#2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

A discussion analyzing the correctness of 607 BCE as the fall of Jerusalem and its relevance to 1914 CE, according to Biblical and Historic evidence
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#2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:37 pm

I will start with one Stele for now:

This Stele is not a copy of a copy, this is an actual tablet dated to the reign of Nabonidus so no one can claim this was a mistake that came along years later. Of course there is a lot more, but lets start examining one:

Nabon. No. 8, or the Hillah stele, was discovered at the end of the 19th century in the neighborhood of Hillah, about four miles southeast of the ruins of Babylon.

The inscription “consists of a report on the accession year and the beginning of the first regnal year of Nabonidus” and may be shown, on the basis of internal evidence, to have been written toward the middle of his first regnal year (in the autumn of 555 B.C.E.)

The information given on this stele alone helps us to establish the total length of the period from Nabopolassar to the beginning of the reign of Nabonidus. How does it do this?

In several of his royal inscriptions (No. 1, 8, 24, and 25 in Tadmor’s list) Nabonidus says that in a dream in his accession year, he was commanded by the gods Marduk and Sin to rebuild Éhulhul, the temple of the moon god Sin in Harran. In connection with this, the text under discussion (Nabon. No. 8) provides a very interesting piece of information:

(Concerning) Harran (and) the Éhulhul, which had been lying in ruins for 54 years because of its devastation by the Medes (who) destroyed the sanctuaries, with the consent of the gods the time for reconciliation approached, 54 years, when Sin should return to his place. When he returned to his place, Sin, the lord of the tiara, remembered his lofty seat, and (as to) all the gods who left his chapel with him, it is Marduk, the king of the gods, who ordered their gathering.

The date when the temple Éhulhul in Harran was ruined by the Medes is known to us from two different reliable sources:

The Babylonian Chronicle 3 (B.M. 21901) and the Harran inscription Nabon. H 1,B, also known as the Adad-guppi’ stele (Nabon. No. 24 in Tadmor’s list). The chronicle states that in the “sixteenth year” of Nabopolassar, in the month Marheshwan (parts of October and November), “the Umman-manda (the Medes), [who] had come [to help the king of Akkad, put their armies together and marched to Harran [against Ashur-uball]it (II) who had ascended the throne in Assyria. . . . The king of Akkad reached Harran and [. ..] he captured the city. He carried off the vast booty of the city and the temple.” The Adad-guppi’ stele gives the same information:

Whereas in the 16th year of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, Sin, king of the gods, with his city and his temple was angry and went up to heaven—the city and the people that (were) in it went to ruin.

Thus it is obvious that Nabonidus reckons the “fifty-four years” from the sixteenth year of Nabopolassar to the beginning of his own reign when the gods commanded him to rebuild the temple. This is in excellent agreement with the figures for the Neo- Babylonian reigns given by Berossus and the Royal Canon. As Nabopolassar reigned for twenty-one years, five years remained from his sixteenth year to the end of his reign. After that Nebuchadnezzar ruled for forty-three years, Awel-Marduk for two, and Neriglissar for four years before Nabonidus came to power (Labashi- Marduk’s few months may be disregarded).

Summing up these regnal years (5+43+2+4) we get fifty-four years-exactly as Nabonidus states on his stele

If, as has been established, Nabonidus’ first year was 555/554 B.C.E., Nabopolassar’s sixteenth year must have been 610/609, his first year 625/624 and his twenty-first and last year 605/604 B.C.E. Nebuchadnezzar’s first year, then, was 604/603, and his eighteenth year, when he desolated Jerusalem, was 587/586 B.C.E.―not 607 B.C.E. These dates agree completely with the dates arrived at from Berossus’ figures and the Royal Canon.

Consequently, this stele adds its testimony in establishing the total length of the reigns of all the Neo-Babylonian kings prior to Nabonidus. The strength of this evidence―produced right during the Neo-Babylonian era itself―cannot be insisted upon too strongly.

We cannot simply dismiss such data as just another coincidence or mistake.

Few reigns in ancient history may be dated with such conclusiveness as that of the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.

Suppose for a moment that Berossus’ figures for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings contain an error of twenty years, as is required by the chronology of the Watch Tower Society. Then the compiler(s) of the Royal Canon must have made exactly the same mistake, evidently independently of Berossus!

It might be argued, though, that both simply repeated an error contained in the sources they used, namely the Neo-Babylonian chronicles. Then the scribes of Nabonidus, too, who possibly used the same sources, would have had to have dropped twenty years from the reign of the same king (or kings) when they made the inscriptions of the Hillah stele and the Adad-guppi’ stele. Is it really likely, however, that those scribes, who wrote right during the Neo-Babylonian era, did not know the lengths of the reigns of the kings under whom they lived, especially since those reigns also functioned as calendar years by which they dated different events?

If they really made such a strange mistake, how is it possible that contemporary scribes in Egypt also made the same mistake, dropping the same period of twenty years when making inscriptions on death stelae and other documents?
Curiously then, the Babylonian astronomers must also have regularly made similar “mistakes” when dating the observations recorded in VAT 4956, LBAT 1420, SBTU IV 171, and also other tablets from which later astronomers abstracted their Saros cycle eclipse records — unless of course changes were purposely made by copyists in the Seleucid era, as the Watch Tower Society posits.

Still more incredible is the idea that scribes and astronomers could remove twenty years from the Neo-Babylonian era several years prior to that era—as is shown by the oldest diary, BM. 32312, the lunar eclipse tablets LBAT 1415+1416+1417 and ADTV, no. 5, the Saturn tablet B.M.76738+76813 , and the planetary tablet ADT V, no.52—all the five of which inexorably block all attempts at lengthening the Neo-Babylonian period.

But the most remarkable “coincidence” is this: Tens of thousands of dated economic, administrative and legal documents have been excavated from the Neo-Babylonian period, covering every year of this period—except, as the Watch Tower Society would have it, for a period of twenty years from which not one tablet has been found. Does the Watchtower really want us to believe al of that was just a coincidence and a mistake?

I know the Watchtower has attempted to discredit some of the above data, but we can analyze each one at a time and see if they are telling the truth.

Again, most curiously, according to this logic, that period happens to be exactly the same as that lost through a series of other “mistakes” by scribes in Babylon and Egypt, and by later copyists and historians.

Either there was an international agreement during several centuries to erase this twenty-year period from the recorded history of the world—or it never existed! If such an international “plot” ever took place it was so successful that of all the tens of thousands of documents unearthed from the Neo-Babylonian era there is not one, not even a line in any of them, that indicates that such a twenty-year period ever existed. We can safely conclude, then, that the Watch Tower Society’s chronology is unquestionably in error.
hperez
 
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 03, 2014 8:02 am

Another source of information those confused Chronologist in the third Century had as foundation for their Chronology. Maybe you can search for the extra 20 years?

Nabon. No. 24,

also known as the Adad-guppi’ inscription, exists in two copies. The first was discovered in 1906 by H. Pognon at Eski Harran in south-eastern Turkey, in the ruins of the ancient city of Harran (known as Haran in Abraham’s time). The stele, now in the Archaeological Museum at Ankara, is a grave inscription, evidently composed by Nabonidus for his mother, Adad-guppi’.

The text not only includes a biographical sketch of Nabonidus’ mother from the time of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal and on to the ninth year of Nabonidus (when she died), but also gives the length of reign of each of the Neo-Babylonian kings except, of course, of Nabonidus himself, who was still living. Unfortunately, in the first copy the portion of the text setting out the reigns is damaged, and the only readable figures are the forty-three years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign and the four years of Neriglissar’s reign.

However, in 1956 Dr. D. S. Rice discovered three other stelae at Harran from the reign of Nabonidus, one of which bore a duplicate inscription of the one discovered in 1906! Fortunately, the sections of the new stele containing the chronological information were not damaged. The first of these sections reads as follows:

From the 20th year of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, when I was born, until the 42nd year of Ashurbanipal, the 3rd year of his son Ashur-etil-ili, the 21st year of Nabopolassar, the 43rd year of Nebuchadnezzar, the 2nd year of Awel-Merodach, the 4th year of Neriglissar, during (all) these 95 years in which I visited the temple of the great godhead Sin, king of all the gods in heaven and in the nether world, he looked with favor upon my pious good works and listened to my prayers, accepted my vows.53

It should be observed that the first two kings, Ashurbanipal and his son Ashur-etil-ili, were Assyrian kings, while the following kings were Neo-Babylonian kings. This indicates that Adad-guppi’ first lived under Assyrian rule but then, in connection with Nabopolassar’s revolt and liberation of Babylonia from the Assyrian yoke, was brought under Babylonian rule. Nabonidus’ mother lived to be a centenarian, and further on in the text a complete summary of her long life is given:
He [the moon god Sin] added (to my life) many days (and) years of happiness and kept me alive from the time of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, to the 9th year of Nabonidus, king of Babylon, the son whom I bore, (i.e.) one hundred and four happy years (spent) in that piety which Sin, the king of all gods, has planted in my heart’.

This queen died in the ninth year of Nabonidus, and the mourning for the deceased mother is described in the last column of the inscription. Interestingly, the same information is also given in the Nabonidus Chronicle (B.M. 35382):
The ninth year: . . . On the fifth day of the month Nisan the queen mother died in Dur-karashu which (is on) the bank of the Euphrates upstream from Sippar.

All the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings are given in this royal inscription, from Nabopolassar and on to the ninth year of Nabonidus, and the lengths of reign are in complete accordance with the Royal Canon—a very significant fact, because the corroboration comes from a witness contemporary with all these Neo-Babylonian kings and intimately connected with all of them! More so than the individual testimony of any one source, it is the harmony of all these sources which is most telling.
The results from our discussion of the Neo-Babylonian historical records are summarized in the following table. TABLE 3:
THE REIGNS OF THE NEO-BABYLONIAN KINGS ACCORDING TO THE NEO-BABYLONIAN HISTORICAL RECORDS
ROYAL THE NEO-BAB. THE URUK THE ROYAL B.C.E.
NAME CHRONICLES KING LIST INSCRIPTIONS DATES
Nabopolassar 21 years 21 years 21 years 625–605
Nebuchadnezzar 43 years * 43 (ye)ars 43 years 604–562
Awel-Marduk 2 years* 2 (ye)ars 2 years 561–560
Neriglissar 4 years* ‘3’ (y’s)+8 m’s 4 years 559–556
Labashi-Marduk some months* 3 months — 556
Nabonidus ‘17 years’ ‘17?’ (years) 17 year 555–539 *

These figures in the chronicles are preserved only via Berossus and/or the Royal Canon

As may be seen from the table, the Neo-Babylonian chronology adopted by secular historians is very strongly supported by the ancient cuneiform sources, some of which were produced during the Neo-Babylonian era itself. Three different lines of evidence in support of this chronology are provided by these sources:

(1) Although important parts of the Neo-Babylonian Chronicles are missing and some figures in the Uruk kinglist are partially damaged, the combined witness of these documents strongly supports the Neo- Babylonian chronologies of Berossus and the Royal Canon, both of which were actually— independently of each other—derived from Neo-Babylonian chronicles and kinglists.

(2) The royal inscription Nabon. No. 18 and the Royal Chronicle fix the second year of Nabonidus astronomically to 554/53 B.C.E. The whole length of the Neo-Babylonian period prior to Nabonidus is given by Nabon. No. 8, which gives the elapsed time from the sixteenth year of Nabopolassar up to the accession-year of Nabonidus as fifty-four years. The stele thus fixes the sixteenth year of Nabopolassar to 610/09 and his first year to 625/24 B.C.E. These two inscriptions, therefore, establish the length of the whole Neo-Babylonian era.

(3) The Adad-guppi’ inscription gives the reigns of all the Neo- Babylonian kings (except for Labashi-Marduk’s brief, months-long reign, which may be disregarded) from Nabopolassar up to the ninth year of Nabonidus. As the Watch Tower Society indirectly accepts a seventeen-year rule for Nabonidus, this stele of itself overthrows their 607 B.C.E. date for the desolation of Jerusalem.

Thus the Babylonian chronicles, the Uruk kinglist, and the royal inscriptions firmly establish the length of the Neo-Babylonian era. And yet this is just a beginning.
hperez
 
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 03, 2014 8:33 am

YOU WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE IMMENSE AMOUNT OF DATA SUPPORTING BEROSSUS KINGS LIST. I HOPE YOU CAN DO IT. HERE IS JUST A SMALL LIST OF THE DATA YOU WILL NEED TO DISPROOF. AS A SIDE NOT THOSE CHRONOLOGIST YOU SAY WERE MISTAKEN ALSO HAD THAT DATA AND A LOT MORE.

1) The Astronomical diary VAT 4956 The diary VAT 4956 contains about thirty completely verified observed astronomical positions from Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty- seventh regnal year. Such a combination of astronomical positions is not duplicated again in thousands of years. Consequently, there is only one year which fits this situation: 568/67 B.C.E. If this was Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-seventh regnal year, as is twice stated on this tablet, then 587/86 B.C.E. must have been his eighteenth year, in which he desolated Jerusalem.
(2) The astronomical diary B.M. 32312 B.M. 32312 is the oldest preserved astronomical diary. It records astronomical observations that enable scholars to date this tablet to 652/51 B.C.E. A historical remark in the text, repeated in the Babylonian chronicle B.M. 86379 (the “Akitu Chronicle”) shows this to have been the sixteenth year of Shamashshumukin. The diary, then, fixes his twenty-year reign to 667–648 B.C.E., his successor Kandalanu’s twenty-two-year reign to 647–626, Nabopolassar’s twenty-one-year reign to 625–605, and Nebuchadnezzar’s forty-three-year reign to 604–562 B.C.E. This, again, sets Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year and the destruction of Jerusalem at 587/86 B.C.E.
(3) The Saturn tablet B.M. 76738+76813 The Saturn tablet records a successive series of positions of the planet Saturn at its first and last appearances , dated to the first fourteen years of Kandalanu. Such a pattern of positions, fixed to specific dates in the Babylonian lunar calendar, is not repeated again in more than seventeen centuries. This text, then, again fixes Kandalanu’s twenty-two-year reign to 647–626 B.C.E., Nabopolassar’s twenty-one-year reign to 625–605, and Nebuchadnezzar’s reign to 604–562 B.C.E.
(4) The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1417 LBAT 1417 records four lunar eclipses, each succeeding the other at intervals of 18 years and nearly 11 days, an eclipse period known as the Saros Cycle.
The eclipses are dated to the third year of Sennacherib’s reign in Babylonia, to the accession year and the eighteenth year of Shamashshumukin, and to the sixteenth year of Kandalanu, respectively. The four interrelated eclipses may be clearly identified with a series of eclipses that occurred in 686, 668, 650 and 632 B.C.E. This tablet, therefore, once again fixes the absolute chronology for the reigns of Shamashshumukin and Kandalanu, and also— indirectly for the reigns of Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar.
(5) The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1419 LBAT 1419 contains reports of an uninterrupted series of lunar eclipses at 18-year intervals directly from the Neo-Babylonian era itself. Two of the eclipses are dated to the fourteenth and thirty- second years of Nebuchadnezzar. They may be identified with eclipses that occurred in 591 and 573 B.C.E., respectively, confirming again at these points the chronology established for the reign of this king. Although the royal name and year number are missing in the report on the next eclipse in the 18-year series, the very detailed information makes it easy to identify it with the eclipse that occurred on October 6–7, 555 B.C.E. This date, therefore, confirms and adds further strength to the two earlier dates in the 18-year series, 573 and 591 B.C.E. As these years correspond to Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-second and fourteenth years, respectively, his eighteenth year is, of course, once again fixed to 587/86 B.C.E. by this tablet.
(6) The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1420 LBAT 1420 gives an annual record of lunar eclipses from the first to the twenty-ninth years of Nebuchadnezzar, except for a gap between his eighteenth and twenty-third years. The entries in which regnal year numbers are preserved—about a dozen—give details on some two dozens of eclipses, all of which are found exactly in the B.C.E. years that has been established earlier for the regnal years mentioned in the text. As this specific compound of dated lunar eclipses does not tally with any corresponding series of eclipses that occurred in the immediate preceding decades, this tablet alone suffices to establish the absolute chronology of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign.
( 7) The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1421 LBAT 1421 records two eclipses dated in the sixth and twelfth months of year “42”, evidently of Nebuchadnezzar, generally dated to 563/62 B.CE. And both eclipses are also actually found in these months of that year. But no eclipses of the type recorded in the text occurred in 583/82 B.CE.―the date of Nebuchadnezzar’s forty-second year in the chronology of the Watch Tower Society. This tablet, therefore, provides an additional proof of the falsity of that chronology.
(8-11) Another four astronomical tablets The seven astronomical texts discussed above provide more than enough evidence against the Watch Tower Society’s 607 B .C.E. date. And yet this is not all. Another four texts have recently been published that will be described only briefly here. Translations of three of these are published in Hunger, ADT V (2001).
The first is LBAT 1415 which, as mentioned on page 174 above, is part of the same tablet as LBAT 1417. It records lunar eclipses dated to year 1 of Bel-ibni (702 B.C.E.), year 5, evidently of Sennacherib (684 B.C.E.), and year 2, evidently of Shamash-shum- ukin (666 B.C.E).
The second is lunar eclipse text no. 5 in Hunger, ADT V. It is badly damaged and the royal name is missing, but some historical remarks in the text shows it is from the reign of Nabopolassar. One of the eclipses described is dated to year 16 and may be identified with the eclipse of September 15, 610 B.C.E.
The third is text no. 52 in Hunger, ADT V. This is a planetary text containing over a dozen legible records of the positions of Saturn, Mars, and Mercury dated to years 14, 17, and 19 of Shamash-shum-ukin (654, 651, and 649 B.C.E), years 1, 12, and 16 of Kandalanu (647, 636, and 632 B.C.E.), and years 7, 12, 13, and 14 of Nabopolassar (619, 614, 613, and 612 B.C.E.). Like some of the previous texts discussed above, these three texts effectively prevent all attempts at lengthening the chronology of the Neo- Babylonian period.
The fourth is a planetary tablet, SBTU IV 171, which records first and last appearances and stationary points of Saturn in years 28, 29, 30, and 31 of an unknown king. However, as Professor Hermann Hunger has demonstrated, the year numbers combined with the position of Saturn in the constellation of Pabilsag (roughly Sagittarius) exclude all alternatives in the first millennium B.C.E. except years 28–31 of Nebuchadnezzar, fixing these to 577/76– 574/73 B.C.E. Again, this establishes his 18th year as 587/86 B.C.E.
Last edited by hperez on Sat May 03, 2014 12:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
hperez
 
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 03, 2014 8:34 am

MORE INFORMATION CHRONOLOGIST HAD AT THEIR DISPOSAL WHICH ACCORDIGN TO YOU IS WRONG AND THEY MADE A MISTAKE.

