DANIEL: RESOLVING THE ENIGMA

in Vetus Testamentum
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Abstract

The consensus view that the stories of Daniel originated in Mesopotamia to commend a 'lifestyle for Diaspora' while the visions originated among Palestinian Jews during the Antiochene persecution increases, rather than explains, the tensions between the visions and stories. It is argued that the animal imagery of Dan. vii and viii has a background in Mesopotamian mythology and omens. The style and content of the prophetic survey of history in Dan. xi and xii seems influenced by the 'Akkadian Prophecies'. This suggests an origin for the visions among the Jews of the Eastern Diaspora. Dan. xii 33-35 is not incompatible with this. Sociological studies of 'millennial movements' show how a group with an appropriate world-view can become 'millennial' under the influence of a catalyst and the reinterpretation of some of its traditions. All these insights are applied to understanding the relationship between the stories and visions in Daniel.

Vetus Testamentum

A Quarterly Published by the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament

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