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view has also been taken by Dr. Mead in his Medica Sacra,' and by Dr. J. M. Good in his ‹Study of Medicine.' We cannot perhaps do better than transcribe the opinion of the former of these learned and pious physicians.
"All the circumstances of Nebuchadnezzar's case agree so well with an hypochondriacal madness, that to me it appears evident that Nebuchadnezzar was seized with this distemper, and under its influence ran wild into the fields; and that, fancying himself transformed into an ox, he fed on grass, after the manner of cattle. For every sort of madness is the disease of a disturbed imagination; which this unhappy man laboured under full seven years. And through neglect of taking proper care of himself, his hair and nails grew to an uncommon length; whereby the latter, growing thicker and crooked, resembled the claws of birds. Now the ancients called people affected with this kind of madness Xuxartowa (wolf-men) or xuvav@gwa (dog-men); because they went abroad in the night imitating wolves or dogs; particularly intent upon opening the sepulchres of the dead, and had their legs much ulcerated, either from frequent falls or the bites of dogs. In like manner are the daughters of Protus related to have been mad, who, as Virgil says (Ecl. vi. 48):
-Implerunt falsis mugitibus agros.'
'With mimic howlings fill'd the fields.'
For, as Servius observes, Juno possessed their minds with such a species of fury, that, fancying themselves cows, they ran into the fields, bellowed often, and dreaded the plough. Nor was this disorder unknown to the moderns; for Schenckius records a remarkable instance of it in a husbandman of Padua, who, imagining himself a wolf, attacked and even killed several people in the fields; and when at length he was taken, he persevered in declaring himself a real wolf, and that the only difference consisted in the inversion of his skin and hair. But it may be objected to our opi nion that this misfortune was foretold to the king.s that he might have prevented it by correcting his morals; and therefore it is not probable that it befel him in the course of nature. But we know that those things which God executes either through clemency or vengeance are frequently performed by the assistance of natural causes. Thus, having threatened Hezekiah with death, and being afterwards moved by his prayers, he restored him to life, and made use of figs laid on the tumour as a medicine for his disease. He ordered king Herod, upon account of his pride, to be devoured by worms. And nobody doubts but that the plague, which is generally attributed to Divine wrath, most commonly owes its origin to corrupted air."
In corroboration of the view here taken, it may be observed. that after the seven years, the king describes his reason as returning to him, which as clearly as possible intimates that it had previously been taken from him.
Chald. brightnesses 7 Or, purple.
8 Chald. brightnesses.
changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed and his knees smote one against another.
7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with 'scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
9 Then was king Beishazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
10 ¶ Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy counte nance be changed:
11 '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 magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
3 Chald, changed it.
12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, "interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and "dissolving of "doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.
13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
15 Chald. knots. 19 Or, to deal proudly.
16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst "make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
17¶Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
16 Or, grandfather. 20 Chald. made to come down.
20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened "in pride, he was "de
17 Chald. interpret.
posed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
21 And he was "driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
FROM 'L'ART De Verifier.' 605 NEBUCHADNEZZAR, who was succeeded by his son 562 EVILMERODACH, who having provoked general indignation by his tyranny and atrocities, was, after a short reign of about two years, assassinated by his brother-in-law
29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, "being "about threescore and two years old.
#1 Chap. 4. 32.
Or, he made his heart equal, &c.
23 Chald. he as the son of, &c. 24 Or, now.
Verse 1. "Belshazzar."-The name of Belshazzar does not occur in the profane historians; and it has therefore become a question, with which of the Babylonian kings mentioned by them he should be identified. The other perplexities, historical and chronological, which involve this period of Babylonian history, have also been alluded to by us on more than one occasion. In the note to 2 Kings xxv. 27, we have stated, very briefly, the substance of the common account; and, under Ezra i., we have furnished a corrected statement, collected from Dr. Hales. As this matter is of importance to the proper understanding of this chapter, we wish here to return to it, but not further than to enable the reader to see clearly the effect of the different statements. The common account we shall collect from 'L'Art de Vérifier les Dates,' and the other from Hales's Analysis,' disposing them in opposite columns for the sake of comparison.
