Daniel Chapter 5 - It has been said that this chapter has some historic inconsistencies that have been found not to be true. This record has been substantiated. Seventy years after King Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the great statue, King Cyrus had been there besieging Babylon for 4 months. Belshazzar wants to have a huge party to demonstrate that he has no fear of being conquered. He felt that he was untouchable, and his sins led to his death. Nabonidus was the father of Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar was co-regent, and he offered the place of 3rd in authority to Daniel. Extravagance was displayed on a large scale. Belshazzar used the gold and silver vessels that had been stolen from the temple by his father so long ago and got them out of storage to use at his party. He and his subjects were giving praise to the Babylonian gods.
There came a visible hand that began writing on the plaster wall. They didn't know what it meant. They could read it in their Aramaic language, but didn't know what it meant. The queen said that Daniel could interpret it. Daniel was in his eighties at this time. What was written we now see in some popular sayings: "We can see the writing on the wall" (something is about to happen); "your days are numbered" (you will soon die); and "knees are knocking" (there is great fear). Daniel says because you have honored other gods, this will be your consequence. He reminds Belshazzar of what happened to his father, and now Belshazzar has not humbled his heart to God.
God will always have a messenger at the right place and the right time. This message, Mene Mene Tekel Parsin, was interpreted by Daniel. Mene (given twice) meant numeration; Tekel meant weighing (judging); Parsin meant divided and was meant to be a word play on Persia. Your days are numbered. You have been found wanting. Your land will be divided up and given to another. Cyrus came in, deposed Belshazzar and took his glory from him. Everyone was killed except Daniel. Daniel had been given a purple robe and a gold chain and proclaimed to be 3rd highest ruler in the nation, but only for a short while. God won't be pushed out of the picture. He will raise up another nation to power. God's judgment is certain. He needs to be kept at the forefront. Those who arrogantly defy Him will be defeated. God's message of hope and life need to be expressed. Old junk gets thrown out and new, better stuff is brought in.
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