Daniel 1:1–3:30

Daniel’s Development in the King’s Court

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim the king of Judah into his hand and some ofa of the utensils of the temple of God,b and he brought them to the land of Shinar to the temple of his gods, and he brought the utensils to the treasuryc of his gods.

And the king orderedd Ashpenaz, the commander of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelitese from the royal familyf and from the lords,g youths who have no physical defect,h and who are handsome,i and who are prudentj in all wisdom and endowed with knowledge,k and who understand insight, and who have the abilityl in them to serve in the palace of the king. And the king ordered him to teach them the literature and the language of the Chaldeans. And the king assigned to them his daily portionm from the fine food of the king, and from the wine that he drank,n and instructed that they were to be educated for three years.o And at the end of their training, they were to be stationedp beforeq the king. Now there was among them from the Judeans,r Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. And the commander of the court officials gave them names, and he called Daniel, Belteshazzar; and Hananiah, Shadrach; and Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah, Abednego.

Daniel’s Resolve

Now Daniel resolveds that he would not defile himself with the fine food of the king, and with the wine that he drank,t and so he requested from the commander of the court officials permission so that he would not defile himself. And Godu gave Daniel favor and compassion beforev the commander of the court officials, 10 and the commander of the court officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord, the king, who has determined your food and your drink, for why shouldw he see your face having a worse appearance than the young men who are your age?x Then you will endanger my head with the king.” 11 Theny Daniel asked the guardz whom the commander of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us some of the vegetables,a and let us eat and let us drink water. 13 Thenb let our appearances and the appearance of the young men who are eating the fine food of the king be compared before you,c and then deal with your servants according to what you see.”d 14 So he agreed to this proposal with them, and he tested them for ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their appearances appeared better and they were healthier of body than all the young men who were eating the fine food of the king. 16 Soe the guard continued to withholdf their fine food and the wine of their drink, and he gave themg vegetables.

17 And as for these four young men,h Godi gave to them knowledge and insight into all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had insight into all visionsj and dreams. 18 And at the end of the time the king had set to bring them, the commander of the court officials brought them in beforek Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them no one was found likel Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; then they stood beforem the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired from them, he found them ten times better than all of the magiciansn and conjurerso that were in his entire kingdom.p 21 And Daniel was there until the first year of Cyrus the king.

The King’s Troubling Dream

2 Nowa in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. So the king said to call the magiciansb and the conjurersc and the sorcerers and the astrologersd to tell to the king his dreams. And they came in and they stood beforee the king. And the king said to them, “I have had a dreamf and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”

And the astrologersg said to the king in Aramaic,h “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants and we will reveal the explanation.” The king answered and said to the astrologers,i “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its explanation,j then you will be broken into pieces and your houses will be laid in ruins. But if you tell me the dream and its explanation, you will receive gifts and rewardsk and great honor from me. Therefore, tell me the dream and its explanation.”l They answered once more and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants and we will make the explanation known.” The king answered and said, “Certainlym I know that you are trying to gain timen becauseo you have seen that this matter is firmly decreed by me,p for if you do not make the dream known to me, your verdict is fixed,q and you have conspired to say a lying and deceitful word to me until the circumstancesr will change. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can tell me its explanation.” 10 The astrologerss answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth that is able to reveal the word of the king; in fact,t no great and powerful king has ever asked a thing like this of any magicianu or conjurerv or astrologer.w 11 And the thing that the king is asking is too difficult and there is no one whox can reveal it to the king except the gods whose dwelling is not with mortals.”y

12 Because of this the king became angry, and he became very much enraged, and he said that all the wise men of Babylon are to be destroyed. 13 And the decree was issued, and the wise men were on the verge of being executed,z and they searched for Daniel and his companions to be executed. 14 Then Daniel responded prudently and discretely to Arioch, the commander of the imperial guard of the king, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15 He askeda and said to Arioch, the royal official of the king, “Whyb is the decree from the king so severe?” Then Arioch explained the matterc to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested from the king that he would give him time, and he would tell the kingd the explanation.e

17 Then Daniel went to his home, and he made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heavenf concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions, along with the remainder of the wise men of Babylon, would not be killed.

19 Then in a vision of the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel; then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel said:g

“Let his name, the name of God,h be blessed throughout the ages,i

for the wisdom and the power are his.j

21 And he changes the times and the seasons,

and he deposes kings and he sets up kings;

he gives wisdomk to wise men

and knowledge to men who know understanding.

22 He reveals the deep and the hidden things;

he knows what is in the darkness,

and the light dwells with him.

23 To you, O God of my ancestors,l

I give thanks and I give praises,

for the wisdom and the power you gave to me,

and now you have made known to me

what we have asked from you,

for you have made known to us the matter of the king.”

Daniel Praises God and Interprets the King’s Dream

24 Thereforem Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointedn to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and thus he said to him: “You must not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me in before the king and I will give the explanationo to the king.”

25 Then Arioch quicklyp brought Daniel in before the king and thus he said to him: “I have found a man among the exilesq of Judahr who can relates the explanationt to the king.” 26 The king then askedu and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its explanation?”v 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “The mystery that the king asks, no wise men, conjurers,w magicians,x or diviners are able to make known to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that will be at the end of days. This is your dream and the visions of your head on your bed.

29 As for you, king,y your thoughts on your bed turned toz what it was that would be in the future,a and the revealer of mysteries has made known to you what that would be. 30 And as for me, it is not because of wisdom that is in me more than any other living personb that this mystery is revealed to me, but in order thatc the explanationd may be made known to the king and you will understande the thoughts of your mind.f

31 “You, O king, were looking and, look, there was one great statue. This statue was huge and its brilliance extraordinary, standing there before you, and its appearance was frightening.g 32 The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet, part of them of iron and part of them of clay. 34 You were looking on untilh a stone was chiseled outi—that not by hands—and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and it broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold all at oncej broke into piecesk and they became like chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away and any trace of them could not be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and it filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream, and now we will tell its interpretation to the king. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power and the might and the glory, 38 and also human beings wherever they dwell,l the animals of the field and the birdsm of heavenn—he has given into your hand and made you ruler over all of them—you are the

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