English: unfoldingWord® Simplified Text

Updated ? hours ago # views See on DCS


Chapter 1

1 After King Jehoiakim had been ruling in Judah for almost three years, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem with his army and surrounded the city so that the city would be weakened before the army attacked. 2 After two years, the Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar’s soldiers victory over Jehoiakim, who was the king of Judah. They also took some of the sacred objects that were in the temple of God, and took them to Babylonia in the land of Shinar. There Nebuchadnezzar put them in the treasure house of his god.

3 Then Nebuchadnezzar commanded Ashpenaz, the chief official in his palace, to bring to him some of the Israelite men whom they had brought to Babylon. These were men who belonged to important families, including the family of the king of Judah. 4 King Nebuchadnezzar wanted only men who were very healthy, handsome, wise, well educated, capable of learning many things, and suitable for working in the palace. He wanted to teach them the Babylonian language so that they could understand the writings of the Babylonians. 5 The king commanded his servants, “Give them the fine, rich foods and wine served to me. Train them for three years and then they will become my servants.”

6 Among the young Israelite men who were chosen were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who all came from Judah. 7 Ashpenaz gave them Babylonian names. He gave to Daniel the name Belteshazzar, he gave to Hananiah the name Shadrach, he gave to Mishael the name Meshach, and he gave Azariah the name Abednego.

8 But Daniel decided that he would not eat the kind of food that the king ate, or drink the wine that the king drank because that would make him ritually defiled. So he asked Ashpenaz, the chief of the king’s officials for permission to eat and drink other food so that he might not defile himself. 9 God gave Daniel kindness and compassion in the relationship he had with Ashpenaz. The chief official had great respect for Daniel. 10 He said to Daniel, “My master the king, has chosen what food and drink you should have. If you eat other things and you become thinner and paler than the other young men who are your age, he could order his soldiers to cut off my head because you did not follow his directions.”

11 The chief official assigned a servant to give Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah their food and drink. Daniel spoke to him. 12 He said, “Please test your servants! For ten days give us only vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 After ten days, see whether we look healthy or not. Also see how those who eat the king’s food look. Then you do to us whatever you think is best.” 14 The servant agreed to this test. He gave them the food Daniel requested for ten days.

15 After ten days, he saw that they looked healthier and better nourished than all the young men who had been eating the food the king chose for them. 16 So after that he took away the king’s special food and wine, and he only gave them vegetables to eat.

17 God gave to these four young men wisdom and the ability to study many things that the Babylonians had written and studied. He also gave to Daniel the ability to understand the meaning of visions and dreams.

18 After three years, the king chose a day when those who were in training would come before him. Ashpenaz, the chief of the king’s officials, presented them all to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them and realized that none of the other young men were as capable as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they stood together, ready to begin their service to the king. 20 In every question requiring wisdom and understanding, the king found these men advised him ten times more effectively than his magicians and those who claimed to speak with the dead. There were none better than these four in his entire kingdom.

21 Daniel remained there serving the king more than sixty years until the first year that Cyrus became king.

Chapter 2

1 One night during the second year that Nebuchadnezzar ruled, he had a dream. The dream worried him so much that he could not sleep. 2 The next morning he summoned his men who worked magic, those who claimed to speak with the dead, those who gave advice from watching the stars, and the wise men. To test their skill, he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. They came and stood before the king. 3 The king said, “I had a dream last night that worries me and I want to know what the dream means.”

4 The men who studied the stars replied to the king, (what follows is written in the Aramaic language). They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, may you live forever! Tell us your dream and we will tell you what it means!”

5 But the king replied to them, “I have decided that you must tell me the dream and also tell me what it means. If you do not do this, I will cut you into pieces and turn your houses into piles of dung! 6 But if you tell me what I dreamed and what it means, I will reward you. I will give you gifts and a reward and great honor. So tell me what I dreamed and what it means.”

7 Again they replied, “Tell us what you dreamed, and we will tell you what it means.”

8 The king replied, “I know that you are just trying to get more time because you know that I will do to you what I said that I would do. 9 If you do not tell me what I dreamed, you know what I promised to do to you. I think that you have all agreed to tell me lies and other wicked things before your time is up. So then, you have only one choice. Tell me the dream, and I will know you can tell me what it means.”

10 The wise men replied to the king, “There is no one on the earth who can do what you ask! There is no king, even a great and mighty king, who has ever asked his astrologers or those who claim to speak with the dead, or wise men like ourselves to do something like that! 11 What you are asking us to do is impossible. Only the gods can tell you what you dreamed, and they do not live among us!”

12 The king was very angry when he heard that, so he commanded his soldiers that they execute all men who were known for their wisdom in all of Babylon. 13 According to the king’s command, they set out to find Daniel and his friends, to execute them.

14 Arioch, the commander of the king’s guards, came with soldiers to kill everyone in Babylon who was considered to be wise. So Daniel spoke to him very wisely and tactfully. 15 Daniel asked the captain Arioch, “Why has the king made a decree that must be carried out so quickly?” So Arioch told Daniel all that had happened. 16 Daniel went to talk with the king and requested an appointment with the king so that he could tell the king what the dream was and what it meant.

17 Daniel went to his house and he told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask God, who lives in heaven, to help them by telling them the secret of the dream of the king so that they and the other men in Babylon known for wisdom would not be put to death. 19 That night God gave Daniel a vision, and in that vision the secret was made known to him. Then Daniel praised God 20 saying,

     “We praise the name of the true God forever

         because he owns all wisdom and power.

     21 He makes the time move forward, and he owns the seasons.

         He removes every king when he chooses and gives new kings their kingdom.

     He gives wisdom to some, and people become wise.

         He teaches knowledge to those who understand.

     22 He reveals to us things that are deep and hidden.

         He can do this because he knows everything that the darkness hides from us,

         and because the light comes from where he lives.

     23 God, whom my ancestors worshiped,

     I thank you and I praise you

         because you have caused me to be wise and made me strong.

         You have told me what my friends and I asked you to tell us,

         and you have revealed to us what the king demanded to know.”

24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, the man whom the king had appointed to execute everyone known to be wise in Babylon. He said to him, “Do not kill those men of wisdom. Take me to the king and I will tell him what his dream means.”

25 So Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king. He said to the king, “I have found one of the men whom we brought from Judah who can tell you what your dream means!”

26 The king said to Daniel (whose name was now Belteshazzar), “Can you tell me what I dreamed and what it means?”

27 Daniel replied, “There is no one to help, even those who claim to be wise and those who claim to consult with the dead. No one can help, none of the magicians or astrologers. None of these can discover the secrets of your dream. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown in your dream what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you what you dreamed and the vision you saw as you were lying on your bed.

