This verse describes a rather funny scene where the king's "loins were loosed", which suggests he was losing control of his bodily functions, and "his knees smote one against another" which is to say his knees were knocking. This was because the king was scared of the "writing on the wall" that appeared at Belshazzar's feast.

To get what Daniel 5:6 means in detail, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”

Medium popularity: 70 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Daniel chapter 5 using average monthly Google searches.

Daniel 5:6 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
Then אֱדַ֤יִן Then (of time) Then
the king's מַלְכָּא֙ A king kings
countenance זִיוֺ֣הִי (figuratively) cheerfulness countenance
was changed, שְׁנ֔וֹהִי To alter changed
and his thoughts וְרַעיֹנֹ֖הִי A grasp. i.e., (figuratively) mental conception thoughts
troubled יְבַהֲלוּנֵּ֑הּ To terrify, hasten troubled
him, so that the joints וְקִטְרֵ֤י A knot (as tied up), i.e., (figuratively) a riddle; also a vertebra (as if a knot) joints
of his loins חַרְצֵהּ֙ The loin (as the seat of strength) loins
were loosed, מִשְׁתָּרַ֔יִן To free, separate; figuratively, to unravel, commence; by implication (of unloading beasts) to reside loosed
and his knees וְאַ֨רְכֻבָּתֵ֔הּ The knee knees
smote נָֽקְשָֽׁן׃ To knock smote
one דָּ֥א This one
against another. לְדָ֖א This against another

Verse Context

See Daniel 5:6 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 4  They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

  • 5  In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

  • 6  Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

  • 7  The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

  • 8  Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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