Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Silk, Aug 14, 2014.
It was fixed late last night (my time)
"because I'm a lazy ole bat"...............You be careful and don't let go and fall on your head overnight!!!
And wouldn't you know...it works (Yay) and the page turned.
Here's Bill Taylor's post on Chapter 5:
1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
2 Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, might drink therefrom.
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 lords, his wives and his concubines, drank from them.
4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. (ASV)
One of the big problems the lost world has with Christianity is the sovereignty of God and His ability to use them. This same issue is, though sometimes, invisible, is present in the membership of the church, today. Belshazzar did not give any credit to our Father even though he, being the son of Nebuchadnezzar and would have known of his Pops eating grass and sleeping on the dirt for seven seasons.
As a result of the customs of his people, peer pressure and personal preferences he is making a move to anger the God of all gods and everything else. Just like folks today, he is concentrating on what he can see, smell and touch. What is about to happen contains a life application that should scare every one of us more than the 50 caliber tracers that the NVA used to shoot my aircraft with.
5 In the same hour came forth the fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
6 Then the king’s countenance was changed in him, and his thoughts troubled him; and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
Now... now he's frightened! If the hand of God, or for that matter, any other hand suddenly appears out of nowhere and begins to scribble on my walls, I believe I, also, might be concerned. But we need to adjust ourselves when we read the scriptures and learn to apply the lessons there to our daily lives and these two verses, coupled with what's about to occur, is another dynamic life lesson.
7 The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spake and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Status was everything, just as it is today among the Lost. Just like the wealthy of today, the king offers up a great reward for anyone that can read the “writing on the wall.” Note, please, he did not fall on his face before God, nor before the Idols of any of his gods. He went, first, to men of lessor stature than himself. When I was a teenager and I did not know how to deal with a thing, the first person I went to was my dad, the person, directly, above my ranking in this world. Today, I try to remember to call on my Heavenly Father before anyone or anything else.
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.
These men, like all men, are no better off or knowledgeable than the king. I suspect that the alphabet in Heaven is as different from ours as the writing of the Chinese is from the Europeans. We know the language of the holy Spirit is not the same as ours as many folks have a prayer language that is not normal speech (1Cor:14) and it is for this reason I say this about the writing on the wall.
9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were perplexed.
10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever; let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed.
We live in a world where we know nothing of Kingdom living but we need to get serious and to study these matters. The queen was nothing like our wives today. She came to the king, only, when and if he summoned her. She did not just barge in and we must learn to respect our LORD, not as the queen did the king, so much, but even more, to the point of reverence. Not so much in fear but more like the love and respect we had for our dads when we were five or six years old... pure love.
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, were found in him; and the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say , thy father, made him master of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
12 forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of dark sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
The queen, like our mothers, has kept her eyes open to what goes on around us and remembering the tales of Daniel and Belshazzar's father, brings the name of Daniel in a manner that allows the king's pride to remain in place.
13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, who art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah?
14 I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in thee.
15 And now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof; but they could not show the interpretation of the thing.
16 But I have heard of thee, that thou canst give interpretations, and dissolve doubts; now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
Daniel is presented with an offer no young man could turn down, he can become number three in the line of rule in the kingdom. If a man does not walk with God, this is a very powerful temptation.
18 O thou king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father the kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and majesty:
19 and because of the greatness that he gave him, all the peoples, 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 raised up, and whom he would he put down.
20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
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; he was fed with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; until he knew that the Most High God ruleth in the kingdom of men, and that he setteth up over it whomsoever he will.
Not like a normal man, at all, Daniel reminds Belshazzar of the harshness his dad endured when he exalted himself above God, that he might contrast the life lesson learned by his dad against the, absolute, foolishness Belshazzar has exercised this day. When we read our Bibles, all of it, we must learn to apply what we have read to our, daily lives. From our, earthly moms and our dads we learned how to endure in this world where we live and if we ever hope to live with and under the Righteous Rule of our Heavenly Father, we must learn what He requires of us.
Today there are many Ear Ticklers teaching in the Church today. Men such as Mr. Hinn and Mr. Warren of Saddleback fame are very popular and their messages are very popular but is the core of their message and the principal of their lives based on the scriptures? Many, very, successful men, here, will not fare so well in Eternity. Belshazzar appeared to be doing very well but watch, closely, to what happens because of the path he chose.
22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thy heart, though thou knewest all this,
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 from 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.
God will never judge a person, male or female, without the knowing, exactly what they have done, good or bad. (Rev 20:11-15) The Christian, the follower of Jesus will stand their judgment at the Bema Seat Judgment. Immediately, following the First Resurrection. (Rev 22:12, 1Cor 15:10, Col 1:29 and key verses Rom 14:10-11, 1Cor 3:11-15, 2 Cor 5:9_10, 1 John 2:28 and Rev 3:11-12)
24 Then was the part of the hand sent from before him, and this writing was inscribed.
25 And this is the writing that was inscribed:  MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and brought it to an end;
27 TEKEL; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28  PERES; thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
David then interprets what is meant by the words, written, on the wall and history has recorded that the words were true, that night. If we teach the message of Rick Warren, there are many paths to Heaven, or the message of Benny Hinn, give him enough money and you will have the desires of your life, here on Earth, I believe they will hear, “I never knew you” from Jesus.
29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with purple, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 In that night Belshazzar the Chaldean King was slain.
31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Yes, Daniel received a great honorary position but it did not even exist past breakfast the next morning because there was a new government, just as he read in the Words from God. If we are to succeed in this live, on the Spiritual Level, we must learn to follow God in the manor that exalts Him and gives us Eternal Peace.
Well, what we see here is that Bel/Baal protects no one, nor do any of the false deities or icons that the lost hold dear. Belshazzar should have known from the lessons of his father and yet, there he and his court are having a feast as his kingdom is surrounded. And I wonder why, it seems for the first time, the sacred Jewish implements are used to praise other false gods? Is he trying to remind himself and his court that "our gods beat their god" so it's, somehow going to all be alright? In any event - he is putting holy vessels to an unholy use.
This is where we get the saying, "read the hand writing on the wall." I do wonder if the writing was Hebrew .Whatever it was - Daniel could read it very well and is this why he tells the king to keep his offered rewards because he already knows what it says.
"25 And this is the writing that was inscribed:  MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and brought it to an end;
27 TEKEL; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28  PERES; thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."
This reminds of what people were doing right before the flood. And apparently the King reacted to the message in unbelief. Well, who in the king's position, would want to believe that? I wonder what his thoughts were as the message began to come true? He still had time to reach for the real God. So the gold head turns to the silver chest and arms. The king still had given the reward he had promised Daniel. I wonder if he hoped Daniel would somehow change the message or give him some hope. Because as third ruler, Daniel would be slain as well? As we know - Daniel did not get slain.And it was thru the new rulers that Jermiah's prophecy that Israel would be reinstated came about.
I wonder what others take from this chapter?
Since Jesus was a Jew, God's chosen are the Jews, and Jerusalem is the city of God, it almost seems logical that the hand wring on the wall from God would have been in Hebrew. Just a thought!!!
Silk.......my take on this chapter is how well it speaks to the failure of men with God. Too often the world, just like Belshazzar will not seek the wisdom of God until they have bankrupted their own life. Then when all else has failed.........HEY, why not ask God???
HEY.......why not ask Him FIRST instead of last????? By the time man seeks Gods help it is too late just as the case here with Belshazzar. The accumulative sins and unbelief which began the whole crisis in the first place becomes the occasion for the downfall.
It also speaks of who effective a mans testimony can be.
Daniel 5:10-12 (KJV).............
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:
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;
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."
People remembered what Daniel had already done and what he stood for. The queen knew that he had an excellent spirit. What a blessing it is to be known by others as a Godly man. That is something that ever single believer who calls themselves a Christian should strive to do........IMO.
The events of this chapter took place in 539 BC. If Daniel was about fifteen years of age when taken captive to Babylon in 605 BC, he would now be over eighty. Nebuchadnezzar had long been dead. The present king, ( King NO ONE!) Nabonidus, was absent in distant territories for much of his reign, and the rule of the country was largely in the hands of his son Belshazzar. (King NO TWO!) The queen who appears in the story (v. 10) was probably the queen mother, wife of Nabonidus. Nebuchadnezzar is referred to in the story as Belshazzar’s father (v. 2,11), not in the sense of being father by blood, but in the sense of being predecessor as king. (Daniel was offered THIRD in line of KING. It was all Belshazzar could offer.)
