This is part six of an eight part blog response to a posting by Daniel O. McClellan entitled, “The Angel of Yahweh in Early Hebrew Bible Narrative,” which was dated June 16, 2011 on WordPress.
Continuing in his literal interpretation of the texts and disregarding the context of the ‘Angel’, Daniel begins his presentation of the story of the birth of Samson as follows:
In Samson’s birth narrative (Judg 13:3–23) the interlocutor is described as an angel of Yahweh throughout, but when Manoah realizes to whom he has been speaking he laments, like the others, “we shall surely die, for we have seen God.” Now, the comment could be translated “for we have seen a deity,” in reference to an angel, but, again, this is not what Exod 33:20 says, and the allusion is clearly to that text.
Daniel continues to reiterate the same point he made in the previous passages. He assumes that mistakes have been left behind by a theoretical Post-Deuteronomic editor. In this case he is stating that the hypothetical editor forgot to insert the ‘Angel’ in Judges 13:22. What is his main argument that this is a mistake? Primarily he continues to be confounded by the subject change from ‘Angel of the Lord’ to ‘Elohim’, for the implication seems to be that the titles are synonymous which must be a mistake because this could never make sense; could it?
Scholars with radical critical viewpoints study the various Biblical passages for years, and have a particular viewpoint of the Jewish Scriptures. For them, Hebrew words, phrases, declarations of speech, etc. are the “evidence” left behind which apparently points to theoretical editorial “schools”. Instead of considering the possibility that the Biblical stories are singular original units they impose diachronic analysis upon the texts. Their understanding of how these texts came together is shaped by their hypothetical timeline of when each of these theoretical “schools” existed. In the case of the Birth of Samson narrative, Daniel is focused on the ‘dying from seeing God’ idea which he anchors to Exodus 33:20, and thereby makes a theoretical Deuteronomic connection. Is this connection a solid conclusion? Can any other possibilities be considered?
It is entirely possible that Exodus 33:20 is not the product of a hypothetical Deuteronomic school. It is also possible that the ‘dying from seeing God’s face’ idea in Exodus 33:20 predates the text of Judges 13:22 by just over one hundred years. This could explain the reference. Instead the critic is so bound by the theoretical Deuteronomic timetable that they place Exodus 33:20 somewhere around the mid to early 7th century BC during the time of King Josiah.
Daniel however is not too focused on the theoretical Deuteronomic school but more specifically on the theoretical Post-Deuteronomic editors. Based on their name, “Post-Deuteronomist”, this places them after the hypothetical Deuteronomist; this would possibly be in the 6th century BC or later. Essentially Daniel is saying that the ‘Angel’ was interpolated into all these texts in the books of Genesis through Judges somewhere around the 6th century BC or later.
Not only does Daniel claim that the ‘Angel’ was written into the text, but also claims indirectly that Judges 13:22 never existed in the original text. This is the “logical” outcome because anything labeled as a Deuteronomic idea by the critics is dated to a later period than the internal context which the story indicates. In this case the book of Judges has internal content which covers a time period from about 1367-1050 BC, so conservatively it could have been completed around 1050 BC. For the critic, however, Judges could be entirely pieced together by the theoretical Deuteronomic “school” in the 7th century BC, and then later cleaned up by the hypothetical Post-Deuteronomic editors from maybe the 6th century BC and possibly later.
It is very important to understand the timeline of this diachronic viewpoint because if we do not then we are likely to assume incongruous scenarios with regard to the Scriptures. I believe the critics themselves have lost sight of their own timeline at times, and it seems that the tail is wagging the dog in some cases. In my opinion, the critical stance on the Samson birth narrative happens to be one of these cases.
The questions regarding this conundrum are not so straightforward so they will need to be addressed one facet at a time. The first part of this issue deals with the dating of the ‘dying from seeing God’ idea which is attributed to the theoretical Deuteronomist in around the mid 7th century BC. It would have been at this time period or later which the critics claim that Exodus 33:20 is alluded to in Judges 13:22. This is one of the theoretical Deuteronomic ideas about a very specific kind of monotheism which does not allow anyone to see God’s face. In other words, for the critic, this idea never existed in Hebrew thought prior to the 7th century BC. It is possible that some critics may even feel that Judges 13:22 was inserted by a theoretical Post-Deuteronomist in the 6th century or later.
