Even though nearly half of Daniel was composed in Aramaic, the Hebrew Canon for Judaism retained all of the book except the Greek text: the Song of the Three Young Men and the Appendix - Chapter 13, which contained the beautiful story of Susanna, as well as Chapter 14 on Bel, the Dragon, and the Rescue of Daniel. The time of composition has become a matter of interest. The informed description of historical events in Chapters 1 to 6 and the use of the first person in the apocalyptic visions of Chapters 7 to 12 suggest that Daniel likely originated the book during his lifetime.
This traditional view is also supported by classical historians such as Flavius Josephus and Church Fathers such as St. Jerome, the Father of Biblical Scholars. Whereas modern historical-critical methods propose the book may have been written in the mid-second century BC, the inclusion of the book in the Hebrew Canon for Judaism advises that Hebrew tradition placed the Book as written before BC! The Hebrew and Aramaic texts are in blue, the Greek scripture is in navy. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the standard English Bible for Catholics for over years, and still remains in use today.
Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible. Kennedy took the oath of office on January 20, to become the 35th President of the United States. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.
The Aramaic 2. The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine from the royal table. If he sees that you look wretched by comparison with the other young men of your age, you will endanger my life with the king. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. When they came and presented themselves to the king, 3 he said to them, "I had a dream which will allow my spirit no rest until I know what it means. Tell me therefore the dream, that I may know that you also give a true interpretation thereof. And when Arioch had told the matter to Daniel, 16 Daniel went in and desired of the king, that he would give him time to resolve the question and declare it to the king.
Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these: 29 Thou, O king, didst begin to think in thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth mysteries shewed thee what shall come to pass. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break and destroy all these. And they stood before the statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago. For he hath delivered us from hell, and saved us out of the hand of death, and delivered us out of the midst of the burning flame, and saved us out of the midst of the fire.
They answered the king, and said: True, O king. And immediately Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago went out from the midst of the fire. It hath seemed good to me therefore to publish His signs, because they are great: and his wonders, because they are mighty: and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, I and his power to all generations. But the king answering, said: Belteshazzar, let not the dream and the interpretation thereof trouble thee.
Belteshazzar answered, and said: My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thy enemies. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon: Whosoever shall read this writing, and shall make known to me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and shall have a golden chain on his neck, and shall be the third man in my kingdom. Now therefore let Daniel be called for, and he will tell the interpretation. And the king spoke, and said to him: Art thou Daniel of the children of the captivity of Juda, whom my father the king brought out of Judea?
MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it. And the king answered them, saying: The word is true according to the decree of the Medes and Persians, which it is not lawful to violate. And the king said to Daniel: Thy God, whom thou always servest, he will deliver thee. For he is the living and eternal God for ever: and his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his power shall be for ever. I Daniel was much troubled with my thoughts, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the word in my heart.
No beast could withstand it or be rescued from its power; it did what it pleased and became very powerful. It threw the ram, which had not the force to withstand it, to the ground, and trampled upon it; and no one could rescue it from its power. Lenormant 'La Divination' gives a long account, with many passages translated from their books, of their mode of interpreting dreams. It may, however, refer to appearances which are regarded as omens of good or evil fortune.
We see in all the elaborate distinctions of omens preserved to us in Lenormant only the folly of superstition; but we may not assume that Daniel and his friends did not believe in them. It has been objected that if Daniel and his friends were so scrupulous in regard to the dainties and. But men are never completely logical; life is wider than logic, and hence there are always elements that are left out in our calculations. The possession even of Divine inspiration would not suffer men to annul the two millennia and a half that separate us from the days of Daniel.
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They - Daniel and his friends - did not see in this so-called science of oneiromancy mere superstition. Still less did they recognize it as having a necessary connection with the idolatries of Babylon. In the following chapter we see the theory Daniel himself had of the matter, namely, that God used dreams as means to make known the future to men. No one can say he was mistaken in this. When Luther described heaven to his child, he filled it with what would be most happy for the little boy; he takes the child at the stage at which he is, and tells him the truth, but in limitations suited to his knowledge.
May we not reasonably argue that the great Father deals so with his children? When they are in the state of knowledge that makes them expect to have his will revealed to them in dreams and omens, then he will make known his will by dreams. Daniel knew all that Chaldean science could tell him, but he saw that it was limited, that behind all the canons of interpretation there was the Eternal Mind, the Great Thinker, whose thoughts are things.
