Saturday, October 06, 2012

My Commentary on Daniel Part One

                                                                  This is a work in progress
 Tower of Babel         Babel Tower by
My Commentary                
       on the Book Of
              Daniel Part One

             Author's Preface       This is my commentary on the book of Daniel. This book's prophetic meaning is now revealed to the body of Christ. My comments are not meant to replace the word of God, nor be added to it. They are meant only as a guide for you to compare my interpretation to what the Holy Spirit leads you.

       Please comment on areas that you feel are wrong and I will be happy to reconsider it included with the facts you gave. My only intention is to teach on the book of Daniel and the interpretations God revealed to me, subject at hand.
       Lack of leadership in the body of Christ on prophecy is unending.  Those who are pastors and teachers constantly ignore these prophetic books. The rejection of prophecy has led to a great crisis in the Body of Christ today. To teach the bible without teaching prophecy is just plain wrong. My goal as a preacher is to fill this gap. There are those that would say or imply they teach prophecy without error because a certain doctrine has been around for an amount of time. This is the same lie preached by the Pharisees and Sadducees! This same error was preached against Paul and the doctrine of grace by the Judaizers. There is no preacher, teacher or even theologian that is above correction. The bible is absolute but all preachers and teachers have had at least some faults and error because they could not see over the mountain what God was doing. All this blocking of vision is by God himself to reveal things at his perfect time.

       This book has been written as a need in the body of Christ for correction from a path taken which has resulted in the rejection in prophecy given to mankind by God. Since there is no time in the spiritual realm whenever God breaths through his prophets prophecy exists in all his holy words, 100% of the bible. It is only when man disregards Christ's words, God's words, mankind becomes lost like on a ship in a storm being tossed to and fro. Mankind's eyes then become scaly and ears become plugged. A lot of the problems of prophetic misinterpretation started with the rejection of the many prophetic books as being prophecy, assuming they were predominately historical books. Scripture does not support this dangerous slippery view.  This is wrong since all the books of the bible were breathed through the prophets, thus being prophetic, as a plan by God, actually Christ, each individual word, even each tittle being perfect, given by God himself for all of mankind to consume. We must stop changing God's words by starting to hold each and every word breathed through the prophets, also organized by prophets, into what we now call the bible. 

      This commentary, not unlike Zechariah or Joel, has been an experience like no other, consuming me to the point of interjecting a feeling of being stranded on a lonely desert isle in a great hurricane storm trying to figure putting the pieces together without scriptural contradictions. Of course that never helps much because solutions never come from your mind, rather, revelations are revealed they at unexpected times of weakness dripping from the excessive consumption of scripture. Revelation is never revealed easily but rather is something wrestled with mountains of prayer  and meditation of God's seeking what exactly they mean to the Christ-followers.
       Just when I felt I could leave the island with sound new biblical revelation intact, appeared then more contradictions on the new revelation would appear, throwing me for another loop, stranding me once again a new desert isle with even greater problems then originally thought.  Many times putting scriptural research down, letting it cool,even age was the only solution to being able to later return with a fresh spiritual perspective, realizing new solutions that were scriptural. Sometimes the feeling was like being on a tiny sailboat with the mast down in the middle of an uncontrollable storm not knowing which way the wind would blow, where the storm would carry me. But prayer and meditation always helped rescue me and soon revelation would reveal the difficult tasks at hand, the problems that needed solving and solutions that were scripturally sound.
       A great deal of issues sprouted at the beginning of this commentary that surprised me. At times I even felt stalked by the words of theologians themselves with sharp stabbing words their many followers were quickly to throw at me to sway me to this side or that. I never knew there were so many theologians that contradicted each other on the dating of Daniel. I never knew there were so many adamant in proclaiming certain dates without adequate scriptural evidence. These dating issues coming from all the different sects of Christianity, none with scriptural support, but all saying the other is wrong, all seemingly to have excessive amounts of evidence backing up, even proving their particular points of view as to why such and such date was correct. Wading through these many opposing views felt like being in the middle of the fog in a tiny rowboat with other small boats, each boat representing a particular denomination, none being able to see how to get to shore, all bumping into each other, one of many in the area,  not being able to see, and a category 5 hurricane approaching from behind, but all knowing the dangerous hurricane is soon approaching.  And then there were the boat rammers.  All denominations have them.  They are the ones that attack you because you have a different view then their denomination's Pharisees. They call themselves disciples but in reality they are just boat rammers that attack any that dare, that interpret Daniel differently than what they have heard.  The amazing thing is when you try to discuss scriptural truth with the boat rammers, there is never a willingness by them to open their bibles, to break bread, allowing Holy Spirit to reveal, to teach through revelation.  Rather than, they always point to their official doctrine spoke by their may de-greeded theologians, denominational Pharisees really, that quote official historical figures with official historical occurrences, that, as an excuse of why the bible need not be opened and read.  One can only wonder how many sincere Holy Spirit led brothers were discouraged by these millions of denominational nay-sayers found especially in the western modernized Christian. 

