Good question....Was Daniel written AFTER the events he foretold?

[Draft May 16, 1998; 3rd revision Dec/2000.....Intro/Menu] 

Literary References Section



2. Do we have any literary references or clear allusions to the Book in other pre-Maccabean extra-biblical literature?


We have a couple of obvious problems here:


1.        where is the pre-167 BC literature?


2.        how would we identify references or 'clear allusions'?

3.        how will we determine the direction of borrowing (if it is not obvious from other factors)?





Problem One: Where is the pre-167 BC literature?


The obvious places to look  first are in the Pseudepigrapha and the Apocrypha, but how much of this will be in the early 2nd century?

A glance at the table of contents of the Pseudepigrapha in Charlesworth's OTP yields the following list:

OTP: Volume One

o                    1 Enoch (2nd BC - 1st AD)

o                    2 Enoch (late 1st AD)

o                    3 Enoch (5-6th AD)

o                    Sibylline Oracles (2nd BC - 7th AD)

o                    Treatise of Shem (1st BC)

o                    Apocryphon of Ezekiel (1st BC - 1st AD)

o                    Apocalypse of Zephaniah (1st BC - 1st AD)

o                    4th Ezra (late 1st AD)

o                    Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (2-9th AD)

o                    Vision of Ezra (4-7th AD)

o                    Questions of Ezra (date unk.)

o                    Revelation of Ezra (prior to 9th AD)

o                    Apocalypse of Sedrach (2-5th AD)

o                    2 Baruch (early 2nd AD)

o                    3 Baruch (1-3rd AD)

o                    Apocalypse of Abraham (1-2nd AD)

o                    Apocalypse of Adam (4-5th AD)

o                    Apocalypse of Elijah (1-4th AD)

o                    Apocalypse of Daniel (9th AD)

o                    Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (2nd BC)

o                    Testament of Job (1st BC - 1 AD)

o                    Testament of Abraham (1-2nd AD)

o                    Testament of Isaac (2nd AD)

o                    Testament of Jacob (2-3 AD)

o                    Testament of Moses (1st AD)

o                    Testament of Solomon (1-3rd AD)

o                    Testament of Adam (2-5th AD)


OTP: Volume Two:

o                    Letter of Aristeas (3rd BC - 1st AD)

o                    Jubilees (2nd BC)

o                    Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah (2nd BC - 4th AD)

o                    Joseph and Aseneth (1st BC - 2nd AD)

o                    Life of Adam and Eve (1st AD)

o                    Pseudo-Philo (1st AD)

o                    The Lives of the Prophets (1st AD)

o                    Ladder of Jacob (1st AD)

o                    4 Baruch (1-2nd AD)

o                    Jannes and Jambres (1-3rd AD)

o                    History of the Rechabites (1-4th AD)

o                    Eldad and Modad (prior to 2nd AD)

o                    History of Joseph (prior to 4th AD)

o                    Ahiqar (7-6 BC) [Not a Jewish work; would pre-date Daniel anyway]

o                    3 Maccabees (1st BC)

o                    4 Maccabees (1st AD)

o                    Pseudo-Phocylides (1st BC - 1st AD)

o                    The Sentences of the Syriac Menander (3rd AD)

o                    More Psalms of David (3rd BC - 1st AD)

o                    Prayer of Manasseh (2nd BC - 1st AD)

o                    Psalms of Solomon (1st BC)

o                    Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers (2-3rd AD)

o                    Prayer of Joseph (1st AD)

o                    Prayer of Jacob (1-4th AD)

o                    Odes of Solomon (late 1-2nd AD)


OTP: Supplement: Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works:

o                    Philo the Epic Poet (3-2nd BC)

o                    Theodotus (2-1st BC)

o                    Orphica (2nd BC - 1st AD)

o                    Ezekiel the Tragedian (2nd BC)

o                    Fragments of Pseudo-Greek Poets (3-2nd BC)

o                    Aristobulus (2nd BC)

o                    Demetrius the Chronographer (3rd BC)

o                    Aristeas the Exegete (prior to 1st BC)

o                    Eupolemus (prior to 1st BC)

o                    Pseudo-Eupolemus (prior to 1st BC)

o                    Cleodemus Malchus (prior to 1st BC)

o                    Artapanus (3-2nd BC)

o                    Pseudo-Hecataeus (2nd BC - 1 AD)


Apocrypha (dating from NWNTI:9-19; HCSB):

o                    1 Esdras (2nd BC)

o                    2 Esdras = 4th Ezra (1-3 AD)

o                    Tobit (2nd BC)

o                    Judith (2nd BC)

o                    Additions to Esther (2-1st BC)

o                    Wisdom of Solomon (1st BC)

o                    Sirach/Ecclesiasticus (Hebrew 180 BC; Greek translate 132 BC)

o                    Baruch = 1 Baruch (200-60 BC)

o                    Letter of Jeremiah (3rd BC)

o                    Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Children (2-1st BC) [Additions to Daniel]

o                    Susanna (3-1st BC)[Additions to Daniel]

o                    Bel and the Dragon (3-1st BC)[Additions to Daniel]

o                    1 Maccabees (late 2nd BC)

o                    2 Maccabees (mid 2nd BC)


As you can probably tell, there is not a lot of literature that falls into the pre-Maccabean period in the above lists. However, scholars have isolated sections from many of these larger works, which are considered to be within our period. It is these that we will try to examine.




Problem Two: how will be identify literary references and/or clear allusions?


This area can be notoriously difficult and subjective, but lack of specificity in criteria cannot stop us from at least trying. In philosophy, there is a type of fallacy called "the fallacy of the beard". This fallacy deals with situations in which we cannot specify exactly when (and how we will therefore know) facial hair 'stubble' becomes 'a beard'. We can recognize obvious beards and obvious stubble, and our inability to articulate precisely the difference between two does not impair (or "de-justify") our ability to spot/admit OBVIOUS cases of each.


As applied to allusion and quotation, we will try to identify "plausibly obvious" cases (I will confine myself to those recognized by scholars in print, so that my personal subjectivity will be minimized). We will first note some of the approaches offered and concerns voiced, by those who work in this area.



"First of all, 'verbal parallels' is a term that will be used in this work to designate the occurrence of two or more passages of distinctive content, ranging in length from a few significant words to several sentences, which display identical or minimally divergent wording. The word 'verbal' distinguishes these passages from those which treat similar themes or topoi but whose wording does not correspond.: [OT:SQVP:19]




"Allusions are identified primarily on the basis of rare but significant repeated words which often use the terms in a different manner or for a different purpose." [OT:SQVP:49]



"More recently, another case of inner-scriptural interpretation was examined by John Day who sought to demonstrate the dependence of Isa. 26.13-27.11 on Hos. 13.4-14.10." Day used a cumulative argument, noting that, of eight parallels, all but one occur in the same order in both sources. He also considered it significant that both passages came at the end of their respective compositions. Of the eight parallels, only one consists of verbal similarities, the others exhibiting thematic similarities, such as identical images (birth pangs, east wind, dew, vineyard), or motifs (deliverance from Sheol, idolatry, need for discernment). Day made a strong case for some type of dependence involving Hosea and Isaiah, though he simply assumed that Isaiah  is the borrower. Although one might question the evidential value of some of his thematic parallels, one must agree with him that verbal parallels are not essential in order to claim literary borrowing."  [OT:SQVP:93]



"Other than the Jerusalem elders' citation of Micah in Jeremiah's day (Jer. 26.17-19), Daniel's reference to Jeremiah's prophecy of the 70 years (Dan. 9.2), and some oblique references to the words of earlier prophets in Ezekiel (Ezek. 38.17) and Zechariah (Zech. 1.4), verbal parallels offer the only evidence that oracles were known to contemporary or later prophets, or to the general populace-which is also essential, since most scholars seem to imply that the employment of quotation must be apparent to the audience in order for it to function as intended. "  [OT:SQVP:109]



"Frequently the resemblances are better to be explained as due either to dependence upon a common tradition or to the use of set phrases found in religious compositions of almost any period of Old Testament History" (Ackroyd, cited in  [OT:SQVP:111]



"Because verbal and not thematic parallels are his primary concern, he sets down some minimum standards for the passages to be considered: the texts must share at least two key words (though one may suffice if it is particularly striking and central to the phrase) and 'there must be some relationship between the development of thought in the two texts.'"  [OT:SQVP:121]




"What is more important, however, and much more difficult to determine, is how close and extensive the verbal correspondence had to be for ancient readers to recognize a quotation. Remarkably, the exact quotation is virtually non-existent in Egyptian literature. Orthographic changes, syntactical simplification, substitution of near synonyms, variations in word order, grammatical updating, necessary adjustments in person, number and verbal form, as well as extensive paraphrasing and expansions frequently occur. Helck may be correct when he suggests that certain elements of a sentence (Brunner's 'catchwords'?) must remain basically intact in a quotation, but if this requirement is met, a rather extensive revision of the remaining elements can be tolerated."  [OT:SQVP:123]




"In fact, a quotation may, through repeated usage, gradually attain the currency of a popular proverb, whose historical or literary origin becomes forgotten and even irrelevant to its proper understanding."  [OT:SQVP:196]




"the absence of introductory formulae in prophetic quotation cannot mean that its detection is not intended" [OT:SQVP:228:236]



"These passages illustrate the problem of trying to distinguish between quotation and topos. In quotation one is looking for the repetition of significant words and syntactical structures; with topos one simply seeks the repetition of various terms conceptually related to a theme or topic. The topos of the highway in the wilderness is an oft-repeated theme within Isaiah...and, as a result, several of the Hebrew terms used to describe the highway, its construction and maintenance, and travel upon it necessarily will be repeated several times. This is, however, a  case of reuse of imagery, not of verbal dependence or quotation." [OT:SQVP:228:273]



"Yet the comparative material suggests that minimal marking generally is the practice in literature contemporary to the Old Testament and even later Jewish literature...One is forced to draw one of two conclusions: either the readers or listeners are not expected to identify the verbal parallel or they are considered competent to recognize it despite only minimal marking." [OT:SQVP:331]




"It is all too easy to run eagerly after superficial parallels which cannot really be sustained under a closer scrutiny. Accordingly, the parallels must have similar ideas underlying them and, second, any suggestion of influence requires that the parallels be numerous, complex and detailed, with a similar conceptual usage and, ideally, that they should point to a specific myth or group of related myths in Mesopotamia." [HI:GMM:7]




"In other words, allusion consists not only in the echoing of an earlier text but in the utilization of the marked material for some rhetorical or strategic end." [OT:PRSA:15]


"allusions are distinct from mere echo. The meaning of an alluding text is affected by the content of the source text, while echoes do not suggest any altered understanding of the passage in which  they appear. Formally, however echoes resemble allusions in that both borrow vocabulary, images, or other elements from the older text, and many of the purpose or reasons for allusion apply equally well to echo." [OT:PRSA:31]




"Markers (usually borrowed vocabulary) point the reader to the older text, though only if the reader is familiar with them....In this formal category, the new text reuses vocabulary or imagery from the source...Probably the largest number of cases of what scholars have generally called 'inner-biblical exegesis' belongs to this category. For example, Mal 1.6-2.9 and Psalms 4 and 67 contain many vocabulary items found in the ancient priestly benedictions  known to us from Num 6.23-27. The abundance of markers point back to the older text makes clear that Malachi and the psalmists borrow from that text, even though none of these authors cites the older text by name" [OT:PRSA:21]


"Another circumstantial criterion would be the number of parallels from the same source fond in the same author or in the same period." [Tigay, in TS:250]



So, these observations might yield the following guidelines for us:


  1. We will be looking for words/phrases/images/patterns that are not "ordinary usage" items.
  2. Words/images in a pattern that cohere 'less organically' are more likely to cohere because of a literary exemplar (i.e., less predictable and less expected)
  3. We will look for material that would be memorable to a general populace (and therefore more likely to be 'recalled' by the markers).
  4. We will look for material that is more likely to have required a 'striking' event or document, to 'install it' into the literary culture and usage. (as opposed to 'anonymous common tradition')
  5. We are actually looking for a small number (not large number) of catchwords and borrowed vocabulary, since that is the pattern of the ANE.
  6. We will look for complex and/or detailed material.
  7. These markers may not be in the same arrangement as the original.
  8. [The wider the geographical spread of possible parallels, the greater the chance of borrowing.]




