Reconciling the Messianic Prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 with Secular History
Issues Identified with Common Understandings
The passage of scripture in Daniel 9:24-27 contains a prophecy about the timing of the coming of the Messiah. That Jesus was the promised Messiah is the core basis of faith and understanding for Christians. It is also the belief of the author.
But have you ever personally investigated the basis for believing that Jesus was the foretold Messiah? The author had never seriously done so. There are many, many, interpretations as to the dates and events that are related to this prophecy. They cannot all be true. Therefore, as it is such a core and therefore important prophecy, it is vital to attempt to bring some clarity to the understanding.
However, it should be stated at the outset that given these events took place between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, it is difficult to be 100% certain about any understanding. Also, we need to remember that if there was undeniable proof available, then there would be no need for faith. That, however, should not deter us from attempting to get a clearer understanding as to how we can be confident that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
Interestingly in Hebrews 11:3 the Apostle Paul reminds us “By faith we perceive that the system of things were put in order by God’s word, so that what is beheld has come to be out of things that do not appear”. It is still the same today. The very fact that Christianity spread and endured, despite so much vicious persecution through the centuries is a testament to people’s faith in God’s word. In addition to this, is the fact that Christianity can still dramatically change people’s lives for the better, helps us to perceive things “beheld” that have “come to be out of things that” cannot be proven or seen today (“do not appear”). Perhaps a good principle to follow is the principle used in many systems of Law. The principle is that one should judge based on the case and facts being proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Likewise, with ancient history too, we can find things that give evidence that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah, beyond a reasonable doubt. However, that should not stop us from investigating claims, or trying to understand a Bible statement better.
What follows are the results of the author’s personal investigations, without any agenda other than trying to ascertain if the understanding which the author had known from his youth is indeed the truth of the matter. If it was not, then the author would attempt to make things clearer, and beyond a reasonable doubt where possible. The author wanted to ensure that the Bible record is given prime place using Exegesis[i] rather than trying to fit in with any accepted secular or religious chronology known as Eisegesis.[ii] To this end the author initially concentrated on getting a proper understanding of the Chronology the scriptures give us. The aim was to try to reconcile the known issues and to ascertain the starting and endpoints of the prophecy. There was no agenda as to what particular dates in the secular calendar they should match and what events these should be. The author was simply going to be guided by the Biblical record.
Only when the Biblical record was relatively clear, which began to give clues as to what may have happened with secular chronology, was any attempt made to reconcile secular chronology to the Bible chronology. No changes were made to the Bible Chronology that had been obtained. Rather an attempt to reconcile and fit the facts found in secular chronology to the Bible timeline was made.
The results were a surprise, and potentially highly controversial to many, as you will see in due course.
No attempts were made nor will be made to disprove the various theories and beliefs held by different parts of the secular community or by different Christian religions. This is outside the aim of this series which is get the Bible’s understanding of the Messianic Prophecy. There are so many variations it would distract from the message that Jesus is indeed the Messiah of prophecy.[iii]
As they say, the best way to start any story is to start at the very beginning, so it was vital to start with a quick review of the prophecy in question to endeavor to have at least a clear outline of the prophecy to start with. A more in-depth look at the prophecy to answer questions as to exactly how certain parts should be understood would come later.
Daniel 9:24-27 states:
“There are seventy weeks [sevens] that have been determined upon your people and upon your holy city, in order to terminate the transgression, and to finish off sin, and to make atonement for error, and to bring in righteousness for times indefinite, and to imprint a seal upon vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. 25 And you should know and have the insight [that] from the going forth of [the] word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Mes·siʹah [the] Leader, there will be seven weeks [sevens], also sixty-two weeks [sevens]. She will return and be actually rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in the straits of the times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks [sevens] Mes·siʹah will be cut off, with nothing for himself.
“And the city and the holy place the people of a leader that is coming will bring to their ruin. And the end of it will be by the flood. And until [the] end there will be war; what is decided upon is desolations.
27 “And he must keep [the] covenant in force for the many for one week [seven]; and at the half of the week [seven] he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease.
“And upon the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the one lying desolate.” (NWT Reference Edition). [italics in brackets: theirs], [sevens: mine].
