Page images

(on the wall,

The hand-writiny)

DANIEL. temple which was in Jerusalem; that the words of the king and his lords the king, and his princes, his wives, came into the banquet bouse : and and his concubines, might drink the queen spake and said, O king, live therein.

for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble 3 Then they brought the golden thee, nor let thy countenance be vessels that were taken out of the tem- changed : ple of the house of God which was at 11 There is a man in thy kingdom, Jerusalem; and the king, and his in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; princes, his wives, and his concubines, and in the days of thy father light drank in them.

and understanding and wisdom, like 4 They drank wine, and praised the the wisdom of the gods, was found in gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar of iron, of wood, and of stone. thy father, the king, I say, thy father,

5 In the same hour came forth made master of the magicians, astrolofingers of a mau's hand, and wrote over gers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; against the candlestick, upon the plais- 12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, ter of the wall of the king's palace: and knowledge, and understanding

, and the king saw the part of the hand interpreting of dreams, and shewing of that wrote.

hard' sentences, and dissolving of 6 Then the king's countenance was doubts, were found in the same Dachanged, and his thoughts troubled niel, whom the king named Belteshaz. him, so that the joints of his loins were zar: now let Daniel be called, and be loosed, and his knees smote one against will shew the interpretation. another.

13 Then was Daniel brought in be7 The king cried aloud to bring in fore the king. And the king spake the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and and said unto Daniel, Art thou that the soothsayers. And the king spake, Daniel, which art of the children of and said to the wise men of Babylon, the captivity of Judah, whom the king Whosoever shall read this writing, and my father brought out of Jewry? shew me the interpretation thereof, 14 I have even heard of thee, that shall be clothed with scarlet, and haye the spirit of the gods is in thee, and a chain of gold about his neck, and that light and understanding and exshall be the third ruler in the kingdom. cellent wisdom is found in thee.

8 Then came in all the king's wise 15 And now the wise men, the men: but they could not read the astrologers, have been brought in bewriting, nor make known to the king fore me, that they should read this the interpretation thereof.

writing, and nake known unto me the 9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly interpretation thereof: but they could troubled, and his countenance was not shew the interpretation of the changed in him, and his lords were thing: astonied.

16 And I have heard of thee, that 10 Now the queen by reason of thou canst make interpretations, and

NOTES-Chap. V. Con. Ver. 5. The candlestick probably a chandelier, maritan character; it is possible, howerer, that they having several branches, with lamps, which shole might know the characters, without being able ta full against the wall where the hand wrote.

extract any intelligible meaning from them. See wa Ver. 6. Countenance-Cholu. - Brightnesses,”' or Ver 25. rather, "sparklings.” So we say, “the eyes sparkle;" Ver. 10. The queen-probably the queen-mother, the countenance is "lighted up with joy." ' It orten whose name was Nitocris, according to Herodote. refers to festivity, or inebriety, as in this verse; but Ver. 11. Thy father (that is, grandfather; Note alas! it was changed to a melancholy consternation. on ver.2.) made master,&c.-To account for Daniels

The jointe....looseil.-The term is sometimes being ont of ollice, (asis erident from several circus applied to loosening the dress, but here evidentiy has stances,) Mr. Haroier quotes Sir John Chardia, a stronger import: his frame was unnarvet.

saying, that " in the East, when the king dirt, the Ver. 7. The astrologers, &c.-See Notes on chap.i. physicians and Astrologers are displaced the first 20. Scarlet -- Märg. ** Purple." So Wintle and for not having driven away death, and the other for Boothroyd ; and the saine ver. 28.

not having predicted it." Harmer's Obs. ii. 165 Ver. 8. 'They could not read. -- From this, Dr. Ver. 12. Dissolriny doubts - Chalder, literally, Boothroyd infers that the writing was in the old Sa. “ Untying of knots.

onour :

And its]


(interpretation. dissolve doubts : now if thou canst read hast not humbled thine heart, though the writing, and make known to me thou knewest all this ; the interpretation thereof, thou shalt 23 But hast lifted up thyself against be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain the Lord of heaven; and they have of gold about thy neck, and shalt be brought the vessels of his house before the third ruler in the kingdom. thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy

17 Then Daniel answered and said wives, and thy concubines, have drunk before the king, Let thy gifts be to wine in them; and thou hast praised the hyself, and give thy rewards to ano- gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, her; yet I will read the writing unto wood, and stone, which see not, nor he king, and make known to him the hear, nor know: and the God in whose nterpretation.

hand thy breath is, and whose are all 18 0 thou king, the most high God thy ways, hast thou not glorified : jave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a 24 Then was the part of the hand ingdom, and majesty, and glory, and sent from him; and this writing was

written. 19 And for the majesty that he 25 And this is the writing that ave him, all people, nations, and was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, inguages, trembled and feared before UPHARSÍN. im: whom he would he slew; and 26 This is the interpretation of the hom he would he kept alive : and thing: MENE; God hath numbered hom he would he set up; and whom thy kingdom, and finished it. e would he put down.

