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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.
17 Then 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.
18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour :
19 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.
20 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 from him :
21 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 appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar,
hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
23 But 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 glorified:
24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSİN.
26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
29 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.
30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old. (H)
CHAP. V. (H) Belshazzar's feast: his death, and he end of the Babylonian empire.-Nebuadnezzar, it is generally believed, did ot survive bis recovery more than a year
or two; and it may have been in mercy that he was taken away, to preserve hiur from another apostacy. An hiatus occurs here, in the chronology of Daniel, between the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Bel
Ver. 20. Hardened in pride Marg. "To deal udly." See Exod. xviii. 11.-Was deposedald." Made to come down." Ver. 22. Though thou knewest. His guilt was ch aggravated by this knowledge.
Ver. 25. This is the writing-Mene, numbered, or anted; Tekel, weighed; Upharsin, and parted, or ided; the u answering to the vau, and only mean** and." Now it is very possible the Chaldeans ht be able to read the words, "Numbered, ghed, and parted," without being able to make
any intelligible sentence from them; at the same time we deny not that the characters themselves might be unknown.
Ver. 28. Peres: this is the root of Upharsin, without the vau. But it was also, as Bp. Chandler remarks, the proper name of l'ersia, or the Persians, which made the phrase equivocal.
Ver. 29. They clothed Daniel.-See Esther vi. 8. Ver.30. In that night, &c.-See Jer. li. 31, &c. Ver.31. Being about, &c.— Chald, “Being now the son of 62 years."
[decree. could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither
was there any error or fault found in him.
5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
7 All the presidents of the king. dom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, 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
EXPOSITION-Chap. V. Continued.
shazzar, who, as appears by Jeremiah, (ch. lii. 31, &c.) was not his immediate successor, Evil-merodach having intervened, and perhaps another. Belshazzar was, however, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, and the intervening reign was short.
This impious monarch seems to have placed his chief happiness in carousing, and thought to give a zest to this enjoyment by drinking his wine in the golden vessels which had been captured from the sacred temple of the Jews. He, therefore, with his princes, wives, and concubines, "drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and silver, brass, wood, and stone;" but paid no reverence to "the King of heaven,' whom Nebuchadnezzar had, in his last days, so gratefully extolled.
But the Most High witnessed this procedure; and, behold, a hand is seen writing some mysterious characters upon the wall, facing his chandelier. His countenance is changed from its former joyous brightness to gloom and horror. His mind is filled with alarm and terror; the joints of his loins are loosed, and his knees smite together. The king flies to the usual resource of the ignorant and superstitious, the astrologers and soothsayers: but they failed him, as they had done his grandfather. Que may wonder that, seeing the characters, they made no attempt to deci
pher and interpret them; but it is possible they might be as much alarmed as the king himself, and had no time for planning as imposition. The queen dowager, that is, Nebuchadnezzar's queen, who appears not to have been of this joyous party, hearing of their consternation, recommends an immediate application to Daniel, whom she describes as having in him "the spirit of the holy gods ;" and he appears without delay, though he seems to have been now out of office. Great honours and rewards are again proffered him; but he had learned the vanity of all earthly honours, and spurned at the proposal. He was willing, however, to undertake the task required; but began with a severe reproof of the king's idolatry, and inattention to his Maker; a reproof, alas! too applicable both to the writer and the reader of these lines: "The God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, thou hast not glorified." To him, indeed, the warning was too late,-may it not be so to us! The enemy was at their gates, and while one part of the company was stupified with liquor, and the other horrified by the message from heaven, Cyrus entered the impregnable city; the king was slain, and the empire was transferred to the Medes and Persians.
CHAP. VI. Ver. 1. Darius-called also Cyaxares, whose father was Ahasuerus (ch. ix. 1.) or Astyages, king of Media, who concurred with the king of Assyria in the destruction of Nineveh. Herodotus and Xenophon both mention a gold coin called a Daric, from this prinee, of which Sir Isaac Newton mentions having seen one.
