Daniel Is ‘Prophecy-After-The-Fact’ ?
The Book of Daniel is often paired with the Book of Revelation as providing the road map of future end-time events. Many alleged prophecies in Daniel were fulfilled, but most scholars of the Book of Daniel conclude that so-called “prophecies” were only produced “after the fact” or ex eventu. This is a position reached by first examining the historical, theological and literary nature of the Book of Daniel.
Some scholars say Daniel might actually be a Jew from the Hellenistic period, not a person from the Babylonian court and the book itself betrays more than one author. Chapters 1–6 were written in Aramaic, while chapters 7–12 are in Hebrew. Daniel makes many historical errors when talking about the Babylonian period, the time in which he supposedly lived. For example, he claims that Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but the Nabonidus Cylinder found in Ur names Nabonidus as Belshazzar’s actual father. Also, Belshazzar was a crown prince but never a king, contrary to Daniel’s claim.
In Daniel 5:30, Daniel writes that a certain Darius the Mede conquered Babylon. It was actually Cyrus the Great, a Persian and not a Mede, who overthrew Babylon.
On the other hand, Daniel writes about events of the Hellenistic era with extreme accuracy.