter- 
polation. See Charles' Book of Enoch, p. 109, footnote. 

2 Exod. xv. 10. 3 Chap, xlviii. 9. 
4 Micah i. 4. 6 Cf. Judg. v. 5. 

6 The mention again of both soft metal and tin in the list given in 
chap, lxvii. 4 has led Charles to suppose that the metal mountains are seven 
jn number, and that " tin " has dropped out of the two lists in chap. ljj. 2 


of the world-kingdoms is traced to that momentous occasion 
" when the Elect One shall appear before the face of the Lord of 
Spirits " : a striking reference to the sublime vision of Dan. vii. 
13, 14. 

To return to our main subject ; when the dream- vision shown 
to Nebuchadnezzar was recalled and interpreted by Daniel, the 
impression made on that monarch was immense. 1 Forthwith he 
showed his reverence for the God of Daniel by ordering special, 
if not divine honours, to be paid to His prophet, as well as by 
prostrating himself at the feet of Daniel. Then, as his words show, 
he went on to ascribe to Daniel's God the attributes of his favourite 
divinities, Merodach and Nebo. " The king answered unto Daniel, 
and said, Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of 
kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing that thou hast been able 
to reveal this secret." We may justly compare with the above 
utterance, first, what the monarch says of Merodach in the India 
House Inscription. Thus, in col. ii. 44 he is styled " the Enlil 
of the gods," i.e. the supreme god. In col. hi. 35 he is " the king of 
the gods, the lord of lords." Again, in col. ii. 54-62 we are told 
how at the festival of the New Year a very great occasion at 
Babylon " the divine king of the gods of heaven and earth, the 
lord of the gods," takes up his abode in the shrine of the fates, 
and " the gods of heaven and earth with awe submit unto him." 
Daniel's God is admitted by the king to be supreme among the 
heavenly powers, like " the great lord Merodach." He is almighty; 
He is also all-wise, " a revealer of secrets," i.e. He is wise as Nebo, 
for Nebo, according to Babylonian ideas, " knows all that there is 
to know," and " to him belong wisdom and prophecy." 2 For the 
time being at any rate, " the God of Heaven " is admitted to the 
Enlilship, since He combines the attributes of both Merodach and 

and 6. This double omission of " tin " seems unlikely. Further, chap. Ixvii. 4 
does not belong to the Similitudes, but is an interpolation from the Apocalypse 
of Noah, and although the writer of that passage undoubtedly refers to chap. Hi. 
of the Similitudes, yet the reference is a careless one, for instead of six, seven, 
or even eight metals, he only mentions five : gold, silver, iron, soft metal, and 
tin ; leaving out copper, lead, and bronze. 

That the "mountains," or world-kingdoms, in the Book of Enoch are 
really only six in number, may be deduced also from Rev. xvii.' 10, where five, 
viz. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece, are spoken of as already 
"fallen" in St. John's day, while the sixth "is," i.e. was then in existence. 

1 Witness the king's words in Dan. iv. 9, spoken many years after this. 

2 Mudu minima shumshu . . . sha shuddu u shushupu basliu, as it is ex- 
pressed on a statue, dedicated to the god Nebo by Bel-tartsi-iluna, governor 
of Calah, for the life of Rammanu-ninari III., king of Assyria, and his wife 
Semiramis, at present in the British Museum. 


Tho astonishment displayed by Nebuchadnezzar at the revela- 
tion of the great secret must have been shared by many others 
who were present on that memorable occasion, so that the fame 
of the young Jewish prophet must have spread with lightning 
rapidity far and wide. The evidence of this is not far to seek. 
In the Book of Ezekiel there are two undoubted references to 
the events described in Dan. ii. The earlier, viz. that in 
Ezek. xiv. 14, 20, was written about fourteen years after the date 
of those events. The prophet there mentions Daniel as one of 
three holy men whose intercessions were known to have prevailed 
before God. Now, the story of Dan. ii. shows that on the 
occasion there described Daniel acted as intercessor, and by his 
all-powerful intercession saved, not only the lives of his friends, 
but also the lives of the wise men of Babylon. The second refer- 
ence, found in Ezek. xxviii. 3, in a passage written some five years 
later, is still more telling. Daniel's holiness, and even his powerful 
intercession, would not alone account for his altogether remarkable 
fame at such an early age. There must have been something 
more. What that something was, appears very plainly in this 
later passage when taken in conjunction with the story of Dan. 
ii. Ezekiel is addressing the prince of Tyre, who so over- 
estimated his wisdom and insight that he regarded himself almost 
as a god. Accordingly the prophet adopts a tone of keen irony : 
" Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel," he cries. Wiser in ichat 
waij ? The words that follow tell us : " there is no secret they can 
hide from thee." Daniel, it is evident, fairly early in his career, 
must have established a world-wide reputation for wisdom by 
finding out some secret, something which only God could know. 
Also this discovery must have been published by him on some 
great occasion, and before a gathering of persons of position and 
eminence : for so only could the fame of this young Jewish captive 
have spread so rapidly and so extensively ; not merely to the banks 
of Chebar and among his own compatriots, but even to the sea- 
girt walls of Tyre and among heathen rulers. All these most 
legitimate inferences, so well pointed out by Hengstenberg, are 
seen to be so many actual facts in the light of the story con- 
tained in Dan. ii., so that Ezekiel's reference to the wonderful 
discovery described in that story is thus established beyond 
doubt. So, then, the first of the marvels contained in this Book 
of Daniel is proved to be true. Why should not this also be the 
case with the marvels that follow, for none of them surpasses 
this ? What Daniel discovered was not merely the king's forgotten 
dream : but the history of the known world for long ages to 
come ! 


Those who refuse to receive Ezekiel's most conclusive testi- 
mony often urge as an objection against the early date of the Book 
of Daniel the fact that Jesus, the son of Sirach, writing about 
190 B.C., in his list of Jewish worthies makes no mention of Daniel. 1 
They point out that while Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 
twelve Minor Prophets collectively are all mentioned by him, not 
a word is said about Daniel. " If Daniel had been known to 
him," writes Dr. Charles, " with his roll of achievements 
unparalleled in the Old Testament, the writer could hardly have 
said, as in xlix. 15, that no one had ever been born like unto 
Joseph." 2 I answer that Daniel was known to him, seeing that 
he knew the Book of Ezekiel, as is shown by his reference to 
Ezekiel's vision of the cherubim, 3 and knowing that Book, he must 
at least have known of Daniel's fame for superhuman wisdom. 
The unique position in which he places Joseph finds a simple 
explanation in the fact that when we are looking fixedly in one 
direction we sometimes forget what can be seen in other directions. 
Now, the writer of Ecclesiasticus had his mind turned in the direc- 
tion of the Book of Genesis when he said that there was none like 
Joseph. 4 This appears from both the preceding and succeeding 
context. In the verse that follows he mentions Shem, Seth, and 
A.dam : in the verse that goes before he mentions Enoch, and 
tells us that there was none like Enoch for he was taken from the 
3arth : 5 i.e. Enoch, like Joseph, is put in a place by himself in 
rirtue of his translation from earth to heaven, the writer quite 
forgetting for the moment that the same thing had happened to 
Elijah and had been mentioned by him not so long before. 6 
Further, his list of worthies leaves out Ezra as well as Daniel, and 
ifter stopping short with Nehemiah 7 darts back to the Book of 
aenesis, and finally, taking one tremendous bound, lights on Simon 
ihe son of Onias, the high-priest ! 8 To found an argument on 
;he appreciations and omissions of a writer, at once so forgetful 
ind so erratic, is useless. But even if the silence of this author 
were not capable of so simple an explanation, it would still count 
'or nothing in view of Ezekiel's weighty testimony. It still 
remains, then, for those critics who look upon the Book of Daniel 
is the work of a later age, to explain to us the meaning of those 
elling words : " Beliold, thou art wiser than Daniel : there is no 
>ecrel that they can hide from thee." 

1 Ecclesiasticus, chaps, xliv. to 1. 2 Century Bible, Daniel, p. xxxiv. 

3 Ecclesiasticus xlix. 8. * Ibid. xlix. 15. 

6 Ibid. xlix. 14, 16. 6 Ibid, xlviii. 9. 

' Ibid. xlix. 13. s Ibid, xlix. 14-1. 1. 



THE melting of the mountains in the passage from the Book 
of Enoch, quoted in the last chapter, answers to the breaking 
in pieces of the gold, the silver, the brass, and the iron before 
the impact of the stone cut out without hands. The writer of 
the Similitudes explains that all these metals will then be of no 
use at all and of no avail, and that they will be destroyed from the 
surface of the earth. 1 Compare Dan. ii. 35, " the wind carried 
them away, that no place was found for them." This, it is added, 
will happen at the time " when the Elect One shall appear before 
the face of the Lord of Spirits." In the Similitudes " the Lord 
of Spirits is the usual name for God, and " the Elect One " is the 
Messiah. Also, the appearance of the Elect One before the Lord 
of Spirits is a reference to the passage in Dan. vii. 13, 14. From 
this it appears that the author of the Similitudes looked upon 
Dan. ii. and vii. as parallel visions, since in dwelling on a 
theme suggested by chap. ii. viz. the idea of the six mountains 
he turns for a note of time to the vision of chap. vii. But far 
more important than this is the fact that he regards the vision of 
Dan. vii. 13, 14 as Messianic. His commentary on that passage 
runs thus : " And there I saw One, who had a head of days " i.e. 
One who had the reverend and dignified appearance of an aged 
man " and his head was white like wool, and with Him was 
another Being, whose countenance had the appearance of a man, 
and his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. 
And I asked the angel, who went with me and showed me all the 
hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, Who he was, and 
whence he was, and why he went with the Head of Days ? And 
he answered and said unto me, ' This is the Son of Man who hath 
righteousness, with whom dwelleth righteousness, and who 
revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden, because the 
Lord of Spirits hath chosen him, and whose lot hath the pre- 

1 Book of Enoch, chap. Hi. 7-9. 


gminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.' " 1 
To one who could write thus, the mysterious Being of whom he 
giv^s so wonderful a description evidently formed a subject of 
the deepest interest. He " was named," so he tells us, " in the 
presence of the Lord of Spirits . . . before the sun and the signs 
were created, before the stars of the heaven were made." 2 He is 
to share in the divine sovereignty, 3 and to sit on the throne of 
glory. 4 " His glory is for ever and ever, and his might unto all 
generations." He is " the Righteous One," 6 " the Elect One," ' 
and the Anointed One of the Lord of Spirits. 8 " His mouth shall 
pour forth all the secrets of wisdom and counsel." 9 He puts 
down the mighty from their thrones. 10 In him dwells the spirit 
Df wisdom, and the spirit which gives insight, and the spirit of 
understanding and might. 11 He is to be the light of the Gentiles. 12 
He is to sit on the throne of glory and judge the sinners according 
to their works. 13 He is to " judge the secret things and none 
shall be able to utter a lying word before him." 14 The mighty 
kings of the earth shall have to behold God's Elect One sitting on 
the throne of glory as judge. 15 At the general resurrection, 
when Sheol and Hell give back the dead, he shall separate the 
righteous from the wicked. 16 Finally, we are told that " all these 
things," viz. the six mountains of metal, the mountain of iron, 
the mountain of copper, the mountain of silver, the mountain 
Df gold, the mountain of soft metal, and the mountain of lead, 
" shall serve the dominion of His Anointed that He may be potent 
and mighty on the earth." 17 The above extracts show unmis- 
takeably a very wonderful growth and development of Messianic 
doctrine in the Jewish Church during the interval between the 
Old and New Testaments. The portion of the Book of Enoch 
known as the Similitudes is assigned by Charles and other eminent 
scholars to the period 94-64 B.C. Schurer places it as late as the 
time of Herod the Great. In any case there is a general, though 
not quite universal consensus of opinion, that the Similitudes 
are a product of the pre-Christian period. 18 It thus appears that 
before the coming into the world of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, Jewish commentators had attained to marvellously clear 

I Book of Enoch, chap. xlvi. 1-3. 2 Ibid, xlviii. 2, 3 ; cf. Prov. viii. 23, 27. 
3 Ibid. li. 3. 4 Ibid. xlv. 3. 5 Ibid. xlix. 2. 

Ibid, liii 6. 7 Ibid. xlv. 3. 8 Ibid, xlviii. 10. 

9 Ibid. li. 3 ; cf. Prov. viii. 14. 10 Ibid. xlvi. 4, 5 ; cf. Luke i. 52. 

II Ibid. xlix. 3 ; cf. Isa. xi. 2. 

12 Ibid, xlviii. 4 ; cf. Isa. xlii, 6, xlix. 6 ; cf. Luke ii. 32. 

" Ibid. xlv. 3. 14 Ibid. xlix. 4. 15 Ibid. lv. 4. 

16 Ibid, li. 1, 2. " Ibid. Hi. 4. 

18 See the Note at the end of this chapter. 


views as to the divinity, character, and attributes of the Messiah, 
and more especially as to His office as the future Judge of mankind. 
What was not seen by them, though it had been revealed to Daniel, 
was His death as an atonement for the sins of men. In the words 
of Gabriel : " Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and 
upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an 
end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to 
bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and 
prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy." * 

This single verse sets the Book of Daniel on a higher plane 
than the most wonderful of Jewish apocalypses, viz. the Similitudes 
of the Book of Enoch. But what concerns us most just now is 
the view taken by the author of those Similitudes of the vision 
of Dan. vii. 13, 14, seeing that one of an entirely different cha- 
racter is put forward by the critics with no small acumen and 
skill. The question as to the right interpretation of that passage 
is of the utmost importance, inasmuch as our Lord Jesus Christ 
on a most solemn occasion entirely endorsed the teaching of the 
Book of Enoch on this subject. " I adjure thee by the living 
God," says the Jewish High Priest, " that thou tell us whether 
thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou 
hast said " : i.e. thou hast said the truth " nevertheless I say 
unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the 
right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven." 2 
The reference here to Dan. vii. 13, 14, is unmistakeable. Our 
Lord claims to be the Person there described as " one like unto a 
son of man." He speaks of Himself as " coming on the clouds 
of heaven," just as that Person was seen by Daniel in the vision ; 
and He asserts that He is on the point of receiving that delegation 
of divine power therein so strikingly described. The Jewish 
High Priest and Sanhedrim understood perfectly our Saviour's 
claim. In their eyes the mysterious Being seen in Daniel's vision 
was a Divine Being. Hence the High Priest declared that Jesus 
had spoken blasphemy, while the Sanhedrim with united voice 
exclaimed, " Art thou the Son of God ? " 3 

Let us now turn to examine the view of this part of Daniel's 
vision, first put forward by Ephraem Syrus, circa A.D. 350, 
and of late revived by modern critics : a view so utterly at 
variance with that given in the Book of Enoch, as well as with 
that hold by the Jewish teachers at the time of Christ and most 
solemnly endorsed by Christ Himself, that it becomes a duty 
for the Christian student to endeavour by a close study of the 

1 Dan. ix. 24. 2 Matt. xxvi. 63, 64. 3 Luke xxii. 70. 


cvhole vision of chap. vii. to ascertain on independent grounds its 
ictual meaning. 

The seer's most sublime description runs thus : " I saw in 
;he night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of 
leaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient 
)f days, and they brought him near before him. And there was 
riven him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the 
jeoples, nations, and languages should serve him : his dominion 
s an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his 
ringdom that which shall not be destroyed." What first strikes 
is in this description is the incomparable grandeur and solemnity 
)f it. So grand a setting calls, surely, for a worthy subject. Who 
s it, then, we ask, who comes thus with the clouds of heaven in a 
nanner befitting only the Deity ? 1 Who is it that is led by 
ittendant ministers to be presented to the Ancient of Days and 
o receive from Him everlasting and world-wide dominion ? No 
ndividual at all, answer the critics, but only the symbolic repre- 
entative of a race of supernatural beings, viz. of the saintly Israel 
ransformed. 2 Such an interpretation, when put before us, is 
listressingly disappointing, since the surroundings so evidently 
all for some great one. Further, we are conscious of a want of 
larmony in the interpretation of the next verse : " All the peoples, 
lations, and languages " are to " serve him." Now, to take the 
ingular " him " in a figurative collective sense when put in such 
lose contract with nouns of multitude, such as " peoples," 
nations," and " languages," is, to say the least, bad taste and 
oubtful criticism. And no less strange is it to assign a figurative 
leaning to the " him," and a literal meaning to " the peoples, 
ations, and languages." We ask, then, on what grounds does 
his interpretation rest ? And the answer is so clearly and fully 
iven by the late Dr. Driver that I cannot do better than quote 
is words at some length. 

" In the Book of Daniel itself," writes Dr. Driver, " there is 
othing which lends support to the Messianic interpretation," 
iz. of this passage. " In the explanation of the vision which 
)llows (vii. 15 ff.), the place occupied by ' one like unto a son of 
lan ' is taken, not by the Messiah, but by the ideal people of God : 
i i?. 14 the ' one like unto a son of man ' appears when the 
aminion of the four beasts, and the persecution of the ' little 
3rn,' are both over, and receives a universal kingdom which 
lall never pass away ; and in vv. 18, 22, 27, when the dominion 
; the four kingdoms corresponding to the four beasts is at an 

1 Ps. civ. 3 ; Isa. six. 1. 2 Century Bible, Dacu vii, 13, 


end, and the persecution of the king corresponding to the ' little 
horn ' has ceased, the ' saints of the Most High,' or (v. 27) the 
' people of the saints of the Most High,' receive similarly a universal 
kingdom (v. 27), and possess it for ever and ever (v. 18). The 
parallelism between the vision and the interpretation is complete ; 
the time is the same, the promise of perpetual and universal 
dominion is the same : and hence a strong presumption arises 
that the subject is also the same, and that the ' one like unto a 
son of man ' in v. 13 corresponds to, and represents, ' the saints 
of the Most High ' of v. 18, and the ' people of the saints of the 
Most High ' of v. 27, i.e. the ideal Israel, for whom in the counsels 
of God the empire of the world is designed. If the writer by the 
4 one like unto a son of man ' meant the Messiah, the head of the 
future ideal nation, his silence in the interpretation of the vision 
is inexplicable : how comes it that he there passes over the Messiah 
altogether, and applies the terms which (ex hyp.) are used of him 
in vv. 13, 14, to the people of Israel in vv. 18, 22, 27 ? " l 

The argument, thus ably brought forward, is so specious that 
I have deemed it advisable to quote it in extenso : but it will be 
seen to lose much of its force when we recognise the fact that 
" the saints," who are looked upon by Dr. Driver as the true 
interpretation of " one like unto a son of man," are already present 
in the vision before the appearance oj that mysterious Being. 
According to v. 21 which in point of time must be inserted 
between vv. 8 and 9, and is so inserted in the LXX. Daniel 
saw the little horn making war with the saints and prevailing 
against them, before he saw the holding of the great assize (vv. 9, 
10) and the execution of its sentence (vv. 11, 12), followed by the 
sublime vision of " one like unto a son of man " : from which it 
follows that " the saints " belong to the vision, and not merely to 
its interpretation. They have already appeared in the vision as 
a persecuted people. It is, therefore, most unlikely that in its 
further development they should be represented in symbol by a 
single individual. But inasmuch as the kingdom given to " one 
like unto a son of man " is seen to be given also to " the saints," 
we are forced to conclude that the mysterious Person thus described 
is the Gocl-appointed Head of " the saints." 

But by far the most convincing proof of the fallacy of the view 
which Dr. Driver so ably maintains, will be found in a careful 
analysis of the whole chapter. The vision of Dan. vii. is 
divided into three sections thus : (i) vv. 2-6, (ii) vv. 7-12, 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. 103. 


(iii) vv. 13, 14. These three sections begin respectively with the 
words, " I saw in my vision by night," v. 2 ; " After this I saw in 
the night visions," v. 7 ; "I saw in the night visions," v. 18. The 
vision itself closes at the end of v. 14. The remainder of the 
chapter consists of questions and explanations. The whole 
passage may be briefly analysed thus : 

Section (i), vv. 2-6. The four world-kingdoms, figured by 
four wild beasts, are seen rising out of the great sea, a particular 
description being given of each of the first three. 

Section (ii), vv. 7-12. A particular description is given of 
the ferocious beast which represents the fourth kingdom, and of 
its ravages. Mention is made of its ten horns, and of the " little 
horn," which sprang up among them, and which is presently seen 
making war with " the saints " see v. 21 until the coming of 
the "Ancient of Days." A great assize is then held, at which 
the " little horn " is condemned and judgment executed upon it. 
The other beasts are allowed to continue for a time, but are 
deprived of their power. 

Section (iii), vv. 13, 14. " One like unto a son of man " is 
seen coming with the clouds of heaven, and is brought before the 
" Ancient of Days " to receive from Him universal and lasting 

First explanation, vv. 15-18 ; given in answer to Daniel's 
question as to " the truth concerning all this " by " one of them 
that stood by," and exceedingly brief ; to the effect that the four 
beasts picture four kingdoms which will arise out of the earth, 
but that finally the kingdom will be given to " the saints of the 
Most High " who will possess it " for ever, even for ever and ever." 
Further information desired by Daniel, vv. 19-22, as to the 
terrible fourth beast, its ten horns, and more especially as to the 
" little horn " which he had already seen making war with the 
saints and prevailing against them until the holding of the great 

Second and longer explanation, vv. 28-27, dealing with the 
points inquired about, and followed by a strengthened reiteration 
that the kingdom in all its greatness and universality will be given 
to " the people of the saints of the Most High " and that it will 
last for ever. 

Abrupt end of the conversation, v. 28 a ; " Here is the end of 
the matter," i.e. " Do not ask any more." These are the words 
of the interpreting angel and not of Daniel. Compare the close 
of the vision in chap, viii., where, as here, as soon as the angel has 
done speaking, the seer goes on to tell us the effect of the vision 
upon himself. 


It appears, then, from the above analysis that section (hi), the 
coming of " one like unto' a son of man," is left unexplained. 
There is thus no solid ground whatever for the view that by 
" one like unto a son of man " we are to understand the " people 
of the saints of the Most High " transformed into a race of super- 
natural beings : not only is the context against such an interpre- 
tation, but the sublimity of the description, as stated above, 
suits only a Divine Being, although no hint is given as to who 
that Being is. That great question, like so many of our Lord's 
parables, was left unexplained, in order that His Church might 
find out the answer for herself, and this she was able to do. The 
writer of the Second Similitude, fully aware that the record of 
Daniel's vision contains no authoritative explanation of the 
mystery, pictures in his own person the earnest inquiries of the 
devout students of those early days to find out what had not been 
disclosed, " I asked the angel, who went with me and showed me 
all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, Who he was ? 
and Whence he was ? and Why he went with the Head of Days ? " 1 
and then proceeds to unfold in a wonderful way, as we have already 
seen, the person of the promised Messiah. The day vision of the 
Second Similitude, in which all is so sharp and clear and distinct, 
when placed side by side with the night vision of Daniel, resembles 
two pictures of the same landscape as seen in the broad sunlight 
and by the light of the moon. The seer's vision loses much of 
its entrancing grandeur and beauty, nevertheless we are grateful 
for the many striking details which the Apocalyptist has introduced 
on his canvas, forasmuch as they represent one of the earliest 
fulfilments of the promise with regard to this Book of Daniel 
referred to in our first chapter, " Many shall run to and fro, and 
knowledge shall be increased." 2 

If the question be asked, How comes it that our modern critics 
cannot see what was so clearly seen by the ancient Jewish 
expositors? the answer is that their inability to recognise the 
Messiah in the vision of Dan. vii. arises out of the estimate 
which they have already formed of Daniel's Book. To them it 
appears as a literary work of great power written more than 350 
years after the times it describes. 3 They therefore argue that if 
by " one like unto a son of man " the writer had meant the 
Messiah, he would have been sure to make the angel say so when 

1 Book of Enoch, chap. slvi. 2. 

a Dan. xii. 4. 

3 Dr. Driver assigns the Book of Daniel to a date not oarlier than 
c. 300 B.C., but more probably to the age of Antiochua Epiphanes. Daniel, 
Cambridge Bible, p. xlvii. 


interpreting the vision to Daniel. To those of us, however, who 
see in the Book of Daniel, not a mere Jewish apocalypse, but 
genuine history, and who hold the belief that Daniel really saw 
the visions which he describes, this line of argument does not 
appeal. According to our view, Daniel only wrote down what 
he saw and heard. The interpretation of the vision is in no sense 
his, but only that of the interpreting angel. Had the angel given 
him an interpretation of that mysterious Personage, " one like 
unto a son of man," he would have been sure to have written it 
down. Likely enough, too so one thinks he would, had the 
opportunity been given him, have gone on to ask for such an 
explanation, just as he had already asked for an explanation of 
the fourth beast and of the " little horn " ; but the angel, as we 
have seen, stopped him by saying abruptly, " Here is the end of 
the matter." 

The Euler of the fifth, or Messianic, kingdom is pictured in the 
vision by " one like unto a son of man " in contradistinction to 
the four previous kingdoms, which appear on the scene as wild 
beasts. Nevertheless it will be found that in two respects there 
exists a certain likeness between the Messianic kingdom and the 
first of those four kingdoms. In the Messianic kingdom the Euler 
never changes : " His dominion is an everlasting dominion." * 
Also in the first of the four world-kingdoms, one ruler, viz. 
Nebuchadnezzar, is on the throne for forty-three out of the seventy 
years during which that kingdom lasts ; and he reigns with such 
lustre that all his successors on the throne are put into the shade. 
Accordingly, Daniel, with prophetic eye foreseeing this, was able 
when interpreting the monarch's dream to say to him, " Thou 
art the head of gold." In the next place, it is said of the first 
kingdom in Daniel's vision in this seventh chapter that from 
being a beast of prey, viz. a lion with eagle's wings, its wings 
were plucked off, and it was " lifted up from the earth, and made 
to stand on two feet as a man, and a man's heart was given unto 
it " 2 : i.e. the kingdom, concentrated, so to say, in its great ruler, 
presently became humanised, and was so far a foreshadowing of 
the coming Messianic kingdom that it could no longer be depicted 
by a beast of prey. The historical fulfilment of this part of the 
vision of Dan. vii., which had already taken place at the time 
when the vision was shown unto Daniel, 3 may be summed up 
thus i Nebuchadnezzar began his long reign with a very rapid 
career of conquest in the West. Then he was a lion with eagle's 

1 Dan. vii. 14. 

2 Ibid. vii. 4. 

8 The vision belongs to the first year of Eelshazzar, See Dan. vii. 1. 


wrings 1 : but 'presently, all his thoughts becoming centred on 
Babylon and on his home policy, he developed into a prince of 
peace. At intervals, indeed, expeditions to the West were still 
mdertaken by him, as for instance in 588 B.C. when he besieged 
Jerusalem, and again in 568 B.C. when, according to the fragment 
Df his Annals, he invaded Egypt. 2 But that war soon lost its 
iharm for him is evident from inscriptions written comparatively 
3arly in his reign, as for instance that which describes the comple- 
:ion of the great temple-tower at Babylon. 3 The same feature 
appears with great clearness in a much later document, viz. the 
carefully drawn up India House Inscription, 4 the lofty poetic 
style of which entitles it to be looked upon as a literary work. 
[n this inscription one brief passage, couched in quite general 
terms, is found sufficient to describe the monarch's warlike expedi- 
tions, while column after column is devoted to the various temples, 
fortifications, and palaces built by him at Babylon, the whole 
being prefaced and completed with the most earnest prayers and 
supplications to Merodach. Quite in agreement with the tone 
of that inscription is the historical record and the vision of 
Dan. iv., which will form the subject of our next chapter. In 
that vision the great king of Babylon is pictured as a giant tree, 
affording shade to the beasts, shelter to the birds, and sustenance 
for all. It was from this description that our Saviour drew Kis 
picture of the Messianic kingdom, 5 which, small as a grain of 
mustard seed at its first beginning, was presently to grow into a 
tree in which the birds of the heaven would come and lodge. 

Note on the Date op the Similitudes 

Dr. Charles is of opinion that the Book of Enoch in all its 
sections was written by the Chasids or their successors, the 
Pharisees. The portion called the Similitudes, or Parables, he 
assigns to the time of the later Asmonsean princes. These princes, 
who at first had been on the side of the Pharisees, went over to 
their opponents the Saclducees in 105 B.C., near the close of the 
reign of John Hyrcanus. Soon after this, the strife between the 
two parties, becoming more embittered, led to a terrible deed of 
bloodshed in 95 B.C., when six thousand Pharisees were put 
to the sword for insulting Alexander Jannasus at the feast of 

1 Cf. Dan. vii. 4, and Jer. xlix. 19, 22. 

2 Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, vol. iii. pt. ii. pp. 140-1. 

8 Building Inscriptions of the New Babylonian Empire, No. xvii., by 
S. Langdon. 

4 Records of the Past, Now Series, vol. iii. p. 104. 
6 Matt. xiii. 31, 32. 



Tabernacles. These facts of history, as Charles points out, help 
to throw light on many expressions in the Similitudes, such as 
the following : " The kings and the mighty " (xlvi. 4), i.e. the 
unbelieving native rulers and their Sadducean supporters, who 
" denied the Lord of Spirits and his Anointed " (xlviii. 10) and the 
heavenly world (xlv. 1) ; who " persecute the houses of his con- 
gregations " (xlvi. 8) ; whose " power rests upon their riches " 
(xlvi. 7), and they place their hope in the sceptre of their kingdom 
and in their glory (lxiii. 7) ; who have oppressed God's children 
and his elect (lxii. 11), and shed their blood (xlvii. 1). For a short 
interval, indeed, during the reign of Alexandra, 79-70 B.C., the 
power was again in the hands of the Pharisees, but after her death 
her successors again went over to the side of the Sadducees. In 
64 B.C. Borne appeared on the scene in the person of Pompey, 
and interposed in favour of Aristobulus II. As there are no 
references to Eome in the Similitudes, they can hardly have 
been written later than 64 B.C. Charles assigns them either to 
94-79 B.C., or to 70-64 B.C. ; more probably to the earlier 
interval. Schurer favours a later date, viz. the era of Herod the 
Great ; but opposed to this is the fact that the Sadducees, who 
figure so largely in the Similitudes as the persecuting party then 
in power, did not take the side of Herod. That the Similitudes 
should be later than the time of Christ is ruled out by the fact 
that our Saviour quotes them in His teaching. 



14 Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling-place ? " 

Dan. iv. 30. 

IT will be my endeavour in this and the following chapter to 
deduce from the inscriptions of the Neo-Babylonian Empire 
certain strong confirmations of the wonderful story told us in 
Dan. iv., and in attempting to do this I shall refer in the 
first instance, as is most natural, to the oft-quoted passage from 
the Assyrian history of Abydenus, preserved to us by Eusebius. 1 
Abydenus, who lived about A.D. 200, gives as his informant 
Megasthenes, a writer of the age of Seleucus Nicator, 312-280 B.C. 
The passage runs thus : 

" This also have I found concerning Nebuchadnezzar in the book 
of Abydenus. On the Assyrians. Megasthenes relates that 
Nebuchadnezzar became mightier than Hercules, and made war 
upon Libya and Iberia. These countries he conquered, and trans- 
ported some of their inhabitants to the eastern shores of the sea. 
After this the Chaldeans say that on going up upon his palace 
he was possessed by some god or other, and cried aloud, ' 
Babylonians, behold I, Nebuchadnezzar, announce to you before- 
hand the coming calamity, which my ancestor Bel and queen 
Beltis are alike powerless to persuade the Fates to avert. A 
Persian mule (Cyrus) will come, having your own gods as his 
allies. He will impose servitude upon you, and will have for his 
helper the son of a Median woman (Nabonidus), 2 the boast of the 
Assyrians (i.e. Babylonians). Would that before he betrayed my 

1 Prcep. Evang. 41. 

2 The traditional text reads &rrai Mtj5t;s, " shall be Mcdes." But, as A. 
von Gutschmid points out, it is impossible to look on MtjS^s here as a proper 
name. The presence of niparis in the context compels us to take it in a gentilic 
sense. Since, however, the Greek for " Mede " is Mt)5os, not m^5tj?, we are 
forced to regard the latter as the genitive feminine of the adjective and to 
suppose that v'ios has dropped out of the text. Further, to translate m^5?jj 
" a Mede " would not be true to history, as the Medes could not be called " the 
boast of the Assyrians," neither are they distinguished from the Persians as 
a separate nation in the account left us of the capture of Babylon. To this it 
may be added that Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, may very well have 



citizens, some Chary bdis or sea might engulf him and utterly 
destroy him ! or that having betaken himself elsewhere, he might 
be driven through the desert, where there is neither city nor track 
of men, where wild beasts seek their food and birds fly free, a 
lonely wanderer among the rocks and ravines ! and that I, before 
these things were put into my mind, had met with a happier 
end ! ' Having uttered this prophecy he forthwith disappeared, 
and Evilmaluruchus (Evil-Merodach) his son succeeded him on 
the throne." 

It is admitted by the critics that the resemblances between 
the record of Daniel, chap, iv., and the above story cannot be 
accidental. " In both," writes Dr. Charles, " Nebuchadnezzar 
is on the roof of his palace : in both a divine voice makes itself 
heard (in the former work to the king, in the latter through him) : 
and finally the doom pronounced in both is similar though its 
object differs. But neither form of the story is borrowed from the 
other, though that of Abydenus is more primitive, while that in 
Daniel has been transformed to serve a didactic aim." In this 
and the following chapter I propose to adduce from the contem- 
porary inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar and his father Nabopolassar 
certain facts, circumstances, and royal utterances, which have led 
me to an exactly opposite conclusion to the one just quoted ; 
leaving it to a future chapter to show that the legend of 
Megasthenes is a gross distortion of the actual story, artfully con- 
cocted to serve a political purpose. 

To lighten our subject, and at the same time to impart additional 
interest to it, let me begin at the point where the two stories come 
into closest contact. Both the Book of Daniel and the legend 
of Megasthenes represent the king as walking upon his palace at 
the time when the terrible calamity overtook him. ' Upon " is 
the strict rendering of the Aramaic preposition in Dan. iv. 29, 
and it agrees with the Itt\ to. fiaaiXifia of Megasthenes. By 
this term the late Dr. Driver understood " on the roof of," referring 
to 2 Sam. xi. 2. 1 This, however, would give the idea of a flat 
roof, whereas the place where we may picture Nebuchadnezzar 
walking was anything but flat. If we except the top of the great 
temple-tower of Merodach, there was perhaps no point in the wholo 
of Babylon from which a better view of the city could be obtained 
than from the Hanging Gardens. Of this ingenious structure, 

been the son of a Median mother, seeing that his father was the high-priest of 
Haran, which, though included in the Babylonian Empire, must have been 
close to the Median frontier. 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. 55. 


whioh so awoke the admiration of antiquity, the great king, who 
30 carefully describes all his other works, has, strange to say, left 
us no record. A possible explanation would be, that the Hanging 
Gardens were his latest work, or at any rate later than any of his 
extant inscriptions, that his madness followed soon after their 
completion, and his death, as there is some reason to suppose, 
3oon after his recovery from his madness. 1 But this, again, seems 
unlikely, since they appear to have been constructed in a work 
which was executed fairly early in his reign, viz. the rebuilding 
of the old palace at Babylon, and were designed moreover accord- 
ing to Berosus to gratify the taste of a Median wife, presumably 
that Median princess, the daughter of Cyaxares, with whom for 
political purposes he was contracted in marriage even before his 
Lather's death. 2 But if over this building the inscriptions are 
silent, the ruins at any rate are eloquent. On the site of ancient 
Babylon and at the north-east corner of the rebuilt Old Palace, 
the explorer Koldewey found the remains of a remarkable structure, 
occupying an irregular oblong area and built on rows of vaults, 
the central row being the strongest, as though intended to bear 
the greatest weight. 3 All the other buildings at Babylon, with 
3ne exception, are found to be composed entirely of brick, but in 
this instance some stone has been used as well. Further, in one 
3f the supporting cells the explorer believes that he has discovered 
the shafts of the hydraulic machine used to pump up water for 
the gardens, as described by Strabo. 4 The use of stone in the 
construction of the vaulted building tallies admirably with the 
following description of the Hanging Gardens given us by Josephus 
In an extract from Berosus : " Now in this palace, having built 
ip lofty substructures of stone, and planted them with all kinds 
3f trees, giving an appearance very closely resembling mountains, 
ie wrought out and prepared the famous Hanging Gardens, to 
gratify his wife, who was fond of a mountainous country, having 
jeen brought up in Media." 

The Hanging Gardens, then, were lofty, resembling mountains. 
Ehey therefore offered a good point of observation ; and if we 

1 In Josephus c. Apion, i. 20, Berosus says that toward the close of his 
eign Nebuchadnezzar " fell into a feeble state of health and died." Hengsten- 
:>erg argues very forcibly that the Greek expression here used ijAireo-wv els 
ifitHAiariav signifies that his death was preceded by a lengthened state of 
lebility, viz. by the madness recorded in Dan iv., and that the historian 
nakes no mention of his recovery because it was followed shortly after by his 

2 Cory's Ancient Fragments, enlarged by E. R. Hodge, p. 88. 

3 See The Excavations at Babylon, by Robert Koldewey, pp. 91-100, also 
he plate given on p. 73. 

* Strabo, xvi. 1, 5. 6 Josephus c. Apion, i. 19. 


identify them with the vaulted building described above, which 
stood close to the noble Ishtar Gate, it mil be seen that they also 
stood on high ground, as the following extract from Koldewey 
bears witness : " The Kasr roadway lies high, 12 - 5 metres above 
zero, and slopes gently up from the north to the Ishtar Gateway. 
Before the time of Nebuchadnezzar it was considerably lower, 
but as he placed the entire palace on a level higher than that of 
its predecessor, he was forced also to raise the roadway. In con- 
sequence of this ice can to-day enjoy the glorious view oier the whole 
city as far as the outer icalls." l Besides being a lofty structure and 
standing on an elevated site, the position of the vaulted building 
was also a central one, from which the monarch could survev on 
all sides some of his principal works. To the north was the 
Northern citadel with its lofty rampart looking towards Sippar : 
to the east, the great outer wall of Babylon : to the south, the 
massive and lofty temple-tower of Merodach, E-temen-an-ki, " the 
temple of the foundation-stone of heaven and earth," begun by 
his father and completed by himself : to the west, the most daring 
of all his buildings, a fortress rising out of the bed of the Euphrates. 
It only remains to add that when walking upon this building the 
king was literally walking " upon the royal palace of Babylon," 
for. as Koldewey points out, the reason why the Hanging Gardens 
were looked upon as one of the seven wonders of the world lay in 
the fact that they were planted upon the roof of an occupied 
building, a building which on account of its coolness appears to 
have been in constant use. 

It may well have been, then, that from the steep acclivities of 
these gardens the fatal words were spoken : " Is not this great 
Babylon, which I have built ? " The ruins of Babylon, no less than 
the inscriptions, bear witness that this was no empty boast. 
Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest builders of antiquity, 
probably the greatest. He seems to have been possessed with a 
perfect rage for building : in his own expressive words, " My 
heart impelled me." Accordingly his inscriptions are most truly 
described as " Building Inscriptions " ; and Langdon has found 
it possible from the nature of the various buildings, which form 
the principal subjects of the different inscriptions, as well as from 
the mention made in them of other buildings already completed, 
to arrange the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar in something of 
chronological order, at any rate for the earlier part of the reign, 

1 Koldewey, Excavations, p. 25. It is true that the lower parts of the 
vaulted building, being intended probably for cellars and storehouses, he 
below the level of the palace in which it stands, but the superstructure, which 
the arches were intended to support, must have towered aloft. 


viz. 604 to 586 B.C. 1 For the later period, 586 to 561 B.C., we 
have only four inscriptions. One of these, the great Wady Brissa 
Inscription, must be placed circa 586 B.C. Another, a brief but 
important fragment from the Annals, refers to the king's 37th year, 
567 B.C. But we are still at a loss as to the date of the two latest 
building inscriptions, and are unable to determine how long the 
royal builder continued his activities, what exactly were his latest 
works, and what their sequence. 

The building inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar which have so 
far been discovered are forty-nine in all. Many of them are six 
or eight-lined inscriptions, found chiefly on bricks, either stamped 
or written, and often found in situ, enabling the explorer to 
identify the different buildings. Indeed, so great is the help that 
the king gives us from these brick inscriptions, when taken in 
conjunction with the longer accounts found on tablets and 
cylinders, that it would be no very difficult thing to supply the 
modern tourist with " A Guide to Babylon, by Nebuchadnezzar." 
Of the longer inscriptions, some relate to special buildings, such 
as the great East Wall of Babylon, the Libil-khigalla canal, and 
various temples in Babylon and other cities. Others, about a 
dozen in number, take a wider range, and refer to various works 
besides the one which forms the special subject of each separate 
inscription. It is these longer and more comprehensive docu- 
ments which, thanks to the literary method adopted, enable us 
to arrange the various buildings in something of a chronological 
order. They contain two very enlightening clauses : the first 
is introduced by the word enuma, " when," and describes more 
or less fully the various works already accomplished, often borrow- 
ing for this purpose from previous inscriptions. The second is 
introduced by enumishu, " then," and it is this clause which con- 
tains an account of the king's latest work, which led to the writing 
of the inscription. To put the matter in a nutshell, these 
documents run thus : " When I had done this and that, then 
I set to work to do what I am now about to relate." 2 Two other 
features enable us to arrange the inscriptions in something 
approaching to chronological order. In the first place, in the 
earlier inscriptions we seem to hear more or less distinctly the din 
of arms. Take, for instance, No. 4, which commemorates tho 
building of the great East Wall and ends with the following 
prayer to Merodach, " Truly thou art my deliverer and my help, 
Merodach. By thy faithful word that changes not, verily my 

1 Building Inscriptions of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, by Stephen Langdon. 
Paris, 1905. 

3 Building Inscriptions, pp. 2, 3. 


weapons advance, verily they are dreadful : may they crush the 
arms of the foe." * Secondly, in the later inscriptions the literary 
style is changed, and we have what are called " historical redac- 
tions," so that henceforward the student " has to depend on lists 
of temples, new information, and the redactor's tendencies." 
Henceforward, according to Langdon, " the scribes seem possessed 
with the sole idea of telling what has been done, without reference 
to historical order." 2 This, however, only applies to the three 
or four great inscriptions which belong to the latter half of the 
reign ; more especially to Nos. 14 and 15 ; the latter better known 
as the India House Inscription. This remarkable document, 
already repeatedly referred to, is described by Langdon as a " veri- 
table marvel of the redactor's skill." 3 To the Bible lover it must 
ever be dear as a telling comment on the words of Nebuchadnezzar 
in Dan. iv. 30, which stand as a heading to this chapter. 

The chief inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar begin with an 
introductory hymn, in which the king describes the relation in 
which he stands to the great gods, more especially to the patron 
gods of Babylon and Borsippa. He is " favoured of Merodach, 
the beloved of Nebo," " the righteous king, the faithful shepherd, 
the contented one," " who loves the fear of their divinities, whose 
ears are attentive to their divine will, cultured and industrious, 
wise and prayerful, caretaker of Esagila and Ezida." 4 The 
longer inscriptions invariably close with a prayer, generally 
addressed to Merodach, or in the case of inscriptions from Sippar 
or Larsa to Shamash. In one of the Sippar inscriptions Merodach 
is joined with Shamash, while in a slab inscription from the 
Procession Street the prayer is made to Nebo and Merodach. 
Occasionally other divinities, such as Nebo and Ninkarrak, 5 are 
asked to intercede with Merodach or with Shamash and Merodach. 
In Inscription No. 12, describing the restoration of the temple of 
Shamash at Sippar, the prayer is addressed to that divinity. 
Not unfrequently the closing prayer is made to suit the subject- 
matter of the inscription. Thus, in the inscription describing the 
completion of E-temen-an-ki, the tower of Babylon, the prayer, 
which is addressed to Merodach, ends thus : " As E-temen-an-ki 
is established for ever, establish thou my royal throne unto the 
days of eternity ! E-temen-an-ki, unto me, Nebuchadnezzar, 
the king who restored thee, grant blessings. When with sound of 
many voices Merodach enters to abide in thee, recall to the mind 
of Merodach, my lord, my pious deeds ! " 6 

1 Building Inscriptions, p. 75. 2 Ibid. p. 16. 

3 Ibid. p. 20. 4 Ibid. pp. 61, 83, 155. 

8 Ibid. pp. 67, 95, 111, 115. 6 Ibid, p. 151. 


Among the forty-nine inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar there is 
one which possesses a unique interest. It is a fragment of his 
annals, much obliterated. Enough is left to tell us that in his 
37th year, 567 B.C., he invaded Egypt and encountered the army 
of Amasis. 1 On this occasion we may well believe that the pro- 
phecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled that Nebuchadnezzar should spread 
his royal pavilion on the brickwork at the entry of Pharaoh's 
house in Tahpanhes. 2 

In that famous and fatal utterance, " Is not this great Babylon, 
which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of 
my power and for the glory of my majesty ? " the king has in view 
all his buildings in that great city which he had done so much to 
enlarge. 3 Nevertheless it is evident that his thoughts centre 
chiefly on his palace, " the royal dwelling-place," on which he was 
walking at the time, and in which at the beginning of the story he 
describes himself as " at rest " and " flourishing." The order 
of Nebuchadnezzar's buildings at Babylon, roughly speaking, 
runs thus : fortifications, temples, canals, palaces. But to this 
order there is one exception, viz. the rebuilding of the old palace 
of his father, of which he says in the Wady Brissa Inscription, 
" Together with the restoration of the cities of the gods and 
goddesses, I have constructed the palace, my royal habitation, 
in Babylon." 4 It is probable that this great work was under- 
taken not later than 593 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar was a great 
temple-builder : he built temples in Sippar, Larsa, Ur, Erech, 
and other cities, besides the numerous temples, some seventeen 
in number, built by him in Babylon and its suburb Borsippa : 
but in building palaces he confined himself to his beloved Babylon ; 
in this, as he himself tells us, differing from his royal predecessors, 
who placed their dwellings in the cities of their choice, and only 
came to Babylon to the New Year Festival. 5 In the eyes of this 
king Babylon was the only city fit to be a royal residence. He 
speaks of it as " the city of the lifting up of mine eyes " ; and of 
the palace built by his father as " the house for people to behold, 
binding bar of the land, bright dwelling-place, abode of my rojal 
power." But that palace had certain defects of construction : 
it was made of unburnt brick ; its foundations had been weakened 

1 V order asiatische Bibliothek 4, Die Neubabylonischen Eonigsinschriften, 
p. 207. 

2 Jer. xliii. 8-13. For an interesting account of Tahpanhes and the actual 
spot on which in all probability the king of Babylon pitched his pavilion, seo 
Flinders Petrie's Ten Years' Digging in Egypt, p. 50. 

3 Especially by building on the N.E. the long line of the great outer wall. 
* Building Inscriptions, p. 173. 

8 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. iii. p. 117. 


by a flood, and the raising of the Procession Street had caused 
its gates to fall in. Accordingly Nebuchadnezzar determined to 
pull it down and build up a new palace on the old site. The 
boundaries of that site are clearly defined by him. It stretched 
from the old city wall Irngur-Bel on the north to the canal Libil- 
khigalla on the south, and from the bank of the Euphrates on the 
west to Ai-ibur-shabu, the Procession Street, on the east. 1 The 
greater part of this site has been excavated by Koldewey, and it 
appears that the new palace of Nebuchadnezzar consisted of four 
courts stretching from east to west, with numerous buildings on 
their northern and southern sides. 2 The main entrance, known 
as the gate of Beltis, was from the Procession Street on the eastern 
side. This led through a double gateway into a large court, from 
which you passed by two double gates into a smaller courts 
thence on through a very massive double gateway into the third 
and principal court. On the south side of this third court was 
found the largest hall in the palace, measuring 52 metres by 17. 
Its longer walls were 6 metres thick, considerably in excess of 
those at the ends, as if to support a barrel vaulting. Three doors, 
of equal width, opened on the court. Opposite the central door 
was a doubly recessed niche, in which the throne must have stood ; 
for this spacious hall, as indicated by its size and arrangements, 
no less than by the brilliant ornamentation in coloured tiles of 
the facade of the court in which it stood, was undoubtedly the 
throne-room of the Neo-Babylonian kings ; and within its walls, 
as Koldeway suggests, may very well have been held Belshazzar's 
eventful feast. 3 The three courts just described represent the 
official part of the palace. The fourth and western court, which 
has not been fully excavated, appears to have contained the 
private apartments. In this portion the foundations show traces 
of what was probably the ancient palace of Nabopolassar. At 
the north-west corner of what still remains, there was found an 
earthenware coffin of unusual size, placed deep down in the brick- 
work, and bricked up, as this part of the building showed, in the 
time of Nebuchadnezzar. " The dead man," we are told, " must 
have been the object of the deepest reverence," for though the 
tomb had been plundered, there were found under the sarcophagus 
gold beads and a number of small gold plates with holes, as if they 
had been sewn on to a garment, also rectangular gold plates some- 
what larger, ornamented with moulded designs, one representing 
a bearded man offering before the symbol of Merodach, another 

1 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. iii. p. 118. 

2 Koldewey's Excavations, p. 67. 

3 Ibid. p. 103. 


the gateway of a fortress with towers and battlements. The 
person of the deceased had evidently been arrayed in garments 
richly spangled with gold, and decorated with gold ornaments, 
which, taken in conjunction with the place and manner of his 
burial, suggest to us that he occupied a very important place at 
the court of Babylon. There is thus nothing at all unlikely in 
the suggestion made by Koldewey that we have here the tomb 
of Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar and the founder of 
the dynasty, by whom the original palace was built. 1 

Of the restored palace Nebuchadnezzar writes, " At that time 
the palace, my royal abode, binding bar of mighty peoples, abode 
of joy and happiness, whither I compelled tribute to be brought, 
I rebuilt in Babylon. Upon the ancient abyss, upon the bosom 
of the wide world, with mortar and brick I laid its foundation. 
Great cedars I brought from Lebanon, the beautiful forest, to 
roof it. A great wall of mortar and burnt brick I threw around 
it. My royal decisions, my imperial commands, I caused to go 
forth from it." 2 This palace appears to have been erected before 
the year 595 B.C. At some time after its erection the royal builder, 
as though apprehensive of an attack from the river, set to work 
to build up from the bed of the Euphrates a western outwork. 
In the foundations of this remarkable building were found 
chambers with walls of immense thickness as though to keep out 
the water. These may possibly have been used as dungeons. 
It is of this building that the king gives the following description : 
" For the protection of Esagila and Babylon, that evil may not 
be done against her, in the river Euphrates a great fortress in the 
river of mortar and brick I caused to be made. Its foundation 
I laid upon the abyss, its top I raised mountain-high." 3 

When the Old Palace had been rebuilt some years, we know 
not how long, the king began to find it too small. Accordingly 
he set to work to collect material for its enlargement, and made 
use of his Palestinian campaign in 588-589 B.C. to bring from the 
Lebanon a fresh store of cedar beams for the roofing ; and after 
his return from that campaign " took a good look round," 4 as 
he tells us, to see in which direction to enlarge it. This soon led 
him to the conclusion that there was no more ground to be obtained 
in the Old City, seeing that he was unwilling to disturb the sacred 
Procession Street on the east, or to cross the Libil-khigalla canal 
on the south and thus encroach on the domain of Morodach. 

1 Koldewey 'e Excavations, p. 118. 

2 Building Inscriptions, p. 89. 
Ibid. p. 105. 

4 Eapshish ashte'ema. India House Inscription, col. viii. 41. 


On the west he was hemmed in by the river. Thus the north was 
the only side which offered any opportunity for expansion. But 
to do this he must go beyond the old city walls, Imgur-Bel and 
Nimiitti-Bel, 1 which bounded his palace on that side. This led 
to a northern extension of the citadel of Babylon and to the 
erection of a new palace outside the old town- walls. Accordingly 
the king built two " mighty walls," 2 the inner towering above the 
outer, to form " a fortification like a mountain," extending to a 
distance of 360 ells beyond the old walls. Between this fortifi- 
cation and Nimitti-Bel he erected a lofty terrace of burnt brick, 
much of which is still standing, 3 and on this terrace, in the 
incredibly short space of fifteen days, 4 raised his second palace, 
rearing it " high as the mountains." In this new palace there 
are signs that the original design was considerably enlarged, also 
that during the progress of the building the details of the plan 
were frequently altered. This shows, as Koldewey observes, that 
the royal builder must have insisted very specially and with great 
energy on his own wishes being carried out, for no architect would 
of his own free will alter plans so frequently during the course of 
building. 5 As if still apprehensive of attack from the north, the 
king presently built at a distance of 490 ells from Nimitti-Bel a 
third wall, faced in its lower courses with immense blocks of lime- 
stone bound together with dove-tailed wooden clamps laid in 
asphalt, which he thus describes : " Beyond the fortification of 
burnt brick I built a great fortification of mighty stones, the pro- 
duct of the great mountains, and raised its summit mountain- 
high." 6 After which comes the following imposing description 
of the New Palace. " That house I made to be gazed at : I had 
it filled with sculptures for the masses of the people to behold. 
The awe of power, the dread of the splendour of sovereignty its 
sides begird : and the bad unrighteous man cometh not within 
it. That the wicked man might not show his face against the wall 
of Babylon, his attacking spear I kept at a distance. Babylon 
I made strong like a mountain." 7 The last words well explain 
the king's reason for building the stone wall. The palaces of 

1 Imgur-Bel was the wall and Nimitti-Bel the rampart. 

a The two walls formed one duru or "fortification," and as it rose up 
" like a mountain," it seems probable that the inner wall towered above the 
outer. Cf. the illustration given at p. 404 of Pinches' Old Test, 1st ed. 

3 Koldewey 's Excavations, p. 157, fig. 98. 

4 The same statement is made in an extract from Berosus quoted in 
Josephus c. Apion, i. 19. 

6 Excavations, p. 158. 

6 Ibid. pp. 177, 178. 

7 India House Inscription, col. ix. 22-44. 

wjbbh jju " < nn 





J - 






Nebuchadnezzar were veritable fortresses, and even the drains, 
so necessary on low-lying ground and amid such vast masses of 
brickwork, are found to be carefully guarded by gratings of stone 
or burnt brick. 

When the king had thus completed his new palace north of 
the old town-wall, he proceeded to unite it with the old palace 
so as to form one vast acropolis. His words are, " I joined it to 
the palace of my father, and caused the dwelling-place of my 
lordship to be glorious." l This statement is of importance, inas- 
much as it helps to remove one great difficulty in the way of 
identifying the vaulted building with the Hanging Gardens. The 
vaulted building stands, as we have seen, in the north-east corner 
of the ruins of the Old Palace and within the old town- walls. 
But Berosus, when speaking of the palace built within fifteen days, 
which we know from the inscriptions was the New Palace, goes 
on to tell us that in this palace Nebuchadnezzar built up the lofty 
Hanging Gardens. 2 The explanation is, that while the two 
palaces were distinct groups of buildings, they were formed by 
Nebuchadnezzar into one vast whole, which would naturally be 
called " the palace," and within which stands the building that 
has been identified with the Hanging Gardens. 

The enlarged palace of Nebuchadnezzar lies buried in the 
mound rightly named the Kasr or " Castle," seeing that it formed 
the acropolis of Bab} r lon, of which only the southern half has so 
far been excavated. In area this enlarged palace must have 
more than twice exceeded that occupied by Nabopolassar. But 
its royal builder, as he himself admits, was still urged on by the 
lust of building and still apprehensive of attack from the north. 
Accordingly, at the northern end of the great outer wall of Babylon, 
called in the inscriptions the " East Wall," but which really runs 
from S.E. to N.W., he built what he calls an appa danna, 
literally " a strong nose," i.e. a great projecting platform, 60 ells 
broad, standing out from the wall, facing Sippar. On this plat- 
form, possibly standing somewhat back, he built up another lofty 
palace, which bore the name, " May Nebuchadnezzar grow old as 
the maintainer of Esagila and Ezida." 3 A glance at Koldewoy's 
map of the site of Babylon 4 explains at once the king's description 
of the position of this palace and what he means by the term appa 
danna. The long low ridge, which runs from S.E. to N.W., 

1 Building Inscriptions, Nebuchadnezzar, xiv. col. ii. 39. Berosus makes 
the same statement. Cf. Joseph. Ant. x. 11, 1. 
8 Joscphus c. Apion, i. 19. 

8 Building Inscriptions, No. xiv. Cf. also p. 38. 
* See Frontispiece. 


marks the site of the great outer wall, so often referred to in the 
inscriptions. At the point where it terminates, almost due north 
of the Kasr, rises the square mound called Babil, which stands 
out from the line of the wall and faces the four points of the 
compass. Babil, which is only half the size of the Kasr, is the 
most northerly of the three mounds which mark the site of ancient 
Babylon. It still awaits excavation. Koldewey assures us that 
it contains many courts and chambers, both large and small, 
and mentions a sandstone slab found in situ, which describes it 
as a " palace of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon son of Nabopo- 
lassar king of Babylon." 1 

I have now described the palaces of Nebuchadnezzar and must 
return once more to the point from which I started. Two of the 
mounds of Babylon, viz. Babil and the Kasr, contain, as wo have 
seen, those palaces. The third is the mound of Amran to the south 
of the Kasr, buried in which at a depth of 21 metres lies the 
famous temple of Merodach, Esagila. The great temple-tower, 
E-temen-an-ki, also sacred to Merodach, stood in the plain between 
Amran and the Kasr, a little to the north of the former. Both of 
these have been partially excavated, as well as a temple to Ninib 
the war-god, but the greater part of the vast mound of Amran 
is as yet untouched. The three mounds of Babylon stand on a 
straight line which runs nearly due north and south. If we pro- 
long that line to a point where it meets the line of the south- 
eastern wall of the city, and then bisect it, we shall find that the 
point of bisection coincides with the central point of the eastern 
wall of the acropolis, where stood the Hanging Gardens. Further, 
if we suppose about a third of the city to have stood on the western 
side of the present course of the Euphrates, we shall come to the 
conclusion that these gardens formed the very centre of the whole. 
Then, too, since the ground falls away from them in every direction, 
they must have commanded a wide prospect on every side ; whilst 
close by stood one of the king's* most splendid works, the noble 
Ishtar Gate ; 2 a double gateway, its walls covered with bulls 
and sirrushes 3 in high relief. This gateway, which stood on the 
old city walls, still rises to a height of 39 feet. The approach to 
it from the north lay between strong fortress walls, on which were 
rows of lions in relief, made of coloured tiles, some of them white 
with yellow manes, others yellow with red manes, against a ground 
of grey-blue. 4 Sights such as these still awaken our wonder even 

1 Excavations, p. 11. 

2 Ibid. pp. 33, 39. 

3 The four-legged " dragon of Babylon," ibid. pp. 46, 47. 

4 Excavations, fig. 16. 




(KOI. DEWEY, FIG. 24) 

p. 76 


in this later age. How easily might they cause the heart of him, 
at whose fiat they were called into existence, to swell with pride 
as he looked down upon them from the steep slopes of the Hanging 
Gardens ! * In his inscriptions, indeed, Nebuchadnezzar is careful 
to utter prayers ; but here, in the midst of his great works, he 
forgets the warning dream of a year ago, and indulges in an 
independent, godless, self-centred spirit, unconsciously betraying 
the leading motive which animated him in his proud buildin 
career : "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the 
royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power and for the glory 
of my majesty ? " No sooner were the words spoken than with 
lightning speed the sentence of judgment fell : " king Nebuchad- 
nezzar, to thee it is spoken : the kingdom is departed from thee ! " 

1 Excavations, fig. 46. 



" Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches." Dan. iv. 14. 

IF the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar form the best com- 
mentary on the words, " Is not this great Babylon which I 
have built ? " they also help in great measure to account for 
some of the leading features of the king's dream, as related in 
Dan. iv., so that when we compare them with the record given us 
in that chapter, we seem to see yet another instance of how men's 
dreams are moulded by their waking thoughts. Thus we can 
now see how easily one who had a strong admiration for the 
monarchs of the forest might come to dream of a great tree. We 
can also understand how entirely suitable in his eyes such a figure 
would be to portray the character of the kingdom which he had 
sought to establish at Babylon. For his own inscriptions show 
us that he meant his kingdom, centred in that city, to be just 
such a sheltering tree. Then again with respect to the command 
of the heaven-sent watcher for the tree to be cut down, we can see 
how naturally such a vision might dawn on one, who had himself 
cut down trees in the service of Merodach, and what a terrible 
significance it would have for him when the angel's words with 
startling suddenness revealed its meaning. 

The reign of Nebuchadnezzar, which began with a rapid career 
of conquest, speedily assumed a totally different aspect. In the 
symbolic language of Dan. vii. 4, the lion with eagle's wings had 
its wings plucked off, was lifted up from the earth, made to stand 
upon its feet as a man, and a man's heart was given it. Inscription 
No. 17 according to Langdon the earliest of the inscriptions which 
belong to the second period of the reign, 600-593 B.C. brings 
this out very clearly. In this inscription the king's empire is seen 
to be already firmly established. Not a word is said about war, 
and all his subjects from far and near " the peoples, nations, 
and languages," of Dan. iv. 1 are summoned to help him complete 
the lofty temple-tower of Babylon. Already the great tree begins 



to loom large in the monarch's mind : witness the following 
extract : 

" To raise the top of E-temen-an-ki towards heaven, and to 
strengthen it, I set my hand. I called unto me the far- dwelling 
peoples, over whom Merodach my lord had appointed me, the 
shepherding of whom was given me by the hero Shamash : and 
from all lands, and from every inhabited place, from the Upper 
Sea to the Lower Sea, 1 from distant lands, the people of far-away 
habitations, kings of distant mountains and remote regions by 
the Upper and the Lower Seas, 2 with whose strength Merodach 
the lord had filled my hand that they should bear his yoke. I 
summoned also the subjects of Shamash and Merodach 3 to build 

Here follows a partially obliterated list of the peoples sum- 
moned, after which the recital continues : 

" The kings of the remote district by the Upper Sea, the kings 
of the remote district by the Lower Sea, the princes of the land 
of the Hittites 4 beyond the Euphrates westward, over whom 1 
exercise lordship by the command of Merodach my lord, these 
brought great cedars from the mountain of Lebanon unto my 
city of Babylon." 

Babylon, then, in the monarch's intention is to be the centre 
towards which all the forces of the empire must converge. It is 
there that the great tree is planted " in the midst of the earth." 5 
In the words of inscription No. 9, " The far-scattered peoples, 
whom Merodach my lord had given into my hand, I subdued under 
the sway of Babylon. The produce of the lands, the product of the 
mountains, the bountiful wealth of the sea within her I received. 
Under her everlasting shadow I gathered all men in peace. Vast 
heaps of grain beyond measure I stored up within her." 6 In the 
Wady Brissa inscription the parallel passage runs thus : " Under 
her everlasting shadow I gathered all men in peace. A reign of 

1 I.e. from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. 

2 Cf. Ezek. xxvi. 7. "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings." 
8 I.e. the inhabitants of Babylonia proper. In the estimation of Nebuchad- 
nezzar Shamash the patron god of Sippar here ranks next to Merodach the 
patron god of Babylon. For a possible explanation of this see Chapter IX. 

4 I.e. Syria. 
6 Dan. iv. 10. 

Ana tsillishu darie kullat niehim dhabis vpalchkhir. Urrie sheim dannutim 
la nebi ashfapakshu. 



abundance, years of plenty I caused to be in my land." 1 Place side 
by side with these extracts the record of Dan. iv., and the corre- 
spondence is very striking. " I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in 
mine house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which 
made me afraid : and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions 
of my head troubled me." " I saw, and behold a tree in the midst 
of the earth, and the height thereof was great. Tlie tree grew and was 
strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, 21 and the sight 
thereof to the end of all the earth. The leaves thereof were fair, and 
the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all : the beasts of the 
field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the 
branches thereof, and all flesh was fed of it." 3 Clearly the great 
tree seen in the king's vision coincided exactly with that idea of 
empire which Nebuchadnezzar had placed before himself, and 
had so successfully striven to realise. It signified lofty greatness 
and far-extended rule, peace and prosperity, shelter and security, 
for all who dwelt beneath his sway. It was a visible representation 
of the monarch's own words, " Underneath her everlasting shadow 
I gathered all men in peace." In this tree there was " much 
fruit " and " meat for all," so that " all flesh was fed of it," for 
the king tells us that his reign was " a reign of abundance, years 
of plenty," and that in Babylon he has stored up " vast heaps of 
grain beyond measure." 4 

But there was another reason why according to natural laws 
the vision took this form in the mind of the royal dreamer. 
Nebuchadnezzar had a great admiration for the giants of the forest, 
and was a lover of the woodman's art. If there was one spot in 
the whole of his vast empire, with the sole exception of Babylon, 
more dear to him than another, it was the cedar forest in the 
Lebanon. The longest, and quite one of the most important 
inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, has been met with in the Lebanon. 
It was written, indeed, to record the long list of his building 
achievements, but specially his conquest of that much-coveted 
district, and is found carved in duplicate on the rocks of Wady 
Brissa, a valley west of the Upper Orontes, and at a point not 
far from that river, where the ancient road from Babylon to the 
Mediterranean passes between two steep cliffs. The inscription 
on the north side of the defile is written in archaic characters. 

1 Wady Brissa, Inscription B, col. viii. 34. 

2 Nebuchadnezzar in his inscriptions appears always impressed with size 
and height, but particularly with the latter. It will be noticed that in Dan. iv. 
10, 11, he twice alludes to the height of the tree. 

3 Dan. iv. 4, 5, 10-12. 

4 For the granaries in Babylon see Jer. I. 26, R.V.M. 


The closing portion of it, written in the Neo-Babylonian script, 
has been found some distance farther along the road, a few miles 
north of Beyrout, on the rocky pass of the Nahr-el-Kelb or Dog 
Eiver, at a spot where the great military monarchs of Egypt and 
Assyria had already carved their effigies and the records of their 
conquests. The duplicate inscription at Wady Brissa, on the 
south side of the defile, is also written in the Neo-Babylonian 
script. 1 It contains some additional matter, notably the campaign 
in the Lebanon, and it is this fact which has led Langdon to con- 
jecture that the archaic inscription was written in 588 B.C., when 
the Chaldean army was entering Palestine on its way to besiege 
Jerusalem ; the Neo-Babylonian duplicate, on their return in 
586 B.C. after the capture of that city ; the campaign in the 
Lebanon taking place either during that interval or on their home- 
ward march. This long and famous inscription 2 is dedicated to 
Gula, the goddess of health, for whom Nebuchadnezzar had built 
temples at Babylon, Borsippa, and Sippar. It is written on the 
older literary plan. After a brief introductory hymn we come to 
the enuma clause, which begins in much the same strain as the 
h}^mn, sounding forth the praises of the monarch, his divine right 
to the throne, and his faithfulness to Merodach and Nebo. Under 
their guidance he has undertaken marches to distant lands, by 
difficult paths, and through waterless tracts. " Their gracious 
protection was stretched out over me," says the king. " When 
I lifted up my hands to them, my prayer came before them, they 
heard my supplication." No wonder, then, as the context tells 
us, that from the great store of silver, gold, cedar- wood, and other 
things collected in these campaigns, offerings were made to 
Merodach and Nebo from year to year. His campaigning over, 
the king next gives us an account of the sacred edifices raised or 
restored by him, and of the provision made for the maintenance of 
the priests, beginning with Babylon and Borsippa. Interesting 
and minute details are then given of the bark of Merodach, in which 
he sailed upon the waters of the Euphrates at the New Year 
festival, also of the bark of Nebo, in which on the same occasion 
that god was brought from Borsippa to Babylon. This naturally 
leads on to a description of work done on the sacred streets of 
Babylon, along which at the New Year festival the images of the 
gods were borne after their voyage by water. As one of those 
streets, viz. the Procession Street, passed through the old town 
walls at the Ishtar Gate, the scribe proceeds to give an account of 

1 The two inscriptions are distinguished as A and B, A being the archaic. 
z See Langdon's Building Inscriptions, pp. 153-175. 


the bulls and standing serpents with which that gate was adorned, 
and mentions the completion of the old walls. He then turns to 
work done in the canals and in the bed of the Euphrates. After 
this comes a long list of temples, either built or restored, in Babylon 
and Borsippa, including no fewer than three temples to Gula in 
the latter city. Our attention is next drawn to the defences of 
Babylon, the great outer wall and the broad moat by which it 
was engirdled, as well as to the dyke near Sippar from the Tigris 
to the Euphrates, mentioned by Xenophon. 1 Then, after a list 
of offerings to be made at the New Year festival, followed by a 
second long list of temples which have been constructed in other 
cities, comes a declaration from the king that he has completed 
his work of temple-building and also another work which he 
undertook at the same time, viz. the rebuilding of the Old 
Palace at Babylon. With some account of this the long enuma 
clause 2 at last reaches its close. Its contents, indeed, belong 
properly to the subject of my last chapter, but for the sake of the 
enumishu clause, 2 which always contains the principal matter of 
an inscription, i.e. the subject which led to its being written, I 
have reserved the Wady Brissa Inscription to be treated of in this 
present chapter. 

It is an almost unique thing for Nebuchadnezzar, or indeed 
any of the Neo-Babylonian kings, to give us any account of their 
conquests, but for once in the Wady Brissa Inscription this rule 
is broken, and we find in the enumishu clause an account of the 
campaign in the Lebanon. The record, though sadly obliterated 
in places, is yet of such deep interest and throws so much light 
on certain passages of Scripture, as well as on the special subject 
of this chapter, that I shall give it verbatim. 

" At that time," says the king, " Lebanon, the cedar mountain, 
the luxuriant forest of Merodach, whose scent is fragrant, whose 
cedars "... Here the record becomes only partially legible for 
the next seven lines, but we are able to make out the words 
"another god" . . . "another king" . . . " my god Merodach, 
the king, for the brilliant palace of the prince of the gods of heaven 
and earth as an adornment "... Then the recital continues, 
" which a foreign foe ruled over and robbed of its rich abundance 
His people fled, took themselves right off : In the strength of 
Nebo and Merodach, my lords, to Lebanon I marched, I ranged my 
troops for scouring the country. Its enemy on the heights and in 
the valleys I drove out, and I made the heart of the country to 
rejoice. Its scattered peoples I gathered together, and restored 

1 Anabasis, ii. 4, 12. a See the last chapter. 


to their place. That which no other king had done, I did. The 
steep mountains I cut through, the rocks of the mountain I 
shattered, I opened the passes, a road for the cedars I smoothed. 
Before the king Merodach, mighty cedars, tall and strong, of costly 
value, whose dark forms towered aloft, the massive growth of 
Lebanon, like a bundle of reeds ... I transported in the shape 
of rafts ... by the Arakhtu into Babylon. Tsarbati wood . . . 
The people in the Lebanon I caused to dwell in security, I suffered 
no foe to rise up against them." l 

Nebuchadnezzar was in Palestine at least four times. His 
wood-cutting in the Lebanon belongs to his second and third 
visits. In his first campaign to the West, in 604 B.C., he was 
acting as his father's viceroy. That was a far too anxious and 
critical time to allow of any opportunity for wood-cutting. The 
all-important question at that crisis was whether Babylon or 
Egypt should have dominion in the West. No sooner was this 
question settled in favour of the former, 2 than the young viceroy 
was compelled by the news of his father's death to hurry home 
across the desert in order to secure his succession to the throne. 
The king's next visit was in 597 B.C., at the close of the brief reign 
of Jehoiachin. 3 It was on this occasion that the wood-cutting 
took place described in inscription No. 17 and also in column iv. 
of the Wady Brissa Inscription. The object, as we have seen, was 
to obtain timber for the completion of the tower of Babylon, one 
of the king's earlier works, bequeathed to him, so to say, by his 
father. What a lively scene must the Lebanon have presented 
in the year 597 B.C. ! What a babel of tongues was heard on all 
sides ! What a variety of physical types, what diversity of 
costume was presented by that ever-shifting throng ! But 
amongst all that motley multitude there was one figure which 
more than any other would have attracted our attention the 
great king of Babylon himself, taking his part in the work. " As 
for me," he writes in the Wady Brissa Inscription, " I set my heart 
to the building of it," viz. the temple-tower. " Mighty cedars, 
which grew in the forest on the Lebanon, with my clean hands 
I cut down and assigned for its adornment." 4 Does he mean that 
he cut them down with his own hands ? Yes ! certainly : for 
otherwise the words " with my clean hands " would bear no 
meaning. Only a little further on in the inscription the king makes 
the same assertion, when speaking of the decoration of the shrine 

1 Wady Brissa, Inscription B, col. ix. 

2 2 Kings xxiv. 7. 

