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The Queen of Babylon

Updated
Feb 3, 2024 4:12 PM
Tags
Character StudyWomanDanielPersiaBabylon
Bible References
Daniel 5
Status
In progress

Introduction

There are many women in the Bible who are nameless but have powerful stories. The Queen of Babylon is unique among these nameless women. Her story isn’t particularly tragic, like

. She isn’t immediately relatable, like the woman at the well. Nor is she held up as an example of faith, like the woman with the issue of blood. I’ve never heard a sermon preached about this queen. And yet, she gives us a glimpse at the true meaning of being a help mate.

Her Story

Not much is said about the queen of Babylon in the Bible. In fact everything we are told about her is given in Daniel 5:10-12. In these verses, she is referred to as the queen, which means she was either the mother or primary wife of Belshazzar, king of Babylon.[1] Essentially, she is brought in by the lords, governors, and other men of power to comfort her husband in his distress. The reason for the king’s distress is a message from the Most High God that cannot be deciphered or interpreted by the wise men of his kingdom. It is the queen who suggests they call upon Daniel and reminds us of the great deeds he has done previously.

That’s it. That’s all we know about her.

It seems very mundane but there is a lot to be said about the role this woman played in the narrative. Much like Abigail,—who also ends up married to a king—the queen points out her husband’s transgression and aids in making the most of a situation. From this, the following is of note:

  1. Men of power could not calm the king and deferred to his wife for this task. Countless studies have shown that men are less likely to be vulnerable to other men; in some cases they reserve conversations that make the feel vulnerable for a wife or girlfriend but in many, they won’t open up at all. In our current day with the rise of singleness, the suicide rate is growing rapidly for men in particular.[3][4][5]
  2. The queen is very gentle in her approach of the topic. She begins the conversation just as her intended purpose would suggest, by comforting and reassuring Belshazzar.
  3. The king should have been familiar with Daniel, but it is actually the queen who is able to steer him in the right direction. Daniel was well known at court during the time of Nebuchadnezzar, who is described as Belshazzar’s father in Daniel 5:2—though he was likely Belshazzar’s grandfather.[2] Belshazzar should have been aware of who Daniel was and who The Most High is. Yet, he is mocking the very God Nebuchadnezzar said should not be mocked (Daniel 3:29).
  4. We aren’t told her relationship with God, but she is aware that Daniel is the one the king needs in that moment. Whether she was converted by Daniel and his friends’ actions earlier in her life or not, God put the message of direction in her mouth. God could have put that message in the mouth of any of the men present with the king, but he chose this woman instead.

Who Was the Queen

Unlike some ancient kingdoms Babylon kept a decent amount of records so we can look up information on Belshazzar and hopefully find out information about his wife. Encyclopedia Britannica gives some information about Belshazzar, but does not mention his wife or relationships. It does however tell us that Nitocris, daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, was his mother. If she is the queen discussed here, we now understand why she is more familiar with Daniel than Belshazzar.

References & Footnotes

References & Footnotes

  1. Belshazzar was a co-regent with his father, thus the title of queen may have been retained by his father’s wife. If the title did apply to his own wife, kings typically had multiple wives and/or concubines. However, only one was favored and considered queen. Usually it was this woman’s child that was named heir to the throne.
  2. According to extra-Biblical historical text, Nabonidus was Belshazzar’s father and Nebuchadnezzar was Nabonidus’ father-in-law. Biblically father is used to mean grandfather and the word grandfather does not appear anywhere in the text.
  3. Melanie Hamlett. “Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden”. Bazaar. May 2, 2019
  4. Olive Evans. “Relationships: Are Men More Open With Men?”. New York Times. February 3, 1986
  5. Stats on Suicide In Men”. Heads Up Guys; visited February 2024
  6. Belshazzar, King of Babylonia”. Encyclopedia Britannica; visited February 2024

