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Daniel 2Amplified Bible (AMP)

The King’s Forgotten Dream

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. Then the king gave a command to call the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the [a]Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 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.”

Then the Chaldeans said to the king in [b]Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” 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. 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.” They answered again, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will explain its interpretation [to you].” 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. 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 [c]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,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 
“It is He who changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and establishes kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
And [greater] knowledge to those who have understanding!
22 
“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.
23 
“I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us [the solution to] the king’s matter.”

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 [d]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 [e]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.

Rome

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.”

Daniel Promoted

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 2:2 I.e. Babylonian sages who were master astrologers, and so below.
  2. Daniel 2:4 In addition to their native language, most people involved in government or trade could speak and write in Aramaic. At this point in the book Daniel switches from writing in Hebrew to writing in Aramaic. He returns to writing in Hebrew in ch 8.
  3. Daniel 2:14 Or executioners.
  4. Daniel 2:32 Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream outlines the further history of Gentile world power. The four metals of which the statue was made represented four successive empires, each with the power to rule the inhabited earth—though each stopped short of that. They were: (1) Babylon (Jer 51:7); (2) Medo-Persia; (3) Greece under Alexander; and (4) Rome. The latter power was divided first into the two legs, corresponding to the eastern and western Roman Empires, and then (after a very long time apparently) into the ten toes, a confederacy made up largely of European nations (7:24-27).
  5. Daniel 2:34 The eternal kingdom of God, the Messianic kingdom, will extend over all the earth, and those who reject Jesus, the Messiah, the Stone, will be crushed. See also Ps 118:22, 23; Is 8:14; Matt 21:44; Luke 20:18; 1 Pet 2:4-8.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Daniel 2King James Version (KJV)

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.

Daniel 2Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him, and sleep deserted him. So the king gave orders to summon the diviner-priests, mediums, sorcerers, and Chaldeans[a] to tell the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream and am anxious to understand it.”

The Chaldeans spoke to the king (Aramaic[b] begins here): “May the king live forever. Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king replied to the Chaldeans, “My word is final: If you don’t tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb,[c] and your houses will be made a garbage dump. But if you make the dream and its interpretation known to me, you’ll receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me. So make the dream and its interpretation known to me.”

They answered a second time, “May the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king replied, “I know for certain you are trying to gain some time, because you see that my word is final. If you don’t tell me the dream, there is one decree for you. You have conspired to tell me something false or fraudulent until the situation changes. So tell me the dream and I will know you can give me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king, “No one on earth can make known what the king requests. Consequently, no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked anything like this of any diviner-priest, medium, or Chaldean. 11 What the king is asking is so difficult that no one can make it known to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.” 12 Because of this, the king became violently angry and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 The decree was issued that the wise men were to be executed, and they searched for Daniel and his friends, to execute them.

14 Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard,[d] who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15 He asked Arioch, the king’s officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh?”[e] Then Arioch explained the situation to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went and asked the king to give him some time, so that he could give the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter, 18 urging them to ask the God of heaven for mercy concerning this mystery, so Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the rest of Babylon’s wise men. 19 The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and declared:

May the name of God
be praised forever and ever,
for wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 He changes the times and seasons;
He removes kings and establishes kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those
who have understanding.
22 He reveals the deep and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him.
23 I offer thanks and praise to You,
God of my fathers,
because You have given me
wisdom and power.
And now You have let me know
what we asked of You,
for You have let us know
the king’s mystery.[f]

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can let the king know the interpretation.”

26 The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?”

27 Daniel answered the king: “No wise man, medium, diviner-priest, or astrologer is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay in bed were these: 29 Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came to your mind about what will happen in the future.[g] The revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

The Dream’s Interpretation

31 “My king, as you were watching, a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, 33 its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay. 34 As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it,[h] struck the statue on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. 38 Wherever people live—or wild animals, or birds of the air—He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.

39 “After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. 40 A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others.[i] 41 You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron—it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, 42 and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay—part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. 43 You saw the iron mixed with clay—the peoples will mix with one another[j] but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay.

44 “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. 45 You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it,[k] and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future.[l] The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Response

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down, paid homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to manage the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 2:2 In this chap. Chaldeans are influential Babylonian wise men.
  2. Daniel 2:4 Dn 2:4–7:28 is written in Aram.
  3. Daniel 2:5 Lit be made into limbs
  4. Daniel 2:14 Or executioners
  5. Daniel 2:15 Or urgent
  6. Daniel 2:23 Lit matter
  7. Daniel 2:29 Lit happen after this
  8. Daniel 2:34 Lit off not by hands
  9. Daniel 2:40 Lit all these
  10. Daniel 2:43 Lit another in the seed of men
  11. Daniel 2:45 Lit mountain, not by hands
  12. Daniel 2:45 Lit happen after this

Daniel 2New International Version (NIV)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.[b]

Then the astrologers answered the king,[c] “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”

10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”

12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.

17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

25 Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.”

26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:

29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.

48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 2:2 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 4, 5 and 10
  2. Daniel 2:3 Or was
  3. Daniel 2:4 At this point the Hebrew text has in Aramaic, indicating that the text from here through the end of chapter 7 is in Aramaic.
New International Version (NIV)

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Daniel 2The Message (MSG)

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

1-3 In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar started having dreams that disturbed him deeply. He couldn’t sleep. He called in all the Babylonian magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and fortunetellers to interpret his dreams for him. When they came and lined up before the king, he said to them, “I had a dream that I can’t get out of my mind. I can’t sleep until I know what it means.”

The fortunetellers, speaking in the Aramaic language, said, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream and we will interpret it.”