29 O king, while you were sleeping, you dreamed about events that will happen in the future. The one who reveals mysteries has shown you what is going to happen. 30 It is not because I am wiser than anyone else on earth that I know the meaning of this mysterious dream. It is because God wanted you to understand your deep thoughts hidden in the vision he gave you.

31 O king, in your vision you saw in front of you a huge and terrifying statue of a man. It was shining very brightly, and it was frightening and awesome. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold. Its chest and arms were made of silver. Its belly and thighs were made of bronze. 33 Its legs were made of iron and its feet were a mixture of clay and iron. 34 As you watched, someone cut a stone from a mountain, but it was not a human who cut it. The stone tumbled down and smashed the statue’s feet that were made of iron and clay. It smashed them to bits. 35 Then the rest of the statue collapsed into a big heap of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. The pieces of the statue were as small as bits of chaff on the ground where it is threshed, and the wind blew away all the tiny pieces. There was nothing left. But the stone that smashed the statue became a large mountain that covered the whole earth.

36 That was what you dreamed. Now we will tell you what it means. 37 You are a king who rules over other kings. The God who rules in heaven has caused you to rule over them and has given you great power and has honored you. 38 He has caused you to be the ruler over all people so that even the animals and birds belong to you. You are the head of the statue, that head made of gold.

39 After your kingdom ends, there will be another great kingdom, but it will not be as great as yours. The silver parts of the statue represent that kingdom. Then there will be a third great kingdom whose king will rule over the whole earth. The bronze parts of the statue represent that third kingdom. 40 After that kingdom ends, there will be a fourth great kingdom. The iron parts of the statue represent that kingdom. The army of that kingdom will smash the previous kingdoms, just like iron smashes everything that it strikes. 41 The feet and toes of the statue that you saw were a mixture of iron and clay, showing that the kingdom they represent will later be divided. 42 Some parts of that kingdom will be as strong as iron, but some parts will not remain together, just as iron and clay do not stay together when mixed. 43 The mixture of iron and clay in the statue also means that this kingdom will come apart, because the different people groups will not work together, just as clay does not stick to iron.

44 But while those kings are ruling, God who rules in heaven will establish a kingdom that will never end. No one will ever defeat its king. He will completely destroy all those kingdoms, but his kingdom will remain forever. 45 That is the meaning of the stone that someone cut from the mountain, the stone that will crush to tiny bits the statue that is made of iron, bronze, silver, and gold. God, the great God, has told you what will happen in the future. The dream he gave you will come true. Its meaning is true, as I have told it to you.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar lay down on the ground in front of Daniel as an act of great respect. He commanded his people to burn incense and to burn an offering of grain in honor of Daniel. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Your God has enabled you to tell me the meaning of this dream, so now I truly know that your God is greater than all the other gods, and King over all other kings. He reveals secrets; he makes known mysteries no one else could know.”

48 Then the king gave many gifts to Daniel, and he also appointed him to rule over the entire province of Babylon. He made him to be the chief governor over all the wisest men in Babylon. 49 Daniel asked the king to appoint Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to serve in important positions as administrators in the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained in the king’s palace and served the king there.

Chapter 3

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue. It was twenty-seven meters tall and three meters wide. He set it up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then he sent messages to all the provincial governors, the regional governors, and the local governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the high officials of the provinces. He told them to come to celebrate the new statue that he had set up to honor the god that it represented. 3 When they all arrived, they were all standing in front of that statue.

4 A person on the royal staff shouted out the king’s new law to everyone, “You people who come from many countries and who speak many languages, listen to what the king has commanded! 5 When you hear the sound of the horns, flutes, zithers, lyres, harps, and other flutes, and all the music they will play, you must lie down on the ground and honor the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has put up. 6 Anyone who refuses to do that will be thrown into a blazing fire.”

7 So all those people who had gathered from the many people and nations, who were speaking various languages, when they heard the instruments play, they laid themselves down on the ground and gave their worship and said words of praise to the statue.

8 But some Chaldeans went to the king. 9 They reported to him, “O king, may you never die! 10 You decreed that every person who hears the sound of those instruments should lie down on the ground and honor the golden statue. 11 You also decreed that anyone refusing to do that would be thrown into a blazing fire. 12 There are some men from Judah that you appointed to be officials in the province of Babylon who have paid no attention to your decree. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They have refused to worship your gods and the golden statue that you have set up.”

13 When he heard this, Nebuchadnezzar became very angry. He commanded his soldiers to bring in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So they brought them to the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Have you decided that you will not worship my gods or the golden statue that I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance. If you bow down to worship the statue that I have set up when you hear the sounds of the musical instruments, fine. But if you refuse, you will be thrown into a blazing fire. Then who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend our actions to you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into a fire, the God we worship is able to rescue us. He has the power to rescue us from you. 18 But even if he does not rescue us, we will not worship your gods, and we will never honor the statue you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar became extremely angry. His face showed great rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders that the fire should be made seven times hotter than usual. 20 After that was done, he ordered some of his strongest soldiers to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and then to throw them into the blazing fire. 21 When the soldiers tied them up and threw them into the furnace, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were wearing their robes, their tunics, their turbans, and their other clothes. 22 Because the king’s orders were given when he was so angry and were to be followed without any delay, and because the fire was so hot, the flames leaped out of the blaze and killed the soldiers that took Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego up into the fire. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, tied up, fell into the burning flames of the fire.

24 But as Nebuchadnezzar was watching, he was shocked. He jumped up and shouted to his advisors, “Did we tie up three men and throw them into the flames?”

They replied, “Yes, O king, we did.”

25 Nebuchadnezzar shouted, “Look! I see four men in the fire! They are not tied with ropes and they are walking around and the flames are not hurting them! The fourth man is shining like a son of the gods!”

26 Nebuchadnezzar came closer to the edge of the blazing fire and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you who worship the Most High God, come out of there! Come here!” So they came out and away from the fire.

27 Then all the king’s officials saw them when they came out of the fire. The flames had not harmed them. Not even the hair on their heads was singed, and none of their clothing was scorched. There was not even any smell of smoke on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “We must all praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent one of his messengers to rescue these three men who worship him and trust in him. They ignored the king’s command and refused to worship any other god but their own God, even if it cost them their lives. 29 Therefore I am now making this decree: ‘If any people from any nation, or those who speak any language, say anything against the God who is worshiped by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn to pieces and their houses will be torn down and made into piles of garbage. This decree is made because there is no other god who can rescue people like this!’”

