1 In the second year of Nebu chad nez zar’s reign, he had a series of troubling dreams which ren dered him sleepless. 2 The king summoned magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and Chaldean diviners to interpret his dreams. When they arrived and stood in his presence, 3 the king said, “I had a terrible dream and I want to know its meaning.”
4 The Chaldeans answered in Aramaic, “Live forever, O King! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give you its meaning.”
5 But the king replied, “You have to tell me the dream and interpret it, too. That is my decision. If you won’t do it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses razed to the ground. 6 But if you can tell me the dream and its meaning, I will give you presents and reward you with great honor.”
7 They insisted, “Let the king tell us his dream and we will explain what it means.”
8 The king said, “You are only trying to gain time, for you know what I will surely do, 9 that if you do not tell me my dream there is only one sentence for you. You have conspired to mislead me with a deceitful interpretation, hoping that times will change. But if you can show me that you have the ability to know what my dream was, I can be sure that you also have the power to understand its meaning.”
10 The Chaldeans exclaimed, “No one on earth can do what your ma jesty asks. Never has any king, how ever great and mighty, asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter or diviner. 11 What the king demands is too difficult. No one can tell him that except the gods who do not live among mortals.”
12 This made the king so furious that he ordered all the wise men of Babylon exe cuted. 13 Upon issuance of the decree to put the wise men to death, a search was also made for Daniel and his companions to have them killed. 14 Daniel, however, talked prudently with Arioch, the commander of the king’s guards who had gone out to kill the wise men. 15 “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Daniel asked, and Arioch explained. 16 Daniel then went to the king and asked for the suspension of the execution to give him time to interpret the dream.
17 Daniel returned home and in formed his companions Hananiah, Mishael, and Aza riah. 18 He asked them to implore God’s mercy re garding this mystery, so that they would not perish with the rest of Babylon’s wise men. 19 Then in a night vision, the mystery was re vealed to Daniel. He blessed the God of heaven:
20 Blessed be God’s name forever and ever,
20 for his are wisdom and power.
21 He changes times and seasons;
21 he sets up and deposes kings.
21 He gives wisdom to the wise
21 and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals things deep and hidden;
22 he knows what lies in darkness;
22 for the light dwells with him.
23 I give thanks and praise to you, O God of my ancestors.
23 You have given me wisdom and power;
23 you have shown me what we asked for –
23 you have made known to us the dream of the king.
24 After this Daniel went to Arioch, the commander appointed by the king to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Do not execute the wise men yet. Bring me to the king, and I will interpret his dreams.” 25 At once Arioch took Daniel to the king and said, “Here is a man found among the Judean captives who says he can interpret the king’s dream.”
26 The king asked Daniel, who had been named Beltheshazzar, “Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
Daniel interprets the dream
27 Daniel answered, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can inter pret the king’s dream. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. I will tell you the dream and visions you had.
29 As you lay in bed, O King, your thoughts turned to the future, and he who reveals mys teries showed you what is to happen. 30 This mystery has been revealed to me not be cause I am wiser than anybody else but so that you may know what it means and what went on in your mind.
31 In your vision you saw a statue – very large, very bright, terrible to look at. 32 Its head was of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 As you watched, a rock cut from a mountain but not by human hands, struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, smash ing them. 35 All at once the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold crum bled into pieces as fine as chaff on the thresh ing floor in summer. The wind swept them off and not a trace was left. But the rock that struck the statue became a great mountain that filled the whole earth.
36 That was the dream. Now the in terpretation. 37 You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given dominion, strength, power and glory, 38 and into whose hand he has placed human kind, the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, making you ruler over them. You are that head of gold.
39 After you, another kingdom inferior to yours will rise. Then a third kingdom of bronze will rule the whole world. 40 Last shall be a fourth kingdom strong as iron and just as iron breaks and crushes everything else, so will it break and smash all the others. 41 The partly-clay and partly-iron feet and toes mean that it will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron, just as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 And as the toes were partly iron and partly clay, the kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak. 43 Just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, the people will be a mixture but 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 never to be destroyed or delivered up to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and put an end to them. And it will endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of your vision of a rock cut from a mountain not by human hands, the rock which struck the statue and broke into pieces the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold. The great God has shown the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation reliable.”
46 King Nebuchadnezzar fell pro strate before Daniel and ordered that oblation and incense be offered to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings and the revealer of mysteries. That is why you were able to reveal this mystery.”
48 The king gave Daniel a high position and showered gifts on him. He made him governor of the entire province of Baby lon and in charge of all its wise men. 49 At Daniel’s request the king appointed Sha drach, Meshach and Abednego administrators of the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the king’s court.