Book of Daniel
Chapter 5, Part 16
Nebuchadnezzar was the focus of the first 4 chapters in Daniel. He was the mightiest king ever to rule. Some say that no other king, not even Solomon accomplished all Nebuchadnezzar had; and that the only other King to do more will be Jesus when He comes to rule and reign. Nebuchadnezzar unified the Babylonian Empire as he built and expanded it. He reigned for 43 years before his death in 562 B.C. From that time on, Babylon began a rapid deterioration process which included assassinations of kings.
After Nebuchadnezzar died, his son, Evil-Merodach succeeded him to the throne. He ruled for two years before being murdered by Nebuchadnezzar’s son-in-law, Neriglissar (Nergal-Sharezer of Jeremiah 39:3, 13). Neriglissar ruled for four years. After his death, his son, Labashi-Marduk, took the throne and ruled two months before being assassinated by Nabonidus, another of Nebuchadnezzar’s sons-in-law. He reigned 17 years.
Nebonidus’ mother was the high priestess to the Babylonian moon god at Haran . Because of her, Nebonidus began to restore Babylon ’s religion and restored many of the temples that had come into disrepair.
Belshezzar was Nebonidus’ eldest son. He was placed in the position of co-regent with Nebonidus who was away from Babylon for 10 of the 17-years of his reign. (A co-regent is someone who acts as king due to the king’s youth, illness or absence.) In essence, Belshazzar was king of Babylon while his father was away conquering other territories and lands (Nebonidus attacked Edom and conquered part of Arabia ). As acting king, he had all the power of the king.
The Logistics expert for Cyrus the Mede was clever. When Babylon was being built, Nebuchadnezzar’s architects designed a place through the wall through which could flow the waters of one of the Euphrates ’ rivers. This river would run through Babylon so that the inhabitants would never be without water and could withstand a siege of many years endurance. It is estimated that there had been stocked in Babylon enough provision to sustain the people for twenty years. Now the plan was to redirect the river back to its original route into the Euphrates. The army then could walk through the holes in the wall at both ends of the city through which the river ran in then out and and capture it. (See attachment: Cyrus Invades Babylon .)
V. 1-4 – “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.” Archeologists have unearthed a large hall in Babylon that is 55 feet wide by 165 feet long that had plaster walls. This room would have been large enough to hold all the celebrants that night.
Belshazzar knew that Cyrus was outside the wall holding siege against Babylon , but in defiance, he called 1,000 of his lords together for a drunken party with revelry and eating.
That Belshazzar was stupid and ignored the great conqueror, Cyrus, who was right outside his doors, so to speak, was bad enough. What he did next was the epitome of stupidity. While Belshazzar tasted or tested the quality of the wine, he called his servants to fetch the holy utensils Nebuchadnezzar had stolen “from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem” so that he, his lords, his wives and concubines could drink from them (And he [Nebuchadnezzar] carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said” Isaiah 24:13; Ezra 1:7-11; Jeremiah 52:17-20). As they drank from the sacred vessels, they praised the gods of gold, silver, iron, bronze, wood, and stone. This contempt, this blasphemy against God would soon cost Belshazzar his life. Remember what God said, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).
Now that these vessels had been used during this party in worship to false gods, they were no longer holy, or set apart unto God’s use.
Compare the above worship of inanimate objects to what John said, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk…” (Revelation 9:20).
Note: When Scripture refers to Nebuchadnezzar as Belshazzar’s father, it really means his grandfather, or ancestor, not his birth father.
V. 5 – “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over 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.” “In that same hour” meaning while they were drinking and eating from the sacred vessels and praising lifeless gods instead of the Living God. Here we see the “Hand of God” intervening as it writes on the wall. Notice that God wanted this writing to be clearly seen by all. He chose to write next to a candlestick on a plaster wall. I don’t know about you, but if I ever saw a disembodied hand writing on a wall, it would frighten me.
