THE STUDY OF DANIEL
God is patient with people and nations. This is clear from His dealings with Nebuchadnezzar. Yet, there comes a time when God must bring down the curtain if there is no response. It happens to individuals; it happens to nations. God bore long with Ancient Babylon, giving revelation after revelation of Himself. Nebuchadnezzar responded, but his successors did not.
(Daniel 5) portrays the final night of Ancient Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is dead.
the successor of Nebuchadnezzar, sits upon the throne, co-regent with, Nabopolassar, his father.
In this lesson we will observe the events surrounding the last night of Babylon. We will notice how the New Testament takes these events and applies them to what is called “Modern Babylon” or “Spiritual Babylon”, and predicts a similar fall for it. Revelation warns that what happened 2,500 years ago in Ancient Babylon will be repeated in the last days.
(Daniel 5:1-5), In verse one through five we see the acts that Belshazzar performed that defied the God of Heaven.
a. Belshazzar made a great feast, in defiance of the God of Heaven.
b. He drank wine before the thousand.
c. He commanded to bring the gold/and silver vessels that were taken out of the Temple in Jerusalem.
d. The king and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
e. They praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
Note: Belshazzar must have had some knowledge of the True God. Certainly he heard the stories of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity, the fiery furnace, and the great image. But although he must have known these things, he did not acknowledge the True God.
The Bible describes all of the leaders of Babylon as participating in Belshazzar’s drunken feast. While in this drunken state, Belshazzar called for the vessels which had been taken from the Temple of God in Jerusalem. In defiance of the God of Heaven, the rulers of Babylon drank intoxicating liquor from them. Using the very vessels consecrated to the worship of the True God, they offered praise to the gods of gold and silver. Here, we see an attempt to mix elements of the worship of the True God with the worship of pagan deities. This was the act that brought down the wrath of God and resulted in the fall of Ancient Babylon.
In we see that in the midst of their blasphemy against God, there suddenly appeared and startled the entire assembly, “fingers of a man’s hand”, writing on the wall.
Note: Fear enveloped the entire assembly as they saw the fingers of a man’s hand suddenly appear and write a mysterious language on the wall of the king’s palace. Belshazzar had every reason to shake and quake. The day of reckoning had come!!
In the king calls “The wise men of Babylon” to interpret the writing.
Note: Belshazzar had not learned Nebuchadnezzar’s lesson. He called the same group of wise men that had failed to adequately interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, but they were again unable to interpret the writing
Note: Notice the progression in the discrediting of the wise men of Babylon. In Daniel 2, they couldn’t reveal the king’s dream, but Daniel could. In Daniel 4, they couldn’t interpret the dream but Daniel could.
Now, to their total discredit, they could not even read the writing on the wall but we will soon see that Daniel could.
In (Daniel 5:10) we find that it was the queen who suggested the king call in Daniel to interpret the writing.
Note: For some reason the queen was not in the room when the writing appeared. She was apparently related to Nebuchadnezzar and probably was acquainted with the True God. Perhaps she was a converted person, which would explain the reason why she was not present for the scenes of debauchery in the king’s palace that night. But as soon as she heard of the terror in the ballroom, she immediately made her presence known and suggested to Belshazzar that he call in Daniel, whom she knew would be able to interpret the writing.
Belshazzar, in offers Daniel a very high position in his kingdom if he read and interpreted the writing. “Thou shalt be third ruler of the kingdom”.
Note: There were already two rulers in Babylon:
Nabonidus (the father), and Belshazzar (the son).
That is why Daniel would be the third ruler.
In Daniel says he will interpret the writing on the wall, but before he interprets the writing, Daniel fearlessly reminds Belshazzar of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity because he failed to recognize and honor God in Heaven. In 5:17, Daniel says “though thou knowest all this”.
Note: Daniel makes it very clear that Belshazzar already knew the reason for Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity and evidently was well acquainted with the True God. But in spite of all this, he had failed to humble himself and follow in the footsteps of Nebuchadnezzar.
In verse 5:23 we again see as we saw in what Belshazzar had done that had invoked the wrath of God. “Thou hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of Heaven, and..brought the vessels of His house… and drunk wine in them.”
Note: It is this defiling act of taking the vessels that were consecrated to the worship of the True God and mixing them with pagan worship that brought the wrath of God upon Belshazzar.
Then in verses Daniel gives us the meaning of the words written on the wall: a.) “God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it”. b.) “Thou are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting”. c.) “Thy kingdom is and given to the Medes Persians”.
Note: God was announcing the fall of Babylon. That very night, October 12, 538 B.C., Babylon fell.
In It says “In that night was Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans slain”. “And Darius the Median took the kingdom”.
Note: Even while the feast was going on, the fall of Babylon had begun. The Babylonians had felt safe in their city. The river Euphrates, which ran through the city, provided a constant source of water. The walls were impregnable. There was plenty of food stored up for a long siege.
The Babylonians knew that the army of the Medes and Persians was on the outside, but they felt secure. However, Cyrus, the commander of the Medes and Persians, performed an ingenious engineering feat.
He had his soldiers divert the river Euphrates. Then he marched his army through the river bed underneath the walls of the city and through the inside gates, which had been left open by the drunken Babylonians; thus, mighty Babylon fell.
Note: It’s interesting to note, that the same conditions that existed at the fall of Ancient Babylon, will exist again at the end time.
describes the fall of modern Babylon at the end time. a.) The river Euphrates is b.) It prepares the way for the Kings of the
Note: The drying up of the ancient river Euphrates prepared the way for Cyrus and his armies who came from the East. Having conquered Babylon, Cyrus eventually allowed God’s people to go back to Palestine from the captivity. Thus he is seen as the deliverer of God’s people. Once more, in the Book of Revelation, the river Euphrates is dried-up. That which supports spiritual Babylon is dried-up to prepare the way for the Kings of the East, the mighty deliverer of God’s people. (This prophecy will be studied later.)
Note: The same events that caused the fall of ancient Babylon will cause the fall of Babylon at the time of the end.
Revelation makes it very clear that there will be another Babylon at the time of the end. The Babylon spoken of in Revelation is not the same as the Babylon of Daniel’s day.
When Cyrus and Darius conquered Babylon, it became a heap of ruins and has remained so to the present day. The Bible foretells the rise of another Babylon which will do the same to God’s people as did ancient Babylon. Modern Babylon, according to the Book of Revelation, is the final great oppression of the people of God.
In the Bible calls Babylon, “The great whore that sitteth upon many waters”. If you remember what the waters represent: are and and nations The waters represent all people over which Babylon has control. Babylon is called a “whore” or “harlot” because of her illicit relationships.
In we see the great sin of modern Babylon is or Adultery is an illicit relationship.
Obviously in this case it is not physical adultery, but spiritual adultery.
Spiritual adultery is an illicit relationship that combines the worship of God with false worship.
In 5) we see that ancient Babylon acted defiantly against God with an illicit relationship mixing elements of the worship of God with the worship of pagan deities. Spiritual Babylon’s fornication, or adultery, likewise is an illicit relationship that mixes elements of the worship of God with pagan practice. There is nothing that brings down the wrath of God more than an illicit relationship of truth and error. Babylon purports to worship God, but has mixed truth with paganism with
Both Daniel and Revelation are warning us against a false religious system in the last days that will attempt to force people to worship God falsely by mixing paganism and Christianity, just as ancient Babylon defied God by mixing elements of the worship of God, with the worship of pagan deities.
tells us that, just as ancient Babylon fell when it defied God by mixing the worship of God with paganism, so the mighty spiritual Babylon falls whenever it mixes paganism and Christianity. When it has committed this defiling act, mixing paganism and Christianity—the Bible indicates it has become the place where devils dwell. says, “All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”.
Note: Babylon the Great is a worldwide spiritual apostasy (the state of having rejected your religious beliefs often in favor of opposing beliefs) (or the act of abandoning a religion) from the truth. Her adultery is worldwide, and nearly all people are deceived by her.
In interestingly, God states that He has people who are still in Babylon. Just as some people in ancient Babylon were faithful to God, so today some of God’s people are in modern spiritual Babylon.
But God is calling His people to come out of spiritual Babylon before His final wrath is poured out upon her. Spiritual apostasy may be in the very air we breath in the last scenes of earth’s history. How important that we remain loyal and true to the scriptures.
Chapter 7 of Daniel adds significant details as to the identity of this false religious system which will seek to envelop the whole world in the last days. God clearly warns us so that we will not be deceived by the apostasy of the end time. In love, God warns those entrapped by modern spiritual Babylon to get out as soon as possible, before the final wrath of God is poured out upon Babylon.