It may be instructive to see how "numerous, complex, and detailed" these parallels should be, for comparing with our examples. Let's use the example of Psalm 4, given by Sommer and Fishbane:


"Ps. 4 contributes another example of the impact of the Priestly Blessing on the liturgical life of ancient Israel, as reflected in the Psalter. It is particularly significant since it provides a literary form manifestly different from that found in Ps. 67. In the later, Num. 6:24-26 is first (partially) cited and only then applied (cf. v.3). By contrast, in Ps. 4 the key terms of the Priestly Blessing are spread throughout the piece, serving simultaneously as its theological touchstone and its ideological matrix. The psalmist first calls upon YHWH to 'favour me' and hear his prayer (v. 2); then, after citing those disbelievers 'who say: 'who will show us any good?'", the psalmist calls upon YHWH to 'raise over us the light of your presence' (v.7). The psalmist concludes with a reference to Shalom, peace or well-being (v.9)...." [BIAI:303-331]



Here are the passages, with the common words (in the underlying Hebrew) in bold:



The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. 27 So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them. [NRSV]



Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.  2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?  Selah 3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.  4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.   Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.  6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. 7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  [NIV]


Now, these are not very technical terms, but they do show up in a highly used liturgical formula, which would have been very familiar to the people. The original saying would have become part of the liturgical 'background', against which Psalm 4 would have sounded. This would have evoked the liturgical tradition and situated the psalmist in that stream of memory and tradition. So Sommer,


"The presence of the familiar vocabulary does, however, affect the reader, who experiences the pleasure of recognition and realizes that the psalm is part of a particular liturgical tradition. Further, the reuse of the vocabulary may represent a claim to authority by the psalms or an attempt by them to reinforce the authority of the ancient benediction." [OT:PRSA:31]


This is a an example of what I personally would consider 'borderline', since these terms are used widely in the culture, but it will function as a 'test case' by which we can compare any cases of possible verbal parallels below.]--just to see if I am being too 'generous' or speculative...(smile)



Pushback: "Why would we look for a specific document, Glenn, for a source, when 'common tradition' would always be a safer bet? To go beyond assuming a writer used phrases and images from some common stock of 'now anonymous' religious phrases or images, to assuming a writer used phrases from a specific source seems inherently more risky."


Excellent question...I personally don't find the notion of a large body of  'anonymous authoritative common tradition' (as opposed to, say, folklore and fable) to be very meaningful for ancient cultures, especially Israel.


Phrases, images, and concepts enter some common literary parlance in a society only via extraordinary events (with a linguistic aspect). These outstanding events may be speeches of highly visible leaders (e.g. "I have a dream...", "ask not what your country can do for you..."), highly visible "news events" (e.g., "He ain't heavy, he's my brother...", "sputnik"), or highly visible and provocative literary works (e.g. the KJV bible and Shakespeare in Western Culture).  In the case of specialized and technical phraseology, there literally has to be argumentation of force and influence creating/using these terms in this "new way", for the subject-matter audience to begin using it in this way. These don't just 'pop up'--they look more like micro-sized paradigm shifts. In technical areas, we can (and do) trace the origination of key phrases and terms, and in the 'review of the literature' section of monographs, discuss the originating author(s).


In other words, you don't get technical phrases and "re-usable" images, useful to the literary 'producers' of a culture, without some generative event [we will talk about the non-literary 'consumers' in a moment]. In the ancient world, this event could be a war speech, famous legal brief, literary composition, or foreign messenger report. But it always started somewhere, and 'somewhere' was always known at first.


In these cultures, though, 'known at first' meant 'known forever'...


In traditional cultures such as in the ANE, there was tremendous solidarity with the past. Tradition was supremely valued, and especially in Israel, the closer one could stay to the 'traditions of the elders' the safer and more authoritative one's own works were. This can be seen even in the OT/Tanakh, where prophetic oracles are repeated over and over, from one generation of prophets to the next. Authority in the ANE was always tied to either antiquity (e.g. dynastic leaders always tried to show their 'genealogy') or to power (e.g., conquest, sorcery, access to the gods). Literature was constantly re-used, and as Schultz notes:


"Finally, if most of the passages examined above constitute genuine quotations, then literary borrowing was an acknowledged and relatively widespread rhetorical device in the ancient New East. It indicates both a continued knowledge of literature for as long as one to two millennia and its continued authority."  [OT:SQVP:143]


And yet, we have already noted that the comparative literature in the ANE only infrequently marked this author-conscious literary borrowing by authorial reference.


In these cultures, too, we must recognize the relative [to media-rich, modern cultures] scarcity of 'formative' literary works. Although literacy among the common Israelite might have been better than among other peoples of the same period, there would still have only been a relative few who could read the literary 'canon' (in the sense of culturally 'important' books) and even fewer who could generate literary works. The value placed on these works (due to rarity, connections with authority, potential usefulness--especially in the case of religious/magical texts--and often, brilliance and vividness) would guarantee frequent copying and protection, and hence, increase dramatically our chances of finding these in our 'digs'. They, of course, also generated hours of 'discussion and argument' among the leadership, and tons of literary references (and even explicit citation), from which we know about these as well (see [OT:SQVP] and [BTM] for numerous examples).


Indeed, the very process of learning how to read and write (for these later literary 'producers') was one of constant immersion in these author-noted texts! The process of scribal education was one of tedious and incessant copying of these formative texts, and often involved complete memorization and classification:






After having "argued that in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, and in the Hellenistic world that engulfed all these areas, we have evidence of canons...", Davies lists the main factors that created 'canonical' literature (i.e., author-linked, well-known, often recited, source of allusions, basis of education literature) in  [HI:SSCHS:33ff, emphasis mine]:




We owe, of course, the very preservation of these 'canonical' texts to this scribal education, but it is correlative with it that literary allusions/echoes/references are made to these same works. The notion of 'common tradition' simply does not apply to the literary producers of these cultures. Works that survive were either 'canonical' or 'very useful'.


So, technical terminology and less-organic phrases (i.e. non-topoi, or image-implied language) can be expected to be found somewhere in the antecedent formative/transformative literature, especially of the immediately preceding period or two. We will sometimes be disappointed, but in the period of Jewish history under discussion here--from the Babylonian Exile to Qumran--our confidence that we have the 'bulk' of the major formative literary documents of Jewish thought is high. [It should also be remembered that beginning in this period, Israel will become more 'closed' and 'in-bred' in literary development, restricting the number of books in the 'literary canon' to those produced by Israel and to a lesser extent, by those at the "edges" of Israel.]


One comment about 'common parlance' in non-literary circles: "Author-conscious tradition" can become "anonymous tradition" in literary circles only over vast periods of time and in cases of increased discipline fragmentation of the 'expertise' base. (But note that we have evidence that this did NOT occur in the ANE, and that there are definite social forces against this process!).  But "author-conscious tradition" can become "anonymous popular tradition" much faster. We know from socio-linguistics, for example, that a major force in language change is the 'Social prestige' associated with the source. The 'higher status' the source, the faster/more likely the change will be adopted by the other speakers in that language group ["People come to talk like those they identify with or admire.", Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, p. 333; also Spolsky, Sociolinguistics, Oxford:1998, pp.39ff]. And, in the cases of metaphors/conceptual images, they can be adopted from one discipline to another discipline, without 'author-conscious connections' (e.g. Management Science use of 'paradigm shift'; genetics use of 'information models' for DNA). And, at the popular level, many older 'allusions' will become 'echoes' (e.g., many will recognize "the face that launched a thousand ships", but few will know where it came from [example taken from OT:PRSA:17] but many more recent 'allusions' will retain the author-conscious element (e.g. that Martin Luther King, Jr. and JFK uttered the quotes used earlier).


But this modern process of de-coupling the author from the content will not be operative in our case, for we are talking about the literature 'producers' (not merely 'consumers'), who in the ANE learned to read and write by incessant copying of these formative and 'canonical' texts..."Anonymous common literary tradition" then, will be concept to 'fall back on' only in cases where we have no plausible exemplar that can function as a source (assuming, of course, that there is a plausible channel of transmission of the textual content between the two).





We will also need to be alert to possible 'motivations' for borrowing, since obvious cases of this might also tip us off to suspect it.



"Like Hammill, he [James Zink] suggest that many Old Testament phrases which appear in the Apocrypha are not purposeful citations but are simply an indication that the writer has saturated his mind with biblical terminology and has sought to imitate its style."  [OT:SQVP:149]




"The reasons for this dependence on utterances of the past vary. It simply may be that the quoter recognizes the continuing validity of the earlier statement, a validity of the statement which may be due to the speaker's status as a sage or divine spokesperson. This status may endow the words with an authority with the quoter hopes to transfer to his or her work, as in the extensive quotation of the Old Testament in the Qumran Manual of Discipline and Zadokite Document."  [OT:SQVP:228]




"many would see in the reuse of earlier oracles for interpretive purposes at least 'the rise of a canonical consciousness'"  [OT:SQVP:106]




"an author may seek to gain entry into a canon...In such a case, allusion represents an attempt to bolster the authority of the work." [OT:PRSA:18]


"Biblical writers may use an older text to bolster their own text or to help make some claim." [OT:PRSA:29]



"Influence may also include the repetition of an older text's verbal content. Such cases may be examples of inclusion from a formal point of view (e.g., the influence of Samuel and Kings on Chronicles). Alternatively, they may involve a less word-for-word reliance on the source as the new text restates the older material largely in its own words. For example, Jubilees and the Temple Scroll repeat with various changes the stories and laws found in the Pentateuch. Influence in these cases usually incorporates one of two thematic relationships, revision or polemic." [OT:SQVP:25]



"James Kugel characterizes the role of allusion within the bible particularly well: examples of this category serve as "an evocation, an argument by analogy, appropriation of divine law and its authority in order to make" a new point not necessarily related to the topic of the older text." [OT:PRSA:30]




Finally, we should note the various possible explanations for possible parallels. Caspari, over a century ago, generated this list, which is still useful:

  1. The similarity is due to the similarity of subject which both prophets are addressing in their respective prophecies, as well as the fact that the prophet's conceptual, imagistic and linguistic world is relatively limited in scope, often resulting in the use of the same expressions.

  2. The author of A, having read B's prophecies, unconsciously or intentionally employed the appropriate concepts, images and expressions of the latter which remained in his memory to present the substance of his prophecy.

  3. B read A's prophecies and borrowed concepts, images and expressions from the latter.

  4. An oracle of an older prophet formed the basis for the prophecies of both prophets, each drawing upon it independently.

  5. The passage was introduced from an earlier oracle into a later prophecy through revision or interpolation.

  6. The passage was interpolated into an earlier prophecy from a late prophecy.

  7. Both passages are by the same prophet" (Caspari, cited at [OT:SQVP:23])


To this list--to accommodate for 'common tradition'--we might add a:


4B.  The prophecies of an older prophet were so pervasively accepted in the literary and popular culture that they became proverbial (no longer giving rise the question of origination or authorship, when used by A or B).


Under these possible scenarios, items 2 and 3 would represent 'borrowing'; 4 and 4B would not (at least not from A to B or B to A); 1 would NOT (since the similarity is due to a restriction in the language, including topoi); 5 & 6 are editorial functions (includes borrowing, of course), but 6 could throw quite a wrinkle into the issue...


For example, number 6 in our case might mean that someone at Qumran--while copying the book of Daniel--added content to it from some later work, such as Wisdom of Solomon. This would make it look like Wis.Sol borrowed from Daniel, when it fact it did not. We KNOW this happened in the post-apostolic transmission of some of the Jewish intertestamental works (esp. by Christian copyists, who inserted Christian 'details' into the explanations, although there is no reason to believe it was done in order to be able to 'backward reference' a text!), so we will need to be alert to this possibility. The main difficulty in establishing this type of event, for our case, will be (a) motive; (b) opportunity to modify Daniel in such a way; and, of course, (c) evidence that it occurred. But, we might need to ask the question as we go along.




Problem three: How will we determine the direction of borrowing (if it is not obvious from other factors)?

Direction of borrowing is likewise difficult. Normally one depends on the dating of two documents to be able to establish this (but notice how #6 above would complicate the matter somewhat), but in our case, we are trying to establish these dates (or at least ranges of dates).


