Belshazzar's feast, or the story of the writing on the wall (chapter 5 in the Book of Daniel) tells how Belshazzar holds a great feast and drinks from the temple vessels. A hand appears and writes on the wall. The terrified Belshazzar calls for his wise men, but they are unable to read the writing. The queen advises him to send for Daniel, renowned for his wisdom. Daniel reminds Belshazzar that his father Nebuchadnezzar, when he became arrogant, was thrown down until he learned that God has sovereignty over the kingdom of men. Belshazzar had likewise blasphemed God, and so God sent this hand. Daniel then reads the message and interprets it: God has numbered Belshazzar's days, he has been weighed and found wanting, and his kingdom will be given to the Medes and the Persians.
That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean (Babylonian) king was killed, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom.— Daniel 5:30-31
The message of Daniel 5 is the contrast it offers between Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar:
- Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God, learns his lesson (he acknowledges the ultimate kingship of the Jewish God), and is restored to his throne;
- Belshazzar, in contrast, learns nothing from Nebuchadnezzar's example, blasphemes against God, and has his kingdom given to others.
From C.L. Seow's commentary on Daniel 
King Belshazzar holds a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and commands that the Temple vessels from Jerusalem be brought in so that they can drink from them, but as the Babylonians drink a hand appears and writes on the wall. Belshazzar calls for his magicians and diviners to interpret the writing, but they are unable even to read them. The queen advises Belshazzar to send for Daniel, renowned for his wisdom. Daniel is brought in, and the king offers to make him third in rank in the kingdom if he can interpret the writing. Daniel declines the honour, but agrees to the request. He reminds Belshazzar that Nebuchadnezzar's greatness was the gift of God, and that when he became arrogant God threw him down until he learned humility: "the Most High God has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals, and sets over it whomever He will." Belshazzar has drunk from the vessels of God's Temple and praised his idols, but he has not given honour to God, and so God sent this hand and wrote these words:
מנא, מנא, תקל, ופרסין
Daniel reads the words, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN, and interprets them for the king: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed and found wanting; and PERES, the kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. "Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed in purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made ... that he should rank third in the kingdom; [and] that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean (Babylonian) king was killed, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom."
The writing on the wall
For reasons which are not explained in the tale the Chaldean wise men are unable to read the writing on the wall, let alone interpret it. As Aramaic was written with consonants alone, they may have lacked any context in which to make sense of them. Daniel supplies vowels in two different ways, first reading the letters as nouns, then interpreting them as verbs.
The words Daniel reads are monetary weights: a mena, equivalent to a Jewish mina or sixty shekels, (several ancient versions have only one mena instead of two), a tekel, equivalent to a shekel, and parsin, meaning "half-pieces". The last involves a word-play on the name of the Persians, suggesting not only that they are to inherit Belshazzar's kingdom, but that they are two peoples, Medes and Persians.
Having read the words as nouns Daniel then interprets them as verbs, based on their roots: mina is interpreted as meaning "numbered", tekel, from a root meaning to weigh, as meaning "weighed" (and found wanting), and peres, the singular form of dual parsin, from a root meaning to divide, as meaning the kingdom is to be "divided" and given to the Medes and Persians. (A curious point is that the various weights — a mina or sixty shekels, another shekel, and two half-shekels — add up to 62, which is noted in the last verse as the age of Darius the Mede).
Composition and structure
It is generally accepted that the Book of Daniel originated as a collection of folktales among the Jewish community in Babylon in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods (5th to 3rd centuries BCE), and was later expanded in the Maccabean era (mid-2nd century) with the visions of chapters 7-12. Modern scholarship agrees that Daniel is a legendary figure, and it is possible that his name was chosen for the hero of the book because of his reputation as a wise seer in Hebrew tradition.
- A. (chapter 2) – A dream of four kingdoms replaced by a fifth
- B. (chapter 3) – Daniel's three friends in the fiery furnace
- C. (chapter 4) – Daniel interprets a dream for Nebuchadnezzar
- C'. (chapter 5) – Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar
- B'. (chapter 6) – Daniel in the lions' den
- B. (chapter 3) – Daniel's three friends in the fiery furnace
- A'. (chapter 7) – A vision of four world kingdoms replaced by a fifth
Daniel 5 is thus composed as a companion-piece to Daniel 4, the tale of the madness of Nebuchadnezzar, the two giving variations on a single theme. This is spelled out in chapter 5 when Daniel draws a direct parallel between the two kings: the fate of Belshazzar illustrates what happens when a king does not repent.
