Where was Daniel?

by wozadummy 29 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Warlock


    I was just kidding.


  • Leolaia

    BTW, most of the political positions mentioned in ch. 3 are Persian, not Babylonian, and several of the musical instruments have Greek names.

  • peacefulpete

    If you want to have a little fun go back to the story in chapt 1. It ends with:

    17 As for these four youths, (Z) God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of (AA) visions and dreams.

    18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar.

    19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like (AB) Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they (AC) entered the king's personal service.

    20 As for every matter of (AD) wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them (AE) ten times (AF) better than all the (AG) magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

    21 And Daniel continued until the (AH) first year of Cyrus the king.

    So here Daniel and co. have ready access to the king, in his personal service, and are regarded as the best vision men in the Kingdom.

    Yet as the story continues with the king vexed about a dream but never requests Daniel or the three boys. Yet Daniel is named as somone marked for arrest and death in 2:13

    13 So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for (Q) Daniel and his friends to kill them.

    but the chief officer Arioch in charge of the executions is approached by a curious Daniel (in vss 14,15) who has to ask whats going on and Arioch doesn't arrest Daniel as ordered per verse 13.

    14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to (R) Arioch, the captain of the king's bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon;
    15 he said to Arioch, the king's commander, "For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter.

    Daniel goes up to to the king in verse 16 and asks for time as if somone in the King's service. Again no arrest is made.

    16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

    And when Daniel gets an answer he has to request an appearance before the King despite having freely approached him earlier many times

    24 Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: " (AH) Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king's presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king."

    25 Then Arioch hurriedly (AI) brought Daniel into the king's presence and spoke to him as follows: "I have found a man among the (AJ) exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!"

    26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was (AK) Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?"

    27 Daniel answered before the king and said, "As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither (AL) wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.

    Here the King doesn't know Daniel but is introduced ot the king as one of the exiles from Judah. Daniel does not include himself as one of the wise men though being regarded as one earlier and being hunted down as one in verse 13. We have here a story that has been redacted rather clumsily. If you remove 1:17-20 then 2:13,16 and 18b the entire story flows much better. The redactor apparently grew anxious to hail Daniel as a visionary of renown and appended 1:17-20 at the end of the vegetable story, then had to try to make this new information fit chapt 2.
  • Leolaia

    That's an interesting hypothesis, but I disagree that the chapters were composed in this manner. I rather view the incongruities between the chapters as due to their disparate origins in oral and literary tradition, such that each story does not share the same backstory as the others. Moreover, ch. 1 was added to the corpus last when the Hebrew apocalypse was combined with the Aramaic one (with some awkward editing early in ch. 2 to transition the language from Hebrew to Aramaic), and if it was not part of the earlier Aramaic apocaylpse then ch. 2-3 would not necessarily assume the events of ch. 1. I view 1:17-21 as redactional in the sense that they were part of the same effort to add the Hebrew material to the older book (e.g. the whole of ch. 1 is redactional in a sense) but I recognize it as an integral part of the narrative in ch. 1. It provides the obvious climax to the story and without it the story would end only ten days into the curriculum. It satisfies the expectation set up in v. 4 that the youths would "serve in the palace of the king", it tells of the consequence of the study program, and v. 21 neatly ties into what follows and defines the chronological parameters of the book.

    There is greater narrative flow between ch. 4-6 (e.g. the Belshazzar story in ch. 5 makes direct reference to the events in ch. 4 and the Darius story in ch. 6 presumes the events of ch. 5) and there is strong textual evidence that these chapters formed a unit earlier than the other chapters. Then the Aramaic apocalypse added ch. 3 to the collection (forming a chiasmus between the martyr tales of ch. 3 and 6) and completed the book with a pair of dream visions on the subject of the four kingdoms, adding ch. 2 to form the beginning of the book and ch. 7 to serve as its conclusion. This book had its chiasmatic focus on the story of Belshazzar -- a story of removal from kingship echoed in the other chapters (e.g. the succession of kingdoms in ch. 2, 7, Nebuchadnezzar's temporary removal from kingship in ch. 4, and the plotting against Darius in ch. 6). The original verses starting the book were likely lost when ch. 1 was later added. The theme of the Aramaic apocalypse was on the removal of earthly kingdoms by God's kingdom, which was a shift from the earlier focus on Gentile conversion, and the stories in ch. 4-6 were reshaped to fit with this theme. The theme of the early collection of ch. 4-6 fits in well with the more politically stable third century BC (cf. parallels in Jonah, Tobit, the later Letter of Aristeas), while the Aramaic apocalypse fits in beautifully with the crises of c. 200 BC and links up nicely with the evidence for an apocalyptic movement at this time (embracing both Danielic and Enochic streams).

