The Handwriting on the Wall
5 eKing Belshazzar fmade a great feast for a thousand of his glords and drank wine in front of the thousand.
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.
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
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,
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
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;
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 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
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.”
Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat
8 In the third year of the reign of lKing Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, mafter that which appeared to me mat the first. 2 And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in nSusa the citadel, which is in the province of oElam. And pI saw in the vision, pand I was at the qUlai canal. 3 I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, ra ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw sthe ram charging westward and northward and southward. No tbeast ucould stand before him, vand there was no one who could rescue from his power. wHe did as he pleased and xbecame great.
5 As I was considering, behold, a ymale goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had ya conspicuous horn between his eyes. 6 He came to zthe ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, aand he ran at him in his powerful wrath. 7 I saw him come close to the ram, band he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. cAnd the ram had no power to stand before him, but he dcast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. 8 Then ythe goat ebecame exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four fconspicuous horns toward fthe four winds of heaven.
9 Out of one of them came ga little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward hthe south, toward the east, and toward ithe glorious land. 10 jIt grew great, keven to the host of heaven. And some of the host kand some1 of lthe stars it threw down to the ground and mtrampled on them. 11 nIt became great, even as great as othe Prince of the host. pAnd the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. 12 And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression,2 and it will throw truth to the ground, and qit will act and prosper. 13 Then I heard ra holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, s“For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, tthe transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” 14 And he said to me,3 “For 2,300 uevenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”
The Interpretation of the Vision
15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I vsought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having wthe appearance of a man. 16 xAnd I heard a man’s voice xbetween the banks of the yUlai, and it called, z“Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” 17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, aI was frightened band fell on my face. But he said to me, “Understand, cO son of man, that the vision is for dthe time of the end.”
18 And when he had spoken to me, eI fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But fhe touched me and made me stand up. 19 He said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of gthe indignation, for it refers to hthe appointed time of the end. 20 As for ithe ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of jMedia and Persia. 21 And kthe goat4 is the king of Greece. And kthe great horn between his eyes is lthe first king. 22 mAs for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his5 nation, nbut not with his power. 23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great—obut not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction pand shall succeed in what he does, qand destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 rBy his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind she shall become great. tWithout warning he shall destroy many. And he sshall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but uby no human hand. 26 The vision of vthe evenings and the mornings that has been told wis true, but xseal up the vision, yfor it refers to many days from now.”
27 And zI, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision aand did not understand it.
Daniel’s Prayer for His People
9 bIn the first year of cDarius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a dMede, who was made king over the realm of the eChaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to fthe word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by gprayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and hmade confession, saying, i“O Lord, the igreat and awesome God, who jkeeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 kwe have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly land rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 mWe have not listened to nyour servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to oour kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 To you, pO Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, qthose who are near and qthose who are far away, in rall the lands to which you have driven them, because of sthe treachery that they have committed against you. 8 To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because kwe have sinned against you. 9 tTo the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 mand have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by nhis servants the prophets. 11 uAll Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, vrefusing to obey your voice. wAnd the curse and oath xthat are written in the Law of yMoses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because kwe have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against zour rulers who ruled us,1 by abringing upon us a great calamity. bFor under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 xAs it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, cturning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. 14 dTherefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, efor the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and fwe have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt gwith a mighty hand, and hhave made a name for yourself, as at this day, iwe have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16 “O Lord, jaccording to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, kyour holy hill, lbecause for our sins, and for mthe iniquities of our fathers, nJerusalem and your people have become oa byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord,2 pmake your face to shine upon qyour sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 rO my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see sour desolations, and tthe city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. uDelay not, vfor your own sake, O my God, because tyour city and wyour people are called by your name.”
Gabriel Brings an Answer
20 xWhile I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for ythe holy hill of my God, 21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man zGabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, acame to me in swift flight at bthe time of the evening sacrifice. 22 cHe made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you dinsight and understanding. 23 eAt the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, fand I have come to tell it to you, for gyou are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word hand understand the vision.
The Seventy Weeks
24 i“Seventy weeks3 are decreed about your people and jyour holy city, to finish kthe transgression, to put an end to sin, land to atone for iniquity, mto bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and nto anoint a most holy place.4 25 oKnow therefore and understand that pfrom the going out of the word to restore and qbuild Jerusalem to the coming of an ranointed one, a sprince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again5 with squares and moat, tbut in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall ube cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come vshall destroy the city and the sanctuary. wIts6 end shall come with a flood, xand to the end there shall be war. yDesolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,7 and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. zAnd on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until athe decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”