Friday, December 07, 2018

The editing of Daniel 2

HANUKKAH-RELATED: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Revision of Daniel’s Role During Antiochus’ Persecution (Prof. Michael Segal,
The first section of Daniel (chs. 2-6) is a collection of quasi-independent court tales. Once they were combined into the book of Daniel in its current form, the story of Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which parallels Pharaoh’s dream in the Joseph story, was revised. It was further supplemented with Daniel’s prayer which creates a contrast between the power of God and that of Antiochus IV.
This is a case in which the application of redaction criticism produces convincing results.

One of the fun things about the Book of Daniel is that comparison of the Old Greek version with the Hebrew Masoretic Text allows us to watch the process of redaction happening. The Old Greek translates an earlier draft than the MT. Not in chapter two, but certainly in chapters four through six.

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