This area is known to be abused by those with 'leanings toward'  a given position (as I have toward the dating of Daniel), but this need not invalidate the investigative process and discussion, AS LONG AS the rigors of analysis are done in a "more than fair" method. In other words, admitting my position requires me to use more rigor  than I would perhaps if I were perfectly neutral (which, of course, no one is on this issue...) and/or be more self-critical than I might be on other "less-flammable" issues (smile)...


Apart from possible question-begging dating considerations, what types of indications might we look for to establish direction of borrowing?


Caspari suggested these [Cited at OT:SQVP:24]:


  1. For which prophet is literary borrowing more typical?
  2. In which types of prophetic material is literary borrowing most frequent?
  3. How well does each passage fit into its respective context?
  4. Can any plausible motivation for this borrowing be suggested?
  5. Which parallel is more concise and plainer in expression?
  6. Is the language of the passage typical of the prophet's language elsewhere?


In many cases, #4 will be a major giveaway, since "revision" and "polemic" will be indicative of this.


Number 5 has to be carefully applied, since abbreviation and summary are possible (though infrequent) ways of citation. The general rule of 'uni-linear' growth is given by Kitchen in AOOT:89 (drawing on Oppenheimer and others):


"In the Ancient Near East, the rule is that simple accounts or traditions may give rise (by accretion and embellishment) to elaborate legends, but not vice versa."


However, as we have noted, there are cases in which summary/abbreviation may be operative, and there are known cases in the ANE of where abridgements occurred (e.g. the Amarna version of the Gilgamesh Epic). But these abridgements and summaries are shortening of the text/story itself--NOT of details in the text. Passages and details may be omitted, but if they remain in the text, they never 'shrink' in content. Quoted numbers, for example, never go 'down' (unless the story is being retold in a context "unfriendly to" the larger number of course--polemic and politics always seem to have such license...).


So, we will try to apply these criteria when called for in our evaluation,



Okay, now let's look at the literature...


Much of our dating will be rather imprecise on this, so let's start by surveying most of the major  literature around that period.


First, we have the Prologue to Sirach (The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira).

This book was written in Hebrew somewhere around 190 BC in Jerusalem [HI:JWSTP:291], and was translated into Greek by the grandson of the author around 132 BC. [The translated form of the book is part of the OT Apocrypha.] Hayward states [HI:JTANS:38]: "we may be confident that ben Sira represents Jewish society as it was before the Hellenistic crisis, which erupted in the reign of Antiochus IV..."


Sirach is wisdom literature, so we would not expect much of Daniel to be found there, but scholars have noted some possible allusions or references.


First, are there any verbal parallels? (Do any scholars recognize verbal parallels between the two?)


Argall points to at least three in the Greek translation [IES:88, 174, 217]

a. The metaphor of 'wisdom shining forth' from the God-inspired wise:

Sirach 39.8a-b :"When the great Lord will, he shall be filled with the spirit of understanding: he shall pour out wise sentences, and give thanks unto the Lord in his prayer. 7 He shall direct his counsel and knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate. 8 He shall shew forth (ekphaino) that which he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. 9 Many shall commend his understanding; and so long as the world endureth, it shall not be blotted out; his memorial shall not depart away")

with Daniel 12.3: "And those who have insight will shine brightly (ekphaino) like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. "


Argall notes: "The metaphor has an eschatological cast in Daniel 12:3".


b. The same idea:

Sirach 24.32: " I will yet make doctrine to shine (ekphaino) as the morning, and will send forth her light afar off."

with Daniel 12.3: "And those who have insight will shine brightly (ekphaino) like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. "


Argall notes the connection between these passages, and links them also to the book of Enoch and 1QS (p.174)


c. "hastening the end" and "appointed time" (

Ben Sira asks God to "hasten the end" and "appoint the designated time" (Sirach 36.10b)

With Daniel 11.27, 35: "for the end is still to come at the appointed time." And "And some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time."


Argall notes: "Ben Sira asks God to 'hasten the end' and 'appoint the designated time' (vs 10a) when these 'mighty (= war-like) deeds' will take place and be acknowledged (vs 10b). The verbs 'hasten' and 'appoint' are also significant in ben Sira's doctrine of opposites (40.10; 39.30d). But, in the present context the terms are used solely with reference to the eschatological battle among the nations." And then footnotes "Box and Oesterley note that the terms the 'end' and 'appointed time' are used 'almost in a technical sense' in Dan 11:25, 27".


But much stronger parallels can be seen in the Hebrew version of  Ben Sira.


Douglas Fox, in an article in 1987, describes the importance of the Hebrew version of Sira to this question ("Ben Sira on OT Canon Again: The Date of Daniel", Westminster Theological Jour., 49 (Fall 87) p.342ff:


"Now the claim that Daniel is not mentioned in Ben Sira would lose all of its force (and would in fact be turned on its head) if it could be demonstrated that Ben Sira does indeed refer to passages in the Book of Daniel, and surprisingly enough, this now appears to be the case. C. C. Torrey recognized that the Geniza Hebrew manuscript B of Ben Sira referred to a passage in the Book of Daniel and noted this in his 1950 essay, “The Hebrew of the Geniza Sirah.” He said that this Hebrew Ben Sira manuscript is “plainly dependent on the Hebrew of Daniel” and he gave as evidence “cp 36:10 with Dan 8:19, 11:27, 35.” Torrey’s interesting observation calls for closer examination.


"In chap. 8 of the Book of Daniel, the angel Gabriel is called upon to provide Daniel with the meaning of his vision. The first thing the angel tells Daniel is, “Son of man, understand that the vision concerns the time of the end”. Later in chap. 11 two of the same key Hebrew words are used again in a slightly different order. Here Daniel is receiving an explanation of what will happen to his people in the future (10:14). In 11:27 the speaker says “for the end is still to come at the appointed time” . Later in this chapter once again the same words are used a third time in a similar manner in verse 35, “until the end time, because it is still to come at the appointed time”.


"The Hebrew words  qes (“time”) and mo'ed (“appointed time”) are found in collocation on all three of these occasions and they become almost a technical phrase to refer to the eschatological end of time.


"Sir 36:8 (which corresponds to v 10 in the Greek translation, and 33:8 in Segal’s Hebrew edition) occurs in the middle of an eschatological battle prayer. In v 8 Ben Sira writes, “Hasten the end, and ordain the appointed time” . Ben Sira’s use of precisely the same words (again in collocation) with the very same meaning must be seen as exceedingly strong evidence of literary dependence, as Torrey had noted.


"But this was only one of three different passages in Schechter’s list which seemed to refer to the Book of Daniel. Two other passages in his list paired Sir 3:30 ("doing right atones for sin")  with Dan 4:24 ("renounce your sins by doing right")  , and Sir 36:17 ("O Lord, hear the prayer of thy servants") with Dan 9:17 ("hear, O God, the prayer of your servant").


Indeed, the verbal dependency was admitted by 'hostile witness', Th. Noldeke ("One must acknowledge that one of these two passages here is dependent on the other."), but he asserted that it was Daniel who was dependent on Ben Sira...


Boccaccini (also holding to Daniel's dependence on ben Sira) notes:


"The link with Sirach is once again evident, as demonstrated also by the vocabulary. The expression in [chapter 2] verse 22 (gl' mstrt': "[God] reveals the hidden things"] is the Aramaic equivalent of the formula found in the Hebrew text of Sir 4:18 (glyty mstry: "I [wisdom] reveal my hidden things"; cf. Sir 3:22). The terminological coincidence is all the more significant inasmuch as in Daniel the formula constitutes a hapax, interrupting a context in which another similar Aramaic expression (gl' rzyn: "God reveals the mysteries [the enigmas]"; Dan 2:19, 28, 29, 30, 47 [bis]; cf. 2:18, 27; 4:6) is repeated constantly. The latter is a formula of Persian origin, much less pregnant with meaning and certainly much nearer to the popular tradition." [MJJT:138]



To these parallels we might add those listed in the margin of CASA, at Sir 36.17:


"Incline your ear, O my God, and hear. Open your eyes and look at our desolation and the city that bears your name. We do not present our supplication before you on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act and do not delay! For your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people bear your name!” [Dan 9.18,19]


Have mercy, O Lord, on the people called by your name, on Israel, whom you have named your firstborn, [Sir 36.17]




Assessment: Some of these parallels are reasonable (i.e., the technical terms), but the more generic ones I do not find convincing (e.g., the 'hear the prayer' also is found in Neh 1). Scholars on both sides admit some literary dependence, especially with reference to Sirach 36. The fact that some of these terms are considered 'specialist' terms moves them away from 'common vocab' to the 'rare' and 'striking' category. So our basic criteria lead us to accept what the various scholars advance her.



Then: which is the most likely direction of borrowing (given that we cannot use an assumption of priority of date)?


Let's go through Caspari's list, noting those that might apply here:


1. For which prophet is literary borrowing more typical?


This is very obvious--Ben Sira!


"Ben Sira is unique within the genre of wisdom literature in that it “is sprinkled with explicit references and recognizable allusions to biblical persons and events…and the actual quotation of scripture.” Solomon Schechter, whose name has been closely associated with Ben Sira studies because he was the first to identify the recovered Hebrew version of the book, said in his classic (but now hard to find) work The Wisdom of Ben Sira that “Ben Sira, though not entirely devoid of original ideas, was, as is well known, a conscious imitator both as to form and as to matter, his chief model being the book of Proverbs.” Schechter then proved this assertion by providing a list of 340 phrases, idioms, typical expressions, and even whole verses from the OT of which he said that “there can be no reasonable doubt that they were either suggested to Ben Sira by, or directly copied from the Scriptures.” A. Eberharter, a decade later, also searched Ben Sira for the same information and found 66 allusions and 67 references to the Pentateuch, 21 allusions and 48 references to the former prophets, and 171 allusions and 125 references to the hagiographa—all totaled 327 allusions and 275 references to the OT. T. Middendorp conducted his own search of Ben Sira in 1973 and found 70 allusions to the Pentateuch, 46 allusions to the historical books, 51 allusions to the prophetical books, and over 160 allusions to the hagiographa—altogether 330 allusions to the OT. Schechter had expressed the view, later confirmed by these independent investigations, that “the impression produced by the perusal of Ben Sira’s original on the student who is at all familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures is that of reading the work of a post-canonical author, who already knew his Bible and was constantly quoting it.” [Douglas Fox, ibid.]


And, although Daniel does have some inner-biblical allusions and references itself (e.g. Jeremiah!), it is so obviously more independent (so Fox, ibid):


"In addition, it should be recalled, as Schechter and others have emphasized, that Ben Sira was a conscious imitator, while the author of the Book of Daniel must be seen as a highly creative and original thinker. We expect Ben Sira to rely on others, but not the author of the Book of Daniel.


So, the "typical pattern" criteria would support a Sira-from-Daniel view.



4. Can any plausible motivation for this borrowing be suggested?


It is easy to come up with a motivation for ben Sira to allude to Daniel--to simply 'show off' his command of the biblical literature (like the rest of his work does)--but the opposite direction is not obvious at all:


(a) The main section of Daniel under discussion (i.e. Daniel 8-11) is generally classed as "apocalyptic", and this genre doesn't appeal to 'scribal wisdom' authority very often at all. Sirach is quoted extensively by later Rabbinical writers (in that same 'scribal wisdom' model), but the later apocalypses do not do so. There would not be any motivation or reason for this (nor historically observable pattern to suggest this ever occurred).


