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The Apocalyptic Survey of History Adapted by Christians: Daniel's Prophecy of 70 Weeks

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Chapter Summary

Studies of apocalyptic literature have often observed that historical surveys, a vital element of many Jewish apocalypses, are largely absent in their Christian counterparts. Sweeping surveys of the past based on some older Jewish apocalyptic scheme found a home in other genres. In the section immediately preceding the apocalypse of 70 weeks, Daniel beseeches God with a prayer common in the liturgy of the synagogues. Describing God as 'keeper of the covenant', it confesses his majesty and righteousness, attributes the sufferings of his people to their trangressions against the Law, and pleads with God for forgiveness. In the Antiquities, Josephus expresses the highest regard for Daniel. What particularly commended him to Jewish readers, he says, were both the chronological precision and the reassuring character of his prophecy. Eusebius' most exhaustive analysis of Daniel's apocalypse of 70 weeks appears in the eighth book of his Demonstratio evangelica.

Keywords: Christian; Daniel; historical surveys; Jewish apocalypses; Josephus



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