Saturday, October 06, 2012

Archeological Supplement to my Commentary on Daniel Part One

Archeological Supplement

Part One
Origins Of The Seventy Weeks Controversy
Daniel 9:24
The Great Controversy
The Foolish Shepherds
Have Thrust On Us Sheep

         This Seventy Weeks controversy seems to have also spilled over into historical dating of the beginning and end of that seventy year period prophesied by Jeremiah. To not understand this Seventy Weeks controversy is to not understand the book of Daniel.
This controversy seems to come from a large part of Christianity that has misinterpreted Daniel's "Seventy Sevens,"as some kind of multiplication formula that predicts the coming Messiah Jesus Christ and even predicting the Second Coming and judgment day or day of the Lord.

Allegorists Change God's Words 
       We are talking of the fathers of the pharisees and Sadducees. As defined we are talking of a social movement that has led God's people, first the Jewish people, later the gentile church for thousands of years away from God. Allegorism is what this social movement should be called.  This social movement was just as massive on a grand scale then other social movements that became isms.  Like socialism, communism, feminism, capitalism, Hinduism, Buddhism, monotheism, polytheism, protestantism, legalism these first allegorists, represent a social movement that has changed the kingdom of God on massive proportions and scales.  You cannot pin just one or two people in history doing it for there were so many doing it, translating scripture symbolically, allegorically For this social movement has been under the radar so long that God's sheep do not even know it has been there.  But today I am calling them out.  I am calling all the translators whom translate allegorically they are following darkness and not light.  
       For they are like great groups of ravishing wolves that have been responsible for millions upon millions of martyrs since this scourge began with Adam and Eve.  These foolish shepherds are the ones that do not want to follow God so they change God's words and interpret them allegorically.  For they are the philosopher Christians that say, "God doesn't really mean what he says, " and also say there are mistakes in the scrolls that need to be philosophized to be understood.  For these always come up with meanings that are different then what was intended by God.  They are the allegorists.

Foolish Shepherds
          You would be watching some preacher man saying it is seventy weeks of years which they would say, "Is the same as 70 times seven years or 490 years." and this predicts the Messiah's birth or Messiah's crucifixion.  And then these Foolish Shepherds subtract years for this historical event, and add years for something and soon they are claiming things God's words never intended.  What these Foolish Shepherds never tell you is who they borrowed this method of interpreting these seventy weeks in Daniel from.  To not understand this Seventy Weeks controversy is to not understand the book of Daniel.  Here is the history of this controversy.  These controversies came from the method of interpreting scripture allegorically.  Allegorical interpretation is defined very well by the Jewish Encyclopedia so we will defer their interpretation which is this as follows:
Allegorical Interpretation       "That explanation of a scripture passage which is based upon the supposition that its author, whether God or man, intended something 'other' than what is literally expressed."
       To understand how these different bad methods of  interpretation wormed their way into the church we must first look and see how they came from the Pharisees and Sadducees first, for this is the origin from which they came. 
       These allegorical methods of interpretation were passed from the Pharisees and Sadducees to the first Jewish Christians, the group known as the Judaisers.  The Judaisers passed them to the Gentile Christians and they eventually wormed & crept their way into crevices of the theologians and finally into the governmental body of most all protestant churches.  My research found the origins of these bad methods of interpretation explained best by the Jewish Encyclopedia.

Early Allegorist Excuses

Early Jewish Allegorists used these excuses as reasons to interpret allegorically.  They claimed this was started by the prophet Hosea in the book of Hosea 12:4 NIV which states this:
Hosea 12:4 NIV
4 He struggles with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor.  He found him at Bethel and talked with him there.
      They interpreted this as meaning Hosea thought that Jacob only talked and wrestled with the Lord in his prayers. In other words they state that Hosea thought Jacob only was praying that evening at Bethel in Genesis  They believed that this scripture taught that Hosea's idea of physical struggle with God or a heavenly being no longer harmonized with the prophetic concepts of a heavenly being.  But is this correct?  Think about this according to scripture in a literal translation.  Let us go back to the story of when this happened in Genesis 32:22-32 NIV, lets read.
      I have concluded that Hosea did not actually believe in interpreting God's words allegorically.  For if he was the first allegorist as the Jews claim then how do they conclude the position in Hosea 1:2-11 in which Hosea was told by God to take an adulterous wive with wayward children.  Surely Hosea would have interpreted this also allegorically.  No, Hosea did not believe these things!  Hosea was a man of God that God spoke through to us every word through him.  These are excuses people the Foolish shepherds are using to lead the sheep astray!  

