“This is the message that was written: Mene, mene, tekel, and Parsin. This is what these words mean: Mene means ‘numbered’—God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end. Tekel means ‘weighed’—you have been weighed on the balances and have not measured up. Parsin means ‘divided’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel 5:25-28
The message from Heaven was straight and to the point. It did not mince words. We are told here that God numbers the days of mercy that will be granted and only God knows when time is up. If repentance is not forthcoming during that number of days, then, on the appointed day, which cannot be changed, the judgment will come.
Through the handwriting, Belshazzar was made to understand that Babylon would fall to the enemies that were besieging the city at that very moment. Even while Daniel was interpreting the writing, the prophecy was being fulfilled as the Medes and the Persians poured into the city.
The handwriting on the wall was brief: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN”. Three words in Aramaic, the first word repeated for emphasis. These words were terms for measuring quantities, weighing goods on a scale for purchase or trade, and apportioning items. Generally, here’s what they mean: Mene (“numbered”): Belshazzar had been measured, counted, and scrutinized. Tekel (“weighed”): Belshazzar had been weighed according to God’s standards of righteousness and found to come short. Upharsin (“and divided” or “halved”): This is a reference to Babylon being divided between the Medes and Persians. String the words together and the message is essentially, “Numbered, weighed, and divided.” It’s little wonder that the Babylonian wise men could find no meaning in this sparse phrase. It was a cryptic code, impossible to make sense of unless one already knew its meaning. Daniel could read it because God had revealed the meaning to him.