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ESV — Daniel 2

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; hhis spirit was troubled, and ihis sleep left him. Then the king commanded that dthe magicians, ethe enchanters, the jsorcerers, and kthe Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and lstood before the king. And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and hmy spirit is troubled to know the dream.” Then kthe Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic,1 m“O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered and said to kthe Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be ntorn limb from limb, nand your ohouses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, pyou shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. qTherefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to rgain time, because you see that the word from me is firm—if you do not make the dream known to me, sthere is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till tthe times change. uTherefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” 10 vThe Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king's demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or vChaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except wthe gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 Because of this the king was angry and xvery furious, and ycommanded that all zthe wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought aDaniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to bArioch, the ccaptain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared2 to Arioch, the king's captain, “Why is the decree of the king dso urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to eHananiah, eMishael, and eAzariah, his companions, 18 fand told them to seek mercy from the gGod of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not hbe destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in ia vision of the night. Then Daniel jblessed the gGod of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

k“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,

lto whom belong wisdom and might.

21  mHe changes times and seasons;

nhe removes kings and sets up kings;

ohe gives wisdom to the wise

oand knowledge to those who have understanding;

22  phe reveals deep and hidden things;

phe knows what is in the darkness,

qand the light dwells with him.

23  To you, O rGod of my fathers,

sI give thanks and praise,

for tyou have given me wisdom and might,

and have now made known to me what uwe asked of you,

for you have made known to us the king's matter.”

24 Therefore Daniel went in to vArioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”

25 Then vArioch brought in Daniel before the king win haste and said thus to him: “I have found xamong the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” 26 The king declared to Daniel, ywhose name was Belteshazzar, z“Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, aenchanters, amagicians, or bastrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but cthere is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar dwhat will be in the latter days. Your dream and ethe visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: 29 To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, fand he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. 30 But gas for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that hyou may know the thoughts of your mind.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 iThe head of this image was of fine gold, jits chest and arms of silver, its middle and jthighs of bronze, 33 kits legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out lby no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and mbroke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became nlike the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that onot a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became pa great mountain qand filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, rthe king of kings, to whom sthe God of heaven thas given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, uthe beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are vthe head of gold. 39 wAnother kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom vof bronze, xwhich shall rule over all the earth. 40 And ythere shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron zbreaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall zbreak and crush all these. 41 And as you saw athe feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the yfirmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage,3 but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings bthe God of heaven will set up ca kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. dIt shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and cit shall stand forever, 45 just as eyou saw that fa stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that dit broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A ggreat God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

Daniel Is Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar hfell upon his face and ipaid homage to Daniel, and commanded that jan offering and kincense be offered up to him. 47 The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your lGod is God of gods and mLord of kings, and na revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great ogifts, and made him ruler over the whole pprovince of Babylon and qchief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he rappointed sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of pthe province of Babylon. But Daniel tremained at the king's court.

Footnotes

[1] 2:4 The text from this point to the end of chapter 7 is in Aramaic
[2] 2:15 Aramaic answered and said; also verse 26
[3] 2:43 Aramaic by the seed of men