Rarely in the Bible are we given a close and revealing look at the life of an individual whose personal history is free from major sins much less minor blunders and blemishes. . . . Rarely does a man prosper materially and have great political power and yet remain authentically righteous in his life as well as consistently loyal to his God. And rarely does a man who does possess power, prestige and wealth become a primary channel for critical revelation from God. But such a man is Daniel.2Indeed, Daniel serves as a model for all who are called of God and find their giftedness in secular activities which are not traditionally considered as serving God.3 In this role, he is much like Joseph.
|Character||Excellent, godly (Gen. 39:8-13).||Excellent, godly (Dan. 6:10‣; 9:1-23‣; 10:11‣, 19‣).|
|Taken forcefully to a foreign country.6||Joseph sold by his brothers (Gen. 37:12-36).||Daniel captured by Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1:1-7‣).|
|Exalted within a Gentile government.||Ruled under the king of Egypt (Gen. 41:42-44; 44:14; 50:18; Ps. 105:20-22).||Ruled under the kings of Babylon & Medo Persia (Dan. 2:48-49‣; 5:29‣; 6:2‣).|
|Revelation given while in exile.7||Under Egypt (Gen. 41:25-32).||Under Babylon & Medo-Persia (Dan. 2:23‣; 4:19‣; 5:25‣; 7:1‣; 8:1‣; 9:1‣, 24-27‣; 10:1‣).|
|Interpreted dreams.||For Gentile king, Pharaoh (Gen. 41:25-32).||For Gentile king, Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:29-45‣).|
|Recognized as possessing God’s Spirit.8||By Pharaoh (Gen. 41:38)||By Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:5-6‣) and the queen (Dan. 5:11‣).|
|Purpose of dreams.||Revealed future: sequence of plenty before famine (Gen. 41:26-30).||Revealed future: sequence of Gentile empires (Dan. 2:36-45‣).|
|Captivity resulted in provision for the Jews (Ps. 106:46; Rom. 8:28).9||Favor for Jews during famine (Gen. 45:17-18; Ps. 105:17-23).||Favor for Jews during Babylonian captivity (Dan. 9:1-19‣; 10:13‣, 20‣).10|
|Supernatural abilities.||Attributed to God (Gen. 41:16).||Attributed to God (Dan. 2:20-23‣, 28‣, 30‣).|
|Historical timing of revelation.||At formation of the nation of Israel (Ex. 4:22; Hos. 11:1).||At the close of sovereign reign of Davidic kingdom (Jer. 22:30; 36:30; Eze. 21:13) and the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles.|
Daniel was not regarded as having occupied the prophetic office as such. He was not a prophet in the classic sense associated with Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah,, and others of the literary coterie for the simple reason that he did not function as a spiritual mediator between God and a theocratic community, despite the fact that he was endowed with certain conspicuous prophetic gifts. Like Joseph of old, he was a Hebrew statesman in a heathen court, and not a “writing prophet” or spiritual mediator in the commonly understood sense.14In some sense, Daniel’s prophetic gift and function was much like that of his NT counterpart, the apostle John who wrote the book of Revelation. 15This unique aspect of Daniel as a prophet also helps to explain why Daniel was placed among the writings within the three-fold partitioning of the Jewish Scriptures among the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nebiim) and the Writings (Ketubim).16
Two principal reasons exist for denying authorship by Daniel: (1) the minutely accurate portrayal of the Seleucid-Ptolemaic wars and the career of Antiochus Epiphanes (chap. 11) which are unthinkable as genuine prophecies for the rationalistic and purely naturalistic critic and (2) alleged historical inaccuracies in the book. The first fallacy rests on pure unbelief and the second on arguments from silence, plausible but erroneous presuppositions, insufficient data, or untenable interpretations.32One of the first things to recognize in this line of attack is that the issues of authorship and date are closely related: “Within the Book of Daniel, the issues of date and authorship are so intertwined that if you are convinced of one, you have found the other.”33 In other words, if you are convinced that Daniel wrote the book, then the date of composition becomes obvious—it must have been composed prior to his death. On the other hand, if one rejects Danielic authorship then the book could have been written much later—as much later as one can possibly push it (in order to deny as much predictive prophecy as possible). But one of the flies in the critical ointment is that certain historic witnesses establish dates beyond which it becomes impractical to try to date the book. This aspect is discussed in more detail where we discuss the Date of the book. Here, we are focusing on the authorship, but as we proceed we’ll see that authorship and date cannot be treated entirely independently of one another.It should be obvious that the entire tenor of the book of Daniel (and the canon of Scripture) is to teach what it means to live a godly life in view of the requirements of a Holy God. Therefore, the idea of a pseudonymous work immediately encounters a fundamental difficulty: for the term pseudo means FALSE, “being apparently rather than actually as stated: SHAM, SPURIOUS.”34 When the critics introduce a different author from the one represented within the book itself, they endeavor to show that the Hebrew canon admitted a book teaching righteousness by delivering its contents in the form of a lie.Here again we see what was earlier claimed, an attack upon one book of the Bible is an attack against the entire Bible because if Daniel is pseudonymous then the prophetic content of Daniel is fiction and Jesus was either wrong or He intentionally misled His listeners. If this were true then the promises of God and the claims of His Messiahship become “SPURIOUS” and a “SHAM.”