Yes, well it was often used "father" as any descendants along the bloodline. Altho, I was kinda thinking Belshazzar was son to Neb when I posted. The line didn't last all that long. (3 generations). Does Nabonidus really mean no name? Sort of a placeholder, eh? I read somewhere Nabonidus was already dead? when the capital was taken. News travelled slow then.
She could have been the wife of Nabonidus.........but it is also possible that she was the surviving wife of Nebuchadnezzar.
Just a thought.
Nabonidus had been participating in this banquest with all of his wives and now all of a sudden this woman comes in apparently for the first time.
It seems she spoke to the king more in the way of a mother than a wife to me.
She seems to have some personal experience with the second dream.
The queen mother was often a significant figure who had considerable influence in ancient courts.
......................Nabonidus had been participating in this banquest with all of his wives
This would be Belshazzar participating in this banquest with all of his wives His Father was Nabonidus who was an absentee King, The Queen mother (wife of Nabonidus) was His mother. At least this is the was I have always been taught it goes.
If you are interested in Nobonidus as king or his really being king look at http://www.livius.org/na-nd/nabonidus/cylinder.html which is possibly the best info on him.
the KINGS LIST see #7 and #11
Good link - so 6 generations from Neb (#1) to Belshazzar?
Here is the video from Chapters 5 & 6. Let me know if I'm rushing things.
Hey!! I just discovered how to work the commentaries on my esword (lazy Silk). Here's Henry for chapter 5:
We have here Belshazzar the king very gay, but all of a sudden very gloomy, and in straits in the fulness of his sufficiency. See how he affronts God, and God affrights him; and wait what will be the issue of this contest; and whether he that hardened his heart against God prospered.
I. See how the king affronted God, and put contempt upon him. He made a great feast, or banquet of wine; probably it was some anniversary solemnity, in honour off his birthday or coronation-day, or in honour of some of their idols. Historians say that Cyrus, who was now with his army besieging Babylon, knew of this feast, and presuming that they then would be off their guard, somno vinoque sepulti - buried in sleep and wine, took that opportunity to attack the city, and so with the more ease made himself master of it. Belshazzar upon this occasion invited a thousand of his lords to come and drink with him. Perhaps they were such as had signalized themselves in defense of the city against the besiegers; or these were his great council of war, with whom, when they had well drunk, he would advise what was further to be done. And they were to look upon it as a great favour that he drank wine before them, for it was the pride of those eastern kings to be seldom seen. He drank wine before them, for he made this feast, as Ahasuerus did, to show the honour of his majesty. Now in this sumptuous feast, 1. He put an affront upon the providence of God and bade defiance to his judgments. His city was now besieged; a powerful enemy was at his gates; his life and kingdom lay at stake. In all this the hand of the Lord had gone out against him, and by it he called him to weeping, and mourning, and girding with sackcloth. God's voice cried in the city, as Jonah to Nineveh, Yet forty days, or fewer, and Babylon shall be destroyed. He should therefore, like the king of Nineveh, have proclaimed a fast; but, as one resolved to walk contrary to God, he proclaims a feast, and behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine, as if he dared the Almighty to do his worst, Isa_22:12, Isa_22:13. To show how little fear he had of being forced to surrender, for want of provisions, he spent thus extravagantly. Note, Security and sensuality are sad presages of approaching ruin. Those that will not be warned by judgments of God may expect to be wounded by them. 2. He put an affront upon the temple of God, and bade defiance to his sanctuary, Dan_5:2. While he tasted the wine, he commanded to bring the vessels of the temple, that they might drink in them. When he tasted how rich and fine the wine was, “O,” said he, “it is a pity but we should have holy vessels to drink such delicious wine as this in,” which was looked upon as a piece of wit, and, to carry on the humour, the vessels of the temple were immediately sent for. Nay, there seems to have been something more in it than a frolic, and that it was done in a malicious despite to the God of Israel. The heart of his people was very much upon these sacred vessels, as appears from Jer_27:16, Jer_27:18. Their principal care, at their return, was about these, Ezr_1:7. Now, we may suppose, they had an expectation of their deliverance approaching, reckoning the seventy years of their captivity near a period; and some of them might perhaps have given out some words to that purport, that shortly they should have the vessels of the sanctuary restored to them, in defiance of which Belshazzar here proclaims them to be his own, will keep them in store no longer, but will make use of them among his own plate. Note, That mirth is sinful indeed, and fills the measure of men's iniquity apace, which profanes sacred things and jests with them. This ripened Babylon for ruin - that no songs would serve them but the songs of Zion (Psa_137:3), no vessels but the vessels of the sanctuary. Let those who thus sacrilegiously alienate what is dedicated to God and his honour know that he will not be mocked. 