Economic-administrative and legal documents

Literally hundreds of thousands of cuneiform texts have been excavated in Mesopotamia since the middle of the nineteenth century.

The overwhelming majority of them concern economic- administrative and private legal items such as promissory notes, contracts (for the sale, lease, or gift of land, houses, and other property, or for the hiring of slaves and livestock), and records of law suits.

These texts are to a great extent dated just as are commercial letters, contracts, receipts and other vouchers today. The dating is done by giving the year of the reigning king, the month, and the day of the month. A text concerning ceremonial salt from the archives of the temple Eanna in Uruk, dated in the first year of Awel-Marduk (the Evil-merodach of 2 Kings 25:27–30, written Amel-Marduk in Akkadian but postvocalic m was pronounced w), is given here as an example:

Ina-sillâ has brought one and one-half talents of salt, the regular sattukku offering of the month of Siman for the god Usur-amassu. Month of Simanu, sixth day, first year of Amel- Marduk, the king of Babylon.

Tens of thousands of such dated texts have been unearthed from the Neo-Babylonian period. According to the well-known Russian Assyriologist M. A. Dandamaev, over ten thousand of these texts had been published prior to 1991. Many others have been published since, but the majority of them are still unpublished. Professor D. J. Wiseman, another leading Assyriologist, estimates that “there are probably some 50,000 texts published and unpublished for the period 627–539” B.C.E.

Thus there exist large numbers of dated tablets from every year during the whole Neo-Babylonian era. Dr. Wiseman’s estimate would give an average of nearly 600 dated texts from each of the eighty- seven years from Nabopolassar to Nabonidus, inclusive.

It is true that among these texts there are many that are damaged or fragmentary, and that dates are often illegible or missing. Further, the texts are not evenly distributed throughout the period, as the number gradually increases and culminates in the reign of Nabonidus.

Nonetheless, every single year throughout the whole period is covered by numerous, often hundreds of tablets that are datable.

Because of this abundance of dated texts modern scholars are able to determine not only the length of reign of each king, but also the time of the year when each change of reign occurred, sometimes almost to the day!

The last known texts from the reign of Neriglissar, for example, are dated I/2/4 and I?/6/4 (that is, month I, day 2 and day 6, year 4, corresponding to April 12 and 16, 556 B.C.E., Julian calendar), and the earliest one from the reign of his son and successor, Labashi-Marduk, is dated I/23/acc. (May 3, 556).61 The last text from the reign of Nabonidus is dated VlI/17/17 (October 13, 539), or one day after the fall of Babylon (given as VII/16/17 in the Nabonidus Chronicle). The reason for the overlap of one day beyond Babylon’s fall is easily explained:\

[u]Interestingly enough, the last tablet dated to Nabunaid from Uruk is dated the day after Babylon fell to Cyrus. News of its capture had not yet reached the southern city some 125 miles distant.[/u]

In view of this immense amount of documentary evidence, the question must be asked: If twenty years have to be added to the Neo-Babylonian era in order to place the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E., where are the business and administrative texts dated in those missing years?

Quantities of dated documents exist for each of Nebuchadnezzar’s forty-three years, for each of Awel-Marduch’s (Evil-Merodach) two years, for each of Neriglissar’s four years, and for each of Nabonidus’ seventeen regnal years. In addition, there are many dated texts from Labashi-Marduk’s reign of only about two months.

If any of these kings’ reigns had been longer than those just mentioned, large numbers of dated documents would certainly exist for each of those extra years. Where are they? Twenty years are about one fifth of the whole Neo-Babylonian period. Among the tens of thousands of dated tablets from this period, many thousands ought to have been found from those missing twenty years.

f one casts one die (of a pair of dice) tens of thousands of times without ever getting a 7, he must logically conclude: “There is no number 7 on this die.” The same is true of the Watch Tower’s twenty missing “ghost years” for which one must look in vain during the Neo-Babylonian period.

But suppose that a number of missing years really existed, and that, by some incredible chance, the many thousands of dated tablets that ought to be there have not been found. Why is it, then, that the lengths of reign according to the dated tablets which have been unearthed happen to agree with the figures of Berossus, those of the Royal Canon, of the Uruk King List, of the contemporary royal inscriptions, as well as the figures of all the other evidence that is yet to be presented below? Why should it be that, whatever type of historical source is considered, the supposedly “missing” years consistently amount to exactly twenty years? Why not a period of, in one case, seventeen years, in another case thirteen, in yet another seven years, or perhaps different isolated years distributed throughout the Neo-Babylonian period?

Each year new quantities of dated tablets are unearthed, and catalogues, transliterations, and translations of such texts are frequently published, but the twenty missing years never turn up. Even improbability has a limit

The importance of the economic-administrative and legal texts for the chronology of the Neo-Babylonian period can hardly be overestimated. The evidence provided by these dated texts is simply overwhelming. The reigns of all the Neo-Babylonian kings are copiously attested by tens of thousands of such documents, all of which were written during this era. As shown by the table below, these reigns are in full agreement with the Royal Canon and the other documents discussed earlier.
hperez
 
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 03, 2014 9:05 am

MORE WRONG DATA THE CHRONOLOGIST HAD I GUESS. The following information dates of Nebuchadnezzar’s 14th and 32nd regnal years

The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1419

LBAT 1419 records an uninterrupted series of lunar eclipses at 18-year intervals from 609/08 to 447/46 B.C.E. The first entries, which evidently recorded eclipses that ocurred in September 609 and March 591 B.C.E., are damaged. Royal names and year numbers are illegible. However, two of the following entries are clearly dated to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (the words in parentheses are added to elucidate the laconic reports:

14th (year of) Nebukadnezar, month VI, (eclipse) which was omitted [literally, “passed by”] at sunrise, ……………..
32nd (year of) Nebukadnezar, month VI, (eclipse) which was omitted.
At 35° (= 35 USH, i.e. 140 minutes) before sunset.


The royal name in the original text is written as “Kudurri”, which is an abbreviation of Nabu-kudurri-usur, the transcribed Akkadian form of Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar’s fourteenth and thirty-second years are generally dated to 591/90 and 573/72 B.C.E., respectively. The two eclipses recorded, one Saros cycle apart, both took place in the sixth month (Ululu), which began in August or September. Both eclipses had been calculated in advance, and the Babylonians knew that none of them would be observable in Babylonia. The first eclipse began “at sunrise”, the second 140 minutes (35 USH) “before sunset.” Thus both of them occurred in the daytime in Babylonia.

curred on September 15, 591 B.C.E. It began about 6:00. The second took place in the afternoon on September 25, 573 B.C.E.49 Both eclipses, then, fit in very well with the chronology established for the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.
In the chronology of the Watch Tower Society, however, the two eclipses should be sought for twenty years earlier, in 611 and 593 B.CE. But no eclipses that fit those described in the text occurred in the autumn of any of those years.
The next entry, which records the subsequent eclipse in the 18- year cycle, gives the following detailed information:

Month VII, the 13th, in 17° on the east side
all (of the moon) was covered. 28° maximal phase.
In 20° it cleared from east to west.
Its eclipse was red. Behind the rump of Aries it was eclipsed.
During onset, the north wind blew, during clearing, the west wind.
At 55° before sunrise.


As stated in the text, this eclipse took place on the thirteenth day of the seventh month (Tashritu), which began in September or October. The royal name and the year number unfortunately are missing.
Yet, as Professor Hunger points out, “the eclipse can nevertheless be identified with certainty from the observations given.” The various details about the eclipse—its magnitude (total), duration (the total phase lasting 112 minutes), and position (behind the rump of Aries)—clearly identify it with the eclipse that took place in the night of Oct. 6–7, 555 B.C.E.

According to the generally established chronology for the Neo- Babylonian period, this eclipse took place in the first year of Nabonidus, which began on Nisan 1, 555 B.C.E. Although the royal name and year number are missing, it is of the utmost importance to notice that the text places this eclipse one Saros cycle after the eclipse in the thirty-second year of Nebuchadnezzar. As the last eclipse may be securely dated in 555 B.C.E., it at once also places Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-second year eighteen years earlier, in 573 B.C.E.

Consequently, this eclipse in our text concur in establishing 591 and 573 B.C.E. as the absolute dates of Nebuchadnezzar’s 14th and 32nd regnal years, respectively. The Saros cycle text LBAT 1419 thus provides yet another independent evidence against 607 B.C.E. as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. If, as is established by the text, his thirty-second year was 573/72 B.C.E. and his fourteenth year was 591/90 B.C.E., then his first year was 604/03, and his eighteenth year, in which he desolated Jerusalem, was 587/86 B.C.E.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Mon May 05, 2014 7:38 am

Hello Heber,

So as to not make our posts a mile long, I will first address the Hillah Stele and the Adad-Guppi Stele and demonstrate why they are not reliable as chronological evidence. The problem is I had a lot of information stored on a flashdrive and can not find it at the moment. If I don't find it today, I will have to type it all out again which might take a while. So please, exercise patience.

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Re: The Hillah Stele problems

Postby Rotherham » Tue May 06, 2014 8:14 am

Hello Heber,

There are numerous problems in believing that the Hillah Stele and the Adad-Guppi Stele can be used for accurate chronological purposes. I will explain why in what follows.

THe Hillah Stele:

The relevant portion of this stele is as follows:

"As to the temple Ehulhul in Harran which was in ruins for 54 years-through a devastation by the Manda-hordes the(se) sanctuaries were laid waste-the time (predestined) by the gods, he moment for the appeasement (to wit) 54 years, had come near, when Sinshould have returned to his place."


In order to understand these 54 years it is important to get a date as to when they began. In Chronicle 3 (The Fall of Nineveh Chronicle), we read that in year 16 of Nabopolassar the armies of the king of Akkad together with the Manda hordes attacked Harran and "carried off the vast booty of the city and the temple". (Grayson 1975, page 95)

Notice that it does not say with certainty that the temple was destroyed but that the vast booty was carried off. This would surely be an insult and disgrace to their moon god, Sin. It would be odd for the actual destruction of the temple, if it happened at this time, to not be mentioned. The Fall of Nineveh Chronicle is therefore not conclusive that the temple was destroyed in the 16th year of Nabopolassar, only that the vast booty was carried off.

It is entirely possible for the booty of a temple to be carried off without destroying the temple, because we know it happened to Jerusalem itself.

Is the Adad-Guppi Stele conclusive in establishing the date of this destruction of the temple? What it tells us that in the 16th year of Nabopolassar, Sin, the moon god, became angry with the city and went up to heaven. Could this be just due to the booty being carried off from the temple or must it involve the destruction of the temple? Or could both records refer to the same event that did not actually involve the destruction of the temple, but merely a looting of it and an embarrassment to their god, Sin? From what I have seen thusfar, the question is open.

However, even if we take the words of the Adad-Guppi Stele and Chronicle 3 to mean that the temple was destroyed in the sixteenth year of Nabopolassar, there are still huge problems when one tries to use the Hillah Stele or Adad-Guppi for true chronological purposes.

Let's add some years and take a look at some other ancient tablets about these same events and see what we come up with.

Using traditional chronology, counting the 5 years left of Nabopolassar's reign, plus the 43 years of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 years for Evil-Merodach, and 4 years of Neriglissar, we get 54 years. That would mean that Ehulhul would have been restored in the accession year of Nabunaid. Is this what the different tablets tell us about this restoration?

As far as Adad-Guppi's record, she does confirm that in the first year of Nabunaid, he received a dream that told him he would reconstruct Ehulhul and she claims that the god Sin has been reconciled in connection with the building of the temple Ehulhul, then the scribe who speaks for Adad-Guppi reveals that she dies in the 9th year of Nabunaid. Therefore, the Adad-Guppi would agree that the temple Ehulhul was restored by the ninth year of Nabunaid at the latest. However, it doesn't actually reveal the exact year when that temple was restored.

But there is a problem with the timing of the Hillah Stele as well. The following words are from the publication "Die Neubabylonischen Konigsinchriften" 1973, p. 112 by P. R. Berger:

"In the beginning of column 9 in the Stele Fargment XI...is a New year gift of 2,750 prisoners of war from the land of Hume to the gods Marduk, Nabu and Nergal for the purpose of the building work mentioned. The date is Nisan 10 (the tenth day of the first month of the Babylonian year) In the firsthalf of column 10 is the information that Sin after 54 years in exile now considered to return to Harran. Since the destruction of the temple of Sin in Harran occurred in the year 610, the end of the 54 years should be ascribed to 556. In other words, the wish to build the Ehulhul temple was extant already in the accession year of Nabunaid. However, there is a problem. I the stele the prisoners of war are said to come from the land of Hume, which requires a previous campaign of war. According to the Nabonaid chronicle...this campaign had occurred in the first regnal year, and Nisan 10 therefore had to refer to the second reganl year."


So there is a timing conflict between the Hillah Stele and the Nabunaid Chronicle. Since the war with Hume did not occur until the first regnal year of Nabunaid, the gift of 2750 men for the purpose of rebuilding Ehulhul, could not have happened in his accession year. This shows that the figure of 54 years can't be an expression of real time. We will see that the number 54 could have been chosen as a religiously propagandistic time period. More on that below.

But that's not the only conflict that we find when comparing these tablets.

In the Ehulhul Cylinder (I, 15) it says that Nabunaid had a dream in his accession year that he should rebiuld the Ehulhul temple in Harran. Nabunaid answered that the Medes-hordes ruled Harran, but Marduk answered that they would be conquered. (I, 21-25) The account tells that in the third year of Nabunaid, Cyrus, the king of Ansan, came and conquered the Medes-hordes. (I, 26-29) Then Nabunaid rebuilt Ehulhul. (I, 36-47)

So according to the Ehulhul Cylinder, the earliest Nabunaid started to rebuild the temple would have been his third regnal year, not his accession year. But that's not the end of the problems when comparing tablets.


According to the Nabunaid Chronicle 2, 1-4 (Grayson, 1975 p. 106) Cyrus' conquest of the Medes happened in year 6 of Nabunaid and not in year 3 as the Ehulhul Cylinder says.

Also, the aDAD-gUPPI stele presents another timing issue. IN (H2A) 1, 26 and 2, 1, we learn that Nabunaid resided in Tema for ten years, and it wasn't until AFTER he came back that he actually restored the Ehulhul temple. During that stay at Tema, scholars agree that his son Bel-shazzar, the one mentioned in Daniel, ruled in his place as a co-ruler during the ten years, which means the Nabunaid was actually the king during this time but away from Babylon in Tema.

So we have a number of DIFFERENT years where the tablets say that the Ehulhul temple was rebuilt. Some say after 3 years, some say after 6 years and the Adad-Guppi itself says after ten years at Tema. So, if we pay attention to these different ancient records, the temple was not RECONCILED after 54 years, but rather 57, 60 or at least 67 years. So it should be more than obvious that the number chosen, 54, is not a true reflection of chronology, but was a religiously motivated number to choose from.

The 54 year interval may be nothing more than embellishment to honor the Moon God, Sin, because there are conflicting dates as to when the temple was actually rebuilt, as I demonstrated above. Being Moon worshippers, they were very much in tune with the 18 year Saro cycles. Every 18 year Saro cycle displays the moon in very close proximity to the preceding Saro period, and every third Saros cycle, the moon is almost exactly in the same place. The fact that the appointed time of the gods is mentioned as being the time for reconciliation, a time predestinde by the gods, it would be fitting that the reconciliation would begin when the moon in particular, would be in the exact same location as the year when Sin was said to leave at the destruction of the temple.

