[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: question

On Fri, 12 Apr 1996 PWEGNER@BROWNVM.brown.edu wrote:

> Yes, but since this appears in the apocalyptic second half of the book, it
> probably refers to a "Daniel" (factual or fictional) who is not the same guy
> as the referent of "Daniel" (again, factual or fictional) in the first half of
> the book (at least, on my assumption that two separate writings from different
> times and places have been stuck together in our book of Daniel). I.e., where
> in chs. 7-12 is "Daniel" identified as a sage?

But this overlooks my argument several posts back about the unity of 
Daniel.  Chapter seven is the key, since it fits into the literary 
structure and language of chapters 2-7 but anticipates the 
vision/interpretation format of much of what follows, focused around the 
question of when the crisis will end.  The idea that Daniel is simply two 
writings from different times "stuck together" is only one possibility 
for understanding its literary history.  Another possibility is that a 
writer has taken a previously existing set of stories about the limits of 
royal power and the problem of serving in the court of an alien king and 
added to it as a means of addressing the Maccabean crisis.  My assumption 
is that Daniel is a fictional character whose "career" continues from the 
first half to the second half.  Given the additional material that the 
book of Daniel seems to generate, which shows up in the Greek versions, 
it seems likely that Daniel is a traditional character in the lore of 
some group, which is actively generating (or preserving) stories 
associated with Daniel.  What holds the whole body of material together 
are a number of themes coming from the Wisdom tradition, including the 
interpretation of dreams and visions, speaking the right word at the 
right time, and discerning the right time at which to act.

> As for "evening sacrifice" (Heb., minXat-'ereb), it's not clear to me that this
> refers to a sacrifice or offering in a literal sense.  The story is set in the
> Diaspora, where all our evidence indicates that Jews had no Temple, and did not
> sacrifice, but substituted prayer services instead.  To this day, the afternoon
> service is called "MinXah" (in memory of the original evening-offering in the
> Temple) but no one would suggests that Jews who pray daily at the "hour of
> the evening offering") have, or ever had, specfically priestly connections.
An interesting observation, but are you reading the later practice of the 
synagogue back into the pre-70 period?

> >the
> presence of the name Daniel in a priestly genealogy -- Ezra 8:2, which would
> make that particular Daniel a descendent of Aaron, Amram, Kohath, Levi, and
> Ithamar, cf. 1 Chron. 6:1-3).<

This is probably the weakest part of Gammie's argument, but it may be 
worth looking at in any case.  The point is not that we are talking about 
the same Daniel, but that it may be worth looking at the contexts in 
which a particular name shows up.  Gammie also pointed out that other 
names from the book of Daniel show up in priestly genealogies.  His point 
had something to do with the possibility that certain names were popular 
in certain contexts.

> But this is not in the Book of Daniel.  How do you know this refers to the same
> "Daniel"?  Or if it does, the author of Ezra (who of course DOES have priestly
> concerns and presents "Ezra" as a priest/scribe) may simply have made certain
> assumptions regarding the "Daniel" whom he lists here.
> BTW, I seem to remember reading that the name Daniel (at least with ref. to
> the "Daniel" of the first half of the book) may be taken from the name of an
> ancient  sage  renowned throughout the ancient Near East, about whom other
> writings in other languages exist.  Was THAT Daniel presented as a person with
> priestly concerns, or merely as a sage in the wisdom literature sense?  BTW,
> can you tell me where I can read more about that original Daniel, on whom our
> "Daniel" may well have been modelled?
Someone else has since posted on this particular issue, but the history 
of the name does suggest that "Daniel" was a vehicle for folklore, 
perhaps even before he shows up in stories set in the exile or diaspora.

> Judith Romney Wegner,
> Connecticut Colelge

Perhaps we need to come back to the initial point, which had to do with 
identifying literature relevant to understanding the role of 
"sectarianism" in the third (or perhaps early second) century.  Daniel is 
of importance here because writers like Pl<"o>ger have used it as a 
vehicle for arguing for the existence of a party like the Hasidim prior 
to the beginning of the Maccabean crisis.  I believe that Pl<"o>ger 
connected his Hasidim with the prophetic tradition, while others have 
suggested that such a group should be identified with the Levites (who 
seem to be associated both with Psalms and Chronicles).  How Daniel fits 
into this discussion is complicated because the name does not have some 
of the obvious associations of the subjects of several of the testaments 
mentioned, making it necessary to look at the cultural background to the 
book to determine how it fits in.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College