Add parallel Print Page Options

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

During the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him.[a] As a result, he couldn’t sleep.[b] So the king gave orders to summon diviners, enchanters,[c] sorcerers, and Chaldeans to reveal to the king what he had dreamed. When they came and stood before him,[d] the king told them, “I have dreamed a dream and I[e] will remain troubled until I can understand it.”[f]

The Chaldeans responded to the king in Aramaic:[g] “May the king live forever. Tell the dream to your servants, and we’ll reveal its meaning.”

In reply the king told the Chaldeans, “Here is what I have commanded: If you don’t tell me both the dream and its meaning, you’ll be destroyed and your houses will be reduced to rubble. But if you do relate the dream to me as well as its meaning, you’ll receive gifts, rewards, and great honor from me. Therefore reveal the dream to me, along with its meaning.”

They replied again, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we’ll disclose its meaning.”

The king responded,[h] “I’m convinced that you’re stalling for time because you’re aware of what I’ve commanded. So if you don’t disclose the dream to me, there will be only one sentence for all of you. You have conspired together to present lies and corrupt interpretations until the situation changes. Now tell me the dream and I’ll know that you can reveal its true[i] meaning.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king directly, “There’s not a single man on earth who can do[j] what the king has commanded. No king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such a thing from any diviner, enchanter,[k] or Chaldean. 11 Furthermore, what the king is asking is so difficult that no one can reveal it except the gods—and they don’t live with human beings.”

12 At this point, the king flew into a rage[l] and issued an order to destroy all the advisors[m] of Babylon. 13 When the order went out to kill the advisors,[n] they searched for Daniel and his friends to kill them, too.[o]

Daniel Requests Time to Answer the King

14 Daniel responded with wisdom and discretion to Arioch, the king’s executioner, who had gone out to execute the advisors[p] of Babylon. 15 He asked[q] him,[r] “Why such a harsh decree from the king?” Then Arioch informed Daniel, 16 so Daniel went to ask Nebuchadnezzar[s] for an appointment to see him[t], and it was granted him so that he could reveal the meaning to the king. 17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the king’s[u] command. 18 Daniel[v] was seeking mercy, in order to ask about this mystery in the presence of the God of heaven, so that Daniel and his friends might not be executed along with the rest of the advisors[w] of Babylon.

The King’s Dream is Revealed to Daniel

19 When the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision later that night, Daniel blessed the God of heaven 20 and said,

“May the name of God be blessed forever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his for evermore.
21 It is God[x] who alters the times and seasons,
    and he removes kings and promotes kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals what is profoundly mysterious
    and knows what is in the darkness;
        with him dwells light.
23 To you, God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise,
    because you have given me wisdom and power;
you have now revealed to me what we asked of you
    by making known to us what the king commanded.”

24 After this,[y] Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the advisors[z] of Babylon. He told him, “Don’t destroy the advisors[aa] of Babylon. Bring me before the king and I’ll explain the meaning to him.”[ab]

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and informed him: “I’ve found a man from the Judean captives who will make known the meaning to the king.”

Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the Dream

26 King Nebuchadnezzar[ac] replied by saying to Daniel (whose Babylonian[ad] name is Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me about the dream[ae] and its meaning?”

27 By way of answer, Daniel addressed the king:[af]

“None of the advisors,[ag] enchanters,[ah] diviners, or astrologers[ai] can explain the secret that the king has requested to be made known.[aj] 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he is making known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the latter days.

“While you were in bed, the dream and the visions that came to your head were as follows: 29 Your majesty,[ak] when you were in bed, thoughts came to your mind[al] about what would happen in the future, and the Revealer of Secrets has made known to you what will take place. 30 As for me, this secret was made known to me, not because my own wisdom is greater than anyone else alive, but in order that the meaning may be made known to the king, and that you might understand the thoughts of your heart.

31 “Your majesty, while you were watching, you observed an enormous statue. This magnificent statue stood before you with extraordinary brilliance. Its appearance was terrifying. 32 That statue had a head made[am] of pure gold, with its chest and arms made[an] of silver, its abdomen and thighs made[ao] of bronze, 33 its legs made[ap] of iron, and its feet made[aq] partly of iron and partly of clay.

34 “As you were watching, a rock was quarried—but not with human hands—and it struck the iron and clay feet of the statue, breaking them to pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were broken in pieces together and became like chaff from a summer threshing floor that the breeze carries away without leaving a trace.[ar] Then the rock that struck the statue grew into[as] a huge mountain and filled the entire earth.

