1In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep.2So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king,3he said to them, ‘I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.’4Then the astrologers answered the king, ‘May the king live for ever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.’5The king replied to the astrologers, ‘This is what I have firmly decided: if you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.6But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honour. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.’7Once more they replied, ‘Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.’8Then the king answered, ‘I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realise that this is what I have firmly decided:9if you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.’10The astrologers answered the king, ‘There is no-one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.11What the king asks is too difficult. No-one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.’12This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon.13So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.14When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.15He asked the king’s officer, ‘Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?’ Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel.16At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.17Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.18He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.19During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven20and said: ‘Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.21He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.22He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.23I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: you have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.’
Daniel interprets the dream
24Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, ‘Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.’25Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, ‘I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.’26The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), ‘Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?’27Daniel replied, ‘No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:29‘As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.30As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.31‘Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue – an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.32The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.34While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing-floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.36‘This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.37Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;38in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.39‘After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.40Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron – for iron breaks and smashes everything – and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.41Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.42As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.43And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.44‘In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.45This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands – a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. ‘The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.’46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honour and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.47The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.’48Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.49Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego chief ministers over the province of Babylon, while 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)