1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his thousand nobles, and in the presence of the thousand he drank wine.
א בֵּלְשַׁאצַּר מַלְכָּא עֲבַד לְחֶם רַב לְרַבְרְבָנוֹהִי אֲלַף וְלָקֳבֵל אַלְפָּא חַמְרָא שָׁתֵה׃
5:1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet
Years before, Yirmiyahu issued his famous prophecy that Babylonia would rule over the Jews for seventy years (Jeremiah 29:10). Malbim comments that according to Belshazzar’s calculations, these seventy years have now elapsed and he is still in power. He therefore throws a feast to mark this milestone, and uses the holy vessels from the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim to further illustrate this point (verse 2). Hashem responds with the famous writing that appears on the wall during the feast, and by morning, Belshazzar is dead. Rabbi Yitzchak Abrabanel adds that this incident plants much hope in the hearts of the People of Israel, who realize that God can turn events around in an instant. He coordinates everything and is precise in His calculations. The Jews of Daniel’s time witness that those who mistreat them will ultimately pay for their actions.