Daniel 7; Daniel 8; Daniel 9

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Daniel 7

1 In Belshazzar's first year as king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream. He saw visions as he was lying on his bed, and he wrote down what he had dreamed.
2 Daniel said: "I saw my vision at night. In the vision the wind was blowing from all four directions, which made the sea very rough.
3 I saw four huge animals come up from the sea, and each animal was different from the others.
4 "The first animal looked like a lion, but had wings like an eagle. I watched this animal until its wings were torn off. It was lifted from the ground so that it stood up on two feet like a human, and it was given the mind of a human.
5 Then I saw a second animal before me that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat all the meat you want!'
6 "After that, I looked, and there before me was another animal. This animal looked like a leopard with four wings on its back that looked like a bird's wings. This animal had four heads and was given power to rule.
7 "After that, in my vision at night I saw in front of me a fourth animal that was cruel, terrible, and very strong. It had large iron teeth. It crushed and ate what it killed, and then it walked on whatever was left. This fourth animal was different from any animal I had seen before, and it had ten horns.
8 "While I was thinking about the horns, another horn grew up among them. It was a little horn with eyes like a human's eyes. It also had a mouth, and the mouth was bragging. The little horn pulled out three of the other horns.
9 "As I looked, thrones were put in their places, and God, who has been alive forever, sat on his throne. His clothes were white like snow, and the hair on his head was white like wool. His throne was made from fire, and the wheels of his throne were blazing with fire.
10 A river of fire was flowing from in front of him. Many thousands of angels were serving him, and millions of angels stood before him. Court was ready to begin, and the books were opened.
11 "I kept on looking because the little horn was bragging. I kept watching until finally the fourth animal was killed. Its body was destroyed, and it was thrown into the burning fire.
12 (The power and rule of the other animals had been taken from them, but they were permitted to live for a certain period of time.)
13 "In my vision at night I saw in front of me someone who looked like a human being coming on the clouds in the sky. He came near God, who has been alive forever, and he was led to God.
14 He was given authority, glory, and the strength of a king. People of every tribe, nation, and language will serve him. His rule will last forever, and his kingdom will never be destroyed.
15 "I, Daniel, was worried. The visions that went through my mind frightened me.
16 I came near one of those standing there and asked what all this meant. "So he told me and explained to me what these things meant:
17 'The four great animals are four kingdoms that will come from the earth.
18 But the holy people who belong to the Most High God will receive the power to rule and will have the power to rule forever, from now on.'
19 "Then I wanted to know what the fourth animal meant, because it was different from all the others. It was very terrible and had iron teeth and bronze claws. It was the animal that crushed and ate what it killed and then walked on whatever was left.
20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the little horn that grew there. It had pulled out three of the other ten horns and looked greater than the others. It had eyes and a mouth that kept bragging.
21 As I watched, the little horn began making war against God's holy people and was defeating them
22 until God, who has been alive forever, came. He judged in favor of the holy people who belong to the Most High God; then the time came for them to receive the power to rule.
23 "And he explained this to me: 'The fourth animal is a fourth kingdom that will come on the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will destroy people all over the world. It will walk on and crush the whole earth.
24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this fourth kingdom. After those ten kings are gone, another king will come. He will be different from the kings who ruled before him, and he will defeat three of the other kings.
25 This king will speak against the Most High God, and he will hurt and kill God's holy people. He will try to change times and laws that have already been set. The holy people that belong to God will be in that king's power for three and one-half years.
26 "'But the court will decide what should happen. The power of the king will be taken away, and his kingdom will be completely destroyed.
27 Then the holy people who belong to the Most High God will have the power to rule. They will rule over all the kingdoms under heaven with power and greatness, and their power to rule will last forever. People from all the other kingdoms will respect and serve them.'
28 "That was the end of the dream. I, Daniel, was very afraid. My face became white from fear, but I kept everything to myself."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Daniel 8

1 During the third year of King Belshazzar's rule, I, Daniel, saw another vision, which was like the first one.
2 In this vision I saw myself in the capital city of Susa, in the area of Elam. I was standing by the Ulai Canal
3 when I looked up and saw a male sheep standing beside the canal. It had two long horns, but one horn was longer and newer than the other.
4 I watched the sheep charge to the west, the north, and the south. No animal could stand before him, and none could save another animal from his power. He did whatever he wanted and became very powerful.
5 While I was watching this, I saw a male goat come from the west. This goat had one large horn between his eyes that was easy to see. He crossed over the whole earth so fast that his feet hardly touched the ground.
6 In his anger the goat charged the sheep with the two horns that I had seen standing by the canal.
7 I watched the angry goat attack the sheep and break the sheep's two horns. The sheep was not strong enough to stop it. The goat knocked the sheep to the ground and then walked all over him. No one was able to save the sheep from the goat,
8 so the male goat became very great. But when he was strong, his big horn broke off and four horns grew in place of the one big horn. Those four horns pointed in four different directions and were easy to see.
9 Then a little horn grew from one of those four horns, and it became very big. It grew to the south, the east, and toward the beautiful land of Judah.
10 That little horn grew until it reached to the sky. It even threw some of the army of heaven to the ground and walked on them!
11 That little horn set itself up as equal to God, the Commander of heaven's armies. It stopped the daily sacrifices that were offered to him, and the Temple, the place where people worshiped him, was pulled down.
12 Because there was a turning away from God, the people stopped the daily sacrifices. Truth was thrown down to the ground, and the horn was successful in everything it did.
13 Then I heard a holy angel speaking. Another holy angel asked the first one, "How long will the things in this vision last -- the daily sacrifices, the turning away from God that brings destruction, the Temple being pulled down, and the army of heaven being walked on?"
14 The angel said to me, "This will happen for twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings. Then the holy place will be repaired."
15 I, Daniel, saw this vision and tried to understand what it meant. In it I saw someone who looked like a man standing near me.
16 And I heard a man's voice calling from the Ulai Canal: "Gabriel, explain the vision to this man."
17 Gabriel came to where I was standing. When he came close to me, I was very afraid and bowed facedown on the ground. But Gabriel said to me, "Human being, understand that this vision is about the time of the end."
18 While Gabriel was speaking, I fell into a deep sleep with my face on the ground. Then he touched me and lifted me to my feet.
19 He said, "Now, I will explain to you what will happen in the time of God's anger. Your vision was about the set time of the end.
20 "You saw a male sheep with two horns, which are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 The male goat is the king of Greece, and the big horn between its eyes is the first king.
22 The four horns that grew in the place of the broken horn are four kingdoms. Those four kingdoms will come from the nation of the first king, but they will not be as strong as the first king.
23 "When the end comes near for those kingdoms, a bold and cruel king who tells lies will come. This will happen when many people have turned against God.
24 This king will be very powerful, but his power will not come from himself. He will cause terrible destruction and will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy powerful people and even God's holy people.
25 This king will succeed by using lies and force. He will think that he is very important. He will destroy many people without warning; he will try to fight even the Prince of princes! But that cruel king will be destroyed, and not by human power.
26 "The vision that has been shown to you about these evenings and mornings is true. But seal up the vision, because those things won't happen for a long time."
27 I, Daniel, became very weak and was sick for several days after that vision. Then I got up and went back to work for the king, but I was very upset about the vision. I didn't understand what it meant.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Daniel 9

1 These things happened during the first year Darius son of Xerxes was king over Babylon. He was a descendant of the Medes.
2 During Darius' first year as king, I, Daniel, was reading the Scriptures. I saw that the Lord told Jeremiah that Jerusalem would be empty ruins for seventy years.
3 Then I turned to the Lord God and prayed and asked him for help. I did not eat any food. To show my sadness, I put on rough cloth and sat in ashes.
4 I prayed to the Lord my God and told him about all of our sins. I said, "Lord, you are a great God who causes fear and wonder. You keep your agreement of love with all who love you and obey your commands.
5 "But we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and turned against you, your commands, and your laws.
6 We did not listen to your servants, the prophets, who spoke for you to our kings, our leaders, our ancestors, and all the people of the land.
7 "Lord, you are good and right, but we are full of shame today -- the people of Judah and Jerusalem, all the people of Israel, those near and far whom you scattered among many nations because they were not loyal to you.
8 Lord, we are all ashamed. Our kings and leaders and our fathers are ashamed, because we have sinned against you.
9 "But, Lord our God, you show us mercy and forgive us even though we have turned against you.
10 We have not obeyed the Lord our God or the teachings he gave us through his servants, the prophets.
11 All the people of Israel have disobeyed your teachings and have turned away, refusing to obey you. So you brought on us the curses and promises of punishment written in the Teachings of Moses, the servant of God, because we sinned against you.
12 "You said these things would happen to us and our leaders, and you made them happen; you brought on us a great disaster. Nothing has ever been done on earth like what was done to Jerusalem.
13 All this disaster came to us just as it is written in the Teachings of Moses. But we have not pleaded with the Lord our God. We have not stopped sinning. We have not paid attention to your truth.
14 The Lord was ready to bring the disaster on us, and he did it because the Lord our God is right in everything he does. But we still did not obey him.
15 "Lord our God, you used your power and brought us out of Egypt. Because of that, your name is known even today. But we have sinned and have done wrong.
16 Lord, you do what is right, but please do not be angry with Jerusalem, your city on your holy hill. Because of our sins and the evil things done by our ancestors, people all around insult and make fun of Jerusalem and your people.
17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers of your servant. Listen to my prayer for help, and for your sake do good things for your holy place that is in ruins.
18 My God, pay attention and hear me. Open your eyes and see all the terrible things that have happened to us. See how our lives have been ruined and what has happened to the city that is called by your name. We do not ask these things because we are good; instead, we ask because of your mercy.
19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear us and do something! For your sake, don't wait, because your city and your people are called by your name."
20 While I was saying these things in my prayer to the Lord, my God, confessing my sins and the sins of the people of Israel and praying for God's holy hill,
21 Gabriel came to me. (I had seen him in my last vision.) He came flying quickly to me about the time of the evening sacrifice, while I was still praying.
22 He taught me and said to me, "Daniel, I have come to give you wisdom and to help you understand.
23 When you first started praying, an answer was given, and I came to tell you, because God loves you very much. So think about the message and understand the vision.
24 "God has ordered four hundred ninety years for your people and your holy city for these reasons: to stop people from turning against God; to put an end to sin; to take away evil; to bring in goodness that continues forever; to bring about the vision and prophecy; and to appoint a most holy place.
25 "Learn and understand these things. A command will come to rebuild Jerusalem. The time from this command until the appointed leader comes will be forty-nine years and four hundred thirty-four years. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and a trench filled with water around it, but it will be built in times of trouble.
26 After the four hundred thirty-four years the appointed leader will be killed; he will have nothing. The people of the leader who is to come will destroy the city and the holy place. The end of the city will come like a flood, and war will continue until the end. God has ordered that place to be completely destroyed.
27 That leader will make firm an agreement with many people for seven years. He will stop the offerings and sacrifices after three and one-half years. A destroyer will do terrible things until the ordered end comes to the destroyed city."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.