       Let us break bread and open the book of Daniel, chapter 1:1-21. Please read this, [only], side by side when you have your bible with you. I use an NIV so I put those words here so it is easy for you to see what God stated in his holy bible.
       Please be careful and do not place my words equal to those in the bible for they are not. This is just commentary only and I am not adding or taking away from the bible according to Revelation 22:19.
This is only a commentary of a long line of commentaries down through the last 2000 years.
But I do believe this interpretation is far superior to any interpretation out there today.
       Please pray for God to wake you up by giving proper interpretation of these prophecies so you may warn and wake up your family and the body of Christ.
       For God says to wake up wake up or sleep forever for those [that] live in Babylon the Great, America, Jeremiah 51:57.  For the daughter of Babel will not rise to inherit the kingdom to cover the earth with her cities, Isaiah 14:21. 
I have placed my words in a different color, this color, so that you may differentiate them from God's words.
       For those climbing the mountain of Zion are also told Awake, Awake and put on your garments of splendor,
Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 52:1.  So let us not be the five virgins without jars of oil when Jesus Christ, Bridegroom, comes but let us fill our jars with oil, Holy Spirit, and be counted worthy to escape these things at the coming Rapture. 
                                                                              General Preface
       Daniel and the misinterpretation of this magnificent book on prophecy in the body of Christ has caused more bickering between the different sects of the Saints than any other book in the bible. The Saints seem to argue over their particular denomination's take on how the 70 weeks are 70 weeks of years that not only start at different dates but end at different dates. They all seem to have their own historians they quote for their own particular brand of truth. The Jews originally interpreted Daniel's 9:24 seventy weeks as simply being seventy years. This occurred until at least 90 years post-exilic or around 448 BC. This is logical when we look at Daniel's prayer chapter 9:1-19. The Jews did not start the misinterpretation of the 70 sevens (weeks) being actually 70 weeks of years until 90 years after leaving Babylon with Cyrus the Great's blessings (2nd Chronicles 36:20-23; Ezra 1:1-8). Josephus, a high ranking Pharisee historian with direct access to all the 2nd temple holy scrolls and evidence gives and uses the seventy weeks of years interpretation to not only explain the abomination of Antiochus IV Epiphanes 175-164 BC. This common practice misinterpretation became common practice being even recorded by the famous Jewish historian Josephus, (quote passage) was passed to the early church,  (quote church fathers). The reason the Jews did this is they realized that the 2nd temple had not returned to its former glory in the seventy year period which was their first interpretation of Daniel's seventy weeks being a 70 year period of 2nd temple restoration and redemption of Israel in fulfillment of Zechariah's & Ezekiel's vision. To do a commentary without covering the different arguments and causes thereof would be an injustice making the production of a commentary all to easy avoiding the major issues of our time.
       There are three goals I am attempting to accomplish by writing this commentary.  They are this:
1.)  To reveal revelation to the body of Christ that God has already revealed to me about the meaning and importance of the book of Daniel's prophecies, how they're related to our generation during this time in history.
2.)  To reveal revelation in the Body of Christ as to the reasons why there has been so much trouble and bickering concerning the deciphering of this important prophetic work exposing the major issues of today being ignored, like the seventy weeks prophecy and how it relates to the enumerable arguments between scholars over the dating of Daniel.
3.)   To summarize listing both sides of Daniel, the critical view and the defense thereof Daniel revealing revelation of the weakness of the critical view exposing proper prophetic interpretation as they relate to our generation at this time.
        The book of Daniel is written in two languages which is what would be expected of a group of people taken from one country to a different country that speaks a different language.  Almost every denomination has its own take on why the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24 are seventy weeks of years and they are all blind foolish shepherds leading blind sheep to the slaughter.   
       Chapters 2:4 to 7:28 are in Aramaic, of what was considered the language of the Babylonians, also called Chaldean, the rest is in Hebrew.  This is what could be expected of a book authored by an intelligent individual that rose through the ranks as a wise man not unlike Joseph in Egypt.  Daniel had special training to learn the language and literature of the Babylonians, Daniel 1:4. 
       Many historians break the book up into two sections, historical chapters 1-6 and apocalyptic chapters 7-12.  I disagree with the inflexibility of this overtly simplified view to a more superior prophetic view that God truly teaches mankind through history, creation and scripture.  I believe God's fingerprints are all over the history of mankind, creation and scripture.  God's words are holy and each word must be treated so and divided carefully by not taking [a]ny words away or adding any words to them, Revelation 22:19.  So to me the book of Daniel is 100% prophetic in all chapters and verses, but some, chapters 7-12 appearing more magnificent then others.  The reason I say appearing is that there is so much more to discover in this amazing prophetic book.  But treating all chapters equally important, equally prophetic is the key.  Treating each word carefully.  In fact this is basically truth of interpretation of the whole bible for [those] that have the proper understanding of prophecy.
       There has been a movement of criticism coming originally from Jewish Scribes 4th century A.D. that have influenced a great deal of Christian theologians.  This view is called the critical view of the book of Daniel. Their belief is basically this. They believe that Daniel was not written by Daniel but was an apocryphal book written in the period of the Maccabees and is historically accurate only because it is written after the fact, ex-eventu, Collins on Daniel.  They believe  Daniel is a valuable historical document only but that is it.  To them Daniel was a Maccabee psuedo prophet "want-to-be" that penned the book of Daniel 400 some years after the fact. They believe it is a sort of allegorical apocalyptic story of make believe miracle land in which the miracles are too magnificent to have ever occurred or believed.  They believe it is a sort of pseudo apocalyptic book on the style of the hundreds of other apocalyptic books written during the period of the Maccabees never making it into the cannon of Old Testament scripture, 100-200 B.C.  I believe it was the great disappointment of the Jew's 2nd temple failure to return to the 1st Temple Shekiniah glory that led to an even greater Apostasy  which concluded with all the false prophets dead sea scroll writings passed down from the Maccabee period. Yet there are many things that contradict their view.
       Christ quoted Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11 in Matthew 24:15 as being a real person who's prophecy would be fulfilled in the last generation, during the last part of the time of Jacob's Trouble, also called tribulation, I call last third of tribulation.  Lets look at Matthew 24:15 NIV.
Matthew 24:15 NIV
       15"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel---16then let those who are in Judah flee to the mountains.
        They believe Daniel was written in about 100-200 BC or the Maccabee period, about four hundred years after Daniel.  These modern critical theologians contradict the traditional view of Daniel's book  being an accurate historical document of real people swept into Babylon.  So much for modern seminaries and their standards of upholding scriptural truth. I guess they doubt Daniel because of the magnificence of the miracles and the accurate prophecies. 
       Daniel and his three friends were part of the first group, of three groups, taken to Jerusalem in the years 608 BC, 599 BC, 588 BC. This is based on an earlier conclusion of the dating of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah based upon the year by the day fulfillment of the seventy years exile prophesied by Jeremiah, see Ezra 1:1-4, 2nd Chronicles 36:22-23.  This would mean the seventy years of Daniel began in 608 BC, not 605 BC, otherwise we are contradicting what scripture clearly says that the seventy years ended to the day in the 1st year of the reign of Cyrus king of Babylon in, Ezra 1:1-4; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23. If there is one thing all historians agree on it is the dating of the 1st year of Cyrus, 538 BC.  If 608 BC was the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim then his reign ended eleven years later in 599 BC, 2nd Kings 23:36, also the second time Nebuchadnezzar took captives back to Babylon.  So Zedekiah's reign began after the 3 month king Jehoiachin king of Judah, 2nd Kings 24:8 in the year 599 BC.  Zedekiah and the prior three month king Jehoiachin were puppet kings installed be Nebuchadnezzar, 2nd Kings 24:15-17.  Nine years later Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem again in 590 BC because Zedekiah rebeled against Nebuchadnezzar's yoke, 2nd Kings 25:1.  The city was kept under seige until it fell when the walls were broken in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign, 588 BC, not what many say 586 BC.  588 BC is the year of the fall of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon according to backtracking from the date of the 1st year of the reign of Cyrus.
       You know these dates really do not matter and are not significant what so ever according to prophecy.  Many think so but they do not.  If God thought it was important there would have been clearer historical evidence then provided.  If this had been the case there would be no discrepancies.  The reason theologians argue over these with such fervent complicated arguments is they are trying to give supporting evidence for their particular brand of a symbolic interpretation of Daniel 9:24.  They claim the seventy weeks here are seventy weeks of years which it clearly does not state.  All it says is seventy weeks in which there is a proper literal interpretation, seventy celebrations of the Feast of Tabernacles, a one week Feast, seventy celebrations of this which is a seventy year period.     
         He was of royal blood and according to Josephus the three friends of Daniel were descendants of king Zedekiah giving them easier entry into the palace of Babylon.  Described as attractive, lean, bright eyed brilliant young lads that were wise, loving God greatly.
       For any other interpretation leads to great confusion and disagreements by church denominational theologians leading to many arguments and bickering.  Since we know this bickering between theologians cannot be from God then there must be a more accurate logical solution.  And of course there is always the other option to consider, that the dating of the book of Daniel is not as important in God's eyes as man thinks it is. 
       My view frankly is that all of these endless squabbles over dates is symptomatic of misinterpretation of Daniel's 9:24 seventy weeks being seventy weeks of years.  This leads to confusion and mathematical mysticism that can be traced at least to Pharisees in the time of Christ.  We clearly can see this in the writing of Flavious Josephus, that great Pharisee historian who was also the governor of Galilee.
                                    Only Some Evidence                               

       168 B.C. being 440 years after Daniel's seventy weeks vision.  So this view was the current view of the pharisees because Josephus was raised a pharisee because according to what he stated on page one of the life of Josephus he writes his own auto biography.  He states this in:
                       Excerpt From Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews
 2 #10 and when I was about sixteen years old, I had a mind to make trial of the several sects that were among us.  these sects are three:--The first is that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Sadducees, and the third of the Essenes, as we have frequently told you; for I thought that by this means that I might, choose the best, if I were once acquainted with them all; 11so I contented myself with hard fare, and underwent great difficulties and went through them all.  Nor did I content myself with these trials only; but when I was informed that one, whose name was Banus, lived in the desert, and used no other clothing than grew upon trees, and had no other food than what grew on its own accord, and bathed himself with cold water frequently, both by night and by day to preserve his chastity, 12 I imitated him in those things and continued with him three years.  So when I had accomplished my desires, I returned back to the city, being now nineteen years old, and began to conduct myself according to the rules of the sect of the Pharisees, which is of kin to the sect of the Stoics, as the Greeks call them.
     Excerpt From Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews 10.11.7
        #274 that by the great horn which sprang out of the forehead of the he-goat was meant the first king; and that the springing up of four horns upon its falling off. and the conversion of every one of them to the four corners of the earth, signified the successors that should arise after the death of the first king; and that the springing up of four horns upon its falling off, and the conversion of every one of them to the four quarters of the earth, signified the successors that should arise after the death of the first king, and the partition of the kingdom among them, and that they should be neither his children nor of his kindred that should reign over the habitable earth for many years; 275 and that from among them there should arise a certain king that should overcome our nation and their laws, and should take away our political government, and should spoil the temple, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for three years' time.  #276 And indeed it came to pass, that our nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision and what he wrote many years before they came to pass.  In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. 
       Josephus also claimed this interpretation of the seventy weeks symbolically according to some Christian theologians and William Whiston himself, bottom of page, page 336 in the comments by the translator William Whiston, A.M., in Josephus, The Complete Works.  Whiston claimed Josephus inferred the seventy weeks are seventy years by stating the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes and the destruction of the 2nd temple by the Romans in 70 AD was fulfillment of Daniel's prophetic visions.

