Daniel Chapter Five
Daniel chapter five discusses the final day of the Babylonian empire. Belshazzar, the final king of
King Belshazzar was aware that he was being threatened by the Medo-Persian army. Yet at the same time he was not a king that got involved in military activities. In this story Belshazzar made a fateful decision. Rather than fight the war, Belshazzar decided to throw a party instead. During this party Belshazzar decided to do something that the greatest king of
In the same hour, or soon after, that Belshazzar had committed his act of defiance against God, God chose to respond to Belshazzar. A hand was seen writing a series of thoughts on the wall of the king’s palace. Now instead of brave defiance the king’s face was changed and his knees began to knock together. In his panic he called for all of the wise men of the city to interpret the writings on the wall. So all of the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers were called and as in each spiritual struggle recorded in Daniel 2, 3, 4, so in this case; the wise men of the land could not interpret the spiritual communication from God. In each of these cases the only one who could interpret the writings, or dreams, was a man of God who was surrendered to God and who was in total obedience to God.
After the failure of the intelligentsia of
When Daniel arrived, Belshazzar tried to come across as a man of action and decision and he tried to remind Daniel that he was of the captivity of
When Daniel heard the offer, and the need, Daniel told the king that he could keep the offer but that he would answer the questions for the king and he would read the writings on the wall. But before he did the interpretation God had a message for the king. Daniel reminded King Belshazzar of how his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had attempted to conduct business in spiritual matters. Daniel reminded Belshazzar that Nebuchadnezzar had been given all of his glory, honor, and victories over nations, by the God of heaven, the very One whom Belshazzar had despised that very day. Daniel reminded the king that when Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was lifted up in pride that God had taken away his gifts of greatness and made him like an animal in the field until Nebuchadnezzar had been humbled and acknowledged the God of heaven as the true God.
Then Daniel confronted Belshazzar again but proclaiming before all that Belshazzar had known all of this and still had chosen to rebel against the very God who had humbled his grandfather. On top of that he had chosen to life himself up against the God of heaven and had chosen to bring the cups of God before his servants and drink praise to the gods of
After confronting Belshazzar and stating the facts of the situation then Daniel turned and interpreted the writing on the wall. The writing was MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. It is interesting that there are two other places in the Bible where writing occurred that was all in capitals. The first one is in John 19:19 where God records the phrase “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS”. Because of this statement Jesus would be judged in Roman laws of being worthy of death because no other king on Earth would be tolerated to be accepted in opposition to Caesar.
In addition because of this statement Jesus would be accounted as the king of rebels, both literally and spiritually. Jesus would be crowned as the king of all that is against the laws of God, and He would receive His crown of thorns, a symbol of the rebellious people of the nation of
In Revelation 17:5 is the remaining statement all in Capitals. In this text is quoted the following judgment “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” This judgment statement by God will eventually result in
Daniel read the writing then he presented the interpretation of the writings. The interpretation was as follows: MENE – “God has numbered thy kingdom and finished it.” To number something, in the Bible, is to account it as a part of God’s kingdom or to be removed from the kingdom. We see this especially in the case of Judas in Acts 1:15-26. Judas was “numbered” to be part of the ministry of Christ. But when Judas was shown to be an evil one he was removed, or numbered, from the disciples. In Revelation 7:1-17; 14:1-5 there is a group of people who are numbered to be among God’s special last day people – the 144,000. This group was numbered very much as the group of people who were to be claimed as the ministry of God in the wilderness in the book of Numbers. But in Daniel 5:26 God proclaims that He has numbered the
The second part of the message was as follows. TEKEL – “Thou are weighed in the balances and have been found wanting”. Again, this is a statement of judgment – weighed, numbered, measured, and in all cases
The third part of God’s message is PERES – “Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” This text certifies that the kingdom that replaces the Babylonian kingdom of gold (Daniel 2:36-39) would be the Medo-Persian empire. This testimony from God also confirms an important principle in Bible study, and prophecy study and that is that time and history are important factors in understanding what God is trying to say. The
After presenting the interpretation of the writings given by the hand of God, Belshazzar fulfills his promise and makes Daniel the third ruler of the kingdom. Sadly, Belshazzar did not learn his lesson and that very night, as the second ruler of the kingdom, he was killed. The first ruler of the
There is one last series of thoughts I would like to share before we move on to Daniel 6. Daniel knew from the book of Isaiah that
Daniel also knew the time period because of the prophecy of Jeremiah 25:1-15. Daniel had prepared himself to know the mind of God by reading the revealed will of God. Daniel did things because as God revealed His will Daniel made it his habit to explore these things by study and by prayer. These things are available for us as well. God will bless us as we seek to know His holy will. I pray that each of you will study to shew yourselves approved of by God. I pray also that these little studies will help you process that which as been revealed by God. Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.