Dating of the book of daniel
If the objection reduces to an objection against future-telling, then we have moved from historical to theological claims and we are no longer in the realm of “clues.” Surely Daniel doesn’t include passages of putative future-telling as a “clue” that it’s actually relating events .The book doesn’t include the supernatural as a clue to the fact that it’s fantasy. By contrast, the hopes in Dan 8‒12 are for the temple and its offerings (–14) and for individual or sectarian salvation in the afterlife (12:2–3).This is an historical error of a sort that was very common among authors who were writing about the ANE from the vantage point of the Hellenistic world, such as Herodotus, Xenophon, or Berossus.” This too is a strange objection.
In Dan 7, the hope may be breathtakingly and unrealistically ambitious, but it is an ambition for worldly authority, a permanent restoration of Jewish self-rule over the land of Judea. After all, there is some connection between the restoration of the temple and hope for worldly restoration and self-rule., Christopher Hays recounts the rise of apocalyptic writing during the Hellenistic period.He briefly discusses the historical context for the book of Daniel, a book that, he says, leaves “a series of ‘clues’” indicating that it was not written in the time period of the action recorded: “the book was composed later than the time period in which it is set literarily—and in the case of the visions, much later.” Hays enumerates several clues. “Susa became a capital city of the Persian Empire under Darius I at the end of the sixth century BCE, but prior to this, it was not a place of any significance during the Neo-Babylonian Empire.” Thus, “it would have been a very strange and extremely improbable location for a wise man in an actual Neo-Babylonian court, but for those who lived under later Persian rulers, it is understandable to have imagined a wise man in Susa.” This is a very strange argument.That’s not evidence of ignorance; it’s an indication of genre. Given how little we know about literary influence in the ancient world, and about the nature of literary influence in general, it’s precarious to date an ancient text on this basis. Thus, the appearance of the ‘little horn’ is one clue that this passage in Dan 7 appears to have been written at a late date.”.Skipping Nabonidus is not evidence one way or another about the book’s date. Hays argues that “the way the historical reviews focus on the third and second centuries and culminate with the Maccabean period is enough to locate the composition in this period with confidence. After all, if we suppose for the sake of argument that Daniel received visions of future happenings, it’s not surprising that the events surrounding the Maccabean revolt should loom large.
If Belshazzar wanted to send a seasoned representative to Elam’s capital of Susa, it would be hard for him to find a better representative than Daniel.