Daniel part 1

Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” Daniel 3:29 NKJV

There is no other god who can deliver – who is living – who is all knowing – who is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and the One True God, like the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! God is love – God is there in the fire and trials – God made a way, even in his judgment (aka captivity) – Here is the simplistic theme of the beginning of Daniel.  And Daniel and his friends knew God, trusted Him and let God use their lives.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Daniel, chapters 1-4 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

First of all – what a great prophesy book! So simplistic. Daniels says describes prophetic imagery and then gives the explanation. Daniel also dates everything. So this should make it easy to read and understand – but if you are like me it seems a little disjointed.  So let’s talk about what is up with Daniel. 

It is written in two languages and is presumed to have originally been 2 scrolls written for two different audiences. One written in Babylon with the language of the land the other written in Hebrew. So when the great scholars of old, assembled our Holy Scriptures they kept the scrolls intact and placed them side by side, translated them and called them the Book of Daniel.  Well, that makes Daniel a young teen in chapter one (he was taken to Babylon as a young teen, during the first wave of the captivity) and a 50 year old man in chapter 5 – but later he is a young adult in chapters 7-8.
So the Chronological time line is thought to actually be chapters 1-4, 7-8, 5-6, and 9-12 (although I hear one man make a strong argument for moving chapter 10 to the end).  Thankfully it is written in a way where the major themes can still be understood without the order. And for whatever reading – the persons or people, who put together the map of reading the Bible chronologically in a year, did not put the reading of Daniel in chronological order. They have it split among 4 days and evenly space.  So I am going to present it to you in 4 days, but split in the same way it is split in the scriptures. Warning – the readings may not be as evenly spaced out.

The other amazing thing about the book of Daniel – is how literal things are.  The enemy takes the symbolic images and your lack of understanding, and mine, and sprinkles in a dash of confusion (his signature seasoning).  So we begin to try to fill in the pieces and over think – making this all much more complicated than it is (like we do with all the prophetic scriptures).  We do not need all the pieces filled in while reading this because God fills us in when we read other books and as it happens.  Moreover, it is playing out in the world – if we understand or not – if we are prepared or if we are scared – and if we like it or not.  Since it doesn’t matter – let’s go through it and learn what we can in four short days.

Daniel and His young friends all had relationships with God (to the best of their ability without the temple).  They continued to pray and seek God and prioritized God (not prioritized being Jewish and preserving their customs – it was about knowing God himself). 
God promoted them and blessed them, this made the older teachers and leaders angry, jealous and to watch them, harass them and tell on them.  God’s promotions do not mean life will be peaceful and easy. It means more scrutiny from the world.
Daniel and His friends, sought the Lord first and gave their lives to Him.  God has the right to use them – use their lives, even unto death.  And there is a special blessing of overcoming the enemy for those who let God use them.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Rev. 12:11 NKJV
God can put us in situations of suffering. God can also bless us. God can do both at the same time!! God can require our lives of us.  As a living sacrifice – can we truly give our all to God?

I have childhood memories of these stories in Sunday school. And I remember telling the teacher that I would have been in the lion’s den with Daniel – but I had no pressure or threat over my prayer life and was not praying daily on my own accord – so the teacher called me out on it.
I recall saying but I would not bow like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – and the teaching saying to me I was stubborn, and therefore would have burnt up.
I can reflect back at the wisdom of that teacher.  Today I have a prayer life. Today I have the secret that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had.  These boys said – they know their God and He is able!!
I know in whom I serve and He is able!! From that stems trust.  How can you trust someone you do not know?

As many of you recall – I lost my job a while back and in the middle of an unsure market and a declining economy – God said open a business make and sell jewelry. It is the end times, we are in world war III both physically and spiritually and God wants me to make something frivolous?!?!  (I keep seeking Him for the meaning of such nonsense, meanwhile I am being obedient.) I am not hitting my goals – I requested of God a blessing measured as just exceeding my needs and asked for that or more, or better, or exceedingly abundant.  He has just barely met my core needs and I have been stripping away the extras in my life.  BUT – I have not gone without. BUT – I have been able to pay my tithe and give an offering. BUT – I have been able to bless others.

So much in these fist four chapters – but I need to give you one more point about King Nebby, aka Nebuchadnezzar.  Can I call him Nebby? Nebuchadnezzar is just so many letters! Lol
Here is a king who knew how Daniel and His friends were promoted. He knew God had anointed these young men. And he experienced it first hand with the interpretation of His dream – in which He declared God to be God and praised Him. But then he forgot – and in pride the story of the statue and the boys in the fire takes place. And as we see in the opening verse – God is glorified and once again declared God.
But experience after experience with God, did not change the heart of King Nebby.  He was a proud man.  So finally God humbled Him and made him crazy. 
God was chasing down King Nebby and trying to save him as well – Did he ever learn his lesson?