3 Ibid. 11. 

4 Wady Brissa, Inscription A, col. iv. 


of Nebo in his temple at Borsippa. All such acts were done by 
him most religiously, just as when in his boyhood's days he and 
his younger brother Nabu-shum-lishir, led on by their royal 
father Nabopolassar, had laboured on the lower stages of E-temen- 
an-ki. So then when the king speaks of his " clean hands," the 
words must be understood in a ritual, ceremonial sense, and 
possibly also in a moral sense. 1 But whichever way we take them, 
they must needs mean that the king cut down trees with his own 
hands. And, indeed, such a view is amply borne out by a remark- 
able passage in the prayer with which inscription No. 17 con- 
cludes : "0 Merodach, my lord, champion of the gods, possessor 
of power, at thy command the city of the gods has been builded, 
its bricks fashioned, its street renewed, its temples completed. 
At thy exalted word, which changes not, may my wood-cutting 
prosper ! may the work of my hands come to completion / " 2 

But should it be said that in the above passage the words 
" my wood-cutting " mean only " the wood-cutting done at my 
command," then we can point to a yet more convincing proof, 
still to be seen on the rocks of Wady Brissa. Between the fifth 
and sixth columns of the Neo-Babylonian inscription a figure is 
depicted in low relief, looking to the left, and attired in a pointed 
head-dress, closely resembling the mitre of a mediaeval bishop, 
to which is attached at the back a kind of puggaree. This remark- 
able head-dress is the only part of the bas-relief in anything like 
fair preservation. Still enough is left to show that the figure is 
standing before a tree, which occupies the centre of the fifth 
column, and grasping it with the left hand, prepared apparently to 
cut it down with the right. Remembering, then, that the fourth 
column of the inscription, which is just to the left of the tree, 
contains the passage in which the king speaks of cutting down 
trees with his clean hands, and further that at the close of the 
inscription in a much-obliterated passage, which follows the 
account of his campaign in the Lebanon, the words twice occur, 
" an image of my royal person," we shall not think Weissbach 
fanciful when he writes at the foot of his plate representing this 

1 Cf. Ps. xxiv. 4. 

2 In his Building Inscriptions of the New Babylonian Empire, p. 151, 
Langdon renders the word is-tag-ga-a-a by " that in which I am interested." 
In his later work, Die Neubabylonischen Konigsinschriften, p. 149, this word 
is translated " mein Holzfallen." As explained by this distinguished Sumerian 
soholar, istagga is a loan-word from the Sumerian GIS-TAG=the Assyrian 
makhatsu sha itsi, "timber-felling." For TAG=makhatsu see Syllabary 
C, 294, in Delitzsch's Assyrische Lesestucke. See also Rawlinson's Inscriptions 
of Western Asia, vol. v. 32, 21f. GIS, Assyrian itsu, appears in Hebrew as 


bas-relief, " King Nebuchadnezzar fells with his own hand a cedar 
of Lebanon." * 

The wood-cutting in the Lebanon in 597 B.C. throws a very- 
vivid light on certain passages in the Book of the prophet Habak- 
kuk. Hab. i. gives us a most graphic picture of the rise of the 
Chaldean power, as it appeared above the horizon of the Jews 
after the great victory over the Egyptians gained by the young 
viceroy Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish on the Euphrates in 
604 B.C. Hab. ii. belongs to a somewhat later date. It pre- 
supposes a time when the Chaldeans had made more conquests, 
and when men had become familiarised with their tyrannical 
treatment of subject nations. In ii. 9 the person of the Boyal 
Builder comes in sight. His early career of conquest has had this 
for its aim, " to set his nest on high " and to place himself above 
the power of evil. By building walls round Babylon and raising 
up fortress-palaces he has sought to secure himself from calamity ; 
like those birds of prey that " build their nests amid inaccessible 
rocks, along the steep side of gorges and defiles." 2 Already he 
is laying down the warrior's sword for the woodman's axe. On 
his way home from Palestine after his second visit in 597 B.C. 
he stops to fell timber in the Lebanon. Those huge beams are for 
the rebuilding of his own palace 3 as well as for the completing of 
the temple-tower. So, then, in the words of the prophet, " the 
violence done to Lebanon shall cover thee," i.e. shall recoil upon 
thee. " For the stone," writes the prophet, " shall cry out of 
the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it " : i.e. 
the very wood and stones, which the tyrant employs in his great 
buildings, shall bear witness to the robbery and injustice by 
which they were procured. " Woe," therefore, " to him that 
buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity. 
Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the peoples labour for 
the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity." 4 Here is 
a reference to that motley gathering in the Lebanon of peoples 
from all parts of the empire to cut down timber, so graphically 
described in inscription No. 17 : "All peoples of scattered habi- 
tations, whom Merodach bestowed upon me, I compelled to do 
service." 5 

1 WissenscTiaftliche Veroffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient Oesellschaft, 
Heft 5 (1906). 

2 Hab. ii. 9, Cent. Bible, footnote in loco. 

3 Inscription No. 9, col. iii. 36. 

4 Hab. ii. 11-13. Compare Jeremiah li. 58, in his prophecy of the fall 
of Babylon. 

5 Compare the levy raised by Solomon, which was also for work in the 
Lebanon. 1 Kings iv. 6 ; v. 14 ; and ix. 15. 


But the king's visit to the Lebanon in 597 B.C. was not only 
spent in wood-cutting. Like his royal predecessors on the throne 
of Assyria he devoted himself to the pleasures of the chase. 1 
Along with " the violence done to Lebanon " Habakkuk mentions 
" the destruction of the beasts." 2 This also is illustrated on the 
rocks of Wady Brissa. A second bas-relief is found, in the archaic 
inscription on the north side of the road, which occupies the entire 
height of the inscription no less than ten feet and is carved on 
its left side. It represents a man undoubtedly the king holding 
with his left hand at arm's length a lion in the act of springing, 
while his right hand grasps a club with which he is about to 
despatch the brute. Strange to say no explanation of this bas- 
relief is found in the inscription, nor any lacuna in which it would 
be likely to occur. Weissbach suggests that the picture is intended 
to commemorate some special adventure that the king has had with 
a lion in the Lebanon : but this seems to me unlikely. As in the 
case of the other royal effigy, the meaning of this bas-relief must 
be sought in its position in the inscription. Now we notice that 
the king's figure is placed close to the dedication to Gula, " who 
enlarges the renown of my reign." Gula is the consort of Ninib, 
the god of war. She is also specially the goddess of health, and 
along with the epithet just quoted is described in the course of the 
inscription as " Gula the protectress of my life who enlivens my 
spirit." Field sports, such as lion-hunting, are a mimic warfare. 
They require both strength and courage, and are attended with 
more or less bodily danger. We may, then, take the two bas- 
reliefs together, and look upon them, not merely as designed to 
show how the king spent his time in the Lebanon, viz. in hunting 
and wood-cutting, but rather to exhibit him to the inhabitants of 
that district as lord of the forest and its denizens, able to hew down 
the unsubmissive 3 and by his irresistible prowess to overcome 
the might of his foes. 

The inscriptions and bas-reliefs of Wady Brissa, though a re- 
miniscence of the great wood-cutting in 597 B.C., were as a matter 
of fact carved some ten years later, viz. during the interval 588 to 
586 B.C., on the occasion of the king's third visit to Palestine, at 
the time of the siege of Jerusalem and at the close of the reign of 
Zedekiah. The conquest of the Lebanon, followed by a second 
wood-cutting described towards the close of the inscription, must 
be assigned to this interval. When, then, we remember that in the 

1 Cf. Dan. ii. 38. 

2 Hab. ii. 17. 

3 This thought may be compared with the text at the head of this chapter. 
He who has hewn down others is to be hewn down himself. 


next year after the fall of Jerusalem, viz. in 585 B.C., commenced 
the thirteen years' siege of Tyre, 1 it seems exceedingly likely that 
the words " another god " . . . " another king," which occur 
in the earlier and half-obliterated portion of the description of 
the conquest of the Lebanon, refer severally to Melkarth the 
Tyrian Hercules, and to Ethbaal king of Tyre. As Nebuchad- 
nezzar had claimed the cedar forest for Merodach, so Ethbaal 
may have claimed it for Melkarth. Tyre for the sake of her com- 
merce had been friendly with Egypt, and therefore antagonistic to 
Assyria. Her traditional hostility to the Assyrians was now trans- 
ferred to the Chaldeans, their successors in power. The Wady 
Brissa Inscription shows that it was the policy of Nebuchadnezzar 
to attach the inhabitants of the Lebanon to himself, that so they 
might guard the cedar forest from interlopers, such as the Tyrian 
king, and at the same time assist him to transport its sylvan 
wealth to Babylon. 

On the occasion of this later visit to the Lebanon the great 
king had his headquarters at Eiblah in the land of Hamath, as 
stated in 2 Kings xxv. 6. Eiblah, on the right bank of the Upper 
Orontes is only ten miles E.N.E. of Brissa, the village which gives 
its name to the Wady. It was no doubt selected as forming 
a good strategic position, a centre from which roads branched 
out, northward by Hamath and Aleppo to Haran, eastward across 
the desert to Babylon by way of Palmyra, westward through the 
Lebanon to Phoenicia and so on by the coast route to Egypt, 
southward to Judsea by Ccele-Syria and the Jordan valley. But 
in Nebuchadnezzar's eyes, Eiblah had this additional advantage 
that it was near " the glorious forest of Merodach." For although 
the still remaining cedar grove on the heights above Besherrah 
is rather more than thirty miles from Eiblah as the crow flies, 
doubtless there were forest tracts very much nearer in the days 
of Nebuchadnezzar. 

The tree which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his vision was con- 
spicuous alike for its great height and for the shelter it afforded. 
In these respects it must have strongly resembled the cedars 
which he had been accustomed to cut down. Dr. Tristram, 
describing the cedar grove above Besherrah, observes that " in 
the topmost boughs ravens, hooded crows, kestrels, hobbys, and 
wood owls, were secreted in abundance, yet so lofty were the trees 
that the birds were out of ordinary shot." 2 No tree would so 
well convey the idea of ample shade and shelter as the cedar. It 

1 Josephus c. Apion, i. 21. The siege lasted from 585 to 572 B.C. Cf. 
Ezek. xxix. 17-20. 

2 The Land of Israel, p. 630. 


was thus the apt symbol of a strong government, able to afford 
shelter and security to its subjects ; whilst the far-stretching 
horizontal branches were no less suggestive of widely extended 
sway. Ezekiel, in his solemn warning to the king of Egypt, 
written only two months before the fall of Jerusalem, and at the 
very time when the king of Babylon had his headquarters at 
Eiblah, describes the Assyrian monarchy in its palmy days under 
the Sargonids by this very figure. " Behold the Assyrian was a 
cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing 
shroud, and of an high stature ; ... All the fowls of heaven 
made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the 
beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow 
dwelt all great nations." 1 It has been asserted that the imagery 
of the king's dream in Dan. iv. is " clearly borrowed to a 
considerable extent " 2 from this passage. But against this we 
must remember, first, that the comparison of men to trees is a 
very frequent one, 3 and secondly, that just what Ezekiel does not 
mention, viz. the great fruitfulness of the tree, so emphatically 
stated in Dan.iv.,is in exact correspondence with Nebuchadnezzar's 
own description of his kingdom. Speaking of his beloved Babylon 
he says, " Underneath her everlasting shadow I gathered all men 
in peace," and then adds immediately after, " vast heaps of grain 
beyond measure I stored up within her." It is, therefore, more 
reasonable to look upon the description of the vision in Dan. iv. 
as coming from the lips of the actual Nebuchadnezzar than to 
regard it as the imaginative composition of a later writer who 
borrows his imagery from the Book of Ezekiel. This view, it 
will be noticed, presupposes that Nebuchadnezzar was in some 
measure the author, or at any rate the inspirer, of his own 
inscriptions. In a later chapter further reasons will be adduced 
for believing that this was really the case. In Herodotus, 
book vii. 19, the historian tells us how Xerxes dreamed that he 
was crowned with a shoot of an olive tree, from which boughs 
spread out and covered the whole earth. If Xerxes could dream 
thus, influenced possibly by the recollection of some festal day, 
how much more easily might Nebuchadnezzar dream the vision 
of Dan. iv., his mind reverting to those happy busy days spent 
in wood-cutting on the heights of the Lebanon ? 

I have imagined the tree seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his vision 
to have been a cedar, but in the point referred to above it differed 

1 Ezek. xxxi. 3, 6. 

2 Cent. Bible, Dan. iv. 10-17, footnote. 

2 Cf. Judg. ix. 8 ; Ps. i. 3, xxxvii. 35, xcii. 12 ; Isa. x. 19, lxi. 3 ; Jer. xvii. 8 ; 
Matt. iii. 10, etc. 


from the natural cedar, for " the leaves thereof were fair, and the 
fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all." 1 But this need 
not surprise us, for we see stranger things in our dreams than 
cedars with leaves and fruit. These differences from the natural 
cedar would only serve to rivet the attention of the royal dreamer. 
That he had an admiration for the giants of the forest going 
beyond their utilitarian value may be gathered from the 
enthusiasm with which he speaks of " mighty cedars, tall and 
strong, of costly value, whose dark forms towered aloft." 2 Doubt- 
less, then, he viewed with pleasure the great tree which so naturally 
rose up before him in his vision. Just such trees as this had he 
himself been accustomed to cut down in the Lebanon in the service 
of Merodach. 3 So, then, it would not surprise one who had a 
firm belief in spiritual bemgs, when " a watcher and an holy one " 4 
was seen to descend from heaven and order the tree to be cut 
down ; while the command to the beasts and the birds to get out 
of the way of the falling giant was all natural enough to one 
accustomed to work in the forest. True, the order given to leave 
the stump in the ground, encircled with a band of iron and brass, 
had something strange about it, for a cedar once cut down cannot 
spring up again. But the king's fears can hardly have been 
awakened until the angel began to disclose the inner meaning of 
the vision : " Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of 
the earth : let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's 
heart be given unto him : and let seven times pass over him." 5 
For now it was indicated, not uncertainly, that the great tree 
represented some person, and in Nebuchadnezzar's conception of 
the character of his kingdom whom could it so well represent as 
himself ? That it did represent him, was proved unmistakably 
by the angel's closing words : " The sentence is by the decree 
of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones : 
to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth 
in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and 
setteth up over it the lowest of men." 6 

These last words must have fallen like a thunder-clap on the 
ears of the startled king, for they referred to a fact of which the 
monarch was perfectly cognisant, albeit in the course of his long 

1 Dan. iv. 12. 2 Wady Brissa, Inscription B, col. ix. 39-41. 

8 In that part of the Wady Brissa Inscription which refers to the king's 
doings in the Lebanon, the references to Merodach are remarkably frequent. 
Lebanon is " the forest of Merodach " : the king goes thither " in the strength 
of Nebo and Merodach " : the cedar beams are transported thence to Babylon 
" before Merodach the king " : finally, Merodach ia proclaimed "the lord " 
of his building operations. 

4 Dan. iv. 13. Ibid. 15, 16. Ibid. 17. 


and successful career he must almost have lost sight of it, viz. 
the very humble origin of his family. Instead of " the lowest of 
men," the A.V. has " the basest of men." Dr. Driver is careful 
to point out that in Old English " base " means " low," " humble," 
not necessarily " wicked," and that the Aramaic word here used 
appears in its Hebrew form in Job v. 11, "He setteth up on high 
those that be low," and again in Ps. cxxxviii. 6, " Though the 
Lord be high, yet hath he respect to the lowly." 1 

The astonishing rise of the family of Nebuchadnezzar from the 
lowliest condition hitherto known to us only from this Book of 
Daniel is stated with the greatest plainness in an inscription of 
his father Nabopolassar, which for this reason as well as for 
its historical interest deserves to be reproduced as it stands. 2 
The record runs thus : 

" Nabopolassar, the just king, the shepherd called of Merodach, 
the offspring of Nin-menna, 3 great and illustrious queen of queens, 
holding the hand of Nebo and Tasmit, 4 the prince the beloved of 
Ea am I. When I in my littleness, the son of a nobody, 5 sought 
faithfully after the sacred places of Nebo and Merodach, my lords : 
when my mind pondered how to establish their decrees, and to 
complete their abodes, and my ears were opened to justice and 
righteousness : when Merodach who knows the hearts of the gods 
of heaven and earth, who sees the ways of men most clearly, had 
perceived the intention of me, the insignificant, who among men 
was not visible, 6 and in the land where I was born had designed me 
for the chieftainship and for the rulership of the land and people 
over whom I was nominated, and had sent a good genius to go at 
my side : when he had prospered all that I had done, and had 
sent Nergal, strongest of the gods, to go beside me He subdued 
my foes, dashed in pieces my enemies : the Assyrian, who from 
the days of old ruled over all men, I, the weak, the feeble, 1 in 
dependence on the lord of lords, in the strong might of Nebo and 
Merodach my lords, held back their feet from the land of Akkad 
and broke their yoke." 

The emphasis with which Nabopolassar here speaks of his 
lowly origin is very marked. He is " the son of a nobody " ; 
an expression, which, if it stood alone, might signify that he was 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, pp. 51 , 52. 

2 Langdon's Building Inscriptions, Nabopolassar, iv. p. 57. 

8 " The lady of the tiara," a name of Beltis, the wife of Bel-Merodach. 

4 The wife of Nebo. 

6 Ina mitskhirutiya, apal la mammanim. 

6 lashi, tsakhrim, sha ina nishim la uttu. 

7 Anaku, enshum, biznuqu. 


not of royal birth, and indeed is so used in the Assyrian inscrip- 
tions ; l but as used by Nabopolassar it evidently signifies more. 
Not only is he not of royal birth, he is not even in society. In 
his own "words he is " the weak," " the feeble," " the insignificant," 
" not visible among men." 

It is thus that we realise the full significance of the angel's 
closing words, " setteth up over it the lowest of men " ; words, 
which with true delicacy Daniel forbears to repeat. In this brief 
utterance, then, lies possibly the strongest evidence of the 
authenticity of this fourth chapter of Daniel, since the writer is 
thus seen to be well aware of a fact which must soon have faded 
from the knowledge of posterity, viz. the very obscure parentage 
of Babylon's greatest king. For the dazzling glory of that rapid 
career of conquest, followed by those long years of peace and 
prosperity, when temple arose after temple, palace after palace, 
to attest to future ages the might of their royal builder, must 
perforce have exercised such influence on the minds of men that 
future rulers would care more to show that they were sprung from 
Nebuchadnezzar than to inquire whom Nebuchadnezzar himself 
was sprung from. Such, at any rate, was the case before the 
sixth century B.C. had passed away. 2 Hence we may feel quite 
sure that by the time of Alexander the Great, or the still later 
period of the Maccabees, all recollection of the humble origin 
of the family of Nebuchadnezzar had entirely faded away. For 
it is ever the tendency of later ages to magnify great rulers as 
they recede into the past. Thus Megasthenes, in the extract 
quoted at the beginning of the last chapter, writing about 300 B.C., 
carries the arms of Nebuchadnezzar to Libya and even to Iberia. 
So, then, in this brief statement, " setteth up over it the lowest 
of men," we have a clear indication that the writer was a con- 
temporary of Nebuchadnezzar, and might be supposed to be 
personally conversant with the events he records. This being 
granted, it is inconceivable how any contemporary writer, unless 
his narrative of the events leading up to the king's madness were 
a record of what actually took place, would ever have dared to 
make such a plain statement as to the very humble origin of the 
reigning dynasty and to put it into the lips of an angel as the 
telling close of a stern message of condemnation. Thus the words 
are a voucher, not only for the age of the Book of Daniel, but also 
for the truth of the story. 

1 Compare the Nimrud Inscription of Tiglathpileser III., Rev. line 65, 
" Khulli, the son of a nobody, I set on the throne of his sovereignty." 

a Compare the Behistun Inscription of Darius Hystaspes, col. i. 78, and 
iii. 80, where two impostors claim to be Nebuchadnezzar the son of Nabonidus. 



" The Inscription paints for us in unfading colours a portrait of the man 
Nebuchadnezzar ; it exhibits in the vivid light of actuality his pride of place 
and power and greatness, his strong conviction of his own divine call to 
universal empire, his passionate devotion to his gods, his untiring labours for 
their glory and the aggrandisement of that peerless capital which was their 
chosen dwelling-place." Rev. C. J. Ball on the India House Inscription. 

THE inscriptions of the Assyrian kings present us with more or 
less prosaic accounts of their warlike operations, embellished 
with ascriptions of praise to Ashur or to some war-god, 
and with a goodly amount of self-glorification, also not unf requently 
with details of hideous cruelties, and ending with the account of the 
building or enlarging of some royal palace. But when we turn to 
the inscriptions of the Neo-Babylonian kings a great difference is 
observable. War is now made to take quite a second place, and 
is frequently not even visible, whilst the main body of the inscrip- 
tion is devoted to accounts of temple and palace building, intro- 
duced by a hymn in praise of some god, and ending in a prayer ; 
a second hymn being sometimes inserted before the principal 
building operation described. The monarch, instead of boasting 
of his prowess in heaped-up epithets, now describes himself as the 
favourite of the gods, their dutiful worshipper, and the restorer 
of their shrines. That is, he puts his gods first and retires some- 
what into the background himself ; and yet, in spite of this, the 
royal personality becomes increasingly visible, and it is evident 
that the drawing up of the inscription is not left entirely to the 
court scribe, but that the king himself must sometimes have taken 
the pen in hand. This is especially the case with certain inscrip- 
tions of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nabonidus. No 
court scribe would have dared to speak of his royal master in the 
very humble terms employed by Nabopolassar, nor could any one 
but the monarch himself have expressed that intense delight with 
which Nabonidus records the recovery of the foundation cylinder 
of some ancient temple and reckons up the long centuries which 
must have elapsed since it was placed in situ. In the case of the 
great Nebuchadnezzar we have already been able to discover 
from his inscriptions certain traits in the character of that monarch 



as well as some personal tastes. We have found him a prince of 
peaceful pursuits, filled with a rage for building and a love of 
splendour and display. His activities are seen to spend them- 
selves in raising bulwarks, in rearing temples and palaces, in 
clearing out canals, and in attending to the internal administra- 
tion of the country. He appears before us as a monarch with 
strong imperialistic tendencies, bent on making Babylon the 
centre of a world-kingdom, and on displaying within her walls 
the splendour and magnificence of his rule. His lighter diversions 
are hunting and wood-cutting. In all these respects the portrait 
given of him in the Book of Daniel is found on examination to be 
strikingly accurate. What we have now to do is to inquire as to 
his religious knowledge and the degree of enlightenment possessed 
by him, also his disposition toward religion, in order that we may 
see how far in these respects the Nebuchadnezzar of the Book of 
Daniel corresponds with the Nebuchadnezzar of the monuments. 
Both the Book of Daniel and the Neo-Babylonian inscriptions 
represent Nebuchadnezzar as a very religious man, and one whose 
religion possessed something of a monotheistic tendency. The 
sacred vessels of Jehovah's temple at Jerusalem are brought by 
him into the treasure-house of his god at Babylon, and we know 
from his inscriptions that the god meant is Merodach the patron- 
god of Babylon. This choice of Merodach was no doubt a deep 
conviction on the part of the Babylonians. They firmly believed 
that their god stood at the head of the pantheon. They also 
believed in " great gods," such as Sin, " king of the gods of heaven 
and earth," Shamash, " the judge supreme," Nebo, " the wise 
and knowing one," " who watches over the hosts of heaven and 
earth," and others besides. The expression " great gods " is one 
that occurs frequently in the inscriptions. Now we notice that 
Daniel, when recalling the king's forgotten dream, seeks to lead 
his royal master to a knowledge of the truth by telling him that 
a " great god " 1 has made known to him what shall be here- 
after. But amongst these " great gods " it is perfectly clear that 
in the Neo-Babylonian inscriptions taken as a whole Merodach 
occupies the first place. Nebo and Shamash may seem at times 
to dispute his supremacy and to claim something of an equality, 
but these are only indications of certain fluctuations of religious 
feeling. Merodach is most certainly at the head of the Baby- 
lonian pantheon, and is so far exalted above the other gods as to 
give an almost monotheistic character to some passages in the 

1 This is the correct translation in Dan. ii. 45. 


And here we may well pause to inquire how, in a religion 
characterised by " gods many and lords many," this mono- 
theistic character is to be accounted for. 

In ancient Babylonia Merodach was not always the chief of 
the gods. The country was anciently divided into several small 
city-states. Each city had a god of its own, whose rule extended 
just as far as the rule of that particular city, and no further. But 
as early as 3000 B.C. there was one of the gods, Enlii, the patron 
god of Nippur, a town some forty miles south-east of Babylon, who 
held the proud title " lord of the lands," i.e lord of the world. 
That this title meant something appears from the fact that Nippur, 
" the place of Enlil " * for so it is expressed in the cuneiform 
writing though never a city of any political importance, was yet 
in those early days the acknowledged religious centre of Babylonia. 
How the worship of Enlil became located at Nippur we cannot 
tell, but being thus located, it is quite possible for us to conceive 
how this god attained to the supremacy, with the result that his 
city was regarded as the Mecca of ancient Babylonia. 

En-lil, " lord of the wind," 2 was a Sumerian god. When the 
Sumerians left their mountain home in the north or north-west of 
Mesopotamia, it is probable that the Semitic Akkadians were 
already in possession of the plain of the Euphrates and the Tigris. 
Enlil, the storm-god, was their god of war. To him victories were 
ascribed and pseans sung in his temple at Nippur. Through the 
might of Enlil the invaders hoped, not merely to hold their own, 
but to sweep onwards and subjugate their foes. Hence they very 
naturally regarded him as their chief god and the principal object 
of their worship. In the course of time power passed from the 
Sumerians to the Semitic Akkadians with whom they were now 
intermingled. About 2225 B.C. a Semitic dynasty, believed to be 
of Amorite origin, established itself in Babylon, and Khammu- 
rabi, the Amraphel of Gen. xiv. the sixth monarch of this 
dynasty, was at last able, about 2123 B.C., to unite the various 
city-states under the sway of Babylon. It was now felt to be 
only right that Merodach, the patron-god of Babylon, should 
take the place of Enlil. This was accomplished in the following 
manner. Merodach was imagined as sent by the gods to conquer 
Tiamat, the dragon of Chaos. On his successfully achieving this 
difficult task, all the other gods were pictured as uniting to do 
him honour, and to bestow upon him fifty glorious names, repre- 
senting so many attributes ; until at the last Enlil, the head of 
the older pantheon, stepping forward, graciously bestowed upon 

1 In the ancient Sumerian EN-LIL'-KI. 

2 See above, Chap. V. p. 47. 


him his own title, " lord of the lands," and resigned in his favour. 
From this time forward Merodach was looked upon as " the Enlil 
of the gods," and is so styled in the Neo-Babylonian inscriptions ; 
whilst Babylon took the place of Nippur as the city of the gods. 
The gods who had gathered round the older shrine of Nippur 
were supposed now to assemble at E-sag-ila, the temple of Mero- 
dach at Babylon. Nippur itself, though a flourishing commercial 
city at the close of the Assyrian empire, is not so much as named 
in the inscriptions of the Neo-Babylonian kings. Indeed, accord- 
ing to Dr. Peters, the temple of the original Enlil in that city was 
destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar or one of his successors. 1 All this 
is most significant of the jealous care with which the religious 
supremacy of Babylon was guarded by the kings of the New 

Previous to the rise of the New Babylonian empire, when 
Assyria held the reins of power, her warrior kings very naturally 
claimed the " Enlilship " for their national god Ashur. Hence 
Sennacherib, when dedicating an image to Ashur, extols his god 
as " king of the totality of the gods, lord of all gods, creator of 
the heaven of Anu, creator of mankind, dwelling in the resplendent 
heaven, the Enlil of the gods." 2 In fact, according to Jastrow, 
the supremacy of Ashur in Assyria was even more pronounced 
than that of Merodach at Babylon ; but, as the same authority 
points out, there was this difference in the worship of these 
divinities : Ashur moved about from place to place as the centre 
of political power shifted from the old capital of Ashur to Calah 
and thence to Nineveh, while Merodach's home remained fixed 
at Babylon, " the town of the lord of the gods." 

The Enlilship of Merodach, though subject to slight variations, 
is clearly visible all through the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar. 
It becomes most pronounced in No. 15, better known as the India 
House Inscription, to which frequent reference has already been 
made. It is of this inscription that Langdon writes, "It is a 
veritable marvel of the redactor's skill. Its sources are 14 and 
19. 3 What is most striking about this composition is the Merodach 
tendency of the composer. As the cult of Nebo is glorified in 19, 
[so] Merodach is exalted by means of inserted prayers, changes of 
text, etc., in 15. I regard this composition," he adds, " as dating 

1 Peters' Nippur, vol. ii. p. 262. 

2 The same claim is made by Sargon, cf. line 121 of the remarkable tablet 
translated by F. Thureau-Dangin in his Huitieme Campagne de Sargon. 

3 No. 14, at present in the British Museum, records the building of a 
fortress-palace at the northernmost point of the great outer wall of Babylon, 
the site of which is marked by the present mound of BabiL No. 19 is the 
Wady Brissa Inscription, carved in 586 B.C. as described in the last chapter. 


at least after 57Q B.C., at any rate it was composed after 14." 1 
According, then, to this authority, No. 15 is the latest of the 
inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Merodach tendency 
noticed by Langdon is of necessity a monotheistic tendency, for 
Merodach, who, as we have seen, is always foremost of the gods, 
appears in some passages of this inscription to stand alone. Now 
it is just in these monotheistic passages, these " inserted prayers " 
and " changes of text," that we seem to see the work of the real 
Nebuchadnezzar. Thus, immediately after the introductory 
passage, which describes the position occupied by the king with 
reference to Merodach and Nebo, there follows a hymn to those 
divinities, col. i. 23 to ii. 39, extracted from inscriptions 19 and 
14. But in the middle of this hymn we meet with a prayer 
addressed to Merodach alone : col. i. 51 to ii. 11, and this prayer, 
be it noted, is an entirely original addition, not found in any previous 
inscription. Jastrow remarks with reference to it, " The con- 
ception of Merodach rises to a height of spiritual aspiration, 
which comes to us as a surprise in a religion that remained steeped 
in polytheism, and that was associated with practices and rites 
of a much lower order of thought." 2 This remarkable prayer 
runs thus 

" To Merodach my lord I prayed, 
I addressed my supplication. 
He had regard to the utterance of my heart, 
I spake unto him : 
' Everlasting prince, 
Lord of all that is, 
for the king whom thou lovest, 
whose name thou proclaimest, 
who is pleasing to thee : 
direct him aright, 
lead him in the right path ! 
I am a prince obedient unto thee, 
the creature of thy hands, 
thou hast created me, 

and hast appointed me to the lordship of multitudes of people. 
According to thy mercy, Lord, which thou bestowest upon 

all of them, 
cause them to love thy exalted lordship : 
cause the fear of thy godhead to abide in my heart ! 
Grant what to thee is pleasing, 
for thou makest my life.' " 3 

1 Building Inscriptions, p. 20. a Jastrqw, 

* India House Inscription, col. i. 51 to ii. 1. 


p. 96 


I would suggest that the above passage, coming so evidently 
from the heart, is the king's own composition, and the same may 
be said, perhaps, of a second prayer to Merodach, found at the 
close of the inscription, and also in No. 14. 1 This prayer reads 

" To Merodach my lord I prayed, 
I lifted up my hands : 
' lord Merodach, 
wisest of the gods, 
mighty prince, 

thou it was that createdst me, 
with sovereignty over multitudes of people that didst invest 

Like dear life I love thy exalted lodging 'place : 
in 7io place have I made a town more glorious than thy city of 

According as I love the fear of thy divinity, 
and seek after thy lordship, 
favourably regard the lifting up of my hands, 
hear my supplication ! 
I verily am the maintaining king, that maketh glad thine 

the energetic servant, that maintaineth all thy town.' " 2 

The above prayer manifests the same intense love of Babylon, 
and pride in her adornment, which we meet with in Dan. iv. 30, 
and it is noticeable that the lines in italics in which this is ex- 
pressed occur earlier in the inscription in the form of a statement, 
in a passage which reads thus 

" From the time that Merodach created me for sovereignty, 
that Nebo his true son committed his subjects to me, 
like dear life I love the building of their dwelling-place, 
I have made no town more glorious than Babylon and 
Borsippa." 3 

_ Here they are repeated with some alteration, and inserted in the 
middle of a prayer, the reference to Nebo and Borsippa being struck 
out. Both the repetition and the alteration are indications that 
a second hand has been at work on this inscription, and there can 

1 No. 14 like No. 15 is considered by Langdon as one of the latest of 
Nebuchadnezzar's inscriptions. 

2 India House Inscription, col. ix. 45-65. 

3 Col. vii. 26-32. 


be little doubt that it is the hand of the king himself, 1 whose heart 
is wrapped up in the glory and prosperity of his beloved Babylon, 
as witnessed by the whole tenor of this remarkable document no 
less than by his dream of sovereignty, as related in Dan. iv. 
Indeed the description in that chapter of the great tree with meat 
in it for all forms an apt parallel with the words, " I verily am the 
maintaining king that maintaineth all thy town." 

Our study, then, of Inscription 15 has led us to the conclusion 
that not only was there a tendency towards monotheism in the 
Babylonian religion, but that Nebuchadnezzar himself became 
increasingly monotheistic in his later years, a circumstance which 
might well be expected in view of the great miracles recorded in 
the Book of Daniel. Daniel, as we have seen, when interpreting 
the king's earlier dream, given in chap, ii., was able to reveal to 
him " the God of heaven " as the real Enlil, " the Great Mountain," 
and " Lord of the wind " ; and the monarch on that occasion 
was so far impressed by the discovery and interpretation of his 
forgotten dream that he freely acknowledged Daniel's God to be 
" the God of gods and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets," 
thus putting Jehovah in the place of both Merodach and Nebo. 
Later on, in chaps, iii. and iv., he acknowledges the God of the 
Jews as " the Most High " and " the Most High God." I am now 
in a position to show that there were two ways in which he could 
do this without turning his back on, or abjuring, the Babylonian 

When Merodach became the Enlil, the other gods, as we have 
seen, bestowed on him their names and attributes. This fable of 
Babylonian mythology tended in the direction of monotheism, 
and paved the way for the identification of the other deities with 
Merodach, and for regarding them as so many manifestations of 
Merodach. This appears most clearly in a tablet known as the 
Monotheistic Tablet, from which the following is an extract : 

" Ninib is Merodach of the garden (?). 
Nergal is Merodach of war. 
Zagaga is Merodach of battle. 
Enlil is Merodach of lordship and dominion. 
Nebo is Merodach of trading. 
Sin is Merodach the illuminator of the night. 
Shamash is Merodach of righteousness. 
Bimmon is Merodach of rain." 2 

1 The king who altered the plans of his architects see above, Chapter VII. 
would be the very person to alter the draft copies of his scribes. 

8 Pinches' Old Testament, p. 58, 1st edn., where for " Bel " read " Enlil." 


How easy, then, would it be for the great king of Babylon, 
who was so devoted to his god, to add to this list and say 

" Jehovah is Merodach the revealer of secrets," 

thus acknowledging the God of Israel as one out of many mani- 
festations of the Most High God ! 

Perhaps, however, there is more to be said for the supposition 
that for the time being Jehovah took the place of Merodach in the 
king's mind ; and even this would not be altogether at variance 
with what we know of the history of religion at Babylon under 
the New Empire, as the following facts will show. 

In the reign of Nabopolassar, the founder of the New Empire, 
for whom his son Nebuchadnezzar appears to have entertained a 
filial respect, Merodach found a formidable rival in the sun-god 
Shamash. Shamash was the patron-god of Sippar, 1 and Sippar 
lay some thirty miles to the north of Babylon, and therefore on 
the side of Assyria. In the closing days of the Assyrian monarchy 
northern Babylonia remained true to its Assyrian over-lord. But 
Sippar, it may be presumed, cast in its lot with Babylon and took 
the side of Nabopolassar when he broke loose from the Assyrian 
yoke. In any case that king appears to have entertained a great 
regard for Sippar, " the exalted city of Shamash and Malkat." 2 
This regard showed itself in various ways : first, in a mundane 
way, by digging a canal to bring back the waters of the fugitive 
Euphrates to its old channel past the walls of Sippar ; 3 secondly, 
in a religious way, by acknowledging the help given him by 
Shamash in overcoming the Assyrian. Thus, whilst in an in- 
scription from the temple of Ninib at Babylon he declares that 
Merodach sent Nergal to go at his side and help him to defeat 
his foes, 4 in another inscription from Sippar he speaks thus : 
" When Shamash, the great lord, went at my side, I subdued the 
Subari," i.e. the Assyrians, " and reduced to heaps and ruins the 
land of my enemies." 3 And not only is the help of Shamash 
thus freely acknowledged, but Shamash himself is admitted to 
the Enlilship and his name placed before that of Merodach, even 
in an inscription which comes to us from Babylon, viz. that from 
the Ninib-temple just mentioned. Ninib was a war-god, and it 
is in describing the preparations made to rebuild his temple that 
the king uses the expression, " I mustered the workmen of the 
Enlil, Shamash and Merodach." 6 As this building of the temple 

1 The Biblical Sepharvairn. 

2 Building Inscriptions, Nabopolassar, No. 2, lines 12 and 13. 

3 Ibid. Nabopolassar, No. 2. 4 Ibid. Nabopolassar, No. 4, line 15. 
6 Ibid. Nabopolassar, No. 3, col. i. 21. 

Ibid. Nabopolassar, No. 4, line 25, where for " Bel " read " EnliL" 


of the war-god at Babylon took place apparently very soon after 
his victory over Assyria, it is clear that such language is suggestive 
of gratitude to Shamash, i.e. to the people of Sippar the town of 
Shamash, who appear to have helped him in the struggle. The 
above remarkable language is repeated by his son Nebuchad- 
nezzar in the opening lines of Inscription No. 9, in which he speaks 
of himself as " the righteous king, the faithful shepherd, leader 
of the peoples, director of the subjects of the Enlil, 1 Shamash and 
Merodach." Again, in Inscription No. 17, describing the com- 
pleting of the temple-tower of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar tells us 
how he called together the far-dwelling peoples " over whom 
Merodach my lord has appointed me, whose shepherding Shamash 
the hero has bestowed ... I also mustered," he adds, " the 
workmen of Shamash and Merodach," thus holding the balance 
very evenly between these two great gods, and anxious probably 
to attach Sippar closely to Babylon, seeing that the power most 
dreaded by him, viz. Media, lay to the north of Babylon and 
occupied the place of the old Assyria. 

As Shamash was thus allowed to share the supreme power 
along with Merodach, in the early years of the New Babylonian 
empire, 2 so towards the close of that empire the same high honour 
was bestowed on the moon-god Sin. Nabonidus, the last of the 
Neo-Babylonian kings, was the son of the high priest of the temple 
of Sin in Haran. To Nabonidus, Sin and his son Shamash evi- 
dently meant more than Merodach and his son Nebo ; and 
probably this is the explanation of this king's great unpopularity 
at Babylon, since such a preference on the part of their sovereign 
must have been most displeasing to the powerful priesthood of 
Merodach in that city. Nabonidus, in Inscription No. 3, speaks 
of the four winds as going forth at the command of Merodach, 3 
whilst in Inscription No. 4 he speaks of them as going forth at 
the command of Sin and Shamash. 4 Again in Inscription No. 1, 
which commemorates the restoration of temples in Haran and 
Sippar in honour of Sin, Shamash, and his sister Anunit respec- 
tively, he first calls Merodach " the Enlil of the gods," and then 

1 By " the subjects of the Enlil, Shamash and Merodach," we may under- 
stand the people of Babylonia proper, of which Babylon and Sippar were the 
chief towns. Sippar, though doubtless much inferior to Babylon, must have 
been a place of considerable importance. It was considered an outpost of 
Babylon on the north, and, like that city, stood on either side of the Euphrates. 
The site was discovered by Rassam in 1881 in the mound of Abu Habba. 

2 Inscriptions 9 and 17 are believed by Langdon to have been written 
before 593 B.C. 

3 Langdon 's Neubabylonische Inschriften, Nabonid. No. 3, col. ii. 10, 11. 
* Ibid. Nabonid. No. 4, col. i. 51, 52. 


later on bestows the title on the father of Anunit, i.e. on Sin, 
twice over describing her as fulfilling " the command of her father 
the Enlil." 1 If, then, Nabopolassar could include Shamash in the 
Enlilship along with Merodach, and if Nabonidus could bestow 
the title at one time on Merodach at another on Sin, it can be no 
matter of surprise to us to find Nebuchadnezzar, under the influence 
of the mighty miracles wrought before his eyes, bestowing on the 
God of the Jews the titles " the Most High " and the " Most High 

It has been well remarked that the literary style of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's latest document, viz. the India House Inscription, rises 
almost to the level of poetry. 2 The same feature strikes us in 
the Book of Daniel. This king inclines to a poetic style and readily 
falls into parallelisms, not only in hymns of prayer and praise but 
in narrative as well. Let us take some instances of this, first from 
the inscriptions and then from the Scripture narrative. 

In col. i. 23-89 of the India House Inscription, occurs the follow- 
ing passage : 

" After that the lord my god had created me, 
that Merodach had framed the creature in the mother, 
when I was born, 
when I was created, even I, 
the sanctuaries of the god I regarded, 
the way of the god I walked in. 
Of Merodach, the great lord, the god my creator, 
his cunning works highly do I extol. 
Of Nebo, his true son, the beloved of my majesty, 
the way of his exalted godhead highly do I praise ; 
with all my true heart 
I love the fear of their godhead, 
I worship their lordship." 

Again, note the poetic rhythmical description of the king's early 
days, when in the might of Merodach he went forth conquering 
and to conquer, a passage which forms a beautiful contrast to the 
bald prosy circumstantial narratives of the exploits of Assyrian 
kings : 

" In his high trust, 
to far-off lands, 
to distant hills, 

1 Langdon's Nexibabylonische, Inschriften, Nabonid. No. 1, cf. col. i. 23 with 
col. iii. 23, 34. 

2 See the remarks of the Rev. C. J. Ball in Records of the Past, New Series, 
voL iii. p. 103. 


from the Upper Sea 

to the Lower Sea, 

steep roads, 

blocked ways, 

places where the path is broken, 

where there was no track, 

difficult marches, 

roads through the desert, 

I pursued : 

and the unyielding I reduced, 

I fettered the rebels. 

The land I ordered aright, 

the people I made to thrive. 

The evil and bad among the people I removed. 

Silver, gold, glitter of precious stones, 

copper, palm-wood, cedar, 

what thing soever is precious, 

a large abundance, 

the produce of mountains, 

the fulness of seas, 

a rich present, 

a splendid gift, 

to my city of Babylon 

into his presence I brought." 

The two hymns to Merodach given in the earlier part of this 
chapter are also very strongly marked with parallelism ; but it is 
less surprising to find this feature in hymns of praise than in prose 
narrative. Let us now turn to the Book of Daniel, and we shall 
find the same characteristic in the utterances of the Biblical 
Nebuchadnezzar. Dan. iv. 4, 5 presents us with the following 
instances of parallelism in prose narrative : 

" I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, 
and flourishing in my palace. 
I saw a dream which made me afraid, 
and the visions of my head troubled me." 

Another instance is afforded by the opening stanzas in which 
the king describes his vision 

" I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, 
and the height thereof was great." 


" The tree grew and was strong, 
and the height thereof reached unto heaven, 
and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth." 
* * * * * 

" The leaves thereof were fair, 
and the fruit thereof much, 
and in it was meat for all." 


" The beasts of the field had shadow under it, 
and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the branches thereof, 
and all flesh was fed of it." 

The same feature meets us in the sentence uttered by the 
angelic watcher 

" Hew down the tree, 

and cut off his branches, 

shake off his leaves, 

and scatter his fruit, 

let the beasts get away from under it, 

and the fowls from his branches." 
" Let his heart be changed from man's, 

and let a beast's heart be given him. 

This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, 

and the demand by the word of the holy ones." 

That in the king's vision the angel should speak to him in his 
own literary style is what we should expect. 

For parallelism in a hymn of praise we take the following 
beautiful and touching passage, in which the king describes how 
he recovered his senses after a long period of madness. 

" And at the end of the days 
I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes to heaven, 
and mine understanding returned unto me, 
and I blessed the Most High, 

and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever ; 
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, 
and his kingdom from generation to generation ; 
and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, 
and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven 
and among the inhabitants of the earth, 
and none can stay his hand, 
or say unto him, What doest thou ? " 


It must be freely admitted that this tendency to employ 
parallelism in prose recital as well as in devotional utterances 
which we have marked in the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, 
is not confined to that monarch, but is met with in the inscriptions 
of other kings of the New Babylonian empire. Perhaps it may be 
regarded as an indication that their inscriptions were mainly 
drawn up by the priesthood. Nevertheless, such resemblances of 
style between the utterances of the Nebuchadnezzar of the monu- 
ments and the Nebuchadnezzar of Holy Scripture form part of 
the cumulative evidence in favour of the authenticity of the Book 
of Daniel. For we may well question whether a Jewish writer 
of the age of the Maccabees would be acquainted with the literary 
style of the scribes of the New Babylonian empire, or with the 
strong poetic tendencies of the real Nebuchadnezzar. Is it likely, 
we may well ask, that such a writer would be aware of the humble 
origin of this great king, of his deep religiousness, his intense 
devotion to his beloved Babylon, his fondness for great occasions, 
his love of splendour and display, his partiality, not only for the 
pleasures of the chase but also for the woodman's art ? Could 
we expect him to be so exactly informed as to the ideal of a pros- 
perous world-wide empire centred at Babylon which formed the 
aim of this monarch '? Would he be likely to picture as a prince 
of peace one who in the other Scriptures appears rather as a man 
of war ? Yet as to all these particulars, which may be gleaned 
from the contemporary Babylonian records, the writer of this 
Book is seen to be perfectly informed. Are we not, then, justified 
in regarding the Book of Daniel as genuine history, rather than as 
a religious romance, the work of a later age ? 



" Megasthenes relates that Nebuchadnezzar became mightier than Hercules 
and made war upon Libya and Iberia. These countries he conquered, and 
transported some of their inhabitants to the eastern shores of the sea. After 
this, the Chaldeans say that on going up upon his palace he was possessed by 
some god or other, and cried aloud, ' O Babylonians, behold I, Nebuchadnezzar, 
announce to you beforehand the coming calamity, which my ancestor Bel 
and queen Beltis are alike powerless to persuade the Fates to avert. A 
Persian mule (Cyrus) will come, having your own gods as his allies. He will 
impose servitude upon you, and will have for his helper the son of a Median 
woman (Nabonidus), the boast of the Assyrians (i.e. Babylonians). Would 
that before he betrayed my citizens, some Charybdis or sea might engulf 
him, and utterly destroy him ! or that having betaken himself elsewhere, 
he might be driven through the desert, where there is neither city nor track 
of men, where wild beasts seek their food and birds fly free, a lonely wanderer 
among the rocks and ravines, and that I, before these things were put into 
my mind, had met with a happier end ! ' Having uttered this prophecy he 
forthwith disappeared, and Evilmaluruchus (Evil-Merodach) his son succeeded 
him on the throne." Abydenus ap. Ettsebius. 

IN the last three chapters I have striven to show some reasons 
for the belief that the story told us in Dan. iv. is a 
true story. I now turn back to explain to the best of my 
power the legend of Megasthenes, with which I started, and which 
stands at the head of this chapter. This legend, it will be 
observed, exhibits five points of contact with the story told us in 
the Book of Daniel. 

(i) The calamity which befell Nebuchadnezzar is described in 
the Book of Daniel as happening when he was " at rest " and 
" flourishing in his palace," and in the legend, as taking place 
" after this," viz. after an unbroken career of victories and 

(ii) In Daniel the calamity is described as a certain kind of 
madness, viz. lycanthropy : in the legend it is spoken of as posses- 
sion by some god. As, however, inspiration and madness were 



looked upon by the ancients as closely connected, this seeming 
difference must be counted a resemblance. 1 

(iii) In both stories the disaster happens to the king when he 
is walking upon his palace. 

(iv) In one case as Dr. Charles points out a divine voice 
speaks to him ; in the other a divine voice speaks through him. 
Thus, in either case he is the recipient of a message from heaven. 

(v) The doom pronounced on Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible 
story, viz. that he should be driven from men and dwell " with 
the beasts of the field," 2 or, as it is expressed in Dan. v. 21, " with 
the wild asses," is seen to bear the closest resemblance to the 
lengthy imprecation, which in the legend Nebuchadnezzar himself 
utters against " the son of a Median woman." 

To the above it must be added that alike in the Book of Daniel 
and in the legend Nebuchadnezzar is represented as knowing 
that his kingdom will pass to others. In the former the bare 
fact has been unfolded to him by Daniel's interpretation of his 
vision of the great image, which was suggestive of an early trans- 
ference of power. 3 In the latter he himself unfolds it to his 
subjeots ; not as a bare fact, but with very circumstantial details : 
it is the Persians who will upset his empire ; they will be led by 
" a Persian mule," and will have the gods of Babylon on their 
side ; they will be further helped by the treachery of a popular 
Babylonian. But while the contact between the two stories is 
thus seen to be so close as to make us feel certain that both have 
their origin in the same historical facts, the differences are at 
the same time so remarkable as to call for some explanation. 
Turning, then, to the legend, we notice that it comes before us in 
a Greek dress, and is in this respect just what we might expect 
from a writer of the age of Megasthenes, 312-280 B.C. Thus, 
mention is made of " some Charybdis," of " the Fates," and of 

1 Eusebius in his Chronicon comments on it thus : "In Danielis sane 
historiis de Nabuchodonosoro narratur, quo modo et quo pacto mente captus 
f uerit : quod si Grsecorum historici aut Chaldsei morbum tegunt et a deo 
acceptum comminiscuntur ; deumque insaniarn, quae in ilium intravit, vel 
demonem quendam, qui in eum venit, nominant ; mirandum non est. Etenim 
hie quidem illorum mos est, similia deo adscribere, deosque nominare demonee." 
The Greek /j.dvns comes from ^alvofxai ; whilst according to Plato irpo^^T^v 
denotes one who puts an intelligible meaning to the ravings of the p.6.vTis. 

2 " Beasts of the field " very frequently denotes wild beasts. Cf. Exod. 
xxiii. 29. 

3 This lies in the words " thou art the head of gold " : thus identifying 
the empire of Babylon with the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. A^o in the king's 
words as given in Dan. iv. 3, " His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom," 
there appears to be a realisation of the passing nature of his own kingdom of 


the Persians bringing the Babylonians into slavery, whilst the 
terms " Babylonians " and " Assyrians " appear to be used inter- 
changeably as in the pages of Xenophon. But whilst thus Greek 
in form, the legend itself is undoubtedly Babylonian in origin. 
It belongs to a time when the personality of Nebuchadnezzar 
still figured large in the minds of men : to a time, too, very shortly 
after the Persian conquest, when indignation still burned fiercely 
in the hearts of Babylonian patriots against one who was regarded 
as the betrayer of his country. Its authors, according to 
Megasthenes, are " the Chaldeans," the same class of men who 
come before us so repeatedly in the Book of Daniel, and whom 
Herodotus helps us to identify with the priesthood of the god 
Bel-Merodach. 1 These men both in their faith and in their 
nationality were one with Nebuchadnezzar. Hence their story 
glorifies that monarch by crediting him with the gift of prophecy. 
But with Nabonidus, the " son of a Median woman," they have 
nothing in common. He is a Babylonian as distinguished from a 
Chaldean, 2 and probably a native of Babylonia rather than of 
Babylon itself : indeed, there is good reason for thinking that he 
hails from Haran, and that he cares much more for the worship 
of Sin and his son Shamash than for that of the Babylonian 
Merodach. Ur, Sippar, and Haran are more to him than Babylon, 
but especially Haran. Lastly, by his course of action, or rather 
inaction, he has betrayed his country. 

Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, is a character of whom 
we would gladly know more ; but piecing together the few scraps 
of information which we now possess, we are able to make out the 
main outlines of his story. He was the son of Nabu-balatsu-ikbi, 
high priest of the temple of the moon-god Sin in Haran, a func- 
tionary who has left us a curious and unique autobiography, 3 
from which we learn that he reached the advanced age of 104, 
his life extending from 653 B.C. to 549 B.C. The parentage of 
Nabonidus lets in a flood of light on his remarkable story. The 
post occupied by his father helps to explain his being called in 
the legend the " son of a Median woman," for Haran was so near 
Media that his mother may well have belonged to that nationality. 
But, more than that, it explains to us the puzzle of his life-story. 
In his early years, whether spent in Haran or in some other centre 
of moon-worship, he must have imbibed that strong attachment 
to the cult of Sin and Shamash which he manifested in later life. 
Thus all his chief inscriptions, with the exception of his famous 

1 Herod, i. 181. See Chapter IV. above. 

3 Josephus c. Apion, i. 20. 

8 See the note at the end of this chapter. 


listorical review on the stele discovered by Scheil, 1 are occupied 
cvith. accounts of works done, not for Merodach and Nebo in 
Babylon and Borsippa, but for Sin, Shamash, and his sister Anunit, 
n Haran, Ur, and Sippar. How little he cared for Babylon is 
witnessed by the paucity of his remains found on the site of that 
;ity. 2 The first great work undertaken by Nabonidus, viz. the 
rebuilding of the temple of Sin in Haran, appears to have been of 
is much consequence in his eyes as the completion of the temple- 
iower of Merodach at Babylon was in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar. 
Accordingly we find it described in very similar language. All 
lis widespread armies, from the frontier of Egypt and from the 
Jpper Sea to the Lower Sea, are summoned to take part in the 
vork, as well as the kings, princes, priests, and people, whom Sin, 
Shamash, and Ishtar have committed to his care. 3 Merodach, 
t is true, is not forgotten. It was a dream-vision, sent by 
1 Merodach the great lord and Sin the light of heaven and earth," 
vhich first prompted him to undertake the work. But whilst 
Merodach is there named first, he is practically subordinated to 
>in, in whose honour the work is done. Along with his love of 
ebuilding temples Nabonidus manifests strong antiquarian and 
listorical tastes. He delights in finding out from the foundation 
ylinders the histories of the temples he is rebuilding. Such 
astes he would naturally acquire from his early surroundings, 
lis aged father, who could look back to the days of Ashurbanipal, 
vould delight to recall the past, and from his lips Nabonidus would 
arly learn that sequence of historical events which he gives us 
n his stele. 

Chosen by his fellow-conspirators to succeed Labarosoarchod, 4 
he young son of Neriglissar, Nabonidus appears at the beginning 
f his reign to have been an undoubted favourite. The legend 
alls him " the boast of the Assyrians," i.e. the Babylonians ; 
nd the king himself tells us how at his election to the sovereign 
lower " they all conducted me to the midst of the palace, cast 
hemselves en masse at my feet, and did homage to my majesty. 
L.t the command of Merodach my lord was I raised up to the 
overeignty of the land, while they cried aloud, ' Father of the 
md who hast no equal.' " 5 With this good start Nabonidus 

1 See The Babylonian and Oriental Record for September, 1896. 

3 Koldewey mentions only the Euphrates wall and the temple of Ishtar 
I Agade, identified with Anunit the sister of Shamash, whose worship along 
ith that of her brother Nabonidus favoured. Excavations, p. 313. 

8 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. 168-170. 

4 This is a corrupt Greek form of the Babylonian Labashi-Marduk. 
6 Stele of Nabonidus, col. v. 1-12, and cf. JosepMis c. Apion, i. 20, 


began his reign well. He was careful to pay due respect to 
Merodach and to have his claim legitimised by the god. 1 In a 
spirit, not unlike that shown by Solomon of Israel, he beseeches 
Merodach to help one so unversed in the duties of kingship. 2 At 
his first New Year, the popular New Year feast at Babylon in 
honour of Merodach and Nebo was kept with kingly liberality. 
Large gifts of silver and gold were made to those gods and to 
Nergal, and 2,850 captives were dedicated to the service of their 
temples. Then a visit was paid to Erech, Larsa, and Ur, to make 
offerings to Sin, Shamash, and Ishtar. Soon after this we find 
the king making a royal progress in the West to cut down timber 
on Amanus 3 and probably to install a new prince at Tyre. Then, 
a little later, he seizes the opportunity presented by Cyrus' cam- 
paign against Astyages king of the Medes to rebuild the great 
temple of Sin in Haran, which had been laid waste by that people 
fifty-four years previously. 4 This was the great occasion referred 
to above. So far we have only reached the third year of the reign, 
and the next four years are a blank ; the last ten, little better. 
It appears from the Annalistic Tablet of Cyrus that from his 
seventh to his seventeenth year Nabonidus lived in retirement at 
Tema. When each successive New Year came round he refused 
to go to Babylon to renew his royal authority by taking the hands 
of Bel, and in consequence of this " Nebo did not go to Babylon, 
Bel came not forth, the New Year's festival did not take place." 6 
Meanwhile the defence of the country was left in the hands of his 
son Belshazzar, so that year by year we meet with the notice, 
11 The king was in Tema : the king's son, the nobles, and his 
soldiers were in the country of Akkad." 6 How are we to 
explain this course of conduct on the part of Nabonidus ? It 
may be that it was due to some extent to his age. If we suppose 
him to have been born in 614 B.C. when his father was aged 
thirty-nine, he would be fifty-eight years old at his accession, 
sixty-five in the seventh year of his reign, and seventy-five at 
the time of the capture of Babylon. Thus his age, taken along 
with his antiquarian tastes, would account for his not taking 
any active part in public affairs, at least in military matters, 
during the last ten years of his reign. But it does not explain 
his keeping away from Babylon at the New Year, when every 
motive of sound policy would have led him to be present at the 
great feast. Is it possible, then, that in his devotion to Sin and 

1 See next chapter. 

Stele of Nabonidus, coL vii. 45-56. 

8 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. p. 158. 

4 Ibid, vol. v. 169. Ibid. vol. v. 159-161. 


Shamash he was madly bent on upsetting the supremacy of 
Merodach and Nebo by stopping the customary procession ? What- 
ever may be the explanation, it is certain that in Babylon itself 
no course of action could have rendered him more unpopular. 
In the last year of his reign he awoke to his mistake, came out of 
his retirement, and appeared at Babylon at the New Year. 1 In 
the following summer he was at Sippar, a few miles to the north 
of Babylon, ready at last to take his part in the defence of his 
country. But it was too late, his country was undone, and his 
army in revolt, so that he was powerless to stay the advance of 
the Persians. On the 14th of Tammuz, June- July, Sippar was 
taken without fighting, and Nabonidus had to fly to Babylon. 
Two days later, Gobryas and the Persian troops entered Babylon 
without encountering any resistance, and ere long the last king 
of Babylon was a prisoner in their hands. 2 One of the latest 
acts of this unfortunate prince, and perhaps his crowning blunder, 
was his attempt to ensure the security of Babylon by gathering 
into it the gods from other cities, much to the displeasure, doubtless, 
of the priests and people of those cities, who would rightly ask, 
why should their defence be taken from them ; while the priests 
of Merodach would be no less incensed at the slight put upon their 
god, as if he were unable to defend his own city. In their intense 
hatred of Nabonidus, the Chaldean priesthood appear to have 
been united, but in the feelings which they entertained towards 
Cyrus we shall find a broad cleavage in their ranks ; a cleavage 
which finds some explanation in the Book of Daniel and is so far 
a confirmation of the authenticity of the historical portion of that 
Book. To see this we must study the legend of Megasthenes side 
by side with the Cylinder of Cyrus. 3 The tone of the inscription 
on the cylinder and the way in which it repeatedly speaks 01 
" Merodach the great lord," show beyond all doubt that it comes 
from the same source as the legend of Megasthenes, viz. from the 
Chaldean priesthood of Bel-Merodach. Like the legend, the 
cylinder represents the gods of Babylonia as on the side of Cyrus. 
So enraged are they at Nabonidus' action in bringing their images 
into Babylon 4 that they complain to Merodach, who thereupon 
looks all round for a fresh king and finds the right man in Cyrus. 
Merodach himself also is angered with Nabonidus, and shows it 
unmistakably ; 5 for when that king has hidden himself in Babylon 

1 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. p. 161, foot of page, "The 
king entered E-TUR-KALAMA," the temple of Ishtar of Agade (=Anunit) 
at Babylon. 

8 Ibid. vol. v. 162, line 16. * Ibid. vol. v. 164. 

* Ibid. vol. v. 162, lines 9, 10. 6 Ibid. vol. v. 166, line 17. 


in a place difficult of access, he is soon discovered and seized. In 
the words of this inscription, " Nabonidus the king, who revered 
him not, did he give into his [Cyrus'] hands." So far, then, 
the writer of the cylinder and the party whom he represents are 
seen to be in perfect agreement with the authors of the legend. 
But when we come to examine their feelings towards Cyrus we 
meet with the most marked difference. Of Cyrus the cylinder 
speaks throughout in the very highest terms, and in language so 
astonishingly like some passages in the Book of the prophet Isaiah 
as to force us to the conclusion that the writer was as certainly 
acquainted with that Book as the authors of the legend were 
familiar with the events recorded in Dan. iv. 1 Thus, we are 
told that Merodach " has sought for a righteous prince, 2 the 
wish of his heart, whose hand he holds : 3 he has called him by 
name, 4 Cyrus king of Anshan : for the sovereignty of the world 
he has proclaimed his name." 5 In strongest contrast to this 
the legend describes Cyrus as a " Persian mule," and evidently 
regards him with the same contempt as Nabonidus " the son of 
a Median woman," through whose treachery, joined with the help 
of the gods, he has been able to make himself master of Babylon. 
It is clear, then, that after the taking of Babylon the Chaldean 
priesthood were divided into two parties. Some, influenced it 
may be presumed by the Jews dwelling in their midst, and not 
unmindful how on one occasion in the past four young Jews by 
their prayers to the God of Israel had saved their order from 
destruction, 6 would be willing to view the course of events in some- 
thing of the same light as the Jews, and to speak of Cyrus in much 
the same terms as the Hebrew prophet, only attributing to 
Merodach what the prophet attributed to Jehovah. Others, how- 
ever, whose prototypes we seem to recognise in the Book of Daniel, 
had been brought into antagonistic relations with the Jewish 
captives, 7 and were also influenced by their dislike of foreigners, 
and more especially of the Persian rule, which had reduced 
Babylon, hitherto the seat of empire, to quite a secondary place, 
making her only one among other royal cities. These men, who 
had cut rather a sorry figure in the story of the events leading up 
to the king's madness, would seek to twist that story so as to hide 

1 The Book of Isaiah was evidently a favourite with Daniel and is thrice 
quoted by him. Cf. Dan. ix. 27 with Isa. xxviii. 22, and Dan. xi. 10, 40 with 
Isa. viii. 8. It is, therefore, quite conceivable that as " the chief governor 
over all the wise men of Babylon " he may have introduced it to the notice of 
the priesthood. 

2 Cf. Isa. xli. 2 and xlv. 13. 3 Ibid. xlv. 1. 

4 Ibid. xlv. 3-4. 6 Ibid. xli. 2, 25. 

Dan. ii. 12-24, 7 Ibid. iii. 8-12. 



their own discomfiture and Daniel's success, and at the same time 
to make use of it thus twisted to further their own seditious aims. 
So then, as Nebuchadnezzar was a name to conjure by in the early- 
period of the Persian rule no less than in the closing years of the 
Babylonian empire, 1 they would not hesitate to take away the 
glory from Daniel and from Daniel's God and to give it to 
Nebuchadnezzar. Thus, in Megasthenes' legend, it is Nebuchad- 
nezzar, and not Jehovah or Jehovah's prophet, who sees what is 
coming, and sees it with all clearness of detail. Further, in the 
popularity of Nebuchadnezzar and the unpopularity of Nabonidus 
they would find a double lever with which to stir up sedition. 
Nebuchadnezzar appears to have died soon after his recovery from 
his madness. " What was it," they might ask, " that hastened 
his end ? Well, all men know that he was devoted to Babylon, 
and that his heart was wrapped up in the prosperity and greatness 
of his royal city. Imagine, then, how poignant was his anguish, 
when, with prophetic eye, he beheld so clearly what was coming, 
and foresaw the accursed treachery of the son of a Median woman, 
but for which the Persian mule could never have made us his 
slaves. Oh ! what a sad end to the long and prosperous career of 
our greatest king was the sight of that coming inevitable 
catastrophe ! Listen to his long-drawn utterance of woe on the 
traitor the very last words that fell from his lips ere he was 
snatched from us ! ' Would that, before he betrayed his fellow- 
countrymen, some Charybdis or sea might engulf him ; or that 
having betaken himself elsewhere, he might be driven through 
the desert, where there is neither city nor track of man, where 
wild beasts roam, and birds fly around, a lonely wanderer among 
the rocks and ravines ; and that I, before these things were put 
into my mind, had met with a happier end.' " 

It is thus that I would seek to account both for the close 
contact and the wide divergence which strike us so forcibly when 
we place this fourth chapter of Daniel side by side with the legend 
of Megasthenes. 

In conclusion, it is sometimes objected to the historical chapters 
in Daniel that they were so evidently written to serve a didactic 
purpose. My answer is : Be it so ; for that was one object, and 
no unworthy object, of the Old Testament writers. But a story 
being written with a didactic purpose does not prove that story 
untrue. The legend of Megasthenes, according to the view given 
above, was also drawn up to serve a purpose. But that is not 
the reason why we refuse to give it credence. Our difficulty lies 

1 For evidence of this see the Journal of Theological Studies for October, 
1915, pp. 46, 47. 


in this : that we have no evidence to show that Nebuchadnezzar 
possessed such a marvellous gift of prophecy as is assigned to him 
in the legend. 


The inscription of the father of Nabonidus is given by Langdon 
in his Neubabylonischen Inschriften, pp. 288-295. See also 
pp. 57, 58. It was found by Pognon at Eski-Harran, a mile 
east of Haran, and possesses such unique interest that I venture 
to give an extract. The old priest has been telling with very 
natural pride and exultation how his son Nabonidus king of 
Babylon has rebuilt the temple of Sin in Haran and brought back 
the images of the gods. He then continues thus : "A thing 
which Sin the king of the gods had never done before, had never 
granted to any one, out of his love to me [he did for me,] because 
I reverenced his divinity and took hold of his robe. Sin the king 
of the gods lifted up my head and gave me a good name in the 
country. He gave me besides, a long life, years of joy of heart. 
From the time of Ashurbanipal king of Assyria to the sixth year 
of Nabonidus king of Babylon the son the offspring of my heart 
one hundred and four happy years before Sin the king of the 
gods he gave to my heart, and kept me alive. As for me, my 
eyesight is clear, my memory is excellent, my hands and feet are 
sound, my words are in high esteem, my eating and drinking are 
normal, and my teeth "... Here the record becomes illegible, 
but farther on the old man tells us how diligently he has per- 
formed his sacrificial duties ; and then a note is added by some 
other hand to the effect that he himself was carried away by fate 
in the sixth year of Nabonidus king of Babylon, and received 
honourable burial at the hands of his royal son. 



THE fifth chapter of Daniel introduces us to Belshazzar, i.e. 
Bel-sharra-utsur, " Bel protect the king," the eldest son of 
Nabonidus the last king of Babylon. Before the discovery 
and decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions the Belshazzar 
of Dan. v. was almost as great a puzzle as the Sargon of Isa. xxi. 
Commentators were then as much in the dark over this king as 
they still are over the " queen " of Dan. v. 10. But though there 
are some points in the story on which we may well desire further 
light, yet Belshazzar himself now stands before us as a very real 
person, and in fact one of the leading spirits of his age. 

We have supposed Nabonidus born about 614 B.C., when 
his father Nabubalatsu-ikbi was aged thirty-nine. If we make 
a similar supposition with regard to his son Belshazzar, then 
his birth-year would be 575 B.C. This would make him fourteen 
years old at the end of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and 
nearly twenty at the time of his father's accession. Such sup- 
positions agree with facts gleaned from the contract tablets. 
For instance, in the first year of Nabonidus, Belshazzar has 
a house of his own in Babylon, in the fifth year of Nabonidus 
mention is made of his secretary, and in the seventh year of his 
steward and secretaries. Most significant of all is the fact that in 
this latter year, when according to the above scheme Belshazzar 
would be twenty-six years old, we find him acting in northern 
Babylonia as commander-in-chief of the army. 1 As regards his 
religious tendencies Belshazzar was no doubt brought up in the 
cult of Sin, Shamash, and Anunit, to which his father was so 
strongly attached, and in which his grandfather, as high priest of 
the temple in Haran, held such a distinguished position. Thus, 
in a tablet dated the 9th of Nisan, the tenth year of Nabonidus, 
we find him sending by water sheep and oxen for sacrifice to the 
temple of Shamash at Sippar. On another occasion he sends a 

1 Mecords of the Past, New Series, voL v. p. 159. 






E N 
fn N 
i < 

U O 

r. x 




5 k, 

5 o 

z , 

o ^ 




wedge of gold weighing one mana. 1 Yet again, he joins his father 
in sending animals for sacrifice. In the same way one of his sisters 
sends a silver cup weighing twenty-seven shekels as her tithe. 
Of another sister we are informed that she was dedicated by her 
father as a votaress of the moon-god Sin in the temple at Ur, 
and that he built a house for her close to the women's quarters, 
over which apparently she was called to preside. 2 

In the same year in which Belshazzar first appears as com- 
mander-in-chief of the army, 549 B.C., his grandfather Nabu- 
balatsu-ikbi died at the advanced age of 104 years. In 572 B.C., 
when Belshazzar, according to our scheme, was three years old, 
this venerable man received the office of nash-padhruti " sword- 
bearer," i.e. sacrificer, to Nebuchadnezzar in E-sha-turra, 3 the 
temple of Ishtar of Akkad identified with Anunit the daughter 
of Sin in Babylon. This appointment would tend to bring the 
boy Belshazzar into more or less close connection with the court 
of Nebuchadnezzar, and he was probably fully conversant with 
the circumstances of that king's madness, viz. the wonderful 
and tragio story told us in Dan. iv. Such a supposition lends 
additional weight to the stern reproof of Daniel, when before the 
conscience-stricken king he recalls that story to mind, and after 
relating it at some length, closes with the words, " And thou his 
son, Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou 
knewest all this." 

But if Belshazzar in his early days had thus some acquaintance 
with court life, the question which most interests us is his exact 
relationship to Nebuchadnezzar. If we had only the Book of 
Daniel to go by, we should conclude him to be the undoubted son 
of that monarch, since the queen-mother, Belshazzar himself, 
and Daniel, all speak of Nebuchadnezzar as his father. In the 
light, however, of the inscriptions such a conclusion is seen to be 
a mistake. They reveal Belshazzar to us as the eldest son of 
Nabonidus, and therefore the heir apparent. They also make 
it clear that no tie of blood existed between Belshazzar and 
Nebuchadnezzar, at any rate on his father's side. Nabonidus, 
whatever his exaot position in the state, was, according to his own 
statement, simply one of the conspirators who assassinated the 
boy-king, Labashi-Marduk, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar 
and the last of his line. 4 But whilst the inscriptions thus show us 

1 Pinches' Old Testament, 1st ed. pp. 449-450. 

* Yale Oriental Series, Babylonian Texts, vol. i. pp. 66-75. 

* Probably the same aa E-tur-kalama. Cf. Jastrow's Religion of Baby- 
lonia and Assyria, p. 311. 

* Also stated by Berosus. Cf. Josephus c. Apion, l 20, 


our mistake, they also help us to understand why, in the narra- 
tive of Dan. v., Belshazzar is so frequently called the son of 
Nebuchadnezzar. Nabonidus, like many a usurper, was most 
anxious to legitimise his claim to the crown. Accordingly, on his 
celebrated stele, after telling us, as related in the last chapter, 
how his fellow-conspirators in the assassination of Labashi- 
Marduk unanimously elected him to be their king, he adds these 
words z "Of Nebuchadnezzar and Nergal-sharezer, the kings my 
predecessors, their delegate am I : their hosts to my hands they 
entrusted." * Then, a little farther on, he relates how in a dream 
he saw a meteor and the moon rising in conjunction, simultaneously 
with the rising of the star of Merodach (Jupiter), and was assured 
by Merodach that the omen was an auspicious one, and bidden to 
consult his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar who also appeared on 
the scene as to its significance. 2 In the same way we find dreams 
of a like character, seen by others, recorded as interpreted in favour 
of Nabonidus and his son Belshazzar. 3 All these are just so many 
indications of the extreme anxiety of the usurper to legitimise 
his claim. Such being the case, it is hardly conceivable that he 
would neglect the easiest and most effectual way of bringing about 
that end so often practised in oriental monarchies viz. the plan 
of marrying the wives of his predecessors, or their daughters. 
That he did so, can be shown as follows : On the celebrated 
inscription of Darius Hystaspes at Behistun mention is made of 
two impostors, who rose up in rebellion against that monarch, 
and attempted to seize the throne of Babylon by putting forward 
the claim, " I am Nebuchadrezzar the son of Nabonidus." The 
words are suggestive, and mean more than they say. To be 
descended from Nabonidus who was not only a usurper but also 
a most unpopular king would hardly be likely to ingratiate a 
man in the affections of the Babylonians. But if Nabonidus had 
allied himself by marriage with the family of Nebuchadnezzar, 
then to be sprung from Nabonidus might mean to be sprung from 
Nebuchadnezzar. Hence it seems highly probable that Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the younger son of Nabonidus, 4 whom the impostors 
attempted to personate, was the son of a widow or daughter of 
the great Nebuchadnezzar. But with regard to Belshazzar the 

1 Stele of Nabonidus, col. v. lines 6, 7. 

3 Ibid. col. vi. The dream was probably understood to mean that Sin 
the moon-god and Merodach co-operated with and favoured the newly risen 
meteor, or " great star," which typified Nabonidus. Cf. Matt. ii. 2. 

3 Yale Oriental Series, Babylonian Texts, vol. i. p. 55. 

4 The usurper Nabonidus must have called his younger son Nebuchadnezzar 
in the same way that Hazael the supplanter of Benhadad named his son 
Benhadad. Cf . 2 Kings xiii. 3. 


case is different. As we have seen, he was born many years before 
his father obtained the crown. Now, had his mother been a 
daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, there would have been no need for 
his father Nabonidus to be so very anxious to establish his claim : 
for he would have succeeded to the crown on the same grounds 
as his predecessor Neriglissar, who was a son-in-law of Nebuchad- 
nezzar. Belshazzar, then, must be looked upon as the " son," 
i.e. grandson or descendant of Nebuchadnezzar, only in the legal 
sense. This explains the punctilious style in which the queen- 
mother addresses him in Dan. v. 11, " The king Nebuchadnezzar 
thy father, the king, I say, thy father." Evidently, as the whole 
narrative shows, it was a point of etiquette at the court of Babylon 
to speak of and treat Belshazzar as the legitimate son of the defunct 
Nebuchadnezzar. 1 And thus a term, which at first sight seems to 
imply imperfect knowledge on the part of the writer of the Book of 
Daniel, is found to be in perfect accord with what may be presumed 
to have been the actual state of things, and becomes a corroboration 
of the truth of the narrative. 