 Genesis 32:22-32 NIV
       22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that the hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go until you bless me."
        27 The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.
        28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with man and have overcome."29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."
        But he replied, "Why do you ask me my name?" Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
       31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.  

       So Jacob had a limp from this wrestling he did with God.  This is not something that comes from praying in the night, not even fervent praying.   It is very
     clear the early allegorists clearly were not familiar with the word of God.
       The allegorists state that Hosea in the direct quote of NIV bible above interpreted and insinuated God's words to mean that Jacob never wrestled with the Angel of the Lord but wrestled in the spirit and thus prayed.  They also stated Hosea's idea of a physical struggle with God no longer harmonized with the prophetic concept of heavenly beings.  But in Jacob's time it did.  The best place for further information on this is the Jewish Encyclopedia at this link:  
       Another example used in the Jewish encyclopedia as an early interpretation by these early allegorists is they interpreted the seventy weeks in the book of Daniel as to mean seventy weeks of years of years before the redemption of Israel.  Here is an exact excerpt from the Jewish Encyclopedia stating this interpretation actually was responsible for at least partly there of preventing Israel from recognizing Jesus Christ was their Messiah when born in Jerusalem. Here it is lets look:

Excerpt From Jewish Encyclopedia
Early Allegorism.

Accordingly, one of the first of the prophets whose writings are preserved, Hosea (xii. 5), is one of the earliest allegorists, when he says of Jacob's struggle with the angel that it was a struggle in prayer: this was because the idea of an actual physical contest no longer harmonized with the prophetic conception of heavenly beings. The activity of the Scribes at a later period made the Bible a book for scholars, and allegorism was fostered as a form of Midrash. The Book of Daniel supplied an illustration hereof, when it interpreted Jeremiah's prophecy of the seventy years of exile (xxix. 10) as seventy weeks of years, and thus gave hopes of redemption from the contemporary tyranny of the Greeks. The dread of reproducing Biblical anthropomorphisms—a thoroughly Jewish dread, and a characteristic feature of the oldest portions of the Septuagint—shows the original disposition of all allegorist; namely, to spiritualize mythology.To see this go to the second paragraph at this link in the Jewish Encyclopedia: 
I highlighted the area that
speaks of the seventy weeks as seventy weeks of years as the early allegorists interpreted this scripture in Daniel incorrectly.        So this allegorical interpretation of Daniel's Seventy Weeks means seventy weeks of years actually prevented God's chosen people from recognizing the Messiah because they were not expecting him.  Are you people going to be blind sheep or are you going to start using the bible God gave you, this same bible that foolish shepherds tried to prevent you from getting? As Christ said you people are like the blind following the blind, "Awake, Awake God says in Isaiah 51:17, 52:1 for those who wish to climb Mount Zion or sleep forever as a drunkard in Babylon the Great!" 
       Those that follow this seventy weeks of years interpretation are following false prophets who do not believe God's words.  This is apparent in their allegorical interpretations that corrupted the Pharisees & Sadducees first, later the Judaizer, Roman Catholicism and finally most all of the Protestant Denominations, especially the Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Armstrongism and the worldwide Church of God and Prophecy and many many other protestant sects. 
       So the not Foolish preachers avoid these controversies by not teaching from the book of Daniel.  When they do they skip around  covering only small areas quickly with no question.  
But is this the real answer, "No!"
The prophetic books are there for a reason and should be interpreted literally, to avoid bickering and confusion and bad feelings between the different parts of the body of Christ.
   The prophecies are there for a reason people, "Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove!"
Hosea Not 1st Allegorist
