The Persians and the date of the book of Daniel

Classical Hebrew morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
R.J. Furuli
Posts: 148
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


Re: The Persians and the date of the book of Daniel

Postby Saboi » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:16 pm

אדרגזריא—ἇνδρες δικασταί ; jurors, men of the jury
אחשדרפניא—σατράπης ; Satrap
דתבריא—δικαστήριον; the court, i. e. the judges, office of the governor
גדבריא—γαζοφύλαξ ; treasurer
הדבר—ῥήτωρ ; public speaker, orator, one who gives sentence, judge, orator
כרוזא—κῆρυξ ; public messenger, messengers between nations at war
תפתיא—δεσπότης ; master, lord, despot


Re: The Persians and the date of the book of Daniel

Postby Saboi » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:35 pm

I discovered an interesting clue in Josephus, that the Jews refereed to Artaxerxes as Cyrus.

Antiquities of the Jews - 11.1841
after the death of Xerxes, the kingdom came to be transferred to his son Cyrus, whom the Greeks called Artaxerxes.

Ezra 4:6-7 ; כורש(Cyrus), דריוש(Darius), אחשורוש(Xerxes), ארתחששתא(Artaxerxes).

This affirms that אחשורוש is Xerxes.
Daniel 9:1 - Darius the son of Ahasuerus (אחשורוש)
Esther 1:1 - the days of Ahasuerus (אחשורוש)

Darius is the name of the eldest son of the Xerxes I and brother of Artaxerxes I called Cyrus in Daniel 10:1.

In Ancient Egypt, the name XERXES is rendered Kheshyresh [ḫšriš] resembles אחשורוש but its clear
that 'ḫšriš' can be confused with כורש (Cyrus), the Persian word is written in cunieform, not supported on this board, but transliterated as x-sh-y-a-r-s-a.

אחשדרפניא in old Persian is xšaçapāvā and in Gk. σατράπης, through vowel-consonant metathesis, xša/axš
that occurs in other words.

This also means that Daniel & Esther are chronologically aligned and i discovered that Daniel and Mordecai are linguistically the same, the name מרדכי from מר, the Aramaic word for King/Lord and דכי a dialectic form of דין, δίκᾶς, ἔνδικος צדיק 'righteous, Just'

דניאל is בלאדן (Prefix/suffix) in Nehemiah 7:7 and Isaiah 39:1, then the Cyrus in Isaiah 45:1 must also be Artaxerxes (or the second).

Daniel 2:48
Then the king made Daniel (דניאל) a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler(שלט) over the whole province of Babylon. (מדינת בבל) and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

Babylon became a province under the Persian Empire.

Joseph & Daniel
Pharaoh called upon magicians (חרטמי) who could not interpret.(Gen 41:8)
Nebuchadnezzar II called upon magicians' (חרטמי) who could not interpret(Dan 2:2)

Joseph summoned to interpret the Dream (Gen 41:15)
Daniel summoned to interpret the Dream (Dan 2:26)

Joseph is made ruler of Egypt (Gen 41:43)
Daniel made ruler of Babylon (Dan 2:48)

Return to “Classical Hebrew Language & Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest