Click here for the dates these ancient writings were written.
BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Although Jesus birth year is usually listed as 1 AD, according to the Gregorian calendar we use today, miscalculations were made in creating it. Jesus was actually born around 6 B.C.
- Matthew 2:1-3, 11 – Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town in Judea, during the time of King Herod the Great. Look, some wise men from the east traveled to Jerusalem. 2They asked, “Where is the one who was born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east, and we have come to worship him.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed. Everyone else in Jerusalem was too…11They went into the house and saw the little child with Mary, his mother. They bowed down to worship him. They opened their treasures and brought him gifts—gold, perfume, and precious spices.
- Matthew 2:4-12 – He gathered all of the most important priests and teachers of the law from the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born. 5They answered him, “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea, because this was written by the prophet Micah: 6‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, you are surely not the least important among the leading towns of Judea, because a Leader will come out from you. He will shepherd my people, Israel.’ ” (Micah 5:2) 7Then, in secret, Herod called for the wise men. From them he added up the exact time when the star appeared. 8-10He said, “Go, search very carefully for information about the little child. When you find him, report to me, so that I, too, may come to worship him.” After they had listened to the king, they left. Herod sent them to Bethlehem. Look, the star which they had seen in the east was leading them. When they saw the star, they were very, very happy. It finally stopped above the place where the child was. 11They went into the house and saw the little child with Mary, his mother. They bowed down to worship him. They opened their treasures and brought him gifts—gold, perfume, and precious spices. 12But God used a dream to warn them that they should not return to Herod. So, they returned to their country by a different road.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Ezra 5:17 – “Now, if the king wishes, let there be an investigation. Search the royal records of Babylon to see if King Cyrus gave such an order.k See if he gave such an order to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem. Then let the king write us and tell us what he has decided.”
- Ezra 6:1-2 – So King Darius gave a command to search the public records.a They were kept in the treasury-vault in Babylon.b 2A scroll was found in Ecbatanac in the palace in the province of Media.d This is what was written on it:
- Jeremiah 25:1, 11 [predicted the first year of captivity that they would be freed after 70 years] – 1This is the Word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah. It came in the 4th yeara that Jehoiakim,b the son of Josiah, was the king of Judah. (This was the 1st year that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon.)…11This whole area will become desolate ruins. And, these nations will be slaves of the king of Babylon for 70 years.r
- Isaiah 44:28 – 45:1, 4 (Predicted about 125 years before King Cyrus of Persia was even born) – I say of Cyrus:nn ‘He is My shepherd.oo He will do everything that I want him to do. He will say to Jerusalem: “You will be built again!” He will tell the temple: “Your foundations will be rebuilt.” ’ ”…1This is what Yahweh says to Cyrus, His anointed king:a “I am holding your right hand.b I will help you defeat the nationsc in front of you. I will help you to take away the power ofd other kings.I will open the double-doors for you,e so that city gates will not stop you…4I do these things for the sake of My servant, Jacob. I do these things for My chosen people, the Israelites. Cyrus, I summon you by your name.i I give you a title of honor, even though you don’t know Me.
- Daniel referred to details of the Law of Moses, which was part of the Old Testament, and must have taken a copy with him from Palestine to Babylon (today’s Iraq). See in the Bible, Daniel 9:11-13. He also referred to the book of Jeremiah in Daniel 9:2; therefore the Jews must have taken copies of the prophetic books with them also.
