صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

:

confession and prayer sent by the exiles in Babylon, in the fifth year

of the captivity of Jehoiachin, to their brethren in Jerusalem, to be used by them on their (the exiles') behalf?. The real date of the Book of Baruch is disputed. The second part iii. 9-v. 9) is generally allowed to have been written shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (A.D. 70): the first part is assigned by Schürer (ii. 7232) to the same date, though others think it to be a good deal earlier, Ewald, and Reuss, for instance, assigning it to the period of the earlier Ptolemies (c. 300 B.C.)3. It is, however, seldom possible, given simply two parallel texts, to determine, without assuming the question in dispute, which is the older, and which it is that contains reminiscences of the other: the prayer in Baruch might, no doubt, be an expansion (with, at the same time, some omissions) of that in Daniel", but the prayer in Daniel might also be an abridgement and adaptation of that in Baruch; or both might also be based upon an ancient traditional form of confession, preserved in its most original form in Daniel6. The Book of Baruch cannot be regarded as having any bearing on the date of the Book of Daniel until it has been shewn more clearly than has yet been done, not only that the prayer in Baruch is older than c. 165 B.C., but also if this is really the case, that the passages common to it and Dan. cannot have been borrowed in the latter from the former.

1 The rôle assumed is not however consistently maintained, ii. 13, 14, iii

. 7, 8, being evidently spoken from the standpoint of the exiles themselves. See BARUCH, BOOK OF, in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible. ? And in his art. on Baruch in Herzog, ed. 2, i. 500 f., ed. 3, i. 641 f.

3 So also Kneucker, in his excellent edition of Baruch (1879), pp. 57—60,

3 The positive grounds favouring this early date are, however, slight: cf. Kneucker, p. 39 f. The arguments in Hastings against Schürer's date do not seem to be conclusive.

* The principal additions in Baruch are in i. 166, 19 a, 20 6—22, ii. 16, 3-7 a, 86, u middle, 136, 146—16 a, 176—18, 19 a (“of our fathers and of our kings'), and all from ii. 20 to iii. 8. The principal additions in Daniel are in ix. 4–6,76–8 a, 9 a, 10 end, 11b (partly), 13 end, 16 (from 'and thy fury'), 176, 18 (from our desolations to 'thy name,' and 'but for thy great mercies '), 19. (The references, both here and in the text, are to the Greek, which should be compared throughout: let the reader underline, in his two texts (Daniel in Theod.), the passages which are (substantially) the same in both. In Bar. ii. 12 6 observe that dukacuata = nipis (see vv. 17, 19), while in Dan. ix. 16 édenuosúvn in Theod., and duraloo úvn in LXX., both = 1787}: see below, p. 54; Kneucker, pp. 235, 353.) • Marshall, ap. Hastings, p. 252a, towards the bottom.

f

cf. 68–70.

6

=

DANIEL

(iii) No conclusion of any value as to the date of Daniel can be drawn from the LXX. translation. (1) The date of the translation is quite uncertain; the grounds that have been adduced for the purpose of shewing that it was made in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes himself (e.g. the renderings of ix. 24–27, xi. 30, 33) being altogether insufficient. (2) The errors in the LXX. translation of the book have been supposed to shew that many Hebrew words used in it were unfamiliar to the translators, and consequently that it must have been written at a much earlier date than that assigned to it by critics. It is, however, remarkable that throughout O.T. the LXX. translators (who, as is well known, were not the same for all the books) stand singularly aloof from the Palestinian tradition-often, for instance, not only missing the general sense of a passage, but shewing themselves to be unacquainted with the meaning even of common Hebrew words. Thus the errors in the LXX. translation of Daniel merely shew that the meaning of particular words was unknown in Alexandria at the time, whatever it may have been, at which the translation was made: they do not afford evidence that the words were unknown in Palestine in the second cent. B.C., and would not have been used by an author writing there then. The Greek translator of the Proverbs of Jesus, the son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), though a grandson of the author himself, nevertheless often misunderstood the Hebrew in which they were written.

§ 4. Some characteristic features of the Book of Daniel.

As has been pointed out in § 1, the first part of the Book of Daniel (chs. i.—vi.) consists essentially of a series of didactic narratives; the second part of the Book (chs. vii.—xii.), –

-as also ch. ii., in so far as a succession of world-empires forms the subject of Nebuchadnezzar's dream,-deals with what, viewed from Daniel's standpoint, is future, and is apocalyptic in its character. It will not be necessary to dwell further upon the narrative portions of the Book ; but something remains to be said with regard to its apocalyptic parts, and also on some of the more characteristic doctrines which find expression in it. And firstly, as regards the symbolism and the veiled predictions, which form such conspicuous features in these parts of the Book. Symbolism is employed already by the later prophets to a

greater extent than is the case with the earlier prophets. Thus in Ezekiel we have the allegories of the vine-tree (ch. xv.), the abandoned infant (ch. xvi.), the two eagles and the vine (ch. xvii.), the lion's whelps (ch. xix.), the two harlots (ch. xxiii.), the flourishing tree (ch. xxxi.), the shepherds and their flock (ch. xxxiv.); and in Zech. we find a series of visions, in which the prophet sees, for instance, the Divine horses, symbolizing the ubiquity of Jehovah's presence upon the earth (i. 8-17), four horns symbolizing the powers of the world arrayed against Israel (i. 18—21), a golden candlestick, representing the restored community (ch. iv.), and chariots proceeding to the different quarters of the earth, symbolizing the fulfilment of Jehovah's judgements (vi. 1-8). But, as applied in Daniel, both the symbolism and the veiled predictions are characteristic of a species of literature which was now beginning to spring up, and which is known commonly by modern writers as Apocalyptic Literature.

