[b-hebrew] A third in the kingdom or a third of the kingdom?

A Becker ABecker at nerdshack.com
Tue Apr 3 13:40:02 EDT 2007

Greetings all


I had a question about Daniel 5:7, 16, 29, specifically the Aramaic WTLTY
BMLKWT) Y$L+ / WTLT) BMLKWT) T$L+ / $LY+ TLT) BMLKWT). Many translators
render along the lines of "that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom"
(RSV) or "he should rule as one of three in the kingdom" (JPS). I have
heard, however, that the Aramaic here could be understood as "and a third of
the kingdom he should rule" (i.e. not one of three rulers in the kingdom,
but rule a third part of the kingdom). This is the understanding of the Old
Greek which has ECOUSIA[N] TOU TRITOU MEROUS THS BASILEIAS and Josephus who
has TO TRITON THS ARXHS AUTOU MEROS. I have also heard that TLTY / TLT) may
be an Akkadian loanword which, like the Hebrew $LY$, may have lost it's
strict numerical meaning and function more as a title. In which case the
Aramaic should be rendered something like "and he should rule as a Deputy in
the kingdom." (see World Biblical Commentary for TLTY as deputy). I was
wondering what list members had to say in support of the meaning they see
here and what speaks against the other possibilities.

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