web analytics
January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777
Sponsored Post
Classifieds Section Check out the Jewish Press Classifieds

You can buy, sell and find what you need in the Jewish Press Classifieds section.

The Writing On The Wall

Printer-Ready Page Layout

After the death of King Nevuchadnezzar, his son, Evel Merodach, became king. After him another son, Balshatzar became king. During his rule, two of his princes, Cyrus and Darius, joined forces and revolted. Balshatzar was furious with them, saying they were ungrateful in light of the honors he had bestowed upon them. He assembled his warriors and went to war, inflicting great punishment upon them.

Cyrus and Darius regrouped and attacked Balshatzar’s army before they had a chance to rest. This surprise move caught Balshatzar unaware and he was defeated. Balshatzar called together his chief of staff and outlined a plan.

“We will not attack during the day,” he said, “because their army is too numerous and they will defeat us again. Instead, we will strike at night, when they least expect us, and this way we can hope for victory.”

His soldiers followed his plan and they won a great victory. Balshatzar was jubilant and held a great feast. He invited thousands of people to join him.  After drinking too much, the king became drunk.

In the midst of his merrymaking, the king ordered his servants to bring out the golden vessels that were taken from the Beit HaMikdash by his father Nevuchadnezzar. The king and his men drank from them and praised the gods of gold and silver.


A Hand Appears

Suddenly, a great hush fell upon the great assemblage. There, high up on the wall, a huge hand suddenly appeared and in it there was a large pen. The hand began to write and four words appeared on the wall: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

The people became frightened at this strange sight and many began to sob. The king was frightened and he called to his astrologers, demanding they explain the meaning of these words. “If you will tell me the meaning I will give you a chain of gold and you will become the third ruler of my kingdom,” he declared.

But none could understand the meaning of the writing, nor could they interpret the words. The king became greatly troubled and all of his princes and lords were worried.

The queen then arose and addressed the king, “Let not your thoughts trouble you. I remember the days of your father, Nevuchadnezzar, when he appointed a great man to rule over all the magicians and astrologers in the kingdom. He was endowed with the Divine spirit of his G-d and he could interpret dreams and he was wiser than any man on earth. Therefore, let the king summon him and put this riddle to him.”


Daniel Is Called

Daniel was brought before the king who said, “I have heard, Daniel, that the spirit of your G-d rests within you and that you have understanding and wisdom. I have heard you can interpret dreams and answer all riddles. Now, if you can read the writing on the wall and interpret it for me, I will clothe you with scarlet and place a chain of gold around your neck, and you shall be the third ruler in my kingdom.”

Daniel answered, “I have no need for your honors or gifts, which you can give to others. I will gladly read the words on the wall and I will make known their interpretation.

“G-d gave your father, Nebuchadnezzar, kingdom, power, glory and honor. When he disobeyed G-d, he was punished and in his later years came to realize that there is only one G-d in this world, so G-d restored the power to him.

“Now you, his son, have not humbled yourself and believed in Him, even though you knew all this.  You have revolted against G-d and you have even brought forth all the vessels from His Holy Temple and drank from them.

“Therefore, G-d is now foretelling your future. This is the meaning of the words: Mene – G-d has numbered your kingdom and finished it. Tekel – You are weighed in the balances and are found wanting. Pharsin – Your kingdom is divided and will be given to the Medes and Persians.”

Balshatzar was so awed with Daniel that he clothed him with scarlet and placed a chain of gold around his neck and he proclaimed that Daniel should be the third ruler in his kingdom.


The King Is Slain

Balshatzar began to fear for his life. He posted guards about his palace and instructed them to let no person enter without his permission.

“If you see a person trying to enter at a late hour, even if he tells you that he is your king, don’t believe him but immediately remove his head.”

That night Balshatzar could not sleep. Perhaps his guards were lax. Slipping out of his room, he quietly passed through his guards to test them if they were alert. But when he tried to get back into his room he was accosted by a soldier.

“I am your king, you fool!” he cried.

“We were warned against such an incident,” replied the soldier. “You can’t fool me, you are an imposter, for the king would not be wandering about at this hour.” Drawing his sword, he killed the king.

When the other soldiers gathered around the slain king they soon realized what had happened. Fearing retribution, they cut off his head and placed it in a sack and ran towards the camps of Cyrus and Darius.

Approaching the camps of the opposing warriors, they were stopped, and when they explained their mission they were immediately ushered in. They then explained everything that had transpired.

Darius arose and exclaimed; “Now I am convinced that the G-d of Israel is the true G-d. If He is willing, when I will become king of Babylon, I will permit the Jews to return to their land and I will give them back all the vessels which were taken from them.”

G-d listened to his pleas and he became the next king of Babylon.

Rabbi Sholom Klass

About the Author:

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Ruth Hirt says:

    The wonder-working power of G_D to HIS faithful one, it can never diminish.

  2. I love this article. Please advise if this is incorrect? Darius the Mede; Medo-Persian armies (Iran). Babylon is Iraq. The 4th kingdom of iron and clay mixed is both the foot and the beast that will be destroyed. Arab means mixed. The dragon gives them 2 hours. Hours are hours and months are months; but days are years. The 70 weeks that were attached are up in 2018. Jesus noted the last is first and first is last; therefore they should be equal? This is my understanding. What is yours? We should be preparing for this; but it is ignored and many will be harmed if there is not preparation.

  3. Happening very soon in Panovision

  4. Ruth Hirt says:

    This is the event in history which inspired the celebration of Purim. Dear friend Rot Rechtman can better tell us how I know.

  5. Rot Rechtman says:

    Jews celebrate Purim rescued from the hands of the evil Haman .. Haman wanted to kill all Jews eventually executed Haman and the Jews took advantage of the God who keeps His chosen people the Jews

Current Top Story
US Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Obama Pardons General Who Leaked US-Israel Cyberattack on Iran’s Nukes

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/midrash-stories/the-writing-on-the-wall/2014/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: