Daniel 7; Daniel 8; Daniel 9

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.
1 It was the first year that Darius was king of Babylonia. He was from Media and was the son of Xerxes. 2 In that year I learned from the Scriptures that Jerusalem would remain destroyed for 70 years. That was what the LORD had told the prophet Jeremiah. 3 So I prayed to the Lord God. I begged him. I made many appeals to him. I didn't eat anything. I put on black clothes. And I sat down in ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God. I admitted that we had sinned. I said, "Lord, you are a great and wonderful God. You keep the covenant you made with all those who love you and obey your commands. You show them your love. 5 "We have sinned and done what is wrong. We have been evil. We have refused to obey you. We have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We haven't listened to your servants the prophets. They spoke in your name to our kings and princes. They also brought your message to all of our people in the land. 7 "Lord, you always do what is right. But we are covered with shame today. We are the people of Judah and Jerusalem. All of us are Israelites, no matter where we live. We are now living in many countries. You scattered us among the nations because we weren't faithful to you. 8 Lord, we and our kings and princes and people are covered with shame. We have sinned against you. 9 "You are the Lord our God. You show us your tender love. You forgive us. But we have turned against you. 10 You are the LORD our God. But we haven't obeyed you. We haven't kept the laws you gave us through your servants the prophets. 11 All of the people of Israel have broken your law and turned away from it. They have refused to obey you. "Curses and warnings are written down in the Law of Moses. He was your servant. Those curses have been poured out on us. That's because we have sinned against you. 12 The warnings you gave us and our rulers have come true. You have brought great trouble on us. Nothing like what has been done to Jerusalem has ever happened anywhere else on earth. 13 "The curses that are written in the Law of Moses have fallen on us. We have received nothing but trouble. You are the LORD our God. But we haven't asked for your favor. We haven't turned away from our sins. We've refused to pay attention to the laws you gave us. 14 Lord, you didn't hold back from bringing this trouble on us. You always do what is right. But we haven't obeyed you. 15 "Lord our God, you used your mighty hand to bring your people out of Egypt. You made a name for yourself. It is still great to this very day. But we have sinned. We've done what is wrong. 16 Lord, you saved your people before. So turn your burning anger away from Jerusalem again. After all, it is your city. It's your holy mountain. All those who live around us laugh at Jerusalem and your people. That's because we have sinned. Our people before us did evil things too. 17 "Our God, hear my prayers. Pay attention to the appeals I make to you. Look with favor on your temple that has been destroyed. Do it for your own honor. 18 Our God, please listen to us. The city that belongs to you has been destroyed. Open your eyes and see it. We aren't asking you to answer our prayers because we are godly. Instead, we're asking you to do it because you love us so much. 19 "Lord, please listen! Lord, please forgive us! Lord, hear our prayers! Take action for your own honor. Our God, please don't wait. Your city and your people belong to you." 20 I was speaking and praying. I was admitting that I and my people Israel had sinned. I was making my appeal to the LORD my God concerning his holy mountain of Zion. 21 While I was still praying, Gabriel came to me. I had seen him in my earlier vision. He flew over to me very quickly. It was about the time when the evening sacrifice is offered. 22 He helped me understand. He said, "Daniel, I have come now to give you a good knowledge and understanding of these things. 23 You are highly respected. So as soon as you began to pray, the LORD gave you an answer. I have come to tell you what it is. Here is how you must understand the vision. 24 "The LORD has appointed 70 'weeks' for your people and your holy city. During that time, acts against God's law will be stopped. Sin will come to an end. And the evil things people do will be paid for. Then everyone will always do what is right. Everything that has been made known in visions and prophecies will come true. And the Most Holy Room in the temple will be anointed. 25 "Here is what I want you to know and understand. There will be seven 'weeks.' Then there will be 62 'weeks.' The seven 'weeks' will begin when an order is given to rebuild Jerusalem and make it like new again. "At the end of the 62 'weeks,' the Anointed King will come. Jerusalem will have streets and a water system when it is rebuilt. But that will be done in times of trouble. 26 After the 62 'weeks,' the Anointed King will be cut off. His followers will desert him. And everything he has will be taken away from him. The army of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the temple. The end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end. The LORD has ordered that many places be destroyed. 27 "A covenant will be put into effect with many people for one 'week.' In the middle of the 'week' sacrifices and offerings will come to an end. In one part of the temple a hated thing that destroys will be set up. It will remain until the LORD brings the end he has ordered."
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