Monday, December 4, 2023

When A Woman Steps In

I sometimes feel like women are often overlooked, which is why I love to discover little-known women of the Bible.  

I was struck this morning by what appears to be a minor detail in a familiar story - the handwriting on the wall. The Queen mother steps in and mentions that she knows of Daniel, who can interpret dreams. How would the story have turned out if the Queen had not known of Daniel? 

Let's backtrack.

In Daniel 5, King Belshazzar is partying; he uses the gold and
silver goblets from the holy temple in Jerusalem. King Belshazzar then sees a mysterious handwriting on the wall in response to the defilement of such holy and sacred items. This apparition perplexed him to the point of losing control of his body - his legs became weak (some translations say he lost control of his bowels), and his knees knocked. Terrified, he calls for his wise men, who are useless; they have no idea where to begin or what this could mean.

Just as Belshazzar is panicking, the Queen steps in (even this act is extraordinary because one must be summoned to see the King).

The queen, hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “May the king live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father, he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and diviners. He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means (Daniel 5:10-12).”

The Queen knew royal protocol - upon entry, she said, "O king live forever" (see Daniel 2:4 and Daniel 6:21). She mentions Daniel, who had served under Nebuchadnezzar, the previous King. She was not nervous, and she was respected. Ultimately, the King listened and acted on her request. While the specific identity of the Queen is not mentioned, her words were pivotal and served as a link to Daniel, who then interpreted the writing on the wall.

Unfortunately, what Daniel had to say was unfavorable to the King, but at least he finally knew his fate; God's judgment was at the door.

The Queen's demeanor strikes me. She stepped in with reassurance and confidence. I aspire to this mode of operation, especially when chaos surrounds me.

Have you ever noticed or considered the Queen Mother's role? 

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1 comment:

  1. What an interesting post. I've noticed a trend where older people prefer to be known as elders or wise. This makes perfect sense for women. Our years of experience give us wisdom and learning. Unfortunately we don't always get the respect accorded to The Queen Mother because of ageism. But that's another story.


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