Daniel 5 does not divide neatly into scenes and scholars do not agree on its structure. The following is one possible outline:
- The king's banquet and the mysterious oracle: the king desecrates the sacred vessels, the hand writes on the wall (verses 1-6)
- Attempts to interpret the oracle: the Chaldean sages fail, the queen recommends Daniel (verses 7-12)
- Daniel appears before Belshazzar: Daniel addresses and rebukes the king, interprets the oracle, and is rewarded (verses 10-12)
- Conclusion: Belshazzar's death, Darius' accession (verses 30-31)
The story is set around the fall of Babylon, when on 12 October 539 BCE the Persian conqueror Cyrus the Great entered the city. Its last king, Nabonidus, was captured, and his fate is unknown, although he may have been exiled. Several details in the text do not match the known historical facts: Belshazzar is portrayed as king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar, but was actually the son of King Nabonidus, one of Nebuchadnezzar's successors, and never became king; the conqueror is named as Darius the Mede, but no such individual is known to history; and the invaders were not Medes, but Persians. This is typical of the story's genre, in which historical accuracy is not an essential element.
The constituent elements of the Book of Daniel were assembled shortly after the end of the Maccabean crisis, which is to say shortly after 164 BCE. The tales making up chapters 2 to 6 are the earliest part, dating from the late 4th or early 3rd centuries. Their setting is Babylon, and there is no reason to doubt that they were composed in the Babylonian diaspora (i.e., among the Jewish community living in Babylon and Mesopotamia under Persian and then Greek rule). They reflect a society in which foreign rulers were not necessarily malevolent (Belshazzar rewards Daniel and raises him to high office); this is a marked contrast with the visions of chapters 7-12, where the sufferings of the Jews are the result of actions by the evil 2nd century king Antiochus IV.
Belshazzar's feast is a legend, conforming to the subgenre of the "tale of court contest". This has been complicated by the inclusion of Daniel's indictment of Belshazzar's pride and his failure to honour the God of Israel; as a result the tale has a double ending, in which Daniel is first showered with rewards and honours for interpreting the omen, and the king is then punished to fulfill the sentence pronounced by Daniel.
Chapters 2 and 7 tell how all worldly kingdoms will come to an end and be replaced by the kingdom of God, and chapters 3 and 6 tell how pious Jews withstand the arrogance of earthly kings and are rescued by the God of Israel. Chapters 4 and 5 form the centre and carry the most important message in their parallel but contrasting tales of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. The first is humbled by God, learns his lesson (he acknowledges the ultimate kingship of the Jewish God), and is restored to his throne; Belshazzar, in contrast, learns nothing from Nebuchadnezzar's example, blasphemes against God, and has his kingdom given to others.
In art and popular culture
There are many depictions of "Belshazzar's Feast" in the arts. These include, in chronological order:
- Visual arts
- 1635: The painting Belshazzar's Feast by Rembrandt
- 1821: The painting Belshazzar's Feast by the English artist John Martin
- 1817–1843: The painting Belshazzar's Feast by the American artist Washington Allston
- 1983–1984: Belshazzar's Feast, the Writing on Your Wall, installation artwork by artist Susan Hiller
- 13th–15th century: The Play of Daniel from Beauvais Cathedral
- 1745: The oratorio Belshazzar by George Frideric Handel
- 1840: The ballad Belsatzar by Robert Schumann
- 1860: The cantata Belshazzar's Feast. The Fall of Babylon: A Dramatic Cantata in Ten Scenes by Civil War-era songwriter George Frederick Root
- 1906: The incidental music to Hjalmar Procopé's play by Jean Sibelius
- 1931: The choral work Belshazzar's Feast by the English composer William Walton
- 1937: Mene, Mene, Tekel song in the musical review Pins and Needles by Arthur Arent, Marc Blitzstein, Emmanuel Eisenberg, Charles Friedman, David Gregory, Joseph Schrank, Arnold B. Horwitt, John Latouche, and Harold Rome and music and lyrics by Harold Rome.
- 1957: A song by Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two (also covered but unreleased by Bob Dylan & The Band during the 1967 Basement Tapes sessions)
- 1978: Boney M 'By the rivers of Babylon'. Which refers to the weeping for the Zion, by the exiled Jews enslaved by Belshazzar.
- 1995: Folk duo Paul Sartin (vocals, violin, oboe and whistle) and Paul Hutchinson (accordion). Released 6 albums .
