Comments for the name Belshazzar

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Comments for BELSHAZZAR:

Name of an oratorio by Handel -- Walton, Sibelius and others also wrote music on the subject.
-- Anonymous User  3/9/2010
The provided translation of Bel-šarru-uṣur is a bit misleading. Ba’al is simply means “lord” in Northwest Semitic languages, and could refer to any male god, as well as a human in a position of authority. When used as the name of a specific god, it refers to the storm god Hadad, who was widely worshipped by the people of the ancient Levant (Canaanites, Phoenicians, etc.). Because his name was not to be spoken aloud by any but priests, all other worshippers of Hadad were supposed to call him “the Lord” (much as worshippers of Yahweh were forbidden to use his personal name, and also called him “the Lord”, which is still evident in the Bible today).

However Bel-šarru-uṣur is an Akkadian name, and Akkadian is an East Semitic language. Bel, like ba’al, simply meant “lord” or “master.” When used in personal names, it could technically refer to any male god, however in Assyria it usually referred to Assur and in Babylonia it usually referred to Marduk.

Thus, the proper translation of Bel-šarru-uṣur is “The Lord watches over the king, ” the Lord in question being Assur or Marduk.

It was not an uncommon personal name in Akkadian, but is most famous for being the name of the last native crown prince of Babylon (mentioned in the Bible), the son of Nabonidus (Nabû-na’id), who was defeated by Cyrus of Persia.
-- ushumgal  5/13/2011

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