560 NERIGI ISSAR, OF NERICASSOLASSAR, who was regarded as a deliverer, and succeeded by the choice of the nation. He perished in a battle against Cyrus the Persian, and was succeeded by his son
24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
555 LABOROSOARCHOD, notorious for his cruelty and oppression, and who was assassinated by two nobles, Gobryas and Gadatas, whose sons he had slain. The vacant throne was then ascended by
27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
FROM HALES'S' ANALYSIS.' 604 NEBUCHADNEZZAR, was succeeded by his son 561 EVILMERODACH, or ILVERODAM, who was slain in a battle against the Medes and Persians, and was succeeded by his son
558 NERIGLISSAR, NIRICASSOLASSAR, or BELSHAZZAR, the
common accounts of whom seem to combine what is said both of Neriglissar and his son, opposite. He was killed by conspirators on the night of the "impious feast," leaving a son (a boy)
553 LABOROSOARCHOD, on whose death, nine months after, the dynasty became extinct, and the kingdom came peaceably to "Darius the Mede," or Cyaxares, who, on the well known policy of the Medes and Persians, appointed a Babylonian nobleman, named NABONADIUS, or LABYNETUS, to be king or viceroy. This person revolted against Cyrus, who had succeeded to the united empire of the Medes and Persians. Cyrus could not immediately attend to him, but at last marched to Babylon, and took the city, as foretold by the prophets, and as we have described in the notes on Jer. li.
554 NABONADIUS, the LABYNETUS of Herodotus, the NA-
We believe that this form of stating the question too clearly exhibits the difference generally, and concerning Belshazzar in particular, to render further explanation necessary. It will be observed that the principal point is, that Hales contends that the succession of Darius the Mede to the Babylonian throne was not attended with war; that Belshazzar was not the king in whose time the city was taken by Cyrus; and, consequently, that the events which took place this night were quite distinct from, and anterior to that siege and capture of the city by the Persian king, which Isaiah and Jeremiah so particularly and remarkably foretold.
8. "They could not read the writing."-"The reason why the wise men of Babylon could not read the Divine inscription was, that it was written in the primitive Hebrew character, which differed totally from the Chaldee. It was the original from which the Samaritan was formed, and which therefore it nearly resembled, though greatly superior to it
in beauty, symmetry, and elegance. Some advantageous specimens of it are fortunately preserved on sacred shekels and Jewish coins of high antiquity, drawings of which may be seen in Walton's Supplementum de Siclorum formis et inscriptionibus,' prefixed to the first volume of the London Polyglott Bible, and elsewhere." (Hales's Analysis,' vol. ii. p. 463.)
10. "The queen...came into the banquet house."-We are informed above, that the "wives and concubines" of the king were present at the banquet. It therefore seems probable that the "queen" who now first appears was the queenmother; and this probability is strengthened by the intimate acquaintance which she exhibits with the affairs of Nebuchadnezzar's reign; at the latter end of which, she, as wife of Evil-merodach, who was regent during his father's alienation of mind, took an active part in the internal policy of the kingdom, and in the completion of the great works which Nebuchadnezzar had begun at Babylon. This she continued during the reigns of her husband and of her son, the present Belshazzar. This famous queen Nitocris could not therefore but be well acquainted with the character and services of Daniel. But how happens it that Belshazzar needed the information concerning Daniel which the queen afforded; and how was it that he should have been unacquainted even with the person (as it appears from verse 13-" Art thou that Daniel?"—that he was) of so eminent a person and important public officer as Daniel? An ingenious and not improbable solution of this difficulty has been afforded by Sir John Chardin, in his MS., quoted by Harmer. 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.
