Belshazzar was the king of Babylon during the time of Daniel. One night he hosted a drunken party involving a thousand of his officers. While Beshazzar was drinking, he had the gold and silver cups that were taken many years beforehand from the Temple in Jerusalem, during Nebuchadnezzar's reign, and brought to the feast. The guests at the feast drank from these sacred cups, and made toasts to the idol gods of Babylon.
As they were drinking from these cups, they saw the fingers of a hand writing on the plaster of the wall. Belshazzar and his guests were frightened and called for the magicians and astrologers to interpret what the hand had written: "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN".
No one could interpret the words, until they sent for Daniel. Daniel told the king that he had offended God by drinking out of the Temple cups. Daniel then interpreted the words: The word MENE means "numbered." The word TEKEL means "weighed," and the word PARSIN means "divided."
The complete message read "God has numbered the days of your reign, and they have ended. You have been weighed in God's balances and have failed the test. Your kingdom will be divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
That same night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed, and Darius the Mede entered the city and began his reign. Darius divided the kingdom into 120 provinces, each under a governor. He named Daniel as one of three presidents who oversaw the governors (Dan. 5)
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