Page images

B. C. cir. 538.

B. C. cir. 538. Ol. cir. LX. 3.

Daniel is sent for to interpret


the hand writing on the wall. 4. M. cir. 3466. thereof, shall be clothed with the king my father brought out A. M. cir. 3466 Ol. cir. LX. 3. I scarlet, and have a chain of gold of Jewry? Servii Tullii,

Servii Tullii, R. Roman., about his neck, ? and shall be the 14 I have even heard of

R. Roman., cir. annum 41. third ruler in the kingdom.

thee, that. 8 the spirit of the cir. annum 41. 8 Then came in all the king's wise men: gods is in thée, and that hight - and under * but they could not read the writing, nor standing and excellent wisdom is found in make known to the king the interpretation thee. thereof.

15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, 9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, have been brought in before me, that they and his u countenance was changed in him, should read this writing, and make known unto and his lords were astonied.

me the interpretation thereof: but they could 10 Now the queen by reason of the words of not show the interpretation of the thing : the king and his lords came into the banquet 16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst house and the queen spake and said, O make interpretations, and dissolve doubts : king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble know if thou canst read the writing, and make thee, nor let thy countenance be changed : known to me the interpretation thereof, thou

11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third of thy *father light and understanding and ruler in the kingdom. wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was 17 Then Daniel answered and said before found in him; whom the king Nebuchad- the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give nezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, thy rewards to another; yet I will read the made ? master of the magicians, astrologers, writing unto the king, and make known to Chaldeans, and soothsayers ;

him the interpretation. 12 . Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and 18 O thou king, m the most high God gave knowledge, and understanding, binterpreting Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and majesty, and glory, and honour : c dissolving of doubts, were found in the 19 And for the majesty that he gave him, same Daniel, . whom the king named Belte- all people, nations, and languages, trembled shazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he and feared before him : whom he would he will show the interpretation.

slew; and whom he would he kept alive ; and 13 Then was Daniel brought in before the whom he would he set up; and whom he king. And the king spake and said unto would he put down. Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of 20 ° But when his heart was lifted


and the children of the captivity of Judah, whom his mind hardened Pin pride, he was a deposed 9Or, purple. Chap. vi. 2. - Chap. ii. 27 ; iv. 7.

- Ch.

. Chald. knots. Chap. i. 7. Or, grandfather. Lu Chald. brightnesses ; ver. 6.- Chap. ii. 4; iii. 9. 11, 12.-- Ver. 7,8.

Chald. interpret. * Chap. ii. 48; iv. 8, 9, 18.-_* Or, grandfather ; ver. 2.- -y Or, fee, as chap. ii. 6.- m Chap. ii. 37, 38; iv. 17, 23, 25.- - Jer. grandfather ; ver. 2.- Chap. iv. 9. -a Chap. vi. 3. - Or, xxvii. 7; chap. 11. 4. Chap. iv. 30, 37.4 —p Os, to deal proudof an interpreter, &c. -c Or, of a dissolver.

ly; Exod. xviii. 11. -4 Chald, made to come down.

nd 18

* Ver.

ii. 1.

& Ver. 7.

- Or,

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Verse 8. They could not read the writing] Because Verse 11... Nebuchadnezzar thy father] See the it was in the pure Hebrew, not the Chaldean, cha- note on ver. 1. racter. See below.

Verse 16. Dissolve doubts) Untie knotsunbind Verse 10. The queen-came] This is generally what is bound. An expression used in the east to-sigallowed to have been the widow of Nebuchadnezzar; nify a judge of eminent wisdom and skill. if so, she was the queen Amiyt, daughter of Astyages, Verse 17. Let thy gifts be to thyself] They could sister of Darius the Mede, and aunt of Cyrus, accord-be of little use to any, as the city was in a few hours ing to Polyhistor, cited by Cedrenus. See Calmet. | to be taken and pillaged, Others think that Nitocris was the person who is said Verse 18. Nebuchadnezzar thy father.] Or grandto be queen when "Cyrus took the city; and is stated father, as the margin reads, ver. 2. See the notes to have been a lady of eminent wisdom and discretion, on ver. 1. and to have had the chief direction of the public af- Verse 19. Whom he would he slew] The genuine fairs. She was the mother of Labynithus ; and, if this character of a despot, whose will is the only rule of his be the same as Belshazzar, she must be the person conduct. here introduced.

