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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

[Here commences the book of Joseph ben Gorion, with the exception of the first two pages, which contain an enumeration of the families and ancient kings, which I have written above in its proper place in the Book of the Generations.]

LXVII. (1) When God had visited upon Babylon all that He spake to His servants Isaiah and Jeremiah, the prophets, on behalf of Jerusalem, He raised up against them two mighty kings: Darius, King of Media, and Cyrus, King of Persia. And Cyrus entered into close friendship with Darius by taking his daughter to wife, so that they jointly rebelled against Belshazzar, King of the Chaldeans. This was the commencement of many fierce battles. At the outset the Chaldeans were victorious; but many fell on either side, and the Chaldeans fleeing, Cyrus and Darius pursued them until a distance of one day's journey from Babylon, and smote them and cut them to pieces. There Cyrus and Darius encamped with all their armies, and when the king Belshazzar saw them he sent out all the host of his mighty men—a thousand princes and the troops that were in the temple, a numerous and powerful band. At twilight all these marched out of Babylon, continuing their march during the whole night. But at the

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break of morn they began to attack the camp of Darius and Cyrus, which at the onset became bewildered, and the camp of Media fled in confusion; but Cyrus and his men braced themselves up to fight against the Chaldeans, and prevented them from following the Median camp. In the night, when the battle had ceased, the slain of the Medes and Persians were found to be very numerous.

(2) On that same day, as the princes of Belshazzar saw that they had gained a victory, they came before King Belshazzar full of victory and strength. The king made a great feast for them, and many presents of silver and gold were given to them; and the king rejoiced with his 1,000 princes, and sat down to eat and drink with them. They prolonged the banquet until night. Now, Belshazzar had drunk too much, and while he was in a state of intoxication he ordered the golden vessels which had been in the temple of our God at Jerusalem to be brought to him—viz., those holy vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had seized when he exiled the Jews from Jerusalem to Babylon. He then defiled the holy vessels by drinking wine out of them, together with his 1,000 princes, his wives, and his concubines.

(3) But when our God beheld this profanation, He was angry and jealous (zealous) for His vessels, so He sent from His throne a scribe to write a severe rebuke for the king, and to acquaint him with the judgment which our God had decreed concerning his life and his kingdom. The scribe accordingly wrote upon the wall in red ink by the lamp of the king the following: 'He thought, He weighed, He separated.' The letters were written in Hebrew characters, but the writing was Aramaic. When the king saw the fingers writing—the other parts of the body he did not see, for the fingers were terrible and beautiful—he became bewildered and very much afraid, so that every limb of his body, his heart, and his very bones trembled.