Daniel

JB DANIEL Chapter 1

THE YOUNG HEBREWS AT THE COURT OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR

1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem and besieged it.

1:2 The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hands, with some of the furnishings of the Temple of God. He took them away to the land of Shinar, and stored the sacred vessels in the treasury of his own gods.

1:3 The king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to select from the Israelites a certain number of boys of either royal or noble descent;

1:4 they had to be without any physical defect, of good appearance, trained in every kind of wisdom, well-informed, quick at learning, suitable for service in the palace of the king. Ashpenaz himself was to teach them the language and literature of the Chaldaeans.

1:5 The king assigned them a daily allowance of food and wine from his own royal table. They were to receive an education lasting for three years, after which they were expected to be fit for the king’s society.

1:6 Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who were Judaeans.

1:7 The chief eunuch gave them other names, calling Daniel Belteshazzar, Hananiah Shadrach, Mishael Meshach, and Azariah Abednego.

1:8 Daniel, who was most anxious not to defile himself with the food and wine from the royal table, begged the chief eunuch to spare him this defilement;

1:9 and by the grace of God Daniel met goodwill and sympathy on the part of the chief eunuch.

1:10 But he warned Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king: he has assigned you food and drink, and if he sees you looking thinner in the face than the other boys of your age, my head will be in danger with the king because of you’.

1:11 At this Daniel turned to the guard whom the chief eunuch had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He said,

1:12 ‘Please allow your servants a ten days’ trial, during which we are given only vegetables to eat and water to drink.

1:13 You can then compare our looks with those of the boys who eat the king’s food; go by what you see, and treat your servants accordingly.’

1:14 The man agreed to do what they asked and put them on ten days’ trial.

1:15 When the ten days were over they looked and were in better health than any of the boys who had eaten their allowance from the royal table;

1:16 so the guard withdrew their allowance of food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

1:17 And God favoured these four boys with knowledge and intelligence in everything connected with literature, and in wisdom; while Daniel had the gift of interpreting every kind of vision and dream.

1:18 When the period stipulated by the king for the boys’ training was over, the chief eunuch presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.

1:19 The king conversed with them, and among all the boys found none to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they became members of the king’s court,

1:20 and on whatever point of wisdom or information he might question them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

1:21 Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

JB DANIEL Chapter 2

NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM: THE COMPOSITE STATUE

The king questions his sages

2:1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had a series of dreams; his mind was troubled, sleep deserted him.

2:2 The king then had magicians and enchanters, sorcerers and Chaldaeans[*a] summoned to tell the king what his dreams meant. They arrived and stood in the king’s presence.

2:3 The king said to them, ‘I have had a dream, and my mind is disturbed by a desire to understand the dream’.

2:4 The Chaldaeans answered the king: ‘O king, live for ever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal its meaning for you.’

2:5 The king answered the Chaldaeans, ‘This is my firm resolve: if you cannot tell me what my dream was, and what it means, I will have you torn limb from limb and your houses razed to the ground.

2:6 If, on the other hand, you can tell me what I dreamt and what it means, I will give you presents, rewards and high honour. So tell me what I dreamt and what it means.’

2:7 A second time they said, ‘Let the king tell his dream to his servants, and we will reveal its meaning’.

2:8 But the king retorted, ‘It is plain to me that you are trying to gain time, knowing my proclaimed and firm resolve.

2:9 Your intention is not to interpret my dream, but to make me misleading and tortuous speeches while the time goes by. So tell me what my dream was, and I shall know whether you can interpret it or not.’

2:10 The Chaldaeans answered the king, ‘Nobody in the world could find out the king’s trouble; what is more, no other king, governor or chief would think of putting such a question to any magician, enchanter or Chaldaean.

2:11 The question the king asks is difficult, and no one can find the king an answer to it, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with creatures of flesh.’

2:12 At this the king flew into a rage and ordered all the Babylonian sages to be put to death.

2:13 On publication of the decree to have the sages killed, search was made for Daniel and his companions to have them put to death.

Daniel Intervenes

2:14 With shrewd and cautious words, however, Daniel approached Arioch, commander of the king’s executioners, when he was on his way to kill the Babylonian sages.

2:15 He said to Arioch, the royal marshal, ‘Why has the king issued such an urgent decree?’ Arioch explained matters to Daniel

2:16 and Daniel went off to ask the king for a stay of execution to give him the opportunity of revealing his interpretation to the king.

2:17 Daniel then went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah what had happened,

2:18 urging them to beg the God of heaven to show his mercy in this mysterious affair, so that Daniel and his friends might be spared the fate of the other Babylonian sages.

2:19 The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a night-vision, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

2:20 This is what Daniel said: ‘May the name of God be blessed for ever and ever, since wisdom and power are his alone.

2:21 His, to control the procession of times and seasons, to make and unmake kings, to confer wisdom on the wise, and knowledge on those with wit to discern;

2:22 his, to uncover depths and mysteries, to know what lies in darkness; and light dwells with him.

2:23 To you, God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise for having given me wisdom and intelligence: now you have shown me what we asked you, you have revealed the king’s trouble to us.’

2:24 So Daniel went to see Arioch whom the king had made responsible for putting the Babylonian sages to death. On going in he said, ‘Do not put the Babylonian sages to death. Take me into the king’s presence and I will reveal the meaning to the king.’

2:25 Arioch lost no time in bringing Daniel to the king. ‘Among the exiles from Judah,’ he said ‘I have discovered a man who can reveal the meaning to the king.’

2:26 The king said to Daniel (who had been given the name Belteshazzar), ‘Can you tell me what my dream was, and what it means?’

2:27 Facing the king, Daniel replied, ‘None of the sages, enchanters, magicians or wizards has been able to tell the king the truth of the mystery which the king propounded;

2:28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and who has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what is to take place in the days to come. These, then, are the dream and the visions that passed through your head as you lay in bed:

2:29 ‘O king, on your bed your thoughts turned to what would happen in the future, and the Revealer of Mysteries disclosed to you what is to take place.

2:30 This mystery has been revealed to me, not that I am wiser than any other man, but for this sole purpose: that the king should learn what it means, and that you should understand your inmost thoughts.

2:31 ‘You have had a vision, O king; this is what you saw: a statue, a great statue of extreme brightness, stood before you, terrible to see.

2:32 The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,

2:33 its legs of iron its feet part iron, part earthenware.

2:34 While you were gazing, a stone broke away, untouched by any hand, and struck the statue, struck its feet of iron and earthenware and shattered them.

2:35 And then, iron and earthenware, bronze, silver, gold all broke into small pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing-floor in summer. The wind blew them away, leaving not a trace behind. And the stone that had struck the statue grew into a great mountain, filling the whole earth.

2:36 This was the dream; now we will explain to the king what it means.

2:37 You, O king, king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given sovereignty, power, strength and glory-

2:38 the sons of men, the beasts of the field, the birds of heaven, wherever they live, he has entrusted to your rule, making you king of them all-you are the golden head.

2:39 And after you another kingdom will rise, not so great as you, and then a third, of bronze, which will rule the whole world.

2:40 There will be a fourth kingdom, hard as iron, as iron that shatters and crushes all. Like iron that breaks everything to pieces, it will crush and break all the earlier kingdoms.

2:41 The feet you saw, part earthenware, part iron, are a kingdom which will be split in two, but which will retain something of the strength of iron, just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together.

2:42 The feet were part iron, part earthenware: the kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak.

2:43 And just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together, so the two will be mixed together in the seed of man;[*b] but they will not hold together any more than iron will blend with earthenware.

