1In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams#Gn 40:5–8; Dn 4:5; 5:9 that troubled him, and sleep deserted him.#Gn 41:1,8; Est 6:1; Dn 6:18 2So the king gave orders to summon the magicians, mediums, sorcerers, and Chaldeans#2:2 In this chap. Chaldeans are influential Babylonian wise men.#Dt 18:10,11; 2Ch 33:6; Is 47:9,12 to tell the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, 3he said to them, “I have had a dream and am anxious to understand it.”
4The Chaldeans spoke to the king (Aramaic#2:4 Dn 2:4–7:28 is written in Aramaic.#Ezr 4:7; Is 36:11 begins here): “May the king live forever.#1Kg 1:31; Dn 3:9; 5:10; 6:6,21 Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”
5The king replied to the Chaldeans, “My word is final: If you don’t tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb,#2:5 Lit be made into limbs and your houses will be made a garbage dump.#Ezr 6:11; Dn 3:29 6But if you make the dream and its interpretation known to me, you’ll receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me.#Dn 5:7,16 So make the dream and its interpretation known to me.”
7They answered a second time, “May the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will make known the interpretation.”
8The king replied, “I know for certain you are trying to gain some time, because you see that my word is final. 9If you don’t tell me the dream, there is one decree for you.#Is 41:23 You have conspired to tell me something false or fraudulent until the situation changes. So tell me the dream and I will know you can give me its interpretation.”
10The Chaldeans answered the king, “No one on earth can make known what the king requests.#Dn 5:11–16 Consequently, no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked anything like this of any magician, medium, or Chaldean. 11What the king is asking is so difficult that no one can make it known to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.”#Ex 29:45; Is 57:15 12Because of this, the king became violently angry#Ps 76:10; Dn 2:24; 3:13,19 and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13The decree was issued that the wise men were to be executed, and they searched for Daniel and his friends, to execute them.
14Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard,#2:14 Or executioners#Gn 37:36 who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15He asked Arioch, the king’s officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh?” #2:15 Or urgent#Dn 3:22 Then Arioch explained the situation to Daniel. 16So Daniel went and asked the king to give him some time, so that he could give the king the interpretation.
17Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter, 18urging them to ask the God of the heavens#Mt 18:19 for mercy#Jr 33:3 concerning this mystery, so Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of Babylon’s wise men.#Mal 3:18 19The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision#Nm 12:6; Jb 33:15–16; Am 3:7 at night, and Daniel praised the God of the heavens 20and declared:
May the name of God
be praised forever and ever,#1Ch 29:10; Ps 72:18; Lk 1:68
for wisdom#Jb 12:13; Is 28:29 and power belong to him.
21He changes the times and seasons;
he removes kings and establishes kings.#1Ch 29:11–12; Dn 4:17; Rm 13:1
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those
who have understanding.#Jb 12:16–22
22He reveals the deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,#Jb 12:22; Ps 139:12; Jr 23:24; Am 4:13; Heb 4:13
and light dwells with him.#Jn 1:4–5; 1Tm 6:16; Jms 1:17; 1Jn 1:5
23I offer thanks and praise to you,
God of my ancestors,#Gn 31:42; Ex 3:15; Dt 26:7; 1Ch 12:17; 29:18
because you have given me
wisdom and power.
And now you have let me know
what we asked of you,
for you have let us know#Dn 1:17–18
the king’s mystery.#2:23 Lit matter
24Therefore Daniel went to Arioch,#Dn 2:14–15 whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, “Don’t destroy the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.”#Ac 27:24
25Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the Judean exiles#Ezr 4:1; 6:16,19–20; 10:7,16; Dn 5:13 who can let the king know the interpretation.”
26The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar,#Dn 1:7; 5:12 “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?” #Dn 5:16
27Daniel answered the king, “No wise man, medium, magician, or diviner#Dn 1:20; 4:7; 5:7,11 is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days.#Is 2:2; Dn 10:14; Hs 3:5; Mc 4:1 Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay in bed#Dn 4:5; 7:15 were these: 29Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came to your mind about what will happen in the future.#2:29 Lit happen after this, also in v. 45#Rv 1:1 The revealer of mysteries#Jb 12:20–22; Dn 2:45 has let you know what will happen. 30As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me,#Eph 3:3 not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.#Gn 41:16; Ec 3:18; Am 4:13; Ac 3:12
The Dream’s Interpretation
31“Your Majesty, as you were watching, suddenly a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, 33its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay. 34As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it,#2:34 Lit off not by hands#Jb 34:20; Lm 4:6; Dn 8:25; 2Co 5:1 struck the statue#Mt 21:44; Lk 20:18 on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them.#Ps 2:9; Is 60:12 35Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff#Ps 1:4; Is 17:13; 41:15–16; Hs 13:3 from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled#Is 2:2; Mc 4:1 the whole earth.
36“This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37Your Majesty, you are king of kings.#Is 47:5; Jr 27:6–7; Ezk 26:7 The God of the heavens has given you sovereignty, power,#Pr 8:15 strength, and glory. 38Wherever people live — or wild animals, or birds of the sky — he has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all.#Ps 50:10; Jr 27:6; 28:14; Dn 4:21 You are the head of gold.
39“After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth.#Dn 5:28,31; 7:6 40A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others.#2:40 Lit all these#Dn 7:7,23 41You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron — it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, 42and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay — part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. 43You saw the iron mixed with clay — the peoples will mix with one another#2:43 Lit another in the seed of men but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay.
44“In the days of those kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed,#Ps 145:13; Ezk 37:25; Dn 4:3; 6:26; 7:14; Lk 1:33 and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms#Ps 2:9; Mt 21:44 and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. 45You saw a stone#Is 28:16 break off from the mountain without a hand touching it,#2:45 Lit mountain, not by hands#Dn 2:34 and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future.#Jr 32:18–19; Dn 2:29; Mal 1:11 The dream is certain, and its interpretation reliable.”
46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell facedown, worshiped Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him.#Mt 8:2; Ac 10:25; 14:13; Rv 19:10; 22:8 47The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings,#Dt 10:17; Ps 136:2–3; 1Tm 6:15; Rv 17:14; 19:16 and a revealer of mysteries,#Am 3:7 since you were able to reveal this mystery.” 48Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.#Gn 41:41; Dn 3:1,12,30 49At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego#Dn 1:17; 3:12 to manage the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.#Est 2:19,21; Am 5:15