Lecture 23 - Visions of the End: Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature

author: Christine Hayes, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University
published: Feb. 16, 2011,   recorded: December 2006,   views: 4480

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The Book of Ruth, in which a foreign woman enters the community of Israel and becomes great-grandmother to none other than King David, expresses a view of gentiles entirely opposed to that of Ezra and Nehemiah. Other prophets of the Restoration period are discussed, including Third Isaiah who also envisions other nations joining Israel in the worship of Yahweh. This period also sees the rise of apocalyptic literature in works like Zechariah, Joel and Daniel. Written during a period of persecution in the 2nd c. BCE the book of Daniel contains many features and themes of apocalyptic literature, including an eschatology according to which God dramatically intervenes in human history, destroying the wicked (understood as other nations) and saving the righteous (understood as Israel).

Reading assignment:

Bible: (1) Isaiah 56-66 (2) Introduction to Joel (JSB pp. 1166-7), Joel 1-4 (3) Introduction to Daniel (JSB pp. 1640-42), Daniel 1-12

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