Daniel 5:17 Index
"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.'"
Research Material

"Let they gifts be to thyself..."

  • It is... possible that Daniel knowing that Belshazzar's reign was about to end, had no interest in receiving any favors form the man who that very night had, by acts and words, blasphemed the God of heaven and earth. (4BC 804)
  • In Israel, children were named under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and the name was an expression of character. When God changed a name, as in the case of Abraham, Jacob, or Peter, it was because of a change of character in the individual. True to the name given him by his mother, Daniel -- God's judge -- again appears to vindicate the truth. Nebuchadnezzar had called him Belteshazzar, in honor of the Babylonian god Bel, but to the last this Hebrew, who knew the Lord, remained true to his God-given name, as shown in the Daniel 5:12. He did not speak with flattering words, as the professedly wise men of the kingdom had done, but he spoke the truth of God. It was a moment of intensity, for there was but a single hour in which to make known the future. Daniel was now an old man, but he sternly disclaimed all desire for rewards or honor, and proceeded to review the history of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Lord's dealings with that ruler, -- his dominion and glory, his punishment for pride of heart, and his subsequent acknowledgment of the mercy and power of the God who created the heavens and the earth. He rebuked Belshazzar for his departure from true principles, and for his great wickedness and pride. (SNH 81-82)
  • Daniel omitted the customary salutation, "O king, live forever!" It seemed pointless in view of Belshazzar's imminent death. He was not discourteous to the wayward monarch, but he spoke to the point. In front of the assembled guests and leaders of the nation, he reminded the king of the judgment which had fallen on Nebuchadnezzar on account of his pride; how his mind had become like that of an animal until he confessed that the most high God rules in the kingdom of men (Daniel 5:18-21). These sober words followed: "And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and have brought the vessels of His house before thee, and... have drunk wine in them; and thou hast [praised other gods] 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:..." (Daniel 5:22-23). (MM 77)
  • Before that terror-stricken throng, Daniel, unmoved by the promises of the king, stood in the quiet dignity of a servant of the Most High, not to speak words of flattery, but to interpret a message of doom. (PK 529)
  • Daniel was not awed by the king's appearance, nor confused or intimidated by his words. (The Youth's Instructor article "The Unseen Watcher—No. 2," May 26, 1898)