3. He put an affront upon God himself, and bade defiance to his deity; for they drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, Dan_5:4. They gave that glory to images, the work of their own hands and creatures of their own fancy, which is due to the true and living God only. They praised them either with sacrifices offered to them or with songs sung in honour of them. When their heads were giddy, and their hearts merry, with wine, they were in the fittest frame to praise the gods of gold and silver, wood and stone; for one would think that men in their senses, who had the command of a clear and sober thought, could not be guilty of so gross an absurdity; they must be intoxicated ere they could be so infatuated. Drunken worshippers, who are not men, but beasts, are the most proper for the service of dunghill deities, that are not gods, but devils. They have erred through wine, Isa_27:7. They drank wine, and praised their idol-gods, as if they had been the founders of their feast and the givers of all good things to them. Or, when they were drinking wine, they praised their gods by drinking healths to them; and the king drank wine before them (Dan_5:1), that is, he began the health, first to this god, and then to the other, till they went through the bead-roll or farrago of them, those of wood and stone not excepted. Note, Immorality and impiety, vice and profaneness, strengthen the hands and advance the interests one of another. Drunken frolics were an introduction to idolatry, and then idolatrous healths were a shoeing-horn to further drunkenness.
II. See how God affrighted the king, and struck a terror upon him. Belshazzar and his lords are in the midst of their revels, the cups going round apace, and all upon the merry pin, drinking confusion, it may be, to Cyrus and his army, and roaring out huzzas, in confidence of the speedy raising of the siege; but the hour had come when that must be fulfilled which had been long ago said of the king of Babylon, when his city should be besieged by the Persians and Medes, Isa_21:2-4. The night of my pleasures has he turned into fear to me. The mirth of this ball at court must be spoiled, and a damp cast upon their jollity, though the king himself be master of the revels; immediately, when God speaks the word, we have him and all his guests in the utmost confusion, and the end of their mirth is heaviness. 1. There appear the fingers of a man's hand writing on the plaster of the wall, before the king's face (Dan_5:5), “the angel Gabriel,” say the rabbin, “directing these fingers and writing by them.” “That divine hand” (says a rabbi of our own, Dr. Lightfoot) “that had written the two tables for a law to his people now writes the doom of Babel and Belshazzar upon the wall.” Here was nothing sent to frighten them which made a noise, or threatened their lives, no claps of thunder nor flashes of lightning, no destroying angel with his sword drawn in his hand, only a pen in the hand, writing upon the wall, over-against the candlestick, where they might all see it by the light of their own candle. Note, God's written word is sufficient to put the proudest boldest sinners into a fright, when he is pleased to give it the setting on. The king saw the part of the hand that wrote, but saw not the person whose hand it was, which made the thing more frightful. Note, What we see of God, the part of the hand that writes in the book of the creatures and the book of the scriptures (Lo, these are parts of his ways, Job_26:14), may serve to possess us with awful thoughts concerning that of God which we do not see. If this be the finger of God, what is his arm made bare? And what is he? 2. The king is immediately seized with a panic fear (Dan_5:6): His countenance was changed (his colour went and came); the joints of his loins were loosed, so that he had no strength in them, but was struck with a pain in his back, as is usual in a great fright; his knees smote one against another, so violently did he tremble like an aspen leaf. But what was the matter? Why is he in such a fright? He perceives not what is written, and how does he know but it may be some happy presage of deliverance to him and to his kingdom? But the business was his thoughts troubled him; his own guilty conscience flew in his face, and told him that he had no reason to expect any good news from Heaven, and that the hand of an angel could write nothing but terror to him. He that knew himself liable to the justice of God immediately concluded this to be an arrest in his name, a summons to appear before him. Note, God can soon awaken the most secure and make the heart of the stoutest sinner to tremble; and there needs no more to do it than to let loose his own thoughts upon him; they will soon play the tyrant, and give him trouble enough. 