Saturday, January 13, 2024

The First Wild Animal (13.5–8)


And it was given a mouth speaking great and defamatory things. And it was given authority to act for forty two months. And it opened its mouth to defame God, to defame his name and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven. And it was allowed to make war with the holy ones and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the ones who dwell on the earth worshiped it, whomever was not written in the slain lamb’s scroll of life since the foundation of the cosmos.


This book’s midrash on Daniel nearly repeats the earlier book exactly. A point of confusion for many interpreters is whether the phrase ‘since the foundation of the cosmos’ refers to the time when the lamb was slain, or when names were written in the scroll of life was written. A passage in chapter 17 contains nearly identical phrasing, minus the mention of the slain lamb, making it clear that ‘the foundation of the cosmos’ refers to when names were written in the scroll. This results in an salvific predeterminism fairly common in apocalyptic theology: God has preordained who will be saved and who will be condemned.



7.8, 20, 25 There were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly. […] the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke arrogantly, and that seemed greater than the others. […] ‘He shall speak words against the Most High’

11.36–39 ‘The king shall act as he pleases. He shall exalt himself and consider himself greater than any god, and shall speak horrendous things against the God of gods. He shall prosper until the period of wrath is completed, for what is determined shall be done. He shall pay no respect to the gods of his ancestors, or to the one beloved by women; he shall pay no respect to any other god, for he shall consider himself greater than all. He shall honour the god of fortresses instead of these; a god whom his ancestors did not know he shall honour with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall make more wealthy, and shall appoint them as rulers over many, and shall distribute the land for a price.’

Ascension of Isaiah

4.12 And he will rule for three years and seven months and twenty-seven days.

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