The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1Bĕlshatstsar the sovereign made a great feast for a thousand of his great men, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand.
2While tasting the wine, Bĕlshatstsar gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar had taken from the Hĕḵal which had been in Yerushalayim, that the sovereign and his great men, his wives, and his concubines could drink from them.
3Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the Hĕḵal of the House of Elah which had been in Yerushalayim. And the sovereign and his great men, his wives, and his concubines drank out of them.
4They drank wine, and praised the elahin of gold, and of silver, of bronze, of iron, of wood and of stone.
5At that moment the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the sovereign’s palace. And the sovereign saw the part of the hand that wrote.
6Then the sovereign’s colour changed, and his thoughts alarmed him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other.
7The sovereign called loudly to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. The sovereign spoke and said to the wise ones of Baḇel, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, is robed in purple and has a chain of gold around his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the reign.”
8So all the sovereign’s wise ones came, but they were unable to read the writing, or to make known its interpretation to the sovereign.
9Then Sovereign Bĕlshatstsar was greatly alarmed, and his colour changed, and his great men were puzzled.
10The sovereigness, because of the words of the sovereign and his great men, came to the banquet hall. And the sovereigness spoke and said, “O sovereign, live forever! Do not let your thoughts alarm you, nor let your colour change.
11“There is a man in your reign in whom is the Spirit of the Set-apart Elah. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the elahin, were found in him. And Sovereign Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar your father, your father the sovereign, made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and diviners,
12because an excellent spirit, knowledge and understanding, interpreting dreams, and explaining riddles, and solving difficult problems were found in this Dani’ĕl, whom the sovereign named Bĕlteshatstsar. Now let Dani’ĕl be called, and let him show the interpretation.”
13So Dani’ĕl was brought in before the sovereign. The sovereign spoke and said to Dani’ĕl, “Are you that Dani’ĕl who is one of the sons of the exile from Yehuḏah, whom my father the sovereign brought from Yehuḏah?
14“I have heard of you, that the Spirit of Elah is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.
15“And the wise ones, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they were unable to show the interpretation of the word.
16“And I myself have heard of you, that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read the writing and make known its interpretation to me, you are to be robed in purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the reign.”
17Then Dani’ĕl answered and said before the sovereign, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Yet I shall read the writing to the sovereign, and make known the interpretation to him.
18“O sovereign, the Most High Elah gave Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar your father a reign and greatness, and preciousness and esteem.
19“And because of the greatness which He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished he executed, and whomever he wished he kept alive, and whomever he wished he raised up, and whomever he wished he made low.
20“But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was so strong as to act proudly, he was put down from his throne of reign, and they took his preciousness from him.
21“Then he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the heavens, till he knew that the Most High Elah is ruler in the reign of men, and He sets up over it whomever He wishes.
22“And you his son, Bĕlshatstsar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.
23“And you have lifted yourself up against the Master of the heavens. And they brought before you the vessels of His house, and you and your great men, your wives and your concubines, have been drinking wine from them. And you have praised the elahin of silver, and of gold, of bronze, of iron, of wood, and of stone, which neither see nor hear nor know. But the Elah who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not made great.
24“Then the part of the hand was sent from Him, and this writing was inscribed.
25“And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENĚ, MENĚ, TEQĚL, UPHARSIN.
26“This is the interpretation of each word: MENĚ – Elah has numbered your reign, and put an end to it.
27“TEQĚL – You have been weighed on the scales, and found lacking.
28“PERES – Your reign has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29Then Bĕlshatstsar gave orders, and they robed Dani’ĕl in purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and they proclaimed concerning him that he is the third ruler in the reign.
30In that night Bĕlshatstsar, sovereign of the Chaldeans, was slain.
31And Dareyawesh the Mede took over the reign, being about sixty-two years old.