Daniel 2–3; Jeremiah 7–8:3

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; hhis spirit was troubled, and ihis sleep left him. Then the king commanded that dthe magicians, ethe enchanters, the jsorcerers, and kthe Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and lstood before the king. And the king said to them, I had a dream, and hmy spirit is troubled to know the dream. Then kthe Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic,1 mO king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation. The king answered and said to kthe Chaldeans, The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be ntorn limb from limb, nand your ohouses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, pyou shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. qTherefore show me the dream and its interpretation. They answered a second time and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation. The king answered and said, I know with certainty that you are trying to rgain time, because you see that the word from me is firm if you do not make the dream known to me, sthere is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till tthe times change. uTherefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation. 10 vThe Chaldeans answered the king and said, There is not a man on earth who can meet the king's demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or vChaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except wthe gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

12 Because of this the king was angry and xvery furious, and ycommanded that all zthe wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought aDaniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to bArioch, the ccaptain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared2 to Arioch, the king's captain, Why is the decree of the king dso urgent? Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to eHananiah, eMishael, and eAzariah, his companions, 18 fand told them to seek mercy from the gGod of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not hbe destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in ia vision of the night. Then Daniel jblessed the gGod of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

kBlessed be the name of God forever and ever,

lto whom belong wisdom and might.

21  mHe changes times and seasons;

nhe removes kings and sets up kings;

ohe gives wisdom to the wise

oand knowledge to those who have understanding;

22  phe reveals deep and hidden things;

phe knows what is in the darkness,

qand the light dwells with him.

23  To you, O rGod of my fathers,

sI give thanks and praise,

for tyou have given me wisdom and might,

and have now made known to me what uwe asked of you,

for you have made known to us the king's matter.

24 Therefore Daniel went in to vArioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.

25 Then vArioch brought in Daniel before the king win haste and said thus to him: I have found xamong the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation. 26 The king declared to Daniel, ywhose name was Belteshazzar, zAre you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation? 27 Daniel answered the king and said, No wise men, aenchanters, amagicians, or bastrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but cthere is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar dwhat will be in the latter days. Your dream and ethe visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: 29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, fand he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. 30 But gas for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that hyou may know the thoughts of your mind.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

31 You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 iThe head of this image was of fine gold, jits chest and arms of silver, its middle and jthighs of bronze, 33 kits legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out lby no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and mbroke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became nlike the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that onot a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became pa great mountain qand filled the whole earth.

36 This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, rthe king of kings, to whom sthe God of heaven thas given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, uthe beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them allyou are vthe head of gold. 39 wAnother kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom vof bronze, xwhich shall rule over all the earth. 40 And ythere shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron zbreaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall zbreak and crush all these. 41 And as you saw athe feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the yfirmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage,3 but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings bthe God of heaven will set up ca kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. dIt shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and cit shall stand forever, 45 just as eyou saw that fa stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that dit broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A ggreat God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.

Daniel Is Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar hfell upon his face and ipaid homage to Daniel, and commanded that jan offering and kincense be offered up to him. 47 The king answered and said to Daniel, Truly, your lGod is God of gods and mLord of kings, and na revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery. 48 Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great ogifts, and made him ruler over the whole pprovince of Babylon and qchief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he rappointed sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of pthe province of Babylon. But Daniel tremained at the king's court.

Nebuchadnezzar's Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits4 and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on uthe plain of Dura, in vthe province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather wthe satraps, the prefects, and xthe governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then wthe satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald yproclaimed aloud, You are commanded, O zpeoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the asound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you bare to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately cbe cast into a burning fiery furnace. Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all zthe peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

The Fiery Furnace

Therefore at that time certain dChaldeans ecame forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared5 to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, fhave made a decree, that every man who ghears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, gshall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship cshall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have happointed over the affairs of vthe province of Babylon: iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, jpay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar kin furious rage commanded that iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when lyou hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.6 But if you do not worship, cyou shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And mwho is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?

16 iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, nour God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.7 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was ofilled with fury, and the expression of his face pwas changed against iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army qto bind iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were qbound in their cloaks, their tunics,8 their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king's order was rurgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell qbound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was tastonished and rose up uin haste. He declared to his vcounselors, Did we not cast three men wbound into the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, But I see four men unbound, xwalking in the midst of the fire, and they yare not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like za son of the gods.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the aMost High God, come out, and come here! Then sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the bsatraps, the prefects, the governors, and vthe king's counselors gathered together and saw that cthe fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their dcloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, Blessed be the God of sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who ehas sent his angel and fdelivered his servants, who gtrusted in him, and set aside9 the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than hserve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore iI make a decree: Any jpeople, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego kshall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way. 30 Then the king promoted sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in lthe province of Babylon.


Evil in the Land

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: jStand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: kAmend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. lDo not trust in these deceptive words: This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.

For if you truly mamend your ways and your deeds, if you truly nexecute justice one with another, if you ndo not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, mor shed innocent blood in this place, oand if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, pthen I will let you dwell in this place, qin the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. rWill you steal, murder, commit adultery, sswear falsely, tmake offerings to Baal, oand go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, uwhich is called by my name, and say, We are delivered!only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 vHas this house, uwhich is called by my name, wbecome a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. 12 Go now to xmy place that was in Shiloh, ywhere I made my name dwell at first, and zsee what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and awhen I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and bwhen I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to cthe house uthat is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, zas I did to Shiloh. 15 cAnd I will cast you out of my sight, das I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of eEphraim.

16 As for you, fdo not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, gand the women knead dough, to hmake cakes for ithe queen of heaven. And jthey pour out drink offerings to other gods, kto provoke me to anger. 19 lIs it I whom they provoke? declares the Lord. Is it not themselves, mto their own shame? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, nmy anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; oit will burn and not be quenched.

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: pAdd your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them qconcerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them: rObey my voice, and sI will be your God, and you shall be my people. tAnd walk in all the way that I command you, uthat it may be well with you. 24 vBut they did not obey or incline their ear, wbut walked in their own counsels and xthe stubbornness of their evil hearts, and ywent backward and not forward. 25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, zI have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. 26 vYet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, abut stiffened their neck. bThey did worse than their fathers.

27 cSo you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. dYou shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 And you shall say to them, This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; etruth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

29  fCut off your hair and cast it away;

raise a lamentation on gthe bare heights,

for the Lord has rejected and forsaken

the generation of his wrath.

The Valley of Slaughter

30 For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set htheir detestable things in the house ithat is called by my name, to hdefile it. 31 And they have built the high places of jTopheth, which is in kthe Valley of the Son of Hinnom, lto burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, mwhich I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 nTherefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called jTopheth, or kthe Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; ofor they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. 33 pAnd the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, qand none will frighten them away. 34 rAnd I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, sfor the land shall become a waste.

At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs. And they shall be spread tbefore the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have gone after, and which they have sought and worshiped. uAnd they shall not be gathered or buried. vThey shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. wDeath shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family xin all the places where I have driven them, declares the Lord of hosts.