DANIEL CHAPTER ONE

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JLG

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Nov 4, 2021
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#81
1) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 1:

- City of Babylon:
https://www.britannica.com/place/Babylon-ancient-city-Mesopotamia-Asia


Babylon
ancient city, Mesopotamia, Asia
Babylon, Babylonian Bab-ilu, Old Babylonian Bāb-ilim, Hebrew Bavel or Babel, Arabic Aṭlāl Bābil, one of the most famous cities of antiquity. It was the capital of southern Mesopotamia (Babylonia) from the early 2nd millennium to the early 1st millennium bce and capital of the Neo-Babylonian (Chaldean) empire in the 7th and 6th centuries bce, when it was at the height of its splendour. Its extensive ruins, on the Euphrates River about 55 miles (88 km) south of Baghdad, lie near the modern town of Al-Ḥillah, Iraq.

History

Though traces of prehistoric settlement exist, Babylon’s development as a major city was late by Mesopotamian standards; no mention of it existed before the 23rd century bce. After the fall of the 3rd dynasty of Ur, under which Babylon had been a provincial centre, it became the nucleus of a small kingdom established in 1894 bce by the Amorite king Sumuabum, whose successors consolidated its status. The sixth and best-known of the Amorite dynasts, Hammurabi (1792–50 bce), conquered the surrounding city-states and raised
Babylon to the capital of a kingdom comprising all of southern Mesopotamia and part of Assyria (northern Iraq). Its political importance, together with its favourable location, made it henceforth the main commercial and administrative centre of Babylonia, while its wealth and prestige made it a target for foreign conquerors.


After a Hittite raid in 1595 bce, the city passed to the control of the Kassites (c. 1570), who established a dynasty lasting more than four centuries. Later in this period, Babylon became a literary and religious centre, the prestige of which was reflected in the elevation of Marduk, its chief god, to supremacy in Mesopotamia. In 1234 Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria subjugated Babylon, though subsequently the Kassite dynasty reasserted itself until 1158, when the city was sacked by the Elamites. Babylon’s acknowledged political supremacy is shown by the fact that the dynasty of Nebuchadrezzar I (1124–03), which endured for more than a century, made the city its capital, though the dynasty did not originate there.

Just before 1000, pressure from Aramaean immigrants from northern Syria brought administrative dislocation inside Babylon. From this period to the fall of Assyria in the late 7th century bce, there was a continual struggle between Aramaean or associated Chaldean tribesmen and the Assyrians for political control of the city. Its citizens claimed privileges, such as exemption from forced labour, certain taxes, and imprisonment, which the Assyrians, with a similar background, were usually readier to recognize than were immigrant tribesmen. Furthermore, the citizens, grown wealthy through commerce, benefitted from an imperial power able to protect international trade but suffered economically at the hands of disruptive tribesmen. Such circumstances made Babylon usually prefer Assyrian to Aramaean or Chaldean rule.

From the 9th to the late 7th century Babylon was almost continuously under Assyrian suzerainty, usually wielded through native kings, though sometimes Assyrian kings ruled in person. Close Assyrian involvement in Babylon began with Tiglath-pileser III (744–727 bce) as a result of Chaldean tribesmen pressing into city territories, several times usurping the kingship. Disorders accompanying increasing tribal occupation finally persuaded the Assyrian monarch Sennacherib (704–681 bce) that peaceful control of Babylon was impossible, and in 689 he ordered destruction of the city. His son Esarhaddon (680–669 bce) rescinded that policy, and, after expelling the tribesmen and returning the property of the Babylonians to them, undertook the rebuilding of the city; but the image of Marduk, removed by Sennacherib, was retained in Assyria throughout his reign, probably to prevent any potential usurper from using it to claim the kingship. In the mid-7th century, civil war broke out between the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal and his brother who ruled in Babylonia (southern Mesopotamia) as sub-king. Ashurbanipal laid siege to the city, which fell to him in 648 after famine had driven the defenders to cannibalism.

