5:18 As for you, O king, the most high God bestowed on your father Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, greatness, honor, and majesty. 1 5:19 Due to the greatness that he bestowed on him, all peoples, nations, and language groups were trembling with fear 2 before him. He killed whom he wished, he spared 3 whom he wished, he exalted whom he wished, and he brought low whom he wished.
5:26 This is the interpretation of the words: 4 As for mene 5 – God has numbered your kingdom’s days and brought it to an end. 5:27 As for teqel – you are weighed on the balances and found to be lacking. 5:28 As for peres 6 – your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”
1 tn Or “royal greatness and majestic honor,” if the four terms are understood as a double hendiadys.
2 tn Aram “were trembling and fearing.” This can be treated as a hendiadys, “were trembling with fear.”
3 tn Aram “let live.” This Aramaic form is the aphel participle of חַיָה(khayah, “to live”). Theodotion and the Vulgate mistakenly take the form to be from מְחָא (mÿkha’, “to smite”).
4 tn Or “word” or “event.” See HALOT 1915 s.v. מִלָּה.
5 tn The Aramaic term מְנֵא (mÿne’) is a noun referring to a measure of weight. The linkage here to the verb “to number” (Aram. מְנָה, mÿnah) is a case of paronomasia rather than strict etymology. So also with תְּקֵל (tÿqel) and פַרְסִין (farsin). In the latter case there is an obvious wordplay with the name “Persian.”