Daniel 4-6 Darby’s Translation

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Nebuchadnezzar's Madness

4 1  Nebuchadnezzar the king unto all the peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied unto you. 2  It hath seemed good unto me to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God hath wrought toward me. 3  How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

4  I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. 5  I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6  And I made a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. 7  Then came in the scribes, the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation of it. 8  But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I told the dream: 9  O Belteshazzar, master of the scribes, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret is too hard for thee, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, and the interpretation of it. 10  Thus were the visions of my head upon my bed: I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11  The tree grew, and was strong, and its height reached unto the heavens, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth. 12  Its leaves were beautiful, and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. 13  I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the heavens; 14  he cried aloud, and said thus: Hew down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit; let the beasts get away from under it, and the birds from its branches. 15  Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be bathed with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16  Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. 17  This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decision by the word of the holy ones: that the living may know that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. 18  This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and thou, Belteshazzar, tell the interpretation, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation; but thou art able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.

19  Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spoke and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, nor its interpretation, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and its interpretation to thine enemies! 20  The tree that thou sawest, which grew and was strong, whose height reached unto the heavens, and the sight of it to all the earth; 21  whose leaves were beautiful, and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens had their habitation: 22  it is thou, O king, who art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto the heavens, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. 23  And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the heavens, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be bathed with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him: 24  this is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which cometh upon my lord the king: 25  They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and thou shalt be bathed with the dew of heaven; and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 26  And whereas it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; thy kingdom shall remain unto thee, after that thou shalt know that the heavens do rule. 27  Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

28  All this came upon king Nebuchadnezzar. 29  At the end of twelve months he was walking upon the royal palace of Babylon: 30  the king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? 31  While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from the heavens: King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from thee; 32  and they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33  The same hour was the word fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar; and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen; and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, till his hair grew like eagles' [feathers], and his nails like birds' [claws].

34  And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto the heavens, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. 35  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of the heavens, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? 36  At the same time mine understanding returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my nobles sought me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added unto me. 37  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of the heavens, all whose works are truth, and his paths judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

The Handwriting on the Wall

5 1  Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his nobles, and drank wine before the thousand. 2  Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, might drink in them. 3  Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, drank in them. 4  They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. 5  In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6  Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. 7  The king cried aloud to bring in the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. 8  Then came in all the king's wise men, but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation. 9  Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his nobles were confounded.

10  —The queen, by reason of the words of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet-house. The queen spoke and said, O king, live for ever! let not thy thoughts trouble thee, neither let thy countenance be changed. 11  There is a man in thy kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods was found in him; and the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, [even] the king thy father, made him master of the scribes, magicians, Chaldeans, [and] astrologers; 12  forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and solving of problems, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation. 13  Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spoke and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah? 14  And I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and [that] light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. 15  And now the wise men, the magicians, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof; but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing. 16  But I have heard of thee, that thou canst give interpretations, and solve problems. Now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. 17  Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet will I read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 18  O thou king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father the kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and majesty; 19  and for the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he exalted, and whom he would he humbled. 20  But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit hardened unto presumption, he was deposed from the throne of his kingdom, and they took his glory from him; 21  and he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses; they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the Most High God ruleth over the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. 22  And thou, Belshazzar, his son, hast not humbled thy heart, although thou knewest all this; 23  but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of the heavens; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou and thy nobles, thy wives and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 24  then from before him was sent the part of the hand, and this writing hath been written. 25  And this is the writing that is written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 26  This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; 27  TEKEL, Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; 28  PERES, Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 29  Then Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel with purple, and [put] a chain of gold about his neck, and made proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30  In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 31  And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, [being] about sixty-two years old.

Daniel in the Lions' Den

6 1  It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty satraps, who should be in all the kingdom; 2  and over these, three presidents—of whom Daniel was one—to whom these satraps should render account, and that the king should suffer no loss. 3  Now this Daniel surpassed the presidents and the satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to appoint him over the whole realm. 4  Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a pretext against Daniel with respect to the kingdom; but they could not find any pretext or fault; inasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5  Then said these men, We shall not find any pretext against this Daniel, unless we find [it] against him touching the law of his God.

6  Then these presidents and satraps came in a body to the king, and said thus unto him: King Darius, live for ever! 7  All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects, and the satraps, the counsellors, and the governors have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8  Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked. 9  Therefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 10  And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and, his windows being open in his upper chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

11  But those men came in a body, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12  Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king's decree: Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask [anything] of any god or man within thirty days, except of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked. 13  Then they answered and said before the king, That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 14  Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore distressed thereby, and set his heart on Daniel to save him; and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15  Then these men came in a body unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. 16  Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast [him] into the den of lions. The king spoke and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will save thee. 17  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his nobles, that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

18  Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were concubines brought before him; and his sleep fled from him. 19  Then the king arose with the light at break of day, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20  And when he came near unto the den, he cried with a mournful voice unto Daniel: the king spoke and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, hath thy God whom thou servest continually been able to save thee from the lions? 21  Then Daniel spoke unto the king, O king, live for ever! 22  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me; forasmuch as before him innocence was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. 23  Thereupon was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. 24  And the king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces ere they came to the bottom of the den.

25  Then king Darius wrote unto all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied unto you. 26  I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. 27  He saveth and delivereth, and he worketh signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth: who hath saved Daniel from the power of the lions. 28  And this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

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