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)

The Interpretation of the Vision

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

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

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

19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath,(CR) because the vision concerns the appointed time(CS) of the end.[e](CT) 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.(CU) 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece,(CV) and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.(CW) 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.(CX) 25 He will cause deceit(CY) 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.(CZ) Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.(DA)

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

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

Daniel’s Prayer

In the first year of Darius(DH) son of Xerxes[f](DI) (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian[g] kingdom— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy(DJ) years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting,(DK) and in sackcloth and ashes.(DL)

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:(DM)

“Lord, the great and awesome God,(DN) who keeps his covenant of love(DO) with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned(DP) and done wrong.(DQ) We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away(DR) from your commands and laws.(DS) We have not listened(DT) to your servants the prophets,(DU) who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors,(DV) and to all the people of the land.

“Lord, you are righteous,(DW) but this day we are covered with shame(DX)—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered(DY) us because of our unfaithfulness(DZ) to you.(EA) We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you.(EB) The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving,(EC) even though we have rebelled against him;(ED) 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.(EE) 11 All Israel has transgressed(EF) your law(EG) and turned away, refusing to obey you.

“Therefore the curses(EH) and sworn judgments(EI) written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned(EJ) against you. 12 You have fulfilled(EK) the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster.(EL) Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like(EM) what has been done to Jerusalem.(EN) 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord(EO) our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth.(EP) 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster(EQ) on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does;(ER) yet we have not obeyed him.(ES)

15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand(ET) and who made for yourself a name(EU) that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts,(EV) turn away(EW) your anger and your wrath(EX) from Jerusalem,(EY) your city, your holy hill.(EZ) Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn(FA) to all those around us.

17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor(FB) on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear,(FC) our God, and hear;(FD) open your eyes and see(FE) the desolation of the city that bears your Name.(FF) We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.(FG) 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive!(FH) Lord, hear and act! For your sake,(FI) my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

The Seventy “Sevens”

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing(FJ) my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill(FK) 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel,(FL) the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.(FM) 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.(FN) 23 As soon as you began to pray,(FO) a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.(FP) Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:(FQ)

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[h] are decreed for your people and your holy city(FR) to finish[i] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone(FS) for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness,(FT) to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[j]

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild(FU) Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[k](FV) the ruler,(FW) comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.(FX) 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death(FY) and will have nothing.[l] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood:(FZ) War will continue until the end, and desolations(GA) have been decreed.(GB) 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[m] In the middle of the ‘seven’[n] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[o] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed(GC) is poured out on him.[p][q]

Daniel’s Vision of a Man

10 In the third year of Cyrus(GD) king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar).(GE) Its message was true(GF) and it concerned a great war.[r] The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.

At that time I, Daniel, mourned(GG) for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips;(GH) and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank(GI) of the great river, the Tigris,(GJ) I looked up(GK) and there before me was a man dressed in linen,(GL) with a belt of fine gold(GM) from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz,(GN) his face like lightning,(GO) his eyes like flaming torches,(GP) his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze,(GQ) and his voice(GR) like the sound of a multitude.

I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it,(GS) but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone,(GT) gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left,(GU) my face turned deathly pale(GV) and I was helpless.(GW) Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.(GX)

10 A hand touched me(GY) and set me trembling on my hands and knees.(GZ) 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed,(HA) consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up,(HB) for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid,(HC) Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble(HD) yourself before your God, your words(HE) were heard, and I have come in response to them.(HF) 13 But the prince(HG) of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael,(HH) one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain(HI) to you what will happen to your people in the future,(HJ) for the vision concerns a time yet to come.(HK)

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless.(HL) 16 Then one who looked like a man[s] touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak.(HM) I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish(HN) because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”(HO)

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched(HP) me and gave me strength.(HQ) 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,”(HR) he said. “Peace!(HS) Be strong now; be strong.”(HT)

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”(HU)

20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece(HV) will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.(HW) (No one supports me against them except Michael,(HX) your prince.


  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
  4. 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.
  5. Daniel 8:19 Or because the end will be at the appointed time
  6. Daniel 9:1 Hebrew Ahasuerus
  7. Daniel 9:1 Or Chaldean
  8. Daniel 9:24 Or ‘weeks’; also in verses 25 and 26
  9. Daniel 9:24 Or restrain
  10. Daniel 9:24 Or the most holy One
  11. Daniel 9:25 Or an anointed one; also in verse 26
  12. Daniel 9:26 Or death and will have no one; or death, but not for himself
  13. Daniel 9:27 Or ‘week’
  14. Daniel 9:27 Or ‘week’
  15. Daniel 9:27 Septuagint and Theodotion; Hebrew wing
  16. Daniel 9:27 Or it
  17. Daniel 9:27 Or And one who causes desolation will come upon the wing of the abominable temple, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolated city
  18. Daniel 10:1 Or true and burdensome
  19. Daniel 10:16 Most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text; one manuscript of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint Then something that looked like a human hand

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