27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in 20 But when his heart was lifted the balances, and art found wanting. , and his mind hardened in pride, 28 PERES; Thy kingdom is di- was deposed from his kingly throne, vided, and given to the Medes and id they took his glory from him : Persians. 21 And he was driven from the sons 29 Then commanded Belshazzar, men; and his heart was made like and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, e beasts, and his dwelling was with and put a chain of gold about his e wild asses : they fed him with grass neck, and made a proclamation cone oxen, and his body was wet with cerning him, that he should be the

dew of heaven; till he knew that third ruler in the kingdom, e most high God ruled in the king- 30 In that night was Belshazzar the m of men, and that he appointeth king of the Chaldeans slain. er it whomsoever he will.

31 And Darius the Median took 22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, the kingdom, being about threescore

and two years old. (H)


or two ; and it may have been in mercy H) Belshazzar's feast : his death, and that he was taken away, to preserve him end of the Babylonian empire.- Nebu- from another apostacy. An hiatus occurs dnezzar, it is generally believed, did here, in the chronolugy of Daniel, between survive bis recovery more than a year the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Bel

NOTES. 'T. 20. Hardened in pride -- Marg. "To deal any intelligible sentence from them; at the same lly.”

See Exod. xviii. 11.-Was deposed- time we deny not that the characters thenselves d." Made to come down."

might be unknown. r. 22. Though thou knerest. - His guilt was Ver. 24. Peres: - this is the root of Upharsin, h aggravated by this knowledge.

without the vau. But it was also, as Bp. Chandler T. 25. This is the writing-Mene, numbered, or remarks, the proper name of l'ersia, or the Persians, ted; Tekel, weighed; Uphursin, and parted, or which made the phrase equivocal. led the u answering to the vau, and only mean- Ver. 29. They clothed Daniel.-See Esther vi. 8. * and.” Now it is very possible the Chaldeans Ver. 341. In that night, &c.-See Jer. li. 31, &c. t be able to read the words, “ Numbered, Ver.31. Being about, &c. - Chald. “Being now hed, and parted,” without being able to make the son of 62 years."

Darius's foolish]

(decree. could find none occasion nor fault; CHAP. VI.

forasmuch as he was faithful, neither IT pleased Darius to set over the was there any error of fault found in

kingdom an hundred and twenty him. princes, which should be over the 5 Then said these men, We shall whole kingdom;

not find any occasion against this 2 And over these three presidents; Daniel, except we find it against him of whom Daniel was first : that the concerning the law of his God. princes might give accounts unto 6 Then these presidents and princes them, and the king should have no assembled together to the king, and damage.

said thus unto him, King Darius, live 3 Then this Daniel was preferred for ever. above the presidents and princes, be. 7 All the presidents of the king. cause an excellent spirit was in him; dom, the governors, and the princes

, and the king thought to set him over the counsellors, and the captains, have the whole realm.

consulted together to establish a royal 4 Then the presidents and princes statute, and to make a firm decree, sought to find occasion against Daniel that whosoever shall ask a petition of concerning the kingdom; but they any god or man for thirty days, sare

EXPOSITION-Chap. V. Continued. shazzar, who, as appears by Jeremiah, pher and interpret them; but it is possible (cb. lii. 31, &c.) was not his immediate suc- they might be as much alarmed as the king cessor, Evil-merodach having intervened, himself, and had no time for planning an and perhaps another. Belshazzar was, imposition. The queen dowager, that is, however, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar's queen, who appears not and the intervening reign was short. to have been of this joyous party, hearing

