Top Ten Discoveries Related to the Book of Daniel

The book of Daniel is one of the most hotly-contested books in the Bible. While it purports to describe events in the sixth century BC, and has traditionally been attributed to Daniel, scholarship since the 19th century has largely dismissed the historicity of this book, suggesting it was written during the second century BC to encourage the Jewish people enduring persecution under Antiochos IV Epiphanes (ca. 175–164 BC).1

However, recent linguistical studies have demonstrated that the Hebrew in Daniel predates the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls composed during the second century BC2, and that the Aramaic in the book, when compared official Imperial documents from the sixth century BC onwards, is the Imperial Aramaic that was used from ca. 600-330 BC, not the Aramaic of the second century.3

Is there archaeological evidence that would suggest the book of Daniel accurately describes the world of the Jewish exiles in Babylon during the sixth century BC? I believe there is. Here are the top ten archaeological discoveries related to the book of Daniel.

10. Nebuchadnezzar Stele

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. (Dan 1:1) 

There are only four known images of King Nebuchadnezzar; this stele contains the best-preserved likeness. It is sometimes mistakenly called the Tower of Babel Stele. However, it bears an image of the great Babylonian ziggurat, called the Etemenanki, not the biblical Tower of Babel. It is held in the Schøyen Collection, and is officially labeled MS 2063. Photo credit: JoeRussel / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Nebuchadnezzar reigned as king of Babylon for over 40 years, from ca. 605-561 BC; he was known as a conqueror and “destroyer of nations” (Jer. 4:7), and greatly expanded the Neo-Babylonian empire. While we know much about the early part of his reign, due to his inscriptions and the Babylonian chronicles, the latter part of his reign is obscure. Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem on at least three occasions: in 605 BC (when Daniel was taken to Babylon), 597 BC (when the prophet Ezekiel deported) and finally in 587/5864 BC, when the city was destroyed.

There are only four known images of King Nebuchadnezzar, most surviving in a poor state carved on the faces of cliffs in Lebanon.5 The best-preserved image is found on the Stele of Nebuchadnezzar II, or more popularly (and erroneously) called the Tower of Babel stele. The stele is held in the Schøyen Collection (MS 2063), and depicts a bearded Nebuchadnezzar dressed in his royal robe, wearing a conical crown, and holding a long staff. He is standing before a ziggurat, which is identified in the inscription as the Etemenanki a tower dedicated to the Babylonian god, Marduk.6 The inscription itself describes the work Nebuchadnezzar undertook to complete the ziggurats at Babylon and Borsippa.7

The image of the king on this stele is the best representation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s appearance as Daniel would have seen him.

9. Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles. (Dan 1:3)

When Daniel and his friends were taken into the royal courts for their “re-education,” they were placed in the care of Ashphanez, the chief of his officials (Heb. rab sārîsayw). The word rood word, sārîs, was frequently used to refer to a eunuch (see Is. 56:3), and thus Ashphanez was likely the Chief Eunuch. However, the word is derived from an Akkadian word meaning, “he who is of the king’s head” and so the Chief Eunuch held a significant role in the royal courts.8

The Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet refers to the Chief Eunuch, Nebo-Sarsekim, who is mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3. The title Chief Eunuch is rare in ancient texts; this tablet affirms its use in a Babylonian context in both Jeremiah and Daniel 1:3 (where Ashphanez is identified as a Chief Eunuch). Photo: The British Museum / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

In 2007, Assyriologist Michael Jursa, deciphered a cuneiform tablet in the British Museum that contained a reference to a Babylonian rab- sārîs (Chief Eunuch) named Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, who paid a sum of gold to a temple in Babylon. It reads, “(Regarding) 1.5 minas (0.75 kg) of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila…Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon”9

Nabu-sharrussu-ukin transliterated into English becomes Nebo-Sarsekim10 and according to Jeremiah 39:3, this Nebo-Sarsekim was the Chief Eunuch who was serving Nebuchadnezzar during the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC The discovery of an obscure biblical person caused Dr. Irving Finkel, of the Departmen of the Middle East in the British Museum to exclaim, “This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find. If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true.”11

The Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet not only confirms the biblical person mentioned by Jeremiah, it also affirms the title, Chief Eunuch, used in Daniel 1:3. According to Michael Jursa, references to the title “chief eunuch” are very rarely in the ancient sources.12 Thus, Daniel likely knew two chief eunuchs in Babylon, Ashphanez, who oversaw his training, and Nebo-Sarsekim, who held the role a decade later.

8. Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. (Dan 4:4) 

The remains of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace (aka the Southern Ciatadel), as seen in a Google Earth satellite image (above) and Robert Koldewey’s plan (below).

Nebuchadnezzar was a great builder and one of his greatest achievements was his palace, a place Daniel was no-doubt familiar with. Nebuchadnezzar’s father, Nabopolassar, had constructed his palace out of crude bricks, but the water level of the nearby Euphrates River rose weakening the foundation. Nebuchadnezzar describes how he rebuilt the palace in greater grandeur.

“I tore down its walls of dried brick, and laid its corner-stone bare and reached the depth of the waters. Facing the water, I laid its foundation firmly, and raised it mountain high with bitumen and burnt brick. Mighty cedars I caused to be laid down at length for its roofing. Door leaves of cedar overlaid with copper, thresholds and sockets of bronze I placed in its doorway. Silver and gold and precious stones, all that can be imagined of costliness, splendor, wealth, riches, all that was highly esteemed I heaped up within it, I stored immense abundance of royal treasure within it.”13

A door in the wall of the Southern Citadel (aka Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace). Photo: From Robert Koldewey’s 1914 book, The Excavations at Babylon (p. 121)

Robert Koldewey began large-scale excavations at Babylon in 1899 and worked uninterrupted for 18 years, uncovering significant parts of the city, including Nebuchadnezzar’s palace.14 In accordance with Nebuchadnezzar’s inscription, Koldewey unearthed a burnt brick foundation on the western part of the palace wall, which Nebuchadnezzar used for the foundations of his own palace.15 The main southern palace was trapezoidal in shape, and constructed around five large courtyards. The excavators discovered a series of vaulted rooms in the northeast corner, which they initially identified as the famous hanging gardens of Babylon, but they were only storage rooms.16

In 1987, Saddam Saddam Hussein ordered the palace to be rebuilt, with little regard for the archaeological past which he was erasing. Dubbed “Disney for a Despot” the new “palace” was hastily built over-top of the ancient one out of brinks inscribed with both his name and that of Nebuchadnezzar.17 It is this reconstruction that is visible from Google Earth today.

7. The Esagila (Temple of Marduk)

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. (Dan 1:2) 

A reconstruction of ancient Babylon, with the Etemenaki (stepped ziggurat) in the center, and the Esagila (Temple of Marduk) to the right of it. Image Credit: J.R. Casals / https://www.artstation.com/artwork/25NVv / Used by permission of the artist

Two primary structures dominated the landscape of the city of Babylon: the Esagila (lit. The House that Raises its Head), which was the main temple to the Babylonian god Marduk, and the Etemenanki (lit. The House of the Foundation of Heaven and Earth), the great ziggurat which stood seven-levels high and contained a shrine to Marduk at the top. They were located next to each other just past Nebuchadnezzar’s palace along the grand Processional Way. Some have erroneously18 suggested the Etemenanki (the Tower of Babylon) was the source for the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Little remains from the original tower structure, due to the fact that many of it’s bricks were reused in the past; the excavators only found a few courses of bricks forming a quadrilateral base.19

A model of the Esagila (Temple of Marduk) in Babylon on display at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Photo: Jona Lendering / Livius.org / CC0 1.0 Universal

Of the two structures, the Esagila is the more likely location of the place Nebuchadnezzar placed the captured vessels from the temple in Jerusalem. It was a massive complex; people would first enter a large court (40-70 meters) and then into a second court (40×25 meters), and finally into the shrine itself which consisted of the anteroom and the “holy of holies” where the statues of Marduk and his consort Zarpanitum were located.20 John C. Lennox comments, “It may well have been in the Esigila temple complex that Nebuchadnezzar had his treasure house. It was presumably much like a museum, with suites of rooms containing innumerable beautiful and valuable artifacts – the very best of the ‘tribute’ (booty, really!).”21 It is more reasonable to assume the Babylonian king would have dedicated the vessels from the Temple of YHWH in the vast complex of the Esagila, rather than having these goods transported to the relatively small shrine at the top of Etemenanki. If this is the case, one wonders how many times Daniel passed the Esigila with sadness and longing, knowing that articles from the temple of his God were inside.

