Dead Sea Scroll Daniel
      Like a page out of a James Bond movie, one of the great Biblical finds of archaeology is surrounded by adventure, mystery and intrigue.
      Just a few years after World War II, the CIA had an agent operating in the Middle east by the name of Miles Copeland. In 1947 while he was on duty in Damascus, Copeland was secretly approached by a shady Egyptian merchant carrying a sackcloth in which he claimed was a great treasure hid inside. The merchant reached his dirt laden hands inside his cloth and pulled out an ancient scroll.
      The scroll was so old that fragments from the parchment were flaking off onto the street below, the pieces being blown to and fro by the wind.  
      CIA agents were not exactly very secret back at this time since the merchant knew who Copeland was. Knowing Copeland’s contacts with the American government, the Egyptian asked if he could help him identify the artifact. Copeland replied that he would help as long as the scroll was left with him to investigate it.  The merchant agreed to his terms and left.
      Copeland decided he would photograph the scroll and send the photos to an expert in ancient languages for identification. Since the scroll was very large he had to find a place where he could stretch out the scroll, so he decided upon the roof top located at the American Embassy. What he hadn’t anticipated was the wind gusts that were blowing that day made this less than an ideal choice.
       Wind or not with the help of some of his colleagues, they began to unravel the scroll in order to get their photos. But this led to some very bad consequences. Fighting the wind, a large part of the deteriorating scroll flaked off into the sky being blown off the rooftop like ashes from a fire.
        Not knowing the importance of the scroll, little care was taken in the handling of this delicate scroll. Maybe had Copeland let his wife in on his little secret, the artifact would have been handled with much more care, since Copeland’s wife just happened to be an archaeologist.
       None the less Copeland was able to photograph the damaged scroll, He shot 30 frames of film to cover the entire length of the scroll. He then sent the photographs to the American Embassy in Beirut who passed them on to a man trained in ancient languages.
       Upon analyzing the photos the ancient writing expert found that part of the scroll was written in the ancient languages of Aramaic and Hebrew, and he identified the ancient artifact as the Biblical book of Daniel.
       Upon hearing the news, Copeland set out in search for the merchant, but he was no where to be found. What ever happened to the man is anybody’s guess. And to make the story even more mysterious is the fact that someone from the CIA is believed to have confiscated the scroll along with the photographs and to this day no one knows where they are.
      History had lost a complete scroll of an ancient relic.
      Fortunately during this same year in a place a little further away, a complete scroll of the Book of Isaiah was uncovered, part of what we know as the Dead Sea Scrolls
      Copeland would find a little relief five years later when some fragments of the book of Daniel were found in one of the Dead Sea Scroll caves. Maybe just possibly some of those fragments were part of that same deteriorating scroll he once handled and photographed.
       The fragments that were found in the Dead Sea Scroll cave also verify that the Book of Daniel was written during the time of Ancient Babylon.
       You see for many years before these artifacts were found, liberal Bible critics claimed that the Book of Daniel could not have been written until the period between the first and second century B.C. because of the accuracy of Biblical prophecies Daniel had made concerning nations that would arise after Daniel’s time. They claimed that scribes made up these stories much later on in history, because that was the only possible explanation, in their mind’s, of how they could explain the knowledge of future kingdoms that Daniel predicted would arise. For example, Daniel living at the time of the Babylonians, predicted the rise of the Empire of Greece, gives a play by play account of how Alexander the Great’s empire would later be divided amongst his four generals. Daniel predicts conflicts between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids over Israel, giving a historically accurate blow by blow play book. He also predicts the rise of Rome as a great empire, and predicted how a Syrian (Antiochus Epiphanes) would invade Jerusalem and desecrate the Temple around 164 B.C. Daniel also predicts the date the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would be cut off (crucified) as well as the Romans destroying Jerusalem and the temple.
      But because of the finding of the Daniel fragments these critics have been proven wrong.. You ask why?
       Well because of the language found on the Daniel Dead Sea fragments .
      You see if you open your Bible and look at Daniel 2:4, it says “The Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic” You see most of the Old  Testament is written in Hebrew, But Daniel 2:46-7:28 is written in the language Old Aramaic. This is the language which was used at the time of the Babylonian empire. The fragments of the Daniel found along with the Dead Sea Scrolls retains the Old Aramaic sentence structure which goes  subject, object, and verb in the sentences. But other Dead Sea Scroll writings written around 165 B.C. used a newer Aramaic language in which the word order goes subject, verb, and object. The linguistic characteristics of the Hebrew on the scroll has also since been dated to earlier than the second century before Christ, and the Aramaic is written in a way that strongly suggests it was originally penned. This proves that Daniel was written way before many of the prophecies about historical events that it predicted ever came to pass.
       In Daniel’s “seventy sevens”prophecy found in Daniel chapter 9,  he  predicts the very year Christ would be cutoff off or die.
         “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (The command given in the twentieth year of Artaxerses - 445 B.C. who made this decree in Nehemiah chapter 2), there shall be seven sevens and sixty two sevens ( A total of 69 seven year periods of time or 483 biblical years.)
       Note a Biblical year is 360 days, not 365, So 483 biblical calender years is equal to 476 years based on a 365 day year. So 445 B.C. - 476 years = 31-32 A.D. which is the year in which Daniel predicts Jesus would die, which amazing matches the time frame referred to in the Gospels.
      Daniel states in 9:24 that Christ would come for one reason, “To make reconciliation for iniquity”, just as Romans 5:8 says “God demonstrated His love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, much more now having been justified by His blood., we will be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
      This article is a chapter from our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader or mobile device by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Photo Links to Artifacts Mentioned in this Article
Photo of Dead Sea Scroll Fragmentf of Daniel in Aramaic
The Holy Bible, Author: The Lord God
Scripture taken from the New King James Version unless noted.
Dead Sea Scrolls Deception By Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh pg.10-11 Story of Miles Copeland and the Daniel Scroll.
Dare to be a Daniel by Author David Hocking  Promise Publishing ISBN 0-939497-20-3, 0-939497-26-3 pg. VI    In Daniel the grammar goes “subject, object and verb in the sentences. In the Dead Sea Scrolls it goes subject, verb and object.”
Apologetic Press - Reason and Revelation - April 1995  The Dead Sea Scrolls and Biblical Integrity by Gary K. Brantley,  Article regarding the authenticity of the Book of Daniel   (2011)
Tyndale Bible Dictionary -Walter A. Elwell, Philip Wesley Comfort pg.352 - 90 percent of the Aramaic words used in Daniel were used in the Old and Imperial Aramaic dialects.   (2011)
Photos of the Daniel scroll fragments “MS 1926/4" with the text of Daniel 3:22 - 31.
Artwork: “Egyptian kneeling holding a scroll” Illustrated in “Scribners Monthly-Vol. 11” (1876), Author: Scribner and Company, Publisher: Francis Hart & Co.
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Bible Archeology confirms the Old Testament