Verse 20. He was deposed from his kingly throne]

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years old.

b Ver. 7.

The interpretation


of the hand writing. A. M. ciro from his kingly throne, and they | 24 Then was the part of the BMC cir

. 346. 01. cir. LX.3. took his glory from him: hand' sent from him; and this 01. eir. LX. 3. Servii Tullii,

Servii Tulni, R. Roman., (21 And he was 'driven from writing was written.

R. Roman., cir. annum 41. the sons of men; and his heart 25 And this is the writing that cir. annum 11. was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, was with the wild asses: they fed him with UPHARSIN. : grass


and his body was wet with the 26 This is the interpretation of the thing: dew of heaven;; + till he knew that the most MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and and finished it. that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. 27 TEKEL; . Thou art weighed in the

22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast balances, and art found wanting, not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest 23 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and all this;

given to the 2 Medes and . Persians. , 23 But hast listed up thyself against the 29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they Lord of heaven ; and they have brought the clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put -a chain vessels of his house, before thee, and thou, of gold about his neck, and made a proclamaand thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, tion concerning him, b that he should be the have drunk wine in thein; and thou hast third ruler in the kingdom. praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, 30 • In that nighl was Belshazzar the king iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor of the Chaldeans slain. hear, nor know and the God in whose hand 31 d And Darius the Median took the kingthy breath is, * and whose are all thy ways, dom, a being about threescore and two hast thou not glorified :

1 Chap. iv. 32, &c.- Or, he made his heart equal, &c. Jer. vi. 30.—Foretold, {şa. xxi. 2; ver.31; chap.ix. l. Ch. tC. iv. 17,25. -4 2 Chron, xxxiii. 23 ; xxxvi. 12.Ver. 3, 4. vi. 28.

Lc Jer. Li 31, 39, 57. Chap. vi. 1, 6, 9, w Psa. cxv. 5, 6._ Jer. x: 23. -y Job xxxi. 6; Psa. Ixii. 9; 25, 28; ix. 1,2; xi. 1.- Chald. he as the son of, &c.-Or, now, Became insane ; and the reins of government were In ancient times, no doubt, these letters differed taken out of his hands.

more from each other than they appear to do now; for Verse 22. Hast '

not humbled thine heart] These we know that the Samaritan on ancient coins, though judgments and mercies have had no good effect upon radically the same, differs very much from that now thee.

used in printing. Verse 23. But hast lifted up thyself against the It should be observed, that each word stands for a Lord] And the highest evidence of this rebellion was, short sentence ; xp mene signifies numeration; ypo the profaning the sacred vessels of the Lord's house. tekel, weighing; and on peres, DIVISION.

And so Verse 24. Then was the part of the hand sent] This the Arabic translates them. manü mokeeson, meawas the filling up of the cup of thy iniquity; this last sured; unigo mewzonon, weighed; cgumio mokeact made thee ripe for destruction.

soumon, divided. All the ancient Versions, except the Verse 25. And this is the writing] Had the words Syriaç, read the words, simply Mene, Tekel, Phares, been written in the Chaldean character, every wise as they are explained in the following verses; without man there, every one that could read the alphabet of the repetition of Mene, and without the conjunction 1 his

s own language, could have read and interpreted vay, and plural termination, i* in, in Peres. them. Let it be observed,-1. That the character Verse 29. Clothed Daniel with scarlet] *31193 argewhich we now call Hebrew is the Chaldean character. vana, more probably with purple. The gold chain about 2. That the true Hebrew character is that which we the neck was an emblem of magisterial authority. It call the Samaritan. ,3. Daniel could easily read this, is often thus mentioned in Scripture. for. it was the character used by the Jews previously Verse 30. In that night was Belshazzerslain.) to the Babylonish captivity. 4. It appears that it was Xenophon says, he was despatched by two lords, Gadasimply on account of the strangeness of the character tas and Gobrias, who went over to Cyrus, to avenge that the Chaldeans could not read it.

themselves of certain wrongs which Belshazzar had I shall set down the words in both characters, by done them. We have already seen that Cyrus entered which the least learned reader may see that it was the city by the bed of the Euphrates, which he had quite possible that one might be well known, while the emptied, by cutting a channel for the waters, and diother might be unintelligible.

recting them into the marshy country.

Verse 31. Darius the Median took the kingdom) Hebrew.

