The Mysterious Writing on the Wall
1Belshazzar the king made a great festival for a thousand of his lords,#Or “nobles” and in the presence of#Literally “to over against” the thousand lords he was drinking wine.#Or “the wine” 2When he tasted the wine,#Literally “At the taste of the wine” Belshazzar commanded that they bring the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar his predecessor#Literally “father” had taken from the temple that was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his lords,#Or “nobles” his wives and his concubines may drink from them. 3Then they brought in the vessels of gold that they took from the temple, the house of God that was in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords,#Or “nobles” his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.#All these metals have the definite article that does not have to be translated into English to retain the meaning
5Immediately#Literally “In its the hour” human fingers#Literally “fingers of the hand of a man” appeared and they wrote opposite#Literally “to over against” the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the palace of the king, and the king was watching#Or “gazing at” the palm of the hand that was writing. 6Then his face changed and his thoughts terrified him, and his hip joints gave way#Literally “the limbs of his hip became loose” and his knees knocked together.#Literally “his knees this to this they knocked together” 7The king cried aloud#Literally “with strength” to bring in the conjurers,#Or “enchanters” the astrologers#Literally “Chaldeans” and the diviners; the king spoke#Literally “answered” and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Any man that can read this writing and can tell me its explanation will be clothed in purple and will have a necklace of gold hung around his neck and he will rule as third in authority in the kingdom.” 8Then all the wise men of the king came in, but they were not able to read the writing or to make known its explanation.#Aramaic “the explanation/ interpretation” 9Then the king, Belshazzar, became greatly terrified, and his facial features#Literally “shining of his face” changed upon him, and his lords#Or “nobles” were perplexed.
10Because of the words of the king and his lords,#Or “nobles” the queen came into the banqueting hall#Literally “the house of the drinking” and the queen spoke up#Literally “answered” and said, “O king, live forever,#Literally “to eternity” and let not your thoughts terrify you and do not let your facial expressions grow pale.#Literally “change” 11There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him.#Literally “who the spirit of holy gods is in him” And in the days of your predecessor,#Literally “father” enlightenment and insight and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods was found in him; and, O king, Nebuchadnezzar your predecessor#Literally “father” appointed him as chief of the magicians,#Or “soothsayer-priests” the conjurers,#Or “enchanters” the astrologers,#Literally “Chaldeans” and the diviners. Your predecessor#Literally “father” the king did this 12because#Literally “all of because that” there was found in him an excellent spirit and understanding and insight for interpreting dreams and explaining riddles and solving riddles; that is, in Daniel whom the king named#Literally “whom the king gave his name” Belteshazzar. Now, let Daniel be called and he will tell the explanation.”#Or “interpretation”
Daniel Deciphers and Interprets the Writing
13Then Daniel was brought in before the king, and the king spoke#Literally “answered” and said to Daniel, “You are Daniel who are one of the exiles#Literally “who from sons of the exile” of Judah#Aramaic “Jehud” whom my predecessor,#Literally “father” the king, brought from Judah.#Aramaic “Jehud” 14And I have heard that a spirit of the gods is in you and enlightenment and insight and excellent wisdom was found in you. 15And now the wise men and the conjurers#Or “enchanters” were brought in before me so that they could read this writing in order to make its explanation#Or “interpretation” known to me, but they were not able to disclose the explanation#Or “interpretation” of the matter. 16But I have heard concerning you that you are able to produce interpretations#Literally “to interpret interpretations” and to solve riddles; now if you are able to read the writing and to make known its explanation#Or “interpretation” to me, you will be clothed in purple and a necklace of gold will be placed around your neck and you will rule as third in command in the kingdom.”
17Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself or your rewards give to another; nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and I will make known to him the explanation.#Or “interpretation” 18O king,#Literally “You, O king” the Most High God gave the kingdom and the greatness and the glory and the majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your predecessor.#Literally “father” 19And because of the greatness that he gave to him, all the peoples, the nations and languages trembled and feared before him; whomever he wanted he killed, and whomever he wanted he let live, and whomever he wanted he honored, and whomever he wanted he humbled. 20But when#Literally “as that” his heart became arrogant and his spirit became hard so as to act proudly, he was deposed from the throne of his kingdom and the#Or “his” glory was taken away from him.#Literally “they took away” 21And he was driven away from human society#Literally “from the sons of the humankind” and his mind was made like the animals#Aramaic “with the animals” and his dwelling was with the wild asses; and he was given#Literally “they gave him” grass like oxen to eat, and with#Aramaic “from” the dew of heaven his body was bathed, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdom of humankind, and whoever#Literally “to from that” he wants he sets over it.
22“But you his successor,#Literally “son” Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart even though#Literally “all of because that” you knew all this. 23And now you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven, and the vessels of his temple you have brought in before you, and you and your lords,#Or “nobles” your wives and your concubines, have been drinking wine from#Aramaic “with” them, and you have praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone#All the materials in this list have the definite article that does not have to be translated into English that do not see and do not hear and do not know, but the God who holds your life in his hand#Literally “who your breath is in his hand” and all of your ways come from him,#Literally “belong to him” you have not honored. 24So then the palm of the hand was sent out from his presence and this writing was inscribed.
25“Now this was the writing that was inscribed: ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.’
26“This is the explanation of the matter:#Or “word, message” ‘Mene’—God has numbered your kingdom and brought an end to it.
27“ ‘Tekel’—you have been weighed on scales and you have been found wanting.#Or “deficient”
28“ ‘Peres’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.’ ”
29Then Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel with purple and placed a necklace of gold around his neck, and they made a proclamation concerning him that he would be the third ruler in authority in the kingdom. 30That same night#Literally “In it, in the night” Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed. 31#Daniel 5:31–6:28 in the English Bible is 6:1–29 in the Hebrew Bible And Darius the Mede received the kingdom when he was about sixty-two years old.#Literally “when a son of sixty and two years”