1In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule, he had a dream. His mind was troubled. He couldn’t sleep.2So the king sent for those who claimed to get knowledge by using magic. He also sent for those who practised evil magic and those who studied the heavens. He wanted them to tell him what he had dreamed. They came in and stood in front of the king.3He said to them, ‘I had a dream. It troubles me. So I want to know what it means.’4Then those who studied the heavens answered the king. They spoke in Aramaic. They said, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, may you live for ever! Tell us what you dreamed. Then we’ll explain what it means.’5The king replied to them, ‘I have made up my mind. You must tell me what I dreamed. And you must tell me what it means. If you don’t, I’ll have you cut to pieces. And I’ll have your houses turned into piles of rubble.6So tell me what I dreamed. Explain it to me. Then I’ll give you gifts. I’ll reward you. I’ll give you great honour. So tell me the dream. And tell me what it means.’7Once more they replied, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, tell us what you dreamed. Then we’ll tell you what it means.’8The king answered, ‘I know what you are doing. You are trying to gain more time. You realise that I’ve made up my mind.9You must tell me the dream. If you don’t, you will pay for it. You have got together and made evil plans. You hope things will change. So you are telling me lies. But I want you to tell me what I dreamed. Then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.’10They answered the king, ‘There is no one on earth who can do what you are asking! No king has ever asked for anything like that. Not even a king as great and mighty as you has asked for it. Those who get knowledge by using magic have never been asked to do what you are asking. And those who study the heavens haven’t been asked to do it either.11What you are asking is much too hard. No one can tell you what you dreamed except the gods. And they don’t live among human beings.’12That made the king very angry. He ordered that all the wise men in Babylon be put to death.13So the order was given to kill them. Men were sent out to look for Daniel and his friends. They were also supposed to be put to death.14Arioch was the commander of the king’s guard. He went out to put the wise men of Babylon to death. So Daniel spoke to him wisely and carefully.15He asked the king’s officer, ‘Why did Nebuchadnezzar give a terrible order like that?’ Then Arioch explained to Daniel what was going on.16When Daniel heard that, he went to the king. He told him he would explain the dream to him. But he needed more time.17Then Daniel returned to his house. He explained everything to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.18He asked them to pray that the God of heaven would give him mercy. He wanted God to help him understand the mystery of the king’s dream. Then he and his friends wouldn’t be killed along with Babylon’s other wise men.19During that night, God gave Daniel a vision. He showed him what the mystery was all about. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.20He said, ‘May God be praised for ever and ever! He is wise and powerful.21He changes times and seasons. He removes some kings from power. He causes other kings to rule. The wisdom of those who are wise comes from him. He gives knowledge to those who have understanding.22He explains deep and hidden things. He knows what happens in the darkest places. And where he is, everything is light.23God of my people of long ago, I thank and praise you. You have given me wisdom and power. You have made known to me what we asked you for. You have shown us the king’s dream.’
Daniel tells the king what his dream means
24Then Daniel went to Arioch. The king had appointed him to put the wise men of Babylon to death. Daniel said to him, ‘Don’t kill the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king. I’ll tell him what his dream means.’25So Arioch took Daniel to the king at once. Arioch said, ‘I have found a man among those you brought here from Judah. He can tell you what your dream means.’26Nebuchadnezzar spoke to Daniel, who was also called Belteshazzar. The king asked him, ‘Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream? And can you tell me what it means?’27Daniel replied, ‘You have asked us to explain a mystery to you. But no wise man can do that. And those who try to figure things out by using magic can’t do it either.28But there is a God in heaven who can explain mysteries. King Nebuchadnezzar, he has shown you what is going to happen. Here is what you dreamed while lying in bed. And here are the visions that passed through your mind.29‘Your Majesty, while you were still in bed your mind was troubled. You were thinking about things that haven’t happened yet. The God who explains mysteries showed these things to you.30Now the mystery has been explained to me. But it isn’t because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive. It’s because God wants you to know what the mystery means, Your Majesty. He wants you to understand what went through your mind.31‘King Nebuchadnezzar, you looked up and saw a large statue standing in front of you. It was huge. It shone brightly. And it terrified you.32The head of the statue was made out of pure gold. Its chest and arms were made out of silver. Its stomach and thighs were made out of bronze.33Its legs were made out of iron. And its feet were partly iron and partly baked clay.34While you were watching, a rock was cut out. But human hands didn’t do it. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay. It smashed them.35Then the iron and clay were broken to pieces. So were the bronze, silver and gold. All of them were broken to pieces. They became like straw on a threshing-floor at harvest time. The wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain. It filled the whole earth.36‘This was your dream. Now I will tell you what it means.37King Nebuchadnezzar, you are the greatest king of all. The God of heaven has given you authority and power. He has given you might and glory.38He has put everyone under your control. He has also given you authority over the wild animals and the birds in the sky. It doesn’t matter where they live. He has made you ruler over all of them. You are that head of gold.39‘After you, another kingdom will take over. It won’t be as powerful as yours. Next, a third kingdom will rule over the whole earth. The bronze part of the statue stands for that kingdom.40Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom. It will be as strong as iron. Iron breaks and smashes everything to pieces. And the fourth kingdom will crush and break all the others.41You saw that the feet and toes were made out of iron and baked clay. And the fourth kingdom will be divided up. But it will still have some of the strength of iron. That’s why you saw iron mixed with clay.42The toes were partly iron and partly clay. And the fourth kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak.43You saw the iron mixed with baked clay. And the fourth kingdom will be made up of all kinds of people. They won’t hold together any more than iron mixes with clay.44‘In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom. It will never be destroyed. And no other nation will ever take it over. It will crush all those other kingdoms. It will bring them to an end. But it will last for ever.45That’s what the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain means. Human hands didn’t cut out the rock. It broke the statue to pieces. It smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold. ‘The great God has shown you what will take place in days to come. The dream is true. And you can trust the meaning of it that I have explained to you.’46Then King Nebuchadnezzar bowed low in front of Daniel. He wanted to honour him. So he ordered that an offering and incense be offered up to him.47The king said to Daniel, ‘I’m sure your God is the greatest God of all. He is the Lord of kings. He explains mysteries. That’s why you were able to explain the mystery of my dream.’48Then the king put Daniel in a position of authority. He gave him many gifts. He made him ruler over the city of Babylon and the towns around it. He put him in charge of all its other wise men.49The king also did what Daniel asked him to. He appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to help Daniel govern Babylon and the towns around it. Daniel himself remained at the royal court.
