The interpretation of almost every detail of the description on the bear in Daniel 7 is disputed by scholars, mainly because of the uncertainty about the background of the imagery of the beasts. The present paper reviews suggested backgrounds and shows that while many have some appropriate elements, they are unable to explain all the details of the beasts or their actions. The Bible is shown to be the source of all aspects of Dan 7,5. Proceeding from Hos 13,5, the author utilized prophecies of the downfall of Babylon, supplemented from elsewhere in the Bible, to paint his picture of the second beast who is to be identified as Media and Persia.
Coding in the OT is plausible because of the Exile’s profusion of scripture, the Diaspora’s need for secure communication, and the ancient world’s widespread use of cryptography. A code exists in Num 6,24-26 that uses one letter per text word, from words spaced at regular intervals, with letters used in any sequence. Coding of Jehoiachin’s name in the MT’s Priestly Benediction establishes the mid-sixth century B.C.E. as the earliest possible time for the Ketef Hinnom amulets. Moreover, since the Ketef Hinnom scribe appears to have understood nothing of the benediction’s Jehoiachin coding, the amulets could be considerably later than mid-sixth century.