Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.
This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from scripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.
Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.
Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!
– Dr. J
Bible Devotions or Bible Study?
Bible Devotions are like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!
7 is a major switch for several reasons therefore we will also switch
from a verse-by-verse article discussion to an analysis of the
recorded historical events that follow in the remaining chapters of
is the last chapter in Daniel that was originally written in Aramaic
(yup…not Greek or Hebrew)
is the beginning of Daniel having the visions instead of those in
charge of Babylon where he is asked to interpret.
switch to a narration and prophecies designated to the world of
believer but specifically to the Hebrew people; i.e. Israelis and
are getting very close to the end of Judeans’ 70 year captivity in
Daniel describes four beasts coming up from the sea. What did
Daniel’s vision represent, and what does it mean for us today?
No, this is not a sequential chapter according to history playing
out, but this is the order in which the Book of Daniel is recorded.
How do we know this? Regent king Belshazzar (555B.C.?) was discussed
and ended back in chapter 5. This dream or vision of Daniel came to
him during the first year Belshazzar’s reign. Why isn’t it
recorded back in chapter 5? Daniel 7:28 tells us that at this time
Daniel “kept this matter (vision) to himself” (Daniel 7:28).
vision of Daniel “while he lay in his bed (ESV) appears to parallel
chapter 2 when King Nebuchadnezzar had his statue dream made of gold,
silver, bronze, Iron legs and feet toes of Iron and clay mix. Daniel
saw in chapter 7:3 “four great beasts that came out of the *sea.”
word has been translated differently by commentators. Two
transliterations are thal’-as-sahandyawm.
Without going into a deep theological discussion, the word sea can
refer to a body of water OR a body of people; i.e a sea of people.
The first was like
and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked; and it
was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a
man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And behold, another beast, a second, like
unto a bear,
and it raised up itself on one side; and it
three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and they said thus unto
it: Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I saw, and behold, another, like
and it had four wings of a bird upon its back; and the beast had four
heads; and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a
dreadful and terrible, and exceeding strong; and it had great iron
teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its
feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it;
and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them
another, a little horn, before which three of the first horns were
plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the
eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
note that the 4th
beast (7:7) is not given an identity, only a description.
lion in verse 4 represents a description of an historical event which
had already been prophesied in Daniel’s earlier life in Babylon.
This verse (7:4) is a brief referring to King Nebuchadnezzar. He was
a mighty and unchallenged KING OF BABYLON and his conquered lands. He
lifted himself up above all his court and subjected peoples. Then his
“wings were plucked off.” This explains when he was reduced by
God to a common beast. As we studied in chapter 4, and in
Nebuchadnezzar’s own Chaldean words, he became like a beast of the
wild (insane). Time pasts before Nebuchadnezzar regains his sanity,
stood up like a man, is restored to his throne and accepts the God of
Daniel as the only true God.
Daniel 7:5 says, “And
suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on
one side, and had three
ribs in its mouth between its teeth.
And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’”
This event will parallel text from the next chapter of Daniel but not
today. Some commentaries suggest the three
ribs are conquered
lands; the Lydian Empire of Asia Minor, the Chaldean Empire being
Babylon itself, and Egypt (525 B.C.). This author respectfully
disagrees. The bear (Persia) being turned on its side (7:5) had
turned on its Mede ally after the Babylonian conquest thus uniting
the two Empires into one kingdom.
Since Daniel mentions THREE RIBS
in the mouth of the bear and before the bear is instructed to “rise
up and devour much,” the three conquered territories or empires had
already been conquered; three ribs in his mouth. At this time, Egypt
had not been conquered by Persia and it didn’t happen until the
rule of Darius I also known as Darius the Great.
To keep historical/biblical records straight, the Persians tried unsuccessfully to conquer Greece around 490 B.C.; i.e. parts of Macedonia. They failed. This was also an event that Alexander the Great, son of King Philip of Macedonia, was taught not only by his father but by his tutor Aristotle. Alexander had it in mind to “pay back” the aggression of the Persians; i.e. Darius I doing so in 331 B.C. Alexander is represented in Daniel’s vision as a Leopard; quick and agile. The four wings and heads of this Leopard represent the four empires that evolved out of Alexander’s empire; i.e. (1) Greece and Macedon, (2) Thrace and Asia Minor, (3) Middle East-Asia and (4) Egypt-Palestine.
From this we get the two
dominant kingdoms back then and in prophecy representing the King of
the North and the King of the South; Ptolemy’s of Egyptian fame and
the Seleucids of Assyrian/Syrian fame. We would roughly identify
Seleucus’ kingdom as modern day Iraq, Persia, and Afghanistan. The
Ptolemy’s and Seleucids battled each other over and over. We have
discussed this in other articles written for ahabiblemoments.com
only touch upon it at this time due to space limitations.
JIV NOTE: For the aha
wonderers and New Testament buffs, the capital of the Seleucid empire
was the Antiochus of New Testament Apostle Paul fame.
The 4th beast of unknown name or identity is a two-fold prophecy. First it is the Romans. They swept through all of the territories of Alexander’s divided empire.
Second, it represents a picture of the yet to come antichrist of End Time and the battles between him (Norther Kingdom Europe?) and the Southern Kingdom (Arabs and Muslims). A simple consideration is that the antichrist will demand he be worshipped and Muslims will not easily, if at all bow to a non-Muslim “king.” The antichrist is represented by the “little horn” that sprouts up amongst the ten original horns of the unidentified 4th beast.
these events are culminating on the earth others are transpiring in
heaven. A great judgment scene is before us (compare Psalms 2;
25:31-46, and Revelation
19:19-21). “The Ancient of Days” is identified by some as the
first and by others as the second person of the Godhead (Revelation
1:12-14; John 5:22).
The slaying of the “beast” (Daniel
7:11) means the destruction of the world-powers are represented
in their final form of the revived Roman Empire”…but there is no
peace on earth. I believe the northern nations and ¼ of the earth’s
land mass dominated by the king of the south are still at battle with
In verses 21-22 and 25, this
little horn makes war against the saints, speaks pompous words
against God, intends to change times and law, and persecutes the
saints for a “time and times and half a time” (literally three
and a half years, but using the day-for-a-year principle of Numbers
14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, 1,260 years);
deal is sealed! The appointed King of Babylon, King Darius, has
followed his decree and the rules of the Medes and Persians. The pit
or den of Lions was sealed with Daniel in it. It is a bit of
encouragement to Darius, one might conclude, that Daniel is in with
the lions, a stone is brought to seal it, and Daniel is still alive.
This is in a huge contrast to what happened the next day with those
that deceived Darius.
And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the
king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords;
that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting:
neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep
went from him.
are few mental traumas worse than remorse, for there is nothing that
can be done to change the circumstances – unless of course one
knows the one true God who, being outside of time, entered into His
creation at a specific
point in history
and paid once and for all for every wrong thing we have ever done,
said or thought thus wiping the slate clean. Here is no need or gain
to keep reminding one’s self of his or her transgression.
he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also
for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2)
Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto
the den of lions.
And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto
Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of
the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to
deliver thee from the lions?
It is a curiosity of how long a pause Daniel may have left before answering?! How anxious Darius must have been waiting for the other shoe to drop or the climax of anxiety at the steepest part of the roller coaster.
Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever.
My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that
they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocence was found in
me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
incredible it must have been for Daniel to have spent a night in
safety knowing that God had sent His angel and that the loins
couldn’t harm him.
incredible also for us to know that our adversary, who roams about
like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, cannot harm us
because we too are protected by the angel of the Lord (Hebrews 1:14
and 13:5). Was it the same for the three in the furnace? Throughout
the Old Testament the Angel of the Lord is no mere angel but the
commander of the armies of the Lord – i.e. possibly Jesus Christ
himself although he is not an angel, but part God.
would or might Jesus be identified as “the angel of the Lord” in
the Old Testament? Simple! He had not yet taken on an earthly body to
go to the cross in bodily form; half human and half God head. He was
not yet the Christ Messiah. He had a role and it may be that of “the
angel of the Lord God.”
Luke 10:19 “Behold,
I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over
all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should
take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den,
and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his
the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to
show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect
toward him.” (2
is someone else who was faultless yet betrayed, handed over to death,
went down into a pit, a stone was rolled into place and sealed to
stop someone from taking him out, yet He was taken ‘up
out of the den and *no manner of hurt was found upon Him, because He
believed in His God’ *
Except for the nail prints in His hands & feet, which will serve
as an eternal reminder of His love and sacrifice for you and I.
And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at [to] the bottom of the den.
We should not be envious of the workers of iniquity for their day is coming. David wrote: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb…… fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
is exactly what happened to the wicked ones who plotted against
Daniel; their ‘sword’ did indeed enter their own heart.
this verse, Robert
says the following:
possibility of the destruction of the one hundred and twenty satraps
and their families by lions is shown from the fact that the monuments
of the kings of Assyria say that they had menageries containing “all
the animals of the mountains and of the plains,” including
elephants, panthers, and lions. Further, it is shown that lions at
that time were the pest of the Euphrates Valley, hundreds of them
being killed in a single hunting expedition, and that in one case
mentioned by Ashurnasirapal, king of Assyria, fifty young lions were
captured alive and shut up by him in the city of *Calach.”
(Robert D Wilson – Studies In Daniel) Once again, the Bible is not a
collection of quaint stories; it really is His-story. So why do we
continue to say “the Bible stories?”
Another name for Calach, sometimes spelled Kalhu is the ancient City
of Nimrud (Nimrod), a son of Ham who was a son of Noah on the Ark.
Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that
dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and
fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast
forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his
dominion shall be even unto the end.
He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in
heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the
just as with Nebuchadnezzar, Darius now acknowledges and gives glory
to the God of Daniel, who is steadfast and whose kingdom is without
end! This may have also been a JIT…just in time event. He did not
reign in Babylon for very long. Recall that he was 62 years old when
appointed king over the realm of Babylon by King Cyrus of Persia.
this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of
Cyrus the Persian.
NOTE: Darius was a Mede and Cyrus was Persian; i.e. Medo-Persians.
The Persians of then are the Iranians of today. They are NOT Arabs.
What changed their attitude about the Jews since it was their
ancestors who set them free from 70 years of Babylonia captivity?
as Joseph had prospered because he trusted his God regardless of the
circumstances, so Daniel did prosper. Both also paid a price for that
commitment. Jesus said in Luke
therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who
will commit to your trust the true riches?”
He also told us to be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves
(Matt 10:16). Paul tells us that Christians should work even harder
for their employers than the world does because we should work as
unto the Lord (see 1Tim 6:1; 2 Tim 4:9-10; Titus 2:7-10)
ends the first (historical) section of the book. Chapters 7-12 will
see Daniel having breathtaking visions that foretell the future of
the Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman and final world empire influence on
the Jews and Israel proper. We will be introduced to the ‘little
horn’ speaking great things, and we will see some of the most
incredible prophecies in the Bible that help to unravel the days that
we are living in right now and prove beyond doubt that Jesus Christ
is the Messiah of Israel who is destined to return and rule on the
throne of David and establish an everlasting kingdom.
were not known for their religious and theological insights but Sonny
and Cher, pop music artists, often sang a song…”And the Beat goes
on.” In this article we see that the inner man and evil continue
since the historical event of Cain and Able (Old Testament, Genesis
said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel,
except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
testimony this is. It was clear to all, that Daniel was unwavering in
his relationship with his God. If this may be the only chink in our
life’s armor we need not worry! This also is a perfect example of
the “full armor of God as found in the New Testament…Ephesians
these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said
thus unto him, King Darius, live forever.
aside, Chuck Missler points out that the idea of kings and rulers
being immortal continues to this day but has its root in Genesis 6
with the Nephilim! Note one person is missing in this
the presidents of the kingdom, the *governors, and the princes, the
counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a
royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a
petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he
shall be cast into the den of lions.
saw in chapter three with the Chaldeans trying to entrap Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah, so we see here. Do you notice the lie in their
‘All the presidents…’ – no it wasn’t! Do not be put off by
people who try to unsettle you with ‘everyone knows….’ Or ‘all
scholars agree…’ type statements. Usually, the bolder the
statement the shakier the foundation. Governors are also identified
Their petition is calculated to appeal to the king’s ego; yet as is so often the case, behind the things that puff us up is a unwavering in his relationship with his God. One of deceit.
men started with jealousy, moved onto hatred, then onto scheming,
then onto lying and deceit. Sin will always take one further than
s/he wants to go, keep one longer than s/he want to stay, and costs
one more than s/he wants to pay.
O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not
changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which
mentioned earlier in our study, whatever king Nebuchadnezzar said
went, He was the Law! And hence was represented as the head of gold
in chapter two. But now in the Medo-Persian kingdom, the king is now
bound by the law. Although Medo-Persian was physically larger than
Babylon, its power was not as great so was represented by silver and
not gold. Check our motives. Paul warned Timothy in
1 Tim 3:1-6 “This
is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth
a good work. A bishop then must be blameless…….Not a novice, lest
being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the
king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
decree of Darius the Mede with regard to the den of lions was easy of
execution, inasmuch as at that time lions were common in all that
part[s] of the world. The Assyrian kings were wont to hunt lions as a
pastime. Thus Tiglath–Pileser I says that he killed 920 lions in
one hunting expedition; and Ashurnasirpal says that he killed at one
time 120 lions and that at another time he captured 50 young lions
and shut them up in Calah and in the palaces of his land in cages and
let them produce their young. At another time he killed 370 strong
lions. In his menagerie [zoo], he says, also, that he had herds of
wild oxen, elephants, lions, birds, wild asses, gazelles, dogs,
panthers, and all animals of the mountains and of the plains, to show
to his people. Moreover, the Hebrew poets and prophets were familiar
with lions; the people, also, made proverbs concerning them; and
their heroes, such as Samson and David, are said to have slain them.”
– Studies In Daniel)
when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house;
and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he
was his custom for many years] upon
his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his
God, as he did aforetime.
is another significant verse. Jerusalem lay in ruins, Daniel had not
seen it for almost 70 years, and yet he prays towards it in
accordance to Solomon’s petition as recorded in
2 Chronicles 6:34-39: “If
thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou
shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou
hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear
thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and
maintain their cause… and forgive thy people which have sinned
is where Mohammed decreed that all Muslims must pray toward Mecca.
prayer life was habitual and it was the easiest thing in the world
for him to pray when trouble arose. How often do we stumble at the
first hurdle when trials come simply because we are not in the habit
of taking everything to God in prayer? As the song goes… “all
because we do not carry; everything to God in prayer.”
kneeled upon his knees..”.
