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Daniel Chapter 5 Notes


5:1-- Belshazzar-- means “Bel, protect the king!” This is very similar to Daniel’s Babylonian name, Belteshazzar which means, “Bel, protect his life!” His father was King Nabonidus. Nabonidus was the last king of the Babylonian Empire and ruled from 556-539 B.C. In 549, Nabonidus supposedly went crazy and left the capital city and moved to the town of Tayma, leaving his son, Belshazzar, in charge. This fact was confirmed by the discovery of an ancient tablet called the “Nabonidus Cylinder.”

5:7-- Belshazzar offered Daniel to be the 3rd highest ranking ruler in the kingdom because technically and legally, Nabonidus was still the highest ruler and his son, Belshazzar was second, even though Belshazzar really was in charge of the empire.

5:10-- The queen mentioned here was probably the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar and the wife of Nabonidus.

5:18-- Nebuchadnezzar was not Belshazzar’s father, but more than likely his grandfather. In the Aramaic language the words father and grandfather are many times intertwined.

5:22-23-- The three charges against Belshazzar: 1. He sinned by his disobedience and pride (v. 22); 2. He defied God by desecrating the sacred vessels from the temple (v. 23a); 3. He praised idols and not God (v. 23b).

5:26-- “MENE”-- God has numbered your days of ruling and has brought it to an end.

“TEKEL”-- You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”

“PARSIN” or “UPHARSIN”-- Peres is the singular form of these words and means, “Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.” The Medo/Persian Empire was the second kingdom represented in the statue in Nebuchandezzar’s dream. That prophecy came true!

5:31-- Darius the Mede is a confusing figure in Daniel. Some believe he is the same person as Gubaru, who was the governor Cyrus put in charge over the newly conquered Babylonian territories. Some believe that Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great were the same person. The true identity of Darius the Mede remains a mystery.