Due to the differing dates as to when the rebuilding actully would have taken place, the 54 year figure, which is the length of three Saros cycles, was likley a fictitious number landed on to bring honor to the Moon god rather than a real piece of chronology.

In my next post I will deal with the Adad-Guppi Stele and the King List.

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The Adad-Guppi Stele

Postby Rotherham » Tue May 06, 2014 3:00 pm

I will now address the Adad-Guppi Stele and demonstrate why it can not be trusted over the Bible as a piece of legitimate chronology.

The first chronological problem arises when we compare her first list of kings before her son began to reign, with her second list.

At first we are told that she was born in the 20th year of Ashurbanipal and died in the 9th year of Nabonidus (Nabunaid). This comes out to be a total of 104 years of life according to the traditional chronology. That means she should have been 95 years old when Nabinidus took the throne.

The problem is that she later states in Col II 40-43 that she served the kings of Babylon during the 21 years of Nabopolassar, the 43 years of Nebuchadnezzar, and the four years of Neriglissar, and then her son started to reign, leaving out the two year reign, that she just mentioned earlier, of Evil-Merodach. This is an immediate contradiction within the tablet and calls into question its reliability and accuracy, and smacks of poor recollection of a later author. If this is a piece of real chronology, then why is there an immediate and obvious two year discrepancy between the two lists of kings? Why did she leave out Evil-Merodach in the second reference?

And why doesn't Adad-Guppi mention the king Sin-sarra-iskun who reigned at least seven years according the ancient records? Most believe he reigned at some point between Assur-etil-ilani and Nabopolassar. What happened to him? Why was he also excluded as was Evil-Merodach in at least one list? How many more were excluded and what was the reason for their exclusion? We may never know.

Clearly, we have a selective piece of writing where one or more things are left out! The question is why? What was the motive? Regardless, it can't really be trusted above and beyond the Bible for an accurate chronological picture because there are readily apparent errors. How many more are there? We have no idea.

As I mentioned, many scholars agree that the Adad-Guppi Stele is a work of fiction. (Beaulieu, 1997, p.384-5; Zawadski, 1988, p.55; Longman, 1991, p. 101) If the account was willing to leave out the two years of Evil-Merodach, and the entire reign of Sin-sarra-iskun, what else were they willing to leave out and why? If this Stele is the birth of the supposed Neo-Babylonian king list, and it is incorrect for whatever reason, if everyone else relied on it as accurate, then the mistakes just get repeated down through history. It is actually the Bible itself that will prove Adad-Guppi to be incorrect. I suppose it becomes a matter of whether or not you accept the Biblical word over man's.

If the Bible were to demonstrate that the Adad-Guppi Stele is unreliable, by means of the prophecies against Tyre and Egypt, which I am convinced it will, then I would have no idea why a Bible believer would choose to go with the traditional chronology. It is actually quite possible that this Stele is a piece of fiction, as many scholars agree, and has nothing to do with accurate chronology, and being that it is supposed to be the oldest contemporary (not a copy made at a later time) king list available, later chronologists could have simply repeated the erroneous information for centuries to come, clear up until our day.
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VAT4956

Postby Rotherham » Wed May 07, 2014 8:00 am

Hello Heber,

You said:

1) The Astronomical diary VAT 4956 The diary VAT 4956 contains about thirty completely verified observed astronomical positions from Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty- seventh regnal year. Such a combination of astronomical positions is not duplicated again in thousands of years. Consequently, there is only one year which fits this situation: 568/67 B.C.E. If this was Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-seventh regnal year, as is twice stated on this tablet, then 587/86 B.C.E. must have been his eighteenth year, in which he desolated Jerusalem.

############################################
I am very familiar with the VAT4956 and I believe without a doubt that it can be shown to be an inaccurate document that was created in order to support an already accepted chronological format that was popular in the third century BCE. The VAT4956 is a copy of an earlier document or a compilation of earlier documents made during the 3rd centruy BCE, about three hundred years after the suppoosed original document/s. It can be shown that a number of the lunar sightings are simply wrong, plus it can be shown that most of the planetary positions were retro-calculated rather than observed. It will take a long time to go through it, but I am ready and willing when you are.

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The King Lists

Postby Rotherham » Wed May 07, 2014 8:23 am

The URUK kings' list is as follows:


1' /MU 21\ [mAššur-b�ni-apli] Aššurbanipal 21 years 668-631
2' ša-niš /m\Šamaš-šuma-uk�n Šamaš-šuma-uk�n at the same time 667-648
3' MU 21 mK[an-da]-la-an Kandalanu 21 years 647-627
4' MU 1 m dS�n2-šumu-l�šir2 Sin-šumlišir 1 year 626
5' u m dS�n2-šarra-iš-ku-un and Sin-šar-išk�n


6' MU 21 m dNab�-apla-usur Nabopolassar 21 years 626-605
7' [M]U 43 m dNab�-kuddur�-usur Nebuchadnezzar [II] 43 years 604-562
8' [M]U 2 mAm�l-dMarduk Amel-Marduk 2 years 561-560
9' [MU] /3\ 8 ITI m dNergal2-šarra-usur Neriglissar 3 years, 8 months 559-556
10' [(...)] 3 ITI mLa-ba-ši-dMarduk Labaši-Marduk [accession year] 3 months 556
11' [MU] /17?\ m dNab�-n�'id Nabonidus 17? years 555-539
12' [MU x mK]ur-aš Cyrus [the Great] [x years] 539-530
13' [MU x mKambu-z]i-i Cambyses [II] [x years] 530-522
14' [MU x mDaria-m]uš Darius [the Great] [x years] 522-486
1' [š]� MU š�-nu-� mNidin-dB[�l] [...] whose second name is Nidin-B�l [...] 336??
2' [M]U 5 mDa-ra-a-muš Darius [III Codomannus] 5 years 336-331
3' MU 7? mA-lik-sa-an-dar Alexander [the Great] 7? years 331-323
4' MU 6 mPi-il-ip-su Philip [III Arridaeus] 6 years 323-317
5' MU 6 mAt-tu-gu-un Antigonus [the One-eyed] 6 years 317-311
6' MU 31 mSi-lu-ku Seleucus [I Nicator] 31 years 311-281
7' MU 22 mAn-ti-'u-ku-su Antiochus [I Soter] 22 years 281-261
8' MU 15 mAn-ti-'u-ku-su Antiochus [II Theos] 15 years 261-246
9' [MU] [...] mSi-lu-k[u] Seleucus [II Callinicus] [... years] 246-225

It should be readily obvious that the Uruk kings list was not compiled until the 3rd century BCE. If the misreading and unwarranted trust of the Hillah Stele and the Adad-Guppi Stele was used as a basis for the Neo-Babylonian chronological format during this century (3rd BCE), then whatever errors were established during this century have been carried forward into the later kings list, such as Ptolemy's.

It should be noted that the URUK king's list does not agree completely with the figures given in the Adad-Guppi Stele in regard to Assyrian kings, which calls into question either the accuracy of the Adad-Guppi Stele or the accuracy of the URUK king list.

It is suggested that both Berossus and Ptolemy carried forward some of the chronological errors that are represented in the Hillah, Adad-Guppi and then later by the URUK king's list in connection with the Neo-Babylonian kings and their lengths of rulership.

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Re: The Saturn tablet B.M. 76738+76813

Postby Rotherham » Thu May 08, 2014 2:32 pm

Hello Heber,

(3) The Saturn tablet B.M. 76738+76813 The Saturn tablet records a successive series of positions of the planet Saturn at its first and last appearances , dated to the first fourteen years of Kandalanu. Such a pattern of positions, fixed to specific dates in the Babylonian lunar calendar, is not repeated again in more than seventeen centuries. This text, then, again fixes Kandalanu’s twenty-two-year reign to 647–626 B.C.E., Nabopolassar’s twenty-one-year reign to 625–605, and Nebuchadnezzar’s reign to 604–562 B.C.E.

The question becomes whether or not these tablets are another result of retro-calculation. Is it possible that they are? What would be the tell-tale signs of retro-calculations? Logically, if there are errors in the observations, and not just a few, this would inidicate not observance, but retro-calculations. What do we find with these tablets?

Since Saturn is approximately in the same position of the sky every 59 years, retro-calculation would be entirely possible based on a 59 year cycle retro-calculation. If an observer was making the actual recording one would expect great accuracy in the placement of Saturn in the sky, but if the placement was inaccurate, this would indicate calculation.

After examination of the tablet with ephemeris software, it can be seen that 9 of the 13 positions over a period of 11 years are inaccurate or just plain wrong. This tells us that backward calculation is clearly suggested. The four correct positions then have little value as evidence of actual observance in the 7th century BCE.

Some believe that the tablet was created within a few decades of the last mentioned king because some of the signs are more ancient than those used later in history, but then again, some signs, such as the number 9, indicates a later compilation. The signs alone are therefore inconclusive as to when it is written, but it must be said that a later composition could use older signs if they were known, but an earlier composition would not likely be using signs from the future.

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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 09, 2014 5:57 pm

Sorry, I was out of town on business. I wonder how many mistakes backwards and forward had to happened for your timeline to be even considered. I think I can play the lottery and win on those odds. I don't need to base my timeline on speculation, but on the total amount of data which all happened to coincide with Berossu's timeline. We can always speculate.

you said "Using traditional chronology, counting the 5 years left of Nabopolassar's reign, plus the 43 years of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 years for Evil-Merodach, and 4 years of Neriglissar, we get 54 years. That would mean that Ehulhul would have been restored in the accession year of Nabunaid. Is this what the different tablets tell us about this restoration?

Read what it says again. You only read what you want to see it does not say he restored the Temple in that year just that he was commanded to restored the Temple, lets be honest. I cant not keep track of every twist you give to the information to fit your task of creating doubt, but without any proof. .

The Hillah stele (Nabon. No. 8)

According to the Hillah stele, fifty-four years had passed from the desolation of the temple Éhulhul in Harran in the six,teenth year of Nabopolassar (610/609 B.C.E.) until the accession-year of Nabonidus (556/555 B.C.E.).

In an attempt to undermine the confidence in the information on this stele, YOUR claimed that the fifty-four years referred to the period of desolation of the Éhulhul temple, and that Nabonidus states it was rebuilt immediately after the end of this period. As the rebuilding of the temple was not actually completed until several years after the Hillah stele had been inscribed, the fifty-four year period is claimed to be a fiction.

Such an interpretation of the stele is a gross distortion of the matter. Although it is true that the temple had lain desolate for fifty-four years when Nabonidus, in his accession-year, concluded that the gods had commanded him to rebuild it, he does not say that it was rebuilt immediately.

As indicated by a number of texts the restoration of the temple was evidently a drawn-out process that lasted for several years, perhaps until the thirteenth year of Nabonidus. The fifty-four years, on the other hand, clearly ended in the accession-year of Nabonidus, when, according to the Adad-guppi’ inscription, “the wrath of his [Sin’s] heart calmed. Towards E-hul- hul the temple of Sin which (is) in Harran, the abode of his heart’s delight, he was reconciled, he had regard. Sin, king of the gods, looked upon me and Nabu-na’id (my) only son, the issue of my womb, to the kingship he called.

The statement on the Hillah stele that Sin at this time “returned to his place” should not be taken to mean that the temple was rebuilt at this time. Rather, it may mean that Sin, the moon god, “returned to his place” in the sky, as suggested by Tadmor. The Babylonians not only knew that lunar phenomena such as eclipses often recurred after a period of eighteen years (the so-called “Saros cycle”), but that they also, and with a much higher degree of reliability, recurred after a period of fifty-four years (three “Saros cycles”).

The Babylonian astronomers even used these and other cycles for predicting lunar eclipses. At the time Nabonidus acceded to the throne a complete cycle of the moon had passed since the destruction of the moon temple at Harran, and Nabonidus may have seen this as a remarkable coincidence and a favorable omen. As Sin had now “returned to his place” in the sky, had not the time arrived for him to return also to his earthly abode in Harran? So Nabonidus concluded that the temple had to be rebuilt.




Your information on these tablets is meaningless:

THE SATURN TABLET (BM. 76738 + BM. 76813)

One of the most important astronomical texts from the seventh century B.C.E. is the Saturn tablet from the reign of the Babylonian king Kandalanu (647–626 B.C.E.), predecessor of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar’s father.
This text consists of two broken pieces, B.M. 76738 and B.M. 76813.28 The text was first described by C. B. F. Walker in 1983 in the Bulletin of the Society for Mesopotamian Studies.29 A transcription and a translation with a full discussion of the text by Mr. C.B.F. Walker has recently been published.

The planet Saturn has a revolution of c. 29.5 years. Due to the revolution of the earth round the sun, Saturn disappears behind the sun for a few weeks and reappears again at regular intervals of 378 days.

The Saturn tablet gives the dates (regnal year, month, and day in the Babylonian calendar) and the positions of the planet Saturn at its first and last appearances for a period of fourteen successive years, specifically, the first fourteen years of Kandalanu (647–634 B.C.E.). The name of the king, given only in the first line, is partially damaged, but may be restored as [Kand]alanu. The name of the planet is nowhere mentioned in the text, but the observations fit Saturn and no other planet.

As Mr. Walker explains:

The name of the planet Saturn is not given on the tablet, and the name of Kandalanu is to be restored from only a few traces in the first line. It is, however, certain that we are dealing with Saturn and Kandalanu. Saturn is the slowest moving of the visible planets, and only Saturn would move the distances indicated between successive first visibilities.

The text is damaged in several places, and many of the year numbers are illegible. Years 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 13 are undamaged, however.

Besides this, each year is covered by two lines in the text, one for the last appearance of the planet and the other for its first, the total number of lines covering the fourteen years, therefore, being twenty-eight. With this framework there is no problem in restoring the year numbers that are damaged.

Most of the positions given for Saturn at its first or last appearance are legible. The entry for year eight, which is almost wholly preserved, is quoted here as an example:

Year 8, month 6, day 5, behind the Furrow (α+ Virginis), last appearance.

[Year 8], month 7, day 5, ‘between’ the Furrow (α+ Virginis) and the Balance (Libra), first appearance.

So, What is the implication of this astronomical tablet for the chronology of the Neo-Babylonian era?

As noted, Saturn has a revolution of 29.5 years, which also means that the planet moves through the whole ecliptic in this period.
But for the planet to be seen again at a specific point (close to a certain fixed star, for example) of the ecliptic at the same time of the year, we have to wait for 59 solar years (2 x 29.5). This interval, actually, is much longer in the Babylonian lunar calendar.

As C. B. F. Walker explains:

A complete cycle of Saturn phenomena in relation to the stars takes 59 years. But when that cycle has to be fitted to the lunar calendar of 29 or 30 days then identical cycles recur at intervals of rather more than 17 centuries. Thus there is no difficulty in determining the date of the present text.

In other words, the absolute chronology of Kandalanu’s reign is definitely fixed by the Saturn tablet, because the pattern of positions described in the text and fixed to specific dates in the Babylonian lunar calendar is not repeated again in more than seventeen centuries! The first fourteen years of his reign mentioned in the document are thus fixed to 647–634 B.C.E. As Kandalanu’s total reign may chronologically be counted as twenty-two years (twenty-one years plus one year “after Kandalanu”), our tablet establishes the absolute chronology of his reign as 647–626 B.C.E.

Like the (B.M. 32312), the Saturn tablet puts a definite block to the attempts at lengthening the chronology of the Neo-Babylonian period. If twenty years were to be added to this period, the reign of Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, would have to be moved from 625–605 back to 645–625 B.C.E., and this in turn would mean moving the reign of his predecessor, Kandalanu, from 647–626 back to 667–646 B.C.E. The astronomical data on the Saturn tablet makes such changes completely impossible.

With respect to lunar eclipses, the Babylonians could predict and retrocalculate their occurrences, “but none of the Babylonian methods could have allowed them to calculate circumstances such as the direction of the eclipse shadow and the visibility of planets during the eclipse.”

Thus, although the Babylonians were able to calculate certain astronomical phenomena, the observational texts record a number of details connected with the observations that they were unable to predict or retrocalculate. This disproves conclusively the idea proposed by some that the data may have been calculated backwards from a later period
Last edited by hperez on Sat May 10, 2014 11:10 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 09, 2014 6:37 pm

One method used to get over the difficulty of observing stars close to the horizon due to dust was to observe, instead, “the simultaneously occurring of other stars, the so-called ziqpu-stars,” that is, stars crossing the meridian higher up on the sky at their culmination.

Finally, the horizon as viewed from Babylon was not obscured by sandstorms every day, and some planetary events could be observed many days or weeks in succession, also higher up in the sky, for example, the position of Saturn which, according to our text, could be observed “in front of the Swallow [the south-west part of the Fishes].” As was pointed out above, Saturn can be observed in each of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac for about 2.5 years on the average.

Saturn’s position in the vicinity of the southern Fish, then, could have been observed for several months in succession, which would have made it impossible for Babylonian astronomers in their regular observations of the planets to make any mistake as to where this planet could be seen during the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, in spite of frequent sandstorms. Our text, in fact, directly states that Saturn was observed “in front of the Swallow” not only on the first day of Nisanu (the first month), but also on the first day of Ayyaru (the second month)!