2:44 In the time of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not pass into the hands of another race: it will shatter and absorb all the previous kingdoms, and itself last for ever-

2:45 just as you saw the stone untouched by hand break from the mountain and shatter iron, bronze, earthenware, silver and gold. The great God has shown the king what is to take place. The dream is true, the interpretation exact.’

The king’s profession of faith

2:46 At this, King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel; he gave orders for Daniel to be offered an oblation and a fragrant sacrifice.

2:47 The king said to Daniel, ‘Your god must be the God of gods, the master of kings, and the Revealer of Mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery’.

2:48 The king conferred high rank on Daniel and gave him many handsome presents. He also made him governor of the whole province of Babylon and head of all the sages of Babylon.

2:49 At Daniel’s request, however, the king entrusted the affairs of the province of Babylon to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; Daniel himself remained at court.

JB DANIEL Chapter 3

THE ADORATION OF THE GOLDEN STATUE

Nebuchadnezzar erects a golden statue

3:1 King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue made, six cubits tall and three cubits wide, which he erected on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

3:2 King Nebuchadnezzar then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, men of law, and all the provincial authorities to assemble and attend the dedication of the statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar.

3:3 Then the satraps, prefects, governors, counsellors, treasurers, judges, men of law and all the provincial authorities assembled for the dedication of the statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar; and they stood there in front of the statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had erected.

3:4 The herald then made this proclamation: ‘Men of all peoples, nations, languages! This is required of you: the moment you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, you must prostrate yourselves and worship the golden statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar.

3:6 Those who do not prostrate themselves and worship shall immediately be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.’

3:7 And so, the instant the people heard the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe and all the other instruments, the men of all peoples, nations and languages prostrated themselves and worshipped the statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar.

The denunciation and condemnation of the Jews

3:8 Some Chaldaeans then came forward and laid information against the Jews.

3:9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘O king, live for ever!

3:10 You have issued a decree, O king, to the effect that everyone on hearing the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe or any other instrument is to prostrate himself and worship the golden statue;

3:11 and that anyone who does not prostrate himself and worship is to be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

3:12 Now there are certain Jews to whom you have entrusted the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; these men have ignored your command, O king; they do not serve your gods, and refuse to worship the golden statue you have erected.’

3:13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar sent for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The men were immediately brought before the king.

3:14 Nebuchadnezzar addressed them, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have erected?

3:15 When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you must be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace; and where is the god who could save you from my power?’

3:16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question hardly requires an answer:

3:17 if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, O king, he will save us;

3:18 and even if he does not, then you must know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have erected’.

3:19 These words infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was very different now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual,

3:20 and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace.

3:21 They were then bound, fully clothed, cloak, hose and headgear, and thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

3:22 The king’s command was so urgent and the heat of the furnace was so fierce, that the men carrying Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were burnt to death by the flames from the fire;

3:23 the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell, still bound, into the burning fiery furnace.

!!!!!ALTERNATIVE/ OPTIONAL SECTION!!!!!

The song of Azariah in the furnace

3:24 And they walked in the heart of the flames, praising God and blessing the Lord.

3:25 Azariah stood in the heart of the fire, and he began to pray:

3:26 ‘All honour and blessing to you, Lord, God of our ancestors, may your name be held glorious for ever.

3:27 In all that you have done your justice is apparent: your promises are always faithfully fulfilled, your ways never deviate, your judgements are always true.

3:28 You have given a just sentence in all the disasters you have brought down on us and on Jerusalem, the holy city of our ancestors, since it is for our sins that you have treated us like this, fairly and as we deserved.

3:29 Yes, we have sinned and committed a crime by deserting you, yes, we have sinned gravely; we have not listened to the precepts of your Law,

3:30 we have not observed them, we have not done what we were told to do for our own good.

3:31 Yes, all the disasters you have brought down on us, all that you have done to us, you have been fully justified in doing.

3:32 You have delivered us into the power of our enemies, of a lawless people, the worst of the godless, of an unjust king, the worst in the whole world;

3:33 today we dare not even open our mouths, shame and dishonour are the lot of those who serve and worship you.

3:34 Oh! Do not abandon us for ever, for the sake of your name; do not repudiate your covenant,

3:35 do not withdraw your favour from us, for the sake of Abraham, your friend, of Isaac your servant, and of Israel your holy one,

3:36 to whom you promised descendants as countless as the stars of heaven and as the grains of sand on the seashore.

3:37 Lord, now we are the least of all the nations, now we are despised throughout the world, today, because of our sins.

3:38 We have at this time no leader, no prophet, no prince, no holocaust, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense, no place where we can offer you the first-fruits

3:39 and win your favour. But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit be as acceptable to you

3:40 as holocausts of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fattened lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today, and may it be your will that we follow you wholeheartedly, since those who put their trust in you will not be disappointed.

3:41 And now we put our whole heart into following you, into fearing you and seeking your face once more.

3:42 Do not disappoint us; treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle and very merciful.

3:43 Grant us deliverance worthy of your wonderful deeds, let your name win glory, Lord.

3:44 Confusion seize those who ill-treat your servants: may they be covered with shame, deprived of all their power, and may their strength be broken.

3:45 Let them learn that you alone are God and Lord, glorious over the whole earth.’

3:46 All this time the servants of the king who had thrown the men into the furnace had been stoking it with crude oil, pitch, tow and brushwood

3:47 until the flames rose to a height of forty-nine cubits above the furnace

3:48 and, leaping out, burnt those Chaldaeans to death who were standing round it.

3:49 But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace beside Azariah and his companions; he drove the flames of the fire outwards,

3:50 and fanned in to them, in the heart of the so furnace, a coolness such as wind and dew will bring, so that the fire did not even touch them or cause them any pain or distress.

The song of the three young men

3:51 Then all three in unison began to sing, glorifying and blessing God, there in the furnace, in these words:

3:52 ‘May you be blessed, Lord, God of our ancestors, be praised and extolled for ever. Blessed be your glorious and holy name, praised and extolled for ever.

3:53 May you be blessed in the Temple of your sacred glory, exalted and glorified above all else for ever:

3:54 blessed on the throne of your kingdom, praised and exalted above all else for ever.

3:55 Blessed, you fathomer of the great depths, enthroned on the cherubs, praised and glorified above all else for ever;

3:56 blessed in the vault of heaven, exalted and glorified above all else for ever.

3:57 ‘All things the Lord has made, bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:58 Angels of the Lord! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:59 Heavens! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:60 Waters above the heavens! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:61 Powers of the Lord! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:62 Sun and moon! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:63 Stars of heaven! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:64 Showers and dews! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:65 Winds! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him

3:66 Fire and heat! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:67 Cold and heat! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:68 Dews and sleets! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:69 Frost and cold! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:70 Ice and snow! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:71 Nights and days! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:72 Light and darkness! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:73 Lightning and clouds! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:74 Let the earth bless the Lord, give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:75 Mountains and hills! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:76 Every thing that grows on the earth! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:77 Springs of water! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:78 Seas and rivers! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:79 Sea beasts and everything that lives in water! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:80 Birds of heaven! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:81 Animals wild and tame! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:82 Sons of men! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:83 Israel! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:84 Priests! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:85 Servants of the Lord! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:86 Spirits and souls of the virtuous! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:87 Devout and humble-hearted men! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him.

3:88 Ananiah; Azariah, Mishael! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him. For he has snatched us from the underworld, saved us from the hand of death, saved us from the burning fiery furnace, rescued us from the heart of the flame.

3:89 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his love is everlasting.

3:90 All you who worship him, bless the God of gods, praise him and give him thanks, for his love is everlasting.’

The king acknowledges the miracle

3:91 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king’.

