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Summary: Daniel is summoned to interpret the writing on the wall at Belshazzar’s party. It’s not good news.

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Daniel 5:1-31

The Handwriting on the Wall

Many liberal scholars have attacked the veracity of the Book of Daniel because they could not find Belshazzar’s name in Babylonian history. In 1854, British consul J. G. Taylor discovered several small cylinders written in cuneiform writing in southern Iraq. They contained a prayer for “the long life and good health of Nabonidus and for his eldest son Belshazzar.” While some scoff and ridicule God’s Word for alleged errors, His Word has been shown to be reliable and trustworthy in all things.

A Nation’s Final Fling 5:1-12

Belshazzar threw the “Mother of All Parties” for all his friends as the Medo-Persian armies camped outside the walls. For several months they had been able to withstand the siege of their enemies. But, according to historians, on the night of October 12, 539 B.C. their kingdom was about to fall. The finger of God began writing four words that preceded their judgment. Unable to interpret the writing through his own counselors, Belshazzar took the advice from the Queen mother and invited the Prophet Daniel to decipher the enigma written on the wall.

A Nation’s Fatal Folly 5:13-29

Daniel entered the party room to a deafening silence. Everyone in the banquet hall was stone-cold sober. They had seen the finger of God writing on the wall. Daniel proceeded to rebuke Belshazzar for his failure to learn from the past. He lectured him about the history of his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar and the Most High God. Daniel then interpreted the "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" that had been written on the banquet hall. Belshazzar had been numbered, completed, found lacking and divided. Not only was the kingdom judged but Belshazzar was as well.

A Nation’s Fateful Fall 5:30-31

The nation who sows godlessness will reap judgment from God. Belshazzar had no time for Daniel or his God. It was only in his last hour that he called on Daniel. Only one verse (30) illustrates the fateful event of the empires last gasp. Darius the Mede and his army entered the city and killed Belshazzar that very night. The Chaldean empire ended with God bringing to power the Medo-Persian empire.


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