Babylon fell in 539 BC, twenty-three years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar. A quarter of a century, therefore, has elapsed since the events of chapter 4.
- What four accusations did Daniel bring against Belshazzar? In what two ways was Belshazzar’s sin aggravated and made worse?
- Consider the judgment pronounced upon Belshazzar as symbolizing the divine judgment upon all ungodliness, whether in national or individual life. See verses 26-28, and cf. Prov. 15:3, 9; Eccles. 8:11-13.
- The identity of Belshazzar was for a long time unknown, but he is now known to have been the eldest son of King Nabonidus (556-539 BC), and to have shared the duties of the throne with his father.
While Nabonidus was away from Babylon, his son had supreme authority there.
- Verse 10. ‘The queen’: probably the queen-mother, widow of Nebuchadnezzar.
- Verses 25-28. The words represent three weights or coins, i.e., mina, shekel and peres or half-mina.
But the interpretation conceals numerous plays on words, for the verbal roots mean ‘to number, to weigh and to divide’.
In the case of ‘peres’, ‘to divide’, there is a further similarity to the word for Persian.