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Daniel Boyarin, Daniel 7, Intertextuality, and the History of Israel's Cult

Daniel Boyarin, Daniel 7, Intertextuality, and the History of Israel's Cult

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Daniel 7, Intertextuality, and the History of Israel's Cult
Daniel 7, Intertextuality, and the History of Israel's Cult

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HTR 105:2 (2012) 139–62
Daniel 7, Intertextuality, and the History of Israel’s Cult
Daniel Boyarin
University of California, Berkeley
Professor Hanan Eshel, in memoriam
The Bifurcation of the Interpretive Tradition
Ancient and modern readers have offered two basic interpretations of the “[One like a] Son of Man” (
çna rbk
) in Dan 7:13. One line of interpretation holds that the One like a Son of Man is a symbol of a collective, namely, the faithful Israelites at the time of the Maccabean revolt.
1
 The other basic line of interpretation sees the
                        
2
 The reason for this double interpretation is not hard
                
interpreters and scholars) that the vision itself seems almost ineluctably to require
                                                    
3
            
1
                         
 JBL
93 (1974) 50–66, at 50 n. 2.
2
           
 JTS
9 (1958) 225–42.
3
                                                                       
account of the war of Israel and Antiochus that is found at the end of the book of Daniel, namely,
                                                                          
 
             
that almost always when a commentatorial tradition is as split as this is, we should seek for tension within the text itself, such that both interpretations can be said to be supported by the text.
4
                          
independent apocalyptic visions and then the provision of an interpretation, a
                                           
who, nevertheless, as all authors at some level and authors of antiquity more openly
                                               
been produced by an author, but it has not been made up out of whole cloth by him or her. As such it incorporates other texts and traditions. Texts are felt or patchwork more than they are warp and weft. In the pesher on the vision, it would certainly seem as if the interpreter takes
                 
portion of the text in Daniel 7 reads thus:
16
             
this. He spoke to me and made known to me the interpretation of the mat-ters.
17 “
            
the earth.
                                                                          
the vision in vs. 22 and in the interpretation in vs. 18” (ibid., 62). The “people of the holy ones” in
                                                                                                                                               
of holy ones, but also on behalf of his people Israel” (ibid., 64). It is the awkwardness of that near
                                  
The Book of Daniel 
                                              
source texts. Precisely concealed in that awkward syntax is, in my view, the awkwardness of the
              
4
 I am virtually certain that other readers of the piece will easily think of comparable examples.
 
18
              
sess
      
5
 
There follows further explanation of the fourth beast and its horns and its fate, and its defeat of the holy ones:
22
                           
                                       
alby
                      
and festivals), and he will be permitted to do so for a time, and for two times, and a half a time, until:
26
 The court will be seated,
6
 and his dominion will be taken away, for de-struction and perdition until the end.
27
                                  
of the dominions will serve and obey it.
“The people of the holy ones” cannot be other than Israel or its faithful martyrs. I conclude then that from the viewpoint of method two entirely separate issues
                 
interpreted 
                                                                                
7
 It is confusion of these two moments that
                
The Two Apocalypses of Daniel 7
                    
Daniel’s vision of the four beasts in 7:2–8:
5
          
 Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel
         
6
                                                 
well by the midrash on Daniel 7 in Rev 13:6–7.
7
 Michael Riffaterre,
Text Production
       
Press, 1983).

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