September 24
Daniel 1:1 — 2:49 


In the third year of the kingship of Jehoiakim the king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and proceeded to lay siege to it. 2 In time Jehovah gave into his hand Jehoiakim the king of Judah and a part of the utensils of the house of the [true] God, so that he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and the utensils he brought to the treasure-house of his god.

3 Then the king said to Ashpenaz his chief court official to bring some of the sons of Israel and of the royal offspring and of the nobles, 4 children in whom there was no defect at all, but good in appearance and having insight into all wisdom and being acquainted with knowledge, and having discernment of what is known, in whom also there was ability to stand in the palace of the king; and to teach them the writing and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 Furthermore, to them the king appointed a daily allowance from the delicacies of the king and from his drinking wine, even to nourish them for three years, that at the end of these they might stand before the king.

6 Now there happened to be among them some of the sons of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 And to them the principal court official went assigning names. So he assigned to Daniel [the name of] Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, Shadrach; and to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

8 But Daniel determined in his heart that he would not pollute himself with the delicacies of the king and with his drinking wine. And he kept requesting of the principal court official that he might not pollute himself. 9 Accordingly the [true] God gave Daniel over to loving-kindness and to mercy before the principal court official. 10 So the principal court official said to Daniel: “I am in fear of my lord the king, who has appointed YOUR food and YOUR drink. Why, then, should he see YOUR faces dejected-looking in comparison with the children who are of the same age as YOURS, and [why] should YOU have to make my head guilty to the king?” 11 But Daniel said to the guardian whom the principal court official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah: 12 “Please, put your servants to the test for ten days, and let them give us some vegetables that we may eat and water that we may drink; 13 and let our countenances and the countenance of the children who are eating the delicacies of the king appear before you, and according to what you see do with your servants.”

14 Finally he listened to them as regards this matter and put them to the test for ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the children who were eating the delicacies of the king. 16 So the guardian kept on taking away their delicacies and their drinking wine and giving them vegetables. 17 And as for these children, the four of them, to them the [true] God gave knowledge and insight in all writing and wisdom; and Daniel himself had understanding in all sorts of visions and dreams.

18 And at the end of the days that the king had said to bring them in, the principal court official also proceeded to bring them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king began to speak with them, and out of them all no one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; and they continued to stand before the king. 20 And as regards every matter of wisdom [and] understanding that the king inquired about from them, he even got to find them ten times better than all the magic-practicing priests [and] the conjurers that were in all his royal realm. 21 And Daniel continued on until the first year of Cyrus the king.

2 And in the second year of the kingship of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit began to feel agitated, and his very sleep was made to be something beyond him. 2 So the king said to call the magic-practicing priests and the conjurers and the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. And they proceeded to come in and to stand before the king. 3 Then the king said to them: “There is a dream that I have dreamed, and my spirit is agitated to know the dream.” 4 At that the Chaldeans spoke to the king in the Aramaic language: “O king, live on even for times indefinite. Say what the dream is to your servants, and we shall show the very interpretation.”

5 The king was answering and saying to the Chaldeans: “The word is being promulgated by me: If YOU men do not make the dream known to me, and its interpretation, dismembered is what YOU will be, and into public privies YOUR own houses will be turned. 6 But if the dream and its interpretation YOU will show, gifts and a present and much dignity YOU will receive on my part. Therefore show me the very dream and its interpretation.”

7 They answered a second time and were saying: “Let the king say what the dream is to his servants, and we shall show its very interpretation.”

8 The king was answering and saying: “For a fact, I am aware that time is what YOU men are trying to gain, forasmuch as YOU have perceived that the word is being promulgated by me. 9 For if YOU do not make known to me the very dream, this one and only sentence is upon YOU. But it is a lying and wrong word that YOU have agreed to say before me, until the time itself is changed. Therefore tell me the very dream, and I shall know that YOU can show the very interpretation of it.”

10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and they were saying: “There does not exist a man on the dry land that is able to show the matter of the king, forasmuch as no grand king or governor has asked such a thing as this of any magic-practicing priest or conjurer or Chaldean. 11 But the thing that the king himself is asking is difficult, and nobody else exists who can show it before the king except the gods, whose own dwelling does not exist with flesh at all.”

12 Because of this the king himself became angry and got very furious, and he said to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 And the order itself went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions, for them to be killed.

14 At that time Daniel, for his part, addressed himself with counsel and sensibleness to Arioch the chief of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He was answering and saying to Arioch the officer of the king: “For what reason is there such a harsh order on the part of the king?” Then it was that Arioch made known the matter itself to Daniel. 16 So Daniel himself went in and asked from the king that he should give him time expressly to show the very interpretation to the king.

17 After that Daniel went to his own house; and to Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah his companions he made known the matter, 18 even [for them] to ask for mercies on the part of the God of heaven concerning this secret, in order that they might not destroy Daniel and his companions with the remainder of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then it was that to Daniel in a night vision the secret was revealed. Consequently Daniel himself blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel was answering and saying: “Let the name of God become blessed from time indefinite even to time indefinite, for wisdom and mightiness—for they belong to him. 21 And he is changing times and seasons, removing kings and setting up kings, giving wisdom to the wise ones and knowledge to those knowing discernment. 22 He is revealing the deep things and the concealed things, knowing what is in the darkness; and with him the light does dwell. 23 To you, O God of my forefathers, I am giving praise and commendation, because wisdom and mightiness you have given to me. And now you have made known to me what we requested of you, for you have made known to us the very matter of the king.”

24 Because of this Daniel himself went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went, and this is what he said to him: “Do not destroy any wise men of Babylon. Take me in before the king, that I may show the interpretation itself to the king.”

25 Then it was that Arioch, in a hurry, took Daniel in before the king, and this is what he said to him: “I have found an able-bodied man of the exiles of Judah who can make known the interpretation itself to the king.” 26 The king was answering and saying to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar: “Are you competent enough to make known to me the dream that I beheld, and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel was answering before the king and saying: “The secret that the king himself is asking, the wise men, the conjurers, the magic-practicing priests [and] the astrologers themselves are unable to show to the king. 28 However, there exists a God in the heavens who is a Revealer of secrets, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what is to occur in the final part of the days. Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed—this it is:

29 “As for you, O king, on your bed your own thoughts came up as regards what is to occur after this, and the One who is the Revealer of secrets has made known to you what is to occur. 30 And as for me, it is not through any wisdom that exists in me more than in any others alive that this secret is revealed to me, except to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king himself and that the thoughts of your heart you may know.

31 “You, O king, happened to be beholding, and, look! a certain immense image. That image, which was large and the brightness of which was extraordinary, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was dreadful. 32 As regards that image, its head was of good gold, its breasts and its arms were of silver, its belly and its thighs were of copper, 33 its legs were of iron, its feet were partly of iron and partly of molded clay. 34 You kept on looking until a stone was cut out not by hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of molded clay and crushed them. 35 At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them. And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This is the dream, and its interpretation we shall say before the king. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, you to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the might, and the strength and the dignity, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever the sons of mankind are dwelling, the beasts of the field and the winged creatures of the heavens, and whom he has made ruler over all of them, you yourself are the head of gold.

39 “And after you there will rise another kingdom inferior to you; and another kingdom, a third one, of copper, that will rule over the whole earth.

40 “And as for the fourth kingdom, it will prove to be strong like iron. Forasmuch as iron is crushing and grinding everything else, so, like iron that shatters, it will crush and shatter even all these.

41 “And whereas you beheld the feet and the toes to be partly of molded clay of a potter and partly of iron, the kingdom itself will prove to be divided, but somewhat of the hardness of iron will prove to be in it, forasmuch as you beheld the iron mixed with moist clay. 42 And as for the toes of the feet being partly of iron and partly of molded clay, the kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will partly prove to be fragile. 43 Whereas you beheld iron mixed with moist clay, they will come to be mixed with the offspring of mankind; but they will not prove to be sticking together, this one to that one, just as iron is not mixing with molded clay.

44 “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite; 45 forasmuch as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and [that] it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold. The grand God himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this. And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.”

46 At that time King Nebuchadnezzar himself fell down upon his face, and to Daniel he paid homage, and he said to offer even a present and incense to him. 47 The king was answering Daniel and saying: “Truly the God of YOU men is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a Revealer of secrets, because you were able to reveal this secret.” 48 Consequently the king made Daniel someone great, and many big gifts he gave to him, and he made him the ruler over all the jurisdictional district of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel, for his part, made a request of the king, and he appointed over the administration of the jurisdictional district of Babylon Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but Daniel was in the court of the king.