The book of Daniel purports to be serious history. It claims to be a revelation from the God of heaven which concerns the future welfare of men and nations. If this book were issued at the time of the Maccabees for the purpose of strengthening the faith of the people of that time, and the impression were thereby created that Daniel, a Jew of the 6th cent. were the author, then, whether we like it or no—the book is a fraud. There is no escaping this conclusion. It will not do to say that the Jews frequently engaged in such a practice. That does not lessen their guilt one whit.35Although there were numerous pseudonymous works written in the intertestamental period and thereafter, these were rejected from the canon of Scripture for the very reason that they were recognized for what they were. If Daniel were to be one of these, somehow it uniquely duped both the Hebrews and the early Christian Church to find its way into the Bible. More than that, the book of Revelation would have to be of similar fraudulent character since it shares many details with Daniel. And let’s not forget Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians which are part of the integrated message. Once again, we find the “Scripture safety net” indicating the suggestion that Daniel is a pseudonymous work untenable.
Daniel is not mentioned by other prophets; therefore, they argue, Daniel is a myth. Three times the prophecies of Ezekiel speak of him; therefore, they infer, some other Daniel is intended. Their argument is based on the silence of the sacred and other books of the Jews. A man so eminent as the Daniel of the exile would not, they urge, have been thus ignored. And yet they conjecture the career of another Daniel of equal, or even greater eminence, whose very existence has been forgotten!37Listen to the line of reasoning of the critics:
Apart from the book that bears his name, Daniel does not appear as a historical personality of the exilic period in any biblical book. The name occurs twice in Ezekiel, one time in conjunction with Noah and Job (14:14) and once as a prototype of wisdom (Eze. 28:3: “are you wiser than Daniel?”). Neither passage can have the biblical Daniel stories in mind, but it may be significant that the name was associated with a legendary wise man in the exilic period. All but the most conservative scholars now accept the conclusion that the book of Daniel is not a product of the Babylonian era but reached its present form in the 2d century B.C.E. Daniel is not a historical person but a figure of legend. [emphasis added]38Case closed!But let’s look at the logic: (1) We only have fragmentary historical evidence from the period of Daniel; (2) the major historic witness to the time of Daniel is the Hebrew Scriptures; (3) the Hebrew Scriptures mention Daniel (the book of Daniel, Ezekiel); but (4) the witness of Daniel in the early Hebrew Scriptures can’t really be about the biblical Daniel; therefore, (5) there is no early witness to Daniel and he is reduced to a figure or legend. Notice the flagrant bias in the reasoning—especially what we discussed in the introduction regarding the fact that the Scriptures are never admitted in the courtroom as evidence—even silence trumps them! The conclusion is as faulty as the logic: some legendary wise man of the exilic period who eclipsed the biblical Daniel wrote the book bearing his name, but his identity has somehow been lost to the mists of history. We are also to assume that where Ezekiel writes “Daniel,” without any other qualifiers, we are to understand that he referred to a person never mentioned elsewhere in the biblical text. Not very convincing!This also illustrates the bias which secular scholars exhibit toward the Biblical record:
When will the world get over the folly of supposing that what is found in a book claiming to be inspired, should be regarded as suspicious until it is confirmed by the authority of some pagan writer; that what is found in any other book should be regarded as necessarily true, however much it may conflict with the testimony of the sacred writers?39
188.8.131.52.1.1 - Ezekiel Mentioned a Different Daniel?The simple understanding regarding Ezekiel’s mention of Daniel is that Daniel’s reputation was well known, even at an early time in his life, so Ezekiel refers to Daniel’s character and wisdom. This was the view of Josephus.40 This would be only natural because Daniel’s reputation was already established by the time Ezekiel arrived in Babylon:
It should be noted that Ezekiel was Daniel’s contemporary, arriving as a captive in Babylon eight years later. By this time, Daniel would have already held the important position he attained in the government and Ezekiel, it may be assumed, would have made inquiry, on arrival, regarding the young Judean who had risen to such a height so quickly. . . . and was sufficiently impressed by what he had found to mention Daniel in parallel with Noah and Job as a great man of righteousness. This fact is still more remarkable when one recognizes that persons who live in a prior generation tend to stand out more brilliantly than contemporaries. Both Noah and Job lived centuries prior to the day when Ezekiel listed Daniel with them.41
The date for the passage of Eze. 14:14, 20 is determined by a comparison of the following passages: 8:1 compared with 1:2 yields the result that chapter 14 of Ezekiel should be assigned to the year 591 B.C. inasmuch as Jechoniah’s captivity began in 597 B.C. However, Daniel was led into captivity in 604. Consequently this word was written fourteen years after Daniel was taken to Babylon and eleven years (cf. Dan. 1:5‣) after Daniel’s elevation to the prominent position at the court of the king of Babylon. For the reference in Eze. 28:3 the date-passage is 26:1. Consequently, this latter passage is to be dated about five years later than the preceding one. . . . Daniel could have been eighteen years old when he began his studies of Babylonian lore and would, eighteen years thereafter, have been thirty-six years old. Many a man has made his mark long before that time, even in the realm of politics.42Some find it unlikely that Ezekiel would mention Daniel in conjunction with Noah and Job, but we need be cautious when we attribute Scriptural content completely to the motives of the inspired writer while forgetting that it is the Holy Spirit Who superintended the Scriptures. Let’s look at the passage:
The word of the LORD came again to me, saying: “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD. (Eze. 14:12-14) [emphasis added]Thus, Ezekiel’s mention of Daniel with the luminaries of Noah and Job ultimately serves the purpose of the Spirit rather than reflecting Ezekiel’s conception regarding Daniel as a contemporary. For it is the Lord which makes the statement through Ezekiel—it is God’s assessment of Daniel which Ezekiel is forth-telling.Looking more closely at the historical setting within which each of the three lived, we find a fairly even gap in time between each of the godly individuals:
As to the grouping of these three, it is significant that Noah lived a good fifteen hundred years or more before Job, and Job about fifteen hundred years before Daniel, Ezekiel’s contemporary. What God seems to be saying, therefore, in Ezekiel 14:14, 20 is that even though outstanding heroes of faith—like Noah at the beginning of postdiluvial history and Job in the Patriarchal Age in the middle of the second millennium—were to combine with godly, gifted Daniel to intercede for apostate Judah, their most earnest intercession would not avail to turn back God’s penal judgment against his faithless people.43Thus, Noah, Job, and Daniel represent godly men of different ages and nationalities: Noah and Job being godly Gentiles whereas Daniel being a godly Jew.44 The point being, no matter the historic age, nationality, or godly character of the intercessor, God would not avert His judgment.In another passage in Ezekiel, the wisdom of the king of Tyre is said to exceed that of Daniel: “Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you!” (Eze. 28:3) The critics also deny that Ezekiel mentions the biblical Daniel in this passage. They note that even if Ezekiel might have known of the wisdom of his contemporary, the king of Tyre surely wouldn’t have known of Daniel. While this point could be debated—perhaps Daniel’s reputation was more widely known since Babylon was the major regional power at that time—the passage does not necessarily depend upon the king of Tyre knowing Daniel:
Koenig asks: Is there any likelihood “that the king of Tyre would be reminded of Daniel as of a notable wise man?” One objection along the same line comes to our mind: Even if Daniel’s fame had spread quickly among his own people, would fifteen years suffice to have made him so famous that the king of Tyre could appropriately be reminded of him? However, this objection vanishes if we remember that, though the king of Tyre is addressed, this does not mean that the prophetic discourse was delivered before the king in his own palace. It is not even necessary that he should ever had had this word brought to him. Note a similar situation in Jer. 25:15ff. where the prophet Jeremiah gives the kings of the nations to drink of the cup of the wrath of God.45Ezekiel makes a prophetic statement where God describes the character and judgment of the king of Tyre. The focus of the passage is God’s declaration against the king. Whether the king became aware of the statement is immaterial. In many cases, the ungodly are never aware of the pronouncements that God makes against them—that’s not the purpose of the statements. Instead, they record the declarative intent of God within His Word regarding His righteous response and judgment of the wicked. The main point concerns what God is declaring because whatever God declares comes to pass. This would be similar to the creative statements in early Genesis (e.g., “Let there be light” in Gen. 1:3) where a specific listener is of little consequence. In the case of the king of Tyre, most commentators understand the language to go beyond the earthly ruler to recognize Satan as the spiritual power behind the king (Eze. 28:12ff.). Thus, the passage could just as well be targeted at Satan who was aware of Daniel and his position in Babylon. There is also a textual parallel between Ezekiel 28:3 and Daniel 12:9‣ indicating a connection with the biblical Daniel.46“There is then no reference to our Daniel as an historic person in the Heb. O.T.”48 who do they believe was in view?Most believe Ezekiel was referring to a character by the name of Danʿel mentioned in the Ugaritic Epic. But the character of the Danʿel of the epic is unlikely to be used as a positive role model by the Lord through Ezekiel:
The second difficulty with identifying the Daniel of Ezekiel 14 with the Dan’el of the ugaritic epic is found in the character and spiritual condition of Dan’el himself. When the legend of Aqḥat is studied in its full context, which relates the story of Dan’el, the father of young Aqḥat, it is found that he is praised as being a faithful idol-worshiper, principally occupied with seven-day periods of sacrifices to the various gods of the Canaanite pantheon, such as Baal and El. . . . from this portrayal of Dan’el it is quite apparent that he could never have been associated with Noah and Job as a paragon of righteousness and purity of life. Nothing could be more unlikely than that a strict and zealous monotheist like Ezekiel would have regarded with appreciation a Baal-worshiper, a polytheistic pagan . . .49
The view of some scholars that the Daniel mentioned by Ezekiel is to be identified with a semi-mythical person from the epic literature of Ras Shamra, must be rejected. It is unthinkable that Ezekiel would have compared a pagan, Baal-worshiping personage with the two historical stalwarts, Noah and Job, especially on the score of righteousness.50The critics tell us that Ezekiel couldn’t possibly have associated the biblical Daniel with such notables as Noah and Job and then suggest the more likely explanation that Ezekiel had in mind a pagan character completely unknown to Scripture! This is a common pattern of critical argument: (1) reject the traditional understanding as being unlikely or impossible; (2) embark on a highly subjective and conjectural search for an alternative; (3) settle on an explanation much less probable than the traditional understanding.About the only thing that Dan’el has going for him is that he is known to secular history. Notice once again that lengthy biblical documentation concerning the historic character Daniel is jettisoned as being fiction, whereas fragmentary knowledge about some otherwise unknown character named Dan’el is substituted in its place. Clearly, the critics won’t even allow the inspired Scriptures to carry equal weight with errant scraps from secular records, never mind the fact that the Hebrew records are superior in every way.
