Daniel 11 is considered an exceptional Biblical text because of its interest in and accuracy about historical and political events in the Hellenistic world. A recent theory suggests that the author was a former Seleucid scribe; another theory posits the use of a Ptolemaic propaganda document. The approach here will be inductive, reading out from the text to adduce evidence that the author of Daniel 11 either used or reflected the attitudes of Ptolemaic narrative, not necessarily because he was pro-Ptolemaic but because it suited his anti-Antiochene purpose.
In1898, George A. Barton, “The Composition of the Book of Daniel,” jbl 17 (1898): 62-86 stated (p. 76): “I rather suspect that the author’s style was here influenced by some historical notes of which he made use, and which were already in a written form, perhaps in some language other than Hebrew. At all events, the author of this apocalypse has a knowledge of the history of the Greek kingdoms unique in the book of Daniel.”
Elias J. Bickerman, The Jews in the Greek Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988), 122.
See Lora Holland, “Plutarch’s Aemilius Paullus and the Model of the Philosopher Statesman,” in The Statesman in Plutarch’s Works: Volume II: The Statesman in Plutarch’s Greek and Roman Lives (ed. L. de Blois et al.; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 269-79and William Reiter, Aemilius Paullus: Conqueror of Greece (London: Croom Helm, 1988), passim.
H. Gese, “Das Geschichtsbild des Danielbuches und Ägypten,” in Fontes atque Pontes: Eine Festgabe für Hellmut Brunner (ed. Manfred Görg; Ägypten und Altes Testament 5; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1983), 139-54, esp. 151.
Many scholars, e.g., Samuel R. Driver, The Book of Daniel (Cambridge: Cambridge at the University Press, 1900), 171-72, agree that the failure of the lawless Judaeans is the defeat of the pro-Seleucid faction who opposed Scopas’s campaign to retake Judaea in 201/200; cf. A.J. 12.135 and Polyb. 16.39.1.
Lester L. Grabbe, “A Dan(iel) for All Seasons: For Whom was Daniel Important?” in The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception, 1:229-46 (here 234, n. 13) states that the division into four “does not of course correspond to historical reality, where the final division was between the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, and the Antigonids.” But then he does find “four” where the others do: “The treaty of 301 after the battle of Ipsus provided for a four-fold division, but this was soon overtaken by events.”
So Anathea Portier-Young, Apocalypse Against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011), 237, who notes that חזק appears 292 times in the Hebrew Bible, 13 of which are in Daniel.
R. M. Errington, “Bias in Ptolemy’s History of Alexander,”Classical Quarterly19 (1969): 233-42, esp. 234. While some have suggested that Ptolemy knowingly suppressed information about Seleucus’s military career (as seems to be reflected in Appian’s Syrian Wars, who based his narrative at least partly on Ptolemy’s now lost work), Errington thinks that Seleucus simply was not important at that time. Joseph Roisman, “Ptolemy and his Rivals in his History of Alexander the Great,” Classical Quarterly 34 (1984): 373-85 demurs from the judgment that Ptolemy wrote with any bias. See also A. E. Samuel, “Alexander’s Royal Journals,” Historia 14 (1965): 1-12; N. L. Collins, “The Various Fathers of Ptolemy I,” Mnemosyne 50 (1997): 436-76; and R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy: Studies in Ptolemaic Propaganda (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000).
See Hartman and Di Lella, The Book of Daniel, 258; Collins, Daniel (fotl), 365; and André Lacocque, The Book of Daniel (trans. David Pellauer; Atlanta: John Knox, 1979), 219. The Vulgate renders opibus “resources.”