The King Acknowledges God

[a]Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [b]languages who live in all the earth: “May your [c](A)peace be great! I am pleased to declare the signs and miracles that the (B)Most High God has done for me.

How great are His (C)signs
And how mighty are His miracles!
His (D)kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

The Vision of a Great Tree

[d]I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and (E)happy in my palace. I saw a (F)dream and it startled me; and these appearances as I lay on my bed and the (G)visions [e]in my mind kept alarming me. So I gave orders to (H)bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, so that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the (I)soothsayer priests, the sorcerers, the [f]Chaldeans, and the diviners came in and I related the dream [g]to them, but they could not make its (J)interpretation known to me. But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is (K)Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is [h](L)a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream [i]to him, saying, ‘Belteshazzar, (M)chief of the soothsayer priests, since I know that (N)a spirit of the holy gods is in you and (O)no secret baffles you, (P)tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.

10 ‘Now these were the (Q)visions [j]in my mind as I lay on my bed: I was looking, and behold, there was a (R)tree in the middle of the [k]earth and its height was great.

11 The tree grew large and became strong
And its height (S)reached to the sky,
And it was visible to the end of the whole earth.
12 Its foliage was (T)beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The (U)animals of the field [l]found (V)shade under it,
And the (W)birds of the sky lived in its branches,
And all [m]living creatures fed from it.

13 ‘I was looking in the (X)visions [n]in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, (Y)an angelic watcher, a (Z)holy one, descended from heaven.

14 He shouted out and spoke as follows:
(AA)Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Shake off its foliage and scatter its fruit;
Let the (AB)animals flee from under it
And the birds from its branches.
15 Yet (AC)leave the stump [o]with its roots in the ground,
But with a band of iron and bronze around it
In the new grass of the field;
And let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,
And let [p]him share with the animals in the grass of the earth.
16 Let his [q]mind change from that of a human
And let an animal’s [r]mind be given to him,
And let (AD)seven [s]periods of time pass over him.
17 This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers,
And the decision is a command of the holy ones,
In order that the living may (AE)know
That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
And (AF)He grants it to whomever He wishes
And sets over it the (AG)lowliest of people.”

18 This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, since none of the (AH)wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, because a (AI)spirit of the holy gods is in you.’

Daniel Interprets the Vision

19 “Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his (AJ)thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not (AK)let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘(AL)My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you, and its interpretation to (AM)your adversaries! 20 The (AN)tree that you saw, which became large and grew strong, whose height reached to the sky and was visible to all the earth, 21 and whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which the animals of the field lived and in whose branches the birds of the sky settled— 22 it is (AO)you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your [t]majesty has become great and reached to the sky, and your (AP)dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And in that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “(AQ)Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump [u]with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let [v]him share with the animals of the field until (AR)seven [w]periods of time pass over him,” 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has (AS)come upon my lord the king: 25 that you be (AT)driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the animals of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven [x]periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the (AU)Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and (AV)bestows it on whomever He wishes. 26 And in that it was commanded to (AW)leave the stump [y]with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will [z]remain as yours after you recognize that it is (AX)Heaven that rules. 27 Therefore, O king, may my (AY)advice be pleasing to you: (AZ)wipe away your sin by doing righteousness, and your wrongdoings by (BA)showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a (BB)prolonging of your prosperity.’

The Vision Fulfilled

28 “All of this (BC)happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 (BD)Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king began speaking and was saying, ‘Is this not Babylon the (BE)great, which I myself have built as a royal [aa]residence by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty?’ 31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice [ab]came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: [ac]sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and (BF)you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the animals of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and (BG)seven [ad]periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the (BH)Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ 33 Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was (BI)driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

34 “But at the end of [ae]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [af]reason returned to me, and I blessed the (BJ)Most High and praised and honored (BK)Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an (BL)everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 (BM)All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But (BN)He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And (BO)no one can [ag]fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘(BP)What have You done?’

