Daniel (NAB) 1
1 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and laid siege to Jerusalem.2 The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and some of the vessels of the temple of God, which he carried off to the land of Shinar, and placed in the temple treasury of his god.
3 The king told Ashpenaz, his chief chamberlain, to bring in some of the Israelites of royal blood and of the nobility,4 young men without any defect, handsome, intelligent and wise, quick to learn, and prudent in judgment, such as could take their place in the king's palace; they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans;5 after three years' training they were to enter the king's service. The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine from the royal table.
6 Among these were men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.7 The chief chamberlain changed their names: Daniel to Belteshazzar, Hananiah to Shadrach, Mishael to Meshach, and Azariah to Abednego.
8 But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king's food or wine; so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement. 9 Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain,10 he nevertheless said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king; it is he who allotted your food and drink. If he sees that you look wretched by comparison with the other young men of your age, you will endanger my life with the king."11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,12 "Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.13 Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see."14 He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days;15 after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table.16 So the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.18 At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation, the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.19 When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king's service.20 In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom.
21 Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
2 1 In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which left his spirit no rest and robbed him of his sleep. 2 So he ordered that the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and Chaldeans be summoned to interpret the dream for him. When they came and presented themselves to the king, 3 he said to them, "I had a dream which will allow my spirit no rest until I know what it means."4 The Chaldeans answered the king (Aramaic): "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream and we will give its meaning." 5 The king answered the Chaldeans, "This is what I have decided: unless you tell me the dream and its meaning, you shall be cut to pieces and your houses destroyed.6 But if you tell me the dream and its meaning, you shall receive from me gifts and presents and great honors. Now tell me the dream and its meaning."
7 Again they answered, "Let the king tell his servants the dream and we will give its meaning."8 But the king replied: "I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, since you know what I have decided.9 If you do not tell me the dream, there can be but one decree for you. You have framed a false and deceitful interpretation to present me with till the crisis is past. Tell me the dream, therefore, that I may be sure that you can also give its correct interpretation."10 The Chaldeans answered the king: "There is not a man on earth who can do what you ask, O king; never has any king, however great and mighty, asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or Chaldean.11 What you demand, O king, is too difficult; there is no one who can tell it to the king except the gods who do not dwell among men."
12 At this the king became violently angry and ordered all the wise men of Babylon to be put to death.13 When the decree was issued that the wise men should be slain, Daniel and his companions were also sought out.
14 Then Daniel prudently took counsel with Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had set out to kill the wise men of Babylon:15 "O officer of the king," he asked, "what is the reason for this harsh order from the king?" When Arioch told him,16 Daniel went and asked for time from the king, that he might give him the interpretation.
17 Daniel went home and informed his companions Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,18 that they might implore the mercy of the God of heaven in regard to this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision, and he blessed the God of heaven:
20 "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and power are his.
21 He causes the changes of the times and seasons, makes kings and unmakes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who understand.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things and knows what is in the darkness, for the light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, because you have given me wisdom and power. Now you have shown me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the king's dream."
24 So Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, "Do not put the wise men of Babylon to death. Bring me before the king, and I will tell him the interpretation of the dream." Arioch quickly brought Daniel to the king and said,25 "I have found a man among the Judean captives who can give the interpretation to the king."26 The king asked Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Can you tell me the dream that I had, and its meaning?"27 In the king's presence Daniel made this reply: "The mystery about which the king has inquired, the wise men, enchanters, magicians, and astrologers could not explain to the king.28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what is to happen in days to come; this was the dream you saw as you lay in bed.
29 To you in your bed there came thoughts about what should happen in the future, and he who reveals mysteries showed you what is to be.30 To me also this mystery has been revealed; not that I am wiser than any other living person, but in order that its meaning may be made known to the king, that you may understand the thoughts in your own mind.
31 "In your vision, O king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance as it stood before you.32 The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze,33 the legs iron, its feet partly iron and partly tile. 34 While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces.35 The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 "This was the dream; the interpretation we shall also give in the king's presence. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings; to you the God of heaven has given dominion and strength, power and glory;38 men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell, he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all; you are the head of gold.39 Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth.40 There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else.41 The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile,42 and the toes partly iron and partly tile, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.43 The iron mixed with clay tile means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage, but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay.44 In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever.45 That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain without a hand being put to it, which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold. The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure."
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down and worshiped Daniel and ordered sacrifice and incense offered to him.47 To Daniel the king said, "Truly your God is the God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries; that is why you were able to reveal this mystery."48 He advanced Daniel to a high post, gave him many generous presents, made him ruler of the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.49 At Daniel's request the king made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego administrators of the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the king's court.
