mene, mina

The Daniel Chapter 5 Prophecy

tekel, shekel


The prophecy is found in Daniel chapter 5 and the surface meaning of the
handwriting of God incident is provided in the verses Daniel 5:25-28.

     Dan   5:25  And this is the inscription that was written:

                         MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

            :26  This is the interpretation of each word.
                 MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished
            :27  TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and
                 found wanting;
            :28  PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to
                 the Medes and Persians.

Most prophetic scriptures clearly portray a time dimension. This prophecy
cleverly hides its prophetic nature behind the narrative.

To fully understand this prophecy it is necessary to look at the meanings
of the words.

             MENE     -  'numbered' or 'mina'
                         Mina is a measure of weight and money weight

             TEKEL    -  'weighed' or 'shekel'
                         Shekel is a unit of weight and money

             UPHARSIN -  ie 'Parsin' (singular Peres (verse 28)),
                         Parsin - 'to divide (into many pieces)'
                         Peres  - 'to divide (once)'

As can be seen the words 'mene' and 'tekel' carry meanings which indicate
weight and monetary value.
(As a result of this observation many have felt the word 'upharsin' should
likewise be understood as 'half mene' or 'half shekel'. However, in this
prophecy it is not necessary to render a monetary unit to the word upharsin.)

To determine the time periods being suggested it is only necessary to
follow the instructions of the prophecy.





Number twice by weight and divide!

In other words:    Number the 'mene' twice by shekel weight
                   and then divide into many pieces.

Conveniently a single text found in a prophetic book provides the critical

    Ezek  45:10  You shall have just balances, ...

            :12  The shekel shall be twenty gerahs;
                 twenty shekels, twenty-five shekels,
                 and fifteen shekels shall be your mina.

This verse is commonly thought to be suggesting the mina of the sanctuary
was composed of 60 shekels. However, this view fails to explain why the
verse breaks the apparent 60 shekels into twenty, twenty-five and fifteen

Some theories have attempted to explain the text and different renderings
have been suggested.

A more literal rendering of this verse yields the following.

    Ezek  45:12  And the shekel twenty gerah: twenty shekels five
                 and twenty shekels ten and five shekel shall be
                 your mina.

This can provide the rendering.

    Ezek  45:12  And the shekel twenty gerah: twenty shekels by five
                 and twenty shekels by ten and five, shekel shall be
                 to your mina.

In other words:    ... '100'(20x5) and '300'(20x15), shekel
                   shall be to your mina!

The weight 'mina' (or 'maneh'), Strong's 4488, is also sometimes referred
to as 'pound', because it represents a comparable weight.

Now, notice how the New Testament presents its comparable 'pound'
- Greek 'litra' or 'libra' Strong's 3046 (In verses, Luke 19:13-25,
it uses Strong's 3414 'mna', ie mina).

  1)  John  19:39  And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night,
                   also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes,
                   about a hundred pound.

  2)  John  12:3   Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of
                   spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, ...
              :5   "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for
                   three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"

In both New Testament verses we encounter a 'pound' like weight, the
first reference is associated with the number 100 and the second with
the number 300.
(The second reference is also connected with coinage, the denarii.)

[NB: Translations of John 19:39 suggest Nicodemus brought forth
     a very large quantity of myrrh and aloes, a 100 pounds,
     but it is more likely this was just one pound. The number
     'hundred' being present to define this pound as being the
     weight equivalent to 100 shekels. ]

The expressions 'mina' and 'litra' are both terms for about a pound
weight. Scripture is indicating the 'mina' and 'litra' are different
expressions defining the same weight.

The following two Old Testament examples appear to confirm the 100
shekels per mina ratio.


The following verses suggest a mina of gold was the equivalent of
100 shekels of gold. (Note, the word 'shekels' in 2 Chr 9:16 is not
actually present in the original Hebrew.)

      1 Kin 10:17  He also made three hundred shields of hammered
                   gold; three mina of gold went into each shield.
                   And the king put them in the House of the Forest
                   of Lebanon.

      2 Chr  9:16  He also made three hundred shields of hammered
                   gold; three hundred shekels of gold went into
                   each shield. The king put them in the House of
                   the Forest of Lebanon.

100 SHEKELS OF SILVER PER MINA - Solomon's Vineyards

The following two references when cross referenced suggest 200 pieces of
silver, presumably 200 bekah (the half shekel mentioned in Exod 38:26),
equal one mina.

      Song   8:11  Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon;
                   he leased the vineyard to keepers;
                   everyone was to bring for its fruit
                   a thousand pieces of silver.
              :12  My own vineyard is before me.
                   You, O Solomon may have a thousand,
                   And those who keep its fruit two hundred.

      Isa    7:23  It shall happen in that day, that wherever
                   there could be a thousand vines worth a
                   thousand shekels of silver, ...
                   [In the Hebrew text the word 'shekels' is
                    not actually present - the most likely
                    measure indicated is 'mina'. ]

So Song 8:11-12 indicates 1,000 pieces of silver (bekah) were paid by
each vinedresser, and that Solomon owned 1,000 vineyards, and that in
each vineyard there were 200 vinedressers.
A total income of 200,000,000 bekah, ie 100,000,000 shekels.

