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Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 1

Daniel 9 Is Not an Appendix to Daniel 8


Eduard C. Hanganu
B.A., M.A., Linguistics
Lecturer in English, UE
Draft 3
Revised June 4, 2014
2014
The Seventh-day Adventist [further, SDA] historicist theologians have insisted that
Daniel 8 and Daniel 9 are connected through a common topic, and that Daniel 9 is an appendix
to Daniel 8 because in Daniel 9:21 the angel Gabriel returns to Daniel to finish for the prophet
the explanation of the 2300 years prophecy that had been left incomplete ten years before in
Daniel 8. State the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary [further, SDABC] authors:
Some commentators have missed the close connection between chs. 8 and 9 [emphasis added], and thus
the relationship between the 2300 days of ch. 8 and the 70 weeks of ch. 9. The context, however,
requires precisely this relationship, as the following facts make evident.1

In this paper, the author will show that while Daniel 8 and 9 are related to each other and
interconnected as chapters or discourse fragments of Daniels entire text or discourse, the two
chapters are at the same time distinct and autonomous because, 1. Each chapter or discourse
fragment is delimited with opening and closing statements that separates it from the other
chapter, and 2. Daniel 8 and 9 contain different and distinct sub-topics. The topic shift from
Daniel 8 to Daniel 9 is also a clear indicator that the two chapters are not merged into a single
discourse fragment, and that Daniel 9 is not a mere appendix to Daniel 8.
Interpretation at Discourse Level
Theologians and Bible scholars have performed for quite a long time biblical text
interpretation, or exegesis, at word, phrase, and sentence level, in accord with the established
hermeneutical principles of their epochs, and in step with the scientific and empirical
developments in linguistics the language science. States Schiffrin:
For most of its long scholarly tradition, linguistics perceived the sentence as the limit of the language
system [emphasis added]. Linguists focused mainly on the forms of language (sounds, morphemes, words,
and sentences); how language was used in context was not explored. Speakers, hearers, and situations were
outside the realm of analysis.2

Scientific advances in linguistics (semantics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis) have


made it obvious that such an approach to textual interpretation or exegesis is inadequate and
unscientific. Schiffrin has argued that the interpreters must adopt a wider and more scientific
perspective and investigate language use above and beyond the sentence,3 that is, at discourse
level, and she clarifies what is means to interpret or exegete text above and beyond words
and sentences: It is by examining units larger than sentences, then, that discourse analysts go
above the sentence. And it is by examining aspects of the world in which language is used that
discourse analysts go beyond the sentence.4

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 2

In most exegetical papers, though, the steps taken in the interpretation of a Biblical text
or passage appear to begin at the word level, continue with the phrases, and stop at the sentence
level. The data acquired after the exegete has explored the text at these three fundamental
levels is therefore incomplete and often leads to the misreading and misinterpretation of the
biblical text or passage. Warns OGrady:
An additional source of contextual information relevant to sentence interpretation can be found in the
discourse, the connected series of utterance produced during a conversation, a lecture, a story, or some
other speech act. The importance of discourse stems from the fact that individual sentences commonly
include elements whose interpretation can only be determined with the help of information in preceding
utterances.5

An interpretation or exegesis approach that goes above and beyond these three
levels word, phrase, and sentence into discourse level is critical for adequate text
interpretation and for the correct understanding of the content of a Biblical passage or discourse
fragment.
Discourse Structure: Distinctive Features
1. Discourse as a Whole Text. Trask defines discourse as a continuous stretch of speech (or
less commonly writing) which can reasonably be regarded as forming a unit, in that it has some
kind of recognizable structure.6 From this perspective, a discourse differs from a random
sequence of sentences because it has coherence it conveys meaning that is greater than the sum
of its parts,7 and cohesion, that is, information [is joined] together as a text through cohesive
ties among which are repetition, reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, and lexical
relations.8 Some elemental features of discourse structure are: 1. discourse topic, 2. discourse
fragments, 3. discourse boundaries or markers, and 4. topic shifts between discourse
fragments.
2. Discourse Topic. Brown and Yule define discourse topic as what is being talked about in
a conversation,9 and mention that discourse topic is not the same as sentential topic that can be
expressed in a simple NP [noun phrase], but a proposition (about which some claim is made or
elicited).10 Because there is no such thing as one correct expression of the topic for any
fragment of discourse,11 and there will always be a set of possible expressions of the topic,12 a
better definition of topic is needed, which is a characterisation of topic which would allow
each of the possible expressions, including titles, to be considered (partially) correct, thus
incorporating all reasonable judgments of what is being talked about.13 Their suggestion for
such an expanded definition is formulated as follows: We suggest that such a characterization
can be developed in terms of a topic framework.14
3. Discourse Fragments. In the act of communication, the writer needs to divide the entire
discourse information into smaller discourse chunks or fragments, in order to facilitate the
information exchange. State Brown and Yule:
According to Halliday, the speaker [writer] is obliged to chunk his speech [written text] into information
units. He has to present his message in a series of packages. He is, however, free to decide how he wishes
to package the information. He is free to decide where each information unit begins and ends, and how
it is organized internally [emphasis added] (1967:200).15

