Bible Studies/Daniel


In chapter 5 vs 25, the King sees a hand writing "Mene, Mene, Tekel, UPHARSIN"

then in vs 28 it repeated as "PERES" so that's the part I don't get. One vs says UPHARSIN and another says PERES

Hello Joyce!

Thank you for your question, which is a most interesting one. As an apocalyptic book, Daniel contains much that is difficult to understand, and this is certainly one of those instances.  I would not claim that the response that I make to your question is the definitive answer, but I trust that you will find it to be helpful. By the way, it is exactly the kind of question that my wife - who is also named, Joyce - keeps asking me! Perhaps it has something to do with the name!!!

First of all, what we have in v.25 is the record of what was actually written on the wall.  In vs.26-28, we have the interpretation (not the translation!) as provided by Daniel. The letter 'u' is, in Aramaic, the conjunction 'and'.  What we read as 'pharsin' is the plural of 'phares'.  So the message is, effectively, the same.  However, there is a play on words in the original language as 'pharsin' referred to the Persians, while 'peres' and 'phares' are almost identical, and may be translated as 'divided'.

Remember, too, that the original words would have consisted only of consonants.

To try to sum all of that up: v.25 provides the words written - words that could have been read by anyone.  Then, in vs.26-28, we have the interpretation of the words, using a play on 'Persian' and 'divided'.

I trust that the above will have been of some assistance to you.

Blessings, and shalom.

C.Brian Ross (Rev).  

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Rev C.Brian Ross


I am happy to offer answers to anyone with a question that refers to the Christian Faith in its widest possible sense. I believe that the Bible is the living Word of God, and seek to base all of my life on its teaching. I also have some knowledge of some of the cults, and of Islam and Judaism. Of course, my answers are just one man's thoughts, and I would always advise a questioner to check with others, and with the Word of God.


Served as a full-time parish minister in Scotland for about six years, and then spent the last thirty as a teacher (now 'retired') of Religious Education in Secondary Comprehensive schools (ages 11-17) while continuing my own preaching and teaching ministry. I have spent three years as a voluntary Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force. I also believe that learning is a life-time process, and have recently completed a Master's degree in Divinity. I now spend most of my time in France, ministering mainly to English-speaking groups.

Former Presenter on Revival FM - a local Christian, community radio station, broadcasting in west central Scotland, and online at Involved with a number of organisations that support Christians who are currently suffering persecution in some 70 countries around the world. Until the formation of the new Police Scotland Force, I was a Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force, deployed within 'Q' and 'N' Divisions, and also responsible for the Force Training and Recruitment Centre.

Various articles in Christian magazines. I also maintain a blog - My first book, Great Words of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at My second book, Foundations of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Diploma of The Bible Training Institute, Glasgow; Licentiate in Theology of the University of Glasgow; Associateship of The Philosophical Society of England; Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in History from The Open University; Post-grad Certificate of Education - Religious Education and History; Post-grad Certificate in Learning and Teaching; Post-grad Diploma in Management and Learning in Education; Master of Science Degree from the University of Strathclyde; Master of Divinity Degree (with Distinction) from Trinity College and Seminary (accredited by the University of Liverpool)

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