/bel shaz"euhr/, n.a prince of Babylon, son of Nabonidus and co-regent with him, referred to in the Bible as a king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar. Dan. 5.[ < Heb Belshassar < Akkadian Bel-shar-usur may Bel guard the king]
* * *died с 539 BCCoregent of Babylon.Though he is referred to in the book of Daniel as the son of Nebuchadrezzar, Babylonian inscriptions suggest that he was the eldest son of King Nabonidus. When the king went into exile in 550 BC, the kingdom and most of its army were entrusted to Belshazzar. In the biblical story Belshazzar holds a last great feast at which he sees a hand writing on a wall the Aramaic words "mene, mene, tekel, upharsin," which Daniel interprets as a judgment from God foretelling the fall of Babylon. Belshazzar died after Babylon fell to the Persians in 539 BC.
* * *▪ king of BabyloniaNeo-Babylonian Bel-shar-usur , Greek Baltasar , or Balthasardied c. 539 BCcoregent of Babylon who was killed at the capture of the city by the Persians.Belshazzar had been known only from the biblical Book of Daniel (chapters 5, 7–8) and from Xenophon's Cyropaedia until 1854, when references to him were found in Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions. Though he is referred to in the Book of Daniel as the son of Nebuchadrezzar, the Babylonian inscriptions indicate that he was in fact the eldest son of Nabonidus, who was king of Babylon from 555 to 539, and of Nitocris, who was perhaps a daughter of Nebuchadrezzar. When Nabonidus went into exile (550), he entrusted Belshazzar with the throne and the major part of his army.During his coregency Belshazzar administered the government, his own estates, and those of his father, though, according to the Book of Daniel, famine and economic setbacks occurred late in his rule. According to the accounts in the Bible and Xenophon, Belshazzar held a last great feast at which he saw a hand writing on a wall the following words in Aramaic: “mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.” The prophet Daniel, interpreting the handwriting on the wall as God's judgment on the king, foretold the imminent destruction of the city. Belshazzar died after Babylon fell to the Persian general Gobyras without resistance on Oct. 12, 539, and probably before the Persian king Cyrus II entered the city 17 days later.
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