Belshazzar the king gave a banquet for a thousand of his nobles and was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. Warmed by the wine, he gave orders to fetch the vessels of gold and silver which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the sanctuary at Jerusalem, that he and his nobles, his concubines and his courtesans, might drink from them. So the vessels of gold and silver from the sanctuary in the house of God at Jerusalem were brought in, and the king and his nobles, his concubines and his courtesans, drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, and of wood and stone.

Suddenly there appeared the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster of the palace wall opposite the lamp, and the king could see the back of the hand as it wrote. At this the king's mind was filled with dismay and he turned pale, he became limp in every limb and his knees knocked together. He called loudly for the exorcists, Chaldaeans, and diviners to be brought in; then, addressing the wise men of Babylon, he said,

"Whoever can read this writing and tell me its interpretation shall be robed in purple and honoured with a chain of gold round his neck and shall rank as third in the kingdom.'

Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or interpret it to the king. King Belshazzar sat there pale and utterly dismayed, while his nobles were perplexed. The king and his nobles were talking when the queen entered the banqueting-hall:

'Long live the king!. 'Why this dismay, and why do you look so pale? There is a man in your kingdom who has in him the spirit of the holy gods, a man who was known in your father's time to have a clear understanding and godlike wisdom. King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, appointed him chief of the magicians, exorcists, Chaldaeans, and diviners. This same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, is known to have a notable spirit, with knowledge and understanding, and the gift of interpreting dreams, explaining riddles and unbinding spells; let him be summoned now and he will give the interpretation'

Daniel was then brought into the king's presence and the king said to him

So you are Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles whom the king my father brought from Judah. I have heard that you possess the spirit of the holy gods and that you are a man of clear understanding and peculiar wisdom. The wise men, the exorcists, have just been brought into my presence to read this writing and tell me its interpretation, and they have been unable to interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you are able to give interpretations and to unbind spells. So now, if you are able to read the words and tell me what they mean, you shall be robed in purple and honoured with a chain of gold round your neck and shall rank as third in the kingdom.

Then Daniel answered in the king's presence

Your gifts you may keep for yourself; or else give your rewards to another. Nevertheless I will read the writing to your majesty and tell you its interpretation. My lord king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom and power and glory and majesty; and, because of this power which he gave him, all peoples and nations of every language trembled before him and were afraid. He put to death whom he would and spared whom he would, he promoted them at will and at will degraded them. But, when he became haughty, stubborn and presumptuous, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken from him. He was banished from the society of men, his mind became like that of a beast, he had to live with the wild asses and to eat grass like oxen, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he came to know that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdom of men and sets up over it whom he will. But you, his son. Belshazzar, did not humble your heart, although you knew all this. You have set your¬self up against the Lord of heaven. The vessels of his temple have been brought to your table; and you, your nobles, your concubines, and your courtesans have drunk from them. You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor know, and you have not given glory to God, in whose charge is your very breath and in hands are all your ways. This is why that hand was sent from his very presence and why it wrote this inscription. And these are the words of the writing which was inscribed: Mene mene tekel u-pharsin. Here is the interpretation. Mene: God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; u-pharsin: and your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.'

Then Belshazzar gave the order and Daniel was robed in purple and honoured with a chain of gold round his neck, and proclamation was made that he should rank as third in the kingdom That very night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain, and Darius the Mede took the kingdom, being then sixty-two years old.

• Seemingly abruptly, that concludes this dramatic reading from the Book of Daniel. There are, of course, 12 chapters altogether, yet it was never our intention to present them all. "Daniel" throughout comprises classic Hebrew literature; and yet these first 5 chapters illustrate the tendency of Adonai (God) to rule the hearts of men with fairness and caring in whatever culture comes to know Him even to the ends of the Earth. The narrator was performed in my customary voiceover style, but then it was both necessry and fun to impart a clear personality to the different characters, I am very satisfied with the way Nebudchadnezzar comes across; Daniel is sort of a young Brit. The Chaldeans, or sorcerers, should sound scary and mysterious, so I added "flanging" effects. Or something close. OK, there is no reason to make the Herald sound like a New Jersey baker except (1) it was fun, and (2) it IS distinctive. There is a 'voice from heaven', and I think it comes off the way it should: I whispered it into the microphone. It's hard to discern, so you have to work and listen very carefully,

• The early recorded tracks found in chapters 1 and 2 were largely recorded in 2005, and the remainder in June and July, 2015. I received, and appreciate, the feedback from Ade Cronauer and Bill Sherard. Also, couple of my skilled friends asked me to remove all or most of the reverb, especially where it was engaged in the narrator's sequences in the beginning. Rick Choy (Choy and Sherard are in the broadcasting business) says his test for communicability is to play it back in his car with the windows open! <GRIN> Still, I don't altogether concur with zapping the reverb; I thought it was great, so I might restore it. A little.

• Everything was recorded at the E-Broadcast Center in Maryland using a Neumann U-87 microphone exclusively. The 2005 tracks were captured with an early editing software, but everything else used Adobe Creative Suite 5. Mixing was done on Premiere Pro.

• There are plans to convert The Daniel Project into a video incorporting artwork and images. Ad gloriam dei creatus est frederico ante diem iiii idvs ivlias mmxv.