    Then in the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (after ch. 7 had been updated to refer to Antiochus' early activities), a priestly Hebrew author completed the rest of the book after the defiling of the Temple by adding ch. 8 (designed as a midrash of ch. 7, stressing the cessation of the Tamid), then ch. 9 to provide a detailed apocalyptic survey to explain why the cessation of the Tamid occurred, and finally ch. 10-12 as an alternative historical survey offering an interpretation of the preceding visions. This Hebrew apocalypse would have also incorporated pre-existing material, especially the prayer in ch. 9 (which has a different literary character and which circulated at Qumran in an independent form) and a source for much of the material in ch. 11 up to Antiochus III. These additions destroyed the original harmonious chiasmatic structure of the collection, but the author added ch. 1 to round things out (probably a story that had circulated independently as well, as it has certain ties to the Story of the Three Pages in 1 Esdras, but its present form owes much to the author of ch. 8-12). Finally, the author had to stitch the seam lingiustically at the beginning of ch. 2, which was done fairly awkardly (e.g. the gloss "in Aramaic" in 2:4). The author would have translated v. 1-3 of the Aramaic into Hebrew, or possibly wrote the beginning anew. This completed the Hebrew-Aramaic book. The author was skillful in making ch. 8-12 follow the lead of c. 7 in terms of genre and use of first-person, while making ch. 1 conform to the genre and person of ch. 2-6; this produced a new surface structure, with ch. 1-6 being composed of court tales in the third person (tho note that ch. 2 is apocalyptic, owing to the older form of the book) and ch. 7-12 being composed of apocalyptic visions in the first person.

    Then sometime later two poetic pieces (the Prayer of Azariah, which seems to date to the Maccabean crisis, and the Song of the Three Young Men, which appears to be unrelated) were interpolated into ch. 3, and these probably circulated independently in Hebrew or Aramaic. Then later in the second century, when the book was translated into Greek, the translator took ch. 1-3 and 7-12 and rendered these chapters pretty accurately into Greek tho muckying around a bit with the "Seventy Weeks" oracle in ch. 9 (interpreting it as being fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes by employing SE years), and added these chapters and two additional tales (Susanna and Bel and the Dragon) to the pre-existing collection of ch. 4-6, producing the OG LXX. Still later, these chapters were all reshuffled -- producing a version of the LXX with all the chapters in chronological order.

    At least that's the explanation that makes the most sense to me.

  • wozadummy

    Peaceful pete

  • wozadummy


    Is it possible that Neb viewed Daniel and the other three as SPIRITUALLY different from the Babylonian seers, knowing their history perhaps, and therefore Daniel was not included to interpret dreams ,and daniel had to approach the king to inform him that he knew the future. Of course this would have then surprised the king enough to give Daniel an audience.

  • peacefulpete

    Is it possible that Neb viewed Daniel and the other three as SPIRITUALLY different from the Babylonian seers, knowing their history perhaps, and therefore Daniel was not included to interpret dreams ,and daniel had to approach the king to inform him that he knew the future. Of course this would have then surprised the king enough to give Daniel an audience.

    No, Daniel and the 3 were specifically called the best interpretors of dreams/visions in the Kings personal service in chapter 1.

    Leolaia : John J. Collins in his book " Daniel" (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993) p. 38. reconstructs the stages of composition as such:

    "The Hebrew–Aramaic text of Daniel evolved through several stages:

    1. The individual tales of Chaps. 2–6 were originally separate ...

    2. There was probably an initial collection of 3:31–6:29, which allowed the development of two textual traditions in these chapters.

    3. The Aramaic tales were collected, with the introductory chap.1, in the Hellenistic period.

    4. Daniel 7 was composed in Aramaic early in the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, before the desecration of the temple. Chapters 1–7 may have circulated briefly as an Aramaic book.

    5. Between 167 and 164 B.C.E. the Hebrew chapters 8–12 were added, and chap.1 was translated to provide a Hebrew frame for the Aramaic chapters. ..."

    Either way we explain the incongruity of chapt 1 and 2, as part of the overall composition or as a result of the whims of an even later editor, it demonstrates the text's complicated editorial past.

