1. King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his nobles, a thousand of them attended and he drank wine with them.
2. Under the influence of wine, he ordered that the gold and silver vessels his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem be brought in so that he and his nobles, his wives and concubines might drink from them.
3. The gold and silver vessels taken from God's temple were brought in, and the king and his nobles, his wives and concubines drank from them.
4. While they drank wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone.
5. Suddenly a man's fingers appeared opposite the lampstand and wrote on the plastered wall of the king's palace. Watching the hand as it wrote, the king turned pale.
6. So terrified was he that his knees knocked and his legs gave way.
7. He shouted, calling for his enchanters and Chaldean diviners. "Whoever reads this writing and tells me its meaning," said he to the wise men of Babylon, "will be clothed in purple, wear a gold chain around his neck, and be made the third highest ruler in my kingdom."
8. All the king's wise men came, but none could read the writing or tell its meaning.
9. King Belshazzar became very frightened and his face grew even more pale. His nobles were likewise terrified and confused.
10. Hearing the troubled voices of the king and his nobles, the queen entered the banquet hall and said, "Live forever, O king! Do not be alarmed and become pale.
11. In your kingdom is a man who has the spirit of the holy gods. He was found to have discernment and god-like wisdom during your father's lifetime. He was in fact appointed chief of the magicians, enchanters and diviners by your father King Nebuchadnezzar.
12. This man Daniel, whom the king called Beltheshazzar, knew how to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel and he will tell you what the writing means."
13. Daniel was brought in and questioned by the king, "Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father brought from Judah?
14. I have heard that you have the spirit of the gods, that you have insight and extraordinary wisdom.
15. Wise men and enchanters were brought here, but none of them could read this writing and tell its meaning.
16. I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple, wear a gold chain around your neck, and be appointed third in rank in my kingdom."
17. Daniel replied, "You may keep your gifts or give them to someone else. Just the same I will read and interpret the writing for you.
18. God the Most High gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and a great kingdom.
19. Because of the greatness given him by God, he was feared by nations and peoples of every language. He had the power of life and death over everyone. He exalted or humbled whomsoever he wished.
20. But when he became arrogant and insolent, he was deposed and stripped of his glory.
21. He became an outcast and as senseless as a beast. He lived with wild asses, ate grass like cattle and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that God the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and appoints whom he pleases to govern it.
22. But you his son Belshazzar, although you knew all this, have not humbled yourself.
23. You have defied the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels from his temple brought to you, and together with your nobles, your wives and concubines, you drank wine from them. You praised the idols made of silver and gold, of bronze, iron and stones, which neither see, nor hear, nor understand; but you never glorified God who has power over your life and all your fortunes.
24. So he sent the hand that wrote the inscription
25. which read MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. And these words mean:
26. MENE, God has numbered the days of your reign and put an end to it;
27. TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;
28. PARSIN, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians."
29. On Belshazzar's order, Daniel was clothed in purple, given a gold chain to wear around his neck, and proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.
30. That very night, however, the Chaldean king Belshazzar was slain.