The next piece of this unsubstantiated puzzle is the ‘Angel’ in Judges 13. Daniel suggests that this ‘Angel’ was interpolated by a hypothetical Post-Deuteronomic editor which places the supposed editing around the sixth century BC or later. In other words, prior to the 6th century BC, in the mind of the critic, there was no ‘Angel’ in Judges 13.
Based on Daniel’s article the text of Judges 13 could be viewed with at least 3 hypothetical versions if not more, but for the sake of not going down rabbit trails the three are sufficient to examine. The three theoretical versions are as follows:
- The original without the inserted ‘Angel’ thereby showing Manoah speaking directly with God. There possibly is no verse 22 as the idea of ‘dying from seeing God’ supposedly didn’t exist yet for the Hebrews. This version is dated by the critics some time prior to the theoretical Deuteronomic period; this is prior to the 7th century BC.
- There is a possible 2nd theoretical version which could have been edited during the hypothetical Deuteronomic period in which Judges 13:22 was supposedly inserted. In this version there would still be no ‘Angel’ but the theoretical Deuteronomist would be making an attempt to insert their supposed specific monotheism. This would have been around the mid 7th century.
- The third possible theory would be that the hypothetical Post-Deuteronomic editor inserts the ‘Angel’ or that Judges chapter 13 remained in its supposed original form, and the Post-Deuteronomist inserts both the ‘Angel’ and verse 22. This would be dated by the critic to the 6th century BC or later.
It should be pointed out that the same verse which Daniel uses to allude to Exodus 33:20 is also the verse he uses to state:
“…the interlocutor is described as an angel of Yahweh throughout, but when Manoah realizes to whom he has been speaking he laments, like the others, ‘we shall surely die, for we have seen God.'”
In other words, if it was not for Judges 13:22 what other clue would we have to give us that Manoah was speaking specifically to God and not to God through a Messenger?
One implication of this critical viewpoint is that the idea of Judges 13:22 was not original to the text, but was this not the same verse used to decry of the supposed change in interlocutor? In others words, first the Angel is the interlocutor then in verse 22 God is the interlocutor, so there seems to be an assumption that verse 22 is original to the text by virtue of the mention of God. Daniel then turns around and states that verse 22 alludes to Exodus 33:20.
I submit that Daniel has placed Judges 13:22 in two different theoretical Documentarian time periods. By his assumption of it containing the original interlocutor he has dated this prior to the theoretical Deuteronomic period of before the mid 7th century. Then by his statement that it alludes to Exodus 33:20 he has indirectly dated this to the theoretical Deuteronomic or Post-Deuteronomic Period of the mid 7th century or later. If this truly is the case then which one was it because the effect does not bring about the cause and the cause should not follow the effect?
Since the claims of the critics are that editors changed the original message of the texts they tend to explain inconsistencies with more claims of theoretical modifications, but regarding Daniel’s presentation of Judges 13:22, two conclusions can be discerned. Either verse 22 was original to the text or not. There is no getting around the structure of the sentence of verse 22 in which Manoah states that he and his wife saw God (Elohim). If the critic is true to their own understanding of the structure they might be persuaded to think that the verse is actually an insertion of theoretical Deuteronomic theology which left in the supposed Elohist name of God. So which is it? Both? I don’t think so because Daniel seems to lead his argument with the “fact” that suddenly in verse 22 the interlocutor is God.
If we take the premise that verse 22 was original to the text then we are struck with the theological implications of this verse. The burden is on the critic to explain why a “Deuteronomic” theology was original to the text and pre-existed the hypothetical Deuteronomic period. If the critic states the opposite and claims that it is in fact “Deuteronomic” then we could conclude that the title ‘Elohim’ was added by the theoretical Deuteronomist or Post-Deuteronomist, and was not original to the text.
In the first scenario verse 22 is presented as original to the text and in the very next point Daniel states:
“…but, again, this is not what Exod 33:20 says, and the allusion is clearly to that text.”
