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(1 Macc. vi. 55-61). The war did not indeed end yet; but it was henceforth a war for merely civil independence: the religious liberties of the Jews were now secure.


Authorship and Date1.

It used formerly to be assumed as a matter of course that the Book of Daniel was written by Daniel himself, and there are still scholars who, upon apologetic grounds, defend this opinion. A careful survey, however, of the facts presented by the book, in the light of the larger knowledge which recent years have brought, shews that this position is not really a tenable one. Internal evidence demonstrates, with a cogency that cannot be resisted, that the Book of Daniel must have been written not earlier than c. 300 B.C., and in Palestine; and there are considerations which make it highly probable that it fact, composed during the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, between B.C. 168 and 165.

i. The following are facts of a historical nature which point, more or less decisively, to an author later than Daniel himself:

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I. The position of the Book in the Jewish Canon, not among the prophets, but in the miscellaneous collection of writings, called the Kethubim, or 'Hagiographa.' The Jewish Canon consists of three distinct parts: (1) the Tōrāh or Pentateuch; (2) the Prophets (consisting of the 'Former Prophets,' i.e. Josh., Judg., Sam., Kings, and the 'Latter Prophets,' i.e. Is., Jer., Ezek., and the 12 Minor Prophets); and (3) the Kethūbim, or 'Hagiographa,' comprising (according to the order adopted in ordinary Hebrew Bibles) Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the five Megilloth (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles. This is the manner in which the books of the O. T. are arranged

1 The following pages are adapted, with some additions and modifications of form, from the writer's Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, chap. xi.

in both MSS. and printed editions1; and though little definite is known respecting the formation of the Canon, there are strong reasons for thinking that the threefold division represents three stages in the collection and canonization of the sacred books of the O. T.,—the Pent. being canonized first, then the 'Prophets' (in the Jewish sense of the expression), and lastly the Kethūbīm. The collection of the 'Prophets' could hardly have been completed before the third century B.C.2; and had the Book of Daniel existed at the time, and been believed to be the work of a prophet, it is difficult not to think that it would have ranked accordingly, and been included with the writings of the other prophets.

2. Jesus, the son of Sirach (writing c. 200 B.C.), in his enumeration of famous Israelites, Ecclus. xliv.-1., though he mentions Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and (collectively) the Twelve Minor Prophets, is silent as to Daniel. In view of the remarkable distinctions attained by Daniel, and the faculties displayed by him, according to the Book, the statement in Ecclus. xlix. 15 that no man had ever been born 'like unto Joseph,' seems certainly to suggest that the writer was unacquainted with the narratives respecting Daniel.

3. That Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, and carried away some of the sacred vessels in 'the third year of Jehoiakim' (Dan. i. 1, 2), though it cannot, strictly speaking, be disproved, is at least doubtful: not only is the Book of Kings silent, but Jeremiah, in the following year (xxv. 9 ff., see v. 1), as also in Jehoiakim's fifth year (xxxvi. 29, see v. 9), speaks of the Chal

1 There are slight differences in Heb. MSS. in the order in which the books comprising both the Latter Prophets and the Hagiographa are arranged (see L.O. T. p. ii; or more fully Ryle, Canon of the O. T. pp. 219-234, 281 f., ed. 2, pp. 230-246, 292 ff.); but no book belonging to one division of the Canon is ever found in another.

The Canon of Melito (Euseb. iv. 26) does not bear witness to a different arrangement of the Heb. Bible: as (amongst other things) the Septuagint titles shew, it merely enumerates the Hebrew books in the order in which they were current in the Greek O. T. (Ryle, pp. 214, 218 f., ed. 2, pp. 225, 229 f.).

2 Ryle, 1. c. pp. 106–113 (ed. 2, pp. 117—124); cf. p. 120 f.

(131 f.).

daeans in terms which seem to imply that their arms had not yet been seen in Judah (see further the note on i. 1).

The following table exhibits the chronology of the period:

605 Nisan1




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Twenty-first year of Nabopolassar. JApproximate date of the battle of Carchemish.



Accession of Nebuchadnezzar (the first contract-tablet of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, at present known, is dated Tammuz 14 in the 'beginning of his reign,' i.e. his accession-year [see on Dan. ii. 1]: Winckler, Alttest. Untersuchungen, 1892, p. 81; KB. iv. 181).

First year of Nebuchadnezzar.

The Babylonian year began in spring (with Nisan), the Jewish year (probably) in autumn (with the month called by the Babylonians Tishri) 2. The fourth year of Jehoiakim would be most naturally equated with the first year of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. xxv. 1) in the manner suggested. It is consequently doubtful whether the date in Jer. xlvi. 2 is correct: it may be a gloss, added to the text of Jeremiah upon the assumption that Nebuchadnezzar was already king when he won the battle of Carchemish. If the scheme given above is correct, the battle of Carchemish will have taken place in Jehoiakim's third year; but there remains the doubt (see below, p. 2 f.) whether, following it in the same year, there was really any 'siege' of Jerusalem.

