Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names
Other names, Chaldee names, according to the names of the gods of that country, for honour and glory, as Saadiah observes; which was done either to make them more acceptable to the court and courtiers of the king of Babylon; and to show that they were his servants, and naturalized subjects; and chiefly to cause them to forget the names their fathers gave them, and out of hatred to them, having all of them in them the names of the true God, El or Jah; and, most of all, that they might forget the God of their fathers, whose names they bore. This prince of the eunuchs seems to be the same with the master of the eunuchs, Ashpenaz, before mentioned, so Jacchiades; but some take him to be another person: what he did in changing the names of these four Hebrew youths was not his own idea and by his own authority, but by the order of the king; ( Daniel 5:12 ) : for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar;
which signifies "Bel hath hid and treasured"; or Bel's treasurer, or the keeper of his treasures; see ( Daniel 1:2 ) . Bel was the chief idol of the Chaldeans, ( Isaiah 46:1 ) , and Daniel was named according to him, as Nebuchadnezzar himself says, ( Daniel 4:8 ) and differs but in one letter from the name of a successor of his, Belshazzar, ( Daniel 5:1 ) , hence Daniel is thought by Broughton, and others, to be the Belesis of Diolorus Siculus: or it may be he had this name given him from "beltis" or "baaltis" F21, a queen and goddess of the Babylonians, and may be compounded of that and "azer": and to Hananiah of Shadrach;
which some interpret a "tender pap", or "breast": others, the "king's messenger", or "the messenger the sun". The word "rach" signifies a "king" with the Chaldeans, as it did with the Egyptians, as may be observed in the word "abrec", the king's father, in ( Genesis 41:43 ) and is used by them of the sun, the prince of planets, whom they worshipped: others, "the inspiration of the sun", their idol. Hillerus F23 explains it of fire, the object of their adoration: and to Mishael of Meshach;
or; "of Shach", which was a name of a god or goddess of the Chaldeans, they worshipped; at the celebration of whose feast they were when Babylon was taken by Cyrus: and to Azariah of Abednego;
or "a servant, or worshipper of Nego". The word signifies "shining brightness": which some understand of fire worshipped by them; others of the bright planet Venus; and others of Lucifer, or the morning star. Saadiah takes it to be the same with Nebo, by a change of a letter, which was a god of the Chaldeans; see ( Isaiah 46:1 ) .
F21 Vid Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p 38. &. l. 9. c. 41. p. 456.
F23 Onomast. Sacr. p. 924.