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.
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.”
Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts
7 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. 2 Daniel declared,1 “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, sthe four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts tcame up out of the sea, different from one another. 4 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. 5 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.’ 6 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. 7 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. 8 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
9 “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;
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 me2 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 t‘These 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.’3