Me'ne a word Anglicized in the Auth. Vers. of the Chaldee sentence MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSM (מנֵא תּקֵל וּפִרסַין מנֵא, mene', mene', tekel, upharsin', numbered, numbered, weighed, and dividing, as each term is. immediately interpreted, the last being given in its sing. and pass. form פּרֵס, peres', divided; Sept. [i.e. Theodotion ] in both passages μανή, θεκέλ, φάρες; Vulg. mane, thecel, phares), an inscription supernaturally written " upon the plaster of the wall" in Belshazzar's palace at Babylon (Daniel v. 5-25); which " the astrologers, the Chaldmans, and the soothsayers" could neither read nor interpret, but which Daniel first read and then interpreted. Yet the words, as they are found in Daniel, are pure Chaldee, and, if they appeared in the Chaldee character, could have been read, at least, by any person present on the occasion who understood the alphabet of his own language. To account for their inability to decipher this inscription, it has been supposed that it consisted of those Chaldee words written in another character. Dr. Hales thinks that it may have been written in the primitive Hebrew character, from which the Samaritan was formed, and that, in order to show on this occasion that the writer of the inscription was the offended God of Israel, whose authority was at that moment peculiarly despised (ver. 2, 3,4), he adopted his own sacred character, in which he had originally written the decalogue, in which Moses could transcribe it into the law, and whose autograph copy was found in Josiah's days, and was most probably brought to Babylon in the care of Daniel, who could therefore understand the character without inspiration, but which would be unknown to "the wise men of Babylon" (New Analysis of Chronology [Lond. 1811], 1:505). This theory has the recommendation that it involves as little as possible of miraculous agency. Josephus makes Daniel discourse to Belshazzar as if the inscription had been in Greek. "He (Daniel) explained the writing thus: MANH. 'This,' said he, 'in the Greek language, may mean a number ; thus God hath numbered so long a time for thy life and for thy government, and that there remains a short time for thee. ΟΕΚΕΑ. This signifies weight; hence he says, 'God having weighed in a balance the time of thy kingdom, finds it already going down. ΦΑΡΕΣ. This also, according to the Greek language, denotes a fragment; hence ' he will break in pieces thy kingdom, and divide it among the Medes and Persians'" (Ant. 10:11, 3). It has been supposed by some that " the wise men" were not so much at fault to read the inscription as to explain its meaning, which, it is said, they might' sufficiently understand to see its boding import to the monarch, and be unwilling to consider further-like the disciples in regard to the predictions of our Lord's death (Lu 9:45), where it is said, "This saying was hid from them, they perceived it not; and they feared to ask him of that saying." Certainly it is said throughout our narrative that "the wise men could not read the writing, nor make known the interpretation of it," phrases which would seem to mean one and the same thing; since, if they mean different things, the order of ideas would be that they could not interpret nor even read it, and Wintle accordingly translates, "could not read so as to interpret it" (Improved Version of Daniel, Lond. 1/807). At all events, the meaning of the inscription by itself would be extremely enigmatical and obscure. To determine the application, and to give the full sense, of an isolated device which amounted to no more than "he or it is numbered, he or it is numbered, he or it is weighed, they are divided" (and there is even a riddle or paranomasia on the last word פרס; comp. Susannah, ver. 54, 55, and 58, 59, Greek, and Jer 1:11-12, Hebrew; which may either mean "they divide," or "the Persians," with little difference of pronunciation in the sing. [פּרֵס and פָּרִס] and none in the plur. [פִּרסַין]), must surely have required a supernatural endowment on the part of Daniel-a conclusion which is confirmed by the exact coincidence of the event with the prediction, which he propounded with so much fortitude (ver. 30, 31).

Bible concordance for MENE.

Definition of men

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