- 1998: The song God's Magic Finger by The Residents, released on the album Wormwood
- 2007: Belsatzar after Heine for Speaking Voice and Cello by Graham Waterhouse
- 2013: Referenced in Sting's song The Last Ship
- 2015: The song Mene by Brand New (band)
- 2015: "Writing's on the Wall" (Sam Smith song), from the James Bond film Spectre
- 1815: The poem Vision of Belshazzar by Lord Byron in his Hebrew Melodies
- 1820s: The poem Belsazar by Heinrich Heine
- 1906: The play by Hjalmar Procopé
- 1930s: In Howard Phillips Lovecraft's novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, the character Zadok Allen says "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin" to the narrator.
The writing on the wall
References to the "writing on the wall" include:
- The incident is both recounted and illustrated during the Middle Ages, perhaps most notably in the Pearl Poet's poem Cleanness.
- In John Cheever's short story "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin," the narrator encounters graffiti (one example running several pages) in various public washrooms.
- In Robert Louis Stevenson's book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll explains that his experience as Mr. Hyde was "like the Babylonian finger on the wall, to be spelling out the letters of my judgment . . . "
- In the musical revue Pins and Needles, a song entitled "Mene, Mene, Tekel" uses the tale as allegory describing contemporary social injustices.
- In Samuel Beckett's Endgame, Hamm asks of Clov, "and what do you see on your wall? Mene, mene? Naked bodies?"
- In Voltairine de Cleyre's last poem, "Written in Red," the first verse begins:
Written in red their protest stands,
For the Gods of the World to see;
On the dooming wall their bodiless hands
Have blazoned "Upharsin," and flaring brands
Illumine the message: "Seize the lands!
Open the prisons and make men free!"
Flame out the living words of the dead
- In Jose Rizal's second novel El Filibusterismo, Crisostomo Ibarra, disguised as Simoun, planted an explosive disguised as a kerosene lamp in a reception party in Captain Tiago's house in an attempt to kill all high-ranking officials of the society and the church attending. He also leaves a note behind, "Mene, Thecel, Pares," plus his name in his own handwriting.
- In the novel City of Ashes, part of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Clary uses her stele to write a rune on Valentine's boat. Although the rune simply means "Open," Clary's extraordinary powers amplify it so as to destroy the ship by ripping apart its bolts. Valentine looks on in awed horror and says, "mene mene tekel upharsin," because he realizes that Clary's powers represent a massive change in the order of things, which will lead to the Clave's, or his own, doom.
- In Philip K. Dick's novel A Maze of Death, Seth and Mary Morley lived in 'Tekel Upharsin Kibbutz' before moving to Delmak-O.
- In V. by Thomas Pynchon, Rachel leaves a written note on a wall to the schlemihl Benny Profane. In response to it, Stencil states to Profane, "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin," implying his impending demise. (Chapt. 15, pg 448)
- The Einstürzende Neubauten song Wüste also has the line "mene, mene tekel, upharshin" in the lyrics.
- "The Writing on the Wall" is the finale song of the musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
- The characters of Bertie and Aunt Dahlia discuss a reference to Belshazzar's Feast in chapter 9 of the novel Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
- The song "Kodachrome", also by Paul Simon, includes the lyric "... my lack of education hasn't hurt me none / I can read the writing on the wall."
- In Chapter 119 (The Candles) of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Ishmael ominously describes the appearance of St. Elmo's Fire ("The corpusants!") on their whaling ship, the Pequod, when he writes, "...when God's burning finger has been laid on the ship, when His 'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin' has been woven into the shrouds and the cordage."
- In Defrage's song "Save Us from Religion," the first song on their album Jackal, 'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin' is sung at 3:01.
- In Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker, the Writer says "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" while talking to the Professor (around 01:14:00, or in TV version - 2 episode, around 00:11:00).
- The song "The Last Ship" by Sting hyperbolically narrates the pilgrimage to Newcastle carried out most notably by the risen Jesus of Nazareth, and other guests haunted by the significance of the last ship sailing from Newcastle's morbid shipbuilding industry, understanding the occasion as though it were "that strange moving finger at Balthazar's feast."
- In the episode "Season's Beatings," from season 7 of American Dad!, Steve becomes an Apostate of Satan and repeats the phrases, "Satana, Satana," and "Mene, Mene, Tekel," throughout the duration of his Apostasy.
- The song Mene, by the American band, Brand New, references the idiom with the lyrics "Written on the wall, the letters plain and tall"
- In the song Omen by The Prodigy, there's a line "Now the writing's on the wall, it won't go away"
- The post-hardcore band Underoath's song "Writings On The Wall"
- Seow 2003, p. 74-75.
- Albertz 2001, p. 178.
- Seow 2003, p. 80.
