Daniel

George Athas gathas at mail.usyd.edu.au
Tue Jun 22 02:40:07 EDT 1999


Jonathan D. Safren wrote:

> Of course Daniel had been around for some time as a familiar figure. He
> figures in the Ugaritic legend of Aqht as a righteous king, who is
> probably to be identified with the Daniel of Ezekiel 14 Daniel, Job and
> Noah in this cha[ter are none of them Israelite figures.

So you propose a continuum between the old Ugaritic Dan'il and the later biblical Daniel? That's a long
history. Is there a precedent for such a connection in which a character is transported between vastly
different times and places?

I've always grappled with the fact that there is such a huge time chasm between Ugarit and Seleucid
Judaea. Certainly, the Ugaritic or Legendary Dan'il is intended in Ezekiel 14, but this reference does
not put him into a completely new circumstance as the biblical book of Daniel seems to do. Presumably,
the Dan'il of Ezekiel did not have the same 'history' or 'legendary associations' as the character Daniel
in the book of Daniel. Thus, Dan'il was known to Ezekiel as a different figure, distinct from the
biblical Daniel. Can we actually bridge the two different characters?

Best regards.
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GEORGE ATHAS
 Dept of Semitic Studies,
 University of Sydney
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Tel Dan Inscription Website is at
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