Daniel 1-6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Choice Young Men
1 In the third year of the reign of [a]Jehoiakim king of Judah, [b]Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles of the house of God; and he brought them into the land of [c]Shinar, to the house of his god, and brought the articles into the treasury of his god.
3 And the [Babylonian] king told Ashpenaz, the chief of his [d]officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some from the royal family and from the nobles, 4 young men without blemish and handsome in appearance, skillful in all wisdom, endowed with intelligence and discernment, and quick to understand, competent to stand [in the presence of the king] and able to serve in the king’s palace. He also ordered Ashpenaz to teach them the literature and language of the [e]Chaldeans. 5 The king assigned a daily ration for them from his finest food and from the wine which he drank. They were to be educated and nourished this way for three years so that at the end of that time they were [prepared] to enter the king’s service. 6 Among them from the sons of Judah were: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 The commander of the officials gave them [Babylonian] names: Daniel he named Belteshazzar, Hananiah he named Shadrach, Mishael he named Meshach, and Azariah he named Abed-nego.
8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile (taint, dishonor) himself with the [f]king’s finest food or with the wine which the king drank; so he asked the commander of the officials that he might [be excused so that he would] not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has prearranged your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the young men who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please, test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the young men who eat the king’s finest food be observed and compared by you, and deal with your servants in accordance with what you see.”
14 So the man listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it seemed that they were looking better and [g]healthier than all the young men who ate the king’s finest food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their fine food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.
17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all kinds of literature and wisdom; Daniel also understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring all the young men in [before him], the commander of the officials presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king spoke with them, and among them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they were [selected and] assigned to stand before the king and enter his personal service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters (Magi) in his whole realm. 21 And Daniel remained there until the [h]first year of [the reign of] King Cyrus [over Babylon; now this was at the end of the seventy-year exile of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) in Babylonia, as foretold by Jeremiah].
The King’s Forgotten Dream
2 In the second year (604 b.c.) of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams which troubled and disturbed his spirit and [interfered with] his ability to sleep. 2 Then the king gave a command to call the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the [i]Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 3 The king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled and anxious to know the [content and meaning of the] dream.”
4 Then the Chaldeans said to the king in [j]Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” 5 The king replied to the Chaldeans, “My command is firm and unchangeable: if you do not reveal to me the [content of the] dream along with its interpretation, you shall be cut into pieces and your houses shall be made a heap of rubbish. 6 But if you tell [me] the [content of the] dream along with its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and its interpretation.” 7 They answered again, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will explain its interpretation [to you].” 8 The king replied, “I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, because you have seen that my command [to you] is firm and irrevocable. 9 If you will not reveal to me the [content of the] dream, there is but one sentence for you; for you have [already] prepared lying and corrupt words [and you have agreed together] to speak [them] before me [hoping to delay your execution] until the situation is changed. Therefore, tell me the dream [first], and then I will know [with confidence] that you can give me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king this matter, for no king, lord or ruler has ever asked such a thing as this of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 Furthermore, what the king demands is an unusual and difficult thing indeed! No one except the gods can reveal it to the king, and their dwelling is not with [mortal] flesh.”
12 Because of this the king was indignant and extremely furious and gave a command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went out that the wise men were to be killed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions to put them to death.
14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and wisdom to Arioch, the captain of the king’s [k]bodyguard, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon; 15 he said to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh and urgent?” Then Arioch explained the matter to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to appoint a date and give him time, so that he might reveal to the king the interpretation of the dream.
17 Then Daniel returned to his house and discussed the matter with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 in order that they might seek compassion from the God of heaven regarding this secret, so that Daniel and his companions would not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
The Secret Is Revealed to Daniel
19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered,
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
24 So Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said this to him: “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will reveal to the king the interpretation [of his dream].”