In effect by stating that the text is alluding to Exodus 33:20 it appears he is saying that verse 22 was possibly added by a Deuteronomist. Just so that I am not jumping to any conclusions about Daniel’s views I will also consider that he possibly thinks that the allusion to Exodus 33:20 was original to the story. If that is the case then the critics must ask themselves if this was original to the text then was the entirety of the Samson story produced during the theoretical Deuteronomic period? If so then why would a Deuteronomist leave so many references to the Lord as the interlocutor effectively leaving a whole section which the later theoretical Post-Deuteronomic editor had to supposedly correct by inserting an ‘Angel’ into the text? One begins to have questions in regard to this hypothetical editor. Even if a theoretical Post-Deuteronomist was savvy enough to insert the ‘Angel’ 12 times between verse 3 and verse 21 the editor suddenly and supposedly has this huge lapse of concentration by forgetting to insert the ‘Angel’ in verse 22!
It is a very simple problem. If verse 22 is Deuteronomic then the reference to ‘Elohim’ could be considered added during the Deuteronomic period. In this case the claim that the original interlocutor was ‘Elohim’ is based on a Deuteronomic addition, and not on original content. It is hard to consider a scenario in which verse 22 is considered Deuteronomic without realizing that the verse could not have been just modified a tiny bit, but the sentence structure points to its cohesiveness. In my opinion, if I was a critic, it is either prior to the theoretical Deuteronomic period or after. I would not support ‘Elohim’ as the original interlocutor if it is dated after this period because then the word “Elohim” could be considered a Deuteronomic addition, and thereby invalidate it as original to the text. I only state this from a critical perspective as I believe the word “Elohim” was original to the context along with the ‘Angel’ references as well.
Moving on to another topic, Manoah realizes whom he has been speaking with in Judges 13:21. Daniel glosses over this verse as in his view he is reading a reconstructed narrative. He is so convinced of what the “original” story looked like that he is not concerned with what verse 21 actually states. Note his words again:
“…the interlocutor is described as an angel of Yahweh throughout, but when Manoah realizes to whom he has been speaking he laments, like the others, ‘we shall surely die, for we have seen God.'”
He notes that Manoah realizes to whom he has been speaking but in referencing verse 21 Daniel speaks as though Manoah realizes it is God appearing to him, but what does verse 21 actually state?
“The angel of the Lord did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord.” NRSV
Manoah realizes that it is the Angel of the Lord appearing to him, but Daniel doesn’t point this out as in his view the ‘angel’ is an interpolation. In addition, by not mentioning that it is the Angel whom Manoah realizes appeared to him, Daniel saves himself the trouble of explaining how in the very next verse the theoretical Post-Deuteronomist forgets to insert the ‘angel’. If we compare this verse to Judges 6:22, the story of Gideon, we see that Gideon also realizes that it is the Angel of the Lord and proclaims:
“…Help me, Lord God! For I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” NRSV.
Both Judges 13:21,22 and Judges 6:22 are of similar structure. In both cases the men realize that they have seen the Angel of the Lord with the difference that Manoah describes the experience as seeing God. In Gideon’s case he states:
“For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”
In Manoah’s case he states:
“…we shall surely die for we have seen God.”
Another question for the critic might be:
If both stories were theoretically modified by a hypothetical Post-Deuteronomist then how dense could they have been to allow such “doctrinal” contradiction within each story and between each story in the very same book? Could it not also be possible that the book of Judges was written by one individual who is making a point about the nature of the ‘Messenger’?
Daniel’s whole message seems to be opposed to the idea of a theophany in the Hebrew worldview, but perhaps I am jumping to conclusions. Daniel has repeatedly stated that the ‘angel’ is nothing more than an interpolation, and that in all cases it was the Lord originally appearing and speaking, but does Daniel state anything about the Lord appearing as a man? What about the Lord appearing as fire or a cloud? Are not these appearances theophanies the same as the ‘Angel’/’Messenger’ could be considered? Instead of seeing supposed omissions of the ‘angel’, what is the grievous sin of interpreting the text from a synchronic viewpoint? Well, therein lays the critical mindset in that all texts should be subject to diachronic analysis.
There is another alternative which the critics are not considering. It is that the whole Samson Birth story is the product of one writer. Perhaps the story should be studied from a synchronic viewpoint? Even Daniel admits that in his view certain texts are considered “original”. Cannot the critic consider that entire passages are original content? Alas, no, for in their pursuit to find more “evidence” in order to try to substantiate their Documentarian theories, they are bound to diachronic analysis, and refuse to consider what seems to be the obvious interpretations of the texts. In my opinion, the critic should not rule out the possibility that the early Hebrews understood the concept of the Lord appearing as the Messenger.
