In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand…
Observe how many and great offences Belshazzar crowded into a single festival, into a single day. In the midst of this scene of guilty riot, the Almighty alarmed them with the messenger of his displeasure. The remarkable prophecy of the handwriting was no less remarkably fulfilled. Thus was it shown to the Assyrian, as well as to the Jew, that the "Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men." Thus was exhibited a most impressive instance of His power, His government, His justice. In these days the government of the Almighty has not ceased. The mode of its administration only is changed. Though the justice of God may appear to be delayed, it is not abolished. His laws, far from being repealed, are more fully explained and enforced by more powerful sanctions. The day of account must come; and to us it will come with augmented weight and solemnity. Our conduct in the present transitory state must determine our fate for ever. Seeming suspension and delay faust not be depended on. The king of Babylon was suddenly called to judgment. We do not want the supernatural writing on the wall, nor the prophet to give us its interpretation. We possess the permanent writing of the Gospel, and that in characters which every man can read. The Gospel, however, contains no promise that we shall not be suddenly called to our account. It ought, indeed, to be one powerful caution against any criminal pursuit, that we may not live to enjoy the fruits of success, or even to complete the crime. Whatever may have been our place or station in society, we shall be finally punished or rewarded, not according to the extent of our endowments or possessions, but according to the zeal and diligence with which they have been employed and improved.
(W. Barrow, LL.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.