This is supposed to be the same as Cyaxáres, son of

Astyages and maternal uncle of Cyrus, to whom he Samaritan.

gave the throne of Babylon, after himself had had the IMAI 2P% ADH AIM

honour of taking the city.

מנא מנא תקל ופרסין

Daniel is invested


with great power

Daniel speaks nothing of the war that raged between | Medes and Persians were confederates in the war; the the Babylonians and the Medes; but Isaiah speaks former under Darius, the latter under Cyrus. Both particularly of it, chap. xiii., xiv., xlv., xlvi., xlvii.; princes are supposed to have been present at the takand so does Jeremiah, chap. I., li. I need not add, ing of this city. Mandane, daughter of Astyages that it is largely spoken of profane authors. The was mother of Cyrus, and sister to Cyaxares


Darius the Median, who succeeded Belsházzar in the kingdom of Babylon, having heard of Daniel's extra

ordinary wisdom and understanding, constitutes him the chief of the three presidents who were over the whole.empire, and purposed also to make him prime minister or viceroy, 1-3. This great partiality of the king towards a stranger of Jewish extraction, and who had been carried captive into Chaldea, raised up a great many enemies to Daniel ; and a scheme was even contrived by the presidents and princes to ruin him, 4-15; which succeeded so far that he was cast into a den of lions, but was miraculously delivered, 16–23. Darius, who was greatly displeased with himself for having been entrapped by the governors of the provinces to the prejudice of his faithful minister, is pleased and astonished at this deliverance ; punished Daniel's enemies with the same kind of death which they had designed for the prophet ; and made a decree that, throughout his dominions, the God of Daniel should be had in the greatest veneration,

24-38, A. M. cir. 3466.

A. M. cir. 3467. IT pleased Darius to set a over faithful, neither was there any B. C. cir. 537. B. C. cir. 538. Ol. cir. LX. 3.

Ol. cir. LX. 4. Servii Tullii,

Servii Tullii, R, Roinan., twenty princes, which should be 5 Then said these men, we

R. Roman., cir. annum 41.

cir. annum 12. over the whole kingdom ; shall not find any occasion against 2 And over these three presidents; of whom this Daniel, except we find it against him conDaniel was first : that the princes might give cerning the law of his God. accounts unto them, and the king should have 6 Then these presidents and princes d assemno damage.

bled together to the king, and said thus unto 3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the him, King Darius, live for ever. presidents and princes, because an excellent 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the spirit was in him; and the king thought to governors, and the princes, the counsellors, set him over the whole realm.

and the captains, have consulted together to • Then the presidents and establish a royal statute, and to make a firm 01. cir. LX. 4. princes sought to find occasion decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of

R. Roman., against Daniel concerning the any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, cir, annum 42.

kingdom; but they could find | O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was 8 Now, o king, establish the decree, and

A. M. cir. 3467.
B. C. cir. 537.

a Esth. i. 1.

Chap: v. 12.-c-Eccles. iv, 1.


d Or, came

e Nehemiah ii. 3;

verse. 21; chapter ii. 4. Or,



object of the envy of the other presidents; and the Verse 1. A hundred and twenty princes) A chief grandees of the kingdom. or satrap over every province which belonged to the Verse 4. Sought to find occasion against Daniel] Medo-Persian empire. Afterwards we find it enlarged But they found no blemish in his administration, for he to one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, by the was faithful to his king: this was a virtue. But he was victories of Cambyses and Darius Hystaspes. See also faithful to his God: this they hoped to construe Esth. i. 1. Josephus reckons three hundred and sixty into a crime, and make it the cause of his ruin. satrapies or lordships ; but this is most probably an Verse 7. Whosoever shall ask a petition] What preexaggeration or mistake.

tence could they urge for so silly an ordinance ? ProVerse 2. Three presidents] Each having forty of bably to flatter the ambition of the king; they pretend these presidents accountable to him for their adminis- to make him a god for thirty days ; so that the whole tration.

empire should ke prayer and supplication to him, Daniel was first] As being established over that and pay him Divine honours ! This was the bait ; but part where was the seat of government. He was con- their real object was to destroy Daniel. firmed in his offices by Darius.

