One argument used in an unsuccessful attempt to disprove 607, is the idea that Jehovah's Witnesses chronology makes the prophet Daniel too old to be realistic.
At the start of his book Daniel tells us, “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and proceeded to lay siege to it... the king said to Ashpenaz his chief court official to bring some of the sons of Israel and of the royal offspring and of the nobles, children in whom there was no defect at all”. Daniel is among these ones. The King takes them so he can have them “stand in the palace of the king”, but will first “teach them the writing and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”
Presumably, the Hebrew children did not speak the Chaldean language, or know what the King wanted them to do in his palace. They were to be trained. The “king appointed a daily allowance from the delicacies of the king and from his drinking wine, even to nourish them for three years, that at the end of these they might stand before the king.”
So they would be trained for “three years” before being allowed before the King. “And at the end of the days that the king had said to bring them in [that is, the three years], the principal court official also proceeded to bring them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king began to speak with them, and out of them all no one was found like Daniel” and his companions. –
We can see there were clearly “three years” of training before Daniel went before the King. So what is the problem? The issue lies in the next chapter of Daniel, which starts by saying, “And in the second year of the kingship of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams”, a dream which Daniel interpreted.
Now, if Daniel was in the court of Nebuchadnezzar in the “second year” of his Kingship to interpret the King's dream, then according to Jehovah's Witnesses chronology, Daniel would be in Babylon in 624 BCE. This means he must have been 101 years old when he served in the court of Darius. This is highly unlikely.
Does that make the 607 chronology unlikely? No, because that is not what Jehovah's Witnesses teach. As we have already seen, the Bible says Daniel was under training for “three years” before he went before the King. So, then, why does Daniel says “in the second year” of Nebuchadnezzar?
As we mentioned earlier, Daniel is speaking from the perspective of the Babylonian Kingship over the Jews. That is why he spoke of Jehoiakim's third year of Babylonian Kingship. Similarly, Daniel is also talking about Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian kingship over the Jews. This was the “second year” of Nebuchadnezzar being direct King over the Jewish people. Yes, it was the second year after the destruction of Jerusalem when the last Jewish King was removed from his throne.
This must be correct, for the claim of the apostates is preposterous. states, “And the order itself went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions, for them to be killed.” Why was Daniel known as one of Babylon's “wise men”? Was he not a “child” who had only been in the city for a year and a few months, a boy who was still learning the Chaldean language? Did the account not say that he and his friends were “children”? () Yes! Then why do they suddenly become “wise men” and Daniel an “able-bodied man”? —
Furthermore, after Daniel successfully interpreted the King's dream, “the king made Daniel someone great, and many big gifts he gave to him, and he made him the ruler over all the jurisdictional district of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon... Daniel was in the court of the king.”
So the apostates would argue that Daniel, as one of the “children” still learning the local language, had only been in the city several months before he was regarded as, not a child, but as an able-bodied man and one of the wise men of Babylon.
Also, he became ruler over the entire City, and all of this happened before Daniel had even been brought in before the King for the first time at the end of his three-year basic training. Can we really take such an idea seriously?
On the other hand, according to 607-based Biblical chronology, Daniel was taken into exile in 617 BCE, “in the seventh year” of King Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian kingship, the year Jeremiah says the first exiles were taken. () Jeremiah does not mention any earlier exiles, so Daniel could not have been in Babylon in the second year, for that is too early. This 607 interpretation also gives Daniel more than enough time to grow out of childhood and become known as an “able-bodied man” and a well-known wise-man.
It also means Daniel's was not unrealistically old when he died. He probably lived from around 630 BCE to 535 BCE, making him under the age of 100 while he worked for King Darius. Such is entirely possible for a man living under the good conditions of the Royal court, and filled with Jehovah's spirit. As one brother says, “the argument that Daniel would have been too old has no merit whatsoever.”
Admittedly, Daniel certainly was very old when he died. That is probably why his book ends with the Angel telling him thus: “And as for you yourself, go toward the end; and you will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.” –
If that wasn't proof enough that Daniel could not have interpreted the King's dream in his 2nd year of Kingship, consider the following dates which prove that Daniel definitely had not yet completed his training in the 2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar's kingship. If we believe the secular chronology, this is what we find:
Aug 605 Daniel exiled
Aug/Sep 605 Neb ascends throne
April 604 First regnal year begins
April 603 > April 602 second year of Neb
August 602 Daniel's third year of training ends
Daniel interprets the dream in Nebuchadnezzar's 2nd year. Even if Daniel interpreted the dream on the very last day of Neb's 2nd year around April 602, there is still 9 or 10 months before Daniel's 3 years end in Jan/Feb 601. Thus Daniel's 3 years of training in essence becomes 2 years of training or even more than likely even less than 2 years since it is unlikely that he just happened to interpret the dream on the last day of Neb's 2nd year. The 3 years were a full 3 years — not any less. The Bible says, “for three years, that at the end of these they might stand before the king”.
One brother versed in Hebrew points out how a later verse in Daniel says “And at the end of ten days” and it uses the same Hebrew word as it does when describing the end of Daniel's three years. He tells us the word is, “‘lemiktzat’ for describing the end in time period of something. Interestingly, this word is derived from word ‘ketz’ which means end to something or someone. To claim that three years are not actually three years is like to claim ten days are not actually ten days.”
So yet again, the teachings of 587 promoters contradicts simple logic, and the clear unambiguous language of the inspired scriptures. —For issues relating to Ezekiel's mentions of Daniel, see Appendix L
Actually, the date the apostates give for Daniel’s exile, August 605, is impossible according to their own secular recorded history. At that time, the ancient tablet known today as BM21946 records Neb returning home after battling Egypt at Carchemish to be crowned King in Babylon. The tablet mentions nothing about him seizing Jerusalem or taking exiles from her in that year (or anywhere else in Palestine, for that matter). Further, the chronology of the tablet proves there was simply not enough time to travel from the battle up at Carchemish down to Jerusalem then back up to Babylon.
The very earliest Daniel could have been taken, according to their own chronology, is early the next year, when King Neb returned to the area (although, again, the tablet makes no mention of any exiles) However, this is 604 BCE and the apostates argument needs this to happen in 605 BCE, otherwise the “three years” of training becomes even less, er, yet again!
Interestingly, the first time the tablet does mention exiles being taken is, funnily enough, when Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Bible in Jeremiah, and the 607 date say it first happened, in his 7th year. Amazing, isn’t it! It seems the deeper you look at the 587 date, the more and more it becomes a ridiculous mess. —See the page on the BM21946 tablet for more information.
The narrative itself shows that Daniel could not have already become known to the King in Nebuchadnezzar's 2nd year of Kingship. Remember, the 587-based interpretation insists that Daniel has already been made ruler of the district, and head of all the wise men of Babylon, before the end of his training and before he has been brought in before the King for the first time, and while he is still a teenager. The book of Daniel is supposed to be in chronological order, but according to this theory, events in chapter 2 happened during events in chapter 1 (the 607 interpretation does not have this inconsistency).
So skipping backwards to chapter 1, let's see what the King's reaction was when Daniel was brought in before the King after the completion of his training (remember that the King already knows him, has already met him, has already appointed him head of all the wise men, and Daniel is the district ruler):
“...to them the king appointed a daily allowance from the delicacies of the king and from his drinking wine, even to nourish them for three years, that at the end of these they might stand before the king. ... And at the end of the days that the king had said to bring them in, the principal court official also proceeded to bring them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king began to speak with them, and out of them all no one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; and they continued to stand before the king. And as regards every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired about from them, he even got to find them ten times better than all the magic-practicing priests and the conjurers that were in all his royal realm.” — Daniel chapter 1
Does that sound like the end of three years of training, and being presented before the King for the first time? Or does it sound like the King talking to his chief of the district, and head of all the Wise men? If you choose the latter, then the chronological order is broken, the narrative makes no sense, and both the situation and the Bible looks absurd. –See Appendix N for another way some try to explain away this problem
When Daniel said the “second year” of Nebuchadnezzar's kingship, it is abundantly clear he meant Kingship over the Jews, otherwise the sequence of events make no sense. It is the 2nd year since the destruction of Jerusalem. It is the 2nd year since there was no king sitting on Jehovah’s throne at Jerusalem. It was the 2nd year that Nebuchadnezzar assumed that position over God's people. It is his 2nd year as world ruler, in fulfilment of the 70-year prophecy.