English Standard Version
1In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. (Ge 41:8; Es 6:1; Da 4:5; Da 5:9; Da 6:18)2Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. (De 18:10; 2Ch 33:6; Isa 47:9; Isa 47:12; Da 1:4; Da 1:5; Da 1:20)3And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” (Da 2:1)4Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” (1Ki 1:31; Da 2:2; Da 3:9; Da 5:10; Da 6:6; Da 6:21)5The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. (2Ki 10:27; Ezr 6:11; Da 2:2; Da 3:29)6But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” (Da 2:7; Da 2:9; Da 5:7; Da 5:16)7They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.”8The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm— (Eph 5:16; Col 4:5)9if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” (Es 4:11; Da 2:6; Da 2:7; Da 2:21; Da 7:25)10The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. (Da 1:4)11The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” (Da 5:11; Da 5:14)12Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. (Da 2:24; Da 3:19; Da 4:6)13So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. (Da 1:4)14Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. (Ge 37:36; Da 2:24)15He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. (Da 3:22)16And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.
God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
17Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, (Da 1:6)18and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (Da 2:12; Da 2:19; Da 2:24; Da 2:28; Da 2:37; Da 2:44; Mt 18:19; Re 11:13)19Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (Nu 12:6; Jos 22:33; Job 33:15; Da 2:18)20Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. (1Ch 29:10; Ps 72:18; Ps 113:2; Ps 115:18; Isa 28:29; Lu 1:68)21He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; (Job 12:18; Ps 75:7; Da 1:17; Da 2:9; Da 4:17; Da 5:20; Da 7:25; Ro 13:1)22he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. (Job 12:22; Ps 25:14; Ps 139:12; Am 4:13; Joh 1:4; 1Ti 6:16; Heb 4:13; Jas 1:17; 1Jo 1:5)23To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” (De 26:7; 1Ch 12:17; 1Ch 29:18; Da 1:17; Da 2:18; Da 2:20; Da 6:10)24Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.” (Da 2:14)25Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” (Ezr 4:1; Ezr 6:16; Ezr 6:19; Ezr 10:7; Ezr 10:16; Da 2:24; Da 3:24; Da 5:13)26The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” (Da 1:7; Da 5:16)27Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, (Da 1:20; Da 4:7; Da 5:7)28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: (Da 2:22; Da 4:5; Da 7:15; Da 10:14; Ho 3:5)29To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. (Da 2:45)30But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind. (Ge 41:16; Ec 3:18; Ac 3:12)
Daniel Interprets the Dream
31“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.32The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, (Da 2:38; Da 2:39)33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. (Da 2:40)34As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. (Job 34:20; Isa 8:9; La 4:6; Da 2:35; Da 2:40; Da 2:44; Da 8:25; Mt 21:44; Lu 20:18; 2Co 5:1)35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Ps 1:4; Ps 80:9; Isa 2:2; Re 20:11)36“This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation.37You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, (Ezr 1:2; Ezr 7:12; Eze 26:7; Da 2:19; Da 2:21; Da 5:18)38and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. (Jer 27:6; Da 2:32; Da 4:21)39Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. (Da 2:32; Da 2:38; Da 5:28; Da 5:31; Da 7:6)40And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. (Da 2:34; Da 7:7; Da 7:23)41And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. (Da 2:33; Da 2:40)42And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle.43As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.44And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, (Isa 60:12; Da 2:19; Da 2:34; Da 4:3; Da 4:34; Da 6:26; Da 7:14; Da 7:27; Mic 4:7; Mt 3:2; Lu 1:33; Joh 18:36)45just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” (Isa 28:16; Da 2:28; Da 2:34; Da 2:44)
Daniel Is Promoted
46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. (2Sa 14:22; Ezr 6:10; Mt 8:2; Ac 10:25; Ac 14:13)47The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” (De 10:17; Da 2:22; 1Ti 6:15; Re 17:14; Re 19:16)48Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. (Es 1:1; Da 2:6; Da 3:1; Da 3:12; Da 3:30; Da 4:9; Da 5:11)49Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court. (Es 2:19; Da 1:7; Da 2:48; Da 3:12)