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Daniel 5:11-16

Context
5:11 There is a man in your kingdom who has within him a spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, he proved to have 1  insight, discernment, and wisdom like that 2  of the gods. 3  King Nebuchadnezzar your father appointed him chief of the magicians, astrologers, wise men, and diviners. 4  5:12 Thus there was found in this man Daniel, whom the king renamed Belteshazzar, an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, and skill to interpret 5  dreams, solve riddles, and decipher knotty problems. 6  Now summon 7  Daniel, and he will disclose the interpretation.”

5:13 So Daniel was brought in before the king. The king said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives of Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 5:14 I have heard about you, how there is a spirit of the gods in you, and how you have 8  insight, discernment, and extraordinary wisdom. 5:15 Now the wise men and 9  astrologers were brought before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation. But they were unable to disclose the interpretation of the message. 5:16 However, I have heard 10  that you are able to provide interpretations and to decipher knotty problems. Now if you are able to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, you will wear purple and have a golden collar around your neck and be third 11  ruler in the kingdom.”

1 tn Aram “[there were] discovered to be in him.”

2 tn Aram “wisdom like the wisdom.” This would be redundant in terms of English style.

3 tc Theodotion lacks the phrase “and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods.”

4 tc The MT includes a redundant reference to “your father the king” at the end of v. 11. None of the attempts to explain this phrase as original are very convincing. The present translation deletes the phrase, following Theodotion and the Syriac.

5 tc The translation reads מִפְשַׁר (mifshar) rather than the MT מְפַשַּׁר (mÿfashar) and later in the verse reads וּמִשְׁרֵא (mishre’) rather than the MT וּמְשָׁרֵא (mÿshare’). The Masoretes have understood these Aramaic forms to be participles, but they are more likely to be vocalized as infinitives. As such, they have an epexegetical function in the syntax of their clause.

6 tn Aram “to loose knots.”

7 tn Aram “let [Daniel] be summoned.”

8 tn Aram “there has been found in you.”

9 tn The Aramaic text does not have “and.” The term “astrologers” is either an appositive for “wise men” (cf. KJV, NKJV, ASV, RSV, NRSV), or the construction is to be understood as asyndetic (so the translation above).

10 tn The Aramaic text has also the words “about you.”

11 tn Or perhaps “one of three rulers,” in the sense of becoming part of a triumvir. So also v. 29.



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