[A] pious seer of Maccabaean times . . . sought to establish as exact a relation as was possible between the prophecy and its historical fulfillment, as observed by him. . . . we charge the thorough description of the kingdoms of the Seleucidae down to that tyrant [Antiochus IV Epiphanes], to the account of the modifying agency of this interpolator. [emphasis added]52
The visions presuppose a setting in Jerusalem in the 160s B.C. where power lies in the hands of constitutionally hostile gentile authorities and a compliant Jewish leadership that has cooperated with the subversion and outlawing of traditional Jewish faith. It is natural to ask whether the visions have a pre-second-century B.C. history, and specific indication of this has been found in chap. 7 and elsewhere, but we have noted that the arguments for identifying earlier strata are not compelling. [emphasis added]53However, moving its composition to the Maccabean era doesn’t really solve the problem for the critic, because Daniel still contains prophecy concerning Rome which did not dominate Palestine until considerably later.54Since nothing is known of this posited Maccabean author, there isn’t much that can be said for or against his identification. But the general idea is that he wrote history after the fact as encouragement for his countrymen in the era of their struggles. Lacking specifics concerning his identity, the discussion becomes more one concerning the date of the book than the author.
The book lends itself readily to a division into two sections: chapters 1 to 6, consisting of narratives set against an historical background, and chapters 7 to 12, comprising the visions of Daniel. Similarity of subject-matter appears to have been the predominant consideration for such a grouping, and while in the first division a general chronological order was observed, in the second the visions were related to one another in terms of theme and content rather than the actual time when they were supposed to have been experienced. Elementary as this bifid division is, it has led a great many scholars to conclude that Daniel was a composite work. Spinoza and Sir Isaac Newton were among early exponents of this view, . . .55
The book of Daniel is a collection of papers written at several times. The six last chapters contain prophecies written at several times by Daniel himself: the six first are a collection of historical papers written by others. The fourth chapter is a decree of Nebuchadnezzar. The first chapter was written after Daniel’s death: for the author saith, that Daniel continued to the first year of Cyrus, that is, to his first year over the Persians and Medes, and third year over Babylon. And, for the same reason, the fifth and sixth chapters were also written after his death. For they end with these words: “So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” Yet these words might be added by the collector of the papers, whom I take to be Ezra.56Suggesting that parts of Daniel were collected and arranged by a later editor, while not required by the text, would not necessarily be cause for alarm. But this is just the tip of the iceberg: such analysis is fraught with difficulty and subjectivity—as evidenced by the huge variation in the conclusions of its practitioners.57 The inherent problem with such an approach is that different practitioners identify different textual subtleties as being significant in their pursuit to find the hand behind the words. Thus, the number of different authors and the parts of Daniel attributable to each varies enormously.58 The more independent sections a subjective analysis of the book yields, the more authors are thought to have produced the work, growing in number to the point of absurdity:
However, Porphyry erred in ascribing all of the book to a person who lived in Judea in the reign of Antiochus IV (176/5-163 B.C.E.). Daniel B was indeed composed by such a person, or rather by four such persons (see infra). Daniel A, on the other hand, is unquestionably earlier, as was recognized by an impressive array of scholars in the first half of the 20th century59
A variety of contributing authors had already been suggested by Michaelis, and this idea was taken up avidly by Bertholdt, who detected the presence of no fewer than nine different hands in the book, placing them all in a comparatively late period.60
Those who reject the integrity of this book . . . find a considerable number of independent compositions contained in it, which are said to have been written at different times and by various authors. Of such compositions Michaelis enumerates eight, Eichhorn ten (in vol. 3 of his Hebräische Propheten, p. 428 et seq., at least five), and Bertholdt nine.61The pattern we see here is simple to explain: once the inspired testimony of God is rejected and the authorship of Daniel denied, there is almost no limit to the subjective guesswork expended in pursuit of the mythical author or authors. Many of the suggested “solutions” are many times more improbable than the supposed problems they were meant to solve. All of this multiple authorship, mind you, took place: (1) relatively late—just before New Testament times; (2) without any historical trace of record of who was involved; (3) in such a way that it completely fooled the Jews who accepted the book almost immediately upon its writing in the Maccabean era and, after taking its contents at face value, accepted it as part of their canonical books. Can anything stranger be proposed?
