5:20 And when his mind 1 became arrogant 2 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 3 was changed to that of an animal, he lived 4 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 5 Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, 6 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 7 that cannot see or hear or comprehend! But you have not glorified the God who has in his control 8 your very breath and all your ways! 5:24 Therefore the palm of a hand was sent from him, and this writing was inscribed.
5:25 “This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, 9 TEQEL, and PHARSIN. 10 5:26 This is the interpretation of the words: 11 As for mene 12 – 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 13 – your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”
5:29 Then, on Belshazzar’s orders, 14 Daniel was clothed in purple, a golden collar was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed third ruler in the kingdom. 5:30 And in that very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, 15 was killed. 16
1 tn Aram “heart.”
2 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.
3 tn Aram “heart.”
4 tn Aram “his dwelling.”
5 tn Or “descendant”; or “successor.”
6 tn Aram “your heart.”
7 tn Aram “which.”
8 tn Aram “in whose hand [are].”
9 tc The Greek version of Theodotion lacks the repetition of מְנֵא (mÿne’, cf. NAB).
10 tc The Aramaic word is plural. Theodotion has the singular (cf. NAB “
11 tn Or “word” or “event.” See HALOT 1915 s.v. מִלָּה.
12 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.”
14 tn Aram “Belshazzar spoke.”
15 tn Aram “king of the Chaldeans.”
16 sn The year was 539