6. The Ishtar Gate and Processional Way

…the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” (Dan 4:30) 

A reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Photo Credit: flickr photo by youngrobv / CC BY-NC 2.0

Of all of Nebuchadnezzar’s building projects, perhaps the best-known are the famous Ishtar Gate and Processional Way. While there were eight gates that served as entrances to the city of Babylon, the Ishtar Gate was the primary thoroughfare, leading to the equally-impressive Processional Way. The gate was constructed of baked, glazed bricks and depicted oxen and dragons in an alternating pattern. In an inscription discovered at the gate, Nebuchadnezzar boats:

This building Inscription was once part of the famous Ishtar Gate. Photo credit: Griffindor / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

“I dug out that town gate, I grounded its foundations facing the water strong with bitumen and baked bricks, and caused it to be finely set forth with baked bricks of blue enamel, on which wild oxen and dragons (sir-rus) were pictured…Lusty (?) wild oxen of bronze and raging (?) dragons I placed at the thresholds. The same town gateways I caused to be made glorious for the amazement of all peoples.”22

The Processional Way continued the beautiful blue, glazed brick motif, and was decorated reliefs of lions. Lions were commonly used as symbols of power by kings throughout the ancient near east23 and figure prominently in the story of Daniel.

The striding, roaring lions of Babylon, in a reconstruction of the Processional Way at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Photo: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Ishtar Gate and Processional Way were likely completed around 575 BC.24 Daniel had already been living in Babylon for many years by that point, and almost certainly saw them being constructed. This may have been in his mind when he warned Nebuchadnezzar as he interpreted his dream of the great tree that was cut down in Daniel 4. The events of this chapter – Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, pride, downfall, humiliation, and restoration – all likely happened later in his reign sometime between 573-562 BC25 If this is the case,  Nebuchadnezzar’s boasts about his building accomplishment on the Ishtar Gate Inscription add weight to the king’s proud words in Daniel 4:30 about being the one who built the great city of Babylon for the glory of his majesty.

5. Babylonian Chronicle 5

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it….Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. (Dan 1:1, 3-4) 

The Babylonian Chronicle 5, also known as the Jerusalem Chronicle, records the events from ca. 605-595 BC, early in Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Photo: The British Museum / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

The Babylonian Chronicles are a collection of clay tablets, written in cuneiform script, that describe the significant events in Babylonian history each year.  The chronicle for the years 605-595 BC (known as ABC 5, or more popularly as the Jerusalem Chronicle) covers the beginning of Daniel’s time in Babylon. It describes Nebuchadnezzar’s accession and is famous for the fact that it describes in detail Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem in 597 B.C, the deposition of King Jehoiachin, the appointment of King Zedekiah and the heavy tribute the Babylonian king took, affirming many details of 2 Kings 24:10-17.26

It also alludes to Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign of 605 BC when Daniel was taken to Babylon:

“In the accession year [605 BC] Nebuchadnezzar went back again to the Hatti-land [the Babylonian term for the region that included Judah] and until the month of Šabatu marched unopposed through the Hatti-land; in the month of Šabatu he took the heavy tribute of the Hatti-territory to Babylon.”27

While Nebuchadnezzar was marching through Hatti-land late in 605 BC, one of the cities he apparently besieged was Jerusalem (Dan. 1:1). People, like Daniel, were likely part of the “heavy tribute” Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon with him. If this is the correct interpretation, the Babylonian Chronicle (ABC 5) affirms the timing of Nebuchadnezzar’s first deportation of people from Jerusalem.

