"you have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this…" Daniel 5:22
The End of an Empire
Chronology of ancient historian Berosus
The armies of Persia have already conquered most of the Babylonian Empire. Only the city of Babylon is left. And now the armies of Cyrus have surrounded the city. The enemy is literally at the gates. Yet, in the midst of all this, Belshazzar throws a drunken party
The walls of the city were enormous. It was one of the things that may have contributed to Nebuchadnezzar’s pride. The king and his people apparently felt safe and secure enough to have a party
At this party, the king commits the sacrilege of using the goblets from Solomon’s Temple to hold their alcohol. They top it off by praising their idols.
The Writing on the Wall
At this point, the hand of God appears. The king sobers up in a hurry.
The king calls for the usual suspects: his magicians and diviners. Again they are promised riches for doing their job. Again they fail.
The queen, probably the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, remembered Daniel.
The king may have known about Daniel (v. 13-14), which may explain Daniel’s message in verse 22. This message is the reason behind the handwriting.
The Meaning of the Handwriting
It’s important to realize the words were familiar to the Babylonians. The words were from their language. The king didn’t understand the implications.
The word "He" may have been confusing.
MENE – your time has run out. God’s patience is at an end
TEKEL – you have not measured up
PARSIN – your kingdom will be taken from you
This was all prophesied before, e.g. Isaiah 44:28-47, Jer. 50-51 (see Jer. 51:11.39, 57-58)
#1) All of us have been "weighed on the scales and found wanting" (Rom. 3:23)
We are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Eph. 2:8-9)
God continues to reach out to us, no matter how rebellious and sinful