Again, this amazing astronomers which kept track of such accurate data simply just calculated wrong, because according to you they simply were not observing the Astros.

Which calculations are you referring to? The Watchtower only survives in the world of speculations.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 09, 2014 7:07 pm

THIS IS A COMPLETE EXAMINATION OF EACH OF THE OCCURRENCES AND THE WATCHTOWER ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE FACTS VIA MR. FURULI:
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your comment "After examination of the tablet with ephemeris software, it can be seen that 9 of the 13 positions over a period of 11 years are inaccurate or just plain wrong. This tells us that backward calculation is clearly suggested. The four correct positions then have little value as evidence of actual observance in the 7th century BCE."
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Your comment is simply without foundation as the following studies shows. They are well within the margin of error for the program, the only thing is out when compared with the Watchtower timeline.

The Saturn Tablet BM 76738 + BM 76813

The Saturn Tablet consists of two broken pieces, BM 76738 + BM 76813. It contains a list of last and first appearances of Saturn for a period of 14 successive years, namely, the first 14 years of the Babylonian king Kandalanu, whose 22 years of reign is generally dated to 647 – 626 BCE.

As the examination below will demonstrate, the Saturn Tablet alone is sufficient for establishing the absolute chronology of the first 14 years of his reign. Every attempt by the Watchtower Society and its apologists to add 20 years to the Neo-Babylonian chronology is effectively blocked by this tablet.

The Watchtower apologist Rolf Furuli in Oslo, Norway as you also strains every nerve to get rid of the evidence provided by this tablet in his new volume on chronology, Assyrian, Babylonian and Egyptian Chronology (Oslo: Awatu Publishers, 2007).

The Watchtower Society’s chronology, renamed by Furuli the “Oslo Chronology”, requires that Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year, in which he desolated Jerusalem, is dated to 607 instead of 587 BCE. This would also move his father Nabopolassar’s 21-year reign 20 years backwards in time, from 625-605 to 645-625.

As the Saturn Tablet definitely blocks any change of this kind, it has to be reinterpreted in some way.

At least Furuli has realized that he cannot simply wave it away as unreliable, as he does with so many other uncomfortable astronomical tablets, but many still want to insist in such a speculation.

To overcome this problem Furuli tries to argue that Nabopolassar and Kandalanu is one and the same person. (Furuli, chapter 12, pp. 193-209) This idea will be discussed in some detail at the end of this article, but one of the problems with it is that the first year of Kandalanu is fixed to 647 BCE, not to 645 as is required by Furuli’s variant of the Watchtower chronology (the “Oslo Chronology”).

To “solve” this problem, Furuli argues that there may have been not one but two years of interregnum before the reign of Nabopolassar. He also speculates that “a scribe could have reckoned his first regnal year one or two years before it actually started”! (Furuli, p. 340) He ends up lowering the first year of Nabopolassar/Kandalanu one year, from 647 to 646, claiming that the observations on the Saturn Tablet may be applied to this lowered reign. He believes his table E.2 on pp. 338-9 supports this. However, as will be demonstrated in the discussion below, there is no evidence whatsoever in support of these peculiar ideas. His table bristles with serious mistakes from beginning to end.

The Planet Saturn has a revolution of c. 29.46 years, which means that it returns to the same place among the stars at the same time of the year after twice 29.46 or nearly 59 years. Due to the revolution of the earth round the sun, Saturn disappears behind the sun for a few weeks and reappears again at regular intervals of 378.09 days. This means that its last and first visibility occurs only once a year at most, each year close to 13 days later in a solar year of 365.2422 days, and close to 24 days later in a lunar year of 354.3672 days (12 months of 29.5306 days), except, of course, in years with an intercalary month.

EXAMINATION OF THE ENTRIES FOR THE FIRST 7 YEARS (14 LINES) THE SUPPOSED ERRONEOUS READINGS SEEM TO BE MORE OF DESPERATION THEN REALITY

On the above-mentioned tablet each year is covered by two lines, one for the last and one for the first visibility of the planet. The tablet, then, contains 2 x 14 = 28 lines. As lines 3 and 4 are clearly dated to the 2nd year, the damaged and illegible sign for the year number in lines 1 and 2 obviously refers to the 1st year of king Kandalanu.

The text of lines 1 and 2: 1´ [Year 1 of Kand]alanu, ´month´ […, day …, last appearance.] 2´ [Year 1, mont]h 4, day 24, in fro[nt of … the Crab, first appearance.]

Comments:

As is seen, the last and first visibility of Saturn is dated to year, month, and day in the lunar calendar of the Babylonians. As the Babylonian lunar months began in the evening of the first visibility of the moon after conjunction, there are two mutually independent cycles that can be combined to test the correctness of the chronology: the lunar first visibility cycle of 29.53 days, and the Saturn visibility cycle of 378.09 days. 57 Saturn cycles of 378.09 days make almost exactly 59 solar years.

As explained by C. B. F. Walker, the translator of the tablet: “A complete cycle of Saturn phenomena in relation to the stars takes 59 years. But when that cycle has to be fitted to the lunar calendar of 29 or 30 days then identical cycles recur at intervals of rather more than 17 centuries. Thus there is no difficulty in determining the date of the present text.” – C. B. F. Walker, “Babylonian Observations of Saturn during the Reign of Kandalanu,” in N. M. Swerdlow (ed.), Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London: 1999), p. 63. Emphasis added. (Walker’s article, Furuli’s Second Book 497


The modern program used here for finding the last and first visibility of Saturn and the first visibility of the Moon (the latter is compared with the computations of Peter Huber used by C. B. F. Walker) is Planetary, Lunar, and Stellar Visibility 3, available at the following site:

http://www.alcyone.de/PVis/english/ProgramPVis.htm

As explained in the introduction to the program, exact dating of ancient visibility phenomena is not possible. While the margin of uncertainty in the calculations of the first visibility of the moon is no more than one day, it can be several days for some planets due to uncertainties in the arcus visionis, variations in the planetary magnitude, atmospheric effects, weather and other observational circumstances.

For a detailed discussion of the uncertainties involved, see Teije de Jong, “Early Babylonian Observations of Saturn: Astronomical Considerations,” in J. M. Steele and Annette Imhausen (eds.), Under One Sky. Astronomy and Mathematics in the Ancient Near East (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2002), pp.175- 192.

These factors “may introduce an uncertainty of up to five days in the predicted dates.” (Teije de Jong, op. cit., p. 177) A deviation of up to five days between modern calculations and the ancient observations of the visibility of planets in the period we are dealing with lies within the margin of uncertainty. It does not prove that our chronology for Kandalanu is wrong. Nor does it indicate that the ancient cuneiform records on the Saturn tablet are based on backward calculations instead of observations, as claimed by Rolf Furuli and yourself.

A greater difference, however, of 6 days or more, would show that something is wrong.

YEAR 1 = 647 BCE IN THE TRADITIONAL CHRONOLOGY:

Lines 1 and 2:

For 647 BCE – the date established for the 1st regnal year of Kandalanu – the program shows that the last visibility of Saturn took place in the evening of June 14 and the first visibility in the morning of July 18. The Babylonian date in line 1 for the last visibility is damaged and illegible. The date in line 2 for the first visibility of Saturn, however, is stated to be month 4, day 24 in the Babylonian lunar calendar which, therefore, should correspond to July 18 in the Julian calendar. Does this Julian date synchronize with the lunar calendar date as stated on the tablet? As the Babylonian lunar months began in the evening of the first lunar visibility, we should expect to find that the 24th day before July 18 fell on or close to a day of first lunar visibility. The 24th day before July 18 brings us back to the morning of June 25, 647 BCE as day 1 of the 4th Babylonian month. As the Babylonian day began in the evening of the previous day, the evening of June 24 should be the time of the first visibility of the moon after conjunction. And our program shows that this day was indeed the day of first lunar visibility: both the Julian date for Saturn’s first visibility and the stated Babylonian lunar calendar date are in harmony.

YEAR 1 IN FURULI’S CHRONOLOGY = 646 BCE:

In his revised chronology, Furuli not only claims that Kandalanu was just another name for Nabopolassar. He also moves the 1st year from 647 to 646 BCE. How does this redating of the 1st regnal year tally with the ancient record and modern computations? Could it be that C. B. F. Walker is wrong in stating that the dated Saturn phenomena recorded on the tablet recur on the same date in the Babylonian lunar calendar only after more than 17 centuries? Line 2: In 646 BCE the first visibility of Saturn occurred in the morning of July 31. If this was the 24th day of the Babylonian month 4 as the text says, the 1st day of that month would be the 24th day before July 31. This brings us to the 8th of July, and the previous evening of July 7 would be a day of first lunar visibility – if Furuli’s alternative date for regnal year 1 is correct. But it does not fit. According to the program, the day of first lunar visibility before July 31 in 646 was July 13, not July 7. This is a deviation of 6 days, which is too much. The very first entry on the tablet contradicts Furuli’s revised chronology.

The text of lines 3 and 4:

3´ [Ye]ar 2, month 4, day 10+[x, …, last appearance.] 4´ [Year 2, mon]th 5, broken, in the head of the Lion, first appearance; not [observed?.]

Comments: YEAR 2 = 646 BCE:

Line 3: As is seen, both dates are damaged. But if the 2nd regnal year was 646, as is conventionally held, the last visibility of Saturn that year occurred in the evening of June 28. According to the program, the previous first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of June 13, which thus corresponded to the 1st day of the Babylonian month 4. The last Saturn visibility on June 28, then, would be month 4, day 16 (= the damaged “day 10+”) in the Babylonian calendar. Line 4: As stated above, the first visibility of Saturn in 646 occurred in the morning July 31 and the previous first lunar visibility fell in the evening of July 13. If July 13 was the 1st day of month 5 in the lunar calendar, July 31 should have been day 18 (the “broken” day number) in the lunar calendar. We cannot know for sure if these restorations of the damaged day numbers are quite correct, but there is nothing in the text that contradicts them. Saturn is stated to have been “in the head of the Lion [SAG UR-A]”, which “in the Diaries from -380 onward … designates ε Leonis.” (Walker, op. cit., p. 72) My astro-program shows that Saturn at this time was almost on the same ecliptic longitude (104.5o) as ε Leonis (104.0o), but its latitude was about 9o below (south of) the star. If the restoration of the last part of the line is correct (“not [observed?]”), the position was not observed but had to be calculated by the Babylonian scholar. This would explain the inexact latitudinal position.

FURULI: YEAR 2 = 645 BCE:

Line 3: “Year 2” in Furuli’s revised chronology is 645 BCE. The last visibility of Saturn in 645 fell according to our program in the evening of July 10 and the previous first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of July 1. As July 1 was day 1 in the lunar calendar, July 10 would have been lunar day 10. The damaged day number of the text (“10+”), however, shows that more than 10 days had passed from day 1 until the last visibility of Saturn. If the restored day number was “16” as argued above, this would be a deviation of 6 days from the true date. Line 4: The first visibility of Saturn in 645 took place in the morning of August 12. If that was day 18 of month 5 in the lunar calendar (as argued above), the previous first lunar visibility in the evening of lunar day 1 would have occurred in the evening of July 25. But the program shows that the first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of July 31. If the restored day number, 18, is correct, this is a deviation of 7 days. Besides, the position of Saturn does not tally with the text, either. While the difference in latitude between Saturn and ε Leonis was the same as in the previous year (about 9o), the ecliptic longitude of Saturn in the morning of August 12 was 117.5o, which was 12.5o behind (east of) the star (104.0o). This alone shows that Furuli’s alternative date for “year 2” is impossible. The text of lines 5 and 6: 5´ [Ye]ar 3, month 4, day 7, [last appearance.] 6´ [Year 3] month 5, day 16, in the Lion behind the King (= α Leonis), [first appearance]; ´high´.
Furuli’s Second Book 499

Comments:

YEAR 3 = 645 BCE:

Line 5: As is seen, the Babylonian months and days for both last and first appearances are preserved. The date established for year 3 of Kandalanu is 645 BCE. As stated above, the last visibility of Saturn in that year occurred according to our program in the evening of July 10 and the first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of July 1. As July 1 was day 1 in the lunar calendar, “day 7” in the text would be July 7. However, the program dates the last visibility of Saturn to July 10, so there is a deviation of 3 days, which is not good but acceptable for the reasons explained earlier. The Babylonian astronomer(s) observed Saturn for the last time on day 7, although its actual disappearance did not occur until 3 days later. Line 6: According to the program, the first visibility of Saturn in 645 occurred in the morning of August 12, while the previous first lunar visibility took place on July 31 after sunset. If day 1 in the lunar calendar began in the evening of July 31, the recorded observation of Saturn on “day 16” must have occurred in the morning of August 16. The program, however, dates the first visibility of Saturn 4 days earlier, in the morning of August 12. This deviation is great but may be explained. In fact, the reason seems to be given by the Babylonian observer himself by his adding of the sign for the word NIM, “high,” at the end of the line. The word indicates that the planet Saturn at the day of observation was already so high above the horizon that the actual reappearance had occurred some days before “day 16” but had not been observed at that time, perhaps due to the weather. C. B. F. Walker explains: “NIM, high: this term indicates that when first observed the planet was higher above the horizon than normal for first visibility, leading to the conclusion that theoretical first visibility had taken place a day or two earlier, but had not been observed. See Huber (1982), 12-13.” – Walker, op. cit. (1999), p. 74. Teije de Jong points out that of the 28 records on the tablet “7 records are unreadable or incomplete because of textual damage, while 6 records are unreliable according to the professional annotations of the [Babylonian] observer (‘not observed’, ‘computed’ or ‘high’, i.e. visibility occurred a few days late, presumably because of cloudy skies on the expected day of first visibility).” – T. de Jong, op. cit., p. 178. Emphasis added. If the actual but unobserved first reappearance of Saturn had occurred “a few days” earlier than day 16 in the lunar calendar, the difference of 4 days would be reduced by a couple of days or more. The position of Saturn in the morning of observation (August 16, 645) is stated to be “in the Lion behind the King (= α Leonis)”, which is correct: The planet was 5o behind (east of) α Leonis.

FURULI: YEAR 3 = 644 BCE:

Line 5:

“Year 3” in Furuli’s revised chronology is 644 BCE. The last visibility of Saturn in 644 took place in the evening of July 24, while, according to our program, the first lunar visibility prior to that date occurred in the evening of July 20. If lunar day 1 began in the evening of July 20, the last visibility of Saturn on day 7 in the lunar calendar should have occurred in the evening of July 26, 2 days later than shown by the program. This deviation would have been acceptable had it not been for the date of the first visibility of Saturn in the same year. Line 6: The first visibility of Saturn in 644 occurred in the morning of August 25, while the first lunar visibility before that date occurred in the evening of August 19. If the latter date was lunar day 1, the first visibility of Saturn in the morning of lunar “day 16” would have occurred on September 4. This is 10 days later than shown by the program. As the word “high” at the end of the line indicates that the actual reappearance of Saturn occurred 2 or 3 days prior to lunar day 16, as argued above, this would still create a difference of 7 or 8 days.

This once again shows that 644 BCE is an impossible alternative for Kandalanu’s “Year 3”. It is true that Saturn at this time was “in the Lion behind the King (= α Leonis)”, but at a very long distance from the star: nearly 18o east of α Leonis and just in front of σ Leonis. The text of lines 7 and 8: 7´ [Year] ´4´, at the end of month 4, last appearance; (because of) cloud not observed. 8´ [Year 4, month 6?], day [x], in the middle of the Lion, first appearance; high.