- Seow 2003, p. 82-83.
- Seow 2003, p. 82-84.
- Collins 1984, p. 29,34-35.
- Collins 1984, p. 28.
- Redditt 2008, p. 176-177,180.
- Redditt 2009, p. 177.
- Collins 1984, p. 67,70.
- Newsom & Breed 2014, p. 165.
- Waters, p. 44-45.
- Seow 2003, p. 4-6.
- Collins 1984, p. 41.
- Collins 2002, p. 2.
- Seow 2003, p. 7.
- Collins 1984, p. 67.
- Ward, David (15 July 2002). "David Ward, "The six greatest works of William Walton". ''The Guardian'', 15 July 2002". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- Albertz, Rainer (2001). "Social Setting of Daniel". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception I. BRILL.
- Bandstra, Barry L. (2008). Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Wadsworth Publishing Company.
- Bergsma, John Sietze (2007). The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran. BRILL.
- Boyer, Paul S. (1992). When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-95129-8.
- Breed, Brennan W. (2014). Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History. Indiana University Press.
- Brettler, Mark Zvi (2005). How To Read the Bible. Jewish Publication Society.
- Carroll, John T. (2000). "Eschatology". In Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Eerdmans.
- Cohen, Shaye J.D. (2006). From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. Westminster John Knox Press.
- Collins, John J. (1984). Daniel: With an Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature. Eerdmans.
- Collins, John J. (1999). "Daniel". In Van Der Toorn, Karel; Becking, Bob; van der Horst, Pieter Willem. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Eerdmans.
- Collins, John J. (1998). The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. Eerdmans.
- Collins, John J. (2001). "Current Issues in the Study of Daniel". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception I. BRILL.
- Collins, John J. (2003). "From Prophecy to Apocalypticism: The Expectation of the End". In McGinn, Bernard; Collins, John J.; Stein, Stephen J. The Continuum History of Apocalypticism. Continuum.
- Coogan, Michael (2009). A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 400.
- Crawford, Sidnie White (2000). "Apocalyptic". In Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Eerdmans.
- Davidson, Robert (1993). "Jeremiah, Book of". In Metzger, Bruce M.; Coogan, Michael D. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford University Press.
- Davies, Philip (2006). "Apocalyptic". In Rogerson, J. W.; Lieu, Judith M. OUP Oxford. Oxford Handbooks Online.
- DeChant, Dell (2009). "Apocalyptic Communities". In Neusner, Jacob. World Religions in America: An Introduction. Westminster John Knox Press.
- Doukhan, Jacques (2000). Secrets of Daniel: wisdom and dreams of a Jewish prince in exile. Review and Herald Pub Assoc.
- Dunn, James D.G. (2002). "The Danilic Son of Man in the New Testament". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. BRILL.
- Froom, Le Roy Edwin (1950). Early Church Exposition, Subsequent Deflections, and Medieval Revival. The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers: The Historical Development of Prophetic Interpretation 1. The Review and Herald Publishing Association. p. 1006.
- Froom, Le Roy Edwin (1948). Pre-Reformation and Reformation Restoration, and Second Departure. The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers: The Historical Development of Prophetic Interpretation 2. The Review and Herald Publishing Association. p. 863.
- Froom, Le Roy Edwin (1946). PART I, Colonial and Early National American Exposition. PART II, Old World Nineteenth Century Advent Awakening. The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers: The Historical Development of Prophetic Interpretation 3. The Review and Herald Publishing Association. p. 802.
- Gallagher, Eugene V. (2011). "Millennialism, Scripture, and Tradition". In Wessinger, Catherine. The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism. Oxford University Press.
- Goldingay, John J. (2002). "Daniel in the Context of OT Theology". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception II. BRILL.
- Grabbe, Lester L. (2010). An Introduction to Second Temple Judaism: History and Religion of the Jews in the Time of Nehemiah, the Maccabees, Hillel, and Jesus. Continuum.
- Grabbe, Lester L. (2002). Judaic Religion in the Second Temple Period: Belief and Practice from the Exile to Yavneh. Routledge.
- Grabbe, Lester L. (2002). "A Dan(iel) For All Seasons". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. BRILL.
- Grayson, Albert Kirk (1975). Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. pp. 108–110. ISBN 9781575060491.
- Hammer, Raymond (1976). The Book of Daniel. Cambridge University Press.
- Harrington, Daniel J. (1999). Invitation to the Apocrypha. Eerdmans.
- Hill, Andrew E. (2008). "Daniel-Malachi". In Longman, Tremper; Garland, David E. The Expositor's Bible Commentary 8. Zondervan.