We turn next to the " queen " of Dan. v. 10. So far she has 
not been identified. She was not the mother of Nabonidus. 
That lady, as we learn from the Annalistic Tablet, died in the 
camp at Sippara in the ninth year of Nabonidus. 2 But since 
she appears in Dan. v. in the character of queen-mother, and 
speaks with remarkable dignity and self-possession, it is reasonable 
to suppose that she was the widow of Nebuchadnezzar, whom 
Nabonidus had married, and who now that her husband was a 
prisoner in the hands of the enemy had assumed the post of 
queen-mother. Also, in the present imperfect state of our know- 
ledge, we may perhaps look upon her as the Nitocris of Herodotus, 
to whom that historian ascribes the water- defences of Babylon, 
which were partly the work of Nebuchadnezzar and partly of 
Nabonidus. It would seem as though the informers of Herodotus, 
for some reason not clear to us, represented the water- defences of 
Babylon, erected by Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus, as the 
work of one who was queen to both. 3 

Our next question is as to the position held by Belshazzar. 
The Book of Daniel calls him " king." The critics point out 

1 Cf. 1 Chron. iii. 17, where Salathiel the son of Neri, who was descended 
from David through Nathan (Luke iii. 27, 31), is called the son of Jeconiah. 

2 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. p. 160. 

3 Herodotus, book i. 186, speaks of the water-defences of Babylon as the 
work of Nitooris. Nebuchadnezzar, in the India House Inscription, claims 
them as his work. Again, the historian attributes to that queen the quay- 
walls of Babylon and also the bridge over the Euphrates ; but it appears from 
Koldeway's Excavations, pp. 199-201, that these were the works of Nabonidus. 


that in contemporary inscriptions he is always described as " the 
king's son," never as " king." How then, they ask, can we account 
for that title being given him in Dan. vi. 1 ? The answer is, first, 
that Belshazzar was a sub-king under his father Nabonidus. 
Nabonidus was king of the empire of Babylon ; Belshazzar was 
merely king of Babylon. For the reigning monarch to appoint 
a sub-king over part of his dominions was a very common practice 
in ancient times. In 702 B.C. Sennacherib appointed Bel-ibni, 
a Babylonian of noble birth brought up at Nineveh, to be king of 
Babylon. Again in 699 B.C. he appointed his own son Ashur- 
nadin-shumu to the same post. In 668 B.C. Esarhaddon, dividing 
his empire, proclaimed his younger son Shamash-shum-ukin as 
king of Babylon, but yet in subordination to his elder son 
ALshurbanipal, whom he appointed king of Assyria. Neriglissar, 
the son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar, styles his father, Bel-shum- 
ishkun, " king of Babylon " ; but he could only have been a 
rab-king under Nebuchadnezzar. We may assume, then, that 
Belshazzar occupied a similar position to that held by Bel-shum- 
ishkun in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. But this is no mere 
assumption made in order to solve a difficulty. Evidence will 
be brought forward in a future chapter to show that Cyrus 
appointed his son Cambyses to succeed Belshazzar on the throne 
Df Babylon, and that on the contract tablets of the first year of 
Oyrus Cambyses is styled " king of Babylon," while his father 
Oyrus takes the larger title, " King of the Countries." It is 
reasonable, therefore, to suppose that Belshazzar bore the same 
iitle that was afterwards given to Cambyses. At the same time 
It is more likely that in Dan. v. 1 the royal title is given to Bel- 
shazzar in the higher sense, either as sharing the supreme power 
along with his father, or as the de facto king. We must remember 
that for at least ten of the seventeen years of Nabonidus the 
iefence of the country had rested on Belshazzar, while his father 
Nabonidus lived in retirement at Tema. Also, that on the night 
dt that fatal feast the person of Nabonidus had been in the hands 
Df the enemy for well-nigh four months, so that during that interval 
in the eyes of the world at large Belshazzar would appear as the 
lotual ruler. At any rate he would so appear in the eyes of the 
author of the Book of Daniel, writing after the event was over. 
For him, the reign of Nabonidus would end with his capture and 
he would view Belshazzar as the last of the Neo-Babylonian kings. 
But it is possible to adduce evidence to show that Belshazzar did 
actually share the supreme power along with his father and was 
associated with him on the throne. Thanks to a discovery made 
~jy Dr. Pinches, to whom Old Testament students owe so much, 


we are now in a position to show that for at least five years at the 
close of the reign of Nabonidus Belshazzar reigned along with 
his father. Among a collection of tablets from Erech, Pinches 
has deciphered one, dated the 22nd day of the additional month 
of Adar, the twelfth year of Nabonidus, which commences thus : 
" Ishi-Amurru, son of Nuranu, has sworn by Bel, Nebo, the lady 
of Erech, and Nana, the oath of Nabonidus king of Babylon and 
of Belshazzar the king's son, that on the 7th day of the month 
Adar of the twelfth year of Nabonidus king of Babylon I will go 
to Erech," etc., etc. On this tablet Pinches makes the following 
observations: "The importance of this inscription is that it 
places Belshazzar practically on the same plane as Nabonidus his 
father, five years before the latter's deposition, and the bearing 
of this will not be overlooked. Officially Belshazzar had not been 
recognised as king, as this would have necessitated his father's 
abdication, but it seems clear that he was in some way associated 
with his father on the throne, otherwise his name would hardly 
have been introduced into the oath with which the inscription 
begins. We now see that not only for the Hebrews, but also for 
the Babylonians, Belshazzar held a practically royal position." 1 

If Belshazzar was thus seated on the throne with his father, 
his offer of the third place 2 in the kingdom to any one who would 
interpret the mystic words is most intelligible. Clearly he regards 
his father, though now a prisoner in the hands of the Persians, as 
holding the first place, and himself the second place, so that the 
third place was the highest he had to offer. For though in the 
eyes of the world Belshazzar was now king, yet in the eyes of the 
Babylonians, as the contract tablets show, Nabonidus was looked 
upon as king down to that fatal night in which the palace was 
surprised and Belshazzar slain, that night of the final and com- 
plete, as distinguished from the partial, capture of Babylon. 

But the critics point to a yet further difficulty, and ask how we 
can explain the first and third years of Belshazzar, mentioned in 
Dan. vii. 1 and viii. 1 respectively. They may be looked upon as 
the years of his reign as sub-king of Babylon ; but it seems more 
natural to adopt Pinches' view, and to regard them as referring 

1 See the Expository Times for April, 1915. 

2 The form of the Aramaic word rendered " third " is unique. According 
to Baer, "Pro np^rj reperitur Dan. v. 7 'i$rj (rplros), cum definito wy?n 
{6 rp'tTos) v. 16, quod tertium dignitate eignihcat." In verse 16 the R.V. 
reads, " Thou shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom," thus agreeing with the 
Greek version of Theodotion, TpWos iv rfj $a<ri\tla pov &pfis. The R.V.M. 
reads, " Thou 6halt rule as one of three," which approaches more nearly to the 
rendering of the LXX, j i^ouaiav tov rptrov /Afpovs t>>? )3a<r*.\fia? pov, 
with which compare versa 7. 


to his joint reign with his father on the throne of empire. It will 
be said, however, that this system of dating is at variance with 
that adopted on the contract tablets by the Babylonians them- 
selves, seeing that those tablets down to the very last are dated 
according to the years of the reign of Nabonidus, without any 
mention whatever of Belshazzar ; and further, that the writer 
of the Book of Daniel betrays complete ignorance as to the exist- 
ence of such a person as Nabonidus. My answer is, that the writer 
of this Book in mentioning the first and third years of Belshazzar 
most certainly adopts a different system of dating from that 
found on the tablets ; but that he can hardly be charged with 
ignorance as to the existence of Nabonidus, since he represents 
Belshazzar as offering the third place in the kingdom to the success- 
ful interpreter of the mystic words. With regard to the system 
adopted on the tablets the explanation runs thus : When a father 
associates his son as co-regent, only one royal name, viz. that of 
the father, will continue to appear on the tablets, since the intro- 
duction of the son's name would involve the creation of a new era 
in the middle of a reign. The only exception to this would be 
when the two kings were able to date the commencement of both 
their reigns from the same New Year. Of this, as we shall see 
in a future chapter, the tablets furnish us with one notable instance. 

At the close of Dan. v. Belshazzar is called " the Chaldean 
king " not " the king of the Chaldseans." The term " Chaldean " 
is here used in an ethnio sense. Though Belshazzar himself was 
probably a Babylonian, at least on his father's side, 1 yet since 
Nabonidus had so completely identified himself with the family of 
" Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean," 2 the writer 
very suitably calls him " the Chaldean king " in contra-distinction 
to " Darius the Mede " and to " Cyrus the Persian." 

In the Annalistic Tablet, from the seventh year of Nabonidus 
onward, we are confronted year by year with the statement, " The 
king was in Tema, the king's son," i.e. Belshazzar, " the nobles 
and the soldiers were in the country of Akkad." In very much 
the same light is Belshazzar brought before us in the opening verse 
of Dan. v. : " Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand 
of his lords," where the Aramaic word translated " lords " comes 
from a kindred root to that translated " nobles " on the tablet. 

1 Joaephus c. Apion, i. 20. 
* See Ezra v. 12. 



OUR studies in the Book of Daniel have now brought us 
to the story of the fall of Babylon given in Dan. v., 
and as the historical accuracy of that chapter has been 
much questioned since the discovery by Dr. Pinches of the con- 
temporary native records, inscribed on the Annalistic Tablet and 
the Cylinder of Cyrus, it will be well for us to enter thoroughly 
into the subject by reviewing in succession, first the prophecy 
contained in Jer. 1. and li., then the statements of the Book of 
Daniel and of the Greek historians, Herodotus and Xenophon, 
and lastly the contemporary cuneiform records, not forgetting 
the all-important contract tablets, which have the closest bearing 
of all on the subject now before us. 

From the prophet's long prediction we select certain features 
which were to characterise the fall of the great imperial city, 
which the efforts of Nebuchadnezzar had rendered well-nigh 
impregnable. Jeremiah's prophecy was written in the days of 
the Median ascendancy and before the Persians under Cyrus had 
taken the lead. The prophet foretells that Babylon will be 
attacked by an invader from the north (1. 3, 9, 41), viz. " the 
kings of the Medes " (li. 11, 28), i.e the chiefs of the Median clans. 
The city is described as well provisioned (1. 26), with towering 
fortifications, broad walls, and high gates (li. 53, 58), agreeably 
with the statements of Nebuchadnezzar and the discoveries of 
Koldewey. Nevertheless she will be taken by stratagem, caught 
in a snare (1. 24). This stratagem is connected with her water- 
defences, of which Nebuchadnezzar gives such an eloquent 
description * : Jehovah " will dry up her sea and make her foun- 
tain dry " (li. 36). It is connected also with the course of the 
Euphrates through Babylon. The " passages," or ferries, which 
link the streets on the opposite sides of the river as described 
by Herodotus 2 will be taken by surprise, and the reeds burned 
with fire (li. 32). It will be successfully executed at the time 

1 India House Inscription, col. vi. 39-46. 

2 Book i. 186. 



when a great feast is going on, at which all the principal men of the 
land are gathered together. " When they are heated, I will make 
their feast, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, 
and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord." 
" And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her 
governors and her deputies, and her mighty men : and they 
shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, saith the king, whose 
name is the Lord of hosts " (li. 89, 57). 

Such being the utterances of the prophet, we turn next to 
the historians, and first to the Book of Daniel, which, though 
not a history, claims to be a record of actual facts, and has 
historical notes scattered throughout it. The main point of 
agreement between the record of Dan. v. and the prophecy of 
Jeremiah lies in this, that the town is taken on the night of a 
great feast, and when a large gathering of the principal men 
were inflamed with wine (Dan. v. 1, 4). To this the critics will 
reply, that the author of the Book of Daniel is acquainted with 
the writings of Jeremiah, as he himself admits, and borrows his 
ideas as to the circumstances of the capture of Babylon from the 
predictions of that prophet. But this will not account for the 
very similar details furnished by heathen writers, who in all 
probability had never seen the prophecies of Jeremiah or even 
heard of his name. Let us take first the testimony of Herodotus. 
Babylon was captured by Cyrus in 589 B.C., and Herodotus, 
whose travels extended from 464 to 447 B.C., is believed to have 
visited Babylon in early manhood, only some eighty years after 
its capture. According to Herodotus, Cyrus approached Babylon 
in the spring of the year. The Babylonians met him without the 
walls, were defeated, and then retired within their defences. 
" Here," adds the historian, " they shut themselves up, and made 
light of his siege, having laid in a store of provisions for many 
years 1 in preparation against this attack ; for when they saw 
Cyrus conquering nation after nation, they were convinced that 
he would never stop, and that their turn would come at last." 2 
This led Cyrus to resort to stratagem. In the words of Herodotus, 
" He placed a portion of his army at the point where the river 
enters the city, and another body at the back of the place where 
it issues forth, with orders to march into the town by the bed of 
the stream as soon as the water became shallow enough." 3 After 
this he withdrew the less warlike portion of his troops to a place 
where Queen Nitocris had made a vast lake, into which the waters 

1 Cf. Jer. 1. 26 and Dan. iv. 12. 

2 Herod, i. 190. 

3 Ibid. i. 19L 


of the Euphrates were turned while she was lining with brick 
the quay-walls of the city. Eepeating the plan of Nitocris, 
Cyrus, according to Herodotus 

" turned the Euphrates by a canal into the basin, which was 
then a marsh : on which the river sank to such an extent that 
the natural bed of the stream became fordable. Hereupon the 
Persians, who had been left for the purpose at Babylon by the 
river-side, entered the stream, which had now shrunk so a3 to 
reach about midway up a man's thigh, and thus got into the town. 
Had the Babylonians been apprised of what Cyrus was about, or 
had they noticed their danger, they would never have allowed 
the Persians to enter the city, but would have destroyed them 
utterly ; for they would have made fast all the street-gates which 
gave upon the river, 1 and mounting upon the walls along both 
sides of the stream, would so have caught the enemy as it were in 
a trap. But, as it was, the Persians came upon them by surprise 
and so took the city. Owing to the vast size of the place, the 
inhabitants of the central parts as the residents at Babylon 
declare long after the outer portions of the town were taken, 
knew nothing of what had happened, 2 but as they were engaged 
in a festival, continued dancing and revelling until they learnt the 
capture but too certainly." 3 

Such, then, is the testimony of a very famous historian, who had 
been at Babylon, as he tells us, and conversed with the inhabitants 
as to the circumstances of the capture of their city at no very long 
interval after that tragic event took place. 

We pass on next to the Cyropcedia of Xenophon, one of the 
latest works of that historian, written about 860 B.C., a hundred 
years or so after Herodotus' visit to Babylon. The Cyropcedia 
has been described as a " political and historical romance, con- 
taining the author's own ideas as to training and education." 
Such no doubt it is ; but we must remember at the same time 
that it is the work of a minute and painstaking historian the 
author of the Anabasis and of one who had been in Babylonia 
and in the neighbourhood of Babylon. 4 The locality, therefore, 
no less than the subject-matter of his book, would lead him to 
take a deep interest in Babylon's fate and in the circumstances of 

1 Viz. at the " passages," or ferries, where boats plied to and fro ; men- 
tioned above in Jer. li. 32. 

2 Cf. Jer. li. 31. 
Herod, i. 191. 

4 Viz. at the battle of Cunaxa, fought some sixty miles to the north of 


her capture by the Persians. According, then, to Xenophon, 
Cyrus, impressed by the strength and height of the fortifications, 
thought first of starving out the city ; but when the river was 
mentioned to him, and some comment made on its depth, he 
conceived the idea of draining off its waters by digging a trench 
round the town and at the same time leading the Babylonians 
to believe that he was preparing to blockade their city by forming 
a rampart with the earth thrown up out of the trench. This 
indeed they believed, and in the words of the historian, " laughed 
at his blockade, as being furnished with provisions for more than 
twenty years." After the trench was dug, Cyrus, according to 
Xenophon, " on hearing that there was a festival in Babylon, in 
which all the Babylonians drank and revelled the whole night, 
took, during the time of it, a number of men with him, and as 
soon as it was dark, opened the trenches on the side toward the 
river. When this was done, the water ran off in the night into 
the trenches, and the bed of the river through the city became 
traversable." After sending a force of men to test the depth of 
the river, on their reporting favourably, Cyrus addressed his 
officers and assured them that they would find little difficulty in 
overcoming a foe whom they had already defeated when sober, 
and who were many of them asleep and intoxicated. He con- 
cluded his address with the words, " Hasten, therefore, to arms, 
and I will lead you with the gods : and do ye, Gadatas and 
Gobryas, show us the way, for ye know it ; and when we are 
within the city, guide us the quickest way to the palace." " Yes ! " 
replied Gobryas, " we will : and I should not be surprised if the 
doors of the palace are now open, for the whole city seems to-night 
to be given up to revelry. We shall find, however, a guard before 
the gates, for it is always set." " It would not do to wait," said 
Cyrus ; "we must advance, in order that we may take the men 
as much off their guard as possible." As soon as these words 
were spoken, they started on the march ; and of those who met 
them, some were struck down and killed, some fled, and some 
raised a shout. Those with Gobryas joined in the shout with 
them, as though they too were revellers themselves, and, marching 
by the quickest way they could, arrived at the palace. The 
party with Gobryas and Gadatas found the doors of the palace 
shut, and those who were told off to attack the guards fell upon 
them as they were drinking by a large fire, and forthwith dealt 
with them as with enemies. As a great outcry and noise ensued, 
those who were within heard the uproar, and on the king ordering 
them to see what was the matter, some of them threw open the 
gates and rushed out. The men with Gadatas, as soon as they 


saw the gates unclosed, burst in, and pursuing those who fled 
back within, and dealing them blows, they reached the king, 
and found him in a standing posture with his sword drawn. Him 
the party with Gadatas and Gobryas overpowered, whilst those 
who were with him were killed, one holding up something before 
him, another fleeing, another defending himself in whatever way 
he could. Cyrus sent troops of horse through the streets, bidding 
them kill those whom they found abroad, and those who under- 
stood Syrian (i.e. the Babylonian language) he ordered to tell 
those who were within their houses to remain there, and to say 
that if any were found abroad they would be killed. These 
commands they carried out. Gadatas and Gobryas now came 
up, and, after first paying their adoration to the gods because they 
had avenged them on the impious king, they then kissed the 
hands and feet of Cyrus, shedding many tears in the midst of their 
joy and satisfaction. When day came, and those who held the 
towers perceived that the town was taken and the king dead, they 
surrendered them. Cyrus immediately took possession of the 
fortresses, and sent commanders with garrisons into them. He 
allowed the dead to be buried by their relatives, and ordered the 
heralds to make proclamation that all the Babylonians were to 
bring out their arms, giving notice at the same time that in what- 
ever house any arms were found all the inmates would be put to 
death. Accordingly they brought their arms, and Cyrus deposited 
them in the towers that they might be ready if ever he should 
want to use them. 1 The historian then goes on to say that he 
ordered the Babylonians to go on cultivating the land, to pay 
their tribute, and to serve those under whom they were placed : 
also, that very soon after he held a public reception two days 
running, when the people crowded to meet him : after which he 
consulted his friends, and by their advice entered into possession 
of the palace. 

I have given the narrative of Xenophon at some length 
because of its important bearing on the contemporary Babylonian 
records. Before I go on to those records, I ask my readers to 
glance back at the above extracts and notice how prophecy and 
history support one another. Thus : Jeremiah predicts that 
Babylon will be taken by some stratagem connected with her 
water-defences and her ferries across the Euphrates, and also 
that it will be taken when a great feast is going on and the Baby- 
lonians are off their guard. The two Greek historians tell us that 
it was so taken. What is the inference ? It is twofold : first, 

1 Cyrop&dia, book vii. chap. v. 7-34, 


that Jeremiah's utterances are true prophecy ; and secondly, that 
the record of their fulfilment is genuine history : so that we are 
bound to believe these two main facts with regard to the capture 
of Babylon, since we cannot suppose either Herodotus or Xeno- 
phon to have known anything of the writings of Jeremiah. This 
being the case, we must also credit the Book of Daniel with being 
historically correct in the two following particulars : first, in its 
mention of the feast held by the king and his nobles, which agrees, 
as we have just seen, with the prophecy of Jeremiah and the 
record of the two Greek historians ; secondly, in connecting the 
death of the king with the final assault on the palace, for this fact 
is corroborated by the testimony of Xenophon, whom we have 
proved to be a faithful witness in this particular by his agree- 
ment with the predictions of Jeremiah of which he could have no 

We may now go forward to investigate the accounts of the 
capture of Babylon given us in the contemporary cuneiform 
records, amongst which the Annalistic Tablet claims our first 
attention. This tablet, found by Bassam, and now in the British 
Museum, was first deciphered by Pinches, who published a copy 
of it with transliteration and translation in the Transactions of 
the Society of Biblical Archceology for the year 1880. A subse- 
quent translation was given by Sayce in Records of the Past, 
New Series, vol. v. The original is inscribed on a tablet measuring 
4 inches by 8, in four columns, two on the obverse and two on 
the reverse. The tablet is of sun-dried clay : hence it is no 
wonder that considerable portions of it are illegible. The record 
breaks off at a point of deep interest, viz. the burial of Belshazzar 
and the installation of Cambyses as his successor. The events 
on the tablet are chronicled according to the seventeen years of 
the reign of Nabonidus, 556-539 B.C. Thus, in his sixth year, we 
have the conquest of Astyages the Mede by Cyrus king of Anshan. 
Then, in his ninth year, Cyrus is styled king of Persia, and his 
crossing the Tigris is recorded. After the eleventh year occurs a 
long lacuna, and when the record again becomes legible we are 
already plunged in the account of the final conflict between 
Babylon and Persia, which reads thus 

" [year 17] . . . Nebo to go forth from Borsippa. ... In 
the month . . . the king entered E-tur-kalama. 1 In the month 

1 " The House of the Court of the Universe," the name of the temple at 
Babylon dedicated to Ishtar of Agade, identified with Anunit the daughter 
of Sin. See Koldewey'e Excavations, p. 296, and Jastrow's Religion, p. 311. 


; : . and the Lower Sea * revolted . . . Bel went forth : the 
Akitu festival 2 they duly held. In the month . . . the gods of 
Marad, 3 the god Zamama, 4 and the gods of Kish, 3 Beltis and the 
gods of Kharsakkalama, 5 entered Babylon. Up to the end of the 
month Elul [August-September] the gods of the country of Akkad, 6 
those above the sky and those below the sky, entered Babylon. 
The gods of Borsippa, Kutha, and Sippara 7 did not enter. In 
the month Tammuz [June-July] Cyrus delivered battle at Upe 
[Opis] on the river Zalzallat [the Tigris] against the troops of 
Akkad. The men of Akkad raised a revolt. Some men were 
slain. On the 14th day of the month Sippara was taken without 
fighting : Nabonidus fled. On the 16th day Ugbaru [GobryasJ, 
the governor of the country of Gutium, and the soldiers of Cyrus 
entered Babylon without fighting. Thereupon Nabonidus was 
captured after he had been surrounded in Babylon. Till the end 
of the month Tammuz [June- July] the shield- bearers of the 
country of Gutium surrounded the gates of E-sag-ila. No one's 
weapon entered E-sag-ila and the shrines, nor did a flag come in. 
On the 3rd day of Marchesvan [October-November] Cyrus 
entered Babylon. The roads before him were full of people. 8 
Peace was established for the city, peace to the whole of Babylon 
did Cyrus proclaim. Ugbaru [Gobryas], his governor, appointed 
governors in Bab}don, and from the month Chisleu [November- 
December] to the month of Adar [February-March] the gods of 
the country of Akkad, whom Nabonidus had brought down to 
Babylon, returned to their own cities. In the month of Marches- 
van on the night of the 11th day Ugbaru [Gobryas] went against 
. . . and the son [?] of the king died. From the 27th of the 
month Adar [February-March] to the 3rd day of the month Nisan 
[March-April] there was weeping in Akkad, all the people smote 
their heads. On the 4th day Cambyses the son of Cyrus went to 
E-khad-kalamma-shumma. 9 The official of the temple of the 
sceptre of Nebo who bestows the sceptre . . . brought a message 
in his hand. ..." 

1 The Persian Gulf. 

2 The New Year festival. 

3 Names of Babylonian cities. 

4 A war-god. 

6 " The Mountain of the World," the name of a temple adjoining Kish. 
8 Northern Babylonia. 

1 Borsippa was close to Babylon on the S.W., Kutha lay to the N.E., and 
Sippara about thirty-five miles to the N.N.W. 

8 Lit. " were black with people." 

9 " The House where the sceptre of the World is given " ; the name of 
Nebo's temple in Babylon. 



Such is the record on the tablet. Before we go on to study it, let 
me place before my readers the very brief account of the capture 
of Babylon given on the Cylinder of Cyrus. This priceless relic, 
brought from Babylonia by Bassam, is now in the British Museum. 
It was first translated and commented on by Sir H. Bawlinson in 
the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for the year 1880. 1 To 
the Bible-lover the inscription on the cylinder must be ever of the 
deepest interest. It appears to be the composition of a priest of 
Merodach, who must have come into contact with some of the 
Hebrew captives at Babylon, since his style and tone of thought 
are Hebraistic and argue some acquaintance with the latter part 
of the Book of Isaiah. In the words of Prof. Sayce, " The con- 
struction of the sentences more than once reminds us of the later 
Hebrew prophets. . . . The inscription in fact is one of the most 
Hebraistic which have come to us from Babylonia or Assyria, and 
in one important particular twice adopts a usage which is Hebrew 
and not Assyrian." 2 

The great theme of the Cylinder Inscription is that Cyrus is 
the chosen of Merodach, and that Merodach has given him the 
empire of Babylon. The part which bears on our subject runs 

" Merodach, the great lord, the restorer of his people, beheld 
with joy his [Cyrus'] pious deeds and righteous hand. To his 
town of Babylon he commanded him to march : he caused him 
to take the road to Babylon. Like a friend and a comrade he 
went at his side. His vast army, innumerable as the waters of 
a river, put on their weapons and marched at his side. Without 
fighting and battle he caused him to enter Babylon ; his city of 
Babylon he kept safe. In a place difficult of access Nabonidus, 
who did not revere him, he delivered into his hand. The men of 
Babjdon all of them, the whole of Shumer and Akkad [southern 
and northern Babylon], the nobles and the high priest, bowed 
low before him, they kissed his feet : they rejoiced in his sove- 
reignty, their faces shone." 3 

Such, then, are the contemporary records of the Babylonians. 
Let us notice, first, the points in which they agree with the state- 

1 See also Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. p. 164, and B. M. Guide 
to the Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities, plate xxxi. and p. 172. 

2 This refers to the employment of the terms sharru and mallcu. In 
Assyrian sharru 11 king," and malku" prince." In Hebrew the meanings 
are reversed. The writer of the Cylinder adopts the Hebrew usage. 

3 Cylinder of Cyrus, lines 14-18. 






Z 2 

o = 

5 3 









ments of the Book of Daniel and the Greek historians ; and 
secondly, those points in which there is a seeming variance or 
even an apparent contradiction. We begin with the preliminary- 
battle fought according to the tablet at Opis. This is the battle 
described by Herodotus as fought at a short distance from the 
city. 1 Our next, and much more important point, is the state- 
ment as to the death of the king on the night of the capture of 
Babylon. In this the Annalistic Tablet most probably confirms 
the statement of the Book of Daniel and of the historian Xeno- 
phon : most probably, because the characters translated " and the 
son of the king died " are partially obliterated and have been 
read, " the wife of the king died." On this point some weight 
must be given to the opinion of the eminent Assyriologist who 
discovered the tablet, and who speaks thus : " Where the tablet 
is damaged there is not room enough for the character for ' wife,' 
and the verb to all appearance is not in the feminine. The 
Rev. C. J. Ball and Dr. Hagen, examining the text in my room 
in the British Museum, many years ago, agreed with me that the 
traces point to u mar, ' and the son of.' I do not think," he adds, 
" that there is any doubt that the Book of Daniel is as correct 
as it can be." 2 A further reason in favour of the reading " son " 
lies in the fact stated shortly afterwards that the funeral cere- 
monies of the dead person were conducted by Cambyses. Why 
Cambyses should conduct the funeral of the queen it is hard to 
see ; out if the sceptre of the city of Babylon was to pass from the 
hands of Belshazzar into those of Cambyses, there would be a 
marked suitability in Cambyses conducting the funeral of Bel- 
shazzar. A third point of agreement between the writer of the 
tablet and the historians lies in the statement that the attack on 
the palace was led by Ugbaru, in whom we have little difficulty 
in recognising Gobryas, who, according to Xenophon, was one 
of the two leaders of the attacking party. Xenophon speaks of 
him as the Babylonian governor of a wide district, who had been 
very badly treated by the Babylonian king and had gone over to 
the side of Cyrus ; 3 whilst the tablet informs us that Gutium 
was the district which he governed. 4 A fourth point of agree- 
ment is found in the great reception held by Cyrus after the 

1 Book i. 190. 

a See The Fall of Babylon, p. 14 : a paper by the Rev. Andrew Craig 
Robinson, read before the Victoria Institute. 

3 Cyropozdia, book iv. chap. vi. 1-4. 

4 Gutium lay east of the Tigris and north of Elam. It extended as far 
east as the Zagros mountains, and formed a part of Assyria proper. It haa 
been identified with the " Goiim " of Gen. xiv. 1. 


capture of Babylon, as described on the Cylinder of Cyrus quoted 
above. This is in perfect accord with the statement of Xenophon 
that very soon after the taking of the city Cyrus admitted to his 
presence the Babylonians, who flocked around him in overwhelm- 
ing numbers. 1 

Having now reviewed the points in which the contemporary 
native records agree with the statements made in the Book of 
Daniel and in the pages of the Greek historians, let me pass on 
next to notice other points in which at first sight they appear to 
tell a different story. These may be stated thus : Neither the 
Annalistic Tablet nor the Cylinder of Cyrus makes any mention of 
the siege of Babylon or of the stratagem by which the town was 
taken, whilst both alike dwell with marked emphasis on the 
peaceful nature of Cyrus' entrance into the city. Here, then, are 
differences that demand an explanation, and difficulties that call 
for a solution ; and it will be found that the true solution lies in 
our ascertaining the date of that eventful night on which Babylon 
fell and " the son of the king died." 2 This, fortunately, we are 
able to do ; for the tablet and the cylinder are not our only 
contemporary sources of information. There is one more infallible 
still, viz. the contract tablets. At first sight nothing would seem 
more certain than the accuracy of the contemporary annals. 
But we have to take into account that these records are official. 
" In that fact," as Olmstead points out, " lies their strength and 
their weakness." " Like all official records, ancient or modern," 
says the same writer, " these documents have been edited to a 
degree of which it is difficult to conceive." 3 But when we turn 
to the business documents the case is different, and we meet 
with items of valuable information which cannot be called in 
question. Apply this to the date of the capture of Babylon. 
According to the Annalistic Tablet the soldiers of Cyrus, led by 
Gobryas, entered Babylon on the 16th of Tammuz (June- July). 
Between three and four months later, on the 3rd of Marchesvan 
(October-November), Cyrus came to Babylon in person, and on 
the 11th of the same month an assault was made, apparently on 
the palace or citadel, in which the king's son was slain. The 
impression given us is that the town of Babylon made a peaceable 
surrender on the 16th of Tammuz (June- July), but that the king's 
son was able to hold out in some fortress till nearly four months 

1 Cyropcedia, book vii. chap. v. 38, 41. 

9 See Craig Robinson's masterly work, What about the Old Testament ? 
p. 147 ; also his paper on The Fall of Babylon and Dan. v. JO, referred to 

3 Western Asia in the Days of Sargon of Assyria, pp. 8, 18, 19. 


later. When, however, we turn to the business tablets, drawn up 
in the seventeenth, i.e. the last, year of Nabonidus, we find not a few 
which bear a later date, such as the 5th of Ab (July- August), the 
11th, 18th, and 21st of Elul (August-September), the latest being 
the 10th of Marchesvan (October-November), the very day 
before the assault in which the king's son was slain. The con- 
clusion to be drawn is, that the troops of Cyrus could only have 
entered into a part of the city on the 16th of Tammuz. Further, 
we are led to infer that when Cyrus entered Babylon in person on 
the 8rd of Marchesvan, he only entered the suburbs. The interval 
between the 16th of Tammuz (June- July) and the fatal night of 
the 11th of Marchesvan (October-November) would thus allow 
time for the execution of the stratagem by which the remainder 
of the city was taken. But why is no mention made in the native 
records of that stratagem ? Because the pride of the Babylonian 
priesthood, who doubtless drew up the official records, required 
that it should not be mentioned, if only on the score that it would 
be derogatory to Merodach. The impression must therefore be 
given that the town was peacefully "surrendered, and that Cyrus 
was the chosen of Merodach, the deliverer of Babylon, not its 
conqueror. To do this without at the same time outraging the 
truth, was no difficult matter ; for, as far as we know from the 
Greek historians, the siege was not a bloody one. After the pre- 
liminary battle fought near Opis, the Babylonians retired within 
their walls, and went on with their busy commercial life, deriding 
the efforts of their besiegers, who, under colour of raising a 
rampart of circumvallation, were steadily preparing the stratagem, 
which enabled them to gain an entrance into the part of the 
town still untaken. There was thus no fighting till that last 
fatal night, when all was sudden, sharp, and soon over. For, as 
the sequel shows, whether told by Xenophon or recorded on the 
cylinder, Cyrus did his best to conciliate the inhabitants, and 
they for their part responded heartily to his efforts. Hence it 
was possible for the official documents to emphasise these facts 
and to represent the entry of Cyrus into Babylon as a peaceful 
one : which indeed it was, save for that single night of carnage, 
when the son of the impious king who had angered Merodach * 
was delivered up into the hands of his foes. 


The question as to how much of Babylon was occupied by the 
troops of Cyrus when they first entered the city on the 16th of 

1 Cf. the Cylinder of Cjtus, lines 9 and 33. 


Tammuz (June-July) is one of great difficulty. The fact that 
for nearly four months longer, on business tablets drawn up there, 
the reckoning is still made according to the day, month, and 
year of the reign of Nabonidus, is conclusive evidence that during 
that period a great part of the city still held out against the 
besiegers. On the other hand, we have to place the fact, recorded 
on the tablet, that by the end of the month Tammuz the swords- 
men of the country of Gutium, presumably the troops of Gobryas, 
were guarding the gates of Esagila, the great temple of Merodach, 
which lay only a little distance to the south of the acropolis. 1 
If this were the case, then a considerable portion of the city must 
have been in the hands of Cyrus' army by the end of Tammuz. 

With a view to solve this difficulty, and to show that only the 
suburbs were in the besiegers' hands, the Eev. Andrew Craig 
Eobinson very cleverly argues that the swordsmen of the country 
of Gutium, who guarded the approaches to Merodach's temple, 
were troops furnisJied to Nabonidus by Gobryas before he went over 
to the side of Cyrus. This may have been the case, and yet it is 
not the impression given by the record on the tablet, since 
almost immediately after the notice of the peaceful entrance of 
Gobryas the governor of Gutium and the soldiers of Cyrus on 
the 16th of Tammuz comes the statement that by the end of that 
month the swordsmen of Gutium were stationed at the gates of 
Esagila, without any cessation having taken place in the sacred 
rites. The passage as it stands appears to describe the rapid but 
peaceful advance of the arms of Cyrus. As in the middle of 
Tammuz his troops entered Babylon without fighting, so by the 
end of the month they were quietly guarding the gates of the 
great temple, where all was going on as usual. Here, then, is an 
enigma which seems still to defy solution : if Merodach's temple 
were in the hands of the enemy, how could business in the city 
of Babylon be still transacted as under the rule of Nabonidus ? 

1 See the plan of Babylon facing p. 1 of Koldewey'p Excavations. 



" The king was on his throne, 
The satraps filled the hall, 
A thousand bright lamps shone 

At that high festival : 
A thousand cups of gold, 

In Judah deemed divine, 
Jehovah's vessels hold 

The godless heathen's wine." 


THE closing scene on that eventful night of the fall of 
Babylon, the 11th of Marchesvan (October-November), 
539 B.C., referred to at the end of the last chapter, and 
which is so vividly described in Dan. v., now comes before 
us in the bright light of reality. Thanks to the excavations of 
Koldewey, not only has the throne-room of the Neo-Babylonian 
kings been discovered, but the doubly-recessed niche opposite 
the central entrance, which marks the spot where the throne 
must have stood, and where doubtless the conscience-stricken 
monarch must have sat. 1 The Chaldeans are fond of wine : 
Habakkuk, describing their lust of dominion, compares them to a 
drunken man, who, in his insatiable thirst, must have more and 
ever more. But " wine," in the language of the prophet, " is a 
treacherous dealer, a haughty man " : 2 it makes things appear 
otherwise than they really are, and fills the drunkard with a 
false sense of his own importance. So, then, " Belshazzar, whiles 
he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver 
vessels, which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the 
temple which was in Jerusalem." 3 Those vessels had been 
placed by Nebuchadnezzar in Esagila, the temple of his beloved 
Merodach, and Esagila, according to the Annalistic Tablet, was 

1 See Koldewey 's Excavations, p. 104. 
8 Hab. ii. 5. 
3 Dan. v. 2. 



Jready in the hands of the enemy. 1 True ; but Nabonidus had 
small reverence for Merodach, and doubtless had not scrupled to 
emove the treasure out of Esagila before it fell into the hands of 
;he enemy. In his dealings with the gods this king had already 
icted in a hasty and presumptuous manner, when, much to the 
;vrath of Merodach, he collected their images and brought them 
nto Babylon. 2 Doubtless, then, he would not scruple to remove 
;he vessels of Jehovah from Merodach's temple to his own palace. 
When these sacred vessels were brought before his son Belshazzar, 
' the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, drank in 
;hem. They drank wine, and," inflamed therewith, " praised 
;he gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of 
stone, which " in the words of Daniel " see not, nor hear, nor 
mow." 3 So emphatic is the language that it makes us think 
;hat those very images of the gods, which, as just stated, Nabonidus 
lad collected into Babvlon, must have been in the room at that 
;ritical moment when " the King eternal, incorruptible, invisible, 
;he only God," 4 saw fit to assert His supremacy ; that moment 
,vhich the sacred record thus describes : "In the same hour came 
lorth the fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the 
candlestick " the chandelier or lampstand where the light fell 
3rightest, " upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace " 
ihe chalk or white gypsum, with which Koldewey found the walls 
cashed over. 5 It was against this light background that " the 
iing saw the part of the hand that wrote." But it was not at 
)nce seen by that festal assembly ; for, as we are told at the 
raiset, the king was drinking wine " before " his guests. Their 
'aces were turned towards him ; their backs were toward that 
Dart of the wall on which the hand was writing. Consequently 
;hey saw their monarch's face pale with fear and his whole frame 
lnmanned ; but they saw not the cause of it. 

The heathen have a conscience, a code of right and wrong, as 
svell as Christians. Belshazzar is by no means ignorant of Jehovah 
the God of the Jews. As I have already shown, he knew at first 
hand the facts concerning Nebuchadnezzar's madness, and must 
have been a witness in his boyhood's days to his wonderful recovery. 
He must have known how, on that occasion, his legal " father " 
acknowledged the God of the Jews as " the Most High God." 

1 Annalistic Tablet, Rev. lines 16, 17, " At the end of the month Tammuz 
the swordsmen of Gutium guarded the gates of Esagila." 

* Cylinder of Cyrus, line 33. Cf. Annalistic Tablet, Rev., lines 9-12. 

8 Dan. v. 3, 4, 23. 

4 1 Tim. i. 17. 

8 Koldewey's Excavations, p. 104. 

rn-f^i.-P^W^ s/**wk,^rJ4 ,( ^y^rZ 




L l ihihl 


J L 

100 Meter 

(koldewev, fig. 63) 

P- r 34 


All this he certainly knew, and Daniel taxes him with it. Besides, 
his very words to Daniel, if they betray a lack of personal acquain- 
tance with the seer, show at the same time that he knew quite 
well who Daniel was : " Art thou Daniel, which art of the children 
of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out 
of Judah ? " l We cannot, therefore, shut our eyes to the sacrile- 
gious conduct of Belshazzar, who, according to the chronological 
Bcheme suggested at the beginning of Chapter XL, would now be 
about thirty-six years old. It was one thing for a young king like 
Nebuchadnezzar, who at that time was ignorant of the might of 
Jehovah, to take in victorious war the vessels of His temple and 
place them in the temple of his own god at Babylon ; it was 
another thing for a king, who had come to maturity, and who was 
cognisant of certain mighty acts wrought by the God of the Jews, 
to have those vessels fetched, and in a spirit of derision to praise 
the idol gods of Babylon while he drank wine out of them. Such 
an act, even for a polytheist, was one of daring sacrilege, and as 
" conscience makes cowards of us all " so the moment that 
mysterious hand was seen writing on the plaister of the wall, the 
king's conscience awoke, and he became a prey to the most abject 

" The monarch saw and shook, 

And bade no more rejoice : 
All bloodless waxed his look, 

And tremulous his voice : 
' Let the men of lore appear, 

The wisest of the earth, 
And expound these words of fear, 

Which mar our royal mirth.' " 

In his terror and alarm Belshazzar offers all that he has to offer 
to any of his wise men who shall interpret those mystic words. 
The third place in the kingdom shall be his, and along with it the 
insignia of royalty, the gold chain and the purple robe ; those 
very insignia whioh Cambyses sent to the king of the Ethiopians, 
and concerning which Ashurbanipal says, when speaking of 
Necho I. of Egypt, " In clothing of birmi I clothed him, and a 
chain of gold as insignia of his royalty I made for him." 2 

At first the king's splendid offers are unavailing ; but at the 
suggestion of the queen-mother, Daniel, the Jewish seer, who had 
shown such singular wisdom and insight in the days of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, some thirty years ago and just a year before his madness, 

1 Dan. v. 13. 

* Cf. Herod, iii. 20, and the Raasam-cylinder of Ashurbanipal, col. ii. linea 
10 and 11. 


and who had been publicly honoured by that monarch in a most 
special manner in the early part of his reign, is brought into the 
banqueting-hall, and to him Belshazzar makes the same offer in 
words, which, as said above, show some knowledge of Daniel's 
origin and of his wonderful career, but no personal acquaintance. 
The aged statesman, now grown grey in the service of his adopted 
country, refuses to receive from Belshazzar those " rewards," 
which he was content to accept from Nebuchadnezzar. Sternly, 
and yet respectfully, he charges his royal master, in whose service 
he was still employed, 1 with sinning against light and knowledge, 
insisting on his perfect acquaintance with what had happened 
some thirty years before to Nebuchadnezzar his " father " at the 
hands of the Most High God : " Thou his son, Belshazzar, hast 
not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this ; but hast 
lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven ; and they have 
brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou and thy 
lords, thy wives and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them : 
and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, 
wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know : and the God 
in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast 
thou not glorified." 2 No sooner has the prophet finished his 
Btern accusation than the hand vanishes, and those four mystic 
words are seen inscribed on the palace wall, which in our Hebrew 
Bibles we find printed thus 

Pd^-1 bpn w wo 

They were written, as I hope to show, not in Babylonian, but in 
Aramaic i.e. in the same language as this part of the Book of 
Daniel and the characters employed were not the syllabic 
characters used in the Babylonian cuneiform, but those ancient 
alphabetic characters which we find in the oldest Hebrew and 
Aramaic inscriptions ; 3 and from which are derived both the 
modern Hebrew characters and our own capital letters. The 
vowel points put to them in our Hebrew Bibles are very properly 
made to agree with Daniel's interpretation of the words. But we 
must remember that vowel points are a comparatively modern 
invention, and that as the characters stood on the palace wall 
they were without any such points, and were thus capable of being 
read in different ways. To show how they appeared on the wall, 
it will be best for me to write them in our own capitals, which, as 

1 Dan. viii. 1, 27. 

2 Ibid. v. 22, 23. 

3 Such as the Moabite Stone, the Siloam Inscription, and the Aramaic 
nscriptions from Zenjerli. 


just stated, are the modern representatives of the ancient Aramaic 
characters. When so written they stand thus the reading being 
from right to left 


To suit our own mode of reading we must reverse them as follows : 


Here the A, I, and U must not be looked upon as vowels, but as 
answering respectively to the letters Aleph, Yod, and Vau in the 
ancient Hebrew and Aramaic alphabet : the first, a soft breathing ; 
the second, possessing the consonantal value of the letter " y," but 
frequently used to represent the long " e " ; * the third, with the 
consonantal value " v," but, like the Yod, sometimes used as a 
vowel, when it represents the long "11." The Q represents the 
letter Koph, from which it is sprung, and like Koph must be 
credited with the consonantal value of the letter " k." 

To the king and his lords these four words would appear as the 
Aramaic names of three weights, or, as we should say, three coins 
weights taking the place of coins before the invention of coinage 
the last of the three having appended to it the plural ending 
IN=ew, and would therefore be read by them as follows : 

Mend mend ieqal upharsen 2 

i.e. " a mina, a mina, a shekel, and half-minas." 

Inasmuch as Aramaic was the lingua franga of Western Asia 
and was much used in the world of commerce, Babylonian con- 
tracts were often stamped with Aramaic dockets, and weights, 
more especially, were inscribed with their value written in Aramaic 
characters, sometimes along with the cuneiform equivalents. On 
the lion-weights brought from Nimrud we often meet with the 
Aramaic MNA, " a mina." Also a lion- weight of the time of 
Sennacherib has been found marked in Aramaic PES, i.e. peres, of 
which parsen would be the plural. This weight gives us the value 
of the peres, for it bears the following Assyrian inscription written 
in cuneiform characters : Mat Sin-akhi-irba shar (mat) Ashur <^- 
mana, i.e. " the country of Sennacherib king of Assyria J mina." 
The peres is also mentioned in an Aramaic inscription found at 
Zenjerli near the Syrian Antioch, written in the eighth century 

1 The values given to the vowels in this chapter are those found in Mason 
and Bernard's Hebrew Grammar. 

2 It should be stated for the benefit of the English reader that in Hebrew 
and Aramaic the " p " sometimes has the value of " ph," as in upharsen. 


B.C. by Panammu king of Samahla. In this inscription Panammu 
ells of a time of sore famine, when a peres or half-mina, in value 
hirty shekels, " stood at a shekel," i.e. would only buy a shekel's 
vorth of food. Teqdl is the Aramaic for the Hebrew sheqel, M a 
hekel," the sixtieth part of a mina. See Ezek. xlv. 12. 

A Babylonian, then, though he might not be so much at home 
ti the Aramaic as in his native tongue, would yet certainly be as 
amiliar with the appearance and meaning of the Aramaic words 
ienoting weights, i.e. coins, written not in the Babylonian 
uneiform but in alphabetic characters, as the Englishman who 
;nows nothing of Latin is with the abbreviated Latin signs 
! 5. d. Further, we must not lose sight of the fact that the 
Teo-Babylonian kings as we have seen in the case of Belshazzar 
limself engaged as freely in commercial transactions as the 
tumblest of their subjects. 1 At Babylon buying and selling and 
etting gain seem to have been in the very atmosphere of the 
lace. This characteristic of the golden city appears to have 
ontinued long after her supremacy had passed away and to 
tave furnished much of the imagery of St. John in Eev. xvii. 2 
?here can, therefore, be little doubt that Belshazzar read the 
our mystic words in the sense given above. But if he so 
ead them, what cause was there for his extreme terror ? 
luch, for various reasons. First, the sight of the supernatural is 
lways alarming. Then, that human hand moving slowly along 
s it traced the words was suggestive of the presence in that hall 
f drunkenness and riot of an unseen Being silently registering 
ome divine decree. For it was a belief among the Babylonians 
hat the decrees of the gods were written on the tablets of fate 
.p in heaven. Thus Nebuchadnezzar prays to Nebo, " trium- 
ihant one . . . upon thine unerring tablet, which establishes the 
fhole round of heaven and earth, decree me length of days." 3 
'he same idea in its lofty symbolic sense is embodied in the 
jords spoken to Daniel by the Man clothed in linen : " I will tell 
hee that which is inscribed in the writing of truth." 4 This 
xpression, " the writing of truth," is an exact parallel to the 
unerring tablet," and denotes that which cannot fail of fulfil- 
aent but will most truly and certainly come to pass. In the 
Babylonian mythology the tablets of fate or destiny belonged to 

1 See the~ Appendix to this chapter. 

2 It is remarkable how little is said about this characteristic in the Old 
'estament. The Hebrew prophets seem to have been more impressed with 
he gross idolatries of Babylon than with her commercial proclivities. 

8 Langdon's Inscriptions, No. 11, col. ii. 17, 23-25. 
* Dan. x. 21. 


Merodach as the En-lil or supreme god, but they were in the 
keeping of Nebo, Merodach's vicegerent in these matters, who is 
styled, " the bearer of the fate-tablets of the gods, who regulates 
the totality of heaven and earth, holds the tablet, grasps the 
stylus, prolongs the days," l viz. of a man's life. Hence, Ashur- 
banipal says to Nebo, " My life is written before thee " ; while, 
for the man who respects his inscription, Shamash-shum-ukin 
prays, " the days of his life may Nebo, the tablet-bearer of Esagila, 
inscribe for longer duration." On the other hand, a curse is 
often expressed in the prayer that Nebo may shorten the days of 
such and such a person. 2 Bearing, then, in mind Daniel's last 
words, " the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all 
thy ways, hast thou not glorified," I am inclined to think that 
when the seer had ended his address, the king must have much 
more than half suspected the truth, and that he already regarded 
the mysterious writing as a transcript of what was actually 
recorded on the tablets of fate as to the duration of his life and 
kingdom ; and all the more so, since, as Zimmern points out, 3 in 
the Babylonian way of looking at things, the idea plays a great 
part that the fate of men, and more especially that of kings, is 
fixed from of old. That the mysterious inscription meant, in any 
case, something different from what it appeared to mean, was 
indicated by the strange order in which the weights or coins 
were arranged ; the shekel, which was only the sixtieth part of 
the mina, being dropped in between the mina and the peres or 
half-mina, in much the same way as if the pence were seen placed 
between the pounds and shillings. Thus, in those mysterious 
words, arranged in so strange an order, and traced by the hand 
that " grasps the stylus," Belshazzar would not be slow to see 
some solemn message for himself. If he could only get at their 
meaning, he would know what that message was. It is in this 
sense that we may understand the words, " Whosoever shall read 
this writing and show me the interpretation thereof." 4 It is as 
if he said, ' ' Whosoever can make any intelligible sense out of 
those words." This the wise men of Babylon were unable to do. 
But when Daniel was called in, he first delivered his solemn heart- 
searching address to the guilty king, and then taking the dis- 
appearing of the hand as a signal that the time was come to 
disclose the divine message, proceeded forthwith to unfold the 

1 Rawlinson's Inscriptions of Western Asia, vol. v. p. 52. 
a Cf. Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament, edited by E. Schrader, 
p. 401. 

* Ibid. p. 403. 
4 Dan. v. 7. 


aeaning of the four mystic words. He treated them, not as 
ubstantives, but as the past participles of three Aramaic verbs, 1 
phich have their very similar equivalents in Babylonian ; 2 and 
hus interpreted them as he went along : " MNA," pronounced 
tend, " God hath numbered thy kingdom and brought it to an 
nd" ; " TQL," pronounced teqal, " thou art weighed in the balances, 
.nd art found wanting " ; till at last, coming to the final word, 
ie gave it in its singular form, PES, and treating it also as a past 
articiple, accounted for its plural form, PBSIN, by declaring 
hat it carried with it a further reference to the Persians, who, 
long with the Medes, were besieging the city at that time : 
PES," pronounced peras, " thy kingdom is divided, and given 
3 the Medes and Persians." The message, then, as read by 
)aniel, may be written thus 


'he repetition of the first word marks the certainty of the coming 
idgment, and is, as it were, the solemn death-knell of the Baby- 
mian king ; the third word gives the reason of it ; and the last 
r ord, which because of its double meaning it is impossible to do 
istice to in an English translation, shows the course which that 
idgment will take. 

What a tragic scene of alarm and confusion that banqueting- 
all must have presented after Daniel had thus interpreted the 
riting, fancy can better paint than words describe. The king, 
ideed, so far recovers his presence of mind and self-respect as to 
rder the promised rewards to be bestowed on Daniel, just as in 
"enophon's description of the final scene he is pictured as meeting 
ie foe in a standing posture with his sword drawn in his hand. 3 
ut all is now in vain ; nothing can avert the coming judgment, 
na vailing is his bestowal of the rewards promised ; equally 
aa vailing any resistance he may attempt to offer. Indeed, 
:arcely any opportunity is granted him for resistance. He is at 
ace overpowered and done to death. So swiftly and irresistibly 
the divine decree carried into effect, as signified by that one 
lort sentence which concludes the tragic story : "In that night 
elshazzar the Chaldean king was slain." 

1 The words are thus understood by the LXX. Cf. f)an. v. 7, 8, as given 
that version. 

8 The equivalent Babylonian verbs are manu, shaqalu, and parasu respeo- 
irely. In the case of the second the Babylonian sh answers to the Aramaic t. 
ie u before PRSIN pronounced parsen is the conjunction " and." 

8 Cyropeedia, book vii. chap. v. 29. 



On the commercial proclivities of the Neo-Babylonian kings 

Dr. Pinches gives several examples of the commercial trans- 
actions indulged in by the kings and princes of the New Baby- 
lonian Empire. 1 Nergalsharezer, the son-in-law of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, who presently succeeded his son Evil-Merodach on the 
throne, appears to have been a thorough man of business, freely 
engaging in trade thereby to increase his wealth. Labashi- 
Marduk, the young son and successor of Nergalsharezer, was not 
ashamed, as shown by the tablets, to engage in the business of a 
money-lender. Whilst with regard to Belshazzar himself the 
following extract from a tablet dated the eleventh year of 
Nabonidus exhibits him as a dealer in " clothes " or possibly 
" woollen stuffs " : 

" 20 mana of silver, the price of the garments [which were] 
the property of Bel-sharra-utsur, the son of the king, which [are 
due] through Nabu-tsabit-qata, the chief of the house of Bel- 
sharra-utsur, the son of the king, and the secretaries of the son 
of the king, from Iddina-Marduk, son of Ikisha, descendant of 
Nur-Sin. In the month Adar of the l[lth] year, the silver, 
20 mana, he shall pay. His house, which is beside the [planta- 
tion ?], his slave, and his property in town and country, all there 
is, is the security of Bel-sharra-utsur, the son of the king, until 
Bel-sharra-utsur receives his money. [For] the silver as much as 
[from the sum] is withheld, interest he shall pay. 

" Witnesses : Bel-iddina, son of Eemut," etc. 

1 See Pinches' Old Testament, 1st ed. pp. 430-451. 



E have now come to the great historical crux in the Book 
of Daniel. The great prophetical crux, as we have seen, 
occurs in chap. xi. of that Book, where an original 
prophecy of Daniel appears to have been overlaid and obscured 
by a Jewish targum of the age of Antiochus Epiphanes. The 
reat historical crux meets us at the close of chap. v. in that brief 
statement, " Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about 
threescore and two years old." It admits, however, of a happier 
solution than the prophetical, thanks to the ever-increasing light 
which has come to us of late years from Babylonian sources. 
Indeed, our main difficulty now is, not so much to discover the 
Median Darius, as to decide which of two individuals has the 
stronger claim to represent that monarch. 

Before we enter into this discussion, we must first endeavour 
to ascertain the position held by the Darius of the Book of Daniel. 
Was he, or was he not, an independent sovereign ? The critics, in 
their anxiety to prove that the author of this Book interposes a 
Median empire between the Babylonian and the Persian thus 
betraying his ignorance of the facts of history look upon Darius 
the Mede as an independent monarch. They tell us that the 
words of Dan. v. 81, " Darius the Mede received the kingdom," 
mean that he received it from God, and in proof of their assertion 
point us back to verse 28, " Thy kingdom is divided, and given 
to the Medes and Persians." There is, however, a great difference 
between these two verses. Verse 28 is a prophetic statement aa 
to the meaning of one of the four mystic words which make up a 
divine message. Verse 81 is an historical statement. In verse 28 
it is understood without the shadow of a doubt that He who 
sends the message is Himself the Agent by whom it will be 
accomplished. But verse 31 is by no means so plain ; and we 
might hang in doubt as to its meaning, were it not for a later 
passage which comes to our help. In Dan, ix. 1 we read, " In 



the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the 
Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans." 
Here is a chronological statement as to the date of one of Daniel's 
visions. It was seen, we are told, in the first year of the Median 
Darius, who " was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans." 
Made king by God ? What a needless statement ! All kings are 
made kings by God. But if we take the words to mean made 
king by man, then at once they become intelligible ; for they tell 
us that the date is reckoned, not according to the years of an 
independent sovereign, such, for instance, as the later Darius, but 
of a sub-king set over the realm of the Chaldeans, a Babylonian as 
distinguished from an imperial ruler. The Darius of Dan. v. 
is, then, a sub-king, and not an independent monarch as the 
critics would have us believe. But if this be so, the imaginary 
Median empire, which they think they see in this Book, and by 
which they interpret the vision of the four kingdoms in chap, ii., 
making Media out to be the second kingdom, is shown to be a 
mere fiction of their own creation. 

The position held by the Median Darius being thus settled, 
our next object must be to identify this monarch. Where 
historical data are wanting, various identifications will naturally 
be put forward. Thus Darius the Mede has been identified with 
Nabonidus, with Astyages, with Cyaxares II., with Darius 
Hystaspes, with Gobryas, and finally with Cambyses the son of 
Cyrus. Before the decipherment by Pinches of the contemporary 
Babylonian records the first four may be said to have occupied 
the field. The claim of Nabonidus was advocated on the ground 
that he was the last king of Babylon before Cyrus, and must be 
looked upon as that Mede through whose treachery, or possibly 
incapacity, Cyrus, according to the supposed prophecy of Nebu- 
chadnezzar quoted by Megasthenes, 1 was able to make himself 
master of Babylon. The claim of Astyages king of the Medes 
was made to rest, first on the conciliatory disposition manifested 
by Cyrus toward conquered kings, and then on the fact that 
Cyrus was related to the Median king either by descent or by 
marriage, and lastly on the argument that it would be sound 
policy on the part of Cyrus to gratify his Median subjects by 
making a descendant of Cyaxares viceroy of Babylon. The 
argument in favour of Cyaxares II., the son of Astyages, was 
based in part on the Cyropcedia of Xenophon, who makes this 
monarch the king under whom Babylon was taken and goes on to 
relate that he gave his daughter in marriage to Cyrus with Media 

1 See Chapter X. above. 


as. her dowry. 1 It was also thought to be borne out by some 
lines in the Persce of iEschylus, 2 and to be well-nigh established by 
the statement of Josephus in his Antiquities, x. 11, 4, " When 
Babylon was taken by Darius, and when he, with his kinsman 
Cyrus, had put an end to the dominion of the Babylonians, he 
was sixty-two years of age. He was the son of Astyages, and had 
another name among the Greeks." To the Higher Critics, Darius 
the Mede appears as a reflection into the past of Darius Hystaspes. 
They point out that Babylon was twice taken by Darius Hystaspes, 
also that it was under him that the Persian empire was first divided 
into satrapies, of which they see a backward reflection in the course 
of action pursued by Darius the Mede, as described in Dan. vi. 1. 
However, for those who seek to interpret the historical portion 
of the Book of Daniel in the light of the contemporary inscriptions, 
the above identifications, though interesting to look back upon 
as the efforts of scholars, whether in a former and less privileged 
age, or in our own more enlightened times, may all very well be 
relegated to the limbo of the past. For if we follow the guidance 
of the Annalistic Tablet so often referred to already and the 
irrefutable evidence of the contract tablets, there are two persons, 
and only two, who can henceforth be looked upon as forming the 
original of the Darius of the Book of Daniel. According to the 
cuneiform records the choice must lie between Gobryas, Cyrus* 
governor in Babylon, and Cambyses the son of Cyrus. The claims 
of both these individuals to what we may call the vacant throne 
are very strong. According to the Annalistic Tablet, the general 
who led the troops of Cyrus into Babylon, and who as borne out 
by the Cyropcedia of Xenophon conducted the attack on the 
palace, was Gobyras. It was the men with Gadatas and Gobryas 
who, according to that historian, overpowered the Babylonian 
king, 3 against whom both those generals had a special grudge. 4 
Above all, according to the contemporary cuneiform record, 
Gobryas, in the early days after the capture of Babylon, was 
appointed Cyrus' governor in that city. In the words of the 
tablet, as translated by Pinches, " Cyrus promised peace to 

1 The identification of Darius the Mede with Cyaxares II. has been very 
ably worked out by Craig Robinson in What about the Old Testament ? chap, xii., 
but it is not borne out by the cuneiform inscriptions. 

2 Cf. the Persce, lines 771-774 

MrjSos yap i]v 6 irpS>ros 7iyefj.a>i> ffTparov ' 
&Wos 5' (Kfivov ira7s roB' i-pyov tfvuffe, 
<ppeves yap avrov dvfxbv olaKOO~rp6(poov ' 
rpiros 8' air' avrov Kvpos, k.t.X. 

8 Cyropcedia, book vii. chap. v. 30. 

* Ibid, book iv. chap. vi. 4, and book v. chap. ii. 28, 


Babylon, all of it. Gubaru [Gobryas] his governor appointed 
governors in Babylon." That the power of Gobryas was very 
considerable is further established by a contract tablet dated the 
fourth year of Cambyses, i.e. thirteen years after the capture of 
Babylon by Cyrus, on which a man undertakes to deliver a certain 
amount of early fruit at the king's palace : " If he does not bring 
it," adds the contract, " he will commit a sin against Gobryas 
the governor of Babylon." On these words Pinches well remarks 
that a failure to keep the contract will be a sin against Gobryas 
the governor, not against Cambyses. 1 This shows to what an 
extent Gobryas was entrusted with power, even though he may 
not have been governor of the city all through those thirteen 
intervening years. Another point in favour of Gobryas' claim 
to be the original of Darius the Mede, lies in the fact that Gutium, 
the country of which he was already the governor when he came 
over to the side of Cyrus. 2 formed a part of Media. Thus he may 
very well have been a Mede, or have been looked on as repre- 
senting the Medes. That Cyrus should appoint a Mede as 
governor of Babylon is nothing remarkable ; he was anxious to 
favour the Medes, who had revolted from Astyages and put them- 
selves under his sway, 3 thus enabling him to go forward in his 
career of conquest. Indeed, the Medes were looked upon by the 
Persians as brothers, not as a conquered nation, so that under the 
Persian kings Medes were often advanced to high posts. As for 
the name " Darius," I shall hope to show that it was an appellative, 
a title of honour rather than a proper name. Gobryas may thus 
very well have been styled " Darius the Mede," while the age of 
threescore and two years, or thereabouts, agrees admirably with 
what we glean from the pages of Xenophon. That historian 
describes Gobryas as an old man when he came over to the side 
of Cyrus, and yet credits him with having sufficient energy to 
join Gadatas in leading the attack on the palace. Still, in spite 
of all these favourable points, I am inclined to give the precedence 
to Cambyses the son of Cyrus ; and that, mainly on two grounds : 
first, Gobryas, unlike Darius the Mede, is never called a king, or 
described as having royal power, he is only a " governor " ; 4 
secondly, Gobryas was not the successor of Belshazzar on the 
throne of Babylon. In both these respects Cambyses has in- 
comparably the stronger claim, since it can be shown that for 
some nine months in the first year of Cyrus after the capture of 

x Expository Times, April, 1915, p. 298. 2 Annalistio Tablet, Rev. i. 15. 

3 Ibid. Ob v. col. ii. 2, " The army of Istuvegu (Astyages) revolted against 
him, and laid hands on him : to Cyrus they delivered him." 
* Ibid. Rev. col. i. 20, 


abylon, Cambyses occupied the same position in relation to his 
,ther Cyrus, both in the empire and on the throne of Babylon, 
hich Belshazzar had held under his father Nabonidus ; and also 
lat Cambyses was appointed by his father Cyrus as the successor 
: Belshazzar. And this is what I understand the writer of the 
ook of Daniel to mean, when, after describing the circumstances 
! Belshazzar 's death, he adds, " and Darius the Mede received 
le kingdom," i.e. Darius received what had been Belshazzar' s. 

The last tablet of the reign of Nabonidus, as we have seen, is 
ited the 10th of Marchesvan (October-November). For the 
imaining four or five months of that year, a period described 
t Babylonian fashion as " the accession year " of Cyrus, that 
lonarch was king both of Babylon and of the empire. The 
irliest tablet of Cyrus is dated the 24th of Marchesvan (October- 
ovember) in his " accession year," and he is styled on it, " King 
E the Countries." In a tablet dated the 7th day of the following 
lonth, the month Chisleu (November-December), the style, 
lough partly obliterated, reads thus 

" Cyrus king of . . . 
... of Babylon." 

rom which it seems probable that in the remaining months of 
is " accession year," after the capture of Babylon, Cyrus himself 
as styled " King of Babylon." This is rendered certain by 
iblet No. 1 in Strassmaier's Cyrus, in which though the day is 
iped out and the month partly obliterated, yet the closing words 
and out clear 

" accession year of 
Cyrus king of Babylon and of the Countries." 

evertheless, in spite of this, it can be shown that it was the 
itention of Cyrus that his son Cambyses should succeed Bel- 
lazzar on the throne of Babylon. The proof of this is as follows : 
he Annalistic Tablet, after describing the death of " the king's 
ra " in the attack made on the palace by Gobryas on the night 
E the 11th of Marchesvan, goes on to describe the public mourning 
>r him, which was held some three or four months later at the 
ose of the year. The record reads thus : " From the 27th day 
E Adar [February-March] to the 3rd day of Nisan [March- April] 
lamentation was made in the country of Akkad " northern 
abylonia, where Belshazzar had been in command of the army. 
All the people smote their heads. On the 4th day Cambyses 
le son of Cyrus went into - the Temple where the Sceptre of 

1 Cf. Strassmaier's Inschriften von Cyrus Ko'nig von Babylon, No, 3. 


the World is given.' The official of ' the Temple of the Sceptre 
of Nebo ' brought a message in his hand "... Here the inscrip- 
tion becomes illegible, but enough has been told us to make it 
quite easy to guess what the purport of that message was. The 
public mourning for Belshazzar was doubtless a great occasion. 
It lasted just a week ; the same period as the " grievous mourning " 
of the Egyptians over Jacob at the threshing-floor of Atad. It 
could only have been held with the consent and full approval of 
Cyrus. But we may go even further and say that it was probably 
initiated by Cyrus himself, either of his own accord or at the 
instigation of his advisers. The week of mourning began near 
the close of the Old Year, and ran on into the first three days of 
the New Year. At the New Year Babylon was probably full of 
people, who had come to keep the great New Year festival. This 
festival lasted certainly over the first eleven days of the month 
Nisan. 1 how much longer we cannot say. Cyrus, anxious doubt- 
less to conciliate the Babylonians, and knowing that nothing wa3 
so likely to effect this as giving them a king of their own to succeed 
the dead Belshazzar, designed to place his young son Cambyses 
on the throne, and to give him the title, " King of Babylon," 
which had probably been given to Belshazzar. For this purpose 
he waited till near the close of the year to show all due respect to 
the dead monarch. Then, as soon as the week of public mourning 
was over, and when the vast throng of people were duly impressed 
with the kindness of the conqueror, on the very next day he sent 
his son Cambyses to the temple of Nebo, a temple which bears 
this significant name, " The Temple where the Sceptre of the 
World is given." Into this temple kings entered at the beginning 
of their reign. Thus Nabonidus says on his famous stele, " Into 
' the Temple where the Sceptre of the World is given,' into the 
presence of Nebo, the prolonger of my reign, I entered. A 
righteous sceptre, a legitimate rod of authority enlarging the land, 
he entrusted to my hands." 2 Cambyses, by entering this temple 
immediately after the obsequies of Belshazzar were over, showed 
that he was about to succeed that monarch. And the message 
brought him by the temple official was no doubt looked upon as a 
message from the god confirming his claim. Eor in this predica- 
ment we may well believe that the Babylonian priesthood were as 
subservient to the monarch's will as the Parliament of Henry VIII. 
at the period of the Beformation. We must remember also that 
many of them were grievously incensed with Nabonidus for 
bringing the gods of the other cities into Babylon, and now that 

1 India House Inscription, col. ii. 57. 
8 Stele of Nabonidus, col. vii. 


iat king was a captive in the hands of his foes, and his son slain, 
r ere probably not unwilling to bar his possible return to the 
irone as a sub-king under Cyrus by welcoming the accession of 
le son of Cyrus. After the ceremony of Cambyses' visit to the 
smple of Nebo, it would appear to the people of Babylon that as 
yrus had taken the place of Nabonidus on the throne of empire, 
3 his son Cambyses had taken the place of Belshazzar the son of 
labonidus on the throne of Babylon. 

The above reference, so likely in itself, is abundantly confirmed 
y the evidence of the contract tablets. On the 4th of Nisan 
le very day on which Cambyses went to the temple of Nebo 
yrus is styled on the tablets " King of Babylon " for the last 
me for some nine months. Not till we come to the tablet 
ated 1.10.0, i.e. 1st year, 10th month, day uncertain, does he 
gain bear that title. Further, the collections of Strassmaier 
nd Peiser furnish us with no fewer than ten tablets during that 
iterval on which Cambyses is styled " King of Babylon " and 
is father Cyrus " King of Countries." These tablets are dated 
3 follows : 


Y. M. D. 



1 2 5 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, Cyrus King of Countries." 


12 9 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, Cyrus King of Countries." 


1 3 10 

" Cyrus King of Countries, Cambyses King of Babylon." 


14 7 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, Cyrus King of Countries." 


1 4 25 

" Cambyses King of Babylon when Cyrus was King 



1 5 21 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, Cyrus his father King 



1 8 9 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, son of Cyrus King 



1 9 25 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, when his father Cyrus was 

King of Countries." 


9 25 

" Cyrus King of Countries and Cambyses King 



1 8 

" Cambyses King of Babylon, son of Cyrus King 


The mention of their two royal names on the above ten tablets 
t the first year of Cyrus, belonging to six different months, is a 
ire proof that he and his son Cambyses were reigning together 

1 The numbers in the first column refer to Strassmaier's Cambyses except 
i the case of the tablet dated 1.3.10, which is found in Strassmaier's Cyrus. 
he second column gives the year, month, and day. The tablet dated 1.5.21 
i from Peiser 's collection. Where a cipher stands the number is uncertain. 


during the first nine months of that year, the former as " King of 
Countries," the latter as " King of Babylon." In three instances, 
viz. on the tablets dated 1.4.25, 1.9.25, and 0.9.25, this is 
expressly stated. The placing the name of Cambyses in eight 
cases before that of Cyrus is due to the fact that the contracts 
were drawn up at Babylon or at any rate in Babylonia. The only 
question that we have to determine is whether these tablets 
belong to the beginning or to the end of Cyrus' reign. The answer 
would seem to lie in the certainty that a paramount king like 
Cyrus would never allow a fresh era to commence during his 
reign. Thus, had Cambyses begun to reign as king of Babylon at 
the beginning, say, of Cyrus' seventh year, that year would never 
be allowed to be called the first year of their joint reign. It could 
only be called the seventh year of Cyrus king of the Countries, and 
the first year of Cambyses king of Babylon. However, by seating his 
son Cambyses on the throne of Babylon at the New Year, 538 B.C. 
the year after the capture of Babylon Cyrus brought it about 
that he and his son both had the same first year, as witnessed by 
the above tablets. The evidence of the contract tablets is thus 
seen to confirm in an admirable way the inference already almost 
forced upon us by the Annalistic Tablet, viz. that Cambyses went 
into the Temple of Nebo to have his title confirmed as " King of 
Babylon." Further, we learn from the same source that this 
reign of Cambyses as king of Babylon, which covered the first 
nine months of the year 538 B.C., terminated before the tenth 
month was over, for in a tablet dated 1.10.0 Cambyses is not 
mentioned, and the title " King of Babylon " is given to Cyrus. 
There are, however, in Strassmaier's Cyrus three tablets on which 
Cyrus is called " King of Babylon," which have been wrongly 
dated, so that they appear to fall into the nine months' interval, 
during which that title, as we have seen, was held by his son 
Cambyses. The first of the three tablets is No. 13, dated Cyrus (?) 
1.1.10. This tablet is much obliterated. The name "Cyrus" 
is uncertain, as indicated by Strassmaier. Equally uncertain is 
the title " King of Babylon." Still more important is No. 18, 
the tablet alluded to above as 1.10.0, but which Strassmaier, by 
a slip, dates as 1.5.30. This tablet reads thus 

" 576 sheep from the month Tebet, 
the 1st year of Cyrus king of Babylon, 
to the 30th day of the month Ab," etc. 1 

1 The year begins with Nisan (March-April). Tebet answers to December- 
January. The 30th of Ab (July-August) would fall in the second year of 


The inscription on this tablet shows that Cyrus was " King of 
>abylon " in Tebet, the tenth month of his first year. As no 
pecial day of the month is mentioned, the tablet should be 
ated 1.10.0, or possibly 1.10.1, if, as seems likely, the words 
from the month Tebet " mean that the contract was entered 
ito on the first day of that month. The learned editor, misled by 
he mention in the third line of the 30th day of Ab, the fifth 
lonth, has mis-dated the tablet 1.5.30. The third instance of 
aisdating is No. 19, which Strassmaier registers as 1.7.16. On this 
ablet it will be found that the number of the year is uncertain, 
t is indicated by a single perpendicular wedge at the end of the 
fth line, placed after the character for " year." This single 
redge has led Strassmaier to register the tablet as belonging to 
he first year of Cyrus. But when we look closer, we notice that 
tie character used as a determinative after numerals, and which 
ught, therefore, to follow this wedge, is wanting, i.e. the line is 
icomplete, and has been partially obliterated. Hence the number 
f the year itself may be incomplete. There may just as well have 
een two or three perpendicular wedges before the vanished 
eterminative as one, i.e. the tablet may quite as possibly belong to 
le second or third year of Cyrus as to the first. It cannot, however, 
elong to a later year than the third, since this would require a 
ifferent arrangement of the wedges. The year being thus 
ncertain, this tablet ought to be dated, not 1.7.16, but 0.7.16. 
'he result, then, of our close investigation is that Cambyses was 
ing of Babylon for the first nine months of the first year of Cyrus, 
r, to be more exact, from the 4th day of Nisan to at least the 
;5th day of the ninth month, Chisleu. In the next month, Tebet, 
!yrus had taken back the title, and apparently removed Cambyses 
ram his post. In perfect accordance with this result is the fact 
hat in the Book of Daniel we find only the first year of Darius the 
Mede mentioned. 

