Daniel 1:5
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
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(5) A daily portion.—(Comp. Jeremiah 52:34.) The meat was solid food, as opposed to the wine and vegetables which formed so important a part of Babylonian diet. The food appears to have been sent from the king’s table.

Three years.—The king appears to have had sufficient insight into the extraordinary character of these youths, to enable him to prescribe not only the subjects of their studies, but also the length of their course of instruction. It appears that Nebuchadnezzar was a man of far higher character than many Assyrian and Babylonian kings. We shall see, in the course of the boot, that his heart was fitted for the reception of Divine truth, and that in the end he was brought to know the true God.

Daniel 1:5. The king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat — Such as he had at his own table; wherein his humanity and bounty appeared toward them the more conspicuous, they being captives. So nourishing them, &c. — The Vulgate renders it, Ut enutriti, &c.; that, being nourished three years, they might afterward stand in the presence of the king. It seems from what is here said, that the Chaldeans entertained a notion that a diet of the best sort contributed both to the beauty of the body and the improvement of the mind.

1:1-7 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, took Jerusalem, and carried whom and what he pleased away. From this first captivity, most think the seventy years are to be dated. It is the interest of princes to employ wise men; and it is their wisdom to find out and train up such. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that these chosen youths should be taught. All their Hebrew names had something of God in them; but to make them forget the God of their fathers, the Guide of their youth, the heathen gave them names that savoured of idolatry. It is painful to reflect how often public education tends to corrupt the principles and morals.And the king appointed them - Calvin supposes that this arrangement was resorted to in order to render them effeminate, and, by a course of luxurious living, to induce them gradually to forget their own country, and that with the same view their names were changed. But there is no evidence that this was the object. The purpose was manifestly to train them in the manner in which it was supposed they would be best fitted, in bodily health, in personal beauty, and in intellectual attainments, to appear at court; and it was presumed that the best style of living which the realm furnished would conduce to this end. That the design was not to make them effeminate, is apparent from Daniel 1:15.

A daily provision - Hebrew, "The thing of a day in his day;" that is, he assigned to them each day a portion of what had been prepared for the royal meal. It was not a permanent provision, but one which was made each day. The word rendered "provision" - פת path - means a bit, "crumb," "morsel," Genesis 18:5; Judges 19:5; Psalm 147:17.

Of the king's meat - The word "meat" here means "food," as it does uniformly in the Bible, the Old English word having this signification when the translation was made, and not being limited then, as it is now, to animal food. The word in the original - בג bag - is of Persian origin, meaning "food." The two words are frequently compounded - פתבג pathebag Daniel 1:5, Daniel 1:8, Daniel 1:13, Daniel 1:15-16; Daniel 11:26; and the compound means delicate food, dainties; literally, food of the father, i. e., the king; or, according to Lorsbach, in Archiv. f. "Morgenl." Litt. II., 313, food for idols, or the gods; - in either case denoting delicate food; luxurious living. - Gesenius, "Lex."

And of the wine which he drank - Margin, "of his drink." Such wine as the king was accustomed to drink. It may be presumed that this was the best kind of wine. From anything that appears, this was furnished to them in abundance; and with the leisure which they had, they could hardly be thrown into stronger temptation to excessive indulgence.

So nourishing them three years - As long as was supposed to be necessary in order to develop their physical beauty and strength, and to make them well acquainted with the language and learning of the Chaldeans. The object was to prepare them to give as much dignity and ornament to the court as possible.

That at the end thereof they might stand before the king - Notes, Daniel 1:4. On the arrangements made to bring forward these youths, the editor of the "Pictorial Bible" makes the following remarks, showing the correspondence between these arrangements and what usually occurs in the East: "There is not a single intimation which may not be illustrated from the customs of the Turkish seraglio until some alterations were made in this, as in other matters, by the present sultan (Mahmoud). The pages of the seraglio, and officers of the court, as well as the greater part of the public functionaries and governors of provinces, were originally Christian boys, taken captive in war, or bought or stolen in time of peace. The finest and most capable of these were sent to the palace, and, if accepted, were placed under the charge of the chief of the white eunuchs. The lads did not themselves become eunuchs; which we notice, because it has been erroneously inferred, that Daniel and the other Hebrew youths "must" have been made eunuchs, "because" they were committed to the care of the chief eunuch.

The accepted lads were brought up in the religion of their masters; and there were schools in the palace where they received such complete instruction in Turkish learning and science as it was the lot of few others to obtain. Among their accomplishments we find it mentioned, that the greatest pains were taken to teach them to speak the Turkish language (a foreign one to them) with the greatest purity, as spoken at court. Compare this with "Teach them the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans." The lads were clothed very neatly, and well, but temperately dieted. They slept in large chambers, where there were rows of beds. Every one slept separately; and between every third or fourth bed lay a white eunuch, who served as a sort of guard, and was bound to keep a careful eye upon the lads near him, and report his observations to his superior. When any of them arrived at a proper age, they were instructed in military exercises, and pains taken to make them active, robust, and brave.

Every one, also, according to the custom of the country, was taught some mechanical or liberal art, to serve him as a resource in adversity. When their education was completed in all its branches, those who had displayed the most capacity and valor were employed about the person of the king, and the rest given to the service of the treasury, and the other offices of the extensive establishment to which they belonged. In due time the more talented or successful young men got promoted to the various high court offices which gave them access to the private apartments of the seraglio, so that they at almost any time could see and speak to their great master. This advantage soon paved the way for their promotion to the government of provinces, and to military commands; and it has often happened that favorite court officers have stepped at once into the post of grand vizier, or chief minister, and other high offices of state, without having previously been abroad in the world as pashas and military commanders. How well this agrees to, and illustrates the usage of the Babylonian court, will clearly appear to the reader without particular indication. See Habesci's "Ottoman Empire;" Tavernier's "Relation de l'Interieur du Srail du Grand Seigneur."

5. king's meat—It is usual for an Eastern king to entertain, from the food of his table, many retainers and royal captives (Jer 52:33, 34). The Hebrew for "meat" implies delicacies.

stand before the king—as attendant courtiers; not as eunuchs.

Of the king’s meat; such as he had at his own table, wherein his bounty and humanity appeared towards them the more conspicuous, they being captives. By this preparation they were judged fit to stand before the king. Men of ingenuity and proficiency are fit to stand before kings, Proverbs 22:29.

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat,.... Every day a portion was ordered them, from the king's table, of the richest dainties he himself ate of; which was done not only as an act of royal munificence and generosity, and in respect of their birth and breeding; but also as a bait and snare to allure and entice them, to make them in love with the country and condition in which they were, and to forget their own; as well also in order to preserve their well favoured look and good complexion, and fit them for their study of language and literature; which might be hindered for want of the necessaries of life, or by living on gross and coarse food:

and of the wine which he drank; which, as it was of various sorts, so of the best and most excellent; and which, moderately drank, conduces to the health of the body, and cheerfulness of the mind; and which are both useful to forward learned studies:

so nourishing them three years; this was the time fixed for their acquiring the learning and language of the Chaldeans; during which they were to be provided for from the king's table, and at his expense, as above; which term of time was judged sufficient for their learning everything necessary to qualify them for the king's service; and in which time it might be thought they would forget their own country, customs, religion, and language, and be inured to the place and persons where they were, and be satisfied and easy with their condition and circumstances:

that at the end thereof they might stand before the king; that is, at the end of three years they might be presented to the king for his examination and approbation, and be appointed to what service he should think fit; and particularly that they might be in his court, and minister to him in what post it should be his pleasure to place them. Some in Aben Ezra, and which he himself inclines to, read and interpret it, "that some of them might stand before the king"; such as he should choose out of them, that were most accomplished and most fit for his service; so Jacchiades.

And the king appointed them a {h} daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them {i} three years, that at the end thereof they might stand {k} before the king.

(h) That by their good entertainment they might learn to forget the mediocrity of their own people.

(i) With the intent that in this time they might learn both the manners of the Chaldeans, and also their language.

(k) As well as to serve at the table as in other offices.

5. a daily portion of the king’s delicacies] Superior food, such as was served at the table of the king himself, was to be provided for the selected youths. It was a compliment to send anyone a portion of food from the table of a king or great man (Genesis 43:34, in Egypt; 2 Samuel 11:8, in Israel: 2 Kings 25:30, in Babylon, may be similar); and at least in Persia the principal attendants of the king, especially his military ones, seem to have had their provision from the royal table (Plut. Quaest. Conv. VII. iv. 5; Athen. iv. 26, p. 145 e, f.). The word rendered ‘delicacies’ (pathbâg) is a peculiar one, found in the O.T. only in Dan.: it is of Persian origin, and passed (like many other Persian words) into Syriac (Payne Smit[180] Thes. Syr. col. 3086 f.), as well as into late Hebrew. The Persian original would be patibâga, ‘offering,’ ‘tribute’ (from pati, Sanskr. prati, Greek ποτί, προτί, to, and bâg, tribute, Sk. bhâga, portion). The Sansk. pratibhâga actually occurs, and means ‘a share of small articles, as fruit, flowers, &c., paid daily to the Rája for household expenditure[181].’ The Pers. patibâga originally, no doubt, denoted similarly choice food offered to the king[182], though in Heb. and Syriac pathbâg was used more widely of choice food, or delicacies, in general. The word recurs in Daniel 1:8; Daniel 1:13; Daniel 1:15-16, Daniel 9:26.

[180] yne Smith R. Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus.

[181] Gildemeister, as quoted by Max Müller, ap. Pusey, p. 565.

[182] Dinon in his Persica, writing c. 340 b.c., says (ap. Athen. xi. 503) that ποτίβαζις (which must be the same word) denoted a repast of cakes and wine, such as was prepared for the kings of Persia (ἔστι δὲ ποτίβαζις ἅρτος κρίθινος καὶ πύρινος ὀπτὸς καὶ κυπαρίσσου στέφανος καὶ οἶνος κεκραμένος ἐν ᾠῷ χρυσῷ οὗ αὐ αὐτὸς βασιλεὺς πίνει).

and that they should be nourished] or brought up: lit. made great: so Isaiah 1:2; Isaiah 23:4 al.

stand before the king] as his attendants, to wait upon him: Deuteronomy 1:38; 1 Kings 10:8; 1 Kings 12:8.