After Ashurbanipal’s death, a Chaldean leader, Nabopolassar, in 626 made Babylon the capital of a kingdom that under his son Nebuchadrezzar II (605–561 bce) became a major imperial power. Nebuchadrezzar undertook a vast program of rebuilding and fortification in Babylon, labour gangs from many lands increasing the mixture of the population. Nebuchadrezzar’s most important successor, Nabonidus (556–539 bce), campaigned in Arabia for a decade, leaving his son Belshazzar as regent in Babylon. Nabonidus failed to protect the property rights or religious traditions of the capital and attempted building operations elsewhere to rival Marduk’s great temple of Esagila. When the Persian Achaemenian dynasty under Cyrus II attacked in 539 bce, the capital fell almost without resistance; a legend (accepted by some as historical) that Cyrus achieved entry by diverting the Euphrates is unconfirmed in contemporary sources.
Under the Persians, Babylon retained most of its institutions, became capital of the richest satrapy in the empire, and was, according to the 5th-century-bce Greek historian Herodotus, the world’s most splendid city. A revolt against Xerxes I (482) led to destruction of its fortifications and temples and to the melting down of the golden image of Marduk.


In 331 Babylon surrendered to the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, who confirmed its privileges and ordered the restoration of the temples. Alexander, recognizing the commercial importance of the city, allowed its satrap to coin money and began constructing a harbour to foster trade. In 323 Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadrezzar; he had planned to make Babylon his imperial capital. Alexander’s conquest brought Babylon into the orbit of Greek culture, and Hellenistic science was greatly enriched by the contributions of Babylonian astronomy. After a power struggle among Alexander’s generals, Babylon passed to the Seleucid dynasty in 312. The city’s importance was much reduced by the building of a new capital, Seleucia on the Tigris, where part of Babylon’s population was transferred in 275.
 

JLG

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#82
2) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Babylon
The ancient city


Evidence of the topography of ancient Babylon is provided by excavations, cuneiform texts, and descriptions by Herodotus and other Classical authors. The extensive rebuilding by Nebuchadrezzar has left relatively little archaeological data in the central area earlier than his time, while elsewhere the water table has limited excavation in early strata. The reports of Herodotus largely relate to the Babylon built by Nebuchadrezzar.

Nebuchadrezzar’s Babylon was the largest city in the world, covering about 4 square miles (10 square km). The Euphrates, which has since shifted its course, flowed through it, the older part of the city being on the east bank. There the central feature was Esagila, the great temple of Marduk, with its associated ziggurat (a tower built in several stages) Etemenanki. The latter, popularly known as the Tower of Babel, had a base 300 feet (91 metres) on a side, and its seven stages, the uppermost a temple in blue glaze, reached a total height equal to that of its base. Four other temples in the eastern half of the city are known from excavations and a larger number from texts. Along the Euphrates, particularly in the neighbourhood of Esagila, were quays for trading vessels, and textual evidence that Babylon was an entrepôt for trade with south Babylonia points to the existence of warehouses. The river was spanned by a bridge, on brick piles with stone capping, to the western half of the city. The streets were laid out on a grid, with the main axis parallel to the river. From Esagila northward passed the paved Processional Way, its walls decorated with enameled lions. Passing through the Ishtar Gate, adorned with enameled bulls and dragons, it led to the Akitu House, a small temple outside the city that was said to be visited by Marduk at the New Year festival. West of the Ishtar Gate, one of eight fortified gates, were two palace complexes that covered about 40 acres (16 hectares) with their fortifications.

East of the Processional Way lay an area that since the time of Hammurabi had contained private dwellings built around central courtyards. A massive double wall, protected by a fosse (ditch), enclosed the city on both sides of the Euphrates. Beyond the city walls to the east an outer rampart of triple construction, 11 miles long (18 km), met the Euphrates south and north of the city, enclosing another palace at the rampart’s northern junction. Between the inner and outer defenses was irrigated land with a network of canals, some going back to the time of Hammurabi. Greek tradition refers to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a simulated hill of vegetation-clad terracing over a vaulted substructure that in Hellenistic times was deemed one of the Seven Wonders of the World. German archaeologist Robert Koldewey discovered a unique series of foundation chambers and vaults in the northeastern corner of the palace at Babylon, which some suggest may have functioned as part of the substructure of the Hanging Gardens; others theorize that the garden site, constructed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib, in fact lay at his capital, Nineveh. However, with no confirmed remains of the gardens yet uncovered, speculation regarding their location and mechanism continued into the 21st century.

