FIRST READING: Daniel 5: 1 - 6, 13 - 14, 16 - 17, 23 - 28
1 Baltasar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his nobles: and every one drank according to his age.
2 And being now drunk he commanded that they should bring the vessels of gold and silver which Nabuchodonosor his father had brought away out of the temple, that was in Jerusalem, that the king and his nobles, and his wives and his concubines, might drink in them.
3 Then were the golden and silver vessels brought, which he had brought away out of the temple that was in Jerusalem: and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, drank in them.
4 They drank wine, and praised their gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone.
5 In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it were of the hand of a man, writing over against the candlestick upon the surface of the wall of the king's palace: and the king beheld the joints of the hand that wrote.
6 Then was the king's countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him: and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees struck one against the other.
13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. And the king spoke, and said to him: Art thou Daniel of the children of the captivity of Juda, whom my father the king brought out of Judea?
14 I have heard of thee, that thou hast the spirit of the gods, and excellent knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom are found in thee.
16 But I have heard of thee, that thou canst interpret obscure things, and resolve difficult things: now if thou art able to read the writing, and to shew me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and shalt have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third prince in my kingdom.
17 To which Daniel made answer, and said before the king: Thy rewards be to thyself, and the gifts of thy house give to another: but the writing I will read to thee, O king, and shew thee the interpretation thereof.
23 But hast lifted thyself up against the Lord of heaven: and the vessels of his house have been brought before thee: and thou, and thy nobles, and thy wives, and thy concubines have drunk wine in them: and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and of gold, and of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone, that neither see, nor hear, nor feel: but the God who hath thy breath in his hand, and all thy ways, thou hast not glorified.
24 Wherefore he hath sent the part of the hand which hath written this that is set down.
25 And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES.
26 And this is the interpretation of the word. MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it.
27 THECEL: thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting.
28 PHARES: thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians.
62 O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
63 O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
64 O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
65 O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
66 O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
67 O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name's sake.
13 And it shall happen unto you for a testimony.
14 Lay it up therefore into your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer:
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay.
16 And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren, and kinsmen and friends; and some of you they will put to death.
17 And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake.
18 But a hair of your head shall not perish.
19 In your patience you shall possess your souls.