Dan 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand.
Dan 5:2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which 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.
Dan 5:3 Then they brought the gold vessels 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.
Dan 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
Dan 5:5 In 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.
Dan 5:6 Then the king's countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other.
Dan 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the 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; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."
Dan 5:8 Now all the king's wise men came, but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation.
Dan 5:9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.
Dan 5:10 The 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.
Dan 5:11 "There 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.
Divine commentary –
“So the queen advised the king.
So the queen recalled the history of a man with wisdom,
a man with the Spirit of The Holy God,
a man who served the father of the king.”
Dan 5:12 "Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation."
“The queen continued with her recollections of the abilities of Daniel,
and of how he served King Nebuchadnezzar,
the father of the king.
The queen suggested Daniel be called,
that he may provide an interpretation of the writing,
on the wall,
which so troubled the king.”
Dan 5:13 Then 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?
“Then Daniel was brought before the king who spoke to him asking if he was the same Daniel who was numbered among the captives – those whom King Nebuchadnezzar brought from Judah.”
Dan 5:14 "I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.
“Then the king told Daniel what he had heard of Daniel –
that The Spirit of God,
that exceeding wisdom,
dwelt within him.”
Dan 5:15 "Now the 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.
“The king explained that he had had before him the wise men of his kingdom,
the counsellors of state,
in order to see,
the writing on the wall.
Yet the writing on the wall had defied their comprehension of,
had defied their understanding of,
had defied their ability to interpret:
that which had been written in the presence of the king.”
Dan 5:16 "And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and explain enigmas. Now 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."
“The king also explained that he had heard that Daniel could give interpretations,
could explain mysteries,
could unravel the meaning of enigmas.
The king continued that if Daniel could read the writing,
could interpret its meaning to the king;
then Daniel would be rewarded –
by being dressed in clothing of great value –
with a golden chain around his neck –
being set apart as the third ruler in the kingdom.”
Dan 5:17 Then 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.
“Then Daniel answered before the king,
saying the king should retain the gifts for himself,
should bestow the rewards upon another;
yet would he,
still read the writing,
thereby to make known the interpretation to the king.”
Dan 5:18 "O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honour.
Dan 5:19 "And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down.
Dan 5:20 "But 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.
Dan 5:21 "Then he was driven 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, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.
“Daniel commenced by informing the king that which he already knew:
of how the Holy God of heaven had given the father of the king a kingdom with majesty,
and honour wherein he ruled with exceeding power and with authority.
But when his heart became prideful and his spirit no longer acknowledged all that the God of heaven had declared for the favour of the king,
so it became as Daniel had earlier interpreted in confirmation of the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar:
the king lost his kingdom,
to be driven to dwell amongst the beasts of the fields,
until he came to again know it is the Most High God who rules in the affairs of men,
appointing whomsoever He pleases.”
Dan 5:22 "But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.
Dan 5:23 "And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels 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, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.
Dan 5:24 "Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.
Dan 5:25 "And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
Dan 5:26 "This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it;
Dan 5:27 "TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting;
Dan 5:28 "PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."
Dan 5:29 Then 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 that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Dan 5:30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.
Dan 5:31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
“So King Belshazzar was called to account,
for behaviour as like unto that of his father –
for pride again filled the heart of a king.
And this king with his queen and his courtiers –
and his concubines:
defiled the vessels taken from the temple of the House of God;
practised idolatry by praising the silent gods of the earth who do not see nor hear nor know;
failed to glorify the Holy Living God of heaven:
He who holds the breath of man in His hand –
even so –
owns all his ways.
Daniel read and interpreted the writing in clarity of detail to the king.
So the king accepted the words of Daniel.
So the king was not chastened in his heart.
So the king rewarded Daniel as the king had stated.
So King Belshazzar of the Chaldeans was slain that very night.”
* (5:12) Literally untying knots, and so in verse 16
* (5:13) Literally of the sons of the captivity
* (5:24) Literally palm
* (5:25) Literally a mina (50 shekels) from the verb "to number"
* (5:25) Literally a shekel from the verb "to weigh"
* (5:25) Literally and half-shekels from the verb "to divide"
* (5:28) Aramaic Paras, consonant with Peres