|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:18-31 Daniel reads Belshazzar's doom. He had not taken warning by the judgments upon Nebuchadnezzar. And he had insulted God. Sinners are pleased with gods that neither see, nor hear, nor know; but they will be judged by One to whom all things are open. Daniel reads the sentence written on the wall. All this may well be applied to the doom of every sinner. At death, the sinner's days are numbered and finished; after death is the judgment, when he will be weighed in the balance, and found wanting; and after judgment the sinner will be cut asunder, and given as a prey to the devil and his angels. While these things were passing in the palace, it is considered that the army of Cyrus entered the city; and when Belshazzar was slain, a general submission followed. Soon will every impenitent sinner find the writing of God's word brought to pass upon him, whether he is weighed in the balance of the law as a self-righteous Pharisee, or in that of the gospel as a painted hypocrite.
Verse 24. - Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. As we have seen, the real equivalent of this verse in the Septuagint is a clause in ver. 17, "And the hand which had written (γράφασα) stood." If we take this to mean that the band now "ceased to write," then the original text might be פְסִאָק יָדִא כְתָבָא, the verb being written fleaum, in Mandaean manner. Then it would easily happen that ק (in the older script and ) was resolved into ד (in the older script and ). In support of this, it may be observed that while in the fifth verse the older construction of construct state and status emphalicus is used to exhibit the genitival connection, in the present case the relative די is used as a sign of the genitive. Starting with this, it is easy to see how the Massoretic text arose; but, on the other hand, it is difficult to see the sense of the reading of the Septuagint, unless this fiery hand is to be imagined as tracing and retracing the characters on the wall of the palace, and that the hand only ceased when Daniel stood before the inscription to read. Thec-dotion differs very little from the Massoretic text, and the Peshitta coincides with it. The word for "writing," רְשִׁים (resheem), is really "engraving," and therefore peculiarly descriptive of the Assyrian mode of impressing on clay tablets or incising in stone the thing to be preserved.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then was the part of the hand sent from him,.... That is, from God: being thus reproached and blasphemed, at that very instant, and for that reason, because the vessels of his sanctuary were profaned, and idol gods were praised, and he despised; he caused part of a hand, the writing fingers of it, to appear on the wall of the king's palace:
and this writing was written; which was then upon the wall, and he points to it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. Then—When thou liftedst up thyself against the Lord.
the part of the hand—the fore part, the fingers.
was … sent from him—that is, from God.
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