3:92 ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.'[*a]

3:93 Nebuchadnezzar approached the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, come here!’ And from the heart of the fire out came Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

3:94 The satraps, prefects, governors, and advisers of the king crowded round the three men to examine them: the fire had had no effect on their bodies: not a hair of their heads had been singed, their cloaks were not scorched, no smell of burning hung about them.

3:95 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue his servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.

3:96 I therefore decree as follows: Men of all peoples, nations, and languages! Let anyone speak disrespectfully of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and I will have him torn limb from limb and his house razed to the ground, for there is no other god who can save like this.’

3:97 Then the king showered favours on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

THE WARNING DREAM AND THE MADNESS OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR

3:98 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to men of all peoples, nations and languages, throughout the world: ‘May peace be always with you.

3:99 It is my pleasure to make known the signs and wonders with which the Most High God has favoured me.

3:100 ‘How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty, his empire lasts from age to age.

!!!!!END OF ALTERNATIVE/ OPTIONAL SECTION!!!!!

The king acknowledges the miracle

3:24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king’.

3:25 ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.'[*a]

3:26 Nebuchadnezzar approached the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, come here!’ And from the heart of the fire out came Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

3:27 The satraps, prefects, governors, and advisers of the king crowded round the three men to examine them: the fire had had no effect on their bodies: not a hair of their heads had been singed, their cloaks were not scorched, no smell of burning hung about them.

3:28 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue his servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.

3:29 I therefore decree as follows: Men of all peoples, nations, and languages! Let anyone speak disrespectfully of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and I will have him torn limb from limb and his house razed to the ground, for there is no other god who can save like this.’

3:30 Then the king showered favours on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

THE WARNING DREAM AND THE MADNESS OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR

3:31 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to men of all peoples, nations and languages, throughout the world: ‘May peace be always with you.

3:32 It is my pleasure to make known the signs and wonders with which the Most High God has favoured me.

3:33 ‘How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty, his empire lasts from age to age.

JB DANIEL Chapter 4

Nebuchadnezzar describes his dream

4:1 ‘I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living at ease at home, prosperous in my palace.

4:2 I had a dream; it appalled me. Dread assailed me as I lay in bed; the visions that passed through my head tormented me.

4:3 So I decreed that all the sages of Babylon be summoned to explain to me what the dream meant.

4:4 Magicians, enchanters, Chaldaeans and Wizards came, and I told them what I had dreamt, but they could not interpret it for me.

4:5 Daniel, renamed Belteshazzar after my own god,[*a] and in whom the spirit of God Most Holy resides, then came into my presence. I told him my dream:

4:6 ‘Belteshazzar, I said, chief of magicians, I know that the spirit of God Most Holy resides in you and that no mystery puts you at a loss. This is the dream I have had; tell me what it means.

4:7 ‘The visions that passed through my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw a tree in the middle of the world; it was very tall.

4:8 The tree grew taller and stronger, until its top reached the sky, and it could be seen from the ends of the earth.

4:9 Its foliage was beautiful, its fruit abundant, in it was food for all. For the wild animals it provided shade, the birds of heaven nested in its branches, all living creatures found their food on it.

4:10 I watched the visions passing through my head as I lay in bed. Next a watcher, a holy one came down from heaven.

4:11 At the top of his voice he shouted, “Cut the tree down, lop off its branches, strip off its leaves, throw away its fruit; let the animals flee from its shelter and the birds from its branches.

4:12 But leave stump and roots in the ground bound with hoops of iron and bronze in the grass of the field. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, let him share the grass of the earth with the animals.

4:13 Let his heart turn from mankind, let a beast’s heart be given him and seven times pass over him!

4:14 Such is the sentence proclaimed by the watchers, the verdict announced by the holy ones, that every living thing may learn that the Most High rules over the kingship of men, he confers it on whom he pleases, and raises the lowest of mankind.”

4:15 ‘This is the dream I had, I, Nebuchadnezzar the king. Now it is for you, Belteshazzar, to pronounce on its meaning, since not one of the sages in my kingdom has been able to interpret it for me; you, however, will be able to, because the spirit of God Most Holy resides in you.’

Daniel interprets the dream

4:16 Daniel, known as Belteshazzar, hesitated for a moment in embarrassment. The king said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not be alarmed at the dream and its meaning’. Belteshazzar answered, ‘My lord, may the dream apply to your enemies, and its meaning to your foes!

4:17 The tree you saw that grew so tall and strong that it is reached the sky and could be seen from the ends of the earth,

4:18 the tree with beautiful foliage and abundant fruit, with food for all in it, providing shade for the wild animals, with the birds of heaven nesting in its branches,

4:19 that tree is yourself, O king, for you have grown tall and strong; your stature is now so great that it reaches the sky, and your rule extends to the ends of the earth.

4:20 ‘And the watcher seen by the king, the holy one coming down from heaven and saying, “Cut the tree down and destroy it, but leave stump and roots in the ground, bound with hoops of iron and bronze in the grass of the field; let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, let him share with the wild animals until seven times have passed over him”:

4:21 the meaning of this, O king, this decree of the Most High passed on my lord the king, is this:

4:22 ‘You are to be driven from human society, and live with the wild animals; you will feed on grass like the oxen, you will be drenched by the dew of heaven; seven times will pass over you until you have learnt that the Most High rules over the kingship of men, and confers it on whom he pleases.

4:23 ‘And the order, “Leave the stump and roots of the tree”, means that your kingdom will be kept for you until you come to understand that heaven rules all.

4:24 May it please the king to accept my advice: by virtuous actions break with your sins, break with your crimes by showing mercy to the poor, and so live long and peacefully.’

The dream comes true

4:25 This all happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.

4:26 Twelve months later, while strolling on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon,

4:27 the king was saying ‘Great Babylon! Imperial palace! ‘Was it not built by me alone, by my own might and power to the glory of my majesty?’

4:28 The boast was not out of his mouth when a voice came down from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, these words are for you! Sovereignty is taken from you,

4:29 you are to be driven from human society, and live with the wild animals; you will feed on grass like oxen, and seven times will pass over you until you have learnt that the Most High rules over the kingship of men, and confers it on whom he pleases.’

4:30 The words were immediately fulfilled: Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society and fed on grass like oxen, and was drenched by the dew of heaven; his hair grew as long as eagle’s feathers, and his nails became like bird’s claws.

4:31 ‘When the time was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven: my reason returned. And I blessed the Most High, ‘praising and extolling him who lives for ever, for his sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty, his empire lasts from age to age.

4:32 The inhabitants of the earth count for nothing: he does as he pleases with the array of heaven, and with the inhabitants of the earth. No one can arrest his hand or ask him, “What are you doing?”

4:33 ‘At that moment my reason returned, and, to the glory of my royal state, my majesty and, splendour returned too. My counsellors and noblemen acclaimed me; I was restored to my throne, and to my past greatness even more was added.

4:34 And now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and glorify the King of heaven, his promises are always faithfully fulfilled, his ways are always just, and he has power to humble those who walk in pride.’

JB DANIEL Chapter 5

BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST

5:1 King Belshazzar[*a] gave a great banquet for his noblemen; a thousand of them attended, and he drank wine in company with this thousand.

5:2 As he sipped his wine, Belshazzar gave orders for the gold and silver vessels to be brought which his father Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the sanctuary in Jerusalem, so that the king, his noblemen, his wives and his singing women could drink out of them.

5:3 The gold and silver vessels looted from the sanctuary of the Temple of God in Jerusalem were brought in, and the king, his noblemen, his wives and his singing women drank out of them.

5:4 They drank their wine and praised their gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone.

5:5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, and began to write on the plaster of the palace wall, directly behind the lamp-stand; and the king could see the hand as it wrote.

