Much ink has been spilled (or keys tapped) over the book of Daniel, but Jim Hamilton perceived a glaring omission: “an evangelical and canonical biblical theology of Daniel” (p21), which is what With the Clouds of Heaven provides. To unpack his quote, evangelical means accepting “evangelical conclusions on questions of date and authorship” (p31); canonical means reading Daniel while considering its placement in the Biblical canon, particularly the Hebrew OT order; and biblical theology means noticing how “Daniel has engaged earlier Scripture to present his message and how later Scripture engaged Daniel to exposit what he wrote” (p27). With the Clouds of Heaven is less a commentary of Daniel as it’s an attempt to understand its role in the larger Biblical storyline.
I’m generally skeptical of large-scale suggestions such as this (though I’m intrigued by Wingo’s proposal that Job is a chiasm!) but I think Hamilton is onto something here by suggesting in his new book With the Clouds of Heaven that the entire book of Daniel is a chiasm. After showing that Daniel is broken up into 10 units (closely corresponding to the first 9 chapters and then chapters 10-12), he notes that some chapters are clearly parallel:
Well, there is an unexpected seven day gap in my Daniel 9 interviews! (Sorry for the terrible pun). When I first asked Wendy Widder if she could take part we weren’t so sure it would work out, but I’m very grateful that it did! She just sent over her answers, so I thought I’d sneak them in here since Davis has a nice conclusion to the series.
We’re continuing our series on different interpretations of Daniel 9:24-27, and this time we are talking with Peter Gentry, Donald L. Williams professor of Old Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He is co-author of Kingdom Through Covenant with Stephen Wellum (which has a chapter on Daniel 9) and is an expert on biblical languages.
Did Paul dare to be a Daniel? If you’re expecting a sarcastic lambasting of that expression, then I’m sorry to disappoint (that will have to wait for another post!). Getting back to the question, Benjamin Gladd, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, would answer “yes”; in in fact, in From Creation to New Creation Gladd goes even further and says that Paul consciously himself “as a Danielic figure…someone who wades in the stream of Danielic behaviour” (p272-3). As in, Paul saw himself much like Daniel and hinted at it in his letters.