There are numerous typological dimensions of Old Testament echoes at play in each of the Gospel accounts of Christ’s baptism (Creation, Noah’s dove coming to rest, Israel’s Red Sea and Jordan crossings, Levitical priestly washing, Day of Atonement, David’s anointing as King, Elijah’s anointing of Elijah, etc.) Another possible dimension I’ve recently noticed in Mark’s account of this incident, particularly Christ’s subsequent time in the wilderness, is its parallels with Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation described in Daniel 4. Mark 1:12 says that “the Spirit immediately drove [Jesus] out into the wilderness.” Daniel 4:33 says that Nebuchadnezzar was “immediately . . . driven from among men.” Mark 4:13 says that Jesus “was with the wild animals.” Daniel 4:32 says that Nebuchadnezzar is made to dwell “with the beasts of the field.” Jesus comes back from the wilderness proclaiming the Gospel of God’s Kingdom. (Mark 1:14-15). So does Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 4:34). A more tenuous connection may be in the angels who ministered to Jesus and the “watchers” mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream earlier in Daniel 4. Is this connection between Christ and Nebuchadnezzar meaningful? If so, what are we to make of it?
Within this episode, I mention James Jordan’s commentary on the book of Daniel, The Handwriting on the Wall.
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