Daniel 5.24-Daniel Informs Belshazzar That The Palm Of The Hand Was Sent From God So That The Inscription Was Written
Wenstrom Bible Ministries
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Wednesday January 23, 2013
Daniel: Daniel 5:24-Daniel Informs Belshazzar That The Palm Of The Hand Was Sent From God So That The Inscription Was Written
Lesson # 165
Please turn in your Bibles to Daniel 5:1.
Daniel 5:1 King Belshazzar threw an enormous banquet for a thousand of his nobles. He even drank wine excessively directly in front of the thousand. 2 Belshazzar issued an order while under the influence of the wine causing the gold and silver articles to be brought in which Nebuchadnezzar, his great-grandfather caused to be confiscated from the temple, which was in Jerusalem, in order that the king, his nobles as well as his wives and in addition his concubines could drink with them. 3 Therefore, the gold and silver articles were brought in, which were confiscated from the temple, which was God’s house, which was in Jerusalem so that the king, his nobles as well as his wives and in addition his concubines could drink with them. 4 They drank wine while they praised gods composed of gold as well as silver, bronze, iron, wood and in addition stone. 5 During this time, the fingers of a human hand appeared while writing on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, directly in front of the lampstand so that the king observed the palm of the hand which was writing. 6 Then the king, his countenance was changed for him. Also, his thoughts caused him to be terrified so that his hip joints gave way resulting in his knees knocking together, one against the other. 7 The king authoritatively shouted out an order for the purpose of causing the necromancers, astrologers as well as diviners to be brought in. He declared to the city of Babylon’s wise men, “Any person who can read aloud as well as can make known its interpretation to me will be clothed with a purple robe as well as a golden chain around his neck. Indeed, they will rule as third in the kingdom.” 8 Therefore, each and every one of the king’s wise men came in but they were totally unable to read or cause the interpretation to be made known to the king. 9 Thus causing the king to be extremely terrified so that his countenance was changed on him as well as causing his nobles to be perplexed. 10 The queen entered the banquet hall because of the king’s words as well as his nobles. The queen responded and said, “O king, live forever! Please, by no means let your thoughts cause you to be terrified so that they by no means cause your countenance to be changed! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who possesses God’s Holy Spirit in him. Specifically, during the days of your great-grandfather, illumination, discernment as well as wisdom in accordance with God’s wisdom were observed in him. Indeed, King Nebuchadnezzar, your great-grandfather, your great-grandfather the king, promoted him to be commander over the occult priests, necromancers, astrologers and diviners 12 because in him, in Daniel whom the king assigned him the name Belteshazzar, was found an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, discernment interpreting dreams, explaining riddles as well as solving difficult problems. Please summon Daniel right now in order to cause the interpretation to be known.” 13 Consequently, Daniel was ordered to enter the king’s presence. The king asked a question and said to Daniel, “Are you Daniel, who is one of the deported people from Judah whom my great-grandfather the king ordered to be brought from Judah? 14 Likewise I heard concerning you that God’s Spirit is in you so that illumination, discernment as well as extraordinary wisdom were observed in you. 15 Now at this time, the wise men, the necromancers were ordered to enter my presence in order that they could read aloud as well as to make known to me its interpretation. However, they were totally unable to cause the message’s interpretation to be made known to me. 16 But I myself personally heard concerning you that you are able to provide interpretations as well as solve difficult problems. Now, if you are able to read aloud the inscription as well as cause its interpretation to be made known to me, you will be clothed with a purple robe as well as a golden chain around you neck. Indeed, you will rule as third over the kingdom. 17 Then Daniel responded and said in the presence of the king, “Please, keep your gifts for yourself or please give your rewards for another. However, I will read aloud the inscription to the king as well as cause the interpretation to be made known to him. 18 As for you, O king, the Most High God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, your great-grandfather a kingdom, yes a great kingdom as well as honor, yes, great honor. 