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.”

Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat

In the third year of King Belshazzar’s(BI) reign, I, Daniel, had a vision,(BJ) after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa(BK) in the province of Elam;(BL) in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up,(BM) and there before me was a ram(BN) 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.(BO) It did as it pleased(BP) 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,(BQ) and none could rescue the ram from its power.(BR) The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off,(BS) and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.(BT)

Out of one of them came another horn, which started small(BU) but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land.(BV) 10 It grew until it reached(BW) the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth(BX) and trampled(BY) on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander(BZ) of the army of the Lord;(CA) it took away the daily sacrifice(CB) from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down.(CC) 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people[c] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.(CD)

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

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


  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
  3. Daniel 8:12 Or rebellion, the armies

Reasons for Writing

12 I am writing to you, dear children,(A)
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.(B)
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.(C)
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome(D) the evil one.(E)

14 I write to you, dear children,(F)
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.(G)
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,(H)
    and the word of God(I) lives in you,(J)
    and you have overcome the evil one.(K)

On Not Loving the World

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world.(L) If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them.(M) 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,(N) the lust of the eyes,(O) and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away,(P) but whoever does the will of God(Q) lives forever.

Warnings Against Denying the Son

18 Dear children, this is the last hour;(R) and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming,(S) even now many antichrists have come.(T) This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us,(U) but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.(V)

20 But you have an anointing(W) from the Holy One,(X) and all of you know the truth.[b](Y) 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it(Z) and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.(AA) 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.(AB)

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning(AC) remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.(AD) 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.(AE)

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.(AF) 27 As for you, the anointing(AG) you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things(AH) and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.(AI)

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  1. 1 John 2:15 Or world, the Father’s love
  2. 1 John 2:20 Some manuscripts and you know all things

13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a](A) asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through(B) the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;(C)
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;(D)
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,(E)
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings(F)
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites(G)
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan(H)
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land(I) as an inheritance,(J)
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance(K) to his servant Israel.(L)
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us(M) in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us(N) from our enemies.(O)
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food(P) to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks(Q) to the God of heaven.(R)
His love endures forever.(S)

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  1. Psalm 136:13 Or the Sea of Reeds; also in verse 15