5:6 The king turned pale with alarm: his thigh-joints went slack and his knees began to knock.

5:7 He shouted for his enchanters, Chaldaeans and wizards. And the king said to the Babylonian sages, ‘Anyone who can read this writing and tell me what it means shall be dressed in purple, and have a chain of gold put round his neck, and be third in rank in the kingdom’.

5:8 The king’s sages all crowded forward, but they could neither read the writing nor explain to the king what it meant.

5:9 Greatly alarmed, King Belshazzar turned even paler, and his noblemen were equally disturbed.

5:10 Then the queen, attracted by the noise made by the king and his noblemen, came into the banqueting hall. ‘O king, live for ever!’ said the queen. ‘Do not be alarmed, do not look so pale.

5:11 In your kingdom there is a man in whom lives the spirit of God Most Holy. In your father’s days, he was known for having percipience, intelligence and wisdom comparable to that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made him head of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldaeans and wizards.

5:12 Since such a marvellous spirit, and such knowledge and intelligence in interpreting dreams, solving enigmas and unravelling difficult problems, live in this man Daniel, whom the king had renamed Belteshazzar, send for Daniel: he will be able to tell you what this means.’

5:13 Daniel was brought into the king’s presence; the king said to Daniel, ‘Are you the Daniel who was one of the Judaean exiles brought by my father the king from Judah?

5:14 I am told that the spirit of God Most Holy lives in you, and that you are known for your perception, intelligence and marvellous wisdom.

5:15 The sages and enchanters have already been brought to me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they have been unable to reveal its meaning.

5:16 As I am told that you are able to give interpretations and to unravel difficult problems, if you can read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be dressed in purple, and have a chain of gold put round your neck, and be third in rank in the kingdom.’

5:17 Then Daniel spoke up in the presence of the king. ‘Keep your gifts for yourself,’ he said ‘and give your rewards to others. I will read the writing to the king without them, and tell him what it means.

5:18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father sovereignty, greatness, glory, majesty.

5:19 He made him so great that men of all peoples, nations and languages shook with dread before him: he killed whom he pleased, spared whom he pleased, promoted whom he pleased, degraded whom he pleased.

5:20 But because his heart grew swollen with pride, and his spirit stiff with arrogance; he was deposed from his sovereign throne and stripped of his glory.

5:21 He was driven from the society of men, his heart grew completely animal; he lived with the wild asses; he fed on grass like the oxen; his body was drenched by the dew of heaven, until he had learnt that the Most High rules over the empire of men and appoints whom he pleases to rule it.

5:22 But you, Belshazzar, who are his son, you have not humbled your heart, in spite of knowing all this.

5:23 You have defied the Lord of heaven, you have had the vessels from his Temple brought to you, and you, your noblemen, your wives and your singing women have drunk your wine out of them. You have praised gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone, which cannot either see, hear or understand; but you have given no glory to the God who holds your breath and all your fortunes in his hands.

5:24 That is why he has sent the hand which, by itself, has written these words.

5:25 The writing reads: Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.[*b]

5:26 The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it;

5:27 Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting;

5:28 Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.’

5:29 At Belshazzar’s order Daniel was dressed in purple, a chain of gold was put round his neck and he was proclaimed third in rank in the kingdom.

5:30 That same night, the Chaldaean king Belshazzar was murdered,

JB DANIEL Chapter 6

6:1 and Darius the Mede[*a] received the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.

DANIEL IN THE LION PIT

The Satraps resent Daniel’s promotion

6:2 It pleased Darius to appoint a hundred and twenty satraps over his kingdom for the various parts of the kingdom,

6:3 and over them three presidents – of whom Daniel was one – to whom the satraps were to be responsible. This was to ensure that no harm should come to the king.

6:4 This Daniel, by virtue of the marvellous spirit residing in him, was so evidently superior to the presidents and satraps that the king considered appointing him to rule the whole kingdom.

6:5 The presidents and satraps in consequence started hunting for some affair of state by which they could discredit Daniel; but they could find nothing to his discredit, and no case of negligence; he was so punctilious that they could not find a single instance of maladministration or neglect.

6:6 These men then thought, ‘We shall never find a way of discrediting Daniel unless we try something to do with the law of his God’.

6:7 The presidents and satraps then went in a body to the king. ‘King Darius,’ they said ‘live for ever!

6:8 We are all agreed, the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counsellors and governors, that the king should issue a decree enforcing the following regulation: whoever within the next thirty days prays to anyone, god or man, other than to yourself O king, is to be thrown into the lions’ den.

6:9 O king, ratify the edict at once by signing this document, making it unalterable, as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’

6:10 King Darius accordingly signed the document embodying the edict.

Daniel’s prayer

6:11 When Daniel heard that the document had been signed, he retired to his house. The windows of his upstairs room faced towards Jerusalem. Three times each day he continued to fall on his knees, praying and giving praise to God as he had always done.

6:12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading with God.

6:13 They then came to the king and said, ‘Have you not just signed an edict forbidding any man for the next thirty days to pray to anyone, god or man, other than to yourself O king, on pain of being thrown into the lions’ den?’ ‘The decision stands,’ the king replied ‘as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’

6:14 Then they said to the king, ‘O king, this man Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, disregards both you and the edict which you have signed: he is at his prayers three times each day’.

6:15 When the king heard these words he was deeply distressed, and determined to save Daniel; he racked his brains until sunset to find some way out.

6:16 But the men came back in a body to the king and said, ‘O king, remember that in conformity with the law of the Medes and the Persians, no edict or decree can be altered when once issued by the king’.

Daniel is thrown to the lions

6:17 The king then ordered Daniel to be fetched and thrown into the lion pit. The king said to Daniel, ‘Your God himself, whom you have served so faithfully, will have to save you’.

6:18 A stone was then brought and laid over the mouth of the pit; and the king sealed it with his own signet and with that of his noblemen, so that there could be no going back on the original decision about Daniel.

6:19 The king returned to his palace, spent the night in fasting and refused to receive any of his concubines. Sleep eluded him,

6:20 and at the first sign of dawn he was up, and hurried off to the lion pit.

6:21 As he approached the pit he shouted in anguished tones, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you serve so faithfully, been able to save you from the lions?’

6:22 Daniel replied, ‘O king, live for ever!

6:23 My God sent his angel who sealed the lions’ jaws, they did me no harm, since in his sight I am blameless, and I have never done you any wrong either, O king.’

6:24 The king was overjoyed, and ordered Daniel to be released from the pit. Daniel was released from the pit, and found to be quite unhurt, because he had trusted in his God.

6:25 The king sent for the men who had accused Daniel and had them thrown into the lion pit, they, their wives and their children: and they had not reached the floor of the pit before the lions had seized them and crushed their bones to pieces.

The king’s profession of faith

6:26 King Darius then wrote to men of all nations, peoples and languages throughout the world, ‘May peace be always with you!

6:27 I decree: in every kingdom of my empire let all tremble with fear before the God of Daniel: He is the living God, he endures for ever, his sovereignty will never be destroyed and his kingship never end.

6:28 He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth; he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’

6:29 This Daniel flourished in the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

JB DANIEL Chapter 7

DANIEL’S DREAM: THE FOUR BEASTS

The vision of the beasts

7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions that passed through his head as he lay in bed. He wrote the dream down, and this is how the narrative began:

7:2 Daniel said, ‘I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea;

7:3 four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the other.

7:4 The first[*a] was like a lion with eagle’s wings; and as I looked its wings were torn off, and it was lifted from the ground and set standing on its feet like a man; and it was given a human heart.