9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
12 Then 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.
13 Then answered they and said efore the king, That Daniel, which is f the children of the captivity of Juah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor ne decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 14 Then the king, when he heard hese words, was sore displeased with imself, and set his heart on Daniel O deliver him: and he laboured till e going down of the sun to deliver
15 Then these men assembled unto e king, and said unto the king, now, O king, that the law of the edes and Persians is, That no decree
[into the lions' den,
nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
16 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.
17 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.
18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him and his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
20 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?
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
23 Then 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 God.
24 And the king commanded, and
," which looked toward Jerusalem, (see 2 Kings i. 48.) and where he was not likely, probably, to overlooked, or overheard, had not these diabolical n placed themselves as spies, to watch him, ver. 11. - Three times a day.-Sce Ps. Iv. 17.
Ver. 12. Signed a decree-Wintle, "An obligation;" senius," A probibition."
er. 14. Sore displeased with himself-Boothroyd, Exceedingly distressed in himself."
er. 17. A stone was brought.➡ By this it should
seem, that this den was a natural cavern, the descent to which was such as to prevent the lions from escaping; on this entrance, by the officiousness of those lords, a stone was placed and sealed, in like manner, and to as little use, as that placed on the mouth of our Lord's sepulchre. See Matt. xxvii. 06. Ver. 18. Neither were instruments of musickMarg. "A table." Most of the versions read, " And food was not brought,"
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 the bottom of the den.
25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
26 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 for ever; and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
27 He delivereth and rescueth, and
[deliverance he worketh signs and wonders in hea ven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (I)
IN the first year of the reign of Bel
shazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
3 And four great beasts came up
(1) Daniel cast into the lions' den, but saved by an angel, and his enemies destroyed. - Darius, to whom his nephew Cyrus gave the kingdom of Babylon when he had taken it, having heard of Daniel's extraordinary talents, purposed to make him his prime minister, or viceroy over all the provinces of the kingdom. This raised him, of course, many enemies, who contrived a scheme to ruin him. Knowing his great prudence, honour, and integrity, they wisely concluded, there was no point in which he was vulnerable, but his religion. It seems to have been the custom for these princes and counsellors to draw up the royal edicts, and bring them for the king to sign, which probably he often did without much deliberation; at least such appears to have been the case in the present instance. Coming to the king in a body, and their proposal being clothed in the form of a loyal address, and intended to do him honour, Darius seems to have entertained no suspicion of a plot for the destruction of any man, much less the prime minister of his empire. Daniel, they well knew, was of that unyielding character in his religious principles, that
compelled to enforce it, since the law admitted of no reversion. It is impossible, however, to justify his conduct, since what he knew of Daniel, and of Daniel's God, ought to have urged him rather to have risked his empire, than to have violated his conscience. He sold his peace, risked his soul, for fear of endangering his kingdom. Daniel, indeed, hazarded his life in the preservation of his fidelity to God; but he came off more than conque ror, and is enrolled among the heroes of faith, and the servants of the most high
Darius, however, is very anxious for the result, and could not but hope that Daniel's God, of whom he had heard so much, in reference to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, would preserve him from the lions, as he had preserved the three Hebrew youths from the fiery furnace. After a sleepless night, and tortured both by his conscience and his fears, he goes early in the morning, and with a melancholy voice calls down the entrance of the den, to inquire if he were yet alive; and when he finds that de is still living, in a paroxysm of joy and revenge, he delivers Daniel from the den, and sends down the most active of his enemies, to meet the fate they had de signed for him; and then issues a decree, as had been done by his predecessor Nebu Having, therefore, previously learned chadnezzar, in honour of God most High.
he would not decline his duties, even to save his life.
that it was customary for the venerable
We must not bere omit to remark, the thus miraculously preserved. God sent his to that decree a penalty, which they calcu- angel into the lions' den, to close their
Prophet to pray three times a day, they agent or instrument by whom Daniel was
contrived a prohibitory decree, and affixed
lated would certainly destroy him. The king, having been hurried into this strange and blasphemous edict, finds himself now
mouths and protect his prophet: but when his enemies came into the same place, there was no angel for their protection,
from the sea, diverse one from another.
4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon he back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and Tominion was given to it.
[of four beasts.
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (K)
9¶ I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and
(K) Ver. 1-8. Daniel's vision of the ir beasts.-Here begins the second part this sublime book, which contains eral prophetic visions imparted to niel, at various intervals, during the arse of more than twenty years, from first of Belshazzar to the third of
The vision of the four beasts in this ter evidently corresponds with Nebu. dnezzar's dream, of the splendid image Fold and other metals (chap. ii.); both
referring to the four great monarchies, which were successively to arise and continue, till they should all eventually give place to the universal kingdom of the Messiah. These monarchies are represented by beasts on account of their tyranny and oppression; they arise out of a stormy and tempestuous ocean; that is, out of the wars and revolutions of the world. They are indeed monstrous productions (a lion with .eagles' wings, &c.); but such emblems were usual among the eastern nations, as appears from the
AP. VII. Ver. 1. Daniel had-Chal. "saw" He wrote the dream, and related, &c.may refute the idle report of some Talmudists, Daniel did not write his own prophecies. 2. Strove upon the great sea. This refers to a in the Mediterranean, called Euroclydon, modern terms, a Levanter. See Acts xxvii. 14. pare Psalm ii. I.
4. And it was-Marg. "Wherewith it was " e. So Wintle, Boothroyd, &c. And made Wintle, “ And became erect." See Expos. 5. It raised up itself on one side-Wintle, was raised.”. And it had three ribsand Boothroyd," tusks;" others, " rows of either of which will agree with the command much flesh; Father Calmet says, "The have exercised the most severe and cruel ent that we know of."
A leopard-is proverbial for swiftness: see 3. The four wings may differently express = thing, and corresponding with the four ow the similar character of Alexander's sucFor fowl we should read "bird," the fowl cannot be here intended. Great iron teeth-Ver. 19 it is added, and f brass he was calculated in every way whether by tearing, trampling, or devourten horns here answer to the "ten toes adnezzar's image. The ten horns of this st are also explained by Daniel (ver. 24.) akings," or kingdoms, which shall succes
sively arise, and these are variously reckoned by Commentators. Messrs. Horne and Townsend give five different lists from Machiavel, Mede, Hales, Sir Isaac Newton, and Bp. Newton, who differ both in the names of these minor kingdoms (or horns) and in the order of placing them. We shall give two of them, the most modern and popular. Bp. Newton numbers them thus: 1. The senate of Rome; 2. Ravenna; 3. The Lombards; 4. The Huns; 5. The Alemanni; 6. The Franks; 7. The Burgundians; 8. The Goths; 9. The Britons; 10. The Saxons.-Dr. Hales (who follows Bp. Lloyd) reckons thus: 1. The Huns; 2. The Ostrogoths; 3. The Visigoths, these arose in the fourth century; 4. The Franks; 5. The Vandals; 6. The Sueves and Alans; 7. The Burgundians; 8. The Herules, Rugians, and Thu ringians; 9. The Saxons; 10. The Longobardi: these all arose in the fifth century. Yer. 8. Another little horn this may be considered as a new and singular power, which placked up three of the ten kingdoms by the root. Bp. Newton applies this to the three first in his list.
Ver. 9. The thrones were cast down - Wintle, "Were placed." So Boothroyd. But both come to the same meaning. The Asiatics have neither chairs nor stools, but to receive persons of rank, "cast down" or "place" cushions round the room, for seats, which seem to be here alluded to. See Matt. xix. 28; Rev. xx. 4.-The ancient of days.-Compare Rev. i. 13, 14; xx. 11.