An important point to note is that the actual Hebrew text has the word “sabuim”[iv] which is plural for “seven”, and therefore literally means “sevens”. It can mean a period of a week (consisting of seven days) or a year depending on the context. Given that the prophecy does not make sense if it reads 70 weeks unless the reader uses interpretation, many translations do not put “week(s)” but stick to the literal meaning and put “sevens”. The prophecy is easier to understand if we say as in v27: ”and at the half of the seven he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease” as when knowing the length of Jesus ministry was three and a half years we automatically understand the seven to be referring to years, rather than reading “weeks” and then having to remember to convert it to “years”.
Other questions that need some thought are:
Whose “word” or “command” would it be?
Would it be Jehovah God’s word/command or a Persian King’s word/command? (verse 25).
If seven sevens are years, then how long are the years in terms of days?
Are the years 360 days long, the so-called prophetic year?
Or are the years 365.25 days long, the solar year we are familiar with?
Or the length of the lunar year, which takes a 19-year cycle before the total length matches the same number of days of 19 solar years? (This is achieved by the adding of leap lunar months at 2 or 3 year intervals)
There are also other potential questions. A close examination of the Hebrew text is therefore needed, to establish the correct text and its possible meanings, before looking for matching events in the rest of the scriptures.
Existing Common Understanding
Traditionally, it is commonly understood to be the 20th Year of Artaxerxes (I)[v] that marked the start of the Messianic 70 sevens (or weeks) of years. According to the scriptures Nehemiah obtained authorization to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in the 20th Year of an Artaxerxes interpreted secularly as Artaxerxes I (Nehemiah 2:1, 5) and in doing so, it is thought by many, Nehemiah/Artaxerxes (I) triggered the start of the 70 sevens (or weeks) of years. However, secular history dates Artaxerxes (I) 20th year as 445 BC, which is 10 years too late to match the appearance of Jesus in 29 CE with the end of the 69th seven (or week) of years.[vi]
The 70th seven (or week), with sacrifice and gift offering to cease halfway through the week of 7’s (3.5 years/days), appears to correspond to the death of Jesus. His ransom sacrifice, once for all time, thereby rendering the sacrifices at the Herodian temple as invalid and no longer needed. The end of the complete 70 sevens (or weeks) of years, would then correspond with the opening up to the Gentiles in 36 AD of the hope to also be sons of God along with the Jewish Christians.
At least 3 scholars[vii] have highlighted possible evidence[viii] to support the idea that Xerxes was a co-ruler with his father Darius I (the Great) for 10 years, and that Artaxerxes I ruled 10 years longer (to his 51st regnal year instead of the traditional 41 years assigned). Under conventional chronology this moves Artaxerxes 20th year from 445 BC to 455 BC, which adding 69*7 = 483 years, brings us to 29 AD. However, this suggestion of a 10-year co-rulership is very much disputed and not accepted by mainstream scholars.
Background of this investigation
The author had previously spent many hundreds of hours over some 5 years or more, examining in-depth what the Bible tells us about the length of the Jewish exile in Babylon and when it started. In the process, the discovery was made that the Bible record could be easily reconciled with itself which was the most important aspect. As a result, it was also found that the Bible agreed with the chronological sequence and length of time found in secular records, without any contradictions, although that was not a prerequisite or requirement. This meant that the time period between the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the 11th Year of Zedekiah, to the fall of Babylon to Cyrus, was only 48 years instead of 68 years.[ix]
A discussion with a friend about these results led them to remark that they were personally convinced that the start of the building of the altar in Jerusalem was meant to be the start of the Messianic 70 sevens (or weeks) of Years. The reason they gave for this was in great part due to the repetition of referencing this important event in the scriptures. This prompted the personal decision that it was time to re-evaluate in more depth the prevalent understandings about both the start of this period being in 455 BC or 445 BC. It also needed investigation as to whether the start date corresponds to the 20th Year of Artaxerxes I, the understanding the author was familiar with.
Also, was it the King whom we know as Artaxerxes I in secular history? We also need to investigate whether the end of this period was really in 36 AD. However, this research would be without any fixed agenda as to the conclusions required or expected. All options would be evaluated by close examination of the Bible record with the assistance of secular history. The only prerequisite was to let the scriptures interpret themselves.