The present site

The present site, an extensive field of ruins, contains several prominent mounds. The main mounds are (1) Babil, the remains of Nebuchadrezzar’s palace in the northern corner of the outer rampart, (2) Qasr, comprising the palace complex (with a building added in Persian times), the Ishtar Gate, and the Emakh temple, (3) Amran ibn Ali, the ruins of Esagila, (4) Merkez, marking the ancient residential area east of Esagila, (5) Humra, containing rubble removed by Alexander from the ziggurat in preparation for rebuilding, and a theatre he built with material from the ziggurat, and (6) Ishin Aswad, where there are two further temples. A depression called Sahn marks the former site of the ziggurat Etemenanki. A larger-than-life-size basalt lion, probably of Hittite origin and brought to Babylon in antiquity, stands north of the Ishtar Gate.

Archaeology

After minor surveys and excavations by the British scholar Claudius James Rich (1811 and 1817), the British archaeologist and sometime diplomat Austen Henry Layard (1850), the French Orientalist Fulgence Fresnel, the German Assyriologist Jules Oppert (1852–54), and others, a major archaeological operation began under Koldewey for the German Oriental Society in 1899 and continued unbroken until 1917. In the course of his excavation of the structures mentioned, Koldewey also discovered cuneiform inscriptions, statues, stelae (pillars), terra-cotta reliefs, cylinder seals, pottery, glassware, and jewelry. Further brief investigations were made by the German Archaeological Institute in 1956 under Heinrich J. Lenzen at the Greek theatre and in 1966 under H.J. Schmidt at the site of Etemenanki. Restoration of the Emakh temple and of part of the Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way, and the palace complex was begun in 1958 by the Iraqi Department of Antiquities, which also built a half-size model of the complete Ishtar Gate at the entrance to the site. The original gate has been on display at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum since 1930.

Beginning in 2003, warfare in Iraq had a devastating effect on a number of antiquities and archaeological sites throughout the country, some of which were looted or damaged. In 2003 the presence of coalition forces based at the archaeological site initially protected the Babylon complex from looting; however, the subsequent establishment of a military encampment among the ruins caused significant damage, including leveling and contamination, prior to the site’s return to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture in 2005. In January 2009 the World Monuments Fund—in collaboration with Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and with funding from the U.S. Department of State—announced a new conservation plan for the site of the ancient city.
 

JLG

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#83
1) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:

- Persia

https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-middle-east/persian-empire

The Persian Empire is the name given to a series of dynasties centered in modern-day Iran that spanned several centuries—from the sixth century B.C. to the twentieth century A.D. The first Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great around 550 B.C., became one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Europe’s Balkan Peninsula in the West to India’s Indus Valley in the East. This Iron Age dynasty, sometimes called the Achaemenid Empire, was a global hub of culture, religion, science, art and technology for more than 200 years before it fell to the invading armies of Alexander the Great.

Cyrus the Great
The Persian Empire started as a collection of semi-nomadic tribes who raised sheep, goats and cattle on the Iranian plateau.

Cyrus the Great—the leader of one such tribe—began to defeat nearby kingdoms, including Media, Lydia and Babylon, joining them under one rule. He founded the first Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire, in 550 B.C.

The first Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great soon became the world’s first superpower. It united under one government three important sites of early human civilization in the ancient world: Mesopotamia, Egypt’s Nile Valley and India’s Indus Valley.

Cyrus the Great is immortalized in the Cyrus Cylinder, a clay cylinder inscribed in 539 BC with the story of how he conquered Babylon from King Nabonidus, bringing an end to the Neo-Babylonian empire.

Darius the Great, the fourth king of the Achaemenid Empire, ruled over the Persian Empire when it was at its largest, stretching from The Caucasus and West Asia to what was then Macedonia (today’s Balkans), the Black Sea, Central Asia and even into Africa including parts of Libya and Egypt. He unified the empire through introducing standard currency and weights and measures; making Aramaic the official language and building roads.

The Behistun Inscription, a multilingual relief carved into Mount Behistun in Western Iran, extolls his virtues and was a critical key to deciphering cuneiform script. Its impact is compared that of the Rosetta Stone, the tablet that enabled scholars to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.
 

JLG

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Nov 4, 2021
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#84
2) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:

- Persia
Where Is Persia?


