Daniel


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Daniel Dare to trust Daniel’s God

Approaching Daniel •

Who was Daniel and what were his times?



What are the interpretative issues in Daniel?



What are the structure and themes in Daniel?



How does Daniel point us forward to Jesus and the NT?

Hebrew names for the books

Hebrew arrangement and classification

English arrangement and classification


 In the beginning
 These are the names
 And he called
 In the wilderness
 These are the words

Torah
 Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Law (Pentateuch) Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

the beginning to

c. 1400 BC


 Joshua
 Judges
 1-2 Samuel

1-2 Kings

Former prophets Joshua

Judges

1-2 Samuel

1-2 Kings

History
 Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1-2 Samuel

1-2 Kings

1-2 Chronicles


 1400-1380 BC
 1380-1050 BC

1200-1150 BC

1100-971 BC
 971-560 BC
 1010-539 BC

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Poetry and Wisdom Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

539-450 BC
 445-410 BC

483-474 BC
 
 
 No specific historical period covered
 


Major prophets Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Minor prophets Hosea-Malachi


 739-530 BC
 627-580 BC
 586 BC
 593-570 BC
 605-530 BC
 
 760-460 BC

Latter prophets 
 Isaiah

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Jeremiah

Ezekiel

Ezekiel

The book of the Twelve: The book of the Twelve:

Hosea-Malachi

Hosea-Malachi 
 Praises

Job

Proverbs

Ruth

Song of Songs

The Preacher

How!

Esther

Daniel

Ezra

Nehemiah

1-2 The Words of the days

The writings Psalms

Job

Proverbs

Ruth

Song of Songs

Ecclesiastes

Lamentations

Esther

Daniel

Ezra

Nehemiah

1-2 Chronicles

Approximate dates concerned

Approaching Daniel •

Who was Daniel and what were his times? •

Daniel was likely of royal blood and was exiled to Babylon in the first deportation of Jews in 605 BC (1:1-4). •

Was Daniel made a eunuch? He and his friends are assigned to Ashpenaz, the chief eunuch (1:3). There is no record in the book that he married or had children.



Daniel is an idealized figure in the book, perhaps like Joseph. As such, he provides a model for Israel in exile—but his model focuses on his faith and loyalty to God in the midst of the difficulty.



Daniel would serve various Babylonian rulers from Nebuchadnezzar until Cyrus the Persian’s third year (Dan 10:1)



Daniel was viewed as a historical figure, noted for his righteousness (Ezek 14:14, 20)

Babylon, Egypt, Judah Timeline 612 BC

Nabopolassar defeats Assyria and establishes Neo-Babylonian empire

609 BC

Josiah dies at Meggido, fighting against the Egyptian leader, Neco (as part of a Babylonian alliance?);

Jehoahaz succeeds—but the Egyptians replace him with Jehoiakim.

607 BC

Nabopolassar dies; Nebuchadnezzar becomes ruler in his place

605 BC

Nebuchadnezzar defeats Egyptian Pharaoh Neco at Carchemish; Jehoiakim shifts his alliance from Egypt to Babylon; Babylon takes its first group of exiles from Judah (cf. Dan 1:1-7)

598 BC

Jehoiakim rebels against Babylon, but dies before he suffers the consequences. Jehoiachin reigns for three months before Nebuchadnezzar marches to Jerusalem, deposes Jehoiachin and replaces him with Zedekiah—Babylon takes its second group of exiles (cf. Eek 1:1-3)

586 BC

Zedekiah intrigues with other nations (especially Egypt), but ultimately is destroyed by Babylon: Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem, destroys temple.

Appoints Gedliah to be governor (Jer 40:5)

Babylon/Persia kings 627-605 BC

Nabopolassar

605-562 BC

Nebuchadnezzar

562-560 BC

Evil-Merodach

560-556 BC

Neriglissar

556 BC (2 mos)

Labashi-Marduk

556-539 BC

Nabonidus

550-539 BC

Belshazzar (co-regent)

Daniel 5

539 BC (576-530 BC)

Cyrus the Persian/establishes Darius the Mede as vassal

Daniel 6, 9, 10

Daniel 1-4

Babylon/Persia kings 627-605 BC

Nabopolassar

605-562 BC

Nebuchadnezzar

562-560 BC

Evil-Merodach

560-556 BC

Neriglissar

556 BC (2 mos)

Labashi-Marduk

556-539 BC

Nabonidus

550-539 BC

Belshazzar (co-regent)

Daniel 5

539 BC (576-530 BC)

Cyrus the Persian/establishes Darius the Mede as vassal

Daniel 6, 9, 10

Daniel 1-4

Persia’s kings 559-530 BC

Cyrus the Great

Daniel 10-12

530-522 BC

Cambyses

522 BC

Bardiya

522-486 BC

Darius I

485-465 BC

Xerxes I

Esther

465-424 BC

Artaxerxes I

Ezra-Nehemiah

424 BC

Xerxes II

424-404 BC

Darius II

404-358 BC

Artaxerxes II

358-338 BC

Artaxerxes III

338-336 BC

Artaxerxes IV

336-330 BC

Darius III

330-329 BC

Artaxerxes V

defeated by Alexander the Great; Daniel 8

Approaching Daniel •

What are the interpretative issues in Daniel? •

Who wrote Daniel? •

Until the 20th century, it was assumed that the historical Daniel was the essential author of the book that bore his name. •

However, because of a bias against the kind of prophecy that Daniel represents, critical scholars have deemed that to be impossible.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the interpretative issues in Daniel? •

Who wrote Daniel? •



They claim that Daniel is a pseudonym for a later writer/editor (New Oxford Annotated Bible): •

“The author was a pious Jew living under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, c. 167-164 BC”



“These were traditional tales, which were already written down or collected in the late third or early second century BC.”



