Daniel 1:1–12:13

The Choice Young Men

1 In the third year of the reign of aJehoiakim king of Judah, bNebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.

2 The aLord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the bvessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of cShinar, to the house of his 1god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his 1dgod.

3 Then the king 1ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his 2officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the 3royal afamily and of the nobles,

4 youths in whom was ano defect, who were good-looking, showing bintelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for 1serving in the king’s 2court; and he ordered him to teach them the 3literature and clanguage of the dChaldeans.

5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the aking’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be 1educated three years, at the end of which they were to 2benter the king’s personal service.

6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were aDaniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name aBelteshazzar, to Hananiah bShadrach, to Mishael bMeshach and to Azariah bAbed-nego.

Daniel’s Resolve

8 But Daniel 1made up his mind that he would not adefile himself with the bking’s choice food or with the cwine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

9 Now God granted Daniel 1afavor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,

10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would 1make me forfeit my head to the king.”

11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,

12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be agiven some vegetables to eat and water to drink.

13 “Then let our appearance be 1observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed abetter and 1they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food.

16 So the overseer continued to 1withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept agiving them vegetables.

17 As for these four youths, aGod gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of 1literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of bvisions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had 1specified 2for presenting them, the commander of the officials 3presented them before Nebuchadnezzar.

19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like aDaniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they 1bentered the king’s personal service.

20 As for every matter of awisdom 1and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them bten times cbetter than all the 2dmagicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

21 And Daniel 1continued until the afirst year of Cyrus the king.

Chapter 2

The King’s Forgotten Dream

1 Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar 1ahad dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his bsleep 2left him.

2 Then the king 1gave orders to call in the 2amagicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the 3Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

3 The king said to them, “I 1ahad a dream and my spirit 2is anxious to 3understand the dream.”

4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in 1aAramaic: “bO king, live forever! cTell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.”

5 The king replied to the Chaldeans, “1The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be 2atorn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.

6 “But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me agifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.”

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

8 The king replied, “I know for certain that you are 1bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that 2the command from me is firm,

9 that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only aone 1decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt 2words before me until the 3situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may bknow that you can declare to me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered 1the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter 2for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any 3amagician, conjurer or Chaldean.

11 “Moreover, the thing which the king demands is 1difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it 2to the king except agods, whose bdwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”

12 Because of this the king became aindignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

13 So the 1decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for aDaniel and his friends to 2kill them.

14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to aArioch, the captain of the king’s 1bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon;

15 he said to Arioch, the king’s commander, “For what reason is the 1decree from the king so 2urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter.

16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would 1give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, aHananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter,

18 so that they might arequest compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be bdestroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

The Secret Is Revealed to Daniel

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

20 Daniel said,

“Let the name of God be ablessed forever and ever,

For bwisdom and power belong to Him.

21 “It is He who achanges the times and the epochs;

He bremoves kings and 1establishes kings;

He gives cwisdom to wise men

And knowledge to 2men of understanding.

22 “It is He who areveals the profound and hidden things;

bHe knows what is in the darkness,

And the clight dwells with Him.

23 “To You, O aGod of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,

For You have given me bwisdom and power;

Even now You have made known to me what we crequested of You,

For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: “aDo not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me 1into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.”

25 Then Arioch hurriedly abrought Daniel 1into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the 2bexiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!”

26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was aBelteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?”

27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither awise men, conjurers, 1magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.

28 “However, there is a aGod in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the 1blatter days. This was your dream and the cvisions 2in your mind while on your bed.

29 “As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts 1turned to what would take place 2in the future; and aHe who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place.

30 “But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any awisdom 1residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may 2understand the bthoughts of your 3mind.

The King’s Dream

31 “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and 1of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was aawesome.

32 “The ahead of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze,

33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.

34 “You 1continued looking until a astone was cut out bwithout hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and ccrushed them.

35 “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed 1all at the same time and became alike chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that bnot a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great cmountain and filled the whole earth.

The Interpretation—Babylon the First Kingdom

36 “This was the dream; now we will tell aits interpretation before the king.

37 “You, O king, are the aking of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the 1kingdom, the bpower, the strength and the glory;

38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the abeasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece

39 “After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.


40 “Then there will be a afourth kingdom as strong as iron; …

Read more