Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar(A) king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions(B) passed through his mind(C) as he was lying in bed.(D) He wrote(E) down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven(F) churning up the great sea. Four great beasts,(G) each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

“The first was like a lion,(H) and it had the wings of an eagle.(I) 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.

“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!’(J)

“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard.(K) 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.

“After that, in my vision(L) at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron(M) teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled(N) underfoot whatever was left.(O) It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.(P)

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little(Q) 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(R) and a mouth that spoke boastfully.(S)

“As I looked,

“thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days(T) took his seat.(U)
His clothing was as white as snow;(V)
    the hair of his head was white like wool.(W)
His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels(X) were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire(Y) was flowing,
    coming out from before him.(Z)
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
    and the books(AA) were opened.

11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.(AB) I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.(AC) 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,[a](AD) coming(AE) with the clouds of heaven.(AF) He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority,(AG) glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.(AH) His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom(AI) is one that will never be destroyed.(AJ)

The Interpretation of the Dream

15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me.(AK) 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(AL) of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people(AM) of the Most High will receive the kingdom(AN) and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’(AO)

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(AP) 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.(AQ) 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them,(AR) 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.(AS)

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.(AT) 24 The ten horns(AU) 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(AV) and oppress his holy people(AW) and try to change the set times(AX) and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.[b](AY)

26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed(AZ) forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms(BA) under heaven will be handed over to the holy people(BB) of the Most High.(BC) His kingdom will be an everlasting(BD) kingdom, and all rulers will worship(BE) and obey him.’

28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled(BF) by my thoughts,(BG) and my face turned pale,(BH) but I kept the matter to myself.”

Footnotes

  1. 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.
  2. Daniel 7:25 Or for a year, two years and half a year

Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat

In the third year of King Belshazzar’s(A) reign, I, Daniel, had a vision,(B) after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa(C) in the province of Elam;(D) in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up,(E) and there before me was a ram(F) 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. 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.(G) It did as it pleased(H) and became great.

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. It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 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,(I) and none could rescue the ram from its power.(J) The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off,(K) and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.(L)

Out of one of them came another horn, which started small(M) but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land.(N) 10 It grew until it reached(O) the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth(P) and trampled(Q) on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander(R) of the army of the Lord;(S) it took away the daily sacrifice(T) from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down.(U) 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people[a] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.(V)

13 Then I heard a holy one(W) speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled(X)—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot(Y) of the Lord’s people?”

14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”(Z)

The Interpretation of the Vision

15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision(AA) and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man.(AB) 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai(AC) calling, “Gabriel,(AD) tell this man the meaning of the vision.”(AE)

17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate.(AF) “Son of man,”[b] he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”(AG)

18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground.(AH) Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.(AI)

19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath,(AJ) because the vision concerns the appointed time(AK) of the end.[c](AL) 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.(AM) 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece,(AN) and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.(AO) 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.(AP) 25 He will cause deceit(AQ) 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.(AR) Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.(AS)

26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true,(AT) but seal(AU) up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”(AV)

27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted(AW) for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business.(AX) I was appalled(AY) by the vision; it was beyond understanding.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 8:12 Or rebellion, the armies
  2. 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.
  3. Daniel 8:19 Or because the end will be at the appointed time

11 And in the first year of Darius(A) the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)

The Kings of the South and the North

“Now then, I tell you the truth:(B) Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.(C) Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases.(D) After he has arisen, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven.(E) It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted(F) and given to others.

“The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power. After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power[a] will not last. In those days she will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father[b] and the one who supported her.

“One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North(G) and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. He will also seize their gods,(H) their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt.(I) For some years he will leave the king of the North alone. Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. 10 His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood(J) and carry the battle as far as his fortress.

11 “Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated.(K) 12 When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. 13 For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.

14 “In those times many will rise against the king of the South. Those who are violent among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. 15 Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps(L) and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. 16 The invader will do as he pleases;(M) no one will be able to stand against him.(N) He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it.(O) 17 He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans[c] will not succeed(P) or help him. 18 Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands(Q) and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him.(R) 19 After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall,(S) to be seen no more.(T)

20 “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor.(U) In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.

21 “He will be succeeded by a contemptible(V) person who has not been given the honor of royalty.(W) He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. 22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept away(X) before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed.(Y) 23 After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully,(Z) and with only a few people he will rise to power. 24 When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers.(AA) He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time.

25 “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. 26 Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. 27 The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil,(AB) will sit at the same table and lie(AC) to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time.(AD) 28 The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country.

29 “At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. 30 Ships of the western coastlands(AE) will oppose him, and he will lose heart.(AF) Then he will turn back and vent his fury(AG) against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.

31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice.(AH) Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.(AI) 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist(AJ) him.

33 “Those who are wise will instruct(AK) many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered.(AL) 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere(AM) will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined,(AN) purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

The King Who Exalts Himself

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself(AO) above every god and will say unheard-of things(AP) against the God of gods.(AQ) He will be successful until the time of wrath(AR) is completed, for what has been determined must take place.(AS) 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.[d]

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South(AT) will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm(AU) out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.(AV) 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land.(AW) Many countries will fall, but Edom,(AX) Moab(AY) and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt,(AZ) with the Libyans(BA) and Cushites[e] in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at[f] the beautiful holy mountain.(BB) Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 11:6 Or offspring
  2. Daniel 11:6 Or child (see Vulgate and Syriac)
  3. Daniel 11:17 Or but she
  4. Daniel 11:39 Or land for a reward
  5. Daniel 11:43 That is, people from the upper Nile region
  6. Daniel 11:45 Or the sea and