The tablets at which we have been looking are of interest as 
orming the only instances in which two royal names appear. This, 
,s stated in a previous chapter, was rendered possbile by both Cyrus 
,nd Cambyses beginning the first year of their reigns at the same 
\Tew Year. Interesting, too, is the title which Cyrus chose for him- 
elf, as contrasted with that which he allowed his son to bear. The 
itle " King of Babylon," which had contented the Neo-Babylonian 
rings, in whose eyes Babylon was the centre of the universe, would 
>ear a very different meaning in the eyes of the newly-risen king 
f Persia, whose conquests stretched far and wide, and covered a 
ar more extensive territory than the empire of Babylon. To 
lim such a title would seem far too confined to describe his vast 


empire. Accordingly, even in his " accession year," we find 
Cyrus styling himself on the tablets, " King of Countries," occasion- 
ally along with the older title, " King of Babylon." The signifi- 
cance of this new title is well brought out in a tablet of the first year 
of Cyrus, which reads thus : " Cyrus king of the Countries, king 
of all their kingdoms." 1 Compare Ezra i. 2 : " Thus saith Cyrus 
king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord, the 
God of heaven, given me." 

The title " King of Babylon," which Cyrus bestowed on his 
son Cambyses, must not be looked upon as a mere title. A 
kingdom went with it, albeit a sub-kingdom. This we gather 
from Daniel's interpretation of the word PEEES, " thy kingdom 
is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." If PEEES had 
only meant " divided " in the sense of " broken to pieces," or 
" broken away from thee," then the prophet would not have 
mentioned the Medes, for the play being on the word " Persians " 
there was no need whatever to mention the Medes, but rather the 
reverse. But since the Medes are thus expressly mentioned as 
well as the Persians, we see that PEEES has here its primary 
meaning, " divided into two parts," and that the sense is, " thy 
kingdom will be divided between the two brother-nations, the 
Medes and the Persians." Thus the prophet's word of interpre- 
tation and the two royal names and titles on the contract tables 
reflect a mutual light on each other. The Babylonian empire 
must have been divided by Cyrus into two parts. One part 
would be added to the countries which already owned his sway, 
and the other given as a sub-kingdom to his son Cambyses, the 
" Darius the Mede " of the Book of Daniel. In acting thus the 
Persian monarch was attempting afresh what had been vainly 
attempted before by Assyrian kings. Thus Sennacherib had 
appointed his son Ashur-nadin-shumu king of Babylon in sub- 
ordination to himself ; an arrangement which only lasted six 
years, when his son was carried captive to Elam. Still more 
disastrous was the attempt of Esarhaddon, when he appointed 
his younger son, Shamash-shum-ukin, as king of Babylon under 
the suzerainty of his older brother Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria. 
Ashurbanipal, trying apparently to lord it over his brother, a 
most dangerous rebellion arose, which was put down with great 
difficulty and seriously weakened the strength of the Assyrian 
empire, leading the way to its ultimate downfall. The attempt 
of Cyrus, if not so disastrous in its issue, was equally doomed to 

1 See Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, vol. viii. 
part i. text 58. 


failure. It only lasted, as we have seen, nine months. When it 
was terminated by the conqueror's strong hand, it must have 
left the unruly Babylonians in a state of great discontent. To 
this probably were due the two rebellions which broke out in the 
sarly years of Darius Hystaspes. 

We are now approaching the most obscure part of our subject : 
the question as to why Cambyses is called " Darius," and also 
why he is described as a " Mede." As we have just been studying 
the significance of the prediction contained in the word PEBES, 
it may be best to take the latter question first. According to the 
historical note in Dan. ix. 1, the new king of Babylon was " of the 
seed of the Medes," a Median by descent. In the case of Cambyses 
this could only have been on his mother's side. Now, Ctesias tells 
us in his Persica 1 that after the defeat of Astyages king of the 
Medes and the capture of Ecbatana, Cyrus married Amytis the 
daughter of Astyages, and that Cambyses was the fruit of that 
marriage. It was, then, as the child of a Median mother that 
Cambyses received the title " Darius the Mede." Such a title 
would be likely to gratify the Medes, who had voluntarily come 
Dver to the side of Cyrus when he went to attack Astyages ; 2 
for it not only honoured them, but assured them of some share in 
the government of the empire. It would also tend to conciliate 
the Babylonians, for their great Nebuchadnezzar, according to 
Abydenus, had married another Amytis of the same royal Median 
line. But it would be especially welcome to captive Judah. 
For Media, according to Isaiah's prophecy, chap. xxi. 2, had taken 
the chief part in putting down Assyria 3 some seventy years 
before, and just lately, in accordance with Jeremiah's prediction, 
chap. li. 11, 28, had helped to subjugate Babylon; so that the 
title of the young king of Babylon sounded in Jewish ears like a 

1 See the Persica, excerpts 2 and 10. It is only incidentally that Ctesias 
informs us that Cambyses was the son of Amytis. Of the different stories 
told us by Greek historians of the connection of Cyrus with the Median royal 
family that of Herodotus is the most legendary. If, as that historian states, 
Cyrus was Astyages' heir, his own daughter's son, it was a most unnatural 
thing for the old king to seek to make away with his grandson. Far more 
likely is the version of Ctesias. By marrying Amytis, as this writer shows, 
Cyrus came to be looked upon as the legitimate successor of Astyages, so that 
when the news of the marriage reached the Bactrians, with whom he was then 
at war, they at once gave in their allegiance to Amytis and Cyrus. It may be 
noted that the name 'Avrvtyas, as written by Ctesias, corresponds more 
closely wit h the cuneiform Ishtumvigu than the 'Ao-Tvdyris of Herodotus. 
Ctesias himself was a prisoner in Persia from 417 to 398 B.C., and was court 
physician to Artaxerxes II. 

a Annalistic Tablet, Obv. col. ii. 2. 

3 See my paper in the Journal of Theological Studies for July, 1913. 


fulfilment of prophecy, which indeed it was, for Persia was but a 
new friend, while Media had all along been the champion of 
freedom. Israel, when taken captive, had been distributed 
among the cities of the conquered Medes. 1 Noio, the Medes were 
themselves the conquerors, and were able to avenge on Babylon, 
the successor of Assyria, the wrongs done of old to God's people. 
While these considerations, coupled with the fact that Babylon 
itself was to be put under the rule of a Median prince, fully explain 
the naming the Medes before the Persians in the interpretation of 
the word PERES ; it is at the same time impossible for the critics 
to charge the writer of this Book with any the least ignorance as 
to the pre-eminence already attained by the Persians at the time 
of the fall of Babylon. For not only does he inform us that the 
kingdom of Darius was a sub-kingdom, " received " from another, 
viz. from " Cyrus the Persian," but already in a vision of a slightly 
earlier date, viz. the third year of Belshazzar, he has seen the 
Medo-Persian kingdom exhibited as a ram with two horns. Both 
horns were high, but the one which came up last was the higher, 
i.e. Media was still a great power, but Persia was seen overtopping 

It has been shown in what sense Cambyses could be called a 
Mede, but what are we to say of the name Darius % Prof. Sayce 
insists that " the kings of Persia were contented with one name," 
and that " by that name they were known in all parts of their 
dominion." He also affirms that " the son and successor of 
Cyrus is Cambyses in Babylon as well as in Persia and Egypt." 2 
It is quite true that in the few monuments of the Old Persian 
empire which still remain to us, as well as on the contract tablets, 
Cambyses is always Cambyses. But this is insufficient ground 
on which to base the statement that the Persian kings had only 
one name. The testimony of Herodotus and Josephus points 
the other way. Josephus, speaking of Darius the Mede, says 
that " he was the son of Astyages and had another name among the 
Greeks." 3 Both of these statements are deserving of notice. 
The first statement, viz. that Darius the Mede was the son of 
Astyages, approaches very nearly the statement of Ctesias that 
Cambyses was the son of the daughter of Astyages. But it is 
Josephus' second statement with which we are now most con- 
cerned, and I shall endeavour to show from the pages of this 
historian that the other name of Darius the Mede, by which he was 
known among the Greeks, and which appears for the moment to 

1 2 Kings xvii. 6. * Higher Criticism, p. 543. 

* Ant. x. 11, 4. 


have escaped the historian's memory, was the name Cambyses. 
The proof lies thus : When introducing Artaxerxes L, Josephus 
makes the following remark : " After the death of Xerxes the 
kingdom came to be transferred to his son Cyrus, whom the 
Greeks called Artaxerxes." * Here is an incidental proof that 
the Persian kings sometimes had two names, and it will be observed 
in this instance that the name Artaxerxes, by which this monarch 
was known to the Greeks, is the same name that we find alike on 
the monuments in Old Persian and on the Babylonian contract 
tablets. Hence it may be argued in the case of " Darius the 
Mede " that the other name by which he was known among the 
Greeks must have been the name Cambyses, since that is the name 
of the king, set up at Babylon by Cyrus after the capture of that 
city, which appears on the contract tablets ; the name, too, of 
Cyrus' son and successor, as witnessed alike by the tablets and 
the Old Persian inscription at Behistun. But Herodotus throws 
still further light on the matter. According to the father of 
history the names of some of the Persian kings, e.g. Darius, Xerxes, 
and Artaxerxes, were appellatives rather than proper names, and 
this is the view of modern authorities on the Old Persian language. 
According to Herodotus, Darius=" Worker," Xerxes=" Warrior," 
Artaxerxes =" Great Warrior." 2 These meanings cannot be main- 
tained, since in the Old Persian dress it is seen at once that the 
names Xerxes and Artaxerxes have no connection whatever. 3 
Nevertheless modern scholars on philological grounds have so 
far endorsed the statement of the old historian as to attach the 
following meanings to the three names : Darius, " possessing 
wealth " ; Xerxes, " a royal person " ; Artaxerxes, " law of the 
kingdom," or " he whose kingdom is lifted up." If, then, in the 
case before us, the name Darius be an appellative, the bearer, as 
stated by Josephus, would have another name, which, as has just 
been shown, was probably the name Cambyses. Why the Persian 
kings were called in some instances by appellations of honour as 
in the case of Cyrus-Artaxerxes, who was known as Artaxerxes, in 
other instances by their own proper names, as in the case of 
Cambyses, who appears on the monuments as Cambyse, though 
styled in the Book of Daniel " Darius the Mede," is a question 
that cannot be determined. 

In Dan. ix. 1 it is said of Darius the Mede that he was the 
" son," i.e. the descendant of Ahasuerus. The critics who take 

1 Ant. xi. 6, 1. 

2 Herod, vi. 98. 

s In Old Persian, Xerxes is KhsJiaydrsha ; Artaxerxes, Artakhshatra ; 
and Darius, Darayavahush. 


Darius the Mede to be a reflection into the past of Darius 
Hystaspes see in this statement the confusion of a later age, since 
Darius Hystaspes was the father of Xerxes, and not his son. 
The answer is that Dan. ix. 1 speaks of a Median, not a Persian 
Ahasuerus, the tribal distinction between the Medes and Persians 
being very clearly recognised in this Book, no less than their 
close political relationship. In the Book of Tobit xiv. 15, 
the writer of that romance identifies " Assuerus " with the 
destroyer of Nineveh, i.e. with Cyaxares. It has been asserted 
that his object was to make his book harmonise with the Book of 
Daniel, in which case the closing verse would form an early 
comment on Dan. ix. I. 1 But however that may be, the identi- 
fication is a likely one for the two following reasons. In the first 
place, the writer of this Book of Daniel, looking on the Median 
Darius as a deliverer, would like to note his descent from an 
earlier deliverer of the Chosen People, viz. the king who had put 
down Assyria. Secondly, Cyaxares, as witnessed by the Behistun 
Inscription, was the pride of the Median monarchy, just as 
Nebuchadnezzar was of the Babylonian ; 2 so that it would be 
natural to describe a king of the royal Median line as sprung from 
Cyaxares. It is, however, a mistake to seek to identify the name 
Cyaxares with the name Ahasuerus. " Cyaxares " is in the Old 
Persian, Uvakhshatara" ; whilst " Ahasuerus," Hebrew Achash- 
verosh, appears in Old Persian as Khshayarsha, in Greek as 

1 Oesterley in his Books of the Apocrypha, p. 365, regards the Book of Tobit 
as pre-Maccabean, and notes that there is no reference in it to the Maccabean 

2 In the early years of Darius Hystaspes, as we learn from the Behistun 
Inscription, two impostors claimed to be sprung from Cyaxares, just as two 
had called themselves " Nebuchadnezzar the son of Nabonidus." 


darius the mede (continued) 

IN continuance of our subject I propose in this chapter to 
consider some further details with respect to " Darius the 
Mede," which bear on his identification with Cambyses the 
son of Cyrus ; and the first point that naturally presents itself 
is the age assigned to Darius, viz. " about threescore and two 
years." In the LXX version so highly prized by the critics, but 
which seems, to say the least of it, a very free re-editing of the 
original, partaking in some passages of the nature of a commentary 
rather than of a translation no exact age is assigned to Darius, 
although he is described as " full of days and honoured in his 
old age." But our concern must be not with this Greek version, 
but with the Aramaic original, and I shall endeavour, therefore, to 
throw some light on the number 62 which at present stands in 
the text. 

According to the Sippara Inscription of Nabonidus, col. i. 
26-28, Cyrus defeated Astyages king of the Medes and captured 
Ecbatana in the third year of the reign of Nabonidus. 1 It is also 
clear from the contract tablets that Babylon was taken by Cyrus 
in the seventeenth year of the reign of Nabonidus. If, then, Cyrus 
married Amytis the daughter of Astyages shortly after the capture 
of Ecbatana, Cambyses would be quite young when he was 
appointed by his father to succeed Belshazzar. He might very 
well be twelve years old. I shall now give some reasons for 
thinking that 12, and not 62, was the original reading in Dan. v. 31 . 
It is well known that inaccuracy in numbers is a common thing 
in the Old Testament, and the reason given is, that numbers were 
anciently indicated by letters of the alphabet, and that some of 
these letters being very much alike were often mistaken one for 
the other : e.g. in 2 Kings xxv. 8 we have " seventh day," where 
the parallel in Jer. lii. 12 reads " tenth day." In this case Z 
the archaic form of the letter Zain which stands for the number 7, 
has been confounded with Z> the archaic form of the letter Yod 

1 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. p. 169. 



which stands for 10. We shall find that a very similar mistake 
has been made with regard to the age of Darius the Mede. First, 
however, we must inquire whether the letters of the alphabet 
were used to denote numbers as early as the time of Daniel and the 
age immediately succeeding. The answer to this question does 
not admit of absolute certainty, but facts' can be brought forward 
to show the very strong probability that they were so used. 

In the first place, in Jer. xxv. 26, and again in li. 41, we find 
the cipher " Sheshach " used as a kryptogram for the name 
" Babel," i.e. Babylon. Sh, the last letter but one of the Hebrew 
alphabet, is here made to take the place of b, the second letter ; 
and similarly ch, the twelfth letter counting from the end, is made 
to take the place of I, the twelfth letter counting from the begin- 
ning. Thus BaBeL becomes SHeSHaCH. 1 This is suggestive 
that counting by letters was in vogue in the age of Jeremiah and 
therefore of Daniel. But stronger is the evidence of the alphabetic 
psalms, which may almost be regarded as definite instances of 
such a use, the first letters of the first words of the different verses 
being made to follow the order of the letters of the alphabet. Thus 
verse 1 begins with Aleph, verse 2 with Beth, and so on ; which is 
almost the same thing as giving to Aleph the value 1, to Beth the 
value 2, etc., etc. Another very strong indication that the letters 
were used as numerals before the age of Daniel lies in the fact that 
both in the Semitic and Greek alphabets the letters have the same 
numerical values down to the seventeenth letter, thus showing 
that the alphabetic system of numerals was in use before those 
alphabets parted company, i.e. before the ninth century B.C. 2 
In the case of the Greek alphabet the earliest instance of alphabetic 
numeration which we possess dates only from the reign of 
Ptolemy II., 285-247 B.C. But when we turn to Semitic sources 
we find letters used as numerals as early as the eighth century B.C. 
Thus on the lion-weights from Nimrud, Beth, the second letter of 
the Semitic alphabet, is used in the sense of " double." 3 Amongst 
the Jews the earliest example still extant occurs on the ancient 
silver shekels, which have been variously assigned to the age of 
Ezra, to that of the Maccabees, and to the time of the first revolt. 4 
The value, however, of the evidence afforded by these shekels 
depends, not so much upon their age, as on their markedly con- 
servative and religious character. The type of alphabet used on 

1 Cf. also Jer. li. 1, where " Leb-kamai " is a cipher for " Casdirn," 

2 See Isaac Taylor's Alphabet, vol. i. p. 197. 

8 Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, vol. i. part 2, Nos. 2, 3, 4. 
* See The Money of the Bible, pp. 27, 28, by G. C. Williamson. 


them is archaic as compared with that found on the coins of the 
Asmonean princes, and on those of the second revolt. The coins, 
if not of the date of Ezra, are stamped with letters which copy 
the older forms : letters which differ little in shape from those 
employed in the Siloam Inscription, supposed to have been written 
in the latter half of the eighth century B.C. Further, the symbols 
stamped on the shekels, such as the seven- branched candlestick, 
along with such superscriptions as " Jerusalem the Holy," give 
them a distinctly religious character. When, therefore, we find 
on these coins the number of the year given alphabetically, so that 
A W stands for shendh B, i.e. " year 2," the strong presumption 
is that letters of the alphabet were used by the Jews as numerals 
in copying their sacred writings, certainly as early as the fifth 
century B.C., to which the type of alphabet used on the shekels 
points back ; and further, that in this fact we have the key to 
some of the numerical discrepancies of Holy Scripture. 

Now let us apply this use of the letters to the case at issue. 
The age of Darius the Mede, viz. 62, is expressed alphabetically by 
the letters Samekh Beth. We need not quarrel with the Beth, but 
Samekh, which stands for 60, must evidently be a corruption, if the 
Median Darius is the same person as Cambyses. We turn accord- 
ingly to the ancient Semitic alphabet, and study the various phases 
through which this letter passed in the sixth and fifth centuries 
B.C., to find what other letter could most easily be confused with 
Samekh. It then becomes evident that during the last quarter 
of the sixth century B.C. and the first half of the following century 
there was a remarkable resemblance between the letters Samekh 
and Yod, so that a carelessly written Yod might very easily be 
mistaken for a Samekh. This is best seen in the inscription on 
the Teima Stone. 1 In line 13 of this inscription Yod appears as 
the second letter, and in the following line Yod is the first letter 
and Samekh the third, so that we have the two characters in con- 
venient juxta-position. Now, if for Samekh Beth we read Yod 
Beth, the age of Darius is reduced from 62 to 12 ; and, as we have 
seen, 12 would be a very likely age for Cambyses at the time of 
the taking of Babylon, supposing him to be the son of the daughter 
of Astyages and born about a year after the capture of Ecbatana. 
To show that this idea is not a fanciful one, we are able to point 
to a passage in the Book of Isaiah where this same mistake has . 
been made ; a passage where, through an error of the copyist, 
the letter Samekh has supplanted a Yod. The passage in question 
is Isa. vii. 8. It contains a prophecy which in its present form 

* The Biblical World, June, 1909. 


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has sorely perplexed the commentators. The words are : " Within 
threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken in pieces that 
it be not a people." Duhm pronounces this " a very old gloss," 
on the ground that " a late annotator would almost certainly have 
dated the extermination of Ephraim from the destruction of 
Samaria in 731 B.C., about fifteen years after Isaiah spoke." l 
There is, however, no need to suppose a gloss ; for if Yod be sub- 
stituted for Samekh, " threescore and five " will resolve itself into 
" fifteen " : and this is no doubt the true reading. Even so in 
Dan. v. 31, for " threescore and two " we should read " twelve." 2 
With regard to both the personality and the age of Darius the 
Mede, the Septuagint reading of the passage, already alluded to, 
if not to be trusted, is yet remarkable and deserving of attention. 
It runs thus : " The kingdom was taken away from the Chaldeans, 
and was given to the Medes and to the Persians. And Artaxerxes, 
who was of the Medes, received the kingdom. And Darius was 
full of days and honoured in his old age." The Septuagint is the 
earliest interpreter of the Book of Daniel ; for, as is well known, 
there is a remarkable dearth of Jewish writings between the close 
of the Canon and the middle of the second century B.C., about 
which time the LXX version of the Book of Daniel was made. 
The Septuagint translator interprets, accommodates, and alters, 
according to his own ideas, so as to make the Book square with 
history as known to him. The abrupt way in which he introduces 
Darius is proof that the original text has here been doctored by 
him, and clumsily doctored. What was his motive ? Was he 
aware that Cyrus appointed Cambyses to the throne of Babylon and 
that Cambyses could not have been sixty-two years old at the time 
of his appointment ? Is it not possible that as Josephus identifies 
the Artaxerxes of Ezra iv. 8 with Cambyses, so in the present 
passage by Artaxerxes the translator means Cambyses ? That 
some tradition of Belshazzar being succeeded on the throne of 
Babylon by Cambyses was still current so late as the third century 
of our era is evident from the De Paschd Computus of St. Cyprian 
(243 A.D.), usually printed in the appendix to his works. A list 
is there given of the kings of Babylon, from Nebuchadnezzar to 
Cyrus inclusive, who are mentioned in the Old Testament. On 
this list, faulty and imperfect as it is, between the names Belshazzar 
and Cyrus occur the words, " Darius Cyri filius." The number 
62 the LXX translator appears to have regarded with distrust, 
yet in view possibly of the power placed in the hands of Darius, 

1 See The Cambridge Bible for Scliools and Colleges on Isa. vii. 8. 
a It is a curious fact that in the Septuagint of Dan. ix. 27, this very number, 
sixty -two, is expressed by the letters 0. 



he deems it advisable to describe him as an ancient and honoured 
statesman. His use of the two names Darius and Artaxerxes is 
due possibly to the fact that he had before him two documents, 
one a copy of the Book of Daniel containing the name " Darius," 
and the other possibly some historical summary in which for the 
name " Darius " was substituted " Artaxerxes," and thus, feeling 
at a loss which to decide for, thought it better to include both. 

But perhaps the best proof of the youthful age of Darius the 
Mede is to be found in that most touching story of the lions' 
den. For into whose presence did the presidents and satraps 
" come tumultously " ? I Into the presence of a man of sixty- 
two years, wielding the rod of empire ? Hardly so ; but they 
might break in thus on a boy of twelve. Again, with regard to the 
words, "Know, King, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, 
that no interdict nor statute which the king establisheth may be 
changed," which amounts almost to a threat. Can we credit the 
speakers with venturing thus to address a man of over sixty years ? 
Once more we ask, who is it, whose whole heart goes out to the 
aged prophet in those fervid words, " Thy God, whom thou servest 
continually, he will deliver thee " ? And yet again, who is it 
who passes the night fasting, cannot sleep for agitation of mind, 
rises early, goes in haste to the den, and calls out with a lamentable 
voice to know whether the God whom Daniel serves continually 
has been able to save him from the lions ? Would an Oriental 
despot, hardened by sixty-two years' contact with the world and 
inured to bloody scenes, act thus ? Hardly ; but a young lad 
might. Thus the whole tone of the story is suggestive of the 
generous impulsive nature of a young heart as yet unspoilt. No 
elderly man would be likely to act in the way that Darius acted. 
In this matter of age the story speaks for itself. 

Some, however, will be disposed to question whether the char- 
acter just described can ever have belonged to a harsh cruel despot 
like Cambyses, who by his mad acts of impiety so outraged the 
religious feelings of his newly conquered subjects in Egypt. The 
best answer to this objection is that the Egyptian experiences of 
Cambyses were a test of his character. They brought out both 
what was good in him and still more what was bad. We must 
admit that he was " an impulsive, self-willed, reckless, ambitious 
despot, of the peculiarly Oriental type, possessed of considerable 

1 Dan. vi. 6. The Aramaic root regash, translated in the R.V. " assembled 
together," but in the R.V.M. better, " came together tumultuously," is the 
word used in the Aramaic of the Targums in Ps. xlvi. 6, " the nations raged," 
and again in Isa. xvii. 12 of the " rushing " of the nations. In the Hebrew 
of Ps. ii. 1 it occurs in the opening words, " Why do the heathen rage. ? " 


ability as a general, but with passions so strong and uncontrolled 
as to render the powers he possessed worthless for good." l Never- 
theless, during the earlier part of his stay in Egypt it is admitted 
that "for a time at least he cultivated the good will of his new 
subjects, sought instruction in regard to the rites of their religion, 
and was initiated into certain of its mysteries ; that he listened to 
complaints in regard to the profanation of temples by Persians and 
other foreign soldiers, and gave orders for their removal from the 
sacred precincts ; that he secured the priests in the receipt of the 
temple revenues, and arranged for the due and continual cele- 
bration of the customary ceremonies and festivals." 2 Moreover 
it is from this very land of Egypt that we gain an insight into the 
good points of his character as well as corroboration of the truth 
of the story told us in Dan. vi., as I shall now show. 

There are few archaBological finds of late years which have 
excited more interest than the Aramaic papyri of the fifth century 
B.C. discovered in the island of Elephantine, just below the First 
Cataract of the Nile. This interest culminated when it was made 
known that documents had been found disclosing the existence of 
a Jewish temple to Jahu (Jehovah) at that spot, built before the 
reign of Cambyses. In these records, dated the seventeenth year of 
Darius (Nothus), i.e. in 407 B.C., the Jews of Elephantine, complain- 
ing to Bagoas the Persian governor of Judasa 3 of the destruction of 
their temple by the priests of the Egyptian god Khnub, speak thus : 
" When Cambyses came into Egypt he found this temple built. 
And though the temples of the gods of Egypt were all thrown down, 
no one injured anything in this temple." Now why did Cambyses 
in his destructive rage spare the temple of Jehovah ? Because 
the Jews were not Egyptians ? Because they were monotheists, 
much like the Persians in their religion ? Yes ! probably so. 
But that was not all. Cambyses had not forgotten his younger, 
happier days, only thirteen years before, when in a Jew he found 
the wisest and most trusty counsellor he had ever had. He had 
not forgotten his night of terrible anxiety, and that astoundirg 
miracle wrought by the God Jahu in behalf of His faithful servant. 
He had not forgotten the decree put forth by himself, in which 
he had called on all his subjects to tremble and fear before the 
God of Daniel. He had not forgotten how could he forget ? 
these things. So whilst the temples of the false gods of Egypt 
were thrown down, the temple of the God Jahu was left untouched. 

The number of satrapies created by Darius the Mede viz, 

1 Encyc. Brit., art. " Cambyses." 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ct. Josephus, Ant. xi. 7, 1. 


one hundred and twenty has been much commented upon. The 
critics look upon this statement as a confused tradition of what 
was done by Darius Hystaspes, and they point out that whilst 
Darius the Mede divided his sub-kingdom into one hundred and 
twenty satrapies, Darius Hystaspes divided the whole wide empire 
of Persia into a sixth part of that number. One answer to this 
objection is that Dan. vi. 1 speaks, not of satrapies, but only of 
satraps, and that it is still an open question whether the title 
always implied territorial jurisdiction. In the very limited number 
of Old Persian inscriptions " satraps " are only mentioned twice, 
viz. in the Behistun Inscription of Darius Hystaspes. Darius 
speaks of " Dadarsis by name, a Persian, my subject, a satrap in 
Bactria," or " satrap of Bactria," for the words can be read either 
way. Then again, a little later, he speaks of " Vivana by name, 
a satrap in Harauvatis," or " satrap of Harauvatis." 1 The Baby- 
lonian version of the inscription, which is legible in this latter 
instance though not in the former, renders the word " satrap " 
by pikhatu, " governor." This word pikhatu had in Babylonian 
both a larger and a smaller meaning. It was applied to sub- 
ordinates as well as to those who were set over them. Thus 
Gobryas the pikhatu of Gutium, when appointed by Cyrus pikhatu 
of Babylon, forthwith proceeded to appoint pikhati who were to 
act as his subordinates. The description given us in Dan. vi. 1, 2, 
is suggestive that in that passage we have to do, not with great 
territorial magnates holding the position of sub-kings in their 
respective provinces, like the satraps appointed by Darius 
Hystaspes, but with officials whose main duty was to collect the 
taxes. They were required " to give account " to the presidents, 
that so " the king should have no damage." This duty of collect- 
ing the revenue appears to have formed the original raison d'etre 
of the office. The title of satrap, in Old Persian khshatrapam, 
is derived from khshatra, " kingdom," and pa compare Latin 
pascor, pavi " to maintain," and signifies " maintainer of the 
kingdom." The Babylonian kingdom, over which Belshazzar 
had been reigning as sole monarch for some three or four months 
before the capture of Babylon, was, according to the interpretation 
given by Daniel to the mystic word PEBES, to be partitioned 
between the Medes and Persians. Let us suppose for the sake of 
argument that Darius the Mede received half of that kingdom, 
while Cyrus retained the other half and added it to the many 
countries already under his sway. Then, since the sub-kingdom 

1 See Prof. R. D. Wilson's Studies in the Book of Daniel, p. 213, where 
this question of the satraps is very fully and very ably discussed. 


of the Median Darius contained certainly some of the richest land 
in the empire the Babylonian satrapy according to Herodotus 
being the second richest, and only surpassed by the Indian and 
was of considerable extent, though small compared to the vast 
realm immediately under Cyrus, it follows that the posts held by 
these one hundred and twenty satraps would be of considerable 
importance, even though they would not hold the rank of the 
satraps of Darius Hystaspes. In the Book of Daniel the word 
" satrap " is used by the writer of certain high officials under 
Nebuchadnezzar. 1 This has been called an anachronism. If 
it be such, then we see in it the anachronism of an old man writing 
in the early Persian period a story of the Babylonian past. But 
perhaps we may also take it as an index that the title " satrap " 
was used among the Persians themselves with some freedom, and 
not restricted to one special rank of grandees. 

With regard to the description given us in the Book of Daniel 
of the style and title of the Median Darius as well as of his acts, 
the following passage from the pen of Dr. Charles well voices the 
objections put forward by the Higher Critics : " Darius is not 
conceived as a vassal king, but as an independent sovereign ; 
for he enjoys the title of king (vi. 3, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, etc.) : as sole 
ruler divides the vast empire into 120 satrapies (vi. 1) ; and as 
absolute despot sentences all the rulers of these satrapies to death 
by a single decree (vi. 24). When he dies he is succeeded by Cyrus 
the Persian (vi. 28). That our text, therefore, regards Darius the 
Mede as the sole and absolute king of the Babylonian empire cannot 
be questioned." 2 In reply to this I would observe that there is 
nothing strange in the title of king being given to a vassal king. 
Shamash-shum-ukin, vassal king of Babylon under his brother 
Ashurbanipal, hesitates not to style himself " the mighty king, 
king of Amnanu, king of Babylon, powerful, discerning, the shep- 
herd, the favourite of the Enlil, Shamash and Merodach, king 
of Shumer and Akkad." Indeed the wonder would have been if 
the title of king had been denied to such a ruler. Certainly no 
lesser title would have satisfied the pride of the Babylonians, 
whom Cyrus was so anxious to conciliate. What is still more to 
the point, Cambyses, whom we have identified with Darius the 
Mede, is, as we have seen, expressly styled " King of Babylon " on 
contract tablets of the first year of Cyrus. Then, that Darius 
should be allowed to divide, not " the vast empire," but that part 
of the late empire of Babylon which was assigned to the Medes, 
into one hundred and twenty satrapies for the purpose of collecting 

1 Cliap. iii. 2, * Cent. Bible, Darnel, p. 69. 


the revenue and that " the king should have no damage," is just 
what a Persian monarch, and more especially a prudent monarch 
like Cyrus, would be sure to approve of. Probably he would feel, 
too, that he could safely leave such an act of internal administration 
to his young son, with prudent counsellors at his elbow, and under 
the guidance of a statesman so honoured and revered as Daniel. 
Further, as to the power of sentencing his subjects to death, this 
was no doubt possessed by the satraps of Darius Hystaspes ; how 
much more in this present instance by the king's own son ? The 
very circumstances of a vast Oriental empire, so lately subdued 
under the sway of a new master, made such a power a necessity ; 
and we may feel quite sure that while Cyrus was pursuing his 
schemes of conquest, his son Darius- Cambyses was not the only 
subordinate ruler who possessed that power. " When he dies," 
continues Charles, "he is succeeded by Cyrus the Persian." But 
the Book of Daniel says nothing about the death of Darius, though 
it acknowledges, what we have seen to be the fact, viz. that Darius- 
Cambyses was succeeded on the throne of Babylon by Cyrus. 1 
Lastly, this Book does not " regard Darius the Mede as the sole and 
absolute king of the Babylonian empire," but only as " made 
king " over that part of the late empire of Babylon which was 
assigned to the Medes, and which is called in chap. ix. " the realm 
of the Chaldeans." We may well suppose, though we cannot 
be sure of it, that Syria and Palestine and the western countries 
were not placed under the sway of Darius ; while Shumer and 
Akkad and the country down to the Persian Gulf, with that part 
of ancient Elam including Susa which was under Babylon was 
looked upon as constituting " the realm of the Chaldeans." Darius 
publishes his decree " unto all the peoples, nations, and languages, 
that dwell in all the earth." 2 This is the very style adopted by 
Nebuchadnezzar. It is just the style we should expect a Baby- 
lonian king to adopt ; how much more the youthful Cambyses ? 
This consideration seems to make it unnecessary to substitute 
44 in all the land " for " in all the earth," though the Aramaic 
word there used, like its Hebrew equivalent, undoubtedly bears 
the double sense. 

But this is not all that can be said in defence of the style and 
authority assigned in the Book of Daniel to the Median Darius, 
i.e. to Cambyses as sub-king of Babylon. The tone and language 
of the Cylinder of Cyrus is sufficient to show that Cyrus had 
associated his son Cambyses with himself in the government of 
the empire : in fact, that Cambyses, despite his tender age, held 

1 Dan. vi. 28. 2 Ibid. vi. 25. 


exactly the same position in the Persian empire which Belshazzar 
bad held under his father Nabonidus in the Babylonian. The 
following passage on the Cylinder of Cyrus will serve to illustrate 
my meaning : " Merodach, the great lord . . . established a 
decree. Unto me Cyrus the king his worshipper, and to Cambyses 
my son, the offspring of my heart, and to all my people he 
graciously drew nigh, and in peace before them we marched " : 
i.e. the king and his son as true shepherds 1 marched at the head of 
their people. Compare also the following : " Let Cyrus the king 
thy worshipper and Cambyses his son accomplish the desire of 
their heart." 2 In view of such language I see nothing strange 
either in the administrative acts of Darius or in the terms of his 
deoree as recorded in Dan. vi. 

The sixth chapter of Daniel throws a remarkable light on a 
question about which we should otherwise be completely in the 
dark, viz. the cause of the removal of Darius-Cambyses from his 
post as king of Babylon. In endeavouring to provide for the 
systematic collection of the revenue Cambyses was certainly doing 
the very thing his father would most approve. But Dan. vi. 
shows us how the good intentions of the young king were entirely 
frustrated by the jealousy so frequently manifested by the Baby- 
lonians against foreigners placed in posts which they looked upon 
as their right. The story shows that his turbulent subjects were 
too much for Cambyses, and that he in turn was too much for 
them. They had sought, not in vain, to overawe him ; and he, 
shocked at their duplicity, and mortified possibly by their conduct 
towards himself, as well as deeply impressed by the mighty miracle 
wrought, hesitated not to put those who had accused Daniel to 
death. Such an act must have aroused great indignation in 
Babylon, and would convince Cyrus that the wisest course was to 
withdraw his young son from a too prominent post, and take to 
himself the title, " King of Babylon," and probably to entrust a 
considerable amount of delegated power to his governor Gobryas, 
who was probably himself a Mede. Thus the Sacred Becord is 
not only confirmed by contemporary Babylonian documents, but 
in its turn throws light on a remarkable act on the part of the 
conqueror, indicated in those documents, but never clearly stated, 
viz. the removal of his son from the throne of Babylon. 


The confusion of the letter Samekh with the letter Yod 
which appears to have taken place both in Isa. vii. 8 and in 

1 Cf . Isa. xliv. 28. 2 Cylinder of Cyrus, Obv. lines 26-28 and 35. 


an. v. 31 is a matter of such importance as to demand a note to 

From the time of the earliest Hebrew inscription extant, viz. 
le Calendar of Gezer, circa 1000 B.C., down to the end of the first 
ilf of the fifth century B.C., Yod maintained the same archaic 
rm which we meet with on the ancient Hebrew shekels, i.e. 
cactly like our capital Z with the addition of a short central 
irallel bar on the left side of the transverse bar, thus . After 
le first half of the fifth century B.C. this letter very quickly drew 
i its horns, so that by the end of the fourth century B.C. the 
jot " (Matt. v. 18) was already the smallest letter in the alphabet. 
Jiih Samekh the case was different. 1 This letter ran through a 
:eat variety of changes. In its most ancient form, as seen in 
le Gezer Calendar, it consists of three parallel horizontal bars, 
ossed by a perpendicular bar, which begins a little above the 
ighest parallel, and is bisected by the lowest, thus |. A little 
,ter, during the ninth and the first half of the eighth century 
.C, the perpendicular bar began at the highest of the parallels, 
ras|. This is the form of the letter on the Moabite Stone, 
le stele of Zakir king of Hamath, and the earliest of the Zenjerli 
iscriptions. After the middle of the eighth century B.C. the 
erpendicular bar, instead of crossing the horizontal bars, is merely 
rawn downward from the lowest, so that we have two horizontal 
arallels and beneath them a capital T, thus ^. This form of 
le letter is found on the Zenjerli inscription of Bar-rekub, 745- 
27 B.C. Presently, in order to write the character more easily, 
le three horizontal bars were exchanged for a zigzag, the per- 
endicular being added below, thus \. This is the form which 
le letter assumes on a contract tablet dated the first year of 
'abonidus, 555 B.C. But a further change was soon to follow. 
>uring the closing decades of the sixth century B.C., and through- 
ut the fifth century B.C., Samekh was drawn like a capital Z, 
lted somewhat to the left side, and with two additional strokes 
dded to it ; first, as in the case of Yod, a short parallel bar on 
ae left side of the transverse ; secondly, a tail, drawn from the 
ight-hand extremity of the lowest bar parallel to the transverse, 
aus 5. This form of the letter is found in use on a contract 
ablet from Babylon dated the fourth year of Cambyses, 526 B.C. ; 
n an inscription from Memphis dated the fourth year of Xerxes, 

1 The true forms of the Samekh are as follows : 

f" t T f 7 


482 B.C. ; on the lion-weight from Abydos ; and on the bilingual 
inscription, Lydian and Aramaic, dated the tenth year of 
Artaxerxes, viz. 455 B.C., if, as seems likely, Artaxerxes I. be 
intended. In the above four instances this form of Samekh is 
found along with the archaic form of Yod described above, from 
which it differs only by the addition of the aforementioned tail. 1 
The Teima Stone, already referred to, belongs to the same period, 
viz. the end of the sixth or the first half of the fifth century B.C. 
Finally, let it be noted that the possibility of a Yod being thus 
mistaken for a Samekh in Dan. v. 31 presupposes that the Book 
of Daniel was written not later than the middle of the fifth 
century B.C. 

1 Corpus Inscriptionum Semilicarum, vol. i. part 2. On Plate V., compare 
the Yod in 64a with the Samekh in 64b. Also on Plate VII., 108a, compare 
the three Samekhs and two Yods in a short inscription of five words. Again, 
on Plate XL, 122a, compare the Yods and Samekhs in nDit* and <ho2H. 
A description by S. A. Cook of the bi-lingual Lydian and Aramaic inscription 
will be found in The Journal of Hellenic Studies for June, 1917. 



" Danielem prophetam juxta Septuaginta interpretea Domini Salvatoris 
eoclesise non legunt, utentes Theodotionis editione, et hoc cur accident nescio. 
. . . Hoc unum affirmare possum, quod multum a veritate discordet, et reoto 
judicio repudiatus sit." Preface to Jerome's translation of the Book of 

WITH regard to the interpretation of the astonishing vision 
at the close of the ninth chapter of Daniel, the difference 
between the orthodox view and that of the Higher 
Critics is immense, as great as the difference between light and 
darkness. Most truthfully may we say to our opponents respect- 
ing this prophecy, " between us and you there is a great gulf fixed," 
a gulf that cannot be bridged over, and yet, happily, not an impass- 
able gulf. As many have undoubtedly gone from us to join you, 
so there is hope that with increasing light and a more careful study 
of this Book, not a few may see their way to return to the alto- 
gether nobler, grander, and more far-reaching view, held by the 
Church of Christ through the long course of centuries. 

According to the traditional view the vision of Dan. ix. 
is pre-eminently a vision of the great Atonement for sin, as indi- 
cated not uncertainly by the note struck in its opening verse, 
viz. v. 24. Within seventy mystic weeks will take place the 
sacrifice of the death of the Messiah, whereby sin will be restrained, 
made an end of, atoned for ; whereby also everlasting righteous- 
ness will be brought in, the visions of the prophets fulfilled, and 
the All-holy One manifested. The assurance given to the seer 
in the following verse that Jerusalem will be rebuilt is introduced 
almost parenthetically, though it carries with it the implication 
that the Jewish sacrifices will yet again be offered, until the time 
comes when Messiah shall make them to cease by the sacrifice of 
Himself. The time of Messiah's public appearance is definitely 
foretold. It will take place at the end of sixty-nine mystic weeks 



weeks of years reckoned from the time of the going forth of 
the command for the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem. 
Shortly afterwards, viz. in the middle of the seventieth week, 
Messiah will be " cut off," i.e. He will meet with a violent death ; 
and this death, being the true sacrifice, will put an end to the 
Jewish sacrifices. That closing week in which Messiah is to suffer 
will see a good feeling displayed by the masses of the people towards 
the Messiah and His adherents, despite His violent death at their 
hands in the middle of the week. The vision, thus placed in a 
definite historical setting and told with some detail, is painted 
against a dark background. The nation that finally rejected its 
lawful Prince, that put to death its own Messiah, shall see its city 
and sanctuary destroyed by the people of the coming Prince, that 
same Prince Messiah whom they have already put to death. They 
shall go under beneath the desolating deluge of war, when borne 
onward on the wing of abominations there comes the mysterious 
desolator ; and the ruin will be complete. Yet though city and 
sanctuary have perished, an indication is given that the nation 
is not finally forsaken, in the closing assurance that wrath will 
be poured out on the desolator. 

Such, then, is the traditional view ; that of the critics is far 
different. To them Daniel's astonishing vision appears as an 
interesting period of past history picturesquely put into the form 
of an apocalyptic vision. They regard as the main subject of this 
apocalypse the surprising revival of the temple worship in the days 
of the Maccabees after its seemingly complete overthrow by a 
persecuting power. This glorious event is to take place at the end 
of seventy mystic weeks. The heathen worship of Zeus Olympius, 
set up in the temple courts by Antiochus Epiphanes, after a short 
time of triumph will in its turn be overthrown and brought to 
an end ; the awful sacrilege which attended it will be purged away ; 
the worship of Jehovah will be restored ; the vision shown to the 
prophet will be realised, and the Holy of Holies reconsecrated. 
All this is looked upon as told in detail in v. 24. In the next verse 
it is disclosed that the seventy weeks are to commence from the 
going forth of a divine command for the restoration and rebuilding 
of Jerusalem. The end of the first seven weeks, i.e. the first forty- 
nine years, will see the appearance of an anointed prince, either 
Cyrus king of Persia or Jeshua the son of Jozadak the Jewish high 
priest, under whom that restoration will commence. For the next 
threescore and two weeks, or four hundred and thirty-four years, 
the restored city will stand as the centre of Jewish worship even 
though the times be troublous. At the close of the threescore 
and two weeks " an anointed one," viz. the then high priest 


Onias III., will meet with a violent death, apparently a martyr's 
death, and " the people of the prince that shall come," viz. the 
heathen host of Antiochus, will destroy the city and sanctuary 
with a desolating flood of invasive war. The persecutor will 
then enter into covenant with many apostate Jews for a week 
the last of the seventy and during half of that week will succeed 
in putting down the pure worship of Jehovah. Borne along upon 
the wing of his heathen abominations, he will go proudly forward 
in his desolating career until his own time comes and heaven's 
vengeance is poured out on the desolator. 

The Higher Critics are not the first commentators to refer this 
vision to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes and the heroic struggle 
of the Maccabees. The LXX took the same view of it, and showed 
their strong bias in a most remarkable way. The first twenty- 
three verses of this chapter will be found faithfully rendered in 
the Septuagint version, but when we come to the vision in w. 24-27 , 
at the close of the chapter, the original prophecy becomes scarcely 
recognisable : the translator has turned commentator, and as 
we study his commentary we marvel at the ruthless way in which 
he has dismembered, defaced, and then put together again, so as 
to suit his own preconceived ideas, what was once a glorious, 
far-reaching prophecy. It is as if some splendid painted window 
with all its glories of design and colour, which once adorned some 
noble monastic building, were ruthlessly brokon to pieces, and 
then re-collected, and studiously though clumsily put together 
again, with the view to make it fit into the smaller east-end window 
of some ancient parish church. We look at the attempted restor- 
ation, and recognise the antiquity of its parts, but find great 
difficulty in making out the original design. Just so is it with 
the treatment which Daniel's vision has received at the hands of 
the Septuagint commentator ; but happily in this case we have 
a copy of the original before us, and so can easily detect from what 
portion of it this and that fragment of the re-constructed prophecy 
has been taken, and also what patches, defacements, and altera- 
tions have been made by the ignorant though well-meaning 
restorer. To make this plain to the English reader, let me put side 
by side our own Revised Version and an English translation of the 
passage as it stands in the Greek Septuagint. 



anoint the most holy. 

Kevised Version, Dan. ix. Septuagint Version, Dan. ix. 

24-27. 24-27 (Codex Chisianub). 

24 Seventy weeks are decreed 24 Seventy weeks were deter- 
upon thy people and upon thy mined upon thy people and 
holy city, to finish transgression, upon the city of Sion that the 
and to make an end of sins, and sin be accomplished, and to 
to make reconciliation for ini- make the iniquities rare, and to 
quity, and to bring in everlast- wipe away the iniquities, and 
ing righteousness, and to seal that the vision be understood, 
up vision and prophecy, and to and everlasting righteousness 

be given, and the visions and 
prophet be accomplished, and 
to gladden a holy of holies. 

25 Know therefore and dis- 25 And thou shalt know, 
cern, that from the going forth and shalt understand, and shalt 
of the commandment to restore be gladdened, and thou shalt 
and to build Jerusalem unto the find commands to be responded 
anointed one, the prince, shall to, and thou shalt build Jerusa- 
be seven weeks : and three- lem a city to the Lord. 

score and two weeks, 1 it shall 
be built again, with street and 
moat, even in troublous times. 

26 And after the threescore 
and two weeks shall the 
anointed one be cut off, and 
shall have nothing : and the 

26 And after seven and 
seventy and sixty-two 3 an 
anointing shall be removed, 
and shall not be, and a kingdom 

people of the prince that shall of Gentiles shall destroy the city 
come shall destroy the city and and the sanctuary along with 

the sanctuary ; and his end 
shall be with a flood, and even 
unto the end shall be war ; 
desolations are determined. 

27 And he shall make a firm 
covenant with many for one 
week : and for the half of the 

the anointed : and his end shall 
come with wrath and a time 
of consummation : 4 war shall 
follow war. 

27 And the covenant shall 
have power with many : and 
it shall be built again 6 in 

1 The R. V.M. gives the traditional view by placing a comma after " seven 
weeks " and a colon after " threescore and two weeks." 

a R.V.M. "the end thereof." 

* Note the suppression here of the word " weeks," and the substitution 
of " years " for " weeks " in the parallel in v. 27. 

4 I.e. "conclusion," "end." 

8 Lit. " shall return and shall be built " : a literal rendering of the Hebrew 


week he shall cause the sacrifice breadth and in length even at 
and the oblation to cease : and a consummation * of times, and 
upon the wing of abominations after seven and seventy times 
3hall come one that maketh and LXII 2 years, till a time of 
desolate ; and even unto the consummation 1 of war : and 
consummation, and that deter- the desolation shall be taken 
mined, shall wrath be poured away through the prevailing of 
Dut upon the desolator. the covenant for many weeks : 

and at the end of the week the 
sacrifice and the drink offering 
shall be put an end to, and over 
the temple there shall be an 
abomination of desolations until 
a consummation : 1 and a con- 
summation l will be granted to 
the desolation. 

From the translation of the Septuagint version of Dan. ix. 
4-27 just given, my readers will see that I have not spoken in 
;oo strong terms of the ruthless way in which the original has been 
lealt with. Let me now examine in detail some of the freaks of 
;he translator. 

To the rendering of the opening verse, v. 24, comparatively 
ittle exception can be taken, though the six clauses employed in 
;he Hebrew to describe the bright future are seen to be amplified 
nto seven by the insertion of the words 

" and that the vision be understood." 

Cowards the close of the verse, however, we meet with a more 
lignificant change. The translator by transposing letters has 
(hanged ntPD, mdshach, " anoint," into nsb>, simmach, " gladden," 
Phis he does in order that he may make the great joy which the 
aithful are to feel at the rededication of the altar after the pollu- 
tions of Antiochus Epiphanes as described in 1 Mace. iv. 56-59 
the climax of the coming brightness. 

In v. 25 the changes are very great. Not a single clause of the 
)riginal remains intact, and the date from which the prophecy was 
iO commence disappears. The only idea which the verse retains 
n common with the Hebrew is the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The 
>ccurrence of the word rPK>p, mdshiach, " anointed," in the original 

1 I.e. "conclusion," "end." 

8 Written &3 in the Codex. Cf. Chapter XV. on the use of letters of the 
iphabet to express numerals, 


of this verse, appears to have suggested to the translator the 
insertion of the clause, " thou shalt be gladdened " : thus showing 
unmistakably the direction in which his mind was looking, when 
at the close of the previous verse he made the same change. 

The chief feature in v. 26 is the alteration of the period " three- 
score and two weeks " into " seven and seventy and sixty- two." 
This is another very clear indication of the view of the passage 
taken by the Septuagint translator, and which by his daring 
alterations he seeks to impress on his readers, as will become yet 
more evident when we come to examine the closing verse. 
Further, in order to make the subject of the prophecy more plain, 
the invading power is described by the Septuagint translator as 
" a kingdom of Gentiles " ; whilst, instead of the " cutting off " 
of " the anointed one," mentioned in the original, we have a double 
announcement : first, an anointing is to be removed ; and secondly, 
the anointed one is to be destroyed as well as the city and 
sanctuary through the wrath of an unnamed enemy. This is 
done to suit the facts of history. Onias III. was first removed 
from the high-priesthood in favour of his brother Jason. Then, 
a few years later, Menelaus contrived to supplant Jason by means 
of a heavy bribe, the money for which he procured by selling the 
sacred vessels of the temple. For this gross sacrilege he was 
reproved by Onias. The reproof was more than his proud spirit 
could bear, so in a fit of revenge he bribed Andronicus, the king's 
deputy at Antioch, to murder Onias. 1 Thus " the end " of the 
anointed came " with wrath." 

In v. 27, the closing verse of the prophecy, the numbers which 
occur in the original in v. 25 are again introduced, and at the same 
time altered. Thus instead of 

" seven weeks and threescore and two weeks," 

we now have 

" seven and seventy times and LXII years." 

This, if we understand " times " in the sense of " years," agrees 
so far as the number is concerned with that given by the trans- 
lator in v. 26 

" seven and seventy and sixty-two," 

and it is in this repetition made by him, coupled with the fact 
that he has ventured to insert the word " years " where we should 
have expected " weeks," that we have the key to his strange 
performance. The matter may be explained thus : In unpointed 

1 2 Maco. iv. 7, 23-26, 32-35, 


Hebrew, i.e. when the vowel-points a comparatively late inven- 
tion are omitted, the same characters n'ynt!' stand for both 
' weeks " and " seventy." It was thus easy for the ingenious 
translator to read the words 

" seven weeks and threescore and two weeks," 

which occur in v. 25 of the original, as 

" seven and seventy and threescore and two." 

All he had to do was to place an " and " after " seven," to read 
the first " weeks " as " seventy," and to leave out the second 
" weeks." This he accordingly did, and substituted it in o. 26 for 
the " threescore and two weeks " of the original. Then in v. 27, 
as we have seen, he introduced it again in the slightly altered 

" seven and seventy times and LXII years," 

substituting " years " for " weeks." What was it that moved him 
to this repetition ? The discovery that seven and seventy and 
threescore and two years make up one hundred and thirty-nine 
years, which brings us to the second year of the reign of Antiochus 
Epiphanes, reckoned according to the era of the Seleucidae, 1 i.e. 
to about the time of the removal of Onias from the high-priesthood. 
Along with the numbers brought down from v. 25 and inserted in 
this last verse of the prophecy, the translator also brings down 
and inserts the promise of the restoration and rebuilding of 
Jerusalem. The object of this change is to make the rebuilding 
of the Holy City, after its destruction by Appollonius the general 
of Antiochus in 168 B.C., 2 the chief feature of the vision. Had 
the promise of restoration been left in its proper place, viz. in v. 25, 
it would, as Wright points out, have been interpreted of the rebuild- 
ing and fortification of the city centuries before the Maccabean 
era. By placing it in this last verse the translator makes the 
promise point to the restoration of Jerusalem after the hard 
struggle of the Maccabees. With regard to the rest of the verse 
we note that the opening clause of the original " He shall make 
a firm covenant with many for one week " is strangely altered 
by LXX and developed into two clauses : (i) " the covenant shall 
have power with many," (ii) " the desolation shall be taken away 
through the prevailing of the covenant for many weeks " : i.e. 
instead of " one week " we have " many weeks." It would almost 
seem as if the translator had begun to realise that the one hundred 

1 Cf. 1 Mace. i. 10. " He reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh 
year of the kingdom of the Greeks." 
* Cf. 1 Mace. i. 29-31. 


and thirty-nine years, which he sets so much store by, would only 
bring him to the beginning of the troubles, viz. to 174 B.C., the 
year after the deposition of the high priest Onias, and therefore 
sought to make the prophecy indicate that " many weeks " the 
word being here taken in its literal sense, as is indicated by the 
" LXII years" a little before must elapse after that event 
before matters came to the worst through the forced cessation of 
the Jewish sacrifices and the setting up in the temple of "an 
abomination of desolations," to wit, a heathen altar built over the 
altar of Jehovah. This took place on the 1 5th of Chisleu, 1 68 B.C., 1 
just one week of years after the deposition of Onias. To indicate 
this our ingenious translator takes the words rendered in the 
E.V. " for the half of the week," and in the E.V.M. " in the midst 
of the week," and substitutes for them, " at the end of the week," 
i.e. at the end of the seven years which followed the removal 
from office of Onias, once more giving back to the word " week " 
its mystical meaning. Lastly, the taking away of the desolation 
is traced by him to the covenant having power with many during 
those " many weeks " which were to elapse between the deposition 
of Onias in 175 B.C. and the restoration of Jerusalem and re-dedi- 
cation of the altar in 165 B.C. ; thus directing his readers' thoughts 
to the heroic struggle of the brave Maccabees. For their sakes, so 
he suggests, " a consummation will be granted to the desolation." 
The amount of ingenuity thus displayed by the Septuagint 
translator in his endeavour to adapt the prophecy to the era of 
the Maccabees is in itself one of the strongest proofs that it doea 
not refer to that period. It is also a proof that the prophecy is 
no vaticinium post eventum ; for, if it were, it would not require 
so much mangling to make if fit in with the facts of history. All 
the more striking then, is it, that the critics should have tried in 
their way to accomplish that in which the Greek translator has 
so egregiously failed. The modern critic is, indeed, too much of 
a scholar to mangle the text after the fashion of the translator. 2 
He loves rather to indulge in emendations and slight alterations. 

1 1 Mace. i. 54. 

2 The untrustworthy character of the Septuagint and the liberties taken 
by the translator are thus freely admitted by Driver, when comparing it with 
the received Hebrew text : " The Septuagint, though in isolated passages 
it may preserve a more original reading, as a whole has no claim whatever 
to consideration beside it : the liberties which the translator has manifestly 
taken with his text being quite such as to deprive the different readings, which, 
if it were a reasonably faithful translation, it might be regarded as presupposing, 
of all pretensions to originality except, indeed, in a comparatively smal 
number of instances in which they are supported on strong grounds of intrinsic 
probability." Cambridge, Bible, p. cii. 



But when he has persuaded himself on any point, everything must 
give way to his fixed persuasion. What, then, is the interpreta- 
tion of the prophecy in Dan. ix. offered by the critics ? In the 
first place, they seek to identify the " seven weeks " of v. 25. Seven 
weeks of years, i.e. forty-nine years, is exactly the period between 
the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C. and the 
decree issued by Cyrus for the return of the Jews in 538 B.C. 
Cyrus became king of Babylon in 539 B.C., and in 588 B.C., the 
year before the fall of Jerusalem, were most probably written those 
wonderful promises made to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the 
rebuilding of the Holy City and the return of her inhabitants, 
which are found in the thirty-first and thirty-second chapters of his 
Book. In those promises the critics see " the going forth of the 
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem," and they point 
out that exactly seven prophetic weeks after they were given, Cyrus, 
" the anointed one the prince," appears on the scene and issues 
his edict for the return of the Jews. So far, so good : no exception 
can be taken to this first step. The next step is to determine the 
" threescore and two weeks." They are to close with the " cutting 
off " of " the anointed one," foretold in v. 26, i.e. according to 
the critics, with the foul murder of the high priest Onias III., 
which took place in 171 B.C., so that the last or seventieth week, 
for " half " of which, or "in the midst " of which, the temple 
sacrifices are to cease, may answer to the seven years 171 to 
165 B.C. inclusive. Now, the interval between 539 B.C. and 
171 B.C. is 368 years ; but the sixty-two prophetic weeks equal 
7x62, or 434 years. How is it possible, then, we ask, to identify 
a period of 368 years with a period of 434 years ? The critic can 
do it. He attempts, and in his own fashion achieves, what would 
have daunted even the Septuagint translator. He explains that 
" the author of Daniel followed a wrong computation." He 
assures us that " the materials for an exact chronology, from the 
destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. to the establishment of the 
Seleucid period in 312 B.C., were not at the disposal of a Jew living 
in Palestine, nor apparently of any Jew," and fortifies his 
hypothesis by referring to errors in excess believed to have been 
found in Josephus and in the Egyptian Jew Demetrius. 1 But this 

1 See Century Bible, Daniel, p. 107, footnote to w. 26, 27. Ewald, who 
has his own far-fetched way to account for the discrepancy between 368 and 
434 years, or as he gives it, 364 and 434 years reckoning only to the accession 
of Antiochus Epiphanes points out that a Jewish writer of the age of the 
Maccabees would be very unlikely to be so ignorant of the history from the 
time of Cyrus as to commit an error of this kind. For though the Jews " had 
no longer kings, there still remained a kind of kingdom in the institution of 
the High Priests and religious festivals ; and the Sabbatical year itself, which 


line of argument is not convincing. For, after all, why should a 
Jewish writer of 165 B.C. be deemed so ignorant of the chronology 
of the period 586-312 B.C., and more especially with regard to 
the two centuries of Persian rule, viz. 539-331 B.C. ? Granted 
that the Jews had no reigns of native rulers by which to reckon, 
yet they had a succession of high priests, whose terms of office 
must surely have been recorded. Then again, on a priori grounds, 
this supposed ignorance seems most unlikely. Our ignorance of 
Jewish history during that period is easily accounted for, since we 
are dependent on the later Books of the Old Testament and the 
writings of Josephus, from either of which sources we can gather 
very little. But we cannot postulate that a gifted Jewish writer, 
whose Book is assigned by the critics to 165 B.C., would be equally 
ignorant. Certainly in the Persian period the Jews were not care- 
less in recording exact dates, as we know from the Books of Haggai, 
Zechariah, Ezra, and Nehemiah, where mention is made of events 
which happened in the first and second years of Cyrus, in the 
second, fourth, and sixth years of Darius I., and in the seventh, 
twentieth, and thirty-second years of Artaxerxes I., in many cases 
with the addition of the month and the day. What is still more 
to the point, in the papyri found at Elephantine we have private 
deeds drawn up in the fourteenth and twentieth years of Xerxes, in 
the sixth, nineteenth, and twenty-third years of Artaxerxes I., and 
in the third, seventh, and thirteenth years of Darius Nothus, along 
with a letter dated the 20th of Marchesvan, the seventeenth year 
of Darius. Thus from these two sources we possess quite a series 
of dated events extending from 539 to 409 B.C., the latest date 
being about the middle of that period, the materials for the exact 
chronology of which were, according to the critic, not at the dis- 
posal of any Jew in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes. Now, what 
is the impression left on the mind by a consideration of these facts ? 
Is it not the exact opposite to the view of the critic ? Do we not 
seem to realise that there were abundant materials from which 
any intelligent writer of the year 165 B.C., who chose to do so, 
could construct a correct chronological scheme of the last four 
hundred years ? Surely, if the family documents from Elephan- 
tine, all duly dated, have survived down to this twentieth century, 
there must have been abundance of dated documents of both a 

was at that time kept up, required a continuous and careful calculation of the 
years." He adds that at that time the nation and kingdom had not so com- 
pletely fallen into disruption as at the time subsequent to the second destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, when Josephus made in Rome his unsuccessful attempts 
at restoring a chronology. Ewald's Prophets of the Old Testament, Eng. 
trans, vol. v. pp. 269, 270. 


public and private nature still surviving at the time of the supposed 
apocryphal writer of the Book of Daniel, which would have enabled 
him to compute exactly the interval between the decree of Cyrus 
and the death year of the high priest Onias III. For the Jews of 
those days in their commercial transactions, as witnessed by the 
Elephantine papyri, were quite as careful in recording the year, 
month, and day of the reigning monarch as the Babylonian 
merchants on their contract tablets, 1 and such data would afford 
very exact evidence as to the length of the reigns of successive 
Persian monarchs, as well as of Alexander and his immediate 
successors ; whilst the chronology for the subsequent Seleucid 
period, as the critics themselves admit, was well known. 

On the whole, then, the attempt made by the critics to assign 
this prophecy to the times of the Maccabees and to regard it as 
a Jewish apocalypse seems doomed to as complete failure as the 
extraordinary performance of the Septuagint translator. 

1 In Schrader's Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, vol. iv. pp. 312-319, Baby- 
lonian contracts are given dated the fourth year of the infant son of Alexander 
the Great, and the seventy-eighth and ninety-fourth years of the Seleucid era. 



" The several books that he [Daniel] wrote and left behind him, are still 
read by us till this time, and from them we believe that Daniel conversed with 
God, for he did not only prophesy of future events as did the other prophets, 
but he also determined the time of their accomplishment." Joseph. Ant. x. 11, 7. 

LET me now turn to the Messianic view of the prophecy 
contained in Dan. ix. 24-27 : the old traditional inter- 
pretation, of late so much out of fashion, which has, as 
it were, gone down for awhile, overwhelmed and submerged beneath 
the rising tide of modern criticism : the view that we have in this 
passage an exact prediction of the times of the public appearance 
of Messiah, and of His violent death by which the Levitical 
sacrifices would be abolished, as well as of the short interval 
during which His teaching would be popular with " the many," 1 
to wit, the prescribed term of Jerusalem's day of grace ; other 
predicted events being the rebuilding of the Holy City " even in 
troublous times," and its destruction by the Eoman armies under 
the leadership of Messiah, 2 a destruction helped on and accom- 
panied by some hateful, desolating power, on which the vials of 
divine wrath would ultimately be outpoured. Before entering 
on this subject let me venture at the outset to express the hope 
that when my readers have studied the traditional interpretation 
as unfolded in this chapter, and compared it with that of the 
critics as given in the previous chapter, their unhesitating verdict 
will be, " The old is better " : better in its congruity with the 
subject and substance of the prophet's prayer ; better in that it 
requires no emendations of the original, no alteration or trans- 
position of the clauses ; better in its exact agreement respecting the 
times and seasons, as contrasted with that glaring chronological 
discrepancy of sixty-six years which renders the view of the critics 
on an exact prophecy like the present one untenable ; better, too, 

1 In Dan. ix. 27, for " many " read " the many," i.e. the multitude, 

2 Cf. v. 26, " The people of the Prince that shall come," 



and nobler far, in its stately august recital of the completeness 
of Messiah's great atoning work, no less than in its setting the 
violent death of Messiah over against the dark storm-cloud of 
retributive vengeance which was to overwhelm the nation that 
murdered Him. 

The occasion of the vision is undoubtedly the prophet's prayer 
as given us in the earlier part of the chapter : a prayer indicating 
unmistakably the frame of mind that led to its utterance. It 
is the spirit of that prayer which must guide us to the right under- 
standing of the vision by which it was answered. 

It is, then, the first year of the Median Darius, i.e., as we have 
seen, of Cambyses, who has been " made king " by his father 
Cyrus, not over the whole of the Persian empire, but only " over 
the realm of the Chaldeans," of which Babylon is the capital. 
The first year of Cambyses as king of Babylon synchronises with 
the first year of Cyrus, 538 B.C., viz. the year after his capture of 
Babylon, the same year which was to witness his decree for the 
return of the Jews to their own land. Daniel, who, as he tells 
us, has been studying the writings of Jeremiah a statement well 
borne out by the language of his prayer is impressed with the 
nearness of the hour for Israel's promised deliverance. But 
instead of hailing the approaching fulfilment of the promise, 
instead of hastening to meet the dawn of the coming day, we see 
him utterly overcome with a deep sense of the sin of the nation. 
Accordingly, like one who feels that there is a great obstacle in 
the way of the fulfilment of the divine promise, he goes straight 
to God, and gives himself to prayer, along with those outward 
signs of humiliation fasting, sackcloth, and ashes and in 
language, drawn chiefly from the Book of Jeremiah and also in 
part from the Book of Deuteronomy, makes a very full confession 
of the sins of his people with a frank admission of his own share 
in the national guilt. As we study that long and beautiful prayer, 
the matter which troubles the mind of this saint of God becomes 
more and more evident. It is the enormity of the nation's sin, 
and the fact that it has been so little repented of. 1 Can it possibly 
be atoned for ? Can mercy in such a case as this rejoice against 
judgment ? In this anxious, depressed state of mind the prophet 
feels that all he can do is to cast himself upon his God in prayer, 
to confess how well deserved the punishment has been, and at 
the same time to plead that Jerusalem is still God's holy mountain 
and the temple still His sanctuary. 2 So, then, after placing in 
strong contrast God's righteousness and the guilt and the shame 

1 Vv. &-11 and 13. * Vv-. 16-18. 


of the favoured nation, 1 he throws himself on the divine attributes 
of mercy and unchangeable love. 2 Israel stand in sore need of that 
mercy, for they have sinned greatly and have suffered the judg- 
ment threatened in the law of Moses. 3 God has been true to His 
threatenings. Never was nation so heavily punished ; yet, sad 
to say, they have not repented, have not entreated His favour, 
as they ought to have done. God is righteous in all that He has 
done. 4 But what has He done ? Punished them ? Is that all f 
Let Israel's early history tell. Did He not bring forth His people 
out of Egypt, and win for Himself a glorious name in the sight of 
the heathen ? 5 Since, then, they are still His people, Jerusalem 
still His city, and the mountain of the house still His holy mountain, 
the prophet feels that he can appeal even to the divine righteous- 
ness, 6 i.e. to God's just dealings. Surely it cannot be right, i.e. 
it cannot be for His glory, that Israel should continue to be a 
reproach among the neighbouring nations. For Jehovah's own 
sake, 7 then, he entreats God to look upon the desolations of His 
city and sanctuary, to cause His face to shine upon them ; to 
bow down His ear, and hear ; to open His eyes, and see. 8 As the 
prayer nears its close it becomes increasingly earnest and 
impassioned, till at last it ends in a veritable storming of heaven : 
" Lord, hear ; Lord, forgive ; Lord, hearken and do ; 
defer not ; for thine own sake, my God, because thy city and thy 
people are called by thy name." 9 Can it be believed that we are 
asked to look upon this striking utterance, poured forth from the 
heart of a saint and patriot in language taken from " the books " 
that he has been studying, 10 as an interpolation, in fact an addition 
to the text ? n It is indeed an addition, but not in the sense that 
our opponents mean. It is an addition of the greatest value, first 
as showing the heart of a saint, and then because of the light 
which it sheds on the answer granted to his prayer. 12 

After summarising his prayer as a confession of his own sin 
and the sin of his people Israel, and a supplication before Jehovah 
his God in behalf of His holy mountain, the seer goes on to tell 
us that while he was speaking the answer was coming, and that 
the man Gabriel whom he had seen in an earlier vision, 13 being 

1 Vv. 7, 8. 2 V. 9. 3 V. 13. 

* V. 14 6 V. 15. 6 V. 16. 

7 V. 19. s y m 18- 9 v. 19. 

10 V. 2. Century Bible, Daniel, p. 96, note to v. 3. 

12 The critic urges {Century Bible, p. 96) that the prayer of Dan. ix. 
cannot have been written away from Palestine. Has he omitted to notice 
the parenthesis of Dan. vi. 10 ? Has he forgotten the old song, " My heart's 
in the Highlands, my heart is not here " ? 

13 Dan. viii. 16. 


3aused to fly swiftly, touched him, about the time of the evening 
ablation, and acting the part of a friend and teacher, intimated 
that he had something to reveal. The moment Daniel began to 
pray, so this messenger tells him, " a word went forth,'* 1 i.e. 
from God a word of dismissal to Gabriel, as the succeeding con- 
text shows for Daniel was greatly beloved, a special favourite 
:>f heaven. Being so signally favoured, let him now " consider 
the word 2 and understand the vision " which Gabriel has been 
commissioned to bring him. So we come down to the vision 
itself : and first, let it be noted that it is in strict correspondence 
with all that has gone before, and forms a real answer to the 
prophet's prayer. Daniel's thoughts had been occupied with the 
predicted seventy years which were to lead up to the deliverance 
from the Babylonian captivity. Those seventy years in this 
sharacteristically chronological vision are now suddenly expanded, 
is it were, into seventy weeks of years, that so by their very 
3xpansion and the use of the sacred number seven as a multiplier 
the saint's expectation may be awakened to gain a sight of some- 
thing far more glorious, a deliverance infinitely greater than the 
deliverance from the yoke of Babylon. Since it was the greatness 
Df Israel's sin that weighed on the prophet's spirit, and since in 
his own true summary of his prayer he places first the " confessing 
my sin and the sin of my people Israel " ; so, in the answer to 
that prayer, first and foremost and as forming the main subject 
of Gabriel's communication, stands that glorious revelation of 
the Atonement, opened out in six consecutive clauses, of which 
the first three dwell on the doing away with sin, and the last three 
Dn the bringing in of the good things of the Gospel. 3 These good 
things are, of course, in the first instance for Israel, and it is 
implied that the Holy City God's hearth and altar will be the 
scene of the Atonement, which Gabriel thus describes 

" Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy 
city, to finish [or restrain] transgression, and to make an end of 
[or seal up] sins, and to make reconciliation [or atonement] for 
iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal 
up vision and prophecy [lit. prophet], and to anoint the most 
holy [or a holy of holies]." 

Between the first three and the last three clauses there is pro- 
bably a correspondence, thus : transgression is to be restrained, 
held back ; everlasting righteousness is to be brought in. Sin is to 

1 In v. 23, for " commandment " read " word," and strike out the definite 

2 " Word " is here parallel to " vision." 
' V. 24. 


be made an end of, or according to one reading " sealed up " 
and as it were bound. Vision and prophecy are also to be sealed 
up, i.e. brought to an end by their fulfilment, or stamped as true 
and genuine by their accomplishment. Lastly, iniquity is to be 
atoned for, and this can only be done by the triumph of the Cross, 
ending in the anointing of the All-Holy One. 

