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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


DE BRUYN, Jacobus. Daniel 5, Elohim and Marduk: the final battle. Old testam. essays [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.3, pp.623-641. ISSN 2312-3621.

Daniel 5 forms part of a larger narrative that originates in Dan 1. The larger, more dominant narrative can be described as a deity war or a clash of deities. Utilising spatial markers, the author of Dan 5 shows his readers that the God of Israel has the ability to operate outside the spatial domain of the land of Israel. Not only can Elohim operate beyond the borders of Israel, He can challenge and defeat other deities within their own spatial domains of authority. In Dan 5 the God of Israel's supremacy is shown in that He bridges and conquers Marduk's last surviving god-space. When Elohim conquers the banquet hall as the last stronghold of Marduk, the conflict that started between them in Dan 1 is brought to an end. Marduk's appointed king is killed and his empire is given away by the God of Israel to other deities and their rulers. In his own way the author attempts to persuade his readers that the God of Israel's authority is universal and not bound to a particular spatial context.

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