Skip to content

Skip to secondary menu

Skip to table of contents

Jehovah’s Witnesses



Daniel 2:1-49

2  And in the second year of the kingship of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar dreamed dreams;+ and his spirit began to feel agitated,+ and his very sleep was made to be something beyond him.  So the king said to call the magic-practicing priests+ and the conjurers and the sorcerers and the Chal·deʹans to tell the king his dreams.+ And they proceeded to come in and to stand before the king.  Then the king said to them: “There is a dream that I have dreamed, and my spirit is agitated to know the dream.”  At that the Chal·deʹans spoke to the king in the Ar·a·maʹic language:*+ “O king, live on even for times indefinite.+ Say what the dream is to your servants, and we shall show the very interpretation.”+  The king was answering and saying to the Chal·deʹans: “The word is being promulgated by me: If YOU men do not make the dream known to me, and its interpretation, dismembered+ is what YOU will be, and into public privies YOUR own houses will be turned.+  But if the dream and its interpretation YOU will show, gifts and a present and much dignity YOU will receive on my part.+ Therefore show me the very dream and its interpretation.”  They answered a second time and were saying: “Let the king say what the dream is to his servants, and we shall show its very interpretation.”  The king was answering and saying: “For a fact, I am aware that time is what YOU men are trying to gain, forasmuch as YOU have perceived that the word is being promulgated by me.  For if YOU do not make known to me the very dream, this one and only sentence+ is upon YOU. But it is a lying and wrong word that YOU have agreed to say before me,+ until the time itself is changed. Therefore tell me the very dream, and I shall know that YOU can show the very interpretation of it.” 10  The Chal·deʹans answered before the king, and they were saying: “There does not exist a man on the dry land that is able to show the matter of the king, forasmuch as no grand king or governor has asked such a thing as this of any magic-practicing priest or conjurer or Chal·deʹan. 11  But the thing that the king himself is asking is difficult, and nobody else exists who can show it before the king except the gods,*+ whose own dwelling does not exist with flesh at all.”+ 12  Because of this the king himself became angry and got very furious,+ and he said to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.*+ 13  And the order itself went out, and the wise men were about to be killed;* and they looked for Daniel and his companions, for them to be killed. 14  At that time Daniel,* for his part, addressed himself with counsel and sensibleness+ to Arʹi·och the chief of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15  He was answering and saying to Arʹi·och the officer of the king: “For what reason is there such a harsh order on the part of the king?” Then it was that Arʹi·och made known the matter itself to Daniel.+ 16  So Daniel himself went in and asked from the king that he should give him time expressly to show the very interpretation to the king.+ 17  After that Daniel went to his own house; and to Han·a·niʹah, Mishʹa·el and Az·a·riʹah his companions he made known the matter, 18  even [for them] to ask for mercies+ on the part of the God* of heaven+ concerning this secret,*+ in order that they might not destroy Daniel and his companions with the remainder of the wise men of Babylon.+ 19  Then it was that to Daniel in a night vision the secret was revealed.+ Consequently Daniel himself blessed+ the God of heaven.* 20  Daniel was answering and saying: “Let the name of God* become blessed+ from time indefinite even to time indefinite, for wisdom and mightiness—for they belong to him.+ 21  And he is changing times* and seasons,+ removing kings and setting up kings,+ giving wisdom to the wise ones and knowledge to those knowing discernment.+ 22  He is revealing the deep things and the concealed things,+ knowing what is in the darkness;+ and with him the light+ does dwell. 23  To you, O God of my forefathers, I am giving praise and commendation,+ because wisdom+ and mightiness you have given to me. And now you have made known to me what we requested of you, for you have made known to us the very matter of the king.”+ 24  Because of this Daniel himself went in to Arʹi·och,+ whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon.+ He went, and this is what he said to him: “Do not destroy any wise men of Babylon. Take me in before the king,+ that I may show the interpretation itself to the king.” 25  Then it was that Arʹi·och, in a hurry, took Daniel in before the king, and this is what he said to him: “I have found an able-bodied man of the exiles*+ of Judah who can make known the interpretation itself to the king.” 26  The king was answering and saying to Daniel, whose name was Bel·te·shazʹzar:*+ “Are you competent enough to make known to me the dream that I beheld, and its interpretation?”+ 27  Daniel was answering before the king and saying: “The secret that the king himself is asking, the wise men, the conjurers, the magic-practicing priests [and] the astrologers themselves are unable to show to the king.+ 28  However, there exists a God* in the heavens who is a Revealer of secrets,+ and he has made known to King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar* what is to occur in the final part of the days.+ Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed—this it is: 29  “As for you, O king, on your bed+ your own thoughts came up as regards what is to occur after this, and the One who is the Revealer of secrets has made known to you what is to occur.+ 30  And as for me, it is not through any wisdom that exists in me more than in any others alive that this secret is revealed to me,+ except to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king himself and that the thoughts of your heart you may know.+ 31  “You, O king, happened to be beholding, and, look! a certain immense image. That image, which was large and the brightness of which was extraordinary, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was dreadful. 32  As regards that image, its head was of good gold,+ its breasts and its arms were of silver,+ its belly and its thighs were of copper,+ 33  its legs were of iron,+ its feet were partly of iron and partly of molded clay.+ 34  You kept on looking until a stone* was cut out* not by hands,+ and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of molded clay and crushed them.+ 35  At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor,+ and the wind* carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them.+ And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth.+ 36  “This is the dream, and its interpretation we shall say before the king.+ 37  You, O king, the king of kings, you to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom,+ the might, and the strength and the dignity, 38  and into whose hand he has given,+ wherever the sons of mankind are dwelling, the beasts of the field and the winged creatures of the heavens, and whom he has made ruler over all of them, you yourself are the head of gold.+ 39  “And after you there will rise another kingdom+ inferior to you;*+ and another kingdom, a third one, of copper, that will rule over the whole earth.+ 40  “And as for the fourth kingdom,+ it will prove to be strong like iron.+ Forasmuch as iron is crushing and grinding everything else, so, like iron that shatters, it will crush and shatter even all these.+ 41  “And whereas you beheld the feet and the toes to be partly of molded clay of a potter and partly of iron,+ the kingdom itself will prove to be divided,+ but somewhat of the hardness of iron will prove to be in it, forasmuch as you beheld the iron mixed with moist clay.+ 42  And as for the toes of the feet being partly of iron and partly of molded clay, the kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will partly prove to be fragile. 43  Whereas you beheld iron mixed with moist clay, they will come to be mixed with the offspring* of mankind; but they will not prove to be sticking together, this one to that one, just as iron is not mixing with molded clay. 44  “And in the days of those kings*+ the God of heaven+ will set up a kingdom*+ that will never be brought to ruin.+ And the kingdom* itself will not be passed on to any other people.+ It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms,+ and it itself will stand to times indefinite;+ 45  forasmuch as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands,+ and [that] it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold.+ The grand God*+ himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this.+ And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.”+ 46  At that time King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar himself fell down upon his face, and to Daniel he paid homage, and he said to offer even a present and incense to him.+ 47  The king was answering Daniel and saying: “Truly the God of YOU men* is a God of gods*+ and a Lord of kings+ and a Revealer of secrets, because you were able to reveal this secret.”+ 48  Consequently the king made Daniel someone great,+ and many big gifts he gave to him, and he made him the ruler over all the jurisdictional district of Babylon+ and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49  And Daniel, for his part, made a request of the king, and he appointed over the administration of the jurisdictional district of Babylon Shaʹdrach,* Meʹshach* and A·bedʹne·go,*+ but Daniel was in the court*+ of the king.


