Is The “Daniel” of Ezekiel 28 The Same Person As The Book of Daniel?


When discussing the evidence for the early date of Daniel in the sixth century B.C., one of the points that is raised is this same Daniel (of the book of Daniel) was a contemporary with Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:20; 28:3). Since Ezekiel lived in the sixth century B.C., then it would be the case that Daniel lived during the same time period. Those who oppose that the book of Daniel was written during the sixth century B.C. will appeal to another man named Danel (no misspelling here).

Even though Block identifies Daniel as the same person from the book of Daniel (as is demonstrated in his book), he asks several questions that those who do not believe it to be the same Daniel of the book of Daniel would ask such as:  “Although Ezekiel’s Daniel has traditionally been identified with the Daniel of the biblical book, this interpretation raises several questions. How could a younger contemporary of Ezekiel earn the right to stand alongside traditional paragons of piety like Noah and Job within such a short period of time. What is Daniel the contemporary Hebrew doing in the company of two non-Israelite heroes of long ago? Why does Ezekiel spell the name dn}l, rather than dny}l?” [Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 1-24 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 447-448.]

This is why some (such as Nelson) believe it to be a different Daniel. In Nelson's article on the name “Daniel,” Nelson reports that Daniel is not a fairly common name as it is only used with four names as he argues from the OT. According to Nelson: “David’s second son, according to the Chronicler (1 Chr. 3:1). The author of the books of Samuel remembers his name as Chileab. Since he does not figure in the struggle for succession to David’s throne (2 Sam. 9—1 Kgs. 2), he possibly died before reaching maturity or was physically or mentally incapacitated. 2. A postexilic priest who returned to the land of Israel in the time of Ezra (Ezra 8:2). He was a descendant of Ithamar and is possibly the same Daniel as the priest who supported Nehemiah’s covenant (Neh. 10:6). 3. A righteous and wise individual whom Ezekiel places in the company of Noah and Job (Ezek. 14:14, 20; 28:3). Although the name is vocalized “Daniel” by the Masoretes and by most English translations, the Hebrew spelling suggests “Danel” is more correct. Thus, there may be a connection between Ezekiel’s Danel and the Danel of the Aqhat text from Ugarit (2nd millennium B.C.), an esteemed judge who protected the rights of widows and orphans. The connection is more plausible when one considers that Ezekiel alludes to Daniel in an oracle against Tyre (Ezek. 28), for the cultures of Ugarit and Tyre were both Canaanite (emp. mine). 4. The hero of the book that bears his name. The book of Daniel tells of a Jewish youth who was taken into exile in Babylon, where the Babylonians trained him to serve as one of the king’s counselors.” [William B. Nelson, Jr. “Daniel.” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible.  ed. David Noel Freedman (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000), 311.]

1. First, the spelling of the name is of no consequence since these are variant spellings of the same name.  [Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 1-24, 448.]

2. Second, Daniel was a righteous man and he was delivered because of his righteousness. Petrillo states: “These three men are specially mentioned to show that a righteous few will not prevent the destruction of the many. Noah, Daniel, and Job would only deliver themselves by their own righteousness. Their righteousness would not avail for others. The righteousness of Noah (Gen. 6:9; Heb. 11:7), Daniel (Dan. 6:4, 5, 22), and Job (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3) delivered each of them, respectively, out of danger; but they succeeded only in delivering themselves.”  [Denny Petrillo, Ezekiel, Truth For Today Commentary, (Searcy, AR: Resource Publications, 2004), 205.]

Archer points out that this Daniel of the legend of Aquat is an idol-worshipper and his spiritual condition was very low. [Gleason Archer, “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel,” (Bibliotheca Sacra 136 [1979] 133-134.] This is in great contrast to the Daniel the Hebrew prophet who served the true and living God.


3. Third, Daniel was known for his supernatural wisdom. Petrillo states in regards to the pride of the king of Tyre in Ezek 28:3: “Daniel was noted for his righteousness and his wisdom, and both of these qualities are stressed (see Daniel 1:17–20; 2:47; 4:18).  [Petrillo, Ezekiel, 415.]


4. Fourth, Daniel might have been well-known because of he was a part of the royal family that was taken in the first deportation to Babylon in 606 B.C.  Although this is not for certain, it is historically plausible. The first two references come from the Bible while the other two sources are extra-biblical.


(1) Daniel 1:1–6.


(2) Isaiah 39:5–7.


(3) D.R.A. Hare, The Lives of the Prophets, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha,Vol. 2, ed. James Charlesworth (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1983), 379–400.  Lives of the Prophets 4:1-2: “Daniel. This man was of the tribe of Judah, of the family of those prominent in the royal service, but yet while a child he was taken from Judea to the land of the Chaldeans. He was born in Upper Beth-horon, and he was a chaste man, so that the Judeans that that he was a eunuch.” 


(4) Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18:186–189: “Now Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king, such as were remarkably for their beauty of their bodies and comeliness of their countenances, and delivered them into the hands of tutors... He also made some of them to be eunuchs... Now among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah, of the most excellent dispositions, the one of whom was called Daniel.”


This is why it is the case that “he was a contemporary of Ezekiel. Daniel was in the place in Babylon, and Ezekiel was with the common people.” [Petrillo, Ezekiel, 205.] This also proves that if Daniel was written early, then he, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20,21) wrote prophecies that were far in advance of the future showing forth that his book is inspired of God since only Deity can foretell the future in such specific details and precise timing! (2 Timothy 3:16,17)


Works Cited

Archer, Gleason L. Jr., “Modern Rationalism and the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 136:542 (1979) 129-147. 

Block, Daniel I. The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 1-24.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.

Hare, D.R.A. The Lives of the Prophets, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha,Vol. 2, ed. James Charlesworth. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1983.

Nelson, Jr. William B.  “Daniel.” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible.  ed. David Noel Freedman. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000.

Josephus. Translated by H. St. J. Thackeray et al. 10 vols. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926-1965.

Petrillo, Denny. Ezekiel. Truth For Today Commentary. Searcy, AR: Resource Publications, 2004.

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