I believe the hand writing for all to read was that of the pre-incarnate Christ Jesus who also wrote in the sand (John 8:1-11).
In Daniel 4:31, just after Nebuchadnezzar had given himself all the praise instead of giving it to God, “…a voice fell from heaven.” In verse 33 of Daniel 4, it says, “That very hour was the word fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar…” It took one year after the Lord has spoken to make this man and animal, but it was done because of what Nebuchadnezzar was saying and doing. It was not so for Belshazzar, his sacrilege was such that he was not extended a time for change as we’ll see at the end of this chapter.
Let’s look at this too, for a minute. Oral history was a tradition in the days of the kings. Nabonidus would have told Belshazzar about his grandfather’s insanity that caused him to graze like an animal for 7 years. He would have understood that the cause of the king’s great downfall was his pride. He would have heard the story of how Nebuchadnezzar finally came to give the glory to God for all things. And, yet, Belshazzar continued to walk in pride until his pride made him bring out the Lord’s service pieces which his grandfather had placed in storage to show how important he was. It’s suspected that Belshazzar knew about the vessels but was never allowed to see or touch them and that’s why he decided that as long as he was “king” with full authority, he would use this forbidden treasure.
V. 6 – This verse tells us that the “king’s countenance (his face and composure) changed and his thoughts troubled him.” His hips came loose and his knees knocked together means he lost his strength and fell to the floor.
Before Nebuchadnezzar came to take Israel captive, God’s chosen ones had profaned His Sabbath and continued to worship the idols their fathers had worshipped, therefore, the Lord sent Ezekiel to “preach” against them with warning of what was to come to them because of the hardness of their hearts. God told Ezekiel to sigh and that when the Israelites asked why he was sighing, he should tell them, “And it shall be that when they say to you (Ezekiel), ‘Why are you sighing?’ that you shall answer, ‘Because of the news; when it comes, every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it (captivity to Babylon ) is coming and shall be brought to pass,’ says the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 21:7 NKJV).
The fear of the Lord causes people to lose their strength and become weak in the knees.
V. 7a – “The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon …” Here’s another example of how Belshazzar had not learned from his grandfather. And we will see that these “wise men” would fail a king for the third time. (I’m sure there many other times that they failed, however, this is the third time we read about.)
V. 7b – “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.” Notice this. Unlike Nebuchadnezzar who was the sole ruling king of Babylon , Belshazzar is only acting king. He is second in command, therefore can only confer a third place position to the man who would interpret this writing. The man would interpret the writing would be dressed in a royal purple robe as was Mordecai (Esther 8:15 ) and with a costly gold chain as was Joseph (Genesis 41:42).
A touch of history about Cyrus: About 150 years before Cyrus was born, God used Isaiah to prophesy his birth, his name, and what God had assigned for him to accomplish for Israel . Cyrus would be the one God would use to destroy Babylon , end Israel ’s captivity, that for many was a harsh time, and bring them back home. “I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 45:13).
Tourists can still visit the tomb of Cyrus in Iran to this day.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 5, Part 17
V. 8 – As we read twice before, the wise men could not read God’s messages. For Nebuchadnezzar, it was their failure to interpret his dreams and visions. Now, for Belshazzar, it is their inability to read what the hand of Jesus had written on the wall. These men who were trained in astrology, reading signs, and working in the occult could not help the acting king. Their “gods” could not reveal the heart of God. Only someone who was in constant contact with the living God could receive and deliver the interpretation. Daniel is that person. Remember, he was devoted to prayer and praise. He was in the will of God for his life; therefore, God was able to use him this way.
V. 9, 10 – Belshazzar had offered the best reward available to anyone who would interpret this writing, yet none of them could do this. Doesn’t it make you wonder why, among all the wise men, one of them didn’t make something up just to get the rewards?
“Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied (astonished, perplexed).” When Belshazzar heard that his wise men could not help him, his fear intensified. When his guests, the noblemen of the kingdom, saw their king so frightened, it threw them into a state of fear, confusion, and even panic. The tone of the party changed so dramatically that the queen, Belshazzar’s grandmother, understood something must have happened. She entered the hall and saw things in turmoil and took charge.
There is speculation about who this unnamed queen was. Some say Belshazzar’s wife, but that can’t be as Scripture said his wives were with him in the banquette hall. Some say it was his mother, but have no Scripture to prove that. Most say it was his grandmother, Nebuchadnezzar’s wife. I agree with the last as she repeated with confidence what Nebuchadnezzar had said of Daniel in Daniel 4:8. “But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream…”
By this time the queen had been told what the trouble was and she probably went to see if she could read the words that had been written on the plaster. Not being able to interpret them, she said something to the effect of, “Belshazzar, get up, stand to your feet like a man and listen to what I have to tell you. Put that frown off your face and let your color return to you. I have the answer to your dilemma.”
V. 11 – I love what the queen said to Belshazzar about Daniel. “There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods.” The New King James Version says it this way, “There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God.” She knew by her previous encounters with this man that the God who is superior to their gods worked through Daniel and that he was filled with His Spirit and power.
Read this carefully now. “…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 magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers…” This woman wanted Belshazzar to know and understand that the king, the real king, his forefather, his grandfather, and her husband, had made Daniel to sit in a position of great authority. I believe she stressed this to Belshazzar because of his contempt for God and for the Jews. She wanted to implant into him the idea that this man, Daniel, had been placed over all the wise men and played a hugely important part of the kingdom ministrations when Belshazzar’s grandfather was king and he still deserved respect.
V. 12 – We can sense in this verse that the queen’s respect for Daniel is strong. We are told when we shop for food that the first ingredient listed is the primary one in the product. If we buy whole wheat bread, wheat should be the first ingredient we read on the label. The first ingredient the queen listed in Daniel was that of an excellent spirit, or the Spirit of God. The rest of the ingredients that make up Daniel are knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, showing hard sentences (explaining enigmas), and dissolving doubts (answering intricate questions). The queen suggested that this Daniel, also named Belteshazzar, should be called to tell this acting king what the writing meant.
V. 13 – Now watch how the king expresses his contempt for Daniel who had once held the position of second in the kingdom to Nebucadnezzar. “Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah , whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?” He put Daniel right in his place as a mere servant to the former king who might now be able to help this king. I wonder if this disparagement of Daniel might also be an expression of jealousy from this king as Daniel, in essence, had held the very position Belshazzar now occupied and his own grandmother could not speak highly enough of this great man. Please understand, I have not read this anywhere, it’s my speculation, not Scripture. It just makes sense to me.
Apparently after Nabonidus (Belshazzar’s birth father and the sitting king) had come to power in Babylon , he had pushed Daniel out of office and back into slavery. I can almost see Belshazzar’s lip curled as he speaks with Daniel.
V. 14 – Belshazzar either really didn’t know Daniel, or would not admit to the fact he’d been hearing his name all his life. He implies in this verse that he had just heard about him. I hear a challenge in what Belshazzar says to Daniel. “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods (Spirit of God) is in thee and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.” And the challenge is? Prove it.
V. 15 – “And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing…” You know, people working for the devil can interpret the devil’s stuff, which is why the wise men still had a job, but they can’t even come close to understanding the truths God expresses. When I worked for the devil in the occult practices, I made tons of money per week. I was one of the best tarot card readers the people I worked with had seen. They used to come to me for readings. But, I could not discern the things of God. Fortunately for me, Jesus had come to me when I was 12 and planted the seed of ministry into my spirit. It was that seed which kept me discontent the entire time I worked against heaven. I prayed every night that God would reveal to me the truth of what I was doing, if He approved or disapproved. Eventually, in His time, and when I was making more money than we could spend, He showed me. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!