There are many ways to pray, and limitless places to pray, but
shutting yourself away and praying on your knees seems to make our
physical body more in tune with the spiritual. Pray in closets as
instructed by Jesus three versus before he examples the Lord’s
Pray…not in auditorium or sanctuaries. It blocks out distratcions
around us. Peter made the error of being distracted by the roaring
and raging seas or environment around him when he sank into it. Jesus
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou
hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy
Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt
In probably Jesus’ most intense prayer in the garden of Gethsemane
“he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down,
and prayed,” (Luke
book of Acts we read of Peter when he prayed for Tabitha (also called
Dorcas) after she had become sick and died; we read:
“But Peter put them all forth,
and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said,
Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she
sat up.” (Acts
NOTE): It is said that Peter was known as ‘old camel knees’
because of the calluses on his knees. He spent in many hours in
prayer while on his knees.
we address the Creator God of the Universe we should do so with
humility and privacy of heart. Not as the Pharisees on a street
we get to the real meat of this verse:
kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks
before his God, as he did aforetime.
of us, if we are honest, struggle to pray once a day ‘on our knees’
or in our prayer closet i.e. actually putting time aside specifically
to pray. It is of course right and proper that we pray ‘on the go’,
Paul said that we should
without ceasing” (1
Thes 5:17), “praying
always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph
However, this is not to be a substitute for going into our room,
shutting the door and spending some quality time with God. For Daniel
on the other hand, this was a way of life,
…as he did aforetime.
Daniels prayer should embody our prayers.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:
all things are lawful for me, but
I will not be brought under the power of any”
also important to notice how Daniel behaves in this situation, for
the days are coming where those who would accuse us will be watching
our every move, looking for an opportunity to entrap us.
In Canada it is an offence to declare that Jesus is the only way
under their ‘hate crimes’ laws. In various European countries
pastors have been arrested for taking a Biblical stand against
homosexuality. It is most likely theologically true that the church
won’t go through the Great Tribulation, but we would be naive if we
thought we would escape persecution altogether. Jesus said that in
this world we would be persecuted, and that the world would hate us
these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication
before his God.
whole thing was such an obvious set-up. If ‘these men’ refers to
the same crowd mentioned in verses 4 & 5, it may have been all
120 satraps and the other two presidents.
they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s
decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask
a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O
king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and
said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and
Persians, which altereth not.
had no need to ask if the king had signed such a decree because they
had written it and taken it to him to sign in the first place. Their
sole purpose was to REMIND HIM of the decree. During Neb’s time he
was the law.
Now the king was under
answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the
children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor
the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times
their plan comes to light, as does the fact that they had been
watching him. Notice how they try to insult Daniel and put him down:
Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah’
– INSINUATING: ‘this guy is only a slave and from Judah at that’.
the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased
and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the
going down of the sun to deliver him.
that the king is not cross with Daniel. He is cross with himself for
being so naive. How quick we are to try and undo what has been done
when we realize the error of our ways. How was 62 year old Darius
going to explain this to Cyrus next time he was in town and asks to
speak to that incredible old Jewish man? Hmmm? I fed him to the
Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know,
O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor
statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into
the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God
whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
no way out the king does what he had to do. Did Darius have faith
that God would deliver Daniel, or was he just hoping? Probably more
of a hopeless way of excusing himself from the decree. In short, he
puts the responsibility of the outcome in the God of Daniel. Similar
to trying to “wash his hands” of the whole deal (Matthew 27:24).
is slain by the Medes (Persians) and Darius is set to rule of the
conquered Babylon. Do not confuse bible facts with nay-sayer
historians who claim Cyrus was the ruler. Yes he was at this time;
Asian ruler along with the more loosely knit confederation (of sort)
Medes. Cyrus ruled the empire. Darius, for a very short time, ruled
Babylon. The Bible gives us facts we often miss the reason for why.
Things like proper names and places; in this case the Bible
specifically gives us the age of Darius in the very last verse of
chapter 5. He was 62 years old.
should ask ourselves since such information is seldom given if it is
given for a reason? Darius ruled for a short time then either died or
stepped down into retirement. He is NOT the King Darius on the throne
of Babylon 40 years later. However, the Book of Esther comes within
the next 40 years.
6 Daniel 6:1
pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes,
which should be over the whole kingdom;
mentioned at the end of our study of chapter 5, there is some debate
over the identity of Darius. Critics have pointed to Daniel’s
assertion that Darius the Mede was king of Babylon as proof that the
book of Daniel was not an eyewitness account, but rather the work of
a much later author who was confused about the details of this
period. Critics are quick to make bold assertions that are based on
biased opinions rather than objective facts. Professor
Robert Dick Wilson
who spent a lifetime studying these things states:
“This confusion is a matter of evidence. With all due deference to
other scholars, I am firmly convinced that no man today has
sufficient evidence to prove that the author of Daniel was confused.
There are no records to substantiate the assertions of confusion.
Neither is it clear to the critics nor can they make it clear to
others, that the author of Daniel either did not understand the facts
with regard to Darius the Mede, or clearly express himself about
them.” (Studies in Daniel)
the various opinions put forward, the ones favored by most scholars
are as follows:
was not the name of a person but simply a title meaning “holder of
the scepter”. Certainly there are five later Persian rulers with
the same name, which lends some support to this argument.
of the British Museum puts forward the idea that Darius was indeed a
title and our character in question was in fact Cyrus himself.
Scholars have noted that the closing verse of this chapter could
also be translated in such a way as to imply that Darius is Cyrus.
(JIV: It is translated this way in the footnotes of the N.I.V.)
view is that Darius was Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, although his age
as revealed at the end of chapter 5 would seem to discount this; as
would the fact that this would then leave a gap of approximately
four months with no king over Babylon from the death of Belshazzar
until Cambyses was eventually appointed as king of Babylon in 538
BC. However, it is wise to take note that Daniel even mentions his
age at his ascension to the throne of Babylon. There is often a
reason why God leads writers of scripture to make such statements.
the view that seems most consistent
with what we know from the Bible and history is that Darius the Mede
was Gubaru, the general of Cyrus’ Mede army who had taken Babylon
on the night of Belshazzar’s feast, aged about 62. Cyrus rewarded
Gubaru with a regional governorship for capturing the capital of the
Babylonian Empire. What we do know from the ‘Nabonidus Chronicle’
and Josephus is that
on October 12th
Gubaru entered Babylon at night, killing Belshazzar and conquering
the city without a fight since the Babylonian army was not even
Cyrus entered the city, being met at the gates by Daniel with a
scroll of Isaiah in his hand. Over 150 years earlier Isaiah had
saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb,
I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the
heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That
frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that
turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That
confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his
messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to
the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the
decayed places thereof: *That
saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:That
saith of Cyrus,
He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: **even
saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple,
Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to
whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I
to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be
shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I
will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars
of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden
riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD,
which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel….” (Isaiah
44:24 – 45:6)
Note that Isaiah even mentions the access of the Medes and Persians into Babyloon; the river that has been dried up (diverted) so the troops simply walked in under the water gates of the river that flowed into Babylon.
**This is the prophecy of
Isaiah almost 200 years earlier that the “captive” Judeans would
be released to return to Jerusalem by a king named Cyrus.
a few weeks before, Cyrus had instructed Gubaru to take the
‘impenetrable’ city of Babylon by diverting the river Euphrates
into a canal upriver so that the water level dropped “to
the height of the middle of a man’s thigh” (Herodotus).
