Read – Background on Daniel Chapter 5

The lineage of Bablonian kings was as follows:  Nabopolassar (Neb’s father); Nebuchadnezzar; Evil Merodach; Neriglissar; Labosoarchod; Nabonidus; BelshazzarThis ‘wine’ was no doubt alcoholic wine (due to the sin that was associated with it). They had used God’s holy temple instruments to be idols of pagan gods!  They were probably a bit intoxicated and then comes a man’s hand and writes on the wall !  Two colloquialisms come from this passage:  ‘Can’t you see the writing on the wall?’  and  ‘knees knocking together’.

Daniel proceeded to explain the handwriting that still remained on the wall. It has been said that Daniel could read it because he knew his Father’s handwriting!

The inscription was written in Aramaic, a language that the people understood. It wasn’t as it the message was in a foreign language; it was that they just didn’t understand it. To the person in the room looking at this, it looked as if a series of monetary values were being written on the wall.

MENE is the mina, about 50 shekels;  TEKEL is the shekel;  UPHARSIN is the half-shekel; Totaling 101 ½ shekels.

This makes little sense and Daniel interpreted it as the verbs ‘number’, ‘weigh’ and ‘divide’.

UPHARSIN (Parsin) -The “U” means “and”. Peres is the singular of parsin which means “divided,” but “peres” can mean either “divided” or “Persia.” The word Parsin contains a wordplay on the name “Persian” and even conveys a prophetic nuance as the Babylonian kingdom gave way to a kingdom of the Medes and the Persians (Medo-Persia).