toxic thought waste site

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Friday, November 10, 2006

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.

thoughts:

- 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.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Luke Plant said...

"It seems pretty obvious that they are using father in the every day sense."

Thats a somewhat simplistic approach, isn't it? At the very least you'd have to look at how the word father/son is used in other ways in the Bible, and whether other genealogies in the Bible or from the period miss out generations etc. (hint: they do).

Wed Nov 29, 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger evtujo said...

This was early on in my study so I didn't realize what a big deal this point ends up being to people. Since I'm just a newbie to all this I have no problem back peddling on this but I will stick with the point that I was pretty surprised that this wasn't implying a real, immediate familial relationship. The Daniel narrative goes immediately from Neb. to Belshazzar with no clue in the text that any sort of time has passed. Then they start talking about the son/father relationship. Certainly wasn't obvious from the text that they weren't related. If I hadn't see the apologist arguments I never would have even considered another possibility.

Wed Nov 29, 04:32:00 PM  

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