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Geneva Study Notes
Daniel Chapter 5

Daniel 5:1
5:1 {a} Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of
    his lords, and drank wine {b} before the thousand.

    (a) Daniel recites this history of King Belshazzar,
        Evilmerodach's son, to show God's judgments against the
        wicked for the deliverance of his Church, and how the
        prophecy of Jeremiah was true, that they would
        be delivered after seventy years.
    (b) The kings of the east part then used to commonly sit
        alone, and disdained that any should sit in their
        company: and now to show his power, and how little he
        thought of his enemy, which then besieged Babylon, made
        a solemn banquet, and used excess in their company,
        which is meant here by drinking wine: thus the wicked
        are very lax in morals and negligent, when their
        destruction is at hand.

Daniel 5:2
5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring
    the golden and silver vessels which his {c} father
    Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which [was] in
    Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and
    his concubines, might drink therein.

    (c) Meaning his grandfather.

Daniel 5:4
5:4 They drank wine, and praised the {d} gods of gold, and of
    silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

    (d) In contempt of the true God they praise their idols, not
        that they thought that the gold or silver were gods, but
        that there was a certain strength and power in them to
        do them good, which is also the opinion of all

Daniel 5:5
5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and
    wrote over {e} against the candlestick upon the plaister of
    the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of
    the hand that wrote.

    (e) That it might the better be seen.

Daniel 5:6
5:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts
    troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed,
    and his {f} knees smote one against another.

    (f) So he that before condemned God, was moved by this sight
        to tremble for fear of God's judgments.

Daniel 5:7
5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in {g} the astrologers, the
    Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. [And] the king spake, and
    said to the wise [men] of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this
    writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be
    clothed with scarlet, and [have] a chain of gold about his
    neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

    (g) Thus the wicked in their troubles seek many means, which
        draw them from God, because they do not seek for him who
        is the only comfort in all afflictions.

Daniel 5:10
5:10 [Now] the {h} queen, by reason of the words of the king and
     his lords, came into the banquet house: [and] the queen
     spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts
     trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:

     (h) That is, his grandmother, Nebuchadnezzar's wife, who
         because of her age was not at the feast before, but
         came there when she heard of this strange news.

Daniel 5:11
5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom [is] the spirit of
     the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and
     understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was
     found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the
     king, [I say], thy father, made master of the {i}
     magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, [and] soothsayers;

     (i) Read Daniel 4:6; and this declares that both this
         name was odious to him, and also he did not use these
         vile practises, because he was not among them when all
         were called.

Daniel 5:14
5:14 I have even heard of thee, that {k} the spirit of the gods
     [is] in thee, and [that] light and understanding and
     excellent wisdom is found in thee.

     (k) For the idolaters thought that the angels had power as
         God, and therefore held them in the same estimation
         that they held God, thinking that the spirit of
         prophecy and understanding came from them.

Daniel 5:18
5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave {l} Nebuchadnezzar thy
     father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:

     (l) Before he read the writing, he declares to the king his
         great ingratitude toward God, who could not be moved to
         give him the glory, considering God's wonderful work
         toward his grandfather, and so shows that he does not
         sin from ignorance but from malice.

Daniel 5:24
5:24 {m} Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this
     writing was written.

     (m) After God had for such a long time deferred his anger,
         and patiently waited for your repentance.

Daniel 5:25
5:25 And this [is] the writing that was written, {n} MENE, MENE,

     (n) This word is written twice because of the certainty of
         the thing, showing that God had most surely decided: it
         signifies also that God has appointed a term for all
         kingdoms, and that a miserable end will come on all
         that raise themselves against him.

Daniel 5:31
5:31 And Darius {o} the Median took the kingdom, [being] about
     threescore and two years old.

     (o) Cyrus his son-in-law gave him this title of honour,
         even though Cyrus in effect had the dominion.

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