1Belshazzar the king made a great feast to 1,000 of his lords, and drank wine before the 1,000.
2Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem so that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, could drink from them.
3Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple, the house of God that was at Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, drank from them.
4They drank the wine, and they praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of bronze, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
5In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace opposite the lampstand, and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
6Then the king’s face became pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and the joints of his loins were loosened, and his knees struck against each other.
7The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me its interpretation will be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and will be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
8Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known the interpretation to the king.
9Then king Belshazzar was greatly alarmed and his face became even more pale, and his lords were perplexed.
10Now because of the words of the king and his lords, the queen came into the banquet house. And the queen spoke and said, “O king, live forever. Do not let your thoughts alarm you or let your face be pale.
11There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods, and in the days of your father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar your father—the king your father—made him master of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers,
12because an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and explaining riddles, and the solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
13Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who are of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah?
14Now I have heard about you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and extraordinary wisdom are found in you.
15Now the wise men, the enchanters, were brought in before me to read this writing and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not give the interpretation of the message.
16But I have heard about you, that you can give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you will be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and will be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
17Then Daniel answered before the king, “Keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to another; however, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.
18O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father the kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and majesty,
19and because of the greatness that he gave him, all the peoples, nations, and languages trembled and were afraid before him. Whomever he wanted he killed, and whomever he wanted he kept alive; and whomever he wanted he elevated, and whomever he wanted he humbled.
20But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he acted proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne and they took his glory from him,
21and he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the animals’, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed with grass like cattle and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he sets up over it whomever he will.
22But you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,
23but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see, nor hear, nor know; but the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not glorified.
24Therefore the part of the hand was sent from him, and this writing was inscribed.
25This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26This is the interpretation of the message: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom and brought it to an end;
27TEKEL; you have been weighed on the scales and have been found lacking in weight.
28PERES; your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”