3 1 King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue made, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, which he set up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then ordered the satraps, prefects, and governors, the counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the officials of the provinces to be summoned to the dedication of the statue which he had set up. 3 The satraps, prefects, and governors, the counselors, treasurers, judges, and magistrates and all the officials of the provinces, all these came together for the dedication and stood before the statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 A herald cried out: "Nations and peoples of every language, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, 5 you are ordered to fall down and worship the golden statue which King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.6 Whoever does not fall down and worship shall be instantly cast into a white-hot furnace." 7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, the nations and peoples of every language all fell down and worshiped the golden statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8 At that point, some of the Chaldeans came and accused the Jews9 to King Nebuchadnezzar: "O king, live forever!10 O king, you issued a decree that everyone who heard the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments should fall down and worship the golden statue;11 whoever did not was to be cast into a white-hot furnace.12 There are certain Jews whom you have made administrators of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego; these men, O king, have paid no attention to you; they will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up."13 Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and sent for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were promptly brought before the king.14 King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up?15 Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?"
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter.17 If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
18 But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up."
19 Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual20 and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
21 They were bound and cast into the white-hot furnace with their coats, hats, shoes and other garments,22 for the king's order was urgent. So huge a fire was kindled in the furnace that the flames devoured the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into it.23 But these three fell, bound, into the midst of the white-hot furnace.
24 They walked about in the flames, singing to God and blessing the Lord. 25 In the fire Azariah stood up and prayed aloud:
26 "Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and glorious forever is your name.
27 For you are just in all you have done; all your deeds are faultless, all your ways right, and all your judgments proper.
28 You have executed proper judgments in all that you have brought upon us and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers. By a proper judgment you have done all this because of our sins;
29 For we have sinned and transgressed by departing from you, and we have done every kind of evil.
30 Your commandments we have not heeded or observed, nor have we done as you ordered us for our good.
31 Therefore all you have brought upon us, all you have done to us,you have done by a proper judgment.
32 You have handed us over to our enemies, lawless and hateful rebels; to an unjust king, the worst in all the world.
33 Now we cannot open our mouths; we, your servants, who revere you, have become a shame and a reproach.
34 For your name's sake, do not deliver us up forever, or make void your covenant.
35 Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
36 To whom you promised to multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven, or the sand on the shore of the sea.
37 For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins.
38 We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
39 But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received;
40 As though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
41 And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you.
42 Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
43 Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord:
44 Let all those be routed who inflict evils on your servants; Let them be shamed and powerless, and their strength broken;
45 Let them know that you alone are the Lord God, glorious over the whole world."
46 Now the king's men who had thrown them in continued to stoke the furnace with brimstone, pitch, tow, and faggots. 47 The flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace,48 and spread out, burning the Chaldeans nearby.49 But the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace,50 and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm.
51 Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God:
52 "Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
53 Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.
54 Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
55 Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
56 Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.
57 Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
58 Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
59 You heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
60 All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
61 All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
62 Sun and moon, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
63 Stars of heaven, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
64 Every shower and dew, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
65 All you winds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
66 Fire and heat, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
68 Dew and rain, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.]
69 Frost and chill, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
70 Ice and snow, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
71 Nights and days, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
72 Light and darkness, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
73 Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
74 Let the earth bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.
75 Mountains and hills, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
76 Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
77 You springs, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
78 Seas and rivers, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
79 You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
80 All you birds of the air, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
81 All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
82 You sons of men, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
83 O Israel, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
84 Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
85 Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
86 Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
87 Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
88 Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. For he has delivered us from the nether world, and saved us from the power of death; He has freed us from the raging flame and delivered us from the fire.
89 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.
90 Bless the God of gods, all you who fear the Lord; praise him and give him thanks, because his mercy endures forever." Hearing them sing, and astonished at seeing them alive,
91 King Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" "Assuredly, O king," they answered.92 "But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God." 93 Then Nebuchadnezzar came to the opening of the white-hot furnace and called to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: "Servants of the most high God, come out." Thereupon Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire.
94 When the satraps, prefects, governors, and nobles of the king came together, they saw that the fire had had no power over the bodies of these men; not a hair of their heads had been singed, nor were their garments altered; there was not even a smell of fire about them.
95 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.96 Therefore I decree for nations and peoples of every language that whoever blasphemes the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut to pieces and his house destroyed. For there is no other God who can rescue like this."97 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.98 King Nebuchadnezzar to the nations and peoples of every language, wherever they dwell on earth: abundant peace! 99 It has seemed good to me to publish the signs and wonders which the most high God has accomplished in my regard. 100 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders; his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures through all generations.
4 1 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, content and prosperous.2 I had a terrifying dream as I lay in bed, and the images and the visions of my mind frightened me.3 So I issued a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me to give the interpretation of the dream.4 When the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers had come in, I related the dream before them; but none of them could tell me its meaning.5 Finally there came before me Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy God. I repeated the dream to him: 6 "Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy God is in you and no mystery is too difficult for you; tell me the meaning of the visions that I saw in my dream.7 "These were the visions I saw while in bed: I saw a tree of great height at the center of the world.8 It was large and strong, with its top touching the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of the earth.9 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, providing food for all. Under it the wild beasts found shade, in its branches the birds of the air nested; all men ate of it.10 In the vision I saw while in bed, a holy sentinel came down from heaven, 11 and cried out: " 'Cut down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit; let the beasts flee its shade, and the birds its branches. 12 But leave in the earth its stump and roots, fettered with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field. Let him be bathed with the dew of heaven; his lot be to eat, among beasts, the grass of the earth.13 Let his mind be changed from the human; let him be given the sense of a beast, till seven years pass over him.14 By decree of the sentinels is this decided, by order of the holy ones, this sentence; That all who live may know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men: He can give it to whom he will, or set over it the lowliest of men.'15 "This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me its meaning. Although none of the wise men in my kingdom can tell me the meaning, you can, because the spirit of the holy God is in you."
