The prophet Daniel is one of four Major Prophets in Hebrew Scripture, along with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The Book of Daniel is followed by the Prophet Hosea, the first of the Prophets in the Book of the Twelve. Daniel in the Lions’ Den is a favorite Bible story for children. In addition, the captivating prophecy, imagery, and symbolism make the Book of Daniel one of the most read of Hebrew Scripture, our Old Testament of the Bible.
The Book takes its name from the hero, Daniel – דָּנִיֵּאל – a young Jewish prophet who lived in Babylon, one of the first exiles from Jerusalem during the Babylonian Captivity (Daniel 1:1-7). The prophet Ezekiel, who wrote his prophecy in Babylon about the same time, mentioned three Biblical figures in a row as men of righteousness, Noah, Daniel, and Job (Ezekiel 14:14 and 14:20). Jesus Christ referred to Daniel the Prophet (Matthew 24:15).
Themes in the Book of Daniel include heroism, remaining true to God in the midst of an adverse and idolatrous culture, and God’s protection of his faithful ones through his Angels. Chapters 1-6 refer to the trials of Daniel and his three young companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, during the time of the great Kings of the East. Their names, all of which reflect the name of God, are changed to names referring to Babylonian idols. Daniel and the three young men stay faithful to God throughout the book through Prayer (2:19-23, 3:24-25, 6:11-12, 9:3-4, 9:16-20). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are saved from the fiery furnace by “one like a Son of God” in Chapter 3. Chapter 6 describes Daniel in the Lions’ Den, where an angel saved Daniel by shutting the mouths of the lions. Chapters 7-12 first reveal the angels Gabriel (8:16) and Michael (10:13) in the apocalyptic visions. Daniel 12:2 is one of the rare passages in Hebrew Scripture that refers to the Resurrection of the Dead. Chapters 13-14 relate the beautiful story of the heroine Susanna and mention the prophet Habakkuk in the vignette on Bel and the Dragon.
Jesus Christ, in announcing the Kingdom of God is at hand in Mark 1:15, fulfills the prophecy in Daniel 2:44-45. He calls himself the Son of Man in all four Gospels and the Book of Revelation (1:13 and 14:14), reminding us that he fulfills the destiny of the Messianic figure in Daniel 7:13. The striking prophecy of the Anointed One – מָשִׁיחַ – in Daniel 9:24-26 is accomplished in Jesus the Christ (Matthew 1:16, 16:16) or Messiah (John 1:41, 4:25).
The Book of Daniel serves as the major apocalyptic Book of the Old Testament, as Chapters 7-12 foretell the End Times. The prophecy of Daniel 12:1 speaks of a time of great “distress” unsurpassed in history, when Michael will arise. This period is called the Great Tribulation by Jesus in Matthew 24:21 and is further referenced in Revelation 7:14. The great nations of the world have risen against the Lord; but God will protect His people and His Kingdom shall prevail and last forever.
Chapters 1 to 2:3 and Chapters 8 through 12 were written in Hebrew; Chapters 2:4 through 7:28 – nearly half of the Book of Daniel – were written in Aramaic; and three passages were written in Greek. Of interest, the Divine name Yahweh – יהוה – to describe the LORD appears only in Chapter 9 (examples: verses 9:4, 9:20) in the Prayer of Daniel “to the LORD my God” – לַיהוָה אֱלֹהַי.
Even though nearly half of Daniel was composed in Aramaic, the Hebrew Canon for Judaism retained all of the book except the Greek text: the Song of the Three Young Men (3:24-90) and the Appendix – Chapter 13, which contained the beautiful story of Susanna, as well as Chapter 14 on Bel, the Dragon, and the Rescue of Daniel.
The textual problems encountered in the Book of Daniel in a sense are representative of the entire Old Testament. The traditional view that the Book was written by Daniel in the sixth century BC has been questioned, the book is written in three different languages, and the actual text varies with each of our four extant versions: the Greek Septuagint assembled in Alexandria, the Dead Sea Scrolls uncovered in Qumran, the Masoretic text, and the Syriac Aramaic Peshitta Bible of the Middle East! For example, the Book of Daniel is placed with the Prophets in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but is found in the Writings in the Masoretic Hebrew texts..