Thus the city’s flood defenses were rendered useless and the
Persian army was able to march right into the city through the river
bed. As Cyrus is now reading this portion of Isaiah he must have been
‘blown away’. Not only does this Jewish prophet, who had been
dead for 150 years, mention him by name, but the passage describes
how the city would be taken and the fact that Belshazzar’s loins
– something that was no doubt common knowledge by now.
approximately one and a half years later in 537 BC, went on to sign a
decree allowing the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild
their temple all by Daniel’s beckoning of him. This decree is
recorded at the end of 2 Chronicles and at the beginning of Ezra:
“Now in the first year of *Cyrus
king of Persia
[NB: 539 to 538 = Ascension year, therefore 538 to 537 = first year
that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled
the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made
a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in
writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath
charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who
is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let
him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the
LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And
whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourned, let the men of
his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and
with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that
is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra
*King of the Persian Empire
therefore over the appointed King Darius of Babylon.
addition to this decree recorded in the Bible the above is a
cylinder, now known as the ‘Stele of Cyrus’, which now resides in
the British Museum. On the cylinder are the words:
any battle, he entered the town, sparing any calamity:…I returned
to sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris [river], the
sanctuaries of which have been ruins for a long time… and
established for them permanent sanctuaries. I also gathered all their
former inhabitants and returned to them their habitations”
‘Stele of Cyrus’ – British Museum, London
to the ‘who is Darius?’ question: From archaeological discoveries
we know that Cyrus was known as ‘king of lands’ (i.e. ruler of
the empire), and because the empire was so vast, it was normal to
appoint kings over districts or regions. Thus it is reasonable that
Cyrus would have appointed someone he trusted to be king of Babylon,
and who better than his trusted general Gubaru who had just taken the
city for his king? This starts out as a plausible theory but is soon
confirmed by rereading the closing verse of chapter
Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two
we read ‘and Darius became king…’ but that is not what this
verse states. What we are told is that ‘Darius the Median took the
word translated ‘took’ is ‘qebal’
(Aramaic) meaning ‘to acquire’, also translated elsewhere as
‘receive’ or ‘take’. As we have already mentioned, it was
Gubaru (AKA: Darius) who acquired the kingdom on behalf of Cyrus,
thus this verse would seem to identify Darius the Mede as Gubaru.
This is also consistent with Daniel 9:1 where we are told that Darius
‘made king over the realm of the Chaldeans’
(made = ‘malak’ (Aramaic) ‘to induct into royalty’).
is also sometimes written as Ugbaru or Gobryas [Greek])
over these, three governors of whom Daniel was first: that the
satraps might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no
from verse one, Darius had 120 governors with three presidents or
governors overseeing everything. Daniel was the chief president,
second to the king himself.
this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes….
only did Daniel outrank all the other government officials, we are
told that he was preferred above them all. Now, human nature being
what it is, you can almost hear the murmuring in the background
already ‘who does he think he is…?. He was just a captive Jew
from Judah.’ Daniel continued his government ranking from
Nebuchadnezzar to Darius.
an excellent spirit was in him;
whole life seems to be an example of what God can do in a life that
is yielded to Him. We are called to be salt and light in this world,
that men may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven
(Matt 5:13-16). We are to be an example in word, conversation,
charity (love), spirit, faith, purity and work (1 Tim 4:12). We are
to work hard for our employers (Colossians 3:23) so that the name of
our God and His doctrine are not blasphemed (1 Tim 6:1). We are to
allow no corrupt communication to proceed from our mouths, but only
that which is helpful and will build others up (Ephesians 4:29).
the king thought to set him (Daniel)
the whole realm.
did not go down well with the other non-Judean [Jews] officials. No
doubt Darius had enlisted some of the best men of Babylon and added
them to his own Persian staff, probably people that had served with
him in the army. Now this ageing Jewish exile is almost being made
king! This hate for the local, once captive Judeans reveals itself
once again in the Book of Esther some 40 years later. Mordecai was
set up for death as he was a Jew hated by the royal court; Haman.
commonly identified as Xerxes I, reined 486–465 BCE).
Esther was his queen.
the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel
concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault;
forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault
found in him.
is a powerful motivator. It overrides common sense and logical
“For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in
the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he
rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”
the ‘ball of jealousy’ is rolling, nothing will stop it. But
notice again, despite trying to find fault in Daniel there was
nothing in his life that he had to hide, no secret sins, nothing to
article we discover the events that followed. It picks up in verse 5
of Daniel 6. This reminds me of a gospel Chorus/Song back in the 60’
with words that go something like this…
NOTE: This article is rather long and for which I must ask the
reader’s persistence. This section of Daniel is or has no natural
break-point without breaking the context of verses 9 – 30. The
website editor of this webpage article may opt to break it into two
articles. We now pick up at the point King Belshazzar sees the
writing on the wall;
a phrase we often use in our modern culture. This is even true of
agnostics and bible critics. They too use this phrase.
was King Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed
in him, and his lords were astonied.
verse 6 Belshazzar was troubled and his countenance changed. Now he
is really worried (Aramaic = exceedingly terrified) and it is
would appear from the word ‘astonied’ = shebash (Aramaic), that
his lords were ‘perplexed’ because of the king’s reactions.
Wasn’t this the king who had thrown a party to demonstrate his
invincibility? Now he has not only wet his pants in public, but has
turned white as a sheet because no one can explain what this writing
have seen the king make four major mistakes:
Pride (verse 1)
defiance of the God of Heaven (verse 2)
to excess (verse 3)
false gods (verse 4)
do people in such open rebellion not know why judgment has come upon
them. The king’s conscience had already convicted him before a word
had been spoken. People are wise after the event, but arrogant
before; thinking to avoid being caught is their only real concern.
Just like Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:15 “and
who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands”
all of Belshazzar’s actions were an open taunt to God. We see that
same incredible attitude with Antichrist in Rev 13 where he
blasphemes the God of Heaven (Rev 13:6). There is HUGE parallels
between Daniel and End Time.
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
forever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance
person referred to here as the queen is what we would understand as
the queen mother, and from the writings of the Greek historian
Herodotus, it would appear to be Nitocris, wife of Nabonidus and
daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, whom Herodotus mentions as a woman of
extraordinary prudence. However, this could have been Neb’s now
elderly and widowed wife.
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;
heard of the king’s problem she makes her way to the banquet hall
and suggests Daniel as the man to interpret the writing. As
Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter [grandmother?] either would have been
well acquainted with Daniel and his exploits during her father’s
reign, and seems to put in a public ‘dig’ saying that
Nebuchadnezzar had learned his lesson late in life. You never
listened to him in ‘your’ life yet alone learn the lesson he did.
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
because Daniel cared for her father for the seven years of chapter 4,
she seems to be fond of Daniel and presents a brief resume´ that is
bound to impress. She acknowledges (in verse 11) that the spirit of
the ‘holy gods’ is in him and boldly declares that he will shew
the interpretation. This shows her faith not only in Daniel but in
his ‘Gods’ – plural: Father, Son & Spirit, OR, perhaps she
herself had not learned the same lesson of ONE GOD.
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?
would have been around 80 plus years old by now, and it is clear from
this verse that his reputation had preceded him. JIV: He also had not
returned to Judah/Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, Ezra, or Nehemiah. The
few Judeans that left Babylon upon being released was less than one
percent. There are millions of their descendants remaining in Iran
and Iraq today but most of them have since intermarried and forgotten
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.
the pride once more of Belshazzar “even I have heard of you, so you
must be something!” The question could well be asked, why Daniel
wasn’t called to start with if he had such a reputation. My guess?
Possibly for the same reason that is mentioned in the comments on
Daniel 4:6, 7 – see also Ephesians 5:13.
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
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.
the king explains the predicament that the other ‘wise’ men
couldn’t solve and offers Daniel rewards including to be made third
ruler in the kingdom. The reason that third ruler in the kingdom was
offered is that, as we have noted, Nabonidus was king, Belshazzer was
appointed king of Babylon while Nabonidus was away, thus the #1 and
#2 spots were already filled. This
is additional evidence that this is a historically accurate record.
Critics and ‘so-called (Wikipedia) scholars’ scoffed for years
claiming that Daniel was wrong and must have been written many years
after this time because no record had been found of Belshazzar being
king of Babylon. However, competent research and archaeological
discoveries have now completely vindicated Daniel and in fact have
demonstrated that Daniel had to be an eyewitness of these events.