(b) There is also the problem of polemical clash. In this comparative study of Enochian tradition and Sirach, Argill notes:


"Ben Sira maintains that wisdom comes through study of the Torah in his school. He explicitly warns against the revelatory claims of those who study esoteric traditions or rely on visions and dreams (Sir 3:17-29; 34:1-8). Of course, this is precisely what the bearers of Enochic literature do" [IES:3]


"There is evidence to suggest that ben Sira and the authors of 1 Enoch were aware of one another and that their respective views were formulated, at least in part, over against one another." [IES:8]


"Such differences are the stuff of conflict. In the comparative sections of Parts I-III, the evidence for polemics was stated. It is not conclusive, but it is enough to make a case that each tradition views the other among its rivals. Much of the polemic that occurs, including the charge of idolatry, is standard rhetoric for opposing teachers and traditions. However, ben Sira uses specific vocabulary that indicates his rivals teach esoteric wisdom. His vocabulary brings Enochic tradition to mind. Ben Sira warns his students not to study "things too marvelous," "secret things," "what is beyond you" and "what is too great for you" (Sir 3:21-23). He criticizes the parabolic interpretations of "dream-visions" (Sir 34[31]:1-8). This is the language that the authors of I Enoch use to characterize their wisdom ("beyond their thought," I En 82:2; "great wisdom," 32:3; "dreams ... and visions," 13:8; "mystery," 103:2a; 104:10a, 12a). Moreover, the author of the Epistle of Enoch is aware of opponents who claim his wisdom is "evil" (94:5)-the very charge ben Sira leveled against esoteric wisdom (Sir 3:21b, 24b, 28c)." [IES:250]


Ben Sira goes to great pains in his work to equate 'wisdom' with 'study of the Torah' and to restrict the authority claims of other types of wisdom (esp. Enochian/Danielic and probably, Hellenistic). A late-date Daniel would be at polar opposites from this worldview and would not likely 'legitimize' it by borrowing (without major revision and/or polemic). So Chester [HI:IIW:160]:


"[T]hus once again it is evident that Ben Sira, for apologetic and polemical reasons, ties wisdom almost exclusively to the law, in a deliberate development and change from the wisdom tradition, especially Proverbs..." [i.e., bears of the 'universal wisdom' approach]


So, the "motivation" criteria would support a Sira-from-Daniel view.


So, the two criteria that would apply here would both argue for a Sira-from-Daniel view



Pushback: "Glenn, you overlook the strongest argument against your position (typical!) the section of Sirach called 'In Praise of Ancient Heroes', ben Sira mentions 'everybody who's anybody' in OT history--and he leaves out Daniel!!! He mentions all the other prophets, and even the Minor prophets...every major (positive) figure is listed--except Daniel. This has got to be stronger evidence against Daniel being written by 190 BC, than your puny parallels..."


Actually, there are two major problems with taking this view:


1. He doesn't mention Ezra either, and in the scribal tradition, this is almost incomprehensible. Various reasons are given (e.g., Ezra was not the leader--Nehemiah was), but it's all conjectural. As long as Ezra is pre-Sirach and is not mentioned, then Daniel could be pre-Sirach and not be mentioned. The argument cannot stand, given this Ezra omission. [Of course, Daniel was not a 'leader' either, and so this reason for Ezra's exclusion could explain Daniel's, but Jeremiah is included and HE is not a 'leader'. But then again, Daniel actually "had a real job" unlike the Classical prophets, and so might not have been treated in the same way. In any case, we don't have convincing reasons so far as to why either Daniel or Ezra were left out.]


2. The anti-Enochian polemic/instruction might also be at play in this. If ben Sira is 'selling against' Enoch/Daniel/esoteric wisdom models, it would make sense for him to 'ignore' Daniel, and even to 'downplay' Enoch. If you look at the mention of Enoch in 44.16 (he gets one verse there, and one at 49.14), he gets a 'backhanded compliment'. Unlike most of the other heroes, Enoch is not an example of "perfection and righteousness" (compare Noah in the next verse, 44.17), but of "repentance"--an explicit reference to sin!


One additional piece of data that tends to support this almost anti-futurist position of ben Sira's comes from his treatment of Isaiah. He definitely recognizes and utilizes Isaiah frequently, but is highly selective in that:


"According to Middendorp, although Sirach was familiar with the entire book [of Isaiah], his process of selection is remarkable for its omissions: no emphasis on the 'servant' or 'the day of the Lord', little attention to social and theocratic concerns, minimal actualization of promises and futuristic visions for his own day. 'The actual prophetic concern, that God speaks, shapes the history of his people, and supports justice in their corporate life, is not taken up."  [OT:SQVP:153]



I don't want to make too much out of the anti-esoteric point, but the reality is that the inexplicable Ezra-omission renders the Daniel-omission essentially forceless. If the polemic is present, it is against the method of getting wisdom in the Danielic/Enochian tradition (via esoteric wisdom, instead of via study of Torah) and NOT against apocalyptic views (since Sir 36 is essentially filled with apocalyptic materials). Hence, Sirach could borrow apocalyptic terminology and truths from Daniel, but not hold him up as a 'role model' for his readers.



Additional Data: There is one other piece of argument here that needs to be considered, and it is the influence relationship between Sirach, Daniel, the War Scroll, and the Damascus Rule of Qumran. We noted above that Noldeke admitted literary dependence between Sirach and Daniel, but argued that Daniel was dependent on Sirah. I have given argument above about why this is less plausible, but an additional argument against this is given by Fox:


"In answer to Nöldeke’s claim, it is interesting that these two words  qes and  mo'ed are used extensively in the Qumran literature. B. Roberts noted the use of qes 15 times in the Damascus Rule (CD) and he commented that the word often takes on an apocalyptic nuance. Yigael Yadin in his study of the War Scroll (IQM) noted the “enormous influence of Daniel” both in style and in apocalyptic and eschatological terminology, including the words qes and mo'ed.


"In a similar vein, M. R. Lehman compared this passage in Ben Sira 36:1–17 (he followed Segal’s numbering system) with the four battle prayers in IQM and noted such similarity that he was led to postulate that either the Qumran author was influenced by Ben Sira or that both “paraphrased a common source.” Scholars such as Y. Yadin, J. van der Ploeg, and G. Vermes have recognized that Daniel is the source for the War Rule. Thus the common source for the War Rule and Ben Sira, which Lehman recognized, must also be the Book of Daniel.



Any question that either texts were edited in 'post-production' to create the appearance of parallels? No evidence whatsoever exists for this, and actually I cannot think of a conscious motive to do so. I can see a motive for Sira using Daniel (to display his knowledge), but no reason for modifying Daniel in those few details to reflect Sira. [BTW, this "objection" is generally restricted to places where the 'conspiracy element' is very pronounced--e.g. Christian additions to Jewish literature--and even some suggestions of these are pure speculation.]


So, I think the data can be understood honestly, easily, and confidently that ben Sira drew terminology from the Book of Daniel.





Secondly, we have The Apocalypse of Zephaniah (1st century BC - 1st century AD, Greek-speaking Jew, probably in Alexandria):


This work has numerous, numerous parallels to Daniel (ones below are identified by Wintermute in OTP:1), and yet is entirely free of Christian interpolation [OTP:1:501]. Some of these include:

ˇ         "You saved Susanna from the hand of the elders of injustice. You saved the three holy men, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, from the furnace of burning fire." (6:10)


ˇ         "Then I walked with the angel of the Lord. I looked before me and I saw a place there. [Thousands] of thousands and myriads of myriads of an[gels] entered" [4.1f and 8.1, paral2 Dan 7.10]


ˇ         "Then I thought that the Lord Almighty had come to visit me. Then when I saw, I fell upon my face before him in order that I might worship him. I was very much afraid..." [6.4ff, paral2 Dan 10.10; 8.17]


ˇ         "And he was girded as if a golden girdle were upon his breast. His feet were like bronze which is melted with fire." [6.13, paral2 Dan 10.5f]



Wintermute concludes:


ˇ         "In the Apocalypse of Zephaniah the angel who is worshiped is both identified and described (6:11-15) in a passage that is strikingly similar to Revelation 1:13-18. The passage is obviously based on the description of a figure appearing in Daniel 10:5-14. The fact that the figure in Daniel is not identified undoubtedly generated a considerable amount of speculation...The author, or the source on which he relies, has both edited and expanded Daniel's vision at points. " [OTP:1:505]


ˇ         "The author's interest in angels, thrones, and apocalyptic judgment represents a more direct influence from the later Old Testament collection of writings, particularly Daniel and Psalms." [OPT:1:504]

Although this work is clearly later than our period, it may be important for a couple of reasons:


1.        It witnesses to the acceptance of Daniel by non-Qumranites (reminding us of the pre-sectarian argument earlier).

2.        The reference to the story of Susanna, which was an add-on to the original Daniel. This would push the actual dating of Daniel even further forward, based on this quote. Susanna was "probably composed between the third and first centuries BCE" (HCSB). If Susanna is somehow in the front-half of that time period (and depending on the date of the LXX of Daniel, which could easily be before 165 BC), it would constitute evidence for pre-Maccabean existence of parts of Daniel. If ApocZeph is dated to the 1st century BC, this would push the acceptance of Susanna (for the Alexandrian community, or for whatever Greek-speaking area the author was in) most likely into the early-mid 2nd century, which in turn, would push the date of the translation of Daniel into Greek (to which Susanna was 'attached') even further back. Thus, the importance of ApocZeph might lie chiefly in its early witness to "Daniel plus"  as 'scriptural' for Diaspora Judaism. [Note that attempts to date Susanna around the latter part of the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (c.80ish BC) are obviously way too late--if the story is alluded to by use of the name/theme of the main character simultaneously with the story's origination (smile), we obviously have a problem...And the earlier we have to push Susanna, in order to make sense of this positive literary use, the earlier the 'base station' of the Book of Daniel will have to be situated as well.]


3.        At least chapters 3, 7, and 10 are referred to (both the allegedly 'early' and the 'late' sections).

So, even though ApocZeph is later than Daniel, it still provides some support for early-dating Daniel (largely through the early reference to Susanna).





Third, we have the work of Ezekiel the Tragedian (early 2nd Century BC, Greek, probably in Egypt), the Exagoge 68:

"...the dream which was seen by Moses and interpreted by his father-in-law. Moses himself speaks to his father-in-law in dialogue: 'On Sinai's peak I saw what seemed a throne so great in size it touched the clouds of heaven. Upon it sat a man of noble mien, becrowned, and with a scepter in one hand while with the other he did beckon me. I made approach and stood before the throne. He handed o'er the scepter and he bade me mount the throne, and gave to me the crown; then he himself withdrew from off the throne'"


In this passage, Moses sees God in the form of a man (phos, poetic for aner), and then God transfers sovereignty from Himself to Moses, seating Moses on His own throne.



Robertson, the translator in OTP, says this about this passage (OTP:II:812, n.b2):

"In terms of content there are some remarkable coincidences between Moses' dream and that of Joseph (cf. Gen 37:9) and the vision of Daniel (cf. Dan 7:13, 14)." [OTP:1:811, n.z]


"Its significance lies in the fact that Ezekiel would represent God as a man, an image which is surely rooted in the figures of 'the son of man' and 'the Ancient of Days' in Daniel's vision."


Daniel 7  reads:


In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it....I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat;... I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.  14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.



Pushback: "I don't get it--why did the Robertson scholar identify this with Daniel, instead of with Ezekiel 1.26? This latter passage is just as similar, so why would you (and Robertson) believe it to refer only to Daniel?"


Let's look at the Ezekiel passage:


"Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man.  27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.  28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown..."


Notice the similarities between Ezekiel the Tragedian  and Ezekiel the Prophet:


1.        there is a throne

2.        on the throne is a human-like form

3.        this figure is identified with the 'glory of the Lord'


Notice the similarities between Ezekiel the Tragedian  and Daniel's passage:


1.        it is a dream

2.        there is a  throne

3.        on the throne is "the Ancient of Days"

4.        the reference to the 'clouds of heaven'

5.        a human figure (Moses, Son of Man) advances to before the throne

6.        authority and a kingdom is given to a human vice-regent (son of man, and Moses)

7.        the character of this kingdom/authority is that of God's kingdom/authority itself


The main reason the Daniel link is to be preferred is NOT primarily due to the "7 similarities versus 3 similarities", but rather to the "dynamic versus static" aspect. In other words, the Daniel passage is about the granting of divine authority to a human vice-regent, just like the EzekTrad passage is. In EzekTrad it is Moses, in Daniel it is the Son of Man. It is this core movement that corresponds better to the EzekTrad passage that is the likely reason Robertson picked Daniel ["Moses is portrayed as having been chosen by God to represent him as divine vizier."]. (And, the likely reason EzekTrad picked the Daniel 7 passage--a perfect way to portray the power and grandeur of Moses to a pagan world.)


So, the identification with Daniel is more compelling...


