Bible Book List
Prev Day Next Day

This plan was paused on

Unpause and Continue Reading Subscribe
Daniel 8

Chapter 8

The Ram and the He-goat.[a] After this first vision, I, Daniel, had another, in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. In my vision I saw myself in the fortress of Susa[b] in the province of Elam; I was beside the river Ulai. I looked up and saw standing by the river a ram with two great horns, the one larger and newer than the other. I saw the ram butting toward the west, north, and south. No beast could withstand it or be rescued from its power; it did what it pleased and grew powerful.

As I was reflecting, a he-goat with a prominent horn on its forehead suddenly came from the west across the whole earth without touching the ground. It came to the two-horned ram I had seen standing by the river, and rushed toward it with savage force. I saw it reach the ram; enraged, the he-goat attacked and shattered both its horns. The ram did not have the strength to withstand it; the he-goat threw the ram to the ground and trampled upon it. No one could rescue the ram from its power.

The he-goat grew very powerful, but at the height of its strength the great horn was shattered, and in its place came up four others, facing the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came a little horn[c] which grew and grew toward the south, the east, and the glorious land. 10 It grew even to the host of heaven,[d] so that it cast down to earth some of the host and some of the stars and trampled on them. 11 It grew even to the Prince of the host, from whom the daily sacrifice was removed, and whose sanctuary was cast down. 12 The host was given over together with the daily sacrifice in the course of transgression. It cast truth to the ground, and was succeeding in its undertaking.

13 I heard a holy one speaking, and another said to whichever one it was that spoke, “How long shall the events of this vision last concerning the daily sacrifice, the desolating sin,[e] the giving over of the sanctuary and the host for trampling?” 14 He answered him, “For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be set right.”

15 While I, Daniel, sought the meaning of the vision I had seen, one who looked like a man stood before me, 16 and on the Ulai I heard a human voice that cried out, “Gabriel,[f] explain the vision to this man.” 17 When he came near where I was standing, I fell prostrate in terror. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision refers to the end time.”[g] 18 As he spoke to me, I fell forward unconscious; he touched me and made me stand up. 19 “I will show you,” he said, “what is to happen in the last days of wrath; for it is for the appointed time of the end.

20 “The two-horned ram you saw represents the kings of the Medes and Persians.[h] 21 The he-goat is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn on its forehead is the first king. 22 The four that rose in its place when it was shattered are four kingdoms that will issue from his nation, but without his strength.

23 “At the end of their reign,
    when sinners have reached their measure,
There shall arise a king,
    impudent, and skilled in intrigue.
24 He shall be strong and powerful,
    bring about fearful ruin,
    and succeed in his undertaking.
He shall destroy powerful peoples;
25     his cunning shall be against the holy ones,
    his treacherous conduct shall succeed.
He shall be proud of heart
    and destroy many by stealth.
But when he rises against the Prince of princes,
    he shall be broken without a hand being raised.
26 As for the vision of the evenings and the mornings,
    what was spoken is true.
But you, keep this vision secret:
    it is for the distant future.”

27 I, Daniel, was weak and ill for some days; then I arose and took care of the king’s affairs. But the vision left me desolate, without understanding.


  1. 8:1–27 This vision continues images of the preceding one, and develops it in more detail. As explained in vv. 20–22 the two-horned ram represents the combined kingdom of the Medes and Persians, destroyed by Alexander’s Hellenistic empire originating in the west. Once again the author is interested only in the Seleucid dynasty, which emerged from the dissolution of Alexander’s empire after his death in 323 B.C.
  2. 8:2 The fortress of Susa: the royal palace of the Persian kings in the ancient territory of Elam, east of Babylonia. The river Ulai: a canal along the northern side of Susa. Some scholars argue that the Hebrew word understood as “river” here should instead be translated “gate.”
  3. 8:9 A little horn: as in chap. 7, Antiochus IV. The glorious land: Israel.
  4. 8:10–12 The host of heaven: the angelic host, symbolized by the stars. The Prince of the host: the Most High God, whose worship Antiochus suppressed (1 Mc 1:45).
  5. 8:13 The desolating sin: the Hebrew contains a wordplay (shomem) on the name Baal Shamem (“lord of the heavens,” identified by some as the Greek Zeus Olympios). The reference is to some object with which Antiochus profaned the Temple of Jerusalem (2 Mc 6:2), most probably a pagan altar.
  6. 8:16 The angel Gabriel is mentioned here for the first time in the Bible. There is wordplay in the preceding verse on geber, “manlike figure.”
  7. 8:17 The end time: the time when God sits in judgment on the wicked (v. 19).
  8. 8:20 The Medes and Persians: the Medes had been allies of the Babylonians in destroying the Assyrian empire (late seventh century B.C.), and Cyrus the Persian defeated the Medes en route to conquering the Babylonians. The Book of Daniel, however, treats the Medes and Persians as a dual kingdom; cf. also 5:28; 6:9; and note on 6:1.
Read More
1 John 2:1-17

Chapter 2

Christ and His Commandments. My children,[a] I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure[b] that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived.

