p.ost

(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)

Add new comment

Any kind of political expectations described or raised by the passages were not realised in scriptural history, or beyond.

But that’s not a problem for exegesis. It has no bearing on the question of whether the “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7 was understood by the author to be a divine person. It’s only a problem for theology or for apologetics.

And when Jesus used the son of man terminology of himself, was he resurrecting the political expectations?

The appeal of Daniel 7 to Jesus lay in the fact that it offered an alternative route to the fulfilment of national expectations: he would become the king seated at God’s right hand (cf. Ps. 110:1 etc.), ruling in the midst of his enemies, governing the nations with a rod of iron (cf. Ps. 2), not by way of military conquest but by patient faithfulness to YHWH under persecution.

From this perspective, the first and most obvious thing to say about Daniel 7:13-14 and 26-27 is that pelach has no other meaning in Daniel than to describe the worship or service (the distinction has no bearing on the meaning) of deities or deity.

I am getting tired of answering this argument. Daniel 7:13 and 27 look much more like Tg. Genesis 27:29 (“May nations serve (yiflchun) you and may kingdoms be subject to you”) than Daniel 3:12 (“These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up”).

The verb pelach occurs 38 times in the Targum of Deuteronomy. In most of those texts it has reference to the service of gods or idols. In a small number of cases, however—probably about the same proportion as in Daniel—the context is different; the object of service is a human authority. For example, it is used for the service of a slave (15:17); a city “serves” the Israelites (20:11); and in a couple of passages we have pelach used for both service of idols and subservience to other nations:

And there you will serve (tiflechun) the nations, the worshippers (polche) of idols… (Tg. Deut. 4:28)

But the Lord will scatter you among all the nations, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the earth, and there you will serve (tiflach) the nations, the worshippers (polche) of idols that you have not known, you or your fathers, wood and stone. (Tg. Deut. 28:64)

No one in their right mind is going to argue that because it mostly refers to religious service in the book of Deuteronomy, it must have this meaning in all instances, even when the object of service is not explicitly said to be divine or representative of divinity.

In the end, there are two very different interpretive methodologies which clash here.

Well, yes, there is historical exegesis and there is the attempt to force Daniel to fit a misconceived theological paradigm. You takes your pick.