Hosea was not an allegorist as the first allegorist Jews, (Palestinian & Alexandrian), claimed.  He was not the father of allegorist interpretations.  To blame a man of God such as Hosea for their own sins that took them away from the literal translations is just wrong.  The real sad thing is that they are not blaming him but saying he is the father of this movement of allegorical translation.  They claim he is the father of this method of interpreting scripture symbolically.  When I read the book of Hosea thoroughly I found no evidence of him being any different then any of the other prophetic books whether poetic prophesy like Isaiah or the other apocalyptic like Daniel or Zechariah.  Read them yourself and you will see these were just excuses to translate differently then God's words.  If there is one thing God hates more then changing his words it is changing his words and blaming another Godly man like Hosea for doing it.  Hosea never said you could interpret God's words symbolically. When you read his book it is no different then any of the other books of the bible. Clearly the forefathers of the Pharisee and Sadducee movement were stubborn and wished to twist God's words to support their ideas, man's ideas, and teaching of the forefathers of the ones who placed Jesus Christ on the cross crucifying him till dead to later on the third day be raised to prove he was as he claimed, Son of God, God in the flesh.   So for those of you who stubbornly claim to excuse your leaders who interpret scripture allegorically, symbolically, just remember that you are following the ones that placed your Savior on the cross, the fathers of the pharisees and sadducees.   
Later Allegorist Excuses       It seems we are never without excuses of reasons to not believe God's clear teaching in the bible.  The later Christian theologians would just claim that prior precedent had been set by prior theologians.  Does this sound a little familiar?   It should because this excuse for interpreting allegorically has been used for thousands of years now. Two Foolish Methods      It seems that Greek philosophy and influence upon the Egyptian Alexandrian Jews and the Palestinian Jews resulted in a rationalization or rationalism that crept into the minds of the Jewish Rabbis and Jewish thinking.  There were two types of interpretation that strayed away from a literal style of interpretation which is always superior to understand
what God is teaching mankind.
For this is always the issue at hand so we seekers of God should ask this question when interpreting any scripture, "What is God trying to teach mankind?"  Another way to phrase this would be like this when interpreting any scripture, "What is God trying to teach me here?"  Or you might ask yourself this, "What can I learn from this story that I am reading about that God is telling me?"  So like I said there are two types of interpretation philosophy that has crept in from the Greek philosophers.  Both of these resulted in allegorical interpretations that took mankind away from the superior literal translation, God's original intention and teaching.  The beginnings of allegorist interpretation is explained very well in the Jewish Encyclopedia which I highly recommend you to check at this link:'s%20Seventy%20Weeks
Palestinian Jews MethodOne allegorical interpretation method originated in the Palestinian Jews. This would include the Jews who returned after the 70 year exile in Babylon, the Alexandrian Jews that migrated back down from Egypt to resettle and becoming influenced by the Jews who exiled for seventy years in Babylon.  These Jews spoke both Aramaic and Greek fluently usually and considered themselves higher and cleaner then the Alexandrian Jews.But basically this would be the Babylonian Jews that came back from slavery in Babylon.  The reason I have concluded this is it is my opinion that when the Jews returned to rebuild the temple, Ezra, Nehemiah and the bunch, they did it by their rules and nobody else.  In other words they were the ones given the decree by Cyrus  king of Persia, Ezra 1:1-4, 2nd Chronicles 36:22-23.  Allegorical interpretation had it's origins in the Babylonian Jews.  It was this type of allegorical interpretation that led to an extreme symbolic or typological interpretation to a point of rationalizing God's words to mean something different then a literal translation would result in or accomplish.
Alexandrian Jews Method       The second bad allegorical interpretation method came from the Alexandrian Jews.  You could also call these the Egyptian Jews or Hellenistic Jews.  Most of them spoke Greek only but not Aramaic. I think of these also as Samarian Jews or those looked upon as dirty by the Palestinian Jews that never went to the Babylonian Exile.  These were the Jews that escaped to Egypt refusing to go to the prophesied exile in Babylon.  So when ever Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem during the three times known; these were the ones who escaped to Egypt.  They were also any that were swallowed up in the Assyrian conquest and later settling in Egypt never coming back to Israel or Judah to resettle.  It was this type of allegorical interpretation that led to an extreme philosophical and/or mystical interpretation to a point of rationalizing God's words to mean something different then a literal translation would result in or accomplish.