Those who dismiss the historicity of Daniel 6‣ have to cope with what they regard as confusion on the part of the second-century B.C. author of the work in the matter of neo-Babylonian and Persian chronology. These scholars hold to the view that the person who wrote Daniel confused the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C. with that of 520 B.C. under Darius I Hystaspes (522-486 B.C.), made that monarch the predecessor instead of the successor of Cyrus the Great (539-530 B.C.), assumed that Xerxes (486-465/64 B.C.) was the father rather than the son of Darius I, and assigned Darius to Median rather than the Persian ancestry.63Yet, as several have observed, this supposed author would have had to be completely ignorant of the sources of information available to him at the time of writing, and the book would never have been accepted as authoritative by the Jews:
In view of the fact that the works of Herodotus, Ctesias, Berosus, Menander, and many others which treated of the affairs of Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia, may have been known to a writer of the second century B.C., how can any man have the assurance to assert that the author of Daniel must have believed that the Medes without the assistance of the Persians must have captured Babylon?64
When the critics insist that the author of the Book of Daniel was so confused about the history of the sixth century B.C. that he thought Darius Hystaspes preceded Cyrus the Great and that Xerxes was the father of Darius Hystaspes, they have gone too far. No intelligent Jew of the second century B.C. could have committed such a blunder. From the Book of Ezra (4:5-6) he could at least have known that the early Persian kings followed one another in this order: (1) Cyrus, (2) Darius, (3) Xerxes, (4) Artaxerxes. . . . If the author were as ignorant of history as the critics claim, the Jews of the Maccabean period would never have accepted his book as canonical. . . . Even more remarkable is the fact that the Jews would have accepted the book of Daniel as canonical when they classified as apocryphal such books as Tobit, Judith, and First Maccabees.65
Here we are asked to believe that another prophet, raised up within historic times, whose “message of encouragement” must have been on every man’s lips throughout the noble Maccabean struggle, passed clean out of the memory of the nation. The historian of this struggle [writing the book of Maccabees] cannot have been removed from him by more than a single generation, yet he ignores his existence, though he refers in the plainest terms to the Daniel of the Captivity. . . . But in fact not a vestige of his fame or name survived. No writer, sacred or secular, seems to have heard of him. No tradition of him remained. Was there ever a figment more untenable than this?66The well-known biblical Daniel of history, although unknown to history outside the Bible as of yet, is denied his place and the invisible surrogate of the critics pronounced as the real author—never mind that there is not a shred of evidence from either secular or biblical accounts of his existence!
The critics urge that a man so famous as the Daniel of the Exile is represented to have been in the book which bears his name, would have filled a large place in the literature of the nation, and they appeal to the silence of that literature in proof that no such personage in fact existed. And yet when the testimony of Ezekiel is cited, they declare that there must have been another Daniel of equal if not greater fame, who flourished at some earlier epoch of their history, albeit not even the vaguest tradition of his existence has survived! Such casuistry is hard to deal with.67
Had the work contained as many frank errors as are usually credited to it, it is certain that the book would never have gained acceptance into the canon of Scripture, since it would have emerged very poorly by comparison with the writings of secular historians such as Herodotus, Ctesias, Menander, and others whose compositions are no longer extant.69If the critics are correct, how did the book find acceptance as an authoritative portion of the Hebrew scriptures prior to other apocalyptic and pseudonymous works of secondary authority or quality which refer to it?
It is idle to talk of it as being the work of some prophet of a later epoch. It dates from Babylon in the days of the Exile, or else it is a literary fraud, concocted after the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. But how then could it come to be quoted in the Maccabees—quoted, not incidentally, but in one of the most solemn and striking passages in the entire book, the dying words of old Mattathias? And how could it come to be included in the Canon? The critics make much of its position in the Canon: how do they account for its having a place in it at all? . . . The presence of the Book of Daniel in the Jewish Canon is a fact more weighty than all the criticisms of the critics.70
It is admitted, (1) that the canon was complete in the second century B.C.; and (2) that no book was included which was not believed to have been in existence in the days of Nehemiah. For the test by which a book was admitted to the canon was its claim to be inspired; and the Sanhedrim held that inspiration ceased with the prophets, and that no “prophet”—that is, no divinely inspired teacher—had arisen in Israel after the Nehemiah era. When, therefore Josephus declares that the Scriptures were “justly believed to be Divine,” and that the Jews were prepared “willingly to die for them,” he is not recording merely the opinion of his contemporaries, but the settled traditional belief of his nation. How then, can the critics reconcile their hypothesis as to the origin of the Book of Daniel with its inclusion in the canon? . . . The critics would have us believe that after the death of Antiochus some Jewish Chasid incorporated a history of his reign in a historical romance, casting it into the form of a prophecy supposed to have been delivered hundreds of years before; and that, at a time when this was still a matter within living memory, the work was accepted as divinely inspired Scripture, and bracketed with the Psalms of David among the sacred books of the Hebrew nation! [emphasis added]71See Early Testimony to Daniel.
1“The Hebrew proper name ‘Daniel’ means either ‘God is judge’ or ‘God is my judge,’ depending on whether the i within the word is regarded as the connective (yôd compaginis) or as the pronominal suffix for ‘my.’ In forms of this sort it is almost impossible to tell whether the one or the other of these two is meant.”—H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Daniel (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1949, 1969), 5.
2Paul Benware, Daniel’s Prophecy of Things to Come (Clifton, TX: Scofield Ministries, 2007), 9.
3We used the term secular in the sense of denoting activities not considered by most as being religious. We recognize that the Scriptures do not make such a distinction, teaching that whatever a believer does in any realm is to be done as unto the Lord (Rom. 12:1; Col. 3:22-23).
