Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 31, 1962

Daniel And The Medes

Robert C. Welch

The idea of modernists is that Daniel was written much later than is claimed in the book itself. In this way they seek to destroy all of the book's prophetic and historic value. Instead of accepting the fact that it was written by Daniel himself, a prophet living during the Jewish exile period, they attribute it to some anonymous author who lived during the Maccabaean period, some three hundred years later. In this way they presume to account for some of the statements which are assumed by them to be correct.

H. H. Rowley, in his book, The Relevance of the Bible, states that much of the prophetic writings of the Old Testament were written in this period, or, as he calls it, the post-exilic period. Thus, according to him, the writers merely recorded past events instead of the prophets' uttering details of events yet future to the time of the utterance. And on several pages he presents Daniel as an example. He is of the neo-orthodox school of modernists. To them the Bible is only inspired to the extent of great feeling, experience, or knowledge of the writer. So, it makes little difference to them whether the Bible is accurate or not. So, they can laugh at the story of Daniel in the lions' den. And they can say that Daniel could not himself have written the fifth chapter of the book under his name. Their reason for this is that Daniel talks about the Medes, and about Darius the Mede. (Dan. 5:28, 31)

One of these critics, who wrote the account of Babylon in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, says that the name Mede was used by the Greeks only at a later time and was a misunderstanding of the name Manda. This latter name was given, he says, to the northern hordes, or Scythian, by the Babylonians. It may be that the Greeks did make this mistake, but it would only come because they knew there was the nation of people in that geographical section called the Medes; and it does not nullify the fact that Daniel spoke of the Medes and not of the Mandas. The idea that Daniel meant the Mandas instead of Medes is mere assumption.

The conclusion of another writer, in the same reference work on the book of Daniel, and in accord with Rowley's theory, is that Daniel did not write the book because it refers to the Medes in Daniel two, and specifies them in Daniel five. He asserts that this part of the book at least was written by somebody else during the period of the Grecian supremacy. His argument is based on the historical evidence that the Medes had already been conquered. And he assumed that no Mede ruled in Babylon after the downfall of Belshazzar.

Who Were The Medes

Noah had a son named Japheth; and he had a son named Madai. From all appearances he was the father of the nation of the Medes. The Hebrew word and the Greek word means middle. The first chapter of Daniel in the ancient writings was in Hebrew, the second through the seventh were in Aramaic or Chaldaic which was similar in the form of characters to the Hebrew, then the rest of the book was in Hebrew. But not any of it was written in Greek in the original. The name in Daniel 5:28, 31 is the same as the name in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 of the grandson of Noah.

The Septuagint version of the Old Testament was made by Jews during the Maccabaean period. It was a translation of the Old Testament into the Greek language. This translation uses the name Mede in the passage in Daniel, using the Greek letter eta for the first vowel in the word. But in the translation of the name of the grandson of Noah it uses the letter alpha for this vowel. So, it can be seen that the translators attempted to bring the name of the man into the text as nearly correct as possible. But the name of the kingdom was given as it was commonly called in the Greek language of that day.

Darius Was A Mede

There were a people called the Medes. And they definitely were not the Manda. The nation of Media was conquered by the Persians. While a nation in power, the Medes were in conflict with the combined forces of Babylonia and the Manda, or Scythian. When Cyrus the Persian conquered Media, he gave high honors to the Median royalty. Gobryas, or Darius, was a Mede and a general over the army of Cyrus after the defeat of the Median kingdom. The mother of Cyrus himself was a Mede Babylon was taken by the general and was under the rule of the general until Cyrus arrived, and was then made king of Babylon under Cyrus. So why is it so incredible, except to the skeptic modernist, that Daniel should mention the rule of the Medes? The argument, against the date of the book of Daniel as is suggested by the book itself, is but a figment of the vain imagination of men who seek to destroy faith in the inspiration of the Bible.

— 1102 Mound Nacogdoches, Texas