Verse 5. - And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. The only thing to be noticed in the LXX. Version of this verse is the fact that מָנָה is taken to mean "give a portion" - a meaning which seems to be implied in מָנות (Nehemiah 8:10), hence the translation δίδοσθαι... ἐκθέσιν. Further, the translator must have had חַמּ מֵ אֵת as in 2 Kings 25:29. The mysterious פַּת־בַג (path-bag), translated "meat," has caused differences of rendering. The Syriac Peshitta transfers it. Professor Bevan speaks as if it were common in Syriac, but Castell gives no reference beyond Daniel. (Brockei-mann adds, Ephrem Syrus, Isaac Antiochenus, Bar Hebraeus). It is to be observed that the Syriac form of the word has teth, not tan, for the second radical. This is a change that would not likely take place had the Hebrew form been the original, whereas from the fact that path means in Hebrew "a portion," if the Hebrew were derived from the Syriac the change would be intelligible. It is confounded in Daniel 11:26 with פָתוּרָא (pathura), "a table." It seems not improbable that both the LXX. and Theodotion read pathura. The word path-bag does not seem to have been known in Palestine; it does not occur in Chaldee, but does in Syriac. This is intelligible if the chapter before us is condensation from a Syriac original rendered into Hebrew: the word path-bag, being unintelligible, is transferred. The etymology of the word is alleged to be Persian, but on this assumption it is a matter of dispute what that etymology is. One derivation is from pad or fad, "father" or "prince," or pat or fat, idol,' and bag (φαγῶ), food; another is from pati-bhagu, "a portion." The question is complicated by the fact that in Ezekiel 25:7 we have in the K'tbib בַג (bag), meaning "food." In that case path-bag would mean "a portion of food." The reading of the K'thib is not supported by the versions. In Daniel the word simply means "food," such as was supplied to the king's table. We see in the slabs from the palace of Kou-youn-jik the nature of a royal feast. Animal food predominated. We cannot avoid referring to a singular argumentative axiom implied in all the discussions on Daniel. Critics seem to think that when they prove that certain words in Daniel are Persian, they thus prove Daniel was written nearly a couple of centuries after the Persian domination had disappeared. Of the wine which he drank. It is to be noted that there is a restriction. The wine supplied was the wine which the king drank - wine of which an oblation had been offered to idols. In thus bringing up hostages at his own table, Nebuchadnezzar was following a practice which has continued down to our own day. The son of Theodore of Magdala was brought up at the court of our queen. It was the regular practice, as we know, in Imperial Rome. Sennacherib speaks of Belibus, whom he made deputy-king in Babylon, as brought up "as a little dog at his table" (Bellino Cylinder, Sehrader, vol. 2. p. 32, Engl, trans.). So nourishing them three years. This was the period during which the education of a Persian youth was continued. It is probable, as we have seen, that these youths were about sixteen or seventeen. At the end of three years they would still be very young. The grammatical connection of the word legaddelam is somewhat singular. The Septuagint reading probably had the first word in this verse in the infinitive also. This is more grammatical, as it brings the whole under the regimen of the opening clause of ver. 3. The force of the word before us is represented in "bringing up." The verb in its simple form means "to be strong," "to be great," hence in the intensive form before us, "to make great," "to bring up." That at the end thereof they might stand before the king. "Standing before the king" means usually becoming members of the council of the monarch, but in the present instance this does not seem to be the meaning. They were to be presented before the king, and in his presence they were to be examined. They were, then, possibly to be admitted into the college of astrologers and soothsayers, but only in lowly grade. Irrespective of the fact that they would at the latest be twenty or twenty-one when this season of education was over, an(t, even making all allowance for Eastern precocity, this is too young an age for being a member of a royal privy council. But the next chapter relates an event which appears to be the occasion when they stood before the king, for they were not summoned with the wise men to the king's presence to interpret his dream. Daniel 1:5משׂכּיל, skilful, intelligent in all wisdom, i.e., in the subjects of Chaldean wisdom (cf. Daniel 1:17), is to be understood of the ability to apply themselves to the study of wisdom. In like manner the other mental requisites here mentioned are to be understood. דעת ידעי, having knowledge, showing understanding; מדּע מביני, possessing a faculty for knowledge, a strength of judgment. בּהם כּוח ואשׁר, in whom was strength, i.e., who had the fitness in bodily and mental endowments appropriately to stand in the palace of the king, and as servants to attend to his commands. וּללמּדם (to teach them) is co-ordinate with להביא (to bring) in Daniel 1:3, and depends on ויּאמר (and he spake). For this service they must be instructed and trained in the learning and language of the Chaldeans. ספר refers to the Chaldee literature, and in Daniel 1:17 כּל־ספר, and לשׁון to conversation or the power of speaking in that language. כּשׂדּים, Chaldeans, is the name usually given (1) to the inhabitants of the Babylonian kingdom founded by Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar, and (2) in a more restricted sense to the first class of the Babylonish priests and learned men or magi, and then frequently to the whole body of the wise men of Babylon; cf. at Daniel 2:2. In this second meaning the word is here used. The language of the כּשׂדּים is not, as Ros., Hitz., and Kran. suppose, the Eastern Aramaic branch of the Semitic language, which is usually called the Chaldean language; for this tongue, in which the Chaldean wise men answered Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:4.), is called in Daniel 2:4, as well as in Ezra 4:7 and Isaiah 36:11, the ארמית, Aramaic (Syriac), and is therefore different from the language of the כּשׁדּים.