19 Indeed, because of this greatness, which He gave to him, each and every person belonging to the nations, ethnicities as well as language groups was in state of trembling, yes in a state of fear from being in the presence of him. He was characterized as putting to death whomever he desired whereas he was characterized as sparing whomever he desired. He was also characterized as promoting whomever he desired while on the other hand he was characterized as demoting whomever he desired. 20 However, when his mind was in a state of arrogance, namely, his attitude was obstinate so that he was proud, he was ordered to be removed from his royal throne so that honor was taken away from him. 21 Specifically, he was driven away from members of the human race. For his benefit, his mind was even transformed into the mind of a wild animal so that his dwelling place was among the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like cattle. Furthermore, his body was continually drenched with the dew from heaven until he acknowledged that the Most High God was the sovereign authority over mankind’s realm so that He can establish over it whomever He desires. 22 However, as for you, his great-grandson, you by no means humbled your heart even though you are well acquainted with all this. 23 Instead, you caused yourself to become arrogant against the Lord ruling the heavens. Specifically, the vessels which are from God’s house were brought into your presence. Consequently, you, yourself along with your nobles, your wives as well as your concubines drank wine excessively with them while you, praised the gods composed of silver as well as gold, bronze, iron, wood and in addition stone, which never see as well as never hear likewise, never communicate. Thus, you never honored the God who holds your life in His hand so that every one of your ways originates from Him.” (Author’s translation)
Daniel 5:24 “Then the hand was sent from Him and this inscription was written out.” (NASB95)
“Then” is composed of the preposition bĕ (בְּ) (beh), which is not translated and is followed by the temporal adverb ʾěḏǎ∙yin (אֱדַיִן) (ed-ah´-yin).
These two words function as a temporal coordinator and mean “then” since they shows consecutive events in the narrative.
Here they introduce a statement that tells the reader the next event that took place after the events recorded in Daniel 5:23.
In this verse, Daniel rebuked Belshazzar for causing himself to become arrogant against the Lord ruling the heavens.
Daniel then defines what he means that the king became arrogant against the Lord by stating that the king ordered the vessels which were from God’s house to be brought into his presence.
Consequently, he, along with his nobles, his wives as well as his concubines drank wine excessively with them while they, praised the gods composed of silver as well as gold, bronze, iron, wood and in addition stone, which never see as well as never hear likewise, never communicate.
Thus, Belshazzar never honored the God who holds his life in His hand so that every one of his ways originates from Him.
Now, in verse 24, bē ʾḏǎ·yin introduces another statement Daniel addressed to Belshazzar.
He tells the king that the palm of the hand was sent from God and this writing is inscribed.
Therefore, this temporal coordinator indicates to the reader that this was the next event that took place after the king and his nobles were getting drunk with wine with the vessels from Solomon’s temple while praising their gods.
“The hand” is composed of the masculine singular form of the noun pǎs (פַּס) (pas), which is not translated and is followed by the particle dî (דִּי) (dee), which is not translated and then we have the feminine singular form of the noun yǎḏ (יַד) (yad), “the hand.”
The noun pǎs means “palm” referring to the palm of the hand (LEB, NET).
The particle dî which follows this noun is a marker to show the genitive relationship between this word and the noun yǎḏ.
The relationship is possession meaning that this palm belongs to the unattached hand which appeared on one of the walls of the banquet hall to Belshazzar and his guests.
The noun yǎḏ is in the singular and means “hand” referring to the member of the body, which is the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in humans) as a grasping organ.
It again refers to the human hand which appeared to Belshazzar and his guests while they were partying and was writing as it appeared to them.
“Was sent” is the third person masculine singular peʿil (Hebrew: qal passive) participle form of the verb šelǎḥ (שְׁלַח) (shel-akh´), which means “to send” implying a particular purpose.
In context, Daniel says that the palm of the hand was sent to Belshazzar from God.
Therefore, this verb denotes that the God of Israel “sent out” or “dispatched” the palm of this hand to deliver a message to Belshazzar.