In the earlier readings and research of the Bible books covering the immediate Post-Exilic period for the research relating to the Babylonian exile, there had been a few issues identified which were difficult to reconcile with the existing understanding. It was now time to re-examine these issues properly using Exegesis[x] rather than Eisegesis[xi], which was eventually been done with the examination of the Jewish exile in Babylon with highly beneficial results.
The four main issues already known about from previous studies of the scriptures (but had not investigated in depth at that time) were as follows:
- The age of Mordecai, if Xerxes was the King [Ahasuerus] who married Esther and by extension the age of Esther herself.
- The age of Ezra and Nehemiah, if the Artaxerxes of the Bible books of Ezra and Nehemiah was Artaxerxes I of secular chronology.
- Of what significance was the 7 sevens (or weeks) of years totaling 49 years? What was the purpose of separating it from the 62 weeks? Under the existing understanding of the time period starting in the 20th Year of Artaxerxes I, the end of this 7 sevens (or weeks) or years falls near the end of the reign of Darius II, with no Biblical event occurring or recorded in secular history to mark the end of this period of 49 years.
- Issues with the difficulty of matching timewise, individual historical characters such as Sanballat found in secular sources with the citations in the Bible. Others include the last High Priest mentioned by Nehemiah, Jaddua, who appears to have still been High Priest in the time of Alexander the Great, according to Josephus, which was far too large a time gap, being over 100 years with existing solutions.
More issues were to appear as research progressed. What follows is the result of that research. As we examine these issues, we need to bear in mind the words of Psalm 90:10 which says
“In themselves, the days of our years are seventy years;
And if because of special mightiness they are eighty years,
Yet their insistence is on trouble and hurtful things;
For it must quickly pass by, and away we fly”.
This state of affairs concerning the lifespan of humans is still true today. Even with advances in knowledge of nutrition and healthcare provision, it is still extremely rare for anyone to live to 100 years of age and even in countries with advanced healthcare the average life expectancy is still not higher than this Biblical statement.
1. The Age of Mordecai & Esther Problem
Esther 2:5-7 states “A certain man, a Jew, happened to be in Shu’shan the castle, and his name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite, who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the deported people who were taken into exile with Jeconiah the king of Judah whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon took into exile. And he came to be the caretaker of Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his father’s brother, …. And at the death of her father and her mother Mordecai took her as his daughter.”
Jeconiah [Jehoiachin] and those with him, were taken into captivity 11 years before the final destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. At first sight Esther 2:5 can easily be understood to be saying that Mordecai “had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the deported people who were taken into exile with Jeconiah the king of Judah whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon took into exile”. Ezra 2:2 mentions Mordecai along with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah in the return from Exile. Even if we assume Mordecai was only born 20 years before the return from exile we have a problem.
- Taking a minimum of 1 year of age, plus the 11 year rule of Zedekiah from the exile of Jehoiachin to the destruction of Jerusalem and then 48 years to the fall of Babylon, meant Mordecai had to be a minimum of 60-61 years of age when Cyrus released the Jews to return to Judah and Jerusalem in his 1st
- Nehemiah 7:7 and Ezra 2:2 both mention Mordecai as one of those who went to Jerusalem and Judah with Zerubbabel and Jeshua. Is this the same Mordecai? Nehemiah is mentioned in the same verses, and according to the Bible books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah, these six individuals played a prominent part in the rebuilding of the Temple and the walls and city of Jerusalem. Why would the people named as Nehemiah and Mordecai mentioned here be different to those mentioned elsewhere in those same Bible books? If they were different individuals the writers of Ezra and Nehemiah would surely have clarified who they were by giving the father(s) of the individuals to avoid confusion, just as they do with other individuals who had the same name as other significant characters such as Jeshua and others.[xii]
- Esther 2:16 gives evidence that Mordecai was alive in the 7th year of King Ahasuerus. If Ahasuerus is Xerxes the Great (I) as commonly suggested this would make Mordecai (1 + 11 + 48 + 9 + 8 + 36 + 7 = 120). Given that Esther was his cousin that would make her 100-120 years of age when chosen by Xerxes!
