I am told that you can give interpretations and solve difficult problems. If you can read these words and tell me their meaning, you will be clothed in purple robes of royal honor, and you will wear a gold chain around your neck. You will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom."
Daniel answered the king, "Keep your gifts or give them to someone else, but I will tell you what the writing means.
Your Majesty, the Most High God gave sovereignty, majesty, glory, and honor to your predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar.
He made him so great that people of all races and nations and languages trembled before him in fear. He killed those he wanted to kill and spared those he wanted to spare. He honored those he wanted to honor and disgraced those he wanted to disgrace.
But when his heart and mind were hardened with pride, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.
He was driven from human society. He was given the mind of an animal, and he lived among the wild donkeys. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God rules the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone he desires to rule over them.
"You are his successor, a O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself.
For you have defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone -- gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!
So God has sent this hand to write a message."
"This is the message that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN.
This is what these words mean: Mene means 'numbered' -- God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)