The Education of Daniel and His Friends
1 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, and a part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god. 3 And the king spoke unto Ashpenaz the chief of his eunuchs, that he should bring of the children of Israel, both of the royal seed and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no blemish, and of goodly countenance, and skilful in all wisdom, and acquainted with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the language of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed unto them a daily provision of the king's delicate food, and of the wine that he drank, to nourish them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 And the prince of the eunuchs gave them names: to Daniel he gave [the name] Belteshazzar, and to Hananiah, Shadrach, and to Mishael, Meshach, and to Azariah, Abed-nego.
8 And Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not pollute himself with the king's delicate food, nor with the wine which he drank; and he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not have to pollute himself. 9 And God granted Daniel favour and mercy before the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king who hath appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces worse liking than the youths who are of your age? and ye would endanger my head with the king. 11 And Daniel said to the steward, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink; 13 then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the youths that eat of the king's delicate food: and as thou shalt see, deal with thy servants. 14 And he hearkened unto them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and were fatter in flesh than all the youths that ate of the king's delicate food. 16 So the steward took away their delicate food, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 And at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: and they stood before the king. 20 And in all matters of judicious wisdom, as to which the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the scribes [and] magicians that were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
2 1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him. 2 And the king commanded to call the scribes, and the magicians, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to shew the king his dreams; and they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream. 4 And the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, O king, live for ever! tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The command is gone forth from me: If ye do not make known unto me the dream, and its interpretation, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6 But if ye shew the dream and its interpretation, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour; therefore shew me the dream and its interpretation. 7 They answered the second time and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. 8 The king answered and said, I know of a certainty that ye would gain time, because ye see the word is gone forth from me; 9 but if ye do not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you; for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me its interpretation. 10 The Chaldeans answered before the king and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter; therefore there is no king, however great and powerful, that hath asked such a thing of any scribe, or magician, or Chaldean. 11 For the thing that the king demandeth is extraordinary, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. 12 For this cause the king was irritated and very wroth, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 And the decree went forth that the wise men were to be slain; and they sought Daniel and his companions to slay them.
14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and prudence to Arioch the chief of the king's bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so rigorous from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in, and requested of the king that he would give him time, that he might shew the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions; 18 that they would desire mercies of the God of the heavens concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of the heavens. 20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; For wisdom and might are his. 21 And it is he that changeth times and seasons; He deposeth kings, and setteth up kings; He giveth wisdom to the wise, And knowledge to them that know understanding. 22 It is he that revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. 23 I thank thee, and I praise thee, O God of my fathers, Who hast given me wisdom and might, And hast made known unto me already what we desired of thee; For thou hast made known unto us the king's matter.
24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. 25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him: I have found a man of the sons of the captivity of Judah that will make known unto the king the interpretation. 26 The king answered and said unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream that I have seen, and its interpretation? 27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king and said, The secret that the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the magicians, the scribes, the astrologers, shew unto the king; 28 but there is a God in the heavens, who revealeth secrets, and maketh known to king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be at the end of days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these: 29 —as for thee, O king, thy thoughts arose upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he that revealeth secrets hath made known to thee what shall come to pass. 30 And as for me, this secret is revealed to me, not by [any] wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation should be made known to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image. This image was mighty and its brightness excellent; it stood before thee, and its appearance was terrible. 32 This image's head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, 33 its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till a stone was cut out without hands; and it smote the image upon its feet of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken in pieces together, and they became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, and no place was found for them. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings, unto whom the God of the heavens hath given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory; 38 and wheresoever the children of men, the beasts of the field, and the fowl of the heavens dwell, he hath given them into thy hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all: thou art this head of gold. 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee; then another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth everything, and as iron that breaketh all these, so shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And [as] the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of the heavens set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the sovereignty thereof shall not be left to another people: it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but itself shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold,—the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and the interpretation of it sure.
46 Then king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 47 The king answered Daniel and said, Of a truth it is that your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, because thou wast able to reveal this secret. 48 Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon. And Daniel was in the gate of the king.
The Deliverance from the Fiery Furnace
3 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, [and] its breadth six cubits; he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 And Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the justices, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the justices, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 And the herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, [O] peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, pipe, lute, sambuca, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; 6 and whosoever doth not fall down and worship shall that same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7 Therefore at that time when all the peoples heard the sound of the cornet, pipe, lute, sambuca, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages fell down [and] worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8 Whereupon at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. 9 They spoke and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever! 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, pipe, lute, sambuca, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; 11 and [that] whosoever doth not fall down and worship, shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: these men, O king, regard thee not; they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image that thou hast set up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then were these men brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said unto them, Is it of purpose, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that ye serve not my god, nor worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready at the time that ye hear the sound of the cornet, pipe, lute, sambuca, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast that same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thy hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image that thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. He spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their hosen, their tunics, and their cloaks, and their garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Forasmuch as the king's commandment was rigorous, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that had taken up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste; he spoke and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the opening of the burning fiery furnace; he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come [hither]. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came forth from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had had no power, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their hosen changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants who trusted in him, and who changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree, that in every people, nation, and language, he who shall speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and his house shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that is able to deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.