       It is God's will for us to all end these childless squabbles over symbolic interpretations that came from the fathers of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  These arguments and bickering are not from God.  This is a scriptural solution to the many arguments over the dates of Jehoiakim's reign to support their particular symbolic misinterpretation of the seventy weeks being seventy weeks of years.  These problems started with the seventy weeks controversy which came from the fathers of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  See the archeological supplement part 1 at this link:
       We know 608 BC was the year the first group, Daniel and friends, went to Babylon, not by following unreliable historical records, nor by accepting unreliable contradictory denominational claims,  but the third year of the reign of king Jehoiakim king of Judah, according to Daniel 1:1, seemingly contradicting Jeremiah the prophet,  Jeremiah 36:1 stating the same thing happening in the fourth year of Jehoiakim king of Judah, but both must be correct, now knowing there were two popular chronological dating methods, a reignal and ascension dates, we now know this date is correct by backtracking seventy years from the date most modern historians agree on which is the fall of Babylon by Cyrus was in the very end of the year of 539 BC.  For surely the falling of an empire as massive as Babylon had more witnesses and historians documenting the evidence. 
       So the first year of the reign of Cyrus is something well known all historians seem to agree on, Babylon being conquered by Cyrus in 539 BC and the first year of the reign of Cyrus being 538 BC.  So when we subtract 70 years from this date we come to 608 BC as long as we agree with the belief that scripture is absolute, infallible.  This is something all Christianity, all denominations, all theologians must agree on, or we are all wasting our time discussing truth.  For when we read 2nd Chronicles 36:22-23 & Ezra 1:1-4 we can only conclude one thing, the seventy years was fulfilled to the day in the first year of the reign of Cyrus king of Persia, 538 BC.
       So the problem is that every great modern theologian here and there changes the dates of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah to be supporting evidence for their particular denomination's symbolic interpretation of Daniel's seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24 being seventy weeks of years.  They are taking square pegs and pounding them with hammers into round holes.  This interpretation is not only unreliable but a symbolic one leading to confusion and great claims of dates and days by prideful men that have turned G-d's people away from G-d's words of prophecy.
        For if we try to conclude this date by the dating of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, whether in Daniel's 3rd year of Jehoiakim, civil calender of Judah or Jeremiah's Holy calender, Jeremiah 25:1.  For we now know things we did not know earlier when prior theologians interpreted these scriptures.  We now know there was in Judah a Holy calender and a civil calender.  The civil to record the reigns of the kings which were estimates because no king died exactly the last day or the first day of the year but many times three months into the year or three months at the end of the year.  A good example of this was the king before Zedekiah, Jehoiachin or the king before Jehoiakim, Jehoahaz both of which were 3 month reigns, 2nd Kings 23:31, 24:8.  To complicate this even further It seems that Babylon also had two calenders, a civil for reigns of kings and holy.  So we are talking of four calenders when trying to set the date of Jehoiakim king of Judah's.  This is why I believe the easiest and most accurate way is to date the first year reign of Cyrus, subtracting seventy years from there to arrive at the 3rd year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah.     
  Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon which was the Judaen holy calender, nor by what was stated in the fourth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon according to the Judaen civil calender, in which there seems to be many disagreements on the
                Division of Daniel 
       The first six chapters are about the Jeremiah 25:11 prophesied seventy years desolation caused by the four horns sent from God of Jerusalem also called the the four horns from God that scatter Judah & Jerusalem, Zechariah 1:18-20.  Chapters 7 to 12 are the four craftsmen of God to rebuild, atone and redeem Israel, Judah and Jerusalem, Zechariah 1:18-20, fulfilled during the last seventy years of the world just before Satan is bound for a thousand years, Revelation 22:2.  The book should be read considering these things.       
                                           Unity of Daniel 
       Most theologians agree the writing of the book of Daniel has been by the same person, a person claiming to be Daniel according to the book itself.  Daniel repeatedly proclaims himself author of the book, Daniel 7:1, 8:1, 9:2, 10:1.  The angel Gabriel also proclaims Daniel the author, Daniel 12:4.  Chapters 1:1 to 7:1 are in 3rd person while chapters 7:2-12:13 are in first person.  This makes sense if you understand these facts.  Daniel 1:1 to 7:1 are a story about how four individual followers of God whom were trained and promoted into the highest ranks of Babylon bringing the gospel to the Babylonians.  At the same time this was happening  God's judgment  was upon Babylon and its rulers bringing them low.  The complexity of a story like this would have to be told in the third person.  Daniel 7:2 to 12:13 are basically like any prophetic book, a story about its author and the visions this author received from God.  This part of the story would be expected to be in 1st person as it is since it is basically a testament by Daniel of his personal encounter with heavenly beings, Gabriel and others, that came to show the prophet Daniel of the future coming Judgment of all mankind by a great war, and the rebuilding, redemption of God's people, end of sin, all of this occurring during the last seventy years before  Satan is bound for a thousand years, Revelation 20:2.  The words of the book of Daniel reflect unified structure in the entire bible. 
        Consider this: 1.)  Daniel like Joseph was carried captive as a youth required to adapt as a foreigner in a distant land.  2.)   Both were enslaved as captives.  3.)  Both forced to learn to speak a foreign language.  4.)  Both becoming high ranking ambassadors for G-d.  5.)  Both interpreters of dreams and prophets God spoke through.  6.)  Both intercessors for God's people, Daniel 9:20, 7.)  Both sent ahead into the enslaving nation to prepare a place for Gods people that would come later, Daniel 1:1, Genesis 45:5-6, 2nd Kings 24:17, 25:1, 25:7.  8.)  Both had dreams from God, Genesis 37:5, Daniel 7:2-12:13.  8.)  Both successful in everything they did, Genesis 39:3, Daniel 1:4. 9.)  Both becoming second in command of world empires that enslaved them, Genesis 41:41, Daniel 2:48-49.
The structure of Daniel supports a traditional view that it was authored by Daniel during exile in 5th century B.C.  We know this by the structural wording of Daniel that is confirmed in the New & Old Testament by both King David, Christ and the Apostle Paul, Matthew 24:30, 24:37, 24:39, 26:64, Mark 13:26, 14:62, Psalm 68:4, 1st Thessalonians 4:17.  Daniel was the first prophet ever called son of man as a typecast and foreshadowing of the coming real Son of Man Jesus Christ, Daniel 8:17.  Paul spoke of the coming Son of Man in the clouds just as Daniel, King David and Christ had, 1st Thessalonians 4:17.  The sour faced critics of Daniel repeatedly cite tired outdated evidence that just doesn't hold water to any type of scriptural scrutiny.  Before anyone decides whether Daniel was written in 174 B.C., the critical view of Daniel, or 5th century B.C. consider these facts first that support the traditional view I have gleamed from various scholars defending the traditional view.
                                Son Of Man in Old Testament
       Son of man is a term first used one time in the book of Job chapter 25:6 in a poetic prophesy describing how mankind treated the Messiah like a worm by beating whipping and tearing up his flesh before crucifying him.  It is then also used three times in Psalms 8:4, 80:17 & 144:3.
       The next time Son of Man is used is two times in Daniel 7:13, 8:17.  Here are the quotes.
                                           Daniel 7:13 NIV
       "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
                                           Daniel 8:17 NIV
       As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostate.  "Son of man,"he said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end."  
       The next time Son of Man is used is 95 times by the prophet Ezekiel for a total of 99 times in the Old Testament. 
                     Son of Man in the New Testament
       The Son of Man was used by Christ himself describing himself many times here and there all over the New Testament.  Matthew the evangelist uses the term 30 times, Mark 15 times, Luke 25 times, John 13 times, Acts 1 time, Hebrews 1 time and Revelation 2 times. The total times Son of Man is used in the New Testament is 87 times. 
       The structure concerning the prophecy of the Son of Man is perfect in the book of Daniel.  If Daniel were written in 174 B.C. as the many post modern critics claim making Daniel a book that is pseudonymous with ex-eventu prophecy as they claim thus concluding Daniel was not cannon then the Son of Man prophecies would be imbalanced.  But there is even more evidence.  Consider this:
       Son of Man is used 2 times in Revelation as it is used 2 times in Daniel. 
       Ezekiel quoted Daniel in extremely high esteem twice comparing Daniel both times equal in company to Noah and Job, Ezekiel 14:14, 14:20.  At the time this was written in 5th century B.C. Noah & Job quite probably were considered even greater then Isaiah and Jeremiah.  
       Christ himself quoted Daniel in Matthew 24:15.  It is hard to believe that Christ would himself quote the book of Daniel if it was not cannon.  Christ would never quote a book written as a fraudulent ex-eventu pseudonymous historical book on prophecy.  Christ was God in the flesh and would have known that the book was non canon.  Lets read Christ's words on what he thought of the prophet Daniel in Matthew 24:15.           

                                           Matthew 24:15 NIV 
       "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,'spoken of through the prophet Daniel---16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
     It is hard to fathom that Christ might quote a pseudonymous author with exaggerated claims of ex-eventu fraudulent prophecy meant to deceive the reader.  Christ was God in the flesh and would only quote a canon book, so Daniel was truly written when all these things happened to Daniel.

       Also, since Job and psalms were considered the wisdom books and tradition says that Psalms was gathered and put together during exile while in Babylon, it is not a far stretch to think that Daniel was not even aware of the "son of man," statement that was used only three times in all the many Psalms, nor was Daniel probably aware of the one time "son of man," was used in the book of Job 25:6.  It is doubtful the way it was used in Job was even understood by Daniel if he did see it since the way Job used it was an exaggerated symbolism for man rather then being symbolic for a holy prophet or someone like the  "son of man,"  returning to earth riding the clouds; these last two examples were from the Daniel quotes in red above.  Here is the quote from Bildad in the book of Job 25:6 NIV; notice how different it is used then in Daniel which we can safely assume was written before Ezekiel since Ezekiel was not swept away into Babylon until eleven years after Daniel, both being young men,  which was a full seven years after Daniel and friends were promoted into the highest offices of the Babylonian as recorded in chapter 2 Daniel.

                                                Job 25:5-6 NIV
       5 If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes, 6 how much less a man, who is but a maggot---a son of man, who is only a worm!"
       Also notice the different ways it is being used these three times in the book of Psalms.
                                             Psalms 8:3-4 NIV 
        3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 
                                              Psalms 80:17 NIV
       17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself.  
                                             Psalms 144:3 NIV
        3 O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?

       Now before you pass judgment too quickly on some of these issues consider these things; Daniel did not have the advantage point we do; Daniel could not look back at the New Testament gospels and seeing Christ all over the gospels claiming he was the, "son of man," and also, "the Son of God;" Daniel also could not look back into Ezekiel and see the 95 times Ezekiel was called the "son of man," by God.  Daniel only had these three Psalms and one verse at Job 25:6.  It is highly likely that Daniel did not even have these three Psalms verses available since by tradition the psalms were not even consolidated into book form until during exile even though many were much older.  They were separate songs that were sung unto the Lord. 
       So it is quite likely that all Daniel had was Job 25:6 yet Daniel used it in a very different way that, "son of man," had never been used in the Old Testament; one picturing the Messiah returning riding on the clouds in Daniel 7:13 approaching Father God; Daniel 8:17 as a holy prophet of God.
       So Daniel was the first to use the term, "son of man," in these ways; first before Ezekiel first before the earth walking Christ but not first before God since God himself breathed through Daniel, not some Maccabees or Essene false prophet writer in 2nd century B.C.
       There is more structure of Daniel that testifies to the truth of Daniel and upholding a traditional 5th century B.C. authorship and these witnesses come from the pits of hell.  This is fascinating stuff all there in the bible that begs to be read.  Here it is:
                                            Most High God
       Most High God is a term that originated in the book of Daniel by King Nebuchadnezzar.  Although this term is used in a similar way in the old testament it is not the same meaning.  In Genesis a similar statement of, "God most High," is used four times.  Numbers and 2nd Samuel have "Most High,"  once each.  Psalms has "Most High," four times and "God Most High," three times.  It was the book of Daniel that first records King Nebuchadnezzar congratulating Daniel and his "Most high God,"  in Daniel 3:26, 4:2, 5:18 & 5:21.  Here they are.
                                         Daniel 3:26 NIV 
       26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out!  Come here!"
                                            Daniel 4:2 NIV
       2 It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
                                             Daniel 5:18 NIV
       18 O King, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and Glory and splendor.
                                             Daniel 3:21 NIV 
       21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal;  he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle;  and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.

       Now the next time we see "Most High God," in the bible is three places in the New Testament; Mark 5:7, Luke 8:28, Acts 16:17.  In two place it says, Most High," Luke 1:32, Luke 1:35.  In both these places the angel Gabriel called the Holy Spirit the Most High.  In one place it says "God Most High," Hebrews 7:1.  There is one thing I noticed in the entire New Testament where exact wording "Most High God,"was that all of the statements were by demons or people influenced by demons.  If you carefully look at the statement spoke by Nebuchadnezzar and demons the mean is different.  The Most High God implies that other gods exist where God Most High does not imply this.  This means a person saying this believes in many gods versus the one God Most High, or the Most High does not imply this.  Lets carefully look at them.
                                         Mark 5:7 NIV
       7 He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  Swear to God that you won't torture me!"
                                       Luke 8:28 NIV
       28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I beg you, don't torture me!"
                                      Acts 16:17 NIV 
       17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."

                                  Authorship of Daniel
       Modern critical analysis of the book of Daniel has once again reared it's ugly head calling into question the years Daniel was written and even the existence of a real person by the name of Daniel that was of the first group taken into Babylon.  The most recent attacks comes from a group of critical  authors spearheaded by John J Collins, PHD from Harvard university, Holmes professor of Old Testament at Yale university,  Adela Yarbro Collins, PhD. Harvard university, professor Yale university Divinity school.  This family dynamic duo pumps out more questioning canonicity of different books of the bible at a pace faster then the pace car at the Indy 500.  Whether or not they are undermining the fabric of absolute truth purposely, accidently or just to sell books and teach  I do not know, but, the damage they are causing seminaries and their students are unmatched since the time right before the birth of Christ with the Pharisees and Sadducees.
There are two camps theologians gravitate toward one should consider before considering the reading of any commentary on the book of Daniel, traditional literalists interpreting scripture on faith in defense of Daniel, and those who criticize the bible in an attempt to undermine it embracing what is called the critical view.  Those who are deemed to have taken the critical view should be broken down into two groups, the modern critical view having began over the last two hundred years and the post ancient critical view that Saint Jerome dealt with in his commentary defense of Daniel.  I will first cover the pro and cons of the modern critical view first then later summarizing the defense of Daniel at the end. 

