Daniel 5:6 Index
"Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another."
Research Material

"...the king's countenance was changed..."

  • The terror was heightened by an accusing conscience, which roused itself and filled the king with dark forebodings. The gloom of his thoughts must have been deepened as he realized the mortal danger into which the empire had been thrown through past political blunders, his own immoral past political blunders, his own immoral life and acts, the recent disastrous defeat of his army and the sacrilegious acts in which he was engaged. (4BC 802)
  • Belshazzar was the most terrified of them all. He it was who above all others had been responsible for the rebellion against God which that night had reached its height in the Babylonian realm. In the presence of the unseen Watcher, the representative of Him whose power had been challenged and whose name had been blasphemed, the king was paralyzed with fear. Conscience was awakened. “The joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Belshazzar had impiously lifted himself up against the God of heaven and had trusted in his own might, not supposing that any would dare say, “Why doest thou thus?” but now he realized that he must render an account of the stewardship entrusted him, and that for his wasted opportunities and his defiant attitude he could offer no excuse. (PK 524-527)
  • Belshazzar was afraid. His conscience was awakened. The fear and suspicion that always follow the course of the guilty seized him. When God makes men fear, they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. Alarm seized the great men of the kingdom. Their blasphemous disrespect of sacred things was changed in a moment. A frantic terror overcame all self-control.... In vain the king tried to read the burning letters. He had found a power too strong for him. He could not read the writing. (4BC 1170-1171)
  • In all the gatherings of young and old, there is present an uninvited guest, a witness from heaven, as there was a witness at the sacrilegious feast of Belshazzar. Could those who dishonor God by their words and actions, behold the writing in the record, their countenances would change, as surely as did the countenance of the king when he saw the part of the bloodless hand that wrote on the wall of his palace. You may think that you are sinning in secret, or you may be entirely indifferent to the matter; but for all that, every dishonoring word spoken against God will bring its sure reward. That which you sow you will also reap. (The Youth's Instructor article "Words to the Young" November 9, 1893)
  • The ruler of Babylon had riches and honor, and in his haughty self-indulgence he had lifted himself up against the God of heaven and earth. He had trusted in his own arm, not supposing that any would dare to say, “Why doest thou this?” But as the mysterious hand traced letters on the wall of his palace, Belshazzar was awed and silenced. In a moment he was completely shorn of his strength, and humbled as a child. He realized that he was at the mercy of One greater than himself. He had been making sport of sacred things. Now his conscience was awakened. He realized that he had had the privilege of knowing and doing the will of God. The history of his grandfather stood out as vividly before him as the writing on the wall. (The Youth's Instructor article "The Unseen Watcher—No. 1" May 19, 1898)
  • Could the curtain be rolled back before the youth who have never given their hearts to God, with others who are Christians in name, but who are unrenewed in heart and unsanctified in temper, they would see that God's eye is ever upon them, and they would feel as disturbed as did the king of Babylon. They would realize that in every place, at every hour in the day, there is a holy Watcher, who balances every account, whose eye takes in the whole situation, whether it is one of fidelity, or one of disloyalty and deception. (The Youth's Instructor article "The Unseen Watcher—No. 2" May 26, 1898)