But the question as to what this language used by the Chaldeans was, depends on the view that may be taken of the much controverted question as to the origin of the כּשׂדּים, Χαλδαίοι. The oldest historical trace of the כּשׂדּים lies in the name כּשׂדּים אוּר (Ur of the Chaldees, lxx χώρα τῶν Χαλδαίων), the place from which Terah the father of Abraham went forth with his family to Charran in the north of Mesopotamia. The origin of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, when taken in connection with the fact (Genesis 22:22) that one of the sons of Nahor, Abraham's brother, was called כּשׂד (Chesed), whose descendants would be called כּשׂדּים, appears to speak for the origin of the כּשׂדּים from Shem. In addition to this also, and in support of the same opinion, it has been noticed that one of Shem's sons was called ארפּכשׁד (Arphaxad). But the connection of ארפכשׁד with כּשׂד is unwarrantable; and that Nahor's son כּשׂד was the father of a race called כשׂדים, is a supposition which cannot be established. But if a race actually descended from this כשׂד, then they could be no other than the Bedouin tribe the כּשׂדּים, which fell upon Job's camels (Job 1:17), but not the people of the Chaldees after whom, in Terah's time, Ur was already named. The sojourn of the patriarch Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees finally by no means proves that Terah himself was a Chaldean. He may have been induced also by the advance of the Chaldeans into Northern Mesopotamia to go forth on his wanderings.

This much is at all events unquestionable, and is now acknowledged, that the original inhabitants of Babylonia were of Semitic origin, as the account of the origin of the nations in Genesis 10 shows. According to Genesis 10:22, Shem had five sons, Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram, whose descendants peopled and gave name to the following countries: - The descendants of Elam occupied the country called Elymais, between the Lower Tigris and the mountains of Iran; of Asshur, Assyria, lying to the north-the hilly country between the Tigris and the mountain range of Iran; or Arphaxad, the country of Arrapachitis on the Upper Tigris, on the eastern banks of that river, where the highlands of Armenia begin to descend. Lud, the father of the Lydians, is the representative of the Semites who went westward to Asia Minor; and Aram of the Semites who spread along the middle course of the Euphrates to the Tigris in the east, and to Syria in the west. From this M. Duncker (Gesch. des Alterth.) has concluded: "According to this catalogue of the nations, which shows the extension of the Semitic race from the mountains of Armenia southward to the Persian Gulf, eastward to the mountains of Iran, westward into Asia Minor, we follow the Semites along the course of the two great rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris, to the south. Northwards from Arphaxad lie the mountains of the Chasdim, whom the Greeks call Chaldaei, Carduchi, Gordiaei, whose boundary toward Armenia was the river Centrites."

"If we find the name of the Chaldeans also on the Lower Euphrates, if in particular that name designates a region on the western bank of the Euphrates to its mouth, the extreme limit of the fruitful land watered by the Euphrates towards the Arabian desert, then we need not doubt that this name was brought from the Armenian mountains to the Lower Euphrates, and that it owes its origin to the migration of these Chaldeans from the mountains. - Berosus uses as interchangeable the names Chaldea and Babylonia for the whole region between the Lower Euphrates and the Tigris down to the sea. But it is remarkable that the original Semitic name of this region, Shinar, is distinct from that of the Chaldeans; remarkable that the priests in Shinar were specially called Chaldeans, that in the fragments of Berosus the patriarchs were already designated Chaldeans of this or that city, and finally that the native rulers were particularly known by this name. We must from all this conclude, that there was a double migration fro the north to the regions on the Lower Euphrates and Tigris; that they were first occupied by the Elamites, who came down along the Tigris; and that afterwards a band came down from the mountains of the Chaldeans along the western bank of the Tigris, that they kept their flocks for a long time in the region of Nisibis, and faintly that they followed the Euphrates and obtained superiority over the earlier settlers, who had sprung from the same stem (?), and spread themselves westward from the mouth of the Euphrates. The supremacy which was thus established was exercised by the chiefs of the Chaldeans; they were the ruling family in the kingdom which they founded by their authority, and whose older form of civilisation they adopted."

