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Week 2

Jeremiah 29

Jeremiah sends a letter to the exiles in Babylon.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

... For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

1 Samuel 8

When Israel rejected the rule of law, and demanded a king, the king demanded taxes, and the land no longer enjoyed a sabbath year as the people struggled to pay taxes. For 490 years, the land suffered. Therefore, the land enjoyed 70 sabbaths while all but the poor of the land were in Babylon.

Furthermore, slaves were to be set free in the Sabbath year - and this too was abandoned for 490 years. Zedekiah attempted a half hearted repentance and all the slaves were freed. But they were recaptured shortly thereafter. Jeremiah 34:8-11

500 year sketch of world history

Daniel 1:8-21 Year 1, the First Test

Proverbs 23:1-3

When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

Life Expectancy in Babylon

The leading cause of death for males was warfare. The leading cause of death for females was childbirth. The second leading cause of death for everyone was scorpion bites. Scorpions enjoyed the hot, humid environment created by the maze of irrigation and hanging gardens.

Those who escaped early death, both slaves, nobles and kings are recorded living to 80s and 90s in innumerable clay tablets. An abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables for most of the year was key to this longevity.


Babylon U

Some things Daniel and his friends learned

All math problems were word problems (from a series of lectures on the history of math by G. Donald Allen). Here is an example from a school tablet:
I added twice the side to the square; the result is 𒈫𒐐𒁹𒐏 (2,51,40 if you don't have a cuneiform unicode font). What is the side?