7:5 The second beast I saw[*b] was different, like a bear, raised up on one of its sides, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. “Up!” came the command “Eat quantities of flesh!”

7:6 After this I looked, and saw another beast,[*c] like a leopard, and with four bird’s wings on its flanks; it had four heads, and power was given to it.

7:7 Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast,[*d] fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.

7:8 ‘While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one;[*e] three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts.

7:9 As I watched:

The vision of the ‘Ancient of Days’ and of the son of man

‘Thrones were set in place[*f] and one of great age took his seat. His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool. His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.

7:10 A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence. A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. A court was held and the books were opened.

7:11 ‘The great things the horn was saying were still ringing in my ears, and as I watched, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames.

7:12 The other beasts were deprived of their power, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.

7:13 ‘I gazed into the visions of the night. And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence.

7:14 On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

The interpretation of the vision

7:15 ‘I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through my head alarmed me.

7:16 So I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him to tell me the truth about all this. And in reply he revealed to me what these things meant.

7:17 “These four great beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth.

7:18 Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever.”

7:19 Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, eating, crushing and trampling underfoot what remained;

7:20 and the truth about the ten horns on its head – and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth that was full of boasts, and why it made a greater show than the other horns.

7:21 This was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger,

7:22 until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom.

7:23 This is what he said: “The fourth beast is to be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it underfoot and crush it.

7:24 As for the ten horns: from this kingdom will rise ten kings, and another after them; this one will be different from the previous ones and will bring down three kings;

7:25 he is going to speak words against the Most High, and harass the saints of the Most High. He will consider changing seasons and the Law,[*g] and the saints will be put into his power for a time, two times, and half a time.[*h]

7:26 But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him, consumed, and utterly destroyed.

7:27 And sovereignty and kingship, and the splendours of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty and every empire will serve and obey him.”

7:28 ‘Here the narrative ends. I, Daniel, was greatly disturbed in mind, and I grew pale; but I kept these things to myself.’

JB DANIEL Chapter 8

DANIEL’S VISION: THE RAM AND THE HE-GOAT

The vision

8:1 In the third year of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that originally appeared to me.

8:2 I gazed at the vision, and as I gazed I found myself in Susa,[*a] the citadel in the province of Elam; gazing at the vision I found myself at the Gate of the Ulai.

8:3 I raised my eyes to look round me, and I saw a ram standing in front of the river. It had two horns; both were tall, but one taller than the other, and the one that rose the higher was the second.

8:4 I saw the ram thrust westwards, northwards and southwards. No animal could stand up to it, nothing could escape it. It did as it pleased and grew very powerful.

8:5 This is what I observed: a he-goat came from the west, having covered the entire earth but without touching the ground, and between its eyes the goat had one majestic horn.

8:6 It advanced towards the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the river, and charged at it with all the fury of its might.

8:7 I saw it reach the ram, and it was so enraged with the ram, it knocked it down, breaking both its horns, and the ram had not the strength to resist; it felled it to the ground and trampled it underfoot; no one was there to save the ram.

8:8 Then the he-goat grew more powerful than ever, but at the height of its strength the great horn snapped, and in its place sprouted four majestic horns, pointing to the four winds of heaven.

8:9 From one of these, the small one, sprang a horn which grew to great size towards south and east and towards the Land of Splendour.[*b]

8:10 It grew right up to the armies of heaven and flung armies and stars to the ground, and trampled them underfoot.

8:11 It even challenged the power of that army’s Prince; it abolished the perpetual sacrifice and overthrew the foundation of his sanctuary,

8:12 and the army too; it put iniquity on the sacrifice and flung truth to the ground; the horn was active and successful.

8:13 I heard a holy one speaking, and another who said to the speaker, ‘How long is this vision to be-of perpetual sacrifice, disastrous iniquity, of sanctuary and army trampled underfoot?’

8:14 The first replied, ‘Until two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings have gone by: then the sanctuary shall have its rights restored’.

The angel Gabriel interprets the vision

8:15 As I, Daniel, gazed at the vision and tried to understand it, I saw someone standing before me who looked like a man.

8:16 I heard a man’s voice cry over the Ulai, ‘Gabriel, tell him the meaning of the vision!’

8:17 He approached the place where I was standing; as he approached I was seized with terror, and fell prostrate. ‘Son of man,’ he said to me ‘understand this: the vision shows the time of the End.’

8:18 He was still speaking, when I fell senseless to the ground. He touched me, however, and raised me to my feet.

8:19 ‘Come,’ he said ‘I will tell you what is going to happen when the wrath comes to an end; this concerns the appointed End.

8:20 As for the ram that you saw, its two horns are the kings of Media and of Persia.

8:21 The hairy he-goat is the king of Javan, the large horn between its eyes is the first king.[*c]

8:22 The horn that snapped and the four horns that sprouted in its place are four kingdoms rising from his nation but not having his power.

8:23 ‘And at the end of their reign, when the measure of their sins is full, a king will arise, a proud-faced, ingenious-minded man.

8:24 His power will gather strength – but not through power of his own – he will plot incredible schemes, he will succeed in what he undertakes, he will destroy powerful men and the people of the saints.

8:25 Such will be his resourcefulness of mind that all his treacherous activities will succeed. He will grow arrogant of heart, take many unawares and destroy them. He will challenge the power of the Prince of princes but, no hand intervening,[*d] shall himself be broken.

8:26 This explanation of the vision of the mornings and the evenings is true, but you must keep the vision secret, for there are still many days to go.’

8:27 At this I, Daniel, lost consciousness; I was ill for several days. Then I got up to discharge my duties in the king’s service, keeping the vision a secret, and not understanding what it meant.

JB DANIEL Chapter 9

THE PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS

Daniel’s prayer

9:1 It was the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median stock and ruled the kingdom of Chaldaea.

9:2 In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, was perusing the scriptures, counting over the number of years – as revealed by Yahweh to the prophet Jeremiah – that were to pass before the successive devastations of Jerusalem would come to an end, namely seventy years.

9:3 I turned my face to the Lord God begging for time to pray and to plead with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.

9:4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this confession: ‘O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments:

9:5 we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them.

9:6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

9:7 Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you.

9:8 To us, Yahweh, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you.

9:9 To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him,

9:10 and have not listened to the voice of Yahweh our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.

9:11 The whole of Israel has flouted your Law and turned away, unwilling to listen to your voice; and the curse and imprecation written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have come pouring down on us-because we have sinned against him.

9:12 He has carried out the threats which he made against us and against the princes who governed us – that he would bring so great a disaster down on us that the fate of Jerusalem would find no parallel in the whole of the world.

9:13 And now all this disaster has happened to us, just as it is written in the Law of Moses; even so, we have not tried to appease Yahweh our God by renouncing our crimes and being guided by your truth.

9:14 Yahweh has watched for the right moment to bring disaster on us, since Yahweh our God is just in all his dealings with us, and we have not listened to his voice.

9:15 And now, Lord our God, who by your mighty hand brought us out of the land of Egypt – the renown you won then endures to this day – we have sinned, we have done wrong.

9:16 Lord, by all your acts of justice turn away your anger and your fury from Jerusalem, your own city, your holy mountain, for as a result of our sins and the crimes of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your own people have become a byword among all around us.

9:17 And now, our God, listen to the prayer and pleading of your servant. For your own sake, Lord, let your face smile again on your desolate sanctuary.

9:18 Listen my God, listen to us; open your eyes and look on our plight and on the city that hears your name. We are not relying on our own good works but on your great mercy, to commend our humble plea to you.

9:19 Listen, Lord! Lord, forgive! Hear, Lord, and act! For your own sake, my God, do not delay, because they hear your name, this is your city, this is your people.’

