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were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew 13 the interpretation. Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? 14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is
in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent 15 wisdom is found in thee. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the inter16 pretation of the thing: and I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the
indirectly Ps. lxxviii. 2, and of a satirical poem, containing indirect, taunting allusions, Hab. ii. 6. Orientals love both actual riddles and also indirect, figurative modes of speech; and the power of explaining either the one or the other is highly esteemed by them.
dissolving of doubts] loosing of knots: i.e. either solving of difficulties (cf. the same word in the Talm., Febamoth 61a ('I see a knot [difficulty] here,' 107 'they made two knots [raised two difficulties] against him'; it has also the same sense of perplexity in Syriac, P. S. col. 3591); or (Bevan) untying of magic knots or spells (cf. this sense of the word in Syriac, tiers of knots,' of a species of enchanters, 'incantations and knots,' P. S. l. c.), to accomplish which demanded special skill.
whom the king named Belteshazzar] See i. 7.
and he will shew] declare (v. 7).
13. spake] answered.
Art thou that Daniel] Art thou Daniel. The pron. thou is emphatic; but that' implies a false view of the syntax of the sentence (cf. on ii. 38 and iii. 15).
who is of the children of the exile of Judah, &c.] See ii. 25.
Jewry] Judah. 'Jewry,' i.e., the country of the Jews, is an old English expression for Judah (or Judæa): in A.V. it occurs besides in Luke xxiii. 5 and John vii. 1, as well as frequently in the Apocrypha. It is a standing expression in Coverdale's version of the Bible (1535); and from him it passed into Ps. lxxvi. 1 in the P.B.V. Shakespeare uses it seven times; e.g. 'Herod of Jewry,' A. and Cl. i. 2, 28, iii. 3, 3.
14. I have heard (R. V.), &c.] v. II.
excellent wisdom] surpassing (v. 12) wisdom (v. 11).
15. the astrologers] the enchanters (i. 20).
16. make] better give (R. V.); lit. interpret.
interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and 17 said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar 18 thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: and for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, 19 and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind 20 hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne,
thou shalt be clothed with purple, &c.] As v. 7.
and rule as one of three in the kingdom] See on v. 7.
17. Daniel rejects the proffered honours: he will read the writing; but he will do so quite irrespectively of any promises made to him by the heathen king.
before the king] cf. on ii. 8.
rewards] See the note on ii. 6.
yet] nevertheless (R.V.) brings out the force of the adverb used more distinctly (cf. iv. 15, 23 [R. V.]).
18-24. Before interpreting the writing Daniel reads the king a lesson. Nebuchadnezzar's pride, combined with his refusal to recognize the sovereignty of the true God, had brought upon him a bitter humiliation: Belshazzar has exhibited the same faults yet more conspicuously and the present sign has been sent in order to warn him of the impending punishment.
18. the kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and majesty] Cf. iv. 22, 36.
19. and because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages, &c.] Cf. iii. 4.
trembled and feared before him] dreading what he might do next. whom he would he slew, &c.] he acted as though he possessed the attributes of Deity, and was accountable to no superior. Similar expressions are used elsewhere of the action of God: e.g. Deut. xxxii. 39; I Sam. ii. 6, 7; Ps. lxxv. 7.
set up] lifted up (or exalted): the word used in Ps. lxxv. 7, lxxxix. 19, cxiii. 7, &c.
20. was lifted up] Cf. Deut. viii. 14, xvii. 20; Ez. xxxi. 10, &c. and his spirit was hardened that he dealt proudly (R.V.)] 'was hardened' is literally was strong (i.e. stiff, unyielding): the same word (kaph) is used in the Targums for the Hebrew ḥāzak, hizzēķ 'to be or make strong (hard)' in Ex. vii. 13, 22, ix. 12, 35, &c. (of Pharaoh's heart). Cf. Deut. ii. 30.
21 and they took his glory from him: and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whom22 soever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not 23 humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glori24 fied: then was the part of the hand sent from him; and 25 this writing was written. And this is the writing that was 26 written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is
they took his glory] or, his glory was taken, according to the principle explained on iv. 25.
21. See iv. 25, 32, 33.
the wild asses] An untamable animal, which roamed in the open plains (see Job xxxix. 5-8; and cf. Gen. xvi. 12): to dwell with the wild asses would thus be a special mark of wildness and savagery.
they fed him] or he was fed (R. V.): iv. 25, 32 ('make to eat').
appointeth] setteth up (R.V.), as iv. 17 (A.V.) for the same word. 'Appointeth' is not strong enough.
22-23. But Belshazzar, in spite of the warning afforded by Nebuchadnezzar's fate, has sinned still more deeply, and by wanton sacrilege has deliberately defied the God of heaven.
23. and they have brought, &c.] See vv. 2-4.
which see not, nor hear, nor know] Cf. Deut. iv. 28; Ps. cxv. 5—6, CXXXV. 16-17.
in whose hand thy breath is] who is the author of thy life and being. Cf. Gen. ii. 7; Job xii. 10.
thy ways] i.e. thy destinies. Cf. Jer. x. 23.
24. Then was the palm (v. 5) of the hand sent forth from before him; and this writing was inscribed] v. 5. Then is here equivalent, virtually, to hence, therefore.
25-28. The reading and interpretation of the writing.
25. written] inscribed (R.V.). The word is not the one that ordinarily means to write, but one that means rather to print or stamp.
