Daniel 8 has a prophecy that the Jews will be exonerated 2300 years after the time Alexander the Great defeats the persians by the river. That's what Daniel chapter 8 is about. Daniel refers to years as days--be careful if you're not familiar with the language of this apocalyptic literature (which the Jews understood in the Rabbinic literature long before they even understood what this prophecy was about)--2300 "evenings and mornings" refers to 2300 passovers.When did Alexander the Great defeat the Persian? There were three key battles, the first and most important battle, where Alexander the Great himself participated in is called the Battle of Granicus which took place by the RIVER of Granicus. And the river is right there is Daniel chapter 8. That is when the Greeks defeated Darius the Persian. This took place in the year 334 BCE in the late spring. 2300 years after the year 334 BCE (make sure you also count the year '0' as one of the years)--count forward and you will find yourself in the late spring of 1967! For those who don't know, 1967 is the year the Jews gained control of all of Jerusalem (AKA the Temple mount), and they have finally been exonerated after many centuries of persistent and repetitive persecution by the world. How did people understand this passage in Daniel 100 years ago? The answer is they didn't. The tried to make sense of it, but it was impossible. What does a river have to do with Alexander the Great and the Persians, what is going on here? Many Rabbis expressed the core message that many of these prophecies--we couldn't understand how they will unfold, but we just know they will--and there will be a signpost when it happens that we have lived through that event. The only question we ask is--what are the odds? Why did it say 2300 years (very weird number of years, why 300 after the 2000) and not 2600, 1200, 500, 1000, why 2300 years? And why did it say after Greeks defeats Persian by the river, when it could've said literally anything else? Again, I say, what are the odds? Source: http://www.sixdaywar.co.uk/Daniel8.pdf If you want to read Daniel 8 for yourself https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16491/jewish/Chapter-8.htm God keeps his promises. Even if he made them to people in the BCE times.
c. For two thousand three hundred days: Literally, Daniel heard a holy one say “two thousand three hundredmornings and evenings.” Bible students debate if this means 2,300 days or 1,150 days. 2,300 days is almost seven years.i. Either understanding is possible, but it is more likely that this means 2,300 days. The date when the temple was cleansed is well established as December 25, 165 B.C. If we count back 2,300 days from then, we come to the year when Antiochus Epiphanes began his persecution in earnest (171 B.C.).ii. However, if we take it to mean 1,150 days it can refer to the time the temple was actually desecrated. Philip Newell makes this case: “For a duration of time during which 2300 daily sacrifices would ordinarily have been offered, one at evening and one in the morning, as specified in Exodus 29:38-43. Since there are two of these daily, the actual time period involved is 1150 days, or slightly over three years. This, in fact, was the time of the Maccabean tribulation, 168-165 B.C., at the end of which the sanctuary was ‘cleansed’ by Judas Maccabeus in his restoration of the evening and morning sacrifices (2 Maccabees 10:1-5).”iii. This passage has been a favorite springboard for elaborate and fanciful prophetic interpretations. A popular and tragic interpretation of this passage took one year for every day, and William Miller used 2,300 “year-days” to calculate that Jesus would return in 1844 (2,300 years after Cyrus issued the decree to rebuild the temple). His movement ended up giving birth to the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and several other movements.iv. We can know that Miller and other “year-day” theories are wrong because this passage was fulfilled before the time of Jesus. Jesus recognized that the temple was properly cleansed and rededicated when He attended the Feast of Dedication, commemorating the cleansing and rededication of the temple after the desecration brought by Antiochus Epiphanes (John 10:22).v. Adam Clarke’s comments show what a hold the year-date approach had to many of his time: “Though literally it be two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings, yet I think the prophetic day should be understood here, as in other parts of this prophet, and must signify so many years. If we date these years from the vision of the he-goat, (Alexander’s invading Asia), this was A.M. 3670, B.C. 334; and two thousand three hundred years from that time will reach to A.D. 1966 , or one hundred and forty-one years from the present A.D. 1825.” There is no foundation for Clarke’s approach, and it has led many others off into serious error.d. Then the sanctuary shall be cleansed: This amazingly specific prophecy was written some 350 years before the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Great prophetic fulfillment like this demonstrates that God not only knows the future, He also guides the future.
(4) God could have done better and impressed us with more This is a very silly argument. Of course God could've simple proven his existence to all of us, the question is why do you think he wanted to do this? This is just you engaging in divine psychology. It is possible that God wanted to give us only slight pointers of his existence sufficiently clear so that those open to him will accept God, yet sufficiently vague such that those whose hearts are closed to him reject God. How do you know this is not the case? We simply don't. So don't appeal to divine psychology when you simply can't know.