At its height under Darius the Great, the Persian Empire stretched from Europe’s Balkan Peninsula—in parts of what is present day Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine—to the Indus River Valley in northwest India and south to Egypt.

The Persians were the first people to establish regular routes of communication between three continents—Africa, Asia and Europe. They built many new roads and developed the world’s first postal service.

Persian Culture

The ancient Persians of the Achaemenid Empire created art in many forms, including metalwork, rock carvings, weaving and architecture. As the Persian Empire expanded to encompass other artistic centers of early civilization, a new style was formed with influences from these sources.

Early Persian art included large, carved rock reliefs cut into cliffs, such as those found at Naqsh-e Rustam, an ancient cemetery filled with the tombs of Achaemenid kings. The elaborate rock murals depict equestrian scenes and battle victories.

Ancient Persians were also known for their metalwork. In the 1870s, smugglers discovered gold and silver artifacts among ruins near the Oxus River in present-day Tajikistan.

The artifacts included a small golden chariot, coins and bracelets decorated in a griffon motif. (The griffon is a mythical creature with the wings and head of an eagle and the body of a lion, and a symbol of the Persian capital of Persepolis.)

British diplomats and members of the military serving in Pakistan brought roughly 180 of these gold and silver pieces—known as the Oxus Treasure—to London where they are now housed at the British Museum.

The history of carpet weaving in Persia dates back to the nomadic tribes. The ancient Greeks prized the artistry of these hand-woven rugs—famous for their elaborate design and bright colors. Today, most Persian rugs are made of wool, silk and cotton.

Persepolis
The ancient Persian capital city of Persepolis, situated in southern Iran, ranks among the world’s greatest archeological sites. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.


The Achaemenian palaces of Persepolis were built upon massive terraces. They were decorated with ornamental facades that included the long rock relief carvings for which the ancient Persians were famous.

Persian Religion

Many people think of Persia as synonymous with Islam, though Islam only became the dominant religion in the Persian Empire after the Arab conquests of the seventh century. The first Persian Empire was shaped by a different religion: Zoroastrianism.
Named after the Persian prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra), Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions. It’s still practiced today as a minority religion in parts of Iran and India..


Zoroaster, who likely lived sometime between 1500 and 500 B.C., taught followers to worship one god instead of the many deities worshipped by earlier Indo-Iranian groups.

The Achaemenian kings were devout Zoroastrians. By most accounts, Cyrus the Great was a tolerant ruler who allowed his subjects to speak their own languages and practice their own religions. While he ruled by the Zoroastrian law of asha (truth and righteousness), he didn’t impose Zoroastrianism on the people of Persia’s conquered territories.

Hebrew scriptures praise Cyrus the Great for freeing the Jewish people of Babylon from captivity and allowing them to return to Jerusalem.
 

JLG

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Nov 4, 2021
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#85
3) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:
- Persia
Subsequent rulers in the Achaemenid Empire followed Cyrus the Great’s hands-off approach to social and religious affairs, allowing Persia’s diverse citizenry to continue practicing their own ways of life. This period of time is sometimes called the Pax Persica, or Persian Peace.


Fall of the Persian Empire

The Persian Empire entered a period of decline after a failed invasion of Greece by Xerxes I in 480 BC. The costly defense of Persia’s lands depleted the empire’s funds, leading to heavier taxation among Persia’s subjects.

The Achaemenid dynasty finally fell to the invading armies of Alexander the Great of Macedon in 330 B.C. Subsequent rulers sought to restore the Persian Empire to its Achaemenian boundaries, though the empire never quite regained the enormous size it had achieved under Cyrus the Great.
 

JLG

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Nov 4, 2021
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#86
Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

- The land of Shinar:

https://www.gotquestions.org/land-of-Shinar.html

The land of Shinar is referenced eight times in the Old Testament (Genesis 10:10; 11:2; 14:1, 9; Joshua 7:21; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2; Zechariah 5:11), always in connection to the geographical location of Babylonia. In certain passages, some versions of the Bible translate the word for “Shinar” as “Babylonia” for clarity’s sake. Shinar is significant for these reasons:

Shinar was the location of the Tower of Babel. Genesis 10:10 mentions that Nimrod, a descendant of Ham, built “Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar.” A plain in Shinar was the site chosen to construct the notorious Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–4). As punishment for the people’s wickedness, God confused their language, and thus the land of Shinar earned the name of “Babel” or “Babylon” (Genesis 11:5–9). Babylon and Babylonia both derive their names from Babel, which means “confusion.”

