Original Research

Function of space in Daniel 1

Marius Nel
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 48, No 2 | a1778 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v48i2.1778 | © 2014 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 November 2013 | Published: 06 June 2014

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Marius Nel, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Daniel 1 narrates how Daniel and his friends come from Jerusalem and are appointed as officials at the royal court in Babylon. The narrative is governed by the various and significant references to space. The Jews’ loyalty towards Jerusalem and its association with the Temple and temple cult is challenged by the loyalty required from them at the Babylonian court as symbolised by the new names they receive − names associated with the Babylonian gods. The strategy they devise to retain their loyalty towards YHWH is decided by their request for a specific specific type of food. Their eating special food in contrast to the royal food set apart for the candidates, creates a space that relates to the determinative contrast between Jerusalem and Shinar. The tale in Daniel 1 is determined by references to space that allowed the Jewish readers to understand its meaning.

Daniël 1 vertel hoe Daniël en sy vriende uit Jerusalem as hofamptenare in Babilon aangestel word. Die narratief word beheers deur verskeie belangrike verwysings na ruimte. Die Joodse jongmanne se lojaliteit aan Jerusalem en hulle verbintenis met die Tempel en tempelkultus, word deur die lojaliteit wat aan die koninklike hof van hulle verwag word, getoets. Dit word deur die nuwe name wat aan hulle gegee is, gedemonstreer – name wat waarskynlik met Babiloniese gode se name verband hou. Hulle strategie om aan JHWH lojaal te bly, berus op hulle versoek om ’n spesifieke soort voedsel te gebruik. Afsonderlike voedsel in teenstelling met dié van die koning, skep die ruimte waarbinne die bepalende kontras tussen Jerusalem en Sinar gehandhaaf kan word. Die vertelling in Daniël 1 word bepaal deur verwysings na ruimte, wat die Joodse leser in staat stel om die betekenis daarvan te begryp.

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