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Flashcards in Daniel Deck (19):
1

Daniel background

Neo-Babylonian Empire and the early years of the
Persian Empire or from around 605 BC to 538 BC. In 605 BC King Nabopolassar was killed in a
battle against the Assyrians at Hamath in Syria. As a result of this battle and the Assyrian defeat,
Judah, Syria, and Palestine came under Babylonian control. After Nabopolassar died
Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon.

2

Literary Structure

Part 1: Six Stories (Chapters 1-6)
1 Daniel and Friends in the Court of Babylon
2 King’s Dream: A Huge Statue / Small Stone
3 Daniel’s Friends Rescued from the Furnace
4 King’s Dream: A Huge Tree
5 Belshazzar and the Writing on the Wall
6 Daniel Rescued from the Lion’s Den
Part 2: Four Visions (Chapters 7-12)
7 A Vision of Daniel: Awful Beasts / Son of Man
8 A Vision of Daniel: The Ram and The Goat
9 A Prayer of Daniel and Vision of 70 Weeks
10-12 A Vision of Daniel: The Book of Truth

3

Apocalyptic Literature

1. Introduction. Apocalyptic is both a genre and a type of language.
2. Definition. Apocalyptic language uses complex and highly colored metaphors and symbols in order to describe one event in terms of another. In this way, an event can be described and at the same time, the meaning cane be explained.
3. Illustrated. We use this kind of language ourselves.

4

four steps for interpreting Apocalyptic literature

G. K. Beale
(1) Consider the linguistic data of the vision, (2) grasp the vision, (3) identify the historical referent of the vision, and (4) determine what the symbols are revealing about the historical referent.

5

Biblical example of apocalyptic language

The Destruction of Judah as a De-Creation (Jer 4:4-8; cp. 4:23-28). Both paragraphs are predicting the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. The first paragraph uses symbolic language to describe the foe of Israel as a lion from the North (Babylon), but not apocalyptic language. The second paragraph instantly falls into apocalyptic language due to the prophet “seeing.” This is now a vision of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. The high symbolism is taken from creation, specifically, the account of creation in Genesis 1. But in this text a horrific scene emerges. Instead of a creation account, we encounter a de-creation account a
reversal of the good creation order. Thus we have a coalescence of images: the destruction of
Jerusalem is overlaid with a de-creation. The result: Abraham and his family were depicted as a new creation in Genesis 12 with Yahweh as creator of this new people. But the stubborn rebellion of the people has led them to break covenant with Yahweh and therefore Yahweh’s judgment is falling on them. The destruction of Judah and Jerusalem is not a simple overthrow of a nation in biblical categories. Rather, the overthrow or destruction of Jerusalem is a de-creation
of the highest proportion. The apocalyptic language also indicates that Yahweh is creator and
that he is also Israel’s covenant Lord. Therefore, the portrayal of the destruction in these categories also leads to hope that the sovereign creator, who is their God, can and will restore
them in due time.

6

Unity in Daniel

Peter Gentry:
(1) chronological, (2) linguistic, and (3) chiastic
literary structures

7

Daniel linguistic arrangement

-Ch 1-6 stories, ch 7-12 visions
-1 Hebrew, 2-7 Aramaic, 8-12 Hebrew

8

Chiastic Structure of Daniel (Part 1)

A Prologue 1
B Image of Four Metals: Triumph of God’s Kingdom 2
C Persecution of Daniel’s Friends 3
D Humbling of Nebuchadnezzar before God 4
Dʹ Humbling of Belshazzar before God 5
Cʹ Persecution of Daniel 6
Bʹ Vision of Four Beasts: Triumph of God’s Kingdom 7
B Vision of Future History 8
C Daniel’s Prayer and Gabriel’s Response 9
Cʹ Daniel’s Grief and Gabriel’s Response 10
Bʹ Vision of Future History 11:1-12:4
Aʹ Epilogue 12:5-13

9

Chiastic Structure of Daniel (Part 2)

See Daniel notes pg 3

10

Daniel 7 Literary Structure

A. The Vision 7:1-14
1. The Four Beasts 1-8
2. The Court in Heaven 9-14 (the son of man)
B. The Interpretation 7:15-28
1. Daniel’s Response 15
2. Interpretation of the Four Beasts 16-18
3. Interpretation of the Fourth Beast 19-28

11

Four beasts in Dan 7

2 complementary ways to interpret them:
(1) They are related to the forces of Chaos. (The reference to the Great Sea Dan 7:2; Gen. 1) In fact, the elements of the vision of the beast on the left can be contrasted with the elements of the vision of the Son of Man.
(2) The mock creation description (Gen 1)

12

Often missed point about 4 beasts in Dan 7

Although these kingdoms are powerful and great, they are not somehow outside of the pale of God’s sovereignty. Indeed Gentry has discerned that each of these beasts has been controlled by God in one way or another:
1. The first beast is humanized by a higher power – he is given a heart of man (7:4)
2. The bear commanded to devour much meat – it takes orders (7:5)
3. Dominion is given to the four headed leopard (7:6)
4. The fourth beast is slain and its body given to the burning of the fire (7:11)
5. The remaining three – dominion is taken away, but an extension is granted (7:12)

13

The court in heaven (Dan 7)

1. The Ancient of Days (9-10): The Ancient of Days who is God eternal is described in the most awesome of language: A throne is set up and he is seated upon it.
2. The destruction of the beasts (11-12).
3. The Son of Man (13-14).

