The main holy text of Rabbinical Judaism, outside the Tanakh (Old Testament), is the Talmud. This book is believed to be on some level divinely inspired, supposedly encompassing the great and reliable memories of the ancient Jewish sages. However, the book is filled with errors and anachronisms, which calls into question the reliability of the Rabbinical tradition. One problem is that the sages in the Talmud believed that Esther and Daniel met each other.
The book of Daniel is set between the third year of Jehoiakim to the third year of Cyrus, which is 605-536 BCE. The history of Nebuchadnezzar has been confirmed by secular history. He constructed the hanging gardens. He also fought in the battle of Carchemish against Egypt in 605.
The book of Esther is set during the reign of Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes I (not Artaxerxes II). This is the same Xerxes that invaded Thermopylae and killed Leonidas I of Sparta. Xerxes reigned from 485-464 BCE, and the book of Esther is set during the tenth year of Xerxes’ reign, which is in 476, or about four years after he fought Leonidas and the Spartans. This means that given the latest possible date for Daniel and the absolute earliest possible date for Esther, Daniel could not have possibly been any younger than 130 years old at the time of Esther. The problem is, nobody is supposed to live more than about 120 years, since God (Yahweh) decreed in Genesis 6:3 “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” In other words, there is no possible way that Daniel was alive during the time of Esther.
How is this significant? If we go to the Talmud, Bava Batra, page 4A, we read about the Rabbinical discussions of Daniel. In this passage, the Rabbis argue that a Jew is not allowed to give advice to a non-Jew regarding how the latter can receive atonement.
Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav Yehoshua ben Levi, “For what reason was Daniel punished? Because he gave advice to Nebuchadnezzar on how to escape the wrath of God.” The Talmud will now try to explain the well-accepted belief that Daniel was punished for advising king Nebuchadnezzar. “And how do we know that Daniel was punished? In Esther we read ‘And Esther called to Hasach’ (this is Daniel). Daniel was named Hasach because he was cut down from his greatness. But what about those who say that all affairs of the state were decided by him? He was punished by being thrown into the den of lions!”
The Jewish Rabbis agree that Daniel was punished, but disagree how God punished him. The first school says that Daniel was punished by being stripped of power, and the latter school argues that he was punished by being thrown into the den of lions, even though the book of Daniel seems to indicate otherwise. In a footnote of the Artscroll edition, it says that in the latter opinion, where Daniel was punished by being thrown to lions, Daniel retained his high office during the reign of Ahasuerus, and the name “Hasach” does not imply that Daniel was stripped of power for giving advice to Nebuchadnezzar.
Both schools of Rabbinical thought differ on why Daniel was called Hasach. But this means that the Rabbis of the Talmud agreed that Daniel of the book of Daniel was the same person as Hasach in the book of Esther. But of course, there is no way Daniel could be the same person as Hasach, because he could not have lived that long. (Baruch Spinoza was an excommunicated Talmudic intellectual.)
The biblical book of Daniel has fourteen chapters, not twelve (Septuagint). Other errors and anachronisms in Judaic holy literature include Solomon’s evil slavery (Matthew 5:17-20 and Luke 12:47-48), Young Earth Creationism, genocide and rape (Numbers 31:17-18), infant genital mutilation, and The Exodus. Lee Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writes, “There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel’s sojourn in that country, and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect.” Levine also wrote that excavations showed there had been no walls at Jericho. THE END