If Daniel lived to see the fall of Babylonian under Belshazzar and was then already an old man, and also labored under Darius the Mede for a time and in his own book recorded this activity of his, the most reasonable time to assign for the composition or the completion of his book would be the decennium following the fall of Babylonian—538 B.C. to 528 B.C.2
Probably he [wrote the book] late in his life, which could have been about 530 B.C. or a few years later. Several Persian-derived governmental terms appear in the book. The presence of these words suggests that the book received its final polishing after Persian had become the official language of government. This would have been late in Daniel’s life.3For the biblically minded, this date of composition is easily established and on firm ground. This date is also established by the Authorship and Language of the book. And for those who are convinced of the deity of Jesus and accept his attestation of Daniel (Mat. 24:15), there is no need to speculate further.
One’s understanding of the nature of Jesus Christ depends on the answer to the date of the book. Jesus Christ regarded the Book of Daniel as a prophetic preview of future history and indeed of the divine program for a future that still lies ahead (Mat. 24:15-16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20). If He is wrong in His interpretation of the book, then He must be less than the omniscient, inerrant God incarnate.7For those like the author who are believers in Christ, this is no small matter. The endorsement of Daniel and his book by Jesus is one of the key witnesses (indeed, the key witness) settling the matter for those who place their faith in Christ. Many of us will never take the critical hypothesis with seriousness, because we already know from fulfilled prophecy that Jesus is the Christ and His endorsement of Daniel will never be overthrown by the critic.8Still, as stated in our Policy of Inoculation it can be helpful to be familiar with the arguments of the critics and to understand why their criticisms are lacking in substance.
Quite apart from the historicity of the figure of Daniel, the authenticity of the book had already been questioned by the 3d century Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry. We are informed by Jerome that: “Porphyry wrote his twelfth book against the prophecy of Daniel, denying that it was composed by the person to whom it is ascribed in its title, but rather by some individual living in Judaea at the time of that Antiochus who was surnamed Epiphanes; he further alleged that ‘Daniel’ did not foretell the future so much as he related the past, and lastly that whatever he spoke of up till the time of Antiochus contained authentic history, whereas anything he may have conjectured beyond that point was false, inasmuch as he would not have foreknown the future.” Porphyry’s insight was resisted for well over a millennium, but its validity has been widely acknowledged by modern critics, beginning in the 18th century (see Koch 1980: 186-87). Daniel refers to no events later than the time of Epiphanes, and evidently expected the end of history shortly thereafter. [emphasis added]9See The Nature of the Attacks for background on the rationalistic naturalism that lies behind the views of Porphyry and the modern critics who have been convinced by his line of argument. In the above quotation, you’ll notice a common liability among modern critics: the inability to understand the large-scale prophetic framework spanning the entire Scriptures. In asserting that Daniel expected the end of history shortly after the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the critic either ignores or is unable to see the common characteristic of predictive prophecy which often combines a near-future and related far-future view.10 This explains why the “abomination of desolation” (Dan. 9:27‣; 11:31‣; 12:11‣) can refer to an event in the life of Antiochus fulfilled over a hundred years before the birth of Jesus, yet Jesus still referred to Daniel’s passages as also relating to an event future to His day, “ ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’ ” (Mat. 24:15-16). The critic misses this dual reference so common in prophecy and, as we’ll see, attributes any lack of fulfillment in the life of Antiochus to error on the part of the writer of Daniel.Although Porphyry may have started the ball rolling, it is instructive to see that his theory gained relatively little traction until it was revived during the Enlightenment.11 Porphyry’s ideas fit well with those who sought to dismiss the supernatural or miraculous of history as superstitious fables because of their belief that there is no reality other than man can rationally investigate and measure.The critics deny that Daniel was the author of the book, contending that it was written after the fact so that its prophetic content can be explained away as a description of historical events that had already transpired. This is especially the case for the detailed predictions made in chapters 11 and 12:
The wars between the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria as depicted in the final two chapters of the book were introduced by means of a revelation to Daniel in chapter 10. These accounts have been commonly held by critics of orthodoxy as being too precise in their prediction of events to belong to the area of prophecy in the sense of foretelling.12
Because of the detailed nature of apocalyptic timetables, the dating of at least the last chapters of Daniel can be established precisely. Scholars consider the predictions in this book, as in other apocalypses, to be prophecies after the fact, purportedly written own centuries earlier and kept secret in order to give credence to other predictions about the end of history. . . . The predictions are detailed and accurate until the end of the Maccabean revolt in 164. At that point, however, they veer dramatically from what we know of the actions of the Seleucid king . . . and scholars assume that the author lived and wrote at the precise time when the predictions become inaccurate.13Not only do the critics deny the possibility of true prophetic prediction, in some cases they maintain that the truthfulness of the book (its authorship, date of composition, and content) is not connected with its value to the Christian faith—though believed to be riddled with errors it somehow still retains its spiritual power and authority.14Predictably, the critics typically establish the date of the material in the book by a priori assuming that prophecy is not possible. Therefore, where the book contains descriptive passages which accurately match historical events, those passages must have been written after the events they describe.
It is above all the close correspondence of Daniel 11‣ to events in the life of Antiochus IV that convinces scholars that these are vaticinia ex eventu. As Baldwin notes: “Though several arguments are adduced with the intention of giving cumulative force to a second-century date, there is basically one reason for the tenaciously-held opinion, and that is the content of chapter 11.” Numerous studies have underscored the close parallels between Daniel and the actual events. The divergence of vv 36-45 from the known history of Antiochus simply proves to liberal scholars that the author was ignorant of the death of Antiochus, which took place in Persia in 164 rather than in Palestine. Scholars believe that they can pinpoint the exact date of Daniel’s composition from these verses.15Here we see that not all the prophetic content in the book can conveniently be dealt with by moving the composition of the book later in history, because some of its predictions remain outstanding and await future events in God’s timetable. The critics generally deal with this problem by claiming these unfulfilled predictions concern Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but did not come true.Another problem for the critic is the nearly universal identification of the first four kingdoms of chapters 2 and 7 (see Sequence of Kingdoms) as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The problem here is that at the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (c. 165 B.C.), Rome was not the major influence in Palestine that Daniel’s predictions describe. “Rome . . . not being in Daniel’s time known beyond the precincts of Italy, or rather of Latium . . .”16 It was only after Pompey made Judea tributary to Rome in 63 B.C. that Daniel’s predictions concerning Rome began to come to pass. Therefore, some method must be found to dismiss the prophecies concerning Rome since the critics are unable to push the date of Daniel out that far. This complication is generally dispatched by ignoring the Scriptural evidence for viewing the Medo-Persian Empire as a single kingdom (Est. 1:3, 14, 18-19; Est. 10:2; Dan. 5:28‣; 6:8‣, 12‣, 15‣; 7:5‣; 8:20‣) and taking the first four kingdoms as Babylon, the Medes, Persia, and then Greece—culminating with the break up of Greece and the events of the Seleucids and Ptolemies down to Antiochus IV Epiphanes. But this ignores the evidence within the book itself:
If then one is to pay any attention to the testimony of the text itself, it must be conceded that Daniel regards the second empire as Medo-Persian, with the Persians predominating over the Medes, rather than as Median alone. This being the case, the third empire has to be the Greek Empire, and the fourth power can only be that of Rome. Again, one is faced with conclusive internal evidence from the text that the author of Daniel predicted the overthrow of the Greek Empire by the Roman at least one hundred years (even on the assumption of the Maccabean date) before it took place. Thus it turns out that the entire effort to explain the predictive elements in Daniel as prophecy after the event ends up in failure.17
If, then, the fourth empire of chapter 2, as corroborated by the other symbolic representations of chapter 7, clearly pointed forward to the establishment of the Roman empire, it can only follow that we are dealing here with genuine predictive prophecy and not a mere vaticinium ex eventu. According to the Maccabean Date Theory, Daniel was composed between 168 and 165 B.C., whereas the Roman empire did not commence (for the Jews at least) until 63 B.C., when Pompey the Great took over that part of the Near East which included Palestine. To be sure, Hannibal had already been defeated by Scipio at Zama in 202 B.C., and Antiochus III had been crushed at Magnesia in 190, but the Romans had still not advanced beyond the limits of Europe by 165, except to establish a vassal kingdom in Asia Minor and a protectorate over Egypt. But certainly, as things stood in 165 B.C., no human being could have predicted with any assurance that the Hellenic monarchies of the Near East would be engulfed by the new power which had arisen in the West. No man then living could have foreseen that this Italian republic would have exerted a sway more ruthless and widespread than any empire that had ever preceded it. This one circumstance alone, then, that Daniel predicts the Roman empire, is sufficient to overthrow the entire Maccabean Date Hypothesis (which of course was an attempt to explain away the supernatural element of prediction and fulfillment).18Besides the “Roman Empire problem” there is also the problem of the seventy weeks which most understand as predicting the first coming of Christ—an event even later than the ascendancy of Rome:
But no critic has ever dared to suggest a date for the Book of Daniel as late as the birth of our Lord. Yet Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks predicts to the very day Christ’s appearance as the “Prince” of Israel. Therefore, when the critics have done their worst, no matter where they place the date of the book, the greatest time-prophecy of the Bible is left untouched. And on this prophecy the whole case of the critics goes to pieces. For if even so much as one predictive prophecy is established, there remains no valid a priori reason for denying the others.19Yet the critics never seem to be without a work-around. They generally address this problem by adopting a non-Messianic interpretation of the words of Gabriel in Daniel 9:24-27‣ and once again assert fulfillment in the Maccabean age. (See Seventy Sevens for some of the different ways this prophetic passage has been interpreted.)Even if one overlooks the above problems, there is still the question why a pseudonymous author would write the book of Daniel during the times of the Maccabean revolt purporting to document events of a much earlier era? What purpose would it serve? The critic offers the answer that it was meant primarily to motivate his countrymen during the dangers of the Maccabean times, but this is unconvincing:
There is a theological and psychological flaw in the notion that a piece of known and obvious fiction is well suited to inspire readers to be faithful to death. According to the second-century dating theory this is not merely a possible effect but the actual function of the book. But this is asking people to trust in the power, knowledge and wisdom of God when in fact the evidence for these attributes was a figment of the writer’s imagination, not the actual revelation and activity of God.20
Would Jews who were dying for their God-given faith and their God-given Scriptures have looked for encouragement to fictional characters and events in a pseudograph? The truth of the matter is that nothing but well-known material and material that was believed to be infallibly true and inspired of God could have kindled their spirits in the midst of that supreme hour of national crisis.21
If the work is actually a retrojection from Maccabean times, as has been claimed by many critics, it is not easy to see how the beleaguered Jews could have been encouraged by a narration of past history made to look like prophecy, as in ch 8 and 11. Furthermore, since some of the apocalyptic sections were apparently beyond even the understanding of Daniel himself, it is hard to imagine that Maccabean Jews would have had any greater degree of insight or enlightenment, and consequent encouragement, since so many of the allusions are so cryptic as to defy precise explanation or identification, particularly in 11:30-45.22
The third division of the canon is composed of works written by men who were inspired of God and yet did not themselves occupy the office of prophet. In ancient Israel the prophet was primarily a mediator between God and the nation, speaking to the people on behalf of God. He was in effect a spokesman for the Lord. Daniel did not occupy such a position, since his training prepared him for service as a statesman at a heathen court, a capacity in which he served throughout his long life. While, however, he did not occupy the technical office of a prophet of Israel, his outlook manifested many elements consistent with the highest aspirations of normative prophecy; and for that reason the NT speaks of him as a prophet (cf. Mt. 24:15). Quite clearly, then, the book belongs properly in the third division of the Hebrew canon.28Keil mentions another reason why the book may not have been placed among the prophets. He suggests the possibility that since Daniel did not occupy the public office of a prophet and since his book makes dire predictions indicating a period of oppression extending beyond the Babylonian Captivity, there may have been a reluctance to place it among the other prophetic books.29 It has also been suggested that the book may have been placed among the Writings rather than the Prophets because of its apologetic value in pointing toward Jesus as the fulfillment of the predicted Messiah, especially chapters 7 (the Son of Man) and 9 (the Messianic interpretation of the Seventy Sevens).
No one can know for certain why the Jews placed Daniel’s book in the Writings rather than the Prophets. Wills suggests that it was because of debates between Jewish rabbis and Christian theologians. The Christians in the early church saw Christ and the Resurrection predicted in Daniel; so the rabbis distanced the book from the Prophets. “The Rabbis denied that Daniel was predicting events after the Maccabean revolt, and especially not the end of time, and assigned him a role as seer, not prophet (b. Meg. 3a; b. Sanh. 94a).”30
Daniel was evidently considered a prophet at Qumran and elsewhere in early Judaism . . . but because prefigurations of Christ and Christian resurrection were seen in Daniel by the early church, the rabbinic tradition hesitated to embrace the visions of Daniel. The Rabbis denied that Daniel was predicting events after the Maccabean revolt, and especially not the end of time, and assigned him a role as seer, not prophet (b. Meg. 3a, b. Sanh. 94a).31Price suggests a further reason why Daniel may have been relocated from the prophetic writings:
Why, then, did the later rabbis exclude Daniel from the prophetic corpus? . . . The use and influence of Daniel as predictive prophecy led the rabbis to regard Daniel as a dangerous book since the application of an apocalyptic timetable to contemporary events had brought both disappointment and decline to the nation, By separating it from classical prophecy and grouping it with other narratives of the Exile (e.g., Esther and Ezra), it was removed from exerting a paradigmatic influence on the prophetic corpus. Once it was incorporated among the heroes of the Exile, the accent of the book was shifted from prophecy to pedagogy.32Whatever the case may be, there is nothing about the book’s placement among the Writings limiting its authority or indicating a late date of composition. First, it is not accurate to view the collection of the Prophets as containing nothing but prophecy and the collection of Writings as omitting the same. The Writings contain some highly revered prophetic passages (e.g., portions of the Psalms).33 Second, the Writings contain material of great antiquity such as the Book of Job and the Davidic psalms.34 Therefore, Daniel’s position among the Writings does not infer a late date of composition. Third, we must not forget that the Writings contain essential and authoritative works that were accepted into the Hebrew canon whereas other spurious works were properly rejected. Thus, no matter where Daniel’s book is found, it is still recognized as an inspired portion of the Hebrew canon.
