Empire, adequately explain the few loan words that he uses (Kitchen, 1970: 44-50). All of these occurrences are completely consistent with a 6th Century date.
2.1.4 Apocalyptic Character.
The second half of the book of Daniel is written belongs to aliterary genre known as apocalyptic. The characteristics of this genre have been defined byexamining documents of the same type and so not every apocalyptic writing necessarilycontains all the distinctive features. These are:
1) Revelatory Nature.
This is distinct fromthe nature of the revelations about the future given to the OT prophets which were intended tocommunicate the Word of the Lord with the aim of reminding the people of their covenantresponsibilities. To this central message the foretelling of the future took second place. Inapocalyptic, however, the events of future are themselves the centre of attention.
In general the visions and dreams the are literary fictions rather than genuinesubjective experiences. There is nothing in Daniel to suggest that his visions were artificial -he recorded what he saw.
The revelation is presented in the name of a longdead Old Testament character. It is probable that after the end of the prophetic era in order to be taken seriously writers felt it necessary to deceive their readership by ascribing their work to an author who had lived at a time when the Lord was indeed still speaking to his people. Inaddition it is important to note that outside of the book of Daniel the character of Danielhimself was unknown (see 9.1)
In no way could a later writer have appealed to him to lendauthority to his work.
Having selected an ancient figure the author often rewrote history down to his own day and so presented it as a fulfilled prophecy.Characteristically the details of the “prophecy” became more vague the nearer one comes tothe time of the actual writer of the work, and this is used by modern scholars to establish itsdate. This principle is often applied to the book of Daniel and it is argued that whilst Daniel11:21-39 accurately describes the career of Antiochus Epiphanes, verses 40-45 are much lessaccurate, so indicating the true date when the book was written. However, it is more likelythat just as the prophecy in 11:2-3 jumps 130 years, the fulfilment of vv. 40-45 occurs longafter the Maccabean Period. Many commentators argue that the fulfilment of these verses isstill future (e.g. Archer, 1985a: 146-148).
The visions are cast in the form of complex symbols that often require interpretation (e.g. Zech. 6:1-8; Dan. 7:1, 15-28).
A sharp distinction is drawn both between this age and the age to come and between the power of God and the powers of evil that dominate this present age. Thisdualism becomes more pronounced in later apocalypses. It is discernible in the book of Daniel when it refers to the four human kingdoms (this age) and the rock representing God’skingdom that will bring the human kingdoms to an end (2:31-35, 44-45a). Daniel alsocontains references to evil forces that oppose the will of God and require additional effort toovercome them (Dan. 10:13, 20) (see 7.1.3)
7) Lack of Historical Perspective inEschatology.
Whereas the prophets saw a purpose in history leading eventually to a day of judgement and vindication of the upright, apocalyptic lacks the positive understanding thatGod is working out his purposes.
The apocalyptic writings are not pessimisticin the sense of losing their faith in God, but rather in their despair of this present evil age inwhich he does not seem to act. In contrast to this pessimism it is clear that one of the themesof Daniel is the conviction that the God of Israel is also the Lord of history (2:37-38, 44, 47;4:28-35; 5:18-21; 6:26) (see 7.1.2).
The plan of history is already writtenand cannot be altered and God himself is viewed as waiting for his plans to come to fruitionrather than actively working them out. The writers of apocalypses usually assumed that theystand at the end of this history on the threshold of the new age.
10) Ethical Passivity.