The astrologers1 answered the king, "There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.2
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What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods,3 and they do not live among men."
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This made the king so angry and furious4 that he ordered the execution5 of all the wise men of Babylon.
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So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.6
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When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.
He asked the king's officer, "Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?" Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel.
At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.
Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.7
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He urged them to plead for mercy8 from the God of heaven9 concerning this mystery,10 so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
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During the night the mystery11 was revealed to Daniel in a vision.12 Then Daniel praised the God of heaven13
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and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;14 wisdom and power15 are his.
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He changes times and seasons;16 he sets up kings17 and deposes18 them. He gives wisdom19 to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.20
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He reveals deep and hidden things;21 he knows what lies in darkness,22 and light23 dwells with him.
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I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:24 You have given me wisdom25 and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.26"
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Then Daniel went to Arioch,27 whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, "Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him."
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Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, "I have found a man among the exiles28 from Judah29 who can tell the king what his dream means."
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The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar),30 "Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?"
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Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,31
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but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.32 He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.33 Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind34 as you lay on your bed35 are these:36
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"As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.37
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As for me, this mystery has been revealed38 to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
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"You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue--an enormous, dazzling statue,39 awesome40 in appearance.
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The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands.41 It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed42 them.43
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Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away44 without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain45 and filled the whole earth.46
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"This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.47
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You, O king, are the king of kings.48 The God of heaven has given you dominion49 and power and might and glory;
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in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all.50 You are that head of gold.
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"After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.51
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Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.52
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Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.
As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush53 all those kingdoms54 and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.55
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This is the meaning of the vision of the rock56 cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands57--a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future.58 The dream is true59 and the interpretation is trustworthy."
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