Daniel - Chapter 5
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1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of them, and, in the presence of this thousand, he drank his wine.
2 Having tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave orders for the gold and silver vessels to be brought which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the sanctuary in Jerusalem, so that the king, his noblemen, his wives and the women who sang for him could drink out of them.
7 He shouted for his soothsayers, Chaldaeans, and exorcists. And the king said to the Babylonian sages, 'Anyone who can read this writing and tell me what it means shall be dressed in purple, and have a chain of gold put round his neck, and be one of the three men who govern the kingdom.'
9 Greatly alarmed, King Belshazzar turned even paler, and his noblemen were equally disturbed.
11 In your kingdom there is a man in whom lives the spirit of the holy gods. In your father's days he was known for a perception, intelligence and wisdom comparable to that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made him head of the magicians, soothsayers, Chaldaeans and exorcists.
12 Since this man Daniel, whom the king had renamed Belteshazzar, is filled with such a marvellous spirit and such knowledge and intelligence in interpreting dreams, solving enigmas and unravelling difficult problems, send for him; he will be able to tell you what this means.'
13 Daniel was brought into the king's presence; the king said to Daniel, 'Are you the Daniel who was one of the Judaean exiles brought by my father the king from Judah?
14 I am told that the spirit of the gods lives in you, and that you are known for your perception, intelligence and marvellous wisdom.
16 I am told that you are able to give interpretations and to unravel difficult problems, so if you can read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be dressed in purple, and have a chain of gold put round your neck, and be one of the three men who govern the kingdom.'
17 Then Daniel spoke up in the presence of the king. 'Keep your gifts for yourself,' he said, 'and give your rewards to others! I can certainly read the writing to the king and tell him what it means.
18 Your Majesty, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father sovereignty, greatness, majesty and glory.
21 He was driven from human society, his heart was more like an animal's than a man's; he lived with the wild donkeys; he fed on grass like oxen; his body was drenched by the dew of heaven, until he had learnt that the Most High rules over human sovereignty and appoints whom he pleases to rule it.
23 You have defied the Lord of heaven, you have had the vessels from his Temple brought to you, and you, your noblemen, your wives and the women singing for you have drunk your wine out of them. You have praised gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone, which can neither see, hear nor understand; but you have given no glory to the God in whose hands are your breath itself and all your fortunes.
26 The meaning of the words is this: mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it;
29 At Belshazzar's order Daniel was dressed in purple, a chain of gold was put round his neck and he was proclaimed as one of the three men who governed the kingdom.
30 That same night, the Chaldaean king Belshazzar was murdered,
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15
Gospel, Luke 1:57-66, 80
Reading 2, Acts 13:22-26
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