Reading Acts

This is a story from the final evening of the Babylonian empire. Nebuchadnezzar died about 562 B.C. In 556 the last of Nebuchadnezzar’s line, Labashi-Marduk, was murdered nine months into his reign by Nabonidus and his son Belshazzar. Nabonidus favored the moon god Sin rather than the Babylonian chief god, Marduk. He left his son Belshazzar in charge of Babylon for ten years of the Babylonian Empire, returning in 543 B.C.

Daniel 5 takes place in 539 B.C. when Persia had defeated Nabonidus and were threatening the city of Babylon. Rather than prepare for war, Belshazzer holds an opulent banquet for his court officials.

Even though Belshazzar is not the direct son of Nebuchadnezzar, he is as arrogant and pompous as Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar orders the gold items from the Temple to be brought to the party so that the officials could drink from them. The scale of the banquet is…

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