4 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages living in all the earth: May your peace be increased. 2 It has seemed good to me to make clear the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done with me. 3 How great are his signs! and how full of power are his wonders! his kingdom is an eternal kingdom and his rule goes on from generation to generation.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my place, and all things were going well for me in my great house: 5 I saw a dream which was a cause of great fear to me; I was troubled by the images of my mind on my bed, and by the visions of my head. 6 And I gave orders for all the wise men of Babylon to come in before me so that they might make clear to me the sense of my dream. 7 Then the wonder-workers, the users of secret arts, the Chaldaeans, and the readers of signs came in to me: and I put the dream before them but they did not make clear the sense of it to me. 8 But at last Daniel came in before me, he whose name was Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and I put the dream before him, saying, 9 O Belteshazzar, master of the wonder-workers, because I am certain that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and you are troubled by no secret; this is the dream which I saw: make clear to me its sense. 10 On my bed I saw a vision: there was a tree in the middle of the earth, and it was very high. 11 And the tree became tall and strong, stretching up to heaven, and to be seen from the ends of the earth: 12 Its leaves were fair and it had much fruit, and in it was food enough for all: the beasts of the field had shade under it, and the birds of heaven were resting in its branches, and it gave food to all living things. 13 In the visions of my head on my bed I saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven, 14 Crying out with a loud voice; and this is what he said: Let the tree be cut down and its branches broken off; let its leaves be taken off and its fruit sent in every direction: let the beasts get away from under it and the birds from its branches: 15 But keep its broken end and its roots still in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass; let him have the young grass of the field for food, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his part be with the beasts. 16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man, and the heart of a beast be given to him; and let seven times go by him. 17 This order is fixed by the watchers, and the decision is by the word of the holy ones: so that the living may be certain that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men, and gives it to any man at his pleasure, lifting up over it the lowest of men. 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw; and do you, O Belteshazzar, make clear the sense of it, for all the wise men of my kingdom are unable to make the sense of it clear to me; but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was at a loss for a time, his thoughts troubling him. The king made answer and said, Belteshazzar, do not be troubled by the dream or by the sense of it. Belteshazzar, answering, said, My lord, may the dream be about your haters, and its sense about those who are against you. 20 The tree which you saw, which became tall and strong, stretching up to heaven and seen from the ends of the earth; 21 Which had fair leaves and much fruit, and had in it food for all; under which the beasts of the field were living, and in the branches of which the birds of heaven had their resting-places: 22 It is you, O King, who have become great and strong: for your power is increased and stretching up to heaven, and your rule to the end of the earth. 23 And as for the vision which the king saw of a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven, saying, Let the tree be cut down and given to destruction; 24 This is the sense of it, O King, and it is the decision of the Most High which has come on my lord the king: 25 That they will send you out from among men, to be with the beasts of the field; they will give you grass for your food like the oxen, and you will be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven times will go by you, till you are certain that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and gives it to any man at his pleasure. 26 And as they gave orders to let the broken end and the roots of the tree be, so your kingdom will be safe for you after it is clear to you that the heavens are ruling. 27 For this cause, O King, let my suggestion be pleasing to you, and let your sins be covered by righteousness and your evil-doing by mercy to the poor, so that the time of your well-being may be longer.
28 All this came to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of his great house in Babylon. 30 The king made answer and said, Is this not great Babylon, which I have made for the living-place of kings, by the strength of my power and for the glory of my honour? 31 While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice came down from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is said: The kingdom has gone from you: 32 And they will send you out from among men, to be with the beasts of the field; they will give you grass for your food like the oxen, and seven times will go by you, till you are certain that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and gives it to any man at his pleasure. 33 That very hour the order about Nebuchadnezzar was put into effect: and he was sent out from among men, and had grass for his food like the oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair became long as eagles' feathers and his nails like those of birds.