And Isa 7:23 indicates that a 1,000 vineyards would be worth 1,000
mina each.
A total income of 1,000,000 mina.

Hence suggesting 100 shekels = 1 mina.


The revised translation raises an issue;

    Ezek  45:12  And the shekel twenty gerah: twenty shekels by five
                 and twenty shekels by ten and five, shekel shall be
                 to your mina.

    The form of expression used to identify the number of shekels
    in both cases starts with the mention of 'twenty shekels'.


Scripture indicates there were some different shekel weights


Exod 30:13,24,25,26, Lev 5:15 27:3,25, Num 3:47, 3:50,
Num 7:13,19,25,31,37,48,49,55,61,67,73,79,85,86, 18:16,
Ezek 45:12.

This shekel is repeatedly identified as being the equivalent of
20 gerahs.

Exod 30:13, Lev 27:25, Num 3:47, 18:16, 45:12.


      Gen   23:16  And Abraham listened to Ephron and Abraham weighed
                   out the silver for Ephron which he had named in
                   the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred
                   shekels of silver, currency of the merchants
                   [literal = passing to the merchant].


      2 Sam 14:26  And when he cut the hair of his head - at the
                   end of every year he cut it because it was
                   heavy on him - when he cut it, he weighed
                   the hair of his head at two hundred shekels
                   according to the king's standard [literal
                   = stone/weight of the king].

The contrast between the following verses also suggest there was another
shekel weight.

       Exod  30:13  This is what everyone among those who are numbered
                    shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel
                    of the sanctuary ...
               :16  And you shall take the atonement money of the
                    children of Israel, and shall appoint it for
                    the service of the tabernacle of meeting, ...

       Neh   10:32  Also we made ordinances for ourselves, to exact
                    from ourselves yearly one-third of a shekel for
                    the service of the house of God.

[NB: The existence of the half shekel weight is well documented in Scripture,
     but the third shekel weight of Neh 10:32 is not. (It is possible that
     the word 'third' in Neh 10:32 does not relate to the weight to be given,
     but to the occasion in that year when the census weight was to be given
     (ie on the third festival of the year). ]

While there appears to be two different shekel weights the initial
portion of Ezek 45:12 "And the shekel twenty gerah ..." identifies that
the shekel of the sanctuary is being referenced.


In Ezek 45:12 the repeated mention of the numbers 'twenty' and 'five'
suggest the presence of a multiple shekel weight,

    Twenty shekels by five
    Twenty shekels by ten and five

What is not clear is whether there is,

   A) a twenty shekel weight, (and five(or fifteen) were required
      to make a mina)
   B) there existed both five and ten shekels weights, (and either
      twenty 5 shekel weights were required to make a mina or
      twenty 10 shekel weights plus twenty 5 shekel weights to
      comprise the other mina).

The actual existence of a multiple shekel weight is also suggested in
a literal rendering of Numbers 3:47.

In our bibles it reads,

       Num    3:47  you shall take five shekels for each one
                    individually, you shall take them in the
                    currency of the shekel of the sanctuary,
                    the shekel of twenty gerahs.

However, a more literal translation is as follows,

       Num    3:47  and you take five of five of shekels to
                    the skull in shekel of the sanctuary you
                    shall take, twenty gerah the shekel.

Notice, in the original Hebrew the repetition, "five of five of".
Translators not being able to understand the repetition have simply
left it out.

A literal rendering of the sum collected is,

       Num    3:50  From firstborn sons of Israel he took the silver
                    five and sixty and three of hundreds and thousand
                    in shekel of sanctuary.

The collection for 273 individuals (Num 3:46) resulted in 1,365 weights.
These weights being calculated based on the standard of the shekel of the
sanctuary. However, based on the repetition found in the Num 3:47 it
seems that these weights weighed the equivalent of five sanctuary shekels

The 100 weight mina could be described as being twenty weights each
being the equivalent to the weight of 5 shekels.

Having now reviewed the likely meaning of Ezekiel 45:12 we can consider
the teaching of this prophecy.


With this understanding it is now possible to derive the periods of time
being prophesied by the handwriting on the wall.


     - 100 shekels divided into gerahs(20 per shekel) = 2,000 gerahs

                               ie  2,000 years!


     - 300 shekels divided into gerahs(20 per shekel) = 6,000 gerahs

                               ie  6,000 years!

These periods would be counted backwards from the critical end-time
focus points of prophecy.

              ** 100 Shekels **                    ** 300 Shekels **

                                                       -  6,000 yrs  
                                                       |  (20x(10+5))
                                                       |  (Adam & Eve)
                           - 2.010 yrs                 |
    - 2,000 yrs            |  (NT Gospel               | 
    | (Gospel to           |   to Jews)                |
    |  Non-Jews)           |                           |
    |                and   |                           | 
    |                /or   |                           |
    |                      -  10 yrs                   |
    - 0 yrs                   (Great Trib)             -  0 yrs
      (Fall of                                           (Kingdom of God)

These periods of time, being predetermined warnings for Judaism and


Email contact
Bible Study Index page
Other Topics