Daniel 5–7; Revelation 7

The Handwriting on the Wall

eKing Belshazzar fmade a great feast for a thousand of his glords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

eBelshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that hthe vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father1 had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in hthe golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and ipraised the jgods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

kImmediately lthe fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw mthe hand as it wrote. nThen the king's color changed, oand his thoughts alarmed him; phis limbs gave way, and qhis knees knocked together. rThe king called loudly to bring in rthe enchanters, the sChaldeans, and tthe astrologers. The king declared2 to the wise men of Babylon, uWhoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and vshall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then all the king's wise men came in, but wthey could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. Then King Belshazzar was greatly xalarmed, and his ncolor changed, and his ylords were perplexed.

10 The queen,3 because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, zO king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you aor your color change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom bin whom is the spirit of the holy gods.4 In the days of your father, clight and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your fatheryour father the kingdmade him chief of the magicians, renchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 12 ebecause an excellent spirit, knowledge, and funderstanding fto interpret dreams, explain riddles, and gsolve problems were found in this Daniel, hwhom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.

Daniel Interprets the Handwriting

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, You are that Daniel, one of ithe exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. 14 I have heard of you that bthe spirit of the gods5 is in you, and that clight and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now jthe wise men, the kenchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but lthey could not show the interpretation of the matter. 16 mBut I have heard that you can give interpretations and nsolve problems. oNow if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, oyou shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and pshall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, qLet your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the rMost High God sgave tNebuchadnezzar your father ukingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, vall peoples, nations, and languages wtrembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But xwhen his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, yhe was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 zHe was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, zuntil he knew that the rMost High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son,6 aBelshazzar, bhave not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against cthe Lord of heaven. And dthe vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. eAnd you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, fbut the God in whose hand is your breath, and gwhose are all your ways, hyou have not honored.

24 Then from his presence ithe hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered7 the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 Tekel, jyou have been weighed8 in the balances and found wanting; 28 Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to kthe Medes and lPersians.9

29 Then aBelshazzar gave the command, and Daniel mwas clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 nThat very night aBelshazzar the oChaldean king was killed. 31 10 And pDarius kthe Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Daniel and the Lions' Den

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom q120 rsatraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them sthree high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these rsatraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became tdistinguished above all sthe other high officials and rsatraps, because uan excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned vto set him over the whole kingdom. Then sthe high officials and rthe satraps wsought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, xbut they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, xand no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.

Then these shigh officials and rsatraps came by agreement11 to the king and said to him, O yKing Darius, live forever! All the shigh officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the zcounselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an ainjunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish athe injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to bthe law of cthe Medes and the Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked. Therefore King Darius signed the document and ainjunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where ehe had windows in his upper chamber open ftoward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees gthree times a day and prayed and hgave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they icame near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, O king! Did you not sign jan injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing stands fast, according to the law of cthe Medes and Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked. 13 Then they answered and said before the king, kDaniel, who is one lof the exiles kfrom Judah, mpays no attention to you, O king, or jthe injunction you have signed, but makes his petition gthree times a day.

14 Then nthe king, when he heard these words, nwas much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no jinjunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared12 to Daniel, May oyour God, whom you serve continually, deliver you! 17 pAnd a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, qand the king sealed it rwith his own signet and with the signet of his slords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; tno diversions were brought to him, and usleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of vthe living God, ohas your God, whom you serve continually, wbeen able to deliver you from the lions? 21 Then Daniel said to the king, xO king, live forever! 22 My God ysent his angel zand shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless abefore him; aand also before you, O king, I have done no harm. 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and bno kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and cthose men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lionsthey, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all dthe peoples, nations, and languages ethat dwell in all the earth: fPeace be multiplied to you. 26 gI make a decree, that in all my royal dominion hpeople are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

for ihe is jthe living God,

enduring forever;

his kingdom shall never be destroyed,

jand his dominion shall be kto the end.

27  He delivers and rescues;

he works lsigns and wonders

in heaven and on earth,

he who has msaved Daniel

from the power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and nthe reign of oCyrus the Persian.

Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year of pBelshazzar king of Babylon, qDaniel saw a dream and rvisions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared,13 I saw in my vision by night, and behold, sthe four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts tcame up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, uanother beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I looked, and behold, another, like a vleopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and wdominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, xterrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; xit devoured and broke in pieces xand stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and yit had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, zthere came up among them another horn, a little one, zbefore which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and aa mouth speaking great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

As I looked,

bthrones were placed,

and the cAncient of Days took his seat;

dhis clothing was white as snow,

and ethe hair of his head like pure wool;

his throne was fiery flames;

fits wheels were burning fire.

10  gA stream of fire issued

and came out from before him;

ha thousand thousands iserved him,

hand ten thousand times ten thousand jstood before him;

the kcourt sat in judgment,

and lthe books were opened.

11 I looked then because of the sound of athe great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, mthe beast was killed, and its body destroyed mand given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, ntheir dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13 I saw in the night visions,

and obehold, with the clouds of heaven

there came one like a son of man,

and he came to the cAncient of Days

and was presented before him.

14  pAnd to him was given dominion

and glory and a kingdom,

that all qpeoples, nations, and languages

should serve him;

rhis dominion is an everlasting dominion,

which shall not pass away,

and his kingdom one

that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel's Vision Interpreted

15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me14 was anxious, and sthe visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 tThese four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But uthe saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.

19 Then I desired to know the truth about vthe fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 wand about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn xmade war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the yAncient of Days came, and ujudgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when uthe saints possessed the kingdom.

23 Thus he said: As for vthe fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,

which shall be different from all the kingdoms,

and it shall devour the whole earth,

and trample it down, and break it to pieces.

24  As for the ten horns,

out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,

and another shall arise after them;

he shall be different from the former ones,

and shall put down three kings.

25  zHe shall speak words against the Most High,

and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,

and shall think to achange the times and the law;

and they shall be given into his hand

for ba time, times, and half a time.

26  cBut the court shall sit in judgment,

and dhis dominion shall be taken away,

to be consumed and destroyed eto the end.

27  fAnd the kingdom and the dominion

and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven

shall be given to the people of fthe saints of the Most High;

ghis kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,

and all dominions shall serve and obey him.15

28 Here is the end of the matter. hAs for me, Daniel, my ithoughts greatly alarmed me, jand my color changed, but kI kept the matter in my heart.


The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back uthe four winds of the earth, vthat no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending wfrom the rising of the sun, with xthe seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, yDo not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God zon their foreheads. And aI heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,

12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,

12,000 from the tribe of Gad,

12,000 from the tribe of Asher,

12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,

12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,

12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,

12,000 from the tribe of Levi,

12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,

12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,

12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,

12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

A Great Multitude from Every Nation

After this I looked, and behold, ba great multitude that no one could number, cfrom every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dclothed in white robes, with epalm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, fSalvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and gthe four living creatures, and they hfell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 isaying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, Who are these, dclothed in white robes, and from where have they come? 14 I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are the ones coming out of jthe great tribulation. kThey have washed their robes and lmade them white min the blood of the Lamb.

15  Therefore they are before the throne of God,

and nserve him day and night in his temple;

and he who sits on the throne owill shelter them with his presence.

16  pThey shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;

qthe sun shall not strike them,

nor any scorching heat.

17  For the Lamb in the midst of the throne rwill be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of sliving water,

and tGod will wipe away every tear from their eyes.