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The Handwriting on the Wall

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Daniel 5, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

Once upon a time, there was a king named Belshazzar. He threw a big party for his friends and family and they all drank wine from golden cups that had been taken from God’s temple in Jerusalem. They praised other gods made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

Suddenly, a hand appeared and wrote something on the wall of the palace. The writing was in a language that no one could read, not even the king’s wise men. The king became very scared and asked all of his wise men to help him figure out what it meant. He called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. But no one could read or understand the writing.

Finally, the queen remembered a man named Daniel who could help. She told the king that in the days of his father, King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel had been made the chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers because he had an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems.

Daniel was brought in before the king. The king recognized Daniel and knew of his great reputation for interpreting dreams and solving problems. He offered Daniel gifts if he could read the writing and make known to him its interpretation. But Daniel refused the gifts and told the king what the writing on the wall meant.

He explained that the first word, “Mene,” meant that God had counted the days of Belshazzar’s kingdom and that it would come to an end. The second word, “Tekel,” meant that Belshazzar had been weighed on a scale and found to be wanting or deficient. And the third word, “Peres” or “Parsin,” meant that Belshazzar’s kingdom would be taken over by the Medes and Persians.

The king was so impressed by Daniel’s interpretation that he gave him a purple robe and a gold necklace and made him the third ruler in the kingdom. But that very night, the king was killed, and a new king named Darius took over the kingdom.

Biblical Lessons

  • We should honor God and not praise false gods.
  • We should humble ourselves before God and not be proud.
  • God is in control of everything, even the fate of kings and kingdoms.

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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Statue

Jeroboam’s Golden Calves

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