16 They marched out at noon while Ben-hadad and the thirty-two kings(A) who were helping him were getting drunk in their quarters. 17 The young men of the provincial leaders marched out first. Then Ben-hadad sent out scouts, and they reported to him, saying, “Men are marching out of Samaria.”(B)

18 So he said, “If they have marched out in peace,(C) take them alive, and if they have marched out for battle, take them alive.”

19 The young men of the provincial leaders and the army behind them marched out from the city, 20 and each one struck down his opponent.(D) So the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them,(E) but King Ben-hadad of Aram escaped on a horse with the cavalry. 21 Then the king of Israel marched out and attacked the cavalry and the chariots. He inflicted a severe slaughter on Aram.

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They drank the wine and praised their gods made of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.(A)

The Handwriting on the Wall

At that moment the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the king’s palace wall next to the lampstand. As the king watched the hand[a] that was writing, his face turned pale,[b] and his thoughts so terrified him that he soiled himself[c] and his knees knocked together.

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Footnotes

  1. 5:5 Lit part of the hand
  2. 5:5–6 Lit writing, the king’s brightness changed
  3. 5:6 Or that the joints of his hips gave way; Lit that the knots of his loins were untied

30 That very night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was killed,

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