Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Daniel 8

The 8th chapter of Daniel discusses the Four Great Kingdoms that were to span history from the time of the fall of Bavel. It includes within it one of the well-known predictions in the book.

At the end, the question is asked: How long will it take for all this to transpire? The answer is terse enough:

He said to me: Until evening morning, two thousand, three hundred, and the holy one will be justified. (Daniel 8:14)

Among the commentators we see the opinion that the 2300 mentioned is 2300 years, see Rav Sa'adiah Gaon, Rashi, etc. The question, however, before looking to see what the end-date is, is to ask: what is the start date?

And the vision of the evening and the morning that was said, it is true; And you - hide the vision, for it is for many days. (Daniel 8:26)

Daniel indeed hid the true meaning of his vision, as he did later on in chapter 12, however in a different manner.

In the third year of the kingdom of Belshatzar the king, a vision appeared to me; me, Daniel, after what appeared to me at the beginning. And I saw in the vision, and it was when I was seeing, I was in Shushan... (Daniel 8:1-2)

The third year of Belshatzar was the last year of Belshatzar, and indeed the 70th year of the kingdom of Bavel, as brought in Megillah 11b. The Ibn Ezra takes note of this and states that it couldn't be that Daniel went to Shushan and came back even the same year. He saw himself in the future in Shushan.

Daniel is hinting to us that the starting point of the vision is in the future during the reign of Paras uMadai. The vision starts at the tachlit of their kingdom, the construction of the 2nd Beit HaMikdash, which came to fruition in 3408.

The year 3408 was a beginning that went awry. It would be a full cycle to start over.

And there was evening and there was morning, one day (Breishit 1:5)

It would be 2300 years to restart the cycle.

3408 + 2300 = 5708

Now, unlike then, we achieved the minimum threshold of ingathering, 600,000 souls. The Geulah is proceeding according to Daniel's vision, with the order of tefillah as its guide.


  1. A worthy post for 10 Tevet.

  2. One can wonder about the structure of the 2300 years. It would seem that Erev Boker is 1000 years of history, one day. That would be until the end of the four kings. However, that could not be the end, because of the merit of Yishmael's Mila (Zohar). And so, we get Yishmael after the four kings (Saadia Gaon). For Yishmael, then, are 1300 years according to the age his Mila.

  3. Do you have a teirutz as to why Yishmael seems to have had 1310 years and not 1300?

  4. It seems that Yishmael was conceived as well as born in the 86th year of Avraham. If Avraham was born 1 Nissan, and the Brit Mila of Avraham was 10 Nissan, as Yitchak was born 15 Nissan one year later, it would follow that Yishmael was born a short time before Nissan. That would make him a little bit older than 13 at his brit. If he would have been born on 4 or 5 Adar, he would have been 13.1 years old.

  5. Nice.

    Regarding Nevuah: It seems that Nevuah was imparted to Yitzchak in Parshat Toldot. If you look in a Sefer Torah (or on ), you will see that the beginning of Parshat Toldot is one Parshah, which ends with mechirat habechorah. The next parshah has when Hashem says not to go to Mitzrayim, the stay in Gerar, the B'eirot, Be'er Sheva.

    Then a parshah break, and then Esav is 40 years old.

    Lich'orah, the inyan with the Nevuah would need to be between Esav being 15 and 40 years old, but that leaves the inyan with Rivkah claiming to be Yitzchak's sister as being a bit difficult. They had 2 kids but claimed that they weren't a family? Or did the inyan with the ra'av occur before mechirat habechorah?

    By Avraham, he got his mitzvah of aliyah from Hashem at age 75.