- Daniel 1:3-4 – Then King Nebuchadnezzar gave an order to Ashpenaz, his chief officer.h He told Ashpenaz to bring some of the Israelite boys into his own household. He wanted those boys to be from families of Jewish nobility. And, he wanted those who were from the family of the king of Judah.i 4King Nebuchadnezzar wanted only healthy, young boys. These boys were not to have anything wrong with their bodies. They were to be handsome and well-educated. They were to be able to learn and understand science. Nebuchadnezzar wanted those who were competent to serve in his palace. Ashpenaz was commanded to teach them the language and the writings of the Babylonians
- Daniel 2:39-48 [PREDICTED c. 540 BC] – “However, another kingdom will arise after yours [PERSIA]. But that kingdom will not become as great as yours.u “Next, a third kingdom [GREECE] will rule over the whole earth. That is the bronze part.v 40“Then there will be a fourth kingdom [ROME].w It will be as strong as iron. Iron crushes and smashes everything to pieces. In the same way, the fourth kingdom will smash and crush all the other kingdoms. 41“You saw that the statue’s feet and toes were made partly of a potter’s baked clay and partly of iron. That means that the fourth kingdom will be a divided kingdom.x However, it will still have some of the strength of iron in it, because, as you saw, the thick clay was mixed with iron. 42Since the toes of the statue were partly made of iron and partly of clay, the fourth kingdom will be partly strong, like iron, yet somewhat brittle, like clay. 43You saw the iron mixed with the thick clay, but iron and clay do not hold together very well. In the same way, the people of the fourth kingdom will be a mixture, but those people will not be united as one people.y 44“During the time of those kings,z the God of heaven will set up another kingdom.aa It will never be destroyed!bb And, this kingdom will not be given to another group of people. This kingdom will crush all the other kingdoms. It will bring them all to an end, but that kingdom itself will last forever! 45“O King Nebuchadnezzar, you saw the rock cut out of a mountaincc (the one which no human being had touched). That rock smashed into pieces the iron and the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold. This is how the great God has shown you what will take place in the future. The dream is certain; you can trust this revelation!” 46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell face-down on the ground in front of Daniel.dd The king ordered that an offering and incense be presented to Daniel. 47Then the king said to Daniel, “Now I am sure that your God truly is the greatest of all gods!ee And, He is the Lord of all kings. He tells people about things they could not know. I know this is true since you were able to reveal this secret to me.” 48Then the king gave to Daniel an important position in his kingdom. And, he gave many expensive gifts to Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel the chief ruler over the whole province of Babylon. And, he put Daniel in charge of all the wise men of Babylon.
- Numbers 4:3 – Count the men from 30a to 50 years old. They will all support the priestly and Levitical] [work of the Meeting Tent [temple].
- Daniel 9:25-26 [PREDICTED 530 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] -“ ‘Learn and understand these things. A command will go forth to rebuild and restore Jerusalem.ff The time from this command,gg until when the Princehh anointed by Godii comes, will be 49 yearsjj and 434 years.kk Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streetsll and defenses around it.mm However, it will be built in a time of trouble.nn 26After the 434 years,oo the Messiah Prince will be killed.
Click here for details of Daniel’s astounding prediction in 530 BC of the exact century and exact year the Messiah would begin preaching.
- Ezra 7:1, 6, 9 – After these things, during the rule of Artaxerxesa (the king of Persia), Ezra came up from Babylon.b Ezra was the son of Seraiah. Seraiah was the son of Azariah. And, Azariah was the son of Hilkiah… 6This Ezra came up to Jerusalem from Babylon. He was a teacher.d He knew the teachings of Moses well.e (Yahweh, the God of Israel, had given it.) Ezra received everything he asked for from the king. (This was because Yahweh, his God, was helping him.)…9Ezra had left Babylon on the 1st day of the 1st month. And, he arrived in Jerusalem on the 1st day of the 5th month. God was helping Ezra.f
- Daniel 8:10, 20-21 [PREDICTED c. 530 BC] –10That little horn grew bigx until it reached up to the skies.y It even threw down some of the army of heaven and the stars to the ground.z And, it trampled on them…20“ ‘You saw a ram that had two horns. Those horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21The fierce billy goat is the king of Greece.pp The big horn between its eyes is the first king.qq
- Daniel 12:2-3 [PREDICTED 530 YEARS BEFORE WISE MEN SEARCHED FOR THE MEANING OF THE BETHLEHEM STAR] – Many peopleg who have already died will live again.h Some of them will wake up to have eternal life.i But some will wake up to find shame and disgrace forever.j 3The wise peoplek will shine like the brightness of the sky. Those who teach many others to live right will shine like stars forever and ever.l
Click here for details of Daniel’s astounding prediction in 530 BC of the exact century and exact year the Messiah would begin preaching.