Robertson then places the work in the pre-150 BC period:

"Perhaps a more significant indication of the actual situation from which Ezekiel's work evolved is the polemic found in the Letter of Aristeas 312-316, where the author addresses himself to the question of certain tragic poets who sought to adapt some of the incidents recorded in the Bible for their plays. The situation described here presupposes literature such as Ezekiel's Exagoge. This, combined with the fact that Ezekiel's work may have been based on a recension of the Septuagint text, seems to point to a somewhat later date than that suggested by Kuiper [note: Kuiper had argued for a pre-221 BC!], perhaps the first part of the second century BC." [OTP:II.804]



Notice that the data confronts us again with a 200-150 BCE spread, and that the "odds" are 2:1 that the piece itself is WRITTEN before the Maccabean Revolt. And therefore, that this allusion to Daniel 7 (remember, Robertson's "rooted in" phrase) would therefore require a date for Daniel much earlier. If either (a) Exagoge was written before 165; or (b) written after, but basing the allusion on pre-165 familiarity with Daniel 7; we have a pre-165 date again.


This image is obviously 'rare' and 'striking', as well as detailed and vivid, and not something 'to be expected' from Jewry!


Do we need to ask the direction of borrowing question on this one?


From Ezek-to-Daniel: Would a Maccabean Jerusalemite, in the middle of the Maccabean revolt, pick a couple of phrases from a couple of iambic trimeter verses from a Greek Tragedy (probably prepared for the Alexandrian stage, and probably unknown--or despised as being way too "Hellenistic"--in Jerusalem at the time, cf. the polemic in Aristeas) to use in his apocalyptic section? This would be hugely counter-productive, in writing for the 'wise' of the second half of the book! [This, of course, assumes that he would have even had access to such a literary work in Jerusalem, which would be very questionable in itself.]


From Daniel-to-Ezek: This direction is entirely plausible, for the Danielic image is the only image in biblical Judaism that would 'work' to exalt a human so highly. The only image that could accommodate such 'almost divine' honors for a human like Moses would be the same passage that would later be seen to refer to the Son of God. It would be a literary vehicle for Ezekiel, only, since he was not playing off the 'evocative force' of allusion, but merely using a 'sanctioned motif' to express his point. Even though his work was designed for Hellenistic audiences, it would still have been important for his Jewish audience to respect his 'orthodoxy'...


So, the EzekTrad reference confirms our pre-Maccabean date, but doesn't give us much more clarity on how much earlier Daniel might have been. 



Fourth would be 1 Enoch, the first 36 chapters of which is dated to the third century BC:

"The chapters [1 Enoch 1-36] are a collection of traditions that have accreted over a period of time...Our earliest Aramaic manuscript evidence indicates that chaps. 1-11 were already a literary unit in the first half of the second century BCE. As we shall see, chaps. 1-5 are the introduction to a longer number of chapters--either 6-19 or 6-36. Evidence in 1 Enoch 85-90 indicates that 1 Enoch 1-36 was known before the death of Judas Maccabeus in 160 BCE. Hence we are justified in treating these chapters as a product of the period before 175 BCE." [JLBBM:48]



How much earlier than 175 BC? More recent assessments of the date actually place it much earlier (van der Woude, in [HI:DSS50A:26]):


"The thesis that the Book of Watchers as we have it dates to the 3rd century BCE is now widely accepted...



This section of 1 Enoch is known as "The Book of Watchers" (BW), named after the angel-watchers in 1:5. The "book of Enoch"(1 Enoch) is composed of five sections, most of which are dated to different periods. For example, the chapters which follow the Book of Watchers (37-71) is known as the Book of Similitudes, and is dated to the first century BC. [The Book of Similitudes is famous for its 'Son of Man' figure, which figure doesn't appear in any of the other sections.]




This manifests some close language/image parallels with Daniel:

I Enoch 1.5: the "Watchers" terminology (with Dan 4.13,17,23--no other precedents in biblical literature)

I Enoch 14.17-21:


"As for its floor, it was of fire and above it was lightning and the path of the stars; and as for the ceiling, it was flaming fire. And I observed and saw inside it a lofty throne--its appearance was like crystal and its wheels like the shining sun; and (I heard?) the voice of the cherubim; and from beneath the throne were issuing streams of flaming fire. It was difficult to look at it. And the Great Glory was sitting upon it--as for his gown, which was shining more brightly than the sun, it was whiter than any snow...No one could come near unto him from among those that surrounded the tens of millions (that stood) before him",


with Dan 7.9-10: "


"I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. "A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And ten thousands  upon ten thousands  were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.



Now, the "Watchers" connection is pretty strong, since there are no other biblical candidates for the term. The terms are used somewhat differently in Daniel (Watchers can be good or bad, whereas in Enoch they are 'bad'). And, as a very 'rare' and technical term, this is a definite point of parallelism.


The second case (the Throne image) is more controversial, with many scholars claiming that Enoch was dependent on Ezekiel 1 for this image, so we will need to evaluate that alternative parallel-source.

Let's try this in tabular comparison format (red highlight* indicates exact/very-close match):



1 Enoch




Lofty throne

something resembling a throne (1.26), 'high up'*

Thrones [no mention of 'height']


"I looked..."

"I saw..." (1.27)

"I kept looking..."


Like crystal

like lapis lazuli in appearance (1.26)*

Throne is flames of fire (not crystal?)


Wheels like shining sun

[no wheels on the throne]

Wheels were blazing fire*


Voice of cherubim

[cherubim noise is only from wings, no voices]

[no mention of cherubim]


Streams of fire

from under the throne

[only the figure is glowing]

River of fire flowing from under the throne*


"Great Glory" on the throne

a figure with the appearance of a man

(later called 'the appearance of the

likeness of the glory of the Lord')

"Ancient of Days" on the throne*


Gown, incandescent

[Figure itself glows, no detail about clothing]

[hair of head bright white?]


Gown, whiter than snow

[nothing about white, but 'shining rainbow'?]

Clothing, white AS snow*


Tens of millions before Him

[only the four creatures below the throne]

"thousands upon thousands...etc."*


Now, apart from Item 1 (which would easily be an 'organic' detail, and therefore not distinctive, striking, or rare), only Item 3 is "only/better explained" by dependence on Ezekiel, than by dependence on Daniel, whereas Items 4,6,7,9, and 10 are "only/better explained" by dependence on Daniel.


And the Daniel parallels include items that are quite striking and memorable: flaming wheels (unlike even the crystal wheels of the Creatures of Ezek 1), river of fire from throne, the massive crowd before the throne, and the brilliant clothing. The match between Daniel and Enoch must be admitted to be so much better than the match between Ezekiel and Enoch (and between Ezekiel and Daniel also, I might point out, since there are some who argue that Daniel 7 was primarily based on this Ezek 1 passage). Of course, there is no reason that the author of 1 Enoch couldn't have known/used both sources (in fact, that is the best explanation for the one "Ezekiel-ism"), but knowledge of Ezekiel and the other Classical prophets are inadequate to explain the source of the Daniel-only images in 1 Enoch.



So, we have a very definite case of verbal parallels here, but the BIG QUESTION will be 'what is the direction of borrowing?'...



The direction of borrowing question (if we are trying to suspend making judgments on 'controlling paradigm' bases for this discussion) is a fascinating one.


There are a number of considerations that argue that Daniel is the source and Enoch the borrower:


1. The first is the obvious direction of embellishment/expansion (generally, the rule is "from the less to the more"). In our case, the expansion of "as white as snow" to "whiter than snow" and "from thousands upon thousands and tens of thousands upon tens of thousands" to "tens of millions" is strong evidence [but not conclusive] that Enoch is the 'embellisher'.


2. 1 Enoch (our BW section)  is also a very 'borrowing author' (unlike the biblical book of Daniel, noted above):


ˇ         "Recent studies have disclosed how completely the theophany in 1.3b-9 and the eschatological curses and blessings of 5:4-9 rest upon biblical foundations. In fact, it is safe to say that there is no clear evidence that the author has advanced beyond his biblical models in expressing his eschatological convictions." [HI:EGAT:119]


ˇ         "Although 1 Enoch 6-11 is a composite narrative in which at least two strands have been imperfectly interwoven, it is unmistakably based on Gen 6:1-2,4--the terse paragraph about the sons of God and the daughters of men. It is, however, no less apparent that the writers have made extensive changes in and additions to the biblical model." [HI:EGAT:125]


ˇ         "In many ways I Enoch 14:8-25 is a pastiche of biblical phrases and motifs that have been drawn primarily from 1 Kgs 22:19-22, Isaiah 6, and Ezekiel 1 (also 8 and 10)..." [HI:EGAT:134, but note, as above, there are still 'striking' elements in the passage that cannot be found in these proposed sources--Daniel is the only biblical source for some of those]


ˇ         "In the BW Enoch plays the part of a magnet that attracts heterogeneous mythological materials apparently from a variety of sources including the Bible." [HI:EGAT:140]



3. The motivation element is very telling in this case...


The 3rd century BC shows evidence of a power struggle between various theological groups. The forces that led to sectarian Judaism are all in evidence in this period: Hellenization, esoteric/Mesopotamian approaches, "Torah-only" scribal/sage paradigms, even magical elements. We have noted above that Ben Sira and "Enoch" represent rival methodologies vis-ā-vis wisdom, with perhaps ben Sira representing more of the 'status quo' [IES:249ff], and what will later emerge as 'a scribal worldview'. Enochic tradition and much of the follow-on literature (e.g., Jubilees) can easily be seen as attempts to 'wrest dominance' from the 'traditional' power-bearers of the religious/local authorities. This is clearly the case with rival systems of Halakah (e.g., Qumran, Essene), and some of the documents known as  're-told bibles' can be seen as attempts to authenticate rival systems of halakah (by 'grounding' new systems and interpretations in alleged 'ancient' revelations or interpretations).


With the Enochian literature this 'assault' mentality--in its explicit claim to superior revelatory authority--is even more obvious. Nickelsburg observes:


"[I]t is noteworthy that the authors of I Enoch do not simply attribute their writings to a pre-Mosaic author. They also present them in a manner that devalues the Mosaic Pentateuch. The initial oracle in chapters 1-5 is a paraphrase of part of Deut. 33 and some of the content and testamentary language is chapter 91 is reminiscent of Moses' farewell discourse in Deut. 29-32. In effect, this casts Moses into the role of a "me-too." In addition, the account of the events at Mount Sinai in the Animal Vision, while it allows Moses an important role as a leader of Israel and even grants him a vision of the Deity, never states that he received the Torah on Mount Sinai (89:29-34). Revelation came to Israel at Marah (89:28; cf. Exod 15:25-26). Thus, I Enoch leapfrogs the Mosaic Torah and assumes for itself a prophetic authority that precedes Moses...Finally, I Enoch claims revelatory authority for material that may well have been created through more "normal" processes. The Book of the Luminaries seems to reflect empirical observation. Similarly, the decisive interpretations of the Torah that are implied in the Epistle may well have developed through the kind of exegesis suggested by Ben Sira. That the Enochic authors knew most of the Tanakh is clear. Of course, their use of biblical material, not through citation, but by appeal to ancient (really new) revelation, is a corollary of the fictitious date of the writing. However, it also makes a theological point. This is revelation. [HI:PPAPLDSS:101]


The implication for our discussion should be obvious: a post-165 Danielic author (very status quo, from most scholarly estimates)would have had more to lose by being associated with a 'subversive element' like "Enoch" than would an Enochian writer by alluding to canonical works--evoking feelings of authority, legitimacy, antiquity. And, if this canonical source had elements that looked-a-little-like Enochian method (e.g., dreams/visions), all the better...


4. This motivation issue is highlighted a little more clearly when we look at the huge differences in outlook between the 'more anciently Jewish' Daniel and the 'more anciently syncretistic' Enoch.