       The strange thing is these nit picking critics would be kicked out of most any church on grounds of heresy yet somehow our seminaries seem to relish them, even exalt them. The danger is of course that they are teaching the preachers of tomorrow.  They are teaching the preachers of tomorrow that absolute truth does not exist.  They are teaching the preachers of tomorrow that sometimes God lies, sometimes non-cannon books over history have crept into the bible.  The critics are the theologians that attempt to undermine Daniel for what ever reason.  They criticize Daniel so this view is called the critical view.  We describe these critics as having taken the critical view of Daniel, they do not accept its claims or basic premise. 
       I cannot for the life of me figure out why they would do these things since they claim they are Christians, yet they seem to not have the faith that is required to be a Christian according to Hebrews 11:1-39,  they just do not accept its basic premise, faith and trust in God.  Many times they are the ones that say Jonah was never swallowed by a whale or that Israel never crossed the Red Sea but a marsh near the Red sea.  These are just fables they think so they look for evidence with their PhD.'s and write many books.  These are wolves in sheep's clothing at now at the highest echelons of our Seminaries.  It is for this very reason that we should abolish the seminary requirements for preachers in view of a more favorable conditions in seeking preachers.  Maybe their critical analysis makes them feel smarter, or, maybe they just do not believe.  To them Christianity is a set of laws and regulations to follow for righteousness sake, a mosaic law system really that they can pick and choose which laws they follow and which they will pretend that do not exist, kind of like a smorgasbord.  When they nitpick at the bible with all their Greek and Hebrew dictionaries they're not careful like a person using a hammer to swat a fly having landed on an expensive exotic wood coffee table or seeing a spider on the wall of his home and using a shotgun to kill the spider completely destroying the wall underneath the spider. 
                         This view of the book of Daniel is called the critical modern view that has been promoted by John J. Collins, Professor at Yale university seminary, & his sister Adela Yarbro Collins, also professor from Yale university, & their predecessors of the critical view attacks that go all the way back to when Jerome, translator of the Latin Vulgate, defended the book of Daniel from those at that time that didn't believe it was canon.  Both of them have PhD.'s from Harvard.  In this case piled higher and deeper?  Although this view can be traced back all the way to the time of when Saint Jerome defended Daniel by his contemporary critics.  It really began to pick up steam with this sister and brother writing team dynamic duo pumping out books at a pace faster then Carter has Liver pills!
       Their fame are their claims in their books on their commentaries on Daniel, that, Daniel is part of the Jewish apocryphal collection of books authored the time 160 --250 BC, book of Daniel of the earliest, specifically during the reign of Antiochus IV, 163--176 BC.  Although they insist they're not questioning canon of Daniel, some might say heresy, they seem to contradict this by insinuation that the person of Daniel never existed, thus Daniel being pseudonymously authored like all other apocryphal books, things Daniel claimed to have done, never actually happened, being history of real people mixed with fake nonexistent people, similar to some of the apocryphal books that are mixed in with the Catholic bible that were removed by the reformers like Luther and Calvin.   Collin's claims Daniel's prophecies are ex-eventu-a term coined by Collins describing a prophecy that claims to be a prophecy of the future yet describing things that have already historically occurred in the past, but claiming to have already predicted them. 
      Most evidence modern critics like Collins use support claims by quoting other apocryphal texts, non canon, to prove canon.  Many upset theologians state Daniel cannot be defended properly because of this issue being dragged back from the dung hill 2000 years after the fact which usually leads to circular debate, neither side being able to absolutely prove with no solution.  So the circular arguments continue between those taking the critical view such as Collins and the others that take offense at these attacks not knowing and unable because of time constraints to defend Daniel.  For this reason Collins et al keep selling these many books leading to a great crisis in the church body of defining what is absolute truth and what is not, by many. 
       This rift they have caused, not sure if purposely or not, has birthed a new movement of theologians calling into question, some say, and claiming pseudonymously authored Pauline Epistles found their way into canon questioning absolute truth.  You can see the damage this slippery slope started by a bunch of controversy searching wanna sell more book professors from Harvard and Yale have done to the fabric of truth millions of martyrs died for us to have, the bible.

       Their arguments are weak and self spinned since Daniel himself considered himself wiser then all others with God's help.  This is obvious when reading Daniel 1:4, 1:19, 2:48, 5:11,  This is also why Ezekiel compared Daniel's standing in the group of wise leaders equal to both Noah and Job, Ezekiel 14:14, 14:20.  The very use of the eloquence "son of man" was used by Daniel first, Daniel 7:13, 8:17, before Ezekiel, which makes sense since Daniel's ministry started thirteen years, 608 BC, before Ezekiel's ministry began in 595 BC. 
       It is quite possible Daniel obtained its use from Job were it is used once or one of the three times in Psalms, or God breathed the words through Daniel. This would not mean that this eloquence was not inspired where God breathed through Daniel.  Daniel used the eloquence, son of man, two times while Ezekiel used it a whopping 93 times.  So it does appear this structural increase of the use of this eloquence does is not out of place with the bible or history that scripture claims.  None of the minor prophets prior to Daniel use the common phrase, "son of man," and it is barely used any where else in the bible except 93 times in Ezekiel.  It is a reasonable assumption that Daniel and Ezekiel both respected each other being friends, even reading each other's documentations of contact with heavenly beings.  Ezekiel esteemed Daniel and being friends, even reading each others material.  Ezekiel esteemed Daniel and was spiritually inspired and influenced by Daniel's term "son of man."  This seems to indicate that Daniel's use might have influenced Ezekiel with the assumption of course that Ezekiel had access to Daniel's writings or Daniel had written them by then since they were only thirteen years apart.  And of course God may have revealed to them individually similar things prophesied like the eloquence, the son of man.  This is significant because Christ referred to himself repeatedly all over as the son of man.  This eloquence was used 80 times in the four gospels Matthew mark, Luke and John, 3 in Revelation once in Acts, once in Hebrews.  The expression first being used in Job 25:6, then Psalm 8.4, 80:17 & 144.3.  None of the early minor poetic prophets nor the ones just before exile.  The next time after Job and Psalms and the first prophet to use it was in Daniel two times, Daniel 7:13, 8:17.  After Daniel Their case is weakened even further when considering that Christ himself quoted Daniel calling himself the Son of Man, taken from Daniel 7:13.  when teaching the disciples of what will happen during the last generation at the Time of the End, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14.
       So even when faced with so much overwhelming evidence the Pharisee and Sadducees continue and control institutions we created like Harvard and Yale seminaries. To give you an idea of some of the garbage put out by these two check out the names of these books.  

               Some books written by John J. Collin
The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature; 1984
Hermeneia---A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; 1993
The Apocalyptic Vision of the Book of Daniel; 1977
Daniel, with an introduction to Apocalyptic Literature; 1984
Daniel; 1993
Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age; 1997
The Hebrews Bible. An Introduction; 2004
Does the Bible Justify Violence; 2004
Jewish Cult and Hellenistic Culture; 2005
Encounters with Biblical Theology; 2005
The Bible after Babel.  Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age; 2005
Seers, Sibyles and Sages in Hellenistic -Roman Judaism; 1997
Other Ancient Literature; 1995
       And there are many more.  To be fair to Collins I have read and studied only three of his, the three important ones related to doing this commentary on Daniel. These were the ones that were an early base for the rest of his work.  The three of his I reviewed to understand his view and basis of his extreme critical commentary were these three; Daniel; 1993, Hermeneia---A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; 1993, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature; 1984.
       I wish I could read more of his material to comment here on this blog, but cannot afford his expensive books.  If anyone is throwing his books out please donate them to me so I can see what other garbage he is writing.  Never the less I have not been impressed with his views.  I do not mean to sound so adamant but sometimes there comes a time when someone has to stand up to scriptural truth.  His views are so damaging to the fabric of the entire bible, not just the book of Daniel.  I would not consider his books worth any more then toilet paper to be flushed into the sewer.
      They believe Daniel was pseudonymously authored like one of the many apocryphal books written around 160 to 250 BC.  These books were fraudulent from the beginning and written by false prophets with more imagination then they know what is good for them.  Their evidence in support of teachings cover up the critical attacks with puffy wordplay.  For their view at best is laughable, at worst pure blasphemy questioning all cannon, whether or not,  undermining the foundation of truth we count on and hold so dearly.  Because of what they have written preachers are scared to teach and preach from Daniel. 
       This dynamic duo's critical view of the canon book of Daniel have birthed a whole new generation of similar like theologians questioning authorship and cannon of the Pauline Epistles, for fame and to sell books.  This is a slippery slope my dear friends a slippery slope.  All this fuss has led to a great questioning these last 60 years of absolute truth by those that are supposed to be called by God and know what absolute truth is.  They obviously do not believe in the absolute cannon of scripture leading far too many down a slippery slope of legalism calling into question canon not only Daniel but of all scripture at a extremely late historical time so far after the facts that cloudiness encompasses all arguments pro and con. 
       The only way to settle the issue is to beg one question.  Either the Collins et al believe in the perfect absolute truth of scripture breathed by God through his selected holy prophets, Daniel included, or not.  If not, they must be held accountable and labeled for what they are, heretics teaching heresy in this nations seminaries.  If this is so we must separate them from our Christian institutions that teach and release pastors to go back to the land they came from repeating these same heresies.  My guess is that anyone who familiarizes themselves with their puffy scribbling will come to the same conclusion I have, they have a disdain for absolute truth covering up their disdain under the guise of trendy names like Eastern Babylonian scholarship or apocalyptic studies. 
       Daniel cannot be separated from canon nor put in a separate category of being called apocryphal.  To properly analyze any literature it must be compared to similar literature, you cannot analyze a canon book by comparing it to a non canon book.  One is breathed by God while the other is spoken by man.  You do not analyze math by comparing it to english.  You do not analyze engineering principals by comparing it to a book on poetry.  You do not analyze canon books of the bible by comparing them with non canon books.  You analyze Daniel by comparing it to the only other book of the same era, also considered canon, Ezekiel.  The statement by Collins that Daniel is ex-eventu is a lie from the father of liars and the purpose is to undermine the entire bible.  One cannot call Daniel apocryphal since most all books that are apocryphal (99.9%) are not considered cannon thus God breathed.  Also the characteristics of Daniel and the apocryphal books are different.  The apocryphal books are unashamedly pseudonymous while Daniel is not.  We either take scripture as canon or not.  To attempt to question canon of Daniel at such a late date is nothing more then an attack on the church itself.  The process of doing this qualifies under the guidelines and warnings by the angel to the apostle John in the book of Revelation 22:19 in which the angel states anyone who takes away any words from the bible will lose his share from God to eat of the Tree of Life.  Here is a direct quote:
                                                 Revelation 22:18-19 NIV

