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Daniel 2-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him, and sleep deserted him. So the king gave orders to summon the diviner-priests, mediums, sorcerers, and Chaldeans[a] to tell the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream and am anxious to understand it.”

The Chaldeans spoke to the king (Aramaic[b] begins here): “May the king live forever. Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

The 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,[c] and your houses will be made a garbage dump. But if you make the dream and its interpretation known to me, you’ll receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me. So make the dream and its interpretation known to me.”

They answered a second time, “May the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king replied, “I know for certain you are trying to gain some time, because you see that my word is final. If you don’t tell me the dream, there is one decree for you. 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.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king, “No one on earth can make known what the king requests. Consequently, no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked anything like this of any diviner-priest, medium, or Chaldean. 11 What 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.” 12 Because of this, the king became violently angry and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 The decree was issued that the wise men were to be executed, and they searched for Daniel and his friends, to execute them.

14 Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard,[d] who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15 He asked Arioch, the king’s officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh?”[e] Then Arioch explained the situation to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went and asked the king to give him some time, so that he could give the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter, 18 urging them to ask the God of heaven for mercy concerning this mystery, so Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the rest of Babylon’s wise men. 19 The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and declared:

May the name of God
be praised forever and ever,
for wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 He changes the times and seasons;
He removes kings and establishes kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those
who have understanding.
22 He reveals the deep and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him.
23 I offer thanks and praise to You,
God of my fathers,
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
the king’s mystery.[f]

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can let the king know the interpretation.”

26 The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?”

27 Daniel answered the king: “No wise man, medium, diviner-priest, or astrologer is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay in bed were these: 29 Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came to your mind about what will happen in the future.[g] The revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, 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.

The Dream’s Interpretation

31 “My king, as you were watching, a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, 33 its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay. 34 As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it,[h] struck the statue on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff 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 the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. 38 Wherever people live—or wild animals, or birds of the air—He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. 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. 40 A 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.[i] 41 You 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, 42 and 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. 43 You saw the iron mixed with clay—the peoples will mix with one another[j] but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay.

44 “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. 45 You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it,[k] and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future.[l] The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Response

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down, paid homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then 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. 49 At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to manage the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Gold Statue

King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue, 90 feet high and nine feet wide.[m] He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to assemble the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the rulers of the provinces to attend the dedication of the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the rulers of the provinces assembled for the dedication of the statue the king had set up. Then they stood before the statue Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

A herald loudly proclaimed, “People of every nation and language, you are commanded: When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither,[n] lyre,[o] harp, drum,[p] and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.”

Therefore, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, and every kind of music, people of every nation and language fell down and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

The Furnace of Blazing Fire

Some Chaldeans took this occasion to come forward and maliciously accuse[q] the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever. 10 You as king have issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music must fall down and worship the gold statue. 11 Whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are some Jews you have appointed to manage the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men have ignored you, the king; they do not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

13 Then in a furious rage Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to bring in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar asked them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t serve my gods or worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire—and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. 17 If the God we serve exists,[r] then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. 18 But even if He does not rescue us,[s] we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than was customary, 20 and he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 So these men, in their trousers, robes, head coverings,[t] and other clothes, were tied up and thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. 22 Since the king’s command was so urgent[u] and the furnace extremely hot, the raging flames[v] killed those men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego up. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.

Delivered from the Fire

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm. He said to his advisers, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the fire?”

“Yes, of course, Your Majesty,” they replied to the king.

