The Mysterious Writing on the Wall

1 Belshazzar the king made a great festival for [a] thousand [of] his lords, and {in the presence of} the thousand [lords] he was drinking wine.
2 {When he tasted the wine}, Belshazzar commanded [that they] bring [the] vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar his {predecessor} had taken from the temple that [was] in Jerusalem, so that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines may drink from them.
3 Then they brought in the vessels of gold that they took from the temple, the house of God that [was] in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines drank from them.
4 They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.
5 {Immediately} {human fingers} appeared and they wrote {opposite} the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the palace of the king, and the king was watching the palm of the hand that was writing.
6 Then his face changed and his thoughts terrified him, and {his hip joints gave way} and {his knees knocked together}.
7 The king cried {aloud} to bring [in] the conjurers, the {astrologers} and the diviners; the king {spoke} and said to [the] wise men of Babylon, "Any man that can read this writing and can tell me its explanation will be clothed [in] purple and [will have] [a] necklace of gold [hung] around his neck and he will rule [as] third [in authority] in the kingdom."
8 Then all the wise men of the king came in, but they were not able to read the writing or to make known its explanation.
9 Then the king, Belshazzar, became greatly terrified, and {his facial features} changed upon him, and his lords were perplexed.
10 Because of the words of the king and his lords, the queen came into {the banqueting hall} and the queen {spoke up} and said, "O king, live {forever}, and let not your thoughts terrify you and [do] not let your facial expressions {grow pale}.
11 There is a man in your kingdom {who has the spirit of the holy gods in him}. And in the days of your {predecessor}, enlightenment and insight and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods was found in him; and, O king, Nebuchadnezzar your {predecessor} appointed him [as] chief of the magicians, the conjurers, the {astrologers}, [and] the diviners. Your {predecessor} the king [did this]
12 {because} [there] was found in him [an] excellent spirit and understanding and insight [for] interpreting dreams and explaining riddles and solving riddles; [that is], in Daniel {whom the king named} Belteshazzar. Now, let Daniel be called and he will tell the explanation."

Daniel Deciphers and Interprets the Writing

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king, [and] the king {spoke} and said to Daniel, "You [are] Daniel {who are one of the exiles} of Judah whom my {predecessor}, the king, brought from Judah.
14 And I have heard that a spirit of the gods [is] in you and enlightenment and insight and excellent wisdom was found in you.
15 And now the wise men [and] the conjurers were brought in before me [so] that they could read this writing [in order to] make its explanation known to me, but they were not able to disclose the explanation of the matter.
16 But I have heard concerning you that you are able {to produce interpretations} and to solve riddles; now if you are able to read the writing and to make known its explanation to me, you will be clothed [in] purple and [a] necklace of gold [will be placed] around your neck and you will rule [as] third [in command] in the kingdom."
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Let your gifts be for yourself or your rewards give to another; nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and I will make known to him the explanation.
18 {O king}, the Most High God gave the kingdom and the greatness and the glory and the majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your {predecessor}.
19 And because of the greatness that he gave to him, all the peoples, the nations and languages trembled and feared before him; whomever he wanted he killed, and whomever he wanted he let live, and whomever he wanted he honored, and whomever he wanted he humbled.
20 But {when} his heart became arrogant and his spirit became hard [so as] to act proudly, he was deposed from the throne of his kingdom and the glory {was taken away from him}.
21 And he was driven away {from human society} and his mind was made like the animals and his dwelling [was] with the wild asses; [and] {he was given} grass like oxen to eat, and with the dew of heaven his body was bathed, until he acknowledged that the Most High God [is] sovereign over the kingdom of humankind, and {whoever} he wants he sets over it.
22 "But you his {successor}, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart {even though} you knew all this.
23 And [now] you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven, and the vessels of his temple you have brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have been drinking wine from them, and you have praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone that [do] not see and [do] not hear and [do] not know, but the God {who holds your life in his hand} and all of your ways {come from him}, you have not honored.
24 So then the palm of the hand was sent out from his presence and this writing was inscribed.
25 "Now this was the writing that was inscribed: 'Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.'
26 "This [is] the explanation of the matter: 'Mene'--God has numbered your kingdom and brought an end [to] it.
27 " 'Tekel'--you have been weighed on scales and you have been found wanting.
28 " 'Peres'--your kingdom has been divided and given to [the] Medes and Persians.'"
29 Then Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel [with] purple and [placed] a necklace of gold around his neck, and they made a proclamation concerning him that he would be [the] third ruler [in authority] in the kingdom.
30 {That same night} Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed.
31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom {when he was about sixty-two years old}.