The New King James Version

Daniel 5:1–31

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Belshazzar’s Feast

5 Belshazzar the king amade a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels bwhich his 1father 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. Then they brought the gold cvessels 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. They drank wine, dand praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.

eIn 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. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his fknees knocked against each other. gThe king cried 2aloud to bring in hthe 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; iand he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Now all the king’s wise men came, jbut they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. Then King Belshazzar was greatly ktroubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were 3astonished.

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. 11 lThere is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your 4father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your 4father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. 12 Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and 5explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, mwhom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”

The Writing on the Wall Explained

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel 6who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my 7father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard of you, that nthe 8Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now othe 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. 16 And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and 9explain enigmas. pNow 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.”

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. 18 O king, qthe Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your 1father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. 19 And because of the majesty that He gave him, rall peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he sexecuted; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. 20 tBut 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. 21 Then he was udriven 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, vtill he 2knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.

22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, whave not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 xAnd you have 3lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the yvessels of 4His 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, zwhich do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand aand owns all your ways, you have not glorified. 24 Then the 5fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.

25 “And this is the inscription that was written:


26 This is the interpretation of each word. Mene: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 Tekel: bYou have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 Peres: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the cMedes and dPersians.” 929 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 ethat he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Belshazzar’s Fall

30 fThat very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 gAnd Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

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