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he maintains, that it was completed in the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, and the contemporary prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. This he proves from the direct testimony of Josephus, the Rabbins, and the fathers of the Church-from the fact, that after the date last mentioned, the sacred books are spoken of as forming one collection-from the threefold division spoken of before*—and from the strong presumption furnished by the nature of the case, the condition of the Jews returned from exile, and their pressing need of an authoritative compilation.
3. Not only does this book represent itself as Daniel's composition; not only was it received as such by Ezra and his inspired contemporaries. This is high authority, but we have higher still, that of Christ and his Apostles. It is worthy of remark, that the divine authority of no book in the Old Testament is more distinctly recognized in the New, than that of the disputed book in question. Nothing can well be more explicit than the words of Christ in Matth. xxiv. 15, “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.)” Our author enters at some length into the question, whether the words in the parenthesis are the words of our Lord or the evangelist. Upon this something depends, for accordingly as this point is determined, the word read has for its object the gospel of Matthew, or the prophecy of Daniel. Our author concludes that they were spoken by our Lord, for which he gives his reasons in detail. He then argues from the whole passage thus: Christ recognizes Daniel as a prophet, and speaks of reading him, as though his hearers were in possession of that prophet's writings, and moreover represents a passage from those writings as a prediction yet to be fulfilled. This is certainly strong proof, and we think that our author has successfully encountered all attempts to weaken it. To confirm his position that the Saviour regarded Daniel as a prophet, and his writings as authentic, he states, that the phrase, Son of Man, so constantly occurring, has an obvious reference to Dan. vii. 13—and that between such passages as Matth. X. 23, xvi. 27, 28, xix. 28, xxiv. 30, xxv. 31, xxvi. 64, John v. 27, on the one hand, and Dan. vii. 13, 14, 26, 27, on the other, there is a coincidence too striking to be thought fortuitous..
* See page 52
Dr. H. extends the parallel to the Epistles. We can do no more than mention the correspondent passages, 1 Pet i. 1012, he compares with Dan. xii. 8, 2 Thess. i. ii., with Dan. ix.-1 Cor. vi. 2, with Dan. vii. 22, ix. 18—Phil. ii. 9–11, with Dan. vii. 13, 14-Acts vii. 56, with the same. The allusion in Heb. xi. 33, 34, requires no comment.
Two neological difficulties here present themselves. Staüdlin suggests that all the allusions are to the last six chapters. True, but we have the clearest evidence that, in the time of Christ, the two parts were extant, and regarded as one book. Corrodi asks, why no use was made of Daniel to prove that Jesus was the Christ? Dr. H. replies, because his prophecies, with one exception, relate to the second advent, and that the one excepted passage has been actually cited in the very way suggested.
4. But we are not without proof that this book was actually extant before the days of the Maccabees. The leading witness of this fact is Josephus, whose account of Alexander the Great's visit to Jerusalem, is well known. Our readers will recollect that, in that narrative, the book of Daniel is expressly said to have been shown to the conqueror, who seemed much gratified with its alleged prediction of himself, and expressed his satisfaction by unwonted favours to the holy city and the Jewish nation.
The truth of this story has, of course, been questioned, and our author therefore enters into a detailed defence of it. We admire the ability with which he treats his subject, and concur in his conclusion, that the statement of Josephus is in itself highly probable, and abundantly confirmed by external evidence. He observes very justly, that it is not necessary for the support of his argument, to assert the truth of every thing said on the alleged occasion, by Alexander on the one hand, or the High Priest on the other. An attempt has been made to set aside the narrative, by sneering at the dreams there spoken of, as if the whole story was on that account a superstitious tale. But even admitting, that the High Priest merely flattered his redoubted guest, and that the latter merely gratified his vanity by listening to fictions, is it not still very likely that a book like that of Daniel, if it did exist, would be exhibited, to aid at least in carrying on the joke? Besides, the same fact is mentioned or alluded to, by Arrian, Pliny, and Hecatæus, of Abdera. And indeed, the supposition of some such occurrence appears necessary, to account for
facts which have never been disputed, especially the extraordinary favour which was certainly exhibited by Alexander to the Jews. We shall only add, that the minutiæ of the story are in perfect keeping with the Macedonian's character, and harmonize completely with incidental statements of historians which have no direct reference to this event. Here, as elsewhere, Dr. Hengstenberg goes into a learned and minute investigation of the subject.
Another argument is founded on 1 Maccab. ii. 59, 60. where facts recorded by this Prophet are alluded to. two other arguments are built upon certain minute criticisms of the Septuagint and the first book of Maccabees, of which we can only say, that, such as they are, they lead directly to the same conclusion as those already stated, viz: that before the time of the Maccabees, our book of Daniel was in circulation.