       18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes  words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

       Those involved in the critical arguments against the cannon of the book of Daniel saying it is apocryphal and a pseudonymous work written by a person not even of that name are guilty of attacking God and his saints during this last hour.  They must repent in public immediately or risk losing the benefit of being allowed to partake of their share in the tree of life.  Never the less I will consider the bulk of their arguments that Daniel is not cannon and is nothing more then a fraudulent work by an author with an over abundance in imagination, also called by God false prophets.
        Collin's claims the book was written in the years 167-163 BC.  This issue is laughable at best.  Never mind the fact that Christ himself repeatedly referred to himself as the Son of Man, a term promoted and started in the book of Daniel.  This issue alone undermines the entire critical analysis of Daniel because of the fact that if you undermine Daniel you are undermining the entire bible since you are undermining the words of Jesus Christ.   If this is seminary scholarship at its best then this seminary has gotten off the narrow winding path up the mountain required to go to where God is.  The entire bible is built on faith, a faith that when discarded over scholarship is still a faith discarded.  These catestrophic claims by the best at Harvard are nothing more then disguised attacks on absolute truth that can only result in bickering and confusion leading to ultimate constant division within the body of Christ.  
         Collin's claims the book is pseudonymous like all the other apocryphal books from the years 150-300 BC.  If Daniel is pseudonymous then God is a liar that promotes Christianity through writers that pretend to be other more godly people at mythical proportions reducing the bible to a book of myths and legends by an overly spiritualized people that have exaggerated their importance in the world.  So which is it?  Either the bible is taken on faith or it isn't.  This idea of Collin's claim that the bible is pseudonymous while at the same time claiming he isn't calling into question the canon of book of Daniel is like a demon talking out of two sides of the same face.  One cannot do one without the other.  People and saints, these are attacks on the entire bible.  You cannot call into question the truth of Daniel without undermining the entire bible.  Why would God have a pseudonymous prophet when he could have raised up a real prophet during the years 608 BC, like he did with Joseph and the Egyptians, or Moses 380 years later?  God has a history of raising up a prophet at the leadership of the kingdom they are enslaved by.  God would not speak through a pseudonymous prophet wanna-be author.  That is because God would not do it that way.  To believe these demoniacally inspired lies coming from Harvard seminary that undermine the fabric of the entire bible is just inconsistent with Hebrews 11:1-39, all righteousness and salvation comes by faith.  I do not care what expert at Harvard Seminary states for the reason they give for supporting these studies on the apocryphal books and comparing them to scripture.  This is garbage.  To take this line of reasoning calls into question every book of the bible starting in Genesis when Joseph was sold as a slave and eventually winding up, like Daniel I might add, eventually becoming second in command of the entire Egyptian empire.  The tenacity of the departure away from faith, away from the Apostles,  toward the modern critical view in these last fifty years is a slippery slope away from the faith required by God to receive regeneration of the spirit through prayer to overcome sin.  The evidence just isn't there to support these claims.    
        Collin's claims the book is of a similar apocryphal style from the years 150-300 BC.  This claim also means nothing.  Daniel was the beginning of an apocryphal style of prophecy that was copied and even quoted in Ezekiel.  We see the same type of prophetic style in Ezekiel when he is contacted by God and his angels with catastrophic visions in the, "Time of the End."  Daniel's ministry started in 608 BC while Ezekiel's started only thirteen years later.  The catastrophic styles are similar, both a departure away from the prophetic poetic styles of Habakkuk 626 BC, Zephaniah 630 BC, Hosea 785 BC, Amos 787 BC, Joel 800 BC, or even Job in 1530 BC.  The catastrophic style is what one would expect after Israel, half their country, being swept away by the Assyrians in 722 BC.  The change in style away from the prophetic poetic toward catastrophic poetic can already be seen in Habakkuk and Zephaniah when one compares the literary styles of these two books with the four before them of Hosea, Amos, Joel and Job respectively.  It only makes that Daniel would be next because the prophet Ezekiel mentions Daniel in his book.   
       Collin's claims the book of Daniel has too exact predictions of history, thus ex-eventu.-Too exact, what hogwash this is. 
       Collin's claims the book of Daniel's 70 weeks describe the time of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes's Hellenization of Jews) Page 65 left side bottom of page.  This is an interpretation started by post exile Jews that couldn't understand that exile God's promised restoration would not come during the 2nd temple rebuilding movement.  This only became apparent once the 2nd temple was destroyed by Titus in 70 AD.   
        Paul Hanson is wrong.  Daniel has nothing in common with the apocalyptic literature disappointed 2nd temple Jews wrote thinking they could imagine themselves being close to God with all their false prophecies.  Paul Hanson's view that Daniel is one station along a continuum reaching from pre-exilic prophecy to full grown apocalyptic, very much at home on Jewish soil and manifesting foreign borrowing only as peripheral embellishments.  Paul D. Hanson, "Old Testament Apocalyptic Reexamined, "in edem, Visionaries, 53(originally published in  Int 25 [1971] 454-79).
                     Daniel 1:1-21 NIV
                                    Daniel's Training In Babylon       In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God.  These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.

     It is also appropriate to cover some other scriptures related to Daniel 1:1. 
                                Jeremiah 25:1 NIV       1 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

       Verses 1-2--Jehoiakim, an oppressive and godless puppet king installed by the king of Egypt after Judah's last godly king, Josiah,  was killed in the valley of Megiddo, Valley of Armageddon.  His reign over Judah had to have started in 610 BC since counting backwards 70 years from the first year of Cyrus, 538 BC, would arrive to 608 BC as being the two years before the beginning of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.  We know this because verse 5 states they would enter a training period of three years and only afterwards enter into the kings service.  Chapter 2 which is the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar in which toward the end Daniel is in the kings service interpreting the king's dream.  Chapter two is in the fourth year Daniel et al have been in Babylon. If historians were to conclude a different date of the first year of Cyrus then dating of when they entered Babylon would change accordingly.  This is with the assumption of course that historians have correctly dated the first year of Cyrus being in the year 538 BC.
         Josephus the high Jewish Pharisee historian seems to confirm this in his historical documents translated by Whiston, Josephus/The Complete Works,  here it is:   In Josephus "The Complete Works," translated by William Whiston A.M. copyright 1998 Thomas Nelson Publishers.   Josephus the Jewish historian from the same generation as Christ said in Book Two of his completed works, Chapter 1, page 343,  verse 1 this:  "In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was our seventieth from the day that our people were remove out of their own land into Babylon," so according to Josephus the historian they were liberated in the 1st year of the reign of Cyrus, this would mean they were there from 608 BC to 538 BC, (my paraphrase).  And scripture does support this view, Ezra 1:1-4; 2nd Chronicles 36:22-23.  

       Josephus, the high ranking Pharisee historian whom had direct access to the temple scrolls claimed they fulfilled Jeremiah's 70 year prophecy to the very day, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 2 chapter 1:1.  Josephus also claims in 11.4.1(75) Antiquities of the Jews that seven months after departing out of Babylon they had rebuilt the alter in the exact place starting the sacrifices celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, an October one week celebration.  If Jesephus was right this means they departed Babylon in March of 538 in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia. 