We often pray that our prodigal friends and relatives as well as our unsaved loved ones with have some sort of mind blowing experience with God – but over and over in the Bible we see this has no effect on deep rooted pride. And when men do not humble themselves – God does it.  Many times when God steps in to humble someone it is too late and the humbling comes as a final judgment. 

So – at the risk of sounding like a broken record, and as we begin the Day of Atonement at sunset tomorrow, let us reflect on humility.  Let us not be swept away by experiences and be steadily humble. From New Year Day through the Day of Atonement is a time of humility. A solemn assembly. Of deep worship. Of putting the sins of yourself and your nations before your own face and realizing your contribution in complacency, by association, and by lack of humbly understanding your place in the big picture.  Then let us place them continually at the feet of Jesus for purification and redemption.

Let us seek God – go deeper in our relationship with Him.   Especially as the days grow more and more evil.

Finally, I have a prayer request: Yesterday while I prayed these repentance prayers of atonement, I suddenly had the urgency to pray for Pakistan and whoever it was who read this blog and lives there.  So I shifted gears and prayed. Later I saw in the news that they were attacked on their boarder. I do not know who it is who reads this from Pakistan, I just know there is one and they have not stopped by since Biden pulled the troops out of Afghanistan and caused the upheaval in that region.  My heart is with them – God’s sending supernatural help as well as physical help. Stay strong in the Lord.  Please keep them in prayer. God obviously sees them. He is so Good! This is such a gracious benefit of having a real relationship with Him!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Daniel 1-4 NKJV

Daniel and His Friends Obey God

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of [a]the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and [b]literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and [c]goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to [d]the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus [e]the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king [f]interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to [g]know the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “O[h] king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My [i]decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”

The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the [j]time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can [k]give me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 It is a [l]difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

14 Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so [m]urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.

16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.

23 “I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s [n]demand.”

Daniel Explains the Dream

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, “I have found a man of the [o]captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.”

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

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: 29 As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30 But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may [p]know the thoughts of your heart.

31 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and [q]thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of [r]clay. 34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37 You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold. 39 But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly [s]fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall [t]break in pieces and [u]consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

Daniel and His Friends Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in [v]the gate of the king.

The Image of Gold

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was [w]sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then a herald cried [x]aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Daniel’s Friends Disobey the King

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Saved in Fiery Trial

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore, because the king’s command was [y]urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his [z]counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the[aa] Son of God.”

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the [ab]mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel[ac] and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”

30 Then the king [ad]promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Nebuchadnezzar the king,

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10 “These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
11 The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
12 Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried [ae]aloud and said thus:

‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.
16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven times[af] pass over him.

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

Daniel Explains the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.”

Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream [ag]concern those who hate you, and its interpretation [ah]concern your enemies!

20 “The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 “And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven [ai]times pass over him’; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven [aj]times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven[ak] rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a [al]lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking [am]about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven [an]times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

34 And at the end of the [ao]time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 1:2 The temple
  2. Daniel 1:4 Lit. writing or book
  3. Daniel 1:9 kindness
  4. Daniel 1:11 Or Melzar
  5. Daniel 1:16 Or Melzar
  6. Daniel 1:19 Lit. talked with them
  7. Daniel 2:3 Or understand
  8. Daniel 2:4 The original language of Daniel 2:4b through 7:28 is Aramaic.
  9. Daniel 2:5 The command
  10. Daniel 2:9 Situation
  11. Daniel 2:9 Or declare to me
  12. Daniel 2:11 Or rare
  13. Daniel 2:15 Or harsh
  14. Daniel 2:23 Lit. word
  15. Daniel 2:25 Lit. sons of the captivity
  16. Daniel 2:30 Understand
  17. Daniel 2:32 Or sides
  18. Daniel 2:33 Or baked clay, also vv. 343542
  19. Daniel 2:42 Or brittle
  20. Daniel 2:44 Or crush
  21. Daniel 2:44 Lit. put an end to
  22. Daniel 2:49 The king’s court
  23. Daniel 3:1 About 90 feet
  24. Daniel 3:4 Lit. with strength
  25. Daniel 3:22 Or harsh
  26. Daniel 3:24 High officials
  27. Daniel 3:25 Or a son of the gods
  28. Daniel 3:26 Lit. door
  29. Daniel 3:28 Or angel
  30. Daniel 3:30 Lit. caused to prosper
  31. Daniel 4:14 Lit. with strength
  32. Daniel 4:16 Possibly years
  33. Daniel 4:19 be for
  34. Daniel 4:19 for
  35. Daniel 4:23 Possibly years
  36. Daniel 4:25 Possibly years
  37. Daniel 4:26 God
  38. Daniel 4:27 prolonging

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