16 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while, terrified by his thoughts. "Belteshazzar," the king said to him, "let not the dream or its meaning terrify you."17 "My lord," Belteshazzar replied, "this dream should be for your enemies, and its meaning for your foes. The large, strong tree that you saw, with its top touching the heavens, that could be seen by the whole earth, 18 which had beautiful foliage and abundant fruit, providing food for all, under which the wild beasts lived, and in whose branches the birds of the air dwelt-- 19 you are that tree, O king, large and strong! Your majesty has become so great as to touch the heavens, and your rule extends over the whole earth.20 As for the king's vision of a holy sentinel that came down from heaven and proclaimed: 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave in the earth its stump and roots, fettered with iron and bronze in the grass of the field; let him be bathed with the dew of heaven, and let his lot be among wild beasts till seven years pass over 21 this is its meaning, O king; this is the sentence which the Most High has passed upon my lord king:21 22 You shall be cast out from among men and dwell with wild beasts; you shall be given grass to eat like an ox and be bathed with the dew of heaven; seven years shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 23 The command that the stump and roots of the tree are to be left means that your kingdom shall be preserved for you, once you have learned it is heaven that rules.24 Therefore, O king, take my advice; atone for your sins by good deeds, and for your misdeeds by kindness to the poor; then your prosperity will be long."
25 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.26 Twelve months later, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon,27 the king said, "Babylon the great! Was it not I, with my great strength, who built it as a royal residence for my splendor and majesty?" 28 While these words were still on the king's lips, a voice spoke from heaven, "It has been decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar, that your kingdom is taken from you!29 You shall be cast out from among men, and shall dwell with wild beasts; you shall be given grass to eat like an ox, and seven years shall pass over you, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will."30 At once this was fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar was cast out from among men, he ate grass like an ox, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle, and his nails like the claws of a bird. 31 When this period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes to heaven; my reason was restored to me, and I blessed the Most High, I praised and glorified him who lives forever: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures through all generations.32 All who live on the earth are counted as nothing; he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven as well as with those who live on the earth. There is no one who can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"33 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and my splendor returned to me. My nobles and lords sought me out; I was restored to my kingdom, and became much greater than before.34 Therefore, I, Nebuchadnezzar, now praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because all his works are right and his ways just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
5 1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords, with whom he drank. 2 Under the influence of the wine, he ordered the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, to be brought in so that the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers might drink from them. 3 When the gold and silver vessels taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in, and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers were drinking4 wine from them, they praised their gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5 Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace. When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote,6 his face blanched; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked.7 The king shouted for the enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers to be brought in. "Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means," he said to the wise men of Babylon, "shall be clothed in purple, wear a golden collar about his neck, and be third in the government of the kingdom."8 But though all the king's wise men came in, none of them could either read the writing or tell the king what it meant.9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly terrified; his face went ashen, and his lords were thrown into confusion.10 When the queen heard of the discussion between the king and his lords, she entered the banquet hall and said, "O king, live forever! Be not troubled in mind, nor look so pale!11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy God; during the lifetime of your father he was seen to have brilliant knowledge and god-like wisdom. In fact, King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers,12 because of the extraordinary mind possessed by this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. He knew and understood how to interpret dreams, explain enigmas, and solve difficulties. Now therefore, summon Daniel to tell you what this means."
13 Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king. The king asked him, "Are you the Daniel, the Jewish exile, whom my father, the king, brought from Judah?14 I have heard that the spirit of God is in you, that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom.15 Now, the wise men and enchanters were brought in to me to read this writing and tell me its meaning, but they could not say what the words meant.16 But I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve difficulties; if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be clothed in purple, wear a gold collar about your neck, and be third in the government of the kingdom."17 Daniel answered the king: "You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else; but the writing I will read for you, O king, and tell you what it means.18 The Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar a great kingdom and glorious majesty.19 Because he made him so great, the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Whomever he wished, he killed or let live; whomever he wished, he exalted or humbled.20 But when his heart became proud and his spirit hardened by insolence, he was put down from his royal throne and deprived of his glory;21 he was cast out from among men and was made insensate as a beast; he lived with wild asses, and ate grass like an ox; his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God rules over the kingdom of men and appoints over it whom he will.22 You, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this;23 you have rebelled against the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels of his temple brought before you, so that you and your nobles, your wives and your entertainers, might drink wine from them; and you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.24 By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down.25 "This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, TEKEL, and PERES. These words mean: 26 MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it; 27 TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;28 PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."29 Then by order of Belshazzar they clothed Daniel in purple, with a gold collar about his neck, and proclaimed him third in the government of the kingdom.30 The same night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was slain:
Daniel (NAB) 1