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Wednesday, December 16 2015
Daniel 5: The Hand Writing On The Wall
"In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote"
Belshazzar (reigned about 550-539 BC) was a successor of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon - the empire that the LORD used to destroy the corrupted Kingdom of Judah (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?). At the end of Belshazzar's reign - the event that brought about the end of his reign - Belshazzar held "a great feast" in which the sacred vessels that had been looted from the Temple in Jerusalem (see alsoThe Temple Vessel Prophecies Today) were brought out and used for drunken, heathen revelry. That same night, Belshazzar was killed and the Babylonian kingdom fell to the Medo-Persians under Darius - exactly as the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) declared would happen (see Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Of The World To Come).
The night began when "Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand."
"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; 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 5:1-4 KJV)
Although it's popularly known, and has been made into a saying ever since, as "the writing on the wall," which it was, it was actually a hand writing on the wall, not just handwriting on the wall.
"5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister 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.
The prophet Daniel had risen to a high position in the regime (a word that simply means government - of any kind; see Solomon's Regime) of King Nebuchadnezzar (see Daniel's Knowledge Of Wisdom And Science and Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Of The World To Come), but in the time of Belshazzar, Daniel was reduced to a royal unknown. That changed when the queen informed the king that "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." Belshazzar then sent for 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 shewing 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 shew the interpretation.
Daniel then reminded Belshazzar ("Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this") how the LORD had broken Nebuchadnezzar's foolish arrogance (see What Part Of The Bible Was Written By A Babylonian King?) - and now the LORD was about to bring Belshazzar down from his narcissism too. Daniel then informed Belshazzar the meaning of the words that the hand had written on the wall, to which Belshazzar restored Daniel to his position. But the prophecy wasn't about glorifying a prophet of the LORD; it was about destroying an arrogant heathen who was blaspheming what was holy to the LORD.
"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.
That very night, the prophecy of imperial succession that was given to King Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled (see Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Of The World To Come and The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies; also the Fact Finder question below).
"5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
This Day In History, December 16
1431: During the Hundred Years' War (actually about 116 years, from 1337 to 1453), Henry VI of England was crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.
1485: Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII of England, was born. Henry divorced her without Papal approval, starting the English Reformation.
1497: Vasco da Gama cleared the Cape of Good Hope, in the area where Bartolomeu Dias had earlier turned back to Portugal.
1653: During England's Interregnum (the time between two reigns; "when there is no king, the people do mischief"), the Protectorate was established; Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. He went on to establish religious tolerance and allied England with France against Spain.
1631: Mount Vesuvious in Italy erupted, killing over 4,000 people.
1689: During the Convention Parliament, the Declaration of Right was embodied in the English Bill of Rights. Although others claimed to be the originators of such rights in their later-created nations, the English Bill of Rights, along with the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right and the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 were the inspiration for all of them.
1707: The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji occurred in Japan.
1740: The War(s) of the Spanish Succession began when Frederick of Prussia invaded Silesia, one of the richest Hapsburg provinces. His victory encouraged other Hapsburg adversaries and thus insured that the war would become generalized.
1761: During the Seven Years' War, the Russian forces under Pyotr Rumyantsev captured the Prussian fortress of Kolobrzeg after a four-month siege.
1811: A powerful earthquake changed the course of the Mississippi River near New Madrid, Missouri.
1835: A fire in New York City destroyed property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. Beginning in a store at Pearl and Merchant (Hanover) Streets, it lasted two days, ravaged 17 blocks (52 acres), and destroyed 674 buildings including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and the South Dutch Church.
1914: During the First World War (1914-1918), German battleships under the command of Franz von Hipper bombarded the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough.
1916: The infamous Russian monk Grigori Rasputin was murdered. "Rasputin" wielded powerful influence over Alexandra, wife of Czar Nicholas of Russia; he was murdered by members of the royal family and the Duma.
1920: One of the worst earthquakes of all time occurred in Kansu province, China, killing 180,000 people.
1944: German forces launched a major offensive in Belgium's Ardennes Forest. It became known as the Battle of the Bulge.
1950: During the Korean War, Chinese troops began supporting North Korea.
1965: During the Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people caused by the division of their country by France in the 1940s), U.S. General William Westmoreland requested that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara send 243,000 more U.S. troops into the colonial conflict.
1969: The British House of Commons voted by 343-185 to approve the permanent abolition of the death penalty.
1991: The United Nations reversed its earlier declaration that "Zionism is racism" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Zion).