4. Nabonidus Cylinders

King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. (Dan 5:1)

One of the Nabonidus cylinders from Ur, which records Nabonidus’ renovations to the moon god, Sin’s, ziggurat, as well as a prayer for himself and his son Belshazzar. Photo: A.D. Riddle / Bibleplaces.com. This photo is part of the Photo Companion to the Bible on the book of Daniel. You can purchase this excellent resource here: https://www.bibleplaces.com/daniel-photo-companion-to-the-bible/

Prior to the middle of the 19th century, a Babylonian king named Belshazzar was unknown to history, allowing critics to question the historical accuracy of the book of Daniel. Ancient historians, such as Berosus and Abydenus recorded that Nabonidus was the last king of Babylon. Similarly, the Uruk King List omits Belshazzar, moving from Nabonidus to Cyrus.28

Things changed in 1854, when J.E. Taylor discovered four cylinders in the ruins of a ziggurat at Ur which contained a prayer of Nabonidus to the gods. The so-called Nabonidus Cylinders record:

“As for me, Nabonidus, King of Babylon, save me from sinning against your great godhead and grant me as a present a life of long days, and as for Belshazzar, my oldest son my offspring, instill reverence for your great godhead in his heart an may he not  commit any cultic mistake, may he be sated with a life of plentitude.”29

In 1924, another inscription called the Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus was discovered, which described how Nabonidus stopped worshiping the chief Babylonian god Marduk, in favor of the sun god, Sin. It further records a “long journey” Nabonidus took, during which he “entrusted the army to his oldest son, his first born, the troops in the country he ordered under his command. He let everything go, entrusted the kingship to him, and, himself, he started out for a long journey.” (ii.5 and ii.6) 30

These inscriptions affirm the historicity of Belshazzar and that he was serving as co-regent of Babylon. Thus, a king as Daniel records. Furthermore, it illuminates Belshazzar’s reward for Daniel’s interpretation of the writing on the wall. Why the third highest ruler in the kingdom (Dan. 5:29)? As co-regent in his father’s absence, that was all he could offer.

3. Nabonidus Chronicle

That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. (Dan 5:30)

The Babylonian Chronicle for the years 556 to 539 BC, also called the Nabonidus Chronicle, describes the final years of King Nabonidus’ reign and the fall of Babylon to Cyrus, king of Persia. It records:

“When Cyrus did battle at Opis on the [bank of] the Tigris against the army of Akkad, the people of Akkad retreated. He carried off the plunder (and) slaughtered the people. On the fourteenth day Sippar was captured without a battle. Nabonidus fled. On the sixteenth day, Ugbaru, governor of Gutium, and the army of Cyrus, without battle they entered Babylon. Afterwards, after Nabonidus retreated, he was captured in Babylon…. On the third day of the month Arahsamna, Cyrus entered Babylon.” (iii, 12-18)31

The Nabonidus Chronicle describes the final years of King Nabonidus’ reign and the fall of Babylon to the Persians. Photo: ChrisO / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

There are numerous details in this text that are in alignment with the brief biblical description of the Fall of Babylon (Dan. 5:1-31). First, the city of Babylon was “captured without a battle.” This affirms Herodotus’ account which describes the Persians diverting the river which flowed into and out of the city, such that the water level dropped and the enemy soldiers entered the city by stealth while the inhabitants were preoccupied with a festival.32 Similarly, Daniel 5:1 describes a great feast the night the city fell, and, significantly, no mention is made of a battle; it simply states that Belshazzar was slain.

Moreover, William Shea has argued, based on other details in the text of the Nabonidus chronicle that the enigmatic “Darius the Mede” who became King of Babylon (Dan. 5:31) was none other than Ugbaru, the general of the army who captured the city.33  Other scholars, however, have identified Darius the Mede with Identifying Him with Xenophon’s Cyaxares II.34

2.  The Cyrus Cylinder

So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Dan 6:28) 

Daniel spent most of his life in Babylon. He lived through the reigns of six Babylonian kings (Nebuchadnezzaar, Evil Merodach, Nergal-Sharezer, Labaši-Marduk, Nabonidus/ Belshazzar), the reign of Darius the Mede, and into at least the third year of Cyrus the Great (Dan. 10:1). He would have witnesses, first-hand, the Persian king’s declaration that the Jewish people could return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple (Ez. 1:1-4).

