In many ways, the Old Testament book of Daniel is an enigma.
It consists of two different kinds of material: stories about Judean exiles working in the court of pagan kings (chapters 1-6) and accounts of visions experienced by one of these exiles (chapters 7-12). It is written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, and the language division does not match the subject division. Whether the book's affinities lie more with the Hebrew prophets or with later Jewish apocalypses is debated, as are its affinities with the wisdom traditions of both Israel and Babylon.
Refreshingly, Enest Lucas postpones much of the discussion of such issues to an Epilogue, and invites the reader to an investigation of the meaning of the text in the form in which we now have it. He identifies the central theme of the book as the sovereignty of the God of Israel.
With even-handedness and clarity, Lucas demonstrates that, for preachers and teachers, there is much in Daniel that is fairly readily understandable and applicable, and that there are also theological depths that are rewarding for those willing to plumb them and wrestle with the issues they raise.
"What every preacher and student needs is a commentary that makes positive use of the results of scholarly research while at the same time integrating them sympathetically into a contemporary Christian theological worldview. Many series have set out to achieve this, but few have succeeded. Now at last the Apollos series looks set to do so: the names of the editors and potential contributors, together with the evidence of these early volumes, all inspire confidence."
"At last! A commentary series that combines the best of biblical scholarship with a passion for the message of the text. Besides, it actually answers the questions I ask when I read the Scriptures. This series by the finest evangelical scholars is designed for students and pastors who are serious about understanding the Old Testament in its context and translating its message for the church in the twenty-first century."
"Evangelical Old Testament study has made huge strides in the second half of the twentieth century. Tyndale House in the U.K. and IVP internationally were central to that renaissance. And now at the start of the twenty-first century the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series will build on that foundation as it showcases some of the best contemporary Old Testament interpretation. This series rightly insists on rigorous scholarship but always in the service of the theology and message of the books of the Old Testament. Some outstanding scholars are signed up for this series, and I look forward very much to having these commentaries on my shelves as they appear."
"There has been plenty of interest in the book of Daniel on the part of commentators over the past generation or two. The one that I have found of the most all-round benefit is Ernest Lucas in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series. Lucas succeeds in drawing out the message of the book while also paying judicious attention to complex issues of history, eschatology, and composition."
"Students, scholars, and ministers will derive much profit from this commentary."
1. Texts and Versions
1.1. The Hebrew and Aramaic Text
1.2. The Greek Versions
1.3. Other Versions
1.4. Text-Critical Guidelines
3. Interpreting Daniel 1--6
3.1. Types of Literature and Interpretation
3.2. Understanding Stories
3.3. Learning from Stories
4. Interpreting Daniel's Visions
4.1. Visions and Dreams
4.2. Daniel 7--8 and Symbolic Visions
4.3. The Form of Daniel 9; 10--12
5. The Historical Context of the Book of Daniel
Dates Relevant to Understanding the Book of Daniel
Text and Commentary
1.1. Historical Inaccuracies
1.2. Linguistic Arguments
1.3. Daniel and Predictive Prophesy
1.4. Daniel: Prophesy or Apocalypse?
1.5. Daniel and the Hebrew Canon
2. Composition and Authorship
3. A Theological Epilogue
Appendix: The Additions to Daniel
1. The Prayer of Azariah and The Song of the Three Young Men
2. Bel and the Serpent
Index of References to Scripture and Related Literature
Index of Authors
Index of Subjects