If we do not restrict our examination of the texts to diachronic analysis then the texts can be seen as evidence supporting an early Hebraic understanding of theophany. In the case of Judges 13:21,22 Manoah can be seen to understand that the Lord appeared to them as the ‘Messenger’, and his statement that they have seen God can be understood as seeing God as the ‘Messenger’. This is one of the traditional ways of interpreting the text but for the critic they only see confusion and conflation.
Regarding Daniel’s mention of the minority translation of “Elohim” as “a deity” in Judges 13:22, there is not much to comment on as I agree with his assessment that the correct translation is “God” and not “a deity”. Daniel seems to feel a need to address this issue, not because of conservative arguments, but because of a few liberal interpretations of the text. Daniel correctly points out that the allusion is to Exodus 33:20. The difference is where Daniel would date Exodus 33:20, as mentioned previously, because critical thought is bound up in Documentary theory on this text.
“V. 19 also provides an interesting problem. It states that, on the angel’s orders, Manoah offered a meat offering on a rock “to Yahweh. And [?] did wonders/wondrously.” There is no subject attached to the participle מפלא, “to be wonderful.” Many translations assume the angel is understood, since he is overseeing the sacrifice (thus, “the angel did wondrously”), while others believe the statement refers to Yahweh, and want it to act as a relative clause (thus, “to Yahweh, to him who works wonders”). The most straightforward reading would probably be, “to Yahweh, and he did wondrously.” This would identify the one who commanded the sacrifice as Yahweh.”
Daniel states that if we translate the phrase as, “to Yahweh, and he did wondrously,” that ‘Yahweh’ is the one commanding the sacrifice, but this point, which he identifies as an interesting problem, is not much of an issue. Certainty the Lord is commanding the sacrifice through His Messenger and ‘Yahweh’ can do wondrously through the ‘Angel’. Only when one has come to reject the ‘Angel’ in the texts do they begin to ignore the obvious context of the story. Furthermore the context is what assists translators in coming to a consensus on what the Hebrew means. It would seem that the critics would favor translations based on hypothetical interpolations or theoretical modifications. Until these theories can be shown to be true then to speculate on possible translations still does not prove Documentarian theories. In the case of verse 19, even the translation which Daniel offers can be interpreted as the Lord doing wondrously through the ‘Angel’, so the point seems moot.
Daniel concludes this section on Samson’s birth narrative with these words:
“This is further supported by the actual command in v. 16, where the text states, “The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, ‘If you detain me I will not eat your food, but if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to Yahweh.’ (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of Yahweh).” There is only one scenario in which I can see the narrator providing the explanation if the angel is not actually Yahweh himself, and that’s if the angel is promoting sacrifices to a specific deity to which Manoah otherwise wouldn’t have offered his sacrifice (“‘Oh, and make sure you offer it to Yahweh specifically’ [and Manoah didn’t know that the guy actually worked for Yahweh]“). To me it makes much more sense that the narrator is explaining that Manoah didn’t know he was speaking to Yahweh himself, since it would sound weird for Yahweh to say “offer a sacrifice to Yahweh” if he knew he was speaking to Yahweh.”
The translation of verse 16 which Daniel is using seems to be a popular rendering. The translation in this case is a complicated combination of Hebrew words to translate. They are problematic not just from a literal rendering, but also from an approach of paraphrasing the text. In order to understand the issues, a detailed analysis of both approaches to verse 16 will need to be presented in a painstaking manner. This will prove to be rewarding for those who wish to gain a wider understanding of the text rather than the narrow view which Daniel assumes is the singular understanding.
What is Daniel’s view of verse 16? He suggests that this verse is further proof of his argument that Manoah is speaking with ‘Yahweh’ in person and that the ‘Angel’ is an interpolation. He explains why in his view that the interpretation of the verse only has a couple of possibilities. First, either Manoah is speaking with ‘Yahweh’ in person, or second, if he is speaking with the ‘Angel’ then the verse supposedly hints at Manoah being a worshiper of multiple gods. Somehow Daniel reasons that this only makes sense in the context of Manoah speaking to ‘Yahweh’ in person. These are the only two options which Daniel considers and any other views outside this matrix simply do not exist to him. Well, by this point one must realize that many other possibilities can exist for the Biblical text other than a radical critical viewpoint and I will proceed to go over some of those now.
