(The fingers of a human hand appeared and began to write.)
King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen;
a thousand of them attended,
and he drank wine
in company with this thousand.
As he sipped his wine,
Belshazzar gave orders
for the gold and silver vessels
to be brought which his father Nebuchadnezzar
had looted from the sanctuary in Jerusalem,
so that the king,
and his singing women
could drink out of them.
The gold and silver vessels
looted from the sanctuary
of the Temple of God
in Jerusalem were brought in,
and the king,
his wives and his singing women
drank out of them.
They drank their wine
and praised their gods of
gold and silver,
of bronze and iron,
of wood and stone.
Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared,
and began to write on the plaster
of the palace wall,
directly behind the lampstand;
and the king could see the hand as it wrote.
The king turned pale with alarm:
his thigh-joints went slack
and his knees began to knock.
Daniel was brought into the king’s presence;
the king said to Daniel,
“Are you the Daniel
who was one of the Judaean exiles
brought by my father
the king from Judah?
I am told that the spirit of God Most High
lives in you,
and that you are known for your perception,
As I am told that you are able to give interpretations
and to unravel difficult problems,
if you can read the writing
and tell me what it means,
you shall be dressed in purple,
and have a chain of gold put round your neck,
and be third in rank in the kingdom.”
Then Daniel spoke up in the presence of the king.
“Keep your gifts for yourself,”
“and give your rewards to others.
I will read the writing to the king without them,
and tell him what it means.
You have defied the Lord of heaven,
you have had the vessels from his Temple brought to you,
and your singing women
have drunk your wine out of them.
You have praised gods of gold and silver,
of bronze and iron,
of wood and stone,
which cannot either see,
hear or understand;
but you have given no glory to the God
who holds your breath
and all your fortunes in his hands.
That is why he has sent the hand which,
has written these words.
The writing reads:
Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.
The meaning of the words is this:
Mene: God has measured your sovereignty
and put an end to it;
Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting;
Parsin: your kingdom has been divided
and given to the Medes and the Persians.”
The word of the Lord.
R.) Thanks be to God.