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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary


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(behl sshaz' zuhr; Bel'ss prince) The Babylonian king whose drunken feast was interrupted by the mysterious appearance of the fingers of a human hand that wrote a cryptic message on the palace wall (Daniel 5:1 ). When the Babylonian seers were unable to interpret the writing, Daniel the Hebrew was called. He interpreted the message for the king, explaining that it meant the kingdom would be taken from Belshazzar and given to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:28 ). According to Daniel 5:30 , Belshazzar was slain on the very night of this incident.

Apart from the account in the Book of Daniel, little is known about Belshazzar. He was the son of Nabonidus, and reigned as co-regent with his father (553-539 B.C.). Nabonidus travelled to Arabia and left Belshazzar in control according to a Babylonian inscription. From the standpoint of Babylonian history, Belshazzar was not a particularly important personage except that he participated in the decisions and events leading to the fall of the Babylonian empire.

See Babylon .

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Belshazzar'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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