Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Essenes on Daniel

We now possess, in some Essene writings, works emanating from apocalyptic circles in Palestine at about the middle of the second century BC–the very setting in which Daniel is widely believed to have been composed. It is therefore noteworthy that, had the 70-Weeks prophecy been regarded in these circles as a prophecy after the event, relating to the murder of Onias III, they could by the use of their chronological scheme have provided it with a much more accurate date than 483-490 years after the Exile; but in point of fact they did not regard it as a fulfilled prophecy but as one yet to be fulfilled and did not relate it to Onias III but to the Davidic Messiah (See Table I on p257 and also pp232-234). R. Beckwith, Calendar and Chronology, Jewish and Christian (E. J. Brill 1996), 274-75. 


  1. Could you point me to the specific book/fragment and passage from the DSS where this is set forth?

    1. Table 1 (p257) refers to "Jubilees, Testament of Levi, Damascus Document, &c."

      On pp232-233, he refers to the Damascus Document, the Melchizedek Document, 1 Enoch 89-90, Testament of Levi 17:10f, and the Pseudo-Moses Documents. It's an intricate discussion, with interlocking computations, that's hard to summarize.