Accessibility setting


Select language

Skip to secondary menu

Skip to table of contents

Skip to content

Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible

The Bible in Living English

Daniel 2:1-49

2*  And in the year two of Nebucadnessar’s reign Nebucadnessar had dreams; and he was uncomfortable and sleepless about it. 2  And the king ordered the scholars, the exorcists, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans called to tell the king his dreams; and they came in and stood before the king, 3  and the king said to them “I have had a dream and am uncomfortable about knowing the dream.” 4*  And the Chaldeans said to the king (in Aramaic) “Live forever, your majesty! tell your servants the dream and we will show the interpretation.” 5  The king answered the Chaldeans “It is my positive word, if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation you shall be cut to pieces and your houses made a garbage-dump; 6  but if you show the dream and its interpretation you shall receive gifts and grants and great honor from the government. So show the dream and its interpretation.” 7  They answered for the second time “Let the king tell his servants the dream and we will show the interpretation.” 8  The king answered “I know for certain that you are trying to tide over the crisis inasmuch as you see it is my positive word 9*  that if you do not make known the dream there is one sentence for you, and you have concerted a plan to tell a foul lie before me till the crisis resolves itself. So tell me the dream and I shall know you will show the interpretation.” 10**  The Chaldeans answered before the king “There is no man on earth who can show the thing your majesty mentions, as no great and absolute king ever asked any scholar or exorcist or Chaldean a thing like this. 11  And the thing your majesty has asked is difficult, and there is no other who would show it before your majesty except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.” 12  Thereat the king was provoked and flew into a great rage and ordered all the wise men in Babylon put to death, 13  and the edict was issued, and the wise men were to be killed, and Daniel and his comrades were going to be killed. 14  Then Daniel made a prudent and rational response to the king’s chief guardsman Arjoc, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon: 15  he answered the king’s officer Arjoc “Why is the government’s edict so rigorous?” Then Arjoc informed Daniel of the affair, 16  and Daniel went in and applied to the king to set a time for him, and he would show the king the interpretation. 17  Then Daniel went to his house and informed his comrades Hananiah, Mishael, and ʽAzariah of the affair 18*  and went to asking for kindness from the God of heaven as to this secret, that Daniel and his comrades might not be put to death with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19  Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20  Daniel responded “Be God’s name blessed from age to age, whose are wisdom and might 21  and who changes times and dates, sweeps kings away and sets kings up, gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to enlightened men; 22  it is he reveals the deep and covert things; he knows what is going on in the darkness, and the light is lodged with him. 23  To you, God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise because you have given me wisdom and power and have now made known what we asked you for, that you have made known to us the king’s affair.” 24*  Thereat Daniel went to Arjoc, to whom the king had assigned the putting to death of the wise men of Babylon, and said thus to him: “Do not put the wise men of Babylon to death; bring me before the king and I will show the king the interpretation.” 25  Then Arjoc brought Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found a man, one of the Judahite deportees, who will make the interpretation known to your majesty.” 26  The king answered by saying to Daniel, whose name was Belteshassar, “Are you competent to make known to me the dream I saw and its interpretation?” 27  Daniel answered before the king “The secret your majesty asks about is one that not wise men, exorcists, sorcerers, nor diviners can show your majesty; 28  but there is a god in heaven, a revealer of secrets, and he has made known to King Nebucadnessar what is to be in future days. Your dream and the visions of your head on your bed were this: 29  “Your majesty’s musings were coming up on your bed as to what was to be after this; and the Revealer of Secrets made known to you what is to be. 30  And I had this secret revealed to me not by wisdom that was in me more than in all living men, but to the end of making known the interpretation to your majesty and having you know the things your heart was musing on. 31  Your majesty saw that a great statue—this statue was large and extraordinarily bright—stood before you, and the sight of it was terrible; 32  that statue’s head was fine gold, its breast and arms silver, its waist and hips bronze, 33  its legs iron, its feet part iron and part crockery. 34  You saw till a stone was cut out without hands and struck the statue on its iron-and-crockery feet and smashed them; 35  then all at once the iron, the crockery, the bronze, the silver, and the gold smashed up and became like chaff off summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried them off and there was not a trace of them to be found; and the stone that had struck the statue became a great mountain and filled all the earth. 36  This was the dream; and we will tell the interpretation before the king. 37  “You yourself, your majesty, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given royalty, dominion, might, and glory, 38  and in every place they inhabit has given into your hands the sons of men and the wild beasts and the birds of the air and made you sovereign over them, you are the golden head. 39  And after you there shall stand up another empire inferior to you, and another third bronze empire which shall be sovereign over all the earth; 40  and there shall be a fourth empire, strong as iron, inasmuch as iron smashes up and pounds down everything; and like shattering iron it will smash and shatter all these. 41  And as to your having seen its feet and toes part potter’s crockery and part iron, it shall be a divided empire but shall have in it some of the starkness of iron; inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with the mud crockery, 42  and the toes of its feet some of them iron and some of them crockery, parts of the empire shall be strong and parts shall be brittle. 43  And as to your having seen the iron mixed with the mud crockery, they shall be mixing together by human seed, but they shall not cohere with each other, just as iron does not mix with crockery. 44*  “And in the time of those kings the God of heaven shall set up an empire invulnerable forever, and the empire shall not pass to another people; and it shall smash and end all these empires, and it itself shall stand forever, 45  inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands and smashed the iron, the bronze, the crockery, the silver, and the gold. Great God has made known to your majesty what is to be after this; and the dream is determinate, and the interpretation of it trustworthy.” 46*  Then King Nebucadnessar threw himself down on his face and did reverence to Daniel and ordered sacrifice and genial odors to be offered to him. 47  The king answered Daniel and said “Your god must indeed be god of gods and lord of kings and revealer of secrets, that you have been able to reveal this secret.” 48  Then the king raised Daniel to high rank and gave him many great gifts and put him in command over all the province of Babylon, and made him chief rector over all the wise men of Babylon. 49*  And at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrac, Meshac, and ʽAbed-Nego to the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the king’s court.


2:1 Susp.
2:4 The book of Daniel as a whole was written in Hebrew; but a part of it, from verse 4 of chapter 2 to the end of chapter 7, is in Aramaic. The words “in Aramai” seem to be a note marking where the different language begins.
2:9 Lit. a word a lie and a taint
2:10 Lit. show the king’s word
2:10 Or inasmuch as
2:18 Or and told them to ask
2:24 Var. went in Var. went in, went
2:44 Lit. be left to another people
2:46 Lit. poured to him
2:49 Lit. and Daniel was in the king’s gate