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Belshazzar [Bĕlshăz'zar]—bel protect the king or the lord’s leader. The son of Nebuchadnezzar and last of the kings of Babylon (Dan. 5; 7:1; 8:1).

The Man Whose Sacrilege Brought Judgment

The story of King Belshazzar is a short one. He bursts upon the stage, then disappears. All we know about him is told in one brief chapter. What we do know about Belshazzar is that he made a great feast to which a thousand of his lords were invited and that they drank out of the vessels of gold and silver taken from the house of God as they toasted their heathen gods. Drunkenness was a prevailing vice in all ranks of the Babylonians. Belshazzar, who feared neither God nor man, manifested his vanity, profaneness and pride in the sacrilegious use of the holy vessels, and in the midst of the drunken orgy, a hidden hand writing out mysterious words interrupted their godless mirth.

Although he could not decipher the writing on the wall, Belshazzar’s conscience somehow interpreted the words over against the candlestick. Terror gripped him because he felt the message spelled his doom. His own wise men failed to read the writing, so Daniel was brought in and informed the king of its significance, and that night Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was slain. The army of Darius ransacked the palace and quickly mingled the king’s blood with the wine in the banqueting hall.

Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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