Shinar was ruled by a king that Abraham fought. During Abraham’s time, four kings, including Amraphel, king of Shinar, fought against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and three other kings (Genesis 14:1–3, 8–9). After overpowering the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, the four kings plundered the cities, carrying away Lot and all he owned (Genesis 14:10–12). To save his nephew, Abraham and 318 of his men routed the raiding party, defeated the four kings, and recovered Lot, his family, and his possessions (Genesis 14:13–17).


Shinar was associated with temptation. After taking Jericho, the Israelites failed in conquering Ai because of sin in the camp (Joshua 7:10–12). Achan had stolen devoted items from Jericho, which the Lord had specifically commanded against (Joshua 6:18–19). Included in the plundered items was a finely crafted, beautiful robe from Shinar (Joshua 7:21). Because of Achan’s sin, about thirty-six people lost their lives during the failed attempt at taking Ai (Joshua 7:4–5). After his sin was discovered, Achan and his family were stoned to death in accordance with God’s command (Joshua 7:24–26).

Shinar was associated with Babylon’s wickedness. Zechariah the prophet recorded a vision of a basket with a lead cover. The angel guiding Zechariah identified the meaning of the basket: “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land” (Zechariah 5:6). Then the angel raised the cover of lead, revealing to the prophet that there was a woman in the basket. The angel said, “‘This is wickedness,’ and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth” (Zechariah 5:8). The basket with the woman was then carried through air to the land of Shinar where a temple would be built for it (verse 11). This strange vision pictures the suppression of wickedness and its banishment to Shinar/Babylon. In Shinar, the wickedness would eventually be freed and even worshiped (cf. Revelation 17). Shinar is associated with the wicked worship of false gods, and in the end times, Babylon the Great is the center of wickedness and demon worship (Revelation 18:2–3).


Shinar was the location of Judah’s exile. When the nation of Judah was finally taken into exile to Babylonia, Nebuchadnezzar carried off the devoted things of the Lord’s temple and placed them in a temple to the god he worshipped (Daniel 1:1–2). Nebuchadnezzar probably placed the precious items into the temple of Marduk, also called Bel, which was the chief god of the Babylonians. Because of disobedience and idol worship, the Jews were exiled from their land to Shinar (2 Chronicles 36:15–21).

Shinar is a place that will contain a faithful remnant of Israel. Isaiah 11 mentions the future millennial kingdom of the “Root of Jesse” who will “stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10). During His reign, Jesus will “recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea” (Isaiah 11:11, ESV). This promise assures us that God’s people will be regathered—even from Shinar—to worship the Lord in His future kingdom.


Shinar is significant in its connection to the world’s historical rebellion against God: everything from the construction of the Tower of Babel to its association with idols, its mistreatment of Israel, and its future association with the Antichrist. Despite the many evils in the land of Shinar, God has preserved His people there. Believing Israelites in Shinar will participate in Jesus’ millennial kingdom in the future, demonstrating God’s grace and redemption.
 

JLG

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Nov 4, 2021
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#87
- Coming back to Daniel 5 thread 42 about the advance of Christianity :


The advance of Christianity had just as profound an effect on the social and cultural fabric of Byzantine Egypt as on the political power structure. It brought to the surface the identity of the native Egyptians in the Coptic church, which found a medium of expression in the development of the Coptic language—basically Egyptian written in Greek letters with the addition of a few characters. Coptic Christianity also developed its own distinctive art, much of it pervaded by the long-familiar motifs of Greek mythology. These motifs coexisted with representations of the Virgin and Child and with Christian parables and were expressed in decorative styles that owed a great deal to both Greek and Egyptian precedents. Although Christianity had made great inroads into the populace by 391 (the year in which the practice of the local polytheistic religions was officially made illegal), it is hardly possible to quantify it or to trace a neat and uniform progression. It engulfed its predecessors slowly and untidily. In the first half of the 5th century a polytheistic literary revival occurred, centred on the town of Panopolis, and there is evidence that fanatical monks in the area
attacked non-Christian temples and stole statues and magical texts. Outside the rarefied circles in which doctrinal disputes were discussed in philosophical terms, there was a great heterogeneous mass of commitment and belief. For example, both the gnostics, who believed in redemption through knowledge, and the Manichaeans, followers of the Persian prophet Mani, clearly thought of themselves as Christians. In the 4th century a Christian community, the library of which was discovered at Najʾ Ḥammādī in 1945, was reading both canonical and apocryphal gospels as well as mystical revelatory tracts. At the lower levels of society, magical practices remained ubiquitous and were simply transferred to a Christian context.



