Daniel 5:21
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) His dwelling . . .—This is a fact supplementary to what is stated in Daniel 4.

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.And he was driven ... - See this fully explained in Daniel 4:25-33. 21. heart was made like … beasts—literally, "he made his heart like the beasts," that is, he desired to dwell with them. No text from Poole on this verse.

And he was driven from the sons of men,.... From their company, and from conversation with them; his madness was of that kind, that he chose rather to be with beasts than men; it drove him from men, and made him more desirous of being with beasts; or it was so intolerable, that his family, friends, and courtiers, were obliged to remove him from them, from his palace and court, and from all conversation with men, which he was incapable of through his frenzy and madness:

and his heart was made like the beasts; to have the same affections and desires as they have; to crave the same things they did, and like what they liked, and live as they lived: or, "he put his heart with the beasts" (x); either Nebuchadnezzar himself chose to be with them, and delighted in a beastly life; or God did it; he put such a heart into him, or so disposed it, that it became brutish; though to read the words impersonally, as before, seems best:

and his dwelling was with the wild asses; in a wilderness or field; or rather in some enclosed place, in one of his parks, where such creatures were kept for hunting; among these he dwelt, as being like them, having lost the use of his reason, and so was become stupid and sottish as they:

and they fed him with grass like oxen; as they are fed, and which he chose above any other food:

and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; being without clothes, and lying naked in some open place all night:

till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will: till he came to his senses, and was brought to see and own the sovereign dominion of the one, true, and living God, over all the kingdoms of the earth, and that they are at his dispose; Daniel 4:32.

(x) "cor ejus cum bestiis posuit", Vatablus, Calvin; "animum suum cum bestis posuit", Cocceius.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. See Daniel 4:25; Daniel 4:32-33.

the wild asses] An untamable animal, which roamed in the open plains (see Job 39:5-8; and cf. Genesis 16:12): to dwell with the wild asses would thus be a special mark of wildness and savagery.

they fed him] or he was fed (R.V.): Daniel 4:25; Daniel 4:32 (‘make to eat’).

till he knew, &c.] Daniel 4:25; Daniel 4:32.

appointeth] setteth up (R.V.), as Daniel 4:17 (A.V.) for the same word. ‘Appointeth’ is not strong enough.

Daniel 5:21The address, Thou, O king, is here an absolute clause, and is not resumed till Daniel 5:22. By this address all that follows regarding Nebuchadnezzar is placed in definite relation to Belshazzar. The brilliant description of Nebuchadnezzar's power in Daniel 5:18 and Daniel 5:19 has undeniably the object of impressing it on the mind of Belshazzar that he did not equal his father in power and majesty. Regarding וגו עממיּא, see under Daniel 3:4, and with regard to the Kethiv זאעין, with the Keri יעין, see under Daniel 3:3. מחא is not from מחא, to strike (Theodot., Vulg.), but the Aphel of חיא (to live), the particip. of which is מחי in Deuteronomy 32:39, contracted from מחיא, here the part. מחא, in which the Jod is compensated by the lengthening of the vowel a4. Accordingly, there is no ground for giving the preference, with Buxt., Ges., Hitz., and others, to the variant מחא, which accommodates itself to the usual Targum. form. The last clause in Daniel 5:19 reminds us of 1 Samuel 2:6-7. In Daniel 5:20 and Daniel 5:21 Daniel brings to the remembrance of Belshazzar the divine judgment that fell upon Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4). רם is not the passive part., but the perf. act. with an intransitive signification; cf. Winer, 22, 4. תּקף, strong, to be and to become firm, here, as the Hebr. חזק, Exodus 7:13, of obduracy. העדּיו, 3rd pers. plur. imper., instead of the passive: they took away, for it was taken away, he lost it; see under Daniel 3:4, and Winer, 49, 3. שׁוּי is also to be thus interpreted, since in its impersonal use the singular is equivalent to the plur.; cf. Winer. There is no reason for changing (with v. Leng. and Hitz.) the form into shewiy, part. Piel. The change of construction depends on the rhetorical form of the address, which explains also the naming of the ערדין, wild asses, as untractable beasts, instead of בּרא חיות (beasts of the field), Daniel 4:20 (23). Regarding the Kethiv עליה, see under Daniel 4:14; and for the subject, cf. Daniel 4:22 (25), 29 (32).
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