Daniel 5:25-31
Daniel 5:25
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
The writing of the judgment was in only four words which was a brief but very powerful indictment from God Himself.  God does not need thousands of words but is direct and right to the point.
Daniel 5:26
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
First God had numbered the kingdom, that is, He numbered the kingdom in length of time that Belshazzar would rule and now those days have come to an end.  This judgment would signify two events.  First, it would indicate that the end of Belshazzar’s reign has now come, and secondly, that the kingdom of Babylon has now come to an end as God rules He will now be setting up another kingdom to conquer and rule over Babylon.
Daniel 5:27
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
Just as many things are weighed by means of a scale such as gold, silver, even precious stones, the king himself has now been weighed as if a balance was used.  We see in many places around the country especially in front of courthouses a picture of a blindfolded lady with a balance in her hand.  It represents the fact that the law is blind to those who have position or wealth and holds those who have little of the world’s goods as equal in the eyes of the law.  She is known as Lady Liberty who was originally known in Greek Mythology as Themis.  In Greek “themis” meant “order.”  So here God is telling Belshazzar that he has already been judged and the judgment being handed down is that he is found wanting.  In the Hebrew, the word behind “wanting” carries with it the meaning of “lacking or deficient.”  What was he deficient or lacking in?  We could name a few things.  Lacking in: common sense, ability to discern between the holy and profane, concern for his kingdom which was ready to be conquered, understanding of what happened to his grandfather could happen to him, all forms of humility, etc.
Psalm 62:9 (KJV)   Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
Daniel 5:28
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
The kingdom of Babylon has now been split up and is no longer one mighty, unified kingdom.  This partition of Babylon has now been given to the Medes and Persians.  Once again we see the word “given” which means it was not by the power and might of the Medes and Persians, but God Himself giving the kingdom to them.  This is not an option nor can it be stopped by opposition but is a done deal.  The two kings who partnered in the takeover of Babylon were Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel 5:29
Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
With the little time he had left, Belshazzar kept his word and promoted Daniel to the position of third ruler in the kingdom.  He also made a proclamation confirming the appointment to all the kingdom which was becoming smaller by the minute.  Initially Daniel did not want the position but here he accepts it, probably out of obedience to the king and with the knowledge that the kingdom of Babylon was coming to an appointed end very shortly.
Daniel 5:30
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
The same day that Daniel read the written warning on the wall, the judgment of God fell on Belshazzar and he was slain that very night.  It was believed to be two of the lords of Babylon who killed him and were subjects of Belshazzar who also went to Cyrus that very night, right after the killing.
Daniel 5:31
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Darius had taken the kingdom of Babylon at the age of 62.  The date would have been 539 B.C. which means that Daniel would have been an old man at this time, probably in his early 80s, having already served 66 years in Babylon after being captured in 605 B.C.  This means that the time of the regathering of the people of Israel back to their own land was only about 21 years away which happened under Cyrus about 517 B.C.