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Prerequisite Poetry 101







Belshazzar's Feast

Preparation:  Taken from Daniel 5.  We strongly urge you to utilize Audio-Bible where you will hear Alexander Scourby read Scripture.  Belshazzar's Feast is based on Daniel 5.  Listen to Alexander Scourby read Daniel 5.

1)  Belshazzar was made a participant in the kingdom by his father, and was left in control of the city of Babylon when his father went to meet the invading Persian army under Cyrus the Great
2)  Chaldeans were natives of Chaldea who were knowledgeable in astrology
3)  Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon in the 5th century BC
4)  all ... languages refers to people of all languages
5)  he was deposed ... it was recorded that Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted for several years by a strange form of madness where he imagined himself a beast of the field (see Daniel 4:32)
6)  In that ... slain ... Babylon was taken (538 BC) by the Persians, under Cyrus, while Belshazzar and his court were engaged in revelry.  Belshazzar was killed in the confusion of the early morning.

     Belshazzar, the king, made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.  While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar commanded his servants to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem.  So, they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God in Jerusalem while drinking wine and praising the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone.
     In the same hour Fingers of a Man's hand were seen and wrote on the plaster on the wall of the king's palace.  The king and all at the feast saw the Hand that wrote.  The king's countenance changed and his thoughts troubled him and his knees started knocking together.  The king cried out aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers, saying,
     "Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler of the kingdom."
     All the king's wise men came but they could not read the writing nor make known the interpretation thereof.  Belshazzar was greatly troubled.  The queen, by reasons of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house saying,
     "O king, live for ever !  Let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed.  There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and, in the days of thy father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods was found in him:  whom king Nebuchadnezzar thy father --- the king, I say, thy father --- made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting the dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel.  Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
     Then was Daniel brought in before the king and the king spake unto Daniel saying,
     "Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of captivity of Judah, whom the king, my father, brought out of Jewry?  I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.  Now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof; but they could not show the interpretation of the thing.
     "And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations and dissolve doubts.  Now if thou cast read the writing on the wall, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet and have a chain of gold about thy neck and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom."
     Then Daniel answered and said before the king,
     "Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another.  Yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.  O thou king ! the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom and majesty, and glory and honor.  For the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him.  Whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive.  Whom he would he set up, and whom he would he put down.
     "But then his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.  He was driven from the sons of men and his heart was made like the beasts.  His dwelling was with the wild asses.  They fed him with grass like oxen and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till he knew that the Most High God ruled in the kingdom of men and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will.
     "And thou, his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven.
     "They have brought the vessels of His house before thee, and thou and thy lords have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, gold, brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know.  The God in Whose hand thy breath is and whose are all thy ways hast thou not glorified.
     "Then was the part of the hand sent from him and this writing was written.  This is the writing that was written:
     "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.  This is the interpretation of the thing:
     "MENE:  God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it.
     "TEKEL:  Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting.
     "PERES:  Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
     In that night was Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, slain.





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