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Dissertation 19.

THE HAND-WRITING ON THE WALL.

Daniel 5:25

We are constantly reminded of the necessity of a knowledge of words, if we would interpret aright the Word of God. That record which is emphatically “The Word,” is composed in detail of many words, and it is literally impossible so to understand Holy Scripture as to expound it fully, without a knowledge and use of single expressions. This remark is peculiarly applicable in the present instance. Calvin takes each word separately in the perfect tense, while in the Arabic, the past participle is used, viz., mensuratum, appensum, divisum.

מנא, mene, is the participle pihel of the verb מנא, mana, numeravit, meaning to set bounds to the continuance of anything.

תקל, tekel, is the Chaldee word for the Hebrew שקל, shekel, to weigh — the shekel being a standard weight of silver money. The reference is to the Almighty weighing in the balances of Justice the conduct of the king.

ופרסיף, upharsin et dividentes; Calvin thus literally, and Rosenmuller explains that the active participle plural is taken impersonally, and is thus equal to the part. pass. sing. The ending ן, n, it must be recollected, is the Chaldee equivalent for the Hebrew ם

The allusion to the balance in relation to a kingdom is common among ancient classical writers. Homer, Iliad, lib. 22 and Virgil, AEn., lib. 12, contain instances; as well as the Paradise Lost, Book 6.

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