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DANIEL, BOOK OF

A prophetic book of the Old Testament, in fourteen chapters, among which three languages are represented. The preliminary section (1, 2, and 4) is in Hebrew and describes Daniel's capture and education. The first part of his prophecies (2, 5, and 7), in Aramaic, refers to world power in relation to God's people, notably the dream of the great statue and the vision of the four beasts. The second part of Daniel's prophecies (7 to 12), in Hebrew, describes the fortunes of the Jews with respect to world power. The book concludes with the so-called deuterocanonical parts (12 to 14) that are missing in the Jewish Bible but endorsed by the Septuagint Greek translation. In this section are found the narrative of the chaste Susanna, the idol Bel, the dragon destroyed by Daniel, and a second peril in the lion's den. In telling the future the prophet is very precise. Christ quotes from Daniel, foretelling the fall of Jerusalem and the last day (Matthew 24:15-25). The Church has embodied all fourteen chapters of the book in her biblical canon.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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