This impious monarch seems to have of their consternation, recommends an placed his chief happiness in carousing, immediate application to Daniel, whom and thought to give a zest to this enjoy- she describes as having in him “ the spirit ment by drinking his wine in the golden of the holy gods;" and he appears without vessels which had been captured from the delay, though he seems to have been now sacred temple of the Jews. He, therefore, out of office. Great honours and rewards with his princes, wives, and concubines, are again proffered him ; but he had learu“ drank wine, and praised the gods of ed the vanity of all earthly honours, and gold, and silver, brass, wood, and stone;" spurued at the proposal. He was willing, but paid no reverence to "the King of however, to undertake the task required; heaven,” whom Nebuchadnezzar had, in but began with a severe reproof of the his last days, su gratefully extolled. kiag's idolatry, and inattention to his Ma

But the Most High witnessed this pro- ker; a reprool, alas! too applicable both cedure; and, behold, a band is seen to the writer and the reader of these lines: writing some mysterious characters upon “The God in whose band thy breath is, the wall, facing his chandelier. His coun- and whose are all thy ways, thou hast not tenance is changed from its former joyous glorified.” To him, indeed, the warving brightness to gloom and horror. His mind was too late,-may it not be so to us! The is filled with alarm and terror; the joints enemy was at their gates, and while one of his loins are loosed, and his knees smite part of the company was stupified with together. The king flies to the usual re- liquor, and the other horrified by the messource of the ignorant and superstitious,- sage from heaven, Cyrus entered the imthe astrologers and soothsayers : but they preynable city; the king was slain, and failed him, as they had done his grand- the empire was transferred to the Medes father. One may wonder that, seeing the and Persians. characters, they inade no attempt to deci

NOTES. CHAP. VI. Ver. 1. Darius-called also Cyaxares, Ver. 6. Assembled tagether-Marg. * Came toss! whose father was Ahasuerus (cl. ix. 1.) or Astyages, tuously," perhaps in a large body, and in great king of Media, who concurred with tne king of As. bastle, to inke the king by surprise, as it appears syria in the destruction of Nineveh. Herodotus and they did. Xenophon both mention a gold coin called a Daric, Ver. 8. Which altereth not-Chald. * Passeth par from this prinee, of which Sir Isaac Newton men- away;" i. e. abides in perpetual obligation. tions having seen one.

Ver. 10. In his chamba-LXX, Upper-chat

eth not.

Daniel cast]


[into the lions' den, of thee, O king, he shall be cast into nor statute which the king establisheth the den of lions.

may be changed. 8 Now, O king, establish the des 16 Then the king commanded, and cree, and sign the writing, that it be they brought Daniel, and cast him not changed, according to the law of into the den of lions. Now the king the Medes and Persians, which alter- spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God

whom thou servest continually, he will 9 Wherefore king Darius signed deliver thee. he writing and the decree.

17 And a stone was brought, and 10 Now when Daniel knew that laid upon the mouth of the den; and he writing was signed, he went into the king sealed it with his own signet, is house; and his windows being open and with the signet of his lords; that n his chamber toward Jerusalem, be the purpose might not be changed conneeled upon his knees three times a cerning Daniel. ay, and prayed, and gave thanks be- 18 Then the king went to his ore his God, as he did aforetime. palace, and passed the night fasting :

11 Then these men assembled, and neither were instruments of musick und Daniel praying and making sup- brought before him; and his sleep ication before his God.

went from him. 12 Then they came near, and spake 19 Then the king arose very early in :fore the king concerning the king's the morning, and went in haste unto cree; Hast thou not signed a de- the den of lions. ee, that every man that shall ask 20 And when he came to the den, petition of any god or man within he cried with a lamentable voice unto irty days, save of thee, O king, shall Daniel: and the king spake and said cast into the den of lions ? The king to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the swered and said, The thing is true, living God, is thy God, whom thou cording to the law of the Medes and servest continually, able to deliver thee rsians, which altereth not.

from the lions ? 13 Then answered they and said 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, ore the king, That Daniel

, which is O king, live for ever. the children of the captivity of Ju- 22 My God hath sent his angel, 1, regardeth not thee, O king, nor and hath shut the lions' mouths, that decree that thou hast signed, but they have not hurt me : forasmuch as keth his petition three times a day. before him innocency was found in 4 Then the king, when he heard me; and also before thee, O king, have se words, was sore displeased with I doue no hurt. iself, and set his heart on Daniel 23 Then was the king exceeding leliver him: and he laboured till glad for him, and commanded that they going down of the sun to deliver should take Daniel up out of the den.

