New American Standard Bible
The King’s Golden Image
3 Nebuchadnezzar the king made a (A)statue of gold, the height of which was [a]sixty cubits, and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the (B)province of Babylon. 2 Nebuchadnezzar the king also sent word to assemble the (C)satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the chief treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the administrators of the provinces to come to the dedication of the statue that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the chief treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the administrators of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the statue that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you [b]the command is given, you (D)peoples, nations, and populations of all [c]languages, 5 that at the moment you (E)hear the sound of the horn, flute, [d]lyre, [e]trigon, [f]psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. 6 But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be (F)thrown into the middle of a (G)furnace of blazing fire.” 7 Therefore as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, [g]lyre, trigon, psaltery, [h]bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [i]languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Worship of the Image Refused
8 For this reason at that time certain (H)Chaldeans came forward and [j](I)brought charges against the Jews. 9 They began to speak and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “(J)O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have (K)made a decree that every person who hears the sound of the horn, flute, [k]lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, is to (L)fall down and worship the golden statue. 11 But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into the middle of a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have (M)appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods, nor do they worship the golden statue which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in (N)rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar began speaking and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you do not serve (O)my gods, nor worship the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, (P)at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, [l]lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will [m]immediately be (Q)thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and (R)what god is there who can rescue you from my hands?”
16 (S)Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we are not in need of an answer to give you concerning this matter. 17 If it be so, our (T)God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire; [n]and (U)He will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 (V)But even if He does not, (W)let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods nor worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
Daniel’s Friends Protected
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with (X)wrath, and his facial expression was changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. He answered [o]by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in order to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 Then these men were tied up in their (Y)trousers, their [p]coats, their caps, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the middle of the furnace of blazing fire. 22 For this reason, because the king’s [q]command was (Z)harsh and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, (AA)fell into the middle of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up quickly; he said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Absolutely, O king.” 25 He responded, “Look! I see four men untied and (AB)walking about in the middle of the fire [r]unharmed, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the (AC)gods!” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the (AD)Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (AE)came out of the middle of the fire. 27 The (AF)satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the (AG)fire had no [s]effect on [t]the bodies of these men, nor was the hair of their heads singed, nor were their [u](AH)trousers [v]damaged, nor had even the smell of fire touched them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the (AI)God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has (AJ)sent His angel and rescued His servants who put their (AK)trust in Him, [w]violating the king’s command, and surrendered their bodies (AL)rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I (AM)make a decree that any people, nation, or population of any language that speaks anything offensive against the God of (AN)Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their (AO)houses made a rubbish heap, because there is (AP)no other god who is able to save in this way.” 30 Then the king (AQ)made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego prosperous in the province of Babylon.
The King Acknowledges God
4 [x]Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [y]languages who live in all the earth: “May your [z](AR)peace be great! 2 I am pleased to declare the signs and miracles that the (AS)Most High God has done for me.
The Vision of a Great Tree
4 “[aa]I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and (AV)happy in my palace. 5 I saw a (AW)dream and it startled me; and these appearances as I lay on my bed and the (AX)visions [ab]in my mind kept alarming me. 6 So I gave orders to (AY)bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, so that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the (AZ)soothsayer priests, the sorcerers, the [ac]Chaldeans, and the diviners came in and I related the dream [ad]to them, but they could not make its (BA)interpretation known to me. 8 But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is (BB)Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is [ae](BC)a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream [af]to him, saying, 9 ‘Belteshazzar, (BD)chief of the soothsayer priests, since I know that (BE)a spirit of the holy gods is in you and (BF)no secret baffles you, (BG)tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.
11 The tree grew large and became strong
And its height (BJ)reached to the sky,
And it was visible to the end of the whole earth.
12 Its foliage was (BK)beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The (BL)animals of the field [ai]found (BM)shade under it,
And the (BN)birds of the sky lived in its branches,
And all [aj]living creatures fed from it.
14 He shouted out and spoke as follows:
“(BR)Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Shake off its foliage and scatter its fruit;
Let the (BS)animals flee from under it
And the birds from its branches.
15 Yet (BT)leave the stump [al]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 [am]him share with the animals in the grass of the earth.