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.”
now much older and less concerned about political correctness,
basically tells the king where to put his gifts! He will explain the
writing and give the interpretation anyway. All through the book
Daniel demonstrates that he doesn’t work for man but for God.
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy [grand]
father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor:
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 starts to read the writing and interpret the message, he gives
this self-edifying little king a history lesson about a real king who
had real authority! Read on….
(…) 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
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 appointed over it whomsoever he will.
explains to Belshazzar what happens to those who are proud before God
and underlines the ultimate lesson: that the most high God rules in
the kingdom of men, and he appoints over it whomsoever he will.
Either Belshazzar already knew of the happenings to Nebuchadnezzar or
he missed the history lesson per his family passing it on.
thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou
knewest all this;
stage is set. Daniel knows by this time tomorrow all would end but
feared not for his own life. Daniel already knew this was not about
him but the end of this kingdom to which he had been brought as a
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
picture this situation: In the middle of his big party, with a
thousand of his lords present, a hand ‘out of nowhere’ writes on
the wall. The king has an ‘accident’ and turns as white as a
sheet. The best men of the land are unable to help him. By now word
was out about what has happened. His mother hears about it, comes in
and embarrasses him yet further; eventually an 81-year-old man is
called who, in front of a thousand lords, criticizes him openly. We
haven’t even gotten to the interpretation of the writing yet!
is a classic case of God resisting the proud, and should serve as a
graphic example that pride is an abomination to the Lord (see
was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
now interprets the writing no longer delaying the preponderance of
evidence. Time is short and even shorter for Belshazzar.
this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
tradition says that this writing was in the form of an encrypted
Hebrew code called ‘Atbash’.
is not the only time that encrypted words are found in the Bible. In
Jeremiah 25:26 there is another example of Atbash
encrypted form of ‘Babylon’), and in Isaiah 7:6 there is an
example of another form of encryption called Albam (there the word
encryption of Remaliah).
Both of these forms of encryption are fairly simple forms of
transposition, where one letter is consistently used to replace
Hebrew & Aramaic reads right to left – all languages flow
toward Jerusalem! If we look at a globe with Jerusalem in the center,
countries west of it write left to right, those east write right to
left; this may be a coincidence, but then again..(?).
would appear that Daniel was familiar with this form of encryption,
as he has no difficulty in interpreting it before the king: (of
course, he also had the eyes and help of God)
Initially this may strike us as simply interesting, however when we
stop to consider who the author of scripture actually is, the fact
that God has placed hidden codes in the Bible is staggering. This is
what the ancient Rabbis would call a ‘remez’
hint of something deeper. In a previous study we found ‘Bible
coding’ by using names and their definitions to read as a paragraph
and statement. This Bible Code is true of Daniel’s name along with
his three compatriots.
What a powerful deterrent to adding or subtracting to a portion of
scripture because it is difficult or unpopular, when, by altering the
surface text (as many liberal and politically correct ‘Christians’
are wont to do) they may in fact corrupt the bible code. Subtracting
from the Bible one inadvertently removes the code itself; perhaps
even their name from the Book of Life! This gives me a personal and
different understanding of predestination. If one is predestined to
become a son (child) of God that is one thing. But… if one is
predestined BE a child of God; that is something quite different. The
same is true of translations. An incorrect translation will corrupt
any Bible code hidden from the eyes of the casual reader.
word of God is pure. Do not add to His words lest He rebuke you and
you be found a liar”.
Also read Revelation
echoes in Psalm 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning.” If
it is pure and true then there is nothing that we can add or subtract
to improve it. We should simply fall before our God who has given us
His Word, which we are told in Psalm 138:2 He has exalted above all
His name! If blasphemy – the misuse of His name – is to be
judged, how much more the misuse of His Word!
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy
kingdom, and finished it.
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
king Belshazzar’s worst fears are realized, his time of playing
games with the God of Israel is over, and in the most dramatic
this verse come two phrases that are still used today ‘you’re
number’s up’ and ‘weighed and found wonting’. It is
incredible the number of words and phrases that people use every day
that originate from the Bible, yet most people have no idea, and
worse still, no regard for this most incredible book.
is a play on words here as well with the word ‘PERES’. In both
Hebrew and Aramaic there are no vowels so the word would have been
written as ‘P R S’ with the vowels inferred. However without the
vowels the sound and meaning can alter. Take for example the words
CaT and CoT. Without the vowels all we would read is C_T. And so it
is here with Peres; if the ‘e’ (which makes the word mean
‘divided’) is replaced with an ‘a’ we get the Aramaic word
for ‘Persians’! Surprised are you???? So was I during my studies.
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.
that Daniel was bothered; the kingdom only had a few hours to go!
Besides, Belshazzar’s grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had already put
him in charge of Babylon many years earlier [Daniel 2:48] Also,
several years earlier, Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:48 had already made
Daniel the ruler over all things pertinent to the running of
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and
two years old.
Belshazzar, as all proud people will be, is cut down. David said in
Psalm 7:9 “Oh
let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the
just: for the righteous God tries the hearts and reins.”
Recall that Belshazzar’s father was away with the army of Babylon.
We have little information as to what happens to him and his missing
forces, but they were not there to defend Babylon. Some historians
suggest he had already been defeated in battle with the Medes. This
is likely to be why it was the Mede Darius who was made ruler in
in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of
him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked
devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not
thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but
those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet
a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt
diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek
shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the
abundance of peace. The wicked plot against the just, and gnash upon
him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he sees that his
day is coming.” How
true this was for Belshazzar who was made a public spectacle in front
of his one thousand lords yet was humiliated by the God of heaven
whom he had rejected.
sweeps aside the mighty Babylonian kingdom, the head of gold (cf Dan
2); and in comes the Medo-Persian empire – the chest and arms of
silver (Daniel 2). He did this in part as the Babylonians did not
treat the captive Judeans with dignity or mercy.
is some debate over the identity of Darius the Mede. We will deal
with that in chapter 6. What we do know is that he was about
sixty-two years old when he became ruler of Babylon in 539 B.C. It
should be noted, that the first actual year for a Babylonian king was
reckoned as their ascension year. What we would consider their 2nd
year would therefore be their first regal year. Thus 539-538 =
Darius’ ascension year; 538-537 B.C. = Darius’ 1st year.
In chapter five we jump ahead in time (see the opening paragraph)..
The previous chapter was the end of the life and reign of
Nebuchadnezzar. Though Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar
through his mother, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, he only ruled as
co-regent with his less-than-royal blood father, Nebo nidus.
about Belshazzar (website
this (hi)story just a legend, or does the Bible preserve accurate
history? Years ago, some skeptics denied that there ever was a king
of Babylon named Belshazzar, claiming that his name and story were
invented by someone unfamiliar with true Babylonian history. But just
when it looked like all the evidence was stacked against Scripture, a
series of archaeological discoveries showed that Belshazzar did exist
after all, and the details given about him in the Bible are
the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank
wine before the thousand.
chapter five we find that Belshazzar is now king (not to be confused
with Beltshazzar; i.e. Daniel). About 23 years have passed since
Nebuchadnezzar died and the kingdom of Babylon has gone through a
turbulent time. Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Evil-Merodach, succeeded his
father and reigned for almost three years (2 Kings 25:27 / Jeremiah
52:31). His younger brother, Neriglissar, then reigned for about five
years being succeeded by his son, Labashi-Marduk. He was but a
child-king, who reigned for just a few months before being murdered.
Nabonidus, who had married Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter, became king.
History records that Nabonidus did not relate well with the people of
Babylon, especially with the priests of Marduk (the Babylonian god).