1. The remembrance of Josias is like the composition of the perfume, Prepared by the labor of the apothecary; It is sweet as honey in every mouth, And as music at a banquet of wine. 2. He was prospered in the conversion of the people, And took away the abominations of transgression. 3 He directed his heart unto the Lord; In the time of transgressors he maintained godliness. 4. All, except David and Ezekias and Josias, went widely astray, For they forsook the law of the Most High; The kings of Judah disappeared; 5. For they delivered up their power unto others, And their glory to a foreign nation. 6. They burnt the chosen city of the sanctuary, And made her streets desolate, according to the prophecy of Jeremias; 7. For they treated him ill, And he was sanctified as a prophet in the womb: That he might root out, and afflict, and destroy; That in like manner he might build and plant. 8. Ezekiel saw the glorious vision, Which he showed him upon the chariot of the cherubim; 9. For he made mention of the enemy in rain, And did good unto them that went aright. He comforted also Jacob, And delivered them by an assured hope. 10. And the twelve prophets, Let their bones revive again from their grave. 11. How shall we magnify Zorobabel? He also was as a signet on the right hand; 12. So was Jesus son of Josedec, Who in their time builded the house, And set up the holy temple to the Lord, Which was prepared for everlasting glory. 13. And great is the memory of Neemias, Who raised up for us the walls that were fallen, And set up gates with bolts, And raised up our dwellings. 14. Upon the earth was not one created like Enoch; For he was taken up from the earth. 15. Neither was there a man born like unto Joseph, A governor of his brethren, a stay of the people; And they cared for his bones. 16. Sem and Seth were in great honor among men; And Adam was above every living thing in the creation. [emphasis added]36The critics point to this passage as evidence that the book of Daniel did not exist or was unknown at the time the author of Ecclesiasticus, Jesus Ben Sira, wrote. Since this passage mentions a number of contemporaries of Daniel (e.g., Josiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Nehemiah) but not Daniel, they conclude that the historical Daniel was unknown by Ben Sira or else he would have been mentioned.While such an argument from silence may sound reasonable, careful consideration shows it to be wanting. First, the passage covers a large span of time, from Adam down past the Babylonian Captivity, but mentions only 16 names.37 Dozens of other notables fail to appear in the list (e.g., Moses, Joshua, Solomon, Samuel, Sampson). Thus, the list functions much like the “Hall of Faith” passage in the book of Hebrews (Heb. 11). The author mentioned representatives from among a much larger population. A population so large as to preclude listing (“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets . . .” (Heb. 11:32)). Therefore, the passage should not be used as a proof text for who was known or considered notable by Ben Sira.38 Second, concerning Daniel’s contemporaries, the notable Ezra is also missing from the list.39 Yet Ezra’s omission hasn’t led the critics to conclude that Ezra or his book were unknown.40 Third, this is an argument from silence and arguments from silence are notoriously unreliable.41Some have observed that Job is also missing from those listed by Ben Sira, but this was evidently based on the faulty Greek version of Ecclesiasticus which apparently rendered 49:9 incorrectly. When a Hebrew version of Ecclesiasticus was discovered, it showed that Job was listed.42The discovery of the Hebrew version of Ecclesiasticus also provided a more faithful rendering of the book and allowed scholars to recognize its literary dependency upon the book of Daniel.43 Thus, Ecclesiasticus may actually provide evidence in favor of the existence of the book of Daniel at an earlier date. C. C. Torrey and Solomon Schechter note a strong literary dependence between Ecclesiasticus and Daniel involving the following passages: (1) Sir. 36:8 (Greek, 33:8 Hebrew) cf. Dan. 8:19‣; 11:27‣, 35‣; (2) Sir. 3:30‣ cf. Dan. 4:24‣; (3) Sir. 36:17 cf. Dan. 9:17‣.44 “These three verses in Ben Sira have clear parallels in Daniel. One could argue that the parallels are coincidental. However, these parallels are of the same type as those in Ben Sira that allude to other OT books. To deny that these are parallels to Daniel, one would have to deny practically every reference to other OT books as well. Since scholars generally view those other parallels as Ben Sira’s deliberate use of the OT, that approach is precluded.”45 Furthermore, the Aramaic of Daniel is found to be earlier than that of the Dead Sea Scrolls (hereafter DSS) which are of the same period as Ecclesiasticus, “With its early variety of Aramaic, Daniel is certainly earlier than the Aramaic found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. For these reasons, no one today should assert that Daniel is dependent on Ben Sira: the early Aramaic in Daniel precludes such a possibility.”46
The oldest manuscript of Daniel by far is 4QDanc, which Cross dated in 1961 to the “late second century BC” (Cross 1961:43) . . . do the early dates of the fragments from Cave 4 leave enough room for the developments, editorial and redactional as well as others, that are so often proposed (e.g., Koch 1986:20-24)? The verdict seems to be negative, and an earlier date for Daniel than the second century is unavoidable . . . Inasmuch as Daniel was already canonical at Qumran at about 100 BC, how could it have become so quickly canonical if it had just been produced a mere half century before? While we do not know exactly how long it took for books to become canonical, it may be surmised that insofar as Daniel was reckoned to belong to the canonical books, it had a longer existence than a mere five decades, as the Maccabean dating hypothesis suggests.53This evidence alone undermines the Maccabean hypothesis. But there’s more.Some of the Daniel fragments are paleographically54 related to the large Isaiah manuscript (1QIsaa), implying that the autograph of Daniel must have been written several centuries in advance of the time of the Maccabees.55 Similar discoveries have caused scholars to reject a Maccabean origin theory for portions of the Psalms and recognize their origin during the Persian period.The DSS discoveries also included a Targum (early commentary) on the Book of Job (11QtgJob). This Targum provides paleographic evidence regarding the form of written Aramaic in the late third or early second century B.C. A comparison of the Aramaic of Daniel to that of the Targum on Job indicates that Daniel’s Aramaic predates the Targum providing additional evidence that Daniel was written before Maccabean times.56See Language.
It is a highly surprising phenomenon that no fewer than eight manuscripts of Daniel have been identified among the materials discovered in three of the 11 caves of Qumran. In order to appreciate the significance of this fact, we need to compare it with the manuscript finds of other Biblical books from the same caves. To my knowledge, the most recent listing of published materials from the Dead Sea scrolls appeared in 1977. The listing speaks of 13 fragments of scrolls from the Psalms; nine from Exodus; eight from Deuteronomy; five from Leviticus; four each from Genesis and Isaiah (Fitzmyer 1977:11-39); and no fewer than eight scrolls representing Daniel. . . . It seems very difficult to perceive that one single desert community should have preserved such a significant number of Daniel manuscripts if this book had really been produced at so late a date. The large number of manuscripts in this community can be much better explained if one accepts an earlier origin of Daniel than the one proposed by the Maccabean hypothesis of historical-critical scholarship, which dates it to the second century BC.57The number of copies of Daniel is even more significant when we remember that this was a time in history which knew nothing of the printing press or photocopy machine. Thus, extra copies of manuscripts had to be laboriously hand-copied—a significant barrier to the proliferation of manuscripts. Despite the effort required, Daniel was very popular.58Not only was the book of Daniel popular at Qumran, there is also evidence that he was considered a prophet, “It is incontestably clear that the people of Qumran regarded Daniel as a prophet. In 4Q174 2:3 we read . . . ‘[whi]ch is written in the book of Daniel the prophet.’ The passage, called a florilegium by J. M. Allegro, contains a quotation of Dan 11:32‣ and 12:10‣.”59 This may provide further evidence that the book itself was originally considered to be among the Prophets rather than the Writings.60
Was the book of Daniel quoted or referred to in other writings at Qumran? Since Daniel was not written until about 165 BCE, it would be surprising to find it used in this way—yet that is precisely the case. 11QMelchizedek, for example, refers to the “Anointed of the Spirit, of whom Daniel spoke” (Dan. 9:25-26‣). The quotation of Daniel 12:10‣ as from the “book of Daniel the Prophet” in the Florilegium, referred to above, is significant for three reasons: (1) It proves that by about 25 BCE Daniel was already being quoted as Scripture. (2) It shows that the author(s) of the Florilegium knew Daniel as a complete book. They were not simply using traditions about Daniel that may have been circulating before the book was written. (3) It suggests that at Qumran Daniel was included among the Prophets and not among the Writings. . . Several other manuscripts—all written in Aramaic—also mention Daniel or events associated with his book. These are the Prayer of Nabonidus, two pseudo-Daniel documents, the Daniel Apocryphon (or Son of God text), 4QDaniel Sussana(?), 4QFour Kingdoms, and pap4QApocalypse. [emphasis added]61Although led to express their surprise about where the evidence points, they remain so committed to the “uncontestable fact” of liberal critical scholarship that Daniel was composed in the Maccabean era that they are unable to admit any contrary evidence. Worse than this, they seem inconsistent in their handling of the evidence, refusing to repudiate the Maccabean date for Daniel but doing so for other writings for which the DSS offer similar early evidence (e.g., the Persian date for the Psalms mentioned above). Clearly, there is a lot at stake—reputations, publications, and theories that would fall to the ground if Daniel were accepted as having been written early:
This evidence demonstrates the popularity of Daniel with the Qumran Covenanteers. One Dead Sea scroll cannot be dated later than 120 B.C. on the basis of its paleography. . . . Equivalent manuscript finds at Qumran of other books where the issue of predictive prophecy is not in question have led scholars to repudiate a Maccabean date for their compositions. . . . But critical scholars have refused to draw the same conclusion in the case of Daniel even though the evidence is identical. [emphasis added]62
Realistically, it is unlikely that the authors of new introductions to the OT will immediately accept these arguments. There is simply too much at stake. Evangelical scholars have long complained that the same Qumran evidence that has been allowed to push back the dating of the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Chronicles exists for Daniel, but because of the issue of predictive prophecy, equivalent manuscript finds have not been allowed to do the same thing for Daniel. [emphasis added]63
The eminent Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus (ca. A.D. 100) clearly indicates that in his day the Book of Daniel was included among the Prophets, rather than with the third division of the Hebrew canon. Josephus observed that the Hebrew Scriptures contain twenty-two books (in contrast to the Masoretic text, which numbers them as thirty-nine), of which five contain the Torah (i.e., the Pentateuch), four “comprise hymns to God and practical precepts to men” (i.e., Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes), and thirteen are books of the Prophets.[Josephus Contra Apionem 1.8.] The only possible inference to draw from this category is that Daniel, as late as the first century A.D., was included among the Prophets, not among the Kethubim. . . . The thirteen books of the Prophets must have been Joshua, Judges-Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Esther, Isaiah, Jeremiah-Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, the Twelve Minor Prophets, and Canticles. From this it is perfectly evident that the peculiar division of the Masoretic text was a later arrangement, and therefore is of no evidential value whatever as to the possible date for the composition of the Book of Daniel.65Second, Josephus held that Daniel was the author of the work and that it was in completed form by 332 B.C. when Alexander the Great arrived in Jerusalem. Josephus relates how the prophecy of Daniel regarding the rise of the Greek Empire was shown to Alexander.66 This resulted in Alexander extending favor to the Jews. Some question the historical validity of this event related by Josephus, but even if the story itself were inaccurate, “Alexander favored the Jews, and Josephus’ statement gives an explanation of the fact; at least it shows that the Jews in Josephus’ days believed that Daniel was extant in Alexander’s days, long before the Maccabees.”67Elsewhere, Josephus interprets the actions of Antiochus IV Epiphanes as being the fulfillment of prophecies made by Daniel in the sixth century B.C.:
For so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. . . . And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time].68Josephus, a historian living much closer to the Maccabean era than any of Daniel’s critics, knows nothing of a Maccabean origin for Daniel or any alternative author than the biblical Daniel.
The Septuagint translators and Qumran scribes lived only decades after Daniel was supposedly written, and they considered Daniel canonical. Yet Antiochus had come and gone, and the messianic age had not arrived. The book’s pronouncements were proven to be fallacious. These Jewish scholars were certainly acquainted with Deu. 18:22: “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously.” If Daniel had predicted the arrival of the messianic age immediately after Antiochus’s death, the book would have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of Jewish believers. It would never have found its way into the canon but would have suffered the same fate as the other pseudoprophetic books of that period.69Within 30 years of the time that the critics allege Daniel was written, the grandson of Ben Sira, when writing the prologue to Ecclesiasticus made mention of the “law and the prophets and the rest of the Bible,” referring to the Septuagint. According to the critical view, Daniel would have had to be written, recognized as canonical, taken to Alexandria, Egypt and then translated into Greek all within this short period of time. Adding to the unlikelihood of this scenario is the fact that four of the Persian “loan words” found within Daniel were mistranslated by the translators of the Septuagint, implying that enough time had elapsed between the writing of Daniel and its translation for the Septuagint that the meanings of the words had been lost to the Hebrews.70These are significant pieces of evidence that the book of Daniel could not have been written as late as the critics claim.
Call to remembrance what acts our fathers did in their time; so shall ye receive great honour and an everlasting name. Was not Abraham found faithful in temptation, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness? Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and was made lord of Egypt. Phinees our father in being zealous and fervent obtained the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. Jesus for fulfilling the word was made a judge in Israel. Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the heritage of the land. David for being merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting kingdom. Elias for being zealous and fervent for the law was taken up into heaven. Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, by believing were saved out of the flame. Daniel for his innocency was delivered from the mouth of lions. (1 Mac. 2:51-60) [emphasis added]71Elsewhere, First Maccabees refers to Daniel by representing the events of Antiochus as being a fulfillment of Daniel’s predicted “abomination of desolation” (Dan. 12:11‣ cf. Dan. 11:31‣):
Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation (Βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεως [Bdelygma erēmōseōs]) upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. (1 Mac. 1:54-55)72First Maccabees could have been written anytime after the events it records, but most likely near 166 B.C.73 and no later than 100 B.C.74 But this is almost the same time period when the critics say Daniel was written:
First Maccabees cites history from the book of Daniel in such a way as to give indication that it occurred in the distant past. Since this apocryphal book is considered relatively good historical material by both liberals and conservatives (in spite of its non-canonical status), a late date for Daniel would entail a major criticism of one of the mainstay historical works for the Maccabean period.75Again, we see the same pattern: a work written near the time of the Maccabees drawing upon an earlier Daniel has already been accepted as authoritative and is taken at face value as a legitimate account of the Babylonian era.Although written at a considerably later date and sharing in common with First Maccabees only the name “Maccabees,”76 the Third Book of Maccabees77 (6:6-8) also makes reference to Daniel.78 This provides little in the way of evidence concerning the early date of Daniel since it could have been written considerably later than the Maccabean era.
And they said, Behold, we have sent you money to buy you burnt offerings, and sin offerings, and incense, and prepare ye manna, and offer upon the altar of the Lord our God; And pray for the life of Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon, and for the life of Balthasar his son, that their days may be upon earth as the days of heaven: And the Lord will give us strength, and lighten our eyes, and we shall live under the shadow of Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon, and under the shadow of Balthasar his son, and we shall serve them many days, and find favour in their sight. [emphasis added]81The name Balthasar mentioned in Baruch is equivalent to the Vulgate’s translation of Belshazzar by Balthasar82 reflecting the name found in the Septuagint (Theodotion) as βαλτασαρ [baltasar]83—the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name בֵלְשַׁאצַּר [ḇēlešaṣṣar] found in the MT.84Since no other historic writings of that period mention Belshazzar, the question arises as to how the author of Baruch knew of him? As was mentioned when discussing The Nature of the Attacks, for many years the book of Daniel was the only writing known that made mention of Belshazzar. This was assumed to be an error by the critics until Belshazzar’s existence was uncovered by archaeology. It seems most likely the writer of Baruch was familiar with Daniel from which he derived the knowledge of Belshazzar.85 This means that Daniel must have predated Baruch by a significant period of time and could not have been written in the Maccabean era.
