The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:30 pm

I wonder when the Old Greek of Daniel came into being. Any thoughts on that?

Overall, Daniel is a textually complex book: partly in Aramaic and partly in Hebrew, with no clear reason either for the divide itself or for the exact placement of the divide. (One might speculate that the original was partly lost and then replaced by the translation, much as the original Greek of the epistle of Polycarp has been partly lost and replaced by the Latin translation.) It is not even known for sure, from what I understand, which language (Hebrew or Aramaic) is the original! And then the Greek is expansive, with the extra stories of Susanna, Bel, and the dragon.

Daniel strikes me as something of a living text right up until Theodotion rendered it into Greek for at least a second time.

Your point about Simon bar Giora is interesting: if correct, that would imply a terminus post quem of 70 for the Old Greek.
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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:46 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:09 pm
The "Old Greek" text was the one initially preserved by the early Christians, as at first they believed that the city & temple were destroyed because God was displeased by Judeans. Yet as soon as they began to speculate that the Daniel passage had to do with Jesus, not Vespasian, Theodotion's translation of Daniel quickly replaced the OG.
You refer, I presume, to this crucial distinction:

Daniel 26j Old Greek: And his consummation will come with wrath (2καὶ ἥξει ἡ συντέλεια αὐτοῦ μετ᾽ ὀργῆς).
Daniel 26j Theodotion: And they will be cut off by a flood (καὶ ἐκκοπήσονται ἐν κατακλυσμῷ).

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:09 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:09 pm
There is odd language in 27g, 27h & 27i. There are no "weeks," but only "times" (καιροὺς) and "years" (ἔτη). This is where you find your Seventy years added upon the 62 and seven years.
Just a bit of pure speculation here. I am still puzzling over those "extra" 70 weeks in the OG/LXX version:

Daniel 7.26abc: 26abc And after seven and seventy and sixty-two weeks [refer to ETA section below], an anointing will be removed and will not be.

I am certain that people were predicting, based upon the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.24-27, that certain things would happen during century I. While I am not sure what exact dates (if any) were being bandied about, it seems certain that deadlines were missed. What if the extra weeks were added because a deadline was missed, rather like one version of the Epistula Apostolorum gives us a deadline of 120 years whereas another, presumably later version gives us a deadline of 150 years?

ETA 1: Never mind. The "weeks" are not there in the Greek. I forgot that the translator got intrusive in that section.

ETA 2: This is an interesting perspective:

William Adler, "The Apocalyptic Survey of History Adapted by Christians: Daniel's Prophecy of 70 Weeks," in Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity, edited by James C. Vanderkam & William Adler, page 207: The 'sad mess' created by the OG translation of the 70 year-weeks may be the result, as Montgomery has suggested, of confusing the Hebrew 'weeks' with the identical word 'seventy'." There is, however, a distinctive historical viewpoint informing this interpretation. Fraidl has offered the plausible suggestion that the chronology of 139 years is reckoned according to the Seleucid era.'* According to 1 Macc 1:10, Antiochus Epiphanes acceded to power in 137 of this era. From this chronological perspective, the translators' 139 years refer to the period of Seleucid rule preceding Antiochus' inauguration of measures against Jerusalem, the priesthood and the temple cult.

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by DCHindley » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:36 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:09 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:09 pm
There is odd language in 27g, 27h & 27i. There are no "weeks," but only "times" (καιροὺς) and "years" (ἔτη). This is where you find your Seventy years added upon the 62 and seven years.
Just a bit of pure speculation here. I am still puzzling over those "extra" 70 weeks in the OG/LXX version:

Daniel 7.26abc: 26abc And after seven and seventy and sixty-two weeks [refer to ETA section below], an anointing will be removed and will not be.

I am certain that people were predicting, based upon the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.24-27, that certain things would happen during century I. While I am not sure what exact dates (if any) were being bandied about, it seems certain that deadlines were missed. What if the extra weeks were added because a deadline was missed, rather like one version of the Epistula Apostolorum gives us a deadline of 120 years whereas another, presumably later version gives us a deadline of 150 years?

