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What Nebuchadnezzar dreamed
One night during the second year that Nebuchadnezzar ruled, he had a dream. The dream worried him very much; and as a result he could not sleep. The next morning he summoned his men who worked magic, fortune-tellers, those who worked sorcery, and those who studied the stars. Because he had forgotten what he had dreamed, he insisted that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood there in front of the king, he said, “I had a dream last night that worries me. Tell me what I dreamed, because I want to know what the dream means.”
The men who studied the stars replied to the king, speaking in the Aramaic language. They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we hope that you will live a long time! Tell us what you dreamed, and then we will tell you what it means!”
But the king replied to them, “I have firmly decided that you must tell me the dream, and also tell me what it means. If you do not do that, I will order my soldiers to cut you into pieces, and to cause your houses to become only piles of stones! But if you tell me what I dreamed and what it means, I will reward you. I will give you wonderful gifts and greatly honor you. So tell me what I dreamed and what it means!”
But again they replied, “Tell us what you dreamed, and then we will tell you what it means.”
The king replied, “I know that you are just trying to get more time, because you know that I will do to you what I said that I would do. If you do not tell me what I dreamed, you will be punished. I think that you have all agreed to tell me lies and other wicked things, because you hope that I will change ◄ my mind/what I am thinking►. But tell me the dream, and then I will know that you can also tell me what it means.”
10 The men who studied the stars replied to the king, “There is no one on the earth who can do what you ask! There is no king, even a great and mighty king, who has ever asked his men who work magic or his fortune-tellers or men who study the stars to do something like that! 11 What you are asking us to do is impossible. Only the gods can tell you what you dreamed, and they do not live among us!”
12 The king was very angry when he heard that, so he commanded his soldiers that they execute all such wise men in Babylon. 13 And because of what the king commanded, they sent some men to find me and my three friends, to execute us also.
14 Arioch, the commander of the king's guards, came to kill us. But I spoke to him very wisely and tactfully/skillfully. 15 I asked Arioch, “Why has the king made such a harsh/terrible decree?” So Arioch told me all that had happened because of the king's dream. 16 I immediately went to talk to the king and requested that the king give me some time, so that I could find out what the dream was and what the dream meant.
17 Then I went home, and I told my friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, what had happened. 18 I urged them to ask God, who lives/rules in heaven, to act mercifully toward us by telling us the secret meaning of what the king dreamed, in order that we and the other wise men in Babylon would not be executed. 19 And that night God gave to me a vision in which he revealed the secret. Then I praised God, 20 saying,
“We should praise God [MTY] forever,
because only he truly is wise and powerful.
21 He determines what events will happen through the years.
He removes some kings and gives their authority to new kings.
He is the one who causes people to become wise
and enables those who study to understand many things.
22 He reveals things that are very mysterious;
he is surrounded by light
but he knows things that are hidden as though they were in the darkness.
23 God, whom my ancestors worshiped,
I thank you and I praise you,
because you have caused me to be wise and made me strong.
You have told me what my friends and I asked you to tell us;
and you have revealed to us what the king demanded to know.”
Daniel told the meaning of the dream
24 Then I went to Arioch, the man whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men in Babylon. I said to him, “Do not kill those wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him what his dream means.”
25 So Arioch quickly took me to the king. He said to the king, “I have found one of the men whom we brought from Judah who says he can can tell you what your dream means!”
26 The king said to me, whose new name was Belteshazzar, “ Is this true? Can you tell me what I dreamed and what it means?”
27 I replied, “There are no wise men or fortune-tellers or men who work magic or men who work sorcery who can tell such things to you. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets. And he has shown in your dream what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you what you dreamed, and the vision you saw as you were lying on your bed.
29 O King, while you were sleeping, you dreamed about events that will happen in the future. The one who reveals mysteries has shown you what is going to happen. 30 And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else on earth that I know the meaning of this mysterious dream. It is because God wanted you to understand what you were thinking.
31 O King, in your vision you saw in front of you a huge and terrifying statue of a man. It was shining very brightly, and it was frightening and awesome. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold. Its chest and arms were made of silver. Its belly and thighs were made of bronze. 33 Its legs were made of iron, and its feet were a mixture of clay and iron. 34 As you watched, something cut a rock from a mountain, but it was not a human who cut it. The rock tumbled down and smashed the feet of the statue, feet that were made of iron and clay. It smashed them to bits. 35 Then the rest of the statue collapsed into a big heap of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. The pieces of the statue were as small as bits of chaff on the ground where it is threshed, and the wind blew away all the tiny pieces. There was nothing left. But the rock that smashed the statue became a large mountain that covered the whole earth.
36 That was what you dreamed. Now I will tell you what it means. 37 You are a king who rules over many other kings. The God who rules in heaven has caused you to rule over them and has given you great power [DOU] and has honored you. 38 He has caused you to be the ruler over all people, and even the animals and birds are controlled by you. So the head of the statue represents you.
39 But after your kingdom/rule ends, there will be another great kingdom, but it will not be as great as yours. The silver parts of the statue represent that kingdom. Then there will be a third great kingdom whose king will rule over the whole earth. The bronze parts of the statue represent that kingdom. 40 After that kingdom ends, there will be a fourth great kingdom. The iron parts of the statue represent that kingdom. The army of that kingdom will smash the previous kingdoms, just like iron smashes everything that it strikes. 41 The feet and toes of the statue that you saw, that were a mixture of iron and clay, indicate that the kingdom they represent will later be divided. 42 Some parts of that kingdom will be as strong as iron, but some parts will not remain together, just as iron an clay do not stick together. 43 The mixture of iron and clay in the statue shows also that the rulers of those kingdoms that separate from each other will try to form alliances with each other as a result of members of the royal families of these kingdoms marrying each other. But that will not succeed, just as iron and clay do not stick together.
44 But while those kings are ruling, God who rules in heaven will establish a kingdom that will never end. No one will ever defeat its king. He will completely destroy all those kingdoms, but his kingdom will remain forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock that something cut from the mountain, the rock that will crush to tiny bits the statue that is made of iron, bronze, silver, and gold.
O king, the great God has shown you what will truly happen in the future. And you can trust what I told you about the meaning of the dream.”
Daniel was made the chief advisor
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar prostrated himself in front of me in great respect. He commanded his people that they burn incense and burn an offering of grain to honor me. 47 The king said to me, “ Your God has enabled you to tell me the meaning of this dream/mystery, so now I truly know that your God is greater than all the other gods and all other kings. He reveals to people things that they cannot know.”
48 Then the king gave many gifts to me, and he also appointed me to rule over the entire province of Babylon, and also to be the boss of all his wise men. 49 I asked the king to appoint Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to als have important positions in Babylon province, and the king did what I asked him to do. But I did my work while I stayed at the king's palace.