This article advances a new proposal for the literary background of the Aramaic Daniel: in crafting a frame for this early collection, the redactor of the tales has created a fictional model of the Babylonian court patterned on the remembered prophecy of Isaiah to Hezekiah in Isa 39:1–7. That ancient threat of royal sons and vessels taken captive to Babylon is conjured up again in the Danielic redactor’s opening scene, and it has offered the later writer both a rare window into the “narrative gap” of the exile and a direct precursor to the motif of the Jew at the court of the foreign king. The chronological scaffolding added to the tales reveals further prophetic (and specifically Isaianic) pressure on the redactors’ construal of imperial history. This practice of borrowing an earlier scriptural text as a broad canvas for later evocations of Israel’s exilic experiences sets the framers of the Aramaic Daniel within a wider Second Temple scribal context, embedding their reading habits in a shared prophecy–fulfillment schema. Their exegesis may be seen as a purposeful engagement with whole scriptural books and with those books’ own coherent argumentative and theological structures; perhaps these redactors of Daniel knew Isaiah not as isolated fragments but as an articulated compositional whole.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.