[b-hebrew] Four Beasts in Daniel

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Tue Sep 12 13:02:25 EDT 2006

First of all, just because Rashi made a mistake, doesn't mean 
everything he wrote is automatically a mistake.

Second, a great deal of what he wrote is drawn from earlier sources, 
he didn't necessarily MAKE IT UP.  As I said, this is in a Midrash, 
and he also derived some of it from Jeremiah, and he gave sources.

Re Talmud, although I found at least 3 different English translations 
on line, I am not a Talmud scholar, and I don't know how to find 
what's in it, and where they discuss what, etc.

Rashi wrote an explanation and commentary on the entire Babylonian 
Talmud - he knew its sources, too.

At any rate, why in the world would two of these four empires be 
oriental and slavonic?  What did they have then to do with Israel's 
history?  And why would they be called beasts?  What did they do bad 
to Israel?  Daniel is clearly speaking about empires which took us 
and ruled over us in captivity/exile.


On 9/11/06, Shoshanna Walker wrote:

> Based on Jewish, not Christian, source.  Based on Rashi, who bases it
> on Jeremiah, also a midrash, Maharal cites it, etc.

But we've already discussed problems in Rashi.  Because neither Rashi
nor the sources that Rashi used had used historically accurate data, they
cannot be used to interpret history much less to draw the sequence of

In any case, the identification of the four empires as Babylonian - Persian
and Median - Greek - Roman is not inherently Christian or Jewish.  The
points given by the websites I gave to identify problems with such a four
empire scheme are valid whether one is Christian or Jewish.  Walton's
identification of the empires as Assyrian - Median - Persian - Greek is
done relatively independent of Christian vs. Jewish assumptions.  The
only place where he enters a truely Christian understanding is in the
section "V. The Kingdom of God" where he seems to have some problems
in supporting his idea of two comings of Jesus (ie, Messiah for him) in the
text of Daniel.  He carefully identifies Jewish as against Christian
identifications of the empires but notes that all those identifications are
based in Roman times.  His support for an Assyrian - Median - Persian -
Greek interpretation is made even though he assumes a 6th century BCE
date for Daniel.

I think even those who accept secular assumptions (a 2nd century BCE
date for Daniel), whether Jewish or Christian, will find Walton's evidence

> What is Strongs version based on?

I don't know how the UN or such modern dynasties as Saud made it into
Stephen's interpretation but Strong's is a reference to an old concordance
and is used in Stephen's interpretation to translate the word 'beast'.  It's
not signficant in my opinion.

You don't need to translate Rashi for me.  What would be useful is to
answer the problems of historical viability in Rashi's 
interpretation.  It would
also be productive, I think, to work in purely pre-Rashi sources, such as
the Talmud.

Yitzhak Sapir
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