Comments: YEAR 4 = 644 BCE:

Line 7:
Year 4 corresponds to year 644 in the traditional chronology. As stated above, the last visibility of Saturn this year occurred in the evening of July 24, and the first lunar visibility prior to that date occurred in the evening of July 20. Although the latter date was lunar day 1, it was not lunar day 1 of month 4 but of month 5. So we have to move back to the previous first lunar visibility in the evening of June 21. The “end” of this month 29 or 30 days later would take us to July 19 or 20. One of these two dates corresponds to “the end of month 4” according to the text. This would be 4 or 5 days before the actual disappearance of Saturn in the evening of July 24. The reason for this difference is explained in the same line to be bad weather: “(because of) cloud not observed.” As the event could not be observed, it had to be calculated. Line 8: The first visibility of Saturn in 644 occurred on August 25. Unfortunately, the text on the tablet is so damaged at this place that neither month nor day numbers are readable. The only information in line 8 that can be checked by modern computations, therefore, is the position of Saturn, “in the middle of the Lion” (ina MURUB4 UR-A). Its position in the morning of August 25 was c. 1.3o in front of (west of) σ Leo. Although today that is at the rear of the constellation of Leo, the Babylonians also included β Virginis as a part of Leo, calling it GÌR ár šá A, “The rear foot of the Lion.” (A. Sachs/H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia [= ADT], Vol. I, 1988, p. 18)

Saturn, then, was well within Leo, although not quite in the middle. But as C. B. F. Walker comments, “in all probability ina MURUB4 UR-A simply means within the constellation Leo.” (Walker, op. cit., 1999, p. 72)

FURULI: YEAR 4 = 643 BCE:

Line 7: “Year 4” in Furuli’s revised chronology is 643 BCE. According to the program the last visibility of Saturn in 643 took place in the evening of August 5 and the previous first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of July 10. If July 10 was the 1st day of month 4 in the lunar calendar, the end of that month 29 or 30 days later would fall in the evening of August 7 or 8. That would be 2 or 3 days after the last visibility of Saturn. As the event could not be observed but had to be calculated by the Babylonian astronomers, this would have been acceptable had it not been for the recorded position of Saturn in the next line. Line 8: The first visibility of Saturn in 643 occurred in the morning of September 6. As stated above, the damaged and unreadable date on the tablet is useless. What about the position of Saturn “in the middle of the Lion” which, as we saw, fitted year 644? Does it also fit year 643? No, it does not. On September 6 in 643 Saturn had moved away from Leo into Virgo, 3.3o behind (east of) β Virginis. Again, Furuli’s revised chronology disagrees with the tablet. The text of lines 9 and 10: 9´ [Year 5], month 5, day 23, last appearance. 10´ [Year 5], at the end of month 6, first appearance; intercalary Ululu.
Furuli’s Second Book 501

Comments: YEAR 5 = 643 BCE:

Line 9:

Year 5 corresponds to year 643 in the conventional chronology. As stated above, the last visibility of Saturn this year occurred in the evening of August 5 and the previous first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of July 10. Thus, if lunar day 1 began in the evening of July 10, “day 23” in the text would have begun in the evening of August 1. This is 4 days earlier for the last visibility of Saturn than shown by the program, indicating that the actual last appearance of Saturn occurred a few days later than it could be observed for the last time by the Babylonian astronomers (perhaps due to bad weather). Line 10: As stated above, the first visibility of Saturn in 643 took place in the morning of September 6, which would correspond to “the end of month 6” as stated on the tablet. The beginning of the 6th month 29 or 30 days earlier, then, would have been in the evening of August 7 or 8. And the program confirms that the first lunar visibility occurred in the evening of August 8 – an excellent fit!

FURULI: YEAR 5 = 642 BCE:

Line 9: Year 5 in Furuli’s revised chronology is 642 BCE. The last visibility of Saturn in 642 took place in the evening of August 18 according to the program (August 17 according to the table of C. B. F. Walker, op. cit., p. 66). The previous first lunar visibility took place in the evening of July 28. If the latter was day 1 in lunar month 5, “day 23” would have been August 19. The difference is 1 (or 2) days, which is quite acceptable. But if this shall have any real value as evidence, the first visibility, too, must fit. Line 10: The first visibility of Saturn in 642 occurred in the morning of September 19 (day 18 in Walker’s table). The previous first lunar visibility occurred, according to the program, on the evening of August 27. As that was lunar day 1, the “end of month 6” 29 or 30 days later would have been September 24 or 25. The first visibility of Saturn would have been in the next morning on September 25 or 26, that is, 6 or 7 (7 or 8) days after the actual event on September 19 (or 18) as shown by the program. As this is beyond the marginal of uncertainty, it is unacceptable. Furuli’s revised chronology is once again disproved. The text of lines 11 and 12: 11´ Year 6, month 5, day 20, last appearance. 12´ [Year 6], month 6, day 22, behind ´the rear foot of’ the Lion (= β Virginis), behind AN.GÚ.ME.MAR, first appearance.

Comments: YEAR 6 = 642 BCE:

Line 11: The 6th year of Kandalanu is dated to 642 BCE. The last visibility of Saturn that year occurred in the evening of August 18 (August 17 in Walker’s table). The previous first lunar visibility took place in the evening of July 28. If this was lunar day 1, “day 20” of month 5 would have begun in the evening of August 16. This is only 2 days before the date of the program (August 18) and 1 day before the date in Walker’s table (August 17). Line 12: As stated above, the first visibility of Saturn in 642 occurred in the morning of September 19 (day 18 in Walker’s table), and the first lunar visibility prior to this date took place in the evening of August 27. If lunar day 1 began in the evening of August 27, “day 22” of month 6 began in the evening of September 17, with the first visibility of Saturn occurring in the next morning of September 18. The deviation from the date of the program and from Walker’s table is 1 and 0 days, respectively. The text says that Saturn at this time was “behind ´the rear foot of’ the Lion (= β Virginis)”. It is true that the Saturn was behind (east of) it, but it was far behind the star, c. 15.6o, and it was even 2.2o behind γ Virginis. It seems that the scribe mixed up the two stars.
The reason may be the fact that Saturn was also very close to and in line with Mercury and Jupiter, so the observer may have had difficulties in identifying the faint star in the immediate vicinity of the three planets. (See also Walker’s comments, op. cit., p. 73.)

FURULI: YEAR 6 = 641 BCE:

Line 11:

Year 6 in Furuli’s revised chronology is 641 BCE. The last visibility of Saturn in 641 took place in the evening of August 29, and the previous first lunar visibility on August 15 according to the program. If this was day 1 of lunar month 5, “day 20” of that month would have begun in the evening of September 3, a difference of 5 days from that given by the program for the last visibility of Saturn.
Line 12: The first visibility of Saturn in 641 took place in the morning of September 30 (Walker, September 29). The previous first lunar visibility took place in the evening of September 14 according to the program. If lunar day 1 began in the evening that day, “day 22” must have begun in the evening of October 5, with the first visibility of Saturn taking place in the next morning on October 6. That is 5 (or 6) days later than shown by the program (and Walker’s table). Still worse, Saturn was neither “behind ´the rear foot of’ the Lion (= β Virginis)” as stated in the text, nor in the vicinity of γ Virginis. It was on almost exactly the same ecliptic longitude as α Virginis (167.2o) and only 4o above (north of) it, but more than 14o behind γ Virginis and over 28o behind β Virginis! This clearly disagrees with the position recorded on the tablet and refutes the year 641 as being year 6 of Kandalanu. The text of lines 13 and 14:
13´ Year 7, month 6, day 10+(x), last appearance.
14´ [Year 7], month 7, day 15, ´in front of´ the Furrow (α+ Virginis), first appearance.

Comments: YEAR 7 = 641 BCE:

Line 13:

The 7th year of Kandalanu is dated to 641 BCE. As stated above, the last visibility of Saturn that year took place in the evening of August 29, with the first lunar visibility prior to that date taking place in the evening of August 15. The day number is damaged, but is evidently higher than 10. If August 15 was day 1 in the lunar calendar, the evening of August 29 would correspond to the beginning of Babylonian day 15 of month 6. We cannot know for sure, of course, that this is the correct restoration of the damaged day number, but there is nothing that speaks against it.
Line 14: As stated above, the first visibility of Saturn in 641 took place in the morning of September 30 (Walker, September 29). The previous first lunar visibility took place in the evening of September 14. With that as the beginning of lunar day 1, “day 15” (of month 7) must have begun in the evening of September 28, with the first visibility of Saturn taking place in the next morning on September 29. The difference from the date given by the program (and Walker’s table) is 1 (or 0) days. The position of Saturn at its first visibility on September 29 was according to the tablet “´in front of´ the Furrow (α+ Virginis)”. As explained above, the astro -program shows that Saturn at this time was almost exactly on the same ecliptic longitude as α Virginis (167.2o) and only 4o above (north of) it. Thus it was not ´in front of´ it, as the text seems to say. However, the text is somewhat damaged at this point and to show this Walker has put the words “in front of” (ina IGI) within half brackets (something like ⌐ in front of ¬). Perhaps the damaged sign could also be restored as “above” (⌐ above ¬)? If this is possible, the problem would be solved.
Furuli’s Second Book 503
Another possibility is that Venus and Saturn were confused. Venus, in fact, was 8o “in front of” (= west of) α Virginis at this time.

FURULI: YEAR 7 = 640 BCE:

Line 13:
Year 7 in Furuli’s revised chronology is 640 BCE. The last visibility of Saturn in 640 occurred in the evening of September 10, and the previous first lunar visibility in the evening of September 3 according to the program. This would make the distance from the 1st of the lunar month 6 (September 3) to the last visibility of Saturn (September 10) only 7 days.
This conflicts with the tablet, which shows that more than 10 days (“10+[x]”) separated the two events.

Line 14:

The program shows that in 640 BCE the first visibility of Saturn occurred in the morning of October 12 (Walker, October 10). The previous first lunar visibility took place in the evening of October 3. If that was the beginning of day 1 in the lunar calendar, “day 15” of month 7 would have begun in the evening of October 17, with the first visibility of Saturn occurring in the next morning on October 18. But this was 6 days after the date given by the program (October 12) and 8 days after Walker’s date (October 10). This deviation excludes year 640 as the 7th year of Kandalanu.

The position of Saturn is given on the tablet as “´in front of´ the Furrow (α+ Virginis)”, which also seems to conflict with Furuli’s alternative chronology. Its position on October 12 and 10 (and still on October 18) in 640 was about 12o behind α Virginis, not in front of, above, or below the star. But as the signs are somewhat damaged here, this position is not decisive.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

Above the entries for the first seven years of Kandalanu have been examined. This is half of the entries on the tablet which covers 14 years in all. It is not necessary to tire out the reader with a detailed discussion of the remaining entries. Simply, Furuli attempt to discredit the above information and change it to fit the Watchtower timeline is simply impossible and a lie.
Last edited by hperez on Sat May 10, 2014 11:30 am, edited 9 times in total.
hperez
 
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 10, 2014 6:35 am

Mr. Rotherham

Maybe, you can address the interlocking points between each King and show us how they are also incorrect?


You see the amount of data the Seleuic period was astronomical to just be a mistake. the theory that Seleucid scholars worked out an erroneous hypothetical chronology for earlier times that they systematically embodied into the astronomical tablets they were copying cannot be supported by the available facts. It is not based on historical reality and is a desperate attempt to save cherished but false dates

The scope of the original astronomical archive

It should be kept in mind that the archive of ca. 1300 nonmathematical and principally observational astronomical cuneiform tablets is only a fraction of the scope of the original archive available to the Seleucid scholars. In a lecture held at a conference in 1994, Professor Hunger explained: “To give you an idea of how much was originally contained in that archive, and how much is still preserved, I made a few rough estimates. From well preserved Diaries, I found that in each month about 15 lunar and 5 planetary positions, both in relation to Normal Stars, are reported. Also, every month the so-called lunar Six are recorded. Each year will in addition contain 3 Sirius phases, 2 solstices and 2 equinoxes, at least 4 eclipse possibilities or eclipses, and about 25 planetary phases. Together, this results in about 350 astronomical observations per year. In 600 years, 210,000 observations are accumulated. Now I do not know whether the archive was ever complete to this extent.

Sometimes copies of older Diaries indicate that things were missing in the original. But on the whole, this is the order of magnitude. By counting the number of reasonably (i.e., not completely, but more than half) preserved months, I arrived at ca. 400 months preserved in dated Diaries (undated fragments do not help for the purposes of this lecture). If we compare this to a duration of 600 years for the archive, we see that we have preserved ca. 5% of the months in Diaries.” (H. Hunger, “Non-Mathematical Astronomical Texts and Their Relationships,” in N. M. Swerdlow (ed.), AnciAstronomy and Celestial Divination, London: The MIT Press, 1999, p. 82; emphasis added) If only five percent of the original Babylonian astronomical archive is preserved today, the scale of the chronological revisions you thinks Seleucid copyists engaged in becomes apparent. To bring their whole archive into harmony with their supposed theoretical chronology, they would have had to redate thousands of tablets and tens of thousands of observations. Is it likely that they believed so strongly in a supposed theoretical chronology that they bothered to redate four centuries’ worth of archives containing thousands of tablets? The idea is absurd.

Are all extant tablets late copies from the Seleucid era?

It is certainly true that some of the earliest diaries, including VAT 4956, are later copies. They frequently reflect the struggle of the copyist to understand the ancient documents they were copying, some of which were broken or otherwise damaged. Twice in the text of VAT 4956, for example, the copyist added the comment “broken off,” indicating he was unable to decipher some word in the original. Often the documents used archaic terminology that the copyists tried to modernize. What about diaries from later times?

As an example, there are about 25 diaries from the reign of Artaxerxes II (404-358 BCE), 11 of which not only preserve the dates (year, month, day) but also the name of the king. (Sachs/Hunger, ADT, Vol. I, pp. 66-141) Some of them are extensive and contain numerous observations (e.g., nos. –372 and – 366). None of these tablets show any of the above-mentioned signs of being later copies. Is it likely, then, that they, or at least some of them, are originals?

This question was sent to Professor Hunger a few years ago. He answered: “In my opinion, the diaries from the time of Artaxerxes II can all be from his reign. You know that the larger diaries are all copies in the sense that they are collections of smaller tablets which covered shorter periods. But that does not mean that they were copied much later. To me it would make most sense if after every half a year the notes were copied into one nice exemplar. I had a quick look through the edition and did not find any remarks like ‘broken’ which are an indication that the scribe copied an older original. So I would answer your question ‘is it likely’ by ‘Yes’.” (Hunger to Jonsson, January 26, 2001)

These tablets, therefore, do not reflect any “theoretical chronology” supposedly invented by the later Seleucid scholars. The tablets might very well be original documents. We cannot take it for granted that they are late copies from the Seleucid era. And the same holds true, not only for the diaries from the reign of Artaxerxes II but for most of the observational tablets dating from before the Seleucid era.

Even if some of the diaries and other tablets dated to the earliest centuries are later copies, it is not known how late these copies are, or whether they were copied in the Seleucid period or earlier. One interesting example is the lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1420 (No. 6 in Hunger’s ADT, Vol. V). This tablet contains annual records of lunar eclipses dated to the first 29 years of Nebuchadnezzar. (See GTR4, Ch. 4, C-3) Steele says of it that “this text was probably compiled not long after its final entry in –575 [= 576 BCE].” (Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Vol. 54, 2000, p. 432) But even if the compilation was made in the mid-6th century BCE, the question still is whether the tablet is a copy or not. If it is a copy, how late is it? Steele explains:

“In answer to your question, there is nothing conclusive in the text that points to a date of composition as the mid-sixth century. However, some of the terminology points to an early date, for example, the inclusion of US ‘(time-)degrees’ after the timings is rare in late texts (the unit is usually just implied by the context), and the facts that the predicted eclipses have no times and the general lack of many details of the observed eclipses are also suggestive of an early date. There is no evidence for the modernizing of terminology, but because the observations are quite brief there are not many occasions where modernizing could have taken place (it is easier to spot in things like star names and the ways in which the moon and planets are said to be near certain stars, neither of which appear in this text). For these and other reasons, the text feels to me like it is contemporary with the material it contains.

Now that all refers to the date on which the text was composed, not the date of the tablet. We have no idea whether this is an original text or one copied in the Seleucid period. (The appearance of a ‘variant’ time in Furuli’s First Book 429 Obv. I, 4’, which I failed to mention in my book, does not necessarily imply the text has been copied–it could just be that the scribe who compiled the text had reports of this eclipse from 2 different observers.) If it is a copy, then I think it is a straight copy, with no attempt to change or modify the text.

Because almost none of the diaries and other observational texts have colophons, we can never be sure whether texts are copies or originals.”

In conclusion, the theory that Seleucid scholars worked out an erroneous hypothetical chronology for earlier times that they systematically embodied into the astronomical tablets they were copying cannot be supported by the available facts. It is not based on historical reality and is a desperate attempt to save cherished but false dates.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 10, 2014 7:24 am

The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1420

Instead of recording eclipses at 18-year intervals, LBAT 1420 contains annual eclipse reports. All eclipses in the text are from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, dating from his first year (604/03 B.C.E.) to at least his twenty-ninth year (576/75 B.C.E.).

The first entry, which records two eclipses that “passed by” (that is, though correctly predicted would not be observable), is damaged and the year number is illegible. But the last part of Nebuchadnezzar’s name is preserved:
[(Year) 1 Nebuchadn]ezzar, (month) Simanu.

The name of the king is not repeated in the subsequent entries, indicating that the king is the same during the whole period. This is also confirmed by the continuous series of increasing year numbers right until the last year preserved in the text, “(Year) 29”.

The entries recording eclipses in the period 603–595 B.C.E. are very damaged, too, and the year numbers for this period are missing. The first entry in which the year number is preserved records two eclipses from the eleventh year:
(Year) 11, (month) Ayyaru [. . . . . .] 10(?) USH after sunset and it was total. 10 [+x . . .] (Month) Arahsamnu, which passed by. Addaru2.

The eleventh year of Nebuchadnezzar began on Nisan 1, 594 B.C.E. “Addaru2” is added to indicate that there was an intercalary month at the end of the year.

There is no problem in finding both of these eclipses. Ayyaru, the second month, began in April or May, and Arahsamnu, the eighth month, began in October or November. The first eclipse occurred on May 23, and the second one on November 17. The eclipse canon of Liu and Fiala confirms that the first eclipse was total and was observable in Babylonia, as stated in the text. It began at 20:11 and ended at 23:48. The second eclipse “passed by” (was unobservable) as it occurred in the daytime. According to the canon of Liu and Fiala it began at 7.08 and ended at 9:50

Most of the year numbers from the twelfth to the seventeenth year (593/92–588/87 B.C.E.) are legible.

