Archeologists have excavated the palace of ancient Babylon to reveal what they believe to be a throne room measuring 170’x55’. It had one wall with a design in blue enameled bricks and three white plaster walls.
Facing the doorway along the back wall was a niche which likely was were the king’s throne was placed. The lamp stand (nebraštâ), spoken of as though it were the only one in the huge hall, may have been unusual, for the word is not otherwise known.
So imagine if you will, the party is happening in this beautiful throne room. The wine is flowing, there is a first toast to the pagan gods by the king with the goblets he ordered to be brought in. Then another toast, and as the toasts to the pagan gods continue, suddenly someone screams and points, the wine spills as the king drops his goblet on the floor and moves away from the hand that appeared above him writing on the wall. Others around him look up and they too shout and rush to move away from the ghostly hand. All attention turns to the hand.
As the hand continues to write, everyone quietly watches. Some murmur, some simply stare with their mouths open in awe, some glance at the king who’s obviously afraid and watches with them as he soils himself in fear. Everybody sees the writing and all can understand what it says but none can understand what it means. Imagine the desire to understand this miracle that the thousand nobles had just witnessed.
All attention is now on the king. He “orders” the “logical” solution to the problem — bring in the “wise men” to interpret the writing. Notice the king prescribes no penalty for not solving the riddle, but the riddle will spell out a penalty for the king. The three words written were Mene, Tekel, and Parsin.
Mene - which coveys the idea of numbered or appointed
Tekel - which coveys the idea of weighed or assessed
Parsin - which coveys the idea of divided or shared
If you were to share this story with someone how would you explain why God chose to use these three words to pronounce his sentence for the king?
Knowing the story and using your own words, how could you explain to someone the handwriting on the wall?