Daniel 5 The Handwriting on the Wall

Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Daniel 5:1-2

Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. Daniel 5:3-4

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand… Daniel 5:5

Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. Daniel 5:17

O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: … But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men…  till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. Daniel 5:18,20-21

 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;  But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Daniel 5:22,23

MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Daniel 5:26-28

In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.. Daniel 5:30-31

Belshazzar Found Wanting.  Nebuchadnezzar died in 563 B.C.  The events of this chapter take place in 539 B.C. Belshazzar is co-regent with his father, Nabonidus, a “son of Nebuchadnezzar” only in the sense of successor.

At a great banquet held in Babylon, a hand appears and writes unknown words on the wall.  Daniel, still active in Babylon’s administration, is called.  He interprets the writing.  It is God’s announcement of doom on the ruler, who has been weighed and found wanting.  That very night Belshazzar is killed and the kingdom passes into the hands of Cyrus the Persian.