Lesson 5Daniel 5
Following our earlier lessons’ story of King Nebuchadnezzar, we jump ahead many years in Daniel’s continued service to the kings of Babylon, to the reign of Belshazzar. Our study in this lesson will take us to the end of that reign, and we will see Daniel transition to supporting the new King Darius the Mede, as God continues to empower Daniel in his service to kings.
Belshazzar’s story in this lesson, found in Daniel Chapter 5, may be a familiar to you, as it concerns "the handwriting on the wall" — from which the popular phrase in English vernacular comes from.
Read Daniel Chapter 5, then answer the following:
- For background, research what you can find out regarding the defenses of the city of Babylon against attack from its enemies. In those days, warfare consisted of prolonged attacks on the walls of the city, i.e., "siege warfare". These long, drawn-out battles lasted as long as two years, during which the attacking force would cut off the city’s supplies of food and water before actually attacking the city’s defenses. See if you can find out what some of those defenses were. Also see if you can determine why Belshazzar, like so many kings of Babylon before him, was confident that he was protected and immune from these attacks.
- In Daniel 5:1-4, we see that Belshazzar threw a very large party. Approximately how many people were in attendance? How big of a banquet hall would be needed for a party of that size?
- What vessels were all of these people drinking from, and who were they praising as they drank in this wild party?
- Was Belshazzar aware of what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar? Did he know how God humbled the king by driving him into the wilderness like an animal because Nebuchadnezzar’s pride lifted his self-importance above God? (see Dan. 5:22)
- In Daniel Chapter 4, it was described that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was so terrifying that it viscerally frightened Nebuchadnezzar. What happened to Belshazzar that made his knees knock and made him tremble, as described in Daniel 5:5?
- Why did Belshazzar say that he would make the person who could interpret the dream the "third-highest" person in the kingdom?
- What is the significance of the purple robe that Belshazzar promised as a part of the reward?
- What happened as a result of the wise men’s inability to interpret the handwriting on the wall?
- Why was the queen not already in the hall participating with the King, since all of his wives and concubines were there?
- What was Daniel’s response to the promise of reward for interpreting the handwriting?
- What is the reason Daniel tells Belshazzar that God sent a hand to write on the wall?
- Define what the meaning of each of the following words is below:
- Daniel told Belshazzar that his kingdom would be divided and given to the Medes and the Persians. Did this happen?
- What happens to Daniel when Darius the Mede takes the throne? (See Daniel 6:1-3)
In this lesson, God demonstrates to us through the example of Daniel that all that we have, and all that we are, comes from God and not from our own efforts. Our Sovereign God provides for all our needs, all our victories, and all of our blessings. Let’s make sure that we take the time to acknowledge this to Him and praise him for all He does in our lives.
In the next lesson, we will examine the well-known story of Daniel in the lions’ den. Once again, Daniel will display his great faith in God; and once again, God will prove faithful.
Thanks for studying with us!