Linguistically some of the most apparently difficult passages in scripture occur in Dn. 8:9-14. The text abounds with linguistic and contextual nuances. For example:
- The gender of the verbal subjects and pronouns referring to the “horn from littleness” in verse 9 oscillates from masculine to feminine in verses 9-12.
- Does the “daily” refer to an earthly power or an activity?
- What is the self-consistent relationship of the “daily” in Dn. 8:11, 13; 11:31 and 12:11?
- What is the significance of Daniel’s use of the Hebrew verbal root rum for the action imposed on the “daily” in 8:11 in contrast with the Hebrew root sur in 11:31 and 12:11?
- What is the significance of Daniel’s use of two different Hebrew words, miqdash in 8:11 & 11:31 and qodesh in 8:13 & 14, translated as sanctuary?
- Does the use of makon for “place” in 8:11 instead of maqom have textual significance?
- Is there a self-consistent application of the Hebrew participle shomem (desolating) in 8:13; 9:26-27; 11:31 and 12:11?
- What is the significance of the Hebrew cultic language used in Dn. 8:9-14?
An examination of these questions among other issues will help to shed light on the interpretation of “the daily” (hattamid) in Daniel.
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