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.
The Handwriting on the Wall
2 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. 3 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. 4 They drank wine and ipraised the jgods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
5 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. 6 nThen the king’s color changed, oand his thoughts alarmed him; phis limbs gave way, and qhis knees knocked together. 7 rThe king called loudly to bring in rthe enchanters, the sChaldeans, and tthe astrologers. The king declared2 to the wise men of Babylon, u“Whoever 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.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but wthey could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. 9 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, z“O 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 father—your father the king—dmade 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, q“Let 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.
Daniel and the Lions’ Den
6 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom q120 rsatraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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.”
6 Then these shigh officials and rsatraps came by agreement1 to the king and said to him, “O yKing Darius, live forever! 7 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. 8 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.” 9 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, k“Daniel, 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 declared2 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, x“O 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 lions—they, 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: f“Peace 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,
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
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.”