“From Him” is composed of the preposition min (מִן) (min), which is followed by the preposition qǒḏām (קֳדָם) (kod-awm´) and together they are translated “from” and then we have the third person masculine singular pronominal suffix hû(ʾ) (הוּא) (who), “Him.”
The third person masculine singular pronominal suffix hû(ʾ) means “Him” since it functions as a pronoun referring of course to the God of Israel, who is the Lord ruling the inhabitants of the first, second and third heavens.
It is the object of the prepositions min, which is a marker of source and qǒḏām, which means “in the presence of.”
Together, they denote out from the presence of with emphasis on the source or origination of something.
Here they denote that the palm of the hand which appeared to Belshazzar and his guests “originated from the presence of God.”
“And this inscription was written out” presents the result of the previous statement that the palm of the hand which appeared to Belshazzar and his guests was sent directly from the presence of God.
“This inscription” is composed of the masculine singular noun keṯāḇ (כְּתָב) (keth-awb´), “the inscription” which is modified by the demonstrative pronoun denā(h) (דְּנָה) (dane-awe), “this.”
The noun keṯāḇ means “writing” or “inscription” referring to the symbols or letters inscribed on the wall behind the lampstand in the banquet room where Belshazzar threw an enormous banquet for his nobles.
The demonstrative pronoun denā(h) means “this” and is anaphoric meaning that the word is pointing to the noun keṯāḇ indicating that Daniel was pointing to the inscription as he was communicating this to Belshazzar.
“Was written out” is the third person masculine singular peʿil (Hebrew: qal passive) participle form of the verb rešǎm (רְשַׁם) (resh-am´), which means “to write” referring to the action of the palm of the hand producing the inscription on the wall, which was a message that originated directly from the presence of God.
Daniel 5:24 “Then, the palm of the hand was sent from Him so that this inscription was written.” (My translation)
Daniel makes Belshazzar aware of the origin of the unattached hand which appeared on the wall lit by the golden lampstand.
The hand Daniel informs the king was sent directly from the presence of the God who he had insulted by getting drunk with wine with the vessels from His temple in Jerusalem and committing idolatry by praising the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.
This would make clear to the king that the message on the wall was one of judgment and that he was being held accountable by God for his sinful actions since Daniel has told the king that the inscription is from the God who he had insulted by his actions.
The king knows now that the inscription was the direct result of his misusing the articles from God’s temple in Jerusalem as well as he and his guests praising their lifeless gods composed of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.
God had come to break up the party and He was not happy with Belshazzar.
He was intervening in the life of the king and his nobles, wives and concubines and the people of the city of Babylon.
This is called in theology, the “immanency” of God.
Belshazzar was learning what his great-grandfather Nebuchadnezzar learned, namely that God involves Himself in and concerns Himself with and intervenes in the lives of members of the human race, both saved and unsaved.
The appearance of this hand and the message it was writing for the king demonstrated to the king and everyone in the banquet hall that the God of Israel, whose cups they were drinking with and who they insulted by committing idolatry, was intervening in the life of the king and those who were his guests.
Belshazzar was going to learn that he was accountable to the God of Israel and was sovereign over the king.
As was the case with Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar is also learning that the God of Israel was sovereign over him.
As applied to God, the term “sovereignty” indicates His complete power over all of creation, so that He exercises His will absolutely, without any necessary conditioning by a finite will or wills.
Therefore, God, from His innate dignity, exercises supreme power over the nations of the earth, with no area of planet earth outside His jurisdiction.
God’s exercises His will absolutely over the nations of the earth.
The inscription is a message of judgment from God according to Daniel’s interpretation in Daniel 5:25-28.
Belshazzar is being taught by Daniel that the Most High God is his judge and does execute judgments against those who violate His laws (Psalm 75:7; cf. Psalm 50:6; 76:8-9; Ecclesiastes 11:9; Isaiah 33:22; 66:16; 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 12:23; James 4:12).