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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Daniel, Apocryphal Additions to

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i.e. pieces found in the Greek translations, but not in the Hebrew text. (See DEUTERO-CANONICAL). The most important of these additions are contained in the Apocrypha of the English Bible under the titles of The Song of the three holy Children (Daniel 3), The History of Susanna (Daniel 8), and The History of Bel and the Dragon (Daniel 14). (See APOCRYPHA).

I. Their Character.

1. The first of these pieces is incorporated into the narrative of Daniel. After the three confessors were thrown into the furnace (Daniel 3:23), Azarias is represented as praying to God for deliverance (Song of the three Children, 3-22); and in answer the angel of the Lord shields them from the fire which consumes their enemies (23-27), whereupon "the three, as out of one mouth," raise a triumphant song (29-68), of which a chief part (35-66) has been used as a hymn (Benedicite) in the Christian Church since the fourth century (Rufin. Apol. 2:35; comp. Concil. Tolet. iv, Song of Solomon 14). Like several similar fragments, the chief parts of this composition are given at the end of the Psalter in the Alexandrine MS. as separate psalms, under the titles of "The Prayer of Azarias" and "The Hymn of our Fathers;" and a similar arrangement occurs in other Greek and Latin psalters.

2. The two other pieces appear more distinctly as appendices, and offer no semblance of forming part of the original text. The History of Susannah (or The Judgment of Daniel) is generally found at the beginning of the book (Gr. MSS. Vet. Lat.), though it also occurs after the 12th chapter (Vulg. ed. Compl.). The History of Bel and the Dragon is placed at the end of the book, and in the Sept. version it bears a special heading as "Part of the Prophecy of Habakkuk" (ἐκ προφητείας Ἀμβακοὺμ υὶοῦ Ι᾿ησοῦ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λευϊ v ).

II. Their Currency. The additions are found in both the Greek texts the Sept. and Theodotion in the Old Latin and Vulgate, and in the existing Syriac and Arabic versions. On the other hand, there is no evidence that they ever formed part of the Hebrew text, and they were originally wanting in the Syriac (Polychronius ap. Mai, Script. Vett. Nov. Coll. i, p. 113, says of the hymn expressly οὐ κεῖται ἐν τοῖς ῾Εβρ Þ κοῖς ἐν τοῖς Συριακοῖς βιβλίοις ). From the Sept. and Vulgate the fragments passed into common use, and they are commonly quoted by Greek and Latin fathers as parts of Daniel (Clem. Alex. Ecl. proph. i; Origen, Ep. ad Afric.; Tertull. de Pudic. 17, etc.), but rejected by those who adhered to the Hebrew canon. Jerome in particular, called attention to their absence from the Hebrew Bible (Praef. in Dan.), and, instead of any commentary of his own, adds shortly Origen's remarks "on the fables of Bel and Susanna" (Comm. in Dan. 13:1). In a similar manner, he notices shortly the Song of the three Children, "lest he should seem to have overlooked it" (Comm. in Daniel 3:23).

