Daniel told the king to keep his gifts (Dan 5:17-5:17)

“Then Daniel answered

In the presence

Of the king.

‘Let your gifts be

For yourself!

Give your rewards

To someone else!

Nevertheless,

I will read

The writing

To the king.

I will

Let him know

Its interpretation.’”

Daniel responded to the king. He did not care for the gifts or the promotion in the kingdom. The king could keep them. However, he was going to read the writing on the wall. Then he would let the king know about its interpretation.

The king explains the situation to Daniel (Dan 5:15-5:16)

“‘Now the wise men,

The enchanters,

Have been brought in

Before me

To read this writing.

They were to tell me

Its interpretation.

But they were not able

To give the interpretation

Of the matter.

But I have heard

That you can give

Interpretations.

You can

Solve problems.

Now if you able

To read the writing,

If you are able

To tell me

Its interpretation,

You shall be clothed

In purple.

You shall have

A chain of gold

Around your neck.

You shall rank third

In the kingdom.’”

The king explained to Daniel that the wise men and enchanters of Babylon were not able to read this writing on the wall. Thus, they were not able to give its interpretation. However, the king had heard that Daniel was capable of giving interpretations and solving problems. Then he made the same offer that he had made to the others. If Daniel was able to read and interpret this writing, he would be clothed in purple, the sign of royalty. He would then have a chain of gold around his neck, indicating that he was the 3rd in command in the kingdom of Babylon, after himself and his father.

Daniel goes before the king (Dan 5:13-5:14)

“Then Daniel

Was brought in

Before the king.

The king said to Daniel.

‘So!

You are Daniel!

One of the exiles

Of Judah!

My father!

The king!

He brought you

From Judah.

I have heard

Of you.

A spirit

Of the gods

Is in you.

Light

Is found in you.

Understanding

Is found in you!

Excellent wisdom

Is found in you!’”

Daniel went before King Belshazzar. This king said to Daniel that he was one of the exiles from Judah that his father or grandfather, King Nebuchadnezzar, had brought from Judah. Then this king praised Daniel. He said that he heard of Daniel as someone who had the spirit of the gods in him. Also, Daniel had light, understanding, and excellent wisdom. This sounds like it is heading in the right direction as King Belshazzar met Belteshazzar, Daniel, since they had practically the same name.

The queen talked about the importance of Daniel (Dan 5:11-5:12)

“There is a man

In your kingdom,

Who is endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods.

In the days

Of your father,

He was found to have

Enlightenment,

Understanding,

Wisdom,

Like the wisdom

Of the gods.

Your father,

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Made him chief

Of the magicians,

Of the enchanters,

Of the Chaldeans,

Of the diviners.

He had

An excellent spirit,

Knowledge,

Understanding.

He was able

To interpret dreams,

To explain riddles,

To solve problems.

These were found

In this Daniel,

Whom the king named

Belteshazzar.

Now let Daniel

Be called!

He will give

The interpretation.’”

This queen seemed to know all about Daniel and his ability to interpret dreams, probably because she was the queen mother. She reminded King Belshazzar that his father or grandfather, King Nebuchadnezzar, had found Daniel to have enlightenment, understanding, and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods. Thus, he made Daniel the chief of the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. It is not clear why he was not still the chief. This Daniel had an excellent spirit, like that of gods, to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems. The former king gave him a new name, Belteshazzar. She said that this Belteshazzar should be called to give an interpretation to this mysterious writing.

The queen was concerned (Dan 5:10-5:10)

“When the queen heard

The discussion

Of the king

With his lords,

She came into

The banquet hall.

The queen said.

‘O king!

Live forever!

Do not let your thoughts

Terrify you!

Do not let your face

Grow pale!’”

The queen or the queen mother heard the things and the discussions happening in the banquet hall. Thus, she came in and gave the usual greeting to the king. She told him not to be terrified or pale. Just take it easy and relax! If she was the queen, she would have been at this party, but she might have been the mother of Belshazzar or the queen mother.

The failure of the wise men (Dan 5:8-5:9)

“Then all the king’s wise men

Came in.

But they could not read

The writing.

They could not tell

The king

Its interpretation.

Then King Belshazzar

Became greatly terrified.

His face turned pale.

His lords were perplexed.”

However, when all the wise men came in to see the king, they could not read or interpret the writing on the wall. Then the king got afraid, as his face turned pale again. Even his important lords at this party were perplexed, since they did not know what to do.

The king called for his wise men (Dan 5:7-5:7)

“The king

Cried aloud

To bring in

The enchanters,

The Chaldeans,

The diviners.

The king said

To the wise men

Of Babylon.

‘Whoever can read

This writing,

Whoever can tell me

Its interpretation,

Shall be clothed

In purple.

He shall have

A chain

Of gold

Around his neck.

He shall rank third

In the kingdom.’”

Like all good kings, this King Belshazzar then called for his wise men to interpret the writing on the wall. Thus, the enchanters, the diviners or astrologists, with the wise Chaldeans came to him. After all, he had 1,000 of his best men with him at this feast or party. He then told these wise men that anyone who could read and interpret this mysterious writing would be clothed in purple. They would be able to wear the gold chain of 3rd place in the Babylonian kingdom, after his father and himself.