Essay 1 Instructions

Begin by choosing 1 narrative passage and 1 apocalyptic passage from the Book of Daniel (2 passages total). Both the narrative text and the apocalyptic text must be chosen because they are considered by you as especially significant to the overall message of the Book of Daniel. Then, in a 1000–1500-word essay, in current Turabian format, complete the following:

  1. Write an interpretive exposition of each text (the narrative passage and the apocalyptic passage).
  2. State how the mixture of narrative and apocalyptic literature contributes to the overall message of Daniel.
  3. State how these 2 passages, together, contribute to the overall message of the Book of Daniel.

Step 1 must be 800–1000 words, step 2 must be 100–250 words, and step 3 100–250 words for a total of 1000–1500 words.   

Submit Essay 1 by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 2.

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(BIBL 450 Essay 1 Grading Rubric)

CriteriaLevels of Achievement
Content 70% (105)AdvancedProficientDevelopingNot present
Presentation of Step 1 (An Interpretive Exposition of 2 Texts)  (55)50 to 55 points Great awareness of the interpretive issues and resolution to 2 texts in Daniel (1 apocalyptic and 1 narrative).39 to 49 points Omits a few minor arguments or interpretive points with the text, or fails to fully support them. 1 to 38 points Fails to develop an interpretive presentation of either an apocalyptic or narrative text from Daniel (there is no distinction between narrative and apocalyptic texts).0 points No awareness of genre in expositing texts and little to no interpretive commentary on texts from Daniel.
Presentation of Step 2 (A Statement Evaluating how a Mixture of Narrative and Apocalyptic Literature Contributes to the Message of Daniel) (25)23 to 25 points Great awareness of how narrative and apocalyptic literature relates in the way the message(s) of Daniel are communicated.  18 to 22 points Good awareness of how narrative and apocalyptic literature relates in the way the message(s) of Daniel are communicated.  1 to 17 points Developing or inadequate awareness of how narrative and apocalyptic literature relates in the way the message(s) of Daniel are communicated.  0 points No awareness of how narrative and apocalyptic literature relates in the way the message(s) of Daniel are communicated.    
Presentation of Step 3 (A Statement Evaluating how the Two Texts Interpreted Contribute to the Overall Message of the Book of Daniel) (25)23 to 25 points Great awareness of how these 2 texts (chosen by the student) contribute to the message of Daniel.18 to 22 points Good awareness of how these 2 texts (chosen by the student) contribute to the message of Daniel1 to 17 points Developing or inadequate awareness of how these 2 texts (chosen by the student) contribute to the message of Daniel.0 points No awareness of how these 2 texts (chosen by the student) contribute to the message of Daniel.
Structure 30% (45)AdvancedProficientDevelopingNot present
Format (15)14 to 15 points The assignment follows proper structural format, and is free from flaws in indention, spacing, margins, etc.11 to 13 points The assignment generally follows proper structural format, and has only minor flaws in indention, spacing, margins, etc.1 to 10 points The assignment does not follow proper structural format, and contains numerous minor and major flaws in indention, spacing, margins, etc.0 points The assignment fails to follow proper structural format and is prolific in having serious flaws in indention, spacing, margins, etc.  
Grammar (15)14 to 15 points There are few, if any, grammatical errors.11 to 13 points There are a significant number of minor grammatical errors.1 to 10 points There are numerous minor and some major grammatical errors.  0 points There are many major grammatical errors.  
Citation (15)14 to 15 points Citations are used from appropriate sources and are formatted correctly.11 to 13 points Citations are used from appropriate sources and but lack proper in-text formatting.1 to 10 points In-text citations are non-existent (but listed sources may be present in a bibliography).0 points There is no citation or reference to source material in the assignment.