The first complete version of Hebrew Scripture was composed in the third century BC in Alexandria and was actually written in Greek, known as the Septuagint. The Hebrew canon for Judaism developed through the ages and recognized 10 books less than the Greek Septuagint. The Masoretic Text developed from the eighth through tenth century AD reflected the traditional Hebrew canon. See the Canon for a more complete discussion.
The time of composition has become a matter of interest. The informed description of historical events in Chapters 1 to 6 and the use of the first person in the apocalyptic visions of Chapters 7 to 12 suggest that Daniel likely originated the book during his lifetime. This traditional view is also supported by classical historians such as Flavius Josephus and Church Fathers such as St. Jerome, the Father of Biblical Scholars. The presence of the Book of Daniel in the Dead Sea Scrolls indicates the book was written before 200 BC. Whereas modern historical-critical methods propose the book may have been written in the mid-second century BC, the inclusion of the book in the Hebrew Canon for Judaism advises that Hebrew tradition placed the Book as written before 400 BC!
The Hebrew and Aramaic texts are in blue, the Greek scripture is in navy. The following Scripture is from the Douay-Rheims Bible now in the public domain and the New American Bible. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the standard English Bible for Catholics for over 300 years, and still remains in use today. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the first approved English translation of St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible. The Old Testament translation was completed at the English College of Douai, France in 1609, and the New Testament at the English College of Rheims, France in 1582. The Douay-Rheims Bible was revised by Bishop Challoner in England from 1749 to 1752. The Haydock Douay-Rheims Bible of 1814 was the one upon which President John F. Kennedy took the oath of office on January 20, 1961 to become the 35th President of the United States. The New American Bible is widely read among Catholics in the USA. The Old Testament of the New American Bible is authorized by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D. C., Copyright 1970. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved. The Aramaic (2.4 through 7:28) and Greek texts (3:24-90 and Chapters 13-14) are from the Douay-Rheims Bible.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL
DANIEL DURING THE BABYLONIAN EXILE
Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and laid siege to Jerusalem. 2 The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and some of the vessels of the temple of God, which he carried off to the land of Shinar, and placed in the temple treasury of his god.
3 The king told Ashpenaz, his chief chamberlain, to bring in some of the Israelites of royal blood and of the nobility, 4 young men without any defect, handsome, intelligent and wise, quick to learn, and prudent in judgment, such as could take their place in the king’s palace; they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans; 5 after three years’ training they were to enter the king’s service. The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine from the royal table. 6 Among these were men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 The chief chamberlain changed their names: Daniel to Belteshazzar, Hananiah to Shadrach, Mishael to Meshach, and Azariah to Abednego.
8 But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king’s food or wine; so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement. 9 Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain, 10 he nevertheless said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king; it is he who allotted your food and drink. If he sees that you look wretched by comparison with the other young men of your age, you will endanger my life with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see.” 14 He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days; 15 after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table. 16 So the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation, the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king’s service. 20 In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom. 21 Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
The King’s Dream
1 In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which left his spirit no rest and robbed him of his sleep. 2 So he ordered that the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and Chaldeans be summoned to interpret the dream for him. When they came and presented themselves to the king, 3 he said to them, “I had a dream which will allow my spirit no rest until I know what it means.”
4 And the Chaldeans answered the king in Syriac: O king, live for ever: tell to thy servants thy dream, and we will declare the interpretation thereof. 5 And the king answering said to the Chaldeans: The thing is gone out of my mind: unless you tell me the dream, and the meaning thereof, you shall be put to death, and your houses shall be confiscated. 6 But if you tell the dream, and the meaning of it, you shall receive of me rewards, and gifts, and great honour: therefore tell me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
7 They answered again and said: Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation of it. 8 The king answered, and said: I know for certain that you seek to gain time, since you know that the thing is gone from me. 9 If therefore you tell me not the dream, there is one sentence concerning you, that you have also framed a lying interpretation, and full of deceit, to speak before me till the time pass away. Tell me therefore the dream, that I may know that you also give a true interpretation thereof. 10 Then the Chaldeans answered before the king, and said: There is no man upon earth, that can accomplish thy word, O king, neither doth any king, though great and mighty, ask such a thing of any diviner, or wise man, or Chaldean. 11 For the thing that thou askest, O king, is difficult; nor can any one be found that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose conversation is not with men. 12 Upon hearing this, the king in fury, and in great wrath, commanded that all the wise men of Babylon should be put to death.