36 At that time my [ah](BQ)reason returned to me. And my majesty and (BR)splendor were [ai]restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my [aj]sovereignty, and surpassing (BS)greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of (BT)heaven, for (BU)all His works are [ak]true and His ways [al]just; and He is able to humble those who (BV)walk in pride.”

Belshazzar’s Feast

Belshazzar the king [am]held a great (BW)feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. [an]While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave orders to bring the gold and silver (BX)vessels which his [ao]father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines could drink out of them. Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines drank out of them. They (BY)drank the wine and praised the gods of (BZ)gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

Suddenly the fingers of a human hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing. Then the king’s [ap](CA)face became pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and his (CB)hip joints [aq]loosened and his (CC)knees began knocking together. The king called aloud to bring in the (CD)sorcerers, the [ar]Chaldeans, and the diviners. The king began speaking and said to the wise men of Babylon, “Anyone who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me shall be (CE)clothed with purple and have a (CF)necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as (CG)third ruler in the kingdom.” Then all the king’s wise men came in, but (CH)they could not read the inscription or make known its interpretation to the king. Then King Belshazzar was greatly (CI)alarmed, his [as](CJ)face grew even more pale, and his nobles were perplexed.

10 The queen entered the banquet [at]hall because of the words of the king and his nobles; the queen began to speak and said, “(CK)O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts alarm you or your [au]face be pale. 11 There is a (CL)man in your kingdom in whom is [av]a (CM)spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, insight, and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father [aw](CN)the king—appointed him chief of the soothsayer priests, sorcerers, Chaldeans, and diviners. 12 This was because an (CO)extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of riddles, and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named (CP)Belteshazzar. Let Daniel now be summoned and he will declare the interpretation.”

Daniel Interprets the Handwriting on the Wall

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king began speaking and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the [ax](CQ)exiles from Judah, whom my father the king (CR)brought from Judah? 14 Now I have heard about you that [ay]a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight, and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. 15 Just now the (CS)wise men and the sorcerers were brought in before me to read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they (CT)could not declare the interpretation of the [az]message. 16 But I personally have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read the inscription and make its (CU)interpretation known to me, you will be (CV)clothed with purple and wear a necklace of gold around your neck, and you will have authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel replied and said before the king, “[ba]Keep your (CW)gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him. 18 [bb]O king, the (CX)Most High God (CY)granted [bc]sovereignty, (CZ)greatness, honor, and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father. 19 Now because of the greatness which He granted him, all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [bd]languages trembled and feared in his presence; (DA)whomever he wished, he killed, and whomever he wished, he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated, and whomever he wished he humbled. 20 But when his heart [be]was (DB)arrogant and his spirit became so [bf](DC)overbearing that he behaved presumptuously, he was (DD)deposed from his royal throne, and his dignity was taken away from him. 21 He was also (DE)driven away from [bg]mankind, and his heart was made like that of animals, and his dwelling place was with the (DF)wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he recognized that the (DG)Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind, and that He sets over it whomever He wishes. 22 Yet you, his [bh]son, Belshazzar, have (DH)not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this, 23 but you have (DI)risen up against the (DJ)Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, your wives, and your concubines have been drinking wine out of them; and you have praised the (DK)gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see, nor hear, nor understand. But the God (DL)in whose hand are your life-breath and all your (DM)ways, you have not glorified. 24 Then the [bi](DN)hand was sent from Him and this inscription was written out.

25 “Now this is the inscription that was written:

[bj]Menē, [bk]Menē, [bl]Tekēl, [bm]Upharsin.’

26 This is the interpretation of the [bn]message: ‘Menē’—God has numbered your kingdom and (DO)put an end to it. 27 Tekēl’—you have been (DP)weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 [bo]Perēs’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the (DQ)Medes and [bp]Persians.”

29 Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they (DR)clothed Daniel with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That same night (DS)Belshazzar the Chaldean king was (DT)killed. 31 [bq]So (DU)Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two.

