2007-03-18 - Daniel 5
Installment 43 ~ God's Graffiti
Verses 5-9: Belshazzar was about to learn very quickly that it wasn't a good idea to mess with God. Immediately God steps onto the scene. Sometimes I joke that I don't want to do such and such unless God engraves it on stone and then drops it on my head. Well, here God literally writes it on the wall. And this isn't a private image sent in a dream. This time, God acts in front of the whole crowd. Rumor had it that the local Babylonian chapter of AA had to find a larger meeting space after this.
Meanwhile, it's back to the usual response. Belshazzar sent out a request for all the "wise men" to translate the words on the wall. And, as usual, no one is able to do so. The result is a growing fear in the king and the people in general. Fortunately, there's someone who is thinking rather than reacting.
Verses 10-12: The queen, overhearing the chaos in the hall, comes rushing in, and tries to calm the king down. Dr. McGee notes:
"The "queen" here is the queen mother, the wife of Nebuchadnezzar." 6
The queen gives Belshazzar a quick history lesson, and tells him about Daniel. She uses the same verbiage as we heard from Nebuchadnezzar. She describes Daniel as one who has the spirit of the gods in him. So Daniel is believed to be powerful by being connected with the hierarchy of the gods.
We are also told Daniel's position was one of authority over the whole group who made up the wise men of Babylon. He was in this position because of his wisdom and his ability. Daniel could translate dreams, and therefore, he could probably translate the words on the wall.
6 McGee, p. 559.