25 He exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”[w]

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and called: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God—come out!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. 27 When the satraps, prefects, governors, and the king’s advisers gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on[x] the bodies of these men: not a hair of their heads was singed, their robes were unaffected, and there was no smell of fire on them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel[y] and rescued His servants who trusted in Him. They violated the king’s command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I issue a decree that anyone of any people, nation, or language who says anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb and his house made a garbage dump. For there is no other god who is able to deliver like this.” 30 Then the king rewarded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 2:2 In this chap. Chaldeans are influential Babylonian wise men.
  2. Daniel 2:4 Dn 2:4–7:28 is written in Aram.
  3. Daniel 2:5 Lit be made into limbs
  4. Daniel 2:14 Or executioners
  5. Daniel 2:15 Or urgent
  6. Daniel 2:23 Lit matter
  7. Daniel 2:29 Lit happen after this
  8. Daniel 2:34 Lit off not by hands
  9. Daniel 2:40 Lit all these
  10. Daniel 2:43 Lit another in the seed of men
  11. Daniel 2:45 Lit mountain, not by hands
  12. Daniel 2:45 Lit happen after this
  13. Daniel 3:1 Lit statue, its height 60 cubits, its width six cubits
  14. Daniel 3:5 Or lyre
  15. Daniel 3:5 Or sambuke
  16. Daniel 3:5 Or pipe
  17. Daniel 3:8 Lit and eat the pieces of
  18. Daniel 3:17 They do not doubt God’s existence as 3:18 shows. The “if” is part of an argument used to defend their refusal to serve Babylonian gods.
  19. Daniel 3:18 Lit But if not
  20. Daniel 3:21 The identity of these articles of clothing is uncertain.
  21. Daniel 3:22 Or harsh
  22. Daniel 3:22 Lit the flame of the fire
  23. Daniel 3:25 Or of a divine being
  24. Daniel 3:27 Lit fire had not overcome
  25. Daniel 3:28 Or messenger

Jeremiah 7:1-8:3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

False Trust in the Temple

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord and there call out this word: Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who enter through these gates to worship the Lord.

“This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your deeds, and I will allow you to live in this place. Do not trust deceitful words, chanting: This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord. Instead, if you really change your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another,[a] if you no longer oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves, I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors long ago and forever. But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help.

“Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? 10 Then do you come and stand before Me in this house called by My name and say, ‘We are delivered, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts’? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen it.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

Shiloh As a Warning

12 “But return to My place that was at Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at first. See what I did to it because of the evil of My people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these things”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and because I have spoken to you time and time again[b] but you wouldn’t listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn’t answer, 14 what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that is called by My name—the house in which you trust—the place that I gave you and your ancestors. 15 I will drive you from My presence, just as I drove out all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.

Do Not Pray for Judah

16 “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg Me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Don’t you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven,[c] and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke Me to anger. 19 But are they really provoking Me?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Isn’t it they themselves being provoked to disgrace?”

20 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “Look, My anger—My burning wrath—is about to be poured out on this place, on man and beast, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched.”

Obedience Over Sacrifice

21 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves, 22 for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. 23 However, I did give them this command: Obey Me, and then I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must follow every way I command you so that it may go well with you. 24 Yet they didn’t listen or pay attention but followed their own advice and according to their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent all My servants the prophets to you time and time again.[d] 26 However, they wouldn’t listen to Me or pay attention but became obstinate;[e] they did more evil than their ancestors.

A Lament for Disobedient Judah

27 “When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 You must therefore declare to them: This is the nation that would not listen to the voice of the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth[f] has perished—it has disappeared from their mouths. 29 Cut off the hair of your sacred vow[g] and throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned the generation under His wrath.

30 “For the Judeans have done what is evil in My sight.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “They have set up their detestable things in the house that is called by My name and defiled it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth[h] in the Valley of Hinnom[i] in order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, a thing I did not command; I never entertained the thought.[j]

32 “Therefore, take note! Days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when this place will no longer be called Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. Topheth will become a cemetery,[k] because there will be no other burial place. 33 The corpses of these people will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away. 34 I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the groom and the bride, for the land will become a desolate waste.

Death over Life

“At that time”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves. They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly host, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the surface of the soil. Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.” This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 7:5 Lit justly between a man and his neighbor
  2. Jeremiah 7:13 Lit you rising early and speaking
  3. Jeremiah 7:18 = a pagan goddess
  4. Jeremiah 7:25 Lit you, each day rising early and sending
  5. Jeremiah 7:26 Lit but stiffened their neck
  6. Jeremiah 7:28 Or Faithfulness
  7. Jeremiah 7:29 Lit off your consecration
  8. Jeremiah 7:31 Lit of the fireplace
  9. Jeremiah 7:31 A valley south of Jerusalem
  10. Jeremiah 7:31 Lit command, and it did not arise on My heart
  11. Jeremiah 7:32 Lit They will bury in Topheth

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