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An Exegesis Of Daniel 10-12 Based On A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of The Text.
Part 3: The Janus Chiasmus between Daniel 10 & 11.

Kuruvilla Thomas K.
Bangalore (16/3/2019)


Introduction

We have shown in this series of 3 papers that Daniel 10-12 is a long, complex multi layered chiasmus. In part 3 we will show that there is a literary hinge between Daniel 10 and 11. A literary hinge, technically know as a Janus Chiasmus (named after the two-faced god with faces pointed in opposite directions ), has elements of both passages and acts as a bridge to connect two passages. We are going to treat this section as a regular Chiasmus and not a functional chiasmus which means that there will be no reordering of the text. We feel it is necessary to point out the chiastic structure to help explain some of the text contained in it.


Discussion

1. The structure of the Janus chiasmus

We will be using the NIV translation for this dicussion.

We will treat the phrase "And in the first year of Darius the Mede" as the chiastic pivot and split the text before and after this phrase in Daniel 10:20 - 11:3 into subunits


We arrive at the chiastic structure below:

A1   10:20b I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
  B1   10:21a But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth:
    C1   10:21b and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
      X   11:1a And in the first year of Darius the Mede,
    C2   11:1b even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
  B2   11:2a And now will I shew thee the truth.
A2   11:2b - 11:3 Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.


2. An discussion of Daniel 10:20 - 11:3.

We discuss below each unit of the chiastic structure:

Subunits A1 A2
A1   10:20b I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
A2   11:2b - 11:3 Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

The "prince of Grecia" in subunit A1 refers ahead to the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great that is mentioned in 11:3 in subunit A2. Also both subunits A1 and A1 refer to Persia.


Subunits B1 B2
B1   10:21a But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth:
B2   11:2a And now will I shew thee the truth.

Subunit B2 is a simple recapitulation of subunit B1. The "scripture of truth" may be a reference to a secret record of God's plans (Psalms 139:16)


Subunits C1 C2
C1   10:21b and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
C2   11:1b even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

Subunit C2 can be treated as a confirmation of C1.

We propose that angels sometimes convey a message from a heavenly source in the first person as though they themselves were the source. They may also speak for themselves. This leads to some confusion as it is not clear whether the angel is speaking for himself or for someone else. (Angels also appear to acquire at least some of the physical characteristics of the source.) For example, in the story of Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-17), we are told that an angel spoke to Moses from the burning bush but the angel uses the first person pronoun as though he himself were God.

So in subunit C1 we may have Michael the angel speaking for another unspecified heavenly being and in subunit C2, Michael speaks for himself and confirms that what is said in subunit C1 is true.



Pivot point X
X   11:1a And in the first year of Darius the Mede,

The Pivot point X of the Chiasmus is the first line of the chapter which is similar to the first lines of a few other chapters in Daniel and helps date the vision.


Conclusion

We hope this study clears up some of the mild confusion surrounding these verses. This Janus Chiasmus also confirms that Daniel 10 and 11 are to be treated as one unit.













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