Daniel Chapter 5 to 6 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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The Writing on the Wall

5 King Belshazzar gave a big party for 1,000 of his officials. The king was drinking wine with them. 2As Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he ordered his servants to bring the gold and silver cups. These were the cups that his grandfather* Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple* in Jerusalem. King Belshazzar wanted his royal people, his wives and his women slaves* to drink from those cups. 3So they brought the gold cups that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem. And the king and his officials, his wives, and his women slaves drank from them. 4As they were drinking they were giving praise to their idol gods. They gave praise to those gods—and those gods were only statues made from gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. 5Then all of a sudden, a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the wall. The fingers scratched words into the plaster on the wall. The hand wrote on the wall there in the king’s house near the lampstand. The king was watching the hand as it wrote. 6King Belshazzar was very afraid. His face became white from fear and his knees were shaking and knocking together. He could not stand up because his legs were too weak. 7The king called for the men of magic and Chaldeans* to be brought to him. He said to these wise men, “I will give a reward to any man that can read this writing and explain to me what it means. I will give purple clothes* to that man. I will put a gold chain around his neck, and I will make him the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” 8So all the king’s wise men came in. But they could not read the writing. They could not understand what it meant. 9King Belshazzar’s officials were confused. And the king became even more afraid and worried. His face was white from fear. 10Then the king’s mother came into the place where the party was. She had heard the voices of the king and his royal officials. She said, “King, may you live forever! Don’t be afraid! Don’t let your face be so white with fear! 11There is a man in your kingdom that has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your father this man showed that he could understand secrets. He showed that he was very smart and very wise. He showed that he was like the gods in these things. Your grandfather,* King Nebuchadnezzar, put this man in charge of all the wise men. He ruled over all the men of magic, and the Chaldeans.* 12The man I am talking about is named Daniel. The king gave him the name Belteshazzar. Belteshazzar (Daniel) is very smart and he knows many things. He could interpret dreams, explain secrets, and answer very hard problems. Call for Daniel. He will tell you what the writing on the wall means.” 13So they brought Daniel to the king. The king said to Daniel, “Is your name Daniel, one of the captives my father the king brought here from Judah? 14I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you. And I have heard that you understand secrets, and are very smart and very wise. 15The wise men and the men of magic were brought to me to read this writing on the wall. I wanted those men to explain to me what this writing means. But they could not explain this writing on the wall to me. 16I have heard about you. I have heard that you are able to explain what things mean, and that you can find the answer to very hard problems. If you can read this writing on the wall and explain to me what it means, this is what I will do for you: I will give you purple clothes* and I will put a gold chain around your neck. Then you will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” 17Then Daniel answered the king. Daniel said, “King Belshazzar, you can keep your gifts for yourself. Or you can give those rewards to someone else. But I will still read the writing on the wall for you. And I will explain to you what it means. 18“King, God Most High made your grandfather* Nebuchadnezzar a very great and powerful king. God made him very important. 19People from many nations and people that spoke many languages were very afraid of Nebuchadnezzar. Why? Because the God Most High made him a very important king. If Nebuchadnezzar wanted a person to die, then he killed that person. And if he wanted a person to live, then that person was allowed to live. If he wanted to make people important, then he made those people important. And if he wanted to make people not important, then he made them not important. 20But Nebuchadnezzar became proud and stubborn. So his power was taken away from him. He was taken off his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21Then Nebuchadnezzar was forced to go away from people. His mind became like the mind of an animal. He lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like a cow. He became wet with dew.* These things happened to him until he learned his lesson. Then he learned that God Most High rules over the kingdoms of men. And God Most High sets anyone he wants over kingdoms. 22“But Belshazzar, you already knew these things! You are Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson.* But still you have not made yourself humble. 23No, you did not become humble. Instead, you have turned against the Lord of heaven. You ordered the drinking cups from the  Lord’s temple to be brought to you. Then you and your royal officials, your wives, and your women servants* drank wine from those cups. You gave praise to the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Those are not really gods, they can’t see, or hear, or understand anything. But you did not give honor to the God who has the power over your life and everything you do. 24So, because of that, God sent the hand that wrote on the wall. 25These are the words that were written on the wall: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPARSIN. 26“This is what these words mean: MENE:* God has counted the days until your kingdom will end. 27TEKEL:* You have been weighed on the scales, and found not good enough. 28UPARSIN:* Your kingdom is being taken from you It will be divided among the Medes and Persians.” 29Then Belshazzar gave an order for Daniel to be dressed in purple clothes.* A gold chain was put around his neck, and he was announced to be the third highest ruler in the kingdom. 30That very same night, Belshazzar, king of the Babylonian people, was killed. 31A man named Darius the Mede became the new king. Darius was about 62 years old.

grandfather Or, “father.” We are not sure if Belshazzar was really Nebuchadnezzar‘s grandson. Here the word “father” might only mean, “the previous king.” temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. women slaves Or, “concubine, “a slave woman like a wife to her master.  Chaldean(s) An important family group in Babylonia. Sometimes this name means simply “People from Babylonia.” purple clothes These clothes showed that a person was rich and powerful, like a king. dew Drops of water that collect on the ground during the night. grandson Or, “son.” This does not necessarily mean they were from the same family. It might only mean that Belshazzar was one of the kings of Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar was king.  woman servant Or, “concubine, “a slave woman who was like a wife to a man.  MENE A weight, like the Hebrew word “mina.” This is like the word “to count.” TEKEL A weight, like the Hebrew word “shekel.” This word is like the word meaning “to weigh.” UPARSIN Literally, “peres.” A weight. This word is like the word meaning “to divide, ““to split.” It is also like the name of the country Persia.