Thirteen lunar eclipses are described and dated in this period, eight of which “passed by” and five were observed. Modern calculations confirm that all these eclipses occurred in the period 593–588 B.C.E.
After the seventeenth year there is a gap in the record until the twenty-fourth year. The entry for that year records two eclipses, but the text is damaged and most of it is illegible. From then on, however, year numbers and also most of the text are well preserved.

These entries contain annual records of a total of nine eclipses (five observable and four that “passed by”) dating from the twenty- fifth to the twenty-ninth year (580/79–576/75 B.C.E.). There are no difficulties in identifying any of these eclipses. They all occurred in the period 580–575 B.C.E. It would be tiresome and useless to expose the reader to a detailed examination of all these reports. The entry for year “25” may suffice as an example:
(Year) 25, (month) Abu, 1 1/2 beru after sunset. (Month) Shabatu, it occurred in the evening watch.

Abu, the fifth Babylonian month, began in July or August. The Babylonians divided our 24-hour day into twelve parts called beru. One beru, therefore, was two hours. The first eclipse is said to have occurred 1 1/2 beru, that is, three hours, after sunset.

As Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-fifth year is dated to 580/79 B.C.E., this eclipse should be found in July or August that year, about three hours after sunset. The eclipse is not difficult to identify. According to the canon of Liu and Fiala it was a total eclipse which began on August 14, 580 B.C.E. at 21:58 and ended at 1:31 on August 15

The next eclipse occurred six months later in Shabatu, the eleventh month, which began in January or February. It is said to have occurred “in the evening watch” (the first of the three watches of the night).
This eclipse, too, is easy to find. It took place on February 8, 579 B.C.E. and lasted from 18:08 to 20:22. according to the canon of Liu and Fiala.

In the chronology of the Watch Tower Society the twenty-fifth year of Nebuchadnezzar is dated twenty years earlier, in 600/599 B.C.E. But no lunar eclipses observable in Babylonia occurred in 600 BCE. And although there was an eclipse in the night of February 19–20, 599 B.C.E., it did not occur “in the evening watch” as the one reported in our text.

Details on some two dozens of lunar eclipses, dated to specific years and months in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, are preserved on LBAT 1420. Not one of them is found to agree with the Watch Tower Society’s chronology for the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.

Together these lunar eclipses form an irregular but very distinct pattern of events scattered over the first twenty-nine years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Only on the assumption that his reign began in 604 B.C.E. do we find a far-reaching correspondence between this pattern and the celestial events that gave rise to it. But if Nebuchadnezzar’s reign is moved back one, two, five, ten, or twenty years, this correlation between the records and reality immediately dissolves. LBAT 1420 alone, therefore, suffices to disprove completely the idea that the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar should be dated to 607 B.C.E.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 10, 2014 7:28 am

The lunar eclipse tablet LBAT 1421

The preserved part of LBAT 1421 records two eclipses observed in Babylonia in the sixth and twelfth month of year “42”, evidently of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar:

(Year) 42, (month) Ululu, (day) 14. It rose eclipsed [. . .] and became bright. 6 (USH) to become bright. At 35° [before sunset] . (Month) Addaru, (day) 15, 1,30° after sunset [. . .]. 25° duration of maximal phase. In 18° it [became bright.] West(wind) went. 2 cubits below γ Virginis eclipsed [. . . . . .]

Provided that these eclipses occurred in the forty-second year of Nebuchadnezzar—and there was no other Babylonian king ruling that long in the sixth, seventh, or eighth centuries B.C.E.—they should be looked for in 563/62 B .C.E.
And there is no difficulty in identifying them: The first, dated in the sixth month, occurred on September 5, 563 B.C.E., and the second one, dated in the twelfth month, occurred on March 2–3, 562 B.C.E. The first eclipse “rose eclipsed”, meaning that it began some time before sunset, so that when the moon rose (at about 18:30 at that time of the year), it was already eclipsed. This agrees with modern calculations, which show that the eclipse began about 17:00 and lasted until about 19:00

The first text (LBAT 1417) records lunar eclipses from the accession year and eighteenth year of Shamash-shum-ukin and the sixteenth year of Kandalanu, turning these years into absolute dates that effectively block any attempt to add even one year to the Neo- Babylonian period, far less twenty.

The other three texts (LBAT 1419, 1420, and 1421) records dozens of lunar eclipses dated to various years within the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, thus time and again turning his reign into an absolute chronology. It is like fastening a painting to a wall with dozens of nails all over it, although but one would suffice. Similarly, it would have sufficed to establish only one of Nebuchadnezzar’s regnal years as an absolute date to overthrow the idea that his eighteenth year began in 607 B.C.E.
Before concluding this section on the lunar eclipse texts, it seems necessary to forestall an anticipated objection to the evidence provided by these texts. As the Babylonian astronomers as early as in the seventh century B.C.E. were able to compute in advance certain astronomical events such as eclipses, could it be that they also, in the later Seleucid era, were able to retrocalculate lunar eclipses and attach them to the chronology established for the earlier centuries? Could the lunar eclipse texts simply be the results of such a procedure?

It is certainly true that the various cycles used by the Babylonians for predicting eclipses just as well could be used for retrocalculating eclipses, and there is a particular small group of tablets showing that Seleucid astronomers did extrapolate such cycles backwards in time. However, the observational texts record a number of phenomena that were impossible for the Babylonians to predict or retrocalculate. Of the records in the diaries and planetary textsProfessor N. M. Swerdlow points out that, although the distances of planets from normal stars could be predicted, “Conjunctions of planets with the moon and other planets, with their distances, could neither be calculated by the ephemerides nor predicted by periodicities.” With respect to lunar eclipses, the Babylonians could predict and retrocalculate their occurrences, “but none of the Babylonian methods could have allowed them to calculate circumstances such as the direction of the eclipse shadow and the visibility of planets during the eclipse.”

Thus, although the Babylonians were able to calculate certain astronomical phenomena, the observational texts record a number of details connected with the observations that they were unable to predict or retrocalculate. This disproves conclusively the idea proposed by some that the data may have been calculated backwards from a later period.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Sat May 10, 2014 8:02 am

YOUR COMMENT: It should be noted that the URUK king's list does not agree completely with the figures given in the Adad-Guppi Stele in regard to Assyrian kings, which calls into question either the accuracy of the Adad-Guppi Stele or the accuracy of the URUK king list.
================================================================

First we are not dealing with the Assyrian kings, but in response to your comment.

the first two kings, Ashurbanipal and his son Ashur-etil-ili, were Assyrian kings, while the following kings were Neo-Babylonian kings.

This indicates that Adad-guppi’ first lived under Assyrian rule but then, in connection with Nabopolassar’s revolt and liberation of Babylonia from the Assyrian yoke, was brought under Babylonian rule.54 Nabonidus’ mother lived to be a centenarian, and further on in the text a complete summary of her long life is given:

He [the moon god Sin] added (to my life) many days (and) years of happiness and kept me alive from the time of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, to the 9th year of Nabonidus, king of Babylon, the son whom I bore, (i.e.) one hundred and four happy years (spent) in that piety which Sin, the king of all gods, has planted in my heart’.

This queen died in the ninth year of Nabonidus, and the mourning for the deceased mother is described in the last column of the inscription. Interestingly, the same information is also given in the Nabonidus Chronicle (B.M. 35382):

The ninth year: . . . On the fifth day of the month Nisan the queen mother died in Dur-karashu which (is on) the bank of the Euphrates upstream from Sippar.

All the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings are given in this royal inscription, from Nabopolassar and on to the ninth year of Nabonidus, and the lengths of reign are in complete accordance with the Royal Canon—a very significant fact, because the corroboration comes from a witness contemporary with all these Neo-Babylonian kings and intimately connected with all of them! More so than the individual testimony of any one source, it is the harmony of all these sources which is most telling.

What is significant is that they all agree with the Neo Babylonian kings.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Tue May 13, 2014 6:51 am

Chronological interlocking joints Just another mistake from a later period? That speculation is really in the absurd column.

There are only two possible ways of extending the Neo-Babylonian period to include the twenty extra years required by the Watch Tower chronology:

Either the known Neo-Babylonian kings had longer reigns than indicated by all the documents discussed above, or there were other, unknown kings who belonged to the Neo-Babylonian era in addition to those known to us from these documents.
Both of these possibilities, however, are completely excluded, not only by the several lines of evidence presented so far and the astronomical evidence that will be discussed in the next chapter, but also by a series of texts that inseparably interlock each reign with the next throughout the whole Neo-Babylonian period. Eleven such chronological interlocking joints wil1 be discussed below.


a) Nabopolassar to Nebuchadnezzar


(1) In the earlier discussion of the Neo-Babylonian chronicles, one of them (Chronicle 5) was quoted as saying that Nabopolassar, the first Neo-Babylonian king, ruled “for twenty-one years,” that he died “on the eighth day of the month Ab [the fifth month] ,” and that on the first day of the next month (Elul) his son Nebuchadnezzar “ascended the royal throne in Babylon.”

At this point, then, there is no room for a longer reign of Nabopolassar beyond the recognized span of twenty-one years, nor for an “extra king” between him and Nebuchadnezzar.

b) Nebuchadnezzar to Awel-Marduk

(2) That Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son Awel-Marduk (the Biblical Evil-Merodach) in the forty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign is confirmed by a business document, B.M. 30254, published by Ronald H. Sack in 1972.

This document mentions both the forty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar and the accession year of Awel-Marduk. A girl, Lit-ka-idi, the slave of Gugua, “was placed at the disposal of Nabû- ahhe-iddina, the son of Shulâ, the descendent of Egibi in the month of Ajaru [the second month], forty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and (for whom) twelve shekels of silver served as security.” Later in the same year, “in the month of Kislimu [the ninth month], accession year of [Amel]-Marduk, king of Babylon, . . . Guguaof her own will sold Lit-ka-idi to Nabû-ahhe-iddina for the full price of nineteen and one-half shekels of silver.”

This document gives no room for a longer reign of Nebuchadnezzar, or for an “extra king” between him and Awel- Marduk.

(3) In the Neo-Babylonian period the yield of a field or garden was often estimated before harvest time. After the harvest the workers of the field were to turn over the estimated amount to the owners or buyers. Quite a number of documents recording such procedures have been found.

One of them, designated AO 8561, not only includes estimated yields of numerous fields for three successive years, the forty- second and forty-third years of Nebuchadnezzar and the first year of Awel-Marduk, but “is also a record of what portions of that yield were received by and distributed to various persons . . . in the month of Kislimu [the ninth month], accession year of Neriglissar.”

This document, then, provides another joint or dovetail between the forty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar and the reign of Awel- Marduk.

(4) Another, similar text, YBC 4038, dated to the “month of Addaru [the twelfth month], 15th day, accession year of Amel-Marduk,” describes the monthly portioning out of “500 bushels of barley” at the Eanna temple in Uruk from “the 43rd year of Nabû-kudurri- usur [Nebuchadnezzar]” to the “1st year of Amel-Marduk.” Again, this text ties together the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his successor Awel-Marduk in a way that gives no room for any additional years between the two.
The Bible itself confirms that Awel-Marduk’s accession year fell in the forty-third year of his father Nebuchadnezzar. This may be inferred from the datings given in 2 Kings 24:12; 2 Chronicles 36:10, and Jeremiah 52:28, 31. A brief discussion of this evidence is included in the “Appendix for Chapter 3” (page 325).

Nebuchadnezzar to Awel-Marduk to Neriglissar

(5) In the Neo-Babylonian period, bookkeeping was already an ancient, highly complex and formalized business.85 An interesting example of this is a tablet known as NBC 4897. The document is, actually, a ledger, tabulating the annual growth of a herd of sheep and goats belonging to the Eanna temple at Uruk for ten consecutive years, from the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar to the first year of Neriglissar.

In the entries for each year the number of lambs and kids born during the year is added, and the number of animals killed (documented by their hides) or paid to the herdsmen as wages, are subtracted. The grand totals are then given in the column farthest to the right. Thus it is possible to follow the numerical increase of the herd year by year. The text shows that the herdsman responsible for the herd, Nabû-ahhe-shullim, during the ten years succeeded in enlarging the herd from 137 sheep and goats to 922 animals.

True, the Babylonian scribe made a few miscalculations and mathematical mistakes which partially hampers the interpretation of the document.87 There is no doubt, however, that it is an annual record, as year numbers are given for each successive year. In the entry for the first year of Neriglissar, for example, the grand total column contains the following information:

Grand total: 922, 1st year of Nergal-sharra-usur, king of Babylon, 9 lambs in Uruk were received (and) 3 lambs for shearing. Similar information is given for each year from the thirty- seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar to his forty-third year, for the first and second years of Awel-Marduk, and, as cited, for the first year of Neriglissar.

This document, then, not only provides an additional confirmation of the lengths of reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Awel-Marduk, but it also demonstrates that no extra kings or extra years can be inserted between Nebuchadnezzar and Awel-Marduk, or between Awel-Marduk and Neriglissar.

Neriglissar to Labashi-Marduk

(6) A cuneiform tablet in the Yale Babylonian collection, YBC 4012, not only shows that Labashi-Marduk succeeded Neriglissar as king, but also that he did this early in the fourth year of his father’s short reign.

The document records that “in the month of Addaru [the twelfth month], 3rd year of Nergal-[sharra-usur], king of Babylon” (March–April, 556 B.C.E.), Mushezib-Marduk, the overseer of the Eanna temple in Uruk, carried a considerable amount of money to Babylon, partly as payment for work and material for the Eanna temple. This document was drawn up about two months later, evidently at Babylon before Mushezib-Marduk’s return to Uruk, and is dated to the “month of Ajaru [the second month of the next year], 22nd day, accession year of Labashi-Marduk, king of Babylon” (May 2, 556 B.C.E.)
.
According to this document, Labashi-Marduk succeeded to the throne sometime in the first or second month of Neriglissar’s fourth year of reign. This is in good agreement with the evidence given by the contract tablets, which show that the demise of the crown occurred in the first month of Neriglissar’s fourth year. (See “Appendix for Chapter 3”, pages 326, 327.)

Neriglissar to Labashi-Marduk to Nabonidus

(7) That Neriglissar was succeeded by his son Labashi-Marduk is plainly stated by Nabonidus in one of the royal inscriptions discussed earlier, Nabon. No. 8 (the Hillah stele). In column iv of this stele, Nabonidus relates that the cult of the goddess Anunitum in Sippar had been renewed by Neriglissar. Then he goes on saying:

After (his) days had become full and he had started out on the journey of (human) destiny his son Labashi-Marduk, a minor (who) had not (yet) learned how to behave, sat down on the royal throne against the intentions of the gods and [three lines missing here].

After the three missing lines Nabonidus, in the next column, goes on to speak of his own enthronement, evidently as the immediate successor of Labashi-Marduk. In doing so, he also names the last four of his royal predecessors: Nebuchadnezzar and Neriglissar (whom he regarded as legitimate rulers), and their sons Awel-Marduk and Labashi-Marduk (whom he regarded as illegiti- mate usurpers). He states:

They carried me into the palace and all prostrated themselves to my feet, they kissed my feet greeting me again and again as king. (Thus) I was elevated to rule the country by the order of my lord Marduk and (therefore) I shall obtain whatever I desire—there shall be no rival of mine!

I am the real executor of the wills of Nebuchadnezzar and Neriglissar, my royal predecessors! Their armies are entrusted to me, I shall not treat carelessly their orders and I am (anxious) to please them [i.e. to execute their plans].
Awel-Marduk, son of Nebuchadnezzar, and Labashi-Marduk, son of Neriglissar [called up] their [troo]ps and ... their ... they dispersed. Their orders (7–8 lines missing).

This inscription, then, interlinks the reigns of Neriglissar and Labashi-Marduk, and evidently also those of Labashi-Marduk and Nabonidus.

The possibility of inserting an “extra king” somewhere between these three kings is ruled out by this text.

(8) Some legal documents, too, contain information that spans the reigns of two or more kings. One example is Nabon. No. 13, which is dated to “the 12th day of (the month) Shabatu [the eleventh month], the accession year of Nabonidus, king of Babylon [February 2, 555 B.C.E.]. “ The inscription tells about a woman, Belilitu, who brought up the following case before the royal court:

Belilitu daughter of Bel-ushezib descendant of the messenger declared the following to the judges of Nabonidus, king of Babylon: ‘In the month of Abu, the first year of Nergal-shar-usur [Neriglissar], king of Babylon [August–September, 559 B.C.E.], I sold my slave Bazuzu to Nabu-ahhe-iddin son of Shula descendent of Egibi for one-half mina five shekels of silver, but he did not pay cash and drew up a promissory note.’ The royal judges listened (to her) and commanded that Nabu-ahhe-iddin be brought before them. Nabu-ahhe-iddin brought the contract that he had concluded with Belilitu and showed the judges (the document which indicated that) he had paid the silver for Bazuzu.