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The Book of Daniel: Narrative and Apocalyptic Passage

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The Book of Daniel: Narrative and Apocalyptic Passage

The book of Daniel is both prophetic and historical. The beginning chapters focus on the Israelites and their captivity to Babylon. In light of the Scriptures, the Israel Nation had rejected God’s Will and forsaken His righteous ways. Therefore, through prophet Jeremiah, God warned the Israelites that they would be taken captives in Babylonian Capital if they did not repent. At the time of captivity, the Babylonian king was called Nebuchadnezzar. As the book unfolds into consecutive chapters, presentations of historical and prophetic descriptions are presented back and forth. Overall, Daniel’s book teaches that God Almighty is the sovereign ruler over earthly kingdoms. This essay aims to discuss two passages, namely, narrative and apocalyptic, from Daniel’s book. Notably, the paper focuses on Daniel 3:1-28, as the narrative passage (Golan, 2019), and Daniel 2:32-45, as the apocalyptic passage (Collins, 2016). The former describes king Nebuchadnezzar making a vast image and demanding worship from his subjects. Simultaneously, the latter unfolds about the earthly kingdoms that shall rule till an everlasting kingdom shall be established.

Narrative passage    

The three Hebrew’s story, namely, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a prominent narrative in a contemporary religious setting. In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar had a strange dream of an image made of different materials. Since the head of gold represented the Babylonian kingdom, Nebuchadnezzar made an image of pure gold, 60 cubits high and six cubits wide. In Daniel 3:1-28 (Golan, 2019), this story is presented and is typically known as the fiery furnace story. After making the image, he invited prices, counselors, captains, governors, treasurers. , sheriffs, and rulers of the provinces for the image’s dedication. Markedly, king Nebuchadnezzar was an inherent idolater. He thought of impacting this form of worship to all his subjects, including the captives.

The Israelites, typically Jews, subscribed to the worship of the true God, maker, and creator of the heavens and earth. At the sound of all kinds of music, the king commanded that all should fall and bow to the image, according to Golan, (2019). Failure to obey this command, defiant subjects would be cast into a burning fiery furnace. At the trumpet’s sound, every individual present bowed to the image except Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their defiant act was made known before the king, and they were commanded to appear before the king’s presence. When asked to give a reason for their defiance, they confessed allegiance only to God. The king decided to give them another chance to rethink their choices, but the Hebrews requested the king not to execute the second chance command. Upon hearing this statement, the king commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be cast into the burning fiery furnace, heated seven times the normal.

The mighty men demanded to cast them into the fire, were destroyed immediately. However, as the king continued to behold, he saw four men, while only three were cast into the fire. Notably, he asserted that the fourth Man was likened to the Son of God (Golan, 2019). It was for this reason that the three Hebrew were not consumed by fire and did not have a smoke smell on their clothes. Nebuchadnezzar, called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and they came out from the burning furnace. After the king and his audience inspected the three, Nebuchadnezzar issued a command that all should worship the Israelites king. The news of this incident spread all through the kingdom territories.

Apocalyptic passage

King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a Great Image is the apocalyptic passage selected from the chapter 2:31-45 of Daniel. It gives the prophecy of consecutive kingdoms that were to take over after his reign. He was in his sleep at the time of dreaming, and he was disturbed for lack of its meaning. He sorted for wise men to interpret, but there was none except Daniel, who was a prophet. Daniel, who believed in God, went to pray and seek interpretation (Collins, 2016). The dream and the clarification thereof were as follows: The image was bright and excellent, having an appearance of the head of gold, breast, and arms of silver, belly, and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet of moderately clay and moderately iron. The king later saw a stone cut devoid of hands that smote the image at his feet and broke it into pieces.

The irons, clay, brass, silver, and gold became like chaff and were carried away, and the stone that smote them became a huge mountain. Daniel’s interpretation was: King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian kingdom, which was powerful, strong, and glorious, was signified as the head of gold (Collins, 2016). It dominated all the earth upon the children of men, monsters of the arena, and birds of heaven. He ruled and reigned in power. After the Babylonian kingdom, there was to rise a lesser kingdom inferior to it, symbolized by silver breasts and arms. It was the Medes-o-Persian kingdom. The third kingdom, low to the second, was represented by the belly and thighs of brass. It was the Grecian kingdom. The fourth kingdom was to be as strong as iron subduing all nations, and it was the Roman kingdom (Collins, 2016). The feet and toes, which were partially clay and partially iron, symbolized the fourth kingdom’s division into two, and they could not mix. These kingdoms would mingle with the seed of men but would not split. The stone was the kingdom of God which will destroy all others at the end of time. It will be an everlasting kingdom.