14

The interpretation of the dream (Dan 7:15-28)

A. Daniel’s Response (v. 15) – Daniel became sick and the visions of his head perturbed him.
B. Interpretation of the Four Beasts (v. 16-18)
C. Interpretation of the Fourth Beast (v. 19-28)
1. Daniel asks about this fourth beast in verses 19-20.
2. In v. 21-22 Daniel sees that this beast is making war against the Saints and prevailing over them, but then in v22 the Ancient of Days comes and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High and the time came for them to be given the kingdom.
3. V23-25 detail the harsh, cruel and arrogant rule of the 4th beast and the 10 horns. I do not want to get into what a time, two times, and a half of time means. This is usually considered evidence for a 3½ year tribulation and then the saints or the people of God are pulled out of the tribulation. However, there is no evidence to confirm this view. The best way to understand temporal expressions like these is simply to understand them as a period of time. The kingdoms of this earth shall be given power and authority for a time, but exactly how much time cannot be determined.
4. V26-27 show that the fourth kingdom will be judged and they will remove his authority to destroy it and abolish it to the end.
5. V28 concludes the whole matter with Daniel absolutely astonished at what he has seen and keeps the vision in his heart.

15

Summary of interpretation of Daniel's dream in ch7

The elements of the vision appear to be clear. Essentially, four kings, representing four kingdoms, and perhaps their angelic counterparts in the heavens, rise up from the waters of chaos and assault the people of God. The second part of the vision shows that the Ancient of Days will judge and execute these kings and the kingdom will finally be turned over to the Son of Man.

16

The Identity of the Son of Man (Dan 7)

A. Son of Man as Corporate
B. Son of Man as an exalted human being

17

Son of Man as Corporate (Dan 7)

For NT Wright, the Son of Man is clearly a reference to persecuted Israel. He does not deviate from this reading. He believes that the vision unfolds progressively so that when the Son of Man is given the kingdom in verse 14 and then in verse 27 and that verse 27 is the final word on the matter. Well, I believe that as well.

18

Son of Man as an exalted human being

Dan 7:27 textual problem: Grammatically, does the 3rd person pronoun (his/its/him/it) refer to the Most High or to the people of the saints of the Most High? People is grammatically singular, although plural in sense. MT: the third person pronoun his/him could either be construed with “people” or “Most High”. Theodotion-Daniel the pronoun must refer to “Most High.” Theo-Dan is more complex, probably original.

19

Support of Son of Man as an individual (exalted human being) (Dan 7)

1. . The singular pronoun his/him is still best understood as referring to a singular antecedent.
2. Just as the beasts are complex symbols which refer at the same time to heavenly powers, earthly kings and earthly kingdoms, so also the son of man refers to a heavenly power, an earthly king, as well as the earthly kingdom.
3. The expressions in the text point to the son of man as a divine or heavenly figure. V. 27b says that “all the powers will serve and obey him.” The verbs used here are used elsewhere in Daniel to refer to the worship of God. Outside of Daniel 7 it always refers to the worship of divinity. This evidence makes it unlikely that the powers of the earth are worshipping the human people of God. Another indicator that this Son of Man is divine is the expression “coming on the clouds” which refers to the Lord/Yahweh some 70x in the OT. Therefore, the Son of Man is associated with Yahweh, he is divine, yet he is also human like the son of Man. Therefore he is portrayed as both human and divine.
4. In v18, 22, 25, and 27 there is a distinction in the original terms used to describe the Most High God and the saints of the Most High. The former term is an Aramaic adjective used to describe God, the Highest God or Most High God. The second term is used four times in Daniel 7 and is very peculiar. It is a Hebrew word with an Aramaic ending. Gentry is perhaps right to conclude that the different terms show that Daniel sees a divine figure who is associated with the saints and yet distinct from Yahweh in some way. Perhaps we have the makings of the doctrine of the Trinity where God is one, yet in three distinct persons.
5. If in Daniel 2, the rock not shaped by hands represents the Davidic kingship, then the Son of Man in Daniel 7 will also be in the Davidic line.