13 And the decree being gone forth, the wise men were slain: and Daniel and his companions were sought for, to be put to death. 14 Then Daniel inquired concerning the law and the sentence, of Arioch the general of the king’s army, who was gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 And he asked him that had received the orders of the king, why so cruel a sentence was gone forth from the face of the king. And when Arioch had told the matter to Daniel, 16 Daniel went in and desired of the king, that he would give him time to resolve the question and declare it to the king. 17 And he went into his house, and told the matter to Hananiah, and Mishael, and Azariah his companions: 18 To the end that they should ask mercy at the face of the God of heaven concerning this secret, and that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
19 Then was the mystery revealed to Daniel by a vision in the night: and Daniel blessed the God of heaven, 20 And speaking he said: Blessed be the name of the Lord from eternity and for evermore: for wisdom and fortitude are his. 21 And he changeth times and ages: taketh away kingdoms and establisheth them, giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that have understanding. 22 He revealeth deep and hidden things, and knoweth what is in darkness: and light is with him. 23 To thee, O God of our fathers, I give thanks, and I praise thee: because thou hast given me wisdom and strength: and now thou hast shewn me what we desired of thee, for thou hast made known to us, the king’s discourse.
24 After this Daniel went in to Arioch, to whom the king had given orders to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and he spoke thus to him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will tell the solution to the king. 25 Then Arioch in haste brought in Daniel to the king, and said to him: I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Juda, that will resolve the question to the king. 26 The king answered, and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar: Thinkest thou indeed that thou canst tell me the dream that I saw, and the interpretation thereof? 27 And Daniel made answer before the king, and said: The secret that the king desireth to know, none of the wise men, or the philosophers, or the diviners, or the soothsayers can declare to the king.
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth mysteries, who hath shewn to thee, O king Nebuchadnezzar (Nabuchodonosor), what is to come to pass in the latter times. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these: 29 Thou, O king, didst begin to think in thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth mysteries shewed thee what shall come to pass. 30 To me also this secret is revealed, not by any wisdom that I have more than all men alive: but that the interpretation might be made manifest to the king, and thou mightest know the thoughts of thy mind.
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible. 32 The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass: 33 And the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer’s thrashingfloor, and they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
36 This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, O king. 37 Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: 38 And all places wherein the children of men, and the beasts of the field do dwell: he hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand, and hath put all things under thy power: thou therefore art the head of gold. 39 And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver: and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break and destroy all these. 41 Arid whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potter’s clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay.
44 But in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed,
and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever. 45 According as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces, the clay, and the iron, and the brass, and the silver, and the gold, the great God hath shewn the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is true, and the interpretation thereof is faithful.
46 Then king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer in sacrifice to him victims and incense. 47 And the king spoke to Daniel, and said: Verily your God is the God of gods, and Lord of kings, and a revealer of hidden things: seeing thou couldst discover this secret. 48 Then the king advanced Daniel to a high station, and gave him many and great gifts: and he made him governor over all the provinces of Babylon, and chief of the magistrates over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago over the works of the province of Babylon: but Daniel himself was in the king’s palace.
The Fiery Furnace
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura of the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes, and languages: 5 That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music; ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nebuchadnezzar hath set up. 6 But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
7 Upon this therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music: all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8 And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews, 9 And said to king Nebuchadnezzar: O king, live for ever: 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall bear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue: 11 And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
12 Now there are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king. 14 And Nebuchadnezzar the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago answered and said to king Nebuchadnezzar: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter. 17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king. 18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated. 20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire. 21 And immediately these men were bound and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments. 22 For the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago. 23 But these three men, that is, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.
The Song of the Three Young Men
24 And they walked in the midst of the flame, praising God, and blessing the Lord.
25 Then Azarias standing up, prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said:
26 Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever:
27 For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true.
28 For thou hast executed true judgments in all the things that thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers:
for according to truth and judgment, thou hast brought all these things upon us for our sins.