ETA 1: Never mind. The "weeks" are not there in the Greek. I forgot that the translator got intrusive in that section.

ETA 2: This is an interesting perspective:

William Adler, "The Apocalyptic Survey of History Adapted by Christians: Daniel's Prophecy of 70 Weeks," in Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity, edited by James C. Vanderkam & William Adler, page 207: The 'sad mess' created by the OG translation of the 70 year-weeks may be the result, as Montgomery has suggested, of confusing the Hebrew 'weeks' with the identical word 'seventy'." There is, however, a distinctive historical viewpoint informing this interpretation. Fraidl has offered the plausible suggestion that the chronology of 139 years is reckoned according to the Seleucid era.'* According to 1 Macc 1:10, Antiochus Epiphanes acceded to power in 137 of this era. From this chronological perspective, the translators' 139 years refer to the period of Seleucid rule preceding Antiochus' inauguration of measures against Jerusalem, the priesthood and the temple cult.

Maybe so. I am not aware of the 139 year timetable.

However, the section of the Old Greek that says:
26a And after 26b seven 26c and seventy 26d and sixty-two, 26e an anointing will be removed 26f and [it] will not be. 26g And a king of nations 26h [he] will demolish the city and the sanctuary 26i along with the anointed one, 26j and his consummation will come with wrath 26k even until the time of consummation.
26l He will be attacked through war.
corresponds to a remarkable degree with what happened in the final period of the Judean Rebellion.

The King of the Nations seems to refer to Vespasian (or possibly Titus, Vespasian's heir) and the Anointed One who is cut off would be Simon Bar Giora. "Anointed One" would then refer to his anointing as war leader by the competing factions in the city when the Romans began laying siege to the city walls. To take the edge off a bit, the translator of the OG speaks of "27f And at the consummation of times, 27g even after seven 27h and seventy times, 27i and sixty-two years, 27j until the time of the consummation of the war." No more weeks of years (except the seventy weeks that have been decided by God), but 77 "times" plus 62 "years," was probably done to make the "ambiguous oracle" even more ambiguous than ever.

The section about the city being rebuilt is made into a promise that the city will still be rebuilt as a fabulous monument to the Lord (God, that is), in the future. It may be that the rabbinic academy, allowed to function in Galilee, supported Josephus' interpretation that Daniel 9:24ff had referred to Vespasian all along. The official Greek translation of Hebrew Daniel was first made of this book after 70 CE, possibly encouraged by the Emperor.

That Theodotion brought his Greek translation, meant to replace the Old Greek translation, into closer agreement with the Hebrew, suggests that by his day that was no longer the position of the Rabbinic authorities. "Hey, it was all about Antiochus IV Epiphanes, not Vespasian or Titus," effectively taking imperial politics out of it.

For any lurkers following along, my post that compares MT/RSV vs OG/NETS E.T vs Theodotion/NETS E.T. see
viewtopic.php?p=84059#p84049

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by DCHindley » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:48 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:36 pm

William Adler, "The Apocalyptic Survey of History Adapted by Christians: Daniel's Prophecy of 70 Weeks," in Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity, edited by James C. Vanderkam & William Adler, page 207: The 'sad mess' created by the OG translation of the 70 year-weeks may be the result, as Montgomery has suggested, of confusing the Hebrew 'weeks' with the identical word 'seventy'." There is, however, a distinctive historical viewpoint informing this interpretation. Fraidl has offered the plausible suggestion that the chronology of 139 years is reckoned according to the Seleucid era.'* According to 1 Macc 1:10, Antiochus Epiphanes acceded to power in 137 of this era. From this chronological perspective, the translators' 139 years refer to the period of Seleucid rule preceding Antiochus' inauguration of measures against Jerusalem, the priesthood and the temple cult.

Maybe so. I am not aware of the 139 year timetable.

