Bible Study: Daniel Chapter 5
Now Belshazzar is the ruler. He has a huge feast using the plates taken from the temple that was ransacked by Neb. All of a sudden a hand appears and writes a message on the wall. This terrifies Belshazzar. He offers great riches to any who can interpret the message.
After no one steps forward, the Queen (his mom) suggests that Daniel could probably do it. He can do anything. He refuses any special gifts and starts interpreting.
Daniel explains that his father was humbled by god and learned how powerful he was, but Belshazzar has not learned anything from what happened to dad. Basically the "writing on the wall" (as it were) says that the kingdom is about to be split up and divided among other countries.
Well too late to learn the lesson: he is killed in his sleep that night.
- As a narrative the bible is really bad. It just jumps to new section/stories. Where did Belshazzar come from all of a sudden?
- In the bible I'm reading there is a fairly extensive critique (which I just glanced at for now) about the alledgedly confused history that puts Belshazzar as a king and as the son of Neb. *sigh* why can't you kids just get along and agree on some historical events.
- Another thing that I vaguely picked up is that some apologists apparently want to argue that Belshazzar wasn't really the son of Neb but only spoke of father as a general term for ancestor. I don't see anything to indicate that. It seems pretty obvious that they are using father in the every day sense.
- Darius the Median is also allegedly a fictitious figure. Will be interesting to see the back and forth between the bible scholars and historians on this.