29 For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things:
30 And we have not hearkened to thy commandments, nor have we observed nor done as thou hadst commanded us, that it might go well with us.
31 Wherefore, all that thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that thou hast done to us, thou hast done in true judgment:
32 And thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies that are unjust, and most wicked, and prevaricators,
and to a king unjust, and most wicked beyond all that are upon the earth.
33 And now we cannot open our mouths: we are become a shame, and a reproach to thy servants, and to them that worship thee.
34 Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name’s sake, and abolish not thy covenant.
35 And take not away thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, thy beloved, and Isaac, thy servant, and Israel, thy holy one:
36 To whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore.
37 For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins.
38 Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits before thee,
39 That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted.
40 As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day,
that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee.
41 And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face.
42 Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies.
43 And deliver us, according to thy wonderful works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord:
44 And let all them be confounded that shew evils to thy servants, let them be confounded in all thy might, and let their strength be broken:
45 And let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world.
46 Now the king’s servants that had cast them in, ceased not to heat the furnace with brimstone and tow, and pitch, and dry sticks,
47 And the flame mounted up above the furnace nine and forth cubits:
48 And it broke forth, and burnt such of the Chaldeans as it found near the furnace.
49 But the angel of the Lord went down with Azariah and his companions into the furnace: and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace,
50 And made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew, and the fire touched them not at all, nor troubled them, nor did them any harm.
51 Then these three, as with one mouth, praised and glorified and blessed God, in the furnace, saying:
52 Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers; and worthy to be praised, and glorified, and exalted above all for ever:
53 and blessed is the holy name of thy glory: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all, in all ages.
54 Blessed art thou in the holy temple of thy glory: and exceedingly to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
55 Blessed art thou that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
56 Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.
57 All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
58 O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
59 O ye heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
60 O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
61 O all ye powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
62 O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
63 O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
64 O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
65 O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
66 O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
67 O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever.
68 O ye dews and hoar frost, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
69 O ye frost and cold, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
70 O ye ice and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
71 O ye nights and days, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
72 O ye light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
73 O ye lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
74 O let the earth bless the Lord: let it praise and exalt him above all for ever.
76 O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
77 O ye fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
78 O ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
79 O ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
80 O all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
81 O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
82 O ye sons of men, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
83 O let Israel bless the Lord: let them praise and exalt him above all for ever.
84 O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
85 O ye servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
86 O ye spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
87 O ye holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
88 O Ananias, Azarias, Misael, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. For he hath delivered us from hell,
and saved us out of the hand of death, and delivered us out of the midst of the burning flame, and saved us out of the midst of the fire.
89 O give thanks to the Lord, because he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.
90 O all ye religious, bless the Lord, the God of gods: praise him, and give him thanks, because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.
The King is Amazed
91 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles: Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, and said: True, O king. 92 He answered, and said: Behold I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 93 Then Nebuchadnezzar came to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and said: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, ye servants of the most high God, go ye forth, and come. And immediately Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago went out from the midst of the fire.
94 And the nobles, and the magistrates, and the judges, and the great men of the king being gathered together, considered these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, and that not a hair of their head had been singed, nor their garments altered, nor the smell of the fire had passed on them.
95 Then Nebuchadnezzar breaking forth, said: Blessed be the God of them, to wit, of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that believed in him: and they changed the king’s word, and delivered up their bodies that they might not serve, nor adore any god, except their own God. 96 By me therefore this decree is made, that every people, tribe, and tongue, which shall speak blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, shall be destroyed, and their houses laid waste: for there is no other God that can save in this manner.
97 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, in the province of Babylon. 98 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all peoples, nations, and tongues, that dwell in all the earth, peace be multiplied unto you. 99 The most high God hath wrought signs and wonders toward me. It hath seemed good to me therefore to publish 100 His signs, because they are great: and his wonders, because they are mighty: and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, I and his power to all generations.
The King’s Vision of the Great Tree
1 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace: 2 I saw a dream that affrighted me: and my thoughts in my bed, and the visions of my head troubled me. 3 Then I set forth a decree, that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought in before me, and that they should shew me the interpretation of the dream. 4 Then came in the diviners, the wise men, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers, and I told the dream before them: but they did not shew me the interpretation thereof:
5 Till their colleague Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, who hath in him the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream before him. 6 Belteshazzar, prince of the diviners, because I know that thou hast in thee the spirit of the holy gods, and that no secret is impossible to thee: tell me the visions of my dreams that I have seen, and the interpretation of them.
