Daniel 5: The Writing’s on the Wall


Episode Description

Welcome to Ryan and Brian’s Bible Bistro where we delve into the story of King Belshazzar’s feast and the writing on the wall from Daniel chapter 5. We compare the reigns of Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar, examining Nebuchadnezzar’s change of heart towards the Most High God. Our discussion also covers the turbulent period following Nebuchadnezzar’s rule and how it sets the stage for the events at Belshazzar’s feast.

We discuss the themes of idol worship, divine retribution, and the power of God as we walk through the historical details of the Babylonian empire. The story of Belshazzar’s feast is a focal point, showcasing the contrast between Nebuchadnezzar’s humility and Belshazzar’s defiance when faced with a mysterious divine message.

Incorporating insights from ancient historians Herodotus and Xenophon, we offer a detailed depiction of Babylon’s splendor and its susceptibility amidst festivities. The narrative teaches us about the dangers of pride and the value of humility, exemplified by Daniel’s response to the king’s arrogance.

As we conclude, we explore the historical account of Babylon’s capture by Cyrus, who took advantage of a significant festival. We discuss the interpretation of ancient writings, comparing the brief biblical description with more extensive historical reports. Scholar John Walton provides a perspective that encourages us to see these events as demonstrations of God’s oversight.

Join us at the Bistro as we digest the mix of biblical interpretation, historical context, and enduring lessons from this episode in history.


(00:12) Belshazzar and the Book of Daniel

Nature’s account of King Belshazzar’s feast and his acknowledgement of the Most High God, bridging the gap between Babylonian kings.

(05:30) Transition of Power in Babylonian Kingship

The succession of Babylonian kings, regicide, idolatry, and the appearance of a hand writing on the wall in the Book of Daniel.

(17:42) Prideful Feast and Divine Intervention

Daniel interprets writing for King Belshazzar, highlighting wisdom, humility, and consequences of pride in the context of Babylon’s downfall.

(24:22) Kingdom’s Fall

Monetary systems and weight measurements are linked to currencies like the dollar and pound, as seen in the story of Belschazzar’s feast and the fall of his reign to the Medes and Persians, illustrating the consequences of idolatry.

(32:20) Babylonian History and Context

Examining the fall of Babylon and the use of festivals, and drawing parallels with the story of Sennacherib and Hezekiah to understand biblical narratives.


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