- Mordecai was still alive 5 years later in the 12th month of the 12th year of King Ahasuerus (Esther 3:7, 9:9). Esther 10:2-3 shows that Mordecai lived beyond this time. If King Ahasuerus is identified as King Xerxes, as is commonly done, then by the 12th year of Xerxes, Mordecai would be a minimum of 115 years up to 125 years. This is not reasonable.
- Add the traditional reign lengths of Cyrus (9), Cambyses (8), Darius (36), to the 12th year of the reign of Xerxes gives an impossible age of 125 (1+11+48=60 +9+8+36+12=125). Even if we accept that Xerxes had a co-rulership with his father Darius for 10 years, this still gives a minimum of 115 years of age, with Mordecai only 1-year-old when taken to Babylon.
- Accepting a 68-year exile from Zedekiah’s death to the fall of Babylon, just makes the situation even worse giving a minimum of 135 years, and up to 145 years plus.
- As per the understanding from our previous examination of the time-period between Zedekiah’s death and Cyrus taking Babylon, this period of exile in Babylonia has to be 48 years not 68 years. However, even then, something cannot be right with the conventional understanding of Bible chronology.
Ezra 2:2 mentions Mordecai along with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah in the return from Exile. Even if we assume Mordecai was only born 20 years before the return from Exile, we still have a problem. If Esther although a cousin was 20 years younger, and was born at the time of the return from Exile, she would be 60 and Mordecai 80 when she married Xerxes, who is identified as the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther by secular and religious scholars. This is a serious problem.
Clearly this is highly improbable.
2. The Age of Ezra Problem
The following are key points in establishing the timeline of Ezra’s life:
- Jeremiah 52:24 and 2 Kings 25:28-21 both record that Seraiah, the High Priest during the reign of Zedekiah was taken to the king of Babylon and put to death, immediately after the fall of Jerusalem.
- 1 Chronicles 6:14-15 confirms this when it states that “Azariah, in turn, became father to Seraiah. Seraiah, in turn, became father to Jehozadak. And Jehozadak it was that went away when Jehovah took Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.”
- In Ezra 3:1-2 “Jeshua the son of Jehozadak and his brothers the priests” are mentioned at the beginning of the return to Judah from exile in the first year of Cyrus.
- Ezra 7:1-7 states “in the reign of Artaxerxes the king Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah the son of Azariah the son of Hilkiah …. In the fifth month, that is, in the seventh year of the king.”
- Furthermore Nehemiah 12:26-27, 31-33 shows Ezra at the inauguration of the wall of Jerusalem in the 20th Year of Artaxerxes.
Putting these parts of information together, it appears that Jehozadak was the first-born son of Seraiah the High Priest, as on the return from exile the office of High Priest went to Jehozadak’s son Jeshua. Ezra was therefore likely the second born of Seraiah the High Priest in the time of Zedekiah. Jeshua was the son of Jehozadak, and therefore became the High Priest on return to Judah after exile in Babylon. To be the High Priest, Jeshua would need to be at least 20 years of age, likely 30 years of age, which was the starting age for serving as priests at the tabernacle and later at the Temple.
Numbers 4:3, 4:23, 4:30, 4:35, 4:39, 4:43, 4:47 all refer to Levite’s starting at 30 years of age and serving till 50 years of age, however, in practice, the High Priest seemed to serve until death and then be succeeded by his son or grandson.
As Seraiah was put to death by Nebuchadnezzar, this means Ezra would have to have been born before that time, i.e. before the 11th Year of Zedekiah, the 18th Regnal Year of Nebuchadnezzar.
Under conventional Bible chronology, the period from the fall of Babylon to Cyrus to the 7th year of the reign of Artaxerxes (I), consists of the following:
Born before his father’s death which came shortly after Jerusalem’s destruction, minimum of 1 year, Exile in Babylon, 48 years, Cyrus, 9 years, + Cambyses, 8 years, + Darius the Great I, 36 years, + Xerxes, 21 years + Artaxerxes I, 7 Years. This totals 130 years, a highly improbable age.