30 Then the king gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego positions of greater importance within the province of Babylon.

Chapter 4

1 Several years after Nebuchadnezzar started to rule, he sent this message to every people, nation, and language in his empire. He wrote,

         “I wish that all things will go very well with you!

         2 I want you to know about all the ways in which God Most High has shown his power, and how he has done so many amazing things for me.

     3 He performs great miracles that show his power;

         he does wonderful things.

     He will always be king;

         he will rule from one generation to another without end.”

         4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace without a care, and I was enjoying every luxury. 5 But one night I had a dream that caused me to be very afraid. I saw visions that terrified me as I lay on my bed. 6 So I summoned all those in Babylon who were wise so that they could come and tell me what my dream meant. 7 All the men who worked magic, those who claimed to speak with the dead, the wise men, and those who made predictions from the stars came to me. I told them what I had dreamed, but they could not tell me what it meant. 8 At last, Daniel came to me, and I decided to tell him what I had dreamed. (He is also named Belteshazzar, to honor my own god, and I knew that the spirit of the holy gods was in him).

         9 I said to him, “Belteshazzar, you are the most important of all my magicians. I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that you can reveal the meaning of any mystery. There is none that is too difficult for you. So tell me what my dream means. 10 This is what I dreamed while I was lying in bed: I saw a large tree growing in the middle of the earth. 11 The tree was very strong and had grown very tall. It seemed that its top reached up to the sky and that everyone in the world could see it. 12 It had beautiful leaves, and it had fruit for people and all creatures to eat. Wild animals rested in its shade and birds built nests in its branches. All the living creatures got food from that tree.

         13 “While I was lying in bed, I saw in my dream a holy angel come down from heaven. 14 He shouted, ‘Cut down that tree, and cut off its branches. Strip off all of its leaves, and scatter its fruit. Chase away the animals that are lying in the shade of the tree and the birds that are in its branches. 15 But leave the tree stump and the roots in the ground. Fasten a band of iron and bronze around the stump and let it stay there with grass around it.

         16 Cause that man to live out in the fields among the animals and plants. Cause the dew from the sky to make his body damp each morning. Take away his sanity and let him have the mind like an animal’s mind for seven years.

         17 ‘The holy ones in heaven have issued a decree. They want everyone to know that God Most High rules over all the kingdoms in this world. He is the one who chooses the people to rule these kingdoms. He sometimes places very unimportant people in places of importance.’

         18 Belteshazzar, that is what I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw in my dream. Now you must tell me what the dream means. No one else can tell me. I asked all the very wise men in my kingdom to tell me what it means, but they were unable to do that. But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

         19 Then Daniel, who was also named Belteshazzar, did not say anything for some time because he was very worried about the meaning of the dream. Then the king said to him, “Belteshazzar, do not be afraid about the dream or what it means.” Daniel replied to the king, “Sir, I wish that the events that were predicted in your dream would happen to those who hate you, and that the meaning of your dream would happen only to your enemies and not to you.

         20 In your dream you saw a very strong and tall tree. It seemed to reach up to the sky, and everyone in the world could see it. 21 It had beautiful leaves, and it had produced much fruit for all people and creatures to eat. Wild animals rested in the shade of that tree, and birds built nests in its branches. 22 O king, that tree is you! You have become very powerful. Your greatness has grown and reached up to the sky, and you rule people all over the world.

         23 Then you saw a holy angel come down from heaven; he said, ‘Cut down that tree, and cut off its branches. Strip off all of its leaves, and scatter its fruit. But leave the stump of the tree and its roots in the ground. Fasten a band of iron and bronze around the stump and allow it to stay there with grass around it. Each morning bring dew from the sky to make this man, who is represented by that tree, damp. Cause him to live in the fields with the animals for seven years.’

         24 This is what your dream means, O king. This is what the Most High God has declared will happen to you. 25 You will be forced to live away from other human beings. You will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like an ox, and dew from the sky will make you wet every morning. You will live that way for seven years until you learn that it is the Most High God who rules over the kingdoms of the world. He appoints the ones he chooses to rule over them. 26 But the stump of the tree and its roots were left in the ground. That means that you will rule your kingdom again when you learn that it is God who is over everything and everyone. 27 Your Majesty, please do what I am telling you to do. Stop sinning and do what is right. Turn away from your evil behavior. Act mercifully to those whom other people are mistreating. If you do that, perhaps you will continue to prosper.”

         28-29 All these things happened to King Nebuchadnezzar: Twelve months later, he was walking around on the roof of his palace in Babylon, 30 and he looked out over the city and said to those around him, “I have built this great city of Babylon to be the place where I rule! I have built it with my own power to show people my honor and my greatness.”

         31 The king had just finished speaking when a voice came from heaven and said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, this is what must happen: You are no longer the ruler of this kingdom! 32 You will live away from human society. You will live in the fields with wild animals, and you will eat grass as an ox does. You will live that way for seven years until you learn that it is I, the Most High, who rules over the kingdoms of this world, and I appoint whomever I wish to rule over them.”

         33 At that very moment everything that had been said about Nebuchadnezzar came true. He was driven away from other human beings. He ate grass like an ox, and dew from the sky made me wet every morning. My hair grew as long the feathers of an eagle, and my fingernails became like the claws of a bird.

         34 After those seven years ended, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven and acknowledged that what God said was true. Then I could think correctly again, and my sanity was restored. I praised and worshiped the Most High, and I honored him, the one who lives forever.

     He rules forever;

         his ruling power is an everlasting authority.

     35 He regards all the people in the world as insignificant.

     He has the power to do whatever he wants to do.

         He does whatever he wants with the angel armies in heaven and with us who live on the earth.

     So no one can correct him;

         no one can challenge him;

         no one can say to him, “Why are you doing these things?”

         36 When I was able to think correctly again, I was honored again; and for the glory of my kingdom, my splendor and the shining brightness of my reign were brought back to my kingdom again. My advisors returned to me, and I became greater and more powerful than I was before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and honor God, the king who rules in heaven. All of his actions are just and right. And he is able to make the proud humble.

Chapter 5

1 Several years later, Belshazzar became the king of Babylon. One day he invited one thousand of the most important people to a big feast, and he drank wine in front of them all. 2 While he was drinking, he commanded that his servants bring him the gold and silver cups that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. He did this so that he and his officials, his wives, and his concubines could drink from them. 3 So his servants brought in all those gold cups that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem. Then the king and his officials and his wives and his concubines drank wine from those cups. 4 They drank wine and praised their idols—these idols that were made of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and of stone.

