Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Daniel--son of Ruth?

A few weeks ago Brant wrote an excellent post on something we have been talking about at great length among ourselves--the possible Davidic pedigree of Daniel. In that post Brant highlighted some first-century sources that describe Daniel as a descendant of David.

This is a follow-up post...

I just recently finished Joseph Klausner's, The Messianic Idea in Israel (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1995). The book looks at "messianic" expectations in three sources: the Old Testament, the Pseudepigrapha, and the Rabbinic tradition. I was blown away by this book--I learned so much! The sections on the Pseudepigrapha and Rabbinic writings were especially informative.

I found something on page 467 that particularly caught me by surprise--and this is what relates to Brant's previous post. Klausner cites from Sanhedrian 93ab where R. Tanhum explains why Boaz gave Ruth six measures of barely in Ruth 3:17. His answer stunned me:
R. Tanhum said: Bar Kappara expounded in Sepphoris: Why is it written (Ruth 3:17), "These six [word missing?] of barely gave he to me"? . . . He (Boaz) symbolically intimated to her (Ruth) that six sons were destined to come forth from her, who should each be blessed with six blessings: David, Messiah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah."
Did you catch that? David, Messiah, and Daniel are all described as children of Ruth!

I went back and looked up Sanhedrin 93b and this Daniel's Judahite lineage is confirmed once again: "Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah." However, immediately following this line, we go on to discover that apparently some disagreed with part of this assessment:
R. Eleazar said: They were all of the children of Judah; but R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: Daniel was of the tribe of Judah, whilst Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were of the other tribes.
Note that while the Judahite lineage of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah is debated, there is no debate concerning Daniel's Davidic lineage.

Again, I have to ask: Why haven't I heard this before?


Brant Pitre said...

WOW, Michael!
Great post!
I hadn't gotten that far in my own reading of Klausner, but this only confirms my own take that the Messianic Idea in Israel is a masterpiece. This also is good confirmation that many of the traditions found in the later Rabbis go back to the Second Temple period, since the Rabbis themselves weren't actually reading Josephus, or Lives of the Prophets, which were only preserved by Christian scribes. To me, this makes the suggestion that scholars should be studying the Davidic nature of Daniel a slam dunk.

Joe McClane said...

So can we assume, if Daniel is even more messianic than previously thought, that Dan. 9:24 is, at least, partly fulfilled in Luke's Infancy narratives?

God Bless
Joe M
The Catholic Hack!

Taylor Marshall said...


That is amazing! Thanks for sharing!