5-6 The king answered the fortunetellers, “This is my decree: If you can’t tell me both the dream itself and its interpretation, I’ll have you ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and your homes torn down. But if you tell me both the dream and its interpretation, I’ll lavish you with gifts and honors. So go to it: Tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

They answered, “If it please your majesty, tell us the dream. We’ll give the interpretation.”

8-9 But the king said, “I know what you’re up to—you’re just playing for time. You know you’re up a tree. You know that if you can’t tell me my dream, you’re doomed. I see right through you—you’re going to cook up some fancy stories and confuse the issue until I change my mind. Nothing doing! First tell me the dream, then I’ll know that you’re on the up and up with the interpretation and not just blowing smoke in my eyes.”

10-11 The fortunetellers said, “Nobody anywhere can do what you ask. And no king, great or small, has ever demanded anything like this from any magician, enchanter, or fortuneteller. What you’re asking is impossible unless some god or goddess should reveal it—and they don’t hang around with people like us.”

12-13 That set the king off. He lost his temper and ordered the whole company of Babylonian wise men killed. When the death warrant was issued, Daniel and his companions were included. They also were marked for execution.

14-15 When Arioch, chief of the royal guards, was making arrangements for the execution, Daniel wisely took him aside and quietly asked what was going on: “Why this all of a sudden?”

15-16 After Arioch filled in the background, Daniel went to the king and asked for a little time so that he could interpret the dream.

17-18 Daniel then went home and told his companions Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what was going on. He asked them to pray to the God of heaven for mercy in solving this mystery so that the four of them wouldn’t be killed along with the whole company of Babylonian wise men.

Dream Interpretation: A Story of Five Kingdoms

19-23 That night the answer to the mystery was given to Daniel in a vision. Daniel blessed the God of heaven, saying,

“Blessed be the name of God,
    forever and ever.
He knows all, does all:
    He changes the seasons and guides history,
He raises up kings and also brings them down,
    he provides both intelligence and discernment,
He opens up the depths, tells secrets,
    sees in the dark—light spills out of him!
God of all my ancestors, all thanks! all praise!
    You made me wise and strong.
And now you’ve shown us what we asked for.
    You’ve solved the king’s mystery.”

24 So Daniel went back to Arioch, who had been put in charge of the execution. He said, “Call off the execution! Take me to the king and I’ll interpret his dream.”

25 Arioch didn’t lose a minute. He ran to the king, bringing Daniel with him, and said, “I’ve found a man from the exiles of Judah who can interpret the king’s dream!”

26 The king asked Daniel (renamed in Babylonian, Belteshazzar), “Are you sure you can do this—tell me the dream I had and interpret it for me?”

27-28 Daniel answered the king, “No mere human can solve the king’s mystery, I don’t care who it is—no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner. But there is a God in heaven who solves mysteries, and he has solved this one. He is letting King Nebuchadnezzar in on what is going to happen in the days ahead. This is the dream you had when you were lying on your bed, the vision that filled your mind:

29-30 “While you were stretched out on your bed, O king, thoughts came to you regarding what is coming in the days ahead. The Revealer of Mysteries showed you what will happen. But the interpretation is given through me, not because I’m any smarter than anyone else in the country, but so that you will know what it means, so that you will understand what you dreamed.

31-36 “What you saw, O king, was a huge statue standing before you, striking in appearance. And terrifying. The head of the statue was pure gold, the chest and arms were silver, the belly and hips were bronze, the legs were iron, and the feet were an iron-ceramic mixture. While you were looking at this statue, a stone cut out of a mountain by an invisible hand hit the statue, smashing its iron-ceramic feet. Then the whole thing fell to pieces—iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold, smashed to bits. It was like scraps of old newspapers in a vacant lot in a hot dry summer, blown every which way by the wind, scattered to oblivion. But the stone that hit the statue became a huge mountain, dominating the horizon. This was your dream.

36-40 “And now we’ll interpret it for the king. You, O king, are the most powerful king on earth. The God of heaven has given you the works: rule, power, strength, and glory. He has put you in charge of men and women, wild animals and birds, all over the world—you’re the head ruler, you are the head of gold. But your rule will be taken over by another kingdom, inferior to yours, and that one by a third, a bronze kingdom, but still ruling the whole land, and after that by a fourth kingdom, ironlike in strength. Just as iron smashes things to bits, breaking and pulverizing, it will bust up the previous kingdoms.

41-43 “But then the feet and toes that ended up as a mixture of ceramic and iron will deteriorate into a mongrel kingdom with some remains of iron in it. Just as the toes of the feet were part ceramic and part iron, it will end up a mixed bag of the breakable and unbreakable. That kingdom won’t bond, won’t hold together any more than iron and clay hold together.

44-45 “But throughout the history of these kingdoms, the God of heaven will be building a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will this kingdom ever fall under the domination of another. In the end it will crush the other kingdoms and finish them off and come through it all standing strong and eternal. It will be like the stone cut from the mountain by the invisible hand that crushed the iron, the bronze, the ceramic, the silver, and the gold.

“The great God has let the king know what will happen in the years to come. This is an accurate telling of the dream, and the interpretation is also accurate.”

46-47 When Daniel finished, King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face in awe before Daniel. He ordered the offering of sacrifices and burning of incense in Daniel’s honor. He said to Daniel, “Your God is beyond question the God of all gods, the Master of all kings. And he solves all mysteries, I know, because you’ve solved this mystery.”

48-49 Then the king promoted Daniel to a high position in the kingdom, lavished him with gifts, and made him governor over the entire province of Babylon and the chief in charge of all the Babylonian wise men. At Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to administrative posts throughout Babylon, while Daniel governed from the royal headquarters.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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