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Prophets After the Exile
(Category 12 of 16)
Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king,
aTo all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders athat the Most High God has worked for me.
3 aHow great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is ban everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.
5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, aand the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head btroubled me.
6 Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.
7 aThen 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.
8 But at last Daniel came before me a(his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; bin him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying:
9 “Belteshazzar, achief 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, aA tree in the midst of the earth, And its height was great.
CHAPTER 4 References
1 aDan. 3:4;
2 aDan. 3:26
3 a2 Sam. 7:16
4:34; 6:26] 5 aDan. 2:28,
29 bDan. 2:1
7 aDan. 2:2
8 aDan. 1:7
4:18; 5:11, 14
9 aDan. 2:48;
10 aEzek. 31:3
12 aLam. 4:20
13 a[Dan. 4:17,
13 1Lit. with
17 aPs. 9:16;
2:21; 4:25, 32;
d1 Sam. 2:8
18 aGen. 41:8,
15 bDan. 4:8,
9; 5:11, 14
19 aDan. 4:8
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. aThe 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 aa watcher, ba holy one, coming down from heaven.
14 He cried 1aloud and said thus:
a‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. bLet 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 atimes1 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 athat the living may know bThat the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, cGives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the dlowest of men.’
18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, asince all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, bfor the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”
Daniel Explains the Second Dream
19 Then Daniel, awhose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished
for a time, and his thoughts btroubled 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 cthe dream 1concern those who hate you, and its interpretation 2concern your enemies!
20 aThe 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 ait is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, band your dominion to the end of the earth.
23 aAnd 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, band let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven 1times 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 adrive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you beat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven 1times shall pass over you, ctill you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and dgives 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 aHeaven1 rules.
27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; abreak off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. bPerhaps there may be ca 1lengthening of your prosperity.”
19 bDan. 7:15,
28; 8:27 c2
1be for 2for
22 aDan. 2:37,
38 bJer. 27:6–8
25 aDan. 4:32;
4:2, 17, 32
26 aMatt. 21:25
27 a[1 Pet. 4:8] b[Ps. 41:1–3] c1 Kin. 21:29
29 1Or upon
30 aProv. 16:18
31 aLuke 12:20
32 a[Dan. 4:25] 1Possibly
34 aDan. 4:26
b[Rev. 4:10] c[Luke 1:33] 1Lit. days
35 aIs. 40:15,
17 bPs. 115:3;
36 aDan. 4:26
b2 Chr. 20:20
c[Prov. 22:4] 37 aDan. 2:46,
47; 3:28, 29
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking 1about the royal palace of .
30 The king aspoke, saying, “Is not this great , that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
31 aWhile the word was still in the king’s mouth, ba voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!
32 And athey 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 1times 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 aat the end of the 1time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him bwho lives forever:
For His dominion is can everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 aAll the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; bHe does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. cNo one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, d“What have You done?”
36 At the same time my reason returned to me, aand for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was brestored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was cadded to me.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, apraise and extol and honor the King of heaven, ball of whose
works are truth, and His ways justice. cAnd those who walk in pride He is able to put down.
1 Belshazzar the king amade a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand.
2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels awhich his 1father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.
3 Then they brought the gold avessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them.
4 They drank wine, aand praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5 aIn the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
6 Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his aknees knocked against each other.
7 aThe king cried 1aloud to bring in bthe astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of , “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; cand he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
8 Now all the king’s wise men came, abut they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation.
9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly atroubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were 1astonished.
10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. The queen spoke, saying, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance change.
11 a“There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your 1father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your 1father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.
33 cEx. 18:11
CHAPTER 5 References
1 aEsth. 1:3
2 aDan. 1:2
3 a2 Chr. 36:10
4 aRev. 9:20
5 aDan. 4:31
6 aDan. 4:6
7 aDan. 4:6, 7;
5:11, 15 bIs.
6:2, 3 1Lit.
8 aDan. 2:27;
9 aDan. 2:1;
11 aDan. 2:48;
4:8, 9, 18 1Or
12 aDan. 1:7;
4:8 1Lit. untying
13 1Lit. who is
of the sons of
14 aDan. 4:8, 9,
18; 5:11, 12
1Or spirit of
15 aDan. 5:7, 8
16 aDan. 5:7,
29 1Lit. untie
18 aDan. 2:37,
38; 4:17, 22,
25 1Or ancestor
19 aJer. 27:7
bDan. 2:12, 13;
20 aDan. 4:30,
21 aDan. 4:32,
22 a2 Chr.
