The court tales in the first six chapters of the Book of Daniel reflect the social situation during the relatively peaceful time preceding the Maccabean crisis. Daniel represents a model of Jewish behavior in the midst of a pagan society with its demands and values. A Jew in such a situation has two possible answers or reactions to the surrounding society: acceptance or refusal. The present article analyses four tales from the Book of Daniel (chapters 1, 2, 3, and 6) and the criteria Daniel and his companions used for deciding whether the demands and values of the surrounding pagan society are to be accepted, or if there is a case for refusal and, eventually, martyrdom.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.