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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams, and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. Then the king gave the command to call the magicians and the astrologers and the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. The king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic,[a] “O king, live forever. Tell your servants the dream, and we will tell the interpretation.”

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: If you will not make known to me the dream with its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will tell the interpretation.”

The king answered and said, “I know of certainty that you are bargaining for time, because you see that the command from me is firm: If you will not make known to me the dream, there is but one decree for you. For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the circumstance is changed. Therefore tell me the dream so that I know that you can tell me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered before the king and said, “There is not a man on the earth who can tell the king’s matter, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician or astrologer or Chaldean. 11 Also, it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no one else who can tell 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 Therefore the decree went out that the wise men should be slain. And they sought for Daniel and his companions to be slain.

14 Then Daniel answered with discretion and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. 16 Then Daniel went in and desired of the king that he would give him time in order that he could tell the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 so that they might ask for compassion from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    for wisdom and might are His.
21 It is He who changes the times and the seasons;
    He removes kings and sets up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who know understanding.
22 He reveals the deep and secret things;
    He knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with Him.
23 I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers;
    for You have given me wisdom and might,
and have made known to me now what we asked of You,
    for You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”

25 Then in haste Arioch brought Daniel before the king and said thus to him, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah who can make known to the king the interpretation.”

26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot tell the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets and makes known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed are these:

29 “As for you, O king, your thoughts came into your mind upon your bed about what would come to pass hereafter, and He who reveals secrets makes known to you 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 man, but for the purpose of making known the interpretation to the king, and that you might understand the thoughts of your heart.

31 “You, O king, were watching, and there was a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you. And its form was awesome. 32 This image’s head was 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 watched until a stone was cut out without hands which struck the image upon its feet, which were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. And the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 Wherever the sons of men dwell, or the animals of the field, or the fowl of the heavens, He has given them into your hand and has made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom inferior to you shall arise, and a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, for iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, it shall crush and shatter all these. 41 As you saw the feet and toes, partly of potters’ clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it some of the strength of the iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. 43 Whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay.

44 “In the days of these kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

The Promotion of Daniel

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and did homage to Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and sweet incense to him. 47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Truly your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.”

48 Then the king advanced Daniel 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 at the court of the king.


  1. Daniel 2:4 2:4–7:28 is originally from the Aramaic language.