The palace is a buzz there are noblemen all over the place, I am hoping to find a seat as close to King Belshazzar as possible. Being here today is such a great honour. As I take my seat I am watching the King and his wives’ laughing and drinking wine.
‘Bring me the gold and silver goblets that my father King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, we want to drink out of them.’ King Belshazzar called out to one of the slave girls. The goblets were brought into the banqueting hall, placed before the King and the noblemen.
‘Pour the wine, praises to the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.’ Laughing the King took the goblet in his hand and drank the wine from the gold goblet placed before him. While the king was still drinking his wine suddenly a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace.
The king was watching the hand as it wrote. His faced turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.
‘Enchanters, astrologers and diviners come here.’ The King shouted. ‘Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.’
All the wise men of the king came in but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. Fear and terror griped the heart of King Belshazzar and he grew even paler. The nobles around him stared at him in amazement.
Hearing the commotion in the banqueting hall the Queen ran in and said ‘O king, live forever!’ she run up to him saying ‘Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father - your father the king, I say – appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.’
Daniel was brought before the king. ‘Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom. The wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they could not explain it. Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.’
Daniel answered the king, ‘You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.’
To be continued …..