25 Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel before the king and said this to him: “I have found a man among the exiles of Judah who can explain to the king the interpretation [of the dream].” 26 The king said to Daniel, whose [Babylonian] name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to reveal to me the [content of the] dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “Regarding the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither the wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor astrologers are able to answer the king, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days (end of days). This was your dream and the vision [that appeared] in your mind while on your bed. 29 As for you, O king, as you were lying on your bed thoughts came into your mind about what will take place in the future; and He who reveals secrets has shown you what will occur. 30 But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because my wisdom is greater than that of any other living man, but in order to make the interpretation known to the king, and so that you may understand [fully] the thoughts of your mind.
The King’s Dream
31 “You, O king, were looking, and behold, [there was] a single great statue; this image, which was large and of unsurpassed splendor, stood before you, and its appearance was awesome and terrifying. 32 As for this [l]statue, its head 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 [pottery]. 34 As you were looking, a [m]stone was cut out without [human] hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them could be found. And the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
The Interpretation—Babylon the First Kingdom
36 “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, are the king of [earthly] kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, and the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, He has given them into your hand and has made you ruler over them all. You [king of Babylon] are the head of gold.
Medo-Persia and Greece
39 After you will arise another kingdom (Medo-Persia) inferior to you, and then a third kingdom of bronze (Greece under Alexander the Great), which will rule over all the earth.
40 Then a fourth kingdom (Rome) will be strong as iron, for iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things; and like iron which crushes things in pieces, it will break and crush all these [others]. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but there will be in it some of the durability and strength of iron, just as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 As the [ten] toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so some of the kingdom will be strong, and another part of it will be brittle. 43 And as you saw the iron mixed with common clay, so they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not merge [for such diverse things or ideologies cannot unite], even as iron does not mix with clay.
The Divine Kingdom
44 In the days of those [final ten] kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left for another people; but it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever. 45 Just as you saw that a 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 great God has revealed to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell face downward and paid respect to Daniel [as a great prophet of the highest God], and gave orders for an offering and fragrant incense to be presented to him [in honor of his God]. 47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Most certainly your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery!” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel [to an exalted position] and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the court of the king.
The King’s Golden Image
3 Nebuchadnezzar the king made a [n]gold [-plated] image, whose height [including the pedestal] was sixty cubits (ninety feet) and its width six cubits (nine feet). He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the [o]satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and lawyers and all the chief officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and lawyers, and all the chief officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before it. 4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and speakers of every language, 5 that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon (four-stringed harp), dulcimer, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.” 7 So when the people heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, dulcimer, bagpipe and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Worship of the Image Refused
8 At that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought [malicious] accusations against the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, dulcimer, bagpipe, and all kinds of music is to fall down and worship the golden image. 11 Whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in a furious rage gave a command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; and these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, very good. But if you do not worship, you shall be thrown at once into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can rescue you out of my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to answer you on this point. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up!”
Daniel’s Friends Protected
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and his facial expression changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then he gave a command that the furnace was to be heated seven [p]times hotter than usual. 20 He commanded certain strong men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 Then these [three] men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their turbans, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. 22 Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was extremely hot, the flame of the fire killed the men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king [looked and] was astounded, and he jumped up and said to his counselors, “Did we not throw three men who were tied up into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He answered, “Look! I see four men untied, walking around in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt! And the appearance of the fourth is like [q]a son of the gods!” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the blazing furnace and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out [of there]! Come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. 27 The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s counselors gathered around them and saw that in regard to these men the fire had no effect on their bodies—their hair was not singed, their clothes were not scorched or damaged, even the smell of smoke was not on them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! They violated the king’s command and surrendered their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be cut into pieces and their houses be made a heap of rubbish, for there is no other god who is able to save in this way!” 30 Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.
The King Acknowledges God
4 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language that live in all the earth: “May your peace abound! 2 It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.
The Vision of a Great Tree
4 “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream and it made me afraid; and the fantasies and thoughts and the visions [that appeared] in my mind as I lay on my bed kept alarming me. 6 So I gave orders to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon, so that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians, the enchanters (Magi), the Chaldeans [who were the master astrologers] and the diviners came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it and make known its meaning to me. 8 But at last Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and in whom is [r]a spirit of the holy gods; and I told the dream to him, saying, 9 ‘O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles or troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.