Beginning with the literal translation of Judges 13:16 the first issue which presents itself is how the punctuation should be determined. When does one thought end and another begin? Hebrew being without lower case letters, we cannot always easily determine which word starts the sentence. There are no commas or periods in the Hebrew to guide us. There is an editorial symbol in the early Hebrew codices which designates the end of a verse. It is called a colophon which looks the same as a colon in the English language, but even with this we cannot always determine the end of a sentence as one verse can have multiple sentences and the colophon only designates the end of the entire verse. This is why the content of the text is so important in judging where the English punctuation makes the most sense.
In looking at an image of the Alleppo Hebrew codex of Judges 13:16, I can see one reason for the more popular translation. It has to do with the spacing of the words on the page. There are three columns on each page. The verse starts at the bottom of the right column and continues to the top of the middle column. The starting word of the middle column is “La-Adonai” (לַיהוָה), which translates, “for the LORD”. The assumption is that the sentence begins with, “For the Lord…” In this case the sentence could be translated, “For the Lord you are to offer it (the sacrifice),” but keeping in mind that since there are no small letters in Hebrew we can’t assume that this is the start of the sentence as all Hebrew letters are in capital forms. The phrase can also be interpreted to carry over to the next line and column.
The Hebrew phrase, “…if you prepare a burnt offering for ‘Yahweh’…” can be viewed as contiguous. Transliterated in my rough spelling of the Hebrew it reads:
…Veh-EEm Tah-AhSeh OhLah La-Adonai(YHVH)…
“…and if you will make a burnt offering for Adonai…”
After looking at the Hebrew I have considered the following two literal translations:
New English Translation (NET)
The Lord’s messenger said to Manoah, “If I stay, I will not eat your food. But if you want to make a burnt sacrifice to the Lord, you should offer it.” (He said this because Manoah did not know that he was the Lord’s messenger.)
Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, “If you keep me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering for Yahweh, you can offer it (for Manoah did not know that he was an angel of Yahweh).”
Notice that with these two translations the thought ends with “for the Lord” rather than beginning with it. The ‘Angel’ can be paraphrased as saying, “I won’t be eating, but, if you are planning on offering a goat to the Lord, then by all means, go ahead and offer it.” This understanding of the text is just as plausible, and it excludes Daniel’s conclusion of an assumed polytheism.
The next challenge in the translation has to do with the tense of the verb. In Hebrew there are only two tenses: The perfect and the imperfect. The perfect designates actions which are complete and the imperfect shows them incomplete. In this case the verb we are focused on is “עָלָה” (alah). It means to lift up, but in the context of verse 16 it is in reference to offering up (an offering). It is also in an imperfect form so it is describing an action which has not yet occurred. In Hebrew we aren’t always clear how that incomplete action should be voiced. It could be rendered one of numerous ways. Here are a few examples:
….you will offer up…
….you should offer up…
…you can offer up…
Aside from these variations one must also take into account that in Hebrew the word order does not always translate into English into the same sequence. This is because in Hebrew most times the word which appears first signifies that it is to be given more importance in the sentence than the words which follow. If we make the assumption that in verse 16 “For the Lord” should begin the sentence then we can translate this Hebrew phrase various ways.
- Unto the LORD you should offer it up.
- You can offer it up unto the LORD.
- You may offer it to the LORD.
- To the LORD, you are going to offer it.
Notice that in English the word sequence does not always follow the Hebrew.
Now let us consider some paraphrased versions of Judges 13:16.
New Living Translation (NLT)
“I will stay,” the angel of the Lord replied, “but I will not eat anything. However, you may prepare a burnt offering as a sacrifice to the Lord.” (Manoah didn’t realize it was the angel of the Lord.)
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Even if you keep me from leaving, I will not eat your food. But if you want to prepare something, offer a burnt offering to the Lord.” (Manoah did not understand that the man was really the angel of the Lord.)
Living Bible (TLB)
“I’ll stay,” the Angel replied, “but I’ll not eat anything. However, if you wish to bring something, bring an offering to sacrifice to the Lord.” (Manoah didn’t yet realize that he was the Angel of the Lord.)
New Century Version (NCV)
The angel of the Lord answered, “Even if I stay awhile, I would not eat your food. But if you want to prepare something, offer a burnt offering to the Lord.” (Manoah did not understand that the man was really the angel of the Lord.)
