Daniel 5:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom."

New Living Translation
The king shouted for the enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers to be brought before him. He said to these wise men of Babylon, "Whoever can read this writing and tell me what it means will be dressed in purple robes of royal honor and will have a gold chain placed around his neck. He will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom!"

English Standard Version
The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

Berean Study Bible
The king called out for the enchanters, astrologers, and diviners to be brought in, and he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this inscription and tells me its interpretation will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

New American Standard Bible
The king called aloud to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, "Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me shall be clothed with purple and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom."

King James Bible
The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Christian Standard Bible
The king shouted to bring in the mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners. He said to these wise men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this inscription and gives me its interpretation will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain around his neck, and have the third highest position in the kingdom."

Contemporary English Version
The king called in his advisors, who claimed they could talk with the spirits of the dead and understand the meanings found in the stars. He told them, "The man who can read this writing and tell me what it means will become the third most powerful man in my kingdom. He will wear robes of royal purple and a gold chain around his neck."

Good News Translation
He shouted for someone to bring in the magicians, wizards, and astrologers. When they came in, the king said to them, "Anyone who can read this writing and tell me what it means will be dressed in robes of royal purple, wear a gold chain of honor around his neck, and be the third in power in the kingdom."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The king called out to bring in the mediums, Chaldeans, and astrologers. He said to these wise men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this inscription and gives me its interpretation will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain around his neck, and have the third highest position in the kingdom."

International Standard Version
The king cried out to bring in enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers. He announced to the advisors of Babylon, "Whoever can read this writing and tell me its meaning will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain placed around his neck, and will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom."

NET Bible
The king called out loudly to summon the astrologers, wise men, and diviners. The king proclaimed to the wise men of Babylon that anyone who could read this inscription and disclose its interpretation would be clothed in purple and have a golden collar placed on his neck and be third ruler in the kingdom.

New Heart English Bible
The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, "Whoever shall read this writing, and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The king screamed for the psychics, astrologers, and fortunetellers to be brought to him. He told these wise advisers of Babylon, "Whoever reads this writing and tells me its meaning will be dressed in purple, wear a gold chain on his neck, and become the third-highest ruler in the kingdom."

JPS Tanakh 1917
The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon: 'Whosoever shall read this writing, and declare unto me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall rule as one of three in the kingdom.'

New American Standard 1977
The king called aloud to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me will be clothed with purple, and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
The king cried in a loud voice that they bring in the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the fortune-tellers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold about his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

King James 2000 Bible
The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

American King James Version
The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

American Standard Version
The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spake and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the king cried out aloud to bring in the wise men, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon: Whosoever shall read this writing, and shall make known to me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and shall have a golden chain on his neck, and shall be the third man in my kingdom.

Darby Bible Translation
The king cried aloud to bring in the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

English Revised Version
The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spake and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Webster's Bible Translation
The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the sooth-sayers. And the king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation of it, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

World English Bible
The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Young's Literal Translation
Call doth the king mightily, to bring up the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. Answered hath the king, and said to the wise men of Babylon, that, 'Any man who doth read this writing, and its interpretation doth shew me, purple he putteth on, and a bracelet of gold is on his neck, and third in the kingdom he doth rule.'
Study Bible
The Handwriting on the Wall
6his face grew pale and his thoughts so alarmed him that his hips gave way and his knees knocked together. 7The king called out for the enchanters, astrologers, and diviners to be brought in, and he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this inscription and tells me its interpretation will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” 8So all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the inscription or interpret it for him.…
Cross References
Genesis 41:42
Then Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his finger, put it on Joseph's finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck.

Exodus 7:11
But Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers and magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same things by their magic arts.

Isaiah 44:25
who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who confounds the wise and turns their knowledge into nonsense,

Isaiah 47:13
You are wearied from your many counsels. So let them stand and save you--the astrologers who observe the stars, who monthly predict your fate.

Jeremiah 50:35
A sword is against the Chaldeans, declares the LORD, against those who live in Babylon, and against her officials and wise men.

Ezekiel 16:11
I adorned you with jewelry, and I put bracelets on your wrists and a chain around your neck.

Daniel 1:4
young men without blemish, handsome, gifted in all wisdom, knowledgeable, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace--and to teach them the language and literature of the Chaldeans.

Daniel 1:20
In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

Daniel 2:2
So the king gave orders to summon the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers to explain his dreams. When they came and stood before the king,

Daniel 2:6
But if you tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and its interpretation."

Daniel 2:27
Daniel answered the king, "No wise man, medium, magician, or diviner can explain to the king the mystery of which he inquires.

Daniel 2:48
Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel 4:6
So I issued a decree that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me.

Daniel 4:7
When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and diviners came in, I told them the dream, and they could not interpret it for me.

Daniel 5:11
There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your father he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and diviners. Your own father, the king,

Daniel 5:15
Now the wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this inscription and interpret it for me, but they could not give its interpretation.

