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Daniel; Let them eat bean-cake

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posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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There’s an old conundrum which asks the question; “What happens when an Irresistible Force meets an Immovable Object?”
The briefest way of putting the answer is to say that “One of them is exposed as a fraud” (because the two things can’t exist at the same time).
The question which forms the main issue of the book of Daniel can be framed (and dealt with) in much the same way;
“What happens when the will of God meets the will of a ruler who thinks he’s God?”

The classic model of this kind of encounter, in Jewish history, was the reign of the king who called himself THEOS EPIPHANES- “the visible god”.
So the last chapters of Daniel are clearly pointing towards the infamous Antiochus Epiphanes, and looking beyond him to another ruler cut from the same cloth.

At the beginning of the book, though, the same contest is being described in terms of the kingdom of Babylon.
The impact of Babylonian power had been hostile to the Jewish religion.
Directly, because it destroyed the Temple of Solomon.
Indirectly, because it took Jewish people into exile, and exposed them to the temptations of the dominant Babylonian gods.
So if Antiochus Epiphanes is the model for the overbearing Beast of Revelation, the Babylonian state is the model, or part of the model, for the idolatrous Harlot.

The story of the first chapter concerns four young men who were chosen to be trained in the service of the king himself, the victorious Nebuchadnezzar.
That wasn’t a problem, in itself.
None of these youths were refusing to work for him, as a matter of principle, and there’s no suggestion that they should have been.
The difficulty comes when obedience to the king conflicts with obedience to God.

The king wanted them to be served with “food and wine from the king’s table”.
Daniel thought this would be a defilement, and he wanted this meat to be replaced by vegetables (or “pulse”, if you’re reading the AV), and the wine to be replaced by water.

We mustn’t misunderstand his reasons for making this proposal.
There were no objections to eating meat in the religion which Daniel had been taught.
But meat in the ancient world was commonly sacrificed to the local god, who got a small portion of it for his own use (it might be a choice piece of thigh, it might be just the pleasant aroma).
In Israel, of course, the meat was sacrificed to the God of Israel.
But any meat they were given in Babylon would have been dedicated to the gods of Babylon, especially if it was coming straight from the king’s table. The same would apply to the wine.
That was what Daniel was counting as defilement; any kind of association with other gods would be an infringement of the first commandment.
That’s what he wanted to avoid.

The eunuch in charge of training was very nervous about this request.
He was afraid that the more limited diet would make the boys look malnourished, which would get him into trouble for disobedience to the king’s commands.
(I can’t help remembering a very non-P.C. piece of dialogue from the “Two Fat Ladies”, as they were approaching a girls’ school;
“I’ve heard that all the girls nowadays are vegetarians.”
“These can’t be, they look so healthy.”)

Daniel persuaded the eunuch to allow a ten-day trial period.
Already, at the end of that time, they looked healthier and better fed than the boys who were eating the king’s food, so the new diet was allowed to continue.
Once again, this mustn’t be misunderstood. We can’t say that this was the natural result of the vegetable diet, because that would miss the point of the story.
This chapter is one of a series of stories about God protecting his faithful people from danger.
The writer is expecting us to understand that God’s power has been at work, so the danger of malnourishment has to be a real one, or there’s no scope left for God’s intervention.

Living among the believers of other religions was one of the new conditions of Jewish life, so the problem that meat might be defiled by idolatrous contact comes back in the New Testament..
In Revelation, the letter to Pergamum and the letter to Thyatira both complain of a teaching which encourages believers to “eat food sacrificed to idols”, linking the practice with “immorality”.
On the other side of the Aegean, Paul makes a very practical distinction. He warns the Corinthians against joining in the ritual meals associated with pagan ceremonies, because that makes them part of the idolatrous community, “partners with demons”.
However, if they find meat in the open market, they don’t have to make themselves anxious about the possibility that it might have come from one of those meals. (1 Corinthians ch10 vv18-27)
In other words, they will take no harm from meat which has been sacrificed to idols, as long as they avoid meat which is being sacrificed to idols. I think this is the real concern in Revelation as well.
If Paul had not made this distinction, he would have been obliged to adopt the same solution as Daniel.

Conditions have changed again, and this question of “meat being sacrificed to idols” is no longer a living issue.
But we can still apply the moral of the story to the more general issue, of the friction between two competing loyalties.
Later chapters in this book are dealing with more direct conflicts between believers and the state.
The third chapter is about the king commanding a worship which God has forbidden.
The sixth chapter is about the king forbidding a worship which God has commanded.
But these are both examples of conscious confrontation on the part of the state, where there are people knowingly trying to stir up trouble.

This first chapter covers a much earlier stage in the development of the problem.
The king’s orders are following his own will and controlled by his own interests, but he’s completely unconscious that the Jewish youths might have any scruples about them.
His conscious intention, in fact, is to give them the best treatment possible, according to his own lights.
Therefore it’s left to Daniel to identify the conflict, based on his own knowledge of how the God of Israel wants his people to behave.

That’s how the moral of this chapter can be given a more general application.
The human rulers of this world will make their decisions and give their instructions in accordance with their own purposes.
They may not be looking for a clash with the will of God, but they won’t be making it their business to guard against the possibility.
Therefore it behoves the people of God to work out for themselves, like Daniel, where obedience to the human ruler might be in conflict with the first commandment;
“You shall have no other gods but me”.
We have Daniel’s example to show that taking a stand on such an issue does not necessarily involve challenging the general authority of the state.
The intended message of this chapter is that where God’s people are faithful in obedience to him, when they’re put under pressure, then he will honour their faithfulness and keep them in his protection.

Insofar as Daniel prophecies a future confrontation between believers and the ruling power, this chapter serves as a reminder that the confrontation will at first be a gradual and unconscious development.
It comes as the result of the very nature of human authority, when it’s founded upon the will of the ruler.




posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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Again, this is NOT the right forum for preaching the gospel. I understand this is important to, and I'm sure a good many more, but PLEASE post your sermons in the right place.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by lokin
 

This is a sub-forum for discussing "ancient prophecies"- please see the wording at the top of each "prophecies and predictions thread".
Daniel is an "ancient prophecy" and I am discussing it as such.
Ergo, it is in exactly the right place.
There are going to be further threads in this series, like the Revelation series, so get used to it.
edit on 28-1-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I will not criticize a belief that helps many proceed, get up in the morning and continue on in something so resembling hell these days, but I will say this: can you not see wherever this book came from, that here, at least, if you have a chronology of events it will be spun to a different time and date, if you have identities "proving" something, the identity of whomever will be switched around, to the point it no longer spells anything, whatsoever, out.....
So sad. And I am someone who had faith, in believed in having it.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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And, anyway, I have to have some doubt as to your motives when considering your thread title when Daniel went through what he did as a slave....



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

Thank you for your reply, which is incomprehensible.
That is, I have no idea what you're talking about.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by tetra50
 

Thank you for your reply, which is incomprehensible.
That is, I have no idea what you're talking about.



which one.....i will be happy to explain, as it's really simple



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

What theory do you have about my motives?
And is "motives" the word you mean, or are you thinking of something else.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

I was replying to the first, which is the one I saw.
By all means please say something I can get some sense out of.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:37 PM
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Thank you for your ongoing work.
I will look forward to more.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Motive, is the word I wanted, precisely. Bean cake, really? And "let them eat," as in the deceased french queen, Antionette, as per the "revolution?" And how do you reach this comparison from the story of Daniel being a slave and dream interpreter to Nebuchanezzar?



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 


You know, I have rethought this, and you obviously and probably have a greater reading comprension than I do, and are a valued contributor as such, so just ignore my silly attempts at intelligent genuflections and carry on.....as you were. And, after all, what I write, doesn't make any sense, so I will withdraw now.....

Thanks for your thread for leading me to that interpretation of reality....
edit on 28-1-2013 by tetra50 because: because of smiling faces and the rest....



