A Daniel come to judgement


What's the meaning of the phrase 'A Daniel come to judgement'?

Someone who makes a wise judgement about something that has previously proven difficult to resolve.

What's the origin of the phrase 'A Daniel come to judgement'?

This phrase doubtless alludes to the Biblical character Daniel, who was attributed with having fine powers of judgement. In Daniel 5:14 (King James Version) we have:

I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.

The first use of the phrase as we now know it is from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, 1596:

SHYLOCK:
A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!
O wise young judge, how I do honour thee!

See other – phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.

Trend of a daniel come to judgement in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.