Meaning the Idiom ‘Writing on the Wall’

Writing on the wall is a warning or authorize that something unpleasant or regrettably is going come happen. 1Ayto, John. Oxford thesaurus of English Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth thesaurus of Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.

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Examples the Use

“He experienced the creating on the wall surface and left the company for a new job prior to he and many others to be laid off.”

“Look,” claimed William, “the writing is top top the wall. Nobody is walk to lend us any money. We’ll have to come up through it some other way.”

Belshazzar’s Feast through Rembrandt The biblical story of Belshazzar’s Feast is the origin of the idiom ‘the writing on the wall.’


This idiom originates from the Biblical story of Belshazzar’s feast, Daniel 5:5-31, in which, in the existence of the king, a disembodied hand appears and writes ~ above the royal residence wall. The king, frightened, called for astrologers, Chaldeans, and also soothsayers and offered rewards to whoever can interpret the writing. No one of the wise mean can read the article until the queen suggested he speak to Daniel, ” in who is the heart of the divine gods; and in the days of thy dad light and also understanding and also wisdom, like the wisdom that the gods, was found in him” and also whom the king’s father, King Nebuchadnezzar, had actually named Belteshazzar.


Daniel came, and also the king readily available him a prize if he could interpret the writing. Daniel called the king to save the reward and give the to who else, but that that would analyze the creating for the king, however not prior to telling the king the in failing to discover from his father’s mistakes, and humbling himself, he had earned the wrath that the Lord, which led to the handwriting the message:

“And this is the composing that to be written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God afoot numbered her kingdom and finished it. Tekel; Thou arts weighed in the balances, and also art uncovered wanting. Peres; thy kingdom is divided, and also given to the Medes and also Persians.”

“Then commanded Belshazzar, and also they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain the gold around his neck, and made a proclamation worrying him, the he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

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In that night to be Belshazzar the king that the Chaldeans slain. And also Darius the average took the kingdom, being around threescore and two years old.”