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If the author had been accepted to be a sixth century Jew of the Exile his work would have pre-dated Ezra and Nehemiah and would certainly have been considered authoritative enough to group it with the other prophets.What explanation could make sense of these inconsistencies?How could the author of the Book of Daniel make such an error if he lived and wrote at the time indicated?The author of the Book of Daniel seems to place the rule of Cyrus after that of Darius, again an inexplicable error for an author contemporary with these events.In fact the Jews lived quite peacefully and had plenty of opportunity to practice their faith in exile in Babylon.
That would explain why the author is not very precise about sixth century events, why he is so precise about the time of Antiochus, and why he was never counted among the prophets.
However, several internal inconsistencies give rise to certain questions and we are forced to ask whether these dates can be taken as the date of composition. The book of Daniel portrays him as the Babylonian king in the first year of whose reign Daniel has his dream of the four great beasts which come up out of the sea.
(7:1-14) Belshazzar was said to have been slain after he saw the writing on the wall, at which time Darius the Mede supposedly took over the Babylonian kingdom () Actually Belshazzar was the son of the Babylonian king, Nabonidus, and he ruled in place of his father when Nabonidus went to live in Teima in the Arabian desert for eight years (c.
What other evidence is there to support such a conclusion, apart from the fact that it answers our questions so neatly?
First, stories about Daniel had circulated before the time of Antiochus and had long been used to encourage faithful obedience to and observance of Jewish law.
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