“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” – Micah 5:2
Chaldea was an ancient land in southern Babylonia, on the Persian Gulf near the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. As far as can be traced, the Chaldeans themselves descend from Shem’s son, Arphaxad, who is also an ancestor of Abraham and Israel. The study of Astronomy (which is concerned with the observation of the motions of celestial bodies, and the reduction of these observations to mathematical order) is said to have been instigated by the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium B.C. The Chaldeans of Abraham’s time were pagan and built idols and temples such as the Ziggurat of Ur. The structure is a temple to the moon god Sin (or Nanna, as known in Ur). The Ziggurat was constructed in the 21st century BC and completed by King Shulgi. Abraham was a resident of Ur, and spent his childhood living near the famous Ziggurat, where his father was an idol maker. The boyhood home of Abraham stands about 500 meters from the Ziggurat.
At the time of Daniel, Babylon was the intellectual center of western Asia, and the Chaldeans were renowned for their study and knowledge of science, especially astronomy. They kept detailed astronomical records for over 360 years, which can help us understand how the wise men from the East would have been able to identify the star that marked the coming of the Messiah. The star marked the time. The scriptures like Micah 5:2 told them where and who the Messiah was. These Chaldean wise men and their families spent their lives, generation after generation, in anticipation of the Savior. They had only a few prophecies and a new star. Yet they remained true to their mission.
Friend, are you searching with all your heart for that star? Are you following the scriptures that lead you to Him? He died so that you could live. Find Him now. He is waiting for you.
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. – Daniel 12:3
Discovered in the library of the Assyrian king Aššurbanipal in Nineveh, the Astronomical Diaries are stone tablets that date from 650 to 60 BC that are now displayed in the British Museum.The Chaldeans of southern Babylonia (Iraq) were the scientists of the day and the tablets record what is likely the longest research program ever. The Chaldeans who authored these seventy tablets believed that the gods had created the movements of the planets to give the people on earth indications of the future. The interesting thing is that these predictions were not, like the horoscopes in our newspapers, invented by charlatans. On the contrary, the Chaldean astronomers used a purely scientific method. They observed the skies, collected data, discovered regularities, and warned the authorities when they knew something bad was about to happen. The Chaldean astronomers of Assyria and Babylonia are the originators of the scientific method used by astronomers and, in fact, every discipline of science today.
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”
The Babylonian Chronicles were discovered in 1860 in the region of Nineveh. The oldest and most-populous city of the ancient Assyrian empire, Nineveh is situated on the east bank of the Tigris River and now encircled by the modern city of Mosul, Iraq.
The Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle records the King’s siege of Jerusalem on March 16th, 597 BC. The chronicle is written on a clay tablet that is now kept in theBritish Museum.
In Daniel 1 we learn that during the siege, slaves were taken that included four of the finest young Hebrew men. Daniel 1 says that they were to be young men without physical defect, handsome in appearance, skilled in all wisdom, quick to learn, prudent in how they used knowledge, and capable of serving in the king’s palace. They were to learn the literature and language of the CHALDEANS.
The CHALDEANS were secular, educated people from Southern Babylonia. The scientists of that day. Some were Astrologers. Some were capable of interpreting dreams. Upon experiencing a very troubling dream, King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that these wise men not only interpret his dreams, but that they do so without knowing what the dreams were! Just before the King dispatched them all for their incompetence, the young slave Daniel saved them by giving the king just what he asked for. From that time on, the Chaldeans watched Daniel and had faith in his God Yahweh. Daniel went on to serve on the Chaldean Court of Babylon for 70 years. He was a prophet of Yahweh and revealed prophetic secrets to the court that were passed on for future generations of Chaldeans.
Fast forward 600 years. Since the time of Daniel, generations of Chaldeans had studied the Hebrew Scriptures and the prophesies of Daniel. They had passed this knowledge on… generation after generation. And combined with their knowledge of the Scriptures, they were able to use the star to find Yeshua Jesus. They gave precious gifts that later would sustain the Holy family as they fled from Herod to Egypt. And they threw the evil King Herod off of their trail!
Yahweh God used the Chaldeans of Babylon in a mighty way. He used a young Daniel and his friends as a powerful witness. And the stone record of the Babylonian Chronicles is an important example of how the science of Archaeology authenticates the Bible.