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LeviticusChapter StudyAppearanceCommandmentsLawSacrificeAdulteryWitchcraftFood and DietFeasts & Holy DaysJustice
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Nehemiah 12-13: Dedication of the Wall
NehemiahChapter Study
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Ezra 2: Those Who Returned
Chapter StudyEzraGenealogy
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Leviticus 23: Feasts & Holy Days
LeviticusChapter StudyFeasts & Holy DaysPassoverDay of AtonementTabernaclesPentecost
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Nehemiah 7-11: Restoration of Jerusalem
NehemiahChapter StudyTithesGenealogyRepentance and ForgivenessSalvationFeasts & Holy Days
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Nehemiah 4-6: Opposition
NehemiahChapter StudyMoneySatan
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Nehemiah 3: Rebuilding the Wall
NehemiahChapter StudyJerusalemWomenMessianic Prophecy
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Nehemiah 2: Back to Jerusalem
NehemiahChapter StudyApologeticsJerusalemLeadershipPersia
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Nehemiah 1: Who is Nehemiah?
Chapter StudyNehemiahJudahPersiaCaptivityJerusalemLeadership
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Esther 8-10: Purim
EstherChapter StudyPurimFeasts & Holy Days
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Esther 6&7: Victory
EstherChapter StudyWomenPersiaIrony
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Esther 3-5: The Threat to the Jews
EstherChapter StudyWomenFastingRacismGenocide
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Esther 2: The Rise of Queen Esther
EstherChapter StudyBenjaminWomenPersia
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Leviticus 17-18: Immorality
LeviticusChapter StudySacrificeFalse Deities and ProphetsSexual Imorality
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Leviticus 16: Atonement
LeviticusChapter StudySacrificeFeasts & Holy DaysSabbath
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Leviticus 14-15: Unclean Buildings & Unclean Flesh
LeviticusChapter StudyClean and Unclean
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Leviticus 13-14: Skin Diseases & Leprosy
LeviticusChapter Study
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Leviticus 11-12: Clean and Unclean
LeviticusChapter StudyClean and UncleanFood and Diet
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Leviticus 8-10: The Priesthood
LeviticusChapter StudyPriesthoodSacrifice
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Leviticus 6-7: Offering Laws
LeviticusChapter StudySacrificeLawAaronPriesthood
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F.E.A.S.T. Method
PsalmsStudy the WordFaith
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The Unnamed Concubine
Character StudyJudgesWomenSexual Assault
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Numbers 6: The Nazarite Vow
NumbersChapter StudySamsonJohn the BaptistOaths and VowsSamuelFastingClean and UncleanPaul
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Judges 19-21: A Call to War
JudgesChapter StudySexual AssaultWomenLeviBenjamin
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Judges 17-18: Micah and the Tribe of Dan
JudgesChapter StudyDanMoneyLeviFalse Deities and ProphetsTheft
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Judges 13-16: Samson
JudgesChapter StudyRelationshipsSamsonWomenPhilistineOaths and VowsDan
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Judges 10-12: Jephthath
JudgesChapter StudyAmmonEphraimOaths and Vows
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Judges 9-10: Abimelech
JudgesChapter Study
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Judges 6-8: Gideon
JudgesChapter StudyManassehMidianAmalakitesHoly SpiritEphraim
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Judges 4-5: Deborah, Jael, and Barak
JudgesChapter StudyDeborahWomenLeadership
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Judges 3: Othniel and Ehud
JudgesChapter StudyCanaanFalse Deities and ProphetsRelationshipsCaptivityBenjaminMoabAmalakites
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Judges 2: Provoking God
JudgesChapter StudyFalse Deities and ProphetsCommandmentsCanaan
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Judges 1: Judah’s Conquest
Chapter StudyJudgesCanaanJudah
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2 Samuel 21-24: Contradictions on David's Final Days?
2 SamuelChapter StudyDavidSaulDoctrinePhilistine
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2 Samuel 19-20: Israel and Judah
2 SamuelChapter StudyDavidDivision of Israel
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2 Samuel 11-12: David and Bathsheba
2 SamuelChapter StudyRelationshipsAdulteryJudgementDavidMurder
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2 Samuel 5-10: David’s Military Success
2 SamuelChapter StudyDavidRelationshipsMessianic Prophecy