Verse 8. According to the law of the Medes and Verse 3. The king thought to set him over the whole Persians) I do not think that this is to be understood realm] Intended to make him grand vizier or emir ul so as to imply that whatever laws or ordinances the amrim. This partiality of the king made Daniel the Medes or Persians once enacted, they never changed

R. Roman., cir. annum 42.

Servii Tulli,

R. Roman., cir. annum 42.

Daniel is envied, accused, and


cast into a den of lions. A.M. cir

. 3467 sign the writing, that it be not| 13 Then answered they and said M. cir. 3467. 01. oir. LX. 4. changed, according to the & law before the king, That Daniel, 01, cir. LX.4. Servii Tullii,

of the Medes and Persians, which is of the children of the
which haltereth not.

captivity of Judah, regardeth not 9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast and the decree.

signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was signed, he went into his house; and his was sore displeased with himself, and set his windows being open in his chamber i toward heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees * three till the going down of the sun to deliver him. times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks be- 15 Then these men assembled unto the king, fore his God, as he did aforetime.

and said unto the king, Know, O king, that 11 Then these men assembled, and found the law of the Medes and Persians is, That Daniel praying and making supplication before no decree nor statute which the king estahis God.'

blisheth may be changed. 12 Then they came near, and spake before 16 Then the king commanded, and they the king concerning the king's decree; Hast brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of thou not signed a decree, that every man that lions. Now the king spake and said unto shall ask a petition of any god or man within Daniel, Thy God, whom thou servest.conthirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast tinually, he will deliver thee. into the den of lions? The king answered and 17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon said, The thing is true, mačcording to the law the mouth of the den ; $and the king sealed it of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. with his own signet, and with the signet of his


6 Esth. i. 19;. viji. 8; ver. 12, 15.- -b Chald. passeth not.

1 Chap. ii. 8.

Ver. 8. -n Chap. i. 6; v. 13. - Chap. il Kings viii. 44, 48; Psa. v. 7; Jonah ii. 4. - Psa. Iv, 17; | ii. 12. - So Mark vi. 26. -4 Ver. 8. Lam. iii. 53. Acts ii. 1, 2, 15; iii. 1; X. 9.

So Matt. xxvii. 66.

from many

them. This would argue extreme folly in legislators Tower of London, where wild beasts are kept for the in any country. Nothing more appears to be meant king's pleasure, and the public amusement; or they than that the decree should be enacted; written, and were kept for the purpose of devouring certain crimiregistered, according to the legal forms among the nals, which the laws might consign to that kind of death. Medes and Persians; and this one to be made absolute This is most likely, from the case before us. for thirty days. The laws were such among this peo- Verse 14. The king-was sore displeased with himple, that, when once passed with the usual formalities, self]. And well he might, when through his excessive the king could not change them at his own will. This folly he passed a law that, for its ostensible object, is the utmost that can be meant by the law of the would have been a disgrace almost to an idiot. Medes and Persians that could not be changed.

And set his heart on Daniel] He strove by every Verse 10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing means to get the law annulled. He had no doubt spowas signed] He saw what was designed, and he knew ken to several of his lords in private, and had gone from whom he served.

one to another till the going down of the sun. His windows being open] He would not shut themVerse 15. Then these men assembled], Having got to conceal himself, but “ kneeled down with his face favourable answers, as we may presume, turned toward Jerusalem, and prayed thrice each day, individuals, he called a parliament ; but they now colgiving thanks to God as usual.”. When the Jews lectively joined to urge the execution of the law, not were in distant countries, in prayer they turned their its repeal. faces towards Jerusalem; and when in Jerusalem, they Verse 16. Then the king commanded] With a heavy turned their faces towards the temple. Solomon, in heart he was obliged to warrant this murderous conhis prayer at the dedication of the temple, 1 Kings spiracy. But when passing sentence his last words viii

. 48, had entreated God to hear the prayers of were affecting : “ Thy God, whom thou servest contithose who might be in strange lands, or in captivity, nnally, he will deliver thee.” He is thy God; thou when they should turn their faces towards their own servest him, not occasionally, but continually; therefore land, which God gave unto their fathers ; and towards " he will deliver thee.” Daniel had now the same Che city which he had chosen, and the house which was kind of opportunity of showing his fidelity to God, as dedicated to "his name. It was in reference to this his three Hebrew companions before. The lions were that Daniel turned his face towards Jerusalem when not less terrible than the fiery furnace. he prayed.

