Wenstrom Bible MinistriesMarion, IowaPastor-Teacher Bill Wenstromwww.wenstrom.org
Tuesday December 11, 2012Daniel: Daniel 5:12-The Queen Gives Belshazzar A Five-Fold Description Of Daniel’s Abilities And Urgently Requests He Summon HimLesson # 153
Daniel 5:1 King Belshazzar threw an enormous banquet for a thousand of his nobles. He even drank wine excessively directly in front of the thousand. 2 Belshazzar issued an order while under the influence of the wine causing the gold and silver articles to be brought in which Nebuchadnezzar, his great-grandfather caused to be confiscated from the temple, which was in Jerusalem, in order that the king, his nobles as well as his wives and in addition his concubines could drink with them.
3 Therefore, the gold and silver articles were brought in, which were confiscated from the temple, which was God’s house, which was in Jerusalem so that the king, his nobles as well as his wives and in addition his concubines could drink with them. 4 They drank wine while they praised gods composed of gold as well as silver, bronze, iron, wood and in addition stone.
5 During this time, the fingers of a human hand appeared while writing on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, directly in front of the lampstand so that the king observed the palm of the hand which was writing. 6 Then the king, his countenance was changed for him. Also, his thoughts caused him to be terrified so that his hip joints gave way resulting in his knees knocking together, one against the other.
7 The king authoritatively shouted out an order for the purpose of causing the necromancers, astrologers as well as diviners to be brought in. He declared to the city of Babylon’s wise men, “Any person who can read aloud as well as can make known its interpretation to me will be clothed with a purple robe as well as a golden chain around his neck. Indeed, they will rule as third in the kingdom.”
8 Therefore, each and every one of the king’s wise men came in but they were totally unable to read or cause the interpretation to be made known to the king. 9 Thus causing the king to be extremely terrified so that his countenance was changed on him as well as causing his nobles to be perplexed.
10 The queen entered the banquet hall because of the king’s words as well as his nobles. The queen responded and said, “O king, live forever! Please, by no means let your thoughts cause you to be terrified so that they by no means cause your countenance to be changed!
11 There is a man in your kingdom who possesses God’s Holy Spirit in him so that during the days of your great-grandfather, illumination, discernment as well as wisdom in accordance with God’s wisdom were observed in him. Indeed, King Nebuchadnezzar, your great-grandfather, your great-grandfather the king, promoted him to be commander over the occult priests, necromancers, astrologers and diviners.” (My translation)
Daniel 5:12 “This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Let Daniel now be summoned and he will declare the interpretation.” (NASB95)
“Because” is composed of the preposition k- (כְּ־) (kee) and this is followed by the preposition lĕ (לְ) (leh) and then we have the preposition qǒḇēl (קֳבֵל) (kob-ale´) and this is followed by the relative particle dî (דִּי) (dee).
These four words mean “because” since they are introducing a statement that presents the reason or the basis for the queen’s last statement in Daniel 5:11.
In this verse, she tells Belshazzar that there was a man in his kingdom who possessed God’s Holy Spirit in him.
She then gets specific and tells the king that during the days of Belshazzar’s great-grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, illumination, discernment as well as wisdom in accordance with God’s wisdom were observed in this man who possessed God’s Holy Spirit in him.
She then informs the king that Nebuchadnezzar promoted this man to be commander over the occult priests, necromancers, astrologers and diviners.
So these four words at the beginning of verse 12 are introducing a statement which presents the reason why Nebuchadnezzar promoted this man to be the commander over the occult priests, necromancers, astrologers and diviners who constituted his wise men.
Nebuchadnezzar promoted Daniel “because” the king found that he possessed an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, skill to interpret dreams, solve riddles and decipher difficult problems.
“Extraordinary spirit” is composed of the feminine singular form of the noun rûaḥ (רוּחַ) (roo´-akh), “an spirit” which is modified by the feminine singular form of the noun yǎt∙tîr (יַתִּיר) (yat-teer´), “extraordinary.”
The noun rûaḥ means “spirit” in the sense of a special attitude or frame of mind or a disposition which characterizes a person.
The word is modified by the noun yǎt∙tîr, which means “extraordinary” in the sense that this spirit was exceptional or unusual in the sense that it deviated from the average person.
Therefore, these two words describe Daniel as having an extraordinary attitude or disposition in the sense that it was exceptional and unusual in that it deviated from the average person.
These two words denote that Daniel’s attitude or disposition was incomparable in the sense that it was unique among men.
“Knowledge” is the masculine singular noun mǎn∙dǎʿ (מַנְדַּע) (man-dah´), which means “knowledge” in the sense that Daniel had superior knowledge with regards to a wide range of subjects which the Babylonians did not possess.
It means that Daniel knew things with regards to various subjects, which others in Babylon did not.
“Insight” is the feminine singular construct form of the noun śāḵ∙leṯā∙nû (שָׂכְלְתָנוּ) (sok-leth-aw-noo´), which means “insight, discernment” and describes Daniel as having the power of judgment and perceptive insight as demonstrated in the use of knowledge rather than knowing by experience.
It denotes that Daniel had the God-given ability to interpret visions and dreams which was impossible for the average human mind.
“Interpretation of dreams” is composed of the masculine singular paʿʿel (Hebrew: piel) active participle form of the verb pešǎr (פְּשַׁר) (pesh-ar´), “interpretation of” and its direct object is the masculine plural form of the noun ḥē∙lěm (חֵלֶם) (khay´-lem), “dreams.”
The verb pešǎr means “to interpret” referring to Daniel explaining or interpreting dreams and the noun ḥē∙lěm is in the plural meaning “dreams” referring to the content of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams which are recorded in Daniel chapters 2 and 4.
“Explanation of enigmas” is composed of the feminine singular construct form of the noun ʾǎ∙ḥǎwā∙yā(h) (אַחֲוָיָה) (akh-av-aw´), “explanation of” which is modifying the feminine plural noun ʾǎḥî∙ḏā(h) (אֲחִידָה) (akh-ee-daw´), “enigmas.”
The noun ʾǎ∙ḥǎwā∙yā(h) means “explanation” and the plural form of the noun ʾǎḥî∙ḏā(h) means “riddles,” which are enigmatic or puzzling statements often based on clever use of the ambiguities of language.
These two words describe Daniel’s ability to explain riddles in the sense that he had demonstrated during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign the ability to make clear or understandable riddles implying he could make plain and intelligible a riddle.
“Solving of difficult problems” is composed of the conjunction wa (וְ) (waw), “and” which is followed by the masculine singular paʿʿel (Hebrew: piel) active participle form of the verb šerā(h) (שְׁרָה) (ser-aw), “solving” and then we have the masculine plural form of the noun qeṭǎr (קְטַר) (ket-ar´), “difficult problems.”
The verb šerā(h) literally means “to loose” in the sense of unraveling a knot but here it means “to solve” and its object is the noun qeṭǎr, “difficult problems.”
Thus, this verb is saying that during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign Daniel manifested the ability to “solve” difficult problems or unravel knotty problems.
The noun qeṭǎr means “difficult problems” implying a supernatural and obscure or hidden difficulty referring more than likely to the vision/dreams Nebuchadnezzar received from God as recorded in chapters 2 and 4.
“Were found” is the third person feminine singular hitpeʿel (Hebrew: qal) passive perfect form of the verb šeḵǎḥ (שְׁכַח) (shek-akh´), which means “to find” in the sense of encountering through experience.
Here the word denotes that Nebuchadnezzar and his wise men encountered through their personal experience with Daniel as recorded in chapters 2 and 4 that he had an extraordinary spirit, mind, discernment interpreting dreams, explaining riddles as well as solving difficult problems.
“Let Daniel now be summoned and he will declare the interpretation” is the queen’s urgent request that her son Belshazzar summon Daniel to the banquet hall in order to solve the problem of the mysterious inscription.
Daniel 5:12 “Because in him, in Daniel whom the king assigned him the name Belteshazzar, was found an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, discernment interpreting dreams, explaining riddles as well as solving difficult problems. Please summon Daniel right now in order to cause the interpretation to be known.” (My translation)
The fact that the queen has to describe Daniel’s abilities with the king indicates that Belshazzar was not employing Daniel as an advisor as his great-grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had done.
Daniel was no longer playing a prominent role in the Babylonian kingdom when it had come to an end.
In fact, he was clearly no longer the commander over the wise men as he was under Nebuchadnezzar.
Belshazzar was not unaware or ignorant of Daniel’s abilities because Daniel’s statement to the king in verse 22 indicates that he was fully aware of Daniel’s relationship with Nebuchadnezzar.
No dreams had been given to Belshazzar unlike his great-grandfather Nebuchadnezzar.
Now that Belshazzar has a crisis, he needs Daniel to solve his problem of the inscription.