Relations to Daniel’s Messages

Both narrative and apocalyptic passages in our chosen chapter clearly show that the God of Daniel is sovereign in his rule. The reason being when challenged by idol worshipers, he proved to be unchallengeable. The Lord showed His power by delivering those who believed in him from trouble. Some of the incidences that outline Daniel’s overall message that God is sovereign include: He delivered from lion den. Daniel had been cast into the lions’ den after defying the king’s command of bowing down to his idol. The fact that lions can feed on human flesh is the paradox because Daniel was found alive amid hungry lions in the morning. Another incidence of his sovereignty is how God brought to an end the earthly reign of king Nebuchadnezzar and gave his power to another kingdom.

This was after the king defiled the vessels used to offer sacrifice into the Holy Temple dedicated to the true God. The judgment of the whole earth is another prophetic passage that shows that God is supreme. He is termed as the Ancient of days whose garments were like white as pure snow, head as pure wool, His throne as fiery flame, and His wheels burning fire. Thousands and thousands stood before Him, the ruling seat was established, and books were unwrapped. The ability to reveal and conceal what is to happen is within His power. Daniel was commanded not to know what would happen in the future, and he was told to seal them by God. He also was told he would die without seeing these things come to the past because they were not for his days.

Combined Contribution to Daniel’s Book

These two passages narrative from Daniel chapter 3:1-28 and apocalyptic from Daniel chapter 2:31-45 contribute to Daniel’s overall message that God is sovereign in these manners. There was no other god, either in the form of an idol or graven image, which could deliver them from troubles. This was signified by the appearance of the fourth Man in the fiery furnace. It is evident that fire consumes ashes, but they never smelled smoke or were they burned. Such an occurrence is only sovereign from God Almighty. In the end, the king declared that there should be no other Being worth worship except the God of Daniel. No other being living or non-living could foretell future events as described in our apocalyptic passage except God.

This is sure because the kingdoms fell into their reigning position as the king saw and as Daniel subsequently interpreted. After these earthly kingdoms were dissolved, only the everlasting kingdom- whose ruler is God- dominated and stood to rule on earth. His sovereignty as the king of kings is also displayed. He (God) would place one king into position and demote one from the throne. All nations and them that dwell therein belong to God. He could allow one nation to dominate others when they rebelled against His laws. The subdued were subjects to the subduer through His governing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the book of Daniel is both historical and prophetic. Of the events that were happening at the time of Daniel himself and the future events. The theme is majorly the sovereignty of God into; His ability to deliver from captivity from the power of nations and troubles. Also, it tells how He deals with people on earth when they go against His will. After that, things that will happen as long as human beings on earth are all hidden in God’s mind. He reveals it at His own time to whosoever He will. It also gives several means by which God relays divine information to human beings. These means include dreams, visions, prophets, and unknown languages through handwriting on the wall. In the end, He is the Supreme Judge of both the living and the dead. Nothing will be hidden before Him. We also get His other descriptive names, for example, ancient of days Son of God, Holy One of Israel, The Lord, and Almighty. Apocalypse is Daniel’s book, a legendary genre in which a reality of heaven is exposed to a humanoid recipient. Such works are featured by visions, an angelic interpreter, symbolism, and stress on the end of time events.

The theme of stories in chapters one up to six is that God is supreme over all earthly kings. Daniel establishes the central inquiry that runs thru the whole book, how God can continue to work His when all appears lost. Daniel establishes God as the king in power and control of all that occurs. The Master of Supreme will and authority. He offers Jehodiachiam into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. He offers Daniel grace and mercies, and it is He who offers the four young Jews their capability and knowledge. God took Daniel and his friends into Babylonian exile, and it is Him who is the cause of their gifts and salvation.

References

Collins, J. J. (2016). The apocalyptic imagination: An introduction to Jewish apocalyptic literature. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Golan, N. (2019). The Daniel Narratives (Dan 1–6): Structure and Meaning. JHS19, 1-24.