'Slowly the Bible of the race is writ,

Each age, each kindred adds a verse to it.

While swings the sea, while mists the mountains shroud,
While thunder's surges burst on cliffs of cloud,
Still at the prophets' feet the nations sit.'

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"The prophecy of Micah produced a great impression on his contemporaries, for he spoke to the masses of the people as one of themselves.' ROBERTSON Smith.

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"The Minor Prophets are like an annulet of pearls strung on the thread of the Canon.' HERDER.

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'Malachi-Seal of the prophets, last of the Heaven-burdened, Heaven-directed line, foretelling glories now long ages passed.' COSTER.




JAN 4 1927



THE story, as well as in some ways the character, of Daniel bears a striking resemblance to that of Joseph. Taken as a captive, when a youth, into the centre of a mighty alien civilisation, living in the midst of subtle temptations, each of them passed, in young manhood, to the rank of prime minister of a great empire, and by the same means, the reading of dreams troubling the king, where in one case the very dream itself was forgotten.

Daniel appears to have been of noble, and perhaps of royal birth, and was taken when a youth in the deportation to Babylon in the third year of Jehoiakim. After a three years' training, the God-given opportunity came in the dream of the great image which none could declare to Nebuchadnezzar. As the result of this, Daniel became the viceroy in the province of Babylon, and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, held office under him. How it came about that these three only, and not Daniel, incurred the peril of the fiery furnace does not appear. We next meet Daniel explaining Nebuchadnezzar's second dream, after which a blank of many years ensues, till he is brought forth from retirement to read the mysterious writing on the wall at Belshazzar's feast, and to be declared third ruler in the kingdom by a king who was slain that very night. Still, Daniel's fame survived the fall of the Babylonian Empire, and, under

'Darius the Mede,' he was appointed the first of the three presidents. Yet here the jealousy of his heathen colleagues sought to achieve his ruin; but God, mighty to save, 'stopped the mouths of lions,' as He had 'quenched the violence of fire.' With the statement that Daniel survived and prospered into the reign of Cyrus the Persian, his personal history ends. The remainder of the book consists of visions granted to him in the reign of Belshazzar, 'Darius the Mede,' and Cyrus.

The Book of Daniel, apart from the historical element which it contains, is unique in the O.T. In it prophecy gives place to apocalypse, the first example of a kind of literature which afterwards became common. The influence of the apocalypse of Daniel on early Christian thought was immense, as well as on Jewish apocalypses. Our Lord gives an emphatic recognition to the book, and it is impossible to enter properly into the study of the Revelation of St. John, unless the imagery of Daniel be compared with it at every stage. The seer, alike in Babylon and in Patmos, projects himself into the future and looks back from the last days. Amid the symbolic imagery of Daniel's visions, the thought of the nation widens into that of the world, and, as has been well said, we enter for the first time upon the philosophy of history. God chooses His instruments with perfect wisdom: with the widening purpose Daniel was to fulfil, we can see how not merely character and intellectual power, but political experience and training in the wisdom of the Chaldeans, were forces relevant to the work.

It may be well to fix the position by a few dates. We may assume that Daniel was deported to Babylon in 606 B.C., that he saw Babylon fall in 538 B.C., and survived, for how long does not appear, the assumption of empire by Cyrus. The latest

note of him is in x. I. The Book of Daniel, it will be noticed, speaks of Daniel in the third person in chaps. i.-vii. (save in vii. 28), and during the remainder consistently in the first person. It is bilingual, i. 1-ii. 4a being in Hebrew, thence to vii. 28 in Chaldee' or Aramaic, and thence to the end in Hebrew. Why there is this interchange of the sacred tongue and the vernacular does not clearly appear, but it is possible that the solution may be found in the way in which the book has come into its present form. While we believe that the history and the prophecies of Daniel are genuine products of the sixth century B.C., we do not feel it necessary to suppose that we now have the book just as it left Daniel's hands. The well-known statement of the Talmud makes 'Daniel,' with other books, to have been written by 'the men of the Great Synagogue.' This, of course, simply refers to their editorial action, and internal evidence is in favour of such a view. Thus we may, if we wish, suppose that various records in the two languages, from the hand of Daniel, were combined and shaped. Indeed it is conceivable that the editors may have amplified the narrative here and there for the sake of clearness, while the visions possessed a sacredness which a man might not presume to touch.

On the view we have here taken, the Book of Daniel is, save for editorial revision of the narrative, a work of the sixth century B.C. A view, however, taken by many modern critics is that it is a work of the Maccabean age, due to perhaps 165 B.C. We can only indicate in a very general way the lines of attack and defence. The real objection lies deep. The book contains the record of miracles, perhaps as wondrous as any in Scripture; it contains a body of predictions, which, if the book is what it

professes to be, marks a distinct intervention by the power of God. Yet, we are told, all this is palpably impossible, the stories are 'fabulous and irrational.' To discuss such a statement is to open up the whole question of the manner in which God's Providence deals with men. Unless, then, we are prepared to deny the reality of any such manifestation of a higher law as meets us in the miracles of the Old and New Testament, it does not appear why those of Daniel should be singled out for special reprobation. It will be noticed that nearly all the miracles of the Bible belong to certain exceptional periods. If the birth of the Jewish Church was attended by the miracles of the Exodus and the Wilderness, if the coming of the Saviour was inaugurated in like manner by miracles from the Star of Bethlehem onwards, surely for such a period as followed the return of the Jews from Exile there was needed a special miracle, manifested with power. As for the minuteness of the prophecies, shall man declare to God, 'Thus far shalt thou go and no further.' It is for him but to test the prophets by every legitimate test of history and language.

Various minor objections must receive a passing notice. That 'Daniel' should be placed among the Hagiographa in the Hebrew Bible and not among the Prophets, follows naturally from the fact that in no sense is Daniel a Nabi or prophet, but a seer; and probably, but for Matt. xxiv. 15, the name 'prophet' would never have been applied to him. He is not named by Ben-Sira in his list of worthies, but neither is Ezra, who surely might have been looked for. We come next to the question of language. How far, it may be asked, does the nature of the Hebrew or Aramaic throw light on the question of date? As regards the former, we think that Dr Pusey in no wise over


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