True story: In 1946, a young shepherd boy by the name of Mohammed was playing in the dessert just northwest of what is called the Dead Sea. He was with his brother and another friend. They were playing a game of rocks throwing them into caves. One particular throw of a large rock wound up giving a sound that was distinct to Mohammed. They went to investigate and climbed up the edge of a cliff to enter the small entrance of the cave where the rock had been thrown. When they went in they found three scrolls which had been stored in some clay jars. They took the scrolls out of the clay jars and brought them back to their camp. They were Bedouins and lived in tents.
For the next few days they hung one of the scrolls on a tent poll and when people would come by they would show. They eventually made their way to Bethlehem where they tried to sell the scroll. The man who bought it owned what we would call a pawn shop. He asked the boys if they had any more scrolls and they said they did and went back home and brought back the other two scrolls and returned to the pawn shop and sold all three for $25.
Sometime later, a scientist from Jerusalem happened by that little pawn shop and saw the scrolls and realized that something amazing had been discovered. We know these scrolls as the “Dead Sea Scrolls.” They are called the Dead Sea scrolls because of where they were found northwest of the Dead Sea. Scientists went back to the caves where the boys had found them and excavated nearly 300 more additional scrolls. These are now the national treasure of Israel and are kept in Jerusalem in the National Museum (equivalent of the Smithsonian in the USA).
You may ask why are these scrolls are so important? Every book of the Old Testament is represented in those scrolls except the book of Esther. A critical importance revolves around the book of Daniel. Every chapter of the book of Daniel is represented in the scrolls. The reason this is so significant is because the man Daniel in the book of Daniel foretells the events of history from his time over the next 670+ years into the future. In fact, he foretells the future so precisely that skeptics and scoffers of the Bible have said that there was no way any man could have written a book like Daniel and foretold the next 670+ years of history with the precision that the writer of Daniel foretold it.
Prior to the Dead Sea scrolls scientists, skeptics and scoffers said this was humanly impossible and debunked that the book of Daniel was written in 605 BC “before” the events of the history they prophesied about. Their claim was that the book of Daniel was written by an imposter who said he was Daniel, but wasn’t, and that it was written in the first century BC, not in 605 BC, as when Daniel said he wrote it. They said that it was not possible to know about such things as Daniel did “before” they happened:
1) He foretold about the rise of the Persian kingdom.
2) The Rise of the Grecian Kingdom.
3) He foretold about Alexander the Great.
4) He foretold about Cleopatra and Antony.
5) The rise of the Roman Kingdom.
6) He foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the complete shattering of the holy people (Old Covenant Israel) at the “time of the end” in AD 70.
7) He foretold countless events of history that we today have studied in history books à up to 670 years before they ever happened.
Thanks be to God’s providence in leading that little shepherd boy Mohammed to find the Dead Sea scrolls in 1946 scientists have now determined by all of the top dating methods that the book of Daniel was written in the 6th century BC. It has literally shut the mouths of the skeptics and scoffers.
I am sure that this study in the book of Daniel will be a tremendous blessing to every Christian. It will strengthen your faith and awe of God. It will affirm for you that there is no other religion like Christianity in the world. There is no other religion in the world that even “attempts” to prophesy about the future, and yet the Bible has “hundreds” of prophesies, and Daniel is a key prophetic book which precisely predicts multitudes of events over 670 years from Daniels time that are verifiable and proven to the very details of what Daniel had prophesied.
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 9 Lesson 1 The Book of Daniel Chpt 1-9”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 9 Lesson 2 The Book of Daniel Chpt 10-12”]