Daniel 5:11
There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
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(11) The spirit.—Comp. Daniel 4:8-9.

Thy father.—No blood relationship is necessarily implied by this word. It means no more than “predecessor.” (See Introd., sec. VI.)

5:10-17 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.There is a man in thy kingdom - To wit, Daniel. As the queen-mother had lived in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and recollected the important service which he had rendered in interpreting the dream of the king, it was natural that her mind should at once recur to him. It would seem, also, that though Daniel was no longer employed at court, yet that she still had an acquaintance with him, so far at least as to know that he was accessible, and might be called in on this occasion. It may be asked, perhaps, how it was Belshazzar was so ignorant of all this as to need this information? For it is clear from the question which the king asks in Daniel 5:13, "Art thou that Daniel?" that he was ignorant of him personally, and probably even of his services as an officer in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. An ingenious and not improbable solution of this difficulty has been proposed as founded on a remark of Sir John Chardin: "As mentioned by the queen, Daniel had been made by Nebuchadnezzar 'master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.' Of this employment Chardin conjectures that he had been deprived on the death of that king, and obtains this conclusion from the fact that when a Persian king dies, both his astrologers and physicians are driven from court - the former for not having predicted, and the latter for not having prevented, his death. If such was the etiquette of the ancient Babylonian, as it is of the modern Persian court, we have certainly a most satisfactory solution of the present difficulty, as Daniel must then be supposed to have relinquished his public employments, and to have lived retired in private life during the eight years occupied by the reigns of Evil-Merodach and Belshazzar." - Harmer, as quoted by Rosenmuller ("Morgenland," on Daniel 5:13).

In whom is the spirit of the holy gods - This is language such as a pagan would be likely to use when speaking of one who had showed extraordinary knowledge of Divine things. See the note at Daniel 4:9.

And, in the days of thy father - Margin, "grandfather." See the note at Daniel 5:1-2.

Light, and understanding, and wisdom - Light is the emblem of knowledge, as it makes all things clear. The meaning here is, that he had showed extraordinary wisdom in interpreting the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.

Like the wisdom of the gods - Such as the gods only could possess.

Whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians ... - See Daniel 2:48. This is repeated here, and dwelt on, in order to call the attention of the king to the fact that Daniel was worthy to be consulted. Though now living in obscurity, there was a propriety that one who had been placed at the very head of the wise men of Babylon by a prince so distinguished as Nebuchadnezzar, should be consulted on the present occasion.

11. spirit of the holy gods—She remembers and repeats Nebuchadnezzar's language (Da 4:8, 9, 18). As Daniel was probably, according to Oriental custom, deprived of the office to which Nebuchadnezzar had promoted him, as "master of the magicians" (Da 4:9), at the king's death, Belshazzar might easily be ignorant of his services.

the king … thy father the king … thy father—The repetition marks with emphatic gravity both the excellencies of Daniel, and the fact that Nebuchadnezzar, whom Belshazzar is bound to reverence as his father, had sought counsel from him in similar circumstances.

A man in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: this man was Daniel; but how came the king not to think of him? Daniel possibly was out of his place, by his own resignation, or his enemies’ malicious contrivance, and was willing to withdraw himself from the court, and from the company of the soothsayers, and would not be reckoned one of them. There is a man in thy kingdom,.... She does not say in his court; very probably, after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps in one of the former reigns, he was removed from his offices; for, had he been in one, very likely the queen would have described him by it; and this seems to receive confirmation by the question Belshazzar put to him upon his coming into his presence,

art thou that Daniel, &c.; and only says that he had heard of him, Daniel 5:13,

in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; something divine, something more than human; she uses the very words of Nebuchadnezzar; which seems to confirm that opinion, that she was his widow, Daniel 4:8,

and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; "light" in the knowledge of things obscure; understanding in the interpretation of dreams; and "wisdom" in things both human and divine, like that of an angel of God, as Jacchiades interprets "Elohim": of this instances were given in the days of his grandfather, for so Nebuchadnezzar was; nor is it unusual for a grandfather to be called a father, and even a more remote ancestor; which instances were, telling him his dream when he had forgot it, as well as the interpretation of it; and explaining his dream or vision of the tree cut down to its stump; of which see Daniel chapters two and four:

whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, Daniel 2:48 she seems tacitly to upbraid him with his neglect of such a man, or with turning him out of his office, when so great a prince as his grandfather was took so much notice of him, and so highly advanced him.

There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the {i} magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;

(i) Read Da 4:6; and this declares that both this name was odious to him, and also he did not use these vile practises, because he was not among them when all were called.

11. in whom is the spirit, &c.] As Daniel 4:8, where see the note.

thy father] see on Daniel 5:2.

like the wisdom of (the) gods] Cf. 2 Samuel 14:20. The queen, however, speaks as a polytheist.

made master of the magicians, &c.] See Daniel 2:48 and Daniel 4:9.

enchanters, Chaldeans, and determiners (of fates)] As Daniel 5:7.Size, Gates, and Name of the City

To complete the whole picture of the future land of Israel, what has been stated in Ezekiel 48:15 and Ezekiel 48:16 concerning the size of the holy city is still further expanded here. - Ezekiel 48:30. And these are the outgoings of the city from the north side, four thousand and five hundred (rods) measurement. Ezekiel 48:31. And the gates of the city according to the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates toward the north; the gate of Reuben one, the gate of Judah one, the gate of Levi one. EZechariah 48:32. And on the east side four thousand five hundred (rods): and three gates; namely, the gate of Joseph one, the gate of Benjamin one, the gate of Dan one. EZechariah 48:33. And to the south side, four thousand five hundred measurement: and three gates; the gate of Simeon one, the gate of Issachar one, the gate of Zebulon one. Ezekiel 48:34. To the west side, four thousand five hundred - their gates three; the gate of Gad one, the gate of Asher one, the gate of Naphtali one. Ezekiel 48:35. Round about, eighteen thousand (rods); and the name of the city: from henceforth Jehovah there. - The situation of the city of God within the terumah and its external dimensions have already been generally indicated in Ezekiel 48:15, Ezekiel 48:16. Here the measurement of the several sides is specified with a notice of their gates, and this is preceded by the heading, "the outlets of the city." תּוצאת, the outgoings (not extensions, for the word never has this meaning) as the furthest extremities in which a city or a tract of land terminates; not outlets or gates, which are expressly distinguished from them, but outgoing sides; hence the definition of the extent or length of the several sides is appended immediately afterwards. The enumeration commences, as above in the case of the land, with the north side. Each side has three gates, so that the whole city has twelve, which bear the names of the twelve tribes, like the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem in Revelation 21:12, because it will be the city of the true people of God. Levi is included here, and consequently Ephraim and Manasseh are united in the one tribe of Joseph. The three sons of Leah commence the series with the northern gates. They also stand first in the blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:6-8 : the first-born in age, the first-born by virtue of the patriarchal blessing, and the one chosen by Jehovah for His own service in the place of the first-born. Then follow, for the eastern gates, the two sons of Rachel, according to their age (thus deviating from Deuteronomy 33:12 and Deuteronomy 33:13), and, along with them, the elder son of Rachel's maid; for the southern gates, the three other sons of Leah; and lastly, for the western gates, the three other sons of the maids. Being thus indicated by the names of its gates as the city of all Israel, the city itself receives a name, which exalts it into the city of God (Jehovah). But different explanations have been given of the words in Ezekiel 48:35 which refer to this name. The allusion in מיום and the meaning of שׁמּה are both disputed points. It is true that the latter literally means "thither;" but Ezekiel also uses it as synonymous with שׁם, "there," in Ezekiel 23:3 and Ezekiel 32:29-30, so that the assertion that שׁמּה never means "there" is incorrect. מיום, from day forward, equivalent to henceforward; but not henceforth and for ever, though this may be implied in the context. Whether מיום be taken in connection with the preceding words, "the name of the city will henceforward be," or with those which follow, the name of the city will be, "henceforward Jehovah there," makes no material difference so far as the thought is concerned, as the city can only bear the name from the time when Jehovah is שׁמּה, and can only bear it so long as Jehovah is שׁמּה. But so far as the question is concerned, whether שׁמּה signifies thither or there in this passage, Hvernick is of opinion, indeed, that the whole of Ezekiel's vision does not harmonize with the meaning "there," inasmuch as he separates temple and city, so that Jehovah does not properly dwell in Jerusalem, but, in the strictest an highest sense, in His sanctuary, and turns thence to Jerusalem with the fulness of His grace and love. But if Jehovah does not merely direct His love toward the city from afar off, but, as Hvernick still further says, turns it fully toward it, causes His good pleasure to rest upon it, then He also rules and is in the city with His love, so that it can bear the name "Jehovah thither (there)." In any case, the interpretation, "Jehovah will from henceforth proceed thither, to restore it, to make it a holy city" (Kliefoth), is untenable; for the name is not given to Jerusalem when lying waste, but to the city already restored and fully built, which Ezekiel sees in the spirit. He has therefore before this turned His favour once more to Jerusalem, which was laid waste; and the name יהוה שׁמּה, given to the new Jerusalem, can only affirm that henceforward it is to be a city of Jehovah, i.e., that from this time forth Jehovah will be and rule in her. The rendering "Jehovah thither" does not answer to this, but only the rendering, "Jehovah will be there." compare Isaiah 60:14, where Jerusalem is called the city of Jehovah, Zion of the Holy One in Israel, because the glory of Jehovah has risen over her as a brilliant light.

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