Daniel and the Lions

6 Darius thought it would be a good idea to choose 120 satraps* to rule throughout all of his kingdom. 2And he chose three men to rule over those 120 satraps. Daniel was one of these three supervisors. The king set up these men so that no one would cheat him and he would not lose anything in his kingdom. 3Daniel showed himself to be better than the other supervisors. Daniel did this by his good character and great abilities. The king was so impressed with Daniel that he planned to make Daniel ruler over the whole kingdom. 4But when the other supervisors and the satraps heard about this, they were very jealous. They tried to find reasons to accuse Daniel. So they watched the things Daniel did as he went about doing the business of the government. But they could not find anything wrong with Daniel. So they could not accuse him of doing anything wrong. Daniel was a man people could trust. He did not cheat the king and he worked very hard. 5Finally those men said, “We will never find any reason to accuse Daniel of doing something wrong. So we must find something to complain about that is connected to the law of his God.” 6So those two supervisors and the satraps* went as a group to the king. They said: “King Darius, live forever! 7The supervisors, prefects,* satraps*, advisers, and governors have all agreed on something. We think that the king should make this law. Everyone must obey this law. This is the law: If anyone prays to any god or man, except to you, king, for the next 30 days, then that person will be thrown into the lions’ den (cage). 8Now, king, make the law and sign the paper it is written on. In this way, the law can’t be changed. Why? Because the laws of the Medes and Persians can’t be canceled or changed.” 9So King Darius made the law and signed it. 10Daniel always prayed to God three times every day. Three times every day, Daniel got down on his knees and prayed and praised God. When Daniel heard about the new law he went to his house. Daniel went up to his room on the roof of his house. Daniel went to the windows that opened toward Jerusalem.  Then Daniel got down on his knees and prayed, like he always did. 11Then those men went as a group and found Daniel. They saw him praying and asking God for help. 12So they went to the king. They talked to him about the law he had made. They said, “King Darius, you signed a law that says, for the next 30 days anyone that prays to any god or man except you, the king, would be thrown into the lions’ den (cage). You did sign that law, didn’t you?” The king answered, “Yes, I signed that law. And the laws of the Medes and Persians can’t be canceled or changed.” 13Then those men said to the king, “That man named Daniel is not paying any attention to you. Daniel is one of the captives* from Judah. And Daniel is not paying attention to the law you signed. Daniel still prays to his God three times every day.” 14The king became very sad and upset when he heard this. He decided to save Daniel. He worked until sunset trying to think of a way to save Daniel. 15Then those men went as a group to the king. They said to him, “Remember, king, that the law of the Medes and Persians says that no law or command signed by the king can ever be canceled or changed.” 16So King Darius gave the order. They brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den (cage). The king said to Daniel, “I hope the God you worship saves you!” 17A big rock was brought and put over the opening of the lions’ den. Then the king used his ring and put his seal* on the rock. And he used the rings of his officials and put their seals on the rock also. This showed that no one could move that rock and bring Daniel out of the lion’s den (cage). 18Then King Darius went back to his house. He did not eat that night. He did not want anyone to come and entertain him. The king could not sleep all night. 19The next morning, King Darius got up just as it was getting light. He ran to the lions’ den (cage). 20The king was very worried. When the king went to the lions’ den, he called to Daniel. The king said, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God been able to save you from the lions? You always serve your God.” 21Daniel answered, “King, live forever! 22My God sent his angel to save me. The angel closed the lions’ mouths. The lions have not hurt me because my God knows I am innocent. I never did anything wrong to you, king.” 23King Darius was very happy. He told his servants to lift Daniel out of the lions’ den (cage). And when Daniel was lifted out of the den they did not find any injury on his body. Daniel was not hurt by the lions because he trusted in his God. 24Then the king gave a command to bring the men that had accused Daniel to the lions’ den (cage). Those men and their wives and children were thrown into the lion’s den. The lions grabbed them before they hit the floor of the lions’ den. The lions ate their bodies and then chewed on their bones. 25Then King Darius wrote this letter to all the people from other nations that spoke many different languages all around the world: Greetings. 26I am making a new law. This law is for people in every part of my kingdom. All of you people must fear and respect the God of Daniel. Daniel’s God is the living God. God lives forever! His kingdom will never be destroyed. His rule will never end. 27God helps and saves people. God does amazing miracles in heaven and on earth. God saved Daniel from the lions.” 28So Daniel was successful during the time that Darius was king and during the time that Cyrus the Persian was king.

satraps Persian officials that were governors of a province. prefects Important officials.  captives People taken away like prisoners. Here this means the Jewish people that were taken to Babylon.  seal(s) Small stones or rings with special shapes that could be used like a rubber stamp. When pressed into wet clay or hot wax, they left a special mark that was like a signature. 

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