And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.

But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.

10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:

15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.

24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

During Nebuchadnezzar’s second year as king, he had some dreams. Those dreams bothered him, and he could not sleep. So the king called for his fortune-tellers, magicians, wizards and wise men. The king wanted those men to tell him what he had dreamed. So they came in and stood in front of the king.

Then the king said to them, “I had a dream that bothers me. I want to know what the dream means.”

Then the wise men answered the king in the Aramaic language. They said, “Our king, live forever! We are your servants. Please tell us your dream. Then we will tell you what it means.”

Then King Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “No! You must tell me the dream. And then you must tell me what it means. If you don’t do these things, I will have you torn apart. And I will turn your houses into piles of stones. But if you tell me my dream and its meaning, I will reward you. I will give you gifts and great honor. So tell me the dream, and tell me what it means.”

Again the wise men said to the king, “Please, tell us the dream. And we will tell you what it means.”

King Nebuchadnezzar answered, “Now I know that you are trying to get more time. You know that I meant what I said. If you don’t tell me my dream, you will be punished. You have all agreed to tell me lies and wicked things. You are hoping things will change. Now, tell me the dream. Then I will know you can tell me what it really means!”

10 The wise men answered the king. They said, “No one on earth can do what the king asks! Not even a great and powerful king has ever asked the fortune-tellers, magicians or wise men to do this. 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.”

12 When the king heard that, he became very angry. He gave an order for all the wise men of Babylon to be killed. 13 So King Nebuchadnezzar’s order was announced. All the wise men were to be put to death. Men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to kill them.

14 Arioch was the commander of the king’s guards. He was going to put to death the wise men of Babylon. But Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and skill. 15 Daniel asked, “Why did the king order such a terrible punishment?” Then Arioch explained everything to Daniel. 16 When Daniel heard the story, he went to King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel asked him to give him some more time. Then he would tell the king what he had dreamed and what it meant.

17 So Daniel went to his house. He explained the whole story to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 Daniel asked his friends to pray to the God of heaven. Daniel asked them to pray that God would show them mercy and help them understand this secret. Then Daniel and his friends would not be put to death with the other wise men of Babylon.

19 During the night God explained the secret to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 Daniel said:

“Praise God forever and ever.
    He has wisdom and power.
21 He changes the times and seasons of the year.
    He takes away the power of kings.
    And he gives their power to new kings.
He gives wisdom to people so they become wise.
    And he helps people learn and know things.
22 He makes known secrets that are deep and hidden.
    He knows what is hidden in darkness,
    and light lives with him.
23 I thank you and praise you, God of my ancestors.
    You have given me wisdom and power.
You told me what we asked of you.
    You told us about the king’s dream.”

The Meaning of the Dream

24 Then Daniel went to Arioch. King Nebuchadnezzar had chosen Arioch to put to death the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to Arioch, “Don’t put the wise men of Babylon to death. Take me to the king. I will tell him what his dream means.”

25 So very quickly Arioch took Daniel to the king. Arioch said to the king, “I have found a man among the captives from Judah. He can tell the king what his dream means.”

26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) a question. He asked, “Are you able to tell me what I dreamed and what it means?”

27 Daniel answered, “No person can explain to the king the secret he has asked about. No wise man, magician or fortune-teller can do this. 28 But there is a God in heaven who explains secret things. God has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen at a later time. This is your dream. This is the vision you saw while lying on your bed: 29 My king, as you were lying there, you thought about things to come. God, who can tell people about secret things, showed you what is going to happen. 30 God also told this secret to me. It is not because I have greater wisdom than other men. It is so that you, my king, may know what it means. In that way you will understand what went through your mind.

31 “My king, in your dream you saw a large statue in front of you. It was huge, shiny and frightening. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold. Its chest and arms were made of silver. Its middle and the upper part of its legs were made of bronze. 33 The lower part of the legs were made of iron. Its feet were made partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were looking at the statue, you saw a rock cut free. But no human being touched the rock. It hit the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold broke to pieces at the same time. 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. It filled the whole earth.

36 “That was your dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. 37 My king, you are the greatest king. God of heaven has given you a kingdom. He has given you power, strength and glory. 38 God has given you power over people, wild animals and birds. Wherever they live, God has made you ruler over them all. King Nebuchadnezzar, you are the head of gold on that statue.

39 “Another kingdom will come after you. But that kingdom will not be as great as yours. Next a third kingdom will rule over the earth. That is the bronze part. 40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron. Iron crushes and smashes things to pieces. In the same way the fourth kingdom will smash and crush all the other kingdoms.

41 “You saw that the statue’s feet and toes were partly baked 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. As you saw, iron was mixed with clay. 42 The toes of the statue were partly iron and partly clay. So the fourth kingdom will be partly strong like iron and partly breakable like clay. 43 You saw the iron mixed with clay. But iron and clay don’t mix completely together. In the same way the people of the fourth kingdom will be a mixture. Those people will not be united as one people.

44 “During the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up another kingdom. It will never be destroyed. And it will not be given to another group of people. This kingdom will crush all the other kingdoms. It will bring them to an end. But that kingdom itself will continue forever.

45 “King Nebuchadnezzar, you saw a rock cut from a mountain. But no human being touched it. The rock broke the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold to pieces. In this way the great God showed you what will happen. The dream is true, and you can trust this explanation.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell facedown on the ground in front of Daniel. The king honored him. He ordered that an offering and incense be presented to Daniel. 47 Then the king said to Daniel, “Truly I know your God is the greatest of all gods. And he is the Lord of all the kings. He tells people about things they cannot know. I know this is true. You were able to tell these secret things to me.”

48 Then the king gave Daniel an important position in his kingdom. And he gave many gifts to Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar made him ruler over the whole area of Babylon. And he put Daniel in charge of all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel asked the king to make Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego important leaders over the area of Babylon. And the king did as Daniel asked. Daniel himself became one of the important people who stayed at the royal court.