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 3

Each one of these smaller discourse sections chunks or fragments, will develop from
the discourse topic,16 and within its specific and unique fragment boundaries, its own sub-topic
as a chunk of conversational discourse,17 which, then, can be treated as a semantic unit because
it contains its own peculiar topic. This also means that as a distinctive chunk of the whole
discourse one stretch [or fragment] of discourse [could be] about something and the next stretch
about something else.18
4. Discourse Fragment Boundaries. In order to deliver specific data through the information
units that are the smaller discourse chunks or fragments, the writer has to organize or structure
the discourse and decide where each information unit begins and ends,19 that is, to establish
fragment boundaries or markers, that set one chunk of discourse off from the rest.20 As to the
linguistic nature of these boundary markers, Brown and Yule state:
Formulaic expressions such as Once upon a timeand they lived happily ever after can be used explicitly
to mark the boundaries of a fragment. Other familiar markers are Have you heard the one about?, Did
I tell you what happened to me last week? and various forms which can be used to mark the beginning
of a joke or anecdote. These markers help the analyst decide where the beginning of a coherent
fragment of discourse occurs [emphasis added].21

The above text indicators or pointers are just some of the formal devices used to mark
the boundaries of chunks of both written and spoken discourse which form large units of some
kind, such as paragraphs,22 and are essential for the exegete who attempts to recognize the
discourse structure of a text.
5. Topic Shifts between Fragments. As mentioned above, smaller discourse chunks such as
fragments develop their own sub-topics as extensions from the discourse topic, and are preceded
and followed by boundaries or markers that indicate or mark where these fragments begin and
end. Sometimes, though, such start and end markers are not obvious or easy to notice, and this
might confuse the exegete during text interpretation as to what part of the text should belong or
should not belong to the fragment under investigation. The solution is for the exegete to look for
topic shifts in the text. State Brown and Yule:
It has been suggested (e.g. by Schank, 1977:424; Maynard, 1980) that instead of undertaking the difficult
task of attempting to define what a topic is, we should concentrate on describing what we recognize as
topic-shift. That is, between two contiguous pieces of discourse which are intuitively considered to have
two different topics, there should be a point at which the shift from one topic to the next is marked. If we
characterize this marking of topic-shift, then we shall have found a structural basis for dividing up stretches
of discourse into a series of smaller units, each on a separate topic. This type of approach to the analysis of
discourse is based on the principle that, if we can identify the boundaries of units where one unit ends and
another begins then we need not have a priori specifications for the content of such units. 23

In other words, if the exegete was able to recognize topic shifts in the text of the
discourse under examination, he will also be able to understand the structure of that entire
discourse because he will be able to distinguish the smaller chunks or fragments that comprise
the discourse and isolate them from the other fragments without the need to first understand the
content of the chunks or fragments.
Daniel as a Whole Discourse
From a discourse perspective, Daniel, as a whole book, is recognizable as discourse, and
therefore we can refer to its text as the discourse in the book of Daniel. This means that the