5 Suddenly they saw across from the lampstand a man’s hand and fingers. The hand was writing on the plaster wall in the palace. The king saw the hand as it was writing. 6 He became very frightened, and his face became pale. His knees started shaking and his legs became very weak and could not support him.

7 Then he shouted to his servants to bring those who claimed to speak with the dead, the wise men, and the astrologers in Babylon. He said, “I will greatly honor anyone of you who can read this writing and tell me what it means. I will give that person a purple robe like I wear because I am the king and I will put a gold chain around his neck. I will make him the third most powerful ruler in my kingdom.”

8 But when all those wise men came in, none of them could read the writing or tell him what it meant. 9 So King Belshazzar became more afraid. His face was changed and he looked different. None of his officials knew how they could help him.

10 The queen came to the place where they were eating. She heard what the king had said and that his nobles did not know how to help him. She said, “O king, may you live forever! Do not be upset about this or let this change the way you look. 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. When Nebuchadnezzar was ruling, he found that this man understood many things and was wise, just like the gods. Nebuchadnezzar appointed him to be in charge of the magicians, of those who speak with the dead, of the wise men, and of the astrologers. 12 His name is Daniel, but the king gave him the name Belteshazzar. He is a person who can be trusted. He is very intelligent and understands many hidden things. He is able to tell the meaning of dreams, to explain riddles, and to solve problems that few others can solve. Call for him to come here and he will tell you what this writing means.”

13 So they went and brought Daniel in. The king asked him, “You are the famous Daniel, are you not?—one of those that my father brought here from Judah. 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you understand many things and have excellent wisdom. 15 There were men who are known for their wisdom and others who speak with the dead, and they tried to read the writing on this wall and to tell me what it means, but they could not do it. 16 Someone told me that you can explain what dreams mean and that you can make things understandable that others cannot know. If you can read these words and tell me what they mean, I will give you a purple robe like I wear because I am the king, and I will put a gold chain around your neck, and I will make you the third most powerful ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Daniel replied and said to the king, “I do not want your gifts. Keep them for yourself and give the rewards to some other person. I will read what is written on the wall for you, but not because you give me any reward.

18 Your Majesty, the Most High God caused Nebuchadnezzar, the man who was king before you, to become a great ruler. He was greatly praised and honored. 19 Because God made him very great, everyone—every nation, no matter what language they spoke—was afraid of him, and they trembled at what he could do. He put to death those whom he decreed should die, and he kept alive those whom he decreed should live. He honored those whom he chose to honor, and he brought disgrace to those whom he wanted to humble. 20 But when he became very proud and stubborn, he was unable to rule any longer. 21 He had to go away from other human beings because he lost his mind. God caused him to have a mind like animals have. He lived among the wild donkeys. He ate grass like an ox, and dew from the sky made his body wet every morning. He was like that until he learned that the Most High God is the only one who rules the kingdoms of this world and that he appoints whomever he chooses to rule those kingdoms.

22 Now, Belshazzar, you have become king in your father’s place. You knew all these things, but you have not made yourself humble. 23 You have put yourself above the Lord who rules in heaven. You called for the cups from the house of God in Jerusalem so that you could use them to drink wine. You and your officials and your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from these cups and toasting your own gods—gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Those gods cannot see, they cannot hear, and they do not know anything! But you have not honored God, who gives you breath and who controls everything that happens to you. 24 So God sent this hand to write a message for you on the wall.

25 This is the message that it wrote: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Pharsin.

26 This is what those words mean:

     ‘Mene’ means ‘numbered.’ That means that God has been counting the days that you will rule, and he has decided that you will not rule anymore.

     27 ‘Mene’ means ‘weighed.’ God has weighed you on a scale, and you do not weigh what you should.

     28 ‘Peres’ means ‘divided.’ God has divided your kingdom. It will be ruled by people from Media and by people from Persia.”

29 Then Belshazzar did what he had promised. He put on Daniel a purple robe like the one he himself wore. He put a gold chain around his neck, and he proclaimed that Daniel would be the third most powerful ruler in the kingdom.

30 But that same night soldiers from Media entered the city and killed Belshazzar, king of Babylonia. 31 Darius, king of Media, became the king of Babylonia when he was sixty-two years old.

Chapter 6

1 King Darius decided to divide his kingdom into 120 provinces. He appointed a governor to rule each province. 2 The king also appointed three administrators, one of whom was Daniel. These chief administrators were to supervise the provincial governors, to give oversight so that the king’s orders were followed, and to ensure that the king would not have anything stolen from his treasuries. 3 Daniel was a very capable leader and an exceptional person, and he distinguished himself among the chief administrators. The king made plans to appoint Daniel over his entire kingdom. 4 Then the other administrators and the governors became jealous. So they began to search to find some way that they could criticize the work Daniel did when he was working for the king. But he always did his work faithfully and honestly. They could not find anything to criticize. He was honest and worked hard. 5 They began their plot against Daniel, “The only way we can find a reason to criticize Daniel would be to use his obedience to the law of his God against him.”

6 So the administrators and governors put their plan in place by going as a group to the king and saying, “Your Majesty, may you live forever! 7 All of the chief administrators and regional governors and provincial governors and advisors and other governors have all agreed that you should make a law that everyone must obey. We want you to command that for the next thirty days people may pray only to you and to no god or person other than you. If anyone prays to anyone else, he must be thrown into a room filled with lions. 8 Because laws made in the lands of Media and Persia cannot be changed, we want you, the king, to issue the law and sign your name on the document.” 9 So King Darius issued the law and signed the document.

10 When Daniel found out that the king had written and signed that law, he went home, knelt in his upstairs room, and prayed. The room had a window that looked toward Jerusalem and the windows were open. Anyone could see that he was praying. This is what he did every day, three times a day. 11 The officials followed their plot against Daniel, and they found him praying and asking God for help. 12 So they returned to the king and said to him, “Is it true that you wrote a law stating that for the next thirty days people may pray only to you, and that if anyone prays to anyone else, either to a human or to a god, he will be thrown into a pit of lions?”

The king replied, “Yes, that is the law that I wrote. It is a law in the lands of Media and Persia which cannot be changed.”

13 Then they said to the king, “That man Daniel, one of the men who was brought from Judah, is not paying any attention to you or the law that you signed. He prays to his god three times each day!” 14 When the king heard that, he was very upset about it. He tried to find a way to save Daniel. He worked hard for the rest of that day until the sun set, trying to find a way to save Daniel.

15 In the evening, many of those who formed the plot against Daniel spoke to the king, “You know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is that no change can be made to the king’s commands, and no one can change it.”

