Daniel 5:24
Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Then.—Not only “at that time,” but also “because of this.” Daniel here expressly designates the writing as something proceeding from God.

Daniel 5:24-28. Then was part of the hand sent from him — The LXX. read, Δια τουτο εκ προσωπου αυτου απεσταλη αστραγαλος χειρος, και την γραφην ταυτην ενεταξε. “On this account hath the joint, or part of a hand, been sent from his presence, and hath formed this writing.” The reading in the Vulgate is to the same purpose. Houbigant translates the verse, “Therefore is the hand sent from him, the fingers whereof have formed this writing.” And this is the writing, MENE, &c. — In the Arabic the three words are considered as participles, Mensuratum, Appensum, Divisum, “Measured, Weighed, Divided.” The words are fully explained by Daniel in the following verses. MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, &c. — God hath numbered the days of thy reign, and put an end to it. The word MENE is doubled in the foregoing verse, to show that the thing was certain, and established by God, as Joseph tells Pharaoh in a like case, Genesis 41:32. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, &c. — The reason that an end is put to thy reign so soon is, that thou art found light in the scales of divine equity. Wicked men are often compared to silver adulterated, and alloyed with baser metals, which makes it too light when weighed in the balances: such was Belshazzar when weighed in the scales of divine justice. The same comparison is used by Homer, when Hector’s fatal day approaches, Iliad, xxii, and by Virgil, at the death of Turnus, Æn. 12. And so Milton, in the war of the angels,

“ — — — — — Long time in even scale The battle hung.”

Par. Lost, b. 6. 50:245.

PERES; Thy kingdom is divided — Or broken from thee. The word PERES signifies broken; and it also signifies the nation of the Persians, for they were called Paros, by the Chaldeans: so that this word not only signified that the Babylonish kingdom should be broken, but also by whom it should be broken. UPHARSIN, the other word in the writing, is a participle of the same verb from whence PERES is derived, and literally signifies, And they divide it. Concerning Belshazzar’s destruction, see notes on Isaiah 14.5:18-31 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.Then was the part of the hand sent from him - To wit, the fingers. See Daniel 5:5. The sense is, that when it was fully perceived that Belshazzar was not disposed to learn that there was a God in heaven; when he refused to profit by the solemn dispensations which had occurred in respect to his predecessor; when his own heart was lifted up with pride, and when he had gone even farther than his predecessors had done by the sacrilegious use of the vessels of the temple, thus showing special contempt for the God of heaven, then appeared the mysterious handwriting on the wall. It was then an appropriate time for the Most High God, who had been thus contemned and insulted, to come forth and rebuke the proud and impious monarch. 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.

It is called

part of the hand, because the hand appeared parted from the rest of the body. 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.

{m} Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

(m) After God had for such a long time deferred his anger, and patiently waited for your repentance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. Then was the palm (Daniel 5:5) of the hand sent forth from before him; and this writing was inscribed] Daniel 5:5. Then is here equivalent, virtually, to hence, therefore.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. When Daniel knew from the answer of the chief that he would grant the request if he were only free from personal responsibility in the matter, he turned himself to the officer who was under the chief chamberlain, whom they were immediately subject to, and entreated him to make trial for ten days, permitting them to use vegetables and water instead of the costly provision and the wine furnished by the king, and to deal further with them according as the result would be. המּלצר, having the article, is to be regarded as an appellative, expressing the business of the calling of the man. The translation, steward or chief cook, is founded on the explanation of the word as given by Haug (Ewald's bibl. Jahrbb. v. p. 159f.) from the New Persian word mel, spirituous liquors, wine, corresponding to the Zendh. madhu (μεθυ), intoxicating drink, and equals צרחara, Sanscr. חiras, the head; hence overseer over the drink, synonymous with רבשׁקה, Isaiah 36:2. - נס נא, try, I beseech thee, thy servants, i.e., try it with us, ten days. Ten, in the decimal system the number of completeness or conclusion, may, according to circumstances, mean a long time or only a proportionally short time. Here it is used in the latter sense, because ten days are sufficient to show the effect of the kind of food on the appearance. זרעים, food from the vegetable kingdom, vegetables, leguminous fruit. Daniel 1:13. מראינוּ is singular, and is used with יראוּ in the plural because two subjects follow. כּאשׁר תּראה, as thou shalt see, viz., our appearance, i.e., as thou shalt then find it, act accordingly. In this proposal Daniel trusted in the help of God, and God did not put his confidence to shame.

(Note: The request is perfectly intelligible from the nature of living faith, without our having recourse to Calvin's supposition, that Daniel had received by secret revelation the assurance that such would be the result if he and his companions were permitted to live on vegetables. The confidence of living faith which hopes in the presence and help of God is fundamentally different from the eager expectation of miraculous interference of a Maccabean Jew, which C. v. Lengerke and other deists and atheists wish to find here in Daniel.)

The youths throve so visibly on the vegetables and water, that the steward relieved them wholly from the necessity of eating from the royal table. Daniel 1:15. בּשׂר בּריאי, fat, well nourished in flesh, is grammatically united to the suffix of מראיהם, from which the pronoun is easily supplied in thought. Daniel 1:16. נשׂא, took away equals no more gave.

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