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 4

book should be expected to behave as a coherent, cohesive, and discrete text with a recognizable
discourse structure. The book seems to have clear boundaries that mark where the text begins
(Daniel 1:1: In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah) and where it ends
(Daniel 12:13to receive your allotted inheritance.), and appears to stand on its own. The book
has also a clear general topic which could be formulated, from the topic framework perspective,
as: Daniel as a deportee in Babylon and the visions he received there, or Daniel the prophet in
Babylon and the visions he received there.
Discourse Fragments in Daniel
Further examination of the book of Daniel reveals that the entire book or discourse
appears to be divided into 12 smaller chunks or discourse fragments that seem to overlap with
the 12 chapters. While these chunks or fragments are related with one another and interconnected
as parts or sections of the books discourse, they also seem to be identifiable as distinctive
chunks or units, due to the fact that they have their own sub-topics and are separated from one
another by discourse markers that delimit the opening and closing of each fragment so that the
fragments appear to show discreteness as autonomous linguistic units. The only exception to this
almost general structure in Daniel is that the fragment 10 (chapter 10) seems to continue into the
fragment 11 (chapter 11) and the fragment 12 (chapter 12) as the opening marker for the
fragment 11 (chapter 11) seems to indicate, and as the prophetic narrative continues in the
fragment 12 (chapter 12). Below are the 12 discourse fragments in Daniel with their specific
discourse markers and singular topics:
Discourse Fragment 1
Discourse fragment 1 (chapter 1) has the sub-topic Daniel and three other young men are
deported to Babylon and trained there for king Nebuchadnezzars service. The fragment opens
with the marker, In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king
of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it (Daniel 1:1 NIV), and closes with the marker,
And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus (Daniel 1:21 NIV). The above
markers delimit fragment one, and define it as distinct and autonomous in the book.
Discourse Fragment 2
Discourse fragment 2 (chapter 2) has the sub-topic, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and Daniel
narrates and explains the kings dream to him. The fragment opens with the marker, In the
second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not
sleep (Daniel 2:1NIV), and closes with the marker, Moreover, at Daniels request the king
appointed Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon,
while Daniel himself remained at the royal court (Daniel 2:49 NIV). The above markers delimit
fragment 2, and define it as distinct and autonomous in the book. There is another feature that
confirms that Daniel 2 is autonomous from Daniel 1, and that is the topic shift between the two
chapters. This shift occurs in Daniel 2:1 where a new sub-topic is introduced: In the second year
of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams [emphasis added].
Discourse Fragment 3
Discourse fragment 3 (chapter 3) has the sub-topic, Nebuchadnezzar builds a gold image and
demands worship to it, but Daniels companions refuse to worship the image. The fragment

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 5

opens with the marker, King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine
feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon (Daniel 3:1 NIV), and
closes with the marker, Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the
province of Babylon (Daniel 3:30 NIV). The above markers delimit fragment 3, and establish it
as autonomous in the book. There is another feature that confirms that Daniel 3 is distinct and
autonomous from Daniel 2, and that is the topic shift that occurs between the two chapters. This
topic shift occurs in Daniel 3:1 where a new sub-topic is introduced: King Nebuchadnezzar
made of image of gold [emphasis added].
Discourse Fragment 4
Discourse fragment 4 (chapter 4) has the sub-topic, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of a tree,
Daniel interprets the dream, and then the dream is fulfilled. The fragment opens with the
marker, King Nebuchadnezzar, To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in
all the world: May you prosper greatly! (Daniel 4:1 NIV), and closes with the marker, Now I,
Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is
right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble (Daniel 4:37
NIV). The above markers delimit fragment 4, and establish it as distinct and autonomous in the
book. There is another feature that confirms that Daniel 4 is distinct and autonomous from
Daniel 3, and that is the topic shift between the two chapters. This topic shift occurs in Daniel
4:10 where a new sub-topic is introduced: I looked, and there stood a tree [emphasis added]
in the middle of the land.
Discourse Fragment 5
Discourse fragment 5 (chapter 5) has the sub-topic, At Belshazzars banquet a hand writes on
the wall, and Daniel interprets the writing. The passage opens with the marker, King
Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles, and drank wine with them (Daniel
5:1 NIV), and closes with the marker, That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians was
slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom at the age of sixty-two (Daniel 5:30 NIV).
The above markers delimit fragment 5, and establish it as autonomous in the book. There is
another feature that confirms that Daniel 5 is distinct and autonomous from Daniel 4, and that is
the topic shift between the two chapters. This shift occurs in Daniel 5:5, where a new sub-topic is
introduced: Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appears and wrote on the plaster of the
wall [emphasis added].
Discourse Fragment 6
Discourse fragment 6 (chapter 6) has the sub-topic, Daniel is thrown in the lions den for his
worship to God, but an angel saves him. The fragment opens with the marker, It pleased
Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over
them, one of whom was Daniel (Daniel 6:1 NIV), and closes with the marker, So Daniel
prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 6:28 NIV). The
above markers delimit fragment 6, and establish it as distinct and autonomous in the book. There
is another feature that confirms that Daniel 6 is distinct and autonomous from Daniel 5, and that
is the topic shift between the two chapters. This shift occurs in Daniel 6:1 where a new sub-topic
is introduced: to appoint 120 satraps with three administrators over them [emphasis
added].

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 6

Discourse Fragment 7
Discourse fragment 7 (chapter 7) has the sub-topic, Daniel has a vision of four beasts and the
judgment of the little horn, and an angel explains the vision to him. The passage opens with the
marker, In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed
through his mind, as he was lying on his bed. He wrote the substance of his dream (Daniel 7:1
NIV), and closes with the marker, This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled
by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself (Daniel 7:28 NIV).
The above markers delimit fragment seven, and establish it as distinct and autonomous in the
book. There is another feature that confirms that Daniel 7 is distinct and autonomous from
Daniel 6, and that is the topic shift between the two chapters. This shift occurs in Daniel 7:1
where a new sub-topic is introduced: Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his
mind [emphasis added].
Discourse Fragment 8
Discourse fragment 8 (chapter 8) has the sub-topic, Daniel has a vision of a goat, ram, and horn,
and the angel Gabriel interprets the vision for him. The fragment opens with the discourse
marker, In the third year of King Belshazzars reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that
had already appeared to me (Daniel 8:1 NIV), and closes with the marker, I, Daniel, was
exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the kings business. I was
appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding (Daniel 8:27 NIV). The above markers
delimit fragment 8, and establish it as a distinct fragment in the book. There is another feature
that confirms that Daniel 8 is distinct from Daniel 7 the topic shift between the two chapters.
This shift occurs in Daniel 8:1 where the new sub-topic is introduced: I, Daniel, had a vision,
after the one that had already appeared to me [emphasis added]. Both the open-close
markers and the topic shift marker seem to indicate that fragment or chapter 8 is distinct and
autonomous from fragment or chapter 7 and that chapter 8 is not merged with chapter 7 as a subtopical fragment in the book.
Discourse Fragment 9
Discourse fragment 9 (chapter 9) has the sub-topic, Daniel prays to God for himself and for his
people for the end of Jerusalems desolation, and Gabriel comes to let him know the future of
Israel. The fragment opens with the marker, In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede
by descent) who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom (Daniel 9:1 NIV), and closes
with the marker, And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes
desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (Daniel 9:27 NIV). The above
markers delimit fragment 9, and establish it as a distinct and autonomous discourse fragment in
the book. There is another feature that confirms that Daniel 9 is distinct from Daniel 8 the topic
shift between the two chapters. This shift occurs in Daniel 9:2: I, Daniel, understood from the
Scripturesthat the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. Both the open-close
markers and the topic shift marker seem to indicate that chapter 9 is distinct from chapter 8, and
that chapter 9 is not merged with chapter 8 as an appendix or prophetic explanation.

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 7

Discourse Fragment 10
Discourse fragment 10 (chapter 10) has the sub-topic, Daniel has a vision of a man who has
come to him to explain what will happen to his [Daniels] people in the future. The fragment
opens with the marker, In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to
Daniel (Daniel 10:1 NIV), and closes with the marker, And in the first year of Darius the
Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him (Daniel 11:1 NIV). The opening marker
delimits fragment 10 from fragment 9 and establishes it as a distinct and autonomous discourse
fragment. There is another feature that confirms that Daniel 10 is distinct from Daniel 9 the
topic shift between the two chapters. The shift occurs in Daniel 10:1: Its message is true and
it concerned a great war. The fragment 10, though, ends in a connection marker that
indicates that fragment or chapter 10 is connected to fragment or chapter 11. That connection
marker is, but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me
against them except Michael, your prince, and it makes it obvious that the one who looked like
a man, or the angel intends to continue his prophetic revelation in what has been defined in
modern times as chapter 11 of Daniel.
Discourse Fragment 11
Discourse fragment 11 (chapter 11) has the sub-topic, The man narrates to Daniel, in detail,
future events related to the kings of the South and North. The passage opens with the discourse
marker, Now, then, I tell you the truth (Daniel 11:2 NIV), and closes with the connection
marker, Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him (Daniel 11:45 NIV). Verses
20 and 21 in Daniel 10 contain a clear marker or signal that the sub-topic in Daniel 10 chapter or
fragment continues into the Daniel 11 fragment (chapter) as the man in linen (the angel) tells
Daniel: 20. Do you know why I have come to you? 21. but first I will tell you what is written
in the Book of Truth. There is no topic shift between fragments (chapters) 10 and 11 in the
book of Daniel. The man in linen makes this matter clear when he explains to Daniel that he has
come to tell the prophet about the future and does so in fragment 11 (chapter 11). These are
chunks or fragments in the book of Daniel that seem to be topically connected, and the end
verses in fragment 11, the absence of topic shift between fragment 10 and fragment 11, and the
connection marker in Daniel 11:45 make this matter obvious.
Discourse Fragment 12
Discourse fragment 12 (chapter 12) has the subtopic, The man in linen continues to narrate to
Daniel events of the future, and the coming of Michael, and concludes his narrative. The
fragment opens with the marker, At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your
people, will arise (Daniel 12:1 NIV), and closes with the discourse marker, As for you, go
your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your
allotted inheritance (Daniel 12:13 NIV). The fragment 12 opener, which is a connection
marker, makes it clear that the man in linen continues to inform Daniel about the future, and
there is no topic shift between fragment (chapter) 11 and fragment (chapter) 12 that would
separate the two fragments (chapters). Fragment 11 and fragment 12 in the book of Daniel are
also connected through a common topic, as the man in linen continues the narrative about the
future which he had started in Daniel fragment (chapter) 10.