And I looked and saw therein a lofty throne: its appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of cherubim. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire so that I could not look thereon. And the Great Glory sat thereon, and His raiment shone more brightly than the sun and was whiter than any snow. None of the angels could enter and could behold His face by reason of the magnificence and glory and no flesh could behold Him. (1 Enoch 14:18-22)86The related passage in Daniel is as follows:
As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgement, and the books were opened. (Dan. 7:9-10‣).This provides further evidence that the book of Daniel was well known and used as an authoritative source prior to 150 B.C.,87
Citations from its [the Alexandrian] version of Daniel occur in the first book of Maccabees (1:57), as well as in the Sibylline oracles (3:396, 613, etc.); facts that argue with great force the origin of this Greek version in the Asmonean period, and therefore, at the very time to which the negative criticism assigns the original Daniel itself. The testimonies drawn from the Apocrypha are, with rare exceptions, surpassed in importance and evidential force by the agreement of the Sibyllines with Daniel, since the unanimous consent of competent scholars, such as Bleek, Lücke, Friedlieb, and others, ascribes the composition of the portion of the Oracula Sibyllina in question (lib. III., 5:35-746) to an Alexandrian Jew, and dates it in the first half of the second century, or, more probably, about 160 B. C. The correspondence of many of these verses to passages in our prophetical book, or rather in its Alexandrian version, cannot be questioned; and the supposition ventured by Bleek, that both (pseudo-Daniel and the pseudo-Sibyllines) sprang from a common source of a more ancient time, is merely an arbitrary evasion to hide his embarrassment. Compare Sibyll., lib. III., 5:396 . . . with the Sept. at Dan. 7:7‣, 8‣, 11‣, 20‣;—also Sibyll., III. 613 . . . with Sept., Dan. 7:23‣, 24‣.88Here is more evidence that Daniel was well known and considered authoritative prior to the Maccabean era.
The author possessed a more accurate knowledge of Neo-Babylonia and early Achaemenid Persian history than any other known historian since the sixth century B.C. Even Pfeiffer, who was one of the more radical critics of Daniel, was compelled to concede that it will presumably never be known how the author learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar, as the excavations have proved, and that Belshazzar, mentioned only in Babylonian records, in Daniel, and in Baruch (1:1), which is based on Daniel, was functioning as king when Cyrus took Babylon in 539 B.C.100
1Sundial on the south-wall of the monastery of Gurk, municipality Gurk, district Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia, Austria. Copyright © 2006 by Johann Jaritz. This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
2H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Daniel (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1949, 1969), 17.
3Thomas Constable, Notes on Daniel (Garland, TX: Sonic Light, 2009), 2.
4“The book of Daniel, probably written in its final version in 164 B.C.E., is probably the latest composition of the Hebrew Bible. . . . The figure of Daniel, known from the Aqhat Epic found at Ugarit and mentioned in Ezekiel 14:14; 28:3 as a wise and righteous hero of the past, becomes here a new model of Jewish faithfulness to God.”—Marc Berlin and Brettler, eds., The Jewish Study Bible (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1985, 2004), 1640.
5Regarding the sinlessness of Jesus, see Isa. 53:9; John 8:46; 14:30; 2Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 9:14; 1Pe. 1:19; 2:22; 1Jn. 3:5.
6Regarding the divinity of Jesus, see Num. 21:6 (cf. 1Cor. 10:9); Isa. 45:23 (cf. Php. 1:10); Isa. 49:10 cf. (Rev. 7:17‣); Luke 1:76; 22:69; John 1:1; 5:18, 23; 8:58; 10:30-33, 38; 12:45; 14:1, 9; 19:7; Rom. 9:5; Php. 1:19; 2:6; Col. 2:2; 1Ti. 3:16; Heb. 3:1-6.
7Bruce K. Waltke, “The Date of the Book of Daniel,” in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 133 no. 532 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, October-December 1976), 320.
8Old Testament books whose date of composition is universally accepted as being prior to the birth of Christ contain numerous predictions fulfilled by the subsequent life and death of Jesus Christ. Passages such as Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; and 53 within the Great Isaiah Scroll from the DSS are among such passages. See [Martin Abegg, Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1999)].
9John J. Collins, “DANIEL, BOOK OF,” in David Noel Freedman, ed., The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York, NY: Doubleday, c1992, 1996), 2:30.
10The near-future view allows the prophet to be tested (e.g., Deu. 18:22). The far-future view is used by God to relate events beyond the lifetime of the prophet and his original recipients.
11“No significant writer espoused a late date for the book after Jerome refuted Porphyry until the eighteenth century A.D. J. D. Michaelis revived Porphyry’s theory in 1771, and it took root in the rationalistic intellectual soil of the Enlightenment.”—Constable, Notes on Daniel, 3.
12Roland K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Prince Press, 1969, 1999), 1130.
13Berlin, The Jewish Study Bible, 1641-1642.
14“Speaking of Daniel, the late Louis Hartman asserts: “Inasmuch as neither of these genres (haggadic and apocalyptic) is concerned with history, it is no longer the task of Catholic exegetes to try to solve the seeming inner-fancies in historical matters where an inspired writer, such as the author of Dn, did not intend to write history.” Hartman was entrusted with the Anchor Bible volume on Daniel. After his death the work was completed by another Catholic scholar, Alexander A. Di Lella. In the work, which bears the nihil obstat and imprimatur of the Catholic Church, the authors refer to the stories in the first part of Daniel as ‘mildly incredible or even childish’ and accept the view of Daniel as a late pseudonymous work full of historical errors. On the other hand, by some exercise of casuistry they are able to maintain: ‘At the same time it should be emphasized that in no way at all does the argument presented above impugn or even call into question the sacredness, authority, and inerrancy of the Book of Daniel which are accepted here without question as truths of Christian faith.’ ”—Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Archaeological Backgrounds of the Exilic and Postexilic Era, Part I: The Archaeological Background of Daniel,” in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 137 no. 545 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, January-March 1968), 19.
15Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Hermeneutical Issues in the Book of Daniel,” in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, vol. 23 no. 1 (Evangelical Theological Society, March 1980), 18.
16A. R. Fausset, “The Book of Daniel,” in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, 1877), s.v. “Introduction.”
17Gleason Leonard Archer, “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel,” in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 136 no. 542 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, April-June 1979), 141.
18Gleason Leonard Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1998, c1994), 443.
19Alva J. McClain, Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1940, 1969), 10.
20Sinclair B. Ferguson, “Daniel,” in D. A. Carson, ed., New Bible Commentary (4th ed.) (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1994, 1970), s.v. “Author and Date.”
21John C. Whitcomb, Daniel (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1985), 11-12.
22Roland K. Harrison, “Daniel, Book of,” in Geoffrey W. Bromiley, ed., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979, 1915), 1:862.
23Copyright © 2008 by Reuvenk. This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
24“Daniel was listed among the prophets in the Septuagint translation (hence the position in our English Bibles through the medium of the Vulgate).”—Whitcomb, Daniel, 15.
25“The third division is called the Ketubim (‘writings’): it comprises eleven books. First come the Psalms, Proverbs and Job; then a group of five called the Megillot or ‘scrolls’ (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther); finally Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah (reckoned as one book), Chronicles. This is the arrangement regularly followed in printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. These twenty-four books are identical with the thirty-nine of the Protestant Old Testament; the difference in reckoning arises from counting the twelve (‘minor’) prophets separately and dividing Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah into two each.”—F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 29.
26“At any rate, ‘wherever Daniel is preserved in the Greek Bible, it is placed among the prophetic books,’ and this includes ‘in the earliest papyri of the Septuagint.’ [Koch, “Is Daniel Also among the Prophets?”, 121]”—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), 204.
27“The most ancient evidence for the ordering of books in the Hebrew Bible comes from a statement found in the Babylonian Talmud. After mentioning the five books of Moses it lists the ‘Prophets’ (Nebiim) in the order Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve, followed by the Writings (Ketubim) in the order Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, and Chronicles (Baba Bathra 14b). This statement agrees with the modern practice of including Daniel with the Writings.”—Ibid., 196.
28Harrison, Daniel, Book of, 1:860.
29“Kranichfeld has not without good reason remarked, that since the prophets before the exile connected the beginning of the Messianic deliverance with the end of the exile, while on the other hand the book of Daniel predicts a period of oppression continuing long after the exile, therefore the period succeeding the exile might be offended with the contents of the book, and hence feel some hesitation to incorporate the book of one who was less distinctively a prophet in the collection of the prophetic books, and that the Maccabee time, under the influence of the persecution prophesied of in the book, first learned to estimate its prophetic worth and secured its reception into the canon.”—Carl Friedrich Keil, “Daniel,” in Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 9:504.
