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Saturday, October 13 2012

The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall

Studies in this complete "The Prophet Daniel" series:
1. A Child Of The Exile 2. Nebuchadnezzar's Image 3. The Fiery Furnace 4. The Dream Of A Tree
5. The Hand Writing On The Wall 6. The Den Of Lions 7. The Four Great Beasts 8. The Ram and The He Goat
9. The Seventy Weeks 10. The Hiddekel Vision 11. Kings Of The North and South

As prophesied to Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar himself (see The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image), the Empire of Babylon would be superseded by another great power. That fall of Babylon to Persia is recorded in the book of Daniel with the famous "handwriting on the wall" (actually, "a hand writing on the wall") incident with Belshazzar, the successor to Nebuchadnezzar. It began when Belshazzar used "the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem" for a heathen feast.


"5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem [see the Fact Finder question below]; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone." (Daniel 5:1-3 KJV)

Suddenly, "came fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace."

"5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 5:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another." (Daniel 5:5 KJV)

As Nebuchadnezzar had done earlier, Belshazzar first sought the help of the "astrologers" and "soothsayers." As before, they proved themselves to be worthless frauds.

"5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

5:8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. 5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied." (Daniel 5:7-9 KJV)

Belshazzar was then reminded of a great true prophet who was in Babylon - Daniel.

"5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: 5:11 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, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; 5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation." (Daniel 5:10-12 KJV)

Daniel then delivered the meaning of the writing to Belshazzar. The fall of Babylon came because Belshazzar used the Temple vessels for a drunken party of idolatry.

The Writing On The Wall

"5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? 5:14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. 5:15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not show the interpretation of the thing: 5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

5:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: 5:21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.

5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; 5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." (Daniel 5:13-28 KJV)

Belshazzar responded as Nebuchadnezzar did, by appointing him to a high position in his government, but it was too late. Belshazzar was killed and Darius of Persia conquered Babylon.

"5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 5:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old." (Daniel 5:29-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why do some historians believe that the Temple vessels, as recorded in the verses quoted above, are now in Rome?
See The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today

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This Day In History, October 13

539 BC: As prophesied (see The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image), Persian forces under Cyrus the Great captured Babylon (see Iran's Greatest Leader Was Pro-Zionist). The LORD had the Babylonians conquer the southern kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) and destroy the idol-infested Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple) because of their defiant corruption. The Persians under Cyrus permitted the people of Judah to return, after their prophesied seventy years in exile, in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah).

54: The Roman emperor Claudius (see also New Testament Roman Emperors) died after eating poisoned mushrooms given to him by his wife Agrippina. He was succeeded by Agrippina's son Nero (see also Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?), who reigned 54-68.

409: Vandals and Alans crossed the Pyrenees to Hispania.

1399: Henry IV of England was crowned.

1601: Tycho Brahe died at age 55. The Danish astronomer made many important discoveries of the heavens, all before the invention of the telescope (see also No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).

1792: The cornerstone of the original White House was laid in a ceremony by George Washington. The building survived only until 1814 when, during the War of 1812 (1812-1814), British Marines burned it, and much of Washington, in retaliation for the U.S. looting and burning of the Upper Canada Parliament Building in Toronto earlier that same year.

1812: During the War of 1812 (1812-1814), British Infantry and Canadian militia Sir Isaac Brock repelled U.S. invaders at the Battle of Queenston Heights near Niagara Falls in southern Ontario (the War of 1812 was declared by U.S. President James Madison with the stated intention of annexing Canada). General Brock was killed in the battle while fighting on the front lines with his troops.

1854: The Battle of Balaklava, an indecisive engagement during the Crimean War, best known as the inspiration of the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Charge of The Light Brigade." In the battle, the Russians failed to capture Balaklava, the Black Sea supply port of the British, French and Turkish forces in the southern Crimea, but the British lost control of their best supply road connecting Balaklava with the heights above Sevastopol, the major Russian naval center that was under siege. The battle ended with the loss of 40% of the Light Brigade.

1884: Greenwich was established as the universal time meridian of longitude.

1917: The last "appearance of the Virgin Mary" to 3 shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal. Six "visions" were reported between May and October, each on the 13th of the month. The last claimed sighting was attended by over 50,000 people. If the children actually saw something, it was not of God; Mary is dead, awaiting her resurrection (see What Happens When You Die?).

1923: Ankara, formerly Angora, became the capital of Turkey.

1939: The German submarine U-47 entered the Scapa Flow anchorage off Scotland and sank the British battleship Royal Oak. The submarine was able to enter the normally inaccessible area due to extraordinarily high tides caused by the coincidence of new moon and perigee (moon at its closest to earth).

1946: France adopted the Constitution of the Fourth Republic.

1988: The Shroud of Turin (see Shroud Of Turin: A Miraculous Fake?), revered by many as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, was determined by carbon dating to have been made during the Middle Ages, centuries after He was Crucified.

1990: Slavonic chant was heard across Red Square when the first Russian Orthodox service in more than 70 years was held in St. Basil's Cathedral next to the Kremlin.


Copyright © Wayne Blank