As a result of this, after three years, Nabonidus appointed his son
Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, as king of Babylon while he
himself took an army to Arabia, presumably to build sandcastles and
keep out of the limelight! All of this political turmoil was just the
invitation that a brilliant young military leader by the name of
Cyrus needed. The Meads and the Persians were two great adjacent
empires that had been steadily growing in power; however when Cyrus
came along with one of his parents, one Persian and the other a Mead,
it was the smoothing oil that was required to unite two fairly strong
empires into one all-conquering one.
would have been aware that the newly formed Medo-Persian Empire was
in the ascendancy and no doubt well aware that Cyrus’ army (under
the command of his general – Gubaru (later to be crowned Darius))
was heading toward Babylon. So what do you do when you’re the king
of Babylon and an invading army is approaching? Throw a party!
Evidently Belshazzar was so sure that Babylon was impregnable that he
simply shut the gates of the city and gave a great feast to a
thousand of his lords to demonstrate his undeniable, if not
foolhardy, confidence and incredible wealth. After all, he was the
king of the great Babylon, Excellency of the Chaldeans and capital of
the known world. If overconfidence was his first mistake, his second
was soon to follow. P.S.; Recall that his father, Nabonidus, had
taken the army with him into Arabia “to build sand castles.” The
huge city of Babylon had but castle or palace guards for defense.
whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver
vessels which his [grand] 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.
2 Kings 20:14-18;
defying the God of Israel has never been a good career move –
United Nations; European Union; PLO; Hezbollah; Hamas, Syrian; Iran,
[USA?] etc. take note!
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.
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of
brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
31:4 states that it is not for kings to drink wine or strong drink;
how much more so when that drink is combined with idolatry. This is
begging for trouble and taunting God.
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.
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.
would be enough to ruin anyone’s party! This writing didn’t just
appear on the wall in any old place; it appeared by the candlestick,
the brightest spot in the room so all would see. It is easy to
understand why the king’s face and continence were changed. Indeed
why his thoughts troubled him. However, in case the reader is unclear
as to the King James phrase ‘his
loins were loosed’
– JIV: let’s just say he needed the bathroom but didn’t make it
is an undeniably humorous side to this situation as we look on;
imagine being the only man in scripture of whom it is recorded that
they wet themselves (or worse)! What makes this even more incredible
is that this event was even foretold by the prophet Isaiah 200
saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have
holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of
kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall
not be shut”
doubt this applied to Belshazzar as his knees buckled and let loose
of all muscle control.
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
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.
we saw in chapter two with Nebuchadnezzar, people are quick to turn
to ‘religion’ when problems arise and seek answers from the
‘professional’ religious leaders. However just as we see here,
they can seldom give or find the answers. Much is made in our day of
‘ordained ministers’ and so often these are the ones the world
will turn to in the event of a tragedy or problem, even if only to
seek their opinion. But is it not also true that so often these are
the ones we see undermining the word of God and compromising
in order to be seen to be politically correct?
This should come as no great surprise, for those ordained and
appointed by men will be answerable to men. In God’s kingdom it is
very different. We read nothing in scripture of being ordained by the
Bishop, but rather we read: “Ye
have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye
should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:
that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it
any believer in Christ, it is the Lord Himself who has ordained us.
We are answerable to him. Paul tells us: “For
ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath
chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God
hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which
are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are
despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to
nought things that are” and why is this so? “That no flesh should
glory in his presence.”
in the book of Acts we read of the boldness of Peter and John, yet
they were unlearned and ignorant men (see Acts 4:13). They did not
have their theology degree from a ‘Bible’ college or seminary,
accredited by a secular university that is rooted in humanism and
evolutionary thinking. These were just two simple fishermen who would
have struggled to get a job in many churches today, yet we read that
they had been with Jesus – and that was all the qualification that
personal ordination from the King of kings rates immeasurably higher
than anything that manmade institutions purport to offer.
continue our Daniel series next beginning with Daniel 5:9. …”his
countenance changed him.”
Now THAT is a significant understatement.
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with
the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen,
and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most
High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was
driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with
the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers,
and his nails like birds’ claws.
is a condition known as Lycanthropy, coming from the Greek ‘lykos’
meaning ‘wolf’ and ‘anthropos’ meaning ‘man’, from which
we identify ‘Wolf-Man’. Very few recorded cases exist yet
extensive mythology has originated by the belief that a person could
change into a wolf; this has led to legends of werewolf’s etc. that
are found around the world.
variation of this disease is Boanthropy where, rather than believing
oneself to be a wolf, one believes oneself to be an ox or cow. It is
this illness that most likely fits this situation. Myth and legend
aside, there was a case recorded in England just after the Second
World War. A man in his early twenties was admitted to a mental
institution with all the symptoms consistent with Boanthropy. In his
commentary on Daniel, Dr John Walvoord, one with whom I have a great
respect, offers the following: “Raymond Harrison recites a personal
experience with a modern case similar to that of Nebuchadnezzar which
he observed in a British mental institution in 1946. Harrison writes:
‘A great many doctors spend an entire busy professional career
without once encountering an incidence of this kind of Boanthropy
described in the book of Daniel. Harrison therefore considers
him-self particularly fortunate to have actually observed a clinical
case of Boanthropy in a British mental institution in 1946.
patient was in his early twenties, who had reportedly been
hospitalized for about five years. His symptoms were well developed
on admission and diagnosis was immediate and conclusive. He was of
average height and weight, with a good physique and he was in
excellent bodily health. His mental symptoms included pronounced
anti-social tendencies, and because of this he spent the entire day
from dawn to dusk outdoors in the grounds of the institution. His
daily routine consisted of wandering around the magnificent lawns, of
the hospital. And it was his custom to pluck up and eat handfuls of
grass all day long.
observation he was seen to discriminate carefully between grass and
weeds. On enquiry from the attendant, Harrison was told that the diet
of this patient consisted exclusively of grass from the hospital
lawns. He never ate institutional food with other inmates, and his
only drink was water. The writer was able to examine him curiously,
and the only physical abnormality noted, consisted of a lengthening
of the hair and a coarse thickened condition of the fingernails.
Without institutional care the patient would have manifested
precisely the same physical conditions as those mentioned in Daniel
4:33. From the foregoing it seems evident that the forth chapter of
Daniel was describing an accurate and attestable mental affliction.”
course the critics of the Bible say that this could never have
happened, however Eusebius refers to a Greek historian called
Abydenus who sites a case in 268BC of a man with almost identical
symptoms to Nebuchadnezzar. Josephus also quotes Berosus, a
Babylonian historian, who documented the case of a Chaldean priest at
the time of Alexander the Great, who once again appears to have
suffered from this disease. In the East India Company Museum in
London there is a cuneiform tablet that has been discovered that is
inscribed with details about Nebuchadnezzar’s illness. Yet further
evidence to support the Biblical account was the discovery of what
has become known as the ‘Prayer of Nabonidus’ found in cave #4 at
Qumran (part of the Dead Sea Scrolls found between 1947-1956). There
is little doubt that the author is none other than Nebuchadnezzar
himself. The scroll reads:
words of the prayer that (Nabonidus?), the king of Assyria and
Babylon, the [great] king, prayed [when he was smitten] with a
malignant disease by the decree of the [Most High God] in [the city
of] Tema. I was smitten for *seven years and from [men] I was put
away. But when I confessed my sins and my faults, He [God] allowed me
(to have) a soothsayer. This was a Jewish [man of the exiles in
Babylon. He] explained (it) and wrote (me) to render honor and great
glory to the name of the [Most High God]…”
(JIV NOTE: Soothsayer was most likely Daniel himself.]
bible scholars believe this to be written as 7 seasons or periods of
time. In this geographical area there are only two recognized
seasons; summer and winter. If this is correct that would mean the
translation would then read 3 ½ years.
at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto
heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the
most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose
dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from
generation to generation:”
often do we take ‘seven years’ to learn the most basic lesson
that God is in control? So often our pride exhibits or unveils itself
as worry, which is a declaration that we and not God, are in control.
