Daniel answered the king, "No mere human can solve the king's mystery, I don't care who it is - no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner.
But there is a God in heaven who solves mysteries, and he has solved this one. He is letting King Nebuchadnezzar in on what is going to happen in the days ahead. This is the dream you had when you were lying on your bed, the vision that filled your mind:
"While you were stretched out on your bed, O king, thoughts came to you regarding what is coming in the days ahead. The Revealer of Mysteries showed you what will happen.
But the interpretation is given through me, not because I'm any smarter than anyone else in the country, but so that you will know what it means, so that you will understand what you dreamed.
"What you saw, O king, was a huge statue standing before you, striking in appearance. And terrifying.
The head of the statue was pure gold, the chest and arms were silver, the belly and hips were bronze,
the legs were iron, and the feet were an iron-ceramic mixture.
While you were looking at this statue, a stone cut out of a mountain by an invisible hand hit the statue, smashing its iron-ceramic feet.
Then the whole thing fell to pieces - iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold, smashed to bits. It was like scraps of old newspapers in a vacant lot in a hot dry summer, blown every which way by the wind, scattered to oblivion. But the stone that hit the statue became a huge mountain, dominating the horizon.
This was your dream.
You, O king, are the most powerful king on earth. The God of heaven has given you the works: rule, power, strength, and glory.
He has put you in charge of men and women, wild animals and birds, all over the world - you're the head ruler, you are the head of gold.
But your rule will be taken over by another kingdom, inferior to yours, and that one by a third, a bronze kingdom, but still ruling the whole land,
and after that by a fourth kingdom, iron-like in strength. Just as iron smashes things to bits, breaking and pulverizing, it will bust up the previous kingdoms.
"But then the feet and toes that ended up as a mixture of ceramic and iron will deteriorate into a mongrel kingdom with some remains of iron in it. Just as the toes of the feet were part ceramic and part iron,
it will end up a mixed bag of the breakable and unbreakable.
That kingdom won't bond, won't hold together any more than iron and clay hold together.
"But throughout the history of these kingdoms, the God of heaven will be building a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will this kingdom ever fall under the domination of another. In the end it will crush the other kingdoms and finish them off and come through it all standing strong and eternal.
It will be like the stone cut from the mountain by the invisible hand that crushed the iron, the bronze, the ceramic, the silver, and the gold. "The great God has let the king know what will happen in the years to come. This is an accurate telling of the dream, and the interpretation is also accurate."
When Daniel finished, King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face in awe before Daniel. He ordered the offering of sacrifices and burning of incense in Daniel's honor.
He said to Daniel, "Your God is beyond question the God of all gods, the Master of all kings. And he solves all mysteries, I know, because you've solved this mystery."
Then the king promoted Daniel to a high position in the kingdom, lavished him with gifts, and made him governor over the entire province of Babylon and the chief in charge of all the Babylonian wise men.