Daniel 5


Of the 24 errors and corrections in this chapter, some are legitimate, being mismatches in gender or number.  No further remarks about them!

בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר מַלְכָּא עֲבַד לְחֶם רַב לְרַבְרְבָנֹוהִי אֲלַף וְלָקֳבֵל אַלְפָּא חַמְרָא שָׁתֵה׃   5:1

Dani. 5:1   Belshazzar, the king, made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and he was drinking wine before the thousand.

Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s son.  Therefore the events of this chapter transpired some time after Nebuchadnezzar’s death.

בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר אֲמַר בִּטְעֵם חַמְרָא לְהַיְתָיָה לְמָאנֵי דַּהֲבָא וְכַסְפָּא דִּי הַנְפֵּק נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר אֲבוּהִי מִן־הֵיכְלָא   5:2

 דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וְיִשְׁתֹּון בְּהֹון מַלְכָּא וְרַבְרְבָנֹוהִי שֵׁגְלָתֵהּ וּלְחֵנָתֵהּ׃

Dani. 5:2   On tasting wine, Belshazzar commanded to come for the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had brought forth from the Temple that had been in Jerusalem, so the king and his lords, his consorts and his concubines could drink with them.

בֵּאדַיִן הַיְתִיו מָאנֵי דַהֲבָא דִּי הַנְפִּקוּ מִן־הֵיכְלָא דִּי־בֵית אֱלָהָא דִּי בִירוּשְׁלֶם וְאִשְׁתִּיו בְּהֹון מַלְכָּא   5:3

וְרַבְרְבָנֹוהִי שֵׁגְלָתֵהּ וּלְחֵנָתֵהּ׃

Dani. 5:3   Thereupon they brought the vessels of gold that had been brought forth from the Temple that had been the house of God that had been in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his consorts and his concubines drank with them.

אִשְׁתִּיו חַמְרָא וְשַׁבַּחוּ לֵאלָהֵי דַּהֲבָא וְכַסְפָּא נְחָשָׁא פַרְזְלָא אָעָא וְאַבְנָא׃   5:4

Dani. 5:4   They drank the wine and gave praise to the gods of gold and silver, of brass, iron, wood and stone.

בַּהּ־שַׁעֲתָה (נְפַקוּ) [נְפַקָה] אֶצְבְּעָן דִּי יַד־אֱנָשׁ וְכָתְבָן לָקֳבֵל נֶבְרַשְׁתָּא עַל־גִּירָא דִּי־כְתַל הֵיכְלָא דִּי   5:5

 מַלְכָּא וּמַלְכָּא חָזֵה פַּס יְדָה דִּי כָתְבָה׃

Dani. 5:5   At that moment fingers of a human hand came out, and they wrote in front of a candlestick on the plaster of a wall of the palace of the king, and the king saw the palm of the hand that was writing.

אֱדַיִן מַלְכָּא זִיוֹהִי שְׁנֹוהִי וְרַעיֹנֹהִי יְבַהֲלוּנֵּהּ וְקִטְרֵי חַרְצֵהּ מִשְׁתָּרַיִן וְאַרְכֻבָּתֵהּ דָּא לְדָא נָקְשָׁן׃   5:6

Dani. 5:6   Then the king, his radiance transformed itself, as his thoughts would so alarm him that the joints of his loins were loosened and his knees knocked one to another.

קָרֵא מַלְכָּא בְּחַיִל לְהֶעָלָה לְאָשְׁפַיָּא (כַּשְׂדָּיֵא) [כַּשְׂדָּאֵי] וְגָזְרַיָּא עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר לְחַכִּימֵי בָבֶל   5:7

דִּי כָל־אֱנָשׁ דִּי־יִקְרֵה כְּתָבָה דְנָה וּפִשְׁרֵהּ יְחַוִּנַּנִי אַרְגְּוָנָא יִלְבַּשׁ (וְהַמֹּונְכָא) [וְהַמְנִיכָא] דִי־דַהֲבָא

עַל־צַוְּארֵהּ וְתַלְתִּי בְמַלְכוּתָא יִשְׁלַט׃

Dani. 5:7   The king cried loudly for the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the seers to be brought in. The king responded and he said to the wise men of Babylon, “If there is anyone who can read this writing and explain its interpretation to me, he shall wear purple and a necklace of gold about his neck, and he shall be ruler in a third of the kingdom.”

אֱדַיִן (עָלֲלִין) [עָלִּין] כֹּל חַכִּימֵי מַלְכָּא וְלָא־כָהֲלִין כְּתָבָא לְמִקְרֵא (וּפִשְׁרָא) [וּפִשְׁרֵהּ] לְהֹודָעָה   5:8


Dani. 5:8   Thereupon all the wise men of the king were coming in, but they were unable to read the writing or to make known the interpretation to the king.