3. The wise men of Babylon are immediately called in, to see what they can make of this writing upon the wall, Dan_5:7. The king cried aloud, as one in haste, as one in earnest, to bring the whole college of magicians, to try if they can read this writing, and show the interpretation of it; for the king and all his lords cannot pretend to it, it is out of their sphere. The study of divine revelation (such as they had, or thought they had) and converse with the world of spirits were by the heathen confined to one profession, and no other meddled with it; but what is written to us by the finger of God is legible to all; whoever will may read the mind of God in the scriptures. To engage these wise men to exert the utmost of their skill in this matter, and provoke them to an emulation in the attempt, he promised that whoever would give him a satisfactory account of this writing should be dignified with the highest honours of the court. He knew what these pretenders to wisdom aimed at, and what would please them, and therefore promised them a scarlet robe and a gold chain, glorious things in the eyes of those that know no better. Nay, he should be primus par regni - chief minister of state, the third ruler in the kingdom, next to the king and his heir apparent. 4. The king is disappointed in his expectations from them; they can none of them read the writing, much less interpret it (Dan_5:8), which increases the king's confusion, Dan_5:9. He likes the thing yet worse and worse, and fears that mischief is towards him. His lords also, that had been partners with him in his jollity, are now sharers with him in his terrors; they also were astonished at their wits' end; and neither their numbers nor their refreshment by wine would serve to keep up their spirits. The reason why the wise men could not read the writing was not because it was written in any language or characters unknown to them, but God either cast a mist before their eyes or put such confusion upon their spirits that they could not read it, that the honour of expounding this mystical writing might be reserved for Daniel. Note, The terror of an awakened convinced conscience may justly be increased by the utter insufficiency of all creatures to give it ease or satisfaction.
OK - and here's one by Gill:
Belshazzar the king made a great feast
,.... This king was not the immediate successor of Nebuchadnezzar, but Evilmerodach,
Jer_52:31, who, according to Ptolemy's canon, reigned two years; then followed Neriglissar, his sister's husband, by whom he was slain, and who usurped the throne, and reigned four years; he died in the beginning of his fourth year, and left a son called Laborosoarchod, who reigned but nine months, which are placed by Ptolemy to his father's reign, and therefore he himself is not mentioned in the canon; and then followed this king, who by Ptolemy is called Nabonadius; by Berosus, Nabonnedus (t) by Abydenus (u), Nabannidochus; by Herodotus (w), Labynitus; and by Josephus (x), Naboandelus, who, according to him, is the same with Belshazzar; whom some confound with the son of Neriglissar; others take him to be the same with Evilmerodach, because he here immediately follows Nebuchadnezzar, and is called his son, Dan_5:11, and others that he was a younger brother, so Jarchi and Theodoret; but the truth is, that he was the son of Evilmerodach, and grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, which agrees with the prophecy in Jer_27:7, for though Nebuchadnezzar is called his father, and he his son, Dan_5:2 this is said after the manner of the eastern nations, who used to call ancestors fathers, and their more remote posterity sons. He had his name Belshazzar from the idol Bel, and may be rendered, "Bel's treasurer": though, according to Saadiah, the word signifies "a searcher of treasures", of his ancestors, or of the house of God. Hillerus translates it, "Bel hath hidden". This king
made a great feast
; or "bread"
, which is put for all provisions; it was great, both on account of plenty of food, variety of dishes, and number of guests, and those of the highest rank and quality. On what account this feast was made is not easy to say; whether out of contempt of Cyrus and his army, by whom he was now besieged, and to show that he thought himself quite safe and secure in a city so well walled and fortified, and having in it such vast quantities of provision; or whether it was on account of a victory he had obtained that morning over the Medes and Persians, as Josephus Ben Gorion (z) relates; and therefore in the evening treated his thousand lords, who had been engaged in battle with him, and behaved well: though it seems to have been an anniversary feast; since, according to Xenophon and Herodotus, Cyrus knew of it before hand; either on account of the king's birthday, or in honour to his gods, particularly Shach, which was called the Sachaenan feast; See Gill on Jer_25:26, Jer_51:41 which seems most likely, since these were praised at this time, and the vessels of the temple of God at Jerusalem profaned, Dan_5:2, this feast was prophesied of by Isaiah, Isa_21:5 and by