5:1a Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of
his lords, and drank wine b before the thousand.
(a) Daniel recites this history of King Belshazzar,
Evilmerodach's son, to show God's judgments against the
wicked for the deliverance of his Church, and how the
prophecy of Jeremiah was true, that they would
be delivered after seventy years.
(b) The kings of the east part then used to commonly sit
alone, and disdained that any should sit in their
company: and now to show his power, and how little he
thought of his enemy, which then besieged Babylon, made
a solemn banquet, and used excess in their company,
which is meant here by drinking wine: thus the wicked
are very lax in morals and negligent, when their
destruction is at hand.
5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring
the golden and silver vessels which his c 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.
(c) Meaning his grandfather.
5:4 They drank wine, and praised the d gods of gold, and of
silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
(d) In contempt of the true God they praise their idols, not
that they thought that the gold or silver were gods, but
that there was a certain strength and power in them to
do them good, which is also the opinion of all
5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and
wrote over e 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.
(e) That it might the better be seen.
5:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts
troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed,
and his f knees smote one against another.
(f) So he that before condemned God, was moved by this sight
to tremble for fear of God's judgments.
5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in g 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 kingdom.
(g) Thus the wicked in their troubles seek many means, which
draw them from God, because they do not seek for him who
is the only comfort in all afflictions.
5:10 [Now] the h queen, by reason of the words of the king and
his lords, came into the banquet house: [and] the queen
spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts
trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
(h) That is, his grandmother, Nebuchadnezzar's wife, who
because of her age was not at the feast before, but
came there when she heard of this strange news.
5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom [is] the spirit of
the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and
understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was
found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the
king, [I say], thy father, made master of the i
magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, [and] soothsayers;
(i) Read (Da 4:6); and this declares that both this
name was odious to him, and also he did not use these
vile practises, because he was not among them when all
5:14 I have even heard of thee, that k the spirit of the gods
[is] in thee, and [that] light and understanding and
excellent wisdom is found in thee.
(k) For the idolaters thought that the angels had power as
God, and therefore held them in the same estimation
that they held God, thinking that the spirit of
prophecy and understanding came from them.
5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave l Nebuchadnezzar thy
father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
(l) Before he read the writing, he declares to the king his
great ingratitude toward God, who could not be moved to
give him the glory, considering God's wonderful work
toward his grandfather, and so shows that he does not
sin from ignorance but from malice.
5:24m Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this
writing was written.
(m) After God had for such a long time deferred his anger,
and patiently waited for your repentance.
5:25 And this [is] the writing that was written, n MENE, MENE,
(n) This word is written twice because of the certainty of
the thing, showing that God had most surely decided: it
signifies also that God has appointed a term for all
kingdoms, and that a miserable end will come on all
that raise themselves against him.
5:31 And Darius o the Median took the kingdom, [being] about
threescore and two years old.
(o) Cyrus his son-in-law gave him this title of honour,
even though Cyrus in effect had the dominion.