Daniel’s Place in the Canon and Among the Prophets

4. The position which the book of Daniel occupies in the Hebrew Canon seems at first sight remarkable. It is placed among the Holy writings between Esther and Ezra, or immediately before Esther (cf. Hody, De Bibl. Text. p. 614, 645), and not among the prophets. This collocation, however, is a natural consequence of the right apprehension of the different functions of the prophet and seer. It is not, indeed, certain at what time the triple division of the Scriptures which is preserved in the Hebrew Bibles was first made; but the characteristics of the classes show that it was not based on the supposed outward authority, but on the inward composition of the books. Daniel, as the truth has been well stated, had the spirit but not the work of a prophet; and as his work was a new one, so was it carried out in a style of which the Old Testament offers no other example. His Apocalypse is as distinct from the prophetic writings as the Apocalypse of St. John from the apostolic epistles. The heathen court is to the one seer what the isle of Patmos is to the other, a place of exile and isolation, where he stands alone with his God, and is not like the prophet active in the midst of a struggling nation (Auberlen, p. 34).

From, Daniel, Book of.

Dr. William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (Link on editor; Link on Dictionary)

Comprising its


Revised and Edited by Professor H. B. Hackett, D. D.

with the cooperation of Ezra Abbot, LL. D., Assistant Librarian of Harvard College

Copyright, 1868 and 1896, by HURD AND HOUGTON and HOUGHTON,  MIFFLIN & CO.

Reprinted 1981 by Baker Book House Company

Four-volume Set ISBN: 0-8010-8211-0


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