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Re: Nabonidus

Dear Gunner,
I am not particulary a Daniel expert, and my suggestions about Nabonidus 
you have received already. There is only one point about which I might 
illuminate the Mesopotamian background.  In chapter 2-6 there are several 
references to the courtiers who are called upon to interpret dreams.  Of 
these the ashapiya are obviously the ashipu (exorcists) know from 
numerous MEsopotamian texts.  The gazrayah may be diviners. I base this 
on the fact that GZR has the basic meaning of "cut", but in Akkadian the 
word parasu (to cut as well) designates as well determining of divine 
decisions by means of divination.  By  the way, these two words are 
probably related or the semantic equivalents of Hebrew qosem, also from a 
rot  with the  primary meaning of cut.  The Hartumim seem out of place in 
the Babylonian court, but there are royal inscriptions which mention the 
capture of hartumim in Egypt and their export to Mesopotamia. Did they 
take up shop in their new land?  The kashapayah are the Mesopotamia 
kashshapu. INteresting about this list is the mixture of vocations.  The 
purpose of the gatehring of such e xperts is to interpret  the king's 
dreams, but apart from the gazrayah none of the others seem to have 
anything to do with divination.  The kasda'eh are probably diivners of 
astral omens, so they are also related.  The hartumim are a mixed bag. In 
Exodus they are called upon to do miracles to  counter those of Moses, 
but in Genesis, in the Joseph stories, they are called upon to interpret 
PHaraoh's dreams.  So it is questionable either how distinct the 
functions were or how familiar the  biblical authors were with the 
functionaries in other societies.
Hope these comments are of some avail.
Avigdor Hurowitz