The Book Of Daniel: The Key To Bible Prophecy

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The Book of Daniel: the Key to Bible prophecy
Chapter 5
Introduction to Chapter 5 Chapter five is a drama that unfolds before the readers eyes. There are several concurrent events taking place. While Belshazzar is busy feasting with his nobles, wives and concubines, the armies of Persia are outside the walls of Babylon planning their assault on the impregnable city, the pride and glory of the Babylonian kingdom. This chapter takes place at the close of the Babylonian kingdom; in the year 539 B.C., Chapter 4 is at the close of the life of Nebuchadnezzar in 562 B.C., chapter 5 is 23 years later. Chronologically chapter 7 and 8 take place before chapter 5. The reign of Belshazzar begins about the 553 B.C., so chapter 7 takes place in the first year and chapter 8 in the third year, or about 547 B.C. This chapter until recently was one of the most attacked chapters in Daniel, because no confirmation outside the bible of existed verifying Belshazzar, as king of Babylon. However, the discovery of the Nabonidus Chronicle changed all this. The Nabonidus Chronicle verified the Belshazzar as the son of Nabonidus, who was the known king of Babylonian Empire. According to Berosus, a Chaldean historian, preserved by Josephus, Nebuchadnezzar died after a reign of 43 years, he was followed by his son Evil-Merodach. Evil-Merodach was assassinated by Neriglisar, his sisters husband, after two years of rule, because his rule was arbitrary and licentious. Neriglisar occupied the throne for four years. After his death, his son, Laborosoarchod, a child, reigned for nine-months, until he was beaten to death as a result of a conspiracy. The conspirators appointed Nabonidus, who was one of them, he ruled for 17 years, until he was defeated by Cyrus the great in 539 B.C. Josephus writes quoting from the Chaldean historian Berosus,
“Nabuchodonosor, after he had begun to build the forementioned wall, fell sick, and departed this life, when he had reigned fortythree years; whereupon his son Evil-merodach obtained the kingdom. He governed public affairs after an illegal and impure manner, and had a plot laid against him by Neriglissoor, his sister’s husband, and was slain by him when he had reigned but two years. After he was slain, Neriglissoor, the person who plotted against him, succeeded him in the kingdom, and reigned four years; his son Laborosoarchod obtained the kingdom, though he was but a child, and kept it nine mouths; but by reason of the very ill temper and ill practices he exhibited to the world, a plot was laid against him also by his friends, and he was tormented to death. After his death, the conspirators got together, and by common consent put the crown upon the head of Nabonnedus, a man of Babylon, and one who belonged to that insurrection. In his reign it was that the walls of the city of Babylon were curiously built with burnt brick and bitumen; but when he was come to the seventeenth year of his reign, Cyrus came out of Persia with a great army; and having already conquered all the rest of Asia, he came hastily to Babylonia. When Nabonnedus perceived he was coming to attack him, he met him with his forces, and joining battle with him was beaten, and fled away with a few of his troops 1833 with him, and was shut up within the city Borsippus. Hereupon Cyrus took Babylon, and gave order that the outer walls of the city should be demolished, because the city had proved very troublesome to him, and cost him a great deal of pains to take it. He then marched away to Borsippus, to besiege Nabonnedus; but as Nabonnedus did not sustain the siege, but delivered himself into his hands, he was at first kindly used by Cyrus, who gave him Carmania, as a place for him to inhabit in, but sent him out of Babylonia. Accordingly Nabonnedus spent the rest of his time in that country, and there died.”

Chapter 5 documents the transition between the Babylonian and Persian kingdoms. Daniel chapters 6, 9-12 take place during the Persian Empire, which