25. "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN."-The word PERES, below in verse 28, is the singular of the word which is here as PHARSIN, with the prefixed u (1), or "and." Whether this singular is in exchange for the plural of the text, or whether it should be inserted before that plural, is doubtful. A repetition of the same words, both singular, as in "MENE, MENE," or one singular and the other plural, as would be "PERES, UPHARSIN," are forms employed to give intensity to the sense. The words are Chaldean; but being in the ancient Hebrew character, the Chaldeans could not read them; and if they could have done so, it would have been beyond their power to supply that interpretation which Daniel gives. We may take the following view of the inscription and interpretation from Hales.
UPHARSIN. "AND DIVISIONS."
MENE-"God hath numbered thy reign, and
come to pass. (See Gen. xli. 32.)
TEKEL-"Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting." (See Job xxxi. 6; Rev. vi. 5.)
[UPHARSIN]"And given to the Mede and the Persian." [Darius and Cyrus.]
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN DEATH JUDGMENT.
27." Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting."-The idea involved in this is sufficiently obvious in itself. But it is by no means impossible that the allusion received more force and meaning than we give to it from a reference to some opinion or custom common among the Babylonians. What that was, we cannot say precisely; but probabilities may be suggested by analogies derived from other sources. Thus the Egyptians entertained the belief that the actions of the dead were solemnly weighed in balances before Osiris, and that the condition of the departed was determined according to the preponderance of good or evil. Such judgment scenes are very frequently represented in the paintings and papyri of ancient Egypt, and one of them we have copied as a suitable illustration of the present subject. One of these scenes, as represented on the walls of a small temple at Dayr-el-Medeeneh, has been so well explained by Mr. Wilkinson, that we shall avail ourselves of his description; for although that to which it refers is somewhat dif ferent from the one which we have engraved, his account affords an adequate elucidation of all that ours contains. "Osiris, seated on his throne, awaits the arrival of those souls that are ushered into Amenti. The four genii stand before him on a lotus-blossom [ours has the lotus without the genii], the female Cerberus sits behind them, and Harpocrates on the crook of Osiris. Thoth, the god of letters, arrives in the presence of Osiris bearing in his hand a tablet, on which the actions of the deceased are noted down, while Horus and Aroeris are employed in weighing the
good deeds of the judged against the ostrich feather, the symbol of truth and justice. A cynocephalus, the emblem of truth, is seated on the top of the balance. At length arrives the deceased, who appears between two figures of the goddess, and bears in his hand the symbol of truth, indicating his meritorious actions, and his fitness for admission to the presence of Osiris."
If the Babylonians entertained a similar notion, the declaration of the prophet, "Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting!" must have appeared exceedingly. awful to them. But again, there are allusions in this declaration to some such custom of literally weighing the royal person, as is described in the following passage in the account of Sir Thomas Roe's embassy to the Great Mogul:-"The first of September, (which was the late Mogul's birth-day,) he, retaining an ancient yearly custom, was, in the presence of his chief grandees, weighed in a balance: the ceremony was performed within his house, or tent, in a fair spacious room, whereinto none were admitted but by special leave. The scales in which he was thus weighed were plated with gold; and so was the beam, on which they hung by great chains, made likewise of that most precious metal. The king, sitting in one of them, was weighed first against silver coin, which immediately afterwards was distributed among the poor; then was he weighed against gold; after that against jewels (as they say), but I observed (being there present with my lord ambassador) that he was weighed against three several things, laid in silken bags in the contrary scale. When I saw him in the balance, I thought on Belshazzar, who was found too light. By his weight (of which his physicians yearly keep an exact account), they presume to guess of the present state of his body, of which they speak flatteringly, however they think it to be."
SCALES. FROM AN EGYPTIAN PAINTING ENGRAVED IN ROSELLINI.
1 Daniel is made chief of the presidents. 4 They
His adversaries devoured, 25 and God magnified by a decree.
Ir pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should
Ancient Egyptian Scales.
2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage,
3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because excellent spirit was in him; and the thought to set him over the whole
4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or
Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
"This, M. Champollion supposes to be the heart. I still incline to the construction I have put upon it—a type of the good actions of the deceased."
+ Sometimes, instead of the ostrich-feather, the deceased bears a vase (which is placed in the other scale), and it has then a similar import."