4. The 'Chaldaeans' (Kasdim) are synonymous in Dan.

1 The names of the months are given in their Hebraized forms. 2 Nowack, Hebr. Archäologie (1894), i. 219. Cf. also Tiele, Bab.Ass. Gesch. (1886), pp. 439–41; Hommel, Gesch. Bab. u. Ass. (1885), PP. 752-5.

(i. 4, ii. 2, 4, 5, etc.) with the class of wise men. This sense 'is unknown in the Ass.-Bab. language, and, wherever it occurs, has formed itself after the end of the Babylonian empire; it is thus an indication of the post-exilic composition of the book' (Schrader, KAT.2, p. 429). It dates in fact from a time when 'Chaldaean' (the name of the ruling caste in Babylonia under Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar) had become synonymous with 'Babylonian' in general, and when substantially the only 'Chaldaeans' known were either, as in Herodotus's time, members of the priestly class, or, as in the later classical period, itinerant astrologers and fortune-tellers (cf. p. 12 ff.). Prof. Sayce writes1: 'In the eyes of the Assyriologist the use of the word Kasdim in the Book of Daniel would alone be sufficient to indicate the date of the work with unerring certainty.'

5. Belshazzar is represented as king of Babylon (v. 1 ff., vii. 1, viii. 1), and Nebuchadnezzar is spoken of throughout ch. v. (vv. 2, 11, 13, 18, 22) as his father. In point of fact (see above, p. xxx) Nabu-na'id (p. xxvii ff.) was the last king of Babylon; he was a usurper, not related to Nebuchadnezzar; and his father's name was Nabu-balāṭsu-iķbi (p. xxvii). Bêl-sharuzur (i.e. Belshazzar) is mentioned in the inscriptions as his son, the title regularly appended to his name being 'the king's son.' In the 'Annalistic Tablet' of Cyrus (see p. xxix) the 'king's son' is mentioned during a series of years as being 'with the nobles and his soldiers in the country of Akkad' (North Babylonia): it may thus be supposed that he acted as his father's general. When at last the troops of Cyrus gained possession of Babylon, Nabu-na'id was taken prisoner: not long afterwards2, on the 3rd of Marcheshvan (Oct.), Cyrus himself entered Babylon, and eight days later, on the 11th of Marcheshvan, during the night, the 'king's son' was slain. The inscriptions thus lend no support to the supposition that Bêl-shar-uzur was his father's viceroy, or was entitled to be

1 Monuments, p. 535.

2 17 or 18 days, if the correction in 1. 12 (p. xxix) is right,

spoken of as 'king': according to the best accredited reading of the passage just quoted (p. xxx, note), he was called the 'king's son' to the day of his death. Further, when the Persians (as the same inscription shews) were already in peaceable possession of Babylon, and governors had been appointed in it (ll. 19, 20), it is difficult to understand how Belshazzar, even supposing (what is not in itself inconceivable) that he still held out in the palace, and was slain afterwards in attempting to defend it, could promise and dispense (Dan. v. 7, 16, 29) honours in his kingdom; or what need there could be for the solemn announcement (v. 25—28), as of something new and unexpected, that his (or his father's) kingdom was to be given to the Medes and Persians, when it must have been patent to every one that they were already in possession of it. As regards Belshazzar's relationship to Nebuchadnezzar, there remains the possibility that Nabu-na'id may have sought to strengthen his position by marrying a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, in which case the latter might be spoken of as Belshazzar's father (=grandfather, by Heb. usage). None of Nabu-na'id's inscriptions, however, imply any kind of relationship to Nebuchadnezzar, or trace his descent beyond his father Nabu-balāṭsu-iķbi2; and the terms of ch. v. produce certainly the impression that in the view of the writer Belshazzar was actually Nebuchadnezzar's son. The historical situation presupposed by Dan. v. is not consistent

1 The supposition, sometimes made, that he was 'co-regent' with his father is also destitute of foundation in the inscriptions.

2 Dr Green's statement (The Canon, p. 63) that Nabu-na'id calls himself 'descendant' of Nebuchadnezzar and Neriglissar, is incorrect. The passage referred to follows the one quoted, p. xxvii, and runs, 'I am the mighty legate (našparu) of Nebuchadnezzar and Nergalshar-uzur, the kings who walked before me. Their people are committed to my hand, their command I transgress not, their mind I obey. Amêl-Marduk, and Lâbashi-Marduk... broke their commands' (Messerschmidt, p. 29 f.). The passage is in fact evidence that Nabu-na'id could not call himself son (or descendant) of the famous kings whom he names: he was, as Abydenus says (p. xxvii, n. 5), no relation to them; but he claims nevertheless to be in a sense their representative, and to be ruling as their lawful successor, on the ground that he follows out their policy and principles of government, which Amêl-Marduk and Lâbashi-Marduk (see p. xxvii) had deserted (cf. Messerschmidt, p. 22).

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