The Human and the Divine in History investigates the possibility that the author of Daniel knew and drew upon the Histories of Herodotus. Daniel uses and develops Herodotean concepts such as the succession of world empires, dynastic dreams, and the focus on both human and divine causation in explaining historical events. A comparative reading of these two texts illuminates Daniel’s theology of history, showing it to be neither as exclusively eschatological nor as sectarian as is often supposed. Rather, it is specifically the end of exile—understood as foreign domination—that Daniel envisions for the entire Jewish people.
Paul Niskanen is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.