Daniel Serves Darius

[br]It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, to be in charge of the whole kingdom, and over them, three commissioners (of whom (DV)Daniel was one), so that these satraps would be accountable to them, and that the king would not [bs]suffer (DW)loss. Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself [bt]among the commissioners and satraps because [bu]he possessed an (DX)extraordinary spirit, and the king intended to appoint him over the (DY)entire kingdom. Then the commissioners and satraps began (DZ)trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel regarding [bv]government affairs; but they could find (EA)no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, because he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him regarding the (EB)law of his God.”

Then these commissioners and satraps came [bw]by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: “King Darius, (EC)live forever! All the (ED)commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors, have (EE)consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who offers a prayer to any god or person besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall (EF)be thrown into the lions’ [bx]den. Now, O king, (EG)establish the injunction and sign the document so that it will not be changed, according to the (EH)law of the Medes and Persians, which [by]may not be revoked.” Thereupon, King Darius (EI)signed the document, that is, the injunction.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the document was signed, he entered his house (and in his roof chamber he had windows open (EJ)toward Jerusalem); and he continued (EK)kneeling on his knees three times a day, (EL)praying and (EM)offering praise before his God, just as he had been doing previously. 11 Then these men came [bz](EN)by agreement and found Daniel offering a prayer and imploring favor before his God. 12 Then they approached and (EO)spoke before the king about the king’s injunction: “Did you not sign an injunction that any person who offers a prayer to any god or person besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the (EP)law of the Medes and Persians, which [ca]may not be revoked.” 13 Then they responded and spoke before the king, “(EQ)Daniel, who is one of the [cb]exiles from Judah, pays (ER)no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps offering his prayer three times a day.”

14 Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply (ES)distressed, and set his mind on rescuing Daniel; and until sunset he kept exerting himself to save him. 15 Then these men came [cc]by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a (ET)law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and (EU)thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “[cd](EV)Your God whom you continually serve will Himself rescue you.” 17 And a (EW)stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed regarding Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night (EX)fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his (EY)sleep fled from him.

19 Then the king got up at dawn, at the break of day, and went in a hurry to the lions’ den. 20 And when he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king began speaking and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has (EZ)your God, whom you continually serve, been (FA)able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel spoke [ce]to the king, “(FB)O king, live forever! 22 My God (FC)sent His angel and (FD)shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, since [cf]I was found innocent before Him; and also [cg]toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” 23 Then the king was very glad and gave orders for Daniel to be lifted up out of the den. So Daniel was lifted up out of the den, and (FE)no injury whatever was found on him, because he had (FF)trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had [ch]maliciously accused Daniel, and they (FG)threw them, their (FH)children, and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the (FI)peoples, nations, and populations of all [ci]languages who were living in all the land: “(FJ)May your [cj]peace be great! 26 [ck]I (FK)issue a decree that in all the realm of my kingdom people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel;

For He is the (FL)living God and (FM)enduring forever,
And (FN)His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,
And His dominion will be [cl]forever.
27 He rescues, saves, and performs (FO)signs and miracles
In heaven and on earth,
He who has also rescued Daniel from the [cm]power of the lions.”