16 Hearing this, the king gave the order and his servants brought Daniel and threw him into a pit where the lions were. Before they threw him in, the king said to Daniel, “I hope your God, whom you worship all the time, will rescue you!”

17 They rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the pit. Then the king sealed the entrance with his signet ring, and the other officials also sealed the entrance with their signet rings, so that nothing could be done for Daniel. 18 The king returned to his palace. That night he refused to eat any food. He would not allow anyone to entertain him and that night he was unable to sleep.

19 At dawn the next morning, the king got up and went quickly to the pit where the lions were. 20 When he came near it, he was very worried. He called out, fearing the worst, “Daniel, you who serve the living God! Was your God—whom you worship always—able to save you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “O king, may you live forever! 22 Yes, my God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths and they have not hurt me! He knows that I have done nothing wrong, and you know, O king, I never did anything wrong to you either!”

23 The king was extremely happy, and he commanded his servants to lift Daniel out of the pit. When they did that, they saw that the lions had not wounded him at all. God had protected him because he trusted in him.

24 Then the king commanded that the men who had accused Daniel be seized and thrown into the pit of lions—along with their wives and children. When they were thrown into the pit, the lions leaped on them and crushed their bones before they fell to the bottom of the pit.

25 Then King Darius wrote this message and sent it throughout his kingdom to all the people, to every nation, and to all the people no matter what language they spoke:

         “I wish that all things go very well with you!

         26 I command that everyone in my kingdom should fear and revere the God that Daniel worships.

     He is the living God,

         and he will live forever.

     His kingdom will never be destroyed;

         he will rule until the end.

     27 He rescues and saves his people,

         he performs all kinds of signs and wonders

         in heaven and on the earth.

     He rescued Daniel from the power of the lions!”

28 So Daniel was very successful all during the time that Darius ruled and during the time that Cyrus, the king of Persia, ruled.

Chapter 7

1 In the first year that Belshazzar was the king of Babylonia, Daniel had a dream one night as he lay in bed. He saw certain things that he wrote down the next morning. This is what he said:

2 “I, Daniel, had a dream during the night. In my dream I saw that strong winds were blowing from all four directions, stirring up the water on the sea. 3 Then I saw four large animals coming out of the sea. Each of the four was different from the others.

4 The first one resembled a lion, but it had wings like an eagle has. But as I watched, something tore off its wings and the animal was left there, standing, like a human being. It was given a mind like humans have.

5 The second animal resembled a bear. It was crouching and holding between its teeth three ribs from some creature. Someone said to it, ‘Stand up and eat many people!’

6 Then I saw in front of me the third of these animals. It resembled a leopard, but on its back it had four wings like a bird’s wings. It had four heads and it was given the power to rule people.

7 In the vision I saw a fourth animal. It was stronger than the other animals and more terrifying. It crushed other creatures with its huge iron teeth and ate their flesh. The parts of animals that it did not grind with its teeth, it walked over on the ground. It was different from the other three animals. It had ten horns on its head.

8 While I was looking at those horns, I saw a little horn appear on the head of that animal. It tore out three of the other horns. This little horn had eyes like a human has and a mouth that boasted about great things.

9 Then while I watched,

     thrones were set up for judges,

         and God, The One who Lives Forever, sat on one of the thrones.

     His clothes were as white as snow,

         and his hair was as white as pure wool.

     His throne was burning with fire,

         and it had wheels that were also burning.

     10 Fire poured out in front of him like water in a river.

     Millions of people were there serving him,

         and a hundred million other people were standing in front of him.

     The court was called into session,

         and they opened the books.

11 While I was watching, I could hear the little horn speaking very boastfully. As I continued to watch, the fourth animal was killed. Its corpse was thrown into a fire and completely burned. 12 The power of the other three animals was taken away from them, but they were allowed to continue to live for a specific period of time.

13 I also saw that night someone coming who resembled a son of man, that is, he had a human figure. He was coming close, surrounded by clouds, and he came to The One who Lives Forever and was presented to him in honor. 14 He was given authority to rule over all the nations in the world; royal honor was given to him. He will rule forever—he will never stop ruling. The kingdom that he rules will never be destroyed.

15 As for me, Daniel, I was very sad by what I had seen in that vision; I was so troubled, I did not know what to think about it. 16 I went to one of those who were standing in front of the throne of God, and I asked him to tell me what it meant.

17 He said, ‘The four large animals represent four kings who will come to power on the earth. 18 But the Most High will enable the people who belong to him to rule in the kingdom forever.’

19 Then I wanted to know more about what the fourth animal represented—the animal that was different from the other three, the animal that crushed those whom it attacked with its bronze claws and then ate their flesh with its iron teeth, the animal that walked over the parts of their bodies that it did not eat. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the horn that appeared later, which got rid of three of the other horns. I wanted to know what it meant that it had eyes and a mouth with which it spoke very boastfully. That horn was more terrifying than the other horns. 21 While I was having this vision, I saw that this horn attacked God’s people and was defeating them. 22 But then The One who Lives Forever came and judged in favor of the people who belonged to him. Then it was time for God’s people to be able to rule.

23 Then the man who was standing there said to me, ‘The fourth animal represents an empire that will exist on the earth; that empire will be different from all other empires. The army of that empire will crush people all over the world and trample on their bodies. 24 As for its ten horns, they represent ten kings who will rule that empire, one after the other. Then another king will appear. He will be different from the previous kings. He will defeat the three kings that were represented by the three horns that were pulled out. 25 He will say things against the Most High, and he will oppress God’s people. He will try to change the times of the sacred festivals and their laws. He will control them for three and a half years.

26 But the court will be convened, and they will take his kingdom away and it will be completely destroyed. 27 Then the kingdom, the power to rule, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole of heaven will be given to the holy people who belong to the Most High. The kingdom that he rules is a kingdom that is everlasting, and all kings and rulers will serve and obey him.’

28 That is what I saw in my vision. I, Daniel, was terrified, with the result that my face became pale. But I did not tell anyone about the vision that I had seen.”

Chapter 8

1 During the third year that Belshazzar was the king of Babylonia, I, Daniel, had another vision. 2 In that vision I was in Susa, the fortified city in the province of Elam. I was standing beside the Ulai Canal. 3 I looked up and saw a ram that was standing alongside the canal. It had two long horns, but the one that grew last was longer than the one that grew first. 4 The ram butted away with its horns at everything that was west and everything that was north and everything that was south of it. There were no other animals that were able to oppose it, and none who could stop him. The ram did whatever it wanted to do and became very powerful.

5 While I thinking about what I had seen, I saw a goat come from the west. It ran across the land very quickly; it seemed that its feet did not touch the ground. This goat had one very large horn between its eyes. 6 It ran straight toward the ram with two horns, the ram that was standing alongside the canal, and the goat ran toward it in a terrible rage. 7 The goat struck the ram furiously and broke off its two horns. The goat knocked the ram down to the ground and trampled on it. No one could rescue the ram from the goat’s power. 8 The goat became very powerful. But when its power was very great, its great horn was broken off. Four other distinctive horns grew up in its place. Each one pointed to one of the four winds in the sky: North, south, east, and west.

9 Then from one of those four horns appeared a little horn. It became very great and pointed toward the south and then toward the east and then toward the beautiful land of Israel. 10 That horn became very strong, with the result that it attacked some of the soldiers of the army of heaven and some of the stars in the sky. It threw some of them to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of heaven, and it took away the daily offerings of sacrifices from him, and it also defiled the place of his temple. 12 Because of rebellion, the army of heaven will falter, and the constant burnt offerings will be taken away. It will throw truth to the ground. The bad things it does will succeed.

13 Then I heard two angels who were talking to each other. One of them asked, “How long will the things that were in this vision continue? How long will the man who rebels against God and causes the temple to be defiled be able to prevent priests from offering sacrifices? How long will he trample on the temple and on the armies of heaven?”

14 The other angel replied, “It will continue for 2,300 days. During each of those days, people will not be permitted to offer sacrifices in the morning or in the evening. After that, the temple will be purified and set in order again.”

15 While I, Daniel, was trying to understand what the vision meant, suddenly an angel who resembled a man stood in front of me. 16 And I heard a man call out between the banks of the Ulai Canal, saying, “Gabriel, explain to him the meaning of the vision that he saw!”

17 So Gabriel came and stood beside me. I was very terrified, and I fell onto the ground. But he said to me, “Man, it is necessary for you to understand that the events that you saw in the vision will occur at the time of the end.”

18 While he was speaking, I fell into a deep sleep with my face on the ground. But Gabriel put his hand on me and lifted me up in order that I could stand again.

19 Then he said, “I have come here to show you what will happen at the time when God releases his terrible anger. These things will happen at the time God has set for the end that is coming. 20 As for the ram with two horns that you saw, those horns represent the kingdoms of Media and Persia. 21 The goat that you saw represents the kingdom of Greece, and the horn that appeared between its eyes represents its first king. 22 As for the four horns that grew after the first horn was broken off, they represent four kingdoms into which that first kingdom will be divided. Those four kingdoms will not be as strong as the first kingdom.

23 But then the time will come for those kingdoms to end. This will be after those wicked leaders will have done all the evil that God will allow them to do. Then one of those kingdoms will have a king rise up who will be very proud and very intelligent in doing evil. 24 He will become very powerful, but it will not be because of what he himself does. He will destroy things in many places, and he will succeed in everything he does. He will get rid of many brave soldiers and the people who are holy. 25 Because he is very cunning, he will succeed by deceiving others. He will become very arrogant, and he will destroy many people without warning. He will even rebel against God, the greatest king, who will destroy him without any human power.

26 These are the true visions of the evenings and the mornings. But seal them up and do not reveal the vision to others, because it will be many years before those things happen.”

27 Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay in bed weak for several days. Then I arose and returned to doing the work that the king had given to me, but I was perplexed about the vision. No one could understand it.

Chapter 9

1 In the first year of the reign of Darius (who was a descendant of the Medes and son of Ahasuerus, who conquered the Babylonians)— 2 in the first year that he was the king, I, Daniel, was studying in the holy books the message Yahweh had given to the prophet Jeremiah, that Jerusalem would be destroyed and remain ruined for seventy years. 3 After I read that, I pleaded with the Lord my God by prayer and fasting to help us. I put on clothing made from old grain bags and sat in ashes.

4 I prayed to Yahweh my God, and I confessed the sins we had committed:

         “Lord, I beg you, for you are great and powerful. You have faithfully done what you said you would do for us. You faithfully love those who love you and who do what you have commanded them to do. 5 But we have sinned and done things that are wrong. We have done wicked things, and we have rebelled against you. We have turned away and disobeyed your commands. 6 Your prophets spoke for you, giving your messages to our kings, to our other rulers, to our other ancestors, and to all the Israelite people, but we did not listen to them.

         7 Lord, you act justly. However, we are covered in shame. This is true for the people of Judah who live in Jerusalem and who live in other places in Judea. It is also true about your people the Jews, that you scattered to other countries because we were very unfaithful to you. 8 Yahweh, we and our kings and our other rulers and our other ancestors are ashamed because we have sinned against you. 9 Although we have rebelled against you, you act mercifully toward us and you are willing to forgive us. 10 When you gave your laws to your prophets who served you, and they told us to live our lives according to those laws, we did not listen to the voice of Yahweh our God. 11 All Israel has disobeyed your law, and we have turned away from it and have refused to do what you told us to do. Because we have sinned against you, you have sent to us the terrible things that your servant Moses said would happen to us if we sinned against you.

         12 You warned us and our rulers that you would punish Jerusalem severely by causing a great disaster there, a disaster that would be worse than any disaster that any other city had ever experienced, and you have done what you said that you would do. 13 You punished us just as Moses wrote that you would do. But we still have not turned away from our bad deeds to the truth, or begged you for mercy. 14 So because we did not obey you, Yahweh, you prepared to punish us, and then you did punish us, because you always do what is righteous.

         15 Lord our God, you brought your people out of Egypt by your great power, and by doing that you have caused people from that time until the present time to know that you are great even though we have sinned and done wicked things. 16 But now, because everything you do is righteous, we request you not to be angry with Jerusalem any longer, O Lord. Jerusalem is your city, and your temple was built there on your sacred hill. Now all the people who live in nearby countries despise Jerusalem because of our sins and because of the evil things that our ancestors did.

         17 Our God, I, your servant, ask you to listen to my prayer and my requests. For your own sake, act kindly toward your sanctuary in Jerusalem, which has been destroyed by the armies of Babylonia. 18 My God, listen to my prayer. Look at us and do what you must. See, this city that belongs to you is ruined. We are praying to you because you are merciful, not because we have done what is right. 19 Lord, listen to us! Lord, forgive us! This city and these people belong to you. So I plead with you, my God, to pay attention to what I am saying and act to help us right now, for your own sake!”

