BOOK OF DANIEL- An Insolent and Ignorant King

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL- An Insolent and Ignorant King

An Insolent and Ignorant King

When we were last together I mentioned we would review Daniel 5:13-16 as it pertains to the attitude Belshazzar displayed toward Daniel. There were four points I spoke of that we should pay attention to.

The first point was the immediate insolence of Belshazzar as Daniel was brought before him. In verse thirteen he addresses Daniel as “that Daniel”. By addressing Daniel in this manner he clearly did not show the same type of respect and reverence the queen held toward God’s servant. Rather, Belshazzar showed a level of cynicism toward Daniel. That cynicism may have been due to the king knowing of Daniel, but not viewing him favorably. Some have suggested Belshazzar may have demoted Daniel himself years prior but that is conjecture.

The second point, which follows the first and is part of the same sentence in verse thirteen, shows Belshazzar’s attempt to put Daniel in his place, so to speak. It was designed to belittle him and make him fully aware he was an exile captured from Israel. He stopped short of calling Daniel a slave but that was what he was alluding to. He also shows no respect for Daniel being an elderly statesman by making the comment that his father, Nebuchadnezzar (who, had there been any bloodline between them, would have actually have been his grandfather) brought Daniel to Babylon, thus making the point that he was an old man.

You can almost hear the sarcasm in Belshazzar’s voice as we go to point three. He tells Daniel he has heard of him having the spirit of the gods. In our word study when Nebuchadnezzar used the same phrase, we learned that the Aramaic word used for gods (or God, god) is elahh which corresponds with the Hebrew word eloah, the word used for God. Belshazzar also tells Daniel he has been told that light and understanding along with excellent wisdom were found in him. Much of Belshazzar’s attitude points to the fact that, even if he had limited knowledge of Daniel’s activity in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, he nevertheless would have some knowledge. After all, most of us can relate stories of our grandparents, some whom we may never have met. It is hard to believe that Belshazzar was not familiar with Daniel’s exploits in the Babylonian court, given the fact that Nabonidus came to power just six short years after Nebuchadnezzar died. In historical records, it is said that Nabonidus gained the throne in a coup led by several Babylon nobles who included Belshazzar himself. If that is true then Belshazzar would have been very familiar with at least the latter years of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule and that of the three successors prior to his own father taking the throne.

Belshazzar almost casually tells Daniel that all the wise men cannot tell him what the handwriting on the wall means and that is the reason for Daniel’s presence.

That leads to our fourth point which is the lure of riches offered to Daniel if he can tell the king what he wants to know. We will never know whether Belshazzar would have kept to his promise of clothing Daniel in fine linen and gold and making him the third ruler of the kingdom. But that is of no consequence because Daniel gave an answer that should remind us all where our allegiance should be and which we will read about in our next blog.