The second is a language division between the Hebrew of chapters 1 and 8–12, and the Aramaic of chapters 2–7.This language division is reinforced by the chiastic arrangement of the Aramaic chapters (see below).Various suggestions have been made by scholars to explain the fact that the genre division does not coincide with the other two.
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Among them are Daniel and his three companions, who refuse to touch the royal food and wine for fear of defilement.
Their overseer fears for his life in case the health of his charges deteriorates, but Daniel suggests a trial and the four emerge healthier than their counterparts from ten days of nothing but vegetables and water.
They are allowed to continue to refrain from eating the king's food, and to Daniel God gives insight into visions and dreams.
Collins: the language division and concentric structure of chapters 2-6 are artificial literary devices designed to bind the two halves of the book together.
It should also be noted that the time settings of chapters 1–6 show a progression from Babylonian to Median times, which is repeated (Babylonian to Persian) in chapters 7–12.
The following outline is provided by Collins in his commentary on Daniel: There is a clear chiasm (a concentric literary structure in which the main point of a passage is often placed in the centre and framed by parallel elements on either side in "ABBA" fashion) in the chapter arrangement of the Aramaic section.
The following is taken from Paul Redditt's "Introduction to the Prophets": Young Israelites of noble and royal family, "without physical defect, and handsome," versed in wisdom and competent to serve in the palace of the king, are taken to Babylon to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
Traditionally ascribed to Daniel himself, modern scholarly consensus considers the book pseudonymous, the stories of the first half legendary in origin, and the visions of the second the product of anonymous authors in the Maccabean period (2nd century BC).
Its influence has resonated through later ages, from the Dead Sea Scrolls community and the authors of the gospels and Revelation, to various movements from the 2nd century to the Protestant Reformation and modern millennialist movements - on whom it continues to have a profound influence.
The literary structure of the book of Daniel is marked by three prominent features.
The most fundamental is a genre division between the court tales of chapters 1–6 and the apocalyptic visions of 7–12.