7 This was the vision of my head in my bed: I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was exceeding great. 8 The tree was great, and strong: and the height thereof reached unto heaven: the sight thereof was even to the ends of all the earth. 9 Its leaves were most beautiful, and its fruit exceeding much: and in it was food for all: under it dwelt cattle, and beasts, and in the branches thereof the fowls of the air had their abode: and all flesh did eat of it. 10 I saw in the vision of my head upon my bed, and behold a watcher, and a holy one came down from heaven.
11 He cried aloud, and said thus: Cut down the tree, and chop off the branches thereof: shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruits: let the beasts fly away that are under it, and the birds from its branches. 12 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, and let it be tied with a band of iron, and of brass, among the grass, that is without, and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let its portion be with the wild beasts in the grass of the earth. 13 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given him; and let seven times pass over him. 14 This is the decree by the sentence of the watchers, and the word by order of the holy ones; till the living know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men; and he will give it to whomsoever it shall please him, and he will appoint the basest man over it.
15 I king Nebuchadnezzar saw this dream: thou, therefore, O Belteshazzar, tell me quickly the interpretation: for all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to declare the meaning of it to me: but thou art able, because the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
16 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, began silently to think within himself for about one hour: and his thoughts troubled him. But the king answering, said: Belteshazzar, let not the dream and the interpretation thereof trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered, and said: My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thy enemies. 17 The tree which thou sawest which was high and strong, whose height reached to the skies, and the sight thereof into all tire earth: 18 And the branches thereof were most beautiful, and its fruit exceeding much, and in it was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and the birds of the air had their abode in its branches. 19 It is thou, O king, who art grown great and become mighty: for thy greatness hath grown, and hath reached to heaven, and thy power unto the ends of the earth.
20 And whereas the king saw a watcher, and a holy one come down from heaven, and say: Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, and let it be bound with iron and brass among the grass without, and let it be sprinkled with the dew of heaven, and let his feeding be with the wild beasts, till seven times pass over him. 21 This is the interpretation of the sentence of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king. 22 They shall cast thee out from among men, and thy dwelling shall be with cattle and with wild beasts, and thou shalt eat grass as an ox, and shalt be wet with the dew of heaven: and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 23 But whereas he commanded, that the stump of the roots thereof, that is, of the tree, should be left: thy kingdom shall remain to thee after thou shalt have known that power is from heaven. 24 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to thee, and redeem thou thy sins with alms, and thy iniquities with works of mercy to the poor: perhaps he will forgive thy offences.
25 All these things came upon king Nebuchadnezzar. 26 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the palace of Babylon. 27 And the king answered, and said: Is not this the great Babylon, which I have built to be the seat of the kingdom, by the strength of my power, and in the glory of my excellence?
28 And while the word was yet in the king’s mouth, a voice came down from heaven: To thee, O king Nebuchadnezzar, it is said: Thy kingdom shall pass from thee, 29 And they shall cast thee out from among men, and thy dwelling shall be with cattle and wild beasts: thou shalt eat grass like an ox, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
30 The same hour the word was fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar, and he was driven away from among men, and did eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven: till his hairs grew like the feathers of eagles, and his nails like birds’ claws. 31 Now at the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my sense was restored to me: and I blessed the most High, and I praised and glorified him that liveth for ever: for his power is an everlasting power, and his kingdom is to all generations. 32 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, I as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it? 33 At the same time my sense returned to me, and I came to the honour and glory of my kingdom: and my shape returned to me: and my nobles, and my magistrates sought for me, and I was restored to my kingdom: and greater majesty was added to me. 34 Therefore I Nebuchadnezzar do now praise, and magnify, and glorify the King of heaven: because all his works are true, and his ways judgments, and them that walk in pride he is able to abase.
The Handwriting on the Wall
1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his nobles: and every one drank according to his age. 2 And being now drunk he commanded that they should bring the vessels of gold and silver which Nebuchadnezzar his father had brought away out of the temple, that was in Jerusalem, that the king and his nobles, and his wives and his concubines, might drink in them. 3 Then were the golden and silver vessels brought, which he had brought away out of the temple that was in Jerusalem: and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, drank in them. 4 They drank wine, and praised their gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone.