20 I continued praying and confessing the sins that I and my people Israel had committed, and pleading with Yahweh my God that he would restore the temple on the sacred hill in Jerusalem. 21 While I was praying, Gabriel, the angel whom I had seen in the first vision, came flying rapidly to me at the time in the evening when the priests offered sacrifices. 22 He said to me, “Daniel, I have come to you to enable you to understand clearly the message that God gave to Jeremiah. 23 When you began to plead with God to be merciful to Israel, he gave me a message to give to you. He loves you very much, so he has sent me to tell you what he said to me. So now, pay attention in order that you may understand the meaning of what he revealed to Jeremiah.

24 God has decided that there will be 490 years until he frees your people and city that belongs to him from the guilt of their sins and to atone for the evil things that they have done. Then God will rule everyone justly, and he will do that forever. What you saw in the vision and what Jeremiah prophesied will come true, and the sacred temple will be dedicated to God again.

25 You need to know and understand this: There will be forty-nine years and then 434 years between when a king commands that Jerusalem be rebuilt, and when the leader comes, the one whom God chooses. Then Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and it will have streets and will have a moat around it to protect the city, in spite of the fact it will be a time of great trouble. 26 After those 434 years, the leader whom God has selected will be killed, and everything will be taken away from him. After that, the temple will be destroyed by the army of a powerful ruler. The city and the temple will be destroyed as a flood destroys everything. When this happens, these wars and destruction will cease. 27 That ruler will make a covenant with many people. He will do what he promised for seven years. But when that time is half finished, he will prevent priests from giving any more offerings and sacrifices to God. After this ruler does these disgusting things, someone will pollute the temple by putting an idol in the very holy place. It will stay there until God completely destroys the one who put it there.”

Chapter 10

1 During the third year that Cyrus was the king of Persia, a message from God was sent to Daniel (who had been given the name Belteshazzar), and the message was true. It was about a great war, and Daniel understood the message because of what he saw in the vision.

2 “At that time I, Daniel, had been sad for three weeks about what had happened to Jerusalem. 3 I did not eat any tasty food or any meat nor did I drink any wine. I did not even put any perfumed oil on my face or hair for those three weeks.

4 When those three weeks ended, on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, my companions and I were standing on the bank of the Tigris River. 5 I looked up and saw someone there who was wearing fine white clothes and a belt made of pure gold. 6 His body shone like a precious beryl stone. His face was as bright as a flash of lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and legs shone like gleaming bronze. His voice was very loud like the roar of a huge crowd.

7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw this vision. The men who were with me did not see anything, but they sensed that someone was there, and they became terrified. They ran away and hid themselves. 8 So I was left there by myself, looking at this very unusual vision. I had no strength left. My face became very pale, with the result that no one would have recognized me. 9 I saw a man there, and when I heard him speak, I fell to the ground. I fainted, and I lay there with my face on the ground.

10 Suddenly someone’s hand took hold of me and lifted me, with the result that I was on my hands and knees, but I was still trembling. 11 The angel said to me, “Daniel, God loves you very much. Stand up and listen to what I am going to say to you because God sent me to you.” When he said that, I stood up, but I was still trembling.

12 Then he said to me, “Daniel, do not be afraid. God has heard what you have prayed ever since the first day that you determined to humble yourself in order to understand the vision. I have come to you because of what you prayed. 13 The evil spirit who rules the kingdom of Persia resisted me for twenty-one days, and I had to stay there for that time with the various kings over whom the Persian king was ruling. But Michael, who is one of God’s chief angels, came to help me. I left him there in Persia to resist that evil spirit. 14 I have come here to help you understand what will happen to the Israelite people in the future. Do not forget that the vision you saw is about things that will happen in the future, and not about things that will happen very soon.”

15 While he was still saying that, I looked down at the ground and was unable to say anything. 16 Suddenly the angel, who resembled a human, touched my lips. Then I was able to speak, and I said to him, “Sir, because I have seen this vision, I have become very weak, with the result that I cannot stop trembling. 17 I am only your servant, and am not able to talk to you. I have no strength left, and it is very difficult for me to breathe.”

18 But he took hold of me again, and enabled me to become stronger again. 19 He said to me, “Man, God loves you very much. So do not be afraid. I desire that things will go well for you and that you will be encouraged.” When he had said that, I felt even stronger, and I said, “Sir, tell me what you want to tell me. You have enabled me to feel stronger.”

20-21 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? It is to reveal to you what is written in the book which reveals God’s truth. But now I must return to fight against the evil spirit who rules the kingdom of Persia. After I have defeated him, the evil angel who guards Greece will appear and I must defeat him. Michael, who guards you Israelite people, will certainly help me, but there is no one else to help me.”

Chapter 11

1 In the first year of Darius the Mede, I myself came to help and encourage Michael.

2 What I am going to reveal to you now will truly happen. There will be three more kings to rule Persia, one after the other. Then there will be a fourth king, who will be much richer than the others. He will gain his power through money. Then he will incite everyone to fight against the kingdom of Greece.

3 Then a very powerful king will rise up. He will rule over a very large empire, and he will do everything he wants to do. 4 But when he has become very powerful, his kingdom will be divided into four parts. Kings who are not his descendants will rule, but they will not be as powerful as he was. His kingdom will be torn up and given to others. 5 Then the king of the South will become very powerful. But one of his army generals will become more powerful than he is and will also become a powerful ruler. 6 At the right time, they will make an agreement. The daughter of the king of the South will come to the king of the North to make the agreement secure. But she will lose her power and will come to nothing—she and all who accompanied her, and her father, as well as the king of the North and his children.

7 Soon after that, one of her relatives will take power in her place, and his army will attack the army of the king of the North. They will enter the fortress of the soldiers and defeat them. 8 They will carry off their idols and gods to Egypt, and they will take their statues (made by casting metal into a form) and many items made of silver and gold. Then for several years his army will not attack the army of the king of the North. 9 Then the army of the king of the North will invade the kingdom of the king of the South, but he will then return to his own land. 10 However, his sons will prepare to start a war, and they will gather a large army. That army will march south and spread all over Israel like a huge flood. They will attack a strong fortress in the south of Israel.

11 Then the king of the South, having become very angry, will march with his army north and fight against a great army. The king of the North will gather together a very large army, but the army of the king of the South will defeat them. 12 The king of the South will become very proud because his army will defeat a very large number of soldiers and will kill many of his enemies. But he will not succeed. 13 The king of the North will again gather together an army that will be bigger than the one that he had before. After a few years, the king of the North will come again with a large army and a lot of equipment for fighting battles.