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 8

Summarized Topics, Open-Close Markers, Connection Markers, and Topic Shifts


Fragment
(Chapter)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Fragment Topic

Opening
Marker
and Daniel 1:1

Closing Marker

Captivity
training
Nebuchadnezzars
dream
The image of gold
Nebuchadnezzars
tree
The writing on
the wall
Daniel in the
lions den
Daniels vision of
four beasts
Daniels vision of
beasts and horn
Daniels vision of
70 weeks
Daniels vision of
a man
The South and
North Kings
The times of the
end

Daniel 1:21

Connection
Marker

Topic Shift

Daniel 2:1

Daniel 2:49

Daniel 2:1

Daniel 3:1
Daniel 4:1

Daniel 3:30
Daniel 4:37

Daniel 3:1
Daniel 4:10

Daniel 5:1

Daniel 5:31

Daniel 5:5

Daniel 6:1

Daniel 6:28

Daniel 6:1

Daniel 7:1

Daniel 7:28

Daniel 7:1

Daniel 8:1

Daniel 8:27

Daniel 8:1

Daniel 9:1

Daniel 9:27

Daniel 9:2

Daniel 10:1

Daniel 10:21

Daniel 10:1

Daniel 11:2

Daniel 11:45

Daniel 11:2

Daniel 12:1

Daniel 12:13

Conclusion
The discourse markers data collected on the discourse structure of the book of Daniel
makes it clear that while fragments (chapters) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in the book are distinct
and autonomous, fragments (chapters) 10-12 are connected to one another through a common
and shared sub-topic of the book. There is no sub-topic shift from fragment (chapter) 10 to
fragment (chapter) 11 or fragment (chapter) 12. The obvious opening and closing markers
between fragments (chapters) 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, 4 and 5, 5 and 6, 6 and 7, 7 and 8, and 8
and 9 make it clear that these fragments (chapters) are distinct and autonomous, while the
evident connection markers between fragments (chapters) 10 and 11 and 11 and 12 are a clear
indication that the last and final three discourse fragments or chapters (10-12) in Daniel
constitute a combined discourse fragment that has resulted from the merged discourse fragments
or chapters 10, 11, and 12.

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 9

References
1

Francis D. Nichol, Ed., The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4 at Daniel 9:21,
sub-point 1 (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976), CD-ROM
version. Daniel 9:21.
2

Deborah Schiffrin, Chapter 5: Discourse, in Ralph W. Fasold and Jeff Connor-Linton


(editors), An Introduction to Language and Linguistics (Cambridge: New York, 2006), 170:3.
3

Ibid., 170:4.

Ibid., 170:5.

William OGrady, Chapter 6: Semantics: The Analysis of Meaning, in William OGrady,


John Archibald, Mark Aronoff, and Janie Rees-Miller, Contemporary Linguistics: An
Introduction, 45th edition (Bedford/St. Martin: New York, 2005), 230.
6

R.L. Trask, A Students Dictionary of Language and Linguistics, (New York: Arnold, 1997), 71.

Deborah Schiffrin, Chapter 5: Discourse, in Ralph W. Fasold and Jeff Connor-Linton


(editors), An Introduction to Language and Linguistics (Cambridge: New York, 2006), 171:1.
8

Ibid., 185: box.

Gillian Brown and George Yule, Discourse Analysis (New York: Cambridge University Press,
1983), 71:1.
10

Ibid., 71:2.

11

Ibid., 74:3.

12

Ibid., 74:3.

13

Ibid., 75:1.

14

Ibid., 75:2.

15

Ibid., 155:1.

16

Ibid, 71:2.

17

Ibid., 70:1.

18

Ibid., 70:2.

19

Ibid.,69:1.

20

Ibid.,69:2.

21

Ibid.,69:2.

Daniel 9 Is Not An Appendix to Daniel 8 10

22

Ibid.,94:2.

23

Ibid., 94-95.