Old Testament Story List

The Writing On The Wall

After Nebuchadnezzar's death, his son Belshazzar succeeded him. When the young man came to the throne, he gave a great feast for all the nobles and lords. While they were drinking wine, he ordered that the gold and silver vessels which his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem be brought. In these wine was served, and while the guests drank,

they praised their gods and idols of gold and silver, and wood and stone.

But, suddenly, when the revelry was at its height, there appeared the fingers of a man's hand writing strange words on the palace all before the throng. The music and the laughter ceased. The king grew pale, and his knees trembled so violently that they knocked together.

Immediately, he cried aloud for his wise men and said, "Whosoever shall read this writing and tell me its meaning shall be clothed in royal scarlet, have a chain of gold about his neck, and be third ruler in the kingdom."

But none of the wise men could even read the writing.

Then Belshazzar's wife remembered Daniel, whom Nebuchadnezzar had made governor of the wise men, and his power to interpret dreams. So they called Daniel, and he spoke.

"Let your gifts and rewards be given to another; yet I will read the writing and make known its interpretation.

"You have not profited by your father's experience: you have drunk wine from the sacred vessels of God's temple:  you have praised gods and images of gold, silver, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear nor know; yet you have not glorified God, Who holds your very breath in His hand.

"The fingers of the hand were sent from God. The writing that was writteni s MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, and it means: God has numbered the days of your kingdom. You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Your kingdom shall be divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

Belshazzar did as he had promised. Daniel was clothed in royal scarlet, a chain of gold was put about his neck, and he was made third ruler in the kingdom.

Yet in that very night Belshazzar, king of Babylon and the Chaldeans, was slain. Darius, the young ruler of the Medes and the Persians, took over the kingdom.


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