Daniel 5:28 Index
"PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."
Research Material


  • The "u" in Upharsen is an Aramaic conjunction meaning "and," and when detached from upharsin the "pharsen" become "parsen". "Parsen" is the plural of "peres" and means "pieces." The message may thus be interpreted as "numbered, numbered, weighed, pieces." This cryptic message, even if it could be deciphered, required an interpreter, and Daniel was eventually summoned to interpret the divine message. (KC 66)

"...thy kingdom is... given to the Medes and Persians." (Psalms 75;4-7, 127:1; Isaiah 45:1-3; Zechariah 2:9; 1 Corinthians 4:9)

  • For days the siege of Babylon had been on. The gates were closed and her walls were considered impregnable, while within the city were provisions for twenty years. But however strong she might seem, God had said, "Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her." (Jeremiah 51:53). (SNH 78-79)
  • In this inscription each word stands for a short sentence. "Mene," numbered; "Tekel" weighed; "Upharsin" from the root "peres," divided. God, whom thou hast defied, has thy kingdom in His own hands, and has numbered its days and finished its course just at the time thou thoughtest it at the height of its prosperity. Thou, who hast lifted up thy heart in pride as the great one of the earth, art weighed, and found lighter than vanity. Thy kingdom, which thou didst dream was to stand forever, is divided between the foes already waiting at they gates. (US 94-95)
  • God gave the Babylonian monarchs, and through them the entire kingdom, an abundance of time to accept Him. He waited long. The Holy watcher hovered long near the center of earthly governments; every blessing which Heaven could bestow was given to woo the kingdom to the side of right. But at last the slender cord which connected earth with heaven snapped; there was no channel for the flow of the Holy Spirit; death and death only could result. That there might be no misunderstanding, the last word read, "Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." (SNH 84)
  • Then the writing on the wall was read and interpreted. Belshazzar heard the irrevocable sentence: “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it” (Daniel 5:26). “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27). “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:28). Belshazzar was without excuse, for abundant light had been given him to reform his life. He had had opportunity for knowing the truth; but he lost all the benefits of the knowledge by his course of self-indulgence; he did not meet the mind of God, as a man or a king, and because of this the kingdom had been taken from him. He who has power to set up and to tear down, gave the kingdom to another. (The Signs of the Times article "Results of Refusing to Walk in the Light" July 20, 1891)
  • The seventy years’ captivity dated from the time when the Babylonian kings began to hold universal sway. God gave Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, much “majesty, and glory, and honour” (Daniel 5:18). “All people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down” (Daniel 5:19). . . . This same universal sway was exercised by Nebuchadnezzar's descendants until, nearly seventy years later, in the days of Belshazzar, because of the wickedness of the nation, the kingdom was “divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Thus arose the second universal monarchy, Medo-Persia. (The Review and Herald article The Return of the Exiles - No 11," January 23, 1908)