The King’s Troubling Dream
1Now#Hebrew “And” in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2So the king said to call the magicians#Or “soothsayer-priests” and the conjurers#Or “enchanters” and the sorcerers and the astrologers#Literally “Chaldeans” to tell to the king his dreams. And they came in and they stood before#Literally “to the face of” the king. 3And the king said to them, “I have had a dream#Literally “A dream I have dreamed” and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”
4And the astrologers#Literally “Chaldeans” said to the king in Aramaic,#The text of Daniel is in Aramaic from this point on through Daniel chapter 7. Then the text resumes in Hebrew to the end of the book “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants and we will reveal the explanation.” 5The king answered and said to the astrologers,#Literally “Chaldeans” “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its explanation,#Or “interpretation” then you will be broken into pieces and your houses will be laid in ruins. 6But if you tell me the dream and its explanation, you will receive gifts and rewards#Aramaic “reward” and great honor from me. Therefore, tell me the dream and its explanation.”#Or “interpretation” 7They answered once more and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants and we will make the explanation known.” 8The king answered and said, “Certainly#Literally “From a certainty” I know that you are trying to gain time#Literally “the time you are gaining” because#Literally “all because of that” you have seen that this matter is firmly decreed by me,#Literally “that firm from me is the decree” 9for if you do not make the dream known to me, your verdict is fixed,#Literally “one is your verdict” and you have conspired to say a lying and deceitful word to me until the circumstances#Literally “time” will change. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can tell me its explanation.” 10The astrologers#Literally “Chaldeans” answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth that is able to reveal the word of the king; in fact,#Literally “all because that” no great and powerful king has ever asked a thing like this of any magician#Or “soothsayer-priest” or conjurer#Or “enchanter” or astrologer.#Literally “Chaldean” 11And the thing that the king is asking is too difficult and there is no one who#Literally “there is not another” can reveal it to the king except the gods whose dwelling is not with mortals.”#Literally “concerning their dwelling is not with flesh”
12Because of this the king became angry, and he became very much enraged, and he said that all the wise men of Babylon are to be destroyed. 13And the decree was issued, and the wise men were on the verge of being executed,#Literally “were in the process of being killed” and they searched for Daniel and his companions to be executed. 14Then Daniel responded prudently and discretely to Arioch, the commander of the imperial guard of the king, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15He asked#Literally “he answered” and said to Arioch, the royal official of the king, “Why#Literally “Over what” is the decree from the king so severe?” Then Arioch explained the matter#Or “situation” to Daniel. 16And Daniel went in and requested from the king that he would give him time, and he would tell the king#Literally “to tell/reveal to the king” the explanation.#Or “interpretation”
17Then Daniel went to his home, and he made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, his companions, 18and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven#Literally “from before the God of the heaven” concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions, along with the remainder of the wise men of Babylon, would not be killed.
19Then in a vision of the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel; then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20Daniel said:#Literally “answered and he said”
“Let his name, the name of God,#Aramaic “the God” be blessed throughout the ages,#Literally “from the age unto the age”
for the wisdom and the power are his.#Literally “of to him it is”
21And he changes the times and the seasons,
and he deposes kings and he sets up kings;
he gives wisdom#Aramaic “the wisdom” to wise men
and knowledge to men who know understanding.
22He reveals the deep and the hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.
23To you, O God of my ancestors,#Or “fathers”
I give thanks and I give praises,
for the wisdom and the power you gave to me,
and now you have made known to me
what we have asked from you,
for you have made known to us the matter of the king.”
Daniel Praises God and Interprets the King’s Dream
24Therefore#Literally “Now because this” Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed#Aramaic “has appointed” to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and thus he said to him: “You must not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me in before the king and I will give the explanation#Or “interpretation” to the king.”
25Then Arioch quickly#Literally “in haste” brought Daniel in before the king and thus he said to him: “I have found a man among the exiles#Literally “the children of exiles” of Judah#Aramaic “Jehud” who can relate#Literally “he will make known” the explanation#Or “interpretation” to the king. 26The king then asked#Literally “The king answered” and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its explanation?”#Or “interpretation” 27Daniel answered the king and said, “The mystery that the king asks, no wise men, conjurers,#Or “enchanters” magicians,#Or “soothsayer-priests” or diviners are able to make known to the king. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that will be at the end of days. This is your dream and the visions of your head on your bed.
29“As for you, king,#Aramaic “the king” your thoughts on your bed turned to#Literally “they went up” what it was that would be in the future,#Literally “after this” and the revealer of mysteries has made known to you what that would be. 30And as for me, it is not because of wisdom that is in me more than any other living person#Literally “all of living beings” that this mystery is revealed to me, but in order that#Literally “concerning the matter of” the explanation#Or “interpretation” may be made known to the king and you will understand#Literally “know” the thoughts of your mind.#Literally “heart”
31“You, O king, were looking and, look, there was one great statue. This statue was huge and its brilliance extraordinary, standing there before you, and its appearance was frightening.#Or “dreadful” 32The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet, part of them of iron and part of them of clay. 34You were looking on until#Literally “until that” a stone was chiseled out#Or “became loose”—that not by hands—and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and it broke them in pieces. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold all at once#Literally “like one” broke into pieces#Or “were crushed” and they became like chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away and any trace of them could not be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and it filled the whole earth.
36“This was the dream, and now we will tell its interpretation to the king. 37You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power and the might and the glory, 38and also human beings wherever they dwell,#Literally “and into all that dwell sons of humankind” the animals of the field and the birds#Aramaic “bird” of heaven#Or “the sky”—he has given into your hand and made you ruler over all of them—you are the head of gold. 39And after you another kingdom inferior to yours will arise, and another third kingdom of bronze that will rule over the whole earth. 40And a fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, and just as#Literally “all of because” iron crushes and smashes everything,#Literally “the whole thing” and as iron shatters all of these other metals, so it will crush and it will shatter these nations. 41And just as#Literally “And that” you saw the feet and the toes, partly potter’s clay#Literally “from them clay of the potter” and partly iron,#Literally “from them iron” it will be a divided kingdom; and some hardness#Literally “from the hardness” of the iron will be in it, just as#Literally “all of because that” you have seen the iron mixed with the wet clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so part of the kingdom will be strong and partly brittle.#Literally “and from it, it will be brittle” 43And in that you saw the iron was mixed with wet clay, so they will mix in marriage#Literally “mixing they will in the seed of man” and they will not cling to one another,#Literally “this one with that one” just as iron does not mix with clay. 44And in the day of those kings,#Literally “in their days of those kings” the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never#Literally “to forever not” be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be left for another nation,#Or “people” and it will bring an end to all these kingdoms, but it will stand forever.#Literally “to eternity” 45Inasmuch as#Literally “All of because that” you saw that a stone from the mountain was chiseled out#Or “became loose” but not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, thereby the great God made known to the king what will be in the future,#Literally “after this” and the dream is certain and its explanation trustworthy.”
The King’s Response to Daniel and His God
46Then the king, Nebuchadnezzar, fell on his face and he paid homage to Daniel; and he commanded them to offer a grain offering and incense offering to him. 47The king answered Daniel and said, “Truly#Literally “From truth that” your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings, and he reveals mysteries, for you are able to reveal this mystery.” 48Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49And Daniel made a request from the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the court of the king.