Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.CHAPTER 5 Belshazzar’s Feast
1. Belshazzar’s licentious feast (Daniel 5:1-4)
2. The writing on the wall (Daniel 5:5-9)
3. Forgotten Daniel (Daniel 5:10-16)
4. The message of Daniel (Daniel 5:17-31)
Daniel 5:1-4. This feast of wickedness and blasphemy needs no further annotations. But it shows the great decline morally in the great Babylonian empire. Nebuchadnezzar, no doubt, had handled the golden vessels of the house of the Lord most carefully. He had stored them away, fearing to misuse them. The grandson sent for these vessels to drink out of them wine with his harlots and to praise his idols.
Daniel 5:5-9. A mysterious finger then wrote over against the candlestick on the wall. The king saw plainly the part of the hand that wrote. The feast of licentiousness became suddenly a feast of gloom and consternation. Nor could the astrologers and wise men read the writing which had appeared on the wall.
Daniel 5:10-16. At this point the queen, the aged widow of Nebuchadnezzar, appeared on the scene and called attention to an old man, who played such an important part during the reign of her husband. Daniel is sent for.
Daniel 5:17-31. Daniel refused the honors of the king. He knew that ere long the blaspheming king would be no more. And Daniel was more than an interpreter of the handwriting on the wall. He is God’s prophet and messenger, as a reading of this portion of the chapter shows.
This chapter reveals the blasphemous character of the end of the Babylonian monarchy. Blasphemy, rejection of God’s truth are about us on all sides. There is a “Mene, Mene, Tekel” for apostate Christendom and for that final phase of Babylon as revealed in Revelation 17:1-18; Revelation 18:1-24.