Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Image
3 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits1 and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on uthe plain of Dura, in vthe province of Babylon. 2 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. 3 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. 4 And the herald yproclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O zpeoples, nations, and languages, 5 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. 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately cbe cast into a burning fiery furnace.” 7 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
8 Therefore at that time certain dChaldeans ecame forward and maliciously accused the Jews. 9 They declared2 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.3 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.4 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,5 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, s“Shadrach, 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 aside6 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.
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
4 1 King Nebuchadnezzar to all mpeoples, nations, and languages, nthat dwell in all the earth: oPeace be multiplied to you! 2 It has seemed good to me to show the psigns and wonders that the qMost High God has done for me.
3 How great are phis signs,
how mighty his pwonders!
rHis kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
rand his dominion endures from generation to generation.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream
4 2 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and sthe visions of my head alarmed me. 6 So tI made a decree that uall the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then vthe magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but wthey could not make known to me its interpretation. 8 At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named xBelteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is ythe spirit of the holy gods3—and I told him the dream, saying, 9 “O Belteshazzar, zchief of the magicians, because I know that ythe spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no amystery is too difficult for you, tell me sthe visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. 10 sThe visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and bbehold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 cThe tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 dIts leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. eThe beasts of the field found shade under it, and ethe birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.
13 “I saw in sthe visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, fa watcher, ga holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He hproclaimed aloud and said thus: i‘Chop down the tree and jlop off its branches, jstrip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. jLet the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; kand let seven periods of time lpass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of fthe watchers, the decision by the word of gthe holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High mrules the kingdom of men nand gives it to whom he will and osets over it the lowliest of men.’ 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O pBelteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because qall the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for rthe spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
Daniel Interprets the Second Dream
19 Then Daniel, whose name was pBelteshazzar, was sdismayed for a while, and this thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, umay the dream be for those who hate you uand its interpretation for your enemies! 20 vThe tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 wwhose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 22 xit is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. yYour greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, yand your dominion to the ends of the earth. 23 And because the king saw za watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, a‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till bseven periods of time pass over him,’ 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 cthat you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made dto eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and bseven periods of time shall pass over you, till eyou know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 26 And as it was commanded fto leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by gpracticing righteousness, hand your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, ithat there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, j“Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by kmy mighty power as a royal residence and for kthe glory of my majesty?” 31 lWhile the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 mand you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, muntil you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. mHe was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.
qfor his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and qhis kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 rall the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and she does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
tand none can stay his hand
or usay to him, “What have you done?”
36 At the same time vmy reason returned to me, and for wthe glory of my kingdom, wmy majesty and splendor returned to me. xMy counselors and ymy lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was zadded to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, apraise and extol and honor the bKing of heaven, cfor all his works are right and his ways are just; and dthose who walk in pride he is able to humble.