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ESV — Chronological: Day 258
258
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Daniel 1-3

Daniel Taken to Babylon

In the third year of athe reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of bthe vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to cthe land of Shinar, to the house of his god, dand placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, ehis chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family1 and of fthe nobility, youths without gblemish, of good appearance and hskillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to iteach them the literature and language of the jChaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of kthe food that the king ate, and of lthe wine that he drank. They were to be educated for mthree years, and at the end of that time they were to nstand before the king. Among these were oDaniel, pHananiah, pMishael, and pAzariah of the tribe of Judah. And ethe chief of the eunuchs qgave them names: rDaniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

Daniel's Faithfulness

But Daniel sresolved that he would not tdefile himself with kthe king's food, or with lthe wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to tdefile himself. uAnd God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for vten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat kthe king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate kthe king's food. 16 wSo the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them xvegetables.

17 As for these four youths, yGod gave them learning and zskill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had aunderstanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of bthe time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore cthey stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all dthe magicians and eenchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel fwas there until the first year of gKing Cyrus.

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,2 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 declared3 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,4 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.

Nebuchadnezzar's Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits5 and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on uthe plain of Dura, in vthe province of Babylon. 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. 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. And the herald yproclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O zpeoples, nations, and languages, 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. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately cbe cast into a burning fiery furnace.” 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

Therefore at that time certain dChaldeans ecame forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared6 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.7 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.8 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,9 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 aside10 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.

Footnotes

[1] 1:3 Hebrew of the seed of the kingdom
[2] 2:4 The text from this point to the end of chapter 7 is in Aramaic
[3] 2:15 Aramaic answered and said; also verse 26
[4] 2:43 Aramaic by the seed of men
[5] 3:1 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[6] 3:9 Aramaic answered and said; also verses 24, 26
[7] 3:15 Aramaic lacks well and good
[8] 3:17 Or If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand, O king.
[9] 3:21 The meaning of the Aramaic words rendered cloaks and tunics is uncertain; also verse 27
[10] 3:28 Aramaic and changed