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Daniel 5:1-12 (New International Version)

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The Writing on the Wall

1 King Belshazzar1 gave a great banquet2 for a thousand of his nobles3 and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking4 his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets5 that Nebuchadnezzar his fathera had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines6 might drink from them.7 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods8 of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.9 5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale10 and he was so frightened11 that his knees knocked12 together and his legs gave way.13 7 The king called out for the enchanters,14 astrologersb15 and diviners16 to be brought and said to these wise17 men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck,18 and he will be made the third19 highest ruler in the kingdom."20 8 Then all the king's wise men21 came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant.22 9 So King Belshazzar became even more terrified23 and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled. 10 The queen,c hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. "O king, live forever!"24 she said. "Don't be alarmed! Don't look so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods25 in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom26 like that of the gods.27 King Nebuchadnezzar your father--your father the king, I say--appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners.28 12 This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar,29 was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles30 and solve difficult problems.31 Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.32"
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