The distressed city of Nineveh (Nah 2:6-2:9)

“The river gates

Are opened.

The palace trembles.

It is decreed

That the city

Be exiled.

Its slave women were

Led away,

Moaning

Like doves,

Beating their breasts.

Nineveh is

Like a pool

Whose waters

Run away.

‘Halt!

Halt!’

They cry.

But no one turns back.

Plunder the silver!

Plunder the gold!

There is no end

Of treasure.

There is an abundance

Of every precious thing.

Devastation!

Desolation!

Destruction!

Hearts faint!

Knees tremble!

All loins quake!

All faces grow pale!”

Nahum painted this picture of chaos in Nineveh.  He said that the river gates were opened, so that the palace and the people in it were trembling.  The people of this city were going to go into exile.  The slave women were led away, moaning like doves and beating their breasts.  The whole city of Nineveh had become like an overflowing pool.  People were saying stop, but no one was listening.  No one turned back as they keep on fleeing.  Meanwhile, there was a great plunder of their treasures of gold, silver, and the other abundant precious things.  Everywhere there was devastation, desolation, and destruction in this great city.  Hearts were fainting, while kneels were trembling.  Their faces grew pale as their loins shook.

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Daniel alone saw the vision (Dan 10:7-10:9)

“I,

Daniel,

Alone,

Saw the vision.

The people,

Who were with me,

Did not see the vision.

But a great trembling

Fell upon them.

They fled.

They hid themselves.

I was left alone

To see this great vision.

My strength

Left me.

My complexion

Grew deathly pale.

I retained no strength.

Then I heard

The sound

Of his words.

When I heard

The sound

Of his words,

I fell into a trance,

Face to the ground.”

Daniel explained in the first-person singular what happened to him when he saw this grand vision. Although there were other people there with him, he was the only one who saw the man clothed in linen. They did not see anything, but they began to tremble and then hid themselves. Thus, Daniel was left alone to see this vision by himself. He, too, had a problem. His strength left me. His complexion turned pale. When he heard the sound of this bronze man’s voice, he fell into a trance, face to the ground.

The queen was concerned (Dan 5:10-5:10)

“When the queen heard

The discussion

Of the king

With his lords,

She came into

The banquet hall.

The queen said.

‘O king!

Live forever!

Do not let your thoughts

Terrify you!

Do not let your face

Grow pale!’”

The queen or the queen mother heard the things and the discussions happening in the banquet hall. Thus, she came in and gave the usual greeting to the king. She told him not to be terrified or pale. Just take it easy and relax! If she was the queen, she would have been at this party, but she might have been the mother of Belshazzar or the queen mother.

The failure of the wise men (Dan 5:8-5:9)

“Then all the king’s wise men

Came in.

But they could not read

The writing.

They could not tell

The king

Its interpretation.

Then King Belshazzar

Became greatly terrified.

His face turned pale.

His lords were perplexed.”

However, when all the wise men came in to see the king, they could not read or interpret the writing on the wall. Then the king got afraid, as his face turned pale again. Even his important lords at this party were perplexed, since they did not know what to do.

King Belshazzar was afraid (Dan 5:6-5:6)

“Then the king’s face

Turned pale.

His thoughts

Terrified him.

His limbs

Gave way.

His knees

Knocked together.”

The king was upset about this mysterious hand writing on the wall. His face turned pale because he was terrified. His limbs went limp, as his knees knocked together.

Queen Esther encounters the king (Greek text only)

“The king was seated on his royal throne. He was clothed in the full array of his majesty. He was all covered with gold and precious stones. He was most terrifying. Lifting his face, flushed with splendor, he looked at her in fierce anger. The queen faltered. She turned pale and faint. She collapsed on the head of the maid who went in front of her. Then God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. In alarm he sprang from his throne. He took her in his arms until she came to herself. He comforted her with soothing words. He said to her.

‘What is it, Esther?

I am your husband.

Take courage!

You shall not die.

Our law applies only to our subjects.

Come near.’”

This Greek text shows the king seated on his royal throne with all his majesty and splendor, covered with gold and precious stones. He had a fierce terrifying look on his face. Queen Esther faltered, turned pale, and fainted. She fell on the maid in front of her. With that, God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. He took her in his arms and told to take courage. She was not going to die since the law about interrupting the king unannounced applied only to the subjects of the king and not to her as his wife.