Daniel 5:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then Daniel answered the king, "You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.

New Living Translation
Daniel answered the king, "Keep your gifts or give them to someone else, but I will tell you what the writing means.

English Standard Version
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.

New American Standard Bible
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him.

King James Bible
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Daniel answered the king, "You may keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription for the king and make the interpretation known to him.

International Standard Version
At this, Daniel answered, speaking directly to the king, "Let your gifts and rewards be given to someone else. However, I'll read the writing for the king and tell him its meaning.

NET Bible
But Daniel replied to the king, "Keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else! However, I will read the writing for the king and make known its interpretation.

New Heart English Bible
Then Daniel answered before the king, "Keep your gifts for yourself, and give your rewards to another;. Nevertheless I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Daniel told the king, "Keep your gifts. Give your gifts and awards to someone else. I'll still read the writing for you and tell you its meaning.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then Daniel answered and said before the king: 'Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

New American Standard 1977
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Keep your gifts for yourself, or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be for thyself and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king and show him the interpretation.

King James 2000 Bible
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

American King James Version
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

American Standard Version
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To which Daniel made answer, and said before the king: Thy rewards be to thyself, and the gifts of thy house give to another: but the writing I will read to thee, O king, and shew thee the interpretation thereof.

Darby Bible Translation
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet will I read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

English Revised Version
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

World English Bible
Then Daniel answered before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Young's Literal Translation
Then hath Daniel answered and said before the king, 'Thy gifts be to thyself, and thy fee to another give; nevertheless, the writing I do read to the king, and the interpretation I cause him to know;
Study Bible
Daniel Interprets the Handwriting
16"But I personally have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read the inscription and make its interpretation known to me, you will be clothed with purple and wear a necklace of gold around your neck, and you will have authority as the third ruler in the kingdom." 17Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him. 18"O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, glory and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father.…
Cross References
Acts 8:20
But Peter replied, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!

2 Kings 5:16
But he said, "As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will take nothing." And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
Treasury of Scripture

Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Let. Daniel, on this occasion, behaved in a very different manner to Belshazzar, than he had formerly done to Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar had that very night insulted the God of heaven in the most daring manner; and the venerable prophet, as His delegate, denounced sentence against him.

Daniel 5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, …

Genesis 14:23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that …

2 Kings 3:13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? …

2 Kings 5:16,26 But he said, As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive …

Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you have …

rewards. or, fee.

Daniel 2:6 But if you show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, you shall …

I will read.

Psalm 119:46 I will speak of your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

(17) Let thy gifts be to thyself.--Daniel refused the king's offer of reward at first, but afterwards accepted it. In this way he showed his determination to speak the truth without any respect to fee, gift, or reward. (Comp. the conduct of Elisha, 2Kings 5:16; 2Kings 8:9.)