The angel Gabriel explains the prophecy

9:20 I was still speaking, still at prayer, confessing my own sins and the sins of my people Israel and placing my plea before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God,

9:21 still speaking, still at prayer, when Gabriel, the being I had seen originally in a vision, flew suddenly down to me at the hour of the evening sacrifice.

9:22 He said to me, ‘Daniel, you see me; I have come down to teach you how to understand.

9:23 When your pleading began, a word was uttered, and I have come to tell you what it is. You are a man specially chosen. Grasp the meaning of the word, understand the vision:

9:24 ‘Seventy weeks are decreed[*a] for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seals on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting integrity, for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy, for anointing the Holy of Holies.

9:25 ‘Know this, then, and understand: from the time this message went out: “Return and rebuild Jerusalem” to the coming of an anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble.

9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one will be cut off-and… will not be for him-the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed by a prince who will come. His end will come in catastrophe and, until the end, there will be war and all the devastation decreed.

9:27 He will make a firm covenant with many[*b] for the space of a week; and for the space of one half-week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and on the wing of the Temple will be the disastrous abomination[*c] until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator.’

JB DANIEL Chapter 10

THE GREAT VISION

THE TIME OF WRATH

The vision of the man dressed in linen

10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a revelation was made to Daniel known as Belteshazzar, a true revelation of a great conflict. He grasped the meaning of the revelation; what it meant was disclosed to him in a vision.

10:2 At that time, I, Daniel, was doing a three-week penance;

10:3 I ate no rich food, touched no meat or wine, and did not anoint myself, until these three weeks were over.

10:4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I stood on the bank of that great river, the Tigris,

10:5 I raised my eyes to look about me, and this is what I saw: A man dressed in linen, with a girdle of pure gold round his waist;

10:6 his body was like beryl, his face shone like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and his legs had the gleam of burnished bronze, the sound of his voice was like the noise of a crowd.

10:7 I, Daniel, alone saw the apparition; the men who were with me did not see the apparition, but so great a trembling overtook them that they fled to hide.

10:8 I was left alone, gazing on this great apparition; I was powerless, my appearance altered out of all recognition, what strength I had deserted me.

The apparition of the angel

10:9 I heard him speak, and at the sound of his voice I fell unconscious to the ground.

10:10 I felt a hand touching me, setting my knees and my hands trembling.

10:11 He said, ‘Daniel, you are a man specially chosen; listen carefully to the words that I am going to say; stand up; I have been sent to you and here I am’. He said this, and I stood up trembling.

10:12 He said then, ‘Daniel, do not be afraid: from that first day when you resolved to humble yourself before God, the better to understand, your words have been heard; and your words are the reason why I have come.

10:13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia has been resisting me for twenty-one days, but Michael,[*a] one of the leading princes, came to my assistance. I have left him confronting the kings of Persia

10:14 and have come to tell you what will happen to your people in the days to come. For here is a new vision about those days.’

10:15 When he had said these things to me I prostrated myself on the ground, without saying a word;

10:16 then someone looking like a son of man came and touched my lips. I opened my mouth to speak, and I said to the person standing in front of me, ‘My lord, anguish overcomes me at this vision, and what strength I had deserts me.

10:17 How can my lord’s servant speak to my lord now that I have no strength left and my breath fails me?’

10:18 Once again the person like a man touched me; he gave me strength.

10:19 ‘Do not be afraid,’ he said ‘you are a man specially chosen; peace be with you; play the man, be strong!’ And as he spoke to me I felt strong again and said, ‘Let my lord speak, you have given me strength’.

The prelude to the prophecy

10:20a He said then, ‘Do you know why I have come to you?

10:21a It is to tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.

10:20b I must go back to fight against the prince of Persia: when I have done with him, the prince of Javan will come next.

10:21b In all this there is no one to lend me support except Michael your prince,

JB DANIEL Chapter 11

11:1 on whom I rely to give me support and reinforce me.

11:2 And now I will tell you the truth about these things.

Early struggles between Seleucids and Ptolemies

‘Three more kings are going to rise in Persia; a fourth will come and be richer than all the others, and when, thanks to his wealth, he has grown powerful, he will challenge all the kingdoms of Javan.

11:3 A mighty king will rise and reign over a vast empire and do whatever he pleases.

11:4 But once he has come to power his empire will be broken up and parcelled out to the four winds of heaven, though not to his descendants: it will not be ruled as he ruled it, for his sovereignty is going to be uprooted and pass to others than his own.

11:5 ‘The king of the South[*a] will grow powerful, but one of his princes[*b] will grow more powerful still with an empire greater than that of the former.

11:6 Some years later, these will form an alliance and, to ratify the agreement, the daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North. Her arm will not, however, retain its strength, nor his posterity endure: she will be handed over, she, her escorts and her child, and he who has had authority over her.[*c] In due time

11:7 a sprig from her roots will rise in his place, will march on the defences, force the stronghold of the king of the North, and succeed in overcoming them.

11:8 He will even carry off all their gods, their statues, their precious gold and silver plate to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North in peace,

11:9 but the latter will invade the kingdom of the king of the South, then retire to his own country.

11:10 His sons[*d] will next be on the march, mustering a host of powerful forces; and he[*e] will advance, deploy, break through and march on his stronghold once again.

11:11 The king of the South will fly into a rage and set out to give battle to the king of the North who will have an immense army on his side, and this army will be delivered into his hands.

11:12 The army will be annihilated; he will be triumphant; he will overthrow tens of thousands; yet he will have no strength.

11:13 The king of the North will come back, having recruited an even larger army than before, and finally, when the time comes, he will advance with a great army and plentiful supplies.

11:14 In those times many will rebel against the king of the South; men of violence will also rebel from your own people, thus fulfilling the vision; but they will fail.

11:15 The king of the North will then come and throw up siege-works to capture a strongly fortified city. The forces of the South will not stand their ground, its picked troops will not be strong enough to resist.

11:16 The invader will treat him as he pleases, no one will be able to resist him: he will take his stand in the Land of Splendour, destruction in his hands.

11:17 He will consider conquering his entire kingdom, but will then make a treaty with him and, to overthrow the kingdom, give him a woman’s daughter;[*f] but this will not last or be to his advantage.

11:18 He will next turn to the islands and conquer many of them, but a magistrate will put a stop to his outrages in such a way that he will be unable to repay outrage for outrage.[*g]

11:19 ‘He will then turn on the strongholds of his own country, but will stumble, fall, and never be seen again.

11:20 In his place there will rise a man[*h] who will send an extortioner to despoil the royal splendour; in a few days he will be shattered, though neither publicly nor in battle.[*i]

Antiochus Epiphanes

11:21 ‘In his place there will rise a wretch:[*j] he will not be given royal honours, but will insinuate himself into them in his own time and gain possession of the kingdom by intrigue.

11:22 Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him, the prince of the covenant too.[*k]

11:23 Still conspiring, he will go from treachery to treachery, ever growing stronger despite the smallness of his following.

11:24 In his own time he will invade the richest provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers’ fathers never acted, distributing plunder, spoil and wealth among them, plotting his stratagems against fortresses – for a time.

11:25 ‘He will rouse his strength and his heart against the king of the South with a great army. The king of the South will march to war with a huge and powerful army, but will offer no resistance, since he will be outwitted by trickery.

11:26 Those who shared his food will ruin him; his army will be swept away, many will fall in the slaughter.

11:27 ‘The two kings, seated at one table, hearts bent on evil, will tell their lies; but they will not have their way, for the appointed time is still to come.

11:28 He will return greatly enriched to his own country, his heart set against the holy covenant; he will take action, and next return to his own country.