By the mid-5th century Egypt’s landscape was dominated by the great churches, such as the magnificent church of St. Menas (Abū Mīna), south of Alexandria, and by the monasteries. The latter were Egypt’s distinctive contribution to the development of Christianity and were particularly important as strongholds of native loyalty to the monophysite church. The origins of Antonian communities, named for the founding father of monasticism, St. Anthony of Egypt (c. 251–356), lay in the desire of individuals to congregate about the person of a celebrated ascetic in a desert location, building their own cells, adding a church and a refectory, and raising towers and walls to enclose the unit. Other monasteries, called Pachomian—for Pachomius, the founder of cenobitic monasticism—were planned from the start as walled complexes with communal facilities. The provision of water cisterns, kitchens, bakeries, oil presses, workshops, stables, and cemeteries and the ownership and cultivation of land in the vicinity made these communities self-sufficient to a high degree, offering their residents peace and protection against the oppression of the tax collector and the brutality of the soldier. But it does not follow that they were divorced from contact with nearby towns and villages. Indeed, many monastics were important local figures, and many monastery churches were probably open to the local public for worship.

The economic and social power of the Christian church in the Nile River valley and delta is the outstanding development of the 5th and 6th centuries. By the time of the Arab invasion, in the mid-7th century, the uncomplicated message of Islam might have seemed attractive and drawn attention to the political and religious rifts that successive and rival patriarchs of the Christian church had so violently created and exploited. But the advent of Arab rule did not suppress Christianity in Egypt. Some areas remained heavily Christian for several more centuries.


- Thus we get a Coptic Church with a Coptic language that is Egyptian with Greek letters, a religion pervaded by Greek mythology, we see the influence of the gnostics and the Manichaeans and magical practices. So as it is with all religions, we see a mixture of everything and the result are teachings which have nothing to do with the original. But that was told by Jesus and even the Israelites did the same, that’s why they were condemned !
 

JLG

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#88
- Coming back to Daniel 7 thread 59:

Clement presented a functional program of witnessing in thought and action to Hellenistic inquirers and Christian believers, a program that he hoped would bring about an understanding of the role of Greek philosophy and the Mosaic tradition within the Christian faith. According to Clement, philosophy was to the Greeks as the Law of Moses was to the Jews, a preparatory discipline leading to the truth, which was personified in the Logos. His goal was to make Christian beliefs intelligible to those trained within the context of the Greek paideia (educational curriculum) so that those who accepted the Christian faith might be able to witness effectively within Hellenistic culture. He also was a social critic deeply rooted in the 2nd-century cultural milieu.

- It turns God’s word into something else which is man’s word, not God’s word!

Clement set the stage for the efflorescence of monasticism that began in Egypt about a half century after his death.

- Once again a practice that comes from man not from God!
 

JLG

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#89
1)

https://www.britannica.com/place/ancient-Egypt/Egypt-under-Achaemenid-rule

Egypt under Achaemenid rule
The 27th dynasty

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, who visited Egypt in about 450 bce, Cambyses II’s conquest of Egypt was ruthless and sacrilegious. Contemporary Egyptian sources, however, treat him in a more favourable light. He assumed the full titulary of an Egyptian king and paid honour to the goddess Neith of Sais. His unfavourable later reputation probably resulted from adverse propaganda by Egyptian priests, who resented his reduction of temple income. Darius I, who succeeded Cambyses in 522 bce and ruled as pharaoh until 486 bce, was held in higher esteem because he was concerned with improving the temples and restored part of their income, and because he codified laws as they had been in the time of Amasis. These stances, which aimed to win over priests and learned
the time of Amasis. These stances, which aimed to win over priests and learned Egyptians, were elements of his strategy to retain Egypt as a lasting part of the Persian Empire. Egypt, together with the Libyan oases and Cyrenaica, formed the sixth Persian satrapy (province), whose satrap resided at Memphis, while Persian governors under him held posts in cities throughout the land. Under Darius I the tax burden upon Egyptians was relatively light, and Persians aided Egypt’s economy through irrigation projects and improved commerce, enhanced by the completion of the canal to the Red Sea.