The 20th Year of Artaxerxes, another 13 years, takes us from 130 years old to an impossible 143 years. Even if we take Xerxes as having a 10-year co-regency with Darius the Great, the ages only come down to 120 and 133 respectively. Definitely, something is wrong with the current understanding.
Clearly this is highly improbable.
3. The Age of Nehemiah Problem
Ezra 2:2 contains the first mention of Nehemiah when relating those who left Babylon to return to Judah. He is mentioned in company with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and Mordecai amongst others. Nehemiah 7:7 is almost identical to Ezra 2:2. It is also highly unlikely he was a youngster at this time, because all those he is mentioned along with were adults and all were likely over 30 years of age.
Conservatively, therefore, we should assign Nehemiah an age of 20 years at the fall of Babylon to Cyrus, but it could have been at least 10 years or more, higher.
We should also briefly examine Zerubbabel’s age as that also has a bearing on Nehemiah’s age.
- 1 Chronicles 3:17-19 shows Zerubbabel was the fleshly son of Pedaiah, third son of [King] Jehoiachin.
- Matthew 1:12 deals with the genealogy of Jesus and records that after the deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) became father to Shealtiel [the first born]; Shealtiel became father to Zerubbabel.
- The causes and exact mechanisms are not stated, but the legal succession and line passed from Shealtiel to Zerubbabel, his nephew. Shealtiel is not recorded as having children, and neither is Malchiram, the second son of Jehoiachin. This additional evidence also indicates an age of a minimum of 20 up to possibly 35 years for Zerubbabel. (This allows 25 years from Jehoiachin’s exile to the birth of Zerubbabel, out of a total of 11+48+1= 60. 60-25=35.)
Jeshua was High Priest, and Zerubbabel was Governor of Judah in the 2nd Year of Darius according to Haggai 1:1, only 19 years later. (Cyrus +9 years, Cambyses +8 years, and Darius +2 years). When Zerubbabel was Governor in the 2nd year of Darius then he was likely at least between 40 and 54 years old.
Nehemiah is mention as Governor in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua [serving as the High Priest] and Ezra, in Nehemiah 12:26-27, at the time of the inauguration of the wall of Jerusalem. This was the 20th Year of Artaxerxes according to Nehemiah 1:1 and Nehemiah 2:1.[xiii]
Thus, according to conventional Bible chronology, the time period of Nehemiah was prior to the fall of Babylon, 20 years minimum, + Cyrus, 9 years, + Cambyses, 8 years, + Darius the Great I, 36 years, + Xerxes, 21 years + Artaxerxes I, 20 Years. Thus 20+9+8+36+21+20 = 114 years old. This is also a highly improbable age.
Nehemiah 13:6 then records that Nehemiah had returned to serving the king in the 32nd Year of Artaxerxes, the King of Babylon, after serving 12 years as Governor. The account records that sometime later after this he returned to Jerusalem to sort out the issue with Tobiah the Ammonite being allowed to have a large dining hall in the Temple by Eliashib the High Priest.
We, therefore, have Nehemiah’s age according to the conventional interpretation of Bible chronology as 114 + 12 + ? = 126+ years.
This is even more highly improbable.
4. Why split “69 weeks” into “7 weeks also 62 weeks”, Any Significance?
Under the common traditional understanding of the start of the 7 sevens being in the 20th Year of Artaxerxes (I), and Nehemiah’s commissioning the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls as being the start of the 70 sevens (or weeks) of years period, this puts the end of the initial 7 sevens or 49 year period as being in year 9 of Artaxerxes II of traditional secular chronology.
Nothing of this year or anything near it is recorded in the scriptures or secular history, which is strange. Neither is anything of importance found in secular history at this time. This would lead an enquiring reader to wonder why Daniel was inspired to split the division of time into 7 sevens and 62 sevens if there was no significance to the end of the 7 sevens.
This would also strongly indicate that something is not right in the current understanding.
5. Problems Understanding Daniel 11:1-2
Many have interpreted this passage to mean that there would only be 5 Persian Kings before Alexander the Great and the World power of Greece. Jewish tradition also has this understanding. The description in verses that follow Daniel 11:1-2 immediately, i.e. Daniel 11:3-4 is extremely difficult to place with anyone but Alexander the Great of Greece. So much so that critics claim it was history written after the event rather than prophecy.
