New International Version
The Writing on the Wall
5 King Belshazzar(A) gave a great banquet(B) for a thousand of his nobles(C) and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking(D) his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets(E) that Nebuchadnezzar his father[a] had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines(F) might drink from them.(G) 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods(H) of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.(I)
5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale(J) and he was so frightened(K) that his legs became weak(L) and his knees were knocking.(M)
7 The king summoned the enchanters,(N) astrologers[b](O) and diviners.(P) Then he said to these wise(Q) men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck,(R) and he will be made the third(S) highest ruler in the kingdom.”(T)
8 Then all the king’s wise men(U) came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant.(V) 9 So King Belshazzar became even more terrified(W) and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled.
10 The queen,[c] hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “May the king live forever!”(X) she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods(Y) in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom(Z) like that of the gods.(AA) Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners.(AB) 12 He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar,(AC) was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles(AD) and solve difficult problems.(AE) Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.(AF)”
13 So Daniel was brought before the king, and the king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah?(AG) 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods(AH) is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom.(AI) 15 The wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they could not explain it.(AJ) 16 Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems.(AK) If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck,(AL) and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”(AM)
17 Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else.(AN) Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.
18 “Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar(AO) sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor.(AP) 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death;(AQ) those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled.(AR) 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride,(AS) he was deposed from his royal throne(AT) and stripped(AU) of his glory.(AV) 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign(AW) over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.(AX)
22 “But you, Belshazzar, his son,[d] have not humbled(AY) yourself, though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against(AZ) the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives(BA) and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand.(BB) But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life(BC) and all your ways.(BD) 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.
25 “This is the inscription that was written:
mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26 “Here is what these words mean:
Daniel in the Den of Lions
6 [j]It pleased Darius(BR) to appoint 120 satraps(BS) to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel.(BT) The satraps were made accountable(BU) to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.(BV) 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges(BW) against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”(BX)
6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever!(BY) 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors(BZ) have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.(CA) 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”(CB) 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward(CC) Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees(CD) and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.(CE) 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.(CF) 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”(CG)
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah,(CH) pays no attention(CI) to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed;(CJ) he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”(CK)
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed(CN) it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating(CO) and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.(CP)
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”(CQ)
21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!(CR) 22 My God sent his angel,(CS) and he shut the mouths of the lions.(CT) They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.(CU) Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den,(CX) along with their wives and children.(CY) And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.(CZ)
25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language(DA) in all the earth:
“May you prosper greatly!(DB)
“For he is the living God(DE)
and he endures forever;(DF)
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.(DG)
27 He rescues and he saves;(DH)
he performs signs and wonders(DI)
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”(DJ)
Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts
2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven(DR) churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts,(DS) each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
4 “The first was like a lion,(DT) and it had the wings of an eagle.(DU) I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.
5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’(DV)
6 “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard.(DW) And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
7 “After that, in my vision(DX) at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron(DY) teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled(DZ) underfoot whatever was left.(EA) It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.(EB)
8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little(EC) one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being(ED) and a mouth that spoke boastfully.(EE)
9 “As I looked,
“thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days(EF) took his seat.(EG)
His clothing was as white as snow;(EH)
the hair of his head was white like wool.(EI)
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels(EJ) were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire(EK) was flowing,
coming out from before him.(EL)
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books(EM) were opened.
11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.(EN) I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.(EO) 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[l](EP) coming(EQ) with the clouds of heaven.(ER) He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority,(ES) glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.(ET) His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom(EU) is one that will never be destroyed.(EV)
The Interpretation of the Dream
15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me.(EW) 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
“So he told me and gave me the interpretation(EX) of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people(EY) of the Most High will receive the kingdom(EZ) and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’(FA)
19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns(FB) on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully.(FC) 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them,(FD) 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.(FE)
23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.(FF) 24 The ten horns(FG) are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High(FH) and oppress his holy people(FI) and try to change the set times(FJ) and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.[m](FK)
26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed(FL) forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms(FM) under heaven will be handed over to the holy people(FN) of the Most High.(FO) His kingdom will be an everlasting(FP) kingdom, and all rulers will worship(FQ) and obey him.’
Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat
8 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s(FU) reign, I, Daniel, had a vision,(FV) after the one that had already appeared to me. 2 In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa(FW) in the province of Elam;(FX) in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. 3 I looked up,(FY) and there before me was a ram(FZ) with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power.(GA) It did as it pleased(GB) and became great.
5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 7 I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it,(GC) and none could rescue the ram from its power.(GD) 8 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off,(GE) and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.(GF)
9 Out of one of them came another horn, which started small(GG) but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land.(GH) 10 It grew until it reached(GI) the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth(GJ) and trampled(GK) on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander(GL) of the army of the Lord;(GM) it took away the daily sacrifice(GN) from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down.(GO) 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people[n] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.(GP)
13 Then I heard a holy one(GQ) speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled(GR)—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot(GS) of the Lord’s people?”
14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”(GT)
The Interpretation of the Vision
15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision(GU) and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man.(GV) 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai(GW) calling, “Gabriel,(GX) tell this man the meaning of the vision.”(GY)
19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath,(HD) because the vision concerns the appointed time(HE) of the end.[p](HF) 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.(HG) 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece,(HH) and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.(HI) 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people.(HJ) 25 He will cause deceit(HK) to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.(HL) Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.(HM)
- Daniel 5:2 Or ancestor; or predecessor; also in verses 11, 13 and 18
- Daniel 5:7 Or Chaldeans; also in verse 11
- Daniel 5:10 Or queen mother
- Daniel 5:22 Or descendant; or successor
- Daniel 5:26 Mene can mean numbered or mina (a unit of money).
- Daniel 5:27 Tekel can mean weighed or shekel.
- Daniel 5:28 Peres (the singular of Parsin) can mean divided or Persia or a half mina or a half shekel.
- Daniel 5:30 Or Chaldeans
- Daniel 5:31 In Aramaic texts this verse (5:31) is numbered 6:1.
- Daniel 6:1 In Aramaic texts 6:1-28 is numbered 6:2-29.
- Daniel 6:28 Or Darius, that is, the reign of Cyrus
- Daniel 7:13 The Aramaic phrase bar enash means human being. The phrase son of man is retained here because of its use in the New Testament as a title of Jesus, probably based largely on this verse.
- Daniel 7:25 Or for a year, two years and half a year
- Daniel 8:12 Or rebellion, the armies
- Daniel 8:17 The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.
- Daniel 8:19 Or because the end will be at the appointed time