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

The allusion to Marie Antoinette was a deliberate joke.
My motive, therefore, was to make a joke. Some people do this.

Daniel's request was that the eunuch should "let them eat beans" (which is what "pulse" means in the AV.)
I combined that with Marie Antionette to make "bean-cake".
Do you have a problem with jokey titles?



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by woodsmom
 

Thank you for that comment.
I may end up going through the first half of Daniel (I've already got scattered threads on the second half)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


No, I have a problem with making any jokes out of the lives of slaves who interpreted, well, anything, because they were slaves....period. It's about slavery, for me. It isn't funny. Quantify my dream like I want, have the future turn out accordingly, and maybe, just maybe I won't kill you and all your brethren....that's my problem....
It's not very funny, is it? The further in time we get away from it, is it more funny? Little horn, big horn, here's my joke, on a forum I couldn't perceive or imagine as of today, my day.....

Sorry, like I said, I don't belong here. Inappropriate......take care. Much respect for your scholarly knowledge and attempt to educate in this world, as it is...



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by lokin
 

P.S. I note the "again".
Does this mean that you make a habit of making these complaints every time somebody puts up a religious thread?
If so, you need to revise your assumptions about what is or is not appropriate for different areas of ATS.




edit on 28-1-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

Sorry, I think I've been letting my sarcastic streak run away with me.
If it's any comfort, these were well-treated slaves who were deliberately being trained for the highest offices of the land ; for under an absolute monarch, slaves are not actually much more slaves than the rest of the population.
I still don't think a whimsical title hurts him any, but i shouldn't be putting you down.



edit on 28-1-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by tetra50
 

Sorry, I think I've been letting my sarcastic streak run away with me.
If it's any comfort, these were well-treated slaves who were deliberately being trained for the highest offices of the land ; for under an absolute monarch, slaves are not actually much more slaves than the rest of the population.
I still don't think a whimsical title hurts him any, but i shouldn't be putting you down.



edit on 28-1-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)


This reply totally intrigues me....
well treated slaves.......
I thought the same once, don't get me wrong, for I will admit I thought this, but I WAS WRONG. Having suffered it, I WAS WRONG. There is no good slavery.....and yes, the whimsical title hurts not him, but his interpretations, thererof...at least, this is my humble opinion.

But that would be my question, I guess.....
The problem is, you are a bible scholar, I have read your threads, and interpret that you are such. I gather that it matters to you.. But with anything on ATS, I have to ask, why it matters to you. For many here, masquerade as those who "care" about something important, while at the same time, writing to obfuscate it thusso.....

I am not a scholar of anything, but understand what it is to struggle and careand depend upon something that gives hope so I can keep going tomorrow......and if you are a scholar, you have a unique and important position, not only to interpret, but to foment the hope in the words of which we are speaking.....or to come right out and say they are a fraud and there solely to obfuscate and distract and lead us all astray...
do you see what i am saying???



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 

You ask why it matters.
It might help if I tell you that I am the son of two schoolteachers and the grandson of another one.
The teaching instinct is in the blood. I feel I'm doing something useful and valuable if I help people to understand things. It's a kind of compulsion.
I focus on Biblical matters, because they're what I'm best qualified to teach, and most interested in teaching.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 06:21 PM
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Having said that, and I do not want to derail your thread, but....
Let them eat cake, in the history of what Daniel predicted? Yes, what are you about, motive wise....does your title not spell it out entirely???

I find many on this site take what is true and turn it into something else, a joke, an obfuscation, and how f@##cking sad is that, and all you draw to you in doing so, with words that were meant to do something wholly other than what is being done with them now and here......

Let me tell you, I am a sinner, first and foremost. And THAT is my strength, for I see all who come before and after me through that sin.....would I not have had it, I would not understand, nor would anyone else, whose lives are defined by that SIN.....all you who quote the phrophecies to us with that in mind, beware, for this is "HOW WE ROLL"

God did not tell me not to have a good time. God told me to watch out for all o fyou who would judge me for doing so........
and my lack of reading comprehension because I didn't see the scriptures the same as you.





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