16 Let his [an]mind change from that of a human
And let an animal’s [ao]mind be given to him,
And let (BU)seven [ap]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 (BV)know
That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
And (BW)He grants it to whomever He wishes
And sets over it the (BX)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 (BY)wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, because a (BZ)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 (CA)thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not (CB)let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘(CC)My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you, and its interpretation to (CD)your adversaries! 20 The (CE)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 (CF)you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your [aq]majesty has become great and reached to the sky, and your (CG)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, “(CH)Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump [ar]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 [as]him share with the animals of the field until (CI)seven [at]periods of time pass over him,” 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has (CJ)come upon my lord the king: 25 that you be (CK)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 [au]periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the (CL)Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and (CM)bestows it on whomever He wishes. 26 And in that it was commanded to (CN)leave the stump [av]with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will [aw]remain as yours after you recognize that it is (CO)Heaven that rules. 27 Therefore, O king, may my (CP)advice be pleasing to you: (CQ)wipe away your sin by doing righteousness, and your wrongdoings by (CR)showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a (CS)prolonging of your prosperity.’
The Vision Fulfilled
28 “All of this (CT)happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 (CU)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 (CV)great, which I myself have built as a royal [ax]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 [ay]came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: [az]sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and (CW)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 (CX)seven [ba]periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the (CY)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 (CZ)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 [bb]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [bc]reason returned to me, and I blessed the (DA)Most High and praised and honored (DB)Him who lives forever;
For His dominion is an (DC)everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 (DD)All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But (DE)He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And (DF)no one can [bd]fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘(DG)What have You done?’
36 At that time my [be](DH)reason returned to me. And my majesty and (DI)splendor were [bf]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 [bg]sovereignty, and surpassing (DJ)greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of (DK)heaven, for (DL)all His works are [bh]true and His ways [bi]just; and He is able to humble those who (DM)walk in pride.”
- Daniel 3:1 About 90 ft. high and 9 ft. wide or 27 m and 2.7 m
- Daniel 3:4 Lit they command
- Daniel 3:4 Lit tongues
- Daniel 3:5 Or zither
- Daniel 3:5 I.e., triangular lyre
- Daniel 3:5 Or a type of harp
- Daniel 3:7 See notes v 5
- Daniel 3:7 MT omits bagpipe
- Daniel 3:7 Lit tongues
- Daniel 3:8 Lit ate the pieces of
- Daniel 3:10 See notes v 5
- Daniel 3:15 See notes 1, 2, 3 v 5
- Daniel 3:15 Or in the same hour
- Daniel 3:17 Or then
- Daniel 3:19 Lit and ordered to
- Daniel 3:21 Or cloaks
- Daniel 3:22 Lit word
- Daniel 3:25 Lit there is no injury in them
- Daniel 3:27 Lit power over
- Daniel 3:27 Lit their
- Daniel 3:27 Or coats
- Daniel 3:27 Lit changed
- Daniel 3:28 Lit and changed the king’s word
- Daniel 4:1 Ch 3:31 in Aram
- Daniel 4:1 Lit tongues
- Daniel 4:1 Or welfare; or prosperity
- Daniel 4:4 Ch 4:1 in Aram
- Daniel 4:5 Lit of my head
- Daniel 4:7 Probably master astrologers, diviners, etc.
- Daniel 4:7 Lit before
- Daniel 4:8 Or possibly the Spirit of the holy God, and so throughout the ch
- Daniel 4:8 Lit before
- Daniel 4:10 Lit of my head
- Daniel 4:10 Or land, and so throughout the ch
- Daniel 4:12 Or dwelt under it
- Daniel 4:12 Lit flesh
- Daniel 4:13 Lit of my head
- Daniel 4:15 Lit of
- Daniel 4:15 Lit his share be with
- Daniel 4:16 Lit heart
- Daniel 4:16 Lit heart
- Daniel 4:16 I.e., years
- Daniel 4:22 Lit greatness
- Daniel 4:23 Lit of
- Daniel 4:23 Lit his share be with
- Daniel 4:23 I.e., years
- Daniel 4:25 I.e., years
- Daniel 4:26 Lit of
- Daniel 4:26 Lit be enduring to you
- Daniel 4:30 Lit house
- Daniel 4:31 Lit fell
- Daniel 4:31 Or kingdom
- Daniel 4:32 I.e., years
- Daniel 4:34 Lit the days
- Daniel 4:34 Lit understanding
- Daniel 4:35 Lit strike against
- Daniel 4:36 Lit understanding
- Daniel 4:36 Lit returning
- Daniel 4:36 Or kingdom
- Daniel 4:37 Lit truth
- Daniel 4:37 Lit justice