Biblical Chronology


Unveiling Daniel 11, Part 2

Unveiling Daniel 11, Part 2

For Part 1, covering Daniel 11:1-4, see here. Daniel 11:5-35 relates to the Greek kingdoms of the period between the Old Testament and New Testament. The main players in this section of Daniel’s prophecy are various “kings of the South,” who were kings of the Ptolemaic kingdom in Egypt, and “kings of the North,” who were kings of the Seleucid kingdom in Syria. The period is fairly well-documented, and the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy has led many biblical scholars to deny that it is prophecy, arguing instead that it is a mere......


Unveiling Daniel 11, Part 1

Unveiling Daniel 11, Part 1

Daniel 11 presents the fourth vision given to the prophet Daniel. Much of the chapter pertains to events that unfolded during the intertestamental period, also known as the Hellenistic age. The vision was given in year 3 of Cyrus (Dan 10:1). Daniel 11:1 should be appended to the end of chapter 10, as it relates to the help that the heavenly messenger was given by Gabriel. Daniel 11:2 specifies “three more kings” who were to arise. These were Cambyses, Gaumata, and Darius I. Cambyses was the first Persian king to successfully take......


Daniel's Mourning

Daniel’s Mourning

The final section of the book of Daniel is the vision recorded in chapters 11-12. The introduction to that section is chapter 10, which describes the prelude to the vision. Chapter 10, in turn, begins with a notice that Daniel had been in mourning for three weeks prior to the vision. What prompted Daniel’s three weeks of mourning? Dan 9 records Daniel’s prayer following his reading of the 70 years prophecy in Jeremiah. This occurred in “the first year of Darius,” which was likely in 538 BC. Sometime that same year Cyrus......


Seventy Sevens are Determined

Seventy Sevens are Determined

Daniel 9:20-27 is one of the most important passages for understanding the prophetic timeline of the Bible. At the same time, it is given in veiled language that makes it difficult to understand. Although it is often referred to as the “Seventy Weeks” prophecy, the actual statement is that “seventy sevens” are decreed for the people and the holy city. Nearly everyone understands these “seventy sevens” to represent seventy sets of seven years, or 490 years. This understanding can be traced back before the time of Jesus. The Hebrew scroll shown as......


Daniel and the 70 Years of Jeremiah

Daniel and the 70 Years of Jeremiah

Daniel 9:1-3 introduces us to the prayer of Daniel for his people. It occurred in the first year of Darius the Mede, which was late 539 BC or early 538 BC. Daniel read in the writings of the Prophet Jeremiah that the exile in Babylon would last for 70 years, after which God would return his people to the land of promise. Jeremiah was a prophet at the height of his ministry when Daniel was a boy, and Daniel had probably seen and heard him while he was still living in Jerusalem.......


2,300 Mornings and Evenings

2,300 Mornings and Evenings

Daniel 8:13-14 includes an enigmatic statement about the length of the desolation of the holy place. “Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, ‘How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?’ And he said to me, ‘For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored‘” (NAS). There are at least three questions that relate to......


Life and Times of Daniel

Life and Times of Daniel

As we start out a new Sunday School series on the book of Daniel it may be helpful to see Daniel in the midst of the events that were going on in his day. Daniel was born when the ruthless Assyrian empire still ruled the north. Egypt was still an independent nation to the south, and would remain independent until conquered by the Persian king Cambyses in 525 BC. We don’t know when Daniel was born, but perhaps it was around 620 BC. We do know that he was deported as a......


Esther's Thirty Days (Esther 4:11)

Esther’s Thirty Days (Esther 4:11)

After discovering that an edict had been issued for the extermination of the Jewish people, Mordecai urged Esther to take action by making an appeal to the king. Esther’s response was that, as everyone knew, going before the king without a summons was very risky. Unless the king extended his golden scepter, any such person would be put to death. Esther then makes a very interesting statement: “I have not been summoned to come before the king for these thirty days.” Although this could be taken as a simple observation, the way......


Esther's Rise as Queen

Esther’s Rise as Queen

There are some interesting deductions that can be made with regard to the date and time of Esther’s being chosen as the new queen of the Persian Empire. Although the timing of these events is not obvious to a casual reader of the book, closer inspection does allow for the creation of a fairly precise timeline. Note the following: Both the Hebrew and Persian calendars were lunar-based, and their New Year began in about March/April in the Julian calendar (the exact time fluctuated from year to year, as the date for Easter......


Esther & Chronology

Esther & Chronology

A quick read through the book of Esther might leave the impression that all of the events in the book transpired within six months. However, there are three references in the book to specific dates in the reign of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I). The first banquet took place in the third year of his reign, 483 BC (Est 1:3). Esther became queen in the seventh year of his reign, 478 BC (Est 2:16). Haman hatched his plot to destroy the Jews in the 12th year of Ahasuerus. Because this happened in the......