5 In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it were of the hand of a man, writing over against the candlestick upon the surface of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king beheld the joints of the hand that wrote. 6 Then was the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him: and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees struck one against the other. 7 And the king cried out aloud to bring in the wise men, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon: Whosoever shall read this writing, and shall make known to me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and shall have a golden chain on his neck, and shall be the third man in my kingdom. 8 Then came in all the king’s wise men, but they could neither read the writing, nor declare the interpretation to the king. 9 Wherewith king Belshazzar was much troubled, and his countenance was changed: and his nobles also were troubled.
10 Then the queen, on occasion of what had happened to the king, and his nobles, came into the banquet house: and she spoke and said: O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, neither let thy countenance be changed. 11 There is a man in thy kingdom that hath the spirit of the holy gods in him: and in the days of thy father knowledge and wisdom were found in him: for king Nebuchadnezzar thy father appointed him prince of the wise men, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, thy father, I say, O king: 12 Because a greater spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, and interpretation of dreams, and shewing of secrets, and resolving of difficult things, were found in him, that is, in Daniel: whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now therefore let Daniel be called for, and he will tell the interpretation.
13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. And the king spoke, and said to him: Art thou Daniel of the children of the captivity of Juda, whom my father the king brought out of Judea? 14 I have heard of thee, that thou hast the spirit of the gods, and excellent knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom are found in thee. 15 And now the wise men the magicians have come in before me, to read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof: and they could not declare to me the meaning of this writing. 16 But I have heard of thee, that thou canst interpret obscure things, and resolve difficult things: now if thou art able to read the writing, and to shew me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and shalt have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third prince in my kingdom.
17 To which Daniel made answer, and said before the king: Thy rewards be to thyself, and the gifts of thy house give to another: but the writing I will read to thee, O king, and shew thee the interpretation thereof. 18 O king, the most high God gave to Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and honour. 19 And for the greatness that he gave to him, all people, tribes, and languages trembled, and were afraid of him: whom he would, he slew: and whom he would, he destroyed: and whom he would, he set up: and whom he would, he brought down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit hardened unto pride, he was put down from the throne of his kingdom, and his glory was taken away. 21 And he was driven out from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses, and he did eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven: till he knew that the most High ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he will set over it whomsoever it shall please him.
22 Thou also his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thy heart, whereas thou knewest all these things: 23 But hast lifted thyself up against the Lord of heaven: and the vessels of his house have been brought before thee: and thou, and thy nobles, and thy wives, and thy concubines have drunk wine in them: and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and of gold, and of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone, that neither see, nor hear, nor feel: but the God who hath thy breath in his hand, and all thy ways, thou hast not glorified.
24 Wherefore he hath sent the part of the hand which hath written this that is set down. 25 And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES. 26 And this is the interpretation of the word. MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it. 27 THECEL: thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting. 28 PHARES: thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians.
29 Then by the king’s command Daniel was clothed with purple, and a chain of gold was put about his neck: and it was proclaimed of him that he had power as the third man in the kingdom. 30 The same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom, being threescore and two years old.
Daniel in the Lion’s Den
1 It seemed good to Darius, and he appointed over the kingdom a hundred and twenty governors to be over his whole kingdom. 2 And three princes over them, of whom Daniel was one: that the governors might give an account to them, and the king might have no trouble.
3 And Daniel excelled all the princes, and governors: because a greater spirit of God was in him. 4 And the king thought to set him over all the kingdom: whereupon the princes, and the governors sought to find occasion against Daniel with regard to the king: and they could find no cause, nor suspicion, because he was faithful, and no fault, nor suspicion was found in him
5 Then these men said: We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, unless perhaps concerning the law of his God. 6 Then the princes, and the governors craftily suggested to the king, and spoke thus unto him: King Darius, live for ever: 7 All the princes of the kingdom, the magistrates, and governors, the senators, and judges have consulted together, that an imperial decree, and an edict be published: That whosoever shall ask any petition of any god, or man, for thirty days, but of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, therefore, O king, confirm the sentence, and sign the decree: that what is decreed by the Medes and Persians may not be altered, nor any man be allowed to transgress it. 9 So king Darius set forth the decree, and established it.
