Chapter 5

Belshazzar’s Feast

1 Belshazzar the king 1held a great afeast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand.

2 When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver avessels which Nebuchadnezzar his 1father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.

3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them.

4 They adrank the wine and praised the gods of bgold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

5 Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the 1back of the hand that did the writing.

6 Then the king’s 1aface grew pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and his bhip joints went slack and his cknees began knocking together.

7 The king called aloud to bring in the aconjurers, the 1Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me shall be bclothed with purple and have a cnecklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as 2dthird ruler in the kingdom.”

8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but athey could not read the inscription or make known its interpretation to the king.

9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly aalarmed, his 1bface grew even paler, and his nobles were perplexed.

10 The queen entered the banquet 1hall because of the words of the king and his nobles; the queen spoke and said, “aO king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts alarm you or your 2face be pale.

11 “There is a aman in your kingdom in whom is 1a bspirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, insight and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, your father 2cthe king, appointed him chief of the 3magicians, conjurers, 4Chaldeans and diviners.

12 “This was because an aextraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named bBelteshazzar. Let Daniel now be summoned and he will declare the interpretation.”

Daniel Interprets Handwriting on the Wall

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 1aexiles from Judah, whom my father the king bbrought from Judah?

14 “Now I have heard about you that 1a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you.

15 “Just now the awise men and the conjurers were brought in before me that they might read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they bcould not declare the interpretation of the 1message.

16 “But I personally have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read the inscription and make its ainterpretation known to me, you will be bclothed with purple and wear a necklace of gold around your neck, and you will have authority as the 1third ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “1Keep your agifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him.

18 “1O king, the aMost High God bgranted 2sovereignty, cgrandeur, glory and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father.

19 “Because of the grandeur which He bestowed on him, all the peoples, nations and men of every 1language feared and trembled before him; awhomever he wished he killed and whomever he wished he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated and whomever he wished he humbled.

20 “But when his heart was alifted up and his spirit became so 1bproud that he behaved arrogantly, he was cdeposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken away from him.

21 “He was also adriven away from 1mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the bwild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he recognized that the cMost High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes.

22 “Yet you, his 1son, Belshazzar, have anot humbled your heart, 2even though you knew all this,

23 but you have aexalted yourself against the bLord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them; and you have praised the cgods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God din whose hand are your life-breath and all your eways, you have not glorified.

24 “Then the 1ahand was sent from Him and this inscription was written out.

25 “Now this is the inscription that was written out: ‘1MENĒ, 1MENĒ, 2TEKĒL, 3UPHARSIN.’

26 “This is the interpretation of the 1message: ‘MENĒ’—God has numbered your kingdom and aput an end to it.

27 “ ‘TEKĒL’—you have been aweighed on the scales and found deficient.

28 “ ‘PERĒS’—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the aMedes and 1Persians.”

29 Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they aclothed Daniel with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the 1third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That same night aBelshazzar the Chaldean king was bslain.

31 1So aDarius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two.


About New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

The New American Standard Bible, long considered a favorite study Bible by serious students of the Scriptures, has been completely revised and updated in this new 1995 translation. Preserving the Lockman Foundation's standard of creating a literal translation of the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts, the 1995 NASB provides a literal translation that is very readable. Formalized language and outdated words and phrases have been replaced with their contemporary counterparts. In short, the 1995 NASB is a Bible translation that is very conducive to word-by-word study and is also able to be read (and understood) by the whole family.


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