Daniel 2
Berean Study Bible

Nebuchadnezzar’s Troubling Dream

1In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled his spirit, and sleep escaped him. 2So the king gave orders to summon the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologersa to explain his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, 3he said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to understand it.”

4Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic,b “O king, may you live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

5The king replied to the astrologers, “My word is final: If you do not tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will be cut into pieces and your houses will be reduced to rubble. 6But if you tell me the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

7They answered a second time, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will give the interpretation.”

8The king replied, “I know for sure that you are stalling for time, because you see that my word is final. 9If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one decree for you. You have conspired to speak before me false and fraudulent words, hoping the situation will change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I will know that you can give me its interpretation.”

10The astrologers answered the king, “No one on earth can do what the king requests! No king, however great and powerful, has ever asked anything like this of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer. 11What the king requests is so difficult that no one can tell it to him except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.”

12This response made the king so furious with anger that he gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13So the decree went out that the wise men were to be executed, and men went to look for Daniel and his friends to execute them.

The Dream Revealed to Daniel

14When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon, Daniel replied with discretion and tact. 15“Why is the decree from the king so harsh?” he asked.

At this time Arioch explained the situation to Daniel. 16So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him some time, so that he could give him the interpretation.

17Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 18urging them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19During the night, the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision, and he blessed the God of heaven 20and declared:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,

for wisdom and power belong to Him.

21He changes the times and seasons;

He removes kings and establishes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise

and knowledge to the discerning.

22He reveals the deep and hidden things;

He knows what lies in darkness,

and light dwells with Him.

23To You, O God of my fathers,

I give thanks and praise,

because You have given me

wisdom and power.

And now You have made known to me

what we have requested,

for You have made known to us

the dream of the king.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.”

25Arioch hastily brought Daniel before the king and said to him, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who will tell the king the interpretation.”

26The king responded to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me what I saw in the dream, as well as its interpretation?”

27Daniel answered the king, “No wise man, enchanter, medium, or magician can explain to the king the mystery of which he inquires. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the latter days. Your dream and the visions that came into your mind as you lay on your bed were these:

29As you lay on your bed, O king, your thoughts turned to the future, and the Revealer of Mysteries made known to you what will happen. 30And to me this mystery has been revealed, not because I have more wisdom than any man alive, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

31As you, O king, were watching, a great statuec appeared. A great and dazzling statue stood before you, and its form was awesome. 32The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, 33its legs were iron, and its feet were part iron and part clay.

34As you watched, a stone was cut out,d but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. 35Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were shattered and became like chaff on the threshing floor in summer. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that had struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation.

37You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. 38Wherever the sons of men or beasts of the field or birds of the air dwell, He has given them into your hand and has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

39But after you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours.

Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule the whole earth.

40Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; for iron shatters and crushes all things, and like iron that crushes all things, it will shatter and crush all the others. 41And just as you saw that the feet and toes were made partly of fired clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom, yet some of the strength of iron will be in it—just as you saw the iron mixed with clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so the peoplese will mix with one another, but will not hold together any more than iron mixes with clay.

44In the days 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 shatter all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself stand forever. 45And just as you saw a stone being cut out of the mountain without human hands, and it shattered the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold, so the great God has told the king what will happen in the future.

The dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Nebuchadnezzar Promotes Daniel

46At this, King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, paid homage to Daniel, and ordered that an offering of incense be presented to him. 47The king said to Daniel, “Your God is truly the God of gods and Lord of kings, the Revealer of Mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.”

48Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. 49And at Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to manage the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court.

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