Daniel 2Expanded Bible (EXB)
2 During Nebuchadnezzar’s second year as king [603–602 bc], ·he had dreams that bothered [L his spirit agitated] him and ·kept him awake at night [L his sleep left him]. 2 So the king ·called for [summoned] his ·magicians [enchanters], ·fortune-tellers [diviners], ·wizards [sorcerers], and ·wise men [L Chaldeans; C a group of astrologers], because he wanted them to tell him what he had dreamed. They came in and stood in front of the king.
3 Then the king said to them, “I had a dream ·that bothers me [L and my spirit is agitated], and I want to know ·what it means [L the dream].”
4 The ·wise men [astrologers; L Chaldeans] answered the king in the Aramaic language [C the language of the text shifts to Aramaic until the end of chapter 7; Aramaic was the everyday language of Babylon at this time], “O king, live forever! Please tell us, your servants, your dream. Then we will ·tell you what it means [interpret it].”
5 King Nebuchadnezzar said to ·them [the astrologers/L Chaldeans], “·I meant what I said [L The matter has been determined by me]. You must tell me the dream and what it means. If you don’t, I will have you torn ·apart [limb from limb], and I will turn your houses into piles of stones [Ezra 6:11]. 6 But if you tell me my dream and its ·meaning [interpretation], I will reward you with gifts, a reward, and great honor. So tell me the dream and ·what it means [its interpretation].”
7 Again the wise men said to the king, “Tell us, your servants, the dream, and we will tell you ·what it means [its interpretation].”
8 ·King Nebuchadnezzar [L The king] answered, “I know you are ·trying to get more [stalling for] time, because you know that ·I meant what I said [L the matter has been determined by me]. 9 If you don’t tell me my dream, ·you will be punished [L there is one ordinance/verdict for you]. You have all agreed to tell me lies and wicked things, hoping things will change. Now, tell me the dream so that I will know you can tell me ·what it really means [its interpretation]!”
10 The ·wise men [astrologers; L Chaldeans] answered the king, saying, “No one on earth can ·do [reveal] what the king asks! No great and powerful king has ever asked the ·magicians [enchanters], ·fortune tellers [diviners], or ·wise men [astrologers; L Chaldeans] to do this [C normally the dreamer would tell the dream, and the interpreter would interpret it using a dream commentary]; 11 the king is asking something that is too hard. Only the gods could tell the king this, but ·the gods do not live among people [L their home/dwelling is not with flesh].”
12 When the king heard their answer, he became very angry. He ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be killed. 13 So King Nebuchadnezzar’s ·order [decree; edict] to kill the wise men was announced, and men ·were sent to look [searched] for Daniel and his friends to kill them [C since they were also wise men].
14 Arioch, the ·commander of the king’s guards [L chief butcher], was going to kill the wise men of Babylon. But Daniel spoke to him with ·wisdom [prudence] and ·skill [deference], 15 saying to Arioch, the royal official, “Why did the king order such a ·terrible [severe] punishment?” Then Arioch explained everything to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went to King Nebuchadnezzar and asked for ·an appointment [or some time] so that he could tell the king what his dream meant.
17 Then Daniel went to his house and ·explained the whole story [L made the matter known] to his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 18 Daniel asked his friends to ·pray [ask] that the God of heaven would show them ·mercy [compassion] and help them understand this ·secret [mystery] so he and his friends would not ·be killed [perish] with the other wise men of Babylon.
19 During the night God ·explained [revealed] the ·secret [mystery] to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel ·praised [blessed] the God of heaven. 20 Daniel said:
“·Praise [Blessed be] ·God [L the name of God] forever and ever,
The Meaning of the Dream
24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, the man King Nebuchadnezzar had ·chosen [assigned; delegated] to ·kill [put to death; destroy] the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t ·put the wise men of Babylon to death [kill/destroy the wise men of Babylon]. Take me to the king, and I will ·tell him what his dream means [L give him its interpretation].”
25 Very quickly Arioch took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found a man among the ·captives [L sons of the exiles] from Judah who can tell the king ·what his dream means [its interpretation].”
26 The king asked Daniel, ·who was also called [L whose name was] Belteshazzar [1:7], “Are you able to tell me what I dreamed and ·what it means [its interpretation]?”
27 Daniel answered, “No wise man, magician [enchanter], ·fortune-teller [diviner], or exorcist can explain to the king the ·secret [mystery; v. 11] he has asked about. 28 But there is a God in heaven who ·explains [reveals] ·secret things [mysteries], and he has ·shown [made known to] King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen ·at a later time [in the future; L in the latter days]. This is your dream, the vision ·you saw [L of your head] while lying on your bed: 29 O king, as you were lying ·there [L on your bed], you thought about things to come. God, who can ·tell people about [L reveal] ·secret things [mysteries], ·showed [made known to] you what is going to happen. 30 God also ·told [revealed] this ·secret [mystery] to me, not because I have greater wisdom than any other living person, but so that you may know ·what it means [its interpretation]. In that way you will understand ·what went through your mind [L the thoughts of your heart/mind].
31 “O king, in your ·dream [L vision] you saw a ·huge [great], ·shiny [extraordinarily bright], and frightening statue in front of you. 32 The head of the statue was made of ·pure [fine] gold. Its chest and arms were made of silver. Its ·stomach [middle; torso] and ·the upper part of its legs [its thighs] were made of bronze. 33 ·The lower part of the [L Its] legs were made of iron, while its feet were made partly of iron and partly of ·baked clay [pottery; terra cotta]. 34 While you were looking at the statue, you saw a rock cut free [C from a mountain, perhaps “the mountain of the God’s temple”; Is. 2:2; Mic. 4:1], but ·no human being touched the rock [L not by hands; C implying God did it]. It hit the statue on its feet of iron and ·clay [pottery; terra cotta; C its weak point] and ·smashed them [broke them in pieces]. 35 Then the iron, ·clay [pottery; terra cotta], bronze, silver, and gold broke to pieces ·at the same time [or totally]. They became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summertime; the wind blew them away, and there was nothing left. Then the rock that hit the statue became a very large mountain that filled the whole earth.
36 “That was your dream. Now we will tell the king ·what it means [its interpretation]. 37 O king, you are the ·greatest king [L king of kings]. God of heaven has given you a kingdom, ·power [sovereignty], strength, and ·glory [honor]. 38 Wherever people, wild animals, and birds live, God made you ruler over them. King Nebuchadnezzar, you are the head of gold.
39 “Another kingdom will ·come [rise up] after you, but ·it will not be as great as [inferior to] yours [C perhaps the Medes or the Medo-Persians]. Next a third kingdom, the bronze part, will rule over the earth [C perhaps the Persians or the Greeks]. 40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron [C perhaps the Greeks or the Romans]. In the same way that iron crushes and smashes things to pieces, the fourth kingdom will smash and crush all the other kingdoms [C these kingdoms might not be specific kingdoms but symbolic of a series of unnamed oppressive nations].
41 “You saw that the statue’s feet and toes were partly ·baked [pottery] clay and partly iron. That means the fourth kingdom will be a divided kingdom. It will have some of the strength of iron in it, just as you saw iron was mixed with ·clay [or pottery; or terra cotta]. 42 The toes of the statue were partly iron and partly ·clay [or pottery; or terra cotta]. So the fourth kingdom will be partly strong [C like iron] and partly ·breakable [brittle; C like baked clay]. 43 You saw the iron mixed with ·clay [pottery; terra cotta], but iron and ·clay [pottery; terra cotta] do not hold together. In the same way the people of the fourth kingdom will be a mixture, but they will not be united as one people.
44 “During the ·time [L days] of those kings, the God of heaven will set up another kingdom that will never be destroyed [C the kingdom of God] or given to another group of people. This kingdom will crush all the other kingdoms and bring them to an end [v. 40], but it will ·continue [stand] forever.
45 “King Nebuchadnezzar, you saw a rock cut from a mountain, but ·no human being touched it [L not by hand]. The rock broke the iron, bronze, ·clay [or pottery; or terra cotta], silver, and gold to pieces. In this way the great God ·showed [made known to] you what will happen. The dream is ·true [certain], and you can trust this ·explanation [interpretation].”
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell ·facedown on the ground [L on his face] in front of Daniel. The king ·honored [or worshiped] him and commanded that an ·offering [or grain/gift/tribute offering] and incense be ·presented [offered] to him. 47 Then the king said to Daniel, “Truly I know your God is the ·greatest of all [L God of] gods, the Lord of all the kings. He ·tells people about things they cannot know [reveals mysteries]. I know this is true, because you were able to ·tell [reveal] these ·secret things [mysteries] to me.”
48 Then the king gave Daniel many gifts plus an important position in his kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar made him ruler over the ·whole area [L province] of Babylon and put him in charge of all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel asked the king to ·make [appoint] Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego leaders over the ·area [L province] of Babylon, so the king did as Daniel asked. Daniel ·himself became one of the people who stayed [stayed] at the royal court.
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