If, according to this, the Chaldeans are certainly not Semites, then it is not yet decided whether they belonged to the Japhetic race of Aryans, or, as C. Sax

(Note: In the Abhdl. "on the ancient history of Babylon and the nationality of the Cushites and the Chaldeans," in the Deutsch. morg. Ztschr. xxii. pp. 1-68. Here Sac seeks to prove "that the Chaldeans, identical with the biblical Chasdim, were a tribe ruling from ancient times from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, and particularly in Babylonia, which at length occupied the southern region from the mouth of the Euphrates to the Armeneo-Pontine range of mountains, but was in Babylonia especially represented by the priest caste and the learned." This idea the author grounds on the identification of the Bible Cushites with the Scythians of the Greeks and Romans, the evidence for which is for the most part extremely weak, and consists of arbitrary and violent combinations, the inconsistency of which is at once manifest, as e.g., the identification of the כּשׂדּים with the כּסלחים, Genesis 10:14, the conclusions drawn from Ezekiel 29:10 and Ezekiel 38:5. of the spread of the Cushites into Arabia and their reception into the Scythian army of the northern Gog, etc. In general, as Sax presents it, this supposition is untenable, yet it contains elements of truth which are not to be overlooked.)

has recently endeavoured to make probable, to the Hamitic race of Cushites, a nation belonging to the Tartaric (Turamic) family of nations. As to the Aryan origin, besides the relation of the Chaldeans, the Gordiaei, and the Carduchi to the modern Kurds, whose language belongs to the Indo-Germanic, and indeed to the Aryan family of languages, the further circumstance may be referred to: that in Assyria and Babylonia the elements of the Aryan language are found in very ancient times. Yet these two facts do not furnish any conclusive evidence on the point. From the language of the modern Kurds being related to the Aryan language no certain conclusion can be drawn as to the language of the ancient Chaldees, Gordiaei, and Carduchi; and the introduction of Aryan words and appellations into the language of the Semitic Assyrians and Babylonians is fully explained, partly from the intercourse which both could not but maintain with Iranians, the Medes and Persians, who were bordering nations, partly from the dominion exercised for some time over Babylonia by the Iranian race, which is affirmed in the fragments of Berosus, according to which the second dynasty in Babylon after the Flood was the Median. Notwithstanding we would decide in favour of the Aryan origin of the Chaldeans, did not on the one side the biblical account of the kingdom which Nimrod the Cushite founded in Babel and extended over Assyria (Genesis 10:8-12), and on the other the result to which the researches of the learned into the antiquities of Assyria regarding the development of culture and of writing in Babylonia,