36 “This was the dream, and we’ll now relate its meaning to the king. 37 You, your majesty, king of kings—to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory, 38 so that wherever people,[at] wild animals, or birds of the sky live, he has placed them under your control, giving you dominion over them all—you’re that head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom will arise that is inferior to[au] yours, and then a third kingdom of bronze will arise to rule all the earth. 40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, as strong as iron. Just as all things are broken to pieces and shattered by iron, so it will shatter and crush everything.

41 “The feet and toes that you saw, made partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, represent[av] a divided kingdom. It will still have the strength of iron, in that you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 Just as their toes and feet are part iron and part clay, so will the kingdom be both strong and brittle. 43 Just as you saw iron mixed with clay, so they will mix themselves with human offspring.[aw] Furthermore,[ax] they won’t remain together, just as iron doesn’t mix with clay.

44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor its sovereignty[ay] left in the hands of another people. It will shatter and crush all of these kingdoms, and it will stand forever. 45 Now, just as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without human hands—and that it crushed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold to pieces—so also the great God has revealed to the king what will take place after this. Your dream will come true, and its meaning will prove trustworthy.”

Nebuchadnezzar Promotes Daniel and His Friends

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face before Daniel, paid honor to him, and commanded that an offering and incense be presented on his behalf. 47 The king told Daniel, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and the Revealer of Secrets, because you were able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel to a high position and lavished many great gifts on him, including making him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief administrator over the advisors[az] of Babylon. 49 Moreover, Daniel requested that the king appoint Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained in the royal court.


  1. Daniel 2:1 Lit. troubled his spirit
  2. Daniel 2:1 Lit. result, sleep departed from him
  3. Daniel 2:2 Or conjurers and so throughout the book
  4. Daniel 2:2 Lit. before the king
  5. Daniel 2:3 Lit. and my spirit
  6. Daniel 2:3 Lit. understand the dream
  7. Daniel 2:4 At this point the text changes from Heb. to Aram. until the end of ch. 7.
  8. Daniel 2:8 Lit. responded and said
  9. Daniel 2:9 The Aram. lacks true
  10. Daniel 2:10 Lit. reveal
  11. Daniel 2:10 Or occult practitioner
  12. Daniel 2:12 Lit. king was furious and very angry
  13. Daniel 2:12 Lit. the wise men
  14. Daniel 2:13 Lit. the wise men
  15. Daniel 2:13 The Aram. lacks too
  16. Daniel 2:14 Lit. the wise men
  17. Daniel 2:15 Lit. answered and said
  18. Daniel 2:15 Lit. asked Arioch, the king’s executioner
  19. Daniel 2:16 Lit. the king
  20. Daniel 2:16 Lit. for time
  21. Daniel 2:17 The Aram. lacks king’s
  22. Daniel 2:18 Lit. He
  23. Daniel 2:18 Lit. the wise men
  24. Daniel 2:21 Lit. he
  25. Daniel 2:24 Lit. All on account of that
  26. Daniel 2:24 Lit. the wise men
  27. Daniel 2:24 Lit. the wise men
  28. Daniel 2:24 Lit. the king
  29. Daniel 2:26 Lit. The king
  30. Daniel 2:26 The Aram. lacks Babylonian
  31. Daniel 2:26 Lit. dream I saw
  32. Daniel 2:27 Lit. answered and said before the king
  33. Daniel 2:27 Lit. the wise men
  34. Daniel 2:27 Or occult practitioners
  35. Daniel 2:27 Or those who gaze at entrails
  36. Daniel 2:27 The Aram. lacks to be made known
  37. Daniel 2:29 Lit. O King, and so throughout the book
  38. Daniel 2:29 The Aram. lacks to your mind
  39. Daniel 2:32 The Aram. lacks made
  40. Daniel 2:32 The Aram. lacks made
  41. Daniel 2:32 The Aram. lacks made
  42. Daniel 2:33 The Aram. lacks made
  43. Daniel 2:33 The Aram. lacks made
  44. Daniel 2:35 Lit. trace of them
  45. Daniel 2:35 Lit. became
  46. Daniel 2:38 Lit. sons of mankind
  47. Daniel 2:39 Or lower than
  48. Daniel 2:41 The Aram. lacks represent
  49. Daniel 2:43 Lit. seed
  50. Daniel 2:43 Or will develop alliances through intermarriages, and
  51. Daniel 2:44 Or kingdom
  52. Daniel 2:48 Lit. the wise men