Which king died after seeing the handwriting on the wall?

In the Old Testament of the Bible, there is a story about a king who died after seeing the handwriting on the wall. The story is found in the book of Daniel, and tells of King Belshazzar, who ruled over Babylon in the 6th century BC.

According to the story, King Belshazzar was holding a great feast for his lords and nobles when he ordered that the gold and silver vessels that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem be brought to the feast. These vessels were sacred to the Jews, and bringing them out for a pagan feast was seen as a great insult to God.

As the feast was going on, a hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall of the palace. The king was terrified, but none of his wise men could interpret the message. Finally, Daniel, a Jewish captive who had been brought to Babylon, was called in to interpret the message. He told the king that the message meant that his kingdom would be taken away from him and given to the Medes and Persians.

That very night, the prophecy came true, as the Medes and Persians invaded Babylon and killed King Belshazzar. The story has become famous for the phrase "the handwriting on the wall," which is used to describe a warning or sign that something bad is about to happen.

Subscribe to Bible Analysis

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson