The Heart of Daniel

A nerdy friend once suggested I get a tattoo (wait, would this disqualify him from being nerdy?) that says “I heart Daniel,” and, from the trenches of commentary writing, I have to say Daniel is the man who gets most of my time these days. Though, let’s be clear: I’m not writing a commentary about…

Legal Ease?

I spent the better part of December sequestered in a Seattle jury box while two feisty lawyers gave me and my fellow captives their best show. When they finally finished, we spent two more days locked in a deliberation room trying to figure out both what we had just witnessed and what had actually happened…

Taking and Making Opportunity

Daniel 6 is the last of the narrative (i.e., story) chapters in the book before we move into the apocalyptic/prophetic half of the book (chs. 7–12). It’s also part of the block of Aramaic text we’ve talked about before, and in this Aramaic chiasm, the story of Daniel in the lions’ den in chapter 6…

The Worst Penmanship Lesson Ever, Part 2

Elementary school teachers learn how to read the indecipherable. It just goes with the territory. By Christmas time, they can fairly accurately sort and grade a batch of papers even if half the class forgot to put their names on the papers. (Though in my class, you didn't win any prizes if I had to…

God Just Might Be a Lefty

People have asked me on occasion why I like Hebrew (the language of the Old Testament) better than Greek (the language of the New Testament). There’s a variety of ways to answer this question, but today’s answer is that Hebrew is friendly to lefties. If you’ve had the misfortune of hearing me drone on about…

A Howling Good Time

Belshazzar may not have finished swallowing his first sip of wine from God’s goblets when a disembodied hand appeared, writing on the palace wall. The narrator bothers to tell us that the hand was opposite the lampstand. Maybe he wants to explain why the king could see it (though that seems unnecessary) or, more likely,…

Say It with a Song

So what’s this important something Nebuchadnezzar had to say? The suspense has probably been causing you pain for a week. Let me put you out of your misery. The great and mighty king of Babylon is bubbly. He’s tickled to tell his story. The stuffy wording of most translations zaps the life right out of…