Daniel and Late Ezekiel? (George)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Thu Jun 24 20:40:34 EDT 1999

Dear George,

This post will look a little messy. You're using a margin width that's a
bit wide for me.

>> You can call it what you like, but from my reading of the archaeology the
>> Assyrians had occupied much of the land that was not so mountainous. I
>> suppose they slowly lost hold because there seem to be indications of
>> Philistine penetration into the hinterland. The important note though is
>> that it was a landlocked city-state. For the relevance of Greek geography
>> one needs either contact with Greeks or contact with Phoenicians who sailed
>> to those ports. Both these options are available under the Persians and
>Excavations at Yavneh-Yam uncovered a good deal of Greek pottery at the
site in the 
>late 7th - early 6th century. From memory I recall the pottery cache was
>inside a fort, implying the presence of Greek mercenaries, perhaps
utilised by Egypt? 
>Yavneh-Yam is, of course, a coastal site.

It was at this time that the Egyptians were I think too weak to keep
anything permanent in the zone. Necho had contacts, and even planned a
daring venture to relieve the Assyrians who were at that stage falling to
the new powers of the Medes and the Babylonians.

I think you say something later that may be more relevant regarding the

>But centres like Arad which are located a good deal inland also had
contact with Greeks. 

This has stimulated some people to think that there were Greek soldiers in
fact in the employ of the Jerusalemites.

>Some of the ostraca from Arad make clear reference to provisions for the 
>"Kittim" - presumably Greeks from either the Aegean periphery or from
>And Arad is a good deal further from the sea than
>Jerusalem and the other major Judahite centres (eg, Lachish).
>So, although the knowledge of Greeks and wider geography is present 
>in the Persian era, it's also there in the late 7th century. This 
>Persian era knowledge can't be used as proof of a late date for
>Ezekiel because the knowledge was in Palestine before that. You can use it
as peripheral evidence,
>but certainly not primary evidence - that has to be found elsewhere in the
other points you made.
>> It's not simply the knowledge but the relevance of the places. There is no
>> reason for them except through contact in some way.
>This is harder to understand and difficult to maintain. 

It might be better if you read the geography in hte context it is found.
While you may establish the vague possibility that someone in landlocked
Jerusalem may have been aware of Greek geography, it's much harder to
understand the knowledge in the specific context of the Phoenicians in
connection with those locations. The geography in the Ezekiel passages
imply a strong connection through the Phoenicians to that geography. The
text itself doesn't really permit you to do this shift onto a direct Greek
source of the information.

>If there are Greeks there in Palestine in the late 7th century, and if some 
>of the Philistine elements originated in the Aegean (question
>mark next to that one), 

(The only reason for the question mark is that you haven't checked out the
archaeology, which is strange as you have in the past indicated access to
reasonable archaeological sources. You would know for example that the
Aegean pottery found in the Philistine sites resemble ceramics produced in
the Aegean prior to the arrival of the Philistines; though the ceramic
styles changed in the Aegean after that time, related ceramic forms are
found in Philistia indicating that the local production was responsible for
these Aegean forms. Then there is a wealth  of other information.)

>then we have a reason for the knowledge of the geography. But, even
>disregarding this, what need is there for a 'significance' to knowing
geography or for a particular
>'relevance'? I 'm familiar with the geography of central southern Africa,
but the region has
>absolutely no significance or relevance for me. I don't think we need to
put the ancients into such
>a confining box where geographic knowledge has to have an express purpose.
The eastern
>Mediterranean was an intra-active unit and I don't think there is evidence
to suggest an 'iron
>curtain' around the small state of Judah.

I think the Tyrian context of the geography deals with these problems.

>> [...] Can you see any reason for Ezekiel to somehow cite the Dan'il
>> when Ezekiel's figure is both wise and righteous? Why is Ezekiel's spelling
>> closer to the Ugaritic name than that of Daniel? Why not a simple variant
>> on the one we all know and love?
>Well, Dan'il of Ezekiel is in distinguished *ancient* company - Noah and

When you know that Noah was of interest to the Jerusalemites of the third
century BCE and Daniel to them in the second century, while Job is usually
seen as a late book, I find this "distinguished *ancient* company" argument
rather strange.

You know that Noah was seen in the pseudepigrapha as a saviour figure who
was wise and faithful. Job is a believer in God who is both wise and
faithful. These are the reasons for the company with Daniel.

>The figure of Dan'il
>from Ugarit is described as a hero who has great reverence for the divine. 

Which divine?

>The texts are
>fragmentary so there is probably more to this Dan'il than what we know of

When were the text written? And can you imagine a serious trajectory for
the direct transmission of the information?

>Nevertheless, the
>picture that emerges of him from the available portions is of a righteous
man. >He trusts the gods to give him a son (quasi-Abrahamic), he is wise
and just 
>as he judges the cases at the city gate (quasi-Solomon), 
>and reacts like Job in suffering. All these figures are either "wise" or
>"righteous". Dan'il fits the bill perfectly.

Nice pagan boy makes good as an example to the Jews in preference to the
local tradition? This is too unlikely for words, though you might make a
case that the figure contributed indirectly to such Hebrew traditions as
Abraham and Solomon. (I'd tend to think that it is you shaping the
information rather than there being any strong connection though.)

You avoided answering an important part:

>> Why is Ezekiel's spelling
>> closer to the Ugaritic name than that of Daniel? Why not a simple variant
>> on the one we all know and love?

The spelling in Ezekiel is after all closer to the biblical figure than
that of the Ugaritic.

Cheerio cobber,


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