What do the Fall of Babylon, Whirlwinds and Gatekeepers Have in Common?

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What do the Fall of Babylon, Whirlwinds and Gatekeepers Have in Common?

Post by TruthInLove » Tue May 14, 2019 10:51 am

Elsewhere, I've presented the argument that whirlwinds as symbols of God were central to understanding the symbolism underlying the historical events being predicted in the enigmatic passages of Daniel 11:36-45. I'd like to suggest that whirlwinds also play a role in uncovering some helpful observations regarding another perplexing puzzle in Daniel - the identity of Babylon's true conqueror - Darius the Mede.

For those acquainted with the controversies surrounding Darius the Mede, it may seem surprising that whirlwinds would ever be a factor in deciphering the identity of this man. I'm not aware of any commentator to date who has made such a claim. To be sure, the evidence immediately available from the scant few passages that present details about Darius the Mede do not associate him with whirlwinds. At least not directly. Yet, there is at least one piece of evidence that does make this association indirectly. That evidence is found in the number 62.

We are told in Daniel 5:12 that Darius the Mede was 62 years old when he seized control of Babylon. The mention of 62 here seems at first like a trivial side note. Unlike other biblical numbers (e.g 7, 8, 10, 12, 40, etc.) the number 62 would not appear to have a precedent as being particularly symbolic of anything. 62 in fact occurs only a handful of times in the entire Bible whereas other symbolic numbers occur quite often. We will find that the amount of significance packed into those few occurrences is anything but trivial.

Of the relatively few times that 62 comes up in the Bible, it actually - almost suspiciously - occurs twice right in Daniel itself. Once relating to Darius the Mede, as we've already noted, and then again in Daniel's 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9. There, we find that the arrival and the cutting off of the Anointed One will occur after a period of 7-sevens and 62-sevens (Daniel 9:25-26). In connection with this predicted event, many commentators understand the culmination of the 70-weeks prophecy as pertaining to the same figurative fall of Babylon in the wake of the arrival of the Messiah described in Revelation 17:5; 18:2,10,21. Even elements of Isaiah's prophecies about Babylon's fall appear to have figurative applications beyond the fall of literal Babylon, pertaining to the arrival of a later Messianic kingdom.

What this means is that we have 2 lines of evidence linked to Daniel that suggest that both the historical and a figurative Babylon are conquered in association with the number 62. That on its own at least begins to suggest some sort of significance to this number. But what is this significance and how does it relate to whirlwinds? To see this, we'll need to look elsewhere.

Another occurrence of 62 that predates Daniel is in 1 Chronicles 26:8. Here, again we learn something seemingly trivial. The number of descendants of a man named Obed-Edom. His descendants were 62 in number (though, to be fair, 1 Chronicles 16:38 does say that he had 68 associates). Obed-Edom and his descendants were gatekeepers in Solomon's temple. These gatekeepers were in charge of protecting the treasures housed in the temple from intruders.

What makes this piece of information so interesting is the Hebrew word for gatekeeper and its connection to whirlwinds. The Hebrew for gatekeeper is שׁוֹעֵר (show`er - H7778). The Hebrew word for whirlwind, as used in Daniel 11:40, is שָׂעַר (sa`ar H8175). You may notice these words look very similar. This is because gatekeeper שׁוֹעֵר (show`er - H7778) derives from the word שַׁעַר (sha`ar - H8197) which itself is written exactly like the word for whirlwind שָׂעַר (sa`ar - H8175) in the orignal Hebrew. That is, H8175 and H8197 are homographs.

Homographs are prime fodder for word plays. Word plays are quite common in Hebrew literature and the Scriptures are no exception. Given the "confusion" that was instated at the tower of Babel (aka Babylon), word plays seem particularly appropriate to passages where Babylon is concerned. Given Babylon's significance in biblical prophecy, is it much of a stretch to think that confusion of words, such as that at work in word plays, might be at the heart of understanding the full significance of the most puzzling prophetic events surrounding true Israel's ultimate deliverance?

In light of these observations, a strong, literary link between gatekeepers (specifically Obed-Edom), whirlwinds, and the number 62 may be quite likely.

Carrying this a bit further, in other mediums, I have argued that the whirlwind has a unique association with the fiery, chariot-throne of God and that this fact is key to understanding the controversial passages of Daniel 11:36-45, especially verse 40. Further, this throne has a strong link to the delivering of the Messianic kingdom to the saints in Daniel 7:9-14,18,22,27. We've seen that the arrival of the Messianic kingdom is both predicted and associated with the number 62 in the 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:25-26. Therefore, there is an indirect but obvious symbolic link between the number 62, whirlwinds and the arrival of the Messianic kingdom. One may ask, if this number carries with it such a strong symbolic meaning, perhaps one of the most elusive persons it is attached to - Darius the Mede - is strongly symbolic himself. Perhaps this symbolism holds the key to unraveling the mystery surrounding this man.

I wanted to keep this fairly brief for the moment, but all this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a few other occurrences of 62 in the Scriptures which can also be shown to have a unique association with God and His Messiah. There are even a few compelling details yet to be covered in the occurrences I've already mentioned. What's more, a similar trail of symbols can also be demonstrated regarding the other elements of Darius the Mede. The name Darius. His Median ancestry. The Chaldeans over whom he was made king. Even his father Xerxes/Ahasuerus. A significance underlying all these aspects is subtly but demonstrably hinted at from the earliest portions of the Bible. They are all ultimately brought together beautifully in the composite figure of Darius the Mede and other figures of Daniel to reveal this significance more completely and convincingly. I will be writing more on this in the future. I invite everyone to explore these possibilities with me.

- Carmine

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