So infiltration of Greek philosophy as rationalism into Palestinian and Alexandrian Jewish thought led to these two bad methods of  allegorical interpretation through which the process came from the Greek philosophers in the form of rationalization.  So one might ask [why] Jews were influenced by this rationalization that came from the Greeks.  I am not sure how to explain that.  Low self esteem maybe.  Or possibly a desire to be like other nations, like other people.  But we know God led his people to be called out of other people, not to be like them, to be different.  To follow a way that is different.  
The best way to explain this is the way the Jewish Encyclopedia explained it which is Anthropomorphism; Defined as worshipping a God that has human characteristics.  Like the walking of God with Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Also seen by Enoch who walked with God three hundred years, Genesis 5:22.  Here is an excerpt which I think explains this better from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 10th line 1st paragraph this link:

As Defined Jewish Encyclopedia
Accordingly, in our search for and discovery of the Author of all things, we attribute to Him the most valuable traits we are aware of; namely, those possessed by ourselves incompletely, in mere segments of a circle, as it were, but possessed by Him in perfect measure, in the completed circle. With regard to primitive religions the well-known epigram is certainly true, that "men created gods in their own image." Anthropomorphism is, of course, met with among all the peoples of antiquity, not excluding the most advanced. Even Jahvism, before the great reformation by the Prophets, was not free from Anthropomorphism. It is unquestionably true that the Biblical expressions of an anthropomorphic nature, such as the hand of God, His arm, foot, mouth, ear, or eye, or His speaking, walking, and laughing, merely describe in naive fashion the activity of God as living and working after the manner of human beings. But such expressions would never have come into use had there not been a time when people actually had a sensuous conception of Deity. That this period of naive utterance was not limited to the pre-Jahvistic age is shown by numerous Biblical expressions, such as that He walked in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen. iii. 8); He ate with Abraham (Gen. xviii. 8); He wrote with His own hand upon the tables of stone (Ex. xxxi. 18), and the like. Nevertheless, this very anthropomorphic view, or, to be more exact, this anthropopathic attitude—this conception of the Deity as a being with affections similar to those of a human being—contained the germs for the development of the conception of YHWH as being a mere tribal deity into a universal, ethical Being.

       Why is it so important to understand this before studying the book of Daniel?Because it is important to understand how this worm of a method of allegorical interpretation crept into God's people. If we know how it got there we can know how to remove this pathetic of an excuse for not doing the hard work, not reading , learning and knowing God's words as God intended for us to know.
       So the way I see it is this.  The reason, Alexandrian and Palestinian Jews, turned away from the superior method of literal translation to current Greek philosophy based ones, based on rationalization, was to extract and establish excuses allowing them to pile burdens upon the shoulders of God's people for financial gains through manipulation of truths through tithes and offerings.     
Overall establishment of the Grecian empire and massive spread of their polytheistic culture of many propopolymorphic gods that were quite inferiorly human with human characteristics maybe was looked  down upon by the more educated Jewish interpreters.  They quite possibly considered anyone who worshipped these gods so obviously propomorphistic inferior dummies and stupid people.  Basically Atheism ruled through the greek philosophers.  Sure, they believed in God but a distant God that had no human characteristics, an impersonal god.  Not a god that everyone was following with all those evil humanistic traits like the gods of the Greeks.
Another reason is when they came out of Egypt and wandered in the desert for 40 years they saw God up close very powerful.  After seeing God part the Red Sea it was difficult to imagine God as someone we came from, someone to walk in the garden with, someone we could relate to in which we had similar characteristics.  Maybe this was God's will in the very beginning, for Israel to shrink away not recognizing the Messiah so all the gentiles could get saved.  So all this brings the thing that caused them to turn away from descriptions of God with human characteristics which is Anti-Anthropomorphism.  This was the reason they crucified Christ.  This was the reason Christ was so savagely hated when he referred to himself as the Son of God, Begotten.  This defines a movement that is best described and defined by the Jewish Encyclopedia, third paragraph, here is the link and an excerpt with some highlighted portions:

Jewish Encyclopedia excerpt, Third Paragraph 
Isaiah was more practically successful in his efforts against the worship of sensuous representations of the Deity. He induced Hezekiah to destroy the brazen serpent, which may have dated back to the days of Moses (II Kings, xviii. 4). But before the Prophets, even David, "a man after God's own heart," as well as Laban of old, had teraphim (small household idols in human form, used as domestic oracles) in his house (I Sam. xix. 13, 16; Gen. xxxi. 34). The lofty and novel conception by the Prophets of the essential characteristic of YHWH as ethical—through which ethical nature, despite His sublimity and incomprehensibility, He has something in common with man—became a matter of fundamental importance in the development of the Jewish religion. With the prevalence of legalism the immediateness of the relation between God and man ceased; in other words, the "Law" made the transcendent nature of God a postulate. Hence there may be noticed, in a few books of the Old Testament, a certain aversion to bringing the Creator into direct relations with His creatures. To the people God was no longer visible in person—as described in the most vivid colors by the older sources—but He was visible in "majesty" and "glory" instead (Ex. xvi. 7, 10, xl. 34 et seq.; Lev. ix. 23; Num. xiv. 10, xvi. 19). It was no longer the actual personality of YHWH that dwelt in the Tabernacle, but the mental image called up by His "Name" () that there abode (Deut. xii. 5, 11; xvi. 2, 6, 11; xxvi. 2); so likewise in the Temple dwells His name (II Kings, xxiii. 27; II Chron. xx. 9, xxxiii. 7). See Ginsburger, "Anthropomorphism," pp. 262 et seq.
It is evident, therefore, that the theological problem regarding Anthropomorphism—that is, the endeavor to interpret the sensuous statements concerning God in the Bible so as to give them a spiritual meaning—is coeval with Jewish theology itself. For it is obvious that there is a definite method and purpose in the consistent efforts of the nomistic writers to substitute new terms for those found in the ancient authorities, or to remodel entire accounts. Such revision is to be seen, for example, in the so-called "priestly code" where all theophanies are consistently omitted, and "the word" or "the presence of God" substituted for them. This reluctance to offend the Deity by anthropomorphic utterances concerning His person grew stronger with time, so that the use of the name YHWH, which was felt to be a proper name, in contradistinction to the other appellations of the Deity in the Bible, was thereafter avoided So the way I see it, Anti-anthropomorphism won with the impersonalization of a God who so desires a personal relationship with mankind.  All of this contrary to the personal nature of God we see all over the first books of the bible. This Anti-anthropomorphism movement led to the destruction of the bronze serpent by Hezekiah induced by Isaiah in which they had been burning incense to it since the time of Moses as a remembrance. This bronze snake was a typecast and prophecy of the coming Messiah that would be lifted up for all mankind's salvation. But all of this came from allegorical methods of interpretation that crept into the body of Christ followers. So let us not follow this allegorical method of translation and rely on a method that works every time, the literal method. Let us turn from allegory as an excuse that Foolish Shepherds use to twist God's words to pervert them into other meanings God never intended. Let us quit repeating the words of other Foolish Shepherds that claim they had visions or had dreams that are nothing more then their imagination and unwillingness to do the really hard work that is required to truly understand balanced views of scripture and how they relate to our generation. May we quit repeating the lies other Foolish Shepherds claim of our brother and sisters in Christ when teaching about end times prophecy. "Give me a calculator!"They exclaim, "And I will show you the future of the world!" For when they sell us they exclaim, "Praise the Lord, I am rich!"And the ones that buy them say, "I will say what you want me to say!"For a literal method is always superior in all matters except when the only one that will work is a symbolic one temporarily until God gives us a literal one. For sometimes a symbolic one must be used until a literal one comes or the most literal one comes by God from.His Teacher the Holy Spirit.
Works Cited
All biblical quotes are the NIV unless otherwise noted.
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MacArthur, John.Daniel: God's Control Over Rulers of Nations. Ed. Len Woods. Nashville: W Publishing Group P. 2000 Maclaren, Alexander.Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Matthew Chapters IX to XVII Volume VII.Grand Rapids: WM. B. Eerdmans P. 1942
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Swindoll, Charles. Daniel: God's Pattern for the Future: Bible Study Guide. Eds. Bill Watkins., and Bill Butterworth. Fullerton: Insight for Living P. 1986
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Whitcomb, John.Daniel: Everyman's Bible Commentary. Chicago: Mood Press P. 1985 
Wood, Leon. A Commentary on Daniel. Grand Rapids: Zondervan P. 1973  


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