10 ‘The visions that passed through my mind as I lay on my bed were these: I was looking, and behold, there was a tree in the middle of the earth, and its height was great.
13 ‘And behold, I saw in the visions of my mind as I lay on my bed, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven.
18 This is the dream which I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, explain its meaning, since none of the wise men of my kingdom are able to reveal its interpretation to me; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.’
Daniel Interprets the Vision
19 “Then Daniel, whose [Babylonian] name was Belteshazzar, was appalled and speechless for a while [because he was deeply concerned about the destiny of the king], and his thoughts alarmed him. The king said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation frighten you.’ Belteshazzar answered, ‘My lord, may the dream be [meant] for those who hate you and its message for your enemies! 20 The tree that you saw, which became great and grew strong, whose height reached to heaven and which was visible to all the earth, 21 whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and on which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field lived, and in whose branches the birds of the sky nested— 22 it is you, O king, who have become great and grown strong; your greatness has increased and it reaches to heaven, and your dominion [reaches] to the ends of the earth. 23 In that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “Cut the tree down and destroy it; but leave the stump with its roots in the earth, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him feed with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him,” 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is the decree of the Most High [God], which has come upon my lord the king: 25 that you shall be driven from mankind and your dwelling place shall be with the beasts of the field; and that you be given grass to eat like the cattle and be wet with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know [without any doubt] that the Most High [God] rules over the kingdom of mankind and He bestows it to whomever He desires. 26 And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree [in the earth], your kingdom shall be restored to you after you recognize (understand fully) that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice to you be [considered and found] acceptable; break away now from your sins and exhibit your repentance by doing what is right, and from your wickedness by showing mercy to the poor, so that [if you repent] there may possibly be a continuance of your prosperity and tranquility and a healing of your error.’
The Vision Fulfilled
28 “All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the upper level of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king said thoughtfully, ‘Is not this the great Babylon which I myself have built as the royal residence and seat of government by the might of my power and for the honor and glory of my majesty?’ 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came [as if falling] from heaven, saying, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: “The kingdom has been removed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the animals of the field. You will be given grass to eat like the cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you know [without any doubt] that the Most High God rules over the kingdom of mankind and He bestows it on whomever He desires.”’ 33 Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was [s]driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.
34 “But at the end of the days [that is, at the seven periods of time], I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my understanding and reason returned to me; and I blessed the Most High [God] and I praised and honored and glorified Him who lives forever,
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion;
36 Now at the same time my reason returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor were returned to me, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was re-established in my kingdom, and still more greatness [than before] was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and faithful and His ways are just, and He is able to humiliate and humble those who walk in [self-centered, self-righteous] pride.”
5 Belshazzar the king [who was a descendant of Nebuchadnezzar] gave a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking his wine in the presence of the thousand [guests]. 2 Belshazzar, as he tasted the wine, gave a command to bring in the gold and silver vessels which his [t]father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the [u]temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his [v]concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought in the gold and silver vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
5 Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing opposite the lampstand on [a well-lit area of] the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the part of the hand that did the writing. 6 Then the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; the joints and muscles of his hips and back weakened and his knees began knocking together. 7 The king called aloud to bring in the enchanters (Magi), the Chaldeans [who were master astrologers] and the diviners. The king said to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever can read this writing and explain its interpretation to me shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold put around his neck, and have authority as the [w]third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not [x]read the writing or reveal to the king its interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly perplexed, his face became even paler, and his nobles were bewildered and alarmed.
10 Now the queen [mother], overhearing the [excited] words of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet area. The queen [mother] spoke and said, “O king, live forever! Do not be alarmed at your thoughts or let your face be changed. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is [y]a spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And [z]King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans and diviners. 12 It was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, the ability to interpret dreams, clarify riddles, and solve complex problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called and he will give the interpretation.”