11:29 In due time he will make his way southwards again, but this time the outcome will not be as before.

11:30 The ships of Kittim[*l] will oppose him, and he will be worsted. He will retire and take furious action against the holy covenant and, as before, will favour those who forsake that holy covenant.

11:31 ‘Forces of his will come and profane the sanctuary citadel; they will abolish the perpetual sacrifice and install the disastrous abomination there.

11:32 Those who break the covenant he will corrupt by his flatteries, but the people who know their God will stand firm and take action.

11:33 Those of the people who are learned will instruct many; for some days, however, they will be brought down by sword and flame, by captivity and by plundering.

11:34 And thus brought down, little help will they receive, though many will be plotting on their side.

11:35 Of the learned some will be brought down, as a result of which certain of them will be purged, purified and made white – until the time of the End, for the appointed time is still to come.

11:36 do as he pleases, growing more and more arrogant, considering himself greater than all the gods; he will utter incredible blasphemies against the God of gods, and he will thrive until the wrath reaches bursting point; for what has been decreed will certainly be fulfilled.

11:37 Heedless of his fathers’ gods, heedless of the one whom women love,[*m] heedless of any god whatever, he will

11:38 consider himself greater than them all. Instead of them, he will honour the god of fortresses, will honour a god unknown to his ancestors with gold and silver, precious stones and valuable presents.

11:39 He will use the people of an alien god[*n] to defend the fortresses; he will confer great honours on those who will acknowledge him, by giving them wide authority and by farming out the land at a price.

THE TIME OF THE END

The end of the persecutor

11:40 ‘When the time comes for the End, the king of the South will try conclusions with him; but the king of the North will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on.

11:41 He will invade the Land of Splendour, and many will fall; but Edom, Moab, and what remain of the sons of Ammon will escape him.

11:42 ‘He will reach out to attack countries: the land of Egypt will not escape him.

11:43 The gold and silver treasures and all the valuables of Egypt will lie in his power. Libyans and Cushites[*o] will be at his feet:

11:44 but reports coming from the East and the North will worry him, and in great fury he will set out to bring ruin and complete destruction to many.

11:45 He will pitch the tents of his royal headquarters between the sea and the mountains of the Holy Splendour. Yet he will come to his end – there will be no help for him.

JB DANIEL Chapter 12

Resurrection and retribution

12:1 ‘At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who mounts guard over your people. There is going to be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book.

12:2 Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace.

12:3 The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars for all eternity.

12:4 ‘But you, Daniel, must keep these words secret and the book sealed until the time of the End. Many will wander this way and that, and wickedness will go on increasing.’

The sealed prophecy

12:5 Then I, Daniel, looked on and saw two others standing, one on the near bank of the river, one on the other.

12:6 One said to the man dressed in linen who was standing further up the stream, ‘How long until these wonders take place?’

12:7 I heard the man speak who was dressed in linen, standing further up the stream: he raised his right hand and his left to heaven and swore by him who lives for ever, ‘A time and two times, and half a time; and all these things are going to happen when he who crushes the power of the holy people meets his end’.

12:8 I listened but did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what is to be the outcome?’

12:9 ‘Daniel,’ he said ‘go away: these words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the End.

12:10 Many will be cleansed, made white and purged; the wicked will go on doing wrong; the wicked will never understand; the learned will understand.

12:11 From the moment that the perpetual sacrifice is abolished and the disastrous abomination erected: one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12:12 Blessed is he who stands firm and attains a thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

12:13 But you, go away and rest; and you will rise for your share at the end of time.’

JB DANIEL Chapter 13

SUSANNA AND THE JUDGEMENT OF DANIEL

13:1 In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim.

13:2 He had married Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, a woman of great beauty;

13:3 and she was God-fearing, because her parents were worthy people and had instructed their daughter in the Law of Moses.

13:4 Joakim was a very rich man, and had a garden attached to his house; the Jews would often visit him since he was held in greater respect than any other man.

13:5 Two elderly men had been selected from the people that year to act as judges. Of such the Lord said, ‘Wickedness has come to Babylon through the elders and judges posing as guides to the people’.

13:6 These men were often at Joakim’s house, and all who were engaged in litigation used to come to them.

13:7 At midday, when everyone had gone, Susanna used to take a walk in her husband’s garden.

13:8 The two elders, who used to watch her every day as she came in to take her walk, gradually began to desire her.

13:9 They threw reason aside, making no effort to turn their eyes to heaven, and forgetting its demands of virtue.

13:10 Both were inflamed by the same passion, but they hid their desire from each other,

13:11 for they were ashamed to admit the longing to sleep with her,

13:12 but they still contrived to see her every day.

13:13 One day, having parted with the words, ‘Let us go home, it is time for the midday meal’, they went off in different directions,

13:14 only to retrace their steps and find themselves face to face again. Obliged then to explain, they admitted their desire and agreed to look for an opportunity of surprising her alone.

13:15 So they waited for a favourable moment; and one day Susanna came as usual, accompanied only by two young maidservants. The day was hot and she wanted to bathe in the garden.

13:16 There was no one about except the two elders, spying on her from their hiding place.

13:17 She said to the servants, ‘Bring me some oil and balsam and shut the garden door while I bathe’.

13:18 They did as they were told, shutting the garden door and going back to the house by a side entrance to fetch what she had asked for; they knew nothing about the elders, who were hiding.

13:19 Hardly were the servants gone than the two elders were there after her. ‘Look,’

13:20 they said ‘the garden door is shut, no one can see us. We want to have you, so give in and let us!

13:21 Refuse, and we will both give evidence that a young man was with you and that was why you sent your maids away.’

13:22 Susanna sighed. ‘I am trapped,’ she said ‘whatever I do. If I agree, that means my death; if I resist, I cannot get away from you.

13:23 But I prefer to fall innocent into your power than to sin in the eyes of the Lord.’

13:24 Then she cried out as loud as she could. The two elders began shouting too, putting the blame on her,

13:25 and one of them ran to open the garden door.

13:26 The household, hearing the shouting in the garden, rushed out by the side entrance to see what was happening;

13:27 once the elders had told their story the servants were thoroughly taken aback, since nothing of this sort had ever been said of Susanna.

13:28 Next day a meeting was held at the house of her husband Joakim. The two elders arrived, in their vindictiveness determined to have her put to death.

13:29 They addressed the company: ‘Summon Susanna daughter of Hilkiah and wife of Joakim’. She was sent for,

13:30 and came accompanied by her parents, her children and all her relations.

13:31 Susanna was very graceful and beautiful to look at;

13:32 she was veiled, so the wretches made her unveil in order to feast their eyes on her beauty.

13:33 All her own people were weeping, and so were all the others who saw her.

13:34 The two elders stood up, with all the people round them, and laid their hands on the woman’s head.[*a]

13:35 Tearfully she turned her eyes to heaven, her heart confident in God.

13:36 The elders then spoke. ‘While we were walking by ourselves in the garden, this woman arrived with two servants. She shut the garden door and then dismissed the servants.

13:37 A young man who had been hiding went over to her and they lay down together.

13:38 From the end of the garden where we were, we saw this crime taking place and hurried towards them.

13:39 Though we saw them together we were unable to catch the man: he was too strong for us; he opened the door and took to his heels.

13:40 We did, however, catch this woman and ask her who the young man was.

13:41 She refused to tell us. That is our evidence.’ Since they were elders of the people, and judges, the assembly took their word: Susanna was condemned to death.

13:42 She cried out as loud as she could, ‘Eternal God, you know all secrets and everything before it happens;

13:43 you know that they have given false evidence against me. And now have I to die, innocent as I am of everything their malice has invented against me?’

