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.
500 year sketch of world history
- ~2000 BC Abraham
- ~1500 BC Moses and the Exodus from Egypt
- ~1000 BC David and the fall of the Republic
- ~500 BC Daniel, Nehemiah
- ~0 AD Christ
- ~500 AD Fall of Rome to Goths
- ~1000 AD East/West split of Roman Empire over "filioque"
- ~1500 AD Fall of Constantinople to Islam, Protestant Reformation
- ~2000 AD Fall of United States?
Daniel 1:8-21 Year 1, the First Test
- Daniel and his friends did not object to learning pagan
mythology and culture
- Daniel and his friends did not protest their new name
- But, Daniel purposed in his heart (1:8) to refuse the King's dainties
- probably unclean (Leviticus 11:4-20) (Ezekiel 4:10)
- Others, e.g.
Adad-guppi also enjoyed good health and long life by avoiding the
kings food. "pulse" - seeds, i.e. beans and barley
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.
- Followed God's command to serve the King of Babylon
- Determined to remain faithful to God, even while serving a pagan King
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
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?