February 24, 2012

Apocalypse Prophecy XXIV: More Odds n' Ends In The End of Daniel


In Hebrew there are a number of ‘markers’ used to suggest the main sections in the structure. We see then used in 10:10 and 12:5 that often mark a new scene. The text gives us words and grammatical prose and structure as plausible section markers. I will list them all. The opening verse Daniel 10:1 is written in the third person. This is followed by Daniel's description of his actions. A dateline like the one in Daniel 10:4 clearly marks the beginning of a fresh section also. More specifically in Hebrew narrative וְהִנֵּה־ / (we)hinneh or “behold” often marks a new scene just as it does in Daniel 10:10. The וְעַתָּ֕ה / we'attiih or “and now” of 11:2a is another fairly common section marker, and v. 2b is introduced by hinneh / Behold.

Daniel 12:1-3 on the other hand stands out because of its content and because of the more rhythmic prose, and the use of Hebrew parallelism and simile. The Hebrew word hinneh again appears when introducing the epilogue. Interestingly, the passage in Daniel 12:9-13 is marked going in and coming out (beginning and end) by the repeated command, “Go your way ... “.

To a lesser extent it appears there are even historical and chronological markers in the use of King’s reigns: Warrior King, King of the North, etc. This is common though not only in Daniel but throughout the Bible as we believe in a God that is a God of not just things but time also and when He acts He acts in real time with real people.

Parallels to Chapters 10-12

There are other Old Testament book that shares very close verbal links to Daniel. There are allusions to earlier Hebrew prophets littered all throughout Daniel 10-12…of note in our text (Lucas)…of note is the account of the epiphany in Daniel 10 which has close verbal links with the theophany(ies) described in Ezekiel 1-3; 9-10. Nearly every phrase used to describe the messenger in Daniel 10:5-6 can be found in the passages in Ezekiel. The passage in Ezekiel 7:14-27 is an oracle warning of the destruction of Jerusalem because of the sins of Judeans and this seems to be in the background in two places in Daniel 11. The first is 11:14-16 and the second is 11:31. It is also interesting to note the similarities to Isaiah. Specifically Daniel 9 parallels Isaiah 10:22-23 and Daniel 11 should be matched together with Isaiah 28:15-22 as both these are oracles about Assyria and the destruction it will wreak in Judah as the agent of God's wrath. The verbal similarities are so great that it would be excessive to type them all here. It is recommended that others review them for themselves.

Phrases that Comfort

What phrases does Daniel uses phrases in his writing that should ultimately comfort us in our time of need and times of suffering. They assure us that God is in control of history and it is not just a simple script with humans playing their parts in turn.

The phrases we need to make note of are, “he will be broken” and references to “an end” and “an appointed time”. This prevents us from forgetting that a Sovereign God is indeed in control. By stating this it also shows that man are indeed responsible for their actions as these words imply that humans have committed acts and God wasn’t exactly thrilled with them so He will put “an end” to them at “an appointed time”. The thing that defines the length of time God will wait is his forbearance in mercy and grace. After which God will stay His hand no more and His wrath against wickedness and sin will be unleashed. In the end God triumphs because God’s purposes will not be thwarted. In the end there is victory in the Lord.

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