At this point one should be starting to realize the immense importance of the context and its role in translating verse 16. This is just one example of how not just a literal or paraphrased approach is fully sufficient in giving a more detailed idea of what the words mean. This is why we must consider the preceding verses to clue us in on more options for the translation. Let us consider Judges 13:15.
Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” (ESV)
It seems the whole point of the context is that Manoah wishes to celebrate and feast, and he invites his guest to dinner!
In this context it becomes more plausible that the ‘Angel’ is offering one of two things:
- A substitute activity. Rather than a feast he suggests a burnt offering to the Lord.
- Or it could be that Manoah was already going to offer the goat as a type of fellowship offering to the Lord and the ‘Angel’ states that he will not be eating any of it, but not to let that stop Manoah from offering up the burnt sacrifice.
Moving on to Daniel’s comments with regard to the ending phrase of verse 16 which reads:
…(For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of Yahweh).
Daniel states that he can only think of one reason, if the ‘Angel’ was original to the text, that the writer of Judges would explain that Manoah did not know he was talking to the ‘Angel’. His reason, polytheism, however he quickly states that this would not be the case if the original text is only ‘Yahweh’. Well, seeing as how there are many other possible translations of verse 16, Daniel’s assertion that Manoah was a polytheist suddenly seems a far reach whether one reads the text with the ‘Angel’ omitted or not!
The argument does not seem to flow well. He seems to imply that if Manoah was only speaking with ‘Yahweh’ in person, that the comment, “…offer it to Yahweh,” would not apply in the same way? I do not see how this is so, but as there are various plausible interpretations of verse 16, I believe I have demonstrated that the implied polytheism vanishes if we understand Manoah’s guest is not specifying a choice of gods to worship, but suggesting an alternative to dinner or a fellowship offering.
Daniel’s reason why the text should not contain the ‘Angel’ seems to be that he leans toward a monotheistic interpretation, but as I have pointed out, this is only dependent on the translation of the text which in this case is doubly compounded in Daniel’s reckoning since he is trying to reason away the ‘Angel’ as an interpolation. In this light there simply is no reason to consider the ‘Angel’ an interpolation because we can still interpret the text as monotheistic based on a few other very plausible translations.
Essentially Daniel is stating that a theoretical Post-Deuteronomic editor must have messed up yet again by mistakenly allowing a possible polytheistic interpretation, therefore Daniel’s claim is that the ‘Angel’ in the text does not make sense. He then states that it makes more sense if Manoah is speaking directly with ‘Yahweh’, but perhaps I am missing something? It seems that Daniel fails to adequately explain why it makes more sense that Manoah is speaking directly with ‘Yahweh’. Is this because if Manoah is speaking in person with ‘Yahweh’ that the polytheism is precluded, because clearly it is not? In the case of verse 16, just because the person speaking changes, it does not change the words being spoken. If Daniel is suggesting that because ‘Yahweh’ spoke, “…offer it to the Lord,” that because ‘Yahweh’ spoke it then somehow we can see the text as more legitimate and implied to support monotheism, but Daniel is unclear and I cannot discern his line of reasoning here. Again, in the end, it matters little how Daniel came to his conclusion because as I have shown he bases his line of reasoning on implied polytheism which can be dismissed by a few other very plausible translations of the text.
Viewed from another angle we could understand the reason for the writer of Judges mentioning that Manoah does not recognize that he is speaking to the ‘Messenger of the Lord’ as an equating of sacrifice to the Lord with sacrifice to the ‘Messenger of the Lord’!
Daniel then ends this section stating:
“To me it makes much more sense that the narrator is explaining that Manoah didn’t know he was speaking to Yahweh himself, since it would sound weird for Yahweh to say “offer a sacrifice to Yahweh” if he knew he was speaking to Yahweh.”
Yes, it would sound weird, but at this point Daniel has already dismissed the ‘Angel’ and is trying to justify the text without the theoretical interpolation. If the text doesn’t seem to make sense perhaps it has something to do with the translation and nothing to do with hypothetical Post-Deuteronomic interpolations? The weirdness which Daniel refers to vanishes once we simply let go of the unsubstantiated critical guesses upon the text. The whole argument is reliant upon a translation which in all likelihood was never meant to convey any hint of polytheism in the first place!
This ends part six of this eight part response series. As always, Keep Ceeking Truth! I look forward to my next post and Peace be with you all. :-)