The Education of Daniel and His Friends
1 1 In the third year of the rule of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem, shutting it in with his forces. 2 And the Lord gave into his hands Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he took them away into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he put the vessels into the store-house of his god. 3 And the king gave orders to Ashpenaz, the captain of his unsexed servants, to take in some of the children of Israel, certain of the king's family, and those of high birth; 4 Young men who were strong and healthy, good-looking, and trained in all wisdom, having a good education and much knowledge, and able to take positions in the king's house; and to have them trained in the writing and language of the Chaldaeans. 5 And a regular amount of food and wine every day from the king's table was ordered for them by the king; and they were to be cared for for three years so that at the end of that time they might take their places before the king. 6 And among these there were, of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 And the captain of the unsexed servants gave them names; to Daniel he gave the name of Belteshazzar, to Hananiah the name of Shadrach, to Mishael the name of Meshach, and to Azariah the name of Abed-nego.
8 And Daniel had come to the decision that he would not make himself unclean with the king's food or wine; so he made a request to the captain of the unsexed servants that he might not make himself unclean. 9 And God put into the heart of the captain of the unsexed servants kind feelings and pity for Daniel. 10 And the captain of the unsexed servants said to Daniel, I am in fear of my lord the king, who has given orders about your food and your drink; what if he sees you looking less happy than the other young men of your generation? then you would have put my head in danger from the king. 11 Then Daniel said to the keeper in whose care the captain of the unsexed servants had put Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 12 Put your servants to the test for ten days; let them give us grain for our food and water for our drink. 13 Then take a look at our faces and the faces of the young men who have food from the king's table; and, having seen them, do to your servants as it seems right to you. 14 So he gave ear to them in this thing and put them to the test for ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their faces seemed fairer and they were fatter in flesh than all the young men who had their food from the king's table. 16 So the keeper regularly took away their meat and the wine which was to have been their drink, and gave them grain.
17 Now as for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and made them expert in all book-learning and wisdom: and Daniel was wise in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the time fixed by the king for them to go in, the captain of the unsexed servants took them in to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king had talk with them; and among them all there was no one like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they were given places before the king. 20 And in any business needing wisdom and good sense, about which the king put questions to them, he saw that they were ten times better than all the wonder-workers and users of secret arts in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel went on till the first year of King Cyrus.
Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
2 1 In the second year of the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep went from him. 2 Then the king gave orders that the wonder-workers, and the users of secret arts, and those who made use of evil powers, and the Chaldaeans, were to be sent for to make clear to the king his dreams. So they came and took their places before the king. 3 And the king said to them, I have had a dream, and my spirit is troubled by the desire to have the dream made clear to me. 4 Then the Chaldaeans said to the king in the Aramaean language, O King, have life for ever: give your servants an account of your dream, and we will make clear to you the sense of it. 5 The king made answer and said to the Chaldaeans, This is my decision: if you do not make clear to me the dream and the sense of it, you will be cut in bits and your houses made waste. 6 But if you make clear the dream and the sense of it, you will have from me offerings and rewards and great honour: so make clear to me the dream and the sense of it. 7 A second time they said in answer, Let the king give his servants an account of his dream, and we will make clear the sense. 8 The king made answer and said, I am certain that you are attempting to get more time, because you see that my decision is fixed; 9 That if you do not make my dream clear to me there is only one fate for you: for you have made ready false and evil words to say before me till the times are changed: so give me an account of the dream, and I will be certain that you are able to make the sense of it clear. 10 Then the Chaldaeans said to the king in answer, There is not a man on earth able to make clear the king's business; for no king, however great his power, has ever made such a request to any wonder-worker or user of secret arts or Chaldaean. 11 The king's request is a very hard one, and there is no other who is able to make it clear to the king, but the gods, whose living-place is not with flesh. 12 Because of this the king was angry and full of wrath, and gave orders for the destruction of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the order went out that the wise men were to be put to death; and they were looking for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.