Daniel represents the simpler, OT/Tanakh view that the plight of Israel is related to her lack of fidelity to the covenant--NOT to some astrological or angelic super-forces. Boccacinni documents these major differences in worldview for us:


"In the Book of Dream Visions [Enoch], corruption is brought about in creation because the angels' sin directly influences the very possibility of human resistance to evil. It drastically limits human freedom of choice and responsibility. Humankind is thus more the victim than the doer of evil. The degeneration of history is the collective manifestation of a corruption at work against individuals on the ontological level...In Daniel, on the other hand, history degenerates because God has made it the instrument of punishment of the people of Israel who, fully exercising their freedom, failed to meet the commitments of the covenant. Nothing intervened to modify human ability to choose; human beings were and remain free." [MJJT:149]


"In Daniel we find the same degenerative conception of history that we have seen in the Dream Visions, as well as the same anticipation of the eschatological reign; however, these elements do not have the same meaning for the two authors. The entire course of history is revealed to Enoch, from the creation until the eschatological reign. History is a drama that unfolds with humankind as both protagonist and victim. "All of the men's deeds were shown to me, each in all of their parts" (I Enoch 90:41), states Enoch at the book's conclusion. The explanation of everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen is contained in the Book of Dream Visions, which explains the origin of evil, sets the limits of human freedom, and indicates the characteristics of future salvation....The idea of causality within the unfolding of history corresponds to the apocalyptic idea of a world corrupted by an original sin. For Dream Visions this sin effects its degenerative action in the succession of increasingly iniquitous kingdoms up until the cathartic intervention of God. This concept appears completely extraneous to the author of Daniel, who organizes his thought, as well as the literary structure of the book, around two fundamental ideas: first, sovereignty belongs to God, who grants it and revokes it according to God's will and established times (chaps. 2-7); second, the cause of history's degeneration is the breaking of the covenant, which has brought down upon the people the curse contained therein (chaps. 8-12). " [MJJT:141]


"As for the retributory criteria of individual judgment, it is clear from the whole of Daniel that it is based on the covenant. The resolution to the problem of the relationship between good and bad deeds, however, is not made explicit. The image of the "steelyard" used in Dan 5:27 is traditional and in itself does not imply a weighing of the quantity of actions. Daniel's words to Nebuchadnezzar are more significant: Daniel advises him to "redeem his sins by practicing righteousness, and his iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed" (Dan 4:24). These words echo analogous expressions of Ben Sira (cf. Sir 3:3, 14, 30; 35:3), who drew the idea of God's comprehensive evaluation of an individual's actions from the expiatory value of righteous deeds in relation to transgressions. ...In the Dream Visions, judgment has a completely different value. It is more a reestablishment of a corrupted order through an indistinctly operated elimination of both those who are responsible and those who have been involved against their will. Judgment, therefore, is made primarily against the rebellious angels (cf. I Enoch 90:2 1-2 5) and, only by association, human beings and their institutions (cf. I Enoch 90:26-28)." [MJJT:155]


"As we have seen,  even in the judgment of contemporary events Daniel and the Dream Visions take different positions, for anything but marginal reasons. This is an effect, and yet another proof, of the distance that separates them ideologically and makes them witnesses of two independent currents of thought within middle Judaism." [MJJT:159]


Daniel is thus much, much more "orthodox" than Enochic writings, and the 'political advantage' of borrowing would be on Enoch's side...(Not to get off the subject, but one can trace a progression in the Enochian literature from the more astrological/Mesopotamian beginnings to the 'intrusion and infusion' of Jewish elements. See [HI:EGAT])


Let me hasten to add that it is not necessarily Enochian 'traditions' that are suspect, but Enochian literature. Ben Sira, for example, doesn't argue against Enoch himself, but against the methods in the Enochian literature.  As "more Jewish" Enochian tradition increasingly found its way into "more Mesopotamian" Enochian literature, some of the elements in the resulting literature were bound to be historically true. There are clear indications that very ancient oral traditions could accurately preserve historical detail (cf. [NT:TMP:154-167], in which Jacobs documents some very ancient ANE mythological terms--not preserved in the biblical documents, but preserved in late midrash). 



So, in the issue of direction of borrowing: the textual data, borrowing-patterns, and historical motivation all support the view that the author of 1 Enoch 1-36 borrowed from Daniel.


Now, if this is indeed the case, then the dating of Daniel  (or at least Daniel 4 and Daniel 7, representing both sections of the final edition) is pushed back even earlier than our other 200 BC date. For 1 Enoch to "use" Daniel in this way requires a fully-"canonical" Daniel--one that would be recognized as having "authority, legitimacy, antiquity" by all the 'controlling' theological authorities...We could easily advance a conservative  'Jewish acceptance' date in the late 4th /early 3rd century (allowing only 100-150 years for 'stabilizing'--e.g., Chronicles was likely written no later than 300 BC, and was being circulated and cited by 150 BC, cf. Ulrich, [ DSSOB:208]), and this, of course, would push the date of final writing/edits somewhat before this. We plausibly could make a case for origination of most/much of Daniel (under this approach) by no later than mid-4th century. [This would also correspond with the 'literary diffusion' and Persian-date 're-dating' done by scholars on the basis of the Qumran finds--noted in the first section of this series.]



Pushback:: "I think you just tripped yourself up, glenn, with this 'from less to more' argument on borrowing direction. At Qumran, we have manuscripts of the Book of Giants that have a throne-theophany very similar to Daniel, in which it looks like Daniel is the one who 'inflates' the numbers! [See HI:SASQ50:216ff, where this is documented even.] This would make Daniel the borrower and the "semi-Enochian" BG the source. And, since BG is fairly late, this would make Daniel even later."


Interestingly, I believe the author you mentioned makes an compelling case for literary dependence between Daniel and BG, but I think he "mis-counted" in his argument about the 'numbers'. Here are the relevant texts from that article:


BG: "Behold, the ruler of the heavens descended to the earth, and thrones were erected and the Great Holy One sat down. A hundred hundreds (were) serving him; a thousand thousands [(were) worshipping?] him. [A]ll stood [be]fore him. And behold the books were opened and judgment was spoken; and the judgment of [The Great One] (was) [wr]itten [in a book] and (was) sealed in an ascription...[ ] for every living being and (all) flesh and upon..."


Dan 7.9-10: "I was looking until thrones were set up and an Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing (was) like snow-white. And the hair of his head (was) like white wool. His throne (was) flames of fire; its wheels (were) a burning fire. A river of fire flowed and went forth from before it. A thousand thousands served him, and a myriad myriads stood before him. The court sat down, and books were opened."


The author you mention explicitly refers to the phenomena of Daniel turning "hundreds" into "thousands" (twice, p.218 and 210), but this is a faulty comparison, involving the incorrect terms in the comparison. Notice the structure in the passage:


Book of Giants


A hundred hundreds


A thousand thousands

A thousand thousands


A myriad myriads

Stood before Him

Stood before Him


As can be seen from this chart, the BG has added another phrase "a hundred hundreds" and expanded "a myriad myriads" to "all". The "thousand thousands" was unchanged. The BG--at least in this case--has clearly expanded on Daniel, and not vice versa.


Also, the author there notes that BG has three verbs (serving, worshipping, standing) while Daniel has only two (serving, standing).


The BG has some elements not included in Daniel (e.g., the judgment at the end) as does Daniel (e.g., the appearance of the throne figure). Inclusion and exclusion of larger passages by authors are quite legitimate and not as objective of criteria of borrowing as is expansion of numbers ("myriad myriads" to all) and expansion of series (the addition of "hundred hundreds" at the beginning of the series).


Accordingly, I think the actual data supports BG borrowing from Daniel and not vice versa. I think the rule stated by Kitchen holds in this case.





Fifth, we have the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (2nd century BC, pre-Maccabean most probably). A number of passages in these show dependence on Danielic imagery (especially Dan 7-12):

Testament of Levi (2nd century BC):

"Therefore the sanctuary which the Lord chose shall become desolate through your uncleanness, and you will be captives in all the nations" (15.1)...

"Now I have come to know that for seventy weeks you shall wander astray and profane the priesthood and defile the sacrificial altars" (16.1)...

"Because you have heard about the seventy weeks, listen also concerning the priesthood." (17.1)


The footnote in OTP [OTP:I.793, n15a]: "Both the predictions of the pollution of the Temple and the announcement of the divinely ordained chronology of seventy cycles of seven years leading up to the appearance of the eschatological priest show kinship with Dan 9:1-27."




Pushback: "Gotca, glenn! Caught you red-handed, ignoring contrary data and only using the data that supports your position! You 'forgot to mention' that this document has been subject to 'Christian reworking' and 'interpolations'--even the OTP source you cite so confidently here says that--Ha!..."


I didn't "forget to mention" it--I decided that it was altogether irrelevant to our discussion, friend...According to OTP, there are only 10-12 Christian 'mods' made in this book (all in messianic contexts) and none of them are in the passages in which the verbal parallels occur...there was simply no need to mention them, for two reasons:


1. The closest one comes is at TLevi 16.3 (not the 16.1 passage I cite above). The theme of the 'degeneration of the priesthood' is NOT a "Christian thing"--it is a Maccabean Jewish thing (e.g. Qumran!). The Christian elements have to do more specifically, as the footnote at the passage mentions, with the "complicity of the Jewish priests in the death of Jesus". In other words, the interpolations don't occur in the texts I cite; and


2. The verbal parallels are not "Christian" in motivation anyway. Nobody was trying to make "Daniel" look 'older' by fabricating and pre-dating literary references! Everybody already knew that Daniel was a pre-Maccabean composition(!). This was not an area of Jewish-Christian argument or an area of Bible-Pagan argument at this point in time. None of the cases I advance have the slightest connection to "Christian credibility" at the time.


3. BTW, this interpolation issue never stops scholars from using the data, they just have to use it critically...for someone to hide behind 'it all could be wrong' is falsely motivated and based on false premises...we CAN know about the past, and we CAN learn and sift and analyze historical data...we just have to be careful and honest, that's all.


As a writer, I have to make a judgment call on the mass of available data to drag you all through, and I try to avoid answering EVERY possible objection...I am verbose and long-winded enough as it is...consider it an act of mercy...(smile)...


Other passages with recognized parallels include (from the margin of OTP, again):

ˇ         Testament of Judah 25.4--"be wakened to life" with Dan 12.2 ("And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.")

ˇ         Testament of Benjamin 10.8--"some to glory, some to dishonor" with Dan 12.2: ("And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.")


ˇ         Testament of Joseph 3.5 "For those seven years I fasted, and yet seemed to the Egyptians like someone who was living luxuriously, for those who fast for the sake of God receive graciousness of countenance." With the story in Dan 1.8-16: ("But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king." 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 "Then let our appearance be observed in your presence, and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king's choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see." So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king's choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.")


How 'rare' and 'distinctive' might these be? Even though OTP recognizes all of these, I think the least persuasive ones are (a) the "awake to life" [it could be from Is 26.19 although the notion of obedience/righteousness is only present in Daniel] and the "graciousness of countenance" one [this is too thematic for me, and less 'verbal']. The ones dealing with "seventy weeks" and a dual-resurrection, however, are quite strong. These are unique to Daniel in the biblical canon as they are worded here, and if by some chance these were taken as being from some 'anonymous tradition', it would STILL witness to Daniel, since there are no other 'originating documents' with these distinct concepts in them. [We have already made our case that the other possible candidate for these references--the Enochian lit--was dependent on Daniel, and that any use of the Danielic material in Enoch, would also count as a witness to Daniel.]


Direction of Borrowing: This is a bit murky. This document was probably written in Greek (only vaguely related to the documents by the same name at Qumran) in Syria, by a very open-minded Jew. It documents "the openness of one of several segments of Judaism during the period of the second Temple to non-Jewish cultural insights and influences" [OTP:1:778]. It has strong Hellenistic tendencies in it--especially in ethics and its view of the Law. In many ways, this view is what was 'rejected' in the Maccabean revolt, and it would make little sense for an author 'inside the Maccabean revolt' to use such a source. Conversely, it would be entirely reasonable for an open-minded and Hellenism-friendly Jewish writer to draw images and concepts from such a 'cosmopolitan' figure/role-model as the biblical Daniel (i.e., both solidly Jewish and yet a success in matters of world government and statesmanship). Additionally, there is a ton of borrowing by Test*.*, but this is more related to the genre of "death-bed" autobiographical 'reminiscence' than any other factor, IMO. I think the motivational argument would be very much in favor of the author borrowing (casually) from Daniel.




Sixth, is Baruch.


"Baruch 1.15-3.8 is widely recognized as being very similar to Daniel 9.4-19" [ABD, s.v. "Baruch, book of"], and the relationship extends even to verbal identities in Baruch 2.2 [HI:IIW:35n1].

Mendels (ABD) gives some of the dating data:

"Four positive determinations can be made concerning the date of Baruch. First, if the LXX of Jeremiah can be approximately dated, then at least Bar 1:1-3:8 can be fixed to some point before the end of the 2d century BC. (116 BC.). Second, throughout the book the Jews seem to have religious freedom, but not political independence. Moreover, the mood of the entire book excludes the possibility of dating it to the Hasmonean independent state (140-67 BC.). Third, despite the prevalent mood of desolation and despair, hope is expressed for redemption and complete return of the people of Israel to their land. Fourth, the insistent plea to serve the Babylonian king and his "son" may refer-taken together with the other points mentioned-either to the period of ca. 200 b.c., when much hope was placed in Antiochus III (who had conquered Palestine from the Ptolemies), or to the period after AD 70, when it was hoped that many would return to the land of Israel from all parts of the Roman Empire (4:37):"See, your sons whom you sent away are coming! They are coming, gathered from east and west at the Holy One's command, rejoicing in God's glory." At the present stage of research, the question of dating must remain open."


Now, it is interesting to note that in the above quote the author does not draw the obvious implication. IF it is EITHER 200 BCE OR after 70 AD, AND AT THE SAME TIME it is in the translation of the LXX before 116 BC, THEN it MUST be dated at the earlier alternative. [Kee dates it around 150 BC (but only on the basis of its dependence on the allegedly late date of Daniel) in CASA and Newsom gives the 200-60 BCE range in HCSB.]

The book shows internal evidence of being a composite work, allowing for the individual sections to have originated and/or circulated separately. Some of these could easily go back to the time of writing as presented in the book. For our purposes here, we need only to note that the finished work--the one after all the compiling and editing was allegedly done--is the work dated by its translation into the LXX and by Mendels' dilemma-logic above.


Note then, that if Mendels' dilemma of "circa 200 BCE" or "after 70 AD" is valid, then the issue is resolved conclusively by the translation (of the composite work as we have it today)  into the LXX , and when this data is 'fed into' Mendels' 'dilemma', then we come out at Mendel's pre-200 BC date--regardless of the dates of the individual sections of the book. And, once again, we are well into pre-Maccabean territory...



Direction of borrowing?


The first thing to note is that Baruch makes the same "mistake" as Daniel [ABD: "Second, they are asked to pray for Nebuchadnezzar and “his son” Belshazzar (an error also found in Dan 5:2, 13, 18, 22; Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus)..."]--making this a 'very striking' parallel, so if we have other reasons to suspect "Baruch" borrowed from Daniel, then this will be strong additional data!


Note ABD's analysis of the relevant section:


"The prayer [3.1-3.8] shares much of its language and ideas with Dan 9:4–19, Jeremiah, and Deuteronomy 28–32, but Bar 1:15–3:8 is 47 percent longer than Dan 9:4–19 and differs from it in mood. Both prayers have the elements of confession and repentance in common and show a resemblance to liturgical texts from Qumran (4QDibHam.)... Whereas in Daniel 9 the desolate temple and the deserted city are central, in Bar 1:15–3:8 this is not the case [TN: I radically disagree with this--the temple is only mentioned once in the Daniel prayer, and also once in Baruch 2.26!]. Moreover, it seems that Daniel prays in Palestine, whereas Baruch prays in the Diaspora.  [TN: Again, this is not at all obvious from the text--I find nothing like that in Daniel at all.] There are two significant additions in Baruch’s prayer: first, an emphasis on the transgression of God’s command to serve the king of Babylonia; second, God’s forgiveness and the Return motif (2:30–35). It is difficult to decide which prayer derives from the other."


Now, one strong indicator of 'direction' is expansion. And, on that criteria, Baruch is more likely to be the borrower and Daniel the source.


Another indicator we discussed was 'who borrows more?', and in this case, Baruch is clearly indicated (especially by the use of multiple sources in this prayer--a pastiche approach, in many ways). Emil Schurer goes so far as to say: "That so thoroughly original and creative a mind however as the author of the Book of Daniel should have copied from the Book of Baruch is certainly not to be admitted." [History, II.II,p191]


These two factors would argue clearly for Baruch as the borrower and Daniel as the source, and once the evidence seems to 'lean' in that direction, the supposed 'error' on Belshazzer becomes another strong indicator of copying.

So, this nets out at a pre-Maccabean date again--indeed around the turn of the century, c. 200-- with witness to Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9 (the same as in Dan(e), by the way).




Seventh is the obviously post-Maccabean work of 1 Maccabees.

1 Maccabees refers explicitly to Daniel and his three pals in 2.59-60:

" Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, by believing were saved out of the flame. Daniel for his innocence was delivered from the mouth of lions."

And to the "abomination of desolation" of Daniel 11.31 at 1.54:


"Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar...



I Maccabees was written somewhere in 134-104 BCE [Harrington, HCSB; Kee, CASA]. This is later than our 165 date, by some 40-70 years, but is witness to how well-known the stories of Daniel 2 were, and how tight the connection was between the words of Daniel in 11.31 and their experience.


Its importance to our question is circumstantially supportive: since literary allusions of this specificity are meant to be recognized (even in a speech in the narrative set BEFORE the actual revolt!) by the readership, how long would Daniel have had to have been circulating and read (carefully) for this literary allusion to be 'attempted'? How much discussion about the 'abomination of desolation' would have had to precede this allusion, for it to have its force?


Again, the historian doesn't stop at "all we have is a mention of this material at 100BC"--she goes on to ask what conclusions can be drawn about the 'antecedent conditions' in which this event is meaningful. What intertextual connections must exist for an author to decide to include examples like Daniel & Co.? If all we had was this one book, we could still likely make a historical case (based on the slow speed of literary diffusion in ancient cultures, generally gated by manual copy technologies, distribution dynamics, expense, 'barriers to entry' for inclusion in schools/canons, religious conservatism, and the practical necessity/bottleneck of oral 'readings' for diffusion to the less-literate masses ) that it would have to have been circulating within the literati of Jewry for 75-100 years at least, for the narrative depicted in 2.59 and phrase-choice in 1.54 to have been created by an author--in expectations of reader/listener recognition.


So, although this does not count as a 'pre-Maccabean allusion/reference', it will still--because of its proximity in date to the alleged authorship of Daniel--provide some support for the early, antecedent authorship and cultural acceptance of Daniel.



Eight, is the poorly-named 2 Maccabees.

This also is a post-Maccabean composition.


This document shows dependence on Daniel in a couple of ways/places:


"The developed themes of resurrection and immortality are particularly important, and the language used to depict them at v. 9, especially, and v. 14, is clearly intended as an allusion to Dan. 12:2 (and, at least indirectly, to Isa. 26:19)." [HI:IIW:153]


Chester is referring here to 7.9 (And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.”) and 7.14 ("When he was near death, he said, “One cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals and to cherish the hope God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!”") and Daniel 12.2 (Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."). Cf. also 7.23 ("Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of humankind and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.”)



Goldstein in the Anchor Bible commentary series, sees a deeper influence (and actually believes it is a rebuttal of I Macc):


"According to Goldstein, the author not only (at 7:9,14) explicitly confirms the belief in resurrection and immortality of Dan. 12:2, but is also at pains throughout to show, at least implicitly, that the prophecies of Daniel 7-11 hold true, over against I Maccabees, which constantly implies that they are false. This is to a large extent an argument from silence, although it is certainly clear that 2 Maccabees sees Daniel as an inspired and authoritative work, and takes up important themes from it." [HI:IIW:154]


So, dependency on Daniel seems clear, but what do we know about the date?


2 Maccabees as we have it today is a composite document, consisting of a "core document" (2.19-15.39) with two 'cover letters' prefixed to it [ABD]:


"2 Maccabees gives the obvious impression of being a mixtum compositum with a sort of introduction, two letters (1:1–10 and 1:10–2:18) and a foreword by the epitomizer himself (2:19–32), with an excerpt from the (assuredly originally Greek-composed) history by Jason of Cyrene, which is not elsewhere attested (3:1–15:36), and with the epitomizer’s own epilogue (15:37–39).


The composite letter is dated, of course, at the time of the "youngest" section, and in this case, it will be around 124BC. But for our purposes, this date is irrelevant, for the correspondences we will see with Daniel are in the "main" section. However, since "cover letters" to a document are generally written after the main work(!), the dating of these two letters may indicate the "at least no later than" dates for our "core" document. [In other words, when someone is trying to 'accomplish' something with a letter, they FIND SOMETHING to attach to it--implying the "pre-existence" of the attachment.] But what are the dates attached to the two 'cover letters', and what can be said about the core document?:


ˇ         The first is our "outermost" letter:


"It appears that the first letter (1:1–10), from the year 124/3 b.c.—which is dated to the Seleucid era (on the Judeo-Babylonian reckoning)—is actually the second (!) injunction of the Judeans to their compatriots in Egypt to celebrate “the (eight-day) festival in the month of Chislev according to (!) the manner of booths [Sukkoth]”" [ABD]. This is, of course, the date of the final "assembly" of the document, and doesn't concern us.


ˇ         The second or "inner-most" cover letter [Thomas Fischer, Anchor Bible Dictionary, s.v. "MACCABEES, BOOKS OF"]:


"Then follows (1:10–2:18) the earlier communication of “those in Jerusalem and those in Judea and the council and Judas” to Aristobulus (...this well-known sage, tutor of princes at the Ptolemaic court, and probably also political leader of the Jewish Diaspora then dwelling in Egypt..). Apparently, this letter to Aristobulus is actually a companion-piece giving the deeper motivation of the first letter; of course, such an appendix is undated, following the archival custom of the time. However, the first (!) adhortatory letter from 143/2 BC—which is only mentioned in 1:7–8 —has not been preserved.


"On the other hand, the second letter (1:10–2:18) is still generally considered to be a forgery. However, the allegedly historical argument against its authenticity (which derives ultimately from Holleaux) is unconvincing: Antiochus III did in fact plunder the temple of Bel in Elam and was only subsequently (tachy) cut to pieces there in the sanctuary of Nanaia (1:13; cf. Dan 11:19!), where his son Antiochus IV was later to fail, dying shortly afterward in Tabai in Persia. Evidence is concealed in the Babylonian Talmud (Šabb. 21b) which expressly and independently confirms the date of the letter toward the end of 163 b.c. Thus it appears that this document is really the sole authentic surviving record of Judas Maccabeus himself.


This is an interesting piece of data, for if this 'intro letter' is younger than the core document (which is not likely, in our case!), we have a core document dated very close to the end of the Maccabean Revolt.


ˇ         The core section is an abridgement of the work of Jason of Cyrene, describing events which occur in the period 175-160 BCE, ending with the victory of Judas over Nicanor (161BC) [Schurer].  There is no mention of the later defeat and death of Judas, which could be either the author's desire for a 'happy ending' or an indication of time of writing (shortly after 161).  Several scholars believe that Philo was familiar with this book (indicating a 2nd century BC authorship, 150-100 BC):

o        "Philo of Alexandria seems to have been familiar with the book, as was the Assumption of Moses. [Fischer, ABD]

o        "In Philo's work, Quod omnis probus liber (XIII), is described the manner in which many tyrants have persecuted the pious and virtuous. The several features of this description so greatly recall that of Antiochus Epiphanes in the second Book of Maccabees, that an acquaintance with this book on the part of Philo can scarcely be doubted" [Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, 2.iii, p.214.; note: section XII deals with the Essenes, and verse 89 specifically describes the violent persecutions as being against this group--the only historical referent this could have been, before Philo, would have been Antiochus, and Philo's knowledge and even some word choices lead many to believe as Fischer and Schurer do.]


The 'core' work is only an abridgement or epitome (of Jason's 5-volume work), and it may have been written earlier than 1 Maccabees [Kee CASA].


"Jason of Cyrene may well have been an eyewitness of the events he recorded. He probably wrote his history not too long after the last events he recorded--that is, shortly after 160 BCE. In view of his enthusiasm both for Onias III, the last legitimate high priest, and for Judas Maccabee, he probably wrote before the Maccabees usurped the high priest-hood (Jonathan became high priest in 152 BCE)." [Martin McNamara, Intertestamental Literature, p.261]



Since the 'outside' cover letter would have been written AFTER the 'core', this would date the core between 124 BC and 161/0 (earliest date for Jason's work). Since the outside letter is altogether unrelated to the core, and the final editor has simply adopted the core for his/her own purposes, the core must have existed prior to the cover letter (124 BC) by enough time as to foster SOME level of credibility with the intended recipients.  So, on one extreme, we could have a date for the core [with the Daniel references and themes, a la Goldstein]as early as 160-159, with Jason writing the work after Judas' victory, but before his death (explaining the silence/ending of the work), with the epitomizer tasked with abridgment (and perhaps distribution and copying of the main work--a common approach to publication then). And at the other extreme, we could have the core later, with the abridgement no later than probably 130-135 BC, to allow an initial level of circulation in Jerusalem literary circles, prior to being used as a 'weapon' by the final compiler in 124 BC. ABD gives this same sequence (i.e., Jason, then epitome, then cover-letters and assembly):


"As far as 2 Maccabees is concerned, the following development in chronological sequence may be assumed (otherwise Nickelsburg 1981: 118). First was the alleged “Maccabean history” in Greek by Jason of Cyrene, now lost (which included a prehistory of the revolt, and which was written from the point of view of the Hellenistic imperial history). Later the epitome of this history was composed by a possibly Alexandrian Judean, with alterations and additions. It was strongly rhetorical, didactic, and emotionalizing; i.e., similar to the “pathetic” or “tragic” historiography according to the genuine Hellenistic tradition (as perhaps was already the case with Jason’s work). The final stage was the entire book of 2 Maccabees, including the two introductory letters which were translated from Semitic-language originals. This final product was presented with the intention of introducing Hanukkah (or whatever it was then called) into the Judean Diaspora in Egypt. The terminus post quem of the final version of the book, as we now possess it, is the year 125 BC; at least it was apparently known to Philo of Alexandria in the beginning of our era.

So, although this does not count as a 'pre-Maccabean allusion/reference' either, it will still--because of its proximity in date to the alleged authorship of Daniel--provide some support for the early, antecedent authorship and cultural acceptance of Daniel. And, if Goldstein is correct in understanding the conflict between 1st and 2nd Maccabees to include major Danielic 'vindication' motifs, then the status of Daniel as a Classical/canonical prophet (instead of a pseudepigraphic failure of massive proportions--cf Goldstein: "The Seleucid empire did not fall in the 160s BCE, contrary to Daniel 7:11. Jews did not gain imperial or cosmic power, contrary to Daniel 7:13-14, 27, 12:3. The aftermath of the death of Antiochus IV did not fit Daniel 12:1. The chronology of the events was far from fitting Daniel 7:25, 9:24-27, 12:7. There was no resurrection, contrary to Daniel 12:2." [JTM:86]!) is the only explanation on why he would still be taken seriously enough to 'defend' by the author of 2 Maccabees. How people this close to the events, the documents, the literary flow/channels, the history, the key players, could be so hoodwinked by the within-Jerusalem author of Daniel--without ANY prophetic credentials--strains belief. Their view of the inviolability of Daniel implies a much 'higher' view of Daniel's status than just that of a later pseudepigrapher--and an inaccurate one at that! Something just doesn't compute here...




Ninth, is a book from Diaspora Jewry--Book 3 of the Sibylline Oracles:

"Much more plausible is Momigliano's thesis that Book 3 of the Sibylline Oracles reflects a revival of Jewish nationalistic sentiment in the wake of the Maccabean revolt. While the oracles make no reference to the Maccabees or to their revolt (beyond a possible echo in 194-95), the dating to the reign of the seventh Egyptian king (Philometor, 180-145 BCE) would fit this context admirably; moreover, the echoes of the book of Daniel confirm this general ambience." [NT:JMD:223; this dating is also supported by Nickelsburg in HI:JLBBM:164]


This book is a composite one, and so we will need to confine our possible parallels to the main section of the book, which falls around our basic time-window.


The book was written in Egypt, and is generally connected with the priest Onias. Collins (OTP), argues that the book would be written prior to the founding of the temple at Leontopolis. Collins puts this range into 160-150, but others place it earlier, based on a better resolution of conflicting chronologies:


"There are some problems concerning the date and purpose of Onias’ migration to Egypt. According to Ant 12.387, this took place in 162 BCE., after the execution of Menelaus and the appointment of Alcimus to the high priesthood. His motive for immigrating may have been despair of obtaining the high priesthood in Jerusalem for himself....The chronology of his activities is not confirmed by Ant 13.62, and may be in conflict with CPJ 1 no. 132. This papyrus, dated to September 21, 164 BCE., is a letter from Heroides to a certain person whose name was restored by Wilcken as Oni[ai] (Onias). If the restoration (endorsed by Tcherikover in CPJ 1: 244–46) is correct, and the recipient was Onias IV, as seems probable, then Onias IV should have come to Egypt some time before 164 BCE. This chronology is in conflict with Ant 12.387, but not with Ant 13.62, which supposes that a certain time elapsed between Onias IV’s arrival at Alexandria and his request to build a temple....In view of this, we accept Tcherikover’s opinion that Onias IV came to Egypt about a decade before he requested permission from Philometor and Cleopatra to build the temple; the temple would then be dated about 160 BCE. A reminiscence of Onias as founder of a temple in Egypt is preserved in b. Menah. 109:2. There Onias is a son of Simon the Just (Simon II), who founded a temple in Alexandria." [Rappaport, ABD, s.v. "Onias"]


This would put Onias migration to Egypt around 170 and the temple founding at 160, and therefore the origination of the Sybilline 3 materials in this 170-160 period. Additionally, it might be argued that the material should be toward the 170 end, since there are no references whatever to Maccabean times/issues (some interpret this 'silence' as  'lack of sympathy', but the frequent interest in the Macedonian wars of the early 2nd century situates Onias' viewpoint prior to Maccabean issues). This creates some presumption for a pre-Maccabean date, and even more so if Onias (as suggested by ABD) arrived there before the action heated up in Palestine. Onias' work (or influence on the Syb. work) would reflect a pre-Maccabean perspective in that case, and certainly not one that would be influenced by a 'Maccabean messianic' prophecy (when Onias and friends held to a Ptolemaic savior figure instead!).


So, do we have any possible parallels?


Let's look at the two verses listed in the margins of OTP by Collins:

ˇ         3.767: "And then, indeed, he will raise up a kingdom for all ages among men" with Dan 2.44: "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever." and 7.27: "Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him." [How 'rare' is an "everlasting kingdom" phrase?! As it turns out, surprisingly rare in the biblical materials! The phrase only occurs once outside of Daniel, in Ps 145.13, but FOUR times in Daniel (4.3, 34; 7.14, 27)! It does not occur in the Apocrypha (except in Tobit, in 4Q200). The idea can be found as background to various items--Davidic dynastic promise, for example--but the terminology is very Daniel-specific. I suspect this is why Collins listed Daniel as the marginal reference, rather than the Psalms passage.]

ˇ         3.324: "and you will all of necessity go to destruction because you have utterly destroyed the great house of the Immortal and have chewed it terribly with iron teeth." With Dan 7.7:" After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed," [Even though 'iron teeth' could logically be an 'organic' image, I find it very surprising that there are no precedents for this usage in all of the OT, in all of the Apocrypha, and in all of the non-biblical scrolls of Qumran! On the basis, therefore, of usage--this is an exceedingly "rare" phrase!]

These are surprisingly strong (as measured by rarity), as it turns out, and, with this material being roughly contemporary with the alleged date of Daniel in Maccabean time, we will certainly need to ask the question of direction.


The question of direction is immediately problematic, for these documents are supposedly being written in different countries at roughly the same time, and by allegedly ideologically-antithetical authors! I cannot see any real way to construct such a historical scenario. It just makes so much more intuitive sense to see Onias as trying to pin Ptolemaic messianic ideas onto the more 'neutral' canonical Daniel (or even "common tradition derived solely from Daniel"). Since canonical Daniel (under the traditional authorship view) would have already been accepted for centuries and centuries by whole-Judaism, there would be no 'partisan' overtones to it, as there would have been under the non-conservative model. This would strongly suggest that the Daniel terminology must have been in existence/acceptance much earlier than even Onias' departure for Egypt, and place the origination-acceptance range for Daniel at least as early as late 4th/early 3rd century BCE. (Which matches other estimates above, btw.)







Okay, let's try to overview the above data in table format (I have removed the parallels that I consider two weak):










Susanna + Daniel's friends; "myriads+", molten feet [main impact: LXX]


1 Macc



Daniel's friends, "abomination of desolation"


2 Macc



Resurrection phrases ("clearly intended")


SibOr 3



"everlasting kingdom", "iron teeth"





Seventy weeks  (weaker: temple pollution)







Ezek the Trad.



Throne-theophany, vice-regency



pre-Macc, early 2nd


"time/appointed time" "reveal hidden things", "bear your name"


1 Enoch  BW (1-36)

pre-Macc, 3rd cent.


"watchers", throne-theophany



Pre-Macc, End 3rd/early 2nd


Many elements of Daniel's prayer

[BTW, if somehow, someone still maintains that ALL of this is due to 'anonymous common tradition', notice from the chart above how similar this 'tradition' must look like to the book of Daniel's more memorable]


Notice carefully that this table lists several pre-Maccabean documents with various levels of dependence on Danielic material! The three pre-Maccabean documents, at a minimum, show strong dependence on items from chapters 2,4,7,9,11, and 12.

We have:


Now, Daniel 1-6 is already considered to be pre-Maccabean:

"Modern scholars have argued that the first half of the book, dealing with the experiences of Daniel at the Babylonian court, dates to the third century B.C.E., while the remainder, describing the Maccabean period and its aftermath in apocalyptic terms, dates to the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 167-163 B.C.E." [Schiffman, FTT:123]

"The date of the origins of these tales [Daniel 1-6] is open to surmise. A third or fourth century date might be suggested, but there is nothing to preclude that some of the material might be earlier, even going back to the events they describe. The collection, however, would be much later." [Meade, PsC:87-88]

" The precise delineation of the pre-Maccabean stratum is more difficult and is bound up with the problem of the two languages. There is now a widespread consensus that the tales in chaps. 2-6 are pre-Maccabean. Since these stories are now bound together, but without any clear reference to the period of Antiochus Epiphanes, it is probable that they already constituted a collection before that time. (As we have noted above, some scholars suggest that chaps. 3-6 circulated independently, because of the different character of the OG translation of these chaps.). The collection, however, presupposes an introduction such as we find in chap. 1, and so it is likely that chap. 1 was composed in Aramaic as a prologue to the tales. Many German scholars, following G. Hölscher (1919), argue that the core of chap. 7 was also part of the pre-Maccabean Aramaic collection. (So also, Gammie 1976). This view draws support from the fact that chap. 7 is in Aramaic and that chaps. 2-7 exhibit a chiastic structure (2 and 7 contain "four kingdom" prophecies, 3 and 6 are tales of miraculous deliverance, 4 and 5 illustrate divine judgment on two kings)." [Collins, ABD, s.v. "Daniel, Book of"]


Now, if:

  1. We have early manuscripts from DSS that virtually require a pre-Maccabean date for their exemplar (under commonly accepted 'literary diffusion' time requirements);

  2. ALL the major pre-Maccabean literature--regardless of provenance(!)--utilize elements from  Daniel;

  3. All the "possibly" to "quite probably" pre-Maccabean literature--regardless of provenance--utilize elements from Daniel;

  4. The Maccabean and post-Maccabean works of significance--regardless of sectarian perspective--utilize Daniel;

  5. ALL of the sources closest in time, expertise, and eyewitness-access to the situation [i.e., Qumran, NT, Josephus, Rabbinics] describe Daniel's writings as prophecies of the future (NOT the past!);

  6. ALL of the sectarian groups accept Daniel as canonical;

  7. Several of the documents discussed suggest a date for Daniel around the end of the 4th/start of the 3rd century BCD; And ...

  8. The most probable direction of borrowing, in each case, is FROM Daniel...


Then, isn't the discussion over? Isn't that a strong enough case to demonstrate that Daniel is at least pre-Maccabean?


These references  are what's called 'external evidence' and it vastly outweighs as historical evidence that subjective area we call 'internal evidence'. We have not settled a date for Daniel, or its character (that will be assessed in discussions of the problems associated with internal evidence [i.e., historical and linguistic considerations]), but the data we have reviewed should be recognized as being quite strong that the controlling paradigm of a late-date for Daniel needs 'adjusting'...

Where this leaves us is quite clear: ALL the external, manuscript, and literary data we have supports a pre-Maccabean date for the material in Daniel.


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