The Book of Daniel Bible Study Chapter 5 Part 1

Chapter 5:1-16

G-d has the authority, and the power, to bring down those who are prideful. In many places in Scripture, we see Him judging and bringing down the kingdoms of men. G-d is against the kingdoms which are rooted in the flesh. However, He is for His own Kingdom. Are we wise enough be building up His Kingdom and not our own?

v1: This verse sets the stage – Belshazzar sets himself up to show all these high-ranking officials how wealthy he is. He has enough wealth to hold a massive party, and enough wealth to give them all wine to drink.

v2 Under the influence of this wine, Belshazzar lost his inhibition (Prov 20:1) and gave way to pride. He wanted to display, and drink from, these costly vessels that had been used in temple service to G-d.

v4 The drinking of this wine revealed their true intent. Gold, silver, bronze etc are all used for building or making of things (Instead of giving praise to G-d, these people praised the works of man. Isaiah 2v8-9) These people were idolatrous. Idolatry is always focussed on self, coupled with a desire to exalt oneself. This is exactly what they’re doing.

v5 G-d was quick to act (“in the same hour”).

· What can we glean from the fact that the author of Daniel wrote that the writing on the wall was opposite the lampstand/menorah? A lampstand gives off light. It illuminates, i.e gives revelation (Eph 5v11-18) This passage is hinting to us that there is something to be learnt here. G-d wants to reveal something (to Belshazzar as well as to us).

v6: G-d moved to give revelation and the king was terrified.

v7 These liars and deceivers are still around to give their advice – though proven false, and lacking in power, time and time again. (2 Tim 4:3-4)

· The king knew that what was written on the wall had signification implication, as this was not a normal occurrence.

v9 Astonished – This is a word for ‘ashamed’ or ‘embarrassed’. These wise men realised their inadequacy.

v10 In this verse we see an important change. A woman is mentioned. A wife was created to help her husband (Gen 2:18, 20) This queen came and gave wise counsel to her husband. (Pilate’s wife tried to help him too but he chose not to listen – Matt 27:19-24)

· “Live forever’ – This expression reveals to us her faithfulness to Belshazzar. She is not against him but is wanting to be a blessing in his life.

v11: Reference to the Spiri

1. Order. One of the primary ministries of the Holy Spirit is to bring G-dly order into our lives and into a given situation.

2. Purpose. There is a relationship between order and the purposes of G-d. If we, in obedience, pursue the purposes of G-d then we are going to live ordered lives.

v12 This woman has confidence. She knows, based upon history, that Daniel will seek his G-d and find the answer. She gives wise counsel. The empires of the world would also be wise to utilise the revelation of G-d – as given to the Jewish people.

v13: One of the reasons to possibly explain why Daniel wasn’t called immediately into the presence of the king (despite his great testimony of faithfulness and success) was because he was one of the exiles from Judah – Judah repeated twice therefore emphasised. He was in a lowly position socially compared to the other “wise” men.

v14 Many English translations translate this plural constructed word “Elohim” as ‘gods’ rather than G-d. Although it is written in the plural it is translated in the singular.

v15 We again see the failure on the side of the “wise” men, but they experience no consequences. This is a good way to describe the world. They fail and don’t learn from their errors. For this reason, we’re not going to see a change in this world (until Messiah comes again).

v16: Daniel is offered a garment of prestige (that would reflect his uniqueness in the kingdom) as well as a position of prominence.

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