Daniel - 5:10

10 (Now) the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: the queen spoke and said, O king, live forever; don't let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your face be changed.

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Explanation and meaning of Daniel 5:10.

Differing Translations

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Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
Then the queen, on occasion of what had happened to the king, and his nobles, came into the banquet house: and she spoke and said: O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, neither let thy countenance be changed.
the queen, by reason of the words of the king And his nobles, came into the banquet-house. the queen spoke And said, O king, live for ever!let not thy thoughts trouble thee, neither let thy countenance be changed.
The queen, on account of the words of the king and his great men, to the banquet-house hath come up. Answered hath the queen, and said, 'O king, to the ages live; let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor thy countenance be changed:
The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the house of the feast: the queen made answer and said, O King, have life for ever; do not be troubled by your thoughts or let the colour go from your face:
Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house; the queen spoke and said: 'O king, live for ever! let not thy thoughts affright thee, nor let thy countenance be changed;
Regina propier verba regis et procerum in domum symposii, [256] ingressa est, loquuta est et dixit, Rex, in aeternum vive: ne terreant to cogitationes tuae, et vultus tuus ne mutetur.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Here Daniel relates the occasion of his being brought before the king, as the reader and interpreter of the writing.The queen, he says, did this. It is doubtful whether it was the wife of King Belshazzar, or his grandmother. She was probably an old woman, as she refers to events in the time of King Nebuchadnezzar This conjecture has no sufficient foundation, and hence it is better to suspend our judgment than to assert anything rashly; unless, as we before saw, his wife was at table with him. As far as we can gather the words of the Prophet with certainty, we must diligently notice them, and thus convict the king of ingratitude, because he did not admit Daniel among the magi, Chaldeans, and astrologers. The holy man had no wish to be reckoned in that company; he would have deserved to lose God's prophetic spirit had he thus mingled with impostors; and he is clearly to be distinguished from them. King Nebuchadnezzar had set him over all the magi; he had no wish to exercise this honor, unless, as I have just said, he would deprive himself of the singular gift of prophecy; for we must always take care how far we can go. We know how very prone we are to be enticed by the blandishments of the world, especially when ambition blinds us and disturbs all our senses. No plague is worse than this, because when any one sees a prospect of the acquisition of either profit or honor, he does not regard either what he ought to do or what God permits, but is hurried on by a blind fury. This would have happened to Daniel, unless he had been restrained by a sense of true piety, and hence he repudiated the honor offered him by King Nebuchadnezzar. He never wished to be reckoned among soothsayers, and astrologers, and impostors of this kind, who deluded that nation with prodigies. Here the queen enters and mentions Daniel; but this does not render the king without excuse; for, as we have already said, Daniel had acquired a name of renown among men of all ages, and God wished to signalize him by a distinct mark, to fix the minds of all upon him, as if he were an angel from heaven. As King Belshazzar was ignorant of the existence of such a Prophet in his kingdom, this was the result of his gross and brutish indifference. God, therefore, wished King Belshazzar to be reproved by a woman, who said, Let not thy thoughts disturb thee! She calms him quietly, because she saw how frightened he was; but, meanwhile, she shews him the grossness of his error in wandering about in uncertainty, when the way was plain before him. God had put his torch in the Prophet's hand for the very purpose of lighting the king, unless he willfully desired to wander in darkness, as all the wicked do. Hence, we may learn from the example of this king, the common fault of our nature; for no one runs out of the right way, unless he indulges in his own ignorance, and desires all light to be extinct within him. As to the language of the queen, The spirit of the holy gods is in Daniel! we have elsewhere explained its meaning. It is not surprising that the profane use this language, since they cannot discern between the one God and angels. Hence they promiscuously call anything divine and celestial, a god. Thus also the queen calls angels, holy gods, and places the true God among them. But it is our privilege to acknowledge the true God as shining forth alone, and the angels as all taking their own ranks without any excellence in heaven or earth to obscure the glory of the only God. The writing has this tendency -- the exaltation of God in the highest degree, and the magnifying of his excellency and his majestic supremacy. We here see how needful it is for us to be instructed in the essential unity of God, since from the very beginning of the world men have always been persuaded of the existence of some Supreme Deity; but after they became vain in their imaginations, this idea entirely escaped them, and they mingled God and angels in complete confusion. Whenever we perceive this, let us feel our need of Scripture as a guide and instructor which shines on our path, urging us to think of God as inviting us to himself and willingly revealing himself to us.

