Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his
lords, came into the banquet house
Not the wife of Belshazzar, as Porphyry would have it; but rather the queen mother, as Jacchiades, the widow of Evilmerodach his father, whose name was Nitocris; and is spoken of, by Herodotus F17, as a very prudent woman; and as this seems to be by her words and conduct: though Josephus F18 says it was his grandmother, she who had been the wife of Nebuchadnezzar; and of this opinion were some mentioned by Aben Ezra; whose name was Amyitis; and it appears, by what she says afterwards, that she was well acquainted with affairs in his time; and, being an ancient woman, might be the reason why she was not among the ladies at the feast in the banqueting house; but came into it, without being sent for, on hearing the consternation and distress the king and his lords were in, and the moanful despairing words they expressed on this occasion: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever;
the usual salutation given to the kings of Babylon, and other eastern monarchs; see ( Daniel 2:4 ) ( 6:21 ) : let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed;
at this affair, as if it could never be understood, and the true meaning of it be given; but be of good: cheer, and put on a good countenance; there is hope yet that it may be cleared up to satisfaction.
F17 Clio, sive l. 1. c. 185, 188.
F18 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 2.