Once more : the first three clauses grow ever stronger till they 
reach a climax. Sin is first held back, then bound and confined, 
and lastly done away with, wiped out, by atonement being made. 
" To make reconciliation " is the same Hebrew verb which occurs 
so frequently in the Book of Leviticus, and is there rendered both 
in the A.V. and in the E.V. " to make atonement." 1 It should 
be so rendered here. Similarly in the last three clauses there is 
a progressive revelation of the good things of the Gospel. First, 
everlasting righteousness is brought in, brought forth on the scene, 
viz. " when he bringeth in the firstborn into the world " (Heb. i. 
6). Compare Zech. iii. 8, " I will bring forth my servant the Shoot." 
" Everlasting righteousness " is a description of the coming salva- 
tion, which contains within it a promise of victory over death 
and the grave. See Isa. li. 6, 8. Secondly, " vision and prophecy ' 
are to be " sealed up," or accredited, by their fulfilment : a fulfil- 
ment effected by Christ's holy incarnation, by His earthly life, 
and above all by His atoning death and His glorious resurrection 
and ascension. This fulfilment of the older Scriptures was a point 
on which our Saviour ever laid the greatest emphasis : " Behold, 
we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written by the 
prophets shall be accomplished unto the Son of man " (Luke xviii. 
81). "To anoint the most holy " : lit. " a holy of holies:' This 
is an expression found in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, 
and Ezekiel. It occurs in all forty-two times. It is used to 
describe the innermost shrine of the temple and tabernacle eleven 
times, i.e. almost twice as often as its application to any other 
object. So, then, Gabriel's words here are be&t illustrated by his 
message to the Virgin Mother, " The Holy Ghost shall come upon 
thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee : 
wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the 
Son of God " ; and further by our Lord's words to the Jews, 
" Destroy this temple " this sanctuary or shrine, Gr. vaog 
" and in three days I will raise it up " (John ii. 19). The predicted 
anointing of a holy of holies refers, not, I think, to the mystery of 
Christ's holy incarnation, nor even to His baptism when He was 
" anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power " (Acts x. 38) ; 

1 The Hebrew word, rendered " mercy-seat " in our English Bible, is from 
the same root, and denotes the place of atonement, " the propitiatory." 


but rather to His royal anointing, when, after His atoning work 
was done, He was received up into heaven to sit at the right hand 
}f the Father. It is our Saviour's coronation rather than His 
consecration which is here foretold. For after He had fulfilled 
' vision and prophecy," this was to be the reward of, as well 
is the testimony to, His most holy life, " Thou hast loved right- 
sousness and hated wickedness : therefore God, thy God, hath 
anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows " (Ps. xlv. 
7). It is in anticipation of this exaltation that He is called in this 
prophecy, " Messiah the Prince." Accordingly, shortly after His 
mediatorial kingdom had begun, we find St. Peter speaking of 
Eim as exalted by God " to be a Prince and a Saviour for to give 
repentance to Israel and remission of sins." 

We have now looked at the main subject of Gabriel's com- 
munication as given in v. 24. The next three verses, 25-27, give 
is the particular details. In defending the traditional view as 
against the theories of the critics, it is the chronological accuracy 
}f these details which must chiefly engage our attention. The 
LXX, as we have seen, went to the daring length of doctoring and 
sven altering the numbers ; whilst the modern critics in pursuit 
}f their theory are compelled to make excuses for an error of no 
ess than sixty-six years. The traditional view has no need to resort 
to any such devices. One thing, however, it does require, viz. 
;hat in v. 25 a comma be placed after " seven weeks " and a colon 
ifter " threescore and two weeks." With this, and a few other 
slight alterations in the rendering, the passage will read thus 

" Know therefore and discern that from the going forth of a 
commandment [lit. ' a word ' *] to restore and to build Jerusalem 
to Prince Messiah shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two 
weeks : it shall be built again with street and moat, even in 
troublous times. And after the threescore and two weeks shall 
Messiah be cut off, and shall have nothing [?] : and the city and 
the sanctuary the people of the coming Prince shall destroy ; 
and the end of it shall be in the flood, and there shall be war unto 
in end desolations are determined. And he shall make firm a 
covenant with the many for one week, and for half of the week he 
mall cause sacrifice and oblation to cease : and upon a wing of 
abominations shall come one that maketh desolate ; even unto 
a consummation, and that determined, shall wrath be poured upon 
a, desolator." 

According to the traditional view the chronological interpre- 
tation of this remarkable vision runs thus 

1 Not "the word." 


457 B.C l -SS A.D.=490 years=70x7 years=the "seventy 

457 B.C. is the date of " the going forth of the commandment 
to restore and to build Jerusalem," viz. the decree of Artaxerxes I. 
for the restoration of the Jewish state and polity. Ezra vii. 1, 7, 

457-408 B.C.=49 years=7x7 years=the first " seven weeks " 
=the " troublous times " of restoration. 

408 B.C.-26 A.D.=434 years=62x7 years=the "threescore 
and two weeks." 

26 A.D. is the date of the manifestation of the Messiah at the 
beginning of His public ministry. 

26-33 A.D. is the last or seventieth " week," ending with the 
death of Stephen, during which Messiah will " make firm a covenant 
with the many," i.e. with the masses of the people. 

30 A.D. is the middle of this last " week," when Messiah by 
offering Himself on the Cross will " cause sacrifice and oblation to 

In order to maintain the traditional interpretation, it is 
essential, as stated above, that we should follow the punctuation 
of the A.V. in v. 25 by placing a comma after " seven weeks " 
and a colon after " threescore and two weeks." My readers will 
ask, why is this punctuation altered in the K.V. ? Why did the 
Revisers place a colon after " seven weeks," and only a comma 
after " threescore and two weeks " ? It was done in accordance 
with the Hebrew accents of the Massoretic or received text. In 
the case of the " seven weeks," or, as it stands in the original, 
" weeks seven," the Massoretes placed the accent Ethnach under 
the word " seven." In the case of the " threescore and two 
weeks," in the original " weeks sixty and two," they placed the 
accent Zakeph Qaton over the " two." Of these two accents 
Ethnach is the stronger disjunctive. Our Revisers, therefore, 
represented it by a colon placed after " seven weeks." The weaker 
accent placed over the " two " they represented by placing a 
comma after the " threescore and two weeks." But in thus 
letting ourselves be led by the accents we have to remember that 
though they are of the greatest value in indicating the connection 
or otherwise of any word with the words before and after it, and 
thus discovering to us the arrangement of the clauses, yet at the 
same time they are something more than mere marks of punctua- 
tion. They are accents in the true sense, and as such they lend 

1 To speak more strictly the period begins at some point in the year 
458 B.C., and ends at some point in the year A.D. 33, but for the sake of making 
the calculations I have set down the figures as above. 


;hemselves to mark emphasis as well .as pause. Dan. ix. 25 thus 
iffords us an instance of what is called emphatic accentuation. 1 
rhe Massoretic punctuators desired to call attention to the fact 
;hat the sixty-nine weeks, which were to elapse before the appear- 
mce of the Messiah, are for a good reason divided into two periods 
)f seven weeks and sixty-two weeks ; a fact which explains why 
;he smaller number stands first. Accordingly they put the stronger 
iccent on the word " seven." Their action may be represented 
;hus : " Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of a 
jommandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to Prince Messiah 
ihall be weeks seven | and weeks threescore and two : it shall be 
Duilt again," etc. For other examples of emphatic accentuation 
n the Book of Daniel take the following : 

" Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel | 
naking petition and supplication before his God " (vi. 11). 

" In the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by the 
^ooks | the number of the years," etc. (ix. 2). 

" Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and 
satraps | because an excellent spirit was in him : and the king 
-hought," etc. (vi. 3). 

In the above three cases the strong disjunctive Ethnach,of which 
tfith few exceptions only one appears in each verse, and in verses of 
i single clause none, and which usually answers to our colon or 
semicolon, is placed under the word which precedes the vertical 
ine. The Massoretes wished, then, in the present instance to 
nark out pointedly the separation of the " seven weeks " from the 
' threescore and two weeks " which follow. To represent sixty- 
line weeks by " seven weeks and threescore and two weeks " would 
ndeed be strange, if there were no reason for it, i.e. no reason for 
he division and no reason for putting the smaller number first. 
3ut there was a reason. Those first seven weeks were to witness 
,he restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem " even in troublous 
imes " ; for this too was a matter of anxiety to the seer, though 
t stood second to his greater anxiety with regard to the enormity 
)f the national sin. Let it be understood, then, that according to 
he traditional view the first seven weeks are described as a period 
)f reconstruction, while the following sixty-two are left a blank, 
,here being nothing particular to record with respect to them. 

I propose now to go through the prophecy, if not exactly 
'eriatim, yet examining each particular clause, that so difficulties 
nay be cleared up, obscurities removed, and the fulness and 
exactness of this astonishing revelation be made plain. 

1 See Wickes' Hebrew Prose Accents, pp. 32-35. 


The prophecy begins with " the going forth of a commandment 
[lit. ' a word '] to restore and to build Jerusalem " as its terminus 
a quo. The language here employed has given rise to various 
questions, such as, whose " word " is it that is meant ? when 
and how did it go forth ? and, in what sense would Daniel be 
likely to understand these words of Gabriel ? 

Undoubtedly the " word " spoken of is a divine word, just 
as in v. 23 the angel says to Daniel, " At the beginning of thy 
supplication a word went forth." The " word," dabhar, there 
spoken of, as the context shows, is the divine command to Gabriel 
to reveal the vision to Daniel. Here it is a mandate from the 
throne of the Divine Majesty for the restoring and rebuilding of 
Jerusalem. Its object and purpose are thus clearly defined. But 
since the time of its utterance is not defined, and since dabhar here, 
as in v. 23, is without the definite article in the original, we must 
therefore with Ewald, and Francis Brown's Hebrew Lexicon, render 
it " a word," not " the word." To render it " the word " would 
be to relegate its utterance to past time, thereby leading the reader 
to suppose that the " word " intended was the promise made to 
Jeremiah referred to in v. 2 ; whereas, as a matter of fact, the time 
of the divine utterance is left quite undefined. In the next place, 
we turn to the question, how, or in what way, did the divine word 
go forth ? Was it a word of promise or of execution ? The pre- 
ceding context leads us to decide in favour of the latter. " At 
the beginning of thy supplications," says Gabriel, " a word went 
forth, and I am come to tell thee " : i.e. Gabriel's coming was the 
immediate result of a divine " word " ordering him to come. 
Similarly the decree of an earthly ruler for the rebuilding and 
fortifying of Jerusalem was to be the immediate result of a divine 
" word " to that effect ; thus illustrating the language of the 
Psalmist, " He sendeth out his commandment upon earth, his 
word runneth very swiftly." l So, then, the opening words of 
Gabriel, as well as the whole tone of his communication, would 
lead Daniel to expect a divine " word," that would be uttered in 
the future, rather than to look back to one that had been already 
uttered in the past. Further, he would expect that the divine 
" word," being uttered, would be put into immediate execution, 
presumably by some earthly ruler. This ruler could scarcely 
be Cyrus. The decree of Cyrus encouraged the Jews to return 
and to rebuild Jerusalem, but it did not permit them to fortify 
their city as foretold in Gabriel's message. The newly risen Persian 
power, however liberal and conciliatory its policy, could hardly 

1 Ps. cxlvii. 15. 


be expected as yet to trust its Jewish subjects to that extent ; 
not to mention the fact that in the third year of Cyrus Daniel was 
told of much opposition still to be expected from Persia. 1 Accord- 
ing to the traditional view the divine " word " was uttered in the 
seventh year of Artaxerxes I., 457 B.C., and found its execution in 
the decree put forth by that monarch, which is recorded in Ezra vii. 
12-26. To this the critics object that Artaxerxes' decree is silent 
as to any command for the rebuilding or fortification of the city 
of Jerusalem. This is quite true as regards the mere wording of 
the royal letter. The king's decree is mainly concerned with the 
official recognition of the God of Israel. He ordains that the 
Jewish religion is to become the established religion of that part 
of his dominions, and that Ezra is to teach it to the heathen around. 
To assist him to do this Ezra is invested with both civil and 
ecclesiastical authority. Further, his countrymen are invited 
and encouraged to return along with him ; while costly gifts to 
" the God of Israel " are made by the king and his counsellors, 
and the most ample provision for carrying on the worship of " the 
God which is in Jerusalem." Thus in the larger and loftier sense 
it might truly be said, " The Lord doth build up Jerusalem, he 
gathereth together the outcasts of Israel," 2 and this, indeed, is 
the sense which suits best with Daniel's prayer. For the prophet 
had spoken to God of Jerusalem as ** thy city," " thy holy moun- 
tain," " the city which is called by thy name," " thy sanctuary." 
In his eyes Jerusalem was the place of worship, the city which 
Jehovah had chosen to place His name there ; and to him, to 
restore and build Jerusalem meant above all to establish again 
the temple worship : the very thing which Artaxerxes did to the 
fullest extent. At the same time Gabriel's assurance that Jeru- 
salem would be built again " with street and moat " requires us 
to assign a literal meaning to his declaration as to the restoration 
of the Holy City. Can, then, Artaxerxes' decree be looked upon 
as a mandate for the rebuilding and fortification of the town ? 
Apparently this was the light in which the Jews regarded it. 
They no doubt reasoned that he who showed himself so favourable 
to the worship of the God of Israel as to make it the established 
religion of that part of his dominions could not possibly object 
to the rebuilding of His city ; and further, that Jerusalem, being 
thus rebuilt, must needs be fortified, if only with a view to its 
security and to the safety of the treasures it contained. Encour- 
aged, therefore, by the royal mandate, the Jews acted accordingly, 
and proceeded to rebuild the town and raise again its walls. This 

* Dan. x. 1, 13, 20. 2 J>s. cxlvii. 2. 


is evident from the letter written by their enemies to Artaxerxes, 
as given in Ezra iv. 7-16, in which they say, "Be it known unto 
the king, that the Jews which came up from thee are come to us 
unto Jerusalem : they are building the rebellious and the bad 
city, and have finished the walls and repaired the foundations." l 
This letter insinuates that the Jews are plotting rebellion, and 
warns the king twice over that if the walls be rebuilt, they will 
cease to pay all taxes to the king, and will carry into revolt with 
them all the country beyond the river, i.e. the whole of that wide 
district to the west of the Euphrates over which Artaxerxes had 
given Ezra civil authority. The Persian king, who like James I. 
of England appears to have been well-intentioned but easily swayed 
by evil and interested counsellors, after looking back into the 
records of the past and finding that Jerusalem had formerly been 
the capital of a great kingdom, issued a second decree, ordering 
the writers of the letter to see that the work ceased, at any rate 
till further instructions were issued. This second decree appears 
to have been carried out with great severity by the enemies of the 
Jews. The work was not merely stopped, but what had been built 
up was pulled down, so that in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, 
444 B.C., Nehemiah received through his brother Hanani the sad 
news, " The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the 
province are in great affliction and reproach : the wall of Jerusalem 
also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." 
Nehemiah knew, doubtless, of the royal decree stopping the 
rebuilding of the walls, but he did not know, till his brother told 
him, of the severity with which it had been carried out. It is 
thus that the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah lead us into those 
" troublous times," viz. the " seven weeks," 457-408 B.C., 
which Gabriel's message foretold. Nehemiah's first visit to 
Jerusalem lasted from 444^32 B.C. The date of his second 
visit is not given, but the expression " after certain days," Neh. 
xiii. 6, is suggestive that it followed soon after the first. During 
Nehemiah's first visit there were troubles both within and without, 
as his Book abundantly testifies ; and doubtless very grave causes 
for anxiety still continued, otherwise he would not so soon have 
returned after that first lengthy visit. With respect to his second 
visit at some time subsequent to 432 B.C., related in the last 
chapter of his Book, it has been objected that no indication ia 
given of any work of rebuilding still going on ; but then the record 
is so scanty that this is nothing to be wondered at. It should 

1 The section Ezra iv. 7-23 has evidently strayed from its proper place. 
Chronologically it should stand between Ezra x. and Neh. i. See Century 
Bible, in loco. 


further be noted that Gabriel's words are capable of a double 
meaning. We may either understand him to say that the rebuild- 
ing and fortifying of the town would extend over a period of forty- 
nine years 1 which may very well have been the case for anything 
we know to the contrary or, again, that the " troublous times," 
which were to witness the rebuilding, would extend over that period. 
From the latter half of those forty-nine years a solitary ray of 
light reaches us from the Elephantine papyri in the letter sent by 
the Jewish community at that place to Bagoas the Persian governor 
at Jerusalem in 408 B.C., just at the close of the " seven weeks." 
The letter shows that a state of peace existed between Jerusalem 
and Samaria at that time ; inasmuch as the Jews of Elephantine 
Dpenly tell Bagoas that they have also written to Delaiah and 
3helemiah, the sons of Sanballat the governor of Samaria. What 
this somewhat surprising state of things means it is difficult to 
say. It would seem that either Sanballat must have changed his 
tactics and adopted a more friendly policy, or that the laxer 
members of the Jewish community at Jerusalem must have 
succeeded in ousting the party faithful to the regime instituted by 
Nehemiah. 2 On the whole, then, we freely admit that owing to 
want of information respecting that portion of Jewish history, 
we are unable to say why the period of rebuilding or the " troublous 
times " whichever way we understand the angel's words are 
limited to seven weeks of years, i.e. to forty-nine years. But the 
exact fulfilment of other periods in the prophecy, occurring in times 
about which we are better informed, makes us feel sure that did 
we but know the story of those earlier days, we should as easily 
recognise the suitability of the separating those first seven weeks 
from the sixty-two that follow, as we recognise the propriety of 
the distinguishing the last week of the seventy from the sixty- 
aine that precede it. 

A difficulty in the traditional view arises from the fact that it 
is not expressly stated in Gabriel's words that the first seven 
weeks correspond to the time of rebuilding, or at any rate to the 
' troublous times." Possibly the Massoretes wished to make 
the sense plainer when they placed an emphatic accent after 
' weeks seven " and a lesser accent after " weeks sixty and two." 
Ihose first seven weeks were to witness something for which Daniel 
aad earnestly prayed, viz. the raising up of the holy city out of 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. 145 (2). 

* It is also noticeable that the sons of Sanballat bear the Jewish names 
Delaiah and Shelemiah, both common names at that period see Neh. vi. 10 
md xiii. 13 whence some suppose that their father was a Jew by birth despite 
lis Babylonian name Sanballat. 


its state of utter desolation ; while the remaining threescore and 
two weeks, so far as the prophet's prayer was concerned, were a 
blank except as they led the way to the coming of the Messiah. 
To that great event our attention is next directed. " From the 
going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem 
to Prince Messiah shall be seven weeks and threescore and two 
weeks," i.e. 483 years, viz. the interval from 457 B.C. to A.D. 26, 
at which latter date the Messiah was publicly manifested to Israel, 
first by the great forerunner, and then by the opening of His 
public ministry. " I knew him not ; " says the Baptist, " but that 
he should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptis- 
ing with water." 1 " We have found the Messiah," 2 are Andrew's 
words to his brother Simon. Indeed, that first chapter of St. 
John's Gospel may be looked upon as an inspired record of the 
fulfilment of this part of the evangelic prophecy. 

TOJ tv&ro, Mdshiach Ndgid rendered in the A.V. " Messiah the 
Prince," in the E.V. " the anointed one, the prince " I have 
given as " Prince Messiah," just as " Nebuchadnezzar the king " 
=" king Nebuchadnezzar," and " Saul the king "=" king Saul." 
As both Mdshiach and Ndgid are titles, they are treated as proper 
names and appear in Hebrew without the definite article. With 
the compound title, Mdshiach Ndgid, " Prince Messiah," compare 
TJ3 Tj?B, Pdqid Ndgid, " Chief Officer," the title of a temple 
official which occurs in Jer. xx. 1. Compare also "faj ?, 'El 
Gibbor, " Mighty God," Isa. ix. 5 ; rm) n, " Jah-Jehovah," 
Isa. xxvi. 4 ; and in this Book of Daniel, ii. 25, compare 
m 1-1D, Tur Babh, " The Great Mountain," a title of the god Bel 
there transferred to Jehovah " the God of heaven." In all these 
cases we notice the absence of the definite article from either 
member of the compound. 

This is the only place in the Old Testament where " Messiah " 
is used as a title or proper name of the Coming One. In other 
passages we have merely " my," " thy," " his anointed." The 
facts that the title is here associated with the restored Jerusalem 
indirectly indicated as the place where " Messiah " would be 
"cut off" and that in Daniel's prayer Jerusalem is described 
as " thy holy mountain," are alike suggestive that it is taken from 
Ps. ii. 2, " The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers 
take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed," 
seeing that further on in that Psalm, viz. in v. 6, Jehovah gives to 
Zion that same name, " my holy hill," or " mountain," which we 
find in Daniel's prayer. The second Psalm is a very striking one, 

1 John i. 31. Ibid. i. 41. 


with a distinct character of its own. It was referred to the Messiah 
by the ancient Jewish commentators, and was looked upon by the 
Early Church as prophetic of the united action of both Jewish and 
Gentile rulers which led to Messiah's violent death and so to His 
resurrection. 1 Further, the view given in it of Messiah's kingdom 
is in striking harmony with such passages as Dan. ii. 35, 44, and vii. 
18, 14; whilst certain verbal correspondences also strike us, such 
as the use of the uncommon word, rendered " rage " in Ps. ii. 1, 
and "assemble" in Dan. vi. 6, 11, 15, which is not found in 
any other passage ; and the word used to describe the power 
of iron to break in pieces other things, used both in Ps. ii. 9 and 
Dan. ii. 40. 

The use of " Messiah " as a proper name in the vision of 
Dan. ix. is a stumbling-block in the eyes of the critics. Prof. 
Driver observes that if the Book of Daniel were written by Daniel 
this use in it of " Messiah " would be " extremely unlikely." 2 
But why so ? Surely some considerable space of time must have 
elapsed between the date of the composition of Ps. ii. and the era 
of Daniel. The Psalm is attributed to the age of David, Solomon, 
or of Ahaz. Take the latest of these, and we have an interval of 
nearly two hundred years : quite enough to allow of a descriptive 
becoming a title. In the Book of Zechariah, iii. 8, we have another 
title of the expected King. " I will bring forth," saith Jehovah, 
" my servant the Branch." Prof. Driver readily acknowledges 
that the term Tsemach, " Branch," or rather " Shoot," is here 
used as a proper name, and is therefore without the definite 
article in the original ; 3 and further, that it is used as a title of 
the Messiah, a title borrowed from the words of Jer. xxiii. 5, 
" Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto 
David a righteous branch." If tsemach from being a descriptive 
could become a title within less than a century, why not mdshiach 
in nearly double that time ? 

" And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed 
one be cut off " : so the B.V. ; but better, " shall Messiah be cut 
off," or " shall the Anointed One be cut off." For since there is 
no definite article before mdshiach in the original, we must either 
look upon it as a title, or render it with the critics, " an anointed 
one." In the view of the passage taken by the critics the words, 
" to anoint the most holy," in v. 24, refer to the re-dedication of 

1 See The Speaker's Commentary, Psalms, p. 175 ; and for the N.T. refer- 
ences to this psalm see Acts iv. 25, 26, xiii. 33, and Heb. i. 5. 
8 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. 144 (1). 
3 Century Bible, Zechariah, p. 197, footnote. 


the temple or altar in the days of the Maccabees ; the " anointed 
one " of v. 25 is either Cyrus or Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and 
the " anointed one " of v. 26 the high priest Onias III. In the 
traditional view the reference in all three cases is to Christ. 

Messiah is to be " cut off," i.e. He is to suffer a violent death 
as contrasted with a natural one. The Hebrew verb here employed 
is often used in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers of 
being sentenced to death. Compare also Isa. liii. 8 where a 
different verb of a similar import is used " he was cut off out of 
the land of the living." 

" And shall have nothing " : lit. " and there is not to him." 
The meaning is obscure, and perhaps intentionally so. We 
may supply the word " guilt," and see in the testimony of 
Pilate, " I find no fault in him," or in the utterance of the dying 
robber, " This man hath done nothing amiss," the fulfilment of 
this part of Gabriel's message. Or, again, the words may mean 
that He has no one to stand by Him, none to take His part, and 
may be best illustrated by our Lord's words to His apostles on 
the night of His betrayal, " Ye shall be scattered every man to his 
own, and shall leave me alone." l Lastly, we may take the some- 
what similar meaning given in the E.V.M., " There shall be none 
belonging to him," and contrast the few disciples found in Jeru- 
salem after the Crucifixion 2 with the multitudes who used to follow 
Him in the early days of His Galilean ministry, or even with the 
crowds who had welcomed Him into Jerusalem only a few days 
before. The short, terse expression, " and there is not to him," 
takes in all these, and probably was intended to do so. 

1 John xvi. 32. 3 Acts i. 15. 



UR last chapter carried us down to the death of the Messiah. 
We resume our analysis of the vision in the middle of 
v. 26, where the judgment on the nation that put Him 
to death comes into view with the words, " And the city and the 
sanctuary the people of the coming Prince shall destroy." As 
we have seen, Jerusalem is to be rebuilt despite the sins of her 
kings, her prophets, priests, and people. But presently the rebuilt 
city will be again destroyed, because of this her crowning sin, viz. 
the murder of the Messiah. 

" The people of the coming Prince " : lit. according to the 
Hebrew usage, " the Prince, the coming one," Ndgid habbd. As 
stated above, " the Prince that shall come " is to be identified 
with " Prince Messiah " in the previous verse. The picture there 
is of Christ coming to save ; here, of His coming to inflict judgment. 
This, then, is one of the passages from which the Messiah appears 
to have received the appellation " the Coming One." " When 
John heard in the prison the works of the Christ," i.e. when he 
heard that Jesus in His miracles of compassionate love was doing 
the works that the Christ was to do, " he sent by his disciples and 
said unto him, Art thou he that cometh ? " better, " Art thou the 
Coming One ? " Gr. 6 epx<>iutvoc=Heh. habbd " or look we for 
another," a different person ? John seems to have doubted for 
the time being whether the Coming One and the Messiah were one 
and the same Person. Maybe, in his mind at the time when he 
asked the question, the thought of the Messiah was associated with 
works of mercy and love and with the vicarious atonement to be 
made by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, to whom he had pointed 
his followers : the thought of the Coming One, with the sterner 
work of justice and judgment. 1 Could it be, then, that they were 

1 That the title, " the Coming One," may also be used of Christ as coming 
to save is clear, not only from Ps. xl. 6, 7, but also from the fact that the 
Prince, who in v. 26 comes " to destroy the city and the sanctuary," is the 
same Person who, as stated in v. 27, will " cause tho sacrifice and the oblation 
to cease," viz. by the sacrifice of Himself. 



two different persons ? This passage in Daniel might seem at 
first sight to lend itself to such a supposition, seeing that Mdshiach 
Ndgid comes to suffer, whilst Ndgid Habbd comes to inflict judg- 
ment. In this connection it is noticeable that in Heb. x. 87 the 
title 6 epxofievog , " the Coming One," is actually used of Christ's 
coming to put an end to the Jewish state and polity. The passage 
is an adaptation of Hab. ii. 3 in the LXX version, and runs thus : 
" For yet a very little while, he that cometh " or better, " the 
Coming One " " shall come, and shall not tarry." To this part 
of Daniel's vision our Saviour refers in the parable of the Marriage 
of the King's Son, Matt. xxii. 7 : " But the king was wroth ; and 
he sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned 
their city." It will perhaps be objected that the king in the 
parable is Almighty God. Be it so ; but the avenging army is 
under the command of His beloved Son. Compare Ps. ex. 1, 2, 
5, 6. Stier, writing on our Lord's parable in Matt, xxii., says, 
" If thou wilt see a most special testimony to the true wrath of 
God which broke forth after the times of longsuffering, and in 
due time, then look at the destruction of Jerusalem, and see how 
the wrath of God is come upon the Jews etc reXog (1 Thess. ii. 16), 
i.e. rbz iy, ? we riXovg, Dan. ix. 26, 27. The Lord refers precisely 
to this passage of Daniel." ..." As at chap. xxiv. 15 He 
mentions ' the abomination of desolation,' so now He says TrtfvpciQ 
ret arpaThvixara avrov, ' he sent forth his armies,' which corresponds 
to ' the people of the prince that shall come ' in Daniel." . . . 
" Just when Messiah the Prince appears as the Messiah cut off, 
He comes as the Prince to destroy the city and the sanctuary. 
The Eomans, as hostile hosts, serve the judging Lord and God of 
Israel, as angels of judgment." l 

It is objected that any reference in v. 26 to the destruction of 
Jerusalem would be out of place before the first half of v. 27 ; 
and also that that catastrophe, which happened forty years after 
the cutting off of the Messiah, does not fall within the seventy 
prophetic weeks, 457 B.C. to A.D. 33, I answer that the series of 
events, which led to the final overthrow in A.D. 70, began some 
years before that overthrow. Further, that in the true suitability 
of things it is most natural to look upon v. 26b as describing the 
judgment to be inflicted because of the great national crime fore- 
told in v. 26a. Even before that crime was committed, its punish- 
ment was invoked by the multitude : "All the people answered 
and said, His blood be on us and on our children." 2 And the 
moment it was committed that punishment was due. We note, 

1 The Words of the Lord Jestis, vol. iii. p. 139. 

2 Matt. xxviL 25. 


too, that our Saviour Himself very shortly before His death, 
realising the great crime that was so soon to be committed, had 
that terrible retribution distinctly before His mind, and found in 
it one of the bitter drops in His cup of anguish. He foresaw " the 
end thereof," coming with " the flood " * of invasive war, " wars 
and rumours of wars," war following upon war even " unto an 
end," desolations " determined " on the guilty city and nation 
by the offended Majesty of high heaven. 

Gabriel having thus revealed the judgment coming on the 
rebellious city that murdered its lawful Prince, goes on in v. 27 
to describe the Prince's popularity with His subjects during that 
last seventieth week. His words may be rendered thus : " He 
shall make firm a covenant with the many for one week." " He 
shall make firm," or maintain, " a covenant," not " the covenant," 
as in ix. 4, where God's covenant with Israel is intended, nor 
" the covenant " in the sense of the Jewish religion and ritual, as 
in xi. 22, 28, 30, 32 ; but " a covenant " in the sense of a bond of 
friendship, amity, and good will. Compare Ps. Iv. 20, " He hath 
put forth his hands against such as were at peace with him : he 
hath profaned his covenant." Also we must translate " the many," 
not " many," thus giving the article its proper force. By " the 
many " are meant the multitude, the masses of the people as 
contrasted with their rulers. So in xi. 33 we should read, " the 
teachers of the people shall instruct the many," where the masses 
are contrasted with their religious guides. Compare also xi. 89 
and xii. 3. On the other hand, in xii. 2, where the word is used 
without the article, our Revisers have given us the right render- 
ing : " Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall 
awake " ; " many," not as contrasted with others who do not 
awake which would be a denial of the universality of the resur- 
rection but simply as drawing attention to their vast numbers. 
The prophecy that Messiah would establish and maintain good 
relations with the masses of the Jewish people during that last 
week, A.D. 26-33, and that He would yet nevertheless meet with 
a violent death in the midst of that week, was fulfilled to the letter. 
Christ's teaching was popular with the masses. " The common 
people 2 heard him gladly," is St. Mark's observation with regard 
to the temper shown by the multitude almost on the eve of the 
Crucifixion. Again, only a few weeks later, the adherents of the 
crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth are described as " having 
favour with all the people." 3 In those early days the Church of 

1 Cf. Dan. xi. 22 ; Isa. viii. 7, 8, xxviii. 2, 17, 18 ; Nah. i. 8. 

1 6 tto\vs 6x\oi. Mark xii. 37. 3 Acta ii. 47. 


Christ went forward by leaps and bounds among Messiah's own 
people. " Believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes 
both of men and women." 1 " The number of the disciples 
multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly ; and a great company of 
the priests were obedient to the faith " 2 ; and so great was the 
popularity of the new doctrine that the rulers became apprehensive 
for their own safety, witness their words to the apostles, " Ye 
intend to bring this man's blood upon us." 3 One would suppose, 
indeed, after reading the first six chapters of the Acts, that 
Christianity was about to take the place of Judaism among the 
Jews of Jerusalem. But this was not to be. The popularity of 
the new faith among the masses lasted down to the death of 
Stephen in A.D. 83, but no longer. Then the tide turned. " There 
arose on that day " the day of the death of the first martyr for 
Christ " a great persecution against the church which was in 
Jerusalem ; and they were all scattered abroad." 4 "It would 
appear," writes Alford, " that not only the authorities of the Jews, 
not only the Sanhedrim, who appear to have been the only ones 
concerned in the death of Stephen, but the people of the Jews also 
took part in the persecution of the church : because it hardly 
could have been general, it hardly could have been such as to 
scatter them away from Jerusalem, which it did, unless it had 
been throughout the people themselves." 5 The death of Stephen 
thus formed a crisis in Messiah's dealings with His own people. 
Down to the close of that seventieth week, in A.D. 33, the covenant 
held firm, friendly relations were maintained between Him and 
them, the Crucifixion was the only break in those relations. It 
was, so to say, a dark line drawn across the bright spectrum ; 
but only a line. But after the death of Stephen all was dark for 
the Jewish people, the covenant ceased to hold. Stephen himself, 
that great master of the older Scriptures, seems to have realised 
that a change was near at hand. The character of his preaching 
as described by his enemies is suggestive that he not only under- 
stood the details of Daniel's vision, but that it gave the tone to 
his public addresses. " We have heard him say that this Jesus of 
Nazareth shall destroy this place " 6 compare v. 26, " The people 
of the coming Prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary " ; 
" and shall change the customs which Moses delivered unto 
us " compare v. 27, " In the midst of the week he shall cause 
the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." That the " cutting off " 
of the Messiah and His violent death was much on the mind of 

1 Acts v. 14. 2 Ibid. vi. 7. 3 Ibid. v. 28. 

4 Ibid. viii. 1. 5 Homilies on the Acts, chaps, i.-x., p. 233. 

Acts vi. 14. 


the first martyr, we know, not only from his dying utterances, 
but also from his words to the Sanhedrim, when he told them to 
their faces that they had been the betrayers and murderers of the 
Righteous One. 1 It will thus be seen why the seventy weeks 
are made to close with the death of Stephen. Also this fact, too 
often overlooked, is brought prominently into view, viz. that while 
the fate of the Jewish state and polity was sealed by the great 
crime of the Crucifixion, nevertheless a day of grace, as indicated 
in the parable of the Barren Fig-tree, 2 was prolonged for the people 
of Jerusalem for about three and a half years after that event, 
by that early popularity of Christianity among the masses ; which 
period ended with the death of the first martyr. By this second 
crime, or at any rate by the adverse spirit which was stirred up 
at the time, the nation may be said to have closed the door upon 
themselves. So, then, as the angel tells Daniel, " seventy weeks 
are determined upon thy people " ; not sixty-nine weeks and a 
half ending with the Crucifixion, but seventy weeks ending with 
the death of Stephen. This was to be the limit of Jerusalem's 
day of grace. For just as in Ezekiel's vision the glory of the Lord 
first mounted up and stood over the threshold of the Holy House, 
then hovered for awhile over the east gate of the court, and then 
passing away eastward stood over the Mount of Olives, ere it 
quitted the neighbourhood of the doomed city : 3 so Messiah, the 
true Glory of His people, remained near them for three and a half 
years after they crucified Him. For by His Ascension from the 
Mount of Olives they were allowed, so to say, to see His glory 
over that eastern hill, while for a short space He was proclaimed 
among them as exalted by God " with his right hand to be a Prince 
and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of 
sins." 4 It would indeed have been a sad thing, if, when the great 
sacrifice for sin had been offered up at Jerusalem, no opportunity 
had been offered to the Jewish people to confess their crowning 
sin, and their trust in the atonement made by Him whom they in 
their blind rage had crucified. But in point of fact such an 
opportunity was given, and many both among the priests and 
the people accepted it. The apostles were charged by Christ 
to begin their witness for Him from Jerusalem ; 5 and that they 
understood their orders well is clear from St. Peter's words to the 
people after the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful door of 
the temple, " Unto you first God, having raised up his Servant, 
sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your 

1 Acts vii. 52. 2 Luke xiii. &-9. s Ezek. x. 4, 19 and xi. 23. 

* Acts v. 31. 6 Luke xxiv. 47. Cf. Acts i. 8. 


iniquities." 1 In order, then, to give His apostles the opportunity 
to make Him known to the people who had crucified Him, Messiah 
Himself established a pact with the multitude, which, except for 
& brief interval at the time of the Crucifixion, lasted for just a week 
of years, viz. from the beginning of His public ministry down to 
the death of Stephen. 

" And for half of the week he," viz. Messiah, " shall cause 
sacrifice and oblation to cease " : i.e. for the last half of the 
seventieth week, A.D. 30-33, Messiah, by the sacrifice of Him- 
self, will put an end to the Levitical sacrifices. Zebach uminchdh, 
" sacrifice and oblation," both the animal sacrifices and the blood- 
less offerings. Compare 1 Sam. ii. 29, Isa. xix. 21, Jer. xvii. 26, 
and especially Ps. xl. 6 (7). As was shown by the rending of the 
veil of the temple at the time of the Crucifixion, the death of 
Christ put an end to the worship carried on in the temple. The 
Levitical sacrifices, indeed, continued to be offered down to the 
destruction of Jerusalem, but in the sight of Heaven the Jewish 
sacrifices ceased with the sacrifice of the death of Christ : the type 
of necessity gave place to the antitype. Hence the best com- 
mentary on this part of the prophecy is found in Heb. x. 4-9, 
where the writer interprets in its loftiest sense the language of 
Ps. xl. 6-8, putting the words into the lips' of the Messiah. The 
passage runs thus 

" For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should 
take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, 
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, bat a body didst thou 
prepare for me : in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou 
hadst no pleasure ; then said I, Lo, I am come, (In the roll of the 
book it is written of me) to do thy will, God. Saying above, 
Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices 
for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein (the which 
are offered according to the law), then hath he said, Lo, I am come 
to do thy will. He taketh away the first, that he may establish 
the second." 

It is, then, this taking away of the Levitical sacrifices by " the 
offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all," 2 which is signified 
by Gabriel's words, " For half of the week he shall cause sacrifice 
and oblation to cease." 

" And upon a wing of abominations shall come one that maketh 
desolate ; even unto a consummation, and that which is deter- 
mined, shall wrath be poured upon a desolator." These last 

1 Acts iii. 26. 2 Heb. x. 10. 


clauses are not to be looked upon as a repetition or enlargement of 
the statement made in v. 26 that the city and the sanctuary would 
be destroyed by " the people of the coming Prince." The reference 
there is to the armies of Rome, marshalled under Messiah Himself, 
which are to capture and destroy both city and temple. Here 
the vision points to a yet more terrible foe, which was to arise 
within the doomed city and stir up civil war : a foe soon to become 
notorious for its abominable pollution of holy places. 

The Zealots, whom Josephus so sternly denounces as the direct 
cause of the destruction of Jerusalem, 1 received their name from 
their affected patriotism and pretended zeal for the Law. In 
reality they were robber bands, cut-throats and murderers, the 
Bolshevists of those days ; and are more truthfully described by 
their other name, Sicarii or Assassins. Herod the Great in his 
sarly days did much to put down these robbers, who had made 
;heir strongholds in the precipitous hillsides of Galilee. But in 
;he last years of the Jewish state this evil broke out afresh in the 
iame quarter. A strong band of these men had held the town of 
jischala against the Romans ; but when they saw its capture to 
)e certain, they contrived by a stratagem to make their escape 
o Jerusalem under the leadership of John of Gischala. Having 
nade their way into the capital, they set to work to corrupt the 
rounger men, and stirred them up to rebel against the Romans. 
Meanwhile they were joined by many like characters from all 
)arts of the country, and were able by making themselves masters 
>f the temple to turn it into a fortress, from which they could 
ally out into Jerusalem and commit any acts of tyranny and 
lavage barbarity which might serve their purpose. There could 
)e no better description of the prosperous career for the time being 
)f atrocious wickedness, violence, murder, rapine, and pollution, 
mgaged in so lightly by the Zealot army, and of the terrible gloom 
vhich it cast over Jerusalem, than those brief words of Gabriel, 
' Upon a wing of abominations shall come one that maketh 
lesolate." These bold, determined, desperate robber-ruffians, 
vho jested over holy things, and yet when it suited their purpose 
>rofessed a zeal for the Law and a belief in the prophets, sailed 
orth boldly on their career of crime like some powerful bird of 
)rey the terror of the flocks. 2 Theirs was a wickedness which 
or a while prospered exceedingly. They seemed to be borne 
Jong on the wing of their own abominations, buoyed up by the 
r ery atrocities in which they indulged, by their acts of sacrilege 
,nd violence. Their crimes were " abominations " in the truest 

1 Wars of the Jews, book iv. 3, 3. 

* Cf. lea. viii. 8 ; Jer. xlviii. 40 ; Hos. viii. 1. 


sense, objects of detestation and horror, " desolating," i.e. appalling 
those who witnessed them, for such is the force of the two Hebrew 
words here used. Thus they seized the appointment to the High 
Priesthood, and elected by lot to that sacred office a rustic clown, 
whom they decked with the priestly robes and brought him forth 
as if on the stage, indulging in uncontrolled merriment over his 
awkwardness, while the more earnest-minded of the priests shed 
hot tears of indignation at this horrid profanation. 1 Josephus, 
speaking of the Zealots, says that they ridiculed the oracles of 
the prophets which they themselves were instrumental in fulfilling, 
adding that " there was a certain ancient oracle of those men, 
that the city should then be taken and the sanctuary burnt, by 
right of war, when a sedition should invade the Jews, and their 
own hands should pollute the temple of God." 2 Again, addressing 
his rival, John of Gischala, one of the principal leaders of the 
Zealots, just three weeks before the capture of the city, he says, 
" Who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient 
prophets contain in them and particularly that oracle which is 
just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city for they 
foretold that this city should be taken when somebody shall begin 
the slaughter of his own countrymen ! and are not both the city 
and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your country- 
men ! It is God, therefore, it is God Himself, who is bringing on 
this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Eomans, 
and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions." 3 
There is some reason for thinking that the special oracle referred 
to by the Jewish historian is this vision at which we are looking, 
for it will be noted that pollution is the keynote on which the Jewish 
priest and historian harps. The Zealots have filled Jerusalem 
with their pollutions. More particularly have they polluted the 
temple of God. John had told Josephus that he had no fear of 
the city being taken because it was God's city. In answer to which 
Josephus replied in a tone of bitterest satire : " To be sure thou 
hast kept this city wonderfully pure for God's sake. The temple 
also continues entirely unpolluted." 3 Again and again we find 
references to the horrible pollution of the temple. Thus : " Those 
men made the temple of God a stronghold for themselves." 4 . . . 
" When they were satiated with the unjust actions they had done 
towards men, they transferred their contumelious behaviour to 
God Himself and came into the sanctuary with polluted feet." 6 
Ananus, one of the high priests, is represented as saying to the 

1 Wars of the Jews, book iv. 3, 8. Ibid, book iv. 6, 3. 

Ibid, book vi. 2, 1. * Ibid, book iv. 3, 7. 5 Ibid, book iv. 3, 6. 


lultitude, " Certainly it had been good for me to die before I 
.ad seen the house of God full of so many abominations, or these 
acred places that ought not to be trodden on at random, filled 
nth the feet of these bloodshedding villains." x Jesus, the eldest 
igh priest next to Ananus, addressing the Idumeans who had 
een invited to Jerusalem by the Zealots, speaks in the same strain, 
liter denouncing the Zealots as the very rascality and offscouring 
f the whole country, he adds 

" They are robbers, who by their prodigious wickedness have 
rofaned this most sacred floor, and who are now to be seen drink- 
lg themselves drunk in the sanctuary." ..." These profane 
^retches have proceeded to that degree of madness, as not only to 
ave transferred their impudent robberies out of the country and 
tie remote cities into this city, the very face and head of the whole 
ation, but out of the city into the temple also : for that is now 
lade their receptacle and refuge, and the fountain-head whence 
leir preparations are made against us. And this place, which is 
dored by the habitable world, and honoured by such as only 
now it by report, as far as the ends of the earth, is trampled upon 
y these wild beasts born among ourselves." 2 

The strong emphasis with which Josephus thus again and again 
escribes this awful pollution leads us to think that the certain 
ncient oracle concerning the capture and purification by fire of 
ie city and sanctuary after the Jews with their own hands had 
olluted the temple of God, can be none other than this vision of 
>aniel, seeing that this very clause, " upon a wing of abominations 
hall come one that maketh desolate," was undoubtedly under- 
tood to refer to the temple in the days of Josephus, as may be 
athered from the Septuagint rendering of the passage : ko\ kir\ 
b hpbv [5^i\vy/Lia rwv ipnfxioattov ecttoc, " and upon the temple 
here shall be an abomination of desolations." 3 

The origin of the above somewhat remarkable reading of the 
eptuagint in which the Hebrew *13? ^V, 'al kenaph, " upon the 
r ing," is replaced by l-wl to hpbv, " upon the temple," may be 
tius explained : The Hebrew word ?p_3, kdnaph, " wing," is also 
sed of the extremity of anything, e.g. the " skirt " of a robe, 4 
tie " border " of a garment, 5 the " uttermost part " of the earth, 6 
tie four " corners " of the earth. 7 Hence taken architecturally 

1 Wars of the Jews, book iv. 3, 10. 2 Ibid, book iv. 4, 3. 

3 Theodotion's rendering is similar with the omission of tarai. 

4 1 Sam. xv. 27. 5 Xum. xv. 38. 6 Isa. xxiv. 16. 
7 Ibid. xi. 12. 


it would signify a " gable," or " battlements," or, above all, a 
" pinnacle," just as the Greek irrepvyiov lit. " a little wing," 
is used in precisely the same sense in Matt. iv. 5. The Hebrew 
word hdnaph being thus understood, the clause could be read, " And 
upon a pinnacle there will be abominations making desolate." 
Now if Zion, in the words of Micah, was " the tower of the flock," l 
" the very face and head of the whole nation," as Jesus the high 
priest phrases it in the passage quoted above then undoubtedly 
the temple was the " pinnacle " of that tower, its culminating 
point. Thus, then, the Septuagint were led to give as a trans- 
lation what is really an interpretation, " And upon the temple there 
shall be an abomination of desolations." In this light, then, the 
clause would probably be understood by Josephus, and our 
Saviour Himself has set His seal to the correctness of this inter- 
pretation. His words as given in Matt. xxiv. 15 run thus : 

"Orttif ovv 'lSr]T to (3Be\vyna Trjg iprnxwaewq to pt]B\v Sta AavlrjX 


t?i 'lovSaia (ptvytTwcrciv etti to. opi). " When therefore ye see the 
abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the 
prophet, standing in the holy place, (let him that readeth under- 
stand) then let them that are in Judea flee unto the mountains." 
By " the," or " a," " holy place " there is not the least doubt 
that our Saviour points to the temple ; also, with the Septuagint 
version before us, there can be no doubt that the passage in the 
Book of Daniel to which He refers is the one at which we are 
looking, since in the parenthesis, " let him that readeth under- 
stand," we find an echo, as it were, of the words of Gabriel, " con- 
sider the matter and understand the vision," " know therefore 
and discern." The sign thus mercifully given by Christ was not 
only unmistakable in its fulfilment, but allowed ample time for 
all who gave heed to it to escape like Lot from the doomed city ; 
for the temple was seized by the Zealots and made their strong- 
hold some three years before the town was first invested by the 
Bomans, and then enclosed within a wall of circumvallation. 2 

The desolations and abominations wrought bv the Zealots were 
destined to end in their own utter destruction. " Even unto a 
consummation and that determined," i.e. " Even unto the con- 
summation determined upon, shall wrath be poured upon a 
desolator." 3 Josephus' long tale of horrors shows us how exactly 

1 Micah iv. 8. 2 Cf. Lewin's Fasti Sacri, p. 348. 

* The word " wrath " is not in the original, and has to be supplied hi order 
to make up the sense. Perhaps it would be better, therefore, to adopt Dr. 
Charles' rendering, " Until the consummation that is doomed is poured out 
upon the desolator." See Century Bible on Dau. ix. 27. 


thi9 part of the prophecy was fulfilled. His ever-famous work, 
The Wars of the Jews, closes just where our prophecy closes, viz. 
with the outpouring of the vials of wrath on the desolator. Of the 
Zealot leaders, he tells us how the crafty John of Gischala was 
condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and how the brave Simon 
the son of Gioras, after being drawn by a rope into the Roman 
Forum amid the torments of those that drew him, was there slain 
in the hour of the triumph of Vespasian and Titus. Then at the 
close of his seventh and last Book he tells us the fate of the remnant 
of the Sicarii. These men after the fall of Massada, the last 
Jewish stronghold to be taken, fled to Egypt, and even up the 
Nile as far as Thebes. They were caught and brought back, put 
to torture, and on their refusing to acknowledge Caesar as their 
lord were burnt to death. The one bright spot in them was their 
amazing courage, for even their children were found ready to face 
this fiery doom. 

" Consummation " is an awkward term. The Hebrew word 
thus rendered simply means complete utter destruction. The 
expression " a consummation and that determined " is a hendiadys, 
3ignifying the oomplete irrevocable destruction which the Almighty 
means to bring upon the desolator. The phrase is a quotation 
from Isa. x. 23, "A consummation, and that determined, shall 
the Lord, the Lord of hosts, make in the midst of all the earth." 
rhe same expression is repeated in Isa. xxviii. 22. 

To the traditional interpretation just given it is objected that " if 
;he Revised Version of verse 27 be correct and it is certainly the 
latural meaning of the Hebrew a reference to the death of Christ 
s excluded altogether, for the verse does not then describe the 
anal abolition of material sacrifices, but their temporary suspension 
\ov ' half of the week.' " l While admitting the correctness of 
ihe Revisers' rendering, " for half of the week," I would point 
>ut to my readers that the above objection is based on a wrong 
new of the purport of the revelation made to Daniel. Daniel's 
)rayer had been for his own people, not for the world at large, 
Liid for his people nationally rather than individually. So, then, 
he answer to that prayer, brought by Gabriel, in its primary 
mport only concerns Israel and Israel's nationality. As the angel 
ays at the outset, " Seventy weeks are determined " cut off, 
>ortioned off 2 "upon thy people and upon thy holy city." 
horn the higher spiritual point of view, i.e. from the divine stand- 
joint, Israel's existence as a nation ends with the close of the 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. 146. 

8 The word used is significant as indicating the strictness of the arithmetical 
aloulationa which form the framework of the prophecy. 


seventieth week, A.D. 83. Their fall, their lapse, their oasting 
away 1 dates from then ; and what Gabriel unfolds is the great 
fact that for the last half week of their existence, viz. from A.D. 
80-83, the Levitical sacrifices and ritual will cease in the sight of 
God. Here, again, the meaning is spiritual. As a matter of fact 
the sacrifices did not cease to be offered till the destruction of 
Jerusalem ; but in God's sight they ceased with the sacrifice of 
the death of His beloved Son. At the end, then, of the seventy 
weeks, the period " determined," i.e. portioned off in the divine 
foreknowledge, Israel drops out of sight, and is lost, as it were, in 
the darkness. We know, indeed, from Christ's own words, as 
well as from those of His apostle St. Paul, 2 that they will come into 
the light again ; but nothing is here said of their restoration to 
the divine favour. In this vision only one faint ray of light is 
shed on Jerusalem's dark future in the closing statement that 
heaven's wrath will be poured upon the desolator, i.e. on the 
ruthless power that polluted Jehovah's sanctuary and desolated 
His city. This predicted outpouring of wrath might give some 
slight ground for the hope that even in that darkest hour Jehovah 
had not finally forsaken His city and His people. 

1 Rom. xi. 11, 15. 

8 Matt, xxiii. 39 ; Luke xxi. 24 ; Rom. xi. 12, 15, 25-32 ; 2 Cor. iii. 16. 



THE chronology of the last of the Prophetic Weeks is a 
matter of such importance as to demand a short chapter 
to itself. The Weeks begin in the year 458 B.C., the 
seventh year of Artaxerxes I., 1 and they end in the year A.D. 88. 
As they are not weeks of days, but weeks of years, the question as 
to literal days, or even weeks and months, does not enter into 
our calculations : we are only concerned with the years. Thus 
with regard to the " cutting off " of the Messiah, which according 
to the evangelic interpretation is to happen in the middle of the 
seventieth " week," it is sufficient to show that Christ died on the 
fourth " day," i.e. in the fourth year of that " week." In other 
words, we have to show that He died in A.D. 29-30, the middle 
year of the " week " A.D. 26-33. What time of the year He died 
is of no consequence so far as this prophecy is concerned : nor is 
it necessary that the half of the "week " should be exactly three and 
a half years, i.e. three and a half prophetic " days," but simply a 
period extending from some point in the fourth year, A.D. 29-80, 
to some point in the seventh year, A.D. 32-33. 

In our study of the Seventieth Week the first thing is to 
determine the year of its commencement, i.e. we have to ascertain 
the year in which Messiah was proclaimed by His Forerunner, 
John the Baptist, as already present in the midst of His people 
Israel ; and we shall find that no fewer than three independent 
calculations point us to the year A.D. 26. 

Of the Four Evangelists St. Luke is the one who possesses 
most fully the historic sense. He is more concerned than his 
brother Evangelists with the chronological framework which lies 
at the back of the Gospel Story. One epoch which strikes him as 
of great importance, and to ascertain which is necessary for the 
right interpretation of the vision of Dan. ix., is the beginning of 
the ministry of John the Baptist : the time when the cry of that 

1 Ezra vii. 8, 9. See p. 1 85, footnote. 


herald-messenger first rang out, bidding men prepare for the coming 
kingdom. Accordingly, in chap. hi. 1, 2, St. Luke is careful to 
mark the date with a striking series of synchronisms. The first 
note of time, which he there gives us, is the fifteenth year of 
Tiberius Csesar. Tiberius was associated with Augustus in the 
sovereignty of the empire in A.D. 12. His fifteenth year, therefore, 
was A.D. 26. Prof. Ramsay suggests that the ministry of John 
began in the summer of that year, some six months before that of 
Christ, John being six months older than our Saviour. In the 
next place, St. Luke tells us in chap. hi. 23 that " Jesus himself, 
when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age." Now, 
according to St. Matthew's Gospel, chap. ii. 1, Jesus was born in 
the reign of Herod the Great, and evidently near the close of that 
reign : compare Matt. ii. 19, 20. Herod died in 4 B.C., very 
shortly before the Passover. 1 Whence it has been reckoned that 
our Saviour was born either at the end of 5 B.C., or early in 4 B.C. 
This would make Him " about thirty " at the end of A.D. 26. 
Thirdly, we learn from John ii. 20 that at the first Passover in our 
Saviour's ministry the temple had been in building forty-six years. 
Herod the Great, its builder, began to reign in 57 B.C., and it was in 
his eighteenth year, 2 i.e. in 20 B.C., that he commenced the building 
of the temple. Hence at some point in the year A.D. 26 the temple 
had been in building exactly forty-six years ; also, leaving out 
months and taking account only of years, that number would 
still hold good for part of the year A.D. 27, and presumably at 
the time of the first Passover in Christ's ministry. Thus three 
different calculations unite in pointing us to the year A.D. 26 as 
that in which Messiah was made manifest to Israel, and near the 
close of which He entered upon His ministry. 

We have next to ascertain the duration of that ministry, that 
so we may be able to determine the year in which Messiah was 
" cut off." St. John mentions three Passovers during the 
ministry : the Passover of John ii. 13, already referred to ; that 
of John vi. 4, shortly after the Feeding of the Five Thousand ; and 
the Passover of John xii. 1, at which Christ suffered. Hence our 
Saviour's ministry must have extended over at least two years. 
But it can be shown that it extended over three years, and that 

1 Ant. xvii. 8. 1. The date of this Passover and of the death of Herod is 
ascertained from the fact that just a month before there was an eclipse of the 
moon, which happened in the night of March 12-13, 4 B.C., Ant. xvii. 6. 4. 

2 Ant. xv. 11. 1. In the Wars of the Jews, i. 21, 1, the building of the 
temple is assigned to Herod's fifteenth year ; but Wiesler has shown in his 
Chronologica Synopsis, p. 152, footnote, that the number 15 is an error of the 
transcriber. Cf. also Herzog's Evcyclopcridia, xxi. 546. 



it included another Passover which is not mentioned by the 
Evangelist, viz. the next after the Passover of John ii. 13. The 
argument hinges on the right understanding of Christ's words in 
John iv. 35, " Say not ye, There are yet four months and then 
cometh the harvest ? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, 
and look on the fields, that they are white already unto the harvest." 
Many commentators have looked on this utterance as a proverb, 
and it is quite true that there is a proverbial ring about the words, 
" Say not ye? " " Is it not a common saying among you ? " 
But since the interval between sowing and harvest to which, if 
they were a proverb, they would naturally allude is six months, 
and not four, we must understand them otherwise, viz. as a note 
of time : " Say not ye at this time of the year, Yet four months 
till harvest ? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look 
on the fields, that they are white already unto the harvest. Look 
yonder ! See that eager throng pressing forward out of the city. 
The good seed has already been sown there, and has sprung up 
with lightning speed. There lies the true harvest field, ready even 
now for the reaping ! " It is thus the sharp contrast presented by 
the then state of the spiritual field as compared with the natural, 
which drew from our Saviour's lips this enigmatic saying. Here, 
then, is an additional reason for looking at Christ's words as a 
referenoe to the time of year. A proverb they could hardly be ; 
but taken as a note of time they help to furnish a striking enigma. 
Our Lord, then, after the first Passover of His ministry, leaving 
Jerusalem goes into Judea, and " tarries " 1 there for some eight 
months, baptising contemporaneously with John. At the end of 
that time, about the close of November or early in December, 
four months before the harvest which began at the next Passover 
He passes through Samaria on His way to Galilee, where He 
receives a warm welcome from those who had witnessed the 
miracles done by Him at Jerusalem in the early part of the year ; 
and it may be presumed that He avails Himself of the door thus 
opened to Him, and " tarries " awhile in Galilee as He had done 
in Judea. Then follows the unnamed feast of John v. 1, to be 
present at which our Lord goes up to Jerusalem. What feast 
could this be ? Certainly not the Feast of the Dedication, for that 
was held in the winter, viz. in the very month in which Christ 
went into Galilee. The next feast is that of Purim, which falls 
just a month before the Passover. This would require our Lord 
to spend less than three months in Galilee, and to rush away, as 
it were, from those who had accorded Him so warm a welcome. 

1 John iii. 22. 


Besides, Purim was a vindictive feast, and its teaching was utterly 
alien to the spirit of Christ. 1 Further, that Christ should go up 
to the feast of Purim in John v. 1, and then absent Himself from 
the Passover of John vi. 4, which followed only a month later, ia 
unthinkable. But if the unnamed feast of John v. 1 is not Purim, 
it can only be a Passover or some feast subsequent to the Passover, i.e. 
there is a Passover in Christ's ministry not mentioned by St. John, 
which falls between the Passover of John ii. 13 and that of John vi. 
4. The ministry, then, which began near the end of A.D. 26, 
extended over the Passovers of A.D. 27, 28, 29, and 30, at the last 
of which Messiah was " cut off." If, then, we take the year 
A.D. 26-27, in which Jesus was pointed out by the Forerunner as 
Israel's Messiah, and in which He entered on His public ministry, 
as the first " day " of the Seventieth Week, then the year A.D. 29- 
30, embracing the Passover of A.D. 30 at which He suffered, will 
be the fourth " day," i.e. the middle of the week. 

We have now to look at the second half of the " week," during 
which Messiah by the sacrifice of Himself on the Cross caused the 
temple sacrifices to cease in the sight of God. This has been 
already interpreted of the interval between our Saviour's death 
and the martyrdom of St. Stephen, and in justification of such an 
interpretation I shall avail myself of the researches of Prof. 
Bamsay. With regard to the results already arrived at, Bamsay 
is in perfect agreement, viz. that the Forerunner appeared in 
A.D. 26, possibly in the summer of that year, and that " the 
Crucifixion took place in A.D. 30, the fourth Passover in the public 
career of Jesus." 2 Then, when investigating the chronology of 
Early Church History, he goes on to place the appointment of the 
Seven Deacons in A.D. 32 and the death of Stephen in A.D. 83. 
In the latter year he also places the conversion of St. Paul, and 
states that according to the view put forward by him, A.D. 83 is 
the latest date for that event. He admits that the interval 
between A.D. 30 and A.D. 32 seems to him a short time for the 
Jewish Christian Church to realise the necessity for appointing 
Hellenistic Jews to official rank. 3 But, on the other hand, he finds 

1 At this feast the Book of Esther is read through at the Synagogue service. 
When Hainan's name is mentioned the congregation stamp on the floor and 
call aloud, " Let his name be blotted out ! " " Let the name of the ungodly 
perish ! " while the children knock on the wall with wooden hammers, threaten- 
ing with destruction, not only Haman, but the whole race of Amalek. Also 
when the reader comes to the names of Hainan's ten sons, who were slain by 
the Jews, he does his best to read them through in a breath, thus signifying 
the suddenness of the destruction which overtook them. 

2 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 386. 

3 Ibid. p. 376. 


it difficult to believe that repressive measures against the followers 
of Christ could have been delayed more than two years or three at 
the utmost. His conclusion runs thus : " It is therefore quite 
fair to date Stephen's death about two and a half or three years 
after the great Pentecost." l The year of Stephen's death being 
thus ascertained, with strong probability, if not with absolute 
certainty, we have now obtained the beginning, the middle, and 
the ending of that last great Seventieth Week, and can express the 
result in strict chronological sequence as follows : 

A.D. 26-27 : The proclamation of the Messiah by the Baptist. 

A.D. 29-30 : Messiah's violent death. 

A.D. 32-33 : The death of Stephen, at the close of Israel's 
day of grace, and very shortly before the conversion of the Apostle 
of the Gentiles. 

It was pointed out in the last chapter that the extension of 
Israel's day of grace supplies the reason why the vision of the 
Seventy Weeks extends to some three years and more after the 
Crucifixion. But there is another and deeper reason for the 
selection of that limit which must not be overlooked. Beginning 
with the mention of Israel's sin and Israel's need, the vision of 
Dan. ix. passes on to Israel's " Glory " as Messiah comes upon the 
scene. In His rejection the national guilt is consummated. 
Nevertheless, mounting to His Mediatorial throne by the ladder of 
the Cross, exalted " to be a Prince and a Saviour," He still waits 
to be gracious to His own people, still maintains the " week "-long 
pact, thus giving His rebellious subjects time to send in their 
illegiance. But a second murder, that of His first martyr St. 
Stephen, puts an end to Israel's day of grace, and at the same time 
mens the way to a further development of the Messianic Kingdom, 
rhe murder of Messiah Himself had led the way to His being 
nstalled in the seat of power at Jehovah's right hand. The 
seeming defeat of the Cross had been a real victory : for then, as 
"oretold in the second Psalm, the Almighty Buler, seated on His 
leavenly throne, laughing to scorn the rage and malice of His 
:oes, proclaimed the accomplishment of His fixed purpose 

" As for me, 2 I have set my king 
Upon my holy mountain of Zion." 3 

But now a further step in the direction of the extension of the 
Kingdom was about to be taken. This is unfolded by Messiah 
3imself in the next stanza of the Psalm, w. 7-10. He declares 

1 St. Paul Hie Traveller, p. 377. * The pronoun is emphatic. 

* Dan. ix. 16, 20. 


that Jehovah has not only acknowledged His prerogative viz. 
by the miracle of the Resurrection but has given to Him, " the 
Firstborn from the dead," no merely Jewish kingdom, but world- 
wide sovereignty 

" Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, 
And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." 

This second outrage, then, the death of His first martyr, shall 
be used by Him for this promised extension of His Kingdom. By 
means of it He will put forth His royal power, and scattering His 
servants from Jerusalem, will despatch them into all lands, thus 
fulfilling the prediction of the 110th Psalm 

" The Lord shall send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion, 
Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." 

With might irresistible, exceeding that of the Iron Kingdom, the 
forces of heathenism are broken down, while Messiah's true people, 
in numbers countless as the drops of dew, " offer themselves 
willingly " to serve under Him " in the day of His power." 1 

For the sake, then, of " Prince Messiah," the real subject of 
the prophecy, the vision which tells of His sufferings is carried 
down to that point at which His armies go forth into all lands, 
to bring them into subjection to the Cross of Christ. In the words 
of the historian-evangelist, " They therefore that were scattered 
abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled 
as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word 
to none save only to Jews. But some of them were men of Cyprus 
and Cyrene, who, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto 
the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the 
Lord was with them : and a great number that believed turned 
unto the Lord." 2 Thus, a true evangelic fulfilment was given to 
the prophecy of Dan. vii. 27, " The kingdom and the dominion 
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall 
be given to the people of the saints of the Most High : his kingdom 
is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey 

1 R.V.M. army. 2 Acta xi. 19-21. 




THE two visions of Daniel, chaps, viii. and x .-xii., are very 
closely related. Not only are there many verbal points 
of connection between them, but the subject-matter of 
>oth is the same, viz. the perils awaiting the ancient Church of 
xod at the hands of oppressive and persecuting world-powers. 
Lad for this reason both were shown to Daniel by the siue of 
ivers, symbolical of those world-powers : rivers, over whose 
raters hovered, in one instance a Divine Presence, made known 
>y a voice, in the other a Divine Person both seen and heard ; 
ffording in either case an assurance to the seer that He, from 
fhom the vision came, would Himself control those powers, and 
Lot suffer His Church to be overwhelmed by them. 

The earlier vision opens thus : "In the third year of the reign 
f king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me 
)aniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I 
aw in the vision ; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in 
hushan the palace, which is in the province of Elam : and I saw 
i the vision, and I was by the river Ulai." 1 Belshazzar, as we 
ave seen, was associated with his father Nabonidus in the 
Dvereignty, and the passage is suggestive of the fact that a definite 
ortion of the kingdom was placed under his sway. In chap. vii. 1 
belshazzar is called " king of Babylon," and it is not at all unlikely 
hat his father may also have entrusted to him that part of ancient 
Ham which lay adjacent to Babylonia and was under Babylonian 

In the " vision which appeared unto me at the first," 2 i.e. the 
ision of the Four Kingdoms in chap. vii. shown to him two 
ears before Daniel had seemed to himself to be standing on the 

1 Dan. viii. 1, 2. 
8 Chap. viii. 2. 


shore of the " Great Sea," the Mediterranean, looking west. That 
sea, out of which the four wild beasts picturing the great heathen 
world-powers were seen to arise, was symbolical of the sea of 
nations, and its very position was significant, since two of those 
powers, Babylon and Persia, sprang up on one side of it, and two, 
Greece and Eome, on the other side. It was no less significant 
as indicating the wider outlook of that vision, both in time and 
space, which has for its theatre the World of the Ancients, and in 
its scope takes in the remote future, casting a lurid light on that 
terrible persecution which the saints were to suffer at the hands 
of Papal Eome long after the Son of Man had received His 
mediatorial kingdom. Similarly, in these more contracted visions 
the scenes are no less admirably chosen. The mention of those two 
eastern rivers, the Ulai and the Hiddekel, is particularly striking 
as denoting the quarters most closely connected with those two 
world-powers, Persia and the Greek-Syrian kingdom, at whose 
hands the Jewish Church was to suffer, first, much opposition, and 
presently, the bitterest persecution. It is possible, indeed, that the 
vision of chaps, xi. and xii. has a further typical meaning ; but the 
passage is one of great difficulty, as I have already shown in my 
first chapter. All that I would insist on here is, that the visions 
seen on the banks of the two rivers must not be mixed up and con- 
fused with the vision seen on the shore of the " Great Sea." To 
confuse the persecuting power of Dan. vii. with that of viii. 
and xi. is fatal. The circumstances attending the rise of each, 
as we have already seen, are entirely different. One power, that 
of chap, vii., is an upstart and usurper ; the other is born in the 

In the vision of the world-kingdoms Daniel was not actually 
on the shore of the " Great Sea," but only seemed to be there. 
So, in these more contracted visions, he is not actually on the 
banks of the rivers mentioned, but only there in spirit. Never- 
theless in the vision of chap. viii. the particularity of description 
in the opening verses is such as to give the distinct impression that 
some time or other he had been at Shushan probably on business 
for king Belshazzar and was thus familiar with the spot where, 
according to tradition, his bones repose. 

Eastward, beyond the Tigris, towers the highland zone of the 
Zagros, range upon range of lofty limestone mountains, till the 
passes to the plateau behind them rise to 5000 and 6000 feet, 
and the peaks to over 11,000 feet. The width of the mountain 
belt averages 300 miles. 1 To the Semites looking up from the 

1 Myres' Dawn of History, p. 89. 


Babylonian plain the southern portion of this mountainous region 
vas known as Elam, " the Upland." Accordingly, in Isa. xxi. 2, 
diere Elam is summoned to join Media in putting down Assyria, 
re find a play on the name, which might well be shown by a 
aarginal rendering thus : " Up ! Upland." To the Aryan tribe8 
iressing forward from the east Elam was known as Uvaja, i.e. 
ither the country " with good roads " for through its mountain 
lasses ran the trade routes from the East or, the land " abounding 
a goats." The Elamites themselves called their country Haltamti. 
? he second column of the great inscription of Darius Hystaspes 
t Behistim is written in the Elamite language, in that branch of 
b usually known as the Neo-Susian. Like the ancient Sumerian 
b Was an agglutinative tongue. Darius in his inscription, when 
numerating in something of geographical order the countries 
yhich Auramazda has put under his sway, places Elam between 
5 ersia and Babylonia. 

During the Assyrian period, Elam was the inveterate foe of the 
Assyrians and the firm ally of the Chaldeans. Against Elam 
Sennacherib directed five out of the eight campaigns described 
m the Taylor Cylinder. Elam was twice very severely chastised 
>y Ashurbanipal, viz. in 660 B.C., and again in 645 B.C. ; and so 
errible was the vengeance on this latter occasion that one might 
uppose the nation wiped out. But Elam possessed a wonderful 
>ower of recuperation, and as a matter of fact outlived Assyria. 
Phus Nineveh fell about 606 B.C., but Elam was still a nation in 
he first year of Zedekiah 597 B.C., when the prophet Jeremiah 
)redicted her approaching downfall. 1 In 586 B.C., only eleven 
rears later, we learn from a prophecy of Ezekiel, that Jeremiah's 
>rediction had been accomplished, and that Elam along with 
ither great nations had gone down to the underworld. 2 In 
endeavouring to form some conjecture as to the causes which led 
o her overthrow, we must place the prophecy of Jeremiah side by 
ide with the political conditions that existed in Western Asia at 
he time, so far as they are known to us. In the closing days of 
he Assyrian empire, when Cyaxares of Media was besieging the 
amous Assyrian cities, we learn from a fragment of Abydenus 
hat a locust-like host undoubtedly the Elamites swarmed up 
rom the sea and joined hands with Nabopolassar, the father of 
Nebuchadnezzar, in his attack on the southern border of Assyria. 3 
)n this occasion the ancient friendship between the Elamites and 
he Chaldeans was still maintained, and both must have rejoiced 

1 Jer. xlix. 34. 

2 Ezek. xxxii. 24, 25. For the date of this prophecy compare w. 1 and 17. 
* Cory's Fragments, new edition, 1876, p. 90. 


together over the tragic downfall of their common foe. But when 
after the fall of Nineveh Babylon stepped into Assyria's place and 
took to herself the southern half of the old Assyrian empire, while 
the " mighty Medes " laid a firm hold on the northern half, the 
state of the political world was completely changed. The common 
danger being now removed, Elam would naturally be jealous of 
Babylon's success, whilst the Babylonian king, unable to effect 
further conquests on his northern frontier because of the strength 
of the Median kingdom, and having for his southern border the 
deserts of Arabia, would feel that he could only extend the limits 
of his empire on the east and west. From other parts of Scripture 
we learn what he did in the west, and here in this Book of Daniel 
we get a hint as to what he was able to effect in the east. On this 
side, indeed, he could not advance very far, for the small kingdom 
of Anshan, in the east of ancient Elam, destined to be the germ of 
the future empire of Persia, was a fief of the powerful Median 
kingdom, and thus formed a most effective barrier. Nebuchad- 
nezzar would not dare to interfere with any dependency of his 
powerful Median ally, of whom he stood in goodly fear. He could, 
however, join with the Medes to destroy what remained of the 
Elamite power, obtaining as a reward for his services that part 
of Elam which lay nearest to Babylon. Now, in the prophecy of 
Jeremiah, chap, xlix, 86, it is foretold that Elam will be attacked 
from all quarters, and this prediction would receive a literal fulfil- 
ment if, as seems likely, she was attacked by Media and Anshan 
on the north and east, and on the west and south by the Chaldeans, 
both by land and sea, for what the Assyrians, an inland nation, 
had done in the days of Sennacherib, when they sailed across the 
Gulf to attack Elam, the Chaldeans, a maritime people, could much 
more easily effect. 1 

The part of Elam which fell to the lot of Nebuchadnezzar 
appears from this passage in Daniel to have included the city of 
Shushan, which was only some 200 miles to the east of Babylon. 
That Shushan lay within the bounds of the Babylonian empire 
is proved from the fact that in the list of Babylonian cities to 
which Cyrus, after the capture of Babylon, returned their gods, 
Shushan is mentioned along with Ashur. 2 This shows that Baby- 
lonian rule extended as far north up the Tigris as Ashur, the oldest 

1 See the account of Sennacherib's sixth campaign on the Taylor Cylinder. 

3 See the Cylinder Inscription of Cyrus, line 30, as read by Pinches and 
Weissbach. This is also Winckler's view. It is interesting to note that 
according to Sayce the discoveries of M. de Morgan on the site of Susa disclos* 
the fact that in the early days of Babylonian history Elam was a Babylonian 
province and Susa the seat of a Babylonian governor. 


capital of Assyria, and as far east as Shushan, the former capital 
of Elam. That Shushan lay on the eastern frontier of the empire, 
and that Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom could not have extended 
much beyond it, appears to be indicated by the fact that this 
great king drew his supplies of timber, not from the mountains 
of Elam, though comparatively near to Babylon, but from the 
much more distant forests of the Lebanon. 

