2.8.5 - A Unified Book with a Pivotal ChapterAny analysis of the structure of the book, no matter how it is conceived, is likely to recognize both the unity of the book and the importance of the seventh chapter:
- The Significance of Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 plays a key role in the book, functioning almost like a hinge between the two main sections of the work: (1) it repeats the kingdom sequence of the vision in chapter 2, but with much greater detail—including information which is alluded to from key passages of the NT. This detailed information forms the framework for the upcoming expansion of a portion of the sequence in chapters 8 and 11-12; (2) it closes the Aramaic section of the book; (3) it opens the section of the book where the emphasis shifts from historical narrative in the third person to visions and revelation primarily in the first person. This important chapter has also been recognized as key for the proper interpretation of prophecy.1
- The Unity of the Book - The close ties between chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12 (see Sequence of Kingdoms) provide strong evidence that a single author was responsible for writing Daniel. “From these things we arrive at the certainty that the book of Daniel forms an organic whole, as is now indeed generally acknowledged, and that it was composed by a prophet according to a plan resting on higher illumination.”2 “The cumulative effect has important implications for the unity and composition of Daniel. Rather than pointing to the unifying work of a late redactor/compiler who stands at the end of a long line of editorial activity, Daniel is best explained as supporting Gooding’s contention that ‘we must take seriously the book’s internal proportions, as having been deliberately planned by the author.’ ”3
1 “The key role of chapter 7 , so important to the full teaching of Daniel, thus gains wider significance as an interpretative key for Old Testament eschatology.”—Richard D. Patterson, “The Key Role of Daniel 7,” in Grace Theological Journal, vol. 12 no. 2 (Grace Seminary, Fall 1991), 257.
2 Carl Friedrich Keil, “Daniel,” in Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), s.v. “Integrated Organization.”
3 Patterson, “The Key Role of Daniel 7,” 251.
Copyright © 2008-2013 by Tony Garland
(Content generated on Sat Mar 23 20:42:30 2013)