Quote from: BlackHole on July 17, 2020, 05:49:45 pm (4) God could have done better and impressed us with more This is a very silly argument. Of course God could've simple proven his existence to all of us, the question is why do you think he wanted to do this? This is just you engaging in divine psychology. It is possible that God wanted to give us only slight pointers of his existence sufficiently clear so that those open to him will accept God, yet sufficiently vague such that those whose hearts are closed to him reject God. How do you know this is not the case? We simply don't. So don't appeal to divine psychology when you simply can't know.So... you agree that this prophecy is highly unimpressive then?
...and pick out a pretty random battle, but otherwise - just awesome!
Whoever made the prophecy, did not predict that the use of a single word ('years' instead of 'mornings and evenings') would dramatically decrease its ambiguity.
In your scenario with the man putting a gun to your head, the man directly, personally, and unmistakably interacts with you. There's no ambiguity. But this is not analogous to God's hiddenness.Let me give you a better analogy. The person with the gun sits back from afar, where you cannot perceive him, with a sniper rifle. He does not approach or speak to you directly, but instead leaves various clues as to his existence. But these clues can be interpreted in different ways, and none is wholly decisive. Furthermore, he has the whole situation set up to where he will pull the trigger and shoot you depending on if you correctly interpret the clues. * * * I will also take this opportunity to point out that a meaningful relationship always has a direct, personal, and unmistakable identification of the other person. So if God wanted to have a meaningful, non-coercive relationship with us, he would reveal himself directly and unmistakably to each of us BUT not threaten us with hell and punishment if we choose to turn our back on him. Interestingly, a good relationship has both the qualities of 1) being non-hidden (direct, personal, unmistakable), and 2) not threatening force and retribution if spurned. But it appears that God (at least in traditional Christianity) is the exact opposite of both those qualities: 1) hidden, and often ambiguous, and 2) he threatens us with eternal torment if spurned. Apparently, if God wants a relationship with us he's going about it all wrong!
This is a non-sequitir. It does not follow. Whoever made that prophecy could've wanted some level of ambiguity in there so that those with a heart of stone can reject it yet allows sufficient evidence to allow those open to accept him. This is not a new concept...If someone puts a gun to your head and tells you "say you love me, or I'll kill you" and you say "I love you", those words are not meaningful. They're only meaningful when you have a perceived opportunity to reject that relationship with God. There must be an area in the world where either condition can seem plausible to you (believe in God or reject God). If there was no inclination to disbelieve (or do what is wrong), then wicked people with a heart made of stone would be compelled to believe in God. There has to be enough information in the world where those who are loyal or have an open heart to God can see the truth and pursue a relationship with God, but there has to be sufficient ambiguity in the world that enables those with a heart of stone to reject God and sufficient clarity such that those open to him would arrive at that probabilistic conclusion that he exists.
Let me address the most common points of contention raised so far: (1) How do we know that 2300 "evenings and mornings" refers to 2300 passovers? The Hebrew phrase translated as “evenings and mornings” in verse 14, is a reference to the evening-until-morning timeframe of Passover (see Exodus 12:6-10), so 2300 “evenings and mornings” means 2300 Passovers. Recognize that even in the rabbinic literature before we even knew Israel would exist in 1967, many understood it as passovers.However, some here have argued that it could be translated as "days". Sure it is "possible", However, it still remains significant that an equally plausible interpretation of this verse leads us to the year 1967 which is a very significant year when it comes to the Children of Israel. It's the year they finally captured the Temple mount. (2) Why do we count the year '0' if it is not a real year? I think there was either a misunderstanding or a problem with the way I explained it. You do not count the year 0. I invite you to do your own calculation using excel (it would take 5 minutes, put in -334 and then use the formula "A1+1" all the way down. Make sure you don't count the year 0. I did it here to show you what I got: https://imgur.com/a/tL9RSpN Alexander the Great first moved against Persia in either May or early June of 334 BCE. Passover, which was celebrated on 6 April, 334 BCE, had already occurred before the battle began, and thus the Passover of 333 BCE is the first one to be included in the counting of the 2300 Passovers that determine the duration of the time span set forth in Daniel 8:14. I did this in the above image (click the link) (3) Daniel 8 is not specifically mentioning capture of Jerusalem If you read Daniel 8 (link in OP), you'll notice the whole thing is quite poetic and vague. However, the non-poetic aspects of this chapter inform us that 2300 passovers after Greece defeats Persia by the river, something significant will happen to the Children of Israel--"they will be exonerated" or it can also be translated as "will be victorious"--not very clear what this is specifically referencing because its vague, but it is referencing something major with respect to the Jews. And what we see is that indeed exactly 2300 passovers after this event, a major historical event happened to the Jews. (4) God could have done better and impressed us with more This is a very silly argument. Of course God could've simple proven his existence to all of us, the question is why do you think he wanted to do this? This is just you engaging in divine psychology. It is possible that God wanted to give us only slight pointers of his existence sufficiently clear so that those open to him will accept God, yet sufficiently vague such that those whose hearts are closed to him reject God. How do you know this is not the case? We simply don't. So don't appeal to divine psychology when you simply can't know.