III. Their Derivation. Various conjectures have been made as to the origin of the additions. It has been supposed that they were derived from Aramaic originals (De Wette, Einl. 2:2, Kap. 8, gives the arguments at length), but the intricate evidence is wholly insufficient to establish the point. The character of the additions themselves indicates rather the hand of an Alexandrine writer; and it is not unlikely that the translator of Daniel wrought up traditions which were already current, and appended them to his work (comp. Fritzsche, Exeg. Handb. zu den Apok. 1:121). The abruptness of the narrative in Daniel furnished an occasion for the introduction of the prayer and hymn; and the story of the Dragon seems like astrange exaggeration of the record of the deliverance of Daniel (Daniel 6), which may naturally have formed the basis of different legends. Nor is it difficult to see in the history of Susanna a pointed allusion to the name of the prophet, though the narrative may not be wholly fictitious. The Sept. appears to be the original source from which all the existing recensions of the fragments were derived (comp. Hody, De Bibl. text. p. 583). Theodotion seems to have done little more than transcribe the Sept. text, with improvements in style and language, which are considerably greater in the appended narratives than in the Song incorporated into the canonical text. Thus, while the history of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon contain large additions which complete and embellish the story (e.g. Hist. Sus. 1518; 20, 21; 24-27; 46, 47, 49, 50; Bel and Dr. 1, 9-13; Eichhorn, p. 431 sq.), the text of the Song is little more than a repetition of that of the Sept. (comp. De Magistris, Daniel, etc. p. 254 sq.; Eichhorn, Einleit. in der Apokryph. Schrift. p. 422 sq.). The Polyglot-Syriac, Arabic, and Latin versions are derived from Theodotion, and the Hexaplar-Syriac from the Sept. (Eichhorn, p. 430, etc.).

The stories of Bel and Susanna received various embellishments in later times, which throw some light upon the manner in which they were originally composed (comp. Origen, Ep. ad Afric. § 7, 8; Bochart, Hieroz. 3, 3; Eichhorn, p. 446, etc.), just as the change which Theodotion introduced into the narrative of Bel, to give some consistency to the facts, illustrates the rationalizing process through which the legends passed (comp. Delitzsch, De Habacuci vita et aetate, 1844). It is thus useless to institute any inquiry into the historic foundation which lies below the popular traditions; for, though the stories cannot be regarded as mere fables, it is evident that a moral purpose determined the shape which they assumed. A later age found in them traces of a deeper wisdom, and to Christian commentators Susanna appeared as a type of the true Church tempted to infidelity by Jewish and pagan adversaries, and lifting up her voice to God in the midst of persecution (Hippol. In Susann. p. 689 sq., ed. Migne).

IV. Their Spuriousness. These addenda are regarded as canonical by the Roman Church, but the only evidence that can be adduced for this authority being attached to them is the fact of their existence in the Sept., Vulg., and other versions, and their quotation by the early Church fathers. On the other hand, these arguments are more than counterbalanced by the fact of their non-existence in the Hebrews text and the earliest Syriac, the weak authority of the Sept. (especially in the book of Daniel), and consequently of the Vulg., which is based upon it, and the general manner in which these fathers refer to them. Jerome, indeed, frequently and openly ridicules their abgurd legends; and their own contradictions are sufficient to stamp them as spurious upon their very face.

See Josippon ben Gorion (ed. Breithaupt, Goth. et Lips. 1710), p. 34; Whitaker, Disputation on Scripture (Parker Society ed.), p. 76 sq.; Du Pin, History of the Canon (London, 1699), p. 14 sq., 117 sq.; Arnold, Commentary on Apocrypha; Zunz, Gottesdienstlichen Vortrige, p. 122; Herzfeld, Geschichte der Israel, p. 317; Griatz, Gesch. der Juden, 3, 308, Ewald, Gesch. Israel, 4:557 sq.; Fritzsche, Exeg. Handb. 1:111; Davidson, Text of the O.T. p. 976. (See SONG OF THE THREE HOLY CHILDREN); (See SUSANNA, HISTORY OF); (See DESTRUCTION OF BEL AND THE DRAGON, HISTORY OF).

3. (Sept. Δανιήλ .) A priest of the family of Ithamar, who returned from the exile in the time of "Artaxerxes" (Ezra 8:2), B.C. 459. He is probably the same with the priest Daniel who joined in the covenant drawn up by Nehemiah (Nehemiah 10:6), B.C. 410. He has been confounded with the prophet in the apocryphal addenda to the Sept. (Daniel 14:1, Sept., not Theodotion), where he is called "a priest by the name of Daniel, the son of Abda" (Jerome, Praefat. in Daniel.).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Daniel, Apocryphal Additions to'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/d/daniel-apocryphal-additions-to.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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