Jeremiah, Jer_51:39, it had its name from Shach, one of their deities, of which See Gill on Dan_1:4, Dan_1:7 the same with Belus or the sun. The feasts kept in honour of it were much like the Saturnalia of the Romans, or the Purim of the Jews; and were kept eleven days together, in which everyone did as he pleased, no order and decorum being observed; and, for five of those days especially, there was no difference between master and servant, yea, the latter had the government of the former; and they spent day and night in dancing and drinking, and in all excess of riot and revelling (a); and in such like manner the Babylonians were indulging themselves, when their city was taken by Cyrus, as the above writers assert (b); and from the knowledge Cyrus had of it, it appears to be a stated feast, and very probably on the above account. According to Strabo (c), there was a feast of this name among the Persians, which was celebrated in honour of the goddess Anais, Diana, or the moon; and at whose altar they placed together Amanus and Anandratus, Persian demons; and appointed a solemn convention once a year, called Saca. Some say the occasion of it was this; that Cyrus making an expedition against the Sacse, a people in Scythia, pretended a flight, and left his tents full of all provisions, and especially wine, which they finding, filled themselves with it; when he returning upon them, finding some overcome with wine and stupefied, others overwhelmed with sleep, and others dancing and behaving in a bacchanalian way, they fell into his hands, and almost all of them perished; and taking this victory to be from the gods, he consecrated that day to the god of his country, and called it Sacaea; and wherever there was a temple of this deity, there was appointed a bacchanalian feast, in which men, and women appeared night and day in a Scythian habit, drinking together, and behaving to one another in a jocose and lascivious manner; but this could not be the feast now observed at Babylon, though it is very probable it was something of the like nature, and observed in much the same manner. And was made "to a thousand of his lords"; his nobles, the peers of his realm, governors of provinces, &c.; such a number of guests Ptolemy king of Egypt feasted at one time of Pompey's army, as Pliny from Varro relates (d); but Alexander far exceeded, who at a wedding had nine (some say ten) thousand at his tables, and gave to everyone a cup of gold, to offer wine in honour of the gods (e); and Pliny reports (f) of one Pythius Bythinus, who entertained the whole army of Xerxes with a feast, even seven hundred and eighty eight thousand men.
And drank wine before the thousand
; not that he strove with them who should drink most, or drank to everyone of them separately, and so a thousand cups, as Jacchiades suggests; but he drank in the presence of them, to show his condescension and familiarity; this being, as Aben Ezra observes, contrary to the custom of kings, especially of the eastern nations, who were seldom seen in public. This feast was kept in a large house or hall, as Josephus
(g) says, afterwards called the banqueting house, Dan_5:10.
Belshazzar the king -
See Introduction to the chapter, Section II. In the Introduction to the chapter here referred to, I have stated what seemed to be necessary in order to illustrate the history of Belshazzar, so far as that can be now known. The statements in regard to this monarch, it is well understood, are exceedingly confused, and the task of reconciling them is now hopeless. Little depends, however, in the interpretation of this book, on the attempt to reconcile them, for the narrative here given is equally credible, whichever of the accounts is taken, unless that of Berosus is followed. But it may not be improper to exhibit here the two principal accounts of the successors of Nebuchadnezzar, that the discrepancy may be distinctly seen. I copy from the Pictorial Bible. "The common account we shall collect from L’Art de Verifier les Dates, and the other from Hales’ "Analysis," disposing them in opposite colums for the sake of comparison:
I couldn't copy & paste the table but he goes on to say:
It will be observed that the principal point of difference in these accounts is, that Hales contends that the succession of Darius the Mede to the Babylonian throne was not attended with war; that Belshazzar was not the king in whose time the city was taken by Cyrus; and, consequently, that the events which took place this night were quite distinct from and anterior to that siege and capture of the city by the Persian king which Isaiah and Jeremiah so remarkably foretold.
Made a great feast -
On what occasion this feast was made is not stated, but is was not improbably an annual festival in honor of some of the Babylonian deities. This opinion seems to be countenanced by the words of the Codex Chisianus, "Belshazzar the king made a great festival
ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐγκαινισμοῦ τῶν βασιλείων en hēmera engkainismou tōn basileiōn) on the day of the dedication of his kingdom;" and in Dan_5:4 it is said that "they praised the gods of gold, of silver, and of brass," etc.
