Daniel 5 – The Writing on the Wall
Daniel 5 presents a pretty crazy judgment by God on a guy who just wanted to do what he wanted to do. It was such a famous passage that it elicited a painting by no less than Rembrandt himself.
One of the more interesting facts about the passage is that the main character in the passage, king Belshazzar, was unknown to secular history until fairly recently. In fact, Daniel chapter 5 was often ridiculed by secular historians because they were convinced that Daniel was such a storyteller that he even invented a character. Even as recently as the late 1800′s, King Belshazzar was unknown in the extant records. However, archaeology turned up some amazing finds in the decades to come. It turns out that after King Nebuchadnezzar died, there was some political instability in the Babylonian empire. A series of kings ruled until we get to King Nabonidus, about 20 years after Nebuchadnezzar. However, King Nabonidus was a pretty fervent worshiper of a certain Babylonian god, Sin, the moon god. He was so fervent in his devotion that it appears to have made the ruling Chaldean class in Babylon upset and uneasy about him. A political solution was arranged when he agreed to allow his oldest son, Belshazzar to rule alongside him as co-regent, while he “retired” to another area of his kingdom. From that point on, Belshazzar ruled from Babylon effectively as king. Daniel not only proved to be right about this story, but one of the details in the chapter gives a historical detail of great accuracy when he has the king Belshazzar say, “whoever interprets the dream I will make the THIRD ruler in the kingdom.” This is significant because he himself was only the 2nd in command, under his father. This not only proves that Daniel knew his history, but that the detail was probably
provided by an eyewitness to the events themselves.
Secular historians often laugh at the details of the Bible for a time, and then more evidence is unearthed and the Bible again proves its historical value and truth filled message.
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