4Typologically, Joseph clearly represents Christ: “Both Joseph and Christ were born by special intervention of God (Gen. 30:22-24; Luke 1:35). Both were objects of special love by their fathers (Gen. 37:3; Mat. 3:17; John 3:35); both were hated by brethren (Gen. 37:4; John 15:24-25); both were rejected as rulers over their brethren (Gen. 37:8; Mat. 27:37-39; John 15:24-25); both were robbed of their robes (Gen. 37:23; Mat. 27:35); both were conspired against and placed in the pit of death (Gen. 37:18, 37:24; Mat. 26:3-4; Mat. 27:35-37); both were sold for silver (Gen. 37:28; Mat. 26:14-15); both became servants (Gen. 39:4; Php. 2:7); both were condemned though innocent (Gen. 39:11-20; Isa. 53:9; Mat. 27:19, 24). . . Both were raised from humiliation to glory by the power of God. . . Both during the time of exaltation but continued rejection by brethren take a Gentile bride and are a blessing to Gentiles (Gen. 41:1-45; Acts 15:14; Rom. 11:11-12; Eph. 5:25-32). After the time of Gentile blessing begins to wane, both are received finally by their brethren and recognized as a savior and deliverer (Gen. 45:1-15; Rom. 11:1-27). Both exalt their brethren to places of honor and safety (Gen. 45:16-18; Isa. 65:17-25).”—John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969), 66-67. Both Joseph and Judah are prophesied to have their brothers bow down before them (Gen. 37:9; 49:8). The embalming of Joseph (Gen. 50:2, 52) may also typify the preservation of Christ who never saw decay (Ps. 16:10).
5Typologically, Daniel and his three companions represent the nation Israel under Gentile dominion during the Times of the Gentiles. See Thematic Outline.
6Andrew E Steinmann, Daniel (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2008), 37.
7This is also true of Ezekiel (Eze. 1:1) and the Apostle John (Rev. 1:9‣).
9During the Babylonian deportations, Mordecai (or his great-grandfather Kish) was taken, resulting years later, in Mordecai and Esther providing for the safety of their countrymen (Est. 2:5-6; 10:3). “Amongst the leaders of the people who returned with Zerubbabel and Jeshua in the 1st year of Cyrus, we find (Ezra 2:2) the names of Nehemiah, Seraiah (alternatively called Azariah, Neh. 7:7, and possibly identical with Ezra) and Mordecai. There is no reason why these three should not be identified with the well known Nehemiah the Tirshatha (Neh. 8:9), Ezra the priest the scribe (Neh. 8:9), and Mordecai of the Book of Esther. These three men take first rank. They stand at the very head of the list of the exiles who returned with Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and the prominence given to them in the narrative of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther is quite in accord with the position assigned to them here. It is only the mistaken identification of the Artaxerxes of Nehemiah with Artaxerxes Longimanus (B.C. 464-424) instead of with Darius Hystaspes (B.C. 521-485), and by consequence the mistaken date assigned to Nehemiah that has led to the distinguishing of the Nehemiah of the first year of Cyrus (Ezra 2:2, 7:7) from Nehemiah the cupbearer and the Tirshatha of Neh. 1:11 and 8:9. And it is only the mistaken identification of the Ahasuerus of Esther with Xerxes (B.C. 485-465) instead of with Darius Hystaspes (B.C. 521-485), that has led to the distinguishing of the Mordecai of the first year of Cyrus (Ezra 2:2 and Neh. 7:7), from the Mordecai of the Book of Esther, and the torturing of the passage in Esther 2:5-6 to make it mean that Kish was carried away with Jeconiah, instead of what it really does say, which is, that Mordecai was carried away with Jeconiah (B.C. 597).”—Martin Anstey, The Romance of Bible Chronology: The Treatise (Vol 1) (London, England: Marshall Brothers Ltd., 1913), 238.
10The favor extended to the Jews during the Babylonian captivity is predicted by Jeremiah and evidenced by the fact that many remained in Babylon even after Cyrus gave permission to return to Jerusalem. While Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning favor in captivity (Jer. 29:4-7) and Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Cyrus (Isa. 44:28-45:13) appear independent of Daniel, we can safely assume that Daniel’s high and enduring role in the successive governments of Babylon and Medo-Persia, along with his intercession on behalf of his people were key contributors to their experience in Babylon and obtaining the release via Cyrus. Angelic assistance concerning the release of the Jews may have been connected with Daniel’s intercession and visions. See Daniel 10:20‣.
11Daniel was also considered a prophet by the community of the Dead Sea Scrolls. See Date.
12The phrase Thus says the Lord occurs 293 times in the OT outside the book of Daniel.
13Robert Anderson, Daniel in the Critic’s Den (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1909, 1990), 60.
14Roland K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Prince Press, 1969, 1999), 1123.
15“His visions have their New Testament counterpart, but yet no one speaks of ‘the prophet John.’ . . . Daniel contains the record, not of God-breathed words uttered by the seer, but of the words spoken to him, and of dreams and visions accorded him.”—Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince, 10th ed (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1894, 1957), xxv.
16“Not to class Daniel with the other prophets marks a very correct observation on the part of the Jewish guardians of the Old Testament canon. For, in fact, Daniel was not sent to the people of God with a message to proclaim to them day by day as other prophets were.”—Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, 20.
17Image courtesy of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). Image is in the public domain.
18There are differences of opinion about whether a later editor, such as Ezra, collated the material and added comments related to Daniel’s time of service (Dan. 1:21‣; 6:28‣), although we see nothing in the text requiring this.
19“The fact that Daniel is mentioned exclusively in the third person throughout the first six chapters is sufficiently explained by the historical and descriptive character of this first main division, which merely reports occasional expressions by Daniel, of greater or less extent . . . but generally represents other persons as speaking and acting.”—Otto Zöckler, “The Book of the Prophet Daniel,” in John Peter Lange, ed., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1880), 16.
20“No one disputes Xenophon’s authorship of the Anabasis, even though he always referred to himself in the third person. The same is true of Caesar’s Gallic Wars. The only notable exception to this rule in the narrative literature of the OT seems to be Nehemiah, whose memoirs are in the form of a personal diary. But in general it was apparently considered bad taste for a writer to speak of himself in the first person—a practice that smacked of the boastfulness of the Assyrian and Persian rulers.”—Gleason Leonard Archer, “Daniel,” vol. 7 in Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985), 4. “We have here . . . a classic example of the inconsistency of modern critical scholarship. Their argument for the denial of the authorship of the book of Jonah to the prophet himself (whose existence, like Daniel, as a historical figure the critics admit) is that Jonah is always referred to in the third person in the book bearing his name. . . . Had Jonah composed the book he would have written in the first person concerning himself. However, in the case of Daniel who does this very thing, rather than its being evidence of Danielic authorship, Daniel’s employment of the first person is set aside by the critical school as ‘a common literary device employed to give vividness to the narrative’!”—Hobart E. Freeman, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1968), 264-265.
21Unfortunately, some brethren of liberal tendencies attempt to find a way around this witness of Jesus. They suggest that Jesus was “accommodating” the incorrect belief of his listeners that Daniel wrote the book of Daniel when He knew in fact this was not true. But once we open the door to Jesus endorsing a lie to further His teaching, we contravene the character of God and reduce the gospels to an unreliable witness to truth.
22“The Lord Jesus Christ quoted and referred to the book of Daniel, and He quoted only canonical writings.”—John C. Whitcomb, Daniel (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1985), 14.
23“In the great Faith chapter of the New Testament, in the court of witnesses, his name is not mentioned, but his deeds are there. ‘Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions’ (Heb. 11:33).”—Arno Clemens Gaebelein, The Prophet Daniel: A Key to the Visions and Prophecies of the Book of Daniel, 2nd (New York, NY: Our Hope, 1911), 9.
24“Though nothing in the first six chapters of the book indicates that the Daniel mentioned in it is the author, yet from chapter 7 onward the following instances occur where both the first person and the name Daniel are combined: Dan. 7:2‣, 15‣, 28‣; 8:1‣, 15‣, 27‣; 9:2‣, 22‣; 10:1‣, 2‣, 7‣, 11‣, 12‣; 12:5‣. This fact, coupled with the obvious unity of the book, indicates that Daniel wrote all of it. If in the first half of the book he is pleased to refer to himself objectively, that is a mode of procedure that was common in antiquity. If, after he has acquainted his reader with himself, he prefers to turn to the use of the first person, that in itself is no insuperable difficulty in the way of unity of authorship.”—Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, 8.
25“The unity of the volume as a whole is evidenced by its style and content, and the allusion to ‘the book’ in Dan. 12:4‣.”—J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1973, 1996), 370.
26“The way in which the use of Aramaic spans both the biographical and the visionary sections is also a major argument for the literary unity of the book.”—Sinclair B. Ferguson, “Daniel,” in D. A. Carson, ed., New Bible Commentary (4th ed.) (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1994, 1970), s.v. “Structure.”
27J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: SP Publications, 1983), 1:1324.
28Written using a fictitious name.
29“Were the book so obviously fictional in character, we would expect to find the first hints of this in the tradition of interpretation, prior to and independent of Porphyry’s attack on Christianity, but these are absent. If the book is ‘obviously’ composed of legend, it is hard to understand the apparently unbroken tradition of interpreting it as theological and autobiographical history and vision.”—Ferguson, Daniel, s.v. “Author and Date.”
30There are some theories about “John” but they are unconvincing. See www.SpiritAndTruth.org/id/revc.htm?Author.
31“This Book occupies a unique position in the Old Testament, and as such it was treated by the Founder of Christianity, for there is no other Book of the Old Testament to which Christ pays greater honour than to this Book of Daniel.”—Charles Boutflower, In and Around the Book of Daniel (London, England: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1923), 1.
32Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), 1604.
33Charles Ray, “The Date and Authorship of the Book of Daniel,” in Journal of Dispensational Theology, vol. 11 no. 34 (Fort Worth, TX: Society of Dispensational Theology, December 2007), 49.
34 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, (Eleventh ed.) (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1996, c1993), s.v. “pseudo.”
35Edward J. Young, The Prophecy of Daniel (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1949, 1998), 25.
36Wilson, after spending more than a dozen pages discussing and illustrating the liability of arguments made from silence, remarks: “In view of this, what an astounding statement is that which was made in Dean Farrar’s Daniel, that Daniel could not have existed, inasmuch as his name does not appear on the Median monuments!” [Robert Dick Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel (New York, NY: G. P. Putnams & Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1971), 18]
37Anderson, The Coming Prince, xliv.
38John J. Collins, “DANIEL, BOOK OF,” in David Noel Freedman, ed., The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York, NY: Doubleday, c1992, 1996), 2:29-30.
39Albert Barnes, Notes on the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1884-85), Dan. 6:1.
40“While he was alive he had the esteem and applause both of the kings and of the multitude; and now he is dead, he retains a remembrance that will never fail . . .”—Flavious Josephus, “The Antiquities of the Jews,” in Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996, c1987), 10.266.
41Leon J. Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), 16.
42Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, 5-7.
43Archer, Daniel, 5.
44This sort of Jewish/Gentile comparison as regards righteousness is a common feature of the gospels (e.g., Mat. 8:10; Luke 7:9).
45Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, 12.
