The Aramaic Of Daniel & Integrity Of The Biblical Prophecy -- By: Joseph Rhodes
The Aramaic Of Daniel & Integrity Of The Biblical Prophecy
Kitchen, Yamauchi, Kutscher, et al. have shown beyond much reasonable doubt the Greek words in Daniel are irrelevant for dating, the Persian words in Daniel are mostly old Persian loan-words (some with Akkadian backgrounds), and mostly it has been demonstrated that the Aramaic fits with the Imperial Aramaic of the early Persian Age of Cyrus and Darius. Kitchen himself points out that the date of the book of Daniel cannot be finally decided on linguistic grounds alone. But if we have no reason to doubt that Daniel’s Aramaic and Hebrew go back to the sixth century, then his incredible forecasts of world-history in Greek Roman times of the 3rd to 1st century (in chaps. 9-11) and his profound depiction of the ―days of the end” indicate the supernatural integrity of his visions.
Certain isagogic issues related to the book of Daniel are important to faith and conservative scholars have carefully examined the key facts about the authorship and date, the prophet’s historical setting, language, prophetic character, theology, and relation to the New Testament. Although this paper will be directed toward a brief analysis of the first three areas, the other issues are equally important. The purpose of this study is to connect what the writer has learned about historical and linguistic research from those who are actually experts on the subject. And without hesitation, from the outset, he will acknowledge that his real applied knowledge of Biblical Aramaic is elementary in depth and limited in scope.1 But attempting this project in itself has been educational and immensely valuable in helping to collect certain key facts and highlighting important words which tend to indicate that Daniel’s prophecy is authentic and supernaturally inspired.
In the opening verses of Daniel (1:1-8), we meet young Daniel who describes himself as one a group of young men from Judah (1:6), as those brought as captives by King Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. to Babylon. Because Daniel, if he is the author, also described the capture of Babylon by the Medes and Persians in 539 B.C., he must have resided there until ca. 535 B.C.2 According to Jewish tradition, there have been two possible locations for Daniel’s tomb, one, a royal vault in Babylon a little west of the acropolis and the other, in one of the Synagogues of Susa.3
According to his Hebrew name,
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