       I wish to discuss something that has caused great debate among different factions of Christians because of misinterpretations of some of the prophecies in the book of Daniel.  Since I am doing a commentary on Daniel I need to cover these problems of strife.  The issue at hand comes from many that believe some of the prophecies in the book of Daniel are supposed to predict the crucifixion of the Messiah, or the birth of the Messiah.  This very issue was birthed by the Jew's desire to explain why they were not restored to the prexilic 1st temple magnificence experienced under king David.  Others state this same prophecy was supposed to predict a period of extreme strife under a conqueror of Palestine from Syria by the name of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes 175-163 BC) who sacrificed pigs at the temple in an attempt to forcibly Hellenise the Palestinian Jews.  
        I wish to propose my theory on these things.  All of these are based upon misinterpretation of prophecy because of the fact that there is no agreement among men what these prophecies mean.  The purpose of a prophecy is that at the point of proper interpretation most will agree it is the right interpretation.  Otherwise what is the purpose of the prophecy if no one can understand it ?  Why would God give a prophecy that all of his followers argue and fight over ?  Why would God not give the proper interpretation to his body of believers as a whole?  I only question to make my point.  My point is that there is something mankind has done which goes against God's words.  This something was interpreting the book of Daniel when the angel clearly told Daniel to quit questioning and seal the interpretation until the Time of the End, Daniel 12:4.  The Time of the End never started until 1948 upon fulfillment of the Fig tree Prophecy when Israel became a nation.  The one thing all these bad interpretations have in common is they all came by theologians before 1948.  Typically they would mix a little from the book Ezekiel but never the less they were ultimately interpreting Daniel against God's warning by the angel, Daniel 12:4.  
       Really the only thing that matters here prophetically is they were in Babylon 70 years during a period the historians did not keep very good chronological records.  The most accurate historical book during this period is the bible which doesn't state.  Since the bible doesn't state this that means it is not important prophetically, if it was God would have given us the dates.  I believe this is a superior method of dating "model" to use in determining the dating of the first groups entrance into Babylon since the first year of Cyrus would seem to be more accurate then dating by comparing to the Babylonian defeat of Egypt at Carchemish which involves dating the reigns of kings and comparing.
                 Some would say you do not accept Egyptian historical documentation yet you accept the extra-biblical historical documentation to account of when the first year of the reign of Cyrus.  What I say to them is either the bible is correct or it isn't.  That is true and please let me explain.  Since no one was there and really knows for sure the dates,  I believe it is more likely the fall of Babylon by Cyrus being most accurate since it was a much greater event then the defeat of Egypt at Carchemish which involves going by the reigns of the Babylonian kings and comparing them to the kings of Judah.  

        The problem you get when you look at reigns of kings is that they had two types of calenders, the religious and civil.  Then there is the problem of dating things based upon never knowing when the king died during the year, at the beginning or the end of the year.  This problem at the beginning and end of each reign with has a potential mistake of two years in each king's reign.  I believe backtracking 70 years from the first year of Cyrus, 538 BC, to be the most accurate.  This is on a biased assumption I wish to add.  My assumption is the bible is absolutely correct with no mistakes in it, no errors some theologian has to correct.  No matter which side of the fence one finds oneself an assumption of absolute must be made.  Either the Babylonian defeat of Egypt at Carchemish and Babylonian kings is absolutely or world history and the dating  of 1st year of the reign of Cyrus, 538 BC, subtracting 70 years with understanding the bible is absolutely correct.  I choose the bible.  The other way, the common way contradicts the bible.
       John J. Collins whom takes an extremely critical view of the book of Daniel believes the book to be apocryphal literature written around 167-163 BC under the persecution by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes 175-163 BC) is laughable at best.  His commentary, although a scholarly wordy work, is nothing more than an over professionalisation of the ministry by the seminaries to increase their own importance in the world at a time when colleges are competing for students and the money they bring.  So they are willing to hire a John J. Collins et al who dumps a critical view of scripture that undermines and questions canonicity creating controversy attracting students to their university like flies on poop which translates into money for the deans.  He believes the person of Daniel spoken of in the book did not exist really and was just a story imagined by it's writer in a long line of apocryphal books with their psuedonomous authors. 
       The reason his view does not make sense is that if one took the book of Daniel out of the bible, per his insinuation of Daniel's lack of canon, but not his claim, the bible no longer would exhibit a structure or flow that complement each other.  Ezekiel would be comparing Daniel, a person that does not exist,  with Noah and Job but no way to know who this Daniel was.  The implication would be some lost book somewhere.  The implication would be that someone as great as Noah or Job, all writings of him would be lost.  Do not forget that Christ himself quoted Daniel and would be quoting a prophet that we have no writing of.  The bible itself would be incomplete.  Also, since Ezekiel was considered canon written during exile, even by Collins himself, why would Apocryphal pseudonymous authors put "son of man" in Daniel only 2x when they knew darn well "son of man " was written in Ezekiel 93 times.  It makes more sense they would have put it in Daniel at least 25 times to be more realistic.   
       Joseph & Moses were raised to the highest echelons of the Egyptian kingdom, Abraham blessed with extreme wealth as all kings around, as a witness to those around,  Esther in Persia,  so why not Daniel in Babylon & Media.  God will always place one of his people in these positions to not only protect his followers but as witnesses to pagan empires, bringing the gospel to lost.  So why, is it so hard to believe there was a real historical person such as Daniel who quickly rose through the ranks into the upper echelons of the pagan kingdom.  His constant comparisons of Daniel side by side with the apocalypses to undermine the fabric of Daniel, although he claims not,  is nothing more then a regurgitation of old arguments used against Daniel going back before Jerome. 

                 There was great weeping in Judah when Josiah was killed for he was a very godly man and reigned 31 years.  Jehoiakim was passed over for the throne for his little brother Jehoahaz who only reigned three months till Pharaoh Neco put him in chains and exporting him to Reblah, known today as northern Syria.
       It was when Jehoahaz was taken away in chains 3 months in his reign after the death of his godly father, Josiah, that Jeremiah pronounced his prophecies of the seventy years of desolation of Jerusalem,
Jeremiah 18:22-27.  This later developed into Jeremiah's many prophecies that Judah would be under the yoke of Babylon seventy years.     
       Jehoiakim reigned as an evil king of Jerusalem for ten years from 609-598 B.C.,
Both William F. Albright and E. R. Thiele agree on dating his reign to 609 BC-598 BC. 
       Their dating is incorrect since subtracting 70 years from 538 BC, 1st year of the reign of Cyrus, puts the entrance of the first captives into Babylon to be 608 BC, the 3rd year with 610 BC being the first year.  This would mean the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim when installed by Egypt would have to have been towards the beginning of the year 610 BC.  Any other dates by other theologians make the bible inaccurate for the according to both Ezra 1:1 and 2nd Chronicles 36:20-23.  My logic and explanation is simple.  The bible is correct and carries superior weight over Babylonian historical documents.  He was a puppet king of the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco who taxed Judah heavily to pay tribute to Egypt. 
       So this was in the third year of Jehoiakim's reign, 608 B.C, that Jerusalem was ransacked by Nebuchadnezzar who was given a dominion of might and power & glory over the worlds kingdoms that would last as king of kings of all the earth, people, beasts and birds until judgment day, also the head of gold which represents wealth, Daniel 2:36-38. 
       For Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom is city building to produce great wealth until his last great city falls, Babylon the Great, Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth, America in one day one hour and the merchants of the seas who sold their luxurious goods to her becoming wealthy and weeped, Revelation chapters 17:3-6; 17:15-18; 18:1-24. 
       For this authority given to Nebuchadnezzar, king of kings will rule until his authority to rule is given to the Antichrist nations, Islam, for one hour in God's eyes, 43.66 years, Revelation 17:12 as defined by Peter in 2nd Peter 3:8 that in God's eyes concerning judgment and the promise a day is like a thousand years.  This decline of Babylon the Great, America started in the year 1975 around April. 

                               Daniel 1:3-6 NIV

       3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and  the nobility---4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace.  He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.
 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table.  They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's
       6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
       Verses 3-6--These four young men were from the upper class, nobility in Jerusalem.  This indicates the nobility or upper class will generally live in Jerusalem, not in the suburbs or countryside.  These four were offered the food and wine from the kings table.  Babylon back then like Babylon the Great, America today was the richest nation/empire on earth.  They ate the best of foods.
       Like God gives new names to those who follow him this kingdom that will last till the Day of the Lord, also attempts to change peoples character, giving new names.  Except these names are ungodly names.
            Hebrew Names---changed to ---Aramaic Names 
Daniel; God is my judge---changed to ---Belteshazzar; may Bel protect his life
Hananiah; Yahweh hath been gracious---
                                  changed to---Shadrach; The command of Aku (the moon god) 
Mishael; meaning who is what God is---changed to ---Meshach; Who is this? 
Azzariah; Yahweh has helped---changed to ---Abednego; servant of Nego. 
       These four had names that honored God with the syllables "el" for God and "iah" for Lord that were changed to honor foreign gods.   