Oswald Chambers said: “If God is the God we know Him to be when we
are closest to Him, what an impertinence worry is”. (see Matt
6:25-34 & Phil 4:6-7) Worry is simply a lack of faith in the one
whose dominion is an everlasting dominion. What will be will be as
“He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth
according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the
inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto
him, What doest thou?”
unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with
the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions
it, What makest thou? The post has no hands?”
(Isaiah 45:9) In short, we try to make God into something that fits
our heart’s desire and will. Genesis 1:1 does
in any translation…”in the beginning Man created an image of a
god to fit his and her wishes in life.”
but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing
formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me [like] thus?”
At the same time my reasoning returned unto me; and for the glory of
my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my
counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my
kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and the King of heaven, all
whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in
pride he is able to abase. Amen!
Nebuchadnezzar lived for about one year after returning to his Babylonian throne. The Jewish Talmud records that Daniel was the one who looked after Nebuchadnezzar throughout the seven years, and then saw him restored to his throne. However this time the king knew that ‘his’ throne was really only on loan! The Bible does not explain or define who cared for him but we do suspect Nebuchadnezzar was kept within the palace grounds.
we should remember the admonition by Paul: “I
exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers,
intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For
kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet
and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good
and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will [wills
that] have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus”
(1 Tim 2:1-5)
not misunderstand this verse. ALL MANKIND will not be forgiven at the
end of time, but all mankind will be judged. God wills that all
mankind would follow him and be saved but man has a free will to
our next article (#20; chapter 5) we jump forward several years into
the reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Belshazzar. Some
translations identify him as “the son of Nebuchadnezzar.” However
we know two other kings ruled for some time in Babylon. One of those
short term rulers was a son-in-law, Nabonidus, from whom came
Belshazzar. Belshazzar never was the actual king but was left to rule
Babylon while his father, King Nabonides, ventured around the Middle
East and Egypt with his armies. Odd as it may seem, Nabonides was
defeated by the Medo-Persians and allowed to live. Very shortly
thereafter, his son Belshazzar was killed in his palace in Babylon by
Prevailing Hope -When Life Hurts is a true story to give hope in the midst of all we go through on this earth.It’s a journey of how the LORD has shown me how I can be okay even when life is not okay. My prayer is all who read this, will draw closer to the SOURCE of all HOPE, the LORD Jesus Christ. From my heart-Brenda
Prevailing Hope – When Life Hurts is available for purchase currently by following this link: http://bit.ly/2mgej8j
We just came off of Article 17 where Nebuchadnezzar had a horrifying dream (Daniel 4:10-17). The dream was one that 400 Babylonian advisers to the king would not or could not interpret. Verse 4:18 the king is asking Daniel (Belteshazzar) to give him the meaning of this “TREE” dream.
Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was *astonied (stricken
dumb; ASV) for
one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said,
Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof,
trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be
to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine
means stunned or hesitant. Daniel was not stunned at the question or
who asked for the interpretation, but at what he already knew was the
meaning of the dream.
again, Nebuchadnezzar uses Daniel’s Jewish name, and then confirms
Daniel’s Babylonian name so all would know to whom the king is
in verse 9 the king confidently asserts that nothing troubles Daniel
– that is, up until now! We will see in chapter nine that Daniel
was familiar with Jeremiah’s prophecies in chapter
now have I given all these lands unto the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the
king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given
him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son,
and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then
many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.” (Jer
This is another remarkable prophecy that accurately foretells that
after Nebuchadnezzar (whom God calls ‘My servant’), his son
[Evil-Marduk] and then his grandson [Belshazzar] will rule Babylon
until their time is up. As for Daniel’s thoughts, if God had raised
up Nebuchadnezzar for a purpose (that of bringing judgment on the
house of Judah), what was to happen to him now? No wonder Daniel was
‘astonied’ [astonished, dazed]. And then there is the question of
how exactly do you break this information/news to the king?
hour must have been one of the longest of Nebuchadnezzar’s life;
eventually he says to Daniel ‘Don’t let the dream trouble you (as
well)’. If Daniel is troubled this is not good. Finally
Daniel says in effect ‘If only this dream were about your enemies;
but alas…it is about the king himself.
The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height
reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was
meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon
whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy
greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the
end of the earth.
what Nebuchadnezzar probably feared is confirmed, he is the tree.
After all some time earlier he was the head of a huge statue, why not
also the tree? It is the next bit that is of most concern to both
Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar…
whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from
heaven, and saying, Cut the tree down, and destroy
yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a
band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let
be wet with the dew of heaven, and let
portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over
‘watcher’ from the context is an angel who comes down from the
Holy One in Heaven. The important points in this verse are that the
tree is to be cut down but the root is to remain. However the root or
base of the tree stump is to be bound with iron and brass. (JIV) At
the beginning of the verse the vocabulary refers to ‘it’ i.e. an
impersonal pronoun, but by the end of the sentence the vocabulary
changes to use the personal pronoun ‘his/him’. Thus this verse
could be seen to have a double reference; firstly to king
Nebuchadnezzar who is already identified as the tree in verse 22; and
secondly the reference may be to Nebuchadnezzar’s dominion i.e. the
kingdom of Babylon; will it rise again?
reference to seven times is seen by most Bible commentators to
represent seven years. In Daniel 7:25 and Rev 12:14 we read of time
(singular) times (plural) and half a time. From the context we
understand that this is referring to three and a half years
(specifically the last three and a half years of the Tribulation),
where time = 1 year, times = 2 years and half a time = 6 months. Thus
Daniel is saying that Nebuchadnezzar is going to be cut down for
seven years, during which time he will be covered with the dew and
have his portion [food] with the beasts of the field. Some
translations use the word “seasons.” This would mean the time of
Neb’s insanity would be 7 seasons; i.e. 1 ¾ years. By traditional
there a problem with their ‘seasons’ theory? YUP! The Babylonians
only counted summer and winter as seasons. This would make 7 seasons
or 3 ½ years. 3 summers and 3 winters PLUS one additional summer or
winter seasons. I
write (teach) but YOU
is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most
High, which is come upon my lord the king:
Nebuchadnezzar was all too familiar with issuing decrees; now one had
been issued against him by the highest authority that there is –
the Most High God and he knew it. This had to be stunning to him. He
was the supreme and is now discovering he isn’t. “The most HIGH…”
Daniel calls recognition to God; not the gods of Babylon.
they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the
beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen,
and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall
pass over thee, till
thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth
it to whomsoever he will.
explains to the king exactly what will happen to him, how he will be
(whenever you see an ‘until’ in the Bible take note!), [until] he
finally realizes that it is the most High who rules in the kingdom of
men, and He will give it to whomsoever He chooses. This is the third
time this lesson had been taught to the king (two warnings and then
this pronounced judgment – see Daniel 2:37-38 & Daniel 3:28-29),
on the previous two occasions he completely missed the point – this
time he will finally get it.
whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy
kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known
that the heavens do rule.
this period Nebuchadnezzar did not lose his throne, an incredible
fact in itself. And yes, he will learn his lesson this time. The
obvious but not addressed is who is the “THEY”? What is even more
amazing, he Nebuchadnezzar continued as usual for another 12 months.
have free will but God has more than one option to convince us of
something. This does not mean we will finally do it God’s way but
it does show a merciful God who offers many chances or opportunities.