In 1879, Hormuzd Rassam discovered a baked clay cylinder in the ruins of Babylon, possibly in the temple of Marduk. In 1970, a clay fragment in the Yale Babylonian Collection was recognized to be a part of missing section of the same cylinder.35 The Cyrus Cylinder, as it has come to be known, measures 22.5cm by 10cm and records, in Akkadian cuneiform, the general declaration of Cyrus the Great that all people who were captive in Babylon could return to their homelands and rebuild their temples. It reads:

“I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad…From [Babylon]… as far as the region of Gutium, the sacred centers on the other side of the Tigris, whose sanctuaries had been abandoned for a long time, I returned the images of the gods, who had resided there, to their places and I let them dwell in eternal abodes. I gathered all their inhabitants and returned to them their dwellings.,, May all the gods whom I settled in their sacred centers ask daily Bêl and Nâbu that my days be long and may they intercede for my welfare.”36

The Cyrus Cylinder contains an account of Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon in 539 BC as well as his general decree permitting exiles to return to their “dwellings” and allowing them to take their gods with them and rebuild their “sanctuaries.” Photo: www.HolyLandPhotos.org

The Cyrus Cylinder affirms Cyrus’s general public policy of permitting exiles to return to their “dwellings” and allowing them to take their gods with them and rebuild their “sanctuaries.” As Bryant Wood notes, “In the case of the Jews, however, since they had no idols, the gold and silver articles taken from the Temple were returned. The specific proclamation pertaining to the Jews is documented in Ezra”37

While a relatively small group of Jews led by Zerubbabel returned to Jerusalem, Daniel did not. Perhaps, because of his age and his position in the courts of Babylon, he chose to stay and be an advocate for God’s people where he was. One wonders whether Daniel, a wise man who prospered in the royal courts in Babylon (Dan. 6:28), had any influence in Cyrus’ decision to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem.

1.  Dead Sea Scroll Fragments of Daniel

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place…” (Mat 24:15) 

Many today would argue that the book of Daniel was composed sometime during the second century BC, after the prophecies related to the Seleucids and Maccabeans (Dan. 9-12), and not during the sixth century BC by the prophet himself.38 According to this theory, Daniel was written to encourage the Jewish people during the Maccabean period (ca. 168-165 BC). This late date is assumed largely on the basis of the presupposition of modern scholars that supernatural fore-telling of events is not possible. For example, Sibley Towner stated, “We need to assume that the vision [of Daniel 8] as a whole is a prophecy after the fact. Why? Because human beings are unable accurately to predict future events centuries in advance and to say that Daniel could do so, even on the basis of symbolic revelation vouchsafed to him by God and interpreted by an angel, is to fly in the face of the certainties of human nature.”39

These Dead Sea Scroll Fragments (4Q114 –  4Q Danc) contain parts of Daniel 10:5-9; 13-16. Photo: Courtesy of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, IAA Photo / https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive/image/B-284883

However, the discoveries of copies of the book of Daniel dating to the second century BC among the Dead Sea Scrolls has called into serious question the late-date theory of composition. Nine copies of Daniel, represented by 22 fragments were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which attest to most of the chapters in the biblical book, as well as citations to Daniel in other Qumran scrolls, such as the Florilegium (4Q174).40 It seems certain that the Qumran community viewed the book of Daniel as canonical. Moreover, the earliest of Dead Sea Scroll copy of Daniel has been dated to the second century BC, within 50 years of the supposed composition suggested by the late-date theory.41 There simply is not enough time for the book to have been composed, circulated and accepted as canonical in such a short period of time. Gerhard Hasel concludes, “The canonical acceptance of the book of Daniel at Qumran suggests an earlier origin of the book than the second century BC”42

Conclusion

The book of Daniel accurately describes the Babylonian kingdom in the sixth century BC. The writer clearly had a grasp of Babylonian history unknown to later writers. Many of the cultural and chronological details would have been unknown to a pseudonymous author living over 400 years later. These ten discoveries, among others, testify to the authenticity and historicity of the book of Daniel.

Cover Image: Daniel and the Lions, Engraving (1873) / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Endnotes:

1 Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “The Book of Daniel”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 Jul. 1998, https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Book-of-Daniel-Old-Testament. (Accessed 16 August 2022(.