Daniel Interprets Handwriting on the Wall
13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. And the king said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the sons of the exiles of Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard of you, that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight, and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. 15 Now the wise men and the enchanters, were brought in before me so that they might read this writing and reveal its meaning to me, but they could not give the interpretation of the message. 16 But I personally have heard about you, that you are able to make interpretations and solve complex problems. Now if you are able to read the writing and reveal its interpretation to me, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold put around your neck, and you shall have authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.”
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the writing to the king and reveal the interpretation to him. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and greatness and glory and majesty; 19 and because of the greatness that He gave him, all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language trembled and feared him. Whomever he wished he killed, and whomever he wished he kept alive; whomever he wished he promoted and whomever he wished he humbled. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken away from him. 21 He was also driven from mankind, and his mind was made like that of an animal, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until he came to know [without any doubt] that the Most High God rules over the kingdom of mankind and He appoints it to whomever He wills. 22 And you, his [aa]son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart (mind), even though you knew all this. 23 And you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven, and the vessels of His house have been brought before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or understand. But the God who holds in His hand your breath of life and your ways you have not honored and glorified [but have dishonored and defied]. 24 Then the hand was sent from the presence [of the Most High God], and this inscription was written:
25 “This is the [ab]inscription that was written, ‘mene, mene, tekel, upharsin [numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided].’ 26 This is the interpretation of the message: ‘mene’—God has numbered the days of your kingdom and put an end to it; 27 ‘tekel’—you have been weighed on the scales [of righteousness] and found deficient; 28 ‘[ac]peres’—[ad]your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and [ae]Persians.”
29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple and a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation concerning him was issued [declaring] that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel Serves Darius
6 It seemed good to Darius [who became king after Belshazzar] to appoint over the kingdom 120 [ai]satraps who would be in charge throughout the kingdom, 2 and over them three chief commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, so that the king would have no loss [from disloyalty or mismanagement]. 3 Then this Daniel, because of the extraordinary spirit within him, began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and the satraps, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire realm. 4 Then the [other two] commissioners and the satraps began trying to find a reason to bring a complaint against Daniel concerning the [administration of the] kingdom; but they could find no reason for an accusation or evidence of corruption, because he was faithful [a man of high moral character and personal integrity], and no negligence or corruption [of any kind] was found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We will not find any basis for an accusation against this Daniel unless we find something against him in connection with the law of his God.”
6 Then these commissioners and satraps agreed to approach the king and said to him, “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors have consulted and agreed together that the king should establish a royal statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who petitions (prays to) any god or man besides you, O king, during the next thirty days, shall be thrown into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which [insures that it] may not be altered or revoked.” 9 So King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he went into his house (now in his roof chamber his windows were open toward Jerusalem); he continued to get down on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. 11 Then, by agreement, these men came [together] and found Daniel praying and making requests before his God. 12 Then they approached and spoke before the king regarding his injunction, “Have you not signed an injunction that anyone who petitions (prays to) any god or man except you, O king, within the designated thirty days, is to be thrown into the den of lions?” The king answered, “The statement is true, in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be altered or revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, does not pay any attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you have signed, but keeps praying [to his God] three times a day.”
14 Then, as soon as the king heard these words, he was deeply distressed [over what he had done] and set his mind on rescuing Daniel; and he struggled until the sun went down [trying to work out a way] to save him. 15 Then, by agreement, these same men came to the king and said, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be altered or revoked.”
Daniel in the Den of Lions
16 Then the king gave a command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you constantly serve, rescue you Himself!” 17 A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no music or entertainment was brought before him, and he remained unable to sleep.
19 Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he had come near the den, he called out to Daniel with a troubled voice. The king said to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God has sent His angel and has shut the mouths of the lions so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also before you, O king, I have committed no crime.” 23 Then the king was greatly pleased and ordered that Daniel be taken out of the den. So Daniel was taken out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in and relied on and trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave a command, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions, they, their children and their wives; and before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language who were living in all the land: “May peace abound to you! 26 I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to [reverently] fear and tremble before the God of Daniel,
For He is the living God, enduring and steadfast forever,
28 So this [man] Daniel prospered and enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
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