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xiv + 174 pp. pp.

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Like the Stars Forever
Narrative and Theology in the Book of Daniel
Tim Meadowcroft

This anthology of Meadowcroft’s essays (all but one previously published) coheres around three claims he makes about the book of Daniel. The first is that Daniel should be understood primarily as a wisdom figure, and that the first chapter of the book of Daniel is programmatic in that regard. The second is that the vision of the one like a son of man represents a theological hinge that guides an understanding of both the tales and the visions as expressions of participation in the divine life on the part of the wise Daniel and his people. The third claim is that the final chapter of Daniel, as the capstone of the wisdom story of Daniel, shows the aim of wise participation in the divine life as an enduring legacy of righteousness in those who encounter this wisdom.

These claims are supported by a close reading of aspects of the narrative art on display in the book of Daniel; an exegetical appreciation of the interpretative impact of understanding the faithful wise as expressive of the hopes placed in the temple by the ancient people; and a theological and contextual reading of the experiences of Daniel and his friends—in the daily routines of life in the Babylonian and Persian courts, and in those strange apocalyptic encounters of the later chapters. From such reading there emerges the paradoxical nature of faith as certain hope and ethical clarity alongside mystery and uncertainty and the call to patient endurance. This delicate dance between certainty and patience, clarity and mystery was a feature of the experience of Daniel and his people in their time of exile, of later readers suffering under the heel of Antiochus Epiphanes, of those resisting the claims to lordship on the part of Rome, and still today of readers of the book of Daniel wherever empire is encountered and resisted.

Tim Meadowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Head of School: Theology, Mission and Ministry, Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand.

Series: Hebrew Bible Monographs, 90
978-1-910928-80-6 hardback
Publication October 2020

Chapter 1
Point of View and ‘Camera Angle’ in Daniel 4: An Experiment in Narrative Criticism

Chapter 2
Metaphor, Narrative, and Interpretation in Daniel 2–5

Chapter 3
‘Belteshazzar, Chief of the Magicians’ (Daniel 4.9 nrsv): Explorations in Identity and Context from the Career of Daniel

Chapter 4
Exploring the Dismal Swamp: The Identity of the Anointed
One in Daniel 9.24-27

Chapter 5
Who are the Princes of Persia and Greece (Daniel 10)? Pointers towards the Danielic Vision of Earth and Heaven

Chapter 6
‘One Like a Son of Man’ in the Court of the Foreign King: Daniel 7 as Pointer to Wise Participation in the Divine Life 90

Chapter 7
Daniel’s Visionary Participation in the Divine Life: Dynamics of Participation in Daniel 8–12

Chapter 8
History and Eschatology in Tension: A Literary Response to Daniel 11.40-45 as Test Case

Chapter 9
Election, Eschatology, and the Kingdom of God: A Theological Conversation with the Book of Daniel