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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Daniel

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

1 Four young Israerites at the Babylonian court (1:1-21)
  2 Nebuchadnezzar's dream (2:1-49)
    3 The fiery furnace (3:1-30)
      4 Nebuchadnezzar's second dream (3:31-4:25)
        5 Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation (4:26-34)
          6 The writing on the wall (5:1-29)
            7 Daniel in the Lion's den (6:1-29)
              8 The visions of four beasts (7:1-8)
                9 Judgment before the ancient one (7:9-14)
              10 Daniel's visions interpreted (7:15-28)
            11 Vision of a ram and a goat (8:1-14)
          12 Gabriel interprets the vision (8:15-27)
        13 Daniel's prayer for the people (9:1-20)
      14 The seventy weeks (9:21-27)
    15 Vision about the time of the end (10:1-21)
  16 Angel's prophecy (11:1-45)
17 The resurrection of the dead (12:1-13)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Four young Israerites at the Babylonian court (1:1-21)
young men without any defect, handsome, intelligent and wise, quick to learn, and prudent in judgment, such as could take their place in the king's palace; they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans; (1:4)
Wisdom of Daniel17 The resurrection of the dead (12:1-13)
As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase. (12:4)
2 Nebuchadnezzar's dream (2:1-49)
2:38 you are the head of gold. 2:39 Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. 2:40 There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else. 2:41 The feet and toes you saw, partly of potters tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile, (2:38-41)
Four kingdoms and division of those16 Angel's prophecy (11:1-45)
11:2 Now I shall tell you the truth. "Three kings of Persia are yet to come; and a fourth shall acquire the greatest riches of all. Strengthened by his riches, he shall rouse all the kingdom of Greece. 11:3 But a powerful king shall appear and rule with great might, doing as he pleases. 11:4 No sooner shall he appear than his kingdom shall be broken and divided in four directions under heaven (11:2-4)
3 The fiery furnace (3:1-30)
"But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God." (3:25)
A son of God15 Vision about the time of the end (10:1-21)
10:5 As I looked up, I saw a man dressed in linen with a belt of fine gold around his waist. 10:6 His body was like chrysolite, his face shown like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and feet looked like burnished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a multitude. (10:5-6)
4 Nebuchadnezzar's second dream (3:31-4:25)
seven years shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. (4:22)
Rebellion is stopped after seven periods14 The seventy weeks (9:21-27)
Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city: Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a most holy will be anointed. (9:24)
5 Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation (4:26-34)
4:30 At once this was fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar was cast out from among men, he ate grass like an ox, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle, and his nails like the claws of a bird. 4:31 When this period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes to heaven; my reason was restored to me, and I blessed the Most High, I praised and glorified him who lives forever: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures through all generations. (4:30-31)
Asceticism and repentance13 Daniel's prayer for the people (9:1-20)
I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (9:3)
6 The writing on the wall (5:1-29)
Now therefore, summon Daniel to tell you what this means. (5:12)
Summoned to interpret12 Gabriel interprets the vision (8:15-27)
While I, Daniel, sought the meaning of the vision I had seen, a manlike figure stood before me, (8:15)
6 The writing on the wall (5:1-29)
your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians. (5:28)
Medes and Persians12 Gabriel interprets the vision (8:15-27)
The two-horned ram you saw represents the kings of the Medes and Persians. (8:20)
7 Daniel in the Lion's den (6:1-29)
no one is to address any petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions. (6:8)
Prohibition of religious service11 Vision of a ram and a goat (8:1-14)
How long shall the events of this vision last concerning the daily sacrifice, the desolating sin which is placed there, the sanctuary, and the trampled host? (8:13)
8 The visions of four beasts (7:1-8)
from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others. (7:3)
Four beasts10 Daniel's visions interpreted (7:15-28)
These four great beasts stand for four kingdoms which shall arise on the earth (7:17)

