Once upon a time named King Belshazzar planned a party that was strange … and scary … and truly happened. Here are some facts about it. (Can you imagine if he were on Instagram?)
1. Daniel wrote about it in chapter 5 of his book. Of course, there weren’t really chapter divisions, but this is the part of Daniel that talks about the feast.
2. King Belshazzar invited 1,000 princes and nobles to his palace for the festivities.
3. King Belshazzar remembered some gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had wrongfully brought from the temple in Jerusalem. They were not to be removed – they belonged to the Lord. But Belshazzar thought they’d look nice on his fancy tables. So he filled them with wine and everyone made merry, getting drunk and worshiping false gods.
4. Suddenly everything got very quiet as something very frightening happened.
5. Over near the lampstand, a hand began writing on the wall. (Think how scared you would be if a hand appeared and started writing words unknown words … or even known words.)
6. The hand wrote: Mene, Tekel, Parsin.
7. Belshazzar asked the wisemen of the Chaldeans to come translate, but they couldn’t do it. (They weren’t so wise after all.)
8. The Queen Mother then said she knew a wise man who could help Belshazzar.
9. His name was Daniel and he had been the wisest man in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom.
10. Daniel was now old and living quietly.
11. Daniel reminded Belshazzar that the Lord had said he would be punished for his wickedness.
12. Then Daniel translated the words.
Mene – God has numbered the days of your kingdom.
Tekel – You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting,
Parsin – (Different translations spell Parsin differently.) Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.
13. Immediately Belshazzar wanted to honor Daniel and get back on track with the Lord, but it was too late. The Medes and Persians took over Babylon that very night and Belshazzar and his kingdom were destroyed.
14. To read the details of destruction go to Jeremiah 51-52.
How would you feel if you had been at that party? Would the handwriting have scared you?