September 26
Daniel 5:1 — 6:28 

5 As regards Belshazzar the king, he made a big feast for a thousand of his grandees, and in front of the thousand he was drinking wine. 2 Belshazzar, under the influence of the wine, said to bring in the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken away from the temple that was in Jerusalem, that from them the king and his grandees, his concubines and his secondary wives might drink. 3 At that time they brought in the vessels of gold that they had taken away from the temple of the house of God that was in Jerusalem, and from them the king and his grandees, his concubines and his secondary wives drank. 4 They drank wine, and they praised the gods of gold and of silver, copper, iron, wood and stone.

5 At that moment the fingers of a man’s hand came forth and were writing in front of the lampstand upon the plaster of the wall of the palace of the king, and the king was beholding the back of the hand that was writing. 6 At that time, as regards the king, his very complexion was changed in him, and his own thoughts began to frighten him, and his hip joints were loosening and his very knees were knocking each other.

7 The king was calling out loudly to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the astrologers. The king was answering and saying to the wise men of Babylon: “Any man that will read this writing and show me its very interpretation, with purple he will be clothed, with a necklace of gold about his neck, and as the third one in the kingdom he will rule.”

8 At that time all the wise men of the king were coming in, but they were not competent enough to read the writing itself or to make known to the king the interpretation. 9 Consequently King Belshazzar was very much frightened and his complexion was changing within him; and his grandees were perplexed.

10 As regards the queen, because of the words of the king and his grandees she entered right into the banqueting hall. The queen answered and said: “O king, keep living even to times indefinite. Do not let your thoughts frighten you, nor let your complexion be changed. 11 There exists a capable man in your kingdom in whom there is the spirit of holy gods; and in the days of your father illumination and insight and wisdom like the wisdom of gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar your father himself set him up as chief of the magic-practicing priests, the conjurers, the Chaldeans [and] the astrologers, [even] your father, O king; 12 forasmuch as an extraordinary spirit and knowledge and insight to interpret dreams and the explanation of riddles and the untying of knots had been found in him, in Daniel, whom the king himself named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel himself be called, that he may show the very interpretation.”

13 Accordingly Daniel himself was brought in before the king. The king was speaking up and saying to Daniel: “Are you the Daniel that is of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah? 14 I have also heard concerning you that the spirit of gods is in you, and illumination and insight and wisdom extraordinary have been found in you. 15 And now there have been brought in before me the wise men [and] the conjurers, that they may read this very writing, even to make known to me its interpretation; but they are not competent enough to show the very interpretation of the word. 16 And I myself have heard concerning you, that you are able to furnish interpretations and to untie knots themselves. Now, if you are able to read the writing and to make known to me its very interpretation, with purple you will be clothed, with a necklace of gold around your neck, and as the third one in the kingdom you will rule.”

17 At that time Daniel was answering and saying before the king: “Let your gifts prove to be to you yourself, and your presents do you give to others. However, I shall read the writing itself to the king, and the interpretation I shall make known to him. 18 As for you, O king, the Most High God himself gave to Nebuchadnezzar your father the kingdom and the greatness and the dignity and the majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that He gave him, all peoples, national groups and languages proved to be quaking and showing fear before him. Whom he happened to want to, he was killing; and whom he happened to want to, he was striking; and whom he happened to want to, he was exalting; and whom he happened to want to, he was humiliating. 20 But when his heart became haughty and his own spirit became hard, so as to act presumptuously, he was brought down from the throne of his kingdom, and his own dignity was taken away from him. 21 And from the sons of mankind he was driven away, and his very heart was made like that of a beast, and with the wild asses his dwelling was. Vegetation they would give him to eat just like bulls, and with the dew of the heavens his own body got to be wet, until he knew that the Most High God is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind, and that the one whom he wants to, he sets up over it.

22 “And as for you, his son Belshazzar, you have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 But against the Lord of the heavens you exalted yourself, and they brought before you even the vessels of his house; and you yourself and your grandees, your concubines and your secondary wives have been drinking wine from them, and you have praised mere gods of silver and of gold, copper, iron, wood and stone, that are beholding nothing or hearing nothing or knowing nothing; but the God in whose hand your breath is and to whom all your ways belong you have not glorified. 24 Consequently from before him there was being sent the back of a hand, and this very writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL and PARSIN.