34 And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifting up my eyes to heaven, got back my reason, and, blessing the Most High, I gave praise and honour to him who is living for ever, whose rule is an eternal rule and whose kingdom goes on from generation to generation. 35 And all the people of the earth are as nothing: he does his pleasure in the army of heaven and among the people of the earth: and no one is able to keep back his hand, or say to him, What are you doing? 36 At the same time my reason came back to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my honour and my great name came back to me; and my wise men and my lords were turned to me again; and I was made safe in my kingdom and had more power than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, give worship and praise and honour to the King of heaven; for all his works are true and his ways are right: and those who go in pride he is able to make low.
The Handwriting on the Wall
5 1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, drinking wine before the thousand. 2 Belshazzar, while he was overcome with wine, gave orders for them to put before him the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem; so that the king and his lords, his wives and his other women, might take their drink from them. 3 Then they took in the gold and silver vessels which had been in the Temple of the house of God at Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives and his other women, took wine from them. 4 They took their wine and gave praise to the gods of gold and silver, of brass and iron and wood and stone. 5 In that very hour the fingers of a man's hand were seen, writing opposite the support for the light on the white wall of the king's house, and the king saw the part of the hand which was writing. 6 Then the colour went from the king's face, and he was troubled by his thoughts; strength went from his body, and his knees were shaking. 7 The king, crying out with a loud voice, said that the users of secret arts, the Chaldaeans, and the readers of signs, were to be sent for. The king made answer and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever is able to make out this writing, and make clear to me the sense of it, will be clothed in purple and have a chain of gold round his neck, and will be a ruler of high authority in the kingdom. 8 Then all the king's wise men came in: but they were not able to make out the writing or give the sense of it to the king. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled and the colour went from his face, and his lords were at a loss.
10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the house of the feast: the queen made answer and said, O King, have life for ever; do not be troubled by your thoughts or let the colour go from your face: 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, light and reason like the wisdom of the gods were seen in him: and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made him master of the wonder-workers, and the users of secret arts, and the Chaldaeans, and the readers of signs; 12 Because a most special spirit, and knowledge and reason and the power of reading dreams and unfolding dark sayings and answering hard questions, were seen to be in him, even in Daniel (named Belteshazzar by the king): now let Daniel be sent for, and he will make clear the sense of the writing. 13 Then they took Daniel in before the king; the king made answer and said to Daniel, So you are that Daniel, of the prisoners of Judah, whom my father took out of Judah. 14 And I have had news of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and reason and special wisdom have been seen in you. 15 And now the wise men, the users of secret arts, have been sent in before me for the purpose of reading this writing and making clear to me the sense of it: but they are not able to make clear the sense of the thing: 16 And I have had news of you, that you have the power of making things clear, and of answering hard questions: now if you are able to make out the writing and give me the sense of it, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain round your neck and be a ruler of high authority in the kingdom. 17 Then Daniel made answer and said to the king, Keep your offerings for yourself, and give your rewards to another; but I, after reading the writing to the king, will give him the sense of it. 18 As for you, O King, the Most High God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, your father, the kingdom and great power and glory and honour: 19 And because of the great power he gave him, all peoples and nations and languages were shaking in fear before him: some he put to death and others he kept living, at his pleasure, lifting up some and putting others down as it pleased him. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became hard with pride, he was put down from his place as king, and they took his glory from him: 21 And he was sent out from among the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts', and he was living with the asses of the fields; he had grass for his food like the oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he was certain that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and gives power over it to anyone at his pleasure. 22 And you, his son, O Belshazzar, have not kept your heart free from pride, though you had knowledge of all this; 23 But you have been lifting yourself up against the Lord of heaven, and they have put the vessels of his house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your women, have taken wine in them; and you have given praise to gods of silver and gold, of brass and iron and wood and stone, who are without the power of seeing or hearing, and without knowledge: and to the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not given glory; 24 Then the part of the hand was sent out from before him, and this writing was recorded. 25 And this is the writing which was recorded, Mene, tekel, peres. 26 This is the sense of the words: Mene; your kingdom has been numbered by God and ended. 27 Tekel; you have been put in the scales and seen to be under weight. 28 Peres; your kingdom has been cut up and given to the Medes and Persians. 29 Then, by the order of Belshazzar, they put a purple robe on Daniel, and a gold chain round his neck, and a public statement was made that he was to be a ruler of high authority in the kingdom.
30 That very night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldaeans, was put to death.
Daniel in the Lions' Den
6 1 And Darius the Mede took the kingdom, being then about sixty-two years old. 2 Darius was pleased to put over the kingdom a hundred and twenty captains, who were to be all through the kingdom; 3 And over them were three chief rulers, of whom Daniel was one; and the captains were to be responsible to the chief rulers, so that the king might undergo no loss. 4 Then this Daniel did his work better than the chief rulers and the captains, because there was a special spirit in him; and it was the king's purpose to put him over all the kingdom. 5 Then the chief rulers and the captains were looking for some cause for putting Daniel in the wrong in connection with the kingdom, but they were unable to put forward any wrongdoing or error against him; because he was true, and no error or wrong was to be seen in him.
6 Then these men said, We will only get a reason for attacking Daniel in connection with the law of his God. 7 Then these chief rulers and the captains came to the king and said to him, O King Darius, have life for ever. 8 All the chief rulers of the kingdom, the chiefs and the captains, the wise men and the rulers, have made a common decision to put in force a law having the king's authority, and to give a strong order, that whoever makes any request to any god or man but you, O King, for thirty days, is to be put into the lions' hole. 9 Now, O King, put the order in force, signing the writing so that it may not be changed, like the law of the Medes and Persians which may not come to an end. 10 For this reason King Darius put his name on the writing and the order.
11 And Daniel, on hearing that the writing had been signed, went into his house; (now he had windows in his room on the roof opening in the direction of Jerusalem;) and three times a day he went down on his knees in prayer and praise before his God, as he had done before. 12 Then these men were watching and saw Daniel making prayers and requesting grace before his God. 13 Then they came near before the king and said, O King, have you not put your name to an order that any man who makes a request to any god or man but you, O King, for thirty days, is to be put into the lions' hole? The king made answer and said, The thing is fixed by the law of the Medes and Persians which may not come to an end. 14 Then they made answer and said before the king, Daniel, one of the prisoners of Judah, has no respect for you, O King, or for the order signed by you, but three times a day he makes his prayer to God. 15 When this thing came to the king's ears, it was very evil to him, and his heart was fixed on keeping Daniel safe, and till the going down of the sun he was doing everything in his power to get him free. 16 Then these men said to the king, Be certain, O King, that by the law of the Medes and Persians no order or law which the king has put into force may be changed. 17 Then the king gave the order, and they took Daniel and put him into the lions' hole. The king made answer and said to Daniel, Your God, whose servant you are at all times, will keep you safe.
18 Then they got a stone and put it over the mouth of the hole, and it was stamped with the king's stamp and with the stamp of the lords, so that the decision about Daniel might not be changed. 19 Then the king went to his great house, and took no food that night, and no ... were placed before him, and his sleep went from him. 20 Then very early in the morning the king got up and went quickly to the lions' hole. 21 And when he came near the hole where Daniel was, he gave a loud cry of grief; the king made answer and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whose servant you are at all times, able to keep you safe from the lions? 22 Then Daniel said to the king, O King, have life for ever. 23 My God has sent his angel to keep the lions' mouths shut, and they have done me no damage: because I was seen to be without sin before him; and further, before you, O King, I have done no wrong. 24 Then the king was very glad, and gave orders for them to take Daniel up out of the hole. So Daniel was taken up out of the hole and he was seen to be untouched, because he had faith in his God.
25 And at the king's order, they took those men who had said evil against Daniel, and put them in the lions' hole, with their wives and their children; and they had not got to the floor of the hole before the lions overcame them and all their bones were broken. 26 Then King Darius sent a letter to all the peoples, nations, and languages, living in all the earth: May your peace be increased. 27 It is my order that in all the kingdom of which I am ruler, men are to be shaking with fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, unchanging for ever, and his kingdom is one which will never come to destruction, his rule will go on to the end. 28 He gives salvation and makes men free from danger, and does signs and wonders in heaven and earth, who has kept Daniel safe from the power of the lions. 29 So this Daniel did well in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.