The Vision of Daniel

4Q243, 4Q244, 4Q245

“An excellent spirit, along with knowledge and insight suffcient for interpreting dreams and explaining riddles and solving problems are found in this Daniel” (Dan. 5:12). Such was the judgment of the queen of Babylon, and her endorsement reflected the common image of Daniel in the last few centuries B.C.E. Like Enoch (see text 33, 7)’e Book of Giants), Daniel wars made into the hero of a cycle of stories, most of which are now lost. The biblical book of Daniel is part of this literature. The ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament contributes more stories about Daniel, and the Qumran caches offer even more. Text 39, 11te Healing of King Nabonidus, is one; this text is another.
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Unfortunately, The Vision of Daniel is so fragmentary that not even an incomplete story can be recovered from it. It is clear only that Daniel is relating a vision (as he does several times in the biblical book, chaps. 7-12) that relates to the history of lsrael. ”
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The first few lines give the setting: Daniel is speaking to Belshazzar with the story of NoahÕs flood (Gen 6-9).
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4[ . . . ] after the flood [ . . . ] 5[ . . . Nloah from [Moun] Lubar [ . . . ]
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The story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11).
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6[ . . . they built a] city [ . . . ] 7[ . . ] a tower, [its] height [reached the heavens . . . ] a[ . . . ] 9 [ . . . agai]nst the tower and He sent [them~away . . . ]
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This section may have described GodÕs choice of Abraham to produce a chosen race (Gen. 12).
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10[ . . . ] to search among the sons of [men, to find one righteous . . .
[ . . . Abraham, I]s[aac, and Jacob . . . ]
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The prediction to Abraham of the Egyptian captivity (Gen. 15:13J.
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12[ . . . four hundred [years~ . . . ]
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The Exodus is predicted (Gen. 15: 14; Exod. 15-16). Note the division of history into jubilees (cf: text 81 for such a method).
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13[ . . . ] all of them shall come out of l4Egypt by the hand of [Moses . . . the day] thtey cross the Jordan is the [x]thJubilee [ . . . ]
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The Israelite apostasy is described in terms borrowedfrom the Old Testament.
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15[ . . . ] but their descendants [sinned . . . ] 16[ . . . ] 17[ . . . ] the chiLldren of Israel hid themselves from [the presence of God] l8[and “sacrifi]ced their children to the demons of idols” (Ps. 106:37).-So God grew angry with them” (Ps. 106:40) “and commanded that they be given l9into the power” (Ps. 106:41) of Nebu[chadnezzar king of Ba]bylon and that their land be destroyed from them, and whatever [ . . . ]
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The punishment of the Exile is limited to seventy years (Jer. 25:12J, and then God will bring the Israelites back.
The arrangement of the fragments is hypothetical, and follows J. T. Milik.
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20[ . . . ] the exiles [ . . . ] 2~[ . .:. ] He scattered them [ . . . ] 22[ . . . ] seventy years [ . . . ] 23[ . . . by] his strong hand, and He will save them [ . . . ]
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Daniel describes a succession of kingdoms to come after Babylon. The text apparently gives the names of some of the kings, none of which is recognizable as historical. The name “Balakros” may correspond to the name “Belibra,” a wicked Samaritan, who, according to the apocryphal Martyrdom of Isaiah (second century B. C.E.), brought about the death of the prophet Isaiah.
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24[ . . . ] mighty [kings,] the kingdoms of the Gentiles [ . . . ] 25[ . . . ] it is the first kingdom [ . . . ] 26[ . . . ]2he will reign for [x] years . . . ] 27[ . . . ] Balakros [ . . . ] 28[ . . . kingdom] will tbe . . ] 29[ ., . he will reign for x] years [ . . . ] 30[ . . . ] RHWS son of [ . . . ] 31[ . . . he will reign] thirty-five years [ . . . ] 32[, . . ] they will speak [slanderous lies . . . ] 33[ . . . ] will go astray [ . . . ]
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A gathering of some kind is forktold — perhaps the formation of a sect?
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34[ . . . in that time] those who are called [by name] shall be gathered [ . . . ] 35[ . . . from among] the Gentiles, and it shall be, from [that] day [ . . . ] 36[ . . . the ho]ly ones, and the kings of the Gentiles [ . . . ] 37[ . . . ] servants to the day [that . . . ]
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At this point Daniel apparently speaks of a writing of some kind containing a list of names of some of the priests and kings of Israel. Some of the names may refer to the Hasmoneans John and Simon (1. 47).
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4~[ . . . ] Daniel 41[ . . . ] a writing that was given 42[ . . . ~ Kohath 43[ . . . ] Uzziah 44[ . . . ] Abiathar 45[ . . . Zede]kiah 46[ . . . ] Jehoniah 47[ . .; Jo]hn, Simon 48[ . . . ] David, Solomon 49[ . . . ] Ahaziah [ . . . ] 5¡[ . . . ]
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God will bring the final apostasy to an end.
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51[ . . . ] to end evil 52[ . . . ] these in blindness and error 53[ . . . th]ese then shall arise 54[ . . . ] the holy ones~will return 5s[ . . . and there wil1 be an end of] evil.

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