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Belshazzar's Feast


Belshazzar the king, as history records
Made a wonderful feast for his wives and his lords,
They drank and caroused, dined on mountains of food,
Inhibitions were lost, conversations grew lewd.

Belshazzar the king, grew rash, became bold,
He called for the vessels of silver and gold,
The cups and the goblets from God’s temple, divine,
And into those vessels Belshazzar poured wine.

No one but God’s priests were permitted their use,
Belshazzar, to recklessness added abuse,
With those vessels he toasted Marduk and Bel,
Babylonian gods that would lead him to hell.

Then the banqueting hall was enshrouded in gloom,
And into each heart crept a portent of doom,
A bloodless hand, a terrible thing,
Appeared out of nowhere, appeared to the king.

In letters of flame it wrote on the wall,
And terror seized upon each guest in the hall,
The laughter had ceased, the revels cut short
A greater power than Belshazzar was present at court.

The king’s body shook like wind buffeted trees,
He lost all control of his loins and his knees,
His countenance changed as the blood fled his face,
Instead of power and glory, shame and disgrace.

"Call the astrologers, soothsayers, magicians,
The wise men of Babylon, seers, Chaldeans,
Call for the men skilled in all the strange arts,
To rid us of the horror that sits in our hearts."

In all of the kingdom, just one man was found,
To decipher the words that kept them spellbound,
Daniel, the prophet, in a voice filled with ire,
Decoded the words that were written in fire.

"MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN"

"MENE, MENE, your kingdom is finished,
Your days have been numbered, your power diminished,
TEKEL, weighed in the balance for your blasphemous deeds PERES, your kingdom given to the Persians and Medes."

Belshazzar the king never transgressed again,
For that night he and all of his councillors were slain,
And "Babylon the great" proud seat of Nimrod,
Was made a dunghill, by the judgement of God.

Image of quote from Valerie's story.Click here for Valerie's story.
Image of a Valerie Bloom's Masterclass.Click here for Valerie Bloom's Masterclasses.
Image of students.Click here for Student Responses.
Image of ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ by Rembrandt, about 1635.Click here for About the Painting.
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