Daniel 7; Daniel 8

1 It was the first year that Belshazzar was king of Babylon. Daniel had a dream. He was lying on his bed. In his dream, visions passed through his mind. He wrote down what he saw. 2 Daniel said, "I had a vision at night. I looked up and saw the four winds of heaven. They were stirring up the Mediterranean Sea. 3 Four large animals came up out of the sea. Each one was different from the others. 4 "The first animal was like a lion. It had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off. Then it was lifted up from the ground. It stood on two feet like a man. And a man's heart was given to it. 5 "I saw a second animal. It looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides. And it had three ribs between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up! Eat meat until you are full!' 6 "After that, I saw another animal. It looked like a leopard. On its back were four wings like the wings of a bird. It had four heads. And it was given authority to rule. 7 "After that, in my vision I looked up and saw a fourth animal. It was terrifying and very powerful. It had large iron teeth. It crushed those it attacked and ate them up. It stomped on anything that was left. It was different from the other animals. And it had ten horns. 8 "I thought about the horns. Then I saw another horn. It was a little one. It grew up among the other horns. Three of the first horns were pulled up by their roots to make room for it. The little horn had eyes like the eyes of a man. Its mouth was always bragging. 9 "As I watched, "thrones were set in place. The Eternal God took his seat. His clothes were as white as snow. The hair on his head was white like wool. His throne was blazing with fire. And flames were all around its wheels. 10 A river of fire was flowing. It was coming out from in front of God. Thousands and thousands of angels served him. Millions of them stood in front of him. The court was seated. And the books were opened. 11 "Then I continued to watch because of the way the horn was bragging. I kept looking until the fourth animal was killed. I watched until its body was destroyed. It was thrown into the blazing fire. 12 The authority of the other animals had been stripped away from them. But they were allowed to live for a period of time. 13 "In my vision I saw One who looked like a son of man. He was coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Eternal God. He was led right up to him. 14 And he was given authority, glory and a kingdom. People from every nation and language worshiped him. His authority will last forever. It will not pass away. His kingdom will never be destroyed. 15 "My spirit was troubled. The visions that passed through my mind upset me. 16 I approached an angel who was standing there. I asked him what all of those things really meant. "So he explained everything to me. He told me what it meant. He said, 17 'The four large animals stand for four kingdoms. The kingdoms will appear on the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High God will receive the kingdom. They will possess it forever. It will belong to them for ever and ever.' 19 "Then I wanted to know what the fourth animal stood for. It was different from the others. It was the most terrifying of all. It had iron teeth and bronze claws. It crushed those it attacked and ate them up. It stomped on anything that was left. 20 "I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head. And I wanted to know about the other horn that grew up later. It caused three of the ten horns to fall out. It appeared to be stronger than the others. It had eyes. And its mouth was always bragging. 21 "I saw that the horn was at war with God's people. It was winning the battle over them. 22 But then the Eternal God came. He decided in favor of his holy people. So the time came when the kingdom was given to them. 23 "Here's how the angel explained it to me. He said, 'The fourth animal stands for a fourth kingdom. It will appear on earth. It will be different from the other kingdoms. It will eat up the whole earth. It will stomp on it and crush it. 24 The ten horns stand for ten kings. They will come from the fourth kingdom. " 'After them another king will appear. He will be different from the earlier ones. He'll bring three kings under his control. 25 He'll speak against the Most High God. He'll treat God's people badly. He will try to change the times and laws that were given by God. God's people will be handed over to him for three and a half years. 26 " 'But the court will open. And the power of that king will be taken away from him. It will be completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the authority, power and greatness of all of the kingdoms on earth will be handed over to the people of the Most High God. His kingdom will last forever. Every ruler will worship and obey him.' 28 "That's all I saw. My thoughts deeply troubled me. My face turned pale. But I kept those things to myself."
1 It was the third year of King Belshazzar's rule. After the vision that had already appeared to me, I had another one. 2 In my vision I saw myself in the city of Susa. It has high walls around it. It is in the land of Elam. In the vision I was beside the Ulai Waterway. 3 I looked up and saw a ram that had two horns. He was standing beside the waterway. His horns were long. One of them was longer than the other. But it grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as he charged toward the west. He also charged toward the north and the south. No animal could stand up against him. Not one of them could save anyone from his power. He did as he pleased. And he became great. 5 I was thinking about all of that. Then a goat suddenly came from the west. He had a large horn between his eyes. He raced across the whole earth without even touching the ground. 6 He came toward the ram that had the two horns. It was the ram I had seen standing beside the waterway. The goat was burning with anger. He charged at the ram. 7 I saw him attack the ram with mighty force. He struck the ram and broke his two horns. The ram didn't have the power to stand up against him. The goat knocked him to the ground and stomped on him. No one could save the ram from his power. 8 The goat became very great. But when his power was at its greatest, his large horn was broken off. In its place four large horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. 9 Out of one of the four horns came another horn. It started small but became more and more powerful. It grew to the south and to the east and toward the beautiful land of Israel. 10 It grew until it reached the stars in the sky. It threw some of them down to the earth. And it stomped on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as God. He is the Prince of the heavenly army. It took the daily sacrifices away from him. And his temple in Jerusalem was brought low. 12 Because many of God's people refused to obey him, they were handed over to the horn. The daily sacrifices were also given over to it. It was successful no matter what it did. And the true worship of God was thrown down to the ground. 13 Then I heard a holy angel speaking. Another holy angel spoke to him. He asked, "How long will it take for the vision to come true? The daily sacrifices will be stopped. Those who refuse to obey God will be destroyed. The temple will be handed over to an enemy. And some of the stars will be stomped on." 14 One of the holy angels said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the temple will be made holy again." 15 I was watching the vision. And I was trying to understand it. Then I saw someone who looked like a man. 16 I heard a voice from the Ulai Waterway. It called out, "Gabriel, tell Daniel what his vision means." 17 Gabriel came close to where I was standing. I was terrified and fell down flat with my face toward the ground. He said to me, "Son of man, I want you to understand that the vision tells about the time of the end." 18 While he was speaking to me, I was sound asleep. I lay with my face toward the ground. Then he touched me. He raised me to my feet. 19 He said, "I am going to tell you what will happen later. It will take place when God is angry. The vision tells about the appointed time of the end. 20 You saw a ram that had two horns. It stands for the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The goat stands for the king of Greece. The large horn between his eyes is the first king. 22 Four horns took its place when it was broken off. They stand for four kingdoms that will come from his nation. But those kingdoms will not be as powerful as his. 23 "Toward the end of their rule, those who refuse to obey God will become completely evil. Then another king will appear. He will have a mean-looking face. He will be a master at making clever plans. 24 He will become very strong. But he will not get that way by his own power. People will be amazed at the way he destroys everything. He will be successful no matter what he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. 25 "He will tell lies in order to succeed. He will think he is more important than anyone else. When people feel safe, he will destroy many of them. He will stand up against the greatest Prince of all. Then he will be destroyed. But he will not be killed by human beings. 26 "The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given to you is true. But seal up the vision. It tells about a time far off." 27 I was worn out. I lay sick for several days. Then I got up and returned to my work for the king. The vision bewildered me. I couldn't understand it.
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