Dissertation 18.


Daniel 5:10

Calvin doubts whether this was the wife or grandmother of Belshazzar. But there is another possible solution. Prideaux supposes she was the mother of the king, following the narrative of Herodotus, though Grotius and Josephus represent her as the widow of Nebuchadnezzar. The author of "The Times of Daniel" differs from the received view of the times of Nitocris; she reigned, he concludes, "in the generation before Nebuchadnezzar's father." Her name is not found in the Astronomical Canon, and consequently either Herodotus or the Canon must be mistaken. Nitocris, says Herodotus, lived five generations after Semiramis, but then, according to Bryant, eight different periods have been assigned for his reign, between A.C. 2177 and 713. Notwithstanding the celebrity which Herodotus has conferred upon his name, it is impossible now to ascertain whether she was the queen-mother alluded to in the text, but it is equally injudicious to pronounce positively that she was not. Hengstenberg has discussed this question with his usual sagacity. Heeren makes her the contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar, and probably his wife; but Hengstenberg inclines to the view of her being the queen-mother. "We may then justly compare what Herodotus says of Nitocris with that which occurs here of the queen, and it only need be quoted to shew a perfect agreement." 1 Rosenmuller agrees with Jerome in thinking her the widow of Nebuchadnezzar, and Oecolampadius adopts the same view, when commenting with great spirit and animation on this point.

1 See Prideaux, 1. p. 227; Eichhorn, 1 p. 79; Jahn Archaeol., 2 1 p. 217.