To a thousand of his lords -
The word thousand here is doubtless used as a general term to denote a very large number. It is not improbable, however, that this full number was assembled on such an occasion. "Ctesias says, that the king of Persia furnished provisions daily for fifteen thousand men. Quintus Curtius says that ten thousand men were present at a festival of Alexander the Great; and Statius says of Domitian, that he ordered, on a certain occasion, his guests ‘to sit down at a thousand tables.’ " - Prof. Stuart, in loc.
And drank wine before the thousand -
The Latin Vulgate here is, "And each one drank according to his age." The Greek of Theodotion, the Arabic, and the Coptic is, "and wine was before the thousand." The Chaldee, however, is, as in our version, "he drank wine before the thousand." As he was the lord of the feast, and as all that occurred pertained primarily to him, the design is undoubtedly to describe his conduct, and to show the effect which the drinking of wine had on him. He drank it in the most public manner, setting an example to his lords, and evidently drinking it to great excess.
Clarke seems to feel this chapter is out of place and should follow, chronologically chapter 7 & 8:
Belshazzar the king made a great feast -
This chapter is out of its place, and should come in after the seventh and eighth. There are difficulties in the chronology. After the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-merodach his son ascended the throne of Babylon. Having reigned about two years, he was slain by his brother-in-law, Neriglissar. He reigned four years, and was succeeded by his son Laborosoarchod, who reigned only nine months. At his death Belshazzar the son of Evil-merodach, was raised to the throne, and reigned seventeen years, and was slain, as we read here, by Cyrus, who surprised and took the city on the night of this festivity. This is the chronology on which Archbishop Usher, and other learned chronologists, agree; but the Scripture mentions only Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-merodach, and Belshazzar, by name; and Jeremiah,
Jer_27:7, expressly says, "All nations shall serve him (Nebuchadnezzar), and his son (Evil-merodach), and his son’s son (Belshazzar), until the very time of his land come;" i.e., till the time in which the empire should be seized by Cyrus. Here there is no mention of Neriglissar nor Laborosoarchod; but as they were usurpers, they might have been purposely passed by. But there remains one difficulty still: Belshazzar is expressly called the son of Nebuchadnezzar by the queen mother, Jer_27:11 : "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." The solution of this difficulty is, that in Scripture the name of son is indifferently given to sons and grandsons, and even to great grandsons. And perhaps the repetition in the above verse may imply this: "The king, Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king thy father." The king thy father’s father, and consequently thy grandfather. If it have not some such meaning as this, it must be considered an idle repetition. As to the two other kings, Neriglissar and Laborosoarchod, mentioned by Josephus and Berosus, and by whom the chronology is so much puzzled, they might have been some petty kings, or viceroys, or satraps, who affected the kingdom, and produced disturbances, one for four years, and the other for nine months; and would in consequence not be acknowledged in the Babylonish chronology, nor by the sacred writers, any more than finally unsuccessful rebels are numbered among the kings of those nations which they have disturbed. I believe the only sovereigns we can acknowledge here are the following:
4. Belshazzar; and with this last the Chaldean empire ended.
To a thousand of his lords -
Perhaps this means lords or satraps, that were each over one thousand men. But we learn from antiquity that the Persian kings were very profuse in their entertainments; but it does not follow that the Chaldeans were so too. Besides, one thousand lords and their appropriate attendants would have been very inconvenient in a nocturnal assembly. The text, however, supports the common translation. Literally, "Belshazzar the king made bread for his lords a thousand; and against the thousand he drank wine." That is, say some, he was a very great drinker.
I get a kick out of that name evilmerdoch
OK - sometimes I can get carried away...with commentaries this time. Still, it got me thinking. About who we get as leaders/rulers. Human beings leading other masses of human beings. Israel wanted a King...so they got Saul. And Saul sinned by trying to keep property that God had commanded to be destroyed. David was next, and altho he loved God - still he sinned and his reign was all about war. Solomon is next with his 1,000 wives being able to bring in false gods and bad practice. But at least, the people could practice their worship under rulers who paid lip service, if nothing else, to that worship. Carted off to exile, under Babylonian rule, some few righteous men lead the way back to God. Under much harsher conditions. I wonder if anything at all has changed. Alnd most leaders seem to be driven by pride and their own best wordly interests over anyone else. The only good leaders are the ones who are humbled and learn by their errors. These leaders understand their purpose is to serve everyone's good. Those that don't lead - are they lazy? Stray thoughts.