Now the queen - "Probably the queen-mother, the Nitocris of Herodotus, as the king's wives were at the entertainment." - Wintle. Compare Daniel 5:2-3. So Prof. Stuart. The editor of the "Pictorial Bible" also supposes that this was the queen-mother, and thinks that this circumstance will explain her familiarity with the occurrences in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. He says, "We are informed above, that the 'wives and concubines' of the king were present at the banquet. It therefore seems probable that the 'queen' who now first appears was the queen-mother; and this probability is strengthened by the intimate acquaintance which she exhibits with the affairs of Nebuchadnezzars reign; at the latter end of which she, as the wife of Evil-Merodach, who was regent during his father's alienation of mind, took an active part in the internal policy of the kingdom, and in the completion of the great works which Nebuchadnezzar had begun in Babylon. This she continued during the reigns of her husband and son, the present king Belshazzar. This famous queen, Nitocris, therefore, could not but be well acquainted with the character and services of Daniel." On the place and influence of the queen-mother in the Oriental courts, see Taylor's Fragments to Calmet's Dictionary, No. 16. From the extracts which Taylor has collected, it would seem that she held an exalted place at court, and that it is every way probable that she would be called in or would come in, on such an occasion. See also Knolles' "History of the Turks," as quoted by Taylor, "Fragments," No. 50.
By reason of the words of the king and his lords - Their words of amazement and astonishment. These would doubtless be conveyed to her, as there was so much alarm in the palace, and as there was a summons to bring in the wise men of Babylon. if her residence was in some part of the palace itself, nothing would be more natural than that she should be made acquainted with the unusual occurrence; or if her residence was, as Taylor supposes, detached from the palace, it is every way probable that she would be made acquainted with the consternation that prevailed, and that, recollecting the case of Nebuchadnezzar, and the forgotten services of Daniel, she would feel that the information which was sought respecting the mysterious writing could be obtained from him.
And the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever - A common salutation in addressing a king, expressive of a desire of his happiness and prosperity.
Let not thy thoughts trouble thee - That is, there is a way by which the mystery may be solved, and you need not, therefore, be alarmed.

The queen - came - This is generally allowed to have been the widow of Nebuchadnezzar; if so, she was the queen Amiyt, daughter of Astyages, sister of Darius the Mede, and aunt of Cyrus, according to Polyhistor, cited by Cedrenus. See Calmet. Others think that Nitocris was the person who is said to be queen when Cyrus took the city; and is stated to have been a lady of eminent wisdom and discretion, and to have had the chief direction of the public affairs. She was the mother of Labynithus; and, if this be the same as Belshazzar, she must be the person here introduced.

[Now] the (h) queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: [and] the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
(h) That is, his grandmother, Nebuchadnezzar's wife, who because of her age was not at the feast before, but came there when she heard of this strange news.

Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house,.... Not the wife of Belshazzar, as Porphyry would have it; but rather the queen mother, as Jacchiades, the widow of Evilmerodach his father, whose name was Nitocris; and is spoken of, by Herodotus (q), as a very prudent woman; and as this seems to be by her words and conduct: though Josephus (r) says it was his grandmother, she who had been the wife of Nebuchadnezzar; and of this opinion were some mentioned by Aben Ezra; whose name was Amyitis; and it appears, by what she says afterwards, that she was well acquainted with affairs in his time; and, being an ancient woman, might be the reason why she was not among the ladies at the feast in the banqueting house; but came into it, without being sent for, on hearing the consternation and distress the king and his lords were in, and the moanful despairing words they expressed on this occasion:
and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever; the usual salutation given to the kings of Babylon, and other eastern monarchs; see Daniel 2:4,
let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed; at this affair, as if it could never be understood, and the true meaning of it be given; but be of good: cheer, and put on a good countenance; there is hope yet that it may be cleared up to satisfaction.
(q) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 185, 188. (r) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 2.

Daniel was forgotten at court; he lived privately, and was then ninety years of age. Many consult servants of God on curious questions, or to explain difficult subjects, but without asking the way of salvation, or the path of duty. Daniel slighted the offer of reward. He spoke to Belshazzar as to a condemned criminal. We should despise all the gifts and rewards this world can give, did we see, as we may by faith, its end hastening on; but let us do our duty in the world, and do it all the real service we can.

queen--the queen mother, or grandmother, Nitocris, had not been present till now. She was wife either of Nebuchadnezzar or of Evil merodach; hence her acquaintance with the services of Daniel. She completed the great works which the former had begun. Hence HERODOTUS attributes them to her alone. This accounts for the deference paid to her by Belshazzar. (See on Daniel 4:36). Compare similar rank given to the queen mother among the Hebrews (1-Kings 15:13).

By מלכּתא interpreters rightly understand the mother of the reigning king, the widow of his father Nebuchadnezzar, since according to Daniel 5:2. The wives of the king were present at the festival, and the queen came before the king as only a mother could do. Among the Israelites also the mother of the reigning king was held in high respect; cf. 1-Kings 15:13; 2-Kings 24:12, 2-Kings 24:15; Jeremiah 13:18; Jeremiah 29:2. מלּין לקבל, by reason of the words, not: because of the affair, to which neither the plur. מלּי nor the gen. רברבנוהי agrees. Instead of the Kethiv עללת the Keri has עלּת, the later form. The queen-mother begins in an assuring manner, since she can give an advice which is fitted to allay the embarrassment.

The queen came - The women in those courts had an apartment by themselves, and this being the queen - mother, and aged, did not mingle herself with the king's wives and concubines, yet she broke the rule in coming in now, upon this solemn occasion.

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