The word 'apocalypse' means disclosure, revelation ; and though ordinary prophecy contains 'disclosures, whether respecting the will of God in general, or respecting the future, the term is applied in particular to writings in which the ‘disclosure,' or 'revelation,' is of a specially marked and distinctive character. The beginnings of this type of writing are to be found in those post-exilic prophecies of the O. T. relating to the future, which are less closely attached to the existing order of things than is usually the case, and which, though they cannot be said actually to describe it, may nevertheless be regarded as prophetic anticipations of the final judgement, and consummation of all things, as Is. xxiv.-xxvii., Zech. xiv., Joel iii. 9–171. But at a later date, apocalyptic prophecy assumed a special form, and became the expression of particular feelings and ideas.

Apocalyptic prophecy arose in an age in which there were no longer any prophets of the older type, addressing themselves directly to the needs of the times, and speaking in person to the people in the name of God: and it consists essentially of a

1 Cf. Kirkpatrick, Doctrine of the Prophets, pp. 475 f., 481, 488 f.; and the present writer's Joel and Amos (in the Cambridge Bible), p. 33. development and adaptation of the ideas and promises expressed by the older prophets, designed especially with the object of affording encouragement and consolation to faithful Israelites in a period of national distress. The call to repentance, and rebuke for sin, which formed the primary and central element in the teaching of the older prophets, assumed in the age now under consideration a secondary place : Israel was subject to the heathen, and the crying question was, When would its long and humiliating servitude be at an end? When would the older propheoies of future glory and triumph over the heathen be fulfilled ? How much longer would Jehovah's promised redemption be deferred ? Hence, in the form of prophecy which now arose, a much more prominent place was taken than had formerly been the case by visions of the future: older, but hitherto unfulfilled, promises of Israel's destined glory were reaffirmed, and were made the basis of larger and broader outlooks into the future. Its mode of representation was artificial. The disclosures which were the most characteristic element of apocalyptic prophecy were not made by the author in his own person, they were placed in the mouth of some pious and famous man of old-an Enoch, a Moses, a Baruch, an Ezra : from the standpoint of the assumed speaker the future was unrolled, usually under symbolic imagery, down to the time in which the actual author lived : the heavens were thrown open, glimpses were given of the offices and operation of the celestial hierarchy : God's final judgement both upon His own people and upon the powers opposed to it was described : the approaching deliverance of the afflicted Israelites was declared : the resurrection and future lot alike of the righteous and of the wicked were portrayed in vivid imagery. The seer who is represented as the author of the book, sometimes beholds these things himself in a vision or dream, but often he holds discourse with an angel, who either explains to him what he does not fully understand, or communicates to him the revelations in their entirety. Naturally there are variations in detail: the subjects enumerated do not appear uniformly with precisely the same prominence; hortatory or didactic matter is also often present as well: but speaking generally some at least of them are present in every 'apocalypse,' and constitute its most conspicuous and distinctive feature. A brief account of two or three of the more important apocalypses may help to give substance to what has been said.

-XC.

The Book of Enoch is the longest known work of the kind ; and in its earliest parts (for it is evidently of composite authorship) is certainly the nearest in date to the Book of Daniel. It is said of Enoch in Gen. V. 24 that he 'walked with God'; and the expression was taken in later times to mean not only that he led a godly life, but also that he was the recipient of supernatural knowledge. The Book of Enoch' gives an account of the knowledge which he was supposed in this way to have attained. The oldest sections of the book are chs. i.—xxxvi., lxxii.cviii., probably (Dillmann, Schürer) c. 120 B.C., and chs. lxxxiii.may even, according to Charles, be almost contemporary with Daniel (B.C. 166–161). In chs. i.-xxxvi. Enoch first (ch. i.) tells how he had had a vision of future judgement: God would appear, 'with ten thousands of His holy ones' (Jude 14, 15) on Mount Sinai, to punish the fallen angels, and wicked men, and to reward the righteous with peace and felicity. In chs. xvii.—xxxvi. he relates how he had been led in vision through different parts of the earth; and had been shewn by an angel, Uriel or Raphael, the fiery abyss prepared for the rebellious angels, Sheol, with four divisions set apart for different classes of the departed (xxii.), Jerusalem (xxv.—xxvi.), Gehenna (the valley of Hinnom) close by (xxvii.), and Paradise, with the tree of life, in the far East (xxxii.). The ultimate lot of the righteous, as depicted here, is not, however, eternal life in heaven, but long, untroubled life in an ideal Paradise on earth. In chs. lxxxiii.perhaps, as just said, the oldest part of the book,-Enoch recounts to his son Methuselah two visions which he has seen. The first vision (lxxxiii.—Ixxxiv.) describes the approaching Deluge; the second (lxxxv.-xc.) unfolds, in a symbolical form,—the leaders of the chosen race being represented by domestic animals, bulls or sheep, and the Gentiles by different wild beasts and birds of prey,—the entire history of the patriarchs and Israel, from Adam to the author's own time; after that (xc. 18 ff.) God Himself appears to judge the world, Israel's oppressors are destroyed, and the Messianic kingdom is established. The events indicated by the symbolism are usually sufficiently clear ; but sometimes (as in Daniel) there is ambiguity :

-XC.

« السابقةمتابعة »