10 Now when Daniel knew this, that is to say, that the law was made, he went into his house: and opening the windows in his upper chamber towards Jerusalem, he knelt down three times a day, and adored, and gave thanks before his God, as he had been accustomed to do before. 11 Wherefore those men carefully watching him, found Daniel praying and making supplication to his God.
12 And they came and spoke to the king concerning the edict: O king, hast thou not decreed, that every man that should make a request to any of the gods, or men, for thirty days, but to thyself, O king, should be cast into the den of the lions? And the king answered them, saying: The word is true according to the decree of the Medes and Persians, which it is not lawful to violate. 13 Then they answered, and said before the king: Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, hath not regarded thy law, nor the decree that thou hast made: but three times a day he maketh his prayer.
14 Now when the king had heard these words, he was very much grieved, and in behalf of Daniel he set his heart to deliver him and even till sunset he laboured to save him. 15 But those men, perceiving the king’s design, said to him: Know thou, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, that no decree which the king hath made, may be altered.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of the lions. And the king said to Daniel: Thy God, whom thou always servest, he will deliver thee. 17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den: which the king sealed with his own ring, and with the ring of his nobles, that nothing should be done against Daniel. 18 And the king went away to his house and laid himself down without taking supper, and meat was not set before him, and even sleep departed from him.
19 Then the king rising very early in the morning, went in haste to the lions’ den: 20 And coming near to the den, cried with a lamentable voice to Daniel, and said to him: Daniel, servant of the living God, hath thy God, whom thou servest always, been able, thinkest thou, to deliver thee from the lions?
21 And Daniel answering the king, said: O king, live for ever: 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut up the mouths of the lions, and they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him justice hath been found in me: yea and before thee, O king, I have done no offence.
23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and he commanded that Daniel should be taken out of the den: and Daniel was taken out of the den, and no hurt was found in him, because he believed in his God. 24 And by the king’s commandment, those men were brought that bad accused Daniel: and they were cast into the lions’ den, they and their children, and their wives: and they did not reach the bottom of the den, before the lions caught them, and broke all their bones in pieces.
25 Then king Darius wrote to all people, tribes, and languages, dwelling in the whole earth: PEACE be multiplied unto you. 26 It is decreed by me, that in all my empire and my kingdom all men dread and fear the God of Daniel. For he is the living and eternal God for ever: and his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his power shall be for ever. 27 He is the deliverer, and saviour, doing signs and wonders in heaven, and in earth: who hath delivered Daniel out of the lions’ den. 28 Now Daniel continued unto the reign of Darius, and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
VISIONS OF DANIEL
The Four Beasts, Ten Horns and another Horn
1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream: and the vision of his head was upon his bed: and writing the dream, he comprehended it in few words: and relating the sum of it in short, he said: 2 I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts, different one from another, came up out of the sea. 4 The first was like a lioness, and had the wings of an eagle: I beheld till her wings were plucked off, and she was lifted up from the earth, and stood upon her feet as a man, and the heart of a man was given to her. 5 And behold another beast like a bear stood up on one side: and there were three rows in the mouth thereof, and in the teeth thereof, and thus they said to it: Arise, devour much flesh.
6 After this I beheld, and lo, another like a leopard, and it had upon it four wings as of a fowl, and the beast had four heads, and power was given to it. 7 After this I beheld in the vision of the night, and lo, a fourth beast, terrible and wonderful, and exceeding strong, it had great iron teeth, eating and breaking in pieces, and treading down the rest with its feet: and it was unlike to the other beasts which I had seen before it, and had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold another little horn sprung out of the midst of them: and three of the first horns were plucked up at the presence thereof: and behold eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things.
The Ancient of Days
9 I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat:
his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool:
his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire.
10 A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him:
thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him:
the judgment sat, and the books were opened.
11 I beheld because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke:
and I saw that the beast was slain, and the body thereof was destroyed, and given to the fire to be burnt:
12 And that the power of the other beasts was taken away:
and that times of life were appointed them for a time, and a time.
The Son of Man
13 I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven,
and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him.