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2 Samuel 1-4: After Saul’s Death
2 SamuelChapter StudySaulDavidDivision of Israel
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Do Not Bear False Witness
CommandmentsFalse Deities and ProphetsLaw
📝
Do Not Take the LORD’s Name in Vain
CommandmentsDeuteronomyExodusNames of GodBlasphemy
📝
Do Not Steal
DeuteronomyExodusCommandmentsLawTheft
📝
Do Not Covet
CommandmentsExodusDeuteronomyCovet
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David
Character StudyRuth1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 Kings1 Chronicles2 ChroniclesPsalms
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Amnon
2 SamuelCharacter StudyDavidTamarSexual ImoralitySexual Assault
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Absalom
2 SamuelCharacter Study
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2 Samuel 13-19: Absalom’s Coup
Chapter Study2 SamuelDavidRelationshipsTamarWomenSexual ImoralitySexual AssaultRepentance and Forgiveness
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Deuteronomy 28: The Curse of Israel & The Black Israelite Theory
DeuteronomyChapter StudyRacismIsraelGenealogy
👤
Tamar, daughter of David
Character StudyTamarWomenSexual Assault2 Samuel
📝
S.O.A.P. Method
ExodusTithesMoneyStudy the Word
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Keep the Sabbath Holy
SabbathCommandments
📖
Leviticus 1-6: Offerings
LeviticusChapter StudySacrificeOaths and Vows
📝
You Are What You Eat: Colossians 2
Food and DietClean and UncleanColossians
📝
You Are What You Eat: Introduction
Food and DietClean and Unclean
📝
You Are What You Eat: 1 Timothy 4:1-7
1 TimothyTimothyFood and DietClean and Unclean
📝
You Are What You Eat: Isaiah 66
Food and DietClean and UncleanIsaiahProphecy
📝
You Are What You Eat: Mark 7:15
Food and DietClean and UncleanMatthewMark
📝
You Are What You Eat: Romans 14
Food and DietClean and UncleanRomans
📝
You Are What You Eat: Acts 10
Food and DietActsPeterDiscipleship
📝
Why ‘The Bride of Christ’ is the Perfect Description
RelationshipsRevelationMessiahProphecy
📖
Acts 16: Timothy Was Biracial…Sort Of
ActsChapter StudyTimothyGenealogyCircumcisionPaulWomenBaptism
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Dinah
Character StudyGenesisWomenSexual AssaultDinahJacobLeahLeviSimeonYouTube
📖
Acts 15: Disagreements in the Church
ActsChapter StudyPaulPeterLeadershipCommandmentsSalvationCircumcisionRepentance and Forgiveness
📖
Acts 13-14: The First Missionary Journey of Paul
ActsChapter StudyLeadershipThe ChurchPaulGenealogyDiscipleship
📖
Acts 12: Peter, Rhoda, and Herod
ActsChapter StudyWomenPeterPersecutionRomeHolidayPassover
Would You Rather?: Fatherly Treatment
Would You RatherEdomJacobJosephGenesisRelationshipsTheft
Would You Rather?: Feed vs. Heal
Would You RatherSpiritual GIftsJohnMatthew
Would You Rather?: Ask or Disobey
Would You RatherEstherDaniel
Would You Rather?: Marriage vs. Singleness
Would You RatherRelationshipsLoveRepentance and ForgivenessHoseaPaul
Would You Rather?: Betray or Deny
Would You RatherJudasPeterRepentance and ForgivenessLuke
Would You Rather?: Rahab vs. Mary
Would You RatherRahabMary & JosephWomen
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Theme
Literary Devices
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Tragic Hero
Literary Devices
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Zoomorphism
Literary Devices
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Utopia
Literary Devices
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Tragedy
Literary Devices
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Tragic Flaw
Literary Devices
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Subplot
Literary Devices
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Round Character
Literary Devices
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Synecdoche
Literary Devices
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Symbolism
Literary Devices
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Rising Action
Literary Devices
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Retorical Question
Literary Devices
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Resolution
Literary Devices
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Romance
Literary Devices
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Plot Twist
Literary Devices
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Rebuttal
Literary Devices
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Proverb
Literary Devices
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Refrain and Repetition
Literary Devices
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Plot
Literary Devices
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Prologue
Literary Devices
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Protagonist
Literary Devices
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PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.

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