The Persians and the date of the book of Daniel

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R.J. Furuli
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

The Persians and the date of the book of Daniel

Postby R.J. Furuli » Fri May 10, 2019 3:03 am

Dear List-members,

Lee Mcgee mentioned the importance of the relationship between Daniel and the Persians. This is particularly important in connection with the dating of the book of Daniel.

Because the Hebrew is so uniform in all the books of the Tanakh, it cannot be used for dating. Even the so-called “Late Biblical Hebrew” in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah is so similar with the Hebrew of the other books that it is difficult to distinguish between them.

The Aramaic language of Daniel is Imperial Aramaic, and this excludes a writing of the Aramaic parts in the second century BCE, which is the view of many scholars. The exclusion of a writing in the second century is also corroborated by the 141 (10,1% of the text) minute scribal errors in the eight Daniel manuscripts among the DSS. These copying errors require a long copying history before these manuscripts were written—the oldest being from the last part of the second century BCE.

The use of Akkadian and Persian words suggest an early writing of the book. And among these are the seven words below. These words are Persian translations of Akkadian words referring to officials in the court of Nebuchadnezzar II. In order to do this translation in a correct way, the writer must have known Akkadian and Persian and had an intimate knowledge the court of Nebuchadnezzar II as well as of the court of the Persian kings. This fits a person who lived during a part of the Neo-Babylonian Empire and who also lived during a part of the Persian Empire. So, the evidence suggests a writing of the book of Daniel at the end of the sixth century BCE.

1 אֲדַרְגָּזְרַיָּא֩ counselor handarza-kara, meaning: “advise” 3:2, 3
2 אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנַיָּ֡א satrap xs∑athrapaœvan, meaning: “protector of the empire” 3:2, 3, 27; 6:2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
3 דְּתָבְרַיָּא֙ judge daœtabara, meaning: “lawyer” 3:2, 3
4 גְדָ֨בְרַיָּ֤א treasurer ganzabara, meaning: “chief treasurer” 3:2, 3
5 הַדָּֽבְרַיָּ֣א counselor, judge daœtabara or hadabaœra, meaning: “judge” 3:24, 27; 4:33; 6:8
6 כָרוֹזָ֖א herald from chrausa, “caller”) 3:4
7 תִּפְתָּיֵ֗א magistrate taœyu-paœtaœ, meaning: “magistrate” 3:2, 3

Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli

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