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Daniel



The book of Daniel, chapter 5, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 5

New English Translation


   Belshazzar Sees Mysterious Handwriting on a Wall
   1 King Belshazzar prepared a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in front of them all. 2 While under the influence of the wine, Belshazzar issued an order to bring in the gold and silver vessels - the ones that Nebuchadnezzar his father had confiscated from the temple in Jerusalem - so that the king and his nobles, together with his wives and his concubines, could drink from them. 3 So they brought the gold and silver vessels that had been confiscated from the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, together with his wives and concubines, drank from them. 4 As they drank wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
   5 At that very moment the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the royal palace wall, opposite the lampstand. The king was watching the back of the hand that was writing. 6 Then all the coLORDrained from the king's face and he became alarmed. The joints of his hips gave way, and his knees began knocking together. 7 The king called out loudly to summon the astrologers, wise men, and diviners. The king proclaimed to the wise men of Babylon that anyone who could read this inscription and disclose its interpretation would be clothed in purple and have a golden collar placed on his neck and be third ruler in the kingdom.
   8 So all the king's wise men came in, but they were unable to read the writing or to make known its interpretation to the king. 9 Then King Belshazzar was very terrified, and he was visibly shaken. His nobles were completely dumbfounded.
   10 Due to the noise caused by the king and his nobles, the queen mother then entered the banquet room. She said, "O king, live forever! Don't be alarmed! Don't be shaken! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has within him a spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, he proved to have insight, discernment, and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father appointed him chief of the magicians, astrologers, wise men, and diviners. 12 Thus there was found in this man Daniel, whom the king renamed Belteshazzar, an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, and skill to interpret dreams, solve riddles, and decipher knotty problems. Now summon Daniel, and he will disclose the interpretation."
   13 So Daniel was brought in before the king. The king said to Daniel, "Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives of Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard about you, how there is a spirit of the gods in you, and how you have insight, discernment, and extraordinary wisdom. 15 Now the wise men and astrologers were brought before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation. But they were unable to disclose the interpretation of the message. 16 However, I have heard that you are able to provide interpretations and to decipher knotty problems. Now if you are able to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, you will wear purple and have a golden collar around your neck and be third ruler in the kingdom."
   Daniel Interprets the Handwriting on the Wall
   17 But Daniel replied to the king, "Keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else! However, I will read the writing for the king and make known its interpretation. 18 As for you, O king, the most high God bestowed on your father Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, greatness, honor, and majesty. 19 Due to the greatness that he bestowed on him, all peoples, nations, and language groups were trembling with fear before him. He killed whom he wished, he spared whom he wished, he exalted whom he wished, and he brought low whom he wished. 20 And when his mind became arrogant and his spirit filled with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and his honor was removed from him. 21 He was driven from human society, his mind was changed to that of an animal, he lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed grass like oxen, and his body became damp with the dew of the sky, until he came to understand that the most high God rules over human kingdoms, and he appoints over them whomever he wishes.
   22 "But you, his son Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, although you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have exalted yourself against the LORD of heaven. You brought before you the vessels from his temple, and you and your nobles, together with your wives and concubines, drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone - gods that cannot see or hear or comprehend! But you have not glorified the God who has in his control your very breath and all your ways! 24 Therefore the palm of a hand was sent from him, and this writing was inscribed.
   25 "This is the writing that was inscribed: mene, mene, teqel, and pharsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the words: As for mene - God has numbered your kingdom's days and brought it to an end. 27 As for teqel - you are weighed on the balances and found to be lacking. 28 As for peres - your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians."
   29 Then, on Belshazzar's orders, Daniel was clothed in purple, a golden collar was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed third ruler in the kingdom. 30 And in that very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed. 31 (6:1) So Darius the Mede took control of the kingdom when he was about sixty-two years old.

King James Version


   1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
   2 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.
   3 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.
   4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
   5 ¶ In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
   6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
   7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
   8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
   9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
   10 ¶ Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
   11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
   12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.
   13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
   14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
   15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:
   16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
   17 ¶ Then Daniel answered and said before the king, 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.
   18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
   19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
   20 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:
   21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: 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 ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
   22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
   23 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:
   24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
   25 ¶ And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
   26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
   27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
   28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
   29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
   30 ¶ In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
   31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
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