14 At that time, many will rebel against the king of the South. In order to fulfill a certain vision, some violent people from your country of Israel will also rebel against him, but they will not succeed. 15 Then the king of the North will come with his army and pile up earth against the walls of a city that is well protected, and they will break through those walls and will capture the city. The soldiers from the South who have come to defend that city, even the best troops, will not be strong enough to continue to fight. 16 So the king of the North will do whatever he wants against the king of the South, and no one will be able to oppose him. He will occupy the glorious land of Israel and will have the power to destroy it. 17 Then the king of the North will decide to march south with all the soldiers from his kingdom. He will make an alliance with the king of the South and in order that his daughter will help him to destroy the kingdom of the South, he will give her to the king of the South to become his wife. But that plan will fail. 18 After that, the army of the king of the North will attack the regions that are close to the Mediterranean Sea, and his army will conquer many of them. But the army of a leader from another country will defeat him and will stop him from being proud. He will also turn his pride against him. 19 Then the king of the North will return to the fortresses in his own land. But he will be defeated, and no one will be able to find him.

20 Then another man will succeed him. He is one who will force taxes upon the people to supply the beauty of the palace, but that king will die after a short time. However, he will not die as a result of people being angry with him or in a battle.

21 The next king will be an evil man who is hated because he is not the son of the previous king, and he will not have the right to become king. But he will come in without any objection when people do not expect it, and he will become king by tricking the people. 22 When his army advances, they will attack any armies that oppose him and their enemies will be swept away before them like a flood. Their enemies and the head of the priests will be swept away. 23 By making treaties with the rulers of other nations, he will deceive them, and he will become very powerful, even though he rules a nation that does not have a lot of people. 24 Suddenly his army will invade a province that is very wealthy, and they will do things that none of his ancestors did: They will capture in battles all kinds of possessions from the people whom they defeat. Then the king will divide those possessions among his friends. He will also plan for his army to attack fortresses, but only for a short time.

25 The king of the North will gather a large and powerful army to attack the army of the king of the South. The king of the South will meet him in battle with a huge and powerful army. However, he will fail, and his plan will not succeed because of all the plots that are devised against him. 26 Even the most trusted advisors of the king of the South will plan to get rid of him. His army will be defeated and many of his soldiers will be killed. 27 Then the two kings who both want to rule that area will sit down at the same table and talk together, but they will both lie to each other. Neither of them will get what he wants because only God will cause the result of their actions to happen, at the future time that he has determined. 28 The army of the king of the North will return to its land, taking with them all the valuable things that they have captured. The king will try to make the people stop obeying God’s covenant with them. He will do what he wants to in Israel, and then he will return to his own country.

29 When it is the time that God has decided, the king of the North will invade the South again. But this time he will not be successful as he was before. 30 Ships will come from Kittim and oppose his army and cause him to be afraid. So he will be very angry, and with his army he will return to Israel and seek to destroy the worship and the law. The king will show preference and favor to those who have abandoned God’s holy covenant with Israel. 31 Some of his soldiers will do things to defile the temple. They will prevent the priests from offering sacrifices each day, and they will put in the temple something disgusting that will make it like a wilderness.

32 By deceiving those who have abandoned God’s covenant with Israel, he will win them over to become his supporters. But those who are devoted to their God will firmly oppose them. 33 The wise among the leaders of Israel will teach others also. But for a while, they will be killed in battles, or burned to death, or made slaves, or robbed.

34 While God’s people are being persecuted, some people will help them a little, although some of those who help them will not do it for good reasons. 35 After some of those wise leaders suffer these things, God will make his people become the best possible people for himself. Also, God has set a time in the future when he will finish doing all these things.

36 The king will do what he wants. He will boast and say that he is greater than any god. He will even insult the most high God. He will be able to do what he wants until the time when God is ready to show that he is angry with him, for what God has ordered will happen. 37 The king will ignore the gods that his ancestors worshiped and the god that women love. He will ignore every god because he will pretend to be greater than any of them. 38 But he will honor the god of fortresses. That is a god whom his ancestors did not honor. He will give gold and silver, jewels and other expensive gifts to that god. 39 He will employ people from another country who worship a different god to help him attack the strongest fortresses. He will greatly honor those who allow him to be their ruler. He will appoint some of them to important positions in the government, and he will reward them by dividing up the land among them.

40 But when his time to rule is almost ended, the army of the king of the South will come, but the king of the North will attack first. The army will fight, moving against its enemies like a flood, and they will attack with many ships. 41 They will invade the glorious land of Israel and many will fall, but the people of Edom, Moab, and the people of Ammon who survive will escape alive. 42 He will invade other countries and conquer them. He will also defeat the people of Egypt. 43 The army of the North will take away the treasuries of gold and silver, and the riches of Egypt. The Libyans and the Ethiopians will serve the king of the North. 44 But he will become very frightened when he hears reports about what is happening in the east and in the north. So he will become very angry and will send his army to fight furiously and to kill many of their enemies. 45 The king will set up his royal tents in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the hill in Jerusalem, the location of the temple. But someone will kill him there, and there will be no one to help him.” f

Chapter 12

1 The angel also said to me, “After those things happen, the great angel Michael, who protects the Israelite people, will appear. Then there will be a time when there will be great troubles. The troubles will be greater than any troubles since any nation began. At that time, all of your people whose names have been written in the book will be saved. 2 Many of those who have died will become alive again. Some of them will live in everlasting life, and some in shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who were wise will shine as brightly as the sky. Those who have shown to others the way to live righteously will shine forever like the stars. 4 But as for you, Daniel, close up the scroll in which you are writing and seal it until the time of the end. Before that happens, many people will travel here and there, learning more and more about many things.”

5 When that angel finished speaking, I, Daniel, looked up, and suddenly I saw two other angels. One was standing on the side of the river where I was, and one was standing on the other side. 6 One of them called to the other one who was wearing linen clothes and who was now standing further up the river, “How long will it be until the end of these amazing events?”

7 The one wearing the linen clothes and standing further up the river raised his hands toward the sky and solemnly promised to the one who lives forever, “It will be three and a half years, and when God’s holy people and their strength are no longer being shattered to pieces, then all these things are finished.”

8 I heard what he said, but I did not understand it. So I asked, “Sir, what will be the result when these things end?”

9 He replied, “Daniel, you must leave now. I cannot answer your question. The words are closed and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many people will be made pure, and they will be refined, but the wicked people will continue to act wickedly. Only those who are wise will understand these things. 11 There will be 1,290 days from the time that people are prevented from offering sacrifices each day, that is, from the time that the enemy brings into the temple the abominable thing that will make it like a wilderness unacceptable to God. 12 God will be pleased with those who remain faithful until the end of 1,335 days.

13 So now I say to you, continue to faithfully trust God until your life on earth ends. You will die, but when everything ends, you will receive your reward from God.”