... the Old Greek ... says:
26a And after 26b seven 26c and seventy 26d and sixty-two, 26e an anointing will be removed 26f and [it] will not be. 26g And a king of nations 26h [he] will demolish the city and the sanctuary 26i along with the anointed one, 26j and his consummation will come with wrath 26k even until the time of consummation. 26l He will be attacked through war.
[which] corresponds to a remarkable degree with what happened in the final period of the Judean Rebellion. [/quote]

Now that I have had a little leisure, I realize you must be referring to the position of those who think that the OG's "times" (καιροὺς) is just another word for years "years" (ἔτη), so 70+7+62+1 = 140, with the final week to happen later after an unknown period. Dean Ulrich, “How Early Judaism Read Daniel 9:24-27” (OTE 27/3, 2014, 1062-1083).
... Both versions (OG & Theodotion) add the word ἱερὸν (temple) before βδέλυγμα τῶν ἐρημώσεωυ (abomination of desolations) and thus make an explicit association of the desolations with the temple. If these Greek translations were produced after the Antiochene crisis, which is true of Theodotion, then they may have read their Hebrew Vorlage in view of the continuing trouble for Jews after the Maccabean resolution of the Antiochene crisis. The end of that calamity may have marked the terminus ad quern of the seventy sevens and so yielded a sense of jubilee, but the translators knew that the six objectives of Dan 9:24 still awaited full realisation.

This observation may explain the additional seventy sevens in vv. 26 and 27 of the Old Greek version (7+70+62+1). While Adler, Grabbe, and Montgomery suggest that a translator or copyist read (seventy) instead of (weeks), Rösel proposes that the Old Greek's translation reflects a theological reading after the Antiochene crisis.14 The additional seventy years push the realisation of the six objectives of Dan 9:24 into the more distant future. For the translator, the Antiochene crisis has become a "prelude" to or a type of the end of sin and the establishment of righteousness. Spangenberg similarly suggests that the Septuagint translator of Dan 9 lived after Antiochus IV and no longer felt threatened by him.15 For this reason, he altered the num-bers of the seventy sevens and muted the apocalyptic messianism of the origi-nal writer who lived during the Maccabean crisis. It is hard to say which group of scholars has the better explanation, but the history of interpretation after the Maccabees indicates that the Antiochene crisis was not always considered the sole referent of the prophecy. Whether intended or not, the additional seventy years in the Old Greek invited application of the seventy sevens to later events.
I understand the opinion that OG was translated sometime in the 1st century BCE, based on the idea that 1 Maccabees, which seems to be aware of a Greek translation of Daniel that resembles the OG, but I am also aware that the passages in 1 Maccabees that resemble the OG Daniel are not especially close (in other words, they are similar, but not exactly quotes). There was also something about the OG of Daniel influencing the Greek translation of Ben Sira.

Going back to whether καιροὺς (unspecified times) is just another way of saying ἔτη (years), it comes across to me as a bit tenuous. I do think the OG translator was trying to manipulate the Hebrew to his own ends, but I don't see the point of all that manipulation just to separate the final period from the other years. Then again, it could be true and Josephus took the ball and ran with it.

But I love being wrong ... :banghead: DCH

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by Ethan » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:29 am

Seventy Weeks of Daniel obviously nothing to do with Christianity and the context is self-contained from the reign of Xerxes I and his two sons, Darius and Artaxerxes. The numbers are probably to do with the reigns of the Persian Kings.

Ezra 7:7 * Darius > Artaxerxes (c. 70 years)
There went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

Nehemiah 7:73
So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities

Seventh year of Artaxerxes I (458 BCE)
*Seventh year of Darius II (417 BCE)
*Seventh year of Artaxerxes II (397 BCE)

The broken chronology of the Ezra-Nehemiah needs mending, Anti-history, Anti-Persian theologians won't do it.
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf

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Re: The seventy weeks of Daniel 9.24-27.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:08 am

“seventy weeks” (Hebrew shavu'im shive'im)
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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