The Persian defeat by the Athenians at Marathon in 490 bce had significant repercussions in Egypt. On Darius I’s death in 486 bce, a revolt broke out in the delta, perhaps instigated by Libyans of its western region. The result was that the Persian king Xerxes reduced Egypt to the status of a conquered province. Egyptians dubbed him the “criminal Xerxes.” He never visited Egypt and appears not to have utilized Egyptians in high positions in the administration. Xerxes’ murder in 465 bce was the signal for another revolt in the western delta. It was led by a dynast, Inaros, who acquired control over the delta and was supported by Athenian forces against the Persians. Inaros was crucified by the Persians in 454 bce, when they regained control of most of the delta. In the later 5th century bce, under the rule of Artaxerxes I (ruled 465–425 bce) and Darius II Ochus (ruled 423–404 bce), conditions in Egypt were very unsettled, and scarcely any monuments of the period have been identified.

The 28th, 29th, and 30th dynasties

The death of Darius II in 404 bce prompted a successful rebellion in the Nile delta, and the Egyptian Amyrtaeus formed a Saite 28th dynasty, of which he was the sole king (404–399 bce). His rule was recognized in Upper Egypt by 401 bce, at a time when Persia’s troubles elsewhere forestalled an attempt to regain Egypt.

Despite growing prosperity and success in retaining independence, 4th-century Egypt was characterized by continual internal struggle for the throne. After a long period of fighting in the delta, a 29th dynasty (399–380 bce) emerged at Mendes. Achoris (ruled 393–380 bce), its third and final ruler, was especially vigorous, and the prosperity of his reign is indicated by many monuments in Upper and Lower Egypt. Once again Egypt was active in international politics, forming alliances with the opponents of Persia and building up its army and navy. The Egyptian army included Greeks both as mercenaries and as commanders; the mercenaries were not permanent residents of military camps in Egypt but native Greeks seeking payment for their services in gold. Payment was normally made in non-Egyptian coins, because as yet Egypt had no coinage in general circulation; the foreign coins may have been acquired in exchange for exports of grain, papyrus, and linen. Some Egyptian coins were minted in the 4th century, but they do not seem to have gained widespread acceptance.

Aided by the Greek commander Chabrias of Athens and his elite troops, Achoris prevented a Persian invasion; but after Achoris’s death in 380 bce his son Nepherites II lasted only four months before a general, Nectanebo I (Nekhtnebef; ruled 380–362 bce) of Sebennytos, usurped the throne, founding the 30th dynasty (380–343 bce). In 373 bce the Persians attacked Egypt, and, although Egyptian losses were heavy, disagreement between the Persian satrap Pharnabazus and his Greek commander over strategy, combined with a timely inundation of the delta, saved the day for Egypt. With the latent dissolution of the Persian Empire under the weak Artaxerxes II, Egypt was relatively safe from further invasion; it remained prosperous throughout the dynasty.

Egypt had a more aggressive foreign policy under Nectanebo’s son Tachos (ruled c. 365–360 bce). Possessing a strong army and navy composed of Egyptian Machimoi and Greek mercenaries and supported by Chabrias and the Spartan king Agesilaus, Tachos (in Egyptian called Djeho) invaded Palestine. But friction between Tachos and Agesilaus and the cost of financing the venture proved to be Tachos’s undoing. In an attempt to raise funds quickly, he had imposed taxes and seized temple property. Egyptians, especially the priests, resented this burden and supported Tachos’s nephew Nectanebo II (Nekhtharehbe; ruled 360–343 bce) in his usurpation of the throne. The cost of retaining the allegiance of mercenaries proved too high for a nonmonetary economy.
Agesilaus supported Nectanebo in his defensive foreign policy, and the priests sanctioned the new king’s building activities. Meanwhile, Persia enjoyed a resurgence under Artaxerxes III (Ochus), but a Persian attack on Egypt in 350 bce was repulsed. In 343 bce the Persians once again marched against Egypt. The first battle was fought at Pelusium and proved the superiority of Persia’s strategy. Eventually the whole delta, and then the rest of Egypt, fell to Artaxerxes III, and Nectanebo fled to Nubia.