14 Then Daniel gave an answer with wisdom and good sense to Arioch, the captain of the king's armed men, who had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon; 15 He made answer and said to Arioch, O captain of the king, why is the king's order so cruel? Then Arioch gave Daniel an account of the business. 16 And Daniel went in and made a request to the king to give him time and he would make clear the sense of his dream to the king. 17 And Daniel went to his house and gave his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah the news: 18 So that they might make a request for the mercy of the God of heaven in the question of this secret; so that Daniel and his friends might not come to destruction with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was made clear to Daniel in a vision of the night. And Daniel gave blessing to the God of heaven. 20 And Daniel said in answer, May the name of God be praised for ever and ever: for wisdom and strength are his: 21 By him times and years are changed: by him kings are taken away and kings are lifted up: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those whose minds are awake: 22 He is the unveiler of deep and secret things: he has knowledge of what is in the dark, and the light has its living-place with him. 23 I give you praise and worship, O God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and strength, and have now made clear to me what we were requesting from you: for you have given us knowledge of the king's business.
24 For this reason Daniel went to Arioch, to whom the king had given orders for the destruction of the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, Do not put to death the wise men of Babylon: take me in before the king and I will make clear to him the sense of the dream. 25 Then Arioch quickly took Daniel in before the king, and said to him, Here is a man from among the prisoners of Judah, who will make clear to the king the sense of the dream. 26 The king made answer and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Are you able to make clear to me the dream which I saw and its sense? 27 Then Daniel said in answer to the king, No wise men, or users of secret arts, or wonder-workers, or readers of signs, are able to make clear to the king the secret he is searching for; 28 But there is a God in heaven, the unveiler of secrets, and he has given to King Nebuchadnezzar knowledge of what will take place in the last days. Your dreams and the visions of your head on your bed are these: 29 As for you, O King, the thoughts which came to you on your bed were of what will come about after this: and the unveiler of secrets has made clear to you what is to come. 30 As for me, this secret is not made clear to me because of any wisdom which I have more than any living man, but in order that the sense of the dream may be made clear to the king, and that you may have knowledge of the thoughts of your heart.
31 You, O King, were looking, and a great image was there. This image, which was very great, and whose glory was very bright, was placed before you: its form sent fear into the heart. 32 As for this image, its head was made of the best gold, its breast and its arms were of silver, its middle and its sides were of brass, 33 Its legs of iron, its feet were in part of iron and in part of potter's earth. 34 While you were looking at it, a stone was cut out, but not by hands, and it gave the image a blow on its feet, which were of iron and earth, and they were broken in bits. 35 Then the iron and the earth, the brass and the silver and the gold, were smashed together, and became like the dust on the floors where grain is crushed in summer; and the wind took them away so that no sign of them was to be seen: and the stone which gave the image a blow became a great mountain, covering all the earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will make clear to the king the sense of it. 37 You, O King, king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory, 38 Wherever the children of men are living; into whose hands he has given the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven, and has made you ruler over them all, you are the head of gold. 39 And after you another kingdom, lower than you, will come to power; and a third kingdom, of brass, ruling over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom will be strong as iron: because, as all things are broken and overcome by iron, so it will have the power of crushing and smashing down all the earth. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, part of potter's work and part of iron, there will be a division in the kingdom; but there will be some of the strength of iron in it, because you saw the iron mixed with the potter's earth. 42 And as the toes of the feet were in part of iron and in part of earth, so part of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will readily be broken. 43 And as you saw the iron mixed with earth, they will give their daughters to one another as wives: but they will not be united one with another, even as iron is not mixed with earth. 44 And in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will put up a kingdom which will never come to destruction, and its power will never be given into the hands of another people, and all these kingdoms will be broken and overcome by it, but it will keep its place for ever. 45 Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that by it the iron and the brass and the earth and the silver and the gold were broken to bits, a great God has given the king knowledge of what is to take place in the future: the dream is fixed, and its sense is certain.
