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The gift of interpretation of tongues in action

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by George Antonios, Jan 27, 2021.

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  1. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    The Scripture:

    Dan 5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
    Dan 5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
    Dan 5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
    Dan 5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
    Dan 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

    The Sum:

    The gift of interpretation of tongues is illustrated by Daniel. The tongue is "divine" or "angelic", but it is linguistic, not gibberish. Daniel breaks down the interpretation by systematically identifying the words and assigning them a uniquely corresponding sense. The tongue is unknown to the people, but not to the speaker, nor to the interpreter.

    The Scene:

    In 5:25-28, Daniel behaves as a figure of the Holy Ghost. Joseph was elevated to second position in the kingdom, being a figure of the Son of God, and Daniel is here elevated to the third position in the kingdom, being a figure of the Holy Ghost. Daniel gives interpretation (Dan.5:17, 26) as the Spirit does (2Pe.1:20-21). Secondly, the writing, like the shewbread in the holy place, is illuminated by the candlestick. That is not any candlestick. That is the candlestick of pure gold of Exodus 25 which was placed in the holy place over against the table of shewbread. It is no surprise if this be the candlestick of the temple, for the king and cohorts were drinking in the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem (v.3). The candlestick, running on olive oil, was thus a figure of the Holy Ghost enlightening the priest in order to see the shewbread, a figure of the word of God – here the writing on the wall, which was given of God (5:5) – which bread was set in two rows, six in a row (Lev.24:6) making 66, like the books of the Bible. This backdrop helps expound the following section:

    The Sense:

    V.26 This is the interpretation of the thing Daniel 5:24-28 is the Bible’s illustrated exposition of the doctrine of tongues. What Daniel does here, as one filled with the Spirit (v.14) (and as a figure of the Holy Ghost, as we’ve seen), is what the gift of interpretation of tongues (1Co.12:10) looks like in action - and how far removed is Daniel’s way from what we see and hear today! Most commentators assume that because Daniel interpreted the writing in the Chaldean tongue, that the writing must have been in Chaldean. But that is an assumption. If it was Chaldean, it would not have confounded every scholar and teacher in the king’s realm, even if it were some rare form of Chaldean. The tongue that was written upon the plaister of the wall is one of those famous tonguesof angels (1Co.13:1) which necessitate the gift of interpretation. Thus Daniel could speak the tongues of angels by revelation of the Holy Ghost. The reader should not be surprised that an Old Testament passage illustrates a New Testament doctrine, for Paul reminded the Corinthians that the gift of tongues was prophesied by the Old Testament: In the law [That’s the Old Testament] it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people [The Jews]; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not [though Gentiles, yet the court of Belshazzar was full of unbelievers]: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe (1Co.14:21-22). Thus Paul sends us back to the Old Testament for clarification on the doctrine of tongues – which is what we are doing. Notice that what was written on the plaister of the wall was an unknown tongue to some, but not to others! The Chaldeans didn’t know what it meant, but Daniel did. Furthermore, the angelic or divine author of the sentence must have understood his own writing. Thus an unknown tongue is defined relative to the hearer who doesn’t understand it, not relative to the speaker. In defining the Bible’s sense of unknown, we must interpret scripture with scripture. Paul told the Athenians: as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you (Acts 17:23). Evidently, the unknown God was unknown to the Athenians, but not to Paul, the preacher – just as the tongue on the wall was unknown to the people but not to the author nor to Daniel. There is not one instance in the Bible where a man did not understand what he himself was saying.

    tongues unknown to hearer not speaker.png

    Notice that the tonguesof angels (1Co.13:1) here in Daniel 5:25-28 are linguistic: they have an alphabet, a structure, order, sense, grammar, syntax, and are formed of particular and differing words that can be listed, written down, analyzed, and systematically interpreted! They are not a confused, prating drivel.

    Now let’s look at Bible instances where angels actually do speak. In Revelation you have the inhabiters of heaven, including the four beasts who are the cherubims, speaking: Rev 19:1saying, AlleluiaRev 19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. Rev 19:4and the four beasts fell downsaying, Amen; Alleluia. […] Rev 19:6 saying, Alleluia…The word Alleluia is Hebrew for “Praise ye Jah”[1]. When the four beasts praise in heaven, they praise in Hebrew – not in unintelligible gibberish.