In the Assyrian period Shushan was the chief royal city of 
Elam, and the dwelling-place of the Elamite gods, famous for its 
sacred groves, its royal mausoleum, and the statues of no less than 
thirty-two kings, as well as for the treasures laid up in its palaces. 1 
Doubtless it was still a place of importance under the New Baby- 
lonian empire, more especially as a military outpost and frontier 
town. In Persian times, which had already commenced when 
Daniel wrote his Book, Shushan, or Susa, speedily became one of 
the capitals of the empire, along with Ecbatana, Persepolis, and 
Babylon. It was, in fact, the favourite winter resort of the Persian 
kings, and so delightful was its situation and climate that by the 
reign of Darius Hystaspes it appears as the chief city of the empire, 
the place where Darius kept his treasure, and the terminus of the 
" Boyal Eoad " from Sardis, which, according to Herodotus, it 
took ninety days to traverse. 2 

In his vision Daniel seemed to be in " Shushan the palace." 
The Hebrew word birah, translated " palace," is connected with 
the Assyrian birtu, " a fortress," and signifies the citadel of Shushan. 
Hence the marginal rendering, " Shushan the castle," is to be 
preferred, both here and in the Books of Nehemiah and Esther. 
In the Koyunjik Gallery of the British Museum, on one of the 
bas-reliefs from the palace of Ashurbanipal, we find a curious 
and interesting plan of the town and citadel of Shushan, as they 
existed in the middle of the seventh century B.C. The plan is in 
exact agreement with the lines of the ancient city as laid bare by 
Loftus. Nevertheless, across the picture is written in cuneiform 
characters, " The city of Madaktu." Madaktu was the name of 
another Elamite royal city, probably represented by a place named 
Badaca, about twenty-five miles from the site of Shushan. Hence 
it has been supposed that the sculptor has made a mistake in 
writing " Madaktu " instead of " Shushan." This bas-relief 
shows the city built on a narrow strip of land between two rivers. 
Near the junction of the rivers, standing on a hill or mound, is 
the " castle " or citadel. In the Persian period the famous 
Persian archers of the royal bodyguard, known as the Immortals, 

1 Inscription of Ashurbanipal on the Rassam Cylinder, col. vi. 

2 Book v. 52, 53. 


had their long robes covered with scutcheon badges, on which 
were embroidered a conventional representation of the citadel 
of Shushan. 1 In the Book of Esther the " city Shushan " is 
distinguished from " Shushan the castle " : chap. viii. 14, 15. 
So in our bas-relief the citadel is seen standing outside the walls, 
near the confluence of the two rivers : the town with its fortifica- 
tions and houses a little to the right. Scattered houses and palm 
trees are seen in the foreground outside the walls, between the town 
and the larger of the two rivers. Many of the houses have 
chambers on the flat roofs, like that which Daniel used for his 
prayer-chamber. 2 In his vision Daniel tells us that he was " by 
the river Ulai," probably the larger of the two rivers depicted in 
the bas-relief as running close by the castle mound and across the 
immediate foreground. The word ubal, here used for " river," is 
an unusual one. It comes from a root meaning " to conduct," 
and might better be translated " canal." Another word from the 
same root signifies a " conduit." The Ulai was a very wide canal, 
900 feet broad, joining the Kerkha (the ancient Choaspes) and the 
Abdizful (the ancient Coprates), the traces of which, though it is 
now dry, can still be seen. This vast canal joining the two rivers 
would be much used for water traffic, and must have proved a 
source of wealth to Shushan, which, as we have seen, was destined 
shortly to become the first of Persia's royal cities and to be restored 
to the same proud position which it had held under the native 
Elamite monarchs. In the visions of the Book of Daniel the 
immense wealth of the Persian empire is foretold. It is to be the 
Silver, i.e. the Monied Kingdom, and its mighty kings are to be 
strong through their vast wealth. 3 The idea of wealth and abund- 
ance was in the minds of the Babylonians connected with their 
system of canals, both because they helped to irrigate the land 
and make it fruitful, and also because as in the case of the broad 
Ulai they served for purposes of water-traffic. Such was the 
importance of these canals in Babylonia that both Nabopolassar 
and Nebuchadnezzar have left canal-inscriptions. The inscription 
of Nebuchadnezzar has reference to a canal at Babylon, which 
bore the name Libil-khigalla, " May it bring abundance." 4 This 
canal ran eastwards from the Euphrates along the south side of 
the southern citadel. Libil-khigalla had been in a ruinous state 
for some time, and the monarch gives the following account of the 
repairs executed by him : " Libil-khigalla, the east canal of 

1 Story of the Nations : Media, p. 337. 

* Cambridge Bible, Daniel, chap. vi. 10, footnote. 

* Dan. ii. 32 and xi. 2. 

* The word libil t iv may it bring," is from the root mentioned above. 


Babylon, which for a long time had lain in ruins, blocked up with 
masses of earth, and full of obstructions, I cleared it out ; and 
from the bank of the Euphrates to Ai-ibur-shabu I built its course 
with mortar and burnt brick. In Ai-ibur-shabu, 1 the street of 
Babylon, for the great lord Merodach I built a bridge over the 
canal, and made the roadway broad." Jeremiah has these canals 
in his mind, when in his long prophecy against Babylon he thus 
addresses her : " thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant 
in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy dishonest 
gain." 2 The use of the Hebrew word translated " measure," 
lit. " ell," and the mention of " dishonest gain," shows that the 
prophet connected the wealth of Babylon and her commercial 
greatness with the facilities for water-traffic offered by her canal 
system. The mention, then, of the Ulai, the broad canal of 
Shushan, as the scene of Daniel's vision is suggestive of the vast 
wealth and the immense resources of the fast-approaching Persian 
kingdom. For in front of this canal, as if to defend his treasures, 
stood the Medo-Persian ram, when against him from the west 
with the speed of some bird of prey, not touching the ground, 
came the Grecian he-goat with that notable horn between his 
eyes. " And he came," writes Daniel, " to the ram that had the 
two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran upon 
him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the 
ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the 
ram and brake his two horns, and there was no power in the ram 
to stand before him." 3 A grand description this, of the swift 
irresistible career of Alexander, signalised by those great victories 
over armies much larger than his own at the Granicus, at Issus, 
and at Arbela, the last opening the way for him to Babylon, and 
so on to Shushan ; Shushan, the very heart of the empire in more 
senses than one, for what the blood is to the human body, that the 
treasure laid up at Shushan was to the body politic of the Persian 
kingdom. Hence that last victory at Arbela touched a vital 
part, since it made Alexander master of the immense wealth 
stored up at Shushan ; wealth which, wisely expended in the hire 
of Greek mercenaries, might have saved, or at any rate prolonged, 
the kingdom of Persia. " Once masters of this city," says Arista- 
goras, speaking of Susa to Cleomenes king of Sparta : " Once 
masters of this city, you may be bold to vie with Jove himself for 
riches." 4 And so, indeed, it proved, for the silver captured by 
Alexander at Susa amounted to no less than 50,000 talents, or 

1 I.e. " The oppressor shall not pass over it." Compare the description of 
' The way of Holiness " in Isa. xzxv. 8, " the unclean shall not pass over it." 
a Jer. li. 13, R.V.M. Dan. viii. 6, 7. * Herod, v. 49 


more than twelve million sterling ! It was not, then, without a 
reason that the vision, which in its opening scene describes in so 
striking a manner the coming of the Greek kingdom into Asia, 
and the speedy downfall of the vast, unwieldy empire of Persia, 
should be shown to the seer at Shushan, and on the banks of its 
great canal, the Ulai. 

When the vision was past, and while Daniel was pondering 
its meaning, there came from between the banks of the Ulai i.e. 
from above the waters of the canal a voice, undoubtedly the 
voice of Jehovah Himself, bidding Gabriel explain the vision to 
the seer. The fact that God's voice came from above the waters 
indicated that the vast resources of the Persian empire, typified 
by the broad Ulai, were under His control, and was suggestive 
that the decree, uttered against Babylon, would presently go forth 
against Persia 

" A sword is upon her treasures, and they shall be robbed : 
A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up." 

(Jer. 1. 87, 38.) 

Turning next to the scene of Daniel's latest vision, chaps, x.- 
xii., we read in chap. x. 4, " I was by the side of the great river, 
which is Hiddekel." In Gen. xv. 18 the Euphrates is called 
" The Great River," just as in Sumerian it is called Pura Nun, 
" The Great Water," or simply Pura. 1 But the Hiddekel, or 
Tigris, may well lay claim to the same title ; for though its course 
is shorter, being only 1146 miles as compared with the 1670 miles 
of the Euphrates, yet in depth, volume, and velocity, it much 
exceeds the Euphrates. 2 The Sumerian ideogram for the Tigris 
two horizontal wedges bespeaks it the " swift " river. The 
Hebrew name Hiddekel corresponds to the Assyrian Idiklat, and 
signifies the " River of the Date-palm," Heb. dekel. From the 
word Idiklat the Persians, according to Sayce, 3 formed their name 
Tigra, with a play upon a word in their own language signifying 
" an arrow " ; thus again reverting to the idea of swiftness. 

What is the thought which underlies this mention of the Tigris 
as the scene of the vision of chaps, x.-xii. ? Something utterly 
different from that suggested by the mention of the Ulai in 
chap. viii. The Ulai was a broad canal of still water, suggestive 
of traffic, and busy commerce, and power dependent ujoon wealth ; 
the Tigris, a deep river with a rapid current, suggestive, not of the 

1 The Greek name " Euphrates " represents the Old Persian Ufratu, which 
comes from Purat, the Semitic form of the Sumerian Pura. 

2 Goodspeed's History of the Babylonians and Assyrians, p. 7. 

3 Higher Criticism, p. 96. 


peaceful flow of commerce, but of the rush of mighty irresistible 
armies, " the rushing of nations, that rush like the rushing of 
mighty waters." 1 Isaiah had already compared the Assyrian 
invasion of the land of Israel in the days of Tiglathpileser to the 
Euphrates in flood : Isa. viii. 6-8. And in the vision of Dan. 
xi. the same figure is twice borrowed from that very passage 
to describe the movements of those great armies of invasion raised 
by the Seleucid monarchs, " the kings of the north." Thus in 
chap. xi. 10 it is said of Seleucus Ceraunos and Antiochus the 
Great, the sons of Seleucus Callinicus, " And his sons shall war, 
and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come 
on, and overflow and pass through." And again in verse 40 we are 
told that " at the time of the end . . . the king of the north shall 
come like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with 
many ships : and shall overflow and pass through." In accordance, 
then, with the tone of the prophecy we may surely look on this 
mention, at the beginning of the vision, of the Tigris with its deep 
swift current as a type of those vast armies with which the Seleucid 
kings swept through the land of Israel. 

But why, it will be asked, was not the vision shown to Daniel 
by the river Euphrates, which, as we have seen, was regarded as 
" The Great Eiver," not only by the Hebrews, but also by the 
Sumerians, the ancient inhabitants of Babylonia, as well as being 
the river referred to by Isaiah ? Doubtless because the Tigris, 
and not the Euphrates, was destined to have a special connection 
with the Seleucid dynasty. It was on the banks of the Tigris that 
Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the dynasty, built his great city 
of Seleucia, to take the place of Babylon and to form the capital 
of the eastern half of his empire. " What Seleucus did," writes 
Bevan, " was less to destroy Babylon than to transfer it to another 
site. It was usual, as Strabo observes, to describe a man of 
Seleucia as a ' Babylonian.' Seleucia was a very great city. 
According to Pliny, its free population was 600,000." 2 Seleucia, 
then, on the bank of the Tigris, was destined in the eyes of the 
nations to stand for a second Babylon, just as Babylon had stood 
for a second Assyria. And as the Assyro-Babylonian Euphrates 
had in a figure swept across the land of Israel, so presently would 
the Seleucid Tigris with its deep-rushing stream, " overflow and 
pass through." Again, the Tigris is chosen rather than the 
Orontes, on which stood Antioch the other Seleucid capital also 
built by Seleucus Nicator, and from which the great Seleucid 
armies set out because Antioch, unlike Seleucia, had no connection 

1 Isa. xvii. 13. - House of Seleucus, vol. i. p. 253. 


with Babylon, whilst the Orontes was too small a stream to 
represent the might of the Seleucidae. 

As Daniel, in chap. x. 4, calls the Tigris " The Great River," a 
name usually bestowed on the Euphrates, so toward the close of 
his vision he bestows on it another name, almost invariably used 
in Scripture of the Nile. This is the Egyptian loan-word ye'or, 
rendered " river " in Dan. xii. 5, 6, 7, both in R.V. and A.V. Ye'or 
had found its way into Babylonian as well as into Hebrew, and, 
if we may judge from the use of this word made by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, it signifies, when not specifically used of the Nile, a great 
body of water, and is best translated by the word " flood." 
Nebuchadnezzar, when describing the vast water- defences con- 
structed by him at Babylon, writes thus 

" that foes might not present the face, 
the bounds of Babylon might not approach, 
great waters 

like the volume of the sea, 
I carried round the land : 
and the crossing of them 

was like the crossing of the surging sea [lit. ' sea of waves '] 
of the briny flood " (ya-ar-ri). 1 

If, then, we substitute " flood " for " river," the striking passage 
which comes at the close of Daniel's latest vision will read thus 

" Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, 
the one on the brink of the flood on this side, and the other on the 
brink of the flood on that side. And one said to the man clothed 
in linen, which was above the waters of the flood, How long shall 
it be to the end of these wonders ? And I heard the man clothed 
in linen, which was above the waters of the flood, when he held up 
his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him 
that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and an half ; 
and when they have made an end of breaking in pieces the power 
of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." 

By applying to the deep rapid river, on which the capital of 
the Seleucidae was afterwards to arise, two terms one, " The Great 
River," suggestive of the Euphrates ; and the other, the Egyptian 

1 In Assyrian the Nile is called Ya'ttru and Yaru'u, and it has been ques- 
tioned whether the ya-ar-ri of Nebuchadnezzar is not a different word ; but 
note that in Zech. x. 11 that identical expression, " the sea of waves," which 
Nebuchadnezzar uses in connection with ya-ar-ri, is there used in connection 
with ye'or. Hence it seems probable that the Babylonian ya-ar-ri is only 
another form of the Egyptian ye'or. 


ye? or, pointing to the Nile Daniel implies that before the onrush 
of the mighty waters of the Seleucid armies Judah must inevitably 
go under, and suffer an oppression, which could only be adequately 
pictured by the use of terms suggestive of the tyranny of an 
Egypt and Babylon combined. Isaiah's powerful description was 
thus to be realised yet a second time : " He shall come up over all 
his channels, and go over all his banks ; and he shall sweep onward 
into Judah ; he shall overflow and pass through ; he shall reach 
even to the neck ; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the 
breadth of thy land, Immanuel." In the strains of the Psalmist 

" If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side, 
Let Israel now say ; 

If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side, 
When men rose up against us ; 
Then had they swallowed us up alive, 
When their wrath was kindled against us : 
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, 
The stream had gone over our soul : 
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul." 

But Jehovah was on their side, and when in the days of Antiochus 
Epiphanes the great crisis came, He was their Immanuel, " God 
with us." This was now to be shown beforehand to Daniel in a 
remarkable manner. In the earlier vision, as we have seen, a 
voice came from between the banks of the Ulai, viz. the voice of 
God ; and, as at Sinai, a voice but no similitude. Since the date 
of that earlier vision Gabriel had been sent to inform Daniel of the 
coming of " Prince Messiah." And now a greater than Gabriel, 
even Messiah Himself whose glorious appearance as described 
in chap. x. 5, 6, was to be seen yet again by St. John in Patmos 
appeared to the Old Testament seer standing over the waters of 
the river. 1 The same development of revelation is noticeable in 
the world- visions of chaps, ii. and vii., both of which were shown to 
Daniel, though the former had been shown in the first instance 
to Nebuchadnezzar. Thus in the vision of chap. ii. we hear only 
of the kingdom of the God of heaven. Nothing is said as to the 
heaven-sent King, though it is quite true that a mysterious hint 
as to the Incarnation is contained in the mention of the " stone 
cut out of the mountain without hands." But in the later vision 
of chap. vii. the destined Buler of the Divine Kingdom appears on 
the scene. " One like unto a son of man " is beheld " coming 
with the clouds of heaven," and is brought near to the Ancient 
of Days to receive from Him lasting and world-wide dominion. 

1 Cf. Ban. x. 5, 6 with Rev. i. 13-16. 


The divine character of the Man clothed in Linen, who stood 
above the waters of the river, may be deduced, not only from His 
glorious appearance which so affected the seer, but also from the 
fact that He stood where attendant angels could not stand, viz. 
over the waters, while they were merely on the banks. Further, 
He is appealed to by one of these angels as knowing the future, 
knowing more than they know. 1 This knowledge of the future, 
along with an unmistakable tone of authority, appears also very 
clearly in the last words of this Book addressed by Him to Daniel, 
" Go thou thy way till the end be : for thou shalt rest, and stand 
in thy lot, at the end of the days " ; so that despite the statement 
of chap. x. 11, that He is " sent," or rather along with that state- 
ment, we are compelled to recognise in this veiled Personality the 
Christ of the New Testament, and are led to place this closing 
vision of the Book side by side with that scene witnessed on the 
Sea of Galilee, when through the darkness a Figure was seen walking 
on the angry waters, whilst through the roaring of the tempest 
was heard a well-known Voice, saying to His terrified followers, 
" Be of good cheer : it is I ; be not afraid." 

Appendix I 

On the site of ancient Shushan and tlie reputed tomb oj Daniel 

The mounds of Shush, which mark the site of the ancient 
Shushan, are situated at the point where the rivers Kerkha and 
Abdizful most nearly approximate. Shush is distant -f of a mile 
from the Kerkha and 1| miles from the Abdizful. The area 
covered by the ruins is 3 miles in circumference. Within this 
circuit are four mounds, of which the western is the smallest but 
considerably the loftiest, rising to a height of 119 feet above the 
dry bed of the Schaour, the ancient Ulai. This western mound 
represents the acropolis, " Shushan the palace." At its foot and 
between it and the Schaour, is the reputed tomb of Daniel by 
common consent of Jews, Sabeans, and Mohammedans. Daniel, 
so the tradition runs, by his prayers obtained rain from heaven in 
a time of drought. For this reason the people of Shush obtained 
from the ruler of Irak permission for him to come to them, giving 
fifty men as hostages. His intercession was so effectual that they 
kept him till his death. When Persia was invaded by Abu Musa 
Alasha'ri under the khalif Omar in A.D. 640, this general entered 
the castle, and found a chamber under lock and key, and on 

1 Dan. xii. 6. 


entering it saw in a stone coffin, wrapped in a shroud of gold 
brocade, the body of a man of great stature. On asking whose 
body it was, he obtained the reply, " The people of Irak called 
him Danyel Hakim or ' Daniel the Sage.' " This story he sent 
to Omar, who sent word back that the body should be reverently 
buried where the people of Shush could no longer have the benefit 
of it. Accordingly the stream which supplied the city with water 
apparently a channel cut from the Ulai was diverted, and a 
grave made in the dry channel ; after which the waters of Shu3h 
were allowed to flow over the body of Daniel. 

Appendix II 

A comparative table showing the marked similarity of language and 
description which characterises the two visions concerning the 
Jewish Church as related in the Book of Daniel 

(1) " I was by the river Ulai," viii. 2. Cf. x. 4, " I was by the 
side of the great river which is Hiddekel." 

(2) "I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold," viii. 8. 
Cf. x. 5, " I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold." 

(3) " he did according to his will," viii. 4. Cf. xi. 3, " a mighty 
king . . . shall do according to his will " ; also xi. 16. 

(4) " he magnified himself," viii. 4 ; " the he-goat magnified 
himself," viii. 7. Cf. xi. 36, 37, " he shall magnify himself above 
every god " ; " magnify himself above all." 

(5) " and when he was strong, the great horn was broken : 
and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four 
winds of heaven," viii. 8. Cf. xi. 4, " and when he shall stand up, 
his kingdom shall be broken and shall be divided toward the four 
winds of heaven." 

(6) "a little horn [lit. ' a horn from being little '] which waxed 
exceeding great," viii. 9. Cf. xi. 23, " he shall come up, and 
shall become strong, with a small people." 

(7) " the glorious land" viii. 9. Cf. xi. 16, 41, 45. 

(8) " it took away from him the continual," viii. 11. Cf. xi. 31, 
" they shall take away the continual " ; also xii. 11. 

(9) "the place of his sanctuary was cast down," viii. 11 ; 
" to give the sanctuary to be trodden under foot," viii. 13. Cf. 
xi. 31, " they shall profane the sanctuary." 

(10) " it did its pleasure," viii. 12 ; also viii. 24. Cf. xi. 17, 
" he shall do his pleasure " ; also xi. 28, 30 ; and xi. 32, " do 


(11) "How long shall be the vision?" viii. 13. Cf. xii. 6, 
" How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ? " 

(12) " the transgression that maketh desolate," viii. 13. 
Cf. xi. 31 and xii. 11, " the abomination that maketh desolate." 

(13) " I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai," viz. 
giving an order to Gabriel, viii. 16. Cf. xii. 7, " I heard the man 
clothed in linen, which was above the waters of the river," viz. 
speaking with authority in answer to a question put by one of the 
angels on the bank. 

(14) " the vision belongeth to the time of the end," viii. 17 ; 
" it belongeth to the appointed time of the end," viii. 19. Cf. 
xi. 35, " even to the time of the end ; because it is yet for the 
time appointed " ; also xi. 40 and xii. 4. 

(15) " Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep 
with my face toward the ground : but he touched me and set me 
upright," viii. 18. Cf. x. 9, 10, " when I heard the voice of his 
words, then was I fallen into a deep sleep on my face, with my face 
toward the ground. And, behold, a hand touched me, which set 
me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands." 

(16) " the latter time of the indignation," viii. 19. Cf. xi. 36, 
" till the indignation be accomplished." 

(17) " shall stand up," i.e. shall arise, viii. 22, 23. Cf. xi. 2, 3, 

(18) "understanding dark sentences," rather "skilled in 
ambiguities," viii. 23. Cf. xi. 21, " he shall obtain the kingdom by 

(19) " but not," viii. 22, 24. Cf. xi. 4, 6, 17, 25, 27, 29. 

(20) " the holy people," viii. 24. Cf. xii. 7. 

(21) " the Prince of princes," viii. 25, i.e. the Prince of angelic 
powers. Cf. x. 20, " the prince of Persia " ; x. 21, " Michael your 
prince," spoken of angels. 

(22) " the vision ... is true," viii. 26. Cf. x. 1, " the thing 
[lit. ' word '] was true." 

(23) " shut thou up the vision ; for it belongeth to many 
days to come" viii. 26. Cf. xii. 4, " shut up the words, and seal 
the book, even to the time of the end " ; also x. 14, " the vision 
is yet for many days." 



" The language is one mark of evidence set by God on the book." 

Lectures on Danid the Prophet, E. E. Pusey. 

IF this chapter had been written at the close of the last century 
it would probably have been entitled, " The Language 
Difficulty." But so wonderful and enlightening are the 
archaeological discoveries made in recent years that I have no 
hesitation whatever in calling it " The Language Evidence " ; 
seeing that much of a linguistic nature which was formerly regarded 
as perplexing in the Book of Daniel has now through the progress 
of discovery become good and reliable evidence as to the authen- 
ticity of that Book and the period within which it was written. 

When the late Prof. Driver wrote his valuable Commentary on 
the Book of Daniel valuable, not so much for the views advanced 
as for the great mass of learning contained in it he issued this 
famous dictum as to the period to which that Book must be 
assigned when judged from the standpoint of the language 

" The verdict of the language of Daniel is thus clear. The 
Persian words presuppose a period after the Persian empire had 
been well established ; the Greek words demand, the Hebrew 
supports, and the Aramaic permits a date after the conquest oj 
Palestine by Alexander the Great.'" 1 

Before his lamented death this dictum, or at any rate the 
latter part of it respecting the Aramaic, was considerably modified 
by its author, owing to a remarkable discovery which will be 
related in the course of this chapter. 2 

About half of the Book of Daniel, viz. from chap. ii. 4, to the 
end of chap, vii., is written in Aramaic, and, as stated in a previous 
chapter, the majority of scholars are of opinion that the whole 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. lxiii. 

8 In his letter to The Guardian of November 6, 1907, Prof. Driver admita 
that the Aramaic spoken in Egypt in 408 B.C. " bears many points of resem- 
blance to that found in the Old Testament in Ezra, Daniel, and Jer. x. 11." 



Book was originally written in this language and that the Hebrew- 
portion is only a translation. 

The Arameans better known to us from the English Bible as 
" the Syrians " are believed, like the Chaldeans, to have come in 
the first instance from Arabia, that prolific hive of Semitic peoples. 
In the Old Testament they appear before us in the story of 
Laban the Syrian, and again in the wars of David, in whose days 
we find Aramean states to the north and north-east of the Land 
of Israel, viz. Damascus, Zobah, Beth-Eehob, and Maacah, as 
well as Aram-naharaim to the east of the Euphrates. 1 Agreeably 
to these Old Testament notices some of the early Assyrian kings, 
viz. Shalmaneser I., 1325 B.C., Ashur-rish-ishi, 1150 B.C., and 
Tiglathpileser I., 1120 B.C., mention a tribe called the Akhlami, 
whom the last of these monarchs defines as " the Aramean 
Akhlami," and tells us that they dwelt on the Euphrates from the 
frontier of the Sukhi 2 as far north as Carchemish of the Hittites . 
These notices in the Old Testament and the Assyrian inscriptions 
lead us to look for the Arameans in the north of the Syrian Desert 
from Northern Palestine eastward to Haran. But further investi- 
gation has shown that this was not their first settlement. In 
Amo3 ix. 7, Jehovah says, " Have not I brought up Israel out of 
Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians 
[Arameans] from Kir ? " Kir has not yet been found on the 
inscriptions, but it must have lain, as Hommel points out, 3 to the 
east of Babylonia and on the frontier of Elam, since in Isa. xxii. 6 
it is mentioned in conjunction with Elam in the parallel clause : 
" Elam bare the quiver . . . and Kir uncovered the shield." 
This early eastward settlement of the Arameans after quitting 
the wilds of Arabia is confirmed by the cuneiform inscriptions. 
Agum-kakrimi, a Babylonian king of the seventeenth centmy B.C., 
styles himself " king of Padan and of Alman." Alman, or Arman, 
signifies the Arameans. Further, a geographical list tells us that 
Padin, i.e. " the Plain," lies " in front of the mountains of Arman," 
i.e. the Arameans.* These " mountains of Arman " were the hills 
east of the Tigris, at the foot of, and on the lower slopes of which, 
the Arameans made their early home, and from which, as recorded 
in the Book of Amos, they spread westward into the plain between 
the Tigris and Euphrates called after them Padan- Aram, i.e. 
" the Plain of the Arameans " and so further west into Syria. 

It was against these eastern Arameans, from whom the western 

1 See 2 Sam. viii. 3-13 and Ps. Ix. title. 

* Cf. Job ii. 11. 

Hommel's Ancient Hebrew Tradition, pp. 204-208, 

* Sayce's Higher Criticism, p. 200, 


or Syrian branch had drifted away, that Tiglathpileser III., 
745-729 B.C., conducted his first campaign. In his account of 
it he mentions by name no fewer than thirty-five different tribes, 
and finally sums them all up under one common designation as 
" the whole of the Arameans, who dwell on the banks of the Tigris, 
Euphrates, and Surappi, 1 as far as where the Uknu 2 falls into the 
Lower Sea." 3 Somewhat earlier Shamshi-Eamanu king of 
Assyria speaks of the countries of " Chaldea, Elam, and Namri, 
and the land of the Arameans " as in alliance with Babylon ; and 
it is clear from the conjunction of names that he is speaking of 
these eastern Arameans, who had thus wedged themselves in 
between Assyria and Media in the north, and between Babylon 
and Elam in the south. It thus becomes evident that for some 
considerable time Babylonia had been ringed round from N.W. 
to S.E. with Aramean tribes, partly settled, partly migratory ; 
and in consequence of this, as Dr. Albert Sanda points out, " the 
Aramaic language came more and more into acceptation at 
Babylon, and made its way upwards from the villages into the 
towns, and from the lower classes to the magistracy and into the 
higher circles of society." 4 Along with this upward current 
there would also be a downward current, since Aramaic was already 
the language of diplomacy and of commerce. This was due to 
its being so widely extended, and spoken in districts bordering 
on Elam, Babylonia, Media, Assyria, Asia Minor, Phoenicia, and 
Palestine. Hence we find the lion-weights from Nimrud of the 
eighth century B.C. inscribed in Aramaic as well as in Assyrian, 
and contract tablets both from Nineveh and Babylon with Aramaic 
dockets : whilst the parley between the Assyrian Babshakeh and 
the ministers of king Hezekiah shows very plainly that Aramaic 
formed a convenient channel of intercourse between Oriental 
diplomats in the year 701 B.C. If, then, the Book which bears 
his name was written by Daniel, a Jewish courtier and diplomat 
under both Babylonian and Persian kings, it is not surprising to 
find it written in Aramaic, a language which must often have been 
upon his lips, a language, too, more suitable than Hebrew to the 
wider outlook of his prophetic visions, and one that would make 
his Book available to a larger circle of readers. 

At the close of the nineteenth century there were no Aramaic 
documents available for comparison with the Aramaic of the 
Book of Daniel. The inscriptions which we then possessed were 

1 According to Delitzsch the Shatt Um-el-Jamal. 

2 The Choaspes, the modern Kerkha, which flowed near Shushan 

3 The Persian Gulf. 

4 Die Aramder, p. 20. 


divided into three sections : 1 (i) those from Syria, Assyria, and 
Babylonia ; (ii) those from Asia Minor, Arabia, and Egypt ; 
(iii) those from Nabatea, and Palmyra. Of these, class (i) con- 
tained three inscriptions of the kings of Samahla in North Syria, 
belonging to the eighth century B.C., found at Zenjerli, some 
distance north of the Syrian Antioch and on the eastern slope of 
Mount Amanus, during the years 1888-91. They are of consider- 
able religious, historical, and linguistic interest, but are too early 
to throw much light on our subject. 2 The inscriptions of class 
(ii) come to us from Egypt, and range from the end of the fifth to 
the beginning of the third century B.C. In language they have 
a close affinity to the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel, but the 
writers are not Jews and the subject-matter is too remote. The 
inscriptions of class (iii) come from Nabatea and Palmyra, and are 
of late date. They range from 70 B.C. down to about the third 
century of our era. Such light as was thrown by them on the Book 
of Daniel was supposed to argue a late date for that Book ; but 
this view, which I shall have occasion to refer to later, has met 
with a complete check owing to a remarkable discovery made 
in the island of Elephantine just below the First Cataract of the 
Nile in the early years of the present century. The story runs 

In the fifth century B.C. the twin fortresses of Jeb and Syene 
answering to the modern Elephantine and Assouan the former 
being an island stronghold, the latter situated on the eastern bank 
of the Nile, stood confronting one another to guard the portals of 
the southern entrance into the Egyptian satrapy of the Persian 
empire. To reach that entrance from within you had to traverse 
Egypt proper and also Upper Egypt the Pa-tu-risi, or " South 
Land " of the Egyptians, and the Pathros of the Old Testament 
whence the prophet Ezekiel speaks of Egypt as extending " from 
Migdol to Syene, even unto the border of Ethiopia." 3 At this 
remote outpost, on the verge of the mysterious hinterland of 
Ethiopia, there was settled in the fifth century B.C. a flourishing 
colony of Jews, the possessors of houses and lands, and of a temple 
in which sacrifices were offered. They had been there, so they 
tell us, before Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 B.C., and the 
probability is that they were sprung from the large Jewish popu- 
lation which had found its way as far south as Pathros even in 

1 Cook's Glossary of the Aramaic Inscriptions, pp. 2-4. 

2 For an interesting account of these inscriptions see E. G. H. Kraeling'a 
Aram and Israel. New York Columbia University Press. 1918. 

3 Ezek. xxix. 10, R.V.M. The site of Migdol is about two miles from Suez. 


the days of the prophet Jeremiah. 1 Indeed, for purposes of trade 
and commerce with the interior of Africa, Elephantine 1 under the 
Persian rule must have offered peculiar advantages. It is, then, 
from this Jewish source and from the Aramaic used by these Jews 
in the fifth century B.C. that we get our strongest light on the 
Aramaic of the Book of Daniel. 

The first find at Elephantine consisted of eleven documents, 
the contents of the deed-box of a Jewish family, stretching 
over three generations. They belong to the reign3 of Xerxes, 
Artaxerxes I., and Darius Nothus, and cover a period of exactly 
sixty years, viz. from 471 B.C. to 411 B.C. They were found in a 
wooden box at the southern end of the island, and in a practically 
perfect condition, the strings tied round them being still intact 
and the seals unbroken. This discovery was very heartily wel- 
comed by scholars. " Now for the first time," writes Prof. Sayce, 
" the Aramaic scholar has before him a series of connected and 
fairly lengthy documents, clearly written and but little injured, 
and furnished with exact dates. A fresh light is thus thrown on 
the history of the Aramean language, as it was spoken and written 
in the fifth century B.C., new words and meanings are added to 
the Aramaic dictionary, and new forms or idioms to the Aramaic 

But the second find at Elephantine 1 , made only a few years 
later, was altogether so surprising as to throw the first into the 
shade ; chiefly, indeed, on account of the intensely interesting 
nature of the subject-matter which it contained, but also to some 
extent because of the freer form of the Aramaic which it exhibited ; 
the documents being written, not in the stiff legal phraseology of 
the title deeds first found, but in the more colloquial diction of 
everyday correspondence. The two finds, though so different 
in their character, are yet very closely connected. They belong 
to the same age, the same place, and the same people ; and are, 
as we shall see, actually linked together. 

In one of the legal documents, defining the boundaries of a 
piece of house property, it was noticed that the words occurred, 
" east of it is the temple of the God Jahu." This brief statement 
was quite enough at the time to whet the curiosity of every student 
of Biblical Archaeology. But few of us could have imagined how 
fully the craving for further light and knowledge would shortly 
be satisfied by the discovery of these fresh treasures, which are 
believed to have come from the same spot as the first. They were 
unearthed in the chamber of a house excavated under the mound 
which marks the site of Jeb, the ancient name of Elephantine. 

1 Jer. xliv. 15. 


They consist of three documents, viz. a letter written and then 
copied out with some alterations, and also a short memorandum 
of the answer received. The letter was written in 408 B.C. 
just three years after the latest of the legal documents in the 
name of the Jewish priests, who formed the ecclesiastical heads 
of the colony at Elephantine. It is addressed to Bagohi, the 
Persian governor of Jerusalem, and being penned only twenty- 
four years after Nehemiah's second visit to that city may be said 
actually to fringe on Old Testament history. Mention is made 
in it of the high priest Jehohanan, or John, whose name occurs 
in Ezra x. 6, and also of Sanballat the enemy of Nehemiah, who 
now appears definitely as the governor of Samaria. It also touches 
on the history given us in Josephus, for Bagohi is the Bagoas, who 
is represented in the Antiquities as dealing so hardly with the 
Jews, after the high priest John, i.e. Jehohanan, under strong 
provocation, had slain his brother Jesus in the temple. 1 The 
letter of the Jewish priests at Elephantine shows that they were 
well aware of the covetous disposition of this man, and knew per- 
fectly how they could most easily gain his ear. The immediate 
cause of the letter stands out on the face of it. The writers tell 
Bagoas how, in the absence of Arsames the Persian governor of 
Egypt, the Jewish community at Jeb have been subjected to very 
high-handed treatment, by the commanders, father and son, of 
the Persian garrisons stationed respectively at Jeb and Syene, 
who have been stirred up against them by the idolatrous priests 
of the Nile-god Khnub. Their temple, in which they offered 
sacrifice to Jahu the God of heaven, has been plundered, over- 
thrown, and burned with fire, and they are not allowed to rebuild 
it. Three years ago, at the time when this calamity befell them, 
they sent a letter to Bagoas and to Jehohanan the high priest, but 
received no answer back. Ever since that time they have been 
mourning, fasting, and praying to Jahu the Lord of heaven, and 
are encouraged by the terrible retribution which has overtaken 
one of their persecutors to make a second appeal in the continued 
absence of the governor Arsames. If Bagoas will listen to them 
and redress their grievance, they assure him that he will be hand- 
somely remunerated. Such is the gist of the letter, to which, as 
the memorandum shows, a favourable answer was returned. My 
readers will wish, however, to have these two documents placed 
before them in extenso ; and indeed it is necessary for me to do 

1 As a punishment for the crime committed by John, Bagoas imposed a 
seven years' tribute on the Jews. They were required to pay fifty shekels out 
of the public funds for every lamb offered in the daily sacrifices. Ant. xi. 7, 1. 


this in order to show their bearing on the Aramaic of the Book 
of Daniel. The letter reads thus 

" To our lord 1 Bagohi, governor 2 of Judah, thy servants, 
Jedoniah and his companions, 3 the priests who are in the fortress 4 
of Jeb [say] Peace ! 5 May our Lord, the God of heaven, 6 grant 
to thee peace abundantly at all times, and may He destine thee 
for favour 7 before king Darius 8 and the sons of the [royal] house 9 
a thousandfold more than now, 10 and may He give thee long 
life ! Mayest thou be happy and in good health at all times ! 

" Now thy servants, Jedoniah and his companions speak 
thus : In the month of Tammuz in the 14th year of king Darius, 
when Arsham departed and went to the king, the priests u of 
the god Khnub, 12 which was in the fortress of Jeb, made a joint 
conspiracy 13 with Waidrang, who was fratara-ka 14 here, saying, 
' Let the temple 15 which belongs to the God Jahu, 16 the God which 
is in the fortress of Jeb, be taken away from thence.' Then the 
destroyer 17 Waidrang sent a letter 18 to his son Nephayan, who was 

1 " Lord," in the original mare'. Cf. Dan. iv. 19 (16) and 1 Cor. xvi. 22, 

2 " Governor," pechdh : Dan. iii. 2, vi. 7 (8) ; Ezra v. 3. 

3 The word thus rendered occurs in Ezra iv. 9 and v. 3. 

4 A loan word from the Assyrian birtu, rendered in Dan. viii. 2, " palace," 
margin " castle," when speaking of the citadel of Shushan. 

5 Cf. Dan. iv. 1 (iii. 31) and vi. 25 (26). 

6 Dan. ii. 18 ; Ezra v. 11, vi. 9, vii. 12 : a title characteristic of the Persian 

7 Lit. " mercies before king Darius." Cf. Dan. ii. 18, where the literal 
rendering is, " mercies from before the God of heaven." 

8 Darius Nothus, 424-405 B.C. 

9 Ezra vi. 10, vii. 23. 

10 Lit. " more than what now one thousand." Cf. Dan. iii. 19, which 
may be rendered literally, " one seven above what was seemly for heating." 

11 Kemarln : used of idolatrous priests, 2 Kings xxiii. 5 ; Hos. x. 5 : Zeph. i. 4. 

12 Khnub, or Khnumu, was the Nile-god of the Cataract, and as such 
the patron god of Elephantine. 

13 The word translated " joint conspiracy " is an Old Persian word with a 
Semitic ending, akin to the Greek a^a. 

14 An Old Persian word, " chief in command." Compare the Greek irp6repos. 

15 The word for temple is the Sumerian e-kur, " mountain-house," see 
Chapter V. above which found its way into the Assyrian and so into the 

16 In the Old Testament this form of the name Jehovah is found only at 
the end of proper names under the form " iah " in our English Bibles. Cf. 
Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. It answers to the more contracted Jah, chiefly found in 
the later Psalms. 

17 " Destroyer." The word occurs in an inscription from Nerab of the 
seventh century B.C. See G. A. Cooke's N. Semitic Inscriptions, No. 6, 
line 10, " with a destructive death," etc. 

18 il Letter," igghah. Cf. Ezra iv. 8, v. 6. 


commander of the forces 1 in the fortress of Syene, 2 saying, ' Let 
the temple which is in the fortress of Jeb be destroyed.' Where- 
upon Nephayan led out the Egyptians with the other forces. They 
came to the fortress of Jeb with their mattocks [?], 3 they went 
into this temple, they destroyed it to the ground, and the pillars 
of stone which were there they shattered them. Also it happened 
that they destroyed five stone portals, built of hewn blocks of stone, 
which were in this temple, and they burned 4 their lintels 5 and 
their hinges, which were of brass set in marble. And the roof, 
which was all of cedar beams, along with the stucco of the wall 6 
and whatever else 7 was there they burned all with fire. And 
the bowls 8 of gold and silver, and whatever else 7 was in this 
temple, they took and served themselves [of them]. Moreover 
our fathers built this temple in the fortress of Jeb from the days of 
the kings 9 of Egypt, and when Cambyses came into Egypt 10 he 
found this temple built : and all the temples of the gods of Egypt 
were thrown down, but no one injured anything in this temple. 
And when they " viz. Waidrang and his soldiers " acted thus, 
we put on sackcloth and fasted and prayed to Jahu the Lord of 
heaven, who showed us concerning this Waidrang. 11 The dogs 
have torn the chain from his feet, and all the riches which he 
got have perished, and all the men who prayed for evil against this 
temple all are slain, and we have seen our desire upon them. 12 

11 Also, before this, at the time when this evil was done to us, 
we sent a letter to our lord, and to Jehohanan 13 the high priest 

1 Rdbh-chayil, " commander of the forces," a Babylonian compound word. 
Cf. Dan. ii. 14, " captain of the guard," and iv. 9 (6), " master of the magicians." 

2 Syene was on the right bank of the Nile opposite Elephantine. 

3 A word of doubtful meaning. 

4 Qtmu : a verb found in the Assyrian. 

5 Lit. " their heads." Cf. Ps. xxiv. 7, 9. 

Ushsharna' : a word hitherto only found in Ezra v. 3, 9. 

7 " Whatever else." The word thus rendered is found in Egyptian Aramaic 
inscriptions of the fifth to the fourth century B.C. 

8 Mizreqayyd. Cf. Exod. xxvii. 3. 

9 " Kings." Although this word is written in the singular, yet the dupli- 
cate shows that it is to be taken in a plural sense. The kings meant are the 
native kings of Egypt before the Persian conquest. 

10 525 B.C. For Cambyses' slaughter of the priests of Apis and mockery of 
the idols of the Egyptians, see Herod, hi. 29, 37. 

11 I.e. allowed us to see the retribution that overtook him. He appears 
to have been thrown into chains and exposed to the semi- wild dogs of the 
East. Cf. Jer. xv. 3. 

12 A pregnant use of the verb=" we have seen what we wished to see," 
" we have feasted our eyes upon." Cf. Pss. liv. 7 (9), lix. 10 (11) ; also line 4 of 
the Moabite Stone : " He [Chemosh] let me see my desire upon all my enemies." 

13 The Johanan of Neh. xii. 23. 


and his companions the priests who were in Jerusalem, and to 
Ostan his brother who is 'Anani 1 and to the nobles 2 of the 
Jews ; [but] they sent no letter to us. 

" Moreover, since Tammuz-day, the 14th year of king Darius, 
to this day we have put on sackcloth and fasted ; our wives have 
become as widows, we have not anointed ourselves with oil, nor 
drunk wine, 3 from that day to this day of the 17th year of King 
Darius : [and] meal-offerings, frankincense, and bumt-ofFering3 
have not been offered in this temple. 

" Now, therefore, thy servants, Jedoniah and his companions, 
and the Jews all the citizens of Jeb say thus : If it seem good 
to our lord, think upon this temple that it may be rebuilt ; since 
we are not permitted to rebuild it. Look upon the recipients of 
thy goodness and of thy favour who are here in Egypt. May a 
letter be sent from thee to them concerning the rebuilding of the 
temple of the God Jahu in the fortress of Jeb, as it was built in 
former times. And they will offer upon the altar of the God 
Jahu in thy name meal-offerings, and frankincense, and burnt- 
offerings ; and we will pray for thee at all times, we, and our wives, 
and our children, and the Jews, all [of us] who are here. If thus 
it be done until this temple is rebuilt, then thou shalt have a 
fixed portion 4 before Jahu the God of heaven from every one who 
offers to Him burnt-offering and sacrifice, in value equivalent to 
a thousand talents of silver. 5 And concerning the gold con- 
cerning that we have sent and given information. We have also 
sent the matter in a letter in our name to Delaiah and Shelemiah, 
the sons of Sanballat the governor of Samaria. 6 

" The 20th of Marchesvan, the 17th year of king Darius." 

The answer to this petition is contained in the following brief 
memorandum : 

" Memorandum of what Bagohi and Delaiah have said to me. 
Memorandum to this effect 7 : Thou art to say in Egypt before 

1 Ostan was his Persian, 'Anani his Hebrew, name. 
a Chdrim, " nobles." See Neh. ii. 16, iv. 14 (8), etc. 
9 Dan. x. 3. 

4 Tseddqdh, which generally means " righteousness," is here used of a 
portion fixed by law or agreement. In Neh. ii. 20 it is well rendered " right." 

6 Cf . what has already been said about the character of Bagoas as gathered 
from the pages of Josephus. 

The prominent position held by Sanballat in Samaria is indicated, though 
not plainly stated, in Neh. iv. 1, 2. Here we learn that he was sub-satrap 
of the district. 

7 Cf. Ezra vi., where the last word of v. 2 and the opening words of v. 3 
should be rendered thus : " Memorandum : In the first year of Cyrus," etc. 


Arshain concerning the house of sacrifioe of the God of heaven, 
which was built in the fortress of Jeb from former times before 
Cambyses, which that destroyer Waidrang razed in the 14th year 
of king Darius, that it is to be rebuilt in its place * as it was in 
former times, and meal-offerings and frankincense are to be offered 
on that altar as was done in former times." 

In perusing the above documents the reader will feel that 
next to the interest and surprise aroused by the discovery of a 
Jewish temple for sacrifice away from Jerusalem, what most 
impresses us is the feeling that in these papyri from Elephantine 
we are brought nearer to the Old Testament than in any inscrip- 
tions previously discovered. I shall now hope to show that these 
remarkable documents are no less full of interest from the linguistic 
standpoint, since they enable us with confidence to assign a much 
earlier date to the Book of Daniel than the age of Antiochus 
Epiphane's. The critics, as we have seen, fix the date of that 
Book at 165 B.C. Now, the documents at which we are looking 
belong to 408 B.C., nearly two and a half centuries earlier, and 
rather more than a century after the date of Daniel, who was 
living in 535 B.C., " the third year of Cyrus." During the interval 
585 to 408 B.C. very little change can have taken place in the 
language. If, then, it can be shown that the Aramaic in which 
the letter is written is essentially the same as the Aramaic of the 
Book of Daniel, then there is nothing, so far as regards the language, 
to prevent our referring the date of that Book to a period as early 
as the closing years of the life of Daniel. Let me endeavour, then, 
to put the matter so that an English reader may be able to form 
some judgment on the question, while at the same time a student 
of the Old Testament in the original will be able to gain a yet 
clearer view of the state of the case. 

In the above letter, written on two sheets of papyrus in 30 lines 
of about 12 inches in length, as well as in the brief memorandum 
found with it, there are, if we omit proper names, 81 Nouns, 
Substantive and Adjective. Of these no fewer than 57 are found 
in Biblical Aramaic, and no fewer than 49 in the six Aramaic 
chapters of the Book of Daniel. Of the remainder the student 
will find the roots or equivalents of 19 in the Hebrew Lexicon ; 

1 Cf. Ezra v. 15 and vi. 7. From the inscriptions of Nabonidus we learn 
that there was a strong feeling that temples, when rebuilt, should follow the 
exact lines of the old foundations. See Records of the Past, New Series, vol. v. 
p. 174, col. ii. 65. 


1, viz. the word for " temple," is a loan-word from the Assyrian j 
1, viz. the word rendered " destroyer," is from a root found in the 
Syriae ; 1 is a word of doubtful meaning ; and the remaining 
2 are from the Old Persian. Of the 88 Verbs used in the letter, 
32 are found in Biblical Aramaic, and of these 29 are in the Book 
of Daniel. The Prepositions, Adverbs, and Conjunctions are all 
found in the Book of Daniel, and also most of the compound 
particles ; e.g. the word translated " when " in Dan. iii. 7 and 
" even as " in ii. 43 1 ; the word " till " in ii. 9 2 ; and the word 
rendered " aforetime " in vi. 10, (11), lit. " from before this." 3 
And not only are verbs, nouns, and particles the same ; but we 
notice certain peculiarities of form, expression, order, and syntax, 
already familiar to the student of Biblical Aramaic, such as the 
following : 

(i) The use of the so-called Emphatic State, which according 
to the consensus of evidence and opinion probably answered, at 
least originally, to the Noun defined by the Article. 4 

(ii) The occasional use of the unit for the Indefinite Article. 6 

(iii) The freer use of the particle of relation in its threefold 
capacity, viz. as a Belative Pronoun, as a mark of the Genitive, 
and lastly as a Conjunction, in which case it is not infrequently 
joined to other particles. 6 

(iv) The frequent placing of a Proper Name before the Descrip- 
tive, when two Nouns are in apposition. 7 

(v) The use of the Active Participle in place of the Finite Verb. 8 

(vi) The similar use of the same Participle in conjunction with 
the Verb " to be." 

(vii) The use of the Passive Participle with afformatives of 
the Perfect to form a Perfect Passive. 10 

E. 1= Letter from Elephantine, line 1. 

1 'T3 or *"]?, according to difference of dialect. Cf. E. 4, 13. 

2 n'-fl? or ; -i -ij?. Cf. E. 27. 

3 pi njrip. "id, answering to rut nonp. Cf. E. 17. 
* Cf. E. i, wins, " the priests." 

6 E. 3, "a [lit. 'one'] thousandfold." Similarly E. 19, "a letter." Cf. 
Dan. ii. 31, " a great image " ; iv. 19 (16), "for a while " ; vi. 17 (18) " a stone." 

6 E. 1, " which [are] in Jeb " ; E. 5, " priests of the god Khnub " ; joined 
on to a particle, E. 13, " when Cambyses." 

7 E. 2, " Darius the king "king Darius. Cf. Dan. hi. 1, " Nebuchadnezzar 
the king "=king Nebuchadnezzar. 

8 E. 4, " [are] saying thus " ; E. 23, " we are not permitted," lit. " they 
[are] not permitting us." Cf. Dan. ii. 8, " I know," lit. " I [am] knowing." 

9 E. 15, " we were putting on " ; E. 25, " it was built." In Dan. v. 19 this 
construction occurs nine times. 

10 E. 17, " are slain." Cf. Dan. vii. 4, " were plucked off" ; also vii. 10, 
" books were opened." 


(viii) The use of the Verbal Noun governed by the Preposition 
h to express a purpose. 1 

(ix) The use of the Preposition qavel followed by the particle 
of relation to form Conjunctions. 2 

If to the above similarities of syntax and construction we add 
the use of similar words and phrases, it will then be evident even 
to the English reader that the type of Aramaic employed in these 
papyri of the year 408 B.C. bears such a striking resemblance to 
the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel as to allow of that Book being 
written as early as the year 535 B.C., " the third year of Cyrus," 3 
and to make that date far more likely than the year 165 B.C. 
to which the critics so confidently ascribe the date of its 

But whilst the uninitiated will probably assent to this con- 
clusion, it is quite possible that the Oriental scholar may demur on 
the ground of one striking difference between the Aramaic of the 
Elephantine papyri and that of the Book of Daniel. It is this : 
that certain words chiefly Belative and Demonstrative Pro- 
nouns which in the former begin with a " z," Zain, in Daniel 
begin with a " d," Daleth. 4 This feature is very marked, and it 
has been regarded by some as a sign that the Book of Daniel is 
the work of a later age, inasmuch as certain late inscriptions from 
Palmyra and Nabatea, which date from about 70 B.C. and onwards, 
exhibit the same feature. There are, however, two very rational 
explanations of this phenomenon, both of which serve to show 
that the d consistently used throughout the Aramaic part of the 
Book of Daniel is no sign of late authorship. First, then, it is 
held by some authorities that the d sound and the z sound both 
sprang originally out of the dh sound, which is still preserved in 
the Arabic and still sounded in remote Bedawin dialects ; but that 
whilst the Aramaic steadily modified the aspirate dentals to 
explosive dentals, the Hebrew modified them to sibilants. Thus 
the Arabic dh became z in Hebrew and d in Aramaic. Further, 
" It is impossible," writes an advocate of this theory, " to suggest 
that in Aramaic the dh first became z and then changed to d." 
In this case, then, the divergence is seen to be merely dialectal, 

1 E. 23, " that it may be rebuilt," lit. " for rebuilding it." Cf. Dan. vi. 3 
(4), lit. " thought with a view to setting him " ; also vi. 4 (5), 7 (8), 23 (24). 

2 This Preposition, so frequently used in Daniel in combination with 
Relatives and Demonstratives, is similarly used in E. 25, " as it was built." 
Cf. Dan. vi. 10 (11). 

3 Dan. x. 1. 

4 Thus for the Biblical 7. hi, ^i. Pity etc., we find in the Elephantine 1 
papyri n, kt. tjt, rw, etc. 


and the d found in the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel cannot be 
regarded as any criterion of the age of that Book. The other 
explanation is that advocated by Prof. B. D. Wilson in his able 
article on " The Aramaic of Daniel." 1 According to this writer 
the Semites, from whatever source they adopted their alphabet, 
eeem to have had only two signs, Daleth and Zain, to express the 
three sounds d, dh, and z. Daleth was always used to denote d 
and Zain to denote z. For the dh sound three methods were 
employed : (i) the Arabs invented a third sign by putting a dot 
over the Daleth ; (ii) Hebrew and Babylonian expressed dh 
prevailingly by the z sign, but sometimes (iii) by the d sign. With 
regard to the Aramaic, according to Wilson, " the old Aramean 
inscriptions of Northern Syria and Assyria from the ninth to the 
seventh century inclusive, always use z. 2 The Palmyrene, the 
Syriac, and the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan always use d. 
The Aramaic papyri from Egypt " dating from the end of the 
fifth to the beginning of the third century B.C. " use either 
with almost equal frequency. The earliest Nabatean inscription, 
dating from 70 B.C., always uses z ; all the other Nabatean inscrip- 
tions use d." The central portion of the Book of Daniel is thus 
the earliest Aramaic document known to us in which d takes the 
place of dh. But this usage, regarded by some as a sign of late 
authorship, was really in vogue long before the era of Daniel. 
The evidence of this, as Wilson points out, is furnished by the 
cuneiform inscriptions of Shalmaneser II., 860-825 B.C. In these 
inscriptions, when transcribing the name of a contemporary king 
of Damascus, the Assyrian scribe writes Dadda-idri instead of 
the Hebrew form Hadad-e^er ; Dadda, which has the determinative 
of divinity before it, standing for Hadad, the Hebrew form of the 
name of the national god of Syria, and idri answering in Aramaic 
to the Hebrew ezer ; thus showing that in the age of Shal- 
maneser II., i.e. as early as the middle of the ninth century B.C., 

1 See Biblical and Theological Studies by the Members of the Faculty of 
Princeton Theological Seminary. New York. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1912. 
Prof. Wilson's article came to hand after I had written this chapter. My 
first impulse after reading it was to suppress the results of my own very 
limited investigations. Struck, however, with the fact that conclusions, at 
which I had arrived independently, tallied with those of this learned and lucid 
writer, and considering that any proof of the authenticity of the Book of 
Daniel must ultimately rest on cumulative evidence, I decided to let the results 
of my own studies see the light for the sake of any additional evidence they 
might contain. 

2 Viz. the inscription of Zakir king of Hamath of the ninth century B.C. ; 
the inscriptions of Panammu I. and Bar-rekub, kings of Samahla near the 
Syrian Antioch, of the eighth century B.C. ; and the Aramaic dockets found 
in Assyria from the ninth century B.C. onwards. 


d was sometimes used to express the dh sound. 1 Further, since 
the actual native forms of the Syrian royal names are given us 
in the Assyrian inscriptions as, for instance, in the annals of 
Ashurbanipal, where the name Ben-Hadad appears as Bir-Dadda, 
bir or bar being the well-known Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew 
ben, " son " 2 we may conclude that d, written to express the 
dh sound, represents the usage in districts where the pure Aramaio 
was spoken, such as the Syrian kingdom of Damascus ; whilst 
the z found in the early inscriptions from North Syria and on the 
business dockets from Nineveh, is due to contact with the Hebrew 
and Phoenician. 

The Aramaic of the Books of Daniel and Ezra is sometimes 
spoken of as the Western Aramaic, in order to distinguish it from 
the Syriac or Eastern Aramaic to wit, the literary language which 
flourished at Edessa and Nisibis in North Mesopotamia some 
six centuries later. But both these terms are misleading : first, 
because of the interval of time which separated these two types 
of the language ; and secondly, because of the introduction of a 
complete geographical misnomer. The Biblical Aramaic appears 
to have been the purer form of the language, rather than that 
spoken in Palestine ; whilst the classical Syriac, as W. Wright points 
out, 3 does not represent the old Eastern Aramaic, but only a sister 
tongue. The modern representative of the old Eastern Aramaio 
according to this authority is the Neo- Syriac, still spoken in the 
mountains from Mardin and Midyad on the west to Lake Urumiah 
on the east, 4 a dialect more closely connected with the Mandaitic 
and that of the Babylonian Talmud than with the classical Syriac. 
Thus, for instance, the Infinitive Pael, which in the Syriac has the 
prefix m, is usually without that prefix in the Talmud Babli, the 
Mandaitic, and the Eastern Neo-Syriac, just as in the Biblical 
Aramaic. 3 On the other hand, the modern representative of the 
Western Syriac is the dialect spoken at Ma'lula in the Anti-Libanus. 
Both of these modern dialects have greatly modified the ancient 
grammar. The most interesting difference between them lies in 
the vocalisation, where the Eastern Neo-Syria agrees more closely 
with the Biblical Aramaic than the Western. Thus KHrtnj, nehord, 
" light," Dan. ii. 22, is still pronounced nehord in Eastern Neo- 
Syriac, but in Western Neo-Syriac appears as nehurd. Similarly 

1 A yet earlier instance of this is found in the name of Adriel the 
Meholathite, the son-in-law of king Saul. AcMel is the Aramaic form of the 
Hebrew Azriel, " God is my help," for which cf. Jer. xxxvi. 26. 

8 Cf. Dan. vii. 13, bar endsh, " a son of man." 

* Cf. Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages, p. 20. 

4 Ibid. pp. 201-2. Ibid. p. 183. 



WQ3, kblidnd, " priest," Ezra vii. 12, is to-day pronounced Mhnd 
in the Eastern dialect, but kdhno in the Western. Again, it has 
been usual till of late to distinguish the so-called Western and 
Eastern Aramaic by the prefix of the third person singular of the 
Imperfect. Thus the Western prefixes a y, the Eastern an n. 
But, as Prof. Wilson has shown, the y, according to all documentary 
evidence, was used in the East and West alike down to A.D. 78. l 
In the Mandaitic and the Talmud Babli the prefix is either I or n. 2 
In Biblical Aramaic the y is invariably used except in the case of 
the verb "to be," where we find an I in the third person singular 
masculine and in the third person plural both masculine and 
feminine. The Mandaitic is the language of the sacred books of 
the Mandeans, or Gnostics, a half Christian, half heathen sect, of 
whom a miserable remnant still survives near Basra on the Lower 
Euphrates. The oldest portion of these books is believed to date 
from A.D. 700-900. The Babylonian Talmud is assigned to 
the close of the sixth century A.D. The fact that the Book of 
Daniel agrees with the Mandaitic and the Babylonian Talmud in 
omitting the prefix m in the Infinitive of the Pael and in using the 
prefix I in the case of the verb " to be," is another indication of 
some connection with Babylonia and the East, rather than with 
Palestine, as regards the author of that Book. 

In concluding this short and imperfect sketch of the Aramaic 
of the Book of Daniel, instead of Dr. Driver's verdict " the 
Aramaic permits a date after the conquest of Palestine by Alexander 
the Great " I would suggest the following : " That in view of the 
evidence furnished, more especially by the Elephantine papyri, as 
well as by other documents, the Aramaic permits a date as early as 
the closing years of the prophet Daniel" 

1 The Aramaic of the Book of Daniel, p. 267. 

2 Ibid. p. 269, where Prof. Wilson shows that this use of I in the Imperfect 
is no late feature of the language, but occurs in an inscription of the eighth 
oentury B.C. 



IN the last chapter, when dwelling on the language evidence, 
I entered somewhat at length into the type of Aramaic which 
confronts us in the Book of Daniel. In the present chapter 
I propose to consider what is really the second part of the same 
subject, viz. the evidence afforded by the foreign loan-words which 
we meet with in that Book. There are in the Book of Daniel at 
the most some twenty words belonging to the Old Persian and 
also three Greek words. I shall hope to show that these Persian 
and Greek words, so far from presenting any real difficulty, supply 
most valuable evidence, alike as to the authenticity of the Book 
and as to the position occupied by its writer. They must, indeed, 
no longer be regarded as stumbling-blocks in our path, but rather 
as strong confirmations of the orthodox view that the Book of 
Daniel was written within and towards the close of the times 
which it describes, and that Daniel himself was the writer. 

Let us take the Old Persian words first. It is of these that Prof. 
Driver wrote, " The Persian words presuppose a period after the 
Persian empire had been well established." * In this decisive 
dictum the learned Professor appears to have lost sight entirely 
of three important factors : first, the genius of the language in 
which the Book of Daniel is believed to have been written ; 
secondly, the length of time during which that language had been 
in contact with the Old Persian ; and thirdly, the position occupied 
by Daniel himself, if we assume him to have been the writer. 

The Book of Daniel, as already stated, is believed by most 
scholars to have been written in Aramaic ; and Aramaic, being 
widely dispersed, and acting as a means of communication between 
men of different races and languages, very easily incorporated 
foreign loan-words. Now, as regards the introduction of Old 
Persian words into the Aramaic, that would depend, not so much 
on the length of time that the Persian empire had been established, 

1 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. Ixiii. 


but rather on the length of time that the two languages, the Old 
Persian and the Aramaic, had been in contact. In the case 
of the Book now before us it would depend in great measure 
also on the position occupied by the writer ; i.e. his position, 
national, social, and geographical. What race was he of ? Did 
he hold daily intercourse with men speaking an Aryan tongue ? 
Was the Old Persian likely to be often upon his lips at the time 
when he wrote his Book ? Then, what of his whereabouts ? 
Was his Book written in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Babylonia, or 
even further east ? As to the first of these questions there is 
happily no doubt whatever. The writer is evidently a Jew. He 
belongs to a race even then cosmopolitan ; to a race, too, which 
possesses a rare facility for acquiring foreign languages. His 
social position if we identify him with Daniel, the trusted states- 
man of the Median Darius is all in favour of the introduction 
of Persian words, especially of such as find a place in this Book. 
In all probability he was as much at home in the Persian as in 
the Aramaic, and in his old age, as well as in the diplomatic service 
of his previous life, must often have conversed with men who spoke 
that language. But what of his surroundings ? Where did he 
write his Book ? The number of Persian words which it contains 
is suggestive that he wrote it in the East rather than in the West. 
And this supposition agrees well with what little we know as to 
the home of Daniel. He appears to have spent the greater part 
of his long life at Babylon. Once we find him, in spirit at least, 
on the banks of the Tigris ; and once, by the Ulai at Shushan : 
and the notices in his Book, especially in the latter instance, favour 
the idea that he had been in these localities. 1 Moreover tradition 
declares that he spent the closing years of his life at Shushan, and 
that he was buried there. 2 Now, it was at the river of Shushan 
and on the banks of the Uknu, 3 as shown in our last chapter, that 
the inroads of the Arameans found their furthest eastern extension . 
The " land " of the Arumu, as we there saw, lay to the east of 
the Tigris. They had wedged themselves in between Babylonia 
and Elam on the south, and between Assyria and Media on the 
north. They formed, in fact, a number of buffer-states between 
the great empires on the Tigris and Euphrates and the Aryan 
peoples of Media and Persia. Shamshi-Bammanu, king of Assyria, 
825-812 B.C., mentions together the lands of the Kaldu (Chal- 
deans), Elam, Namri, and the Arumu (Arameans). His pre- 
decessor, Shalmaneser II., 860-825 B.C., speaking of Namri, 

1 Dan. viii. 2, x. 4. 

a See Loftus' CMldea and Susiana. 

* The Choaspes of Herodotus (book i. 188), and the modem Kerkha. 


which lay between Assyria and Media, mentions certain fortresses, 
Bit-Tamal, Bit-Sakki, Bit-Shidi, whose first syllable Bit or Beth, 
i.e. " house " or " place," suggests that they were the outposts 
of a Semitic-speaking people to wit, the Arameans. 1 Thus some 
three hundred years before the era of Daniel there was contact 
in the north between the Arameans and the Aryan Medes, whose 
language was the same as that of the Persians. The inroad of 
the Arameans into the southern district round Shushan took 
place about a hundred years later, in the reign of Tiglathpileser III., 
745-729 B.C. Further, that monarch in the Slab Inscription 
from Nirnrad, when recording his eastern conquests, writes 
thus : " The land of Bit-Khamban, the land of Sumurzu, the land 
of Bit-Zualzas, the land of Bit-Matti, the town of Niqu, the land 
of Umliash, the land of Bit-Taranzai, the land of Parsua, the land 
of Bit-kabsi, as far as the town Zakruti of the distant Medes, I 
brought into subjection." 2 Here are districts apparently 
inhabited by a Semitic population, as indicated by the char- 
acteristic Bit, stretching right up to the Median frontier some two 
hundred years before the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. This 
long contact, both in the north and south, between the Semites 
and the Aryan Medes, could not fail to introduce some Medo- 
Persian words into the Aramaic and more especially into the 
Eastern Aramaic, the Aramaic spoken in Babylonia where Daniel 
spent the most of his life, and in the district round Shushan, the 
traditional home of his later years. To these considerations it 
must be added that as a Jew he would be sure to be brought into 
contact with some of the descendants of the Ten Tribes, who, as 
Prof. Wilson points out, had been settled in the cities of the Medes 
for about two hundred years before the establishment of the 
Persian empire, and had now for some seventy years been under 
Median rule. 3 These captives had been settled in cities taken 
from the Medes ; and all around them, or at any rate in their 
near neighbourhood, was a Median population, towards whom 
it may be supposed they bare a certain good will, since both they 
themselves and their Median neighbours had felt the oppressive 
power of a common foe. Would it then be anything strange, if 
these captive Israelites had adopted some Medo-Persian words 
into the vocabulary of their everyday life ? 

What has been so far advanced seems amply sufficient to 
account for the presence of Persian words in a book written in 
Aramaic by a Jew living in Babylonia and Susiana soon after the 

1 Keilin-schrifiliche Bibliotheh, vol. i. pp. 142-143. 

2 Records of the Past, New Series, vol. iii. p. 120. 

3 See Biblical and Theological Studies, p. 302, and cf. 2 Kinga xvii. 6. 


Persian conquest ; but the case becomes very much stronger 
when we take into account the special character of the Book now 
before us, as well as the position occupied by him who may well 
be accounted its author. Here is a work written by an old man, 
a courtier and a diplomat, a man in every way of a wide outlook, 
a religious imperialist. Certain portions of it are descriptive of 
scenes at court, in most of which he himself took a very prominent 
part. At the time when he writes his Book, he holds a very 
important post at the court of Persia, and converses in the Old 
Persian every day, either with the king his master or with the 
Median and Persian officials around him. Now, it is observable, 
and exactly what we should expect, that the Persian words in 
this Book occur chiefly in the descriptions given us of scenes at 
court, and that at least fourteen out of the twenty are of a legal, 
official, and state character, no less than eight being titles of office 
like the frateraka of the Elephantine letter. Among these titles 
of office is an anachronism, just such as an old man who had lived 
in the employment of the state through the Babylonian and on 
into the Persian period might very easily be guilty of. I refer 
to the use in chap. iii. 3, of the Persian title " satraps," to describe 
certain high officials at the court of Nebuchadnezzar. This is 
just such a use of words as an aged servant of the public, busied 
in the affairs of the Medo-Persian kingdom, might very easily be 
led to make. 

The fourteen Old Persian words, alluded to above, which belong 
to court life, and come so naturally from the pen of one long 
occupied in the service of his royal masters, are thus rendered in 
the Eevised Version : " nobles," i. 3 ; " meat," or rather " royal 
dainties," i. 5, xi. 26 ; " pieces," ii. 5, iii. 29, lit. " limbs," describing 
a condign punishment, " you shall be made limbs," i.e. you shall 
be dismembered ; " rewards," ii. 6, v. 17 ; " law," ii. 9, vi. 5, 
vii. 25 ; " satraps," " judges," " treasurers," " counsellors," or 
rather " justices," and " sheriffs," all in iii. 2 ; " counsellors," 
iii. 27, a different word to that used in verse 2 ; " chain," i.e. of 
office, v. 7 ; " president," vi. 2 ; " palace," xi. 45. That these 
thirteen words should be expressed in the Old Persian by a writer 
in the position occupied by Daniel is really nothing to be wondered 
at, nay, is almost what we might expect. But what shall we say 
of the following : "is gone from me," rather, " is sure," ii. 5 ; 
"time," ii. 16, iii. 7, iv. 36, vi. 10, vii. 12 ; " a secret," ii. 18, 
iv. 9 ; " kind," iii. 5, 10, 15 ; " matter," iii. 16, rendered " sen- 
tence " in iv. 17 ; " hosen," iii. 21 ; " sheath," vii. 15, E.V.M. ? 
We may say that the word rendered " kind " is of uncertain 
derivation ; that the two last words, " hosen " and " sheath," 


might very well be expressed in Old Persian, seeing that they refer 
to dress and attire, even though the former, like " satraps " in 
the same chapter, is somewhat of an anachronism, since it occurs 
in the description of a scene which took place in Babylonian times ; 
and that the remaining four words are sufficiently accounted for 
by the writer's surroundings coupled with the length of time 
during which the Eastern Aramaic had been in contact more or 
less close with the Old Persian. 

From what has been just said it will be seen that the Persian 
words in the Book of Daniel constitute no real difficulty, and 
that so far from compelling us to regard that Book as the work 
of a late writer in the Greek period, they are strongly suggestive 
of its having been composed in the Persian period and by a writer 
in the position of Daniel. Further, the long contact between the 
Aramaic and the Old Persian completely does away with any 
hesitation we might feel in ascribing it to the early years of the 
Persian period and within the lifetime of the prophet ; whilst 
the internal evidence points in the same direction. The words of 
chap. i. 21, "And Daniel continued even unto the first year of 
king Cyrus," seem to furnish us with a date for the composition 
of the beginning of the Book ; then the date of the prophet's 
latest vision, given us in chap. x. 1, viz. " the third year of Cyrus," 
coupled with the gracious assurance at the close of that vision, 
" Go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest and stand 
in thy lot at the end of the days," are indications that the Book 
was finished shortly after that vision and a little before his 
death. Thus we have in the Book of Daniel a work composed 
at the beginning of the Persian period by a Jew who had 
been long familiar both with the Aramaic and with the Old 

Before we leave these Persian words, of which a fuller account 
is given in the Appendix to this chapter, we may pause to notice 
another valuable service which they render. Occurring, as they 
do, in the Hebrew portions of the Book as well as in the Aramaic, 
they serve to stitch together the different parts, and are a voucher 
for the unity of authorship of the whole, despite the fact that the 
work appears before us in two languages, part being in Hebrew 
and part in Aramaic. No less worthy of notice is the fact that we 
find them in the prophetic as well as in the historical portion of 
the Book, though, as one might expect, they are far more fre- 
quent in the latter. Thus the Persian words for " nobles," i. 3, 
" meat," i. 5 and xi. 26, " palace " xi. 45, occur in the Hebrew 
part of the Book, whilst the last two references are also in the 
prophetic portion, in which will be found likewise the Old Persian 


words rendered thus : " body," vii. 15 ; " time," vii. 12, 22, 25 ; 
and " law," vii. 25. 

Turning now to the second part of our subject, what shall we 
say to the presence of three Greek words in this Book, if we assign 
it to a date as early as the commencement of the Persian period ? 
We may say, in the first place, that there are only three Greek words 
to match some twenty Persian, and that had the Book been written 
in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, more than a century and a 
half after the conquests of Alexander, having regard to the wonder- 
ful Hellenising of Western Asia caused by those conquests, we 
should certainly have expected to find more Greek words than 
Persian. It is the fewness of the Greek words, coupled with the fact 
that they are only the names of musical instruments, that must prove 
fatal to the critics' theory thai the Book was written in 165 B.C. / 
fatal, also, to Prof. Driver's dictum, " the Greek words demand 
a date after the conquest of Palestine by Alexander the Great." 1 
Such a demand I utterly fail to see. Could nothing Greek make its 
way to Babylon before the days of Alexander ? And if Greek 
musical instruments could reach Babylon, why should they not 
carry their Greek names with them, in the same way that the 
exports of the further East brought to the court of king Solomon 
were known by their Indian names ? 2 

The names of the three Greek musical instruments mentioned 
in Dan. iii. as forming part of Nebuchadnezzar's band are as 
follows 3 : 

thfl*j?, kitheros, Gr. Kidapig, the lyre, E.V. " harp." 

HQ3P9, pesanterin, Gr. ^aXrnpov, Ital. salerio, the dulcimer, 
E.V. "psaltery." 

n$B!MD, sumponydh, Gr. <Tv/x<j>wvia, Ital. sampogna, the bag- 
pipe, E.V. " dulcimer." 

The possibility of these musical instruments reaching Babylon 
and carrying their Greek names with them, may, as we have seen, 
be taken for granted on a priori grounds ; but the question as to 
the precise channel by which they came is doubtful, and forms a 
very fascinating theme, which, without in any way weakening 
the argument, allows of our wandering out of the narrow confines 
of probability into the broad regions of possibility. 