(Note: The biblical tradition regarding the kingdom founded by Nimrod in Babel, Duncker (p. 204) has with arbitrary authority set aside, because it is irreconcilable with his idea of the development of Babylonian culture. It appears, however, to receive confirmation from recent researches into the ancient monuments of Babylonia and Assyria, which have led to the conclusion, that of the three kinds of cuneiform letters that of the Babylonian bricks is older than the Assyrian, and that the oldest form originated in an older hieroglyphic writing, of which isolated examples are found in the valley of the Tigris and in Susiana; whence it must be concluded that the invention of cuneiform letters did not take place among the Semites, but among a people of the Tauranian race which probably had in former times their seat in Susiana, or at the mouth of the Euphrates and the Tigris on the Persian Gulf. Cf. Spiegel in Herz.'s Realencyclop., who, after stating this result, remarks: "Thus the fact is remarkable that a people of the Turko-Tartaric race appear as the possessors of a high culture, while people of this tribe appear in the world's history almost always as only destitute of culture, and in many ways hindering civilisation; so that it cannot but be confessed that, so far as matters now are, one is almost constrained to imagine that the state of the case is as follows," and thus he concludes his history of cuneiform writing: - "Cuneiform writing arose in ancient times, several thousand years before the birth of Christ, very probably from an ancient hieroglyphic system of writing, in the region about the mouths of the Euphrates and the Tigris on the Persian Gulf. It was found existing by a people of a strange race, belonging neither to the Semites nor to the Indo-Germans. It was very soon, however, adopted by the Semites. The oldest monuments of cuneiform writing belong to the extreme south of the Mesopotamian plain. In the course of time it pressed northward first to Babylon, where it assumed a more regular form than among the Assyrians. From Assyria it may have come among the Indo-Germans first to Armenia; for the specimens of cuneiform writing found in Armenia are indeed in syllabic writing, but in a decidedly Indo-Germanic language. How the syllabic writing was changed into letter-(of the alphabet) writing is as yet obscure. The most recent kind of cuneiform writing which we know, the Old Persian, is decidedly letter-writing." Should this view of the development of the cuneiform style of writing be confirmed by further investigations, then it may be probable that the Chaldeans were the possessors and cultivators of this science of writing, and that their language and literature belonged neither to the Semitic nor yet to the Indo-Germanic or Aryan family of languages.)

make this view very doubtful.

If, then, for the present no certain answer can be given to the question as to the origin of the Chaldeans and the nature of their language and writing, yet this much may be accepted as certain, that the language and writing of the כּשׂדּים was not Semitic or Aramaic, but that the Chaldeans had in remote times migrated into Babylonia, and there had obtained dominion over the Semitic inhabitants of the land, and that from among this dominant race the Chaldees, the priestly and the learned cast of the Chaldeans, arose. This caste in Babylon is much older than the Chaldean monarchy founded by Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel and his companions were to be educated in the wisdom of the Chaldean priests and learned men, which was taught in the schools of Babylon, at Borsippa in Babylonia, and Hipparene in Mesopotamia (Strab. xvi. 1, and Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 26). Daniel 1:5. To this end Nebuchadnezzar assigned to them for their support provision from the king's household, following Oriental custom, according to which all officers of the court were fed from the king's table, as Athen. iv. 10, p. 69, and Plut. probl. vii. 4, testify regarding the Persians. This appears also (1 Kings 5:2-3) to have been the custom in Israel. בּיומו יום דּבר, the daily portion, cf. Exodus 5:13, Exodus 5:19; Jeremiah 52:34, etc. פּתבּג comes from path, in Zend. paiti, Sanscr. prati equals προτί, πρός, and bag, in Sanscr. bhâga, portion, provision, cf. Ezekiel 25:7. With regard to the composition, cf. The Sanscr. pratibhâgha, a portion of fruits, flowers, etc., which the Rajah daily requires for his household; cf. Gildemeister in Lassen's Zeits.f. d. Kunde des Morg. iv. 1, p. 214. פּתבּג therefore means neither ambrosia, nor dainties, but generally food, victuals, food of flesh and meal in opposition to wine, drink (משׁתּיו is singular), and vegetables (Daniel 1:12).

The king also limits the period of their education to three years, according to the Persian as well as the Chaldean custom. וּלגדּלם does not depend on ויּאמר (Daniel 1:3), but is joined with וימן, and is the final infinitive with וexplicative, meaning, and that he may nourish them. The infinitive is expressed by the fin. verb יעמדוּ, to stand before (the king). The carrying out of the king's command is passed over as a matter of course, yet it is spoken of as obeyed (cf. Daniel 1:6.).

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