28 So this (FP)Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of (FQ)Cyrus the Persian.


  1. Daniel 4:1 Ch 3:31 in Aram
  2. Daniel 4:1 Lit tongues
  3. Daniel 4:1 Or welfare; or prosperity
  4. Daniel 4:4 Ch 4:1 in Aram
  5. Daniel 4:5 Lit of my head
  6. Daniel 4:7 Probably master astrologers, diviners, etc.
  7. Daniel 4:7 Lit before
  8. Daniel 4:8 Or possibly the Spirit of the holy God, and so throughout the ch
  9. Daniel 4:8 Lit before
  10. Daniel 4:10 Lit of my head
  11. Daniel 4:10 Or land, and so throughout the ch
  12. Daniel 4:12 Or dwelt under it
  13. Daniel 4:12 Lit flesh
  14. Daniel 4:13 Lit of my head
  15. Daniel 4:15 Lit of
  16. Daniel 4:15 Lit his share be with
  17. Daniel 4:16 Lit heart
  18. Daniel 4:16 Lit heart
  19. Daniel 4:16 I.e., years
  20. Daniel 4:22 Lit greatness
  21. Daniel 4:23 Lit of
  22. Daniel 4:23 Lit his share be with
  23. Daniel 4:23 I.e., years
  24. Daniel 4:25 I.e., years
  25. Daniel 4:26 Lit of
  26. Daniel 4:26 Lit be enduring to you
  27. Daniel 4:30 Lit house
  28. Daniel 4:31 Lit fell
  29. Daniel 4:31 Or kingdom
  30. Daniel 4:32 I.e., years
  31. Daniel 4:34 Lit the days
  32. Daniel 4:34 Lit understanding
  33. Daniel 4:35 Lit strike against
  34. Daniel 4:36 Lit understanding
  35. Daniel 4:36 Lit returning
  36. Daniel 4:36 Or kingdom
  37. Daniel 4:37 Lit truth
  38. Daniel 4:37 Lit justice
  39. Daniel 5:1 Lit made
  40. Daniel 5:2 Or Under the influence of the wine
  41. Daniel 5:2 Or forefather, and so throughout the ch
  42. Daniel 5:6 Lit brightness changed for him
  43. Daniel 5:6 Or shook
  44. Daniel 5:7 I.e., probably master astrologers, diviners, etc., and so throughout the ch
  45. Daniel 5:9 Lit brightness was changing upon him
  46. Daniel 5:10 Lit house
  47. Daniel 5:10 Lit brightness be changed
  48. Daniel 5:11 Or possibly the Spirit of the holy God
  49. Daniel 5:11 Or O king
  50. Daniel 5:13 Lit sons of the exile
  51. Daniel 5:14 Or possibly the Spirit of God
  52. Daniel 5:15 Lit word
  53. Daniel 5:17 Lit for
  54. Daniel 5:18 Lit You, O king
  55. Daniel 5:18 Or the kingdom
  56. Daniel 5:19 Lit tongues
  57. Daniel 5:20 Lit rose up
  58. Daniel 5:20 Lit strong
  59. Daniel 5:21 Lit the sons of mankind
  60. Daniel 5:22 Or descendant
  61. Daniel 5:24 Lit palm of the hand
  62. Daniel 5:25 Or a mina (50 shekels) from verb “to count”
  63. Daniel 5:25 Or a mina (50 shekels) from verb “to count”
  64. Daniel 5:25 Or a shekel from verb “to weigh”
  65. Daniel 5:25 Or and half-shekels (singular: perēs) from verb “to divide”
  66. Daniel 5:26 Lit word
  67. Daniel 5:28 Or half-shekel from verb “to divide”
  68. Daniel 5:28 Aram: Pāras
  69. Daniel 5:31 Ch 6:1 in Aram
  70. Daniel 6:1 Ch 6:2 in Aram
  71. Daniel 6:2 Or come to grief
  72. Daniel 6:3 Lit above
  73. Daniel 6:3 Lit there was in him
  74. Daniel 6:4 Lit the kingdom
  75. Daniel 6:6 Or as a group
  76. Daniel 6:7 Or pit, and so throughout the ch
  77. Daniel 6:8 Lit does not pass away
  78. Daniel 6:11 Or as a group
  79. Daniel 6:12 Lit does not go away
  80. Daniel 6:13 Lit sons of the exile
  81. Daniel 6:15 Or as a group
  82. Daniel 6:16 Or May your God...Himself rescue you
  83. Daniel 6:21 Lit with
  84. Daniel 6:22 Lit innocence was found for me
  85. Daniel 6:22 Lit before
  86. Daniel 6:24 Lit eaten the pieces of Daniel
  87. Daniel 6:25 Lit tongues
  88. Daniel 6:25 Or welfare; or prosperity
  89. Daniel 6:26 Lit From me a decree is issued
  90. Daniel 6:26 Lit to the end
  91. Daniel 6:27 Lit hand

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