Reference is thus made to the reigns of Neriglissar and that of Nabonidus. The generally accepted chronology would indicate that about three and a half years had passed since Belilitu had sold her slave in the first year of Neriglissar until she, in the accession year of Nabonidus, made a fraudulent but futile attempt to receive double payment for the slave. But if twenty years were to be added somewhere between the reigns of Neriglissar and Nabonidus, then Belilitu waited for twenty-three and a half years before she brought her case before the court, something that appears extremely unlikely.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Tue May 13, 2014 9:08 am

I will get back to these tablets when some of the other points we are involved in wind down.

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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Tue May 13, 2014 2:01 pm

Let me ask you a question, Heber, and see if there is a bit of a shorter cut in the discussion of all these tablets which are the works of men, and not God.

If I can demonstrate to you that the Bible definitely calls for a longer period of desolation than about 50 years, more like 70, would you then agree that there must be something wrong with the traditional chronology?

If we could just talk about the 70 year obscurity of Tyre and the 40 year desolation of Egypt, both at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, that might prove to be a good starting point rather than dealing with all these tablets at once.

What do you say?

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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Tue May 13, 2014 6:32 pm

Sorry, Tyre is not in discussion and I already addressed that issue even the Watchtower has made comments as to using that as a reliable way to measure anything else. Let us focus on Jerusalem, I agree the Temple desolation was 70 years counting from 587 BCE -517 BCE. When according to Zachariah they finally rebuilt the Temple. You cannot show the 70 years of Babylon are the same and all of those tablets are proof of it. I accept what the Bible says clearly and not what an Organization claiming to be God's only channel says. Specially, with the history of false predictions.

The problem you have with all those tablets is that when you put them all together it is impossible to content its message, which clearly shows the Watchtower's timeline not the Bible is wrong. The Bible totally agrees with that timeline if we allow the Bible to speak and not the Watchtower. You simply cannot deal with the available data, but then you claim those Chronologist that had thousand upon thousand of tablets simply had the wrong data?

The Watchtower has no problem using those tablets to establish 539 BCE as the year Babylon was destroyed, why would we reject it when it does not fit the Watchtower? Again, none of those tablets disagree with the Bible.

Egypt we can tackle if you wish and we can see how all the available tablets of the Saite Egyptians kings perfectly correspond with the Neo-Babylonian Kings establishing the Neo-Babylonian Chronology from another separate Chronology. Unless, of course they were also changed by Chronologists of later periods. You have to remember we have to establish dates by secular dating, the Bible by itself will not give us dates. I am interested what 40 year period you are referring to?

MAYBE YOU WANT TO ANSWER HOW THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS WRONG?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
SYNCHRONIC LINKS TO THE CHRONOLOGY OF EGYPT An excellent proof of the correctness of a chronology is when it is in agreement with the chronologies of other contemporary nations, provided that these other chronologies are independently established and there are synchronisms, that is, dated connecting links that serve to join the two or more chronologies together at one or more points. The reason why it is important that they be independently established is to rule out any attempt to discredit their worth by claiming that the chronology of a certain period in one nation has been established simply by the aid of the chronology of the contemporary period in another nation. During the Neo-Babylonian period there are at least four such synchronisms between Egypt and the kingdoms of Judah and Babylon. Three of these are given in the Bible, in 2 Kings 23:29 (where Egyptian pharaoh Necho and Judean king Josiah appear), Jeremiah 46:2 (Necho, Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiakim all appearing), and Jeremiah 44:30 (pharaoh Hophra, kings Zedekiah and Nebuchadnezzar listed).

The fourth is given in a cuneiform text, B.M. 33041, which refers to a campaign against Amasis, king of Egypt, in Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-seventh regnal year.100 The meaning of these synchronisms will be unravelled further on. C-1: The chronology of the Saite period The kings reigning in Egypt during the Neo-Babylonian period belonged to the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty (664–525 B.C.E.). The period of this dynasty is also referred to as the Saite period, as the pharaohs of this dynasty took the city of Sais in the Delta as their capital. If the four synchronisms mentioned above are to be of any definitive help to our study, it first needs to be shown that the chronology of that twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt is fixed independently from the contemporary Neo-Babylonian chronology, and can thus stand on its own, as it were. This can be determined in a quite unusual way, of which Dr. F. K. Kienitz writes: The chronology of the kings of the 26th dynasty, from Psammetichus I onwards, is completely established through a series of death stelae and stelae of holy Apis bulls, which list the birth date in ‘Day x, Month y, Year z, of King A’ and the death date in ‘Day x, Month y, Year z, of King B’ , and also the length of life of the [bull or person] in question in years, months, and days?101 This means that, if a death stele says that a sacred Apis bull or a person was born in the tenth year of King A and died at the age of twenty-five in the twentieth year of King B, we know that King A ruled for fifteen years.

This is the kind of contemporary evidence to which Dr. Kienitz refers. A translation of Kienitz’ survey of this material is given here.

1. GRAVE STELE OF THE 3RD APIS OF THE 26TH DYNASTY

Date of Birth: Year 53 of Psammetichus I, Month 6, Day 19
Installation: Year 54 of Psammetichus I, Month 3, Day 12
Date of Death: Year 16 of Necho II, Month 2, Day 6
Date of Burial: Year 16 of Necho II, Month 4, Day 16
Length of Life: 16 years, 7 months, 17 days
Result: Length of reign of Psammetichus = 54 years.

2. GRAVE STELE OF THE 4TH APIS OF THE 26TH DYNASTY
Date of Birth: Year 16 of Necho II, Month 2, Day 7
Installation: Year 1 of Psammetichus II, Month 11, Day 9
Date of Death: Year 12 of Apries, Month 8, Day 12
Date of Burial: Year 1.2 of Apries, Month 10, Day 21
Length of Life: 17 years, 6 months, 5 days
Result: As the date of Psammetichus II’s death is elsewhere attested as Year 7, Month 1, Day 23,103 the length of Necho’s reign amounts to 15 years, that of Psammetichus II to 6 years.

3. TWO GRAVE STELAE OF A PRIEST NAMED PSAMMETICHUS
Date of Birth: Year 1 of Necho II, Month 11, Day 1
Date of Death: Year 27 of Amasis, Month 8, Day 28
Length of Life: 65 years, 10 months, 2 days
Result: The sum of the lengths of reign of Necho II, Psammetichus II, and Apries = 40 years. As Necho II reigned for 15 years, and Psammetichus II for 6 years, Apries’ reign amounts to 19 years.

4. GRAVE STELE OF ANOTHER PSAMMETICHUS

Date of Birth: Year 3 of Necho II, Month 10, Day 1 or 2
Date of Death: Year 35 of Amasis, Month 2, Day 6
Length of Life: 71 years, 4 months, 6 days
Result: The same as under 3. 5. GRAVE STELE OF ONE BESMAUT Year of Birth: Year 18 of Psammetichus I Year of Death: Year 23 of Amasis Length of Life: 99 years Result: The total of 94 years for the lengths of reign from Psammetichus I to Apries inclusive is once more confirmed.

Consequently, these contemporary death stelae conclusively establish the lengths of reign of the first four kings of the twenty- sixth dynasty of Egypt as follows:

Psammetichus I 54years
Necho II 15 years
Psammetichus II 6 years
Apries (= Hophra) 19 years

For the last two kings of the twenty-sixth dynasty, Amasis and Psammetichus III, material of this kind unfortunately is lacking. However, both Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484–425 BCE.) and the Graeco-Egyptian priest and historian Manetho (active c. 300 B.C.E.) give forty-four years to Amasis and six months to Psammetichus III.104 And these lengths of reign have been confirmed by modem discoveries, as follows:

In the papyrus Rylands IX (also called “Petition of Petiese”) dating from the time of Darius I (521–486 B.C.E.), the forty-fourth year of Amasis is mentioned in a context indicating it was his last full year. Each year, a prophet of Amun of Teuzoi (Psammetkmenempe by name) who lived in the Nile Delta, used to send a representative to fetch his stipend. This he did until the forty- fourth year of Amasis. This, in itself, is not decisive. But in the “Demotic Chronicle,” a report on the compilation of Egyptian laws written under Darius I, there are also two mentions of the forty-fourth year of Amasis as some sort of terminal point. Finally, the same figure is given in an inscription from Wâdi Hammâmât.105 The figure given by Herodotus and Manetho, therefore, is strongly supported by this combination of inscriptions.

As to Psammetichus III, the highest date available for this king is Year Two. Three documents (papyri) dated to the third, fourth, and fifth months of his second year have been discovered. And yet, this is no contradiction to the statement made earlier that the rule of this king actually covered only six months. How so?

The Egyptians used a nonaccession year system. According to this system the year in which a king came to power was reckoned as his first regnal year. Psammetichus III was dethroned by the Persian king Cambyses during his conquest of Egypt, generally dated to 525 B.C.E. by the authorities.106 At this time the Egyptian civil calendar year almost coincided with the Julian calendar year.107 If the conquest of Egypt occurred in the sixth month of the reign of Psammetichus III, this must have been in May or June, 525 B.C.E.108 With this prerequisite, his six months of rule began at the end of the previous year, 526 B.C.E., quite possibly only a few days or weeks before the end of that year. Though he ruled for only a fraction of that year, this fraction of a few days or weeks was reckoned as his first regnal year according to the Egyptian nonaccession year system. Thereby his second regnal year began to count only a few days or weeks after his accession to the throne. Thus, although he ruled for only six months, documents dated up to the fifth month of his second year are, in view of the supporting evidence, only what we should expect to find. The following illustration makes the matter plain:

As demonstrated by the discussion above, the chronology of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt is soundly and independently established. The results are summarized in the following table:

CHRONOLOGY OF THE TWENTY-SIXTH DYNASTY:
Psammetichus I 54 years 664 – 610 B.C.E.
Necho II 15 610 – 595
Psammetichus II 6 595 – 589
Apries (= Hophra) 19 589 – 570
Amasis 44 570 – 526
Psammetichus III 1 526 – 525

Synchronisms to the chronology of the Saite period

Does the chronology of the Egyptian Saite period square with that of the Neo-Babylonian era as established above? Or, instead, does it harmonize with the chronology of the Watch Tower Society as presented, for example, in its Bible dictionary Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pages 462–466?


The four synchronisms to the Egyptian chronology mentioned earlier (the first three of these coming from the Scriptures) decide the matter:

First synchronism—2 Kings 23:29: In his [king Josiah’s] days Pharaoh Nechoh the king of Egypt came up to the king of Assyria by the river Euphrates, and King Josiah proceeded to go to meet him; but he put him to death at Megiddo as soon as he saw him. (NW)

Here it is clearly shown that Judean king Josiah died at Megiddo in the reign of Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. According to the chronology of the Watch Tower Society, Josiah’s death took place in 629 B.C.E. (See Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, pp. 118, 483.) But according to clear historical evidence, Necho’s reign did not begin until nineteen years later, in 610 B.C.E. (see table above).109 So Josiah’s death did not take place in 629 B.C.E. but twenty years later, in 609.110

Second synchronism—Jeremiah 46:2: For Egypt, concerning the military force of Pharaoh Necho the king of Egypt, who happened to be by the river Euphrates at Carchemish, whom Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, the king of Judah. (NW)

This battle in the “fourth year of Jehoiakim” is placed in the year 625 B.C.E. by the Watch Tower Society (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 483.), which again cannot be harmonized with the contemporary chronology of Egypt. But if this battle at Carchemish took place twenty years later, in the accession-year of Nebuchadnezzar, that is, in June, 605 B.C.E. according to all the lines of evidence presented earlier, we find this date to be in perfect harmony with the recognized reign of Pharaoh Necho, 610–595 B.C.E.

Third synchronism—Jeremiah 44:30: This is what Jehovah has said: ‘Here I am giving Pharaoh Hophra, the king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those seeking for his soul, just as I have given Zedekiah the king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, his enemy and the one seeking for his soul.’ (NW)

As the context shows (verses 1 ff.) these words were uttered not long after the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, when the rest of the Jewish population had fled to Egypt after the assassination of Gedaliah. At that time Egypt was ruled by Pharaoh Hophra, or Apries, as he is named by Herodotus.

If Apries ruled Egypt at the time when the Jews fled there some months after the desolation of Jerusalem, this desolation cannot be dated to 607 B.C.E., for Apries did not begin his reign until 589 B.C.E. But a dating of the desolation of Jerusalem to 587 B.C.E. is in good agreement with the years of reign historically established for him: 589–570 B.C.E.

Fourth synchronism—B.M. 33041: As mentioned earlier, this text refers to a campaign against king Amasis ([Ama]-a-su) in Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-seventh year. A. L. Oppenheim’s translation of this scanty fragment reads as follows: “. . . [in] the 37th year, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Bab[ylon], mar[ched against] Egypt (Misir) to deliver a battle. [Ama]sis (text: [ . . . ]-a(?)-su), of Egypt, [called up his a]rm[y] . . . [ . . . ]ku from the town Putu-laman distant regions which (are situated on islands) amidst the sea . . . many . . . which/who (are) in Egypt . . . [car]rying weapons, horses and [chariot]s . . . he called up to assist him and . . . did [ . . . ] in front of him . . . he put his trust . . .. “

This text is badly damaged, but it does definitely state that the campaign into Egypt took place in Nebuchadnezzar’s “thirty- seventh year,” and while it is true that the name of the pharaoh is only partly legible, the cuneiform signs that are preserved seem only to fit Amasis, and no other pharaoh of the twenty-sixth dynasty.

The Watch Tower Society dates the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar to 588 B.C.E. (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, p. 698), but this was during the reign of Apries (see the table). On the other hand, if Nebuchadnezzar’s thirty-seventh year was 568/67 BCE., as is established by all the lines of evidence presented earlier, this date is in excellent agreement with the reign of Amasis (570– 526 B.C.E.). Consequently, not one of the four synchronisms with the independently established chronology of Egypt agrees with the chronology developed by the Watch Tower Society. The discrepancy in that Society’s reckoning is consistently about twenty years out of harmony.

Interestingly, however, all four synchronisms are in perfect harmony with the dates arrived at from the other lines of evidences that have been discussed. These synchronisms to the Egyptian chronology, therefore, add yet another line of evidence to the others, which point consistently to 587 B.C.E. as the definitive date for the destruction of Jerusalem.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Wed May 14, 2014 7:31 am

Hello Heber,

I will compile some information for you about the Egyptian synchronisms and post it when it is ready, but I am also going to start with the information concerning Egypt's 40 year desolation and Tyre's 70 year obscurity.

If you don't want to talk about Tyre that's up to you, but it will leave the information out there like a sore thumb if you don't. Your choice. I will start two new threads, one each for Tyre and then Egypt.

Regards,
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Wed May 14, 2014 6:10 pm

You are funny you have a thousand hurting thumbs hahahahaha and you want to only claim one? Big deal is fun. Hey Heber I cannot explain real data, but look at this new interpretation wow that is new.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 am

Hello Heber,

Sounds as though you do not consider Biblical data as "real" data. Interesting choice of words.

Regards,
Rotherham

hperez wrote:You are funny you have a thousand hurting thumbs hahahahaha and you want to only claim one? Big deal is fun. Hey Heber I cannot explain real data, but look at this new interpretation wow that is new.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Thu May 15, 2014 2:46 pm

Hello Heber,

Maybe I am misreading the points being made but my immediate question has to do with timing. Without any means of plugging the rules of these kings into an astronomical timeframe, how can we be certain when this chunk of time actually falls into the greater scheme of things?

Or in other words, when this chunk of time is presented, is the given timeframe built on celestial observations that can be connected with a certain year, or is it dependent on something else. If it is just dependent on the already accepted traditional chronoloy, then doesn't the whole question become circular?

And please, when you answer, take time to actually explain it to me. Please just don't go and cut and paste a lot of information that may or may not relate to what I am asking.

I have some other concerns when we compare the number of years given to these different Pharoahs by different historians, but that can wait until after this. If there is no way to plug this chunk of kings into a celestial timeclock, then is it not just an assumption that they agree with the traditional timeline?

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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 16, 2014 10:47 am

I am amazed about your comments, can you explain to me why do you support 539 BCE, as the date of Babylon destruction? Well, the same way the Egyptian Chronology has been established independent of the Babylonian.

Your comment : Or in other words, when this chunk of time is presented, is the given timeframe built on celestial observations that can be connected with a certain year, or is it dependent on something else. If it is just dependent on the already accepted traditional chronoloy, then doesn't the whole question become circular?


The accepted traditional Chronology has been accepted for some reasons don't you think? Or did it just popped up out of the air?

You yourself started to say when you thought the data supported you that we have programs which can reproduce with exactitude when a celestial observation happened going backward, so what has changed now? That you find yourself without any documentation that supports your dates?

We all start from specific proven dates both by Secular and Biblical data and start from there. The interesting thing the Watchtower and you only want to start from 539 BCE and count backwards, but did you know that the opposite can be done by the Secular findings. Did you even read how the Bible itself synchronizes the Egyptian Chronology and the Babylonian in four different instances or did you just chose to ignore it?

The Egyptian line of Pharaoh was not to make a comprehensive study of when they ruled since that is not in question(unless you think that was also independently tampered with), but how many years they ruled. Their Chronological line has been established by secular documents I hope you also don't think later Chronologists changed the data also? . The point with which timeline does it fit better with yours or the Bible? Which corresponds with the secular.