2 Gleason L. Archer. “The Hebrew of Daniel Compared with the Qumran Sectarian Documents” in The Law and the Prophets: Essays in Honor of Oswalt T. Allis, ed. John H. Skilton (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1974), 470-81. Quoted in Randall Price and H. Wayne House, Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), 179.

3 K. A. Kitchen, :The Aramaic of Daniel” in Nots on Some Problems in the Book of Daniel, ed. P.J. Wiseman, et al. (London: Tyndale, 1965). Online: https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/tp/notes-daniel/daniel_kitchen.pdf (Accessed Aug. 11, 2022).

4 For a discussion of whether Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586 or 587 BC, see Roger Young’s article, “When Did Jerusalem Fall?” JETS 47/1 (March 2004) 21–38. Online: http://www.rcyoung.org/articles/jerusalem.html (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

5 Andrew George, “A stele of Nebuchadnezzar II [Tower of Babel stele].” CUSAS 17 (2011), 154. Online: https://www.academia.edu/25635619/A_stele_of_Nebuchadnezzar_II_Tower_of_Babel_stele_CUSAS_17_2011_153_69 (Accessed Aug. 12, 2022).

6 “Tower of Babel Stele,” Schøyen Collection. Online: https://www.schoyencollection.com/history-collection-introduction/babylonian-history-collection/tower-babel-stele-ms-2063 (Accessed Aug. 12, 2022).

7 Andrew George, “A stele of Nebuchadnezzar II [Tower of Babel stele].” CUSAS 17 (2011), 159. Online: https://www.academia.edu/25635619/A_stele_of_Nebuchadnezzar_II_Tower_of_Babel_stele_CUSAS_17_2011_153_69 (Accessed Aug. 12, 2022).

8 Gleason L. Archer Jr. Daniel. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), 95-33.

9 Nigel Reynolds, “Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament.” Telegraph Media Group. July 13, 2007. Online: https://web.archive.org/web/20070914043526/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2007%2F07%2F11%2Fntablet111.xml (Accessed Aug. 16, 2022).

10 Holden, Joseph M. and Geisler, Norman. The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2013), p. 362.

11 Nigel Reynolds, “Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament.” Telegraph Media Group. July 13, 2007. Online: https://web.archive.org/web/20070914043526/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2007%2F07%2F11%2Fntablet111.xml (Accessed Aug. 16, 2022).

12 Laura Sexton, “Nebo-Sarsekim Cuneiform Tablet.” Archaeology. Volume 61, Number 1, Jan/Feb 2008. Online: https://archive.archaeology.org/0801/topten/cuneiform.html (Accessed Aug. 16, 2022).

13 Robert Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon.  (London : Macmillan and Co., 1914), 113.  Accessed online: https://archive.org/details/ldpd_10797913_000/page/158/ (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

14 Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Robert Koldewey”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 31 Jan. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Robert-Koldewey (Accessed 15 August 2022).

15 Robert Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon.  (London : Macmillan and Co., 1914), 115.  Accessed online: https://archive.org/details/ldpd_10797913_000/page/160/  (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

16 Jean-Cleaude Margueron, trans. Paul Sager, “Babylon.” In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. D.N. Freedman. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 877.

17 Neil MacFarquhar, “Hussein’s Babylon: A Beloved Atrocity” New York Times, August 19, 2003. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/19/world/hussein-s-babylon-a-beloved-atrocity.html  (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

18 The idea that Etemenanki is the source for biblical account of the Tower of Babel the this is based upon the (outdated) theory that the first five books of the Bible were not written by Moses in the 15th century BC, but rather in the Persian-era (or later) by a supposed group of Jewish priests inventing a glorious backstory for their people. However, there is good reason to believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Kenneth Kitchen, in his book, On The Reliability of the Old Testament, has demonstrated that too many details in the Pentateuch accurately reflect the world of the Bronze Age. These would have been unknown to a supposed group of priests living in Persia over 1000 year later, but would have been very familiar to an author writing at that time, such as Moses. Specifically, numerous details in the text reflect familiarity with Bronze Age Egyptian culture, which makes sense when one realizes Moses was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Furthermore, there were many ziggurats in the ancient world, including both the biblical Tower of Babel and the later Etemenanki in Babylon.