V. 16 – “And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and 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.” The king repeats the fact that he has heard of Daniel. When Belshazzar said “make known to me the interpretation thereof” he was most likely pointing to the plaster wall beside the candlestick where the writing still was.
“Ok, Daniel, that’s the enigma I want you to untie for me. If you can do this thing which my wise men could not do, I will give you the reward I promised to whoever gave me the interpretation. You will be dressed in the royal color of purple, have an expensive gold chain placed around your neck, and sit in the third highest position in the kingdom. What do you say?” Belshazzar promised Daniel the same rewards he had once received from Nebuchadnezzar except this time the position of authority would be third place instead of second.
We’ll find out Daniel’s answer next week.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 5, Part 18
V. 17-21 – Daniel had once stood before the greatest king to ever live. Speaking with Belshazzar did not intimidate him a bit. He told this unholy king to keep his gifts and rewards. He would do this interpretation for free. In other words, “Listen, King, you have nothing I want. But I’ll tell you the meaning of that writing.”
I believe Daniel received gifts from Nebuchadnezzar for two reasons: 1. He could use them to better the situation for the other captives: 2. Daniel knew that the captivity would last a long time, 70 years, and it would behoove him to have a voice in what went on in Babylon. Here he refused the items of promotion because he knew, especially after having viewed the writing on the wall that the throne would soon change hands and the captivity would be over. He would have no great need of the things offered. Also, it was Daniel’s way to demonstrate that he would do this interpretation to God’s glory, not for his own benefit.
Daniel would now set the stage for his interpretation of the writing on the wall. But first, he repeated to Belshazzar what Nebuchadnezzar had done and what it cost him before he reveals what’s about to happen to this king, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson.
V. 18 – “O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour… (Jeremiah 27:5-7)” Daniel makes sure that this upstart king knows that God positioned his grandfather to be king. He didn’t just come by it, the Lord set him upon the throne and caused increase to come into the kingdom. God gave Nebuchadnezzar majesty (supreme authority and power), glory (success and admiration) and honor (great respect).
V. 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” (Jeremiah 27:7). In his hands, Nebuchadnezzar had the power to give and take and the power of life and death. He had the authority to set people up (as he had Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) or to knock them down (as he had the wise men when he made Daniel, a captive Jew head over them).
V. 20, 21 – Nebuchadnezzar had walked in pride, had given himself glory for all the success he enjoyed, and had not given glory to God. His heart and mind were hardened by pride. For that he was dethroned for seven years, not by the will of men, but by the hand of God, and made to live like an animal until he was ready to acknowledge the supremacy of God (Psalm 83:17, 18). He was then restored to the throne for a short while.
V. 22-23 – Belshazzar was like Pharaoh in Exodus, like Saul in I Samuel, and like others who exalted themselves and thought they could be stronger than God. We have people like that even today. Case in point: Atheist Phillip Pullman who wrote The Golden Compass*. This man’s main objective is to dethrone the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and reduce this world to the New Age philosophy that we are all God. Sadly, many people are falling for this lie because it’s easier than being good Christians who, as Daniel, live up to the Word of God. We want to feel good and believe God would never! send anyone to an eternal hell. Those who conform to this thesis will share eternal damnation with Pullman and those of his ilk.
We know that Nebuchadnezzar was wicked, but his grandson, Belshazzar, was evil. He “lifted himself up against the Lord.” When he called for the articles of the temple to be brought in and used to worship the gods of gold, silver, and bronze, iron, wood, and stone, he positioned himself against the Lord, thereby, sealing his own fate. Belshazzar would be permanently removed from the throne very soon.
V. 24, 28 – “And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN (UPHRASIN). This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE (literally a "monetary toll"), God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL (literally a "tokenary weight"), you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PARSIN (literally a "division" or "portion"), your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” This translation of the phrase “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” was taken from Wikpedia*.
I believe that Jesus was the Author of “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” It makes sense to me as Jesus used this writing to condemn an evil king and He used writing in the sand to deliver a sinful prostitute.
You know something? All mankind is weighed in the balance and found wanting. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Fortunately most men and women are not of the evil ilk of Belshazzar. When I was a Catholic, it would never have entered my mind to drink from the sacred golden wine goblet the priest used in the Communion service. In essence, that’s exactly what Belshazzar and his entourage did.
There have been wicked, evil men and woman throughout history who have denounced the reality of Jesus as God born on earth. Many have gone to their grave. I think of names like Hitler, Hussein, and O’Hare. We cannot make blatant statements about where they are spending eternity, only God knows that.
I’m going to shock some of you right now. Former president of these United States , Abraham Lincoln, was an avowed infidel. I will here give some statements he made about God:
Jesus Christ was an illegitimate child.
When Lincoln ran for Congress in 1846, he was accused of being an atheist. He did not deny this fact. Instead he said that he “would die first” before denying this truth.
One day a man came to Washington to pray with Lincoln . He gave his card of introduction and was allowed in to see the president, but when he entered the office, Lincoln said, “What, have you, too, come to torment me with your prayers?” Lincoln intimidated the man so much that he denied it.
It’s not only politicians who are avowed atheists. Does anyone here remember Frank Zappa? This is what he said about our God and our beliefs:
"If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine- but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you've been bad or good- and CARES about any of it- to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working."
-Frank Zappa, American musician
How about Gloria Steinham:
"By the year 2000, we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God."
"It's an incredible con job when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations with all their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous."
-Gloria Steinam, women's rights activist
We could go on naming people who have come against God and tried to indoctrinate this world into atheism, deism, or agnosticism, people like Michael Newdow, but this serves the purpose. The point is, God and Jesus have always been maligned and assaulted by those who will not understand. In the Old Testament, Belshazzar and others stood against God. In the New Testament, the Pharisees and Sadducees and others tried to get Christianity disbanded. They wanted this stopped so badly that they killed our Leader. And it continues. We will always have those who blaspheme the name of Holy God in three persons; praise God for the Savior, Jesus the Christ, who bore our transgressions and made us the righteousness of God in Himself.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 5:29, 31 – Chapter 6:1-9
Last week we saw that Daniel interpreted Belshazzar’s vision to say that the kingdom would be divided and given to two nations, the Medes and the Persians. These were represented by the chest and arms of silver. This kingdom would be inferior to Babylon , but still powerful.
V. 29 – Belshazzar, evil as he was, kept his word and rewarded Daniel. He had his servants bring a purple cloak to dress Daniel and a heavy gold chain to place around his neck. Then a proclamation declaring Daniel the third ruler in Babylon was made.
V. 30, 31 – Daniel’s position as third in command didn’t last long as the Medes crashed Belshazzar’s party in a most decisive way. They came in through the water way under the gate, and because the walls were not guarded, they were able to conquer Babylon without as much as a shout in battle. Babylon fell that night to the Medes led by Darius. Belshazzar was assassinated. Darius took the throne. (Jeremiah 51:31, 39, 57) He was 62 years old.
The name Darius the Mede has caused much controversy. Who is he and why does the Bible say he “received the city”? I spent a good deal of my day researching this as most commentators say that Cyrus the Persian conquered Babylon . The reading I was doing seemed to contradict what the Bible says and I needed clarification before I could continue on with the study. Bless the Lord, He gave me a wonderful place to read about this and I have placed the link below1. This page is from and online book Bible Believers Archaeology written by John Argubright that I hope to read and study this week. I think reading this page will clarify things for you all.
The defeat of Babylon was not only predicted by Daniel when he spoke with Belshazzar early in the evening. Isaiah also prophesied this take-over (Isaiah 47:1-5).
At the beginning of this study we saw that the kingdom of Babylon was the beginning of the “times of the Gentiles” which will not end till Jesus’ second coming. Cyrus on the throne is the second phase in this Gentile rule.