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In other words, he did not recognize the so-called science of Babylon, its astrology, its incantations, its omens, its interpretations of dreams as false so much as limited. It has been placed by Jerome as a parallel, that Moses was learned in all the learning of the Egyptians. Jerome assumes "they learned not that they might follow, but that they might judge and convict convincant. In their own land they in all likelihood believed in the interpretation of dreams, not unlikely in omens too in some degree.
When they came to Babylon they came among a people who halt reduced all this to a form that had a delusive appearance of scientific accuracy. They could not fail to believe in all these things. Long after the latest critical date of Daniel, the Jews believed in omens and dreams. Josephus tells us of his own skill in these matters, and is still more explicit in respect to the wisdom of the Essenes in regard to the future.
Students of the Talmud will not require to be told of the bath-qol and other means by which a knowledge of the future was derived. We must, we fear, assume that Daniel was not so far ahead of his contemporaries as not to believe in the science of Babylon, and therefore to expect him to protest against it and refuge to acquire it is absurd in the last degree. This fact of these four Hebrew youths not objecting to heathen learning is n indirect proof of the early date of Daniel.
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It this book had been written in the days of the Maccabees, then the learning of the Chaldeans would be a synonym for the learning of the Greeks. We know that, so far from the Hasideem - the party from whom, by hypothesis, "Daniel" emanated - looking favourably on Greek learning, they hated and abhorred it.
We see in the Second Book of Maccabees the feelings with which they regarded those who favoured Greek manners; how even the innocent game of discus was full of horror for them, because it was Greek ; and in the first book with what horror the pious looked on the erection of a gymnasium in Jerusalem. This hatred of everything Greek was very natural, and certainly was very much in evidence in their history. For business purposes they had to know the Greek language; but the learning, the philosophy, and literature of Greece would have been to those engaged in the Maccabean struggle abomination.
Is it, then, to be imagined that a writer of the Maccabean period, describing an ancient hero from whose example his contemporaries were to draw encouragement and guidance, would represent him as zealously addicting himself to the pursuit of Gentile learning, and making such progress in it that he excelled all competitors? The attitude ascribed to him would have been more like that of the Rabbi Akiba, who declared that "Greek learning could be studied in an hour that was neither day nor night;" or like that other rabbi, who declared that "the translation of the Scripture into Greek was a disaster to Judaism equal in horror to the fall of Jerusalem.
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Surely the minds must be strangely deficient in the power of imaginative reconstruction who cannot feel the thrill of abhorrence of everything foreign that must have filled the Jews during the Maccabean struggle. If the critics had only realized this, they would have seen how utterly impossible it is to conceive that a religious novel, written at that time, intended to nerve the Jews for fiercer resistance to their oppressors, should represent the hero complacently acquiring Gentile learning, and acting the submissive courtier in the tyrant's palace.
And when ye divide the land by lot for an inheritance, ye shall lift a heave for Jehovah as a holy portion from the land; five and twenty thousand the length, and the breadth ten? It shall be holy in all its circumference round about.
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Ezekiel Of this five hundred shall belong to the Holy by five hundred square round about, and fifty cubits open space thereto round about. And from this measured space thou shalt measure a length of five and twenty thousand, and a breadth of ten thousand, and in this shall be the sanctuary, a holy of holies. A holy portion of the land shall this be; to the priests, the servants of the sanctuary, shall it belong who draw near to serve Jehovah, and it shall be to them the place for houses and a sanctuary for the sanctuary. And five and twenty thousand in length and ten thousand in breadth shall belong to the Levites, the servants of the house, for a possession to them as gates to dwell in.
And as a possession for the city, ye shall give five thousand in breadth and five and twenty thousand in length, parallel to the holy heave; it shall belong to the whole house of Israel. And to the prince ye shall give on both sides of the holy heave and of the possession of the city, along the holy heave and along the possession of the city, on the west side westwards and on the east side eastwards, and in length parallel to one of the tribe-portions, from the western border to the eastern border.
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It shall belong to him as land, as a possession in Israel; and my princes shall no more oppress my people, but shall leave the land to the house of Israel according to its tribes.