[b-hebrew] God vs gods

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Mon Aug 22 18:23:01 EDT 2005

On Mon 22 Aug 2005 (13:30:40), g_gardner1234 at yahoo.com wrote:
> In Daniel 11:37, I have found some translations
> rendering it as  Neither shall he regard the gods ,
> while others render it as  Neither shall he regard the
> God . Does anyone on the list have an explanation for
> the variation, and which rendering would be more
> accurate contextually?

 This depends of course upon one's interpretation of the visions of Daniel
 chapter 11. If the "kings of the north and south" respectively are Antiochus
 and Ptolemy, then some commentators link this passage with 1 Maccabees
 1:41ff. The king is Antiochus, and he promoted atheism for all that he was

 Others suggest that Antiochus was not a Jew, therefore we ought to think of
 a renegade Jewish ruler/dictator, who has no regard for the God of his
 fathers (YHWH), but for the god of fortresses 'e:LoaH Ma`uZZiYM (v38).
 So they opt for Herod the Great, and appeal to Josephus' /Antiquities/
 for support (Ant. 15:11:1), where Herod addressing the Jews refers to the
 God of "our fathers". Herod was an Idumaean descended from Esau, not a Jew
 descended from Jacob. He could have meant the God of Abraham and Isaac,
 but here was Herod building a new Temple in Jerusalem. That could hardly
 be in contempt of "the God of his fathers".

 Daniel 11:40-45 cease to have any parallels in the Antiochus/Ptolemy
 struggles. Perhaps vv37-39 are foreshadowing an "end time" (v40) tyrant
 who struts his stuff for a while, and then dies (v45). This is outside
 the parameters of B-Hebrew, of course.

 FWIW, here is Jerome's rendering of Dan 11:37f -
 37 Et Deum patrum suorum non reputabit: et erit in concupiscentiis
 feminarum, nec quemquam deorum curabit quis adversum universa consurget.
 38 Deum autem Maozim cum Deum alieno, etc.

 Jerome takes Maozim to be a proper name of a god like the Roman Mars,
 god of war. But if it is some known god, then the saying in v 37 that
 he showed no respect to *any* god is contradicted.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF                                       ZFC Hf
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