5. Besides the external evidence already glanced at, there is internal evidence no less conclusive.
As such we may mention the peculiarities of the language. Every biblical student is aware, that the book of Daniel is composed partly in Hebrew, and partly in Chaldee. On this fact Bertholdt
, built his foolish theory of a plurality of writers, a theory disproved by the simple circumstance that the change of dialect takes place in the midst of indivisible passages. It is evident, indeed, to every scholar who examines the original, that some one must have written it, to whom the two languages were equally familiar. Now this agrees exactly with the history of Daniel, whose native tongue was Hebrew, but who was compelled, by his early captivity, and his official situation, to become familiar with the other dialect. This happy coincidence might seem sufficient, but our author carries out the proof still further, by a nice examination of the Prophet's Chaldee diction. He states it as the result of his personal researches, not only that the Chaldee of this book is so full of Hebraisms, that it could not have been written, as has been asserted, at a time when Hebrew had been wholly superseded, in the usage of the Jews, by the language of their conquerors—but also, that it approaches vastly nearer to the Chaldee used by Ezra, than to that in which the Targums are composed. This is the substance of the argument. The minor disquisitions into which it leads the author, though by no means without interest and value, we of course must let alone.
6. The next item of internal evidence is the extraordinary accuracy which this book exhibits in its historical statements and allusions. We shall merely hint at some of the specifications given by our author in detail.
The first chapters represent Daniel as having attained, while yet a young man, an extensive reputation for extraordinary wisdom and devotion to his God. How satisfactorily does this explain the language of Ezekiel, his contemporary and an older man. “Son of man, when the land sinneth against me, &c. though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, said the Lord God.” (Ezek. xiv. 13, 14.) “Son of man, say unto the Prince of Tyrus, thus saith the Lord God, because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said I am a God, &c. thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee." (xxviii. 2, 3.) Can this praise be accounted for in any other way, than by supposing just such facts as are recorded in the Book of Daniel?
The truth with which the characters of certain kings are drawn, deserves attention. The last king of Babylon is represented by Xenophon as an effeminate, but cruel and impious voluptuary, who put a man to death, because he missed his aim in hunting, and was guilty of innumerable other cruelties; who despised the deity, and spent his time in riotous debauchery, but was at heart a coward. Is not this Belshazzar? The same historian represents Cyaxares as weak and pliable, but of a cruel temper, easily managed for the most part, but ferocious in his anger. Is not this Darius*—the same Darius who allowed his nobles to make laws for him, and then repented-suffered Daniel to be cast into the lion's den, and then spent a night in lamentation, and at last, in strict conformity with Xenophon's description, condemned to death, not only his false counsellors, but all their wives and children?
It is also observable, that, in this book, certain events are mentioned as a contemporary would be apt to mention them; that is, concisely, and without minute detail, as being perfectly familiar to his immediate readers. Thus we are told that Daniel survived the first year of Cyrus, a notable year in Jewish history, the year of the return from exile. Now a later writer, one for instance, in the days of the Maccabees, would
* The difference of name is explained at length by Dr. Hengstenberg, p. 48. VOL. IV. No. I.-I
have been very likely to explain why this was mentioned as a sort of epoch.
Dr. H. adduces other cases, some of them still more striking, which we cannot notice. He also brings together, in one striking view, many coincidences as to matter of fact, between the book of Daniel, and Berosus, Abydenus, Herodotus, and others, which must likewise be passed over. There are three of his remarks, however, under this same head, which we cheerfully make room for. The first is, that in those cases where the Greek and Babylonian authorities are variant, the book of Daniel sometimes sides with one and sometimes with the other. The next is, that the force of the argument from these historic niceties depends upon the aggregate, not the detail, and cannot be destroyed by merely showing how some one or two particulars might have come to the knowledge of a later writer. The last is, that the first book of Maccabees is literally full of palpable errors in geography and history, as he distinctly shows by actual citations.
7. A distinct but analogous body of internal evidence is furnished by the accurate acquaintance which the writer of this book evinces, with the manners, usages, and institutions of the age and country in which it is alleged to have been written. The particular instances are many and minute; we
. shall indicate a few. Daniel never speaks of adoration being rendered to the kings of Babylon, according to the ancient, oriental usage.
Why? Arrian informs us, that Cyrus was the first who received such homage, which arose from a no. tion that the Persian kings were incarnations of the deity. For the same reason, their decrees were esteemed irrevocable, while no such doctrine seems to have prevailed under the Chaldee monarchs. Daniel accordingly asserts no such thing of any but Darius.
The land of Shinar was the name used by the natives, as we learn from good authority. It occurs' no where in the historical parts of Scripture, after the book of Genesis, until we meet with it in Daniel. (i. 2.) A resident in Palestine would not have thought of using it.
Nebuchadnezzar commands (i. 5.) that the young men chosen for his service should be fed from his table. That this was the oriental custom, we are informed by Ctesias and others.
Daniel and his companions, when selected for the royal service, received new names, (i. 7.) In 2 Kings xxiv. 17,