What happened to King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel?

            The book of Daniel relates that on the very night of the idolatrous
feast at which the writing appeared on the wall, Belshazzar was killed and Darius
the Mede took over Babylon (Daniel 5:30).  It is not at all surprising that
the former king (or regent in this case, as Nabonidus was technically still king)
was killed by the conquering power.  When the Medes and Persians under Cyrus
defeated the Babylonian power, the former king was killed.  Herodotus, the Greek
historian reports these facts, confirming the writer of Daniel.  It is ironic
that the reward which Belshazzar offered to Daniel for interpreting the writing
on the wall was turned from a reward to a very dangerous thing that very night. 
Belshazzar offered Daniel the third position in the kingdom (Daniel 5:16) if
he could explain the message the hand had written.  As these events were occurring,
the armies of Cyrus were entering Babylon.  Within just a few hours Belshazzar
was dead and being third in the kingdom was definitely not a highly prized job!

John Oakes

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