אֱדַיִן מַלְכָּא בֵלְשַׁאצַּר שַׂגִּיא מִתְבָּהַל וְזִיוֹהִי שָׁנַיִן עֲלֹוהִי וְרַבְרְבָנֹוהִי מִשְׁתַּבְּשִׁין׃   5:9

Dani. 5:9   Whereupon the king, Belshazzar, was so exceedingly alarmed that his radiance was changed about him and his lords became perplexed.

מַלְכְּתָא לָקֳבֵל מִלֵּי מַלְכָּא וְרַבְרְבָנֹוהִי לְבֵית מִשְׁתְּיָא (עַלֲלַת) [עַלַּת] עֲנָת מַלְכְּתָא וַאֲמֶרֶת מַלְכָּא   5:10

לְעָלְמִין חֱיִי אַל־יְבַהֲלוּךְ רַעְיֹונָךְ וְזִיוָיךְ אַל־יִשְׁתַּנֹּו׃

Dani. 5:10   As a result of the words of the king and his lords, the queen came in to the banquet house.  The queen responded and said, “Live, king, for all time!  Your thoughts should not frighten you or your radiance become changed.”

אִיתַי גְּבַר בְּמַלְכוּתָךְ דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בֵּהּ וּבְיֹומֵי אֲבוּךְ נַהִירוּ וְשָׂכְלְתָנוּ וְחָכְמָה   5:11

 כְּחָכְמַת־אֱלָהִין הִשְׁתְּכַחַת בֵּהּ וּמַלְכָּא נְבֻכַדְנֶצַּר אֲבוּךְ רַב חַרְטֻמִּין אָשְׁפִין כַּשְׂדָּאִין גָּזְרִין הֲקִימֵהּ אֲבוּךְ


Dani. 5:11   “There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the holy spirit of the gods, and in the days of your father, enlightenment and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods was found in him, and the king, Nebuchadnezzar, your father -- your father, the king -- had set up to be chief of the magicians, seers, the Chaldeans, astrologers,

כָּל־קֳבֵל דִּי רוּחַ יַתִּירָה וּמַנְדַּע וְשָׂכְלְתָנוּ מְפַשַּׁר חֶלְמִין וַאַחֲוָיַת אֲחִידָן וּמְשָׁרֵא קִטְרִין הִשְׁתְּכַחַת   5:12

 בֵּהּ בְּדָנִיֵּאל דִּי־מַלְכָּא שָׂם־שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר כְּעַן דָּנִיֵּאל יִתְקְרֵי וּפִשְׁרָה יְהַחֲוֵה׃

Dani. 5:12   inasmuch as a surpassing spirit and a knowledge and understanding interpreting dreams and declaring riddles and loosening knots was found in him, in Daniel, on whom the king had set the name Belteshazzar.  Now let Daniel be summoned and he will explain the interpretation.”

Doesn’t it seem strange that the queen would know of Daniel but Belshazzar wouldn’t?  Scholars seem to agree  that the queen, whose name is not mentioned, might have been Nebuchadnezzar’s queen, i.e., the queen-mother, and not Belshazzar’s queen.  It may be likely that Belshazzar was still a young man, and unmarried.  This seems to be the most reasonable (although flimsy at best) explanation for Belshazzar’s ignorance of Daniel.  Another possibility is that Daniel’s fame and position fell into obscurity when Nebuchadnezzar died, and Belshazzar was still a young child.  Actually, ancient records imply that Belshazzar had an older brother who may have reigned for a short while before Belshazzar rose to the throne.

בֵּאדַיִן דָּנִיֵּאל הֻעַל קֳדָם מַלְכָּא עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר לְדָנִיֵּאל (אַנְתָּה) [אַנְתְּ]־הוּא דָנִיֵּאל דִּי־מִן־בְּנֵי   5:13

גָלוּתָא דִּי יְהוּד דִּי הַיְתִי מַלְכָּא אַבִי מִן־יְהוּד׃

Dani. 5:13   Whereupon Daniel was brought in before the king.  The king responded and he said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel who is from the children of the captivity of Judah whom the king, my father, brought out from Judah.”

Apparently, the Babylonians called all of Judah and Israel by the name of Judah, as Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Jerusalem, that is the southern kingdom, not the northern kingdom.  The northern kingdom had succumbed decades before.