46“Ezekiel spoke sarcastically to the ‘prince of Tyre’; ‘You are wiser than Daniel; everything shut up (סָתוּם [sāṯûm]) has not amazed you’ (Eze. 28:3). The language is similar to Daniel 12:9‣, which refers to words being ‘closed up and sealed’ (סְתֻמִים וַחֲתֻמִים [seṯumîm waḥăṯumîm]).”—Thomas J. Finley, “The Book of Daniel in the Canon of Scripture,” in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 165 no. 658 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, April-June 2008), 207.
47Tablet: the legend of Danel and his son Aqhat, or the Epic of Aqhat. Alphabitic cuneiform writing, Ugarit language ca. 14th - 13th century BCE, Ras Shamra (house of the Great Priest), Terra cotta. Louvre Museum, Department of Oriental Antiquities, Sully, lower ground floor, room B, Display 12. Copyright © 2007 by Rama. Fouilles C. Schaeffer, 1931. Use of this image is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France license.
48James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Edinburgh, Scotland: T & T Clark, 1927, 1959), 3.
49Gleason Leonard Archer, “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel,” in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 136 no. 542 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, April-June 1979), 133-134.
50Wood, A Commentary on Daniel, 16n2.
51Some critics now concede that leading portions of Daniel may have been written as an earlier collection and then combined with the work of a pseudo-Daniel at a later date.
52Zöckler, The Book of the Prophet Daniel, 3, 5.
53John E. Goldingay, “Daniel,” vol. 30 in Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, eds., Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas, TX: Word Books), 326.
54Some critics attempt to solve this problem by ignoring the Scriptural unification of the Medo-Persian empire and taking the Medes and Persians as two separate kingdoms to wind up with Greece as the fourth Gentile kingdom rather than Rome. See Sequence of Kingdoms.
55Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1107.
56Isaac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of John (Cave Junction, OR: Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, 1831, 1991), 10.
57Similar techniques led to the bogus Documentary Hypothesis which still holds sway among liberal academics and which attempts to attribute portions of the Scripture to different authors based to a large degree on the appearance of different names for God within the Pentateuch. “The basic thrust of what is called the Documentary Hypothesis remains the same: the Pentateuch is divisible into at least four basic sources, each of which can be roughly dated to represent different stages in Israel’s (thoroughly naturalistic) religious history. . . . The original Documentary Hypothesis suggested a mere four sources behind the Pentateuch: 1. J, or Jahwist, for an early priest (c. 900 BC) who preferred Jahweh as the divine name, and viewed God in somewhat anthropomorphic terms; 2. E, or Elohist, a slightly later priest who preferred Elohim as the divine name, and viewed God as more transcendent; 3. D, or Deuteronomist, the author of Deuteronomy who fabricated that work at the time of Josiah and presented it as an authentic work of Moses (and of course, it was accepted at once as authoritative by the conveniently, ‘enormously naive’ Josiah [p. 45]); and 4. P, pr Priestly, a rather sour-minded religionist of very late date who combined J, E and D and added his own touches.”—James Patrick Holding, “Debunking the Documentary Hypothesis,” in TJ: The In-Depth Journal of Creation, vol. 19 no. 3 (Answers in Genesis, 2005), 37.
58“There is such a variance of opinion that one suspects that the literary techniques used to section the book are improper, or else why would there be such divergence? For us, the arguments advanced for the division of the book by two or more authors do not seem compelling. We find in both parts (chaps. 1-7; 8-12) no concrete reason for questioning its unity. In both sections there is the same aim and historical background. It is difficult to understand how the Aramaic section could have stood without the Hebrew section, especially Dan 2:1-4a‣, preceding it. Daniel 7‣ belongs to the Aramaic section, yet it is clear that its contents belong to the Hebrew following it (cf. 8:1‣). A division of the chapters is artificial and forced. The Aramaic section is linked with the Hebrew both at the beginning and ending.”—Robert I. Vasholz, “Qumran And The Dating Of Daniel,” in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, vol. 21 no. 4 (Evangelical Theological Society, December 1978), 320.
59Harold Louis Ginsberg, “Daniel, Book of,” in Geoffrey Wigoder, ed., Encyclopedia Judaica CDROM Edition, Version 1.0 (Keter Publishing House, Ltd., 1997), s.v. “Critical View.”
60Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1107.
61Zöckler, The Book of the Prophet Daniel, 17.
62Collins, DANIEL, BOOK OF, 2:31.
63Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 192-193.
64Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel, 149.
65John C. Whitcomb, Darius the Mede (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1959, 1963), 52, 56-57.
66Anderson, The Coming Prince, xxxix.
67Anderson, Daniel in the Critic’s Den, 62-63.
68“Leiman’s groundbreaking study of the canon has led many scholars to revise their views about the role of the so-called Synod of Jamnia in the canonization of the Old Testament. He emphasized that the discussions at Jamnia did not close the biblical canon or even canonize ‘any books at all.’ Discussions about the canon dealt only with books that were already considered part of the canon, such as Ezekiel or Ecclesiastes. Thus, it is not correct to think that the rabbis at Jamnia ‘closed’ the canon and decided on where to place Daniel. Beckwith has amassed a plethora of evidence to demonstrate that by at least the middle of the second century B.C. Jews recognized all of the Old Testament as authoritative Scripture.”—Finley, The Book of Daniel in the Canon of Scripture, 197.
69Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1122.
70Anderson, The Coming Prince, xi-xli.
71Anderson, Daniel in the Critic’s Den, 102-104.
72Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament, 1604.