19 Jean-Cleaude Margueron, trans. Paul Sager, “Babylon.” In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. D.N. Freedman. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 878.

20 Jona Lendering, “Babylon, Esagila.” Livius.org. Online: https://www.livius.org/articles/place/babylon/esagila/ (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

21 John C. Lennox, Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism.” (Oxford, Monarch Books, 2015), 33.

22 9 Robert Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon.  (London: Macmillan and Co., 1914), 44.  Accessed online: https://archive.org/details/ldpd_10797913_000/page/78 (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

23 Study note on Dan. 6:7, in ESV Archaeology Study Bible, ed. John Currid and David Chapman (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 1214.

24 “Ishtar Gate,” Encyclopædia Britannica, March 7, 2016. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ishtar-Gate  (Accessed Aug. 7, 2019)

25 Andrew E. Steinmann, From Abraham To Paul: A Biblical Chronology. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011), 173.

26 Bryan Windle, “Nebuchadnezzar: An Archaeological Biography.” Bible Archaeology Report. Oct. 17, 2019. https://biblearchaeologyreport.com/2019/10/17/nebuchadnezzar-an-archaeological-biography/ (Accessed Aug. 16, 2022).

27 “ABC 5 (Jerusalem Chronicle),” Livius.org. July 26, 2017.  https://www.livius.org/sources/content/mesopotamian-chronicles-content/abc-5-jerusalem-chronicle/ (Accessed Aug. 15, 2022).

28 Jona Lendering, “Uruk King List.” Livius.org. https://www.livius.org/sources/content/uruk-king-list/ (Accessed Aug. 10, 2022).

29 Clyde E. Fant and Mitchell G. Reddish, Lost Treasures of the Bible. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), 233.

30 “Verse Account of Nabonidus,” LIvius.org. https://www.livius.org/sources/content/anet/verse-account-of-nabonidus/ (Accessed Aug. 10, 2022).

31“ABC 7 (Nabonidus Chronicle),” Livius.org. Online:  https://www.livius.org/sources/content/mesopotamian-chronicles-content/abc-7-nabonidus-chronicle/ (Accessed Aug. 10, 2022).

32 Herodotus, Histories, 1.191.

33 William H. Shea, “Nabonidus Chronicle: New Readings and the Identity of Darius the Mede.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 7/1 (Spring 1996): 1-20. Online: https://www.andrews.edu/library/car/cardigital/Periodicals/Journal_of_the_Adventist_Theological_Society/1996/1996_01.pdf (Accessed Aug. 10, 2022).

34 See the work of Steven Anderson (https://truthonlybible.com/2016/01/08/darius-the-mede-a-solution-to-his-identity/) and Roger Young (https://www.academia.edu/56965177/XENOPHONS_CYAXARES_UNCLE_OF_CYRUS_FRIEND_OF_DANIEL)

35 Clyde E. Fant and Mitchell G. Reddish, Lost Treasures of the Bible. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), 267

36 “Cyrus Cylinder Translation.” Livius.org. https://www.livius.org/sources/content/cyrus-cylinder/cyrus-cylinder-translation/ (Accessed Aug. 16, 2022).

37 Bryan G. Wood, “The Ongoing Saga of the Cyrus Cylinder: The Internationally-Famous Grande Dame of Ancient Texts. Associates for Biblical Researchhttps://biblearchaeology.org/research/divided-kingdom/2877-the-ongoing-saga-of-the-cyrus-cylinder-the-internationallyfamous-grande-dame-of-ancient-texts (Accessed Nov. 20, 2019).

38 Randall Price and H. Wayne House, Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), 177.

39 W. Sibley Towner, Daniel. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1984), 115.

40 Randall Price and H. Wayne House, Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), p. 177-178.

41 Gerhard Hasel, “New Light on the Book of Daniel from the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Associates for Biblical Research. July 31, 2021. https://biblearchaeology.org/research/topics/ancient-manuscripts/3193-new-light-on-the-book-of-daniel-from-the-dead-sea-scrolls (Accessed Aug. 11, 2022).

42 Ibid.

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