Bible Dictionary

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Mene mene tekel upharsin

The inscription interpreted by Daniel (Dan. 5:25–28). It can be literally translated “numbered, numbered, weighed, and divisions.” Possibly the words are names of weights, “a mina, a mina, a shekel, and a half.” Daniel’s skill showed itself in his giving to these words an interpretation bearing on the circumstances of the time. In the interpretation (verse 28) peres is found instead of upharsin. The u in upharsin is simply “and.” Parsin (which is written pharsin when a vowel precedes) is the plural of peres (pronounced so as to rhyme with deface). Mene should be pronounced so as to rhyme with bewray, and tekel with bewail.