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Bible Dictionaries
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

Morrish Bible Dictionary

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The words written on the wall at Belshazzar's feast. Daniel 5:25 . There are two things said of the king's wise men: they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king its interpretation. Daniel 5:8 . Various suggestions have been made as to why the wise men could not read the writing. It may have been because the letters were the ancient Hebrew characters, which, though known to Daniel, would be unknown to them. The words and their meanings stand thus (peres is the singular of upharsin which is plural):

MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN.

numbered numbered weighed divided.

It will readily be seen that even if such a sentence had been read, its signification could not have been known apart from the teaching of God. Each word appears to have had a hidden meaning which was revealed to Daniel. Thus the kingdom was 'numbered' and finished. As we say of a person, 'his days are numbered.' The king had been 'weighed' in the balances, and was found wanting, as none can come up to God's standard. The kingdom was 'divided,' and given to the Medes and Persians (Peres). Thus, as always, God alone can interpret what He has caused to be written. The prediction was fulfilled by the city and kingdom being taken that same night.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​mbd/​m/mene-mene-tekel-upharsin.html. 1897.
 
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