Daniel Chapter 2 |
1In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream; his spirit was agitated, yet he was overcome by sleep. 2The king ordered the magicians, exorcists, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to be summoned in order to tell the king what he had dreamed. They came and stood before the king, 3and the king said to them, “I have had a dream and I am full of anxiety to know what I have dreamed.” 4The Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Relate the dream to your servants, and we will tell its meaning.” 5The king said in reply to the Chaldeans, “I hereby decree: If you will not make the dream and its meaning known to me, you shall be torn limb from limb and your houses confiscated. 6But if you tell the dream and its meaning, you shall receive from me gifts, presents, and great honor; therefore, tell me the dream and its meaning.” 7Once again they answered, “Let the king relate the dream to his servants, and we will tell its meaning.” 8The king said in reply, “It is clear to me that you are playing for time, since you see that I have decreed 9that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one verdict for you. You have conspired to tell me something false and fraudulent until circumstances change; so relate the dream to me, and I will then know that you can tell its meaning.” 10The Chaldeans said in reply to the king, “There is no one on earth who can satisfy the king’s demand, for great king or ruler—none has ever asked such a thing of any magician, exorcist, or Chaldean. 11The thing asked by the king is difficult; there is no one who can tell it to the king except the gods whose abode is not among mortals.” 12Whereupon the king flew into a violent rage, and gave an order to do away with all the wise men of Babylon.
13The decree condemning the wise men to death was issued. Daniel and his companions were about to be put to death 14when Daniel remonstrated with Arioch, the captain of the royal guard who had set out to put the wise men of Babylon to death. 15He spoke up and said to Arioch, the royal officer, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Thereupon Arioch informed Daniel of the matter. 16So Daniel went to ask the king for time, that he might tell the meaning to the king. 17Then Daniel went to his house and informed his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, of the matter, 18that they might implore the God of Heaven for help regarding this mystery, so that Daniel and his colleagues would not be put to death together with the other wise men of Babylon.
19The mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision; then Daniel blessed the God of Heaven.
20Daniel spoke up and said:
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power are His.
21He changes times and seasons,
Removes kings and installs kings;
He gives the wise their wisdom
And knowledge to those who know.
22He reveals deep and hidden things,
Knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
23I acknowledge and praise You,
O God of my fathers,
You who have given me wisdom and power,
For now You have let me know what we asked of You;
You have let us know what concerns the king.”
24Thereupon Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to do away with the wise men of Babylon; he came and said to him as follows, “Do not do away with the wise men of Babylon; bring me to the king and I will tell the king the meaning!” 25So Arioch rushed Daniel into the king’s presence and said to him, “I have found among the exiles of Judah a man who can make the meaning known to the king!” 26The king said in reply to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar), “Can you really make known to me the dream that I saw and its meaning?” 27Daniel answered the king and said, “The mystery about which the king has inquired—wise men, exorcists, magicians, and diviners cannot tell to the king. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what is to be at the end of days. This is your dream and the vision that entered your mind in bed: 29O king, the thoughts that came to your mind in your bed are about future events; He who reveals mysteries has let you know what is to happen. 30Not because my wisdom is greater than that of other creatures has this mystery been revealed to me, but in order that the meaning should be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.
31“O king, as you looked on, there appeared a great statue. This statue, which was huge and its brightness surpassing, stood before you, and its appearance was awesome. 32The head of that statue was of fine gold; its breast and arms were of silver; its belly and thighs, of bronze; 33its legs were of iron, and its feet part iron and part clay. 34As you looked on, a stone was hewn out, not by hands, and struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35All at once, the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were crushed, and became like chaff of the threshing floors of summer; a wind carried them off until no trace of them was left. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36“Such was the dream, and we will now tell the king its meaning. 37You, O king—king of kings, to whom the God of Heaven has given kingdom, power, might, and glory; 38into whose hands He has given men, wild beasts, and the fowl of heaven, wherever they may dwell; and to whom He has given dominion over them all—you are the head of gold. 39But another kingdom will arise after you, inferior to yours; then yet a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule over the whole earth. 40But the fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; just as iron crushes and shatters everything—and like iron that smashes—so will it crush and smash all these. 41You saw the feet and the toes, part potter’s clay and part iron; that means it will be a divided kingdom; it will have only some of the stability of iron, inasmuch as you saw iron mixed with common clay. 42And the toes were part iron and part clay; that [means] the kingdom will be in part strong and in part brittle. 43You saw iron mixed with common clay; that means: they shall intermingle with the offspring of men, but shall not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44And in the time of those kings, the God of Heaven will establish a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, a kingdom that shall not be transferred to another people. It will crush and wipe out all these kingdoms, but shall itself last forever— 45just as you saw how a stone was hewn from the mountain, not by hands, and crushed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God has made known to the king what will happen in the future. The dream is sure and its interpretation reliable.”
46Then King Nebuchadnezzar prostrated himself and paid homage to Daniel and ordered that a meal offering and pleasing offerings be made to him. 47The king said in reply to Daniel, “Truly your God must be the God of gods and Lord of kings and the revealer of mysteries to have enabled you to reveal this mystery.” 48The king then elevated Daniel and gave him very many gifts, and made him governor of the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect of all the wise men of Babylon. 49At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to administer the province of Babylon; while Daniel himself was at the king’s court.