Critics love to cast doubt on the integrity of the Bible by pointing to Daniel Five.
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. That very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom at the age of sixty-two.Daniel 5:29-31
The critics says what is recorded in the Bible is nonsense. There was no such king as Belshazzar. We know that the king at time (539 BC) the Medio-Persians killed the Babylonian king was Nabonidus. There was no king named Belshazzar outside of the Bible. The writer of Daniel has just simply got the facts wrong and if we can’t trust him with the basic facts how can we trust anything else he says. It seems the writer of Daniel simply came up with the name Belshazzar from his imagination. How can the Bible be considered to be the infallible word of God with such errors in it? And furthermore what is all this nonsense about Daniel being the third highest ruler in the land. No Babylonian king would share his kingship with another. It’s all nonsense. Babylonian kings ruled absolutely as despots; no Babylonian king would share his rule. Rather most kings of the Ancient Near East took anyone who showed any sign of threatening their reign, either conquered foreign king or internal threat and had their eyes poked out with a white-hot iron rod, had their tongues cut out and their fingers on both hands cut off – if they were not just put to death in the first place. Whereupon they were left to grovel for food under the king’s table to feed his ego.
In 1854 the British Consul to Persia, now Southern Iraq found a cylinder with some ancient text on it. The cylinder was sent back to Britain and was decipher by experts in the ancient texts and it was found that Nabonidus’ name was recorded on the cylinder which now bears his name.
On the cylinder is written:
“May I Nabonidus, King of Babylon….may I have my fill of life. As for Belshazzar, my first born son, my dear offering, grant that his days be long O Shamash.”
That is remarkable. In 1854, for the first time, we find a reference to Belshazzar. Nabonidus was referring to his son (or grandson). There are also other documents which give further information into the period of Nabonidus’ reign concerning a period of two to three years when Nabonidus was absent from Babylon and he left his son / grandson as a co-regent – probably at the same time that the Bible talks of Daniel being promoted to a high position in the land. Resulting in three men who shared the rule over Babylon:- Nabonidus, Belshazzar and Daniel. So Daniel was indeed the third highest ruler in the land – exactly as the Bible claims. Nabonidus’ cylinder now sits in the British Museum.
Be careful that you have all the facts before you dare to criticise the Bible and declare it is fallible and filled with errors.