Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sailhamer on Dan. 9 and the Shape of the Tanakh

After presenting my Chronicles paper at the first graduate seminar yesterday, my colleague Nathan Daily asked me how John Sailhamer related Dan. 9 to the shape of the Tanakh. This was a point I had brought up in my paper but had not elaborated on. I cited it as a bizarre curiosity, and Nathan received it as such. But he was so shocked by its curiousness, that he wanted more. So, here I present the paragraph from The Meaning of the Pentateuch (Downers Grove: IVP, 2009).

As you read this, recall that in the canon list of Baba Bathra 14b, the Book of Daniel appears near the end of the canon, right before Esther, Ezra[-Nehemiah], and Chronicles. Recall further that a rabbinic arrangement alternative to the one in Baba Bathra sets Chronicles at the beginning of the third section of the canon and Ezra-Nehemiah at the end. It is this latter arrangement, found in some important Masoretic manuscripts (Aleppo, Leningrad), that Sailhamer is arguing against in order to establish the canon list of Baba Bathra as primary.
According to the version of the Tanak that ends with Ezra-Nehemiah, there are no significant events expected in Israel's subsequent history. The future, so far as it can be made out of the biblical texts, will be either a continuation of the present or an extension of the past. In the version of the Tanak that ends with Chronicles, the next biblical events are to be the coming of the Messiah (Dan 9:25), the death of the Messiah (Dan 9:26) and the destruction of the temple (Dan 9:26b). These events, all taken from Daniel, 9, are projected on to the screen of the future by 2 Chronicles 36 at the close of the Tanak. Those events take us directly into the first century. (p. 214)

Of course, see Sailhamer's book for more, but there it is before you in a nutshell. I cannot possibly add anything to what Sailhamer has said, so I submit this passage to you without comment.

1 comment:

Joseph Justiss said...

So are you saying that you are curious about Sailhamer's view because it may be right or because it's ridiculously wrong?