Daniel 5:5 Index
"In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote."
Research Material

"In the same hour..."

  • That time came when the king lifted the goblet filled with sparkling wine. His hand drew stiff, for on the opposite wall, over against the light, was a bloodless hand, writing words of an unknown language. The wine cup fell to the floor; the king's countenance grew pale; he trembled violently, and his knees smote together until the gorgeous girdle of his loins loosened and feel aside. The loud laughter ceased, and the music died away. Terror-stricken, a thousand guests looked from the face of the king to the writing on the wall. (SNH 79)
  • No flashes of supernatural light, no deafening peals of thunder, announced the interference of God in their impious revelries. A hand silently appeared, tracing mystic characters upon the wall. It wrote over against the candlestick. Terror seized the king, for his conscience accused him. Although he could not read the writing, he knew it was no message of peace and blessing that was traced in glittering characters upon his palace wall. The description the prophet gives of the effect of the king's fear cannot be excelled in any particular. The king's countenance was changed, his heart failed him, pain seized upon him, and so violent was his trembling that his knees smote one against another. He forgot his boasting and revelry. He forgot his dignity. And he cried aloud for his astrologers and soothsayers to solve the meaning of the mysterious inscription. (US 90)
  • At the very moment when the feasting was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth, and traced on the wall of the banqueting room the doom of the king and his kingdom.... Little did Belshazzar think that an unseen Watcher beheld his idolatrous revelry. But there is nothing said or done that is not recorded on the books of heaven. The mystic characters traced by the bloodless hand testify that God is a witness to all we do, and that He is dishonored by feasting and reveling. We cannot hide anything from God. We cannot escape from our accountability to Him. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we are responsible to Him whose we are by creation and by redemption. (Manuscript 50, 1893). (Te 49)
  • The same Witness that recorded the profanity of Belshazzar is present with us wherever we go. Young man, young woman, you may not realize that God is looking upon you; you may feel that you are at liberty to act out the impulses of the natural heart, that you may indulge in lightness and trifling, but for all these things you must give an account. As you sow, you will reap, and if you are taking the foundation from your house, robbing your brain of its nutriment, and your nerves of their power by dissipation and indulgence of appetite and passion, you will have an account to render to him who says, “I know thy works” (Revelation 3:15). (The Review and Herald article "It Is Not for You to Know the Times and the Seasons" March 29, 1892)

"...came forth finger's of a man's hand, and wrote..."

  • Christ declares: “Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42). Whoever by willful deception or by a wrong example misleads a disciple of Christ is guilty of a great sin. Whoever would make him an object of slander or ridicule is insulting Jesus. Our Saviour marks every wrong done to His followers.... How were those punished who in olden time made light of what God had chosen as sacred to Himself? Belshazzar and his thousand lords profaned the golden vessels of Jehovah and praised the idols of Babylon. But the God whom they defied was a witness of the unholy scene. In the midst of their sacrilegious mirth a bloodless hand was seen tracing mysterious characters upon the palace wall. Filled with terror, king and courtiers heard their doom pronounced by the servant of the Most High..... Let those who delight to trace words of calumny and falsehood against the servants of Christ remember that God is a witness of their deeds. Their slanderous touch is not profaning soulless vessels but the characters of those whom Christ has purchased by His blood. The hand which traced the characters upon the walls of Belshazzar's palace keeps faithful record of every act of injustice or oppression committed against God's people. (5T 244-245)

  • At the moment in which Christ died, there were priests ministering in the temple before the vail which separated the holy from the most holy place. Suddenly they felt the earth tremble beneath them, and the vail of the temple, a strong, rich drapery that had been renewed yearly, was rent in twain from top to bottom by the same bloodless hand that wrote the words of doom upon the walls of Belshazzar's palace (3SP 166, 167)
  • When engaged in man-and-woman worship, remember that there is the same witness present as at the feast of Belshazzar. On that occasion, when in the very midst of their revelry, when God was forgotten, when the carnal senses were inflamed, a thrill of terror rushed through every soul. The cup that was being praised and idolized by the king fell from his nerveless hand, and in the language of the Spirit of God, his “countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another” (Daniel 5:6). A mysterious, bloodless hand was seen tracing characters on the wall. These mysterious fingers belonging to and guided by an unseen power wrote the fully as mysterious characters, which were unintelligible to the awe-stricken revelers. A light like the lightning followed the forming of every letter, and lingered there, making them living characters of awful and terrible significance to all who looked upon them. “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin” (Daniel 5:25). Their very ignorance of those letters traced upon the wall, standing there flashing with light, sent terror to their sinful hearts. Their aroused consciences interpreted these letters to be a denunciation against them. Suspicion, fear, and alarm took hold upon king and princes. (TM 435-436)
  • It was not the hand of the priest that rent from top to bottom the gorgeous veil that divided the holy from the most holy place. It was the hand of God. When Christ cried out, “It is finished,” the Holy Watcher that was an unseen guest at Belshazzar's feast pronounced the Jewish nation to be a nation unchurched. The same hand that traced on the wall the characters that recorded Belshazzar's doom and the end of the Babylonian kingdom, rent the veil of the temple from top to bottom, opening a new and living way for all, high and low, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile. From henceforth people might come to God without priest or ruler (Manuscript 101, 1897). (5BC 1109)
  • Those who are unfaithful to the work of God are lacking in principle; their motives are not of a character to lead them to choose the right under all circumstances. The servants of God are to feel at all times that they are under the eye of their employer. He who watched the sacrilegious feast of Belshazzar is present in all our institutions, in the counting-room of the merchant, in the private workshop; and the bloodless hand is as surely recording your neglect as it recorded the awful judgment of the blasphemous king. Belshazzar's condemnation was written in words of fire, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting”; and if you fail to fulfill your God-given obligations your condemnation will be the same. (MYP 229)
  • A Watcher, who was unrecognized, but whose presence was a power of condemnation, looked on this scene of profanation. Soon the unseen and uninvited Guest made His presence felt. At the moment when the sacrilegious revelry was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth, and wrote words of doom on the wall of the banqueting hall. Burning words followed the movements of the hand. “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,” was written in letters of flame. Few were the characters traced by that hand on the wall facing the king, but they showed that the power of God was there. (4BC 1170)
  • Little did Belshazzar think that there was a heavenly Witness to his idolatrous revelry; that a divine Watcher, unrecognized, looked upon the scene of profanation, heard the sacrilegious mirth, beheld the idolatry. But soon the uninvited Guest made His presence felt. When the revelry was at its height a bloodless hand came forth and traced upon the walls of the palace characters that gleamed like fire—words which, though unknown to the vast throng, were a portent of doom to the now conscience-stricken king and his guests.... Hushed was the boisterous mirth, while men and women, seized with nameless terror, watched the hand slowly tracing the mysterious characters. Before them passed, as in panoramic view, the deeds of their evil lives; they seemed to be arraigned before the judgment bar of the eternal God, whose power they had just defied. Where but a few moments before had been hilarity and blasphemous witticism, were pallid faces and cries of fear. When God makes men fear, they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. (PK 524)
  • In the midst of the revelry, Belshazzar saw the bloodless hand of an uninvited guest tracing upon the wall of the palace words that gleamed like fire,—words which, though unknown to that vast throng, were a portent of doom to the new conscience-stricken revelers. The boisterous mirth was hushed, and they shook with a nameless terror as their eyes fastened upon the wall. Where but a few moments before had been hilarity and blasphemous witticism, were pallid faces and cries of fear. A wild cry from the frantic king rang out in the assembly, calling for some one to come and read the writing. The wise men were called in, but those mystic characters were as strange to them as to the others. (CTBH 20)