The Handwriting on the Wall1 a King Belshazzar b made a great feast for a thousand of his c lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. 2 d Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that e the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father ▼
▼ Or predecessor; also verses 11, 13, 18had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought in g the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine and h praised the i gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. 5 j Immediately k the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw l the hand as it wrote. 6 m Then the king’s color changed n and his thoughts alarmed him; o his limbs gave way, and p his knees knocked together. 7 q The king called loudly to bring in r the enchanters, the s Chaldeans, and t the astrologers. The king declared ▼
▼ Aramaic answered and said; also verse 10to the wise men of Babylon v “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and w shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but x they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly y alarmed, and his z color changed, and his aa lords were perplexed. 10 The queen, ▼
▼ Or queen mother; twice in this versebecause of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, ac “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you ad or your color change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom ae in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. ▼
▼ Or Spirit of the holy GodIn the days of your father, ag light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king— ah made him chief of the magicians, ai enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 12 aj because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and ak understanding al to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and am solve problems were found in this Daniel an whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
Daniel Interprets the Handwriting13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of ao the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. 14 I have heard of you that ap the spirit of the gods ▼
▼ Or Spirit of Godis in you, and that ar light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now as the wise men, the at enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but au they could not show the interpretation of the matter. 16 av But I have heard that you can give interpretations and aw solve problems. ax Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation ay you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and az shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king ba “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the bb Most High God bc gave bd Nebuchadnezzar your father be kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, bf all peoples, nations, and languages bg trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But bh when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly bi he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 bj He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven bk until he knew that the bl Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son, ▼
▼ Or successorbn Belshazzar, bo have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against bp the Lord of heaven. And bq the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. br And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, bs but the God in whose hand is your breath, and bt whose are all your ways, bu you have not honored. 24 “Then from his presence bv the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered ▼
▼ Mene sounds like the Aramaic for numberedthe days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 Tekel bx you have been weighed ▼
▼ Tekel sounds like the Aramaic for weighedin the balances and found wanting; 28 Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to bz the Medes and ca Persians.” ▼
▼ Peres (the singular of Parsin) sounds like the Aramaic for divided and for Persia29 Then cc Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel cd was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 30 ce That very night cf Belshazzar the cg Chaldean king was killed. 31 ▼
▼ Ch 6:1 in AramaicAnd ci Darius cj the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
Copyright information for ESV
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
This example runs both a 'Hebrew word search' and a 'Text' search and shows the results in both the NIV and ESV.
You can mix most searches. This finds any word translated as 'throne' in the Prophets and the New Testament, but only in verses concerning the topic 'David'. This excludes verses which refer to a 'throne' in other contexts.
Interlinear Hebrew & Greek is available for some translations with grammar (and more soon). To reverse the interlinear order, click on a version abbreviation under the verse number.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018