וְשִׁמְעֵת (עֲלַיִךְ) [עֲלָךְ] דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין בָּךְ וְנַהִירוּ וְשָׂכְלְתָנוּ וְחָכְמָה יַתִּירָה הִשְׁתְּכַחַת בָּךְ׃   5:14

Dani. 5:14   “And I have heard about you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and enlightenment, with surpassing understanding and wisdom, is found in you.”

וּכְעַן הֻעַלּוּ קָדָמַי חַכִּימַיָּא אָשְׁפַיָּא דִּי־כְתָבָה דְנָה יִקְרֹון וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לְהֹודָעֻתַנִי וְלָא־כָהֲלִין   5:15

פְּשַׁר־מִלְּתָא לְהַחֲוָיָה׃

Dani. 5:15   “Now at this time the magicians, the astrologers, have been brought in before me so they should read this writing and make known its interpretation to me, but they are unable to explain the interpretation of the thing.”

וַאֲנָה שִׁמְעֵת (עֲלַיִךְ) [עֲלָךְ] דִּי־ (תוּכַל) [תִיכּוּל] פִּשְׁרִין לְמִפְשַׁר וְקִטְרִין לְמִשְׁרֵא כְּעַן הֵן (תּוּכַל   5:16

תִּכוּל] כְּתָבָא לְמִקְרֵא וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לְהֹודָעֻתַנִי אַרְגְּוָנָא תִלְבַּשׁ (וְהַמֹּונְכָא) [וְהַמְנִיכָא] דִי־דַהֲבָא עַל־צַוְּארָךְ

וְתַלְתָּא בְמַלְכוּתָא תִּשְׁלַט׃

Dani. 5:16   “Now I have heard about you, that you would be able to interpret interpretations and to loosen knots.  Now if you would be able to read the writing and to make known its interpretation to me, you shall wear purple and a necklace of gold about your neck, and you shall be ruler in a third of the kingdom.”

בֵּאדַיִן עָנֵה דָנִיֵּאל וְאָמַר קֳדָם מַלְכָּא מַתְּנָתָךְ לָךְ לֶהֶוְיָן וּנְבָזְבְּיָתָךְ לְאָחֳרָן הַב בְּרַם כְּתָבָא אֶקְרֵא   5:17

 לְמַלְכָּא וּפִשְׁרָא אֲהֹודְעִנֵּהּ׃

Dani. 5:17   Whereupon Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts remain yours, and give your rewards to another.   Nevertheless I will read the writing for the king and make known the interpretation to him.”

אַנְתָּה) [אַנְתְּ] מַלְכָּא אֱלָהָא (עִלָּיָא) [עִלָּאָה] מַלְכוּתָא וּרְבוּתָא וִיקָרָא וְהַדְרָה יְהַב לִנְבֻכַדְנֶצַּר   5:18


Dani. 5:18   “You are the king.  The Most High God gave the kingdom and greatness and glory and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar, your father,

וּמִן־רְבוּתָא דִּי יְהַב־לֵהּ כֹּל עַמְמַיָּא אֻמַיָּא וְלִשָּׁנַיָּא הֲוֹו (זָאֲעִין) [זָיְעִין] וְדָחֲלִין מִן־קֳדָמֹוהִי דִּי־הֲוָה   5:19

צָבֵא הֲוָא קָטֵל וְדִי־הֲוָה צָבֵא הֲוָה מַחֵא וְדִי־הֲוָה צָבֵא הֲוָה מָרִים וְדִי־הֲוָה צָבֵא הֲוָה מַשְׁפִּיל׃

Dani. 5:19   and because of the greatness that He had given him, all the peoples, nations, and languages were trembling and fearful by reason of being before him.  Of whom he had the will, he was slaying, and of whom he had the will, he was letting live, and of whom he had the will, he was lifting up, and of whom he had the will, he was bringing low.”

וּכְדִי רִם לִבְבֵהּ וְרוּחֵהּ תִּקְפַת לַהֲזָדָה הָנְחַת מִן־כָּרְסֵא מַלְכוּתֵהּ וִיקָרָה הֶעְדִּיוּ מִנֵּהּ׃   5:20

Dani. 5:20   “But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit hardened to act proudly, he was deposed from the throne of his kingdom and they took away his glory from him,

וּמִן־בְּנֵי אֲנָשָׁא טְרִיד וְלִבְבֵהּ עִם־חֵיוְתָא (שְׁוִי) [שַׁוִּיְו] וְעִם־עֲרָדַיָּא מְדֹורֵהּ עִשְׂבָּא כְתֹורִין   5:21

  יְטַעֲמוּנֵּהּ וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא גִּשְׁמֵהּ יִצְטַבַּע עַד דִּי־יְדַע דִּי־שַׁלִּיט אֱלָהָא (עִלָּיָא) [עִלָּאָה] בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא

 וּלְמַן־דִּי יִצְבֵּה יְהָקֵים (עֲלַיֵהּ) [עֲלַהּ]׃

Dani. 5:21   and he was driven away from the children of humanity, and his heart was set with the beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild asses.  The herbage had to be his food like oxen, and his body would be wet from the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God has dominion in the realm of humanity, and whomever He may desire, He can establish over it.”