    The following are two examples of the Spirit of God suddenly descending on a man whereupon he speaks in a tongue that – unlike the Charismatic iteration – is understandable to the hearers, with specific instructions, and revelations which produce comfort, and specific prophecies that are soon fulfilled:

    1Ch 12:18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

    2Ch 20:14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 2Ch 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. 2Ch 20:16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 2Ch 20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.


    [1] Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible – Hallelujah.

    For Jah, see Psa 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
     
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  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    These words were NOT unknown or in a vacuum; they were 3 common Chaldean words and assume most seeing them would know the definitions.
    Numbered
    Weighed
    Divided
    Those words COULD be understood but what spiritual (hand of God) implication from them?

    What Daniel had was NOT A GIFT OF INTERPRETATION OF UNKNOWN TONGUES that parallels the NT tongues examples. It is rather the GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE, knowing what was meant by these 3 common words in a spiritual sense.

    Everyone assumed there MUST be a hidden meaning since it was written by an angelic hand. But what was the implication? Daniel then explains what had been revealed to him in supernatural knowledge.
     
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  3. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Only that was already answered:

    "Most commentators assume that because Daniel interpreted the writing in the Chaldean tongue, that the writing must have been in Chaldean. But that is an assumption. If it was Chaldean, it would not have confounded every scholar and teacher in the king’s realm, even if it were some rare form of Chaldean."
    Indeed, if the words were intelligible, then the wise men would have concocted a meaning for them to save face, especially when promised the 3rd position in the kingdom!

    Furthermore, the Bible interprets itself scripture with scripture, and the text speaks of the wise men's inability to interpret the tongue and of Daniel's ability to give the interpretation. That is as literal an interpretation of tongues as you can get.
     
    #3 George Antonios, Jan 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    No assumption - look it up. Well-known Chaldean words. The "words" were nothing special.

    What was unknown was what they "meant" in this miraculous circumstance, angelic message in the meaning of common words. Daniel had that spiritual gift from God; the other wise men of the empire did not.
     
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  5. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Yet again, already answered: "If it was Chaldean, it would not have confounded every scholar and teacher in the king’s realm, even if it were some rare form of Chaldean. Indeed, if the words were intelligible, then the wise men would have concocted a meaning for them to save face, especially when promised the 3rd position in the kingdom!"
     
  6. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    Which would explain the manifold opinions of hundreds of commentators as to their origin, characters, and meanings...
     
  7. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    The words that Daniel used to convey the scriptures on the wall were Chaldean - that doesn't necessarily mean that what was on the wall was Chaldean. Hence interpretation.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Unsure why you can't grasp simple sentences. "And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN." This was NOT interpretation, this is narrative showing the EXACT WORDS written - 3 normal, Chaldean words.

    You are trying to make some doctrinal point that is NOT in the passage about interpreting tongues (unknown). Why? What agenda are you pushing when the text is clearly written that a child can understand?
     
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  9. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    I've learned over time that the guys are who are quick and trigger-happy to question the motives of others are usually projecting.

    Leaving that aside.
    • You have yet to explain how 3 apparently well-known words in Chaldean could not be interpreted by the most educated Chaldeans in the world.
    • You have yet to explain, if it were a question of merely slapping an interpretation on a tongue that is native and understood, why those Chaldeans, who were wise men, politically shrewd and cut-throat, did not venture any interpretation of their own especially with the most-alluring prospect of being promoted to 3rd in the kingdom, and especially when they had offered Nebuchadnezzar just such a thing: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation (Dan.2:4). Do you suppose that if Nebuchadnezzar had told them the dream, they would have all sat there saying "nope, we don't know what it means, promote someone else"?! . Remember this is real life, not Academia.
    • Lastly, as a native Arabic speaker, let me show you something:
    لا يمكنك قراءة هذه الكتابة ، لكن يمكنني أن أخبرك ما هي هذه الكتابة بإعطائك تفسيرها.

    Want to know what it means? I'll tell you: This is the writing that is written :
    La Youmkinouka Qira'at hatheehee el kitaba, laken youmkinounee an oukhbirouka ma hia hattheethee al kitaba bi aataika tafsiraha.

    • La Youmkinouka Qira'at hatheehee el kitaba - Thou canst not read this writing
    • laken youmkinounee an oukhbirouka ma hia hattheethee al kitaba - But I can tell you what this writing is
    • bi aataika tafsiraha - By giving you its meaning
    So when I said this is the writing then gave it to you phonetically before preceding to interpret it, did that necessarily imply that the original writing was written with Latin, as opposed to Arabic, letters?

    Evidently not.
     
    #9 George Antonios, Jan 28, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
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