Brit-Am Biblical Commentaries
The Book of
on the Wall!
Daniel Reads Script Written by Ghostly Detached Fingers!
[Daniel 5:1] BELSHAZZAR THE KING MADE A GREAT FEAST TO A THOUSAND OF HIS LORDS, AND DRANK WINE BEFORE THE THOUSAND.
<<BELSHAZZAR>>: Not to be confused with "BELTSHAZZAR" which was the Babylonian name given to Daniel.
[Daniel 5:2] BELSHAZZAR, WHILES HE TASTED THE WINE, COMMANDED TO BRING THE GOLDEN AND SILVER VESSELS WHICH HIS FATHER NEBUCHADNEZZAR HAD TAKEN OUT OF THE TEMPLE WHICH WAS IN JERUSALEM; THAT THE KING, AND HIS PRINCES, HIS WIVES, AND HIS CONCUBINES, MIGHT DRINK THEREIN.
Belshazzar was the son or grandson (through his mother) of Nebuchadnezzar.
THOUSAND: Aramaic "Ravravoni eleph" meaning "The Captains of the Thousands", or "The Thousand Captains", i.e. administrators.
[Daniel 5:3] THEN THEY BROUGHT THE GOLDEN VESSELS THAT WERE TAKEN OUT OF THE TEMPLE OF THE HOUSE OF GOD WHICH WAS AT JERUSALEM; AND THE KING, AND HIS PRINCES, HIS WIVES, AND HIS CONCUBINES, DRANK IN THEM.
[Daniel 5:4] THEY DRANK WINE, AND PRAISED THE GODS OF GOLD, AND OF SILVER, OF BRASS, OF IRON, OF WOOD, AND OF STONE.
[Daniel 5:5] IN THE SAME HOUR CAME FORTH FINGERS OF A MAN'S HAND, AND WROTE OVER AGAINST THE CANDLESTICK UPON THE PLAISTER OF THE WALL OF THE KING'S PALACE: AND THE KING SAW THE PART OF THE HAND THAT WROTE.
[Daniel 5:6] THEN THE KING'S COUNTENANCE WAS CHANGED, AND HIS THOUGHTS TROUBLED HIM, SO THAT THE JOINTS OF HIS LOINS WERE LOOSED, AND HIS KNEES SMOTE ONE AGAINST ANOTHER.
[Daniel 5:7] THE KING CRIED ALOUD TO BRING IN THE ASTROLOGERS, THE CHALDEANS, AND THE SOOTHSAYERS. AND THE KING SPAKE, AND SAID TO THE WISE MEN OF BABYLON, WHOSOEVER SHALL READ THIS WRITING, AND SHEW ME THE INTERPRETATION THEREOF, SHALL BE CLOTHED WITH SCARLET, AND HAVE A CHAIN OF GOLD ABOUT HIS NECK, AND SHALL BE THE THIRD RULER IN THE KINGDOM.
[Daniel 5:8] THEN CAME IN ALL THE KING'S WISE MEN: BUT THEY COULD NOT READ THE WRITING, NOR MAKE KNOWN TO THE KING THE INTERPRETATION THEREOF.
[Daniel 5:9] THEN WAS KING BELSHAZZAR GREATLY TROUBLED, AND HIS COUNTENANCE WAS CHANGED IN HIM, AND HIS LORDS WERE ASTONISHED.
[Daniel 5:10] NOW THE QUEEN BY REASON OF THE WORDS OF THE KING AND HIS LORDS CAME INTO THE BANQUET HOUSE: AND THE QUEEN SPAKE AND SAID, O KING, LIVE FOR EVER: LET NOT THY THOUGHTS TROUBLE THEE, NOR LET THY COUNTENANCE BE CHANGED:
<< THE QUEEN>>: This is considered to be the Queen Mother, i.e. the mother of Belshazzar.
[Daniel 5:11] THERE IS A MAN IN THY KINGDOM, IN WHOM IS THE SPIRIT OF THE HOLY GODS; AND IN THE DAYS OF THY FATHER LIGHT AND UNDERSTANDING AND WISDOM, LIKE THE WISDOM OF THE GODS, WAS FOUND IN HIM; WHOM THE KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR THY FATHER, THE KING, I SAY, THY FATHER, MADE MASTER OF THE MAGICIANS, ASTROLOGERS, CHALDEANS, AND SOOTHSAYERS;
<<THE HOLY GODS>> Aramaic "Elohin Kadishin". "Elohin" is a form of the Hebrew "Elohim". In Hebrew depending on the context it usually mean "God Almighty" in the singular. Here too the Hebrew translation appears to indicate that the intention was to the One God Almighty.
[Daniel 5:12] FORASMUCH AS AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT, AND KNOWLEDGE, AND UNDERSTANDING, INTERPRETING OF DREAMS, AND SHEWING OF HARD SENTENCES, AND DISSOLVING OF DOUBTS, WERE FOUND IN THE SAME DANIEL, WHOM THE KING NAMED BELTESHAZZAR: NOW LET DANIEL BE CALLED, AND HE WILL SHEW THE INTERPRETATION.
[Daniel 5:13] 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?
<<JEWRY>>: Aramaic, "Yahud", i.e. Judah or "Yehudah" in Hebrew.
[Daniel 5:14] I HAVE EVEN HEARD OF THEE, THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE GODS IS IN THEE, AND THAT LIGHT AND UNDERSTANDING AND EXCELLENT WISDOM IS FOUND IN THEE.
See what we wrote on Daniel 5:11 concerning the word translated here as "GODS".
[Daniel 5:15] 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 INTERPRETATION OF THE THING:
It could also be that Belshazzar employed the term in the plural sense whereas the Queen Mother used the singular.
The Commenatary "Daat Mikra" points out that Belshazzar uses the terms related by the Queen Mother but apllies them to Daniel,
The Queen Mother had said (5:11), IN WHOM IS THE SPIRIT OF THE HOLY GOD[S];
Whereas Belshazzar says: THE SPIRIT OF THE GODS IS IN THEE, leaving off the adjective "HOLY"
and slightly inclining the emphasis towards Daniel rather than God or "the gods".
The Queen Mother had said (5:11), WISDOM, LIKE THE WISDOM OF THE GODS, WAS FOUND IN HIM
But Belshazzar says: EXCELLENT WISDOM IS FOUND IN THEE.
Again the emphasis is now place on Daniel, on the human element rather than the Divine.
These changes show the basic philosophy of Belshazzar.
Thought patterns and deeply entrenched attitudes acquired and nurtured for years on end
will leave an impression even against the will of those who bear them.
So too, people usually tell you what they are and what they intend. We must learn to listen to them.
The Muslim world in effect is saying openly and repeatedly in the harshest of terms that it wishes to
conquer the State of Israel and exterminate its Jewish inhabitants.
They also say that they consider Britain and the USA as their enemies and wish for their downfall.
They are shouting this out in our faces and we are pretending not to hear.
Perhaps if we close our eyes they will go away?
[Daniel 5:16] 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 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.
[Daniel 5:17] THEN DANIEL ANSWERED AND 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.
[Daniel 5:18] O THOU KING, THE MOST HIGH GOD GAVE NEBUCHADNEZZAR THY FATHER A KINGDOM, AND MAJESTY, AND GLORY, AND HONOUR:
<<NEBUCHADNEZZAR THY FATHER>>: This is a form of address repeatedly used towards Belshazzar. This strengthens the impression that Nebuchadnezzar was another name for Nabonidus.
[Daniel 5:19] AND FOR THE MAJESTY THAT HE GAVE HIM, ALL PEOPLE, NATIONS, 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.
[Daniel 5:20] BUT WHEN HIS HEART WAS LIFTED UP, AND HIS MIND HARDENED IN PRIDE, HE WAS DEPOSED FROM HIS KINGLY THRONE, AND THEY TOOK HIS GLORY FROM HIM:
[Daniel 5:21] 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 WHOMSOEVER HE WILL.
This event was described in the last chapter where we pointed out that the phenomenon of unfortunates thinking they are animals and acting like them is a clinical state known as lycanthropy.
[Daniel 5:22] AND THOU HIS SON, O BELSHAZZAR, HAST NOT HUMBLED THINE HEART, THOUGH THOU KNEWEST ALL THIS;
[Daniel 5:23] 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 GLORIFIED:
Belshazzar had not shown proper respect towards the Temple and its treasure. Nowadays the Arabs have taken control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They worship their version of the Deity there but they also dig it up deliberately destroying archaeological remains of the Jewish Presence from the First and Second Temple Periods. They have a boys school on the Temple Mount and Public Toilets and a lot of offices and activities that should not be held in that place. If the Jews did not consider the place holy they would not feel the need to be there at all.
[Daniel 5:24] THEN WAS THE PART OF THE HAND SENT FROM HIM; AND THIS WRITING WAS WRITTEN.
So too, Belshazzar was the ruler of a vast empire inherited from Nebuchadnezzar. A lot of powerful nations had been subdued by the Babylonian Apparatus. Nevertheless when Belshazzar chose to celebrate he could think of nothing better than to gloat over the utensils stolen from the Temple of Little Judah.
Belshazzar was to be punished and so will all they who desecrate the Holy Places of Judah.
[Daniel 5:25] AND THIS IS THE WRITING THAT WAS WRITTEN, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
Most Commentators says that the words were written in Aramaic (Modern Hebrew) script which was familiar to those present so that when Daniel read them out the writing was comprehensible to all. Another opinion says that the words were written in Old Hebrew (Canaanite) though in the Aramaic tongue. The Commentators also say that the words were written vertically or in some other kind of pattern so that the meaning was not immediately clear until Daniel read them.
[Daniel 5:26] THIS IS THE INTERPRETATION OF THE THING: MENE; GOD HATH NUMBERED THY KINGDOM, AND FINISHED IT.
MENE means numbered.
[Daniel 5:27] TEKEL; THOU ART WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES, AND ART FOUND WANTING.
TEKEL means weighed.
[Daniel 5:28] PERES; THY KINGDOM IS DIVIDED, AND GIVEN TO THE MEDES AND PERSIANS.
The Writing on the Wall had the words UPHARSIN which can be explained as meaning, U-(meaning "and") PHARS (also pronounceable as PERES) -IN (this can imply either the plural form or "part of").
[Daniel 5:29] THEN COMMANDED BELSHAZZAR, AND THEY CLOTHED DANIEL WITH SCARLET, AND PUT A CHAIN OF GOLD ABOUT HIS NECK, AND MADE A PROCLAMATION CONCERNING HIM, THAT HE SHOULD BE THE THIRD RULER IN THE KINGDOM.
The logic deriving PERES from UPHARSIN would have been immediately apparent to those present.
PERES means divided and is also a play on the name "Paras" meaning Persia.
<<SCARLET>>: Aramaic "Argvana", "Argamon" in Hebrew meaning something more like Purple cf. The Royal Purple of Roman Emperors. The textiles and dye for these types of garment were traditionally produced by the Phoenicians though Rabbinical Sources say that the Israelite Tribe of Zebulon specialized in their production.
[Daniel 5:30] IN THAT NIGHT WAS BELSHAZZAR THE KING OF THE CHALDEANS SLAIN.
[Daniel 5:31] AND DARIUS THE MEDIAN TOOK THE KINGDOM, BEING ABOUT THREESCORE AND TWO YEARS OLD.
Darius of Media conquered Babylon together with Cyrus of Persia who was his son-in-law. The Sages said that Darius ruled over Babylon for a year then Cyrus took over
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