Mene, Mene, Tekel Parsin

Artwork: Harry Lisgo

King Belshazzar was a King of Babylon, son of King Nebuchadnezzar, who lived around the 6th Century BC .

He is mentioned in the book of Daniel. He gave a great feast attended by his entire household and all his nobles,

then foolishly sent for the gold and silver holy vessels which had originally come from the temple in Jerusalem, to be used by his guests.

His father had brought these to Babylon at the time of the Exile. Suddenly a hand appeared and began writing on the wall. It said, “Mene Mene Tekel Parsin!”

Daniel interpreted the words to mean the King had been tested and found wanting, and would die. God was not pleased that holy vessels had been taken for common use, and that idols had been worshipped.

Daniel’s words came true, and Belshazzar was assassinated that same night.

God is not to be messed with! What is holy is holy.

What is forbidden is forbidden.

Think of the Ark of the Covenant; what happened when someone touched it when they weren’t supposed to?( 2 Samuel 6.7)

What warnings were given about Mount Sinai? (Exodus 19.12-13)

This story tells a tale of a ghostly hand writing words of dread, which made the King terrified.

Can you draw a cartoon strip of this creepy tale.

44 Mene, Mene, Tekel Parsin : Daniel 5

(to the tune ‘Incy, wincy spider’’)

King Belshazzar he held a feast

for a thousand guests or more.

Used the temple goblets,

breaking holy law.

Made of gold and silver;

praised idols in the hall,

t’was then a ghostly hand

came writing on the wall.

King Belshazzar grew pale,

and his knees began to knock.

His little legs gave way, ‘cos

he’d had a nasty shock.

No-one there could understand

the meaning of those words.

So Daniel translated them

and this is what they heard:

‘Mene, mene Tekel Parsin’,

sadly you’ve been weighed.

You have been found wanting,

and numbered are your days!

Your kingdom is divided

And given to your foes!”

The king, he died that very night,

that’s how the story goes!

Repeat verse 3

© words Sheila Hamil 2012