Daniel 5:24

24. Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

24. Tunc a conspectu ejus missa est particula manus, 1 et scriptura haec notata fuit.


Some stress must be laid upon the adverb Nydab, badin, "at that time," because God's wrath, or at least its denunciation, was now ripe. Daniel, therefore, shews how very patiently God had borne with King Belshazzar in not instantly talking up arms and inflicting punishment; but he now begins to come forth as a judge, and to ascend his judgment seat; for the haughtiness was now desperate, and the impiety no longer tolerable. We observe with what emphasis the word then is used; as if he had said, Thou canst not complain of the swiftness of the penalty, as if God had exacted it before the time. Thou canst not here complain of God's swiftness in punishing thee; for think and consider in how many ways, and for how long a time, thou hast provoked his anger. And with 'regard to thy last crime, thou certainly hadst arrived at the height of impiety, when that hand appeared to thee. God, therefore, now drags thee to punishment in proper time, since he has hitherto borne with thee and thy sins. After this forbearance, what remains to prevent his destroying thee, because thou hast so proudly insulted him, and art utterly hardened, without the slightest hope of amendment.

He says also, from himself; for Belshazzar need not inquire whence the hand proceeded, it came from the presence of God; that is, This hand is a witness to the wrath of heaven; do not consider it as a specter which will vanish away, but see in this appearance a proof of God's displeasure at thy wickedness; and because thou hast arrived at thy last extremity, thy punishment is also ready for thee. And this writing, says he, has been marked; as if he had said, The eyes of King Belshazzar were not deceived, since this was really God's hand, being sent from his sight as a certain testimony of his wrath. He afterwards adds, --

1 Some translate, "the palm," but they understand a hand separate from the body -- that portion of a hand, that is, a hand as if cut off from the body, was sent from God's presence, says he. -- Calvin.