MENE (pron. měnê, to rhyme with bewray), MENE, TEKEL (pron. těkêl, to rhyme with bewail), UPHARSIN] in the explanation (v. 28),
the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art 27 weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; 28 Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel 29 with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and
we have, for upharsin, pěrês (to rhyme with deface), which is just the singular of parsin (or, where a vowel, as here u, precedes, pharsin), u being 'and.' Měné, as the pass. part. of měna, to number, might mean numbered'; but if the present vocalization is correct, tekel cannot mean weighed,' nor perês 'divided.' These two words, as they stand, must be substantives. The true explanation of the four words is probably that which was first suggested by Clermont-Ganneau1, and which has since been adopted by Nöldeke and others. They are really the names of three weights, měně being the correct Aramaic form of the Hebrew maneh, the m'na (uva), těkêl being the Aramaic form of the Hebrew shekel, and pĕrês (or more correctly perās), properly division, being a late Jewish word for a half-shekel. Thus the four words are really A M'NA, A M'NA, A SHEKEL, AND HALF-SHEKELS. The puzzle consisted partly in the character or manner in which they were supposed to have been written-an unfamiliar form of the Aramaic character, for instance, or, as the medieval Jews suggested, a vertical instead of a horizontal arrangement of the letters; partly in the difficulty of attaching any meaning to them, even when they were read: what could the names of three weights signify? Here Daniel's skill in the declaring of riddles' (v. 12) comes in. Měné itself means 'numbered,' as well as 'a m'na': it is accordingly interpreted at once as signifying that the days of Belshazzar's kingdom are numbered,' and approaching their end. Těķēl,' shekel,' suggests těkil,' weighed': 'Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.' Parsin, 'half-shekels,' or perês (pěrâs), a half-shekel,' points allusively to a double interpretation: Thy kingdom is divided (pěrîs)3, and given to the Medes and Persians' (Aramaic pāras).
26. finished it] completed it, given it its full and complete measure of time. Cp. the cognate adj. in Gen. xv. 16 (full,' 'complete'). the Medes and Persians] See on v. 31.
29. Belshazzar fulfils the promise given in v. 16. The unconcern exhibited by the king at Daniel's interpretation, especially in presence of what (as v. 30 shews) could hardly have been a distant or unsuspected danger, is scarcely consistent with historical probability.
scarlet] purple, as vv. 7, 16.
1 Journal Asiatique, Juillet-Août, 1886, p. 36 ff. Reprinted in Recueil d'Archéol. Orientale, i. (1888), p. 136 ff.
2 For the names of common objects interpreted significantly, see Jer. i. 11, 12, xix. 1, 7 (Heb.), Am. viii. 1.
3 The word occurs in Heb. in this sense, e.g. Lev. xi. 3, 4, 5; and of dividing bread, Is. lviii. 7 ('deal'), Jer. xvi. 7 (R.V. 'break').
made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be 30 the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Bel31 shazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
that he should be ruler as one of three in the kingdom] See on v. 731. And Darius the Median (or the Mede, as xi. 1) receive kingdom] The idea of the writer appears to be that the Medes and Persians were acting in concert at the time of the capture of Babylon (v. 28); but that when the city was taken, 'Darius the Mede,' by a joint arrangement between the two peoples (or their rulers), 'received' the kingdom, or (ix. 1) 'was made king,' and (ch. vi) took up his residence in Babylon as his capital. Darius, though bound by the laws of the two allied peoples, the Medes and Persians' (vi. 8, 12, 15), clearly, in ch. vi, acts not as viceroy for another but as an independent king, organising his kingdom into satrapies (vi. 1), otherwise both acting as king and receiving the title of ‘king' (vi. 3, 7, 8, &c., 25): his reign, moreover, precedes, and is distinct from, that of Cyrus (vi. 28 see also ix. 1, 2, xi. 1, as compared with x. 1; and cp. on viii. 3). It is true, this representation does not agree with what is known from history, for though the Medes (see on ii. 39) joined Cyrus in B.C. 549, and formed afterwards an important and influential element in the Persian empire1, there is no trace of their exercising afterwards any independent rule; in the Inscriptions, Cyrus begins his reign in Babylon immediately after the close of that of Nabu-na'id. Contemporary monuments allow no room for a king, 'Darius the Mede,' between the entry of Babylon by Cyrus and the reign of Cyrus himself. The figure, it seems, must be the result of some historical confusion,perhaps (see the Introd. p. liv) a combination of Gubaru, the 'governor' pehah), who first entered Babylon, and took command in it, at the time of Cyrus' conquest, with (cf. Sayce, Monuments, pp. 528—30) Darius Hystaspis, father (not son) of 'Ăḥashwērōsh=Xerxes (ix. 1).
about threescore and two years old] We do not know upon what tradition, or chronological calculation, the age assigned to 'Darius the Mede' depends.
DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN.
Darius the Mede appoints over his kingdom 120 satraps with three presidents over them, one of the latter being Daniel (vv. 1-2). On account of the regard shewn to him by the king, the satraps and presidents, being moved with envy, seek an opportunity to ruin him (vv. 3-4). They accordingly persuade Darius to issue a decree, forbidding any one to ask a petition of God or man, except the king, for thirty days (vv. 5-9). Daniel, however, continues as before to
1 Under the Persian kings, Medes are repeatedly mentioned as holding high and responsible positions (Rawl, Herod. App. to Bk. i, Essay iii, § 2). On the large amount contributed by Media to the Persian revenue see Rawl., Anc. Mon.1 ii. 428.