Daniel 5:8 Index
"Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not red the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof."
Research Material

"...they could not read the writing..." (Daniel 2:10; Daniel 4:7)

  • The words were so few and so cryptic that even a knowledge of their individual meanings would not reveal the message concealed in them. (4BC 803)
  • In vain the king tried to read the burning letters. But here was a secret he could not fathom, a power he could neither understand nor gainsay. In despair he turned to the wise men of his realm for help. His wild cry rang out in the assembly, calling upon the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers to read the writing. “Whosoever shall read this writing,” he promised, “and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:7). But of no avail was his appeal to his trusted advisers, with offers of rich awards. Heavenly wisdom cannot be bought or sold. “All the king's wise men ... could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.” They were no more able to read the mysterious characters than had been the wise men of a former generation to interpret the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. (PK 527)