Literary Lions with Real Bite: Re-examining the Intertextual Rhetoric in Daniel 6

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The story of Daniel in the lion s pit (Dan 6) is still one of the most well–known stories in the HB. The way the story has been captured in visual form by the Old Masters as well as contemporary depictions thereof in children s Bibles are indicative of its ability to captivate the imagination. In scholarly circles the story has also received "considerable attention, most of which relates to issues of historical" "and/or literary nature. Thus, it has been proposed that the story in" the HB may be the result of a mistaken literalization of a Babylonian literary motif. The present paper seeks to address the issue of "such a symbolic understanding of the lions in the story. However," "instead of looking to the Babylonian context for a literary antecedent," it is proposed that Israel s own literary tradition may shed light into this dark pit. The study of the metaphor of teeth in the Psalter points to a literary connection between the malicious accusations of the presidents and satraps (in Dan 6) and Daniel's eventual fate among the lions.