Verse 17. A stone was brought] All this precaution Verse 12. Shall be cast into the den of lions] Either served the purposes of the Divine Providence. There this was the royal menagerie, like that place in the could be no trick nor collusion here ; if Danjel be Daniel is miraculously

CHẤP. VÌ. delivered from the den of lions. 4. M. cir. 3467.. lords; that the purpose might hurt was found upon him, 2 be- 4. M. cir. 3467. 01. cir. LX. 4. not be changed concerning Daniel. cause he believed in his God. Ol, cir. LX. 4. Servii Tullii,

Servii Tulli R. Roman., 18 Then the king went to his

24 And the king commanded, R. Roman., cir. annum 12. palace and passed the night fast- and they brought those men

cir, annum 42. ing: neither were * instruments of music which had accused Daniel, and they cast them brought before him: "and his sleep went into the den of lions, them, btheir children, from him.

and their wives; and the lions had the 19 Then the king arose very early in the morn- mastery of them, and brake all their bones ing, and went in haste unto the den of lions. in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of 20 And when he came to the den, he cried the den.

the king spake and said to Daniel, o Daniel, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the servant of the living God, 'is thy God, whom earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. thou servest continually, able to deliver thee 26 d I make a decree, That in every dominion from the lions ?

of my kingdom men * tremble and fear before 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, 0 the God of Daniel : " for he is the living God, king, live for ever.

and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath which shall not be s destroyed, and his domiy shut the lions' mouths, that they have not nion shall be even unto the end. hurt me : forasmuch as before him innocency 27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he was found in me; and also before thee, oworketh signs and wonders in heaven and in king, have I done no hurt.

earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the 23 Then was the king exceeding glad for power of the lions. him, and commanded that they should take 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was Darius, and in the reign of ?Cyrus the taken up out of the den, and no manner of Persianr.

1 Or, table. Chap. ii. 1. - Chap. iii. 15. Chap. ii. 4. « Chap. iv. I. Chap. in. 29. — e Psa. xcix. 1. -“Chap. * Chap. in. 28. —y Heb. xi. 33.i Heb. xi. 33.- Deut. iv. 34. Chap. ii. 44; iv. 3, 34; vii. 1-4, 27; Luke i. 33. xix. 19.- Esth. ix. 10; see Deut. xxiv. 16; 2 Kings xiv. 6. hi Chap. iv. 3. —i Heb. hand. - Chap. i. 21.

-Ezra i. 1, 2. preserved, it must be by the power of the Supreme And why? Because he believed in his God. How God. The same precaution was taken by the Jews, mighty is faith? It interests that power in the bein the case of the burial of our blessed Lord; and half of the believer by which the sea is dried up, the this very thing has served as one of the strongest mountains removed, the dead raised to life, sin forproofs of the certainty of his resurrection and their given, the heart purified, Satan vanquished, death conunmixed wickedness.

quered, and God himself delighted and glorified! See Verse 18. Passed the night fasting] He neither ate Heb. xi. nor drank, had no musie to solace, nor sweet odours Verse 24. They brought those men] It was perfectly burnt or brought before him, and he passed the night just that they should suffer that death to which they without sleep. All this points out his great sincerity ; had endeavoured to subject the innocent ; but it was and when it is considered that Darius could not be less savage cruelty to destroy the women and children who than sixty-two or sixty-three years of age at this time, had no part in the transgression. it shows more fully the depth of his concern."

Verse 25. Then king Darius wrote] And the subVerse 19. The king arose very early) By the break stance of this decree, which was made by a heathen of day

king, was to point out the perfections of the true God, Verse 20. He cried with a lamentable voice] His and the fidelity of his devoted servant. heart, full of grief, affected his speech.

Verse 26. I make a decree that men tremble and Servant of the living God] The king was convinced fear before the God of Daniel] As in the case of the that, unless his God saved him, his destruction was three Hebrews, chap. iii. 29. The true God was inevitable.

known by his servants, and by the deliverances he Verse 22. My God hath sent his angel] Such a one wrought for them. See his characters in this decree. as that who attended Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-1. He is the living God, the Author and Giver of life; nego, in the fiery furnace, and blew aside the flames, all others are dead gods. 2. He is steadfast for ever. 80 that they could not hurt them.

All things change ; but he is unchangeable. 3. He . Before him innocency was found in me] Because 1 has a kingdóm ; for as he made all things, so he gowas innocent God has preserved me; and now that I verns all things. - 4. His kingdom shall not be deam preserved, my innocence is fully proved.

stroyed. No human power can prevail against it, Verse 23. No manner of hurt was found upon him) because it is upheld by his omnipotence. 5. His do



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