14 And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him:
his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away:
and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.
15 My spirit trembled, I Daniel was affrighted at these things, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I went near to one of them that stood by, and asked the truth of him concerning all these things, and he told me the interpretation of the words, and instructed me: 17 These four great beasts are four kingdoms, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most high God shall take the kingdom: and they shall possess the kingdom for ever and ever.
19 After this I would diligently learn concerning the fourth beast, which was very different from all, and exceeding terrible: his teeth and claws were of iron: he devoured and broke in pieces, and the rest he stamped upon with his feet: 20 And concerning the ten horns that he had on his head: and concerning the other that came up, before which three horns fell: and of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and was greater than the rest.
21 I beheld, and lo, that horn made war against the saints, and prevailed over them, 22 Till the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most High, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom. 23 And thus he said: The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be greater than all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns of the same kingdom, shall be ten kings: and another shall rise up after them, and he shall be mightier than the former, and he shall bring down three kings. 25 And he shall speak words against the High One, and shall crush the saints of the most High: and he shall think himself able to change times and laws, and they shall be delivered into his hand until a time, and times, and half a time.
26 And judgment shall sit, that his power may be taken away, and be broken in pieces, and perish even to the end.
27 And that the kingdom, and power, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, may be given to the people of the saints of the most High: whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all kings shall serve him, and shall obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the word.
I Daniel was much troubled with my thoughts, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the word in my heart.
Vision of the Ram and He-goat
1 After this first vision, I, Daniel, had another, in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. 2 In my vision I saw myself in the fortress of Susa in the province of Elam; I was beside the river Ulai. 3 I looked up and saw standing by the river a ram with two great horns, the one larger and newer than the other. 4 I saw the ram butting toward the west, north, and south. No beast could withstand it or be rescued from its power; it did what it pleased and became very powerful. 5 As I was reflecting, a he-goat with a prominent horn on its forehead suddenly came from the west across the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It approached the two-horned ram I had seen standing by the river, and rushed toward it with savage force. 7 I saw it attack the ram with furious blows when they met, and break both its horns. It threw the ram, which had not the force to withstand it, to the ground, and trampled upon it; and no one could rescue it from its power. 8 The he-goat became very powerful, but at the height of its power the great horn was shattered, and in its place came up four others, facing the four winds of heaven. 9 Out of one of them came a little horn which kept growing toward the south, the east, and the glorious country. 10 Its power extended to the host of heaven, so that it cast down to earth some of the host and some of the stars and trampled on them.
11 It boasted even against the prince of the host, from whom it removed the daily sacrifice, and whose sanctuary it cast down, 12 as well as the host, while sin replaced the daily sacrifice. It cast truth to the ground, and was succeeding in its undertaking.
13 I heard a holy one speaking, and another said to whichever one it was that spoke, “How long shall the events of this vision last concerning the daily sacrifice, the desolating sin which is placed there, the sanctuary, and the trampled host?” 14 He answered him, “For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be purified.”
15 While I, Daniel, sought the meaning of the vision I had seen, a manlike figure stood before me, 16 and on the Ulai I heard a human voice that cried out,
“Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.”
17 When he came near where I was standing, I fell prostrate in terror.
But he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the end time.”
18 As he spoke to me, I fell forward in a faint; he touched me and made me stand up. 19 “I will show you,” he said, “what is to happen later in the period of wrath; for at the appointed time, there will be an end. 20 “The two-horned ram you saw represents the kings of the Medes and Persians. 21 The he-goat is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn on its forehead is the first king. 22 The four that rose in its place when it was broken are four kingdoms that will issue from his nation, but without his strength. 23 “After their reign, when sinners have reached their measure, There shall arise a king, impudent and skilled in intrigue. 24 He shall be strong and powerful, bring about fearful ruin, and succeed in his undertaking. He shall destroy powerful peoples; 25 his cunning shall be against the holy ones, his treacherous conduct shall succeed. He shall be proud of heart and destroy many by stealth. But when he rises against the prince of princes, he shall be broken without a hand being raised. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings is true, as spoken; Do you, however, keep this vision undisclosed, because the days are to be many.”
27 I, Daniel, was weak and ill for some days; then I arose and took care of the king’s affairs. But I was appalled at the vision, which