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Meaning of “The Writing on The Wall” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence.

The Writing on The Wall

“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick, upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace.”

– Daniel v.s.

“The writing on the wall” is a warning of impending disaster. The great feast which Belshazzar, the last King of Babylon, gave to a thousand of his lords, his wives and concubines, while he drank impiously from the golden and silver vessels taken by his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, from the Temple at Jerusalem, was a piece of bravado, just to show his utter contempt for all the gods of other nations, for “they praised the gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron and wood and stone.” The Old Testament narration reveals, perhaps better than any other in history or mythology, the sheer recklessness of a ruler in face of danger. When Daniel the prophet was called in to the royal presence to explain the mysterious handwriting on the wall of the banqueting-hall, he told Belshazzar that it represented the wrath and warning of his own offended God, Jahweh; and that the end of his kingdom was near at hand.

There had been rumblings of an oncoming catastrophe; for the Persians under Cyrus had laid siege to Babylon, and while Belshazzar had played the fool, the Persians had deflected the course of the Euphrates ; and they marched into the city, by way of the river’s dry bed, on the same night when Belshazzar held his drunken orgy. “In that night,” says the Bible story, “was Belshazzar, king of the Chaldean, slain.”

The fate of Belshazzar has been repeated a thousand times. Calamities in the world’s history have taken place owing to plain warnings going unheeded. Homes have been ruined; empires have been wrecked beyond recovery, when by the exercise of a little ordinary foresight or forethought disaster might have been averted.

To be forewarned,” it is often said, “is to be forearmed” I That is true only when wisdom dictates the policy to be pursued.


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