Verses 17-23. - Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: and for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humblet thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, hays drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified. We have gathered these verses together, as they all relate to one matter and come under one con-detonation. Long ago yon Lengerke, and more recently Hitzig, have shown that such an insulting speech as Daniel addressed to Belshazzar would certainly be visited with punishment. The king had no guarantee that the promised interpretation of the writing on the wall would be true, especially when the interpreter had such an animus against him. Then the fact in the twenty-ninth verse, that Daniel received the gifts he had rejected, makes his conduct here all the more extraordinary. A writer of fiction, of even moderate skill, would not make the blunder here made. It could easily be made by a falsarius interpolating a speech he thought suitable to a Jewish prophet in the presence of a heathen king, who had dishonoured the sacred vessels by drinking wine in them himself, and his wives, and his concubines. It is to be noted that the princes are omitted from the enumeration here. In proof that our contention is correct, we find the mass of this entirely omitted from the Septuagint. There are signs of confusion, and coalescence of different readings in the text of the Septuagint, yet we have no hesitation in claiming that it represents a much earlier state of the text than we find in our Hebrew Bibles, "Then Daniel stood before the writing, and read, and thus answered the king: This is the writing: It hath been numbered; it was reckoned; it has been removed." The marginal reading which we find in the beginning of this chapter has, Mane, Phares, Thekel. The interpretation here follows a different succession, "And the hand which wrote stood" - a phrase that seems to be a mistaken rendering of the latter clause of the twenty-fourth verse as we find it in the Massoretic text. It seems difficult to imagine what Aramaic word has been translated ἔστη. Paulus Tel-lensis has (קמת, q'math), which may have been mistaken for sheliach, though it is not easy to see how. The clause is, at all events, misplaced. The following clause also is misplaced, and is a doublet of the first clause of the twenty-sixth verse. The twenty-third verse seems to be the nucleus of the speech ascribed to Daniel, "O king, thou madest a feast to thy friends, and thou drankest wine, and the vessels of the house of the living God were brought, and ye drank in them, thou and thy nobles, and praised all the idols made with the bands of men, and the living God ye did not bless, and thy breath is in his hand, and he gave thee thy kingdom, and thou didst not bless him, neither praise him." The wives and concubines are not mentioned here. There is no word of the madness of Nebuchadnezzar. Although from the disturbed state of the text in the immediate neighbourhood one is inclined to suspect the authenticity of this twenty-third verse, given in the LXX., yet there is nothing that contradicts the position created by the two early decrees of Nebuchadnezzar, which placed Jehovah the God of the Jews on a par with the great gods of Babylon to whom, though no worship was decreed, at all events no dishonour was to be done. Belshazzar is not so much blamed for praising the gods of wood and stone as for omitting to praise Jehovah. Belshazzar had dishonoured Jehovah, and therefore this ominous message had come forth. The first clause here seems the primitive text. What was more natural than that Daniel, coming into the presence of the king, should go and stand before the mysterious writing, and then, having read it himself, turn to the king and address him? The words of the Massoretic and of the text behind the Septuagint differ very considerably, but not so much but that the former may have grown out of the latter by expansion, and the insertion of paraphrastic additions. A peculiarity to be observed in the Massoretic text (ver. 17) is לְהֵוְיָן (lehayvyan), the third plural imperfect of היא, "to be." It is difficult to understand this form of the third person, save on the supposition that Daniel was written in a region where ל was the preformative. This preformative along with נ was used in Babylon so late as the period of the Babylonian Talmud. Theodotion and the Peshitta practically agree with the Massoretic text. Even when we omit all the insulting elements, we have Daniel's speech to Belshazzar as we find it in the Massoretic text; no reader can fail to notice the difference of Daniel's demeanour towards Belshazzar as narrated here, from that towards Nebuchadnezzar as narrated in the preceding chapter. When he learns the disaster that impends on the destroyer of his city and the conqueror of his nation, Daniel is astonied and silent, and bursts out from his silence, "The dream be upon thine enemies, and the interpretation thereof upon them that hate thee." He shows no sign of sorrow when he learns the fate impending on Belshazzar. We can understand this, if we regard Daniel's love for the splendid conqueror making him feel the blood of his murdered descendants, Evil-Merodach and Labasi-Marduk called for vengeance. So far as we can make out from external history, Belshazzar was a gallant young prince, who seemed to be able to maintain himself against Cyrus, while his father lived in retirement in Tema; but the judgment of God often falls on those who are not worse than their predecessors, only guilt has accumulated and ripened. Louis XVI. was not worse than, but really greatly superior to, his two immediate predecessors, yet on him, not on them, broke the vengeance of the French Revolution. There probably was, as said above under ver. 2, a special defiance of Jehovah, which therefore merited special punishment. Then Daniel answered and said before the king,.... With great freedom, boldness, and intrepidity:

let thy gifts be to thyself; remain with thee; I neither want them, nor desire them; nor will I receive them on condition of reading and interpreting the writing:

and give thy rewards to another; which he had promised to those that could read and interpret the handwriting on the wall; even to be clothed with scarlet, have a golden chain, and be the third ruler in the kingdom. It may be rendered, "or give thy rewards to another" (s); either keep them thyself, or give them to whomsoever thou pleasest: should it be asked, why Daniel refused gifts now, when he received them from Nebuchadnezzar? it may be answered, he was then young, and wanted them, and could make use of them for the benefit of his countrymen, but now was old, and needed them not; besides, he knew then that the captivity would continue long, but that it was now just at an end, and the monarchy coming into other hands, when these gifts and rewards would be of little use; as also this king was a very wicked one, worse than his grandfather, and he did not choose to receive from him; and especially since the interpretation of the writing would be bad news to him; as well as to let him know that he did not do these things for fee and reward, but for the glory of God; and that as he had freely received such knowledge, he freely communicated it: and therefore adds,

yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation; in reverence of him as a king, and in subjection to him, and to satisfy him in this matter; for he refused his gifts, not from pride and vanity, and a supercilious contempt of the king and his affairs; nor as being doubtful of success in reading and interpreting the writing; which he well knew he was able to do, and therefore promises it.

(s) "tua tibi dona et munera habeto: aut in alios conferto": Castalio. 17. Not inconsistent with Da 5:29. For here he declares his interpretation of the words is not from the desire of reward. The honors in Da 5:29 were doubtless urged on him, without his wish, in such a way that he could not with propriety refuse them. Had he refused them after announcing the doom of the kingdom, he might have been suspected of cowardice or treason.5:10-17 Daniel was forgotten at court; he lived privately, and was then ninety years of age. Many consult servants of God on curious questions, or to explain difficult subjects, but without asking the way of salvation, or the path of duty. Daniel slighted the offer of reward. He spoke to Belshazzar as to a condemned criminal. We should despise all the gifts and rewards this world can give, did we see, as we may by faith, its end hastening on; but let us do our duty in the world, and do it all the real service we can.
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