30Finley, The Book of Daniel in the Canon of Scripture, 204.
31Berlin, The Jewish Study Bible, 1642.
32J. Randall Price, “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, Rabbinic Interpretation,” in Mal Couch, ed., Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 79.
33“Now, the objection implies that the Neveeim embraced all that was regarded as prophecy, and nothing else; and that the contents of the Kethuvim were deemed inferior to the rest of the canon. Both these implications are false. In the former class are placed the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. And the latter included to books at least, than which no part of the Scriptures were more highly esteemed,—the Psalms, associated so inseparably with the name of King David; and Esther, which, . . . was held in exceptional honour.”—Robert Anderson, Daniel in the Critic’s Den (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1909, 1990), 58.
34“It should be noted that some of the documents in the Kethubhim (the third division of the Hebrew Bible) were of great antiquity, such as the book of Job, the Davidic psalms, and the writings of Solomon. Position in the Kethubhim, therefore, is no proof of a late date of composition.”—Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 424.
35Not to be confused with the Book of Ecclesiastes found in the Bible
36Edwin Cone Bissell, “The Apocrypha of the Old Testament,” in John Peter Lange, ed., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1880), 402.
37The “twelve prophets” recalling the minor prophets.
38“A proper assessment of the evidence provided by Ecclesiasticus should include recognition of the possibility that Ben Sira deliberately excluded Daniel from his list of notables for unknown reasons, as he did also with Job and all the Judges except Samuel, as well as Kings Asa and Jehoshaphat, Mordecai, and even Ezra himself. Ecclesiasticus is clearly limited in its usefulness as a ground of appeal for establishing the historicity of certain well-known Hebrew personages, if, indeed, it should ever be employed at all in this manner.”—Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1123.
39“The fact that the apocryphal writer, Jesus Sirach, in his well-known book Ecclesiasticus, chapter forty-four, does not mention Daniel when he does list many other biblical heroes is said to indicate that Daniel was unknown to him. In reply, it may be stated that this writer did not mention certain other well-known biblical figures either, such as none of the judges except Samuel, and not even Ezra, who was actually nearer to him in time than Daniel. Why he omitted Daniel is not known, but that he did does not prove that he did not know of him.”—Leon J. Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), 22.
40“[John] Raven says that ben Sirach’s omission of Ezra is more remarkable than the omission of Daniel, but no one has used this as evidence to deny the existence of Ezra or his book.”—Josh McDowell, Daniel in the Critics’ Den (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1979), 43.
41The Dead Sea Scrolls illustrate the bankruptcy of arguments based on the silence of Ecclesiasticus. “External evidence for a Maccabean date has been adduced by liberal scholars from the absence of the name of Daniel in the catalog of famous Israelites in Ecclesiasticus 44:1ff. Since this source was in extant from by about 180 B.C., it implies that the author knew nothing either of Daniel or his book. However, it seems difficult to conceive of such a traditional figure as Daniel being unknown to a second-century B.C. Hebrew sage, particularly in view of the fact that, according to critical theories, the sagas of Daniel were about to be written and received with enthusiasm by the populace. The shallowness and erroneous nature of such a position has been amply demonstrated by the Qumran discoveries, which make it impossible to deny the popularity of Daniel at that period, if the numbers of copies and fragments of the composition may be taken as furnishing any indication at all of the situation.”—Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1123. Critics aren’t the only ones to misuse arguments from silence: “It seems that conservative scholars want it both ways. E. J. Young says Ben Sira’s failure to mention a prophet (Second Isaiah) is significant because Ben Sira shows signs of serious study of the prophets, while Harrison claims Ben Sira’s failure to mention Daniel is not significant and the argument from silence should carry no weight when it comes to Daniel.”—Douglas E. Fox, “Ben Sira on OT Canon Again: The Date of Daniel,” in Westminster Theological Journal, vol. 49 no. 2 (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Theological Seminary, Fall 1987), 340.
42“The discovery of the Hebrew Ben Sira showed that the Greek translator had mistaken ’yôb (Job), for ’āyab (to be an enemy) in 49:9. Where the Greek translation had, ‘For surely he remembered the enemies in storm,’ the Hebrew reads, ‘and also he made mention of Job, who maintained all the ways of righteousness.’ ”—Ibid., 339.
43“As was the case in the reference to Job, the Greek of Ben Sira 36:10 had gone astray, so the dependence on Daniel could not be recognized until the Hebrew came to light.”—Ibid., 345.
45Andrew E Steinmann, Daniel (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2008), 16.
46Fox, Ben Sira on OT Canon Again: The Date of Daniel, 345.
47“Ezekiel, the sixth-century prophet, alluded to Daniel three times in his book (Eze. 14:14, 20; 28:3), and these references would appear to be conclusive evidence for the traditional view.... Ezekiel’s references to Daniel must be considered one of the strongest arguments for a sixth-century date. No satisfactory explanation exists for the use of the name Daniel by the prophet Ezekiel other than that he and Daniel were contemporaries and that Daniel had already gained notoriety throughout the Babylonian Empire by the time of Ezekiel’s ministry.”—Stephen R. Miller, “Daniel,” in E. Ray Clendenen, Kenneth A. Mathews, and David S. Dockery, eds., The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 41-43.
48“From a conservative point of view, the fact that the name Daniel is used for two sons among post-exilic Jews (Ezra 8:2, Neh. 10:6) may point to the hero status of Daniel among them. . . . The only other time a person is named Daniel other than the character from the book of Daniel is the second son of David born in Hebron (see 1 Chron. 3:1).”—Mike Stallard, “Inerrancy in the Major Prophets,” in The Conservative Theological Journal, vol. 3 no. 9 (Fort Worth, TX: Tyndale Theological Seminary, August 1999), 179.
49The cave of Qumran where the dead Sea Scrolls where found. Copyright © 2012 by Peter van der Sluijs. This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
50It was even suggested that the Qumran evidence was being purposefully withheld because of the damage it would cause the Church.
51“The most extensively preserved scroll of the book of Daniel from Qumran is one from Cave 4: 4QDana, which contains large portions of Daniel. Preserved are Parts of Daniel 1:16-20‣; 2:9-11‣, 19-49‣; 3:1‣, 2‣; 4:29‣, 30‣; 5:5-7‣, 12-14‣, 16-19‣; 7:5-7‣, 25-28‣; 8:1-5‣; 10:16-20‣; 11:13-16‣. Scroll 4QDanb contains Daniel 5:10-12‣, 14-16‣, 19-22‣; 6:8-22‣, 27-29; 7:1-6‣, 11‣(?), 26-28; 8:1-8‣, 13-16‣; and 4‣QDanc has Daniel 10:5-9‣, 11-16‣, 21‣; 11:1‣, 2‣, 13-17‣, 25-29‣ (Ulrich 1987:18). This means that we have at our disposal from the Dead Sea scrolls parts of all chapters, except Daniel 9‣ and 12‣. Of course, the unpublished 4QDane is to have a few words of various parts of Daniel 9‣.”—Gerhard Hasel, “New Light On The Book Of Daniel From The Dead Sea Scrolls,” in Bible and Spade, vol. 5 no. 2 (Landisville, PA: Associates for Biblical Research, Winter 1992), 46.
52“A comparison between the MT and the earlier manuscripts contained in 1QDana, 1QDanb, and 6QDan, based upon a careful study of the variants and relationships with the MT, reveals that ‘the Daniel fragments from Caves 1 and 6 reveal, on the whole, that the later Masoretic text is preserved in a good, hardly changed form. They are thus a valuable witness to the great faithfulness with which the sacred text has been transmitted’ (Mertens 1971:31). These textual witnesses demonstrate that the MT was faithfully preserved and confirm that the Hebrew and Aramaic text of Daniel is reliable.”—Ibid., 47.
