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. 5:20 And when his mind 4 became arrogant 5 and his spirit filled with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and his honor was removed from him. 5:21 He was driven from human society, his mind 6 was changed to that of an animal, he lived 7 with the wild donkeys, he was fed grass like oxen, and his body became damp with the dew of the sky, until he came to understand that the most high God rules over human kingdoms, and he appoints over them whomever he wishes.
5:22 “But you, his son 8 Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, 9 although you knew all this. 5:23 Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. You brought before you the vessels from his temple, and you and your nobles, together with your wives and concubines, drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone – gods 10 that cannot see or hear or comprehend! But you have not glorified the God who has in his control 11 your very breath and all your ways!
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 Aram “heart.”
5 sn The point of describing Nebuchadnezzar as arrogant is that he had usurped divine prerogatives, and because of his immense arrogance God had dealt decisively with him.
6 tn Aram “heart.”
7 tn Aram “his dwelling.”
8 tn Or “descendant”; or “successor.”
9 tn Aram “your heart.”
10 tn Aram “which.”
11 tn Aram “in whose hand [are].”