1Belshazzar the king #Esth. 1:3; Is. 22:12–14made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. 2While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels #2 Kin. 24:13; 25:15; Ezra 1:7–11; Jer. 52:19; Dan. 1:2which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3Then they brought the gold #2 Chr. 36:10vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4They drank wine, #Is. 42:8; Dan. 5:23; Rev. 9:20and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5#Dan. 4:31In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his #Ezek. 7:17; 21:7knees knocked against each other. 7#Dan. 4:6, 7; 5:11, 15The king cried aloud to bring in #Is. 47:13the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; #Dan. 6:2, 3and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8Now all the king’s wise men came, #Gen. 41:8; Dan. 2:27; 4:7; 5:15but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. 9Then King Belshazzar was greatly #Job 18:11; Is. 21:2–4; Jer. 6:24; Dan. 2:1; 5:6troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.
10The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. The queen spoke, saying, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance change. 11#Dan. 2:48; 4:8, 9, 18There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. 12Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, #Dan. 1:7; 4:8whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”
The Writing on the Wall Explained
13Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14I have heard of you, that #Dan. 4:8, 9, 18; 5:11, 12the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15Now #Dan. 5:7, 8the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not give the interpretation of the thing. 16And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and explain enigmas. #Dan. 5:7, 29Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
17Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 18O king, #Jer. 27:5–7; Dan. 2:37, 38; 4:17, 22, 25the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. 19And because of the majesty that He gave him, #Jer. 27:7all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he #Dan. 2:12, 13; 3:6executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. 20#Ex. 9:17; Job 15:25; Is. 14:13–15; Dan. 4:30, 37But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. 21Then he was #Job 30:3–7; Dan. 4:32, 33driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, #Ex. 9:14–16; Ps. 83:17, 18; Ezek. 17:24; (Dan. 4:17, 34, 35)till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.
22“But you his son, Belshazzar, #Ex. 10:3; 2 Chr. 33:23; 36:12have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23#Dan. 5:3, 4And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the #Ex. 40:9; Num. 18:3; Is. 52:11; Heb. 9:21vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, #Ps. 115:5, 6; Is. 37:19; Hab. 2:18, 19; Acts 17:24–26; Rom. 1:21which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand #Ps. 139:3; Prov. 20:24; (Jer. 10:23)and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. 24Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.
25“And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27TEKEL: #Job 31:6; Ps. 62:9; Jer. 6:30You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the #Is. 21:2; Dan. 5:31; 9:1Medes and #Dan. 6:28; Acts 2:9Persians.” 29Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him #Dan. 5:7, 16that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30#Jer. 51:31, 39, 57That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31#Dan. 2:39; 9:1And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.