Daniel 5:17-31

Today’s Reading: Daniel 5:17-31 (English Standard Version)

17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, 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 Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty.19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages 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 when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him.21 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, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.22 And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And 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. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

24 Then from his presence 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 the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;27 Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;28 Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel 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 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed.31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.


  • Daniel was a man of integrity.  He refused to accept the gifts that the King promised to lavish on him if he was able to interpret the writing on the wall.
  • King Nebuchadnezzar was humbled.  Daniel was warning Belshazzar to beware of the same types of behaviors that led Nebuchadnezzar to that great fall.
  • The writing on the wall says that Belshazzar’s days are numbered and that his kingdom is coming to an end.  That very night, Belshazzar was killed and King Darius became the ruler.

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