Today's passage: Daniel 5:1-12
- Chapter 5 moves into the reign of Belshazzar.
- Nabonidus reigned as king after Nebuchadnezzar.
- Belshazzar and Nabonidus then shared a co-regency (He could only promise the third highest position in the kingdom).
- It is believed by historians that Nabonidus spent time away from Babylon worshiping their moon god, leaving Belshazzar in charge.
- Using the vessels from the Temple of God to drink and toast to the gods of the Babylonians was a direct insult to the God of Israel and would have normally been viewed as insulting and inappropriate even by the Babylonians…the king was drunk and wanted to assert the superiority of Babylon when he gave the command. Quite the contrast from Nebuchadnezzar's realization from Daniel 4!
- The king was not hallucinating. Everyone could see the writing on the wall.
- The queen who called for the king to bring in Daniel was quite possibly the queen mother, either Nebuchadnezzar's or Nabonidus' queen.
Questions to consider:
- Why was Belshazzar's decision to bring in the items from the Temple in Jerusalem so foolish? What do you think he was trying to communicate with their use for drinking and toasting the Babylonian gods?
- What do you think Belshazzar would have been thinking when he first saw the hand and the writing? What might he have thought concerning the gods and the supernatural activity?
- Even though the queen didn't know why Daniel was the way he was, how did his testimony of service provide an opportunity for him to be used by God? Who made Daniel that way and gifted him for that time and these opportunities? How could God use you today?