Understanding prophecy, Part 2

From: Allen Roy (allenroy@peoplepc.com)
Date: Tue Jul 09 2002 - 03:11:17 EDT

  • Next message: Robert Schneider: "Re: Understanding Prophecy (was Re: Daniel)"

    As part of the issue of whether Daniel was written by one person or
    several, some interesting points about the literary structure of Daniel
    may provide some evidence.

    As I am certain most everyone on this list knows, Hebrew poetry is
    composed of chaism of various sorts. Rather than meter and rhyme,
    Hebrew poetry consists of an assortment of thoughts arranged or
    juxtaposed with each other in various ways. It is curious that the
    elements that make up the book of Daniel have been arranged in a double

    The following chart illustrates this chaism arrangement. Here are some
    interesting points.
    1. The first chaism is written entirely in Aramaic, the second chaism is
    written in Hebrew.
    2. The first level (A) consists of prophetic sections that deal with
    the general population of the world. Level B deals with God's people.
    Level C has to do with human kings. And level D has to do with God's
    King -- the Messiah.
    3. The imagery of the first and last prophetic sections of level A
    deals with kings -- a metal statue of King Nebuchadnezzer in Daniel 2
    and the kings of the North and South of Daniel 11-12.
    4. The imagery of the two middle prophecies (ch. 7 and 8) consists of
    an assortment of beasts.
    5. The focus of the book is on the prophecy of Level D -- the 70 week
    prophecy concerning the messiah.

           Daniel 1
           Historical Prologue Hebrew
             A. Daniel 2
           Kingdom prophecies:
           Image of a King Aramaic
             B. Daniel 3
           Troubles of God's people:
           Worship image/fiery furnace.
             C. Daniel 4
           King's prophecy: Nebuchadnezzar
           Tree cut down.
             C'. Daniel 5.
           King's prophecy: Belashazzar
           The writing on the wall.
             B'. Daniel 6
           Troubles of God's people:
           Worship king/lion's den.
             A'. Daniel 7
           Kingdom prophecies:
             A''. Daniel 8
           Kingdom prophecies:
             B''. Daniel 9A
           Troubles of God's people:
           Prayer for forgiveness
             C''. Daniel 9:25
           Kings prophecy:
           Decree to construct Jerusalem
             D. Daniel 9:26
           Messiah dies alone
             C'''. Daniel 9:27
           Kings prophecy:
           Decree to destroy Jerusalem
             B'''. Daniel 10
           Troubles of God's people:
           Mourning for Temple.
             A'''. Daniel 11 - 12A
           Kingdom prophecies:
           Kings of North and South
           Daniel 12B
           Prophetic Epilogue

    The next chart is a more detailed look at the chaism for level C and D
    concerning Jerusalem and the Messiah of the 70 week prophecy. It helps
    clear up who is who in this somewhat complex prophecy.

           A. Daniel 9:25A
           Jerusalem construction:
           Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to
    restore and rebuild Jerusalem
             B. Daniel 9:25B
           until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven
    'sevens' and sixty-two 'sevens.'
             C. Daniel 9:25C
           Jerusalem construction:
           It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of
             D. Daniel 9:26A
           After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off,
    but not for himself. [margin].
             C'. Daniel 9:26B
           Jerusalem destruction:
           The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and
    the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until
    the end, and desolations have been decreed.
             B'. Daniel 9:27A
           He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven,' but in the
    middle of that 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.
           A'. Daniel 9:27B
           Jerusalem destruction:
           And one who causes desolation will come on the wings of
    abominations [margin] until the end that is decreed is poured out on

    All this is of importance to the topic of authorship because can such
    symmetry and complexity be expected from an assortment of unknown,
    gullible redactors or is it a product of a single, intelligent mind?


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