53Ibid., 47-48, 51.
54Paleography is the study of ancient writing whereby it is possible to infer the historic period within which a text was written by the style of writing and alphabetic characters employed.
55“When 1Q was excavated, two of the three fragments of Daniel recovered from the site proved to be related paleographically to the large Isaiah MS (1QIsaa). Since the book of Isaiah comes from a time several centuries prior to the earliest date to which 1QIsaa can be assigned on any grounds, it follows that the autograph of Daniel also must be several centuries in advance of the Maccabean period. From Cave 4 was also recovered a fragmentary second-century B.C. copy of the Psalter (4QpPs 37), and this document showed that the collection of canonical psalms had already been fixed by the Maccabean period. On the basis of this evidence alone, scholars have now assigned to the Persian period psalms which were once confidently acclaimed as unquestionably Maccabean in origin. It is now clear from the Qumrân MSS that no part of the OT canonical literature was composed later than the 4th cent B.C. This means that Daniel must of necessity be assigned to some point in the Neo-Babylonian era (626-539 B.C.), or a somewhat later period.”—Harrison, Daniel, Book of, 1:861-862.
56“we suggest that 11QtgJob is at least a century older than the Genesis Apocryphon. We claim, therefore, that the targum may originally have been composed in the late third century or early second century B.C. . . . our studies indicate that Biblical Aramaic is older than 11QtgJob. The linguistic phenomena . . . suggest that Daniel was written before 11QtgJob and lead us to believe that the evidence now available from Qumran indicates a pre-second-century date for the Aramaic of Daniel. . . . As for those who would hold to the composite authorship of Daniel, it means that the Hebrew sections of the book must also be older. No century exists between the first and last sections of Daniel. If the Aramaic of Daniel suggests a pre-second-century dating, then the Hebrew section must be given this same consideration.”—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.
57Hasel, New Light On The Book Of Daniel From The Dead Sea Scrolls, 46-47.
58“If 4QDanc is dated to the late second century B.C., it is highly unlikely that the Book of Daniel would have been accepted as Scripture by the Qumran community and copied along with other Old Testament books less than fifty years after its composition.”—Miller, Daniel, 38.
59Yamauchi, Hermeneutical Issues in the Book of Daniel, 14.
60“Do the scrolls offer clues to the position of the book of Daniel in the canon of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, which was not complete but still being formed during the Qumran period? . . . We have already mentioned the quotation of Daniel 12:10‣ in the Florilegium, which says that the verse is written in the ‘book of Daniel the Prophet.’ This indicates that at Qumran Daniel was classified among the Prophets rather than the Writings, which is highly significant for our understanding of prophecy and the existence of different ancient Jewish collections of Scripture.”—Abegg, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, 483.
62Waltke, The Date of the Book of Daniel, 321-322.
63Fox, Ben Sira on OT Canon Again: The Date of Daniel, 350.
64Image courtesy of William Whiston, The Works of Flavius Josephus (1854). Image is in the public domain.
65Archer, Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel, 132.
66“And when the book of Daniel was showed him [Alexander], wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended . . .”—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), 11.337.
67Fausset, The Book of Daniel, s.v. “Introduction.”
68Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, 12.320-322.
69Miller, Daniel, 37.
70“J. W. Wevers states that ‘by 132 B.C., when the grandson of Ben Sirach wrote the Prologue to the Ecclesiasticus, “the law and the prophets and the rest of the Bible” existed in Greek translation. This means that only thirty years after some scholars allege that Daniel was written, the book had been received into the canon and carried to Alexandria, Egypt, approximately three hundred miles away, and there translated into Greek. Such a proposal seems unlikely. That the book of Daniel was quite old by the time of the Septuagint is evidenced by the fact that the translators were completely unaware of the meaning of many terms in Daniel as evidenced by their mistranslations.’ Kitchen points out that the Septuagint rendering of four Persian loan words in Daniel ‘are hopelessly inexact—mere guesswork,’ which indicates that the terms were so ancient that ‘their meaning was already lost and forgotten (or, at the least, drastically changed) long before he [the translator] set to work.’ ”—Ibid., 39.
71 The Apocrypha : King James Version (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1995), 1 Mac. 2:51-60.
72Ibid., 1 Mac. 1:54-55.
73“In his deathbed speech Mattathias encouraged his sons to be faithful to God by reminding them of the steadfastness of the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace and of Daniel’s experience in the lion’s den (1 Macc 2:59-60). Although 1 Maccabees may not have been written until late in the second century B.C., Mattathias died in 166 B.C.. If the record of his speech is substantially genuine (and there is no reason to doubt it), the events in the Book of Daniel were well known by 166 B.C. most likely because the book was written long before.”—Miller, Daniel, 40.
74“A handful of Jewish apocryphal works appear to uphold this centuries-old understanding. In 1 Maccabees (2:59-60) Mattathias (on his deathbed) seeks to inspire his sons by recalling two events in Daniel: the three friends in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3‣) and Daniel in the lions’ den (Dan. 6‣). First Maccabees could have been written as late as 100 BC [Mattathias died in 166 BC.] yet the fact that the scenes of Daniel were so well-known suggests the book was composed much earlier.”—Charles 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.
75Stallard, Inerrancy in the Major Prophets, 177.
76“The present book [of Third Maccabees] treats of events which antedate the proper Maccabean history (reign of Ptolemy Philopator, b. c. 221-204), and is entitled to its name only on the ground that its contents have, in general, a similar bearing. . . . We have said that there is sufficient evidence in the book itself to prove that the author was a Jew. From the same source it is clear, that his home was in Alexandria, that he was more or less acquainted with the philosophical systems there current, and that he composed his work not far from the beginning of the Christian era.”—Bissell, The Apocrypha of the Old Testament, 615.
77“The third book narrates the history of events which took place before the Maccabean family appeared on the stage (B.C. 221-204).”—Ibid., 473.
78“Thou didst deliver in Babylon, unhurt even to a hair, the three companions, who voluntarily gave their lives to the fire, rather than serve the vain things, shedding a dew upon the glowing furnace, while turning the flame against all their adversaries. Thou didst restore Daniel unhurt to the light, when through envious calumnies he was thrown, as a prey for beasts, to the lions underground.”—Ibid., 633.
79 [McDowell, Daniel in the Critics’ Den, 29], “Ewald, therefore, with apparently good reasons (Geschichte d. Volk. Is., iv. 266, and Prophet. d. Alt. Bund., iii. 252 ff.), places the first part of the book in the Persian period, when, on the occasion of revolt against their oppressors, the Babylonian Jews did not share in the struggles or the hopes of their brethren at Jerusalem. The contents of the composition certainly agree well with this theory (see 2:21, ff. et passim).”—Bissell, The Apocrypha of the Old Testament, 417.
80“Baruch, another apocryphal writing, also reflects elements of the Book of Daniel (chaps 1-2). This work is dated to the first century B.C. by Eissfeldt and somewhere between 150 and 60 B.C. by others. The date could, in fact, be earlier since a major criterion for dating the book is its dependence upon Daniel. A date before 165 B.C. would mean that Daniel must have been written earlier.”—Miller, Daniel, 40-41.
81The Apocrypha : King James Version, Baruch 1:10-12.
82Jerome, Biblia Sacra Vulgata: Iuxta Vulgatem Versionem (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1996, c1969.), Dan. 5:1.
83Theodotion, “Daniel (Theodotion’s Translation),” in Alfred Rahlfs, ed., Septuaginta: With Morphology (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1996, c1979.), Dan. 5:1.