- Governor Daniel’s book would have been put in the national library. Queen Esther, also a Jew, might have been responsible for preserving it later in the national archives.
- Numbers 24:17a [PREDICTED 1400 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – I see Someone who will come some day.g I observe Someone who will come, but not soon. A Starh will come from Jacob. A Ruler will rise from Israel.i
- Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 [PREDICTED 700 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – Now those people live in darkness,g but they will see a great Light.h They dwell in a place that is very dark,ibut Lightj will shine on them…Why? Because a special Childq will be born to us. God will give usr a Son.s He will be responsible for leading the people.t He will be called:u “Wonderful”;v “Counselor;”w “Powerful God”;x Father of Eternity”;y “Prince of Peace”.z
- Isaiah 60:1-3 – O Jerusalem, get up and shine! Your light has come!a The splendor of Yahweh rises to shine upon you. 2Behold, darknessb covers the earth,c and thick darkness is over the various peoples. Nevertheless, Yahweh dawns upon you,and His splendor appears over you. 3Nations will come to your light.d Kings will come to the brightness of your sunrise.e
- Ezra 7:9 – Ezra had left Babylon on the 1st day of the 1st month. And, he arrived in Jerusalem on the 1st day of the 5th month. God was helping Ezra.f
- Micah 5:2 [PREDICTED 700 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – But you, O Bethlehem-Ephrathah,e though you are the least important among the leading towns of Judah,fa Leader will come out of you, O Bethlehem!g He will become the Ruler over Israel for Me.h His comings forth have been from of oldi —from the days of eternity.”
- Zechariah 6:10-13 [PREDICTED 475 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – “Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah are exiles who have come from Babylon.m On the same day, go to the house of Josiah (the son of Zephaniah).n 11Take some silver and gold,o and shape it into a double crown.p Then put it on the head of Joshua [Hebrew for Jesus], the son of Jehozadak. (Joshua is the high priest.) 12Tell him that this is what Yahweh of the armies of heaven says: ‘Look, there is a man; his name is “The Branch.” He will branch out from where he is.q And, he will build the temple of the Always-Present One.r 13He is the One who will build the temple of Yahweh. He will receive royal honor. He will sit upon his thrones and he will rule. And, there will be a priest beside his throne. And, there will be harmony between the two.’t
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK XV, 10:4: ….Nor did he [Herod] permit the citizens either to meet together….and when they were caught…many there were who were brought to the citadel Hyrania, both openly and secretly, and were there put to death. And there were spies set everywhere, both in the city and in the roads….He would oftentimes himself take the habit of a private man, and mix among the multitude, in the night time, and make trial what opinion they had of his government. And as for those that could no way be reduced to acquiesce under his scheme of government, he prosecuted them all manner of ways.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK XV, 8:3-4 – …citizens of Jerusalem conspired together against him [Herod]…and took daggers with them under their garments for the purpose of killing Herod….but spies…told the king of it….underwent all the torments inflicted on them till they died.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK XV, 11:7 – There was also an occult passage built for the king: It led from Antonia [palace] to the inner Temple…over which also he erected for himself a tower, that he might have the opportunity of a subterraneous ascent to the Temple, in order to guard against any sedition.
WAYNE D. LEEPER:
- STAR OF JACOB – Read his book about the star of Bethlehem
TIME LIFE BOOK – GREAT AGES OF MAN:
- INDIA-…after the Mauryan dynasty, India, especially in the north, remained mostly in small independent dynasties. By far the most powerful ruler, however, was Gondo-phares. It was he that tradition says the Apostle Thomas converted to Christianity some 35 years later…Ctesiphon was the capital of Persia beginning about 250 B.C….In the year 2 BC, his Italian wife, Musa, poisoned her husband. Four years later she married her son, Phraataces (Phraattes V), an act which horrified both Greeks and Romans.
- PERSIA – Artaxerxes reigned from 465 BC to 425 BC. Scholars agree that the Christian calendar was off by four to eight years. Based on events in the life of Herod and his family, Jesus was born in 6 B.C. Thus, with the corrected Gregorian calendar, Artaxerxes’ reign would actually be 459 BC and his seventh year 453 BC, 30 years before Jesus began to preach.