n Journal for Semitics - Daniel 3, contesting space for clashing images

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1013-8471


It becomes clear that the narrative of Daniel 3 is part of a larger narrative that already starts in Daniel 1 when one applies a spatial-body-frameset to the story. Utilising spatial markers, the author of Daniel 3 demonstrates to his readers that the God of Israel indeed has the ability to operate inside the spatial authority (domain) of foreign gods. The narrative is not so much a question of Elohim's ability to protect his people from death; it rather asks which deity has authority over the plain of Dura. Due to Elohim's rescue of the three men, the fiery furnace cognitively becomes an image of Elohim's god-space and power. In this way the author indicates that the plain of Dura does not belong to the authority domain of Marduk, but to the god-space of the God of Israel. Daniel 3 is not a story about three faithful men, but rather a story about the God of Israel. In his own manner the author attempts to persuade his readers that Elohim's authority is universal, and not restricted to a particular spatial context.

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