In entering on such an interesting inquiry, our first aim must 

1 Century Bible, Daniel, p. lxiii. It will be noted that Driver ascribes a 
Palestinian origin to the Book of Daniel. It was more probably written in 
Babylonia or Susiana. 

8 1 Kings x. 22, where "apes," Heb. qophim, has been referred to the 
Sanskrit kapi ; and " peacocks," tukkiyyim, to the Malabar toghai. 

8 See Stainer's Ahisic of the Bible, revised by Galpin, pp. 57, 73. 


be to study the relations that existed between East and West 
in the latter half of the sixth century B.C. Now, it is with regard 
to these relations that Prof. Driver writes, " Any one who has 
studied Greek history knows what the civilisation of the Greek 
world was in the sixth century B.C., and is aware that the arts 
and inventions of civilised life streamed then into Greece from the 
East, not from Greece eastward." Such a statement is most 
fallacious and misleading. In the first place, to find out whether 
the arts and inventions of the West reached the East, we must 
direct our attention, not to Greece, but to the lands of the East, 
to Phoenicia, Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt ; above all, not for- 
getting that there was a Greece in Asia as well as in Europe, and 
that this Asiatic Greece considerably influenced the civilisation 
of the Near East. 1 Secondly, the idea that the tide of commerce 
between two countries, both of them highly civilised, should flow 
only in one direction is inconceivable. Vessels carrying to the 
West, say from the port of Tyre, Oriental wares, would be sure on 
the return voyage to bring with them the wares of Greece. Indeed, 
this is no mere conjecture, for the prophet Ezekiel, writing in the 
ninth year of Zedekiah, i.e. the fifteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar 
just three j r ears, according to the LXX and Theodotion, before 
the scene pictured in Dan. iii. when describing the extensive 
commerce of Tyre, tells us that Javan, i.e. Ionia or Asiatic Greece, 
traded with Tyre in vessels of brass. As Ezekiel wrote in Baby- 
lonia, we are warranted in thinking that some of these brazen good3 
from Greece found their way from Tyre to the mart of Babylon. 
Again, turning back to Assyrian times, we find Asiatic Greece in 
contact with Assyria in the days of Sargon II., 722-705 B.C. 
The Assyrian king, telling of his successful warfare against the 
Greek pirates, says that he " drew the Ionians out of the sea like 
fish." In 698 B.C. his son Sennacherib sent an expedition to Cilicia 
to put down a revolt fomented by a treacherous Assyrian governor, 
who had allied himself with " the peoples who dwelt in Ingira and 
Tarsus." These peoples are evidently the Greeks, who, according 
to Polyhistor, had made a descent upon Cilicia. They may be 
identified with those Ionian pirates who had already received 
chastisement at the hands of Sargon, But this was not the first 
time that an Assyrian army had been seen in those regions. 
Shalmaneser II. penetrated as far as Tarsus as early as 884 B.C. 
Sennacherib's expedition was sent, not merely to punish a rebellious 
vassal, but, as he tells us, to keep open the girri Kue or " Cilician 
Road," the great trade route from the West, which passing through 

1 See Hogarth'a Ancient Eati, pp. 139, 143. 


the famous Cilician Gates descended on Tarsus, and then, after 
reaching the north-east angle of the Mediterranean, branched off 
in two directions, eastward to the kingdoms on the Tigris and 
Euphrates, and southward along the Syrian and Palestinian coast 
to Egypt. Sennacherib's determination to keep this route open 
is in itself a voucher for the brisk commercial intercourse which 
existed between East and West well-nigh a century before the era 
of Nebuchadnezzar. According to Abydenus the battle fought 
at Tarsus was a naval one, in which the Assyrian defeated a fleet 
of Greek ships. He also records that Sennacherib built an 
" Athenian temple " at Tarsus, and erecied columns of bronze 
on which his mighty deeds were inscribed. This statement 
receives a striking confirmation from the vivid account given by 
Sennacherib of his new method of casting bronze pillars, narrated 
on the same cylinder which records his expedition to Tarsus. 1 
Polyhistor adds that Sennacherib rebuilt Tarsus after the likeness 
of Babylon, which is explained by Abydenus, who relates that he 
made the Cydnus pass through the middle of the city in the same 
way that the Euphrates flowed through the midst of Babylon. 
All this care bestowed on Tarsus is a further witness of the strong 
desire of the Assyrian king to encourage the commerce between 
East and West, and to ensure that a goodly share of the trade 
from Asia Minor should flow into Assyria. 

Another instance of the way in which the West influenced the 
East is visible in architecture : not indeed to any great extent, 
for both in Assyria and Babylonia palaces and temples continued 
to be built in much the same style as heretofore. Still the Greek 
style, with pillars, entablature, and pediment, creeps in here and 
there. Sennacherib must have made use of it in his " Athenian 
temple " at Tarsus, which, it has been suggested, was an Ionic 
temple ; 2 whilst his father, Sargon, on one of his bas-reliefs 
pictures a summer-house or small temple on the top of a hill with 
Ionic columns, on another a fishing pavilion with similar supports ; 3 
and, what is yet more surprising, in his representation of the shrine 
of the god Haldia at Mutsatsir the sacred city of Ararat, depicts 
a temple with banded columns and an unmistakable classical 
pediment. 4 But the most striking instance of all, and the one 
which bears most closely on our subject, is found in the palace at 

1 See Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum, 
part xxvi., published by order of the trustees. 
a Hogarth's Ancient East, p. 131. 

* See Botta's Monuments de Ninive, vol. ii. pi. 114, and Layard's Nineveh, 
vol. ii. p. 273. 

* Maspero, Passing of the Empires, p. 59. 



(koldewey, FIG. 64) 

facing p. 


Babylon erected by Nabopolassar and then rebuilt and enlarged 
by Nebuchadnezzar. There, in the very centre of an extensive 
group of buildings, in the court of the throne-room, and on the 
outer wall of that hall of state in which possibly Belshazzar's 
feast was held, was found an elaborate and brilliantly wrought 
pattern in coloured tiles, recalling the most distinctive feature of 
the Ionic Order. 1 It is thus described by the late L. W. King of 
the British Museum : " The brick-work of the outer facade which 
faced the court was decorated with bright coloured enamel. Only 
fragments of the enamelled surface were discovered, but these 
sufficed to restore the scheme of decoration. A series of yellow 
columns with bright blue capitals, both edged with white borders, 
stood out against a dark blue ground. The capitals are the most 
striking feature of the composition. Each consists of two sets 
of double volutes, one above the other, and a white rosette with 
yellow centre comes partly into sight above them. Between each 
set is a bud in sheath, forming a trefoil, and linking the volutes 
of the capitals by means of light blue bands, which fall in a shallow 
curve from either side of it. Still higher on the wall ran a fringe 
of double palmettos in similar colouring, between yellow line 
borders, the centre of the latter picked out with lozenges, coloured 
black and yellow, and black and white alternately." 2 

If the volutes in the above description recall unmistakably 
the capitals of the Ionic Order, it will be found also that the 
buds in sheath with the shallow curves falling away from them are 
the same artistic details which have been met with at the Greek 
settlement of Naukratis in Egypt on the Pelusiac branch of the 
Nile. 3 Grecian decorative architecture found its way to the East 
by two routes : first, direct over land, as in the case of the temple 
at Mutsatsir and the pillared buildings with Ionic capitals depicted 
on the bas-reliefs of Sargon ; secondly, as in the case of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's throne-room, the artists may very well have been Greek 
captives taken in Egypt, since the same details have been found at 
Naukratis. According to Flinders Petrie it was in 650 B.C., 
in the reign of Psammetichus I., or possibly as early as 670 B.C., 
during the Assyrian wars with Tirhakah, that the Greeks settled 

1 Cf. the beautiful coloured plate, opposite p. 130 in Koldewey'a Discoveries 
at Babylon. The plate is put in the wrong place : it should have faced p. 104, 
under the tissue leaf inscribed, " Decoration of the Throne Room." 

2 The Ionic capital, so famous in classical architecture, has been traced 
by recent investigators to the Hittites of Boghaz Kyoi. If this be so, we have 
here an instance of an architectural feature spreading eastward to Assyria 
and Babylon and westward to Greece. See H. R. Hall's Ancient History of 
the Near East, p. 535. 

* Egyptian Exploration Fund, part i. pis. 3 and 7. 


at Naukratis. Psammetichus, as we have seen, employed " brazen 
men from the sea " to help him conquer the Dodekarchy ; and 
then out of gratitude for their assistance allowed them to settle 
in two camps on either side of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. 
From this time onwards Greek mercenaries were employed in 
Egypt down to the days when the Persian rule was established in 
that country by Cambyses. Now, according to the Chaldean 
historian Berosus as quoted by Josephus, in 604 B.C., when 
Nebuchadnezzar was acting as his father's viceroy, he advanced 
against the governors whom his father had set over Egypt and the 
parts of Ccele-Syria and Phoenicia, and brought back captives 
from " the Jews, Phoenicians, and Syrians, and the nations beloiiging 
to Egypt," whom he planted in colonies in Babylonia. 1 Among 
" the nations belonging to Egypt " we may reckon the Greek 
mercenaries stationed at Daphne on the Pelusiac branch of the 
Nile, for the historian informs us in his Antiquities that the Baby- 
lonian king advanced as far as Pelusium, 2 whilst in another passage, 
when telling the story of the king's forgotten dream, he begins 
his account with the words, " Now two years after the destruction of 
Egypt king Nebuchadnezzar saw a wonderful dream." 3 

Among the possible work of these Greek captives taken in 
Egypt is a very curious relic, at present in the Museum at Florence, 
which is generally described as a cameo. It is not a cameo in the 
strict sense of the term, but an onyx with two shades of colour, 
originally the eye of a statue of the god Merodach. On it is carved 
a Greek head, helmeted and plumed, with a neck-piece attached ; 
the whole being encircled with a finely cut cuneiform inscription, 
which reads thus : "To Merodach his lord Nebuchadnezzar has 
given this for his life." J. Menant, in his able article on thi3 
gem, 4 observes that the relic is unique : it differs from a helmeted 
head in the Greek style, and also from the Chaldean types known 
to us. As regards the workmanship of the engraving, he bids us 
distinguish between the inscription and the subject. " The head," 
he writes, " is executed with a certain rudeness ; the graving tool 
has bitten into the depressions in an uneven manner. The profile 
seems to bury itself in the stone, instead of standing out in relief. 
The impression given is good ; the work, mediocre." On the 
other hand, " the inscription," he declares, " shows great skill 
and familiarity with the [cuneiform] writing, and is traced with 
great clearness and delicacy." 

1 Josephus c. Apion, i. 19. 

2 Ant. x. 6, 1. 

3 Ibid. x. 10. 3. 

1 Revue Archeologique, Paris, 1885. p. 79. 



* (J 

X o 








O W 
N _! 





A close examination of a cast of this relic, kindly sent me by 
the Director of the Museum at Florence, quite confirms Menant's 
verdict that the head and the inscription are the work of two 
different artists, and that the latter belongs undoubtedly to the 
age of Nebuchadnezzar. With regard to the head I cannot see 
the " rudeness " of execution of which Menant speaks. The 
inscription called for fine work and is finely done ; the head is 
bolder. There is a look of firmness and repose in the features, 
and a dignity of bearing in the carriage of the head. Also the 
curving lines of the helmet are smooth and flowing, and the 
drooping plume is very delicately cut. The unevenness of the 
depressions is due in part to the stone not having been cut true, 
for just at the tail of the helmet there is a decided bulge, which 
the artist has taken advantage of by allowing it to give a suggestion 
of the shoulder. The question then is, does this head belong to 
the time of Nebuchadnezzar, or is it the work of a later age ? 
Menant thinks that it belongs to the age of Alexander the Great. 
Alexander, he observes, had a great liking for intaglios and a 
rich collection of them. 1 The eye may have belonged to some 
statue broken up by the Persians, and the head intended for 
Alexander himself may have been the work of some artist 
flatterer. At the same time, as he honestly admits, the lineaments 
are not exactly like those of Alexander as seen on any relics which 
have come down to us. With all due respect to the opinion of 
this scholar, I would venture to suggest that the head as well as 
the inscription is of the age of Nebuchadnezzar. The eyes of 
statues were sometimes simply polished stones. Sometimes an 
inscription was written across the stone in horizontal lines, as in 
the case of a statue dedicated by Nebuchadnezzar to the god 
Nebo, which bears an inscription very like that on our cameo. 2 
Sometimes, as on a gem at the Hague Museum, 3 the inscription 
is traced in a circle on the slightly convex surface of the eye ; the 
diameter of the circle measured to the outer edge of the characters 
being, in this instance, only ^ of an inch. In the case of 
the cameo the diameter of the circle is of an inch, and the 
inscription is written, not on a nearly level surface, but on the 
sloping rim of the eye, as if to leave more room for the head to be 
engraved in the centre. The peculiar style of workmanship noticed 
by Menant the head seeming to bury itself in the stone ia 

1 Pliny, Nat. Hist, book xxxvii. 4. 

1 See George Smith's Assyrian Discoveries, p. 385. 

* For a sealing-wax impression of this gem I am indebted to the kindness 
of the Curator of the Museum at the Hague. The engraving is a microscopic 


characteristic of Egyptian art of about that period, as may be 
seen in the head of Shabitoku, 703-693 B.C. 1 Further, the 
treatment of the plume, which is not erect but carried straight 
back over the head so as to droop down behind, is exactly what 
we see in the case of Shabitoku. The nearest approach to the 
helmet and neck-piece that I have been able to find, appears on 
the head of the Lycaonian soldier, whose funerary stele has been 
built into the south wall of Konieh, the ancient Iconium. 2 That 
monument is of an archaic character ; also it is observable that 
the soldier carries a two-pronged spear, the double head of which 
resembles the spearheads found at Nebesheh in Egypt, an outpost 
of the Greek camp at Daphnae. 

In advocating the claim of the helmeted head to be regarded 
as a work of the age of Nebuchadnezzar, I do not mean to assert 
that we have here an actual portrait of that king, or that he ever 
appeared thus attired. It is sufficient if the work were executed 
under his patronage, or merely in accordance with his well-known 
cosmopolitan tastes. But it should be pointed out that the 
Grseco-Egyptian artist in thus portraying the Babylonian king 
is giving us his idea of how a king should appear. For Herodotus, 
when speaking of Psammetichus I. of Egypt and the other members 
of the Dodekarchy, writes, " All the kings were accustomed to wear 
helmets." 3 Again, when relating how Apries sent Amasis to 
hold a peaceful parley with his rebellious army, he goes on to tell 
us how one of the malcontents " coming behind him put a helmet 
on his head, saying, as he put it on, that he thereby crowned him 
king." 4 With regard to the plume let it also be noted that accord- 
ing to Herodotus the Carians were the first to fasten crests on 
helmets. 5 These links with Egypt, coupled with the unmistak- 
ably Greek profile and the archaic style of treatment of some of 
the details, give ground for thinking that the head is the work of 
an Asiatic Greek brought by Nebuchadnezzar as a captive from 
Egypt at the time when he was sent by his father to put down the 
rebellion in that country. 

That the king's head should be engraved on a stone intended 
to be placed as an eye in a statue dedicated to his god Merodach, 
and encircled with the words, " To Merodach his lord Nebuchad- 
nezzar has given this for his life," i.e. either preserved, or to be 
preserved, is not such a strange thing as it might seem at first 
sight. Among the Hebrews the apple of the eye signified that 

1 See Maspero's Passing of the Empires, p. 360. 

8 Lewin's Life and Epistles of St. Paul, vol. i. p. 146. 

3 Herod, ii. 151. 

* Ibid. ii. 161. 6 Ibid. i. 171. 

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which is most dear and most jealously guarded, 1 and a 
consideration of certain passages in the Book of Zechariah 2 
suggests that as the picture of an eye portrays vigilance, so any 
figure drawn on the pupil of that eye would portray the object of 
that vigilance. Thus the king's image portrayed on the eye of 
his god would form a symbolical representation of the idea 
contained in Zech. i 8, " He that toucheth you toucheth the apple 
of his eye." 

If there were Greek captives settled in colonies in Babylonia, 
there were also Greek soldiers of fortune in the army of the Baby- 
lonian king. The case of Antimenidas, the brother of the poet 
Alcseus, shows us the value set on these mercenaries and the 
doughty deeds they were sometimes able to perform in the service 
of their foreign employers. " Thou earnest from the ends of the 
earth," sings the poet, 3 " wearing an ivory-hilted sword with gold 
settings, inasmuch as thou foughtest for the Babylonians and 
accomplishedst a great feat of arms, by slaying a warrior who fell 
short of five royal cubits by a mere handbreadth." 4 

But by whatever way the civilisation of Greece made itself 
felt in Babylon in the age of Nebuchadnezzar, whether by sea 
through the mart of Tyre, by land along the " Cilician Boad " 
through the passes of the Taurus, or in a more roundabout way 
through wars carried on with Egypt, we seem to be led to Asiatic 
Greece as its source. Asiatic Greece was the probable home of 
the three Greek musical instruments mentioned in Dan. iii. 
In the words of James Kennedy, " The Asiatic Greeks of the 
sixth and seventh centuries B.C. surpassed the European Greeks, 
not only in commerce and philosophy, but in music. The story 
of Apollo and Marsyas, the adoption of the Lydian measure, the 
improvement of the lyre " one of the three Greek instruments 
in Dan. iii. " were all due to them. 5 They had founded a 
colony in Egypt, and supplied her army with mercenaries ; 
they were to be found all along the Syrian coast, and in Syria 
and Cyprus they were subjects of Assyria and Babylon. They 
visited Babylon as prisoners of war, they must have visited it as 
traders also. That they should have introduced some rude but 
popular musioal instruments into Babylon is not of itself im- 
probable." 6 

1 Deut. xxxii. 10 ; Ps. xvii. 8 ; Prov. vii. 2. 

* Zech. ii. 8, iii. 9, iv. 10. 

3 Bergk's Lyrici Grceci, iii. p. 160, Alcseus, 33. 

* Not a span ; but the breadth of the four fingers = nearly three inches. 

8 The writer might have added that Phrygia is credited with the invention 
of the reed-pipe. 

6 The Book of Daniel from a Christian Standpoint, p. 211. 


Granted, then, that Greek instruments of music might have 
made their way to Babylon by three different routes, and either 
through the hands of traders, soldiers, or captives, there seems no 
reason whatever why they should not have carried with them 
their Greek names : for being strange and new to the Babylonians 
when first introduced, they would naturally continue to bear the 
names given them by those who introduced them. 

But another objection of an entirely different kind to that 
which has so far engaged us has been made with respect to the 
occurrence of the names of two of these instruments in a work of 
the age of Daniel. It is objected that the words xpaXr^piov, 
psalterion, and avptyuvia, sumphonia, are not found in any Greek 
writer till a period much later than the time of Daniel. Thus 
ipa\Ti'iptov is first met with in The Problems, usually attributed to 
Aristotle, 384-321 B.C., but possibly the work of a later writer, 
whilst avfx(\>iD\ia occurs first in Plato, 427-347 B.C., in the sense of 
concerted music, but is not met with as the name of a musical 
instrument till the time of Polybius, 210-128 B.C. The best 
answer to this objection is supplied in the following words of 
James Kennedy : " The fact that a primitive kind of pipe ia 
incidentally mentioned for the first time by a late author afforda 
no proof that it was of late invention. Our knowledge of the 
everyday life of antiquity is extremely fragmentary and limited. 
Mommsen has pointed out that the stepping-stones, which are 
found in every street of every Italian town, are mentioned only 
once by any Latin author. The Ionians who wandered to Babylon 
were not great folk. . . . They were humble men, captives, 
mercenaries, artisans, merchants, at the best, doubtless much of 
the same class as the Europeans who traversed India in the daya 
of the Great Moghul. But these vagabond Europeans, artillery- 
men, artificers, contributed more words for common objects to 
the native language than the English have done since Plassey. 
The ' symphonia ' pipe is precisely one of the things that would 
pass word and thing from one to another in this stratum of 
society." 1 Further, in considering the appearance of Greek 
instruments in a Babylonian orchestra in the early part of the 
sixth century B.C., there is yet another factor in the case which 
must tell for much, viz. the character and tastes of the reigning 
monarch. Nebuchadnezzar, as we have seen, was devoted heart 
and soul to Babylon : no other place was so dear to him. But 
at the same time he was an imperialist. He meant his Babylon 
to be the centre of a world-empire, and he delights to impress 

1 The Book of Daniel from a Christian Standpoint, p. 210. 


upon us bow wide that empire was. In his account of the comple- 
tion of the temple-tower of Babylon he tells us in a lofty poetic 
strain of the great distances from which his workpeople have 
been gathered. So, too, on the grand occasion described in 
Dan. iii., in the royal proclamation made by his herald he 
addresses i- the peoples, nations, and languages," and gives a 
grandiloquent description of the state orchestra as composed of 
" cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all hinds 
of music " ; a description which, suitably to the pompous spirit of 
the age, is repeated no fewer than four times in the course of the 
chapter. The proclamation, if not drawn up by the king, is at 
any rate in accordance with his wishes, for it displays his power. 
He who can gather his subjects together to do his work from all 
quarters far and near, can also very easily collect into his orchestra 
all kinds of music, and if some of the instruments are Greek and 
bear Greek names, why, so much the better, and let the fact be 
duly published. The music of Greece must be laid under contri- 
bution to perfect the royal band, just as the art of Greece ha3 
been enlisted in the decoration of the royal palace. 

If these Greek instruments in his band were thus welcome to 
Nebuchadnezzar as a sign of his boundless resources, it is quite 
possible that for an entirely different reason their names were 
not unwelcome to the prophet Daniel, when in his old age he wrote 
this Book. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom had then passed away, 
and the second kingdom was already running its course. The 
third would most certainly follow in due time. Greek instrumtijts 
of music had reached Babylon even in Nebuchadnezzar's days. 
Presently Greece would be there herself. The he-goat flying from 
the west would presently run upon the Persian ram in the fury 
of his power. With the coming of the brazen kingdom, " brazen 
men from the sea " would make their way to the furthest East. 
Where Grecian Art and Architecture were already present, Grecian 
Arms would follow. The wealth of the Silver Kingdom would 
be powerless to resist their advance. The fourth king might be 
far richer than all his predecessors, and by his riches he might stir 
up all against the realm of Greece ; l but that tremendous effort 
would collapse : Greece would not go under, but would in her turn 
overwhelm Persia. Then Michael, Israel's all-powerful champion, 
who was now contending with the " Prince of Persia," would go 
forth to do battle with the " Prince of Greece." 2 But these later 
details had, perhaps, not yet been shown to the seer : they con- 
stitute a part of his latest vision. Still it was enough for him to 

1 Dan. si. 2. * Ibid. x. 20, sii. 1. 



know as he wrote down the Greek names of those three musical 
instruments that Persia, then supreme, was destined presently 
to give place to Greece. 

Beside the Persian and Greek words at which we have been 
looking, it is deserving of notice that the Book of Daniel contains 
several Assyro-Babylonian words, such as might be expected in 
a book written at or near Babylon in the latter half of the sixth 
century B.C. Further, all the proper names in this Book are 
found in the Assyro-Babylonian or admit of a derivation from that 
source, the Hebrew names only excepted : a feature which hardly 
agrees with the hypothesis that it was written in the age of 
Antiochus Epiphanes. These Assyro-Babylonian words as well 
as the Persian and Greek words will be found discussed in the 
appendices to this chapter. 

But the linguistio argument as to the date of the Book of 
Daniel and the region in which it was composed can be carried 
yet further by a close comparison of the foreign elements found 
in it with those found in other Aramaic documents whose age is 
approximately known. This has been very ably done by Prof. 
E. D. Wilson in his article on " The Aramaic of Daniel," in which 
he sums up thus 

" The Zakir inscription of 850 B.C. 1 has no foreign elements, 
except perhaps Hebrew. The Sendsherli inscriptions of the latter 
part of the eighth century B.C. 2 have Assyrian ingredients. The 
Egypto-Aramaic of the fifth century B.C. has Persian, Babylonian, 
Hebrew, and Egyptian terms, and perhaps one Latin and three 
Greek words. The Nabatean 3 has Arabic in large measure, one 
Babylonian, and a few Greek ones. The Palmyrene 4 has Greek 
predominantly, some Arabic, and two Sassanian or late Persian 
words. The Targum of Onkelos 5 has mainly Greek words, five 
Persian words, and some Hebrew and Babylonian elements. The 
Targum of Jonathan 5 has yet more Greek nouns and three verba 
likewise, Aramaic in form, derived from Greek nouns, at least 
one Latin word, apparently no Persian words, and only one Baby- 
lonian word or form, except such as are found in the Scriptures, 

1 See the Expositor for June, 1908. 

a Found near the Syrian Antioch. They are of the age of Tiglathpileser 
III., 745-729 B.C. See E. G. H. Kraeling's Aram and Israel. 

3 Of the Nabatean inscriptions the dated ones range from 70 B.C. to A.D. 95. 

4 The inscriptions of Palmyra belong to the first three centuries of tha 
Christian era. 

6 The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan in their present form are said 
to belong to the fourth century A.D. 


and a considerable number of Hebrew words. The Syriao 1 
(Edessene) has hundreds of Greek words, a considerable number 
of which are verbalised ; a little Sanskrit, and in later works 
many Arabic nouns, especially names of persons and places. In 
New Syriac the foreign elements are predominantly Turkish, 
Arabic, and Kurdish loan-words. 

" Therefore it being thus apparent that on the basis of foreign 
elements inbedded in Aramaic dialects, it is possible for the scholar 
to fix approximately the time and the locality in which the different 
dialects were spoken ; all the more when, as has been shown in 
the case of Daniel, such a date and locality are required by the 
vocabulary of the pure Aramaic substratum and favoured, or at 
least permitted, by its grammatical forms and structure, we are 
abundantly justified in concluding that the dialect of Daniel, 
containing as it does so many Persian, Hebrew, and Babylonian 
elements, and so few Greek words, with not one Egyptian, Latin, 
or Arabic word, and being so nearly allied in grammatical form and 
structure to the older Aramaic dialects and in its conglomerate 
vocabulary to the dialects of Ezra and Egypto-Aramaic, must have 
been used at or near Babylon at a time not long after the founding 
of the Persian empire." 2 

To conclude, then, we may say that viewed from the linguistic 
standpoint there is no Book of the Old Testament which bears 
more clearly the stamp of its age than this Book of Daniel ; no 
Book which indicates more clearly the region in which it was 
written as well as the personality of its writer. This is the Book 
of a pious Jew writing in a foreign land. The nationality of its 
author, his high social position, his daily surroundings and frequent 
intercourse with foreigners, his close contact first with the proud 
Babylonian monarch and later with the Medo-Persian ruler 
all are in perfect harmony with the linguistic features of his work ; 
are reflected, so to say, in his choice of the Aramaic, no less than 
in the Babylonian, Persian, and Greek words which appear on his 
pages. By force of circumstances and through the wider outlook 
of his heaven-sent visions he is cosmopolitan. But his heart 
is ever turning towards his native Zion, the home of his youth ; 

1 Syriac literature, starting with the Peshitto version of the Scriptures, 
ranges from the second century onwards. It was at its best from the fourth 
to the eighth century, but kept up a flickering existence till the fourteenth 
century or even later. See Encyc. Brit, under " Syriac." 

1 See Wilson's article, " The Aramaic of Daniel," given in Biblical and 
Theological Studies, p. :>04. 


the windows of his prayer-chamber are ever open towards 
Jerusalem ; and his petition is ever ascending in behalf of that 
sacred city and " the holy mountain " of his God. 

Appendix on the Foreign Woeds in the Book of Daniel 

1 . The Old Persian Words 

Old Persian, of which some twenty or more words are found 
in the Book of Daniel, belongs to the Aryan or Indo-European 
family of languages. The young student, who, unacquainted with 
the facts of philology, attacks it for the first time, is amused and 
lured on by finding words, as well as case and tense endings, which 
remind him of Greek and Latin, nay, even of his native English. 
He learns to his astonishment that naman is the Old Persian for 
" name," that pathi means a " road," garb, " to seize," " grip," 
bar, " to bear," bu, " to be," sta, " to stand " ; that antar repre- 
sents the Latin inter, and apa the Greek airb ; that " father " 
appears as pitar, " mother " as matar, and so forth ; and resolves, 
maybe, to devote himself henceforth to the bewitching science 
of languages. Or, again, the effect on him may be somewhat 
different. It may seem to him that he is studying a mongrel 
language, and that Esperanto is no modern invention after all, 
but was discovered by the ancient Persians, long, long ago, as a 
channel by which they could make themselves intelligible to the 
nations of Europe. Then, indeed, he will be ready to say with 
Solomon, " The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be . . . 
and there is no new thing under the sun." l 

The literature of the Old Persian is very limited. It consists 
of the inscriptions of the Akhemenian kings, Darius Hystaspes 
and some of his successors, which are found written in the Persian 
cuneiform at Behistun, Hamadan, Persepolis, and Suez, along with 
an inscription of one line of Cyrus the Great on a monolith at 
Pasargadae, and one or two brief inscriptions on vases and seals. 
These, with the exception of the inscription of Darius Hystaspes 
at Behistun and that on the tomb of the same monarch at Naksh- 
i-Eustam, are short and offer but little scope, the same phrases 
occurring again and again. 

It was not until many attempts had been made, extending over 
well-nigh half a century the most successful being that of Grote- 
fend that the values of the forty characters employed in the 
Persian cuneiform were correctly ascertained, thanks, chiefly, 

1 Eccles. i. 9. 


to the proper names which occurred in the inscriptions. 1 In 
1844 the Norwegian scholar Lassen was able to read the short 
inscriptions found at Persepolis and the considerably longer one 
on the tomb of Darius. Only two years later the great inscription 
on the rock of Behistun was successfully read by Eawlinson. Even 
though the values of the different characters had been correctly 
ascertained so as to secure an accurate transliteration of the Old 
Persian words, Eawlinson's great feat of translating the inscription 
would have been an impossibility but for the good work begun 
by Anquetil Duperron some seventy years previously but much 
improved by Burnouf only a short time before, whereby the 
language of the ancient sacred books of the Parsis known as the 
Zend-Avesta was made known to Europe. The Parsis of 
Bombay, as their name shows, came originally from Persia. Hence 
their ancient sacred language called sometimes Zend, some- 
times Avestan is very closely related to the Old Persian. It 
was by means, then, of the Zend that Eawlinson was able to 
translate by far the longest of the Old Persian inscriptions, viz. 
that written by Darius on the rock of Behistun about 500 B.C. 
Next to the Zend the Sanskrit, or ancient literary language of 
India, throws most light on the Old Persian. Accordingly, in 
seeking to ascertain the correct meanings of the Persian words 
contained in the Book of Daniel, scholars, after noting the tradi- 
tional meanings affixed to these words by the Septuagint and other 
old versions, have recourse to these two ancient languages, the 
Zend and the Sanskrit, in order to test the accuracy of these 

The following is a list of the Old Persian words in the Book of 
Daniel, together with some account of their composition and 
equivalents in the cognate languages and their derivatives 2 : 

ovojp-ia, partemim ; E.V. " nobles," Dan. i. 3, LXX ol tTriXtKTot, 
Theod. (popOofifxelv, Jerome tyranni, Est. i. 3, vi. 9, LXX 'ivSo^oi, 
Jerome in Est. i. 3, inclyti, in vi. 9, tyranni. Z fratama, Skt. 
prathama ; superlative of pra, " before." Cf. Gr. Trpwrog, Lat. 
primus, Eng. first. The comparative of this word occurs in the title 
f rater a-Ua found in the Elephantine letter, 

32-ns, path-bag ; E.V. " meat," E.V.M. " dainties," Dan. i. 5, 
8, 13, 15, 16, and xi. 26, LXX rp&irsZa, Seittvov. From OP 
2)ati-bajiy ; cf. Skt. prati-bhaga, " an offering-to " a ruler, used 
of a share of small articles paid daily to the Eajah for household 

1 See Booth's Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform 

* OP=01d Persian, MP=Middle Persian, NP=New Persian, Z=Zend, 
Skt. = Sanskrit, AS= Anglo-Saxon. 


expenditure. Composed of the OP atiy, " to," Z paiti, Skt. prati, 
Gr. ttoti, and the OP bajiy, "tribute"; cf. Z baglia, "portion," 
Skt. bhaj, " to allot." In a fragment of Dinon's Persica, circa 
340 B.C., this word is found transliterated into Greek as 7ror//3atc, 
and is denned as a meal of barley and wheaten cakes, which the 
Persian king partook of crowned with cypress and drinking wine 
out of an egg-shaped golden cup. See AthensBUS, xi. 503. 1 

Dans, pithgdm ; E.V. " matter," Dan. iii. 16, LXX brvrayri, 
Theod. pnfxa, E.V. " sentence," Dan. iv. 17 (14), Theod. 6 \6yog, 

Est. i. 20, LXX vofiog, Ezra iv. 17, LXX ypapparia, V. 7 pi'ifxacrtQ, 

11 pr\pa, Eccles. viii. 11 avripprtaig. From OP pati-gama, 
" something going to," hence " sentence," " reply," and in a 
weakened sense, " matter " ; cf. Z paiti-jam, Skt. prati-gam, " to 
go towards." Composed of OP patiy, " to," and gam, " to go " ; 
cf. Z and Skt. gam, Lat. venio (for guemio ?), Goth, quam, Germ. 
hommen, Eng. come. Cf. MP petgam, NP paigam, payam, 
" message." 

Nim, ozdd; E.V. " is gone," E.V.M. " is gone forth," Dan. ii. 
6, 8 ; as if from a Semitic root azad taken as a form of Heb. azal, 
"to go forth." But according to Scheftelowitz an OP and Z 
word, azaiti, " to go." The LXX and Theod. render it airiar-n ; 
Noldeke regards the word as OP=" certain," " sure." Cf. Skt. 
addha, " certainly," " truly." Also cf. Behistiin Inscription, 10, 
azda, " knowledge." In Dan. ii. 5 the lit. rendering is " the word 
from me is sure," i.e. " what I say will certainly be carried out." 

Pt?"?n, hadddmin, " pieces," lit. " limbs." E.V. " ye shall be 
cut in pieces " ; lit. " ye shall be made limbs," Dan. ii. 5, iii. 29 ; 
LXX StapeXiadfotrai in iii. 29 (96). Cf. Z handama, NP andam, 
" limb." Possibly from a Semitic root ; cf. Arabic hadama, " to 

n^pp, nebhizbdh ; E.V. "rewards," Dan. ii. 6, v. 17, Theod. 
Siopta. In ii. 6 for " gifts and rewards " the LXX has Sojunra 
iravToia. From OP ni-baz, " to give," " allot." Composed of 
prefix ni, " down," "into," and baz connected with baji, " tribute " ; 
see under path-bag above. The final syllable ball has not yet been 

rn, ddih ; E.V. " law," Dan. ii. 9, vi. 5 (6), etc., LXX and Theod. 
$6ypa, vo/uloq. Occurs also Deut. xxxiii. 2, Ezra viii. 36, and fre- 
quently in Esther. OP data, " law," Behist. 8, Pass. ptcp. from 
dd, " to place," " make." Cf. Skt. dha, da-dhami, Gr. Ti-Bript, 
Goth, domjan, AS deman, Eng. doom. 

-nn?, dethdbhdr; E.V. " counsellors," Dan. iii. 2, 3, or rather 

1 In Babylonian business documents of the reign of Artaxerxes I. mention 
is made of an official called (ameiu) pilipabaga. 


" justices " ; lit. " law- bearers," those who put the law into execu- 
tion. The word has been found in Babylonian inscriptions from 
Nippur of the time of Artaxerxes I., 465-425 B.C. From data, 
" law," and OP bar, " to bear," Skt. bhr, Z bar, Gr. $ip<o, L&t.fero, 
Goth, bairan, AS beran, Eng. bear. 

\o\,zeman; R.V. "time," Dan. ii. 16, iii. 7, vii. 12, etc., 
" season," ii. 21. Occurs also Neh. ii. 6, Est. ix. 27, 31, Ecoles. 
iii. 1. From OP zarvan, " time," " age " ; cf. Syr. zebhan found in 
Palmyrene, and Arabic zamanoun. 

n, rdz ; R.V. "secret," Dan. ii. 18, etc., iv. 9 (6), LXX and 
Theod. fxvarnpiov, Skt. rahas, MP raz, NP raz, Syr. araza. 

pjpfttpng, dchashdarpenin, " satraps," Dan. iii. 2, vi. 1, etc., 
Ezra viii. 86, Est. iii. 12, etc., OP khshdtrd-pdwan, " protector of 
the kingdom." From khshdtrd, " kingdom," and pd, " to protect." 
Cf. Z and Skt. pa, Lat. pa-vi, pa-soor, Gr. oaTpairw, and on inscrip- 
tions from Asia Minor, i^aiBpairnq, k^aTparrrfg. 

pi|T!frs ddargdzerin ; R.V. "judges," Dan. iii. 2, 3. According 
to Marti, OP handarza or handurzi-kara, " making counsel," i.e. 
counsellors. Better perhaps with Scheftelowitz, " making firm 
regulations," i.e. rulers. Cf. Z han-darez, " to bind together " 
(where ham, before a dental han, answers to Gr. ap.a, " together," 
and darez=" to bind "), suggestive of the bond of law. With 
OP and Z kar, " to make," cf. Lat. cre-o. 

pzru, geddbherin ; R.V. " treasurers," Dan. iii. 2, 3, LXX 
SioiKJirag, supposed to be a parallel form of T2TI, Ezra i. 8, vii. 21. 
From OP ganja-bdra, Babyl. ganzabdru, " treasure-bearer " ; cf. 
Skt. ganja, " treasure," ganjavdra, "treasurer." From OP ganja 
comes Gr. ya%a. 

W&, tiphtaye; R.V. "sheriffs," Dan. iii. 2, 3, LXX 
and Theod. tovl; iw Itjovomv. A word of uncertain meaning ; 
found also in Egyptian Aramaic. Behrmann compares the Skt. 
adhi-pati, " over-lord " ; Scheftelowitz, the Z vith-pati, " head 
of clan." The rendering of the Greek versions agrees well with 
either of these. 

rn3, kdrbz ; R.V. " herald," Dan. iii. 4. Formerly referred to the 
Gr. icrjpvS,, by which it is rendered in the LXX and Theod. ; but 
better from Skt. krus, " to call out." Cf. Z khrus, whence khresio, 
" herald." This root is widely spread in the Indo-Germanic 
languages ; cf. Gr. Kpa^oj, Kpavyr'i, Lat. garrio, Eng. shriek. It 
appears to have early found its way into the Aramaic. On a 
seal in the shape of a scarabaeus, given in Corp. Inscript. Semit., 
part ii. vol. i. No. 86, is depicted a crier with the inscription kdrbz. 

}I, zan ; R.V. " kind," Dan. iii. 5, etc., 2 Chr. xvi. 14, Ps. cxliv. 
13. Possibly a Semitic word, but according to some authorities of 


Aryan origin. Scheftelowitz compares OP zona, " kind," Skt. 
jana, " race," " kind," Lat. genus, Gr. yivog, by which it is rendered 
both in the LXX and Theodotion in verse 5. 

I^D, sarbdlin ; E.V. " hosen," Dan. hi. 21 , 27. In dealing with 
this word it will be best for us to consider together the three words 
denoting articles of dress which occur in Dan. hi. 21, giving especial 
attention to the renderings of the ancient Greek versions, and no 
less to the equivalents in the cognate languages, that so we may 
seek to attach to each its proper meaning. The order, then, of 
the words in verse 21 runs thus 

















Whilst in verse 27 we have 

Aramaic sarbdlin LXX and Theod. aapdfiapa 

A glance at the above shows us at once that in verse 21 oapdfiapa 
has fallen out of the LXX text. 

To ascertain the meaning of these three words let us take the 
last first, as being that on which the least doubt rests. Karbeldih 
is undoubtedly the Assyrian karbattatu, " helmet," " cap " ; a word 
found on Babylonian contract tablets of the reign of Nabonidus 
and also in the Babylonian version of the inscription on the tomb 
of Darius Hystaspes at Nakhsh-i-Eustem. Darius, enumerating 
thereon the different races subject to his sway, mentions three 
tribes of Scythians, one of which he describes as Saka tigra-khauda, 
i.e. " Scythians with peaked caps," like the comical figure described 
as " Skunka the Scythian," the last of the string of captives 
depicted on the bas-relief at Behistun, who wears a cap like a 
fool's cap. Tigra, " sharp," l " pointed," is the same word which 
appears in the river-name Tigris, the " swift-darting " stream ; 
whilst khauda is rendered in the Babylonian version by karballatu, 
" cap." In its Greek form this word appears as Kvp$ania, " a 
Persian bonnet or cap " so Liddell and Scott which according 
to Herodotus was called the " tiara," 2 and is so rendered here 
by the LXX and Theodotion, the latter of whom changes the order 
of the words, putting the third word second. 

The second word, padhdheshin, is a word about which very 

1 According to Sayce tigra in Old Persian signifies an " arrow." Higher 
Criticism, p. 196. 

2 Book vii. 61. 


little is known. It appears in the Syriac Peshitto in the sense of 
" tunic," " trousers," " gaiters." The LXX render it by vTroSi'inara, 
" sandals," " shoes " ; Theodotion by 7rt/otievijjui&e, " trousers," 
" leggings." It therefore refers to the lower part of the body, 
and represents either the Persian trousers mentioned by Hero- 
dotus, 1 or, possibly, the long linen tunic worn next the body by 
the Babylonians, which Herodotus describes as " reaching to the 
feet." 2 

Karbildth, then, refers to head-gear, and padhdheshin to some 
covering for the legs or feet. Hence the probability is that the 
remaining word sarbdlin signifies some clothing for the body. 
Also verse 27, coupled with the mention of their " garments," 
apparently inner garments, in verse 21, is suggestive of some loose 
outer clothing, such as would be especially liable to catch the 
flame. Now, the Aramaic sarbdlin is evidently a Persian loan- 
word, as may be gathered from its Greek form, crapajdapa, seeing 
that an Old Persian r sometimes takes the place of an Aramaic I 
and vice versa. 3 ^apafiapa would thus represent more closely the 
original word ; and this, regarded as a compound made up of sar, 
" head," and bar, " to bear," would denote " head-gear," " head- 
covering," or still more literally, " what the head bears." In 
Persia the peasants, like the mill hands in the north of England, 
often place their shawls or mantles over their heads for protection 
from the weather : hence this word appears to denote a " mantle," 
a sense in which it is often used in the Talmud, and which also 
attaches to the Arabic sirbal derived from it. If it be objected 
that Daniel in chap. iii. is writing about Babylonian times, not 
about Persian, and that the heroes of the story are neither Baby- 
lonians nor Persians but Jews, the answer is twofold : first, he is 
writing his book in the early Persian period with a Persian atmo- 
sphere all around him ; secondly, the Babylonian dress to some 
extent resembled that of the Persians, whilst the Jewish dress 
appears to have been the same as that of the Babylonians. The 
Babylonians according to Herodotus wore turbans on their heads : 
on their bodies tunics both upper and under, and also short cloaks. 
They did not, however, wear trousers, since the under tunic 
reached to the feet. Their shoes, according to the old historian, 
were of a peculiar fashion, not unlike those worn by the Boeotians. 
The Persians also wore shoes, as may be gathered from the bas- 
reliefs at Behistun and Persepolis. The similarity of the Jewish 
dress to the Babylonian can be seen on the Black Obelisk, where 

1 Books i. 71, vii. 61. 3 Book i. 195. 

8 Cf. Babirueh, the OP form of the Aramaic Bahhel, " Babylon." 


the soft caps, short cloaks thrown back over the shoulders, long 
tunics, and shoes of the Jewish tribute-bearers are all plainly- 
discernible. It would thus seem that the rendering of the A.V. 
" coats," " hosen," " hats " is to be preferred to that of the E.V. 
" hosen," " tunics," " mantles," though perhaps it would be 
better still to render " cloaks," " sandals," " turbans," substituting 
in the margin " tunics " as an alternative for " cloaks," and 
" trousers " in the place of " sandals." 

DWD, hadddbherin; E.V. " counsellors," Dan. iii. 24, 27, iv. 36 
(88), VI. 7 (8), LXX <pi\oi, Theod. /mzyiaravtg, cvvaoTut. 
This is a Persian word as witnessed by the syllable bar, bhar. 
Compare ddthdbhar, gizbar above. Its meaning is uncertain. 
Scheftelowitz, on the ground that an Aramaic d represents a 
Persian z, derives this word from the Persian h-n-z-b-r. H-n-z 
in MP, NP hanj, " purpose," " plan." As the term " counsellors " 
is used in chap. iii. 2, 3, to translate the Persian word dethdbherin, 
Driver's rendering, " ministers," is to be preferred here. 

KR^n^, nebhrashtd' ; E.V. " candlestick," Dan. v. 5, LXX <pwg, 
Theod. Xa/nirac Prom the OP bhraj, " to shine," whence bhrastra, 
" light." Compare Z baraz, Skt. bhraj. The Gr. <p\iyw and Lat. 
fidgeo come from this root. In the compound verb the prefix 
ni MP ne has in OP the force of " down " or " into." In some 
cases it is intensive ; in others it leaves the meaning unaltered. 

TPPD, hamnik; E.V. "chain," Dan. v. 7, 16, 29. The more 
correct form of this word, fcoa^Dn, h-m-y-n-k, is given in the Masso- 
retic text. Compare the MP hamydnak, " girdle," a diminutive 
from hamydn, which has the same meaning in NP. In the Targums 
it appears as menik see Onkelos, Gen. xli. 42 in the Syriac as 
hamnik and hemnik, and in Greek as pa via ki?c, by which it is 
here rendered in the LXX and Theodotion. According to Bevan 
it has the meaning " necklace " in the later Jewish Aramaic. 

pp-io, sorekin ; E.V. " presidents," Dan. vi. 2 (3), etc., LXX 
qyovpiivoi, Theod. raKriKol. Prom the OP saraka, apparently 
a diminutive from OP sar, " head." See above under sarbdlin. 
In the Targums it has the meanings " officers," " overseers " ; 
see Onkelos, Exod. v. 6, 10. 

njia, nidneh; E.V. " body," Dan. vii. 15. Cf. 1 Chr. xxi. 27. 
Theod. tgig, lit. a " receptacle," " sheath," as in the margin. 
Prom ni, " down " see above under nebhrashtd and da, " to 
place," referred to under ddth above. The Skt. nidhana has the 
same meaning. Cf. also Z nidana, MP nidan, " sheath." 

1!IX, a'p'peden; E.V. "palace," Dan. xi. 45; omitted by the 
LXX and transliterated by Theodotion 'E^aSavw : and so the 
Vulgate Ajpadno, as though it were the name of a place. But the 


word is really Old Persian, and is met with in an inscription of 
Artaxerxes Mnemon (405-359 B.C.) found at Susa, 1 in which the 
king says, " This dpaddna Darius my ancestor made." As proved 
by the ruins at Susa dpaddna denotes, first, the pillared palace- 
hall of the Persian king ; 2 then, in warfare, the royal headquarters, 
as in Dan. xi. 45, " the tents of his palace." In the Aramaic of the 
Targum on Jer. xliii. 10, it is used, as Driver points out, of the 
" royal pavilion " which Nebuchadnezzar was to V spread " at 
Tahpanhes in Egypt. 

2. The Assyro-Babylonian Words 

Besides the Old Persian words at which we have been looking 
it is worthy of notice that the Book of Daniel contains several 
Assyro-Babylonian words such as we should expect to find in a 
book written at or near Babylon in the latter half of the sixth 
century B.C. Such are the common nouns dshaph, " enchanter," 
chap. ii. 10, Assyrian ashipu ; attun, " furnace," iii. 6, Ass. atunu ; 
birah, " castle," viii. 2, Ass. birtu; ziv, " brightness," ii. 31, Ass. 
zimu; karbeld, " mantle," or rather " hat," iii. 21, Ass. karballatu, 
Gr. KvpfHaaig, " helmet," cf. Herod, vii. 64 ; kethal, " wall," v. 5, 
Ass. kutallu ; melek, "counsel," iv. 27 (24), Ass. milku ; ' idddn, 
" time," ii. 8, Ass. adannu; pechdh, " governor," iii. 2, Ass. pikhatu; 
pechdr, " potter," ii. 41, Ass. pakhdru ; shegeldlh, " wives," v. 23, 
Ass. shigreti. Note also the verbs kephaih, " to bind," iii. 21, Ass. 
kapdtu; kera\ "to be distressed," Ass. kuru, "distress"; nezaq, 
" to suffer injury," vi. 3, Ass. nazdqu, " to injure " ; nethar, " to 
strip off," iv. 11, Ass. nashdru, "to take away" ; pelach, "to 
reverence," iii. 28, Ass. paldkhu; iseld', " to pray," vi. 11, Ass. 
tsullu ; rechats, "to trust," iii. 28, Ass. rakhdtsuj sheyzib, "to 
deliver," iii. 28, Ass. shuznbu, a loan-word from the Shaphel 
conjugation of the Ass. ezebu. 

No less enlightening is the study of the proper names which 
occur in this Book. Elam, Shushan, Ulai, and Hiddekel have 
already been dealt with in Chapter XX. The others are as 
follows : 

Nebuchadnezzar : a corrupt form of the more correct 
Nebuchadrezzar. It is found used throughout the Aramaic parts 
of the Old Testament. In the Hebrew both forms occur. As an 
instance of the interchange of the letters n and r some authorities 
point to Aram, bar and Heb. feen=" son." C. H. H. Wright also 

1 Tolman's Persian Inscriptions, p. 90. 

2 For an attempted restoration of the dpaddna of Artaxerxes see Maspero'a 
Passing of the Empires, p. 743. 


instances Aram, tereyn, Heb. shenyim, 1 " two." In Babylonian 
the name appears as Nabium-kudurri-utsur, and admits of three 
explanations according to the meaning we affix to kudurru. Thus 
we have a choice of any one of the following : " Nebo protect 
(i) the crown, (ii) the boundary, (hi) the workman." In favour of 
(i), kudurru, Gr. KiSapig, is certainly used of the royal tiara ; 2 whilst 
(ii) is a likely name for a usurper like Nabopolassar to bestow on 
his son. Nebuchadnezzar himself also recognises this duty of a 
king by adopting the descriptive epithet, " he who protects the 
boundaries." 3 In favour of (hi) it can be urged that his father 
Nabopolassar, when rebuilding the temple of Merodach, was 
proud to don the workman's cap kudurru and to work as a 
labourer ; also, that he had an effigy of himself made wearing this 
attire, and caused his two sons to work along with him. 4 

Shinar, Dan. i. 2, Gen. xi. 1, or to transcribe the Hebrew 
characters more exactly, Shinear or Shingar, LXX 'Zevaap. This 
is the Babylonian Shmiger, answering to the Sumerian Simmer, 
the old name of South Babylonia. 

Ashpenaz, Dan. i. 3. Friedrich Delitzsch regards Ashkenaz 
see Gen. x. 3 as the primary form. In Babylonian Ashkenaz 
would be pronounced Ashgenaz ; and since the letters g and p 
are very much alike in the ancient Semitic alphabet, and Josephus 
gives the name as 'Aor^ai^c, it is very probable that Ashkenaz is 
the true reading. Esarhaddon couples the country of Ashguza 
or Ashkenaz with the country of the Manna or Minni, as in Jer. Ii. 
27. The name would thus mean a native of Ashkenaz. 

Belteshazzar, Dan. i. 7. According to Friedrich Delitzsch this 
is an abbreviated name for Bel-baladJisu-utsur, " Bel protect his 
life." Prof. Wilson suggests Bel-lidh-shar-utsur, " Bel protect the 
hostage of the king." Both of these suggestions would agree 
with the statement of Nebuchadnezzar that the name given to 
Daniel contained the name of his god ; whilst the abbreviation 
causes no difficulty, since Babylonian names, because of their 
length, were often thus abbreviated. 

Shadrach, Dan. i. 7. According to Delitzsch =Shudur-Aku, 
" command of Aku," Aku being the old Sumerian name of the 
moon-god Sin, which is sometimes found in Babylonian names, 
e.g. Kidin-Aku, " servant of Aku." 

Meshach, Dan. i. 7. Delitzsch regards this as a hybrid name, 
partly Hebrew, partly Babylonian=Mi-s/ta-^/cw, " who is like 

1 A t in Aramaic answers to an sh in Hebrew. 

* Beitrage zur Assyriologie, i. 636. 

* Inscriptions of Western Asia, v. 55, 5. 

* Schrader's Keilinschrifth'che Bibliothek, iv. 5, col. ii. 59-iii. 18. 


Aku ? " This was the name given to Mishael instead of his Hebrew 
name, Mi-sha-El, " who is like God ? ,: In pure Babylonian the 
name would be Mannu-ki-Aku. The change of mannu-ki into 
mi-shay whether intentional or otherwise, is probably due to the 
correspondence between the two names. 

Abed-nego, Dan. i. 7. A corrupt form of Abdu-Nabu, " servant 
of Nebo " : a name found in a bilingual Assyrio- Aramaic 

Hammeltsar : R.V. " the steward," A.V. Melzar ; Theod. 
'AfitXadd, as if the Babylonian amel-Shadu, " servant of the 
Mountain," i.e. the god Bel ; but according to Delitzsch the Baby- 
lonian matstsaru, " keeper," with the definite article prefixed. 
The LXX identify this person with the Ashpenaz of verse 3, 
and render the name in both cases as 'AfiuaSpl. 

Arioch, Dan. ii. 14, Gen. xiv. 1. This is the Sumerian eri-Aku, 
" the servant of Aku." See Shadrach and Meshach above. 

Dura, Dan. hi. 1. The Babylonian duru, " rampart." Hence 
the LXX reading, " He set it in the Plain of the Bampart." An 
inscription given in Delitzsch's Parodies mentions three places 
bearing this name. Further, a little below Babylon a small river 
called the Dura flows into the Euphrates, and near it are some 
mounds still called the Mounds of Dura. One of these, a huge 
rectangular brick structure, 45 feet square and 20 feet high, Oppert 
thinks may have formed the pedestal of Nebuchadnezzar's colossal 

Belshazzar, Dan. v. l=Bel-shar-utsur, " Bel protect the king." 
The LXX and Theod. confuse this name with Belteshazzar, the 
name given to Daniel, and write both names BaXraadp. Cf. Dan. i. 
7, v. 1. 



REFERENCE has been made in Chapters IV. and V. of this 
work to the Book of Enoch. This is one of those remark- 
able works written in the centuries just before and after 
Christ, and to which so much attention has been drawn of late 
the Jewish Apocalypses. It is the most famous of such works, 
not only on account of its varied contents for it is evidently a 
composite work, written by different authors and at different times 
but more especially for the witness which it bears to the develop- 
ment of Messianic doctrine in the Jewish Church between the close 
of the Old Testament period and the coming of Christ, and also 
from the fact that it was evidently well known to our Lord and 
His apostles and finds an echo in many passages in the Gospels 
and Epistles and above all in the Book of the Revelation, not to 
mention the actual quotation made from it in the Epistle of 
St. Jude.i 

The following description by Dr. Driver gives a very good idea 
of the nature of a Jewish apocalypse 2 : 

" Its mode of representation was artificial. The disclosures 
which were the most characteristic element of apocalyptic prophecy 
were not made by the author in his own person. They were placed 
in the mouth of some pious and famous man of old an Enoch, a 
Moses, a Baruch, an Ezra : from the standpoint of the assumed 
speaker the future was unrolled, usually under symbolic imagery, 
down to the time in which the actual author lived : the heavens 
were thrown open, glimpses were given of the offices and operation 
of the celestial hierarchy : God's final judgment both upon His 
own people and upon the powers opposed to it was described : 
the approaching deliverance of the afflicted Israelites was declared : 
the resurrection and future lot alike of the righteous and of the 
wicked were portrayed in vivid imagery. The seer who is repre- 

1 See Tlie Book of Enoch by It. H. Charles, pp. xcv.-ciii. 

2 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. Ixxviii. 



eented as the author of the book, sometimes beholds these things 
himself in a vision or dream, but often he holds discourse with 
an angel, who either explains to him what he does not fully under- 
stand, or communicates to him the revelations in their entirety. 
Naturally there are variations in detail : the subjects enumerated 
do not appear uniformly with precisely the same prominence ; 
hortatory or didactic matter is also often present as well ; but 
speaking generally some at least of them are present in every 
' apocalypse,' and constitute its most conspicuous and distinctive 
feature. " 

It will be noticed in the above description that attention is 
drawn to the artificial character of the Apocalypses. They are 
not actual prophecies in the sense of foretelling the future, but 
past history put into the form of prophecy ; in order to do which 
the writer takes the name of some Biblical hero in the more or 
less remote past. They thus belong to the Pseudepigrapha 
books with false titles and are often referred to under that name. 
The pseudonymous character of these books and the assumption 
of the names of Biblical worthies, some of them inspired men, is 
opposed to our ideas of literary honesty, and appears the more 
strange to us when we discover that the writers were evidently 
earnest-minded religious men, although influenced in some cases 
by a strong spirit of religious and political partizanship. It is 
plain that we must not judge them by our standards. Neverthe- 
less the matter calls for explanation, and explanations more or 
less satisfactory have been given by those who have studied the 

Dr. Charles, a great authority on the Pseudepigrapha of the 
Old Testament, speaking on the pseudonymity of the author of 
the Book of Enoch, says, " It was simply owing to the evil character 
of the period, in which their lot was cast, that these enthusiasts 
and mystics, exhibiting on occasions the inspiration of the Old 
Testament prophets, were obliged to issue their works under the 
aegis of some ancient name. The Law, which claimed to be the 
highest and final word from God, could tolerate no fresh message 
from God, and so, when men were moved by the Spirit of God 
to make known their visions relating to the past, the present, 
and the future, and to proclaim the higher ethical truths they 
had won, they could not do so openly, but were forced to resort 
to pseudonymous publication." 

Dr. Oesterley, writing on the Apocalyptic literature, says, 
" All the known books belonging to it have false names in their 
titles, for which reason they are called the Pseudepigrapha. How 


are we to account for this apparent fraud on the part of writers 
who were clearly devout and earnest men ? This strange pro- 
cedure, as it appears to us nowadays, may to a large extent be 
explained if we remember that the apocalyptic writers almost 
certainly drew their material from popular tradition. Many of 
the ideas which receive various embodiment in this literature were 
derived doubtlessly from the common stock of the popular con- 
sciousness ; their ascription to or association with the great heroic 
figures of antiquity, like Enoch, Abraham, Isaiah, or the twelve 
Patriarchs, may also be a feature from the popular consciousness. 
The men who reduced the various elements to writing, or utilised 
them for enforcing religious views or lessons, may, on this view, 
be acquitted from any charge of fraud or dishonesty : they 
implicitly trusted the popular tradition so far as to believe that 
the ideas to which they were giving expression realty did go back 
to the heroic figures of old. Their estimate, moreover, of the 
function and importance of authorship probably differed funda- 
mentally from that of the moderns ; it was far less self-conscious, 
and was the natural outcome of a literary modesty which was 

Dr. Samuel Davidson in his article on " Apocalyptic Litera- 
ture " in the Encyclopcedia Britannica remarks, " Its object was 
to encourage and comfort the people by holding forth the speedy 
restoration of the Davidie kingdom of Messiah. Attaching itself 
to the national hope, it proclaimed the impending of a glorious 
future, in which Israel, freed from her enemies, should enjoy a 
peaceful and prosperous life under her long wished for Deliverer. 
The old prophets became the vehicle of these utterances. . . . 
Working upon the basis of well-known writings, imitating their 
style, and artificially reproducing their substance, the authors 
naturally adopted the anonymous (pseudonymous ?)." 

Prof. Burkitt, writing about the false titles of the Pseudepi- 
grapha, as Oesterley points out, makes a very significant remark. 
" There is," he says, " another aspect of pseudonymous author- 
ship, to which I venture to think sufficient attention has not been 
given. It is this, that the names were not chosen out of mere 
caprice : they indicated to a certain extent what subjects would 
be treated and the point of view of the writer." Thus, for instance, 
Enoch, who " walked with God " and was eventually translated, 
is represented in the Similitudes as being carried off by a whirlwind 
during his life to the borders of heaven and seeing all the hidden 
and secret things ; whilst Salathiel, who witnessed the destruction 
of Jerusalem by the arms of Babylon in the days of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, is made to voice forth the perplexing questions which must 


have arisen in the minds of many earnest Jews when their Sacred 
City was a second time destroyed by the Eoman Babylon. It is, 
indeed, a question whether the educated among the Jews were 
imposed upon at all ; while for the masses the title might mean, 
what such and such a holy saint could or would have told us, had 
he been on the earth now. 

The Book of Daniel is claimed by the critics as a Jewish 
apocalypse. " Daniel," writes the Bev. J. B. Cohu, is the typical 
Old Testament apocalypse." " The earliest of such apocalypses," 
writes Dr. Samuel Davidson, " is the canonical book of Daniel." 
Similarly Prof . H. T. Andrews, " Apocalyptic literature begins with 
the Book of Daniel." Dr. Charles speaks of " the pseudonymous 
character of this book." Prof. Driver in his moderate reverential 
strain, after describing the character of the Jewish Apocalypses, 
adds, " It is, of course, not for a moment denied that the Book of 
Daniel is greatly superior to the other apocalypses that have been 
referred to." Despite this consensus of opinion, for which doubtless 
many other authorities could be quoted, I venture to bring forward 
some reasons for thinking that the Book of Daniel is not an 
" apocalypse " in the sense in which the term is technically 
employed. To put the matter more plainly : the Book of Daniel, 
as I shall strive to show, is a genuine apocalypse as regards its 
visions, while the works at which we have been looking are admitted 
by all to be artificial. 

To begin, then, I would observe that the Jewish Apocalypses 
are invariably plainly linked on to the Old Testament. Thus in 
the Book of Enoch we have that saint's descent from Adam ; in 
the Book of the Secrets of Enoch a description is given of the 
translation of Enoch in his 365th year. The Book of Noah, 
fragments of which are found embedded in the Book of Enoch, 
has much to say of the fall of " the sons of God," makes mention 
of Noah's blameless life, his building the ark, and so forth. In 
the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs the connecting links 
with the Old Testament story are frequent. Thus Beuben refers 
to his act of incest ; Simeon to his being bound as a spy ; Judah 
to the reason why he was so called by his mother ; and Naphtali 
to the blessing bestowed on that tribe by Jacob. The Assumption 
of Moses begins with Moses' charge to Joshua ; the Ascension of 
Isaiah, with relating how Hezekiah called his son Manasseh into 
the presence of Isaiah, and how Isaiah made known to the king 
his son's future apostasy. The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch 
professes to have been received by Baruch the son of Neriah in 
the twenty-fifth year of Jeconiah king of Judah, and tells how 
he was charged by God with a message to Jeremiah to leave the 



doomed city. In the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch that saint 
appears on the bank of a river, weeping over the captivity of 
Jerusalem and sorrowing that Nebuchadnezzar was permitted by 
God to destroy the Sacred City. In the Apocalypse of Salathiel, 
embedded in IV. Ezra, the link is supplied thus : " In the thirtieth 
year after the downfall of the City " i.e. Jerusalem " I Salathiel 
(who am also Ezra) x was in Babylon." Salathiel, i.e. " Shealtiel," 
according to legal descent was in the royal line of the kings of 
Judah, 2 and was accounted the son of Jehoiachin and legal father 
of his nephew Zerubbabel, 3 the " governor of Judah," who was 
presently to lead back the captives from Babylon to Jerusalem. 4 
He would therefore be looked upon as the head of the Jewish 
community at Babylon, and all the more so seeing that his pre- 
decessor, " Jeconiah the Captive," 5 was not only in durance but 
was under the ban of heaven. 6 Accordingly the writer of the 
apocalypse, who adopts the role of Salathiel the " father "' of 
Zerubbabel a name which signifies " begotten at Babylon " 
represents himself as living at Babylon in the thirtieth year after 
the fall of Jerusalem and as being the person to whom the supposed 
revelations were made. 

In all the Jewish Apocalypses, then, we find plain unmistak- 
able links with the Old Testament records of the worthies whose 
names appear in their titles, links of a simple, circumstantial 
character, by which these works appear as joined on to the Old 
Testament, albeit they are undoubtedly the product of a much 
later age. But when we come to the Book of Daniel, and regarding 
it for the time being as an apocalypse of the second century B.C., 
ask for the Old Testament worthy after whose name it is called 
and for the connecting link, we are pointed to two passages in 
the Book of Ezekiel concerning a certain saint and sage, apparently 
of the olden time, about whom no circumstantial, historical facts 
are known, mention being only made of his extraordinary power 
with God as an intercessor and of his well-nigh superhuman 
wisdom. 7 Now, it is quite true that the Book of Daniel admirably 
illustrates both the power with God and the wisdom of Ezekiel's 
Daniel, but it contains no actual reference to those passages 
in Ezekiel. For instance, in Dan. ii., where the writer tells 
how Daniel by his prayers found out the king's forgotten dream 

1 An interpolation. 2 1 Chr. iii. 17 ; Matt. i. 12. 

3 Ezra iii. 2, v. 2 ; Neh. xii. 1. * Hag. i. 1 ; Ezra ii. 1, 2. 

5 1 Chr. iii. 17, R.V. 6 Jer. xxii. 28-30. 

7 " Our author got the name of his prophet from Ezekiel, who makes 
mention of a certain Daniel as having been especially pious and wise." 
Cornill's Introduction to the Canonical Books of the Old Testament, p. 389. 


and saved the lives of the wise men of Babylon, how easy it 
would have been for him to have introduced some mention of 
Noah and Job, and thus to have linked up the Daniel whose name 
he placed in the title of his book with the Daniel mentioned by 
Ezekiel ! The fact that he has not done so, distinguishes his work 
from the other apocalypses. Perhaps, however, it will be said 
that the missing link connecting the Daniel of the Book of Daniel 
with the Daniel of Ezekiel is to bo found in the fact that Ezekiel 
lived in Babylonia in the age of Nebuchadnezzar and that the saint 
and hero of the Book of Daniel belongs to the same country and 
the same age. This is true enough as regards Ezekiel ; but if 
we look upon the Book of Daniel as an Old Testament apocalypse, 
it will no longer hold good of the Daniel mentioned by Ezekiel, 
who, by his being classed with Noah and Job, appears rather as 
a saint of the remote past than as a contemporary of Ezekiel. 1 
Thus it still remains a fact that our Book, if treated as an apoca- 
lypse, is unlike the other apocalypses in that it lacks any 'plain 
connecting link with the Scriptures of the Old Testament. 

But the above is by no means the only, or even the greatest, 
difference that exists between the Book of Daniel and the Jewish 
Apocalypses. To say nothing of the fact that this Book moves 
upon an essentially higher plane, this at least is evident, that while 
the Apocalypses contain scraps of Old Testament history, we find 
in the Book of Daniel genuine historical facts derived from indepen- 
dent sources, as well as some linguistic features wholly lacking in 
the Apocalypses and altogether most surprising in a Jewish writer 
of the Maccabean age. Placing these facts together, then, we are 
faced with the following remarkable literary phenomenon : A 
pseudonymous writer of the second century B.C. takes two notices 
found in the Book of Ezekiel of an ancient worthy who was famous 
alike for his wisdom and his piety, but of whom nothing else is 
known. Bound this dim figure from the remote past he weaves 
a brilliant romance, illustrative both of the intercessory power of 
Ezekiel's Daniel, and also of his superhuman penetration in dis- 
covering secrets. Incorporated in his romance are found some 
surprising bits of genuine history, facts otherwise known only 
from contemporary cuneiform inscriptions or in one or two 
instances from the pages of profane historians, such as the lowly 
origin of the dynasty of the great Nebuchadnezzar, his personality 
and tastes, his idea of empire, and the generally peaceful character 
of his rule ; the sovereignty of Belshazzar the son of the last king 

1 It is only the established authenticity of the Book of Daniel which allows 
us to identify its hero with the great, but otherwise dim, figure in Ezekiel, and 
to place that figure, not in the long ago past, but in the age of Nebuchadnezzar. 


of Babylon, his death on the night of the capture of his palace, 
and the fact that he was succeeded, not by Cyrus, but by another 
ruler styled " Darius the Mede," who appears to have reigned for 
only part of a year. Stranger still, our author, who is supposed to 
have lived in Judea in the days of the Maccabees, has contrived 
to write his Book in what appears to be an Eastern type of Aramaic, 
and to scatter throughout it some twenty Old Persian words, which 
could hardly have been in use in the Aramaio of his day, though 
they may well be imagined as often on the lips of his hero who was 
prime minister at the court of Persia. These words are not con- 
fined to the historical part of his work, but one or two of them are 
introduced into his visions. For after crediting Nebuchadnezzar 
with two visions remarkably in keeping with that monarch's tone 
of thought as well as with his tastes and proclivities, he goes on 
in the latter part of his Book to give us his own visions, which 
are dated, not like the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch or the 
Apocalypse of Salathiel by any reference to Jerusalem and her 
kings, but by references to the years of the kings who have been 
mentioned in the previous romance, Belshazzar, Darius the Mede, 
and Cyrus ; he also makes mention of a Median Ahasuerus, other- 
wise unknown to history for the Median kings have left no monu- 
mental records and indicates quite incidentally that Shushan 
lay within the kingdom of Babylon, a fact hardly credited till 
confirmed by the Babylonian inscriptions. In all this he displays 
such a wonderful knowledge of ancient history, such an acquaint- 
ance with languages and dialects, and such literary craft and 
resourcefulness as we should hardly expect to find in a Palestinian 
Jew writing in the second century B.C. As we gaze at his master- 
piece we are ready to echo the prophet's words, " Art thou wiser 
than Daniel ? " wiser than the pseudonymous writer of thi3 
remarkable Book ? What are we to say of such superhuman 
wisdom, of such a marvel of literature ? Simply this : that the 
phenomena, which so. utterly baffle us if we regard this Book as 
one of the Pseudepigrapha, are all clear enough if we look upon it 
as a contemporary record, a genuine work of the early Persian 
period. The fact is, that the critics, who cannot believe in miracles, 
have themselves constructed a theory which requires us to believe 
a miracle, inasmuch as their pseudonymous Daniel is seen to be 
as truly endowed with miraculous gifts as our historic Daniel. 

Our comparison of the Book of Daniel with the Jewish 
Apocalypses suggests some causes of deep thankfulness to Him 
whose Providence has watched over this part of His Holy Word 
and furnished in these later days the means whereby His Church 
can withstand the attacks of hostile criticism. We thank Him 


(i) That the writer of this Book was led to incorporate history 
with prophecy in his great work, and to mention several facts 
in Babylonian history otherwise only known to us from the native 
cuneiform records ; 

(ii) That he was brought much into contact with a religiously 
minded albeit heathen king, of marked personality, who loved to 
record his doings and has left us many monuments of his great 
works at Babylon as well as an account of his exploits in the 
Lebanon ; 

(hi) That he wrote at a period when the Aryan-speaking peoples 
were being intermingled with the Semitic races, and that owing 
to this state of things, as well as to his position at the court of 
Persia, he was led to introduce several Old Persian words into 
the Aramaic in which his Book was written, and to represent 
the Babylonian monarch as uttering three Greek words when 
enumerating the " all kinds of music " of which his orchestra 
was composed ; 

(iv) That the two languages in which this Book has come down 
to us part being in Aramaic, part in a Hebrew translation form 
a voucher for the evil days through which it has passed, and help 
us in some measure to account for the signs of interpolation which 
appear in the long record of the eleventh chapter, which belongs 
to one of the Hebrew portions of the Book. 




" It is regarded as a palmary argument against the authenticity of the 
Book of Daniel that the Rabbis of the third and fourth centuries excluded it 
from the ' Prophets ' and relegated it to the Kethubhim. Josephu3 includes 
' Daniel ' among the ' Prophets,' since the four books of the Kethubhim 
described by him cannot fit ' Daniel ' ; moreover he distinctly calls him a 
prophet." The Samaritans, p. 360. By* J. E. N. Thomson, D.D. Being the 
Alexander Robertson Lectures for 1916, delivered before the University of 

THE fact referred to in the above brief extract is one that 
demands the attention of any writer who seeks to estab- 
lish the authenticity of the Book of Daniel. I have 
therefore chosen as the subject of this chapter the position which 
that Book occupies in the Canon of the Old Testament Scriptures. 
The formation of the Canon is a subject about which very little 
is known. As Dr. C. H. H. Wright observes, " There is nothing 
worthy to be regarded as real ' evidence ' concerning the settle- 
ment of the so-called Canon of the Old Testament Scriptures. 
No one can prove when or by what authority the books of the Old 
Testament were arranged into three distinct divisions. It is vain 
to speak of three distinct canons, and to assign a date for the 
closing up of each division. These attempts rest on unhistorical 
conjectures." 1 These most true words were written with regard 
to the argument based by the critics on the position which the Book 
of Daniel occupies in our present Hebrew Bibles, where it stands 
last but two in the last of the three divisions of the Old Testament 
Scriptures, being followed only by Ezra-Nehemiah and the Chro- 
nicles. That position can be very well defended and satisfactory 
reasons can be given for the Book being thus placed. But, as the 
extract at the head of this chapter shows, the present position of 
the Book in the Hebrew Canon is not its original position. We have 

1 Daniel and his Prophecies, p. 50. 


it on the authority of the Jewish priest-historian Josephus one 
who in such a matter could make no mistake that at the close 
of the first century A.D. the Canon of the Old Testament books 
was differently arranged from that at present accepted among the 
Jews ; and it is also evident from the writings of the Early Fathers 
that a change must have been made in the arrangement of the 
Jewish Canon between the middle of the third and the end of the 
fourth century A.D. 