23 aDan. 5:3, 4
12 “Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and 1explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, awhom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”
The Writing on the Wall Explained
13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel 1who is one of the captives from
14 “I have heard of you, that athe 1Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.
15 “Now athe wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not give the interpretation of the thing.
16 “And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and 1explain enigmas . aNow if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
17 Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
18 “O king, athe Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your 1father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor.
19 “And because of the majesty that He gave him, aall peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he bexecuted; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down.
20 a“But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.
21 “Then he was adriven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, btill he 1knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.
22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, ahave not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.
23 a“And you have 1lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the bvessels of 2His house before you, and you and your
lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, cwhich do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand dand owns all your ways, you have not glorified.
24 “Then the 1fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.
25 “And this is the inscription that was written:
1MENE, MENE, 2TEKEL, 3UPHARSIN.
26 “This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it;
27 “TEKEL: aYou have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting;
28 “PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the aMedes and bPersians.”1
29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him athat he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 aThat very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.
31 aAnd Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
The Plot Against Daniel
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom;
2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss.
3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, abecause an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
4 aSo the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.
5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
6 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: a“King Darius, live forever!
7 “All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have aconsulted together to establish a
23 cPs. 115:5, 6
d[Jer. 10:23] 24 1Lit. palm
25 1Lit. a mina
from the verb
2Lit. a shekel
from the verb
3Lit. and halfshekels
the verb “to
divide”; pl. of
Peres, v. 28
27 aPs. 62:9
28 aDan. 5:31;
9:1 bDan. 6:28
29 aDan. 5:7,
30 aJer. 51:31,
31 aDan. 2:39;
CHAPTER 6 References
3 aDan. 5:12
4 aEccl. 4:4
6 aNeh. 2:3
7 aPs. 59:3;
8 aEsth. 1:19;
8:8 1Lit. does
10 aJon. 2:4
6:8, 15 1Lit.
does not pass
13 aDan. 1:6;
3:12 1Lit. of
the sons of
14 aMark 6:26
15 aDan. 6:8,
17 aLam. 3:53
18 aDan. 2:1
royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
8 “Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the alaw of the Medes and Persians, which 1does not alter.”
9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Daniel in the Lions’ Den
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open atoward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees bthree times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
12 aAnd they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing is true, baccording to the law of the Medes and Persians, which 1does not alter.”
13 So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, awho is 1one of the captives from , bdoes not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”
14 And the king, when he heard these words, awas greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he 1labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
15 Then these men 1approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is athe law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”
17 aThen a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, band the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.
Daniel Saved from the Lions
18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no 1musicians were brought before him. aAlso his sleep 2went from him.
19 Then the aking arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions.
20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a 1lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, ahas your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
21 Then Daniel said to the king, a“O king, live forever!
22 a“My God sent His angel and bshut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, abecause he believed in his God.
Darius Honors God
24 And the king gave the command, aand they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, btheir children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
25 aThen King Darius wrote:
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
26 aI make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must btremble and fear before the God of Daniel.
cFor He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be ddestroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues, aAnd He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the 1power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius aand in the reign of bCyrus the Persian.
19 aDan. 3:24
20 aDan. 3:17
21 aDan. 2:4;
22 aDan. 3:28
23 aHeb. 11:33
25 aDan. 4:1
26 aDan. 3:29
2:44; 4:3; 7:14,
27 aDan. 4:2, 3
28 aDan. 1:21
bEzra 1:1, 2
Prayer for Relief from Tormentors
To the Chief Musician. Set to 1“The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.” A Michtam of David when the aPhilistines captured him in Gath.
1 BE amerciful to me, O God, for man would
2 My enemies would ahound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; aI will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
5 All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life.
PSALM 56 References
title a1 Sam.
1 aPs. 57:1
2 aPs. 57:3
4 aPs. 118:6;
Is. 31:3; [Heb.
13:6] 8 a[Mal. 3:16] 9 a[Ps. 118:6;
Rom. 8:31] 13 aPs. 116:8, 9
8 You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; aAre they not in Your book?
9 When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because aGod is for me.
10 In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word),
11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You,
13 aFor You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the blight of the living?
DREAM IT => PLAN IT => DO IT
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