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar, falling down on his face, gave worship to Daniel, and gave orders for an offering and spices to be given to him; 47 And the king made answer to Daniel and said, Truly, your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings, and an unveiler of secrets, for you have been able to make this secret clear. 48 Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him offerings in great number, and made him ruler over all the land of Babylon, and chief over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And at Daniel's request, the king gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego authority over the business of the land of Babylon: but Daniel was kept near the king's person.
The Deliverance from the Fiery Furnace
3 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide: he put it up in the valley of Dura, in the land of Babylon. 2 And Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to get together all the captains, the chiefs, the rulers, the wise men, the keepers of public money, the judges, the overseers, and all the rulers of the divisions of the country, to come to see the unveiling of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had put up. 3 Then the captains, the chiefs, the rulers, the wise men, the keepers of public money, the judges, the overseers, and all the rulers of the divisions of the country, came together to see the unveiling of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had put up; and they took their places before the image which Nebuchadnezzar had put up. 4 Then one of the king's criers said in a loud voice, To you the order is given, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 That when the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all sorts of instruments, comes to your ears, you are to go down on your faces in worship before the image of gold which Nebuchadnezzar the king has put up: 6 And anyone not falling down and worshipping will that same hour be put into a burning and flaming fire. 7 So at that time, all the people, when the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, trigon, psaltery, and all sorts of instruments, came to their ears, went down on their faces in worship before the image of gold which Nebuchadnezzar the king had put up.
8 At that time certain Chaldaeans came near and made a statement against the Jews. 9 They made answer and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king, O King, have life for ever. 10 You, O King, have given an order that every man, when the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all sorts of instruments, comes to his ears, is to go down on his face in worship before the image of gold: 11 And anyone not falling down and worshipping is to be put into a burning and flaming fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have put over the business of the land of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men have not given attention to you, O King: they are not servants of your gods or worshippers of the gold image which you have put up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his wrath and passion gave orders for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to be sent for. Then they made these men come in before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar made answer and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you will not be servants of my god or give worship to the image of gold which I have put up? 15 Now if you are ready, on hearing the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all sorts of instruments, to go down on your faces in worship before the image which I have made, it is well: but if you will not give worship, that same hour you will be put into a burning and flaming fire; and what god is there who will be able to take you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answering Nebuchadnezzar the king, said, There is no need for us to give you an answer to this question. 17 If our God, whose servants we are, is able to keep us safe from the burning and flaming fire, and from your hands, O King, he will keep us safe. 18 But if not, be certain, O King, that we will not be the servants of your gods, or give worship to the image of gold which you have put up.
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of wrath, and the form of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: and he gave orders that the fire was to be heated up seven times more than it was generally heated. 20 And he gave orders to certain strong men in his army to put cords on Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and put them into the burning and flaming fire. 21 Then these men had cords put round them as they were, in their coats, their trousers, their hats, and their clothing, and were dropped into the burning and flaming fire. 22 And because the king's order was not to be put on one side, and the heat of the fire was so great, the men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were burned to death by the flame of the fire. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, with the cords about them, went down into the burning and flaming fire. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar, full of fear and wonder, got up quickly, and said to his wise men, Did we not put three men in cords into the fire? and they made answer and said to the king, True, O King. 25 He made answer and said, Look! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not damaged; and the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near the door of the burning and flaming fire: he made answer and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, you servants of the Most High God, come out and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the fire. 27 And the captains, the chiefs, and the rulers, and the king's wise men who had come together, saw these men, over whose bodies the fire had no power, and not a hair of their heads was burned, and their coats were not changed, and there was no smell of fire about them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar made answer and said, Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent his angel and kept his servants safe who had faith in him, and who put the king's word on one side and gave up their bodies to the fire, so that they might not be servants or worshippers of any other god but their God. 29 And it is my decision that any people, nation, or language saying evil against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, will be cut to bits and their houses made waste: because there is no other god who is able to give salvation such as this. 30 Then the king gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego even greater authority in the land of Babylon.