Or, “Aramaean language.” Heb., ʼAra·mithʹ; Gr., Sy·ri·stiʹ; Lat., sy·riʹa·ce. The text of Daniel is Aram. from here to the end of chap. 7.
“Gods.” Aram., ʼela·hinʹ.
“Babylon,” LXXBagsterVg; MSy, “Babel.”
Lit., “were being killed.”
“Daniel.” Aram., Da·ni·yeʼlʹ, spelled the same in Heb. See Title ftn.
“God of.” Aram., ʼElahʹ; Syr., ʼA·la·haʼ.
“Secret.” Aram., ra·zahʹ; Gr., my·ste·riʹou.
“The God of heaven.” Aram., le·ʼElahʹ shemai·yaʼʹ.
Or, “of the [true] God.” Aram., di-ʼEla·haʼʹ; LXXBagster(Gr.), tou The·ouʹ; SyVg, “Jehovah.”
Or, “appointed times.” Aram., ʽid·da·nai·yaʼʹ, “the times.” Compare 4:16 ftn.
Lit., “sons of the Exile.”
“Belteshazzar.” Aram., Bel·teshaʼts·tsarʹ.
“God.” Aram., ʼElahʹ.
“Nebuchadnezzar.” Aram., Nevu·khadh·nets·tsarʹ.
“Stone.” Aram., ʼeʹven; Gr., liʹthos; Lat., laʹpis.
“Cut out,” MSy; LXXVgc, “cut out of a mountain.”
“The wind.” Aram., ru·chaʼʹ; LXXBagster(Gr.), pneuʹma·tos; Lat., venʹto. See Ge 1:2 ftn, “Force.”
Lit., “earthward from you.”
Lit., “seed.”
Aram., mal·khai·yaʼʹ, “the kings.”
“A kingdom.” Aram., mal·khuʹ.
Or, “And the kingship.” Aram., mal·khu·thahʹ.
“The grand God.” Aram., ʼElahʹ rav; Gr., ho The·osʹ ho meʹgas.
Lit., “your God.” Aram., ʼEla·hakhohnʹ.
“A God of gods.” Aram., ʼElahʹ ʼela·hinʹ (pl. of ʼelahʹ). Fourteen times ʼela·hinʹ is translated “gods” in the Aram. part of Daniel.
Aram., leShadh·rakhʹ.
Aram., Meh·shakhʹ.
“And Abednego.” Aram., wa·ʽAvedhʹ Neghohʹ, meaning “Servant of Nego.”
Lit., “door.”