Daniel 5: Interpreting the Inscription
May 18, 2015
After Daniel’s lengthy rebuke directed at King Belshazzar for his refusal to learn the lesson that King Nebuchadnezzar had been taught, we read in Daniel 5:24-28,
24 Then the hand was sent from Him, and this inscription was written out. 25 Now this is the inscription that was written out: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” 26 This is the interpretation of the message: “MENE”—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27 “TEKEL”—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 “PERES”—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.
The words are bankruptcy proceedings:
MENE: “numbered,” which means that Babylon had been audited by the divine court.
TEKEL: “weighed on the scales,” which means God had found Babylon’s credits to be deficient to cover its debts, and that the nation was bankrupt.
U PHARSIN (plural of PERES): “divided,” which means God had sold Babylon on the auction block to the Medes and Persians.
All of these words, of course, were Aramaic, the language of Babylon. PERES (or peras) means literally “to divide in two.” It also means “half a mina,” which we will explain shortly.
Daniel interprets this to mean that Babylon had been sold in two halves, the one going to the Medes and the other to the Persians. The name of Persia had also been derived from the Aramaic word peras, because it was named after Perseus, “the breaker.” Micah 2:13 prophesies of Israel’s deliverance from captivity, saying, “The breaker [Heb., peretz] goes up before them… So the king goes on before them, and the Lord at their head.”
Perseus was the constellation picturing the deliverance of Andromeda, the Chained Woman, when he killed Cetus, the sea monster. In the original Star Gospel, God named the stars and constellations to prophesy of Christ’s coming to deliver His Bride from the power of death (Cetus, the “whale” that swallowed Jonah).
Persia was named after Perseus, and even the name of Andromeda (Greek: AndroMEDE) may suggest the involvement of the Medes. At any rate, the kingdom of Babylon was divided among the Medes and Persians. By extension, Belshazzar represented Cetus, the sea monster, which Perseus slew in order to deliver Andromeda.
Keep in mind also that both Perseus and Cyrus were types of Christ, the first from the original Gospel written in the stars before the Word was written, and the second from the prophecies of Isaiah in Scripture. When the Star Gospel began to be perverted and misapplied, God saw to it that we would receive the written Word. Nonetheless, the original story of the divine plan was written in the constellations, and Scripture often refers to those original stories.
Bankruptcy in 2,520 Years
If we translate the handwriting on the wall from Aramaic into Hebrew, we find that they are monetary terms. The Aramaic MENE is the Hebrew MINA. The Aramaic TEKEL is the Hebrew SHEKEL. The Aramaic Peras, or U Pharsin, is the Hebrew PERETZ, or half-mina. The lowest common denominator is the gerah—sort of like our penny.
When we add these together, we begin to see the hidden long-term prophecy in these words.
MINA = 1,000 gerahs
MINA = 1,000 gerahs
SHEKEL = 20 gerahs (Exodus 30:13)
PERES = 500 gerahs [half a mina = 500 gerahs]
Total: 2,520 gerahs
Babylon fell that same night in 537 B.C. The total number of gerahs in the handwriting on the wall is 2,520, and this is the key revelation by which we may understand the fall of Mystery Babylon in our own time.
Recall that the Dominion Mandate was given into the hands of various nations, beginning with Babylon in 607-604 B.C. Babylon’s time to hold the Dominion Mandate was quite short, lasting only 70 years, as Jeremiah prophesied. Jeremiah’s revelation was limited to Babylon, but Daniel was given further revelation to show that the Dominion Mandate would remain in the hands of other nations for 2,520 years.
In Luke 21:24 Jesus refers to this time period as “the times of the Gentiles,” (or, better, “The Times of the Nations”), saying,
24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles [ethnos, “nations”] until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Jesus was prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., even as the city had been destroyed in 604 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar. He said that this would continue “until the times of the nations be fulfilled.” We understand from the handwriting on the wall that the time allotted to the nations was 2,520 years.
More than a century ago, certain Bible scholars foretold the freeing of Jerusalem in the year 1917, because this was 2,520 years after Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem in 604 B.C. So General Allenby took Jerusalem in 1917 toward the end of World War 1. However, this fulfilled the prophecy only partially, because those scholars failed to take into account the fact that the third beast nation (Greece) was deprived of a century of its allotted time from 163-63 B.C. During that time, Jerusalem was independent. “The Times of the Gentiles” were held in abeyance for a full century.
This was the final century of the Grecian era, which ended when Rome took Syria and Judea in 63 B.C. Then the fourth empire (Rome) was given the Dominion Mandate, and “the Times of the Gentiles” continued to be reckoned in the Divine Court year after year.
So in 1917, Jerusalem was taken by General Allenby 2,520 years from Nebuchadnezzar, but the Time of the Gentiles had to continue until 2017 to account for the century lost by Greece. For this reason, the Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1914 to bring the world back into bondage to Mystery Babylon for another century.
Essentially, Mystery Babylon is the century added in our time to account for the lost century of the Grecian Empire. Mystery Babylon is explained more fully in the book of Revelation. By my reckoning today (2015), it appears that Mystery Babylon will fall by the end of 2017, a century after General Allenby took the city of Jerusalem.
So Belshazzar’s desecration of the sacred vessels of the temple, as well as the handwriting on the wall, should become more apparent in 2017, assuming that the events in Daniel 5 prophecy of the time that Mystery Babylon falls. The feast of Belshazzar is being prepared even now, and the hand of God will be seen again.
Meanwhile, God is already preparing His people to receive the dominion, as Daniel 7:27 says,
27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
When the dominion (mandate) is passed to the saints of the Most High, it will mark the culmination of Kingdom history and the end of the oppressive governments of men who seek their own will rather than ruling under God. There was a three-year transition from 607-604 B.C. where the Dominion Mandate was transferred from Judah to Babylon. So we see that 2,520 years later the same transition occurred from 1914-1917, from the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank and Allenby’s march into Jerusalem.
The same three-year transition is occurring a century later from 2014-2017. The transfer of authority was decreed in the Divine Court in October 2014, putting the Kingdom on a three-year cycle (I believe) toward the overthrow of Mystery Babylon in 1917. It took three years for King Nebuchadnezzar to take Jerusalem (604) after being given the Dominion Mandate (607). So also there was a three-year cycle 2,520 years later from 1914-1917. We now find ourselves in the three-year cycle at the end of the hundred-year time of Mystery Babylon in 2014-2017.
The End of Babylon
Daniel 5:29 says,
29 Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.
Belshazzar ignored Daniel’s refusal to accept these rewards, even as he had ignored God’s word throughout his own life. Daniel did not want to rule Babylon, for like Abraham, he sought a better city (Hebrews 11:16) and had a vision of heavenly things that was hidden from Belshazzar. At any rate, Belshazzar’s rewards were irrelevant, because that night Babylon fell. Daniel 5:30, 31 says,
30 That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. 31 So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two.
This is part 21 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Daniel." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones