Daniel 2 Expanded 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.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.