This Week's Story

The party is over and Belshazzar has failed the weighing.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

The Eclipse at Belshazzar's
Party, part two

No longer could King Belshazzar see the glitter of his gigantic party. He felt sucked into a grey world with no answers. He saw words a huge unearthly hand had written on his palace wall. Party guests and his advisers stared at him. Each eye asked, “What do the words mean?”

He looked at the gold cups on tables before him. He knew they had been stolen from the temple in Jerusalem. Once they had been used only in the worship of the one whom his grandfather had called “the most-high God.” This evening he and his guests had drunk toasts from them to the gods of Babylon.

Doubt flickered in his thoughts. He knew that his grandfather King Nebuchadnezzar years earlier had returned from seven years of insanity and declared, “I now worship the most-high God! He is able to humble those who are proud.”

Belshazzar looked at the queen mother. Her advice was clear. “Call Daniel. He will show the meaning of this writing upon the wall. He is filled with divine knowledge and understanding.”

Daniel was brought to the king. He was now in his eighties. Belshazzar asked him, “Are you the Daniel who was taken prisoner from Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar? I have heard that you have great wisdom. My wise men cannot understand the writing that has appeared on the wall before us.

“If you can read and tell me their meaning, I will give you purple robes of royal honor, a gold necklace, and you will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

Daniel answered with dignity and courtesy, “Your majesty, keep your gifts. I will tell you what the writing means. The Most-High God gave King Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and glory, but when he became hard with pride, he was stripped of his glory.

“He was driven from human society and lived among wild donkeys until he learned that God rules the kingdoms of the world. You knew this story of King Nebuchadnezzar, but you have not humbled yourself. You have defied God and not honored Him who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny. So, God has sent this hand to write a message.

“The words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin mean: God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end. You have been weighed on the balances and have failed the test. Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

That evening Daniel received the promised rewards. The same evening King Belshazzar was killed. Darius the Mede with his soldiers invaded and defeated Babylon.

Daniel served in the royal court of King Darius and later the court of King Cyrus the Great.

Currently what was called Media and Persia is Iran. Babylonia is now Iraq. The historicity of Daniel has been under scrutiny for centuries. The Bible, which contains the book of Daniel, is the primary source for this story’s writing.

I am Scott Thomas serving as dramatic reader and Barbara Steiner is the story writer. Please continue to investigate at

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