What we can learn from chapter 5 is that God predetermined what would happen to the nation of Babylon if the sitting king did not change his ways. Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, nor his father, Nabonidus saw the wisdom in turning to God and giving Him the glory. We see this very same contempt for God now in the Middle East , the East, Europe , and even here in the United States . What do you suppose the prophecy for us is now that Jesus came the first time? It is wars, rumors of wars, pestilence, famine and, finally, the Tribulation. In the name of Jesus I pray that our leaders will turn to the Living God of Daniel before it’s too late.
V. 1, 2 – “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.”
It was Ugbaru’s duty to bring order to Babylon and to reorganize it so that King Cyrus would “suffer no loss”. This loss was of revenue if the books were not kept accurately and of the people. Kings rely on their subjects to work in the kingdom. If they do not like the king, they can cause him harm and loss of revenue. Darius was wise and knew the kingdom’s success depended on getting things in order and keeping them that way. The 120 satraps (government officials) were to rule each in their own area and report to the three governors who then would report to the king, or, in this case, to Ugbaru.
V. 3 – Since Daniel was filled with “an excellent spirit (the Holy Spirit)” and had acquired much experience in ruling as Nebuchadnezzar’s second in command he was made one of the governors under Darius. This proves that Darius had wisdom. Oftentimes when new rulers took over they killed or banished the rulers from the former government fearing them as enemies. Darius saw the success of Daniel’s leadership and not only kept him, but made him a high official. Once again Daniel proved his leadership ability and outshone the other two governors so that Darius considered making him the head over the entire realm or province of Babylon.
V. 4 – Daniel was a man of great integrity. When the governors and satraps heard that this “Jew boy” would be made head over them, they balked and tried to set a trap for him so they could accuse him. Does this sound familiar to you? Remember what is says the Pharisees did to Jesus? “Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him” (Luke 11:54 ).
They checked his records to see if maybe he had taken some money, or maybe he had made some bad decisions, or maybe he wasn’t as morally upright as he tried to make himself out to be. As with Jesus, they found nothing with which to accuse Daniel.
V. 5 – Seeing that there was nothing they could bring to Darius that would convince him to remove Daniel from office, they attacked Daniel in his faith. The words of this verse are very telling. “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (V.5) Many times when someone wants to discredit someone else, he brings their love of God into it. Most politicians are quick to accuse their opponents based on their adherence to Scripture. President Bush has taken many virtual black eyes over his faith.
V. 6-8 – So the governors and the satraps, 122 men without Daniel, came around Darius’ throne with this “great” idea. Finding no evidence they could level against Daniel, they conspired to get Darius to agree to a new rule they had conspired to formulate for the people of Babylon . Notice this new rule was written for a short period of time; 30 days. The rule they wanted him to agree to is that no one could pray to any god or man but Darius. This decree appealed to his pride and he readily agreed to sign and issue the decree. The men also knew that when a Median or Persian king signed a decree into effect, it could never be changed, hence the 30-day time limit. These guys were risking angering their own gods by not appealing to them on a regular basis.
The penalty for disobeying the decree was that the person would be thrown to the lions.
This decree put Daniel in a dubious position as these men knew Daniel’s practice of praying three times a day to his God in heaven. They knew he would never bring his petitions to Darius, thereby guaranteeing them that Daniel would soon become lunch for some hungry lions.
V. 9 – Notice this: The men apparently had the decree written and ready to sign as this verse states, “Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.” They were taking no chance that the king might change his mind once he got to thinking about their suggestion. They came prepared and the decree was posted that very day. This prayer law was now irrevocable for thirty days.
1) http://www.biblehistory.net/Belshazzar_Darius_Mede.pdf I have not yet read this book entirely, therefore, cannot make a recommendation at this time. When I have had opportunity to read it, I will tell you whether or not I agree with the author. In the case of Darius the Mede, I agree with Mr. Argubright.
Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor
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