So Daniel was taken up out of the 5 Then these men assembled unto den, and no manner of hurt was found

king, and said unto the king, upon him, because he believed in his iw, o king, that the law of the God. les and Persiaps is, That no decree 24 And the king commanded, and

NOTES. which looked toward Jerusalem, (see 2 Kings seem, that this den was a natural cavern, the descent 2.) and where he was not likely, probably, to to which was such as to prevent the lions from Thooked, or overheard, had not these diabolical escaping; on this entrance, by the officiousness of laced themselves as spies, to watch him, ver. 11. those lords, a stone was placed and sealed, in like "hree times a day.-Sce Ps. lv. 17.

manner, and to as little rise, as thut placed on the 12. Signed a decrte-Wintle, " An obligation;" mouth of our Lord's sepulchre. See Matt. xxvii. 66. ius, “ A probibition.”

- Ver. 18. Neither were instruments of musick 14. Sore displeased with himself-Boothroyd, Marg.“ A table." Most of the versions read, “ And eerlingly distressed in bimself."

food was not brought," 17. A stone was brought. By this it should



[deliverance they brought those men which had ac- he worketh signs and wonders in heacused Daniel, and they cast them into ven and in earth, who hath delivered the den of lions, them, their children, Daniel from the power of the lions. and their wives ; and the lions had the 28 So this Daniel prospered in the mastery of them, and brake all their reign of Darius, and in the reign of bones in pieces or ever they came at Cyrus the Persian. (I) the bottom of the den. 25 Then king Darius wrote unto

CHAP. VII. all people, nations, and languages, IN the first year of the reign of Belthat dwell in all the earth; Peace be shazzar king of Babylon Daniel multiplied unto you.

had a dream and visions of his head 26 I make a decree, That in every upon his bed : then he wrote the dominion of my kingdom men tremble dream, and told the sum of the and fear before the God of Daniel: matters. for he is the living God, and stedfast 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in for ever; and his kingdom that which my vision by night, and, behold, the shall not be destroyed, and his domi- four winds of the heaven strove upon nion shall be even unto the end. the great sea.

27 He delivereth and rescueth, and 3 And four great beasts came up


compelled to enforce it, since the law adCHAP. VI.

mitted of no reversion. It is impossible, (1) Daniel onst into the lions' den, but however, to justify his conduct, since what saved by an angel, and his enemies de- he knew of Daniel, and of Daniel's God, stroyed. Darius, to whom his nephew ought to have urged him rather to have Cyrus gave the kingdom of Babylon wheu risked his empire, than to have violated he had taken it, baving heard of Daniel's his conscience. He sold his peace, and extraordinary talents, purposed to make risked his soul, for fear of endaugering his him bis prime minister, or viceroy over kingdom. Daniel, indeel, hazarded bis all the provinces of the kingdom. This life in the preservation of his fidelity to raised him, of course, many enemies, who God; but he came off more than conquecontrived a scheme to ruiu bim. Knowing ror, and is enrolled among the heroes of his great prudence, honour, and integrity, faith, and the servants of the most high they wisely concluded, there was no point God. in which he was vulnerable, but his re- Darius, bowever, is very anxious for the ligion. It seems to have been the custom result, and could not but hope that Daniel's for these princes and counsellors to draw God, of whom he had beard so inuch, ia up the royal edicts, and bring them for the reference to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, king to sign, which probably he often did would preserve him from the lions, as he without much deliberation; at least such had preserved the three Hebrew youths appears to have been the case in the pre- from the fiery furnace. After a sleepless sent instance. Coming to the king in a night, and tortured bosh by his conscience body, and their proposal being clothed in and his fears, he goes early iu the morning, the form of a loyal address, and inteoded and with a melancholy voice calls down to do him honour, Darius seems to have the entrance of the den, to inquire il be entertaiued no suspicion of a plot for the were yet alive; and when he finds that be destruction of any man, much less the is still living, in a paroxysm of joy and reprime minister of his empire. Daniel, venge, he delivers Daniel from the den, they well knew, was of that unyielding and sends down the most active of his character in his religious principles, that enemies, to meet the fate they had dehe would not decline his duties, even to signed for him; and then issues a decree, save his life.

as had been done by his predecessor NebuHaving, therefore, previously learned chadnezzar, in honour of God most High that it was customary for the venerable We must not bere omit to remark, the Prophet to pray three times a day, they agent or iustrument by whom Daniel was contrived a prohibitory decree, and affixed thus miraculously preserved. God sent his to that decree a penalty, which they calcu- angel into the lions' den, to close their lated would certainly destroy him. The mouths and protect his prophet : but when king, having been hurried into this strange his enemies came into the same place, and blasphemous edict, finds himself now there was no aogel for their protection,

« PreviousContinue »