Daniel 5:30

30 That very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed.

Daniel 5:30 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 5:30

In that night was Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans,
] Not by a servant of his own, as Jacchiades; or by an eunuch, one of his guards, as Saadiah and Joseph ben Gorion F2; but by Gadales and Gobryas, who led Cyrus's army up the river Euphrates into the city of Babylon, its course being turned; the inhabitants of which being revelling and rioting, and the gates open, these men went up to the king's palace; the doors of which being opened by the king's orders to know what was the matter, they rushed in, and finding him standing up with his sword drawn in his own defence, they fell upon him, and slew him, and all about him, as Xenophon F3 relates; and this was the same night the feast was, and the handwriting was seen, read, and interpreted. This was after a reign of seventeen years; for so Josephus says F4, that Baltasar or Belshazzar, in whose reign Babylon was taken, reigned seventeen years; and so many years are assigned to him in Ptolemy's canon; though the Jewish chronicle F5 allows him but three years, very wrongly, no more of his reign being mentioned in Scripture: see ( Daniel 7:1 ) . His death, according to Bishop Usher F6, Mr. Whiston F7, and Mr. Bedford F8, was in the year of the world 3466 A.M., and 538 B.C. Dean Prideaux F9 places it in 539 B.C.


F2 Hist. Heb. l. 1. c. 6. p. 26.
F3 Cyropaedia, l. 7. sect. 22, 23.
F4 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 4.
F5 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 28. p. 81.
F6 Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3466.
F7 Chronological Tables, cent. 10.
F8 Scripture Chronology, p. 711.
F9 Connexion par. 1. p. 120.

Daniel 5:30 In-Context

28 means ‘divided’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was dressed in purple robes, a gold chain was hung around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.
30 That very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed.
31 And Darius the Mede took over the kingdom at the age of sixty-two.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or Chaldean.
  • [b]. The Persians and Medes conquered Babylon in October 539