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PERES: your kingdom has been broken into pieces and given to the Medes and Persians.

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DIVIDED communicates that your kingdom has been dissolved and given to the Medes and the Persians.



While the cryptic words on the wall did not include the Medes, Daniel added them to his explanation. As far as ruling powers go, it was only the Persians because the Medes had already been subdued by the Persians under the leadership of King Cyrus. However, culturally and regarding the extent of the kingdom, saying the Medes and the Persians was accurate. Daniel expanded the phrase from simply “Persians” to “the Medes and the Persian” because Cyrus had left so much of the Median society intact and granted Medes positions of power to the point that other kingdoms saw this new empire as a joint venture, a merger rather than a hostile takeover.

Daniel Knew the Spiritual Context

As is often the case, context is needed in order to interpret things correctly. In the case of the words carved on the wall, there was so little to go on that context was more important than usual, but from a human perspective, there wasn’t even any context shared. However, from a spiritual perspective, the context was overpowering. Belshazzar had acted arrogantly by challenging the power of the true God. God had responded with a message that required spiritual insight to understand. Although all three words referred to money, money was not in view at all. It was the idea of measuring that was the key. Belshazzar’s life and kingdom had been measured and found to be morally inadequate (Mene and Teqel), therefore the consequences will be severe (all three of them communicate this). The short version was simply– “it’s over.”