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Nebuchadnezzar’s Troubling Dream

Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar [a](A)had dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his (B)sleep [b]left him. Then the king said to call in the [c](C)magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers, and the [d]Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. Then the king said to them, “I [e](D)had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in [f](E)Aramaic: “(F)O king, live forever! (G)Say the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be [g](H)torn limb from limb, and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me (I)gifts and a reward and great glory; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king (J)say the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you are buying time, inasmuch as you have seen that the word from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only (K)one law for you. Indeed, you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt [h]words before me until the time is changed; therefore say the dream to me, that I may (L)know that you can declare to me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered [i]the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who is able to declare the matter [j]for the king, inasmuch as no great king or powerful ruler has ever asked about a matter like this of any [k](M)magician, conjurer, or Chaldean. 11 Moreover, the matter which the king asks is [l]difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it [m]to the king except (N)gods, whose (O)dwelling place is not with flesh.”

12 Because of this the king became (P)indignant and very furious and said for them to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the law went forth that the wise men were to be killed; and they sought out (Q)Daniel and his friends to [n]kill them.

14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to (R)Arioch, the captain of the king’s [o]bodyguard, who had gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he answered and said to Arioch, a powerful [p]official for the king, “For what reason is the law from the king so [q]urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went in and sought from the king that he would [r]give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to his friends, to (S)Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 18 so that they might (T)seek compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be (U)destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night (V)vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel answered and said,

“Let the name of God be (W)blessed forever and ever,
For (X)wisdom and might belong to Him.
21 And He (Y)changes the times and the seasons;
He (Z)removes kings and [s]establishes kings;
He gives (AA)wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to [t]men of understanding.
22 He (AB)reveals the deep and hidden things;
(AC)He knows what is in the darkness,
And the (AD)light dwells with Him.
23 To You, O (AE)God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me (AF)wisdom and might;
Even now You have made known to me what we (AG)sought from You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus to him: “(AH)Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.”

25 Then Arioch hurriedly (AI)brought Daniel before the king and said thus to him: “I have found a man among the [u](AJ)exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” 26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was (AK)Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king is asking, neither (AL)wise men, conjurers, [v]magicians, nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. 28 However, there is a (AM)God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the [w](AN)last days. This was your dream and the (AO)visions of your head while on your bed. 29 As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts [x]turned to what would happen [y]in the future; and (AP)He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will happen. 30 But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me by any (AQ)wisdom which is in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may know the (AR)thoughts of your heart.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

31 “You, O king, were looking, and behold, there was a single great [z]image; that image, which was large and [aa]of extraordinary splendor, was rising up in front of you, and its appearance was [ab](AS)awesome. 32 The (AT)head of that image was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You [ac]continued looking until a (AU)stone was cut out (AV)without hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay and (AW)crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed [ad]all at the same time and became (AX)like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that (AY)not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the image became a great (AZ)mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream; now we will say (BA)its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are the (BB)king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the [ae]kingdom, the (BC)power, the strength, and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men inhabit, or the (BD)beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has made you rule with power over them all. You are the head of gold. 39 But after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule with power over all the earth. 40 Then there will be a (BE)fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 Now in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron; it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with [af]common clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 And in that you saw the iron mixed with [ag]common clay; they will combine with one another [ah]in the seed of men; but they will not cling to one another, even as iron does not combine with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the (BF)God of heaven will (BG)cause a (BH)kingdom to rise up which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be [ai]left for another people; it will (BI)crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a (BJ)stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the (BK)great God has made known to the king what (BL)will happen [aj]in the future; so the dream is certain, and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Daniel and Friends Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did (BM)homage to Daniel and said for them to present to him an offering and [ak](BN)fragrant incense. 47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Truly (BO)your God is a (BP)God of gods and a Lord of kings and a (BQ)revealer of mysteries since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king [al](BR)promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him rule with power over the whole (BS)province of Babylon and chief [am]prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel sought of the king, and he (BT)appointed (BU)Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s [an](BV)court.


  1. Daniel 2:1 Lit dreamed dreams
  2. Daniel 2:1 Lit was gone upon him
  3. Daniel 2:2 Or soothsayer priests
  4. Daniel 2:2 Or master astrologers, so in ch
  5. Daniel 2:3 Lit dreamed
  6. Daniel 2:4 The text is in Aramaic from here through 7:28
  7. Daniel 2:5 Lit made into limbs
  8. Daniel 2:9 Lit word
  9. Daniel 2:10 Lit before the
  10. Daniel 2:10 Lit of
  11. Daniel 2:10 Or soothsayer priest
  12. Daniel 2:11 Or rare
  13. Daniel 2:11 Lit before
  14. Daniel 2:13 Lit be killed
  15. Daniel 2:14 Or executioners
  16. Daniel 2:15 Or ruler
  17. Daniel 2:15 Or harsh
  18. Daniel 2:16 Or appoint a time for him
  19. Daniel 2:21 Or sets up
  20. Daniel 2:21 Lit knowers
  21. Daniel 2:25 Lit sons of the exile of
  22. Daniel 2:27 Or soothsayer priests
  23. Daniel 2:28 Lit end of the days
  24. Daniel 2:29 Lit came up
  25. Daniel 2:29 Lit after this
  26. Daniel 2:31 Or statue, so in ch
  27. Daniel 2:31 Lit its splendor was surpassing
  28. Daniel 2:31 Or fearsome
  29. Daniel 2:34 Lit were
  30. Daniel 2:35 Lit like one
  31. Daniel 2:37 Or sovereignty
  32. Daniel 2:41 Lit clay of mud
  33. Daniel 2:43 Lit clay of mud
  34. Daniel 2:43 Or with
  35. Daniel 2:44 Or passed on to
  36. Daniel 2:45 Lit after this
  37. Daniel 2:46 Lit sweet odors
  38. Daniel 2:48 Lit made great
  39. Daniel 2:48 Lit of the prefects
  40. Daniel 2:49 Lit gate