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Daniel 5:17-31 Common English Bible (CEB)

Daniel interprets the writing

17 Daniel answered the king: “Keep your gifts. Give the rewards to someone else. But I will still read the writing to the king and interpret it for him. 18 Listen, Your Majesty: The Most High God gave kingship, power, glory, and majesty to your father Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Because of the power God gave Nebuchadnezzar, all peoples, nations, and languages were terrified of him. He did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted: killing or sparing, exalting or humbling. 20 But when he became arrogant, acting in stubborn pride, he was pulled off his royal throne and the glory was taken from him. 21 He was driven away from other humans, and his mind became like an animal’s. He lived with wild donkeys, he ate grass like cattle, and dew from heaven washed his body until he realized that the Most High God dominates human kingship and sets over it anyone he wants.

22 “But you who are his son, Belshazzar, you haven’t submitted, even though you’ve known all this. 23 Instead, you’ve set yourself up against the Lord of heaven! The equipment of God’s house was brought to you; and you, your princes, your consorts, and your secondary wives drank wine out of it, all the while praising the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone—gods who can’t see, hear, or know anything. But you didn’t glorify the true God who holds your very breath in his hand and who owns every road you take.

24 “That’s why this hand was sent from God and why this message was written down. 25 This is what was written down:

mene, mene, tekel, and parsin.[a]

26 “This is the meaning of the word mene: God has numbered[b] the days of your rule. It’s over! 27 tekel means that you’ve been weighed[c] on the scales, and you don’t measure up. 28 peres[d] means your kingship is divided[e] and given to the Medes and the Persians.”[f]

29 Then Belshazzar commanded that Daniel be dressed in a purple robe, have a gold chain around his neck, and be officially appointed as third in command in the kingdom.

30 That very same night, Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. 31 Darius the Mede received the kingdom at the age of 62.


  1. Daniel 5:25 Aram Upharsin
  2. Daniel 5:26 Aram menah, which is a wordplay with Mene
  3. Daniel 5:27 Aram teqal, which is a wordplay with Tekel
  4. Daniel 5:28 The singular form of the plural Parsin in 5:25
  5. Daniel 5:28 Aram peras, which is a wordplay with Parsin
  6. Daniel 5:28 Aram Paras, another wordplay with Parsin
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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