וְאַנְתָּה) [וְאַנְתְּ] בְּרֵהּ בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר לָא הַשְׁפֵּלְתְּ לִבְבָךְ כָּל־קֳבֵל דִּי כָל־דְּנָה יְדַעְתָּ׃   5:22

Dani. 5:22   “And you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart although you know all this,

וְעַל מָרֵא־שְׁמַיָּא הִתְרֹומַמְתָּ וּלְמָאנַיָּא דִי־בַיְתֵהּ הַיְתִיו (קָדָמַיִךְ) [קָדָמָךְ] (וְאַנְתָּה) [וְאַנְתְּ   5:23

וְרַבְרְבָנַיִךְ) [וְרַבְרְבָנָךְ] שֵׁגְלָתָךְ וּלְחֵנָתָךְ חַמְרָא שָׁתַיִן בְּהֹון וְלֵאלָהֵי כַסְפָּא־וְדַהֲבָא נְחָשָׁא פַרְזְלָא אָעָא

לָא־חָזַיִן וְלָא־שָׁמְעִין וְלָא יָדְעִין שַׁבַּחְתָּ וְלֵאלָהָא דִּי־נִשְׁמְתָךְ בִּידֵהּ וְכָל־אֹרְחָתָךְ לֵהּ וְאַבְנָא דִּי לָא הַדַּרְתָּ׃

Dani. 5:23   but you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven, that the vessels of His house were brought before you, and you and your lords, your consorts, and your concubines were drinking wine in them, and you have given praise to the gods of silver and gold, brass, iron, wood, and stone that are unseeing and unhearing and unknowing, and you have not given glory to the God in Whose ‘hand’ is your breath and all your ways.”

בֵּאדַיִן מִן־קֳדָמֹוהִי שְׁלִיַחַ פַּסָּא דִי־יְדָא וּכְתָבָא דְנָה רְשִׁים׃   5:24

Dani. 5:24   “Thereupon He sent the palm of the hand from before Him and this writing was inscribed.”

וּדְנָה כְתָבָא דִּי רְשִׁים מְנֵא מְנֵא תְּקֵל וּפַרְסִין׃   5:25

Dani. 5:25   “And this is the writing that is inscribed:  ‘Mene mene tekel and pharsin.’”

Mene means a measurement, tekel means to weigh, and pharsin means to divide (plural spelling).

דְּנָה פְּשַׁר־מִלְּתָא מְנֵא מְנָה־אֱלָהָא מַלְכוּתָךְ וְהַשְׁלְמַהּ׃   5:26

Dani. 5:26   “This is the interpretation of the thing.  Mene -- God has numbered your kingdom and brings it to an end.”

תְּקֵל תְּקִילְתָּה בְמֹאזַנְיָא וְהִשְׁתְּכַחַתְּ חַסִּיר׃   5:27

Dani. 5:27   “Tekel -- you have been weighed on the balances, and have been found deficient.”

פְּרֵס פְּרִיסַת מַלְכוּתָךְ וִיהִיבַת לְמָדַי וּפָרָס׃   5:28

Dani. 5:28   “Peres -- your kingdom is divided and is given to the Medes and Persia.”

Peres is the singular form of pharsin.

בֵּאדַיִן אֲמַר בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר וְהַלְבִּישׁוּ לְדָנִיֵּאל אַרְגְּוָנָא (וְהַמֹּונְכָא) [וְהַמְנִיכָא] דִי־דַהֲבָא עַל־צַוְּארֵהּ   5:29

 וְהַכְרִזוּ עֲלֹוהִי דִּי־לֶהֱוֵא שַׁלִּיט תַּלְתָּא בְּמַלְכוּתָא׃

Dani. 5:29   Thereupon Belshazzar said, and they gave the clothes of purple to Daniel and the necklace of gold about his neck, and proclaimed concerning him that he was to be ruler in a third of the kingdom.

בֵּהּ בְּלֵילְיָא קְטִיל בֵּלְאשַׁצַּר מַלְכָּא (כַשְׂדָּיָא) [כַשְׂדָּאָה]׃   5:30

Dani. 5:30   In that night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was slain.

In so many of its aspects, this is a truly amazing tale.


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