Did you also chose to ignore that now we have business and family tablets that account for each single day of the Secular accepted Chronology? But we are still looking for one with the extra 20 years that you claim?

Actually, to fix the date for the fall of Babylon, it is much safer to start with the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and count forward, instead of beginning with the reign of Cambyses and counting backward.

The date 539 B.C.E. for the fall of Babylon was, in fact, first determined this way, as pointed out by Dr. R. Campbell Thompson in The Cambridge Ancient History:

The date 539 for the Fall of Babylon has been reckoned from the latest dates on the contracts of each king in this period, counting from the end of Nabopolassar’s reign in 605 B.C., viz., Nebuchadrezzar, 43: Amel-Marduk, 2: Nergal-shar-usur, 4: Labashi-Marduk (accession only): Nabonidus, 17 = 66.
R. Campbell Thompson, “The New Babylonian Empire,” The Cambridge Ancient History, ed. J.B. Bury, S. A. Cook, F. E. Adcock, Vol. III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925), p. 224, ftn. 1.


The Watch Tower Society, however, accepts only the end product of this reckoning (539 B.C.E.), but rejects the reckoning itself and its starting point, because these contradict the date 607 B.C.E. The Society rejects the astronomical texts in general and VAT 4956 in particular; on the other hand, it is forced to accept the most problematic one—Strm. Kambys. 400. Surely, it would be difficult to find a more striking example of inconsistent, misleading scholarship. Oh, I forgot they cannot be wrong they are God's only channel and that is how they control what people research on to keep them subjugated under that premise.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Fri May 16, 2014 1:50 pm

Hello Heber,

You are either not understanding the question or you are not understanding what is meant by circular reasoning.

In other words, you can't use secular chronology to prove secular chronology. You must find a mutually accepted astronomical "plug-in" that works with all the data. Since we are challenging the celestial "plug'in" to the tune of 20 years, you can' turn around and use the very information that we are challenging to prove your point. That's what you're doing.

That's a classic example of circular reasoning.

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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 16, 2014 1:56 pm

Mr. Rotherham

How did the Watchtower established that 539 BCE was an absolute date? Can you tell me what was it they used? Did they fell in the Circular trap you are claiming?

Can you clarify for me what makes 539 BCE an absolute date?

The Celestial plug in? We can do without the Celestial plug in and still establish the same timeline, we don't need it.

Secular Chronology to establish secular Chronology? What are you talking about? We are comparing established celestial readings, which also mentioned what ruler was in power and what was the timeline of his rule. This is no secular Chronology establishing secular Chronology.

But, can you show me how the absolute date of 539 BCE was established if not using the same secular Chronology you dismiss when it do not support your interpretation?
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Fri May 16, 2014 2:03 pm

Hello Heber,

Establishing circa 539 BCE as the fall of Babylon to Cyrus can be done without the use of VAT 4956 and other tablets. It can be done by the Cambyses 400 cuneiform tablet as well, a tablet that we both agree upon.

It is BEFORE 539 BCE that we are challenging, not after. You can't use prior 539 BCE traditional chronoogy to prove prior 539 BCE traditional chronology, because that is the very chronology that is being challenged.

Since the Egypt sychronicities are all before 539 BCE, then their dates are also being challenged to the tune of 20 years. That's why you need another astronomical plug-in for those synchronicities in order for them to have any value in this discussion, which to my knowledge, you do not have.

Regards,
Rotherham

hperez wrote:Mr. Rotherham

How did the Watchtower established that 539 BCE was an absolute date? Can you tell me what was it they used? Did they fell in the Circular trap you are claiming?

Can you clarify for me what makes 539 BCE an absolute date?
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 16, 2014 2:05 pm

You mean your are using a Tablet? I thought that was secular Chronology?

Egypt is established by their own merit both support each other independent of each other. Of course, we are examining the dates before and after 539 BCE. What else would we be looking at? I don't need to establish another point, both Chronologies support each other.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Fri May 16, 2014 2:07 pm

Hello Heber,

We've always had partial agreement with secualr chronology. The fact that that comes as a surprise to you is rather disappointing.

Regards,
Rotherham

hperez wrote:You mean your are using a Tablet? I thought that was secular Chronology?
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Fri May 16, 2014 2:09 pm

What is disappointing is the lack of evidence for your interpretation and the dishonest approach. Partial agreement with secular Chronology, why? what makes one ok and not the other? Why chose and pick one tablet? I thought we could not use Celestial reading such as the one found in Cambyses 400.



You know why, because that one does not support your position but since it does not show anything else then you claim you accept it. Any other information that shows your interpretation is wrong then you dismiss. You call that honest scholarship? I think we should be here for the truth as no person or Organization should go unchallenged. Paul was challenged Acts 17:11, and he was an Apostle, so who makes this group of men above the Apostles themselves. Why should their teachings get a free pass? The Apostles were inspired, but the Governing Body is not.

Strm. Kambys. 400: The astronomical text, designated Strm. Kambys. 400, is the text now used by the Watch Tower Society to establish the 539 B.C.E. date. It is a tablet dated to the seventh year of Cambyses, the son of Cyrus.23 Referring to two lunar eclipses mentioned in the text—eclipses which modern scholars have “identified with the lunar eclipses that were visible at Babylon on July 16, 523 B.C.E., and on January 10, 522 B.C.E.,”—the Society concludes: Thus, this tablet establishes the seventh year of Cambyses II as beginning in the spring of 523 B.C.E. This is an astronomically confirmed date.

To establish the date 539 B.C.E., then, the Society unreservedly accepts several ancient secular sources:
(1) a Babylonian astronomical tablet, and (2) Babylonian contract tablets dated to the reign of Cyrus. Yet, on the following pages of the same article (pages 454–456) other documents of the very same type-astronomical texts and contract tablets-are rejected because of their support for the date 587 B.C.E. for the destruction of Jerusalem! If the Society’s criticism of these astronomical diaries (mainly their being later copies of an original) were valid, that criticism would apply with equal force to their favored Strm. Kambys. 400.



Like VAT 4956, Strm. Kambys. 400 is a copy of an earlier original. In fact, it may hardly even be termed a copy. The eminent expert on astronomical texts, F. X. Kugler, pointed out as early as 1903 that this tablet is only partly a copy. The copyist was evidently working from a very defective text, and therefore tried to fill in the lacunae or gaps in the text by his own calculations. Thus only a portion of Strm. Kambys. 400 at best contains observations. The rest are additions by a rather unskilled copyist from a much later period. Kugler commented that “not one of the astronomical texts I know of offers so many contradictions and unsolved riddles as Strm. Kambys. 400.”

Mr. Rotherham since you are so worried about additions made maybe you can apply that to Kambys 400?


By contrast, VAT 4956 is one of the best preserved diaries. Although it is also a later copy, experts agree that it is a faithful reproduction of the original. There is some evidence that the lunar eclipses shown on Strm. Kambys. 400, referred to in the book Insight on the Scriptures were calculated rather than observed. The point here made, though, is not the validity or lack of validity of those particular observations, but that, while applying certain criteria as a basis for rejecting the evidence of VAT 4956, the Watch Tower Society does not let the same criteria affect its acceptance of Strm. Kambys. 400 because it views this document as giving apparent support to its claims. This repeated inconsistency results from the same “hidden agenda” of seeking to protect a historically unsupported date. :roll: :roll: :roll:

So you and the Watchtower support a Tablet that is so questionable (Celestial readings), but you dismiss an immense about of documentation that is more accurate? You really call that Honest as to the measure of what God wants us to be?. Or is an Organization's teaching beyond and above the truth?

If it was not for the life they destroy I would not care. But, by claiming they are God's only channel and imposing their views causing the death of others via the blood issue or Organs Transplants that they called cannivalism for years or vaccinations and so many other ways that life are impacted negatively(false predictions of the end including the view of the generation), I would care less. But, when you see the dishonest scholarship to support unfounded dates just to sustain power it is a huge motivation to counter back with the truth. And by this I am not referring to your personally as I do not have anything against you. I am sure you believe what you are saying as I did at one point, but sometimes we have to allow reality/truth to take place over a dogmatic position and over the dishonesty of a human Organization.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Mon May 19, 2014 9:15 am

Hello Heber,

I will respond to the items that are on topic sometime this week. In regard to the items that are not on topic, please stop referring to them. Those are other issues which would require other discussions. Please show some patience so that we can get through these methodically, one at a time if necessary. Simply flooding the board with all of your objections at once and huge cut and paste answers which often times only remotely relate to what I have posted, is not conducive to a peaceful discussion, let alone one that will make any sense to those reading along.

We can talk about anything and everything that concerns you in due time, but please, let's maintain an orderly discussion. Otherwise, moderating your posts may become a necessity and that's not something I want to have to do.

Regards,
Rotherham
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Mon May 19, 2014 9:18 am

Hello Heber,

You just said something in this post that makes me think that you may know that you should not be here.

" I am sure you believe what you are saying as I did at one point"

Are you someone we would regard as an apostate? Are you now or have you ever been one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Is this the former member "Octavius"? There are many similarities with you.

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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Mon May 19, 2014 12:49 pm

I am not Octavious or whoever that was and I am not an Apostate. I am not sure why I should not be here?
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Mon May 19, 2014 1:23 pm

Hello Heber,

I asked if you are now or have ever been one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Rotherham

hperez wrote:I am not Octavious or whoever that was and I am not an Apostate. I am not sure why I should not be here?
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Mon May 19, 2014 2:42 pm

Nope my parents. My dad died due to the blood policy.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Tue May 20, 2014 2:32 pm

Hello Heber,

I am sorry to hear about your father's demise, but I am proud of him for keeping his integrity to the end. I am sure he will want to see you in the resurrection.

So back to the issues at hand. I will respond to your latest comments about this sometime later this week.

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Rotherham

hperez wrote:Nope my parents. My dad died due to the blood policy.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby hperez » Tue May 20, 2014 6:32 pm

Mr Rotherham

He died faithfully to a human interpretation, but yes I had the choice to order the blood for him, but decided to respect his choice no matter how misquided.
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Wed May 21, 2014 9:16 am

Hello Heber,

I am sure that was very difficult and I am sorry that you had to have such an awful experience. He will be very happy to know that you respected his wishes.

REgards,
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Re: #2 Topic: Hillah Stele+Adad-Guppi and related records

Postby Rotherham » Fri May 23, 2014 8:03 am

Hello Heber,

What is disappointing is the lack of evidence for your interpretation and the dishonest approach. Partial agreement with secular Chronology, why? what makes one ok and not the other? Why chose and pick one tablet? I thought we could not use Celestial reading such as the one found in Cambyses 400.


Of couse we can use celestial readings. The only ones we call into question are the ones that deny proper Biblical chronology. Cambyses 400 is fine and we both agree on what it dtermines which leads to the date 539 BCE for the fall of Babylon. We do not need VAT4956 for that.



You know why, because that one does not support your position but since it does not show anything else then you claim you accept it. Any other information that shows your interpretation is wrong then you dismiss. You call that honest scholarship? I think we should be here for the truth as no person or Organization should go unchallenged. Paul was challenged Acts 17:11, and he was an Apostle, so who makes this group of men above the Apostles themselves. Why should their teachings get a free pass? The Apostles were inspired, but the Governing Body is not.


We are not here to talk about the governing body aspect of Christianity. That is a different topic altogether. As I said, there is surely nothing wrong about calling into question any ancient record that would deny the timetable laid out by the Bible. That has nothing to do about a governing body, just good Biblical common sense. I beleieve, as we will find, that the prophecies about Tyre and Egypt will show that secular chronology needs to be adjusted by about 20 years. I would believe that even without a governing body.

Strm. Kambys. 400: The astronomical text, designated Strm. Kambys. 400, is the text now used by the Watch Tower Society to establish the 539 B.C.E. date. It is a tablet dated to the seventh year of Cambyses, the son of Cyrus.23 Referring to two lunar eclipses mentioned in the text—eclipses which modern scholars have “identified with the lunar eclipses that were visible at Babylon on July 16, 523 B.C.E., and on January 10, 522 B.C.E.,”—the Society concludes: Thus, this tablet establishes the seventh year of Cambyses II as beginning in the spring of 523 B.C.E. This is an astronomically confirmed date.

To establish the date 539 B.C.E., then, the Society unreservedly accepts several ancient secular sources:
(1) a Babylonian astronomical tablet, and (2) Babylonian contract tablets dated to the reign of Cyrus. Yet, on the following pages of the same article (pages 454–456) other documents of the very same type-astronomical texts and contract tablets-are rejected because of their support for the date 587 B.C.E. for the destruction of Jerusalem! If the Society’s criticism of these astronomical diaries (mainly their being later copies of an original) were valid, that criticism would apply with equal force to their favored Strm. Kambys. 400.



It is a simple fact, Heber, Cambyses 400 does not contradict the Bible's timetable but VAT4956 does. We can surely accept one without the other, especially when it can be shown that the lunar positions on VAT4956 fit quite well with 588 BC as well 568 BCE. The planetary positions were clearly retro-calculated.


Like VAT 4956, Strm. Kambys. 400 is a copy of an earlier original. In fact, it may hardly even be termed a copy. The eminent expert on astronomical texts, F. X. Kugler, pointed out as early as 1903 that this tablet is only partly a copy. The copyist was evidently working from a very defective text, and therefore tried to fill in the lacunae or gaps in the text by his own calculations. Thus only a portion of Strm. Kambys. 400 at best contains observations. The rest are additions by a rather unskilled copyist from a much later period. Kugler commented that “not one of the astronomical texts I know of offers so many contradictions and unsolved riddles as Strm. Kambys. 400.”

Mr. Rotherham since you are so worried about additions made maybe you can apply that to Kambys 400?


It's true that Cambyses 400 contains errors too, as do most of the ancient records, but there is no reason to make issues over records that do not contradict the Bible, only those that do. I realize that the your whole purpose of this is to take away the year 1914 from our theology. You should probably know that even if we accepted the traditional chronology, there is still reason to believe that the seven times started circa 607 BCE. One can easily prove circa 1914 as the time when Christ established his Messianic kingdom even without the use of chronology, by using Daniel chapter 2 and 7 and the book of Revelation. The 607 BCE based chronology is simply corroborative, certainly not an absolutely necessary piece to arrive at the same date.

Plus, there is a calculation we can use involving the jubilee periods that will arrive at the same year, and it's starting point is on a date that we all agree on, that being circa 537 BCE when the Jews were back in their homeland. So even if in some way you could actually prove that the traditional chronology is correct, which you can't, but even if you could, you would not achieve your goal. I could actually use the traditional chronology and still prove that 607 BCE was a marked year in Biblical chronology and the beginning of the 7 times.


By contrast, VAT 4956 is one of the best preserved diaries. Although it is also a later copy, experts agree that it is a faithful reproduction of the original. There is some evidence that the lunar eclipses shown on Strm. Kambys. 400, referred to in the book Insight on the Scriptures were calculated rather than observed. The point here made, though, is not the validity or lack of validity of those particular observations, but that, while applying certain criteria as a basis for rejecting the evidence of VAT 4956, the Watch Tower Society does not let the same criteria affect its acceptance of Strm. Kambys. 400 because it views this document as giving apparent support to its claims. This repeated inconsistency results from the same “hidden agenda” of seeking to protect a historically unsupported date. :roll: :roll: :roll:


I have no doubt that it was faithfully reproduced according to what year they THOUGHT was being represented. The problem is that they landed on the wrong year when they retrocalculated their information. As Barclay shows, even Berossus was off by about 20 years during the same time period that we are arguing about.If you want to go through that a step ata time I would be more than willing to show you that.

But, again, there are other ways to establish 1914 BCE even based upon a chronology that we both agree on, or even if we use your chronology, circa 607 BCE could still be seen as the starting point for the seven times. You evidently think, as many do, that the only thing we have to hold onto 1914 with is Daniel the 4th chapter and our own views on chronology, but this is a very wrong thing to think. Numerous prophecies and events in history demonstrate that we entered the last days circa 1914. For a certainty, we do not need our own view of chronology to establish the same thing in relation to 1914. So all of this could end up just being a huge wasted effort on your part.

The real questions that we should pursue is whether or not we teach absolute truths based upon Biblical precedent. That's the only way you will ever be successful in overturning Jehovah's Witnesses. Prove to us we are wrong about the identity of God and his Son. Prove to us we are wrong about the soul not being immortal. Prove to us we are wrong about paradise earth and a resurrection for the righteous and the unrighteous. Prove to us we are wrong about our views of neutrality, or our views on blood, abortion, homosexuality, fornication.

Prophecy is the wrong place to start. True religion is based upon adherence to the true teachings of the Bible and those can be discerned by anyone who takes the time to examine them. I invite you to do so.

So you and the Watchtower support a Tablet that is so questionable (Celestial readings), but you dismiss an immense about of documentation that is more accurate? You really call that Honest as to the measure of what God wants us to be?. Or is an Organization's teaching beyond and above the truth?


Dismissing man made and man concocted documents that disgree with the Bible is what any Bible believing Christian should do. Only a biased person would think that means you have to discard them all.

Regards,
Rotherham
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