“And as for me, in the first year of Da·riʹus the Mede I stood up as a strengthener and as a fortress to him. 2 And now what is truth I shall tell to you: “Look! There will yet be three kings standing up for Persia, and the fourth one will amass greater riches than all [others]. And as soon as he has become strong in his riches, he will rouse up everything against the kingdom of Greece.”.
The Persian King who is commonly identified as the one who aroused everything against Greece is Xerxes, with the other kings after Cyrus being identified as Cambyses, Bardiya / Smerdis, Darius, with Xerxes being the 4th king. Alternatively, including Cyrus and excluding the less than the 1-year reign of Bardiya / Smerdis.
However, while this passage could just be identifying some Persian Kings and not limiting them to four, the fact that these verses are followed by a prophecy about Alexander the Great could well be indicating that the attack by the Persian King against Greece provoked the response by Alexander the Great. In reality, this attack by Xerxes or memories of it was indeed one of the driving forces behind Alexander’s attack on the Persians to gain revenge.
There is another potential problem in that the Persian King who became rich as a result of instigating annual tribute / tax was Darius and it was he who launched the first attack against Greece. Xerxes merely benefited from the riches inherited and tried to finish the attempt to subjugate Greece.
A narrow interpretation of this scripture does not work in any scenario.
Interim Summary of Findings
There are serious issues with identifying Ahasuerus as Xerxes, and Artaxerxes I as the Artaxerxes in the later parts of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah which is commonly done by both secular scholars and religious bodies. These identifications lead to problems with the age of Mordecai and hence Esther, and also for the age of Ezra and Nehemiah. It also makes the first division of 7 sevens meaningless.
Many Bible skeptics would immediately point to these issues and jump to the conclusion that the Bible cannot be relied upon. However, in the author’s experience, he has always found that the Bible can be relied upon. It is secular history or scholar’s interpretations of it that cannot always be relied upon. It is also the author’s experience that the more complicated the suggested solution the more unlikely it is to be accurate.
The intention is to identify all the issues and then look for a chronological solution that will give satisfactory answers to these issues while agreeing with the Bible record.
To be continued in Part 2 ….
[i] Exegesis [< Greek exègeisthai (to interpret) < ex- (out) + hègeisthai (to lead). Related to English ‘seek’.] To interpret a text by way of thorough analysis of its content.
[ii] Eisegesis [< Greek eis- (into) + hègeisthai (to lead). (See ‘exegesis’.)] A process where one leads into study by reading the text based on pre-conceived ideas of its meanings.
[iii] For those interested in a quick review of the many theories out there and how different they are the following paper may be of interest. https://www.academia.edu/506098/The_70_Weeks_of_Daniel_-_Survey_of_the_Interpretive_Views
[v] The Bible record does not give numbers to the Kings of Persia – or any other Kings for that matter. Nor do Persian records such as exist. The numbering is a more modern concept to attempt to clarify which particular King of the same name ruled at a particular time.
[vi] There have been attempts to force fit this time frame of 445 CE to 29 CE, such as by using each year as only 360 days (as a prophetic year) or moving the date of the arrival and death of Jesus, but these are outside the scope of this article as they are derived by eisegesis, rather than exegesis.
[viii] Although this is disputed by others.
[ix] Please see the 7 part series “A Journey of Discovery Through Time”. https://beroeans.net/2019/06/12/a-journey-of-discovery-through-time-an-introduction-part-1/
[x] Exegesis is the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. The word exegesis literally means “to lead out of.” That means that the interpreter is led to his conclusions by following the text.
[xi] Eisegesis is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.
[xii] See Nehemiah 3:4,30 “Meshullam the son of Berechiah” and Nehemiah 3:6 “Meshullam the son of Besodeiah”, Nehemiah 12:13 “for Ezra, Meshullam”, Nehemiah 12:16 “for Ginnethon, Meshullam” as an example. Nehemiah 9:5 & 10:9 for Jeshua the son of Azaniah (a Levite).
[xiii] According to Josephus the arrival of Nehemiah in Jerusalem with the King’s blessing occurred in the 25th year of Xerxes. See http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter 5 v 6,7