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Daniel 5 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

Belshazzar the king hath made a great feast to a thousand of his great men, and before the thousand he is drinking wine;

Belshazzar hath said -- while tasting the wine -- to bring in the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple that [is] in Jerusalem, that drink with them may the king, and his great men, his wives, and his concubines.

Then they have brought in the vessels of gold that had been taken out of the temple of the house of God that [is] in Jerusalem, and drunk with them have the king and his great men, his wives and his concubines;

they have drunk wine, and have praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

In that hour come forth have fingers of a man's hand, and they are writing over-against the candlestick, on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king is seeing the extremity of the hand that is writing;

then the king's countenance hath changed, and his thoughts do trouble him, and the joints of his loins are loosed, and his knees are smiting one against another.

Call doth the king mightily, to bring up the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. Answered hath the king, and said to the wise men of Babylon, that, `Any man who doth read this writing, and its interpretation doth shew me, purple he putteth on, and a bracelet of gold [is] on his neck, and third in the kingdom he doth rule.'

Then coming up are all the wise men of the king, and they are not able to read the writing, and the interpretation to make known to the king;

then the king Belshazzar is greatly troubled, and his countenance is changing in him, and his great men are perplexed.

10 The queen, on account of the words of the king and his great men, to the banquet-house hath come up. Answered hath the queen, and said, `O king, to the ages live; let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor 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 -- as the wisdom of the gods -- was found in him; and king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, chief of the scribes, enchanters, Chaldeans, soothsayers, established him -- thy father, O king --

12 because that an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of enigmas, and loosing of knots was found in him, in Daniel, whose name the king made Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and the interpretation he doth show.'

13 Then Daniel hath been caused to come up before the king; answered hath the king, and said to Daniel, `Thou art that Daniel who [art] of the sons of the Removed of Judah, whom the king my father brought in out of Judah?

14 And I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods [is] in thee, and light, and understanding, and excellent wisdom have been found in thee.

15 `And now, caused to come up before me have been the wise men, the enchanters, that this writing they may read, and its interpretation to cause me to know: and they are not able to shew the interpretation of the thing:

16 and I -- I have heard of thee, that thou art able to give interpretations, and to loose knots: now, lo -- thou art able to read the writing, and its interpretation to cause me to know -- purple thou dost put on, and a bracelet of gold [is] on thy neck, and third in the kingdom thou dost rule.'

17 Then hath Daniel answered and said before the king, `Thy gifts be to thyself, and thy fee to another give; nevertheless, the writing I do read to the king, and the interpretation I cause him to know;

18 thou, O king, God Most High, a kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and honour, gave to Nebuchadnezzar thy father:

19 and because of the greatness that He gave to him, all peoples, nations, and languages were trembling and fearing before him: whom he willed he was slaying, and whom he willed he was keeping alive, and whom he willed he was raising up, and whom he willed he was making low;

20 and when his heart was high, and his spirit was strong to act proudly, he hath been caused to come down from the throne of his kingdom, and his glory they have caused to pass away from him,

21 and from the sons of men he is driven, and his heart with the beasts hath been like, and with the wild asses [is] his dwelling; the herb like oxen they cause him to eat, and by the dew of the heavens is his body wet, till that he hath known that God Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and whom He willeth He raiseth up over it.

22 `And thou, his son, Belshazzar, hast not humbled thy heart, though all this thou hast known;

23 and against the Lord of the heavens thou hast lifted up thyself; and the vessels of His house they have brought in before thee, and thou, and thy great men, thy wives, and thy concubines, are drinking wine with them, and gods of silver, and of gold, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone, that are not seeing, nor hearing, nor knowing, thou hast praised: and the God in whose hand [is] thy breath, and all thy ways, Him thou hast not honoured.

24 `Then from before Him sent is the extremity of the hand, and the writing is noted down;

25 and this [is] the writing that is noted down: Numbered, Numbered, Weighed, and Divided.

26 This [is] the interpretation of the thing: Numbered -- God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it.

27 Weighed -- Thou art weighed in the balances, and hast been found lacking.

28 Divided -- Divided is thy kingdom, and it hath been given to the Medes and Persians.'

29 Then hath Belshazzar said, and they have clothed Daniel with purple, and a bracelet of gold [is] on his neck, and they have proclaimed concerning him that he is the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 In that night Belshazzar king of the Chaldeans is slain,

31 and Darius the Mede hath received the kingdom, when a son of sixty and two years.

Daniel 5 New International Version (NIV)

The Writing on the Wall

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father[a] had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers[b] and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled.

10 The queen,[c] hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “May the king live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12 He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.

13 So Daniel was brought before the king, and the king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom. 15 The wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they could not explain it. 16 Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.

18 “Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.

22 “But you, Belshazzar, his son,[d] have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.

25 “This is the inscription that was written:

mene, mene, tekel, parsin

26 “Here is what these words mean:

Mene[e]: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

27 Tekel[f]: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

28 Peres[g]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

29 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians,[h] was slain, 31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.[i]

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 5:2 Or ancestor; or predecessor; also in verses 11, 13 and 18
  2. Daniel 5:7 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 11
  3. Daniel 5:10 Or queen mother
  4. Daniel 5:22 Or descendant; or successor
  5. Daniel 5:26 Mene can mean numbered or mina (a unit of money).
  6. Daniel 5:27 Tekel can mean weighed or shekel.
  7. Daniel 5:28 Peres (the singular of Parsin) can mean divided or Persia or a half mina or a half shekel.
  8. Daniel 5:30 Or Chaldeans
  9. Daniel 5:31 In Aramaic texts this verse (5:31) is numbered 6:1.
New International Version (NIV)

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