Daniel 5:6

6 1Then the king's color changed, 2and his thoughts alarmed him; 3his limbs gave way, and 4his knees knocked together.

Daniel 5:6 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 5:6

Then the kings countenance changed
Or, "his brightness" {l}; his ruddy countenance, his florid looks, his gay airs; all his jollity and mirth, that appeared in his face, were changed into paleness, sadness, and confusion: and his thoughts troubled him;
what should be the meaning of this; perhaps he might immediately fear it presaged ruin and destruction to him; the sins of his former life might at once come into his thoughts, and those particularly he had now been guilty of; his luxury and intemperance, his idolatry and profanation of the vessels of the sanctuary, which his conscience might accuse him of, and give him great distress and trouble: so that the joints of his loins were loosed;
or, "the girdles of his loins" F13; which were loosed or broke, through the agitation he was in; or he was all over in a sweat, so that he was obliged to loose his girdle; or, as persons in great fear and consternation, he was seized with a pain in his back; it opened as it were; nor could he hold his urine; as Grotius and others; see ( Isaiah 45:1 ) , where this seems to be prophesied of: and his knees smote one against another;
as is the case of persons in a great tremor, or under a panic. "Et subito genua intremuere timore".--Ovid.


F12 (yhwyz) "splendores ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis.
F13 (hurx yrjq) "cingula lumborum ejus", Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius.

Daniel 5:6 In-Context

4 They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
5 Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.
6 Then the king's color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together.
7 The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."
8 Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation.

Cross References 4

  • 1. [ver. 10; Daniel 7:28]
  • 2. [Daniel 4:5, 19; Daniel 7:28]
  • 3. [Psalms 69:23; Isaiah 45:1]
  • 4. Nahum 2:10
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.