BOOK OF DANIEL – Daniel is Summoned

Posted by on Oct 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Daniel is Summoned

Daniel is Summoned

Let us return for a moment to complete our discussion of Daniel 5:10-12. The queen clearly had knowledge of the abilities of Daniel and how Nebuchadnezzar viewed him. If anything, this passage is a queen offering Belshazzar some assurance that he could obtain the meaning of the writing on the wall. That did not mean, even if the queen felt it did, that there would be a favorable outcome in knowing what the writing meant. As I read this passage it reminded me of someone who is saying to another, “Stop worrying about something before you know what it is”.  That could be the point the queen had in telling Belshazzar not to let his thoughts alarm him or for him to go pale in fear. After all, she thought she had the answer to his anxiety – Daniel.

Verse eleven is the verse that seems to imply that Daniel was no longer serving in the Babylonian court. Given the fact that by 539 BC Daniel would have been in his early eighties he may have been in retirement. He could have stepped down or been forced from his position in the court soon after the death of Nebuchadnezzar. But the queen reminded Belshazzar of Nebuchadnezzar’s total confidence in Daniel and that he had made him chief of his wise men which was remarkable because it was appointing someone who was not a Chaldean. She went on to explain why by detailing Daniel’s excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems. She repeated the same phrase Nebuchadnezzar used in describing Daniel as “A man in whom the spirit of the Holy God dwelt”. Finally, she tells Belshazzar that the king named him Beltshazzar which most likely is the name that the Babylonians knew him as. She then suggested Daniel be summoned before the king to reveal the interpretation. That last point is remarkable in that she expressed total confidence herself that Daniel would be able to solve the riddle of the writing on the wall. There was no doubt in her mind. In due reverence to God’s servant she also addresses Daniel by his Jewish name twice. The first time was in introducing his gifts to Belshazzar and the second time in telling the king to call Daniel to the court. Some have even suggested that the queen may have, in fact, been the only person who still valued the advice of Daniel.

Despite the reputation and respect the queen had for Daniel it is interesting how Belshazzar spoke to him upon him coming before the court. Daniel 5:13-16 records, “Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter. But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (ESV)

In our next blog, we will discuss this passage in depth. For now, notice the immediate insolence of Belshazzar as Daniel is brought before him. Notice how, by his speech, he treats Daniel like a second class citizen, faintly reminding him that he is a still a slave. Notice Belshazzar’s tone, nonchalantly telling Daniel that the wise men could not make known the interpretation but he has heard that Daniel can. Finally, notice how he casually tells Daniel that if he can read the writing and interpret the meaning he will be clothed with fine garments and gold and be the third ruler of the kingdom.

We shall see next time just how far Belshazzar underestimated Daniel and, more importantly, Daniel’s God.