Readings for Prayers on Tuesdays and Thursdays Jan – April 2021
|Date||Day||OT Book of Daniel|
Lent begins 17 Feb
I am indebted to one of the former lecturers at Trinity College, Bristol, for the following introduction and insights into the book of Daniel.*
‘Daniel consists of distinct types of literature, which can be broadly classified as stories (chs 1-6) and visions (chs 7-12). The stories are most like the Book of Esther, among Old Testament books, and in some respects, like the Joseph narrative in Genesis 37-50. These all share the theme the life of Israelites/Jews outside the and of Israel and under foreign rule. The figure of Daniel is most like Joseph, since both interpret dreams and rise to power in the foreign court. The issues at stake are more like those of Esther, where Jewish people live in danger of oppression because of their Jewish identity.’
Daniel was written about 536BC concerning events that had taken place from c 605BC onwards. It was in 605BC that Daniel had been taken captive and exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He served there in government for around 70 years under successive rules- Nebuchadnezzar, Balthazar, Darius and Cyrus.
According to P Fleming’s study bible (!),the principal themes of Daniel are to show that:
- God is in control
- Purpose in life
- God’s faithfulness
Each of these seems pertinent to us in Oxshott in 2021!
An intriguing fact: part of the book is written in Hebrew and part in classic Aramiac…
*Gordon McConville, Exploring the Old Testament, Vol 4 The Prophets (SPCK 2002)