Benjamin E. Reynolds, «The 'One Like a Son of Man' According to the Old Greek of Daniel 7,13-14», Vol. 89 (2008) 70-80
While studies of the Old Greek (OG) of Daniel 7,13-14 are not uncommon, they are often undertaken as part of a broader examination of the 'one like a son of man'. Rarely, if ever, do these studies focus on the description of this figure in the
OG version and what readers of this version might have understood of this character. This study is an examination of the interpretation of OG Daniel 7,13-14, and the argument is made that the OG portrays the 'one like a son of man' as similar to the Ancient of Days and as a messianic figure.
76 Benjamin E. Reynolds
context of religious duties or cultic practice (30). This can be seen especially in
Exodus and Deuteronomy (31). For example, in Exod 3,12, the sign given to
Moses at the burning bush is that once the Lord has brought his people out of
Egypt, they will worship (latreuvsete) him on that mountain. In Daniel, the
word latreuvw is connected with cultic worship and is used nine times (32). The
first three (3,12.14.18) refer to the worship of the statue Nebuchadnezzar set
up. The next five refer to the worship of God by Daniel or his friends, and the
final use is in reference to the â€œone like a son of manâ€ in 7,14 (33). In the NT,
service in worship is clearly the meaning of latreuvw (34).
By using the word latreuvw to refer to the service given to the â€œone like a
son of manâ€, the OG may be indicating that the â€œone like a son of manâ€ will
receive worship that is similar to the cultic worship given to God elsewhere in
Daniel. The implication of Dan 7,13-14 in the OG is that this figure that looks
like a human is something more than human.
4. The â€œone like a son of manâ€ and â€œthe Standing Onesâ€
Fourth, those standing before the Ancient of Days in v. 10 approach the
â€œone like a son of manâ€ in v. 13d and appear to stand before him creating a
further similarity with the Ancient of Days. For 7.13d, Papyrus 967 reads: kai;
oiJ paresthkovte" proshvgagon aujtw'/, while Codex 88 has kai; oiJ paresthkovte"
parhsan aujtw'/. The oiJ paresthkovte" (â€œthe ones standingâ€ or â€œthe bystandersâ€)
refer to the heavenly multitude of v. 10 that stands before the Ancient of Days.
This is highlighted by the use of the verb parivsthmi in vv. 10 and 13 (35).
Reference to the standing ones in v. 13d by both Papyrus 967 and Codex
88 indicates that these standing ones approached (proshvgagon) or came
(parhsan) to him (aujtw'/), i.e. they approached the â€œone like a son of manâ€. In
the Aramaic text and Q on the other hand, the standing ones present the â€œone
like a son of manâ€ to the Ancient of Days. In the OG, the approach of the oiJ
(30) J. LUST â€“ E. EYNIKEL â€“ K. HAUSPIE, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint.
Part II K-W (Stuttgart 1996). In classical Greek, the word referred to a broader semantic
range of service. Cf. LIDDELL â€“ SCOTT, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford 91940 ).
(31) Exod 3,12; 4,23; 7,16.26; 8,16; 9,1.13; 10,18.104.22.168.26; 20,5; 23,24.25; Deut
4,19.28; 6,13; 7,4.16; 8,19; 10,12.20; 11,13.16.28; 12,2; etc.
(32) Dan 3,22.214.171.124; 6,17.21.27; 7,14. Meadowcroft (Aramaic Daniel and Greek
Daniel, 229) says latreuw is â€œpreserved for dealings with the divineâ€.
(33) The use of latreuvw in the OG is largely consistent with the Aramaic Danielâ€™s word
jlP] which also is used of service to deity in Daniel (Dan 3,126.96.36.199; 6,17.21.27; 7,14).
On the other hand, Q has douleuvw, the common word for service. There are two occasions
where the OG does not use latreuvw where Aramaic Daniel has jlp â€“ 3,17 (fobevw) and 7,27
(uJpotavssw), and one occasion where the OG uses latreuvw and the Aramaic text does not
have jlp â€“ 6,27 (ljd). OG Dan 4,37 is a plus, which contains latreuvw.
(34) K.H. JOBES, â€œDistinguishing the Meaning of Greek Verbs in the Semantic Domain
for Worshipâ€, M. SILVA, Biblical Words and Their Meaning. An Introduction to Lexical
Semantics (Grand Rapids, MI 21994) 201-211.
(35) Ziegler emended the text based on a marginal reading in the Syro-Hexaplar to read:
kai; oiJ paresthkovte" proshvgagon aujtovn (ZIEGLER, Susanna-Daniel-Bel et Draco, 170. Cf.
LUST, â€œDaniel 7,13â€, 63). In Zieglerâ€™s emendation, the accusative pronoun suggests that
those standing there presented the â€œone like a son of manâ€. This is similar to the Aramaic
textâ€™s yhwbrqh yhwmdqw (â€œand they presented him before himâ€). Ralphs and Hanhart
(Septuaginta, 914) and Ziegler and Munnich (Susanna-Daniel-Bel et Draco, 338) follow
the text of Codex 88 (kai; oiJ paresthkovte" parh'san aujtw'/).