13:44 The Lord heard her cry

13:45 and, as she was being led away to die, he roused the holy spirit residing in a young boy named Daniel

13:46 who began to shout, ‘I am innocent of this woman’s death!’

13:47 At which all the people turned to him and asked, ‘What do you mean by these words?’

13:48 Standing in the middle of the crowd he replied, ‘Are you so stupid, sons of Israel, as to condemn a daughter of Israel unheard, and without troubling to find out the truth?

13:49 Go back to the scene of the trial: these men have given false evidence against her.’

13:50 All the people hurried back, and the elders said to Daniel, ‘Come and sit with us and tell us what you mean, since God has given you the gifts that elders have’.

13:51 Daniel said, ‘Keep the men well apart from each other for I want to question them’.

13:52 When the men had been separated, Daniel had one of them brought to him. ‘You have grown old in wickedness,’ he said ‘and now the sins of your earlier days have overtaken you,

13:53 you with your unjust judgements, your condemnation of the innocent, your acquittal of guilty men, when the Lord has said, “You must not put the innocent and the just to death”.

13:54 Now then, since you saw her so clearly, tell me what tree you saw them lying under?’ He replied, ‘Under a mastic tree’.

13:55 Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God has already received your sentence from him and will slash you in half.’

13:56 He dismissed the man, ordered the other to be brought and said to him, ‘Spawn of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you, lust has led your heart astray!

13:57 This is how you have been behaving with the daughters of Israel and they were too frightened to resist; but here is a daughter of Judah who could not stomach your wickedness!

13:58 Now then, tell me what tree you surprised them under?’ He replied, ‘Under a holm oak’.

13:59 Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God is waiting, with a sword to drive home and split you, and destroy the pair of you.’

13:60 Then the whole assembly shouted, blessing God, the saviour of those who trust in him.

13:61 And they turned on the two elders whom Daniel had convicted of false evidence out of their own mouths.

13:62 As prescribed in the Law of Moses, they sentenced them to the same punishment as they had intended to inflict on their neighbour. They put them to death; the life of an innocent woman was spared that day.

13:63 Hilkiah and his wife gave thanks to God for their daughter Susanna, and so did her husband Joakim and all his relations, because she had been acquitted of anything dishonourable.

13:64 From that day onwards Daniel’s reputation stood high with the people.

JB DANIEL Chapter 14

BEL AND THE DRAGON

Daniel and the priests of Bel

14:1 When King Astyages joined his ancestors, Cyrus of Persia succeeded him.

14:2 Daniel was very close to the king who thought more of him than of any other of his friends.

14:3 Now in Babylon there was an idol called Bel,[*a] to which twelve bushels of the finest flour, forty sheep and six measures of wine were offered every day.

14:4 The king took part in this cult and used to go and worship the idol every day. Daniel, however, worshipped his own God.

14:5 ‘Why do you not worship Bel?’ the king asked Daniel. ‘I do not worship idols made by the hands of men,’ Daniel replied ‘I worship the living God who made heaven and earth and who has power over all living creatures.’

14:6 ‘You believe, then,’ said the king ‘that Bel is not a living god? Can you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?’

14:7 Daniel laughed. ‘My king,’ he said ‘do not be taken in; he is clay inside, and bronze outside, and has never eaten or drunk anything.’

14:8 This made the king angry; he summoned his priests, ‘Tell me who eats all this food,’ he said ‘or die. Prove to me that Bel really eats it, and I will have Daniel put to death for blaspheming him.’

14:9 Daniel said to the king, ‘Let it be as you say’. There were seventy of these priests, to say nothing of their wives and children.

14:10 The king went to the temple of Bel, taking Daniel with him.

14:11 The priests of Bel said to him, ‘We are now withdrawing, as you can see; but we will leave you, O king, to set out food and prepare the wine and leave it there. Then you can shut the door and seal it with your own seal. If, when you return in the morning, you do not find that everything has been eaten by Bel, then let us be put to death; if not, then Daniel, that slanderer!’

14:12 They were thinking-hence their confidence-of a secret entrance which they had made under the table, by which they came in daily and took the offerings away.

14:13 When the priests had gone and the king had set out the food for Bel,

14:14 Daniel made his servants bring ashes and spread them all over the temple floor, with no other witness than the king. Then they left the building, shut the door and, sealing it with the king’s seal, went away.

14:15 That night, as usual, the priests came with their wives and children; they ate and drank everything.

14:16 The king was up very early next morning; so was Daniel.

14:17 ‘Daniel,’ said the king ‘are the seals intact?’ ‘They are intact, O king’ he replied.

14:18 The king then opened the door and taking one look at the table he exclaimed, ‘You are great, O Bel! There is no deception in you!’

14:19 But Daniel laughed. And restraining the king from going further in, he said, ‘Look at the floor and examine these footprints’.

14:20 ‘I can see footprints of men, of women and of children’ said the king,

14:21 and angrily ordered the priests to be arrested, with their wives and children. They showed him then the secret door through which they used to come and remove what was on the table.

14:22 The king had them put to death and handed Bel over to Daniel who destroyed both the idol and its temple.

Daniel kills the dragon

14:23 There was a big dragon in Babylon, and this was worshipped too.

14:24 The king said to Daniel, ‘You are not going to tell me that this is no more than bronze? Look, it is alive; it eats and drinks; you cannot deny that this is a living god; worship it, then.’

14:25 Daniel replied, ‘I worship the Lord my God; he is the living God. With your permission, O king, without using either sword or club I will kill this serpent.’

14:26 ‘You have my permission’ said the king.

14:27 Whereupon Daniel took some pitch, some fat and some hair and boiled them up together, rolled the mixture into balls and fed them to the dragon; the dragon swallowed them and burst. Daniel said, ‘Now look at the sort of thing you worship!’

14:28 The Babylonians were furious when they heard about this and began intriguing against the king. ‘The king has turned Jew,’ they said ‘he has allowed Bel to be overthrown, and the dragon to be killed, and he has put the priests to death.’

14:29 So they went to the king and said, ‘Hand Daniel over to us or else we will kill you, and your family’.

14:30 They pressed him so hard that the king found himself forced to hand Daniel over to them.

Daniel in the lion pit

14:31 They threw Daniel into the lion pit, and there he stayed for six days.

14:32 In the pit were seven lions, which were given two human bodies and two sheep every day; but for this period they were not given anything, to make sure they would eat Daniel.

14:33 Now the prophet Habakkuk was in Judaea: he had been making a stew, and breaking up bread small to put in a basket. He was on his way to the fields, taking this to the harvesters,

14:34 when the angel of the Lord spoke to him, ‘Take the meal you are carrying to Babylon and give it to Daniel in the lion pit’.

14:35 ‘Lord,’ replied Habakkuk ‘I have not even seen Babylon, and know nothing about this pit.’

14:36 The angel of the Lord seized his head and carried him off by the hair to Babylon where, with a great thrust of his spirit, he set Habakkuk down on the edge of the pit.

14:37 ‘Daniel, Daniel,’ Habakkuk shouted ‘take the meal that God has sent you.’

14:38 And Daniel said, ‘You have kept me in mind, O God; you have not deserted those who love you’.

14:39 Rising to his feet he ate the meal, while the angel of God lost no time in returning Habakkuk to his own country.

14:40 On the seventh day the king came to lament over Daniel; on reaching the pit he looked inside, and there was Daniel, quite unperturbed.

14:41 ‘You are great, O Lord, God of Daniel,’ he exclaimed ‘there is no god but you!’

14:42 Then he released Daniel from the pit and had the plotters of Daniel’s ruin thrown in instead, where they w`ere instantly eaten before his eyes.

END OF JB DANIEL [14 Chapters].

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