The 4th century bce was the last flourishing period of an independent Egypt and was a time of notable artistic and literary achievements. The 26th dynasty artistic revival evolved further toward more-complex forms that culminated briefly in a Greco-Egyptian stylistic fusion, as seen in the tomb of Petosiris at Tūnah al-Jabal from the turn of the 3rd century bce. In literature works continued to be transmitted, and possibly composed, in hieratic, but that tradition was to develop no further. Demotic literary works began to appear, including stories set in the distant past, mythological tales, and an acrostic text apparently designed to teach an order of sounds in the Egyptian language.
 

JLG

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#90
2) The second Persian period

Artaxerxes dealt harshly with Egypt, razing city walls, rifling temple treasuries, and removing sacred books. Persia acquired rich booty in its determination to prevent Egypt from further rebelling. After the murder of Artaxerxes III, in 338 bce, there was a brief obscure period during which a Nubian prince, Khabbash, seems to have gained control over Egypt, but Persian domination was reestablished in 335 bce under Darius III Codommanus. It was to last only three years.
 

JLG

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#91
- Coming back to Daniel 1 thread 89 :

- Here we have an example of the power of religion !

- Darius I, who ruled as Pharaoh until 486 BCE, got the favor of Egyptian priests by improving the temples and restoring part of their income and codifying laws as in the past to please them in a way to get their support and retain Egypt in the persian empire !

- Except in the case of Darius, there were many rebellions from Egypt against the Persians !

- They used to form alliances with the opponents of Persia !

- Egyptian priests would oppose successfully Egyptian leaders when they imposed taxes on them and seized temple property !
 

JLG

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#92
- Coming back to Daniel 1 thread 81 :

-When Alexander the great took the control of Babylon, he ordered the restoration of the temples !

- We can imagine he walooking for the favor of the priests and of the people !

- Another example of the power of religion !
 

JLG

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#93
27) God and Job / Job and God

Job 29:
If only I were in the months gone by,
In the days when God was watching over me,
When he caused his lamp to shine upon my head,
When I walked through darkness by his
light,
When I was in my prime,
When God’s friendship was felt in my tent,
When the Almighty was still with me,
When my children were all around me,
When my steps were awash in butter,
And the rocks poured out streams of oil for
me.


- watch over= to supervise someone or something; to take care of someone or something.

- Job would like to go back to the past!

- He wants again his relationship to God!

- He speaks about God’s relationship!

- He speaks about God being with him!

- And he wants his past life back to him!

- For him, there is no better life!

- He just wants his normal life, nothing more!
 

JLG

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#94
1) There is no one like him on the earth and a wealthy farmer

Job 1
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. He was an upright man of integrity; he feared God and shunned what was bad.


- First of all, we are told about the man Job!

- Integrity!

- Fear of God!

- Going away from badness!
 

JLG

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#95
14) There is no one like him on the earth and a wealthy farmer

Job 6

- We see a man with an incredible knowledge and experience!


- We see a man with an incredible state of mind!

- We see a man who has an incredible relationship with God which is so difficult for us to understand because the way we live and the society in which we live are so far away from God!

- And understanding this incredible relationship is the only way to understand why the devil decided to attack it and provoke God!
 

JLG

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#96
- And nothing is said about Job’s life when he recovered!

- We can imagine that such an experience has increased Job’ s knowledge and experience!
 

JLG

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#97
21) There is no one like him on the earth and a wealthy farmer

Job 7

- Job thought he was going to die but he didn’t!

- On the contrary, he was blessed!

- The Israelites didn’t care and they paid the price!

- Today it is the same, nothing has changed!

- Man is used to doing his one cooking, not taking into account God!

- Well, it is a human constant!

- Man is stubborn and he doesn’t want to listen!

- Nonetheless, we are adults and we have free will!

- But we still have to speak about God’s word!