The present Canon of the Old Testament as given in the Hebrew 
Bible is arranged thus 

I. The Law, comprising the five Books of Moses. 

II. The Prophets, divided into two subdivisions : (i) the 
Former Prophets, viz. Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings ; l (ii) the 
Latter Prophets, viz. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of 
the twelve Minor Prophets : in all eight books. 

III. The Kethubhim, or " writings," often called the Hagio- 
grapha or " Holy Writings," which are arranged thus : Psalms, 
Proverbs, Job, Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, 
Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Neherniah, Chronicles : in all eleven books. 
The total number of books is thus 5+8+11=24. Hence they 
are sometimes called " The Twenty- four Writings." The first 
indication of this system of reckoning is found in the Ezra Legend, 
given in the fourteenth chapter of the Apocryphal book 2 Esdras, 
and in that part of the book which Oesterley on the strength of 
the veiled note of time given in chap. iii. 1, " the thirtieth year 
after the ruin of the city," i.e. the Jerusalem of Salathiel refers 
to A.D. 100. Ezra, we are told, being warned of God of his 
approaching end, becomes anxious for future generations. What 
can he do to help them ? Shall he re-write the Law ? God bids 
him make preparations, prepare many tablets, and secure the 
services of five men who can write quickly. Some of the things 
written he is to publish openly, and some are to be delivered in 
secret to the wise. Ezra, after drinking the cup of inspiration, 
undertakes the work with all diligence. At the end of forty days 
94 books are written. Then he is commanded to publish openly 
the first books written, but to keep the last 70 for the wise. 
Whence it appears that the published books were 94 minus 70, 
i.e. 24. Josephus, writing at the same period as the author of 
2 Esdras xiv., gives the number of books as 22, which later 
writers delight to point to as being the number of letters in the 

1 The prophets appear to have been the historians of Old Testament times 
like the monkish chroniclers of the Middle Ages. Cf. 1 Chr. xxix. 29, 2 Chr. 
ix. 29, xii. 15, xxvi. 22. Also some of their utterances are enshrined in the 
historical bookB. 


Hebrew alphabet. 1 This fresh reckoning is explained from the 
list of Old Testament books given us by Origen, in which Kuth is 
joined on to Judges, and Lamentations to Jeremiah. Jerome was 
acquainted with both systems of reckoning. " Some." he tells 
us, " write down Kuth and Lamentations in the Hagiographa " 
apart, that is, from Judges and Jeremiah respectively, which were 
included in the Prophets " and think that they ought to be 
reckoned in its contents " viz. in the Hagiographa " and that 
thus the number of books of the ancient law is twenty-four." 2 

It is very interesting to notice that in the time of Christ the 
threefold division of the books of the Old Testament was already 
in existence, though, as we shall see, the distribution of the books 
between the Prophets and the Hagiographa was not the same then 
as now. Our Saviour after His Eesurrection says to His Apostles, 
" These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet 
with you, how that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are 
written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, 
concerning me." 3 Our Lord here calls the third division " the 
psalms," probably because that Book formed the chief, and very 
likely the first, book in the Hagiographa of those days. But we 
can go back two centuries further and find good evidence that early 
in the second century B.C. a threefold division of the books of the 
Old Testament Scriptures was already in existence. In the Pro- 
logue to the Apocryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus, Jesus the son of 
Sirach, who translated that book from Hebrew into Greek, tells 
us how his grandfather, who bore the same name and was the 
actual author of the work, " when he had much given himself to 
the reading of the Law, and the Prophets, and other books of our 
fathers," was led on to write something himself. Then a little 
further on he speaks again of " the Law itself, and the Prophets, 
and the rest of the books." Now, the younger Jesus at the time 
when he wrote this Prologue was in Egypt, whither he had come, 
so he tells us, in the thirty-eighth year when Euergates was king. 
The monarch meant is Euergates II. The thirty-eighth year of 
his reign was 182 B.C. Hence his grandfather may be presumed 
to have flourished about 180 B.C. Thus we have reliable evidence 
that early in the second century B.C. the books of the Old Testa- 
ment were classed in three divisions : the Law, the Prophets, and 
" the rest of the books." 

The arrangement of the books of the Hagiographa in our 

1 Euseb. Eccles. History, vi. 25. 

2 Jerome, Preface to the Books of Kings. 
a Luke xsiv. 44. 


present Hebrew Bibles, according to Buhl, 1 is only found in 
German manuscripts. The ancient Palestinian Canon, given in 
a Hebrew Bible from Spanish sources dated A.D. 1009, runs thus : 
Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Buth, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, 
Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah. On the other 
hand, the Talmudic order, which seems to have been that of the 
Babylonian Jews, in the succession of the Prophets, places Isaiah 
after Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and arranges the Hagiographa thus : 
Buth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Lamenta- 
tions, Daniel, Esther, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles. In both of the 
above lists it will be noticed that the Book of Daniel is excluded 
from the Prophets and placed near the end of the Hagiographa. 
This has often been urged as a proof of the late date of that Book 
as well as an indication that when the Canon was closed it was 
held in less estimation than the books of the Prophets. As regards 
those who drew up the Palestinian and Babylonian Canons such 
reasoning can easily be refuted, seeing that the Psalms, which 
undoubtedly formed the hymn-book of the second temple and as 
a collection was evidently drawn up for liturgical purposes, is 
placed in the same division. There is, however, no need for any 
such refutation, for it is possible to show from the pages of Josephus 
that the Book of Daniel must originally have been placed in the 

In book x. 2. 2, of his Antiquities, a work written in A.D. 98-94, 
Josephus tells his readers that Isaiah wrote his prophecies in books 
that posterity might judge of their accomplishment from the 
event. After which he adds, " Nor did this prophet do so alone ; 
but the others, which were twelve in number, did the same." The 
books of the Prophets, instead of being only eight in number as 
in the Babylonian and Palestinian Canons, are here said to be 
twelve in number along with the Book of Isaiah, i.e. thirteen in 
all. How is this to be explained ? The answer is supplied by a 
plain statement in the treatise of Josephus against Apion. In 
this work, which is an apology for Judaism, we meet with the 
following passage : " For we [Jews] have not an innumerable 
multitude of books [as the Greeks have], but only twenty-two 
books, which contain all the record of past times, which are justly 
believed to be divine ; and of them, five belong to Moses, which 
contain his laws, and the tradition of the origin of mankind till 
his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand 
years ; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign 
of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets 

1 Canon and Text of the Old Testament, pp. 39, 40. 


who wrote after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times 
in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God 
and precepts for the conduct of human life." l Here the second 
division, viz. that of the Prophets, is said to contain thirteen books 
which agrees with what is stated in the Antiquities while the 
remaining books, which form the Hagiographa, are stated to be 
only four in number and to contain " hymns to God and precepts 
for the conduct of human life." The description thus given points 
to Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles, as the four 
books meant, but in any case cannot fit the Book of Daniel. That 
book therefore, in the time of Josephus must have been placed 
in the Prophets, not in the Hagiographa. Agreeably to this 
conclusion we note that our Lord Jesus Christ, when referring to 
the Book of Daniel, speaks of " Daniel the prophet," while Josephus 
in no measured terms asserts Daniel's prophetic gifts, and declares 
that the revelations made to him mark him out as one of the 
greatest of the prophets. 2 

The earliest Canon of the Old Testament is found in an extract 
from the writings of Melito, bishop of Sardis, circa A.D. 180, pre- 
served to us by Eusebius. 3 Writing to a Christian who wished 
to know the number and order of the books of the Old Testament, 
Melito tells how he had travelled in the country where those books 
were published in order to obtain accurate information, and then 
goes on to give the following list : " Five of Moses : Genesis, 
Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy. Joshua (son) of 
Nun, Judges, Euth, four (books) of Kings, two of Chronicles, 4 
Psalms of David, Proverbs of Solomon also called Wisdom, 
Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job. (Books) of proplieis : Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, the Twelve in one book, 5 Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra." 6 
In the above list the four books of Kings include the two books 
of Samuel, Lamentations is probably included with Jeremiah, and 
Ezra and Nehemiah form one book. It is further noticeable that 
the Hagiographa of Josephus, viz. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, 
and Canticles, along with the poetical book of Job, is here dropped 
in between the Former Prophets i.e. the historical books, to 
which Chronicles is added and the Latter Prophets, i.e. the 
prophets properly so-called, among whom the Book of Daniel holds 
an honoured place. Lastly, observe that Chronicles is the last of 
the historical books and Ezra the last of the prophetical. 

Origen, A.D. 185-254, after stating as a well-known fact that 

1 Josephus c. Apion, book i. 8. a Ant. x. 11. 7. 

* Eccles. History, iv. 26. 

4 Its Greek name, napa\elwofj.eya, means " The Things Omitted." 

6 I.e. the Minor Prophets. 6 I.e. Ezra and Nehemiah. 


the testamentary books of the Hebrews are twenty-two as 
many as the letters of their alphabet gives the following list : 
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 
Judges and Euth in one book, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra 
first and second 1 in one book, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, 
Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah with Lamentations, Daniel, 
Ezekiel, Job, Esther. 2 Though the sum of the books is stated to 
be twenty-two, yet the above list contains only twenty-one, 
whence it is evident that the book of the Twelve Minor Prophets 
has been omitted through a scribal error. In the above list, though 
the threefold division is lost sight of, yet the Book of Daniel still 
maintains its place among the prophets. Also the four books which 
formed the Hagiographa of Josephus still cling together, and 
Esther, absent from Melito's list, is here specifically mentioned. 

Jerome, A.D. 340-420, spent four years in the East, and in 
his later life retired to a monastery at Bethlehem. He obtained 
his information, so he tells us, from a Eabbi, who Nicodemus-like 
came to him by night. Special mention is made by him of the 
threefold division of the books of the Old Testament, which he 
enumerates thus : The Law : Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 
Numbers, Deuteronomy. The Prophets : Joshua, Judges with 
Euth, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve Prophets, 
Ezekiel. The Hagiographa : Job, (psalms) of David, Proverbs of 
Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Daniel, Chronicles, Ezra, 
Esther. 3 Here the four books of the Former Prophets are followed 
by the four books of the Latter Prophets as in our present Hebrew 
Bibles. Also the four books of the original Hagiographa are still 
found together, Job being placed before them, probably on chrono- 
logical grounds 4 and also as being a poetical book. But what 
chiefly strikes us is that Daniel has been removed from the Prophets 
and placed in the Hagiographa. The reason for this change appears 
also to be a chronological one, since this Book is now followed by 
Chronicles a late book Ezra and Esther. Further, the whole 
order of the Canon, if we except the moral and poetical books 
which formed the first Hagiographa, is now seen to be arranged so 
as to suit the three periods in the history of the Chosen People. 
The Law covers the period in which they were being formed into 
a nation and brought to the borders of their promised land ; the 
Prophets, the period of their independence, when they dwelt in 
their own land under their own rulers ; the Hagiographa 
barring the Book of Job and the original four books, which were 

1 I.e. Ezra and Nehemiah. 2 Eccles. History, vi. 25. 

3 Jerome's Preface to the Books of Kings. * Buhl's Canon, p. 40. 


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places Daniel in the last part of his list, under the heading " Pro- 
phets " and just before Ezekiel. In Origen's Canon a century and 
a half later this Book occupies the same position with regard to 
Ezekiel. Thus for two centuries and more we have good evidence 
of the honourable position occupied by the Book of Daniel in the 
Old Testament Canon. Is it not, then, time that the critics should 
cease to point out to us that " Daniel " stands last but two in the 
Hebrew Bible ? To quote the able writer whoso words stand at 
the head of this chapter, " The case against ' Daniel ' is peculiarly 
weak ! " 

Closely akin to the subject just dealt with is the question, what 
meaning should be attached to the expression " the books " in 
Dan. ix. 2 ? In the first year of Darius the Mede, who was made 
king over the realm of the Chaldeans, Daniel tells us that he 
" understood by," or " in the books, the number of the years, 
whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, 
for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy 
years." Commenting on this passage Charles writes, " The books 
here are the sacred books, i.e. the Scriptures. The phrase implies 
the formation of a definite collection of Old Testament books." l 
In like manner Driver, laying due stress on the definite article, 
overlooked in the Authorised Version observes that " ' the 
books ' can only be naturally understood as implying that, at 
the time when the passage was written, some definite collection 
of sacred writings already existed." 2 My answer to these com- 
ments is, that in endeavouring to ascertain the reference which 
underlies this expression " the books," it is better to take an equally 
common meaning of the word and one in perfect harmony with the 
context, in preference to a meaning which, though it may suit 
the supposed late date of the Book of Daniel, occurs nowhere else 
in the Old Testament. 

The Hebrew word sepher, here met with in the plural and 
translated " books," undoubtedly often has that meaning, and is 
used in the singular, sometimes of inspired writings, such as " the 
book of the covenant," " the book of the law," or again of secular 
works, such as " the book of Jasher," but nowhere of a collection 
oj sacred books. Further, " book " is not the primary meaning 
of the word. According to F. Brown's Hebrew Lexicon sepher is 
a loan-word answering to the Assyrian shipru, which comes from 
the root shapdru, " to send." Hence its primary meaning is " a 
missive " ; then, " a letter " from some king, prophet, or other 
influential person ; finally " document," " deed," " writing," 

1 Century Bible, Daniel, p. 95. 2 Cambridge Bible, Daniel, p. 127. 


" book." In the Book of Jeremiah, with which the passage in 
Dan. ix. 2 is concerned, sepher is used of law deeds, of a " book " 
or collection of written prophecies, and also of prophetic " mis- 
sives " or " letters." Since there are two prophecies in the Book 
of Jeremiah concerning the seventy years' captivity, the word 
might be translated here " the writings," viz. of that prophet. 
Or, again, since the plural is sometimes used of a single letter 
cf. Isa. xxxvii. 14, also 1 Kings xxi. 8 and 2 Chr. xxxii. 17 in B.V.M. 
the reference may be to the particular " letter " given in 
Jer. xxix. 1-20, which contains one of those prophecies. In any 
case a reference to the weighty utterances of Jeremiah is what we 
should naturally expect here. The Jews at Babylon, as we learn 
from the Book of Jeremiah, formed the better part of the nation, 
and to them the promise of a return to Jerusalem was specially 
made. Cf. Jer. xxiv. with xxix. 1-20. They would, therefore, 
be sure to feel a great respect for the writings of this prophet or 
for any missive received from him. Again, we note that Daniel 
is speaking of the fulfilment of Jeremiah's prophecy as being close 
at hand, and the state of the political world evidently inspires him 
with confidence. The Lord has " stirred up the spirit of the 
kings of the Medes," 1 the long prophecy of Jer. 1. and li. has 
been fulfilled, and it is the first year of a Median monarch on 
the throne of Babylon. Well, then, might the Jewish seer, 
himself a captive at Babylon, understand from the " writings," 
or " letter," of Jeremiah the great event so soon to take place. 
Thus the whole atmosphere of the passage, the writer, the context, 
the subject dealt with, all alike suggest, not any collection of sacred 
books such as might be found in a later age, but the writings of 
the prophet Jeremiah, and it would thus be better to render the 
word " the writings " with a marginal alternative " the letter." 

1 Jer. li. 11. 



" Danielem, qui prophetis non esset adjectus, ne prophetam quidem fuisse 
aliqui putarunt : . . . prophetam vero eum fuisse confirmat Propheta 
maximus." 1 Bengel on Matt. xxiv. 15. 

AN orthodox critic, whose writings on the Old Testament 
are full of interest and expressed with great perspicuity, 
in a letter to a Church newspaper makes the following 
weighty remark : 

" The way in which our Lord Jesus Christ's heart and teaching 
were interpenetrated by the Scriptures of the Old Testament is 
abundantly evident from the Gospels. But the sceptical critics 
of modern Germany, in their discussion of the Old Testament, 
completely ignore the opinions of Christ, as they do also the 
indubitable opinions of the Jews of New Testament times. These 
German critics deliberately leave out of view a whole mass of vital 
evidence bearing on the subject, which sceptics or infidels though 
they may be it is most unscientific for writers, professing to be 
serious historians, to rule out of court and treat as if it had no 
existence." 2 

The above remark is a most true one and very much to the 
point. Those who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ have 
yet no right to ignore His views respecting the Older Scriptures : 
views put forth by One who had made those Scriptures the subject 
of His constant study, and in His interpretation of them showed 
Himself free from all narrow Jewish prejudice ; by One, too, 
allowedly the sublimest moral Teacher the world has ever seen, 
who in His lofty code of morality ever laid the greatest emphasis 
on the truth, and when put on trial for His life before a heathen 
judge uttered those weighty words, " To this end am I come into 

1 In allusion to the place which the Book of Daniel occupies in the present 
Hebrew Bible. 

2 See the letter of the Rev. Andrew Craig Robinson in the Church Family 
Neivspaper for March 24, 1921. 



the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one 
that is of the truth heareth my voice." x Jesus Christ has a right 
to be heard as a great critic of the Old Testament, a critic of lofty 
disinterested purpose, and One, who, in the matter now before us, 
was in one respect more advantageously situated than the critics 
of these later days, seeing that He lived within two centuries of 
the date when they suppose the Book of Daniel to have been 

Now, what is the witness of Christ respecting this Book of 
Daniel, for it is evident from His position as a teacher, His tastes, 
and the time at which He lived, that He must know the truth of 
the matter ; whilst from His lofty morality we are sure that He 
will tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ? 
How does Christ treat this Book, of which the critics form so 
low an estimate, regarding it as a religious romance with a 
pseudonymous title, and its prophetic portion as a Jewish 
apocalypse, a vaticinium post eventum ? The answer is that this 
is the Book which Christ specially delights to honour. To Him 
its title is no pseudonym, but the name of a real person, " Daniel 
the prophet " " the prophet " in the sense of one inspired of 
God to foretell the future, " what shall come to pass hereafter." 
Our Saviour in His own great Advent prophecy Matt. xxiv. 
uttered on the eve of His death, quotes this Book of Daniel no 
less than three times. First, in verse 15, after mentioning Daniel 
by name, he directs His followers to a special passage in his pro- 
phecies, bids them study it intelligently, and assures them that in 
its fulfilment they will find the signal for their departure from 
Jerusalem. 2 The passage in question is Dan. ix. 27, where the 
Septuagint paraphrase reads, " And upon the temple there shall 
be an abomination of desolations," 3 while the original runs thus : 
" And upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh 
desolate." Further, in Dan. xi. 31 and xii. 11, the words occur 
in the original, " The abomination that maketh desolate," so that 
Christ, while pointing to the first of these three passages, viz. that 
in chap. ix. 27, appears at the same time to glance across the 
prophecies of Daniel as a whole, and, as it were, to put His seal to 
them as being genuine. Our Saviour's second reference to the 
Book of Daniel in the prophecy of Matt. xxiv. occurs in verse 21, 

1 John xviii. 37. Jesus declares His sovereignty to be specially exercised 
in bearing witness to the truth. See Westcott in loco in the Speaker's 

8 Compare Matt. xxiv. 15 with Dan. ix. 23. 

3 The Codex Syro-Hezaplaris Amlrosianua has the singular, "abomina* 



where He uses language very similar to that found in Dan. xii. 1, 
in order to describe the unparalleled woes that were to come at 
the close of the Jewish Age : " Then shall be great tribulation, 
Buch as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now." 
The third reference is in verse 30, where our Lord, describing His 
Second Coming, uses language borrowed from and pointing back 
to Dan. vii. 13, " They shall see the Son of Man coming on the 
clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Again, at a very 
solemn moment of His life, when put upon His oath by the High 
Priest as to whether He wore the Christ or no, our Lord makes a 
second reference to this same passage in Daniel, 1 and declares 
before His judge that He is about to be invested with that divine 
glory and authority which Daniel saw bestowed on " one like unto 
a son of man." " I adjure thee," says the High Priest, " by the 
living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son 
of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said," i.e. thou hast 
said the truth, I am the Son of God ; " nevertheless I say unto 
you," viz. to the whole Sanhedrim, " Henceforth ye shall see the 
Son of Many ye shall see Me in My human nature " sitting 
at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." 
Our Lord thus plainly indicates Dan. vii. 13 as the passage from 
which He takes his favourite self-chosen name, " the Son of Man," 
the definite article prefixed to the title intimating that He is 
Himself the mysterious Being whom Daniel there describes as 
" one like unto a son of man." 2 And yet in spite of this solemn 
repeated assurance on the part of Christ, our modern critics hesitate 
not to tell us that Dan. vii. 13 refers, not to the incarnate Son of 
God, but to " a supernatural being," or " a body of such beings," 
in fact, " to the faithful remnant of Israel, transformed into 
heavenly or supernatural beings." 3 Further, let it be noted that 
the passage in Dan. vii. 13, 14, at which we have been looking, 
not only furnishes our Saviour with His favourite name, but also, 
as Hengstenberg points out, forms the groundwork of all His 
declarations concerning His Second Coming. See Matt. x. 23, 
xvi. 27, 28, xix. 28, xxiv. 30, xxv. 31. 4 In addition to the above 
it is worthy of notice that our Lord's description of the Resurrec- 
tion in John v. 28, 29, runs on the lines of Dan. xii. 2 ; while the 
next verse, Dan. xii. 3, is paraphrased by Him in Matt. xiii. 48, 
when describing the future glory in store for the righteous : " Then 

1 Matt. xxvi. 64. 

2 " 6 vtbs rod avdpdnrov ; videtur articulus respicere prophetiarn Dan. vii. 
13 " Bengel on Matt. xvi. 13. 

8 Century Bible, Daniel, p. 78. 

* Hengstenberg, On the Genuine?iess of Daniel, p. 224. 


shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their 

Such, then, is the singular honour bestowed by Christ on a 
Book which the critics reduce to the level of a Jewish apocalypse. 

But our Lord's testimony to the Book of Daniel is not confined 
to the Gospel pages. Let us turn to the last and latest Book of 
Holy Scripture, entitled, " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God 
gave him to show unto his servants." Such is the lofty description 
of that wonderful Book from the heavenly standpoint. What is 
there told us is a revelation from the All-wise God, made to us 
through His Son, Jesus Christ. But when we look at this sacred 
Book from the earthly standpoint, it is plain that in the lower sense 
of the word it owes much of its inspiration to the Book of Daniel. 
And, indeed, there is nothing to be wondered at in this, seeing 
that our Saviour in His prophetic utterances had singled out that 
Book for such special honour, and that St. John was deeply imbued 
with the mind of Christ, and had no doubt learned from his Master 
to love and honour the Book of Daniel. Thus it is clear that this 
Book appealed, if we may venture so to say, alike to Christ the 
Revealer and to St. John the receiver of the Revelation. 

In the Revelation, then, we catch frequent echoes of the Book 
of Daniel and note many quotations from it more or less exact. 
This is best seen by comparing the Greek of Theodotion's version 
with the Greek of the Revelation. But, indeed, it is so self-evident 
that the English reader can very well form his own judgment in 
this matter. The following are some passages of the Old Testa- 
ment Book which are re-echoed in the Revelation : 

(i) The ten days' trial : Dan. i. 12, 15, cf. Rev. ii. 10. 

(ii) The things that shall come to pass hereafter : Dan. ii. 29, 
45, cf. Rev. i. 19, and iv. 1. 

(iii) The sweeping away of the fragments of the colossus of 
world-power so that " no place was found for them " : Dan. ii. 85, 
cf. Rev. xx. 11. 

(iv) The compelling all men to worship the image : Dan. iii. 6, 
cf. Rev. xiii. 15. 

(v) Great Babylon : Dan. iv. 80, cf. Rev. xiv. 8, xvii. 5, xviii. 
2, 10, 21. 

(vi) " The gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, 
and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know " : Dan. v. 23, 
cf. Rev. ix. 20. 

All the above are taken from the historic portion of the Book 
of Daniel, and we notice that of the different stories told us in that 
Book the story of the lions' den is the only one without its echo. 
But, indeed, this story had already found an echo in the experience 


of St. Paul, cf. 2 Tim. iv. 17, and had also been directly referred 
to by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Cf. Heb. xi. 33, 84. 
But it is when we turn from the historic to the prophetio 
portion of the Book of Daniel that the Revelation supplies us with 
something more than mere echoes. Two most important points 
in the visions shown to Daniel are made clear to us in the Revela- 
tion ; and in either case the interpretation there given is found to 
be at deadly variance with that put forward by the Higher Critics. 
In the first place, the Revelation unfolds to us the appearances of 
Christ in the visions shown to Daniel. The sublime vision of 
Dan. vii. 13, 14, is interpreted to us in the Revelation in precisely 
the same way as in our Saviour's teaching on earth at which we 
have been looking. Thus, we have barely entered on the first 
chapter before the great subject is brought forward, and we are 
told with all definiteness Who it is that comes with the clouds of 
heaven, and is brought near to the Ancient of Days to receive 
universal and lasting dominion. " Behold," cries St. John, 
" he cometh with the clouds ; and every eye shall see him, and 
they which pierced him." l It is the crucified Jesus who will 
thus come. His crucifixion, as He told the Jewish High Priest, 
was to lead the way to the glory with which He would appear 
invested at His Second Advent. Similarly, in a later vision, 
St. John sees " one like unto a son of man " the very expression 
used in Dan. vii. 13 sitting on a white cloud, and coming to reap 
the harvest of the earth. 2 Having thus twice identified Him who 
comes with the clouds as the future Judge of mankind, St. John 
in the earlier passage goes on to describe His appearance. He was 
" clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the 
breasts with a golden girdle." Also " his head and his hair were 
white as white wool, white as snow " : i.e. Christ appeared to His 
apostle just as the Ancient of Days, the eternal God, appeared to 
Daniel, that He might thereby signify His oneness and equality 
with the Father. Then the description is continued as follows : 
" His eyes were as a flame of fire ; and his feet like unto burnished 
brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace ; and his voice as the 
voice of many waters." 3 These marks enable us to identify the 
risen and living Redeemer who appeared to St. John with the 
Person seen by Daniel on the banks of the Hiddekel. " I lifted 
up mine eyes," writes the seer, " and looked, and behold a man 
clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz : 
his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of 
lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet 

1 Rev. i. 7. * Ibid. xiv. 14. 3 Ibid. i. 13- 15* 


like in colour to burnished brass, and the voice of his words like 
the voice of a multitude." * This awe-inspiring Being, seen by 
both prophet and evangelist, thus reveals His own identity in 
His message to the Church at Thyatira : .." These things saith the 
Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are 
like unto burnished brass." 2 The effect of this vision both on 
seer and evangelist, as well as the conduct and action of Him who 
thus revealed Himself, was the same in either case. Daniel tells 
us that when he " saw this great vision, there remained no 
strength " in him. " My comeliness," he adds, " was turned in 
me into corruption, and I retained no strength." Thus he lay 
pale and motionless like a corpse, till Christ touched him, and 
first set him on his hands and knees, and then helped him 
to stand upright. All trembling he stood ; so that loving 
words were still required before he was sufficiently recovered 
to receive the revelation about to be made to him. 3 St. John in 
like manner tells how he fell at Christ's feet as one dead, till the 
Saviour's loving, strengthening touch and the same " Fear not " 
which fell on the ears of Daniel greeted him likewise, 4 and enabled 
him to receive Christ's message to the Seven Churches. One 
difference, however, we notice : St. John came to himself sooner 
than Daniel ; and this is just what we might have expected, for 
St. John had already that personal knowledge of Christ which had 
not been granted to Daniel. Further, the striking attitude and 
action of the Divine Being, who appeared to Daniel in his latest 
vision, was witnessed also by St. John in the Apocalypse. Thus 
in Dan. xii. 6, " the man clothed in linen," whom we have just 
identified as Christ, is described as standing " above the waters 
of the river," and holding up his right hand and his left hand to 
heaven in the act of swearing a solemn oath " by him that liveth 
for ever." The posture and action of the " strong angel " in 
Eev. x. 5, 6, are so similar that we are forced to identify Him with 
" the man clothed in linen," i.e. with Christ. With His right foot 
upon the sea and His left foot upon the earth, He lifts up his right 
hand unto heaven, and like Daniel's Visitant swears by Him that 
liveth for ever and ever. Thus the Old Testament vision and the 
New Testament apocalypse help to explain one another ; and the 
Book of " the Eevelation of Jesus Christ " supplies us with further 
confirmation, if any were needed, that the " one like unto a son 
of man " seen by Daniel is He who " came to visit us in great 
humility," and who will presently return " in His glorious Majesty 
to judge both the quick and the dead." In His own words, " The 

1 Dan. x. 5, 6. a Rev. ii. 18. 

3 Dan. x. 8-11. 4 Cf. Dan. s. 12 with Rev. i. 17. 


Father gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is 
the Son of man " (margin, " a son of man ") : * in which judgment, 
as the Eevelation assures us, only those will escape whose names 
are found in the book of life ; that same book of which it was said 
to Daniel, " at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one 
that shall be found written in the book." 2 

The second, and only less important point in the visions of the 
Book of Daniel, which is cleared up for us in the Eevelation, is 
the identification of Daniel's Fourth Kingdom. The vision related 
in Eev. xiii., and which is continued down to a later stage 
in chap, xvii., should be read side by side with the vision of 
Dan. vii. Out of the sea there rises in St. John's vision, not, 
indeed, a succession of four wild beasts as seen by Daniel, but only 
one : thus indicating that three have already risen and passed 
away, so that this one must be the fourth and last. It is further 
identified with the fourth wild beast of Daniel by its having ten 
horns. 3 Daniel had described this fourth beast as " terrible and 
powerful, and strong exceedingly," but had not likened it to any 
particular animal. In the Eevelation it is described as being an 
amalgamation of the three wild beasts which precede it in the Book 
of Daniel. It is like its immediate predecessor the leopard of 
the third kingdom. Its feet are like those of the bear of the second 
kingdom, and its mouth is like that of the lion of the first kingdom. 4 
As being a heathen kingdom its power, which so impressed Daniel, 
is derived from Satan. " The dragon," we are told, " gave him 
his power, and his throne, and great authority." Presently this 
monster receives a death-stroke in one of its heads, from which to 
the surprise of all it recovers, and becomes an object of universal 
admiration and homage. 5 From this time forwards it enters on 
a second stage of its existence, in which it very closely resembles 
the " little horn," which sprang up on the head of Daniel's fourth 
beast ; 6 for it has " a mouth speaking great things " and uttering 
" blasphemies against God " ; also it is permitted " to make war 
with the saints and to overcome them." 7 In these two respects 
it exactly answers to the " little horn " of Dan. vii. But the 
second vision, viz. that in Eev. xvii., throws a yet stronger 
light on Daniel's vision ; for the beast of Eev. xiii. 1 is now seen 
carrying a woman styled " the great harlot." 8 A " harlot " is 
the description of a Christian Church unfaithful to its Lord and 

1 John v. 27. 2 Cf. Rev. xx. 15 with Dan. xii. 1. 

3 Cf. Rev. xiii. 1 with Dan. vii. 7. * Rev. xiii. 2. 

6 Rev. xiii. 3, 4. 6 Dan. vii. 8 

7 Cf. Rev. xiii. 5-7 with Dan. vii. 8, 11, 21, 25. 

8 Rev. xvii. 1. 


Master, Christ ; the adjunct " great " indicates that this Church 
is one of considerable importance. Whilst the fact of the woman 
being mounted on the ten-horned beast, i.e. the fourth kingdom 
of Daniel, shows that this Church has attained great temporal 
power to wit, the power of the Fourth Kingdom. The seat of 
this power is thus described by the interpreting angel : " The 
seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth," 1 
i.e. the seat of this strange power is the City of the Seven Hills. 
As Wordsworth points out in his Commentary on the passage, 
' In St. John's time Eome was usually called ' the Seven-hilled 
City.' " " There is scarcely a Koman poet of any note," he adds, 
" who has not spoken of Eome as a city seated on Seven Mountains 
Virgil, Horace, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid, Silius, Italicus, 
Statius, Martial, Claudian, Prudentius : in short, the unanimous 
voice of Eoman poetry, during more than five hundred years, 
beginning with the age of St. John, proclaimed Eome as ' the 
Seven-hilled City.' " 2 Eome, then, is the seat of the faithless 
Church which was to wield the power of the Fourth Kingdom, as 
is further witnessed by the angel's closing words, " The woman 
whom thou sawest is the great city, which reigneth over the kings 
of the earth." 3 But if this be so, then the ten-horned beast, which 
carried the woman, and which we have seen to be identical with 
Daniel's fourth beast, must be the Eoman power, which, wounded 
to death as a heathen empire, was destined to be resuscitated under 
the Papacy. Yet the critics will have it that the fourth beast in 
Dan. vii. is the Greek kingdom of Alexander and his successors ! 

On these two points, then, " the Eevelation of Jesus Christ " 
i.e. as explained in the opening verse, the revelation which God 
makes to His Church through Jesus Christ is perfectly clear and 

(i) Christ Himself is the mysterious Being seen by Daniel as 
coming " with the clouds of heaven." 

(ii) Daniel's Fourth Kingdom is the Eoman power : first in 
its earlier stage as a consular and imperial power, and then in its 
later stage, when as the " little horn " it depicts the Papacy. Yet 
in both these points the critics hold entirely different views : i.e. 
they are wiser than Christ : Christ the Teacher of the Gospel pages, 
Christ the Eevealer of the Eevelation ! Now that Higher Criticism, 
which, consciously or unconsciously, claims to be higher than 
Christ, comes to us really from beneath. It is the dragon who gives 
it " his power and his throne and great authority." 

1 Rev. xvii. 9. 

2 Wordsworth's Greek Testament, on Rev. xvii. 1. The writer gives quota- 
tions from all the Roman poets enumerated. 3 Rev. xvii. 18. 


SINCE this work was sent to the press the recently discovered 
" Chronicle of Nabopolassar " has at last made us acquainted 
with the date of the fall of Nineveh as well as with 
the ebb and flow of war during those eventful years which witnessed 
the collapse of the Assyrian Empire and the rise of the New Empire 
of Babylon. It has also shed an entirely new light on the policy 
of Egypt during that period. Egypt, instead of pursuing the 
game of grab and endeavouring to secure for herself as large a 
portion as possible of the falling empire, is seen bolstering up 
Assyria as a bulwark against the irruptions of the Scythians. 
The record is so closely connected with the rise of the New 
Babylonian Empire that it is desirable to add a short resume of 
its contents. 

The " Chronicle " embraces the years 616 to 610 B.C. It was 
drawn up probably at Babylon, as witnessed by the scribal note 
at its close : " Whoso loveth Nabu and Merodach let him pre- 
serve this and not suffer it to leave his hands." The style of 
the cuneiform writing points to the Achsemenid period as the 
time of its composition. Throughout the record Nabopolassar 
is styled " the king of Akkad," but Babylon is seen to be his 
base of operations. The revolt of this monarch began probably 
with his seizure of Sippar see p. 99 above an event, which as 
shown by Mr. C. J. Gadd l the discoverer of the tablet, must have 
taken place during the interval 620 to 617 B.C. In the early part 
of 616 Nabopolassar is seen conducting a campaign against the 
Aramean tribes on the Middle Euphrates. He then returns to 
Babylon, followed by the united forces of Egypt and Assyria. 
In the autumn he defeats an Assyrian force on the east of the 
Tigris so that they have to fall back on the Lower Zab. In the 
following year he attacks Ashur the old capital of Assyria, situated 
on the Tigris some sixty miles below Nineveh, but is unable to 
take it, and is compelled to fall back on the stronghold of Takritain, 
the modern Tekrit, lower down that river. In the autumn the 

1 See The Fall of Nineveh, by C. J. Gadd, M.A., published by the British 
Museum, June, 1923. 



Medes descend on the Assyrian province of Araphu east of the 
Tigris and south of the Lower Zab. 

In 614 the Medes under Cyaxares attack Nineveh. They are 
unable to take it, but make themselves masters of Tabriz a few 
miles N.W. of the capital. They then march down the Tigris 
and capture Ashur. Here they are met by Nabopolassar, who 
concludes an alliance with Cyaxares ; after which both parties 
return home. 

In the following year the province of Sukhu on the Middle 
Euphrates revolts. Nabopolassar marches thither, and captures 
two towns built on islands in that river, but retires to his own land 
on the approach of the Assyrian king. 

The record for 612 is much obliterated, but it is clear that 
Nabopolassar meets the king of the Scythians who according 
to the accounts left us by the classical writers had hitherto acted 
on the side of the Assyrians also that Cyaxares joins them, and 
that then all three armies, Babylonians, Scythians, and Medes, 
march up the Tigris and lay siege to Nineveh. The siege lasts 
from the month of Sivan (May-June) to the month of Ab (July- 
August), and three battles are fought during the course of it. 
Finally the city is taken by " a mighty assault " and with a great 
slaughter of the principal men 1 ; after which we catch the name 
of Sin-shar-ishkun the Assyrian king, and are told of " the spoil 
of the city, a quantity beyond counting," 2 and also of how great 
Nineveh in her turn met with the fate she had so often meted out 
to others, and was turned from a fenced city into a ruinous heap. 
According to the " Chronicle " Nabopolassar was present at the 
siege of Nineveh, and when it was over marched westward to 
Nisibis, and then retracing his steps returned home by way of 
Nineveh. Whatever truth there may be in this statement we 
are sure from his own inscriptions that the Babylonian king can 
only have played a very subordinate part, for he speaks merely 
of his operations in Mesopotamia, and of how he thrust back the 
Assyrians from the land of Akkad. 

Although Nineveh was taken, the Assyrians attempted to 
set up a New Assyria in the West by placing Assur-uballidh on 
the throne in Haran. Accordingly in the following year, 611, 
Nabopolassar marched up the Euphrates into the new Assyrian 
Kingdom, but did not venture to attack Haran. 

In 610 we read of marches and counter marches of the Baby- 
lonian king in the New Assyria. Then in Marchesvan (Oct.-Nov.) 
the Scythian3 come to his help, and an attack is made on Haran. 

1 Nabum iii, 18 2 Ibid, ii. 0. 


Assur-uballidh is compelled to evacuate the city and to fly west- 
ward across the Euphrates ; Haran is captured and with it an 
immense spoil. The curious extract from the Stele of Nabonidus, 
referred to on p. 19, footnote 2, is now found to refer, not to the 
Medes, but to the Scythians, and to describe the devastations 
committed by them, not at the time of the fall of Nineveh, but 
just after this capture of Haran. 

In 609 Assur-uballidh the Assyrian king, along with a strong 
Egyptian force, recrosses the Euphrates, and attacks the Scythian 
and Babylonian garrison left in Haran. The siege lasts for 
two months, but is raised on the arrival of Nabopolassar, who 
appears to have defeated the Egyptians and Assyrians. 

The catch-line at the close of the tablet tells us that operations 
were resumed by Nabopolassar in the following year, 608 B.C. ; 
and if we could get hold of the next tablet of the series, the record 
for this year would no doubt tell us something about the expedition 
of Pharaoh- Necho against Carchemish, in endeavouring to oppose 
which the godly king Josiah met with his death. The title " King 
of Assyria " in 2 Kings xxiii. 29, is given not to Assur-iiballidh, 
who had been driven out of Haran and was unable to retake it, 
but to the Babylonian monarch, Nabopolassar. 1 Now that 
Nineveh had fallen, Babylon was looked upon as having taken 
her place, seeing that the Babylonians were masters of the richest 
and most fertile part of the old Assyrian empire. Similarly in' 
Ezra vi. 22, the Persian king Darius Hystaspes is styled " King 
of Assyria"; whilst in Herodotus, bk. i. 206, Tomyris queen of 
the Massagetse addresses Cyrus as " King of the Medes." 

1 Cf. Josephus, Antiquities, x. 5. 1 : " Now Necho king of Egypt raised 
an army, and marched to the river Euphrates in order to fight with the Medea 
and Babylonians who had overthrown the dominion of the Assyrians." 


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Loftus, W. K. Chaldea and Susiana. London, 1857. 

Lucretius. On the Nature of Things. 

Marti, D. K. Daniel. Tubingen and Leipzig, 1901. 

Mason and Bernard. Hebrew Grammar. Cambridge, 1853. 

Maspero, G. The Passing of the Empires, trans, by McClure. London, 

Megasthenes. See Abydenus. 
Menant, M. J. Un Cameo du Musee de Florence : in Revue Archeologique. 

Paris, 1885. 
Myres, J. L. Dawn of History. London and New York. 
Oesterley, W. O. E. The Books of the Apocrypha, their Origin, Teaching, 

and Contents. London, 1915. 
Olmstead, A. T. Western Asia in the days of Sargon of Assyria. New York, 

Onkelos, Targum of. See Etheridge. 
Palestinian Targum. See Etheridge. 

Peiser, F. E. Babylonische Vertrage des Berliner Museums, 1890. 
Peters, J. P. Nippur. New York, 1897. 
Petrie, W. M. Flinders. Ten Years' Digging in Egypt. 2nd edn. London, 

Pinches, T. G. The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records of 

Assyria and Babylonia. London and New York, 1902. 
Pliny. Natural History. 
Pognon, H. L'inscription en caracteres cursifs de l'Ouady Brissa. Paris, 

Polybius. History. 
Polyhistor, Alexander. See Cory. 
Pusey, E. B. Lectures on Daniel the Prophet. Oxford and London, 

Radau, Hugo. Hymns and Prayers to the god Ninib, vol. 29, part 1, of 

Series A of The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania. 
Ramsay, W. H. St. Paul the Traveller. London, 1905. 
Rawlinson, H. The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia. London, 

1861 f. 
Records of the Past. New Series. London, 1888-92. 
Revue Archeologique. Paris, 1885. 


Robinson, A. Craig. The Fall of Babylon, a paper read before the Victoria 
Institute, Dec. 9, 1913. 

What about the Old Testament, etc. ? London, 1910. 

Letter to the Church Family Newspaper, March 24, 1921. 

Saohau, E. Drei Aramaische Papyrus Urkunden aus Elephantine. Berlin, 

Sanda, Albert. Die Aramaer. Leipzig, 1902. 
Sayce, A. H. The Higher Criticism and the Monuments. London, 

Scheftelowitz, Isidor. Arisches im Alten Testament. Berlin, 1903. 
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Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek. Berlin, 1889-1900. 

Schurer, E. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ. 

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Sibylline Books. 

Similitudes, The. Bee Book of Enoch, under Charles. 
Smith, George. Assyrian Discoveries. London, 1875. 
Speaker's Commentary. London: vol. i v. 1873 ; vol. viii. 1880. 
Stainer, John. The Music of the Bible. New edn. with supplementary 

notes by Galpin. London, 1914. 
Stier, Rudolf. The Words of the Lord Jesus, trans, by Pope. Edinburgh, 

Story of the Nations : Media. See Ragozin. 
Strabo. Geography. 
Strassmaier, J. N. Die Inschriften von Nabuchodonosor, Nabonidus, Cyrus, 

Cambyses, und Darius. Leipzig, 1889-97. 
Swete, H. B. The Old Testament in Greek, vol. iii., containing both the 

Septuagint and Theodot ion's version of Daniel. Cambridge, 1905. 
Taylor, Isaac. The Alphabet. London, 1893. 
Theodotion. See Swete. 
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for 1916, delivered before the University of Glasgow. Edinburgh and 

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Thureatj-Dangin, Francois. Une Relation de la huiteme Campagne de 

Sargon. Paris, 1912. 
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Guide to the Old Persian Inscriptions. New York, 1892. 

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Tristram, H. B. The Land of Israel. London, 1866. 
Vorderasiatische Bibliothek, 4 : Die Neubabylonischen Konigsinschriften. 

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Weissbach, F. H. Die Inschriften des Nebukadnezzars im Wadi Brissa, in 

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Prose Books of the Old Testament. Oxford, 1887. 
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Winckler, Hugo. Geschichte und Geographie, in Schrader's Die Keilinschrif- 

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Wordsworth, Christopher. Greek Testament. London, 1870. 
Wright, C. H. H. Daniel and his Prophecies. London, 1906. 
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Abydenus, 65, 105 

Agum-kakrimi, 227 

Ahasuerus, the Median, 154-155, 274 

Ahuramazda, 34 

Ai-ibur-shabu, 72, 218 

Akhlami, the, 227 

Akitu festival, 127 

Akkad, or Northern Babylonia, 90, 109, 

115, 120, 127, 163, 164 
Alcseus, 253 
Alexander the Great, 29, 30, 31, 33, 91, 

226, 246 
Alford, 197 
Alman or Arman, 227 
alphabets, Semitic and Greek, 157 
Amanus, 109, 229 
Amasis, 71 

Amran, mound of, 76 
Amytis, 152, 156 
Andrews, 271 
Annalistic Tablet, 117, 120 ; account of 

capture of Babylon by Cyrus, 126-130, 

133, 144, 152 
Annals of Nebuchadnezzar, 69 
Antioch, 220 
Antiochus Epiphanes, 2, 3, 5, 6, 13, 14, 

15, 48, 169, 170, 174, 176, 177, 222, 

Anu, the god of silver, 34, 95 
Anunit, 100, 101, 114, 115 
appa danna, 75 
Arakhtu, 83 

Aramaic inscriptions, 228-229 
Aramaic of Elephantine, 235-237 
Arameans, The, 227-228, 242-243 
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz, 18, 22-23 
Arioch, 267 
Aristobulus II., 64 
Aristotle, 18, 254 

Artaxerxes, meaning of name, 154 
Artaxerxes I., 27, 166, 177, 188-189, 

206, 230, 260, 261 
Artaxerxes Mnemon, 265 
Ashpenaz, 266 

Ashur, the Enlil in Assyria, 95 
Ashurbanipal, 113, 118, 135, 139, 151, 

Ashur-nadin-shumu, 151 
Ashur-rish-ishi, 227 
Assyro-Babylonian words, 265-267 
Astyages, 109, 143, 144, 145, 152, 153, 

Atad, 147 


Babil, mound of, 76 

Babylon, the golden kingdom, 25-26 ; 
" the beauty of the Chaldeans' 
pride," 36-38 ; Merodach its patron 
god, 45 ; its great buildings, 66-77, 
81-82 ; the centre of empire, 79-80 ; 
commercial centre, 138, 141 ; beloved 
of Nebuchadnezzar, 97 ; captured 
by Cyrus, 122-132; citadel taken 
on 11th of Marchesvan, 127, 131 ; 
Seleucia takes its place, 220 

Baer, 119 

Bagoas, 161, 231 

Ball, 92, 101, 129 

Barnabas, Epistle of, 22 

Behistun Inscription, 91, 116, 162, 258, 
259, 260, 262, 263 

Behrmann, 261 

Bel and the Dragon, 26 

Belesys, see Nabopolassar 

Belshazzar, meaning of name, 114; 
eldest son of Nabonidus, 115; his 
age and upbringing, 114-115; early 
brought into contact with Kebuchad- 




nezzar, 115 ; his " son " only in legal 
sense, 117 ; commander of the army 
for last ten years of his father's reign, 
109 ; probably sub-king of Babylon, 
118; business transactions, 141; 
slain in attack on palace, 125, 126, 
127, 129 

Belteshazzar, 266 

Beltis, 72, 90, 127 

Bengel, 286, 288 

Bergk, 253 

Berosus, 37, 38, 67, 74, 75, 115 

Besherrah, 87 

Be van, A. A., 264 

Be van, E. R., 220 

Birks, 33 

Bishop Hall, 49 

Bit, in names of places, 243 

Black Obelisk, 263 

Booth, 259 

Borsippa, 26, 37, 70, 81, 82, 84, 97 

Botta, 248 

Brown, Francis, Heb. Lex., 30, 187, 284 

Buhl, 279, 281 

Burkitt, 270 

Burnouf, 259 


Calendar of Gezee, 166 

Cambyses, according to Ctesias a Mede 
on his mother's side, 152 ; after the 
burial of " the son of the king " 
enters the temple of " Nebo who be- 
stows the sceptre," 127, 147 ; " king 
of Babylon " on the contract tablets 
for first ten months in first year of 
Cyrus, 148 ; associated with Cyrus in 
the royal power, 164-165 ; conquers 
Egypt, 229 ; spares the temple at 
Elephantine, 161, 233 ; his character, 

Cameo of Nebuchadnezzar, 250-253 

Carchemish, 85, 296 

Carians, The, 29, 252 

Chaldeans, The, 11, 35-44, 45; their 
mythology, 47-^9 ; rise to power, 
85; 107, 110, 120; fond of wine, 
133, 140, 214, 215, 227 

Charles, 3, 6, 50, 51, 54, 63, 64, 66, 164, 
203, 269 

Cicero, 34 

" Cilician Road," The, 247 

Codex Alexandrinus, 20 

Codex Chisianus. See Swete's Old 
Testament in Greek, vol. iii. 171 

Codex Syro-Hexaplaris Ambrosianus, 

Cohu, 271 

Contract tablets, 130-131, 141, 146 

Cook, Stanley A, 167, 229 

Cooke, G. A., 232 

Cornill, 272 

Cory, 37, 67, 214 

Country of the Sea, 36, 41-42 

Croesus, 28 

Ctesias, 152 

Cyaxares I., 26, 37, 155 

Cyaxares II., 143 

Cylinder of Cyrus, its author acquainted 
with Book of Isaiah, 110-111, 121. 
164165 ; account of the capture oi 
Babylon, 128-130, 215 

Cyprian, 159 

Cyrus, king of Anshan, 19, 111 ; oJ 
Persia, 126 ; approved of Merodach. 
110-111, 128; takes Babylon bj 
stratagem, 122-125 ; peaceful entry. 
127-128 ; appoints Gobryas as gover 
nor, 127 ; makes his son Cambyses 
king of Babylon, 118, 146-149 


d, dh, and s sounds, 237-239 

Dadda-idri, 238 

Damascus, 227 

Daniel, a true patriot, 181 ; his earlj 
fame, 53 ; remarkable feature ir 
his prophecies, 179 ; fond of Book oi 
Isaiah, 111 ; his delicacy of feeling 
91 ; stern address to Belshazzar, 
139 ; confession of sin, 180-1 SI 
his Aramaic resembles that o: 
Elephantine, 235-237 ; he was pro 
bably conversant with Old Persian 
242 ; his Book written near the clos< 
of his life, 245 ; and in the East, 240 
242 ; his tomb at Shushan, 223-224 

Darius, meaning of name, 154 

Darius Hystaspes, 28, 116, 152, 155 
164, 216, 262 

Darius Nothus, 230, 232, 234, 235, 236 

Darius the Mede, a dependent sove 
reign, 142-143 ; known by anothe 
name / among the Greeks, 153 



possibly Gobryas, more probably 
Cambyses, 144-146 ; the story of 
Dan. vi. shows him a youth, 160 ; 
threescore and two, Dan. v. 31, a 
corrupt reading for twelve, 156-159 ; 
only his first year mentioned, 150 

Date of Book of Daniel according to the 
critics, 2, 4, 226, 240, 241, 246 

Davidson, 270, 271 

Decree of Artaxerxes I., 188 

Deioces, 26 

Delattre, 43^4 

Delitzsch, 266, 267 

dhur rabh, 46 

Dinon, 260 

Diodorus Siculus, 39 

Dodekarchy, the, 29, 252 

Driver, 2, 3, 11, 19 ; Dan. vii. 13-14, 
his explanation of, 58-59, 61, 66, 
90, 175 ; his dictum on the language 
of Daniel, 226, 240, 241, 246, 264, 
268, 284 

Duperron, 259 

Dura, 267 


Ea, the god of brass and also the sea- 
god, 31 

E-barra, the Shamash-temple at Larsa, 
buried in the sand, 48 

Ecbatana, 152 

Egypt, invaded by Nebuchadnezzar, 
71 ; conquered by Cambyses, 229 ; 
227, 233, 242, 249, 250, 252, 253, 278 

E-kharsag-gal-kurkurra, 45, 47 

Elam, 22, 213-216, 227 

Elephantine, discoveries at, 161, 
229-231, 177, 190 

Elymais, 3 

emphatic accentuation, 185-186 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 33, 270 

Enlil, the god of Nippur, 34, 45 ; his 
titles, 45, 47 ; as god of war attains 
the supremacy, 94 ; dwells in the 
Great Mountain, and becomes 
identified with it, 45 ; his supremacy 
and titles transferred to Merodach, 
45, 94-95 ; in Assyria Ashur 
is the Enlil, 95; in Babylonia, 
Merodach generally, 45-47 ; some- 
times Merodach and Shamash, 99- 
100 ; or even, under Nabonidus, Sin, 

Enoch, Book of, 50-52, 55-57, 61, 63- 

64, 268, 269, 271 
enuma and enumishu, 69, 81, 82 
Ephraem Syrus, 22, 57 
Epistle of Barnabas, 22 
Erech, 42, 71, 119 
E-sag-ila, the temple of Merodach at 

Babylon, 25, 39, 70, 73, 75, 76, 132, 

Esarhaddon, 47, 151 
Esperanto, 258 
E-temen-an-ki, the temple-tower of 

Babylon, 43, 68, 70, 76, 79, 84 
Ethbaal, 87 
Etheridge, 7 
Ethiopia, 229 
Euergetes II., 278 

Euphrates, 68, 76, 82, 219-221, 227, 228 
Eusebius, 65, 105, 106, 278, 280 
Evilmerodach, 66, 141 
Ewald, 176-177 
E-zida, the temple of Nebo at Bor- 

sippa, 70, 75 
Ezra, 188-189 
Ezra Legend, the, 277 


Fate-tablets, the, 138-139 

Florence Museum, 251 

forced parallelism, a, 15 

Four Kingdoms, the, 1, 4, 8, 13-22 


Gabriel, 181, 183, 189, 190, 222, 225 

Gellius, Aulus, 41 

Gobryas, 11, 124, 125, 127, 129, 130, 

132, 143, 144, 145 
Goihn, 129 
Goodspeed, 219 
Gula, 81, 86 

Gutium, 127, 129, 132, 134, 145 
Gutsohmid, 65 

Hagiographa, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 

Hague Museum, 251 
Hall, Bishop, 49 



Hall, H. R, 249 

Hanging Gardens, 49, 66-68, 75-77 

Haran, 87, 100, 107, 108,109,113, 114, 

Hengstenberg, 53, 67, 288 
Herodotus, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30; 

visits Babylon, 38-39, 107, 117; 

account of capture of Babylon, 122- 

123, 154, 242, 252, 263 
Herzog, 207 

Hiddekel, 213, 219, 224, 290 
Hippolytus, 22 
Hogarth, 247, 248 
Hommel, 227 
Horton, 18 
Hyrcanus, John, 63 

Iconium, 252 

Imgur-Bel, 72, 74 

India House Inscription, 25-26, 49, 63, 
70, 73, 74, 95-96, 97, 101, 121, 147 

Inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, Ex- 
tracts from, 69-70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 79, 
81, 82-83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 96, 97, 100, 
101, 102, 221 

Inscriptions of Nabopolassar, Extracts 
from, 90, 99 

Ionians, the, 29, 30, 247 

Ishtar, 108, 109, 115 

Ishtar Gate, 76, 81 

Istuvegu (Astyages), 145, 152 

Jason, 173 

Jastrow, A., 20 

Jastrow, M., 45, 46, 47, 95, 96 

Jehoiachin, 83 

Jensen, 34, 46 

Jerome, 168, 259, 278 ; his canon of the 
O.T., 281-282 

Jesus the son of Sirach, the younger, 
278, 282 

Josephus, 19 ; his view with respect to 
the Four Kingdoms, 21, 24 ; 37, 38, 
67, 74, 75, 87, 107, 115, 120, 161 ; on 
the Zealots, 200-204; 207, 250; on 
the Canon of the O.T., 279-280 

Juvenal, 35 


Kaldtj, the, 36 

Kasdim (Chaldeans), 35 

Kasr, the, 68, 75, 76 

Kennedy, James, 253, 254 

keseph, kaspu, 26 

Kethubhim, 276, 277 

Khammurabi, 45, 94 

Khnub, the Nile-god, 181, 231, 232, 236 

King, L. W., 249 

Kir 227 

Kol'dewey, 19, 24, 43, 67, 68, 72, 73, 74, 

76, 108 
Kraeling, 229, 256 

Labasiti-Marduk, 108, 115, 141 
Langdon, 47, 48, 63, 68, 70, 81, 84, 95, 

97, 100, 101 
Larsa (Ellasar), 48, 71, 109 
Lassen, 259 
Layard, 25, 28, 248 
Lebanon, conquest of, 82-83 ; cedar 

grove, 87-88 
Lewin, 203, 252 
Libil-khigalla, 69, 73, 217 
Liddell and Scott, 31, 262 
Livy, 32 
Loftus, 242 
Lucretius, 31 


Maccabees, the, 3, 5, 22, 91, 157, 178, 
192, 274 

Madaktu, 216 

Mandaitic, 239-240 

Marathon, 29 

Marti, 261 

Mason and Bernard, 137 

Maspero, 248, 252, 265 

Massoretes, the, 185, 186, 190 

Medes, the, 152-153, 215, 243, 285 

Media, one with Persia, 15 ; not " in- 
ferior to " Babylon, 18-19 

Median Ahasuerus, the, 154-155 

" Median Wall," the, 19 

Megasthenes, 65, 66, 91, 105, 110, 112 

Melito, his Canon of the O.T., 280 ; 283 

Melkarth, 87 



Melzar (R.V. " the steward "), 267 

Menant, 250-252 

Menelaus, 173 

Merodach, head of the pantheon in the 
days of Nebuchadnezzar, 93, 96, 97 
takes the place of Enlil, 45, 94-95 
and thus becomes the god of gold, 34 
" the king of the gods, the lord of 
lords," 52 ; bestower of sovereignty, 

Merodachbaladan, 36 

Meshach, 266-267 

Messiah, used as a proper name, 191-192 

Migdol, 229 

Minni, 23 

Moabite Stone, 136, 166, 233 

Monotheistio Tablet, 34, 98 

Morgan, M. de, 215 

Mushezib-Marduk, 38 

Mutsatsir, temple at, 248, 249 

Myres, 213 


NABATiEAN Inscriptions, 237, 238 

Nabonidus, son of the priest of Sin in 
Haran, 100, 107 ; autobiography of 
his father, 113; elected to the throne, 
108 ; his archaeological tastes, 108 ; 
rebuilds the temple in Haran, 108 ; 
lives in retirement for the last ten 
years of his reign, 109 ; angers the 
Babylonian priesthood, 1 10 ; taken 
prisoner in Babylon, 110, 127 

Nabopolassar, a Chaldean, and founder 
of the New Empire, 37, 39, 49 ; of 
humble origin, 90-91 ; religiously 
disposed, 39, 84 ; drives out the 
Assyrians, 90 ; his supposed tomb, 

Nabu-balatsu-ikbi, 107, 115 

Nabu-shum-lishir, 40, 84 

Nahr-el-Kelb Inscription, 81 

Naksh-i-Rustam, 258, 262 

Namri, 228, 242 

Naukratis, 249, 250 

Nebo, stands next to Merodach, 52 ; 
gives the sceptre, 127, 147 ; keeps 
the tablets of fate, 138-139 

Nebuchadnezzar, meaning of name, 
265-266 ; a Chaldean, 38 ; character 
of his inscriptions, 70 ; nature of his 
reign, 62-63, 78 ; loves display, 25- 

26 ; devoted to Babylon, 25, 97 ; 
his buildings, 71-77 ; offerings to 
Merodach and Nebo, 81 ; bas-relief 
at Wady Brissa, 84 ; admiration 
for forest trees, 89 ; cuts down 
cedars with his own hand, 83-84 ; 
invades Egypt, 63, 71 ; his idea of 
empire, 79-80 ; his personality, 92- 

Necho I., 135 

Neo-Babylonian inscriptions, 92 

Nergal, 98, 99, 109 

Nergalsharezer, 141 

Nergalushezib, 38 

Neriglissar, 108 

New Year festival, 71, 81, 109, 147 

Nile, 221 

Nimitti-Bel, 74 

Nimrud, 137, 228 

NimrQd Inscription, 91, 243 

Ninib, god of iron, 34 ; 86, 98, 99 

Nippur, 45, 94-95, 261 

Nitocris, 28, 117, 122, 123 

Noldeke, 260 


Oesterley, 155, 269, 270, 277 

Old Persian, 244-246, 258-265 

Olmstead, 130 

Onias III., 170, 173, 174, 175, 176, 178 

Onkelos, Targum of, 7, 256, 264 

Opis, 127, 129, 131 

Origen, Canon of O.T., 280-281, 284 

Orontes, 80, 87 

Padan-Aeam, 227 
Palestinian Targum, 7, 8 
Panammu, 138 
Pasargadaa, 258 
Pathros, 229 
Peiser, 148 
Pelusium, 250 
Perscz of iEschylus, 144 
Persepolis, 258, 259 
Persian royal names, 154 
Persica of Ctesias, 152 
Peshitto, 8, 257 
Peters, 95 
Petrie, 71 



pikhatu, 162 

pilum, the, 32 

Pinches, 11, 119, 141, 143, 144, 145 

Pliny, 220, 251 

Pognon, 19, 113 

Polybius, 31, 32, 254 

Polyhistor, 37, 247 

Porphyry, 22 

Procession Street, 72, 73, 81 

Psammetichus I., 29, 252 

Pseudepigrapha, the, 1, 2, 8, 269-271, 

Pur a Nun, 219 
Purim, 208-209 
Pusey, 226 


Radau, 47 

Ramsay, 207, 209 

Rassam, 100, 126, 128, 135, 216 

Rawlinson, H., 84, 128, 139, 259 

Riblah, 87, 88 

Rimmon, 98 

Robinson, A. C, 129, 130, 132, 144, 286 

Roman Scheme, the, 14, 18, 22 

"Royal Road," the, 216 


Salamis, 29 

Salathiel, Apocalypse of, 272, 274, 277 

Samahla, 229 

Samekh, the letter, 158-159, 165-167 

Sanballat, 190, 231, 234 

Sanda, A., 228 

Sargon II., 24, 45 

satraps, 161, 163 

Sayce, 35, 126, 128, 153, 219, 227, 262 

Scheftelowitz, 260, 261, 262, 264 

Schrader, 11, 40, 45, 178 

Schiirer, 56, 64 

Seleucia, 220 

Sendsherli, see Zenjirli 

Sennacherib, 5, 118, 151, 214, 215 

Septuagint Version of Daniel, see Codex 

Septuagint, 22, 59, 156, 159, 170-178, 

259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 266, 267 
Shadrach, 266 
Shadu Rab4, 42, 45 
Shalmaneser I. , 227 ' 
Shalmane.'jer II., 242 

Shamash, god of Sippar, 70, 79 ; 93, 98 ; 

sometimes joined with Merodach in 

the Enlil-ship, 99-101, 163 ; 107, 108, 

109, 110, 114 
Shamash-shum-ukin, 118, 139, 151, 163 
Shamshi-Rammanu, 228, 242 
Shinar, 266 
Shumer, or Southern Babylonia, 128, 

163, 164, 266 
Shushan, or Susa, 215-219, 223-224 
Sibylline Oracles, 22 
Siloam Inscription, 158 
Similitudes, the, 50, 52, 55, 56, 57, 61 ; 

date of, 63-64 
Sin, 93 ; the moon-god of Haran, 98, 

100-101, 107-109; 113, 114, 115 
Sippar, or Sippara, 70, 71, 79, 81, 82, 

99, 100, 110, 117, 127, 156 
sirrush, the, 76 
Smith, George, 251 
Stainer, 246 

Stele of Nabonidus, 108, 109, 116, 147 
Stier, 195 
Strabo, 38, 67, 220 
Strassmaier, 46, 146, 148, 149, 150 
Surappi, 228 
Syene, 229, 233 
Syriac, 239-240, 257 


Tahpanhes, 71, 265 

Targums, 7, 8, 160, 238, 256, 264, 265 

Tarsus, 247, 248 

Tasmit, 90 

Taylor Cylinder, 214, 215 

Taylor, Isaac, 157 

Teima Stone, 158, 167 

Tema, 109, 118, 120 

" Temple where the Sceptre of the 

World is given," 127, 147 
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, 2, 

Theodotion, 119, 202, 247, 259, 260, 

261, 262, 263, 264, 267, 289 
Thermopylae, 29 

" The Twenty-four Writings," 277 
Thureau-Dangin, 95 
Tiglathpileser I., 227 
Tiglathpileser III., 91 
Tigris, 19, 82, 219, 220, 221, 262 
Tolman, 265 
Tristram, 87 
Tyre, 87, 109 




Ugbaru, see Gobryas 

Uknu, 228, 242 

Ulai, 212, 213, 217-219, 222, 223, 224, 

Ur, 36, 42, 71, 108, 109 
Urartu, 22, 23 
Uruk, see Erech 
Urumiah, Lake, 23 
Uvaja, 214 


Van, Lake, 23 
Virgil, 31 


Wady Brissa Inscription, 19, 69, 79 ; 

its contents, 80-83 ; 84, 86, 89, 95 
Weissback, 84, 215 
Westcott, 287 
Wickes, 186 
Wieseler, 207 
Williamson, G. C, 157 
Wilson, R. D., 238, 240, 243 
Winckler, 11, 22, 215 
Wordsworth, Christopher, 293 

Wright, C. H. H., 5, 7, 11, 17, 174, 276 
Wright, W., 239 

Xenophon, 19, 82, 107, 121 ; descrip- 
tion of the capture of Babylon, 
123-126; 129, 131, 140, 143, 144, 145 

Xerxes, 28, 29, 30, 88; meaning of 
name, 154 ; 155, 166, 230 

ye'or, 221-222 

Yod, the letter, 158-159, 165-167 

Zageos, 129, 213 

Zain, the letter, 237 

Zakir Inscription, 166, 238, 256 

Zealots, the, 200-204 

zebach uminchah, 199 

Zend language, 259 

Zenjirli Inscriptions, 136, 137, 166, 229, 

zikkurat, 49 
Zimmern, 139 
Zobah, 227 






Dan. i. 7. Belteshazzar Shadrach Meshach Abed-nego 

21. Daniel continued, etc. 
ii. 2, 4, 5, etc. The Chaldeans 

4. in Aramaic, R.V.M. . 
32-33. gold silver brass iron 

34. a stone cut out without hands 

35. a great mountain (the Great Mountain) 

38. the beasts of the field . 

39. inferior to thee (below thee) 
45. the (a) great God 
47. of a truth your God, etc. 

2, 3, etc. See Appendix on Foreign Words 

5, 7, 10, 15. Musical instruments with Greek names 
26, etc. Most High God . 

10-16. The great tree 

the lowest of men 

walking in (upon) the royal palace 

Is not this great Babylon, etc. ? 

thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field 

Belshazzar the king ... 

made a feast .... 

to a thousand of his lords 

and drank wine, etc. . 

they drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, etc. 

The proffered rewards 

the third ruler in the kingdom 

the queen ..... 

thy father : repeated thrice . 

though thou knewest all this . 
25-28. The four mystic words . 
28, etc. Medes and Persians 
30. Belshazzar the Chaldean king 

was slain ..... 

Darius the Mede 

received the kingdom . 

being about threescore and tivo (twelve 1) years old 

an hundred and twenty satraps 
6, 11, 15. came tumultously, R.V.M. 
10. his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem 
25. Then king Darius wrote unto all the peoples, etc. 
vii. Analysis of this chapter .... 

1. the first year of Belshazzar .... 

2, 3. four great beasts came up from the sea 


. 1. 







vi. 1. 


. 245 
. 6 
. 48 
, 43, 45-49 
. 86 
. 93 
. 52 
17, 98-101 
. 66 
65-77, 97 
. 106 
. 126 
. 120 
. 133 
. 134 
. 135 
. 119 
. 117 
114-115, 134-135 
. 15 
. 120 
126, 128 
27, 161-165 
. 160 

. 181 




Dan; vii. 4. The lion with eagle's wings 

5. The bear ...... 

5. The three ribs ..... 

6. The leopard with four wings 

7. The fourth beast, terrible and powerful, etc. 
7. diverse from all the beasts that were before it 

7. and it had ten horns .... 

8. there came up among them another horn, a little one 

9. one that was ancient of days 

13. one like unto a son of man .... 57- 

19. whose teeth were of iron and his nails of brass 

21, 22, 25, 27. the saints .... 

- viii. 1-14. A vision concerning the Jewish Church 

1. the third year of king Belshazzar 

2. / was in Shushan the palace, etc 

2. and I was by the river Vlai . 

3. a ram which had two horns . 

5. an he-goat came from the west 

6. he came to the ram, which I saw standing before the river 
9. out of one of them came forth a little horn 

16. / heard a man's voice between the banks of Vlai 

20. The unity of the Medo-Persian kingdom 
25. broken without hand .... 
27. / was astonished at the vision, etc. 

ix. 1. the first year of Darius . 

1. the son of Ahasuerus .... 
1. which was made king .... 

1. over the realm of the Chaldeans 

2. the books, with emphatic accent . 
3-19. Daniel's prayer .... 

23. the (a) commandment (word) went forth . 

24-27. R.V. compared with the LXX 

24-26a. The Evangelic Prophecy 

26b-27. The Evangelic Prophecy 

27. a firm covenant with {the) many for one week 

x. 1. the third year of Cyrus 

1. thing (word) and vision 

4. the great river which is Hiddekel 

5. 6. a man clothed in linen, etc. 
8-11, 15-19. Effect of the vision on Daniel 

21. the writing of truth 

xi. 1. the first year of Darius the Mede 

2-xii. 4. A prophecy obscured by a targum 

2. the fourth shall be far richer than they all 
10, 40. overflow and pass through 
38. the god of fortresses .... 

xii. 2, 3. many of them that sleep, etc. 

4. shut tip the words and seal the book 

4. run to and fro ..... 

5. 6, 7. the river (flood) .... 

6. the man clothed in linen above the waters of the river 12, 223, 290- 


8. I heard bid I understood not ...... 9 

9. Go thy way, Daniel ... . . . .10, 223 



. 18 

18, 22-23 

. 30 


33, 292 

16, 293 

15, 16 

. 55 

62, 222, 288, 290 

. 31 






. 15 

. 30 



. 222 

4, 15 

. 48 

. 13 

. 150 

. 154-155 

. 142-143 

. 36-164 

186, 284-285 

. 180-181 

. 181-182 

. 168-178 

. 182-193 

. 194-205 

. 206-211 

. 245 

. 9 

. 219-221 

222-223, 290-291 

. 291 

. 138 

. 150 

. 5-7 

. 28 

12, 220 

. 3 









Ex. xv. 10 . . . .51 

Ezra i. 2 

. 151 


. 261 

iv. 7 

. 6 

o ....... 

. 159 


. 189 

v. 15, vi. 7 

. 235 

vii. 12-26. Decree of Artaxerxes 

. 188 

viii. 36 .... 

. 261 

Ps. ii. 1, 2, 6, 8, 9 

191-192, 210-211 

*~~~ CS -j 

. 211 

Isa. vii. 8. three score and five (fifteen ?) years 

. 158-159 

viii. 8. overflow and pass through 

12, 111,210,222 

xiii. 17 .... . 

. 28 

xiv. 25 .... . 

. 5 

xix. 1 .... . 

. 58 

xxi. 1 .... . 

. 36 

xxxv. 8 .... . 

. 218 

xxxix. 6, 7 . . . . . 


xli. 2, 25 

. Ill 

xliv. 28 .... . . 

. 165 

xlv. 1, 3-4, 13 

. Ill 

Jer. xliii. 8-13 ...... 

. 71 

l.-li. ...... 

. 121-123 

1. 26 

. 80 

Ezek. x. 4, 18-19 

. 198 

xi. 22-23 

. 198 

xiv. 14, 20. Noah, Daniel, and Job 

53, 272-273 

xxiii. 14-15 ...... 

. 41 

xxvii. 13 ...... 

. 30 

xxviii. 3. Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel 

. 53-54,272-273 

xxxi. 3, 6 ...... 

. 88 

Hosea xiii. 7 ...... 

. 30 

Amos v. 19 . 

. 18 

ix. 7 

. 22Y 

Micah i. 4 . 

. 51 

Hab. ii. 3, LXX 

. 195 


. 133 

9, 11-13, 17 . 


Zeeh. iv. 10 . 

. 10 

x. 11 

. 221 

Matt. ii. 19-20 

. 207 

xiii. 31-32 

. 63 

xxii. 7 .... . 

. 195 

xxiv. 15. the abomination of desolation, which was i 


of by Daniel 

the prophet .... 

. 287 

21. great tribulation, such as hath not been, etc 

. 288 

30. the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven 

. 288 

xxvi. 64. the Son of man coming . . . coming on th 

e clouds of 

heaven ...... 

. 57, 288 

xxvii. 25 ..... 

. 195 

Luke iii. 1, 2 

. 207 

xiii. 6 -9 . 

. 198 

xxii. 70 

. 57 



John ii. 13, 20 ; vi. 4 ; xii. 1 

iii. 22 ; iv. 35 

v. 1 


vi. 4 
Acts ii. 47 

iii. 26 

v. 14 ; vi. 7 ; v. 28 ; 

vii. 52 ; v. 31 

xi. 19-21 . 
Heb. x. 37 . 
Rev. i. 7, 13-15. Behold 


ii. 18 

x. 5, 6 

xiii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-7 

xiv. 14. on the cloud 

xvii. 1 


xx. 15 

viii. 1 ; vi. 14 

', he cometh with clouds, etc. 

one sitting like unto a son of man 


2 Esdras 
Tobit xiv. 15 
Ecclesiasticus xliv.-l. 
Bel and the Dragon i. 7 

1 Maccabees i. 10 . 

54 . 
viii. 13, 14 

2 Maccabees iv. 7, 23-26, 32-35 


. 207 
. 208 

208, 209 
. 292 
. 209 
. 196 

. 197 
. 198 
. 211 
. 195 
. 290 
. 291 
. 291 
. 291 
. 292 
. 290 

292, 293 
. 293 
, 292 












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