1-1-1

1 Four young Israerites at the Babylonian court (1:1-21)
  2 Nebuchadnezzar's dream (2:1-49)
    3 The fiery furnace (3:1-30)
      4 Nebuchadnezzar's second dream (3:31-4:25)
        5 Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation (4:26-34)
      6 The writing on the wall (5:1-29)
    7 Daniel in the Lion's den (6:1-29)
  8 The visions of four beasts (7:1-8)
9 Judgment before the ancient one (7:9-14)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Four young Israerites at the Babylonian court (1:1-21)
When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king's service. (1:19)
King gives a power to young person9 Judgment before the ancient one (7:9-14)
7:13 As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, 7:14 He received dominion, glory, and kingship; (7:13-14)
2 Nebuchadnezzar's dream (2:1-49)
During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision, and he blessed the God of heaven: (2:19)
Vision of Daniel8 The visions of four beasts (7:1-8)
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream as he lay in bed, and was terrified by the visions of his mind. Then he wrote down the dream; the account began: (7:1)
2 Nebuchadnezzar's dream (2:1-49)
2:38 you are the head of gold. 2:39 Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. 2:40 There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else. 2:41 The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile, (2:38-41)
Vision about four kingdom8 The visions of four beasts (7:1-8)
from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others. (7:3)
3 The fiery furnace (3:1-30)
When the satraps, prefects, governors, and nobles of the king came together, they saw that the fire had had no power over the bodies of these men; not a hair of their heads had been singed, nor were their garments altered; there was not even a smell of fire about them. (3:27)
Returning alive from persecution7 Daniel in the Lion's den (6:1-29)
My God has sent his angel and closed the lions mouths so that they have not hurt me. For I have been found innocent before him (6:23)
4 Nebuchadnezzar's second dream (3:31-4:25)
So I issued a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me to give the interpretation of the dream. (4:3)
King orders to interpret6 The writing on the wall (5:1-29)
"Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means," he said to the wise men of Babylon, "shall be clothed in purple, wear a golden collar about his neck, and be third in the government of the kingdom." (5:7)

1-1-2

9 Judgment before the ancient one (7:9-14)
  10 Daniel's visions interpreted (7:15-28)
    11 Vision of a ram and a goat (8:1-14)
      12 Gabriel interprets the vision (8:15-27)
        13 Daniel's prayer for the people (9:1-20)
      14 The seventy weeks (9:21-27)
    15 Vision about the time of the end (10:1-21)
  16 Angel's prophecy (11:1-45)
17 The resurrection of the dead (12:1-13)
Former halfRelationLatter half
9 Judgment before the ancient one (7:9-14)
His clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool; (7:9)
White cloth17 The resurrection of the dead (12:1-13)
Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, (12:10)
10 Daniel's visions interpreted (7:15-28)
The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all the others; It shall devour the whole earth, beat it down, and crush it. 7:24 The ten horns shall be ten kings rising out of that kingdom; another shall rise up after them, Different from those before him, who shall lay low three kings. (7:23-24)
Rise and fall of foreign countries16 Angel's prophecy (11:1-45)
11:2 Now I shall tell you the truth. "Three kings of Persia are yet to come; and a fourth shall acquire the greatest riches of all. Strengthened by his riches, he shall rouse all the kingdom of Greece. 11:3 But a powerful king shall appear and rule with great might, doing as he pleases. 11:4 No sooner shall he appear than his kingdom shall be broken and divided in four directions under heaven (11:2-4)
10 Daniel's visions interpreted (7:15-28)
He shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High, thinking to change the feast days and the law. They shall be handed over to him for a year, two years, and a half-year. (7:25)
King speaks against God16 Angel's prophecy (11:1-45)
The king shall do as he pleases, exalting himself and making himself greater than any god; he shall utter dreadful blasphemies against the God of gods. He shall prosper only till divine wrath is ready, for what is determined must take place. (11:36)
11 Vision of a ram and a goat (8:1-14)
After this first vision, I, Daniel, had another, in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. (8:1)
A vision in third year of reign15 Vision about the time of the end (10:1-21)
In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel, who had been named Belteshazzar. The revelation was certain: a great war; he understood it from the vision. (10:1)
12 Gabriel interprets the vision (8:15-27)
"Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the end time." (8:17)
Understand the vision14 The seventy weeks (9:21-27)
Therefore, mark the answer and understand the vision. (9:23)

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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