                 Daniel 1:8-16 NIV

       8 But Daniel resolved himself to not defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official, for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel,  but the official told Daniel "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink.  Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age?  The king would then have my head because of you."
       11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12" Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance withy that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see."14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
       15 At the end of ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Verses 8-15--These four princes from Jerusalem were to eat and drink the food from the kings table, the best of all Babylon.  But this rich food would weaken the flesh of these young men so they decided to eat vegetables only, like a permanent fast for the entire seventy years in Babylon.  They would not eat of the rich fatty foods and meats that taste so delicious to the palate of anyone who eats them.  They were to keep their flesh in control as an honor to the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob their forefathers.         Verse 9--States God caused them to show favor on them but the chief official stated he was worried he might lose his head.  Surely God intervened here making these fours bodies become better, and, the other ones the official looked at, surely, looked sickly in comparison.  For really [what] difference would a measly ten days [be] that would effect people.  So these young men were tested ten days, ten meaning complete.  At the end of the ten days Daniel and the bunch looked healthier.

                     Daniel 1:17-21 NIV

       17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.  And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
       18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of king Cyrus.       Verses 17-20--These four young men were highly competitive bright individuals that could easily surpass most people.  They were probably in the upper 5% understanding all the literature of all kinds, even outside that of Judah.  Daniel had special skills given by God to interpret dreams and visions of all kinds.  They were also strong spiritually.  They loved God and prayed and fasted regularly. 
       Verse 21--Daniel remained in Babylon until the first year of king Cyrus.  Cyrus whom was called by the prophet Isaiah "The Lord's anointed," entered Babylon October 29th, 539 B.C. a couple days after the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles portraying himself in the role of liberator of the cultures that Babylon swallowed up, releasing the captives.  Daniel returned in the first year of his reign so this would  have started only a few months away, becoming 538 B.C.  We know for sure this year was the years they returned in fulfillment of the Jeremiah prophecy, Ezra 1:1-4; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23.  The prophecy was confirmed to the very day of the seventy years according to Josephus the Historian in book 2:1-4 of the Antiquities of the Jews, The Complete Works by Nelson Publishers, translated by Whiston, page 343 1st paragraph, 1st 4 verses.

So for Daniel there was  a seventy years exile fulfillment according to the dates in the bible and archeology's historical dates.  We know this is true since the bible is absolute.  The dating of 538 BC as the 1st year of Cyrus is a more accurate method then tracking the battle of Carchemish and back tracking through the Babylonian kings and calenders. 
 Josephus, the high ranking Pharisee historian whom had direct access to the temple scrolls claimed they fulfilled Jeremiah's 70 year prophecy to the very day,The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 2, chapter 1:1.  Josephus also claims in 11.4.1(75) Antiquities of the Jews that seven months after departing out of Babylon they had rebuilt the alter in the exact place starting the sacrifices celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, an October one week celebration.  If Jesephus was right this means they departed Babylon in March of 538 in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia. 
        The evidence is massive when considering both Josephus and the archeological accounts of Cyrus conquering Babylon in 539 BC. These are well documented by any historian with substance.  In Josephus "The Complete Works," translated by William Whiston A.M. copyright 1998 Thomas Nelson Publishers.   Josephus the Jewish historian from the same generation as Christ said in Book Two of his completed works, Chapter 1, page 343,  verse 1 this:  "In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was our seventieth from the day that our people were remove out of their own land into Babylon," so according to Josephus the historian stated they were liberated in the 1st year of the reign of Cyrus, this would mean they were there from 608 BC to 538 BC, (my paraphrase).  This would mean the historians that date the beginning of king Jehoiakim's reign in Judah as starting in the year 610 BC are correct. This is the most accurate of
                                                           dates that line up with scripture, history and archeology.

Works Cited
All biblical quotes are the NIV unless otherwise noted.
Thompson Chain Reference: New International Version. Ed. Frank Charles Thompson et al. Grand Rapids:B.B. Kirkbride Bible Company , Inc. Zondervan P. 1983 
Aharoni, Ada, et al.Encyclopedia of Jewish History: Events and Eras of the Jewish People.New York: Facts on File P. 1986
Pat Alexander, David., and Pat Alexander. et al. eds.Eerdmans Handbook to the Bible.1937. Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans P. 1992 Anderson, Bernhard. Understanding the Old Testament. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall,Inc. P.1984
Anderson, Robert.Daniel: Signs and Wonders. Grand Rapids: WM. B. Eerdmans P.1984
Baldwin, Joyce. Daniel: AN INTRODUCTION AND COMMENTARY. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press 1978
Beale G.K., and D.A. Carson, eds.Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.Grand Rapids: Baker Academic P. 2007
Boice, James. Daniel: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Books P. 1989
Campbell, Donald. Daniel: God's Man in a Secular Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House P. 1988
Collins, John.The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature.2nd ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans P. 1998 Collins, John. Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora.New York: Crossroad P. 1983.
Collins, John. Daniel: a Commentary on the Book of Daniel/by John J. Collins; with an essay "The influence of Daniel on the New Testament," by Adela Yarbro Collins. Ed. Frank Moore Cross. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress P. 1993
Collins, John.Daniel: With an Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature: The Forms of the Old Testament Literature Volume XX.Eds. Rolf Knierim and Gene Tucker. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans P. 1984
Craven, Toni.  COLLEGEVILL BIBLE COMMENTARY: 16 OLD TESTAMENT: EZEKIEL & DANIEL. Collegeville: THE LITERGICAL P. 1986 Davis, Craig.Dating the Old Testament.New York: RJ Communications P. 2007
deSilva, David.Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance "Foreword by James Charlesworth".Grand Rapids: Bakers Academic P. 2002
Edersheim, Alfred. The Temple: Its Ministry and Services updated version.Peabody: Hendrickson P. 1994
Ferguson, Sinclair.Mastering the Old Testament: A Book by Book Commentary by Today's Great Bible teachers.Ed. Lloyd Ogilvie. Dallas:Word Publishing P. 1988
Gibson, Shimon. The Cave of John the Baptist: The Stunning Archeological Discovery that has Redefined Christian History. New York: Doubleday P. 2004
Goldengay, John.Word Biblical Themes: Daniel.Eds. David Hubbard., John Watts., and Ralph Martin. Dallas: Word P. 1989
Gowan, Donald.Theology of the Prophetic Books: The Death and Resurrection of Israel.Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press P. 1998 Holman Quick Source Bible Dictionary. Nashville: Holman Bible P. 2005 Keil C.F., and F. Delitzsch.Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes: Volume IX. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans P. 1975
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
The Old Time Gospel Hour edition.Illustrated Davis Dictionary of the Bible.Nashville: Royal P. 1973
Packer, James., Tenney, Merrill., and William White, Jr. The Bible Almanac: A Comprehensive Handbook of the People of the Bible and How They Lived.Nashville: Thomas Nelson P. 1980
Scofield, C.I.Scofield Bible Correspondence Course: Volume 2 Old testament. 7th Printing. Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute P. 1974
Shepherds Notes: Daniel. Nashville: Broadman & Holman P. 1998
Showers, Renald. The Most High God: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel. West Collingswood: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry P. 1982
Strong, James. The New Strong's Complete Dictionary of Bible Words "Intrduction by John Kohlenberger".Nashville: Thomas Nelson P. 1996
Strong, James, and W.E. Vine.Strongs Concise Concordance & Vines Concise Dictionary of the Bible: Two Reference Classics in One Handy Volume.Nashville: Thomas Nelson P. 1999
Swindoll, Charles., and Gary Matlock.Ezra through Daniel Volume Two: Bible Study Guide. Anaheim: Insight for Living P. 1996
Swindoll, Charles. Daniel: God's Pattern for the Future: Bible Study Guide. Eds. Bill Watkins., and Bill Butterworth. Fullerton: Insight for Living P. 1986
Thiele, Edwin. The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings:New Revised Edition.Grand Rapids: Zondervan P. 1983
The Torah and Commentary: Travel-Size Edition.Trans. English: the Jewish Publication Society. Ed. David Lieber, et al. The Rabbinical Assembly P. 2004
Vine W.E., et al.Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: With Topical Index. Nashville: Thomas Nelson P. 1996
Walvoord, John.Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation. Chicago: Moody Press P. 1989 Whiston, William. Josephus The Complete Works: Translated by William Whiston. Nashville: Thomas Nelson P. 1998
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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