Lesson 3 of 5
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Background of Daniel

The book of Daniel projects an exilic background for the period of composition. The stories in Daniel 1-6 are set in Babylon. The opening verses of each of the sections in Daniel 7-12 place Daniel within the rule of one of the kings, even though the visions themselves speak of events that are to occur long after Daniel’s lifetime.

The correlation of these references with actual chronology is disputed. Many interpreters understand the final shaping of the book to have occurred in the era of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.E.). Traditional stories from the exile were retold and augmented with visions (narratively attributed to Daniel) that speak directly to this later time.

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