84“Baltasar is also the Greek of the Hebrew בֵלְשַׁאצַּר [ḇēlešaṣṣar] . . . the name of the last king of Babylon . . . Compare Baruch 1:11 and Belshazzar (Daniel 5:1‣ ff; 7:1‣; 8:1‣).”—A. L. Breslich, “Baltasar,” in J. W. Orr, ed., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1915), s.v. “Baltasar.”
85“Wilson evaluates the Book of Baruch as follows: ‘Chapters i and ii of the apocryphal book Baruch are assigned by some scholars to the fourth century before Christ. If this date be correct, then the writer of that book would seem to have known the Book of Daniel . . . In i, ii of Baruch the author bids men pray for Nabuchodonosor, King of Babylonian and for Balthasar his son. How did he learn of Belshazzar? He could of learned it from the book of Daniel and undoubtedly he did. There is no other book, of which we know know, containing Belshazzar’s name.’ ”—McDowell, Daniel in the Critics’ Den, 29.
86Robert I. Bradshaw, The Book of Daniel (BiblicalStudies.org.uk, 1999), 2.2.3.
87“If the pseudepigraphic material designated 1 Enoch borrowed from Daniel (compare 1 Enoch 14:18-22 with Dan. 7:9‣, 10‣), the section involved, which was probably written prior to 150 B.C., would testify to the use of Daniel as authoritative Scripture at that time.”—Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1107.
88Otto 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), 24-25.
89“Herodotus composed his History of the Persian Wars at Athens ca. 445 B.C.”—Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Herodotus (Person),” in David Noel Freedman, ed., The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York, NY: Doubleday, c1992, 1996), 3:180.
90“Berosus gives the Chaldean account, which suppresses all about Belshazzar, as being to the national dishonor. Had Daniel been a late book, he would no doubt have taken up the later account of Berosus.”—Fausset, The Book of Daniel, s.v. “Introduction.”
91Gleason Leonard Archer, “Daniel,” vol. 7 in Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985), 16.
92Whitcomb, Daniel, 73.
93“The author also knew that Babylon had been rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:30‣), another fact that was unknown to later historians until the excavations of more recent times.”—Peter Masters, “A Tour of Biblical Evidence in the British Museum,” in Bible and Spade, vol. 13 no. 2 (Landisville, PA: Associates for Biblical Research, Spring 2000), 54.
94“Kitchen notes that in four of the nineteen words in question, the old Greek renderings made about 100 B.C. are hopelessly mere guesswork. He reasons: ‘If the first important Greek translation of Daniel was made sometime within 100 B.C. to A.D. 100, roughly speaking, and the translator could not (or took no trouble to) reproduce the proper meaning of these terms, then one conclusion imposes itself: their meaning was already lost and forgotten (or, at least, drastically changed) long before he set to work. Now if Daniel were wholly a product of 165 B.C., then just a century or so in a continuous tradition is surely embarrassingly inadequate as a sufficient interval for that loss (or change) of meaning to occur by Near Eastern standards.’ [Kenneth A. Kitchen, et al., ‘The Aramaic of Daniel,’ Notes on Some Problems in the Book of Daniel (London: Tyndale Press, 1965), p. 43.]”—Waltke, The Date of the Book of Daniel, 324.
95“Quite evidently the writer knew enough about the customs of the sixth century B.C. to depict Nebuchadnezzar as able to enact and modify Babylonian laws with absolute sovereignty (Dan. 2:12‣f, 46), while representing Darius the Mede as being completely powerless to change the laws of the Medes and Persians (Dan. 6:8‣f.; cf. Est. 1:9; 8:8). Again, he was quite accurate in recording the change from punishment by fire under the Babylonians (Dan. 3:11‣) to punishment by being thrown to lions under the Persian regime (Dan. 6:7‣), since fire was sacred to the Zoroastrians of Persia.”—Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1120-1121.
96“The author shows remarkable knowledge of Babylonian and early Persian history, such as would be true of a contemporary like Daniel. In the fourth chapter, Nebuchadnezzar is presented correctly as the creator of the Neo-Babylonian empire. In the fifth chapter, Belshazzar is set for as co-ruler of Babylon, a fact recently demonstrated by archaeological research. In the sixth chapter, Darius is presented as ruler of Babylon, even though Cyrus was the supreme ruler of Persia; Cyrus is now know to have appointed one Gubaru in this capacity, with whom Darius may well be identified. In the second chapter (cf. Dan. 2:12‣, 13‣, 46‣) Nebuchadnezzar is shown to have been able to change Babylonian laws which he had previously made (such a change is now known to have been possible in Babylonia); whereas in the sixth chapter (cf. Dan. 6:8‣, 9‣, 12‣, 15‣) Darius is presented as not being able to do this (such a change is now known to have been impossible in Persia).”—Wood, A Commentary on Daniel, 20.
97Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 445.
98“While the Greek historians Herodotus (1:191) and Xenophon (Cyropœdia, 3:5, 15) do not mention Belshazzar, they share with Dan. 6‣ the—hardly historical—tradition that the Babylonians were engaged in revelry at the time when the Persians entered the city (corresponding to the time when Belshazzar was killed in the biblical account).”—Bathja Bayer, “Belshazzar,” in Geoffrey Wigoder, ed., Encyclopedia Judaica CDROM Edition, Version 1.0 (Keter Publishing House, Ltd., 1997), s.v. “Belshazzar.”
99“Xenophon added that the city was invaded while the Babylonians were feasting in a time of drunken revelry [Xenophon, Cyropœdia 7.5.15, 21, 25], and Herodotus also related that a festival was in progress [Herodotus, Histories 1.191]. As a matter of fact, Xenophon cited the festival as the reason the Persians chose to attack Babylon on that particular night.”—Miller, Daniel, 167.
100Waltke, The Date of the Book of Daniel, 328-329.
101Keil, Daniel, 9:517-518.
102“The mention of Medes before Persians in the phrase, ‘the law of the Medes and Persians,’ is an evidence of the early date of the book; for in later years the Persians were usually mentioned before the Medes (Esther 1:3, 14, 18, 19, though not 10:2; cf. I Macc. 6:56).”—John C. Whitcomb, Darius the Mede (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1959, 1963), 55.
103“Hävernick, Einl., II:488, shows in a striking manner, the untenable character of the assumption that the book is a fiction of the Maccabean age, invented to serve a purpose, especially in view of the marked difference between the religious and political circumstances of that time and those prevailing in the captivity: ‘How marked is the distinction between the heathen kings of this book and Antiochus Epiphanes! Collisions with Judaism occur, indeed, but how different is the conduct of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede, in relation to the recognition of Judaism and its God! Where is the evidence in this case of a desire to extirpate Judaism, or to inaugurate a formal persecution of the Jews, such as entered into the designs of Antiochus. There can hardly be two things more dissimilar than are the deportment of a Belshazzar or Darius and that of the Seleucidian king.’ ”—Zöckler, The Book of the Prophet Daniel, 43.
104“One of the most interesting phenomena in the Aramaic of Daniel, however, is the word order, which usually follows the pattern of subject-object-verb. That stands in sharp contrast to certain Dead Sea documents in Aramaic, the Genesis Apocryphon and the Targum of Job, both close to the time of the supposedly second-century composition of Daniel. As Kitchen has observed, the word order of Daniel agrees with the Asshur ostracon of the seventh century B.C. and with the freedom of word order that characterized the fifth-century Aramaic papyri from Egypt.”—C. Hassell Bullock, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1986), 287. “New discoveries of Aramaic documents . . . put the Aramaic of Daniel within the possible if not probably range of Imperial Aramaic (7th-3rd centuries B.C.), thus allowing for a sixth-century date of composition.”—Ibid., 289.
105Howard P. Free and Voss, Archaeology and Bible History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 196.
106Leupold, Exposition of Daniel, Dan. 1:17.
107Zöckler, The Book of the Prophet Daniel, 64.