  • Leolaia

    PP....Yup, that's essentially the same process of development. The main difference is that Collins believes that ch. 1 was associated with the Aramaic apocalypse before it was combined with ch. 8-12 (such that ch. 1-7 originally circulated as an independent book), whereas I believe it was added when the rest of the Hebrew book was attached to ch. 2-7. The main point in favor of the earlier existence of ch. 1 is lack of reminiscence of the Maccabean crisis (which runs throughout ch. 8-12), i.e. the chapter is a pre-Maccabean narrative. However this fact does not necessarily point to a textual Tendenz for the chapter; the form of the story may have been composed at an earlier stage (as all the stories in ch. 1-6 were) but this does not necessarily mean that it was physically attached to the rest of ch. 2-6 at this time. These are points in favor of the unity of ch. 2-7 over ch. 1-7:

    • There is the chiasmatic plan mentioned earlier, with ch. 2 corresponding to ch. 7, and ch. 3 corresponding to ch. 6, with the focus placed at ch. 4. This is the chapter that serves as a lynchpin connecting Nebuchadnezzar to Darius. Chapter 1 is extraneous to this structure.
    • Chapter 1 is also in a different language. Chapters 2-7 are in Aramaic, while ch. 1 is Hebrew. Now there is evidence of Aramaisms in the chapter (especially 'shr lmh "lest" in 1:10), but these may reflect an earlier Aramaic Vorlage of the story. In its present form, the chapter was composed with Hebrew material drawn from the Chronicler (e.g. v. 1 = 2 Chronicles 36:5-10, v. 2 = Ezra 1:7, md` "knowledge" in v. 4 = 2 Chronicles 1:10-12, `shh `m in v. 13 = 2 Chronicles 2:2, etc.), largely used to provide its historical frame, just as the names of the principal actors are also taken from this source (cf. "Daniel," "Hananiah", "Mishael", and "Azariah" in Ezra 8, Nehemiah 7-10). This suggests that the Hebrew form of the chapter was not due to a later translation but was already Hebrew when the material from the Chronicler was employed. A similar dependence on the Chronicler appears in ch. 9, where the "70 years" is interpreted sabbatically (= 2 Chronicles 36:20-21) and where the prayer is parallel in aim and content to the prayer in Nehemiah 9 (cf. v. 6 = Nehemiah 9:32, v. 9 = Nehemiah 9:17, 21, 27, v. 14 = Nehemiah 9:33, v. 19 = Nehemiah 9:27).
    • There are a few intriguing links between ch. 1 and ch. 10-12. The ptbg "king's food" of 1:5, 8, 13, 15, 16 reoccurs as a theme in 11:26, and the mshklym "wise ones" of 11:33-35, 12:3, who constitute a primary focus of attention in ch. 11-12, are echoed by the youths in ch. 1 who are also mshklym (1:3) and who have hshkl "wisdom" (1:17). Both of these words are especially rare in Hebrew and play important roles in their respective stories.
    • Although the original "setting in life" of ch. 1 is clearly not the Maccabean crisis (thus the tale would have arisen in the pre-Maccabean period), it still reflects the concerns of the author of ch. 8-12 more than the other court tales. The despoiling of the Temple, which is of central importance in ch. 8, 9, and 11, is narrated in 1:2. The theme of tg'l "defilement" in 1:8 connects with the defiling of the Temple in ch. 8-9. And the theme of God's kingdom, which runs throughout ch. 2-7, is absent in ch. 1 just as it is backgrounded in ch. 8-12 (where concerns about the Temple take precedence). The story in ch. 1, while reflecting a Hellenized diaspora concern of integrating into pagan society, may have had resonance in the Maccabean period, in which Antiochus Epiphanes similar plundered the sacred vessels from the Temple (1 Maccabees 1:20-24) and the food theme recurs in v. 62-63: "Many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant, and they did die".

    The other major difference is Collins' dating of ch. 7 to early in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, with the Aramaic apocalypse circulating briefly at that time. I find much more persuasive the arguments that ch. 7 in its original form dates to the time of Antiochus III and was subsequently updated in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes with interpolations referring to Antiochus as a "little horn". Notice that the parallel dream vision in ch. 2 also lacks any reference to Antiochus. The interpolator would have then added 7:8, 20b-22 and 24b-25 to ch. 7 which add an extraneous 11th king and interrupt the follow of the passage and shift the focus from the judgment on the beast to judgment on the final horn.

  • myelaine

    Utter a parable to the rebellious house, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Put on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it. Gather pieces of meat in it, every good piece, the thigh and the shoulder. Fill it with choice cuts; take the choice of the flock. Also pile fuel bones under it, make it boil well, and let the cut simmer in it."'3 'Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is in it, and whose scum is not gone from it! Bring it out piece by piece, on which no lot has fallen. For her blood is in her midst; she set it on top of a rock; she did not pour it on the ground, to cover it with dust. That it may raise up fury and take vengeance, I have set her blood on top of a rock, that it may not be covered!"' (Ezekiel 24:3-8)

  • peacefulpete

    Good stuff Leolaia.

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