Daniel 2

1During Nebuchadnezzar’s second year as king, he had some dreams. Those dreams bothered him and he could not sleep. 2So the king called his wise men to come to him. Those men used magic tricks and they watched the stars. They did this to try to interpret dreams and to learn what will happen in the future. The king wanted those men to tell him what he had dreamed. So they came in and stood in front of the king. 3Then the king said to those men, “I had a dream that bothers me. I want to know what the dream means.” 4Then the Chaldeans answered the king. They spoke in the Aramaic language. They said, “King, live forever! We are your servants. Please tell us your dream, then we will tell you what it means.” 5Then King Nebuchadnezzar said to those men, “No! You must tell me the dream. And then you must tell me what it means. If you don’t do these things, then I will give an order for you to be cut into pieces. And I will order your houses to be destroyed until they become piles of dust and ashes. 6But if you tell me my dream and explain the meaning, then I will give you gifts, rewards, and great honor. So tell me about my dream and tell me what it means.” 7Again the wise men said to the king, “Please, sir, tell us about the dream, and we will tell you what the dream means.” 8Then King Nebuchadnezzar answered, “I know that you are trying to get more time. You know that I meant what I said. 9You know that you will be punished if you don’t tell me about my dream. So you have all agreed to lie to me. You are hoping for more time. You are hoping that I will forget what I want you to do. Now, tell me the dream. If you can tell me the dream, then I will know that you can tell me what it really means!” 10The Chaldeans answered the king. They said, “There is not a man on earth that can do what the king is asking! No king has ever asked the wise men or the men that do magic or the Chaldeans to do something like this. Not even the greatest and most powerful king ever asked his wise men to do something like this. 11The king is asking something that is too hard to do. Only the gods could tell the king his dream and what it means. But the gods don’t live with people.” 12When the king heard that, he became very angry. So he gave an order for all the wise men of Babylon to be killed. 13King Nebuchadnezzar’s order was announced. All the wise men were to be killed. The king’s men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to kill them. 14Arioch was the commander of the king’s guards. He was going to kill the wise men of Babylon. But Daniel talked to him. Daniel spoke to Arioch in a wise and polite way. 15Daniel said to Arioch, “Why did the king order such a severe punishment?” Then Arioch explained the whole story about the king’s dreams, and Daniel understood. 16When Daniel heard the story, he went to King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel asked the king to give him some more time. Then he would tell the king about the dream and what it meant. 17So Daniel went to his house. He explained the whole story to his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 18Daniel asked his friends to pray to the God of heaven. Daniel asked them to pray that God would be kind to them and help them understand this secret. Then Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the other wise men of Babylon. 19During the night, God explained the secret to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20Daniel said: “Praise God’s name for ever and ever! Power and wisdom belong to him! 21He changes the times and seasons. And he changes the kings. He gives power to kings, and he takes their power away! He gives wisdom to people so they become wise, He lets people learn things and become wise. 22He knows hidden secrets that are hard to understand. Light lives with him, so he knows what is in the dark and secret places! 23God of my ancestors, I thank you and praise you! You gave me wisdom and power. You told us the things we asked for! You told us about the king’s dream.” 24Then Daniel went to Arioch. King Nebuchadnezzar had chosen Arioch to kill the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to Arioch, “Don’t kill the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king. I will tell him about his dream and what it means.” 25So very quickly, Arioch took Daniel to the king. Arioch said to the king, “I have found a man among the captives from Judah. He can tell the king what his dream means.” 26The king asked Daniel (Belteshazzar) a question. He said to Daniel, “Are you able to tell me about my dream, and what it means?” 27Daniel answered, “King Nebuchadnezzar, no wise man, no man that does magic tricks, and no Chaldean could tell the king the secret things he has asked about. 28But there is a God in heaven who tells secret things. God gave King Nebuchadnezzar dreams to show him what will happen at a later time. This was your dream, and these are the things you saw while lying on your bed: 29King, you were lying there on your bed. And you began thinking about things that will happen in the future. God can tell people about secret things—and he showed you what will happen in the future. 30God also told this secret to me! Why? It is not because I have greater wisdom than other men. No, God told me about this secret so that you, king, may know what it means. In that way, you will understand what went through your mind. 31“King, in your dream you saw a large statue in front of you. The statue was very large and it was shiny and very impressive. It would make a person’s eyes wide from amazement. 32The head of the statue was made from pure gold. The chest and the arms of the statue were made from silver. The belly and upper part of the legs of the statue were made from bronze. 33The lower part of the legs of the statue were made from iron. The feet of the statue were made partly of iron and partly of clay. 34While you were looking at the statue, you saw a rock. The rock was cut loose—but a person did not cut the rock. Then the rock ˻went through the air and˼ hit the statue on its feet of iron and clay. The rock smashed the feet of the statue. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and gold broke to pieces all at the same time. And all those pieces became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summertime. The wind blew those pieces away, and there was nothing left. No one could tell that a statue had ever been there. Then the rock that hit the statue became a very large mountain and filled up the whole earth. 36“That was your dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. 37King, you are the most important king. The God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory. 38God has given you control and you rule over people and over the wild animals and over the birds. Wherever they live, God has made you ruler over them all. King Nebuchadnezzar, you are that head of gold on the statue. 39“Another kingdom will come after you—˻that is the silver part˼. But that kingdom will not be as great as your kingdom. Next, a third kingdom will rule over the earth—that is the bronze part. 40Then there will be a fourth kingdom. That kingdom will be strong like iron. Iron breaks and smashes things to pieces. In the same way, that fourth kingdom will smash and break all the other kingdoms. 41“You saw that the feet and toes of the statue were partly clay and partly iron. That means the fourth kingdom will be a divided kingdom. It will have some of the strength of iron in it because you saw the iron mixed with clay. 42The toes of the statue were partly iron and partly clay. So the fourth kingdom will be partly strong like iron, and partly weak like clay. 43You saw the iron mixed with clay. But iron and clay don’t mix completely together. In the same way, the people of the fourth kingdom will be a mixture. Those people will not be united as one people. 44“During the time of the kings ˻of the fourth kingdom˼, the God of heaven will set up another kingdom. This kingdom will continue forever! It will never be destroyed! And it will be the kind of kingdom that can’t be passed on to another group of people. This kingdom will crush all those other kingdoms. It will bring those kingdoms to an end. But that kingdom itself will continue forever. 45“King Nebuchadnezzar, you saw a rock cut from a mountain—but no person cut that rock! The rock broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold to pieces. In this way, God showed you what will happen in the future. The dream is true and you can trust this interpretation.” 46Then King Nebuchadnezzar bowed down in front of Daniel. The king praised Daniel. The king gave an order that an offering and incense be given to honor Daniel. 47Then the king said to Daniel, “I know for sure your God is the most important and powerful God. And he is the Lord of all the kings. He tells people about things they can’t know. I know this is true because you were able to tell these secret things to me.” 48Then the king gave Daniel a very important job in his kingdom. And the king gave many expensive gifts to Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon. And he put Daniel in charge of all the wise men of Babylon. 49Daniel asked the king to make Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego important officials over the province of Babylon. And the king did as Daniel asked. And Daniel himself became one of the important people that stayed near the king.

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