The New Commandment.[c] Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you,[d] for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. 11 Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Members of the Community.[e] 12 I am writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.[f]

13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men, because you have conquered the evil one.

14 I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one.

15 Do not love the world or the things of the world.[g] If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, sensual lust,[h] enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.


  1. 2:1 Children: like the term “beloved,” this is an expression of pastoral love (cf. Jn 13:33; 21:5; 1 Cor 4:14). Advocate: for the use of the term, see Jn 14:16. Forgiveness of sin is assured through Christ’s intercession and expiation or “offering”; the death of Christ effected the removal of sin.
  2. 2:3–6 The way we may be sure: to those who claim, “I have known Christ and therefore I know him,” our author insists on not mere intellectual knowledge but obedience to God’s commandments in a life conformed to the example of Christ; this confirms our knowledge of him and is the love of God…perfected. Disparity between moral life and the commandments proves improper belief.
  3. 2:7–11 The author expresses the continuity and freshness of mutual charity in Christian experience. Through Christ the commandment of love has become the light defeating the darkness of evil in a new age. All hatred as darkness is incompatible with the light and Christian life. Note also the characteristic Johannine polemic in which a positive assertion is emphasized by the negative statement of its opposite.
  4. 2:8 Which holds true in him and among you: literally, “a thing that holds true in him and in you.”
  5. 2:12–17 The Christian community that has experienced the grace of God through forgiveness of sin and knowledge of Christ is armed against the evil one.
  6. 2:12 For his name’s sake: because of Christ our sins are forgiven.
  7. 2:15 The world: all that is hostile toward God and alienated from him. Love of the world and love of God are thus mutually exclusive; cf. Jas 4:4.
  8. 2:16 Sensual lust: literally, “the lust of the flesh,” inordinate desire for physical gratification. Enticement for the eyes: literally, “the lust of the eyes,” avarice or covetousness; the eyes are regarded as the windows of the soul. Pretentious life: literally, “pride of life,” arrogance or ostentation in one’s earthly style of life that reflects a willful independence from God and others.
Read More
Psalm 120

Psalm 120[a]

Prayer of a Returned Exile

A song of ascents.[b]

The Lord answered me
    when I called in my distress:
Lord, deliver my soul from lying lips,
    from a treacherous tongue.

What will he inflict on you,
    O treacherous tongue,
    and what more besides?[c]
A warrior’s arrows
    sharpened with coals of brush wood![d]

[e]Alas, I am a foreigner in Meshech,
    I live among the tents of Kedar!
Too long do I live
    among those who hate peace.
When I speak of peace,
    they are for war.


  1. Psalm 120 A thanksgiving, reporting divine rescue (Ps 120:1) yet with fervent prayer for further protection against lying attackers (Ps 120:2–4). The psalmist is acutely conscious of living away from God’s own land where divine peace prevails (Ps 120:5–7).
  2. 120:1 A song of ascents: Ps 120–134 all begin with this superscription. Most probably these fifteen Psalms once formed a collection of Psalms sung when pilgrims went to Jerusalem, since one “ascended” to Jerusalem (1 Kgs 12:28; Ps 24:3; 122:4; Lk 2:42) or to the house of God or to an altar (1 Kgs 12:33; 2 Kgs 23:2; Ps 24:3). Less probable is the explanation that these Psalms were sung by the exiles when they “ascended” to Jerusalem from Babylonia (cf. Ezr 7:9). The idea, found in the Mishnah, that the fifteen steps on which the Levites sang corresponded to these fifteen Psalms (Middot 2:5) must underlie the Vulgate translation canticum graduum, “song of the steps” or “gradual song.”
  3. 120:3 More besides: a common curse formula in Hebrew was “May the Lord do such and such evils to you [the evils being specified], and add still more to them,” cf. 1 Sm 3:17; 14:44; 25:22. Here the psalmist is at a loss for a suitable malediction.
  4. 120:4 Coals of brush wood: coals made from the stalk of the broom plant burn with intense heat. The psalmist thinks of lighted coals cast at his enemies.
  5. 120:5 Meshech was in the far north (Gn 10:2) and Kedar was a tribe of the north Arabian desert (Gn 25:13). The psalmist may be thinking generally of all aliens living among inhospitable peoples.
Read More
Proverbs 28:25-26

25 The greedy person stirs up strife,
    but the one who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
    but those who walk in wisdom are safe.

Read More
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Mark as complete
Mark as incomplete
Unpause and Continue Reading