Belshazzar the king made a great banquet to a thousand of his lords, and against the thousand he drank wine.
Belshazzar, under the influence of the wine, commanded that they bring the vessels of gold and of silver which Nebuchadnezzar his father had brought from the temple of Jerusalem; that the king and his princes, his wives and his concubines, might drink with them.
Then they brought the vessels of gold that they had brought from the temple of the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank with them.
They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
In that same hour some fingers of a man’s hand came forth and wrote in front of the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the palm of the hand that wrote.
Then the king became pale, and his thoughts troubled him, and the girdings of his loins were unloosed, and his knees smote one against another.
The king cried in a loud voice that they bring in the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the fortune-tellers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold about his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king its interpretation.
Then king Belshazzar was greatly troubled, and his colour was changed, and his princes were upset.
Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and of his princes, came into the banquet room. The queen spoke and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be pale.
There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom lives the spirit of the holy God; and in the days of thy father light and intelligence and wisdom, like the knowledge of God, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar, thy father, made prince over all the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and fortune-tellers; thus did thy father, the king,
because Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, was found to have a more excellent spirit and greater knowledge and understanding interpreting dreams, unraveling questions, and dissolving doubts. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show thee the interpretation.
Then Daniel was brought in before the king. And the king spoke and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, who art of the sons of the captivity of Judah, whom my father brought out of Judea?
I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the holy God is in thee and that light and understanding and greater wisdom was found in thee.
And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me that they should read this writing and make known unto me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the thing:
And I have heard of thee, that thou canst declare that which is in doubt and unravel difficulties: now if thou canst read this writing and show me its interpretation, thou shalt be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold about thy neck and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be for thyself and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king and show him the interpretation.
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father the kingdom and the greatness and the glory and the magnificence:
and by the greatness that he gave him, all the peoples, 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 humbled.
But when his heart made itself arrogant, and his spirit hardened itself in pride, he was deposed from the throne of his kingdom, and they took his glory from him:
and he was driven from among the sons of men; and his heart was put with the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they made him eat grass like an ox, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven until he understood that the most high God takes rule of the kingdom of men and that he appoints over it whomever he will.
And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
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 princes, thy wives and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; furthermore, thou hast praised gods of silver and of gold, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone, which do not see, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand is thy soul and whose are all thy ways, thou hast never honoured.
Then from his presence was sent the palm of the hand that sculpted this writing.
And the writing that he sculpted is, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has audited thy kingdom and finished it.
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting.
PERES; Thy kingdom has been broken and is given to the Medes and Persians.
Then Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel with purple 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.
That same night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain.
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being sixty-two years old.