Daniel 4-5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Nebuchadnezzar’s Madness. 1 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, content and prosperous. 2 I had a terrifying dream as I lay in bed, and the images and my visions frightened me. 3 So I issued a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me to give the interpretation of the dream. 4 When the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and diviners had come in, I related the dream before them; but none of them could tell me its meaning. 5 Finally there came before me Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar after the name of my god,[a] and in whom is a spirit of the holy gods. I repeated the dream to him: 6 “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery is too difficult for you; this is the dream that I saw, tell me its meaning.
7 “These were the visions I saw while in bed: I saw a tree of great height at the center of the earth. 8 It was large and strong, with its top touching the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of the earth. 9 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, providing food for all. Under it the wild beasts found shade, in its branches the birds of the air nested; all flesh ate of it. 10 In the vision I saw while in bed, a holy watcher[b] came down from heaven 11 and cried aloud in these words:
‘Cut down the tree and lop off its branches,
15 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me its meaning. None of the wise men in my kingdom can tell me the meaning, but you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
16 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was appalled for a time, dismayed by his thoughts. “Belteshazzar,” the king said to him, “do not let the dream or its meaning dismay you.” “My lord,” Belteshazzar replied, “may this dream be for your enemies, and its meaning for your foes. 17 The tree that you saw, large and strong, its top touching the heavens, that could be seen by the whole earth, 18 its leaves beautiful, its fruit abundant, providing food for all, under which the wild beasts lived, and in whose branches the birds of the air dwelt— 19 you are that tree, O king, large and strong! Your majesty has become so great as to touch the heavens, and your rule reaches to the ends of the earth. 20 As for the king’s vision of a holy watcher, who came down from heaven and proclaimed: ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump in the earth. Bound with iron and bronze, let him be fed with the grass of the field, and bathed with the dew of heaven; let his lot be with wild beasts till seven years pass over him’— 21 here is its meaning, O king, here is the sentence that the Most High has passed upon my lord king: 22 You shall be cast out from human society and dwell with wild beasts; you shall be given grass to eat like an ox and be bathed with the dew of heaven; seven years shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High is sovereign over human kingship and gives it to whom he will. 23 The command that the stump of the tree is to be left means that your kingdom shall be preserved for you, once you have learned that heaven is sovereign. 24 Therefore, O king, may my advice be acceptable to you; atone for your sins by good deeds,[c] and for your misdeeds by kindness to the poor; then your contentment will be long lasting.”
25 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 26 Twelve months later, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon, 27 the king said, “Babylon the great! Was it not I, with my great strength, who built it as a royal residence for my splendor and majesty?” 28 While these words were still on the king’s lips, a voice spoke from heaven, “It has been decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar, that your kingship is taken from you! 29 You shall be cast out from human society, and shall dwell with wild beasts; you shall be given grass to eat like an ox, and seven years shall pass over you, until you learn that the Most High is sovereign over human kingship and gives it to whom he will.” 30 [d]At once this was fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar was cast out from human society, he ate grass like an ox, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle, and his nails like the claws of a bird.
31 When this period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes to heaven; my reason was restored to me, and I blessed the Most High, I praised and glorified the One who lives forever,
Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion,
33 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and my splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles sought me out; I was restored to my kingdom and became much greater than before. 34 Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, all of whose works are right and ways just; and who is able to humble those who walk in pride.
The Writing on the Wall. 1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles, with whom he drank. 2 Under the influence of the wine, he ordered the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father,[e] had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, to be brought in so that the king, his nobles, his consorts, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 When the gold vessels taken from the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, had been brought in, and while the king, his nobles, his consorts, and his concubines were drinking 4 wine from them, they praised their gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5 Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace. When the king saw the hand that wrote, 6 his face became pale; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked. 7 The king shouted for the enchanters, Chaldeans, and diviners to be brought in. “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means,” he said to the wise men of Babylon, “shall be clothed in purple, wear a chain of gold around his neck, and be third in governing the kingdom.” 8 But though all the king’s wise men came in, none of them could either read the writing or tell the king what it meant. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly terrified; his face became pale, and his nobles were thrown into confusion.
10 When the queen heard of the discussion between the king and his nobles, she entered the banquet hall and said, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts terrify you, or your face become so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; during the lifetime of your father he showed brilliant insight and god-like wisdom. King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and diviners. 12 Because this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has shown an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, and insight in interpreting dreams, explaining riddles and solving problems, let him now be summoned to tell you what this means.”
13 Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king. The king asked him, “Are you the Daniel, one of the Jewish exiles, whom my father, the king, brought from Judah? 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you, that you have shown brilliant insight and extraordinary wisdom. 15 The wise men and enchanters were brought in to me to read this writing and tell me its meaning, but they could not say what the words meant. 16 But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems; now, if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be clothed in purple, wear a chain of gold around your neck, and be third in governing the kingdom.”
17 Daniel answered the king: “You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else; but the writing I will read for the king, and tell what it means. 18 The Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar kingship, greatness, splendor, and majesty. 19 Because he made him so great, the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Whomever he willed, he would kill or let live; whomever he willed, he would exalt or humble. 20 But when his heart became proud and his spirit hardened by insolence, he was put down from his royal throne and deprived of his glory; 21 he was cast out from human society and his heart was made like that of a beast; he lived with wild asses, and ate grass like an ox; his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God is sovereign over human kingship and sets over it whom he will. 22 You, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; 23 you have rebelled against the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels of his temple brought before you, so that you and your nobles, your consorts and your concubines, might drink wine from them; and you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your very breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify. 24 By him was the hand sent, and the writing set down.
25 “This is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Tekel, and Peres.[f] These words mean: 26 [g]Mene, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it; 27 Tekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; 28 Peres, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29 Then by order of Belshazzar they clothed Daniel in purple, with a chain of gold around his neck, and proclaimed him third in governing the kingdom. 30 That very night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was slain:
Ben Sira 39:1-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
How different the person who devotes himself
4 He is in attendance on the great,
6 If it pleases the Lord Almighty,
9 Many will praise his understanding;
Praise of God the Creator[a]
12 Once more I will set forth my theme
16 The works of God are all of them good;
Revelation 11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
The Two Witnesses. 1 [a]Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff and I was told, “Come and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count those who are worshiping in it. 2 But exclude the outer court[b] of the temple; do not measure it, for it has been handed over to the Gentiles, who will trample the holy city for forty-two months. 3 I will commission my two witnesses[c] to prophesy for those twelve hundred and sixty days, wearing sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands[d] that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 [e]If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and devours their enemies. In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain. 6 They have the power to close up the sky so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying. They also have power to turn water into blood and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.
7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the abyss[f] will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them. 8 Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,[g] which has the symbolic names “Sodom” and “Egypt,” where indeed their Lord was crucified. 9 [h]Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days, and they will not allow their corpses to be buried. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and be glad and exchange gifts because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days, a breath of life from God entered them. When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here.” So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on. 13 At that moment there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell in ruins. Seven thousand people[i] were killed during the earthquake; the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe has passed, but the third is coming soon.
The Seventh Trumpet.[j] 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet. There were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world now belongs to our Lord and to his Anointed, and he will reign forever and ever.” 16 The twenty-four elders who sat on their thrones before God prostrated themselves and worshiped God 17 and said:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God almighty,
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.