26 “This is the interpretation of the word: MENE, God has numbered [the days of] your kingdom and has finished it.
 “TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and have been found deficient.
 “PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.”
 At that time Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel with purple, with a necklace of gold about his neck; and they heralded concerning him that he was to become the third ruler in the kingdom.
 In that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed 31 and Darius the Mede himself received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

6 It seemed good to Darius, and he set up over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, who were to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, in order that these satraps might continually be giving to them the report and the king himself might not become the loser. 3 Then it was that this Daniel was steadily distinguishing himself over the high officials and the satraps, forasmuch as an extraordinary spirit was in him; and the king was intending to elevate him over all the kingdom.

4 At that time the high officials and the satraps themselves were constantly seeking to find some pretext against Daniel respecting the kingdom; but there was no pretext or corrupt thing at all that they were able to find, forasmuch as he was trustworthy and no negligence or corrupt thing at all was found in him. 5 Consequently these able-bodied men were saying: “We shall find in this Daniel no pretext at all, except we have to find [it] against him in the law of his God.”

6 Accordingly these high officials and satraps themselves entered as a throng to the king, and this is what they were saying to him: “O Darius the king, live on even for times indefinite. 7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high royal officers and the governors, have taken counsel together to establish a royal statute and to enforce an interdict, that whoever makes a petition to any god or man for thirty days except to you, O king, should be thrown to the lions’ pit. 8 Now, O king, may you establish the statute and sign the writing, in order for [it] not to be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which is not annulled.”

9 In accord with this, King Darius himself signed the writing and the interdict.

10 But Daniel, as soon as he knew that the writing had been signed, entered into his house, and, the windows in his roof chamber being open for him toward Jerusalem, even three times in a day he was kneeling on his knees and praying and offering praise before his God, as he had been regularly doing prior to this. 11 At that time these able-bodied men themselves crowded in and found Daniel petitioning and imploring favor before his God.

12 Then it was that they approached and were saying before the king concerning the interdict of the king: “Is there not an interdict that you have signed that any man that asks a petition from any god or man for thirty days except from you, O king, he should be thrown to the lions’ pit?” The king was answering and saying: “The matter is well established according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which is not annulled.” 13 Immediately they answered, and they were saying before the king: “Daniel, who is of the exiles of Judah, has paid no regard to you, O king, nor to the interdict that you signed, but three times in a day he is making his petition.” 14 Consequently the king, as soon as he heard the word, it was very displeasing to him, and toward Daniel he set [his] mind in order to rescue him; and till the setting of the sun he kept on striving to deliver him. 15 Finally these able-bodied men themselves entered as a throng to the king, and they were saying to the king: “Take note, O king, that the law belonging to the Medes and the Persians is that any interdict or statute that the king himself establishes is not to be changed.”

16 Accordingly the king himself commanded, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the pit of the lions. The king was answering and saying to Daniel: “Your God whom you are serving with constancy, he himself will rescue you.” 17 And a stone was brought and placed on the mouth of the pit, and the king sealed it with his signet ring and with the signet ring of his grandees, in order that nothing should be changed in the case of Daniel.

18 At that time the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no musical instruments were brought in before him, and his very sleep fled from him. 19 Finally the king himself, at dawn, proceeded to get up in the daylight, and in a hurry he went right to the lions’ pit. 20 And as he got near to the pit, he cried out with a sad voice even to Daniel. The king was speaking up and saying to Daniel: “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you are serving with constancy been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Immediately Daniel himself spoke even with the king: “O king, live on even to times indefinite. 22 My own God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions, and they have not brought me to ruin, forasmuch as before him innocence itself was found in me; and also before you, O king, no hurtful act have I done.”

23 Then it was that the king himself became very glad, and Daniel himself he commanded to be lifted up out of the pit. And Daniel was lifted up out of the pit, and there was no hurt at all found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

24 And the king commanded, and they brought these able-bodied men who had accused Daniel, and into the lions’ pit they threw them, their sons and their wives; and they had not reached the bottom of the pit before the lions had got the mastery over them, and all their bones they crushed.

25 Then it was that Darius the king himself wrote to all the peoples, the national groups and the tongues that are dwelling in all the earth: “May YOUR peace grow very much! 26 From before me there has been put through an order that, in every dominion of my kingdom, people are to be quaking and fearing before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and One enduring to times indefinite, and his kingdom is one that will not be brought to ruin, and his dominion is forever. 27 He is rescuing and delivering and performing signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for he has rescued Daniel from the paw of the lions.”

28 And as for this Daniel, he prospered in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.