The prophecies represent “prophecy after the fact”: history written as prophecy

However, if we admit the possibility of predictive prophecy (2:20-23), then there is little reason to deny the historical Daniel’s essential authorship of the book bearing his name.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the interpretative issues in Daniel? •

When was Daniel written? •

Along that line, if we accept that the historical Daniel wrote the book, then the book would have a 6th century date. •

Its first recorded event is the first wave of exiles in 605 BC (1:1-4); its final dated prophecy would be 535 BC (10:1).



Even if there was a later editor, the essential dating of the book would be the 6th century.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the interpretative issues in Daniel? •

What about the historical challenges in Daniel? •

The most significant challenge is the person of “Darius the Mede” in 5:30-31, 9:1. •

It is clear that Cyrus the Great is already ruler of Persia and will be until 530 BC.



Contemporary references to Darius the Mede as governor have not been found.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the interpretative issues in Daniel? •

What about the historical challenges in Daniel? •

We have to recognize that we do not know everything about the end of the neb-babylonian empire; until recently Belshazzar’s existence was doubted.



Some relate Darius to Cyrus’s general, elsewhere named Gubaru or Ugbaru, who was then established as governor briefly.



Others see Darius as the last King of Media, “Cyaxares II,” who followed Astyages (Ahasuerus, 9:1).



Still others see “Darius” as a throne name adopted by Cyrus; and so, 6:28 would read “during the reign of Darius, that is, the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”



Ultimately, there is not a great solution to this problem yet.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

The most important theme: Israel’s God is the true sovereign over the nations—he has not forgotten his people in exile, but will keep his promises to bring them back to the land and establish the Davidic king.



In the meantime, Israel needed to learn to trust their God—a lesson that could only be taught through suffering and exile.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

There are two key structural approaches in Daniel: •

the literary division between “court tales” and “visions”;



and the language division between Hebrew (1:1-2:4; 8-12) and Aramaic (2:4-7:28).

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

The literary division between “court tales” and “visions” •

Chapters 1-6: “court tales”—tell the story of the “heroes” of the book and their interactions with the Babylonian court. •

Some of these tales are “court conflicts” and some are “court contests”: but the point of each is that Israel’s God is the true King, vindicating himself against the Babylonian overlords.

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

The literary division between “court tales” and “visions” •

Chapters 7-12: “visions” represent the longest section of apocalyptic literature in the OT. •

Narrow eschatology: apocalyptic texts look beyond the near future to the end of the age



Mediated revelation: typically, prophets receive their message directly from the Lord; apocalyptic messages come through angelic messengers (Dan 10, 12).



Unusual imagery and symbolic time: hybrid beasts (Dan 7), goats and rams (Dan 8); 70 sevens (Dan 9); times time and half a time (Dan 12)

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

The literary division between “court tales” and “visions” •

Chapters 7-12: “visions” represent the longest section of apocalyptic literature in the OT. •

Setting: oppression—apocalyptic literature tends to be the product of an oppressed society or an oppressed classic within a society. Evil is portrayed as grotesque; anguished cries for salvation occur in response (Dan 7)



Deterministic view of history and attendant optimism: God has determined to act; nothing can change this; he will deliver his people ultimately (Dan 12)

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

The literary division between “court tales” and “visions” •

Chapters 7-12: “visions” •

Chapter 8: prophecy about Persia and Greece



Chapter 9: confessing sin while meditating on Jeremiah’s 70 years (9:2) and the prophecy of 70 sevens



Chapter 10-11: prophecy concerning the Ptolemaic Dynasty (Egypt) and the Seleucid Dynasty (Iraq) and their battle for Palestine —Antiochus IV Epiphanies (“the abomination of desolation” 11:31)



Chapter 12: times of trouble and promise of final resurrection

Approaching Daniel •

What are the structure and themes in Daniel? •

The language division between Hebrew and Aramaic: •

Chapter 1: Hebrew—serves as a prologue or introduction to the whole



Chapters 2-7: Aramaic—a public document about God the King’s vindication over Babylon (4:34-37, 5:25-31)— (see chiastic structure on outline)



Chapters 8-12: Hebrew—serves to prepare Israel for the future by asserting that God is King over all that will happen

Approaching Daniel •

How does Daniel point us forward to Jesus and the NT? •

Jesus the Son of Man/Divine Warrior: Daniel 7:13-14 and Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7, 13; 19:11-21



The ultimate symbol of evil, the Beast: Daniel 7:7 and Revelation 13



The Kingdom of God not made with hands: Daniel 2:44-45, 7:14, 27 and Matt 4:17; John 19:36; 1 Cor 15:24