The most important thing that now appeared to occupy the monarch’s mind was the life and health of his family, and the length of the period of his insanity.
“Tell me, O Belteshazzar, how long has the king of Babylon remained in this degraded condition?”
“Seven years of deep calamity, O king, have passed over thy head!”
“Seven years!” cried the king, with a trembling voice, while his tears were fast falling. “O thou God of heaven, thou art just in all thy ways! But are the members of my family spared to see the restoration of the king?”
“They are all spared and in good health, O king, and will be overjoyed to see thee restored to thy throne.”
“Jehovah is the only God! He ruleth among the armies of the heavens, and the inhabitants of the earth. Let all nations praise the God of Israel! But come, Belteshazzar, let us bend our footsteps towards the palace.”
Daniel threw one of his loose garments over the almost naked form of the king, side by side, they started towards the palace royal. On their way thither, they were met by the captain of the guard. The old soldier was overwhelmed with joy to hear once more the familiar voice of his beloved king. He fell before him, and would have embraced his feet if permitted. He begged of the king to remain where he was with Belteshazzar, and permit him to hasten to the palace to herald the joyful news, and return with the king’s old guard to escort him home. The measure struck the king favorably, and Arioch, with a bounding heart, was on his way. The regent, Evil-Merodach, was first apprised of the fact, which he received with demonstrations of joy.
The news was quickly learned by hundreds, and the palace rang with shouts of rejoicing. The regent, with the guard, was soon on the march for the place where Arioch had left the king. When they reached the spot, the monarch arose and gently bowed. His son now ran up to his father, fell on his neck, and they warmly embraced each other. The old royal guard, as soon as their emotions were partially subsided, approached as near their sovereign as they could, and, at a given signal from their captain, they broke forth in one grand shout that made the forest ring. The king was deeply moved; he endeavored to speak, but was not able.
The procession was on its way. The king with his son and the prime minister, was drawn in the royal chariot. Shouts of joy echoed on the high turrets of the royal mansion as the restored monarch entered once more through its massive portals, to sit on the throne of his empire. Heralds were hurried into every part of the city to acquaint officials with the king’s restoration, and on that night the great metropolis of Chaldea was brilliantly illuminated, and loud shouts of rejoicing burst forth from thousands of gladdened hearts.
The king resumed the responsible duties of his government amid the warm congratulations and the best wishes of his courtiers and subjects. New life was infused into every department of state, and the metropolis once more appeared to breathe the breath of former years.