The Literary Structure of Daniel

This is the literary structure of Daniel adapted from Holbrook (The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy), Steinmann (Daniel), and Greidanus (Preaching Christ from Daniel):

A. Historical Prologue (chap. 1)

    B. Vision of four kingdoms then the Kingdom of God (chap. 2)

          C. Trials and deliverance - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego (chap. 3)

               X. King warned, chastised, and delivered - Nebuchadnezzar (chap. 4)

              X.’ King warned, defiant, and deposed- Belshazzar (chap. 5)

         C.’ Trials and deliverance - Daniel (chap. 6)

      B.’ Vision of four kingdoms  then the Kingdom of God (chap. 7)

      B. Vision on the Post-Babylonian Kingdoms (chap 8)

          X. Kingdom of God Restored (chap. 9)

      B. Vision on the Post-Babylonian Kingdoms (chap 11-12a)

A.’ Prophetic Epilogue (chap 12b)

Another compelling option is from D. W. Gooding, “The Literary Structure of the Book of Daniel and its Implications" Tyndale Bulletin 32 (1981) 43-80:

    A. Daniel refuses to eat king’s food, Daniel vindicated by God (chap. 1)

B. Two Images (chap. 2-3)

    C. Two Kings Disciplined  (chap. 4-5)

    A.’ Daniel refuses king to not pray, Daniel vindicated by God (chap. 6)

B.’ Two Visions of Beastly Kingdoms (chap. 7-8)

    C.’ Two Angelic Explanations of Kingdoms Destroyed (chap. 9-12)

Tanner provides a helpful chart ("The Literary Structure of the Book of Daniel," Biblioteca Sacra 160 (2003) 278):

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