Daniel

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.beitberl.ac.il
Wed Jun 23 13:50:47 EDT 1999




George Athas wrote:

> 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?

I did not mean to say that the biblical Daniel is to be identified with the Ugaritic one, merely that the
biblical author drew on an ancient righteous figure to model his own Judaean Daniel.
     As for a precedent in which a character is transported between vastly different times and places,
there's Gilgamesh, who comes a long way from the Sumerian Gilgamesh poems to Herodotus' Gilgamos, stopping in
14th century Canaan and 7th century Nineveh on the way.
Sincerely,
--
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Beit Berl Post Office
Israel





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