O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy
sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the
poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.
Daniel pleads with the king to repent of his pride and iniquities in
the hope that these events will be postponed or not occur. There was
no immediate consequence to Daniel’s prophecy of 7 years. This gave
the king plenty of time to forget what had been told him; perhaps
even the dream itself. This is far too often the case with new
Christians. Once a new born Christian prays for forgiveness, some
wain in their initial joy. Psalms 51:12: King David pleads for
exactly the same thing; a return to his initial joy in God.
this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
as king Neb himself records here, all this happened as Daniel had
interpreted. Recall that this review of Nebuchadnezzar’s life and
struggle with the One God is recorded by Daniel but from the mouth of
the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of
know from 2 Peter 3:9 that God is longsuffering toward us; here we
find that God gave Nebuchadnezzar a year to repent, but as Jeremiah
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
So one evening the king is out for a stroll looking at his kingdom
and feeling invincible…
king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that
have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of
power, and for the honor of
six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto
a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that
deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to
mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth
what is top of the list? A proud or haughty look; the look at the “me
“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD:
though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs
goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”
man’s pride shall bring him low: but shall uphold the humble in
nutshell, God hates pride. Pride
was the sin of Satan
Both James and Peter tell us that God resists the proud but gives
grace to the humble. It is not wise to put one’s self in a position
where God is resisting you ‘cuz
you ain’t gonna’ win!
the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven,
saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is
terror of this is almost unimaginable. However God through Daniel and
a dream had warned him of this judgment a year before, so the king
was without excuse. The same is true for the people in this world;
God has given ample warning through His two witnesses; the
(also see Luke 16:31) and has foretold the coming judgment ‘so they
are without excuse’. Revelation 11 also warns of a time two
witnesses in Jerusalem will preach 24/7 for three and a half years
about turning to God and away from the antichrist.
speed which this judgment fell should be a wake-up call for anyone
‘dabbling’ in sin.
the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all
the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
first thing to note is that it appears that it is Nebuchadnezzar who
is now doing the writing! It is the ONLY chapter of the Bible written
by a Gentile king; be it by his hand or the hand of Daniel we do not
know. It may have only been a decree that Daniel is quoting verbatim,
but Nebuchadnezzar’s words.
thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath
wrought toward me.
has obviously changed in this man’s life –
“What about the life that’s showing I’m undergoing the change?”
great are his signs! How mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to
is being said by the most powerful ruler on the earth at that time!
What a contrast to chapter 3 where Neb’s image of gold suggested
that his was an everlasting kingdom; a total misunderstanding of his
previous dream as interpreted by Daniel of a statue of gold, silver,
bronze, iron and iron with clay mix. This most likely is written by
the hand of Daniel by translating what Nebuchadnezzar says in the
aftermath of these events.
Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my
surface he was flourishing – like so many in this world, thinking
that they have it all, not aware that it can all disappear like that.
he spake a parable unto them, saying, the ground of a certain rich
man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying,
what shall I do, because I have no room where to store my fruits? And
he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build
greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I
will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many
years; take thine ease, eat,
drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be
required of thee. Then whose shall those things be, which thou hast
provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not
rich toward God.” (Luke
12:16-21; Matthew 6:19-21)
How challenging is Daniel
4:4 when compared to Luke 12:16-21. What does it mean to “lay up
treasures? It does not mean to be foolish and squander. It does not
mean to be fruitful. It does not mean to preserve for today but it
does mean the future is not in one’s possessions.
saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and
the visions of my head troubled me.
has a way of getting our attention. Even the hardest, most
unreachable people in our eyes are never beyond the reach of God. I
suspect that Daniel had been praying for his king and friend for some
time, believing that God was able to get through to him. If there is
no god why do so many atheist, agnostics, cynics, and politically
correct societies spend so much time trying to disprove him by their
statements, actions, writings, and positions?
made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me,
that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
was well known to the king by now, so why not just call him? I think
that Neb realized this dream was not good and wanted to hear a sugar
coated interpretation rather than the truth. We see exactly the same
with Ahab, king of Israel in 1 Kings 22:6-8
“Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four
hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to
battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall
deliver it into the hand of the king. And Jehoshaphat
said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides these 400 men,
that we might inquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto
Jehoshaphat (King of Judah), There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of
Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but
I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me,
So the reason that Ahab didn’t ask is basically because he told the
truth – and sometimes the truth is hard to take! I think that is
why king Nebuchadnezzar didn’t first call Daniel.
is why we often go to the wrong places for advice or sympathy. The
“Oh woe is me” syndrome, but don’t tell me it is my fault. Just
give me some more of my self!
came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the
soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make
known unto me the interpretation thereof.
tells a story! In chapter two the Chaldeans were straight with their
‘dummies guide to interpreting dreams’. This is what they were
famous for as we mentioned in chapter two. And this time the king
even tells them the dream so it should be easy for them – but then
again, they have had their fingers burnt by a certain Daniel too many
times by now; even if they did interpret the dream, Daniel was bound
to come along and tell them they’d got it wrong! They just were not
going to take that chance. Notice they ‘did
not ‘were not able’. It appears that they didn’t even try!
at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar,
according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the
holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
finally king Neb gives up and accepts the inevitable. But who does
Neb say came in? Aha
– that is his Hebrew name, yet king Neb chooses to use this in
telling us the history of these events, adding his Babylonian name
just in case anyone else didn’t know who Daniel was. How amazing
that after all this time in Babylon (Daniel would have been about 50
years old by now), with so much pressure to blend into their culture
(when in Rome do as they do ‘syndrome’) that Daniel retains his
Jewish identity and the name that glorifies his God. But also not
that Nebuchadnezzar still confesses his god by saying “according
to the name of my god”;
not the God with whom by now he was well aware.
Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit
of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me
the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation
Neb still gave credit to his gods…
is an interesting verse because Nebuchadnezzar informs us that Daniel
is ‘chief of the Magi’. Now the Magi [Bethlehem? Christmas Maji?]
were essentially a Persian religious sect specializing in the
mystical; so what was Daniel doing in charge of them? The Magi are a
tribe that settled in Mede to the east of Babylon; i.e. Medo-Persia.
will find out in chapter 6 that it was not something that was happily
accepted by some of his contemporaries; but it appears that Daniel
had converted this group (Tribe of the Magi) and told them about the
prophecies regarding the coming Jewish Messiah. How do we know this?
Because just over 500 years later, a group of these Magi travelled
for miles across the middle eastern deserts to Israel to celebrate
the birth of a baby that had been born King of the Jews! These Magi
didn’t go to the stable but to Joseph and Mary’s house in
Nazareth – we have been duped by tradition into thinking that there
were 3 wise men, or 3 kings and they went to the stable. Wrong,
Wrong, Wrong! [Mark 7:13].
in this verse we have confirmed that king Neb knew that Daniel could
and would be able to interpret the dream. What
a testimony Daniel has: ‘no secret troubleth thee’,
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah
Dream – Daniel 4:10-17
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a
tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto
heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it
was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and
the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh
was fed of it.
I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher
and an holy one came down from heaven;
He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his
branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts
get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a
band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it
be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts
in the grass of the earth:
Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given
unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the
word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that
the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to
whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar,
declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of
my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but
thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
Nebuchadnezzar asks Daniel to interpret the dream to him, and
reiterates that the best of Babylon were unable to answer. It is
interesting to note that even before Daniel has spoken on this
occasion, Nebuchadnezzar concedes that ‘the spirit of the holy
gods’ is in Daniel. Obviously he remembers the events of chapter
two but has forgotten or refuses to admit he acknowledge “the God