- Hill, Charles E. (2000). "Antichrist". In Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Eerdmans.
- Holbrook, Frank B. (1986). The Seventy Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of Prophecy (Volume 3 of Daniel and Revelation Committee Series ed.). Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. ISBN 0925675024.
- Horsley, Richard A. (2007). Scribes, Visionaries, and the Politics of Second Temple Judea. Presbyterian Publishing Corp.
- Knibb, Michael (2009). Essays on the Book of Enoch and Other Early Jewish Texts and Traditions. BRILL.
- Knibb, Michael (2006). The Septuagint and Messianism. Peeters Publishers.
- Knibb, Michael (2002). "The Book of Daniel in its Context". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. BRILL.
- Koch, Klaus (2002). "Stages in the Canonization of the Book of daniel". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. BRILL.
- Kratz, Reinhard (2002). "The Visions of Daniel". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. BRILL.
- LaHaye, Ti; Hindson, Ed (2006). The popular Bible prophecy commentary. Harvest House Publishers.
- Levine, Amy-Jill (2010). "Daniel". In Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Newsom, Carol A. The new Oxford annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books : New Revised Standard Version. Oxford University Press.
- Lucas, Ernest C. (2005). "Daniel, Book of". In Vanhoozer, Kevin J.; Bartholomew, Craig G.; Treier, Daniel J. Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. Baker Academic.
- Lust, Johan (2002). "Cult and Sacrifice in Daniel". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception II. BRILL.
- Mangano, Mark (2001). Esther & Daniel. College Press.
- Marshall, Taylor (2012). The Eternal City: Rome and the Origins of Catholic Christianity. Saint John Press.
- Matthews, Victor H.; Moyer, James C. (2012). The Old Testament: Text and Context. Baker Books.
- Menn, Jonathan (2013). Biblical Eschatology. Wipf and Stock Publishers.
- Nelson, William (2013). Daniel. Baker Books.
- Newsom, Carol A.; Breed, Brennan W. (2014). Daniel: A Commentary. Presbyterian Publishing Corp.
- Nichol, F., ed. (1954). "chronology chart". SDA Bible Commentary. pp. 326–327.
- Niskanen, Paul (2004). The Human and the Divine in History: Herodotus and the Book of Daniel. Continuum.
- Pasachoff, Naomi E.; Littman, Robert J. (2005). A Concise History of the Jewish People. Rowman & Littlefield.
- Portier-Young, Anathea E. (2013). Apocalypse Against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802837110.
- Provan, Iain (2003). "Daniel". In Dunn, James D. G.; Rogerson, John William. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802837110.
- Redditt, Paul L. (2009). Introduction to the Prophets. Eerdmans.
- Reid, Stephen Breck (2000). "Daniel, Book of". In Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Eerdmans.
- Rowland, Christopher (2007). "Apocalyptic Literature". In Hass, Andrew; Jasper, David; Jay, Elisabeth. The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology. Oxford University Press.
- Ryken,, Leland; Wilhoit, Jim; Longman, Tremper (1998). Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. InterVarsity Press.
- Sacchi, Paolo (2004). The History of the Second Temple Period. Continuum.
- Schiffman, Lawrence H. (1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism. KTAV Publishing House.
- Schwartz, Daniel R. (1992). Studies in the Jewish Background of Christianity. Mohr Siebeck.
- Seow, C.L. (2003). Daniel. Westminster John Knox Press.
- Spencer, Richard A. (2002). "Additions to Daniel". In Mills, Watson E.; Wilson, Richard F. The Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. Mercer University Press.
- Towner, W. Sibley (1993). "Daniel". In Coogan, Michael D.; Metzger, Bruce M. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford University Press.
- Towner, W. Sibley (1984). Daniel. Westminster John Knox Press.
- VanderKam, James C. (2010). The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Eerdmans.
- VanderKam, James C.; Flint, Peter (2013). The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: their significance for understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity. HarperCollins.
- Walvoord, John F. (2010). Major Bible Prophecies: 37 Crucial Prophecies That Affect You Today. Moody Press.
- Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (1988). Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1. Pennsylvania: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. pp. 282–284.
- Waters, Matt (2014). Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE. Cambridge University Press.
- Watson, Duane F. (2000). "Millennium". In Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Eerdmans.
- Weber, Timothy P. (2007). "Millennialism". In Walls, Jerry L. The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology. Oxford University Press.
- Wesselius, Jan-Wim (2002). "The Writing of Daniel". In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.; VanEpps, Cameron. The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. BRILL.