Daniel 5:16
But I have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Therefore, if you can read this inscription and give me its interpretation, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom."

Daniel 5:29
Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel in purple, placed a gold chain around his neck, and proclaimed him the third highest ruler in the kingdom.

Daniel 6:2
and over them three administrators, including Daniel, to whom these satraps were accountable so that the king would not suffer loss.

Daniel 6:3
Soon, by his extraordinary spirit, Daniel distinguished himself among the administrators and satraps. So the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

Treasury of Scripture

The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

aloud. Chal. with might.

Daniel 4:14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his …

to bring.

Daniel 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, …

Daniel 4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me…

Genesis 41:8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; …

Isaiah 44:25,26 That frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; …

Isaiah 47:13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels. Let now the astrologers, …

be clothed.

Daniel 5:16,29 And I have heard of you, that you can make interpretations, and dissolve …

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

Genesis 41:42-44 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's …

Numbers 22:7,17 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the …

Numbers 24:11 Therefore now flee you to your place: I thought to promote you to …

1 Samuel 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have you seen this man that is come up? …

scarlet. or, purple.
a chain.

Proverbs 1:9 For they shall be an ornament of grace to your head, and chains about your neck.

Songs 1:10 Your cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, your neck with chains of gold.

Ezekiel 16:11 I decked you also with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, …

the third.

Daniel 2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, …

Daniel 6:2,3 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the …

Esther 3:1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha …

Esther 10:2,3 And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration …







(7) The astrologers.--It is worthy of notice that on this occasion the magicians (the chartummim) do not appear. We must either suppose that they are included under the general term "Chaldeans," or that the king in his terror forgot to summon them. The "wise men" spoken of (Daniel 5:8) were the body over which Daniel was president--a post which it appears. from Daniel 8:27, he held at this time. It is needless to discuss why Daniel did not come in at first.

The third ruler.--See Excursus C. Those who adopt another view of Belshazzar maintain that a triumvirate existed at this time similar to that in the days of Darius the Mede (Daniel 6:2), and that the king promises to raise to the rank of "triumvir" the person who could interpret the vision successfully. It may be noticed that the form of the ordinal "third," both here and in Daniel 5:16; Daniel 5:29, is very peculiar, and that in the last two passages it resembles a substantive rather than an adjective.

Verse 7. - The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. The Septuagint here also differs from the Massoretic text, "And the king cried out with a great cry to call in the enchanters (ἐπαοιδοὐς) and sorcerers (φαρμακοὺς), and Chaldeans, and soothsayers, to announce to him the interpretation of the writing, and they came in for inspection (ἐπὶ θεωρίαν), to see the writing, And they were not able to make known to the king the interpretation of the writing. Then the king made commandment, saying, Any man who shall show the interpretation of the writing, he shall put on him a purple robe, and shall put round his neck a golden chain, and authority shall be given him over a third part of the kingdom." Theodotion is an exact rendering of the Massoretic text in the sense represented by the English versions, save that it wholly omits the conjunctions between the various classes of wise men, so that Ξαλδαίους might be an adjective qualifying either μάγους or γαξαρηνούς, and the article is also omitted, which is represented in the Massoretic text by the status emphaticus. The Peshitta has four classes of wise men called in; as the Septuagint has, otherwise it agrees with the Massoretic text. It is a matter of some interest to observe that the position of the Chaldeans is somewhat precarious here, as in the second chapter. They disappear wholly from the list in the next verse, which really seems to be another version of this. It is a marginal gloss that has crept into the text. If we accept the reading of the Septuagint here, so far at least as to assume the entrance of the wise men before the king's declaration of the reward, the succession of events becomes more natural. The king calls for the presence of these interpreters of omens, and then, when they fail to interpret the writing to him, he proclaims his offer of a reward to whoever can do so. It is to be noted that there is in the Septuagint no question of ability to read the writing, but simply to interpret it. It has been pointed out to me by a friend that if these words were written in cuneiform, the signs that would represent them might have a great variety of possible sounds, and with these differing sounds, differing meanings. Sometimes a sign was phonetic and a syllable, sometimes it was idiographic and might represent a whole word. There is this to be said for this view - the Assyrian was the writing expected in inscriptions. Still, from the fact that the Septuagint omits the demand that the inscription should be read, we may regard the matter as doubtful. Assuming that the wise men were required to read the inscription, some of the Jewish interpreters, as Jephet-ibn-Ali, think that the letters of the word were inverted; others have it that the letters were arranged in columns. Even, however, if the words were written correctly enough as Aramaic words, it would be a difficult matter to put any meaning in them as they stood, as we shall see when we consider Daniel's interpretation. The reward promised is of special interest. The word argvana, translated "scarlet," appears in Assyrian as argmamm; hamneeka, the word rendered "necklace," is of doubtful origin. We find in the Ninevite sculptures and on the cylinders from Babylon many instances of splendid robes (vide Rawlinson, 'Five Great Monarchies,' 560); the rich necklace is also to be seen (ibid., 2. 497,499). The great difficulty has arisen over the rank given to Daniel, "the third ruler in the kingdom." The difficulty is that the ordinal here is not in its usual form, although Petermann gives taltu as one of the forms of the ordinal. There is, further, the unusual position of the numeral in relation to the verb, though the abnormality is less than Professor Bevan represents it, as the Peshitta follows word for word the arrangement of the Massoretic text. The truth seems to be that the word really was toolta, as in the Syriac, and the difficulty has risen in not recognizing the transference from one dialect of Aramaic to another. It is used in the Peshitta (2 Corinthians 10:2) of the third heaven. Professor Bevan's interpretation, that it means "every third day,') may be dismissed as absurd. Ewald (in loc.) regards the title as one of a board of three - not an in,possible meaning, in the light of what we find in the following chapter. Yet his reasoning, that it cannot be third in rank, because the queen-mother could not be counted in, is inept now, when we learn that Belshazzar was colleague with his father, and so the third place was all he had to give. On this question Behrmann takes the view discarded as impossible by Ewald, and holds that Daniel was placed third because of the queen-mother. It is one of the commonplaces of the criticism of this book that the history ascribed to Daniel is borrowed from the history of Joseph: why was the position offered not made "second," as was that of Joseph? We have the reason in what we know of the history of Babylon at the time. The Septuagint and Josephus were unaware of the facts, and translated as they did. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers,.... Or, "with strength" (n); with a strong voice, as loud as he could; which is expressive of the fright he was in, and of his eagerness and impatience of information; laying aside all decency, and forgetting his royal majesty, like a man out of his senses, quite distracted, as it were: of the "astrologers", &c. See Gill on Daniel 1:20, Daniel 2:2, this was the usual course the kings of Babylon took, when they had matters of difficulty upon them, as appears from Daniel 2:2 and though they found it oftentimes fruitless and vain, yet still they pursued it; so besotted and addicted were they to this kind of superstition:

and the king spake and said to the wise men of Babylon; who were presently brought in from the several parts of the city where they dwelt, and probably many of them might be at court at that time; and being introduced into the hall where the king and his nobles were, he addressed them in the following manner;

whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof: pointing to the writing upon the wall, which continued; and which neither the king nor any about him could read or interpret, and therefore both are required to be done:

he shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck; or "with purple" (o); the colour wore by persons of rank and figure; and the chain of gold was an emblem of honour and dignity, and more to be regarded for that than for the value of the gold of which it was made:

and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom; not rule over the third part of the kingdom, as Aben Ezra; but be the third man in the kingdom; next to the king and the queen mother, or to the king and the heir apparent; or one of the third principal rulers; or one of the three presidents of the kingdom, as Daniel afterwards was.

(n) "cum virtute", Vatablus; "in virtute", Montanus; "fortiter", Cocceius; "cum robore", Michaelis. (o) "purpura", Vatablus, Pagninus; Montanus; Grotius, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. 7. He calls for the magicians, who more than once had been detected in imposture. He neglects God, and Daniel, whose fame as an interpreter was then well-established. The world wishes to be deceived and shuts its eyes against the light [Calvin]. The Hebrews think the words were Chaldee, but in the old Hebrew character (like that now in the Samaritan Pentateuch).

third ruler—The first place was given to the king; the second, to the son of the king, or of the queen; the third, to the chief of the satraps.5:1-9 Belshazzar bade defiance to the judgments of God. Most historians consider that Cyrus then besieged Babylon. Security and sensuality are sad proofs of approaching ruin. That mirth is sinful indeed, which profanes sacred things; and what are many of the songs used at modern feasts better than the praises sung by the heathens to their gods! See how God struck terror upon Belshazzar and his lords. God's written word is enough to put the proudest, boldest sinner in a fright. What we see of God, the part of the hand that writes in the book of the creatures, and in the book of the Scriptures, should fill us with awful thoughts concerning that part which we do not see. If this be the finger of God, what is his arm when made bare? And what is He? The king's guilty conscience told him that he had no reason to expect any good news from heaven. God can, in a moment, make the heart of the stoutest sinner to tremble; and there needs no more than to let loose his own thoughts upon him; they will give him trouble enough. No bodily pain can equal the inward agony which sometimes seizes the sinner in the midst of mirth, carnal pleasures, and worldly pomp. Sometimes terrors cause a man to flee to Christ for pardon and peace; but many cry out for fear of wrath, who are not humbled for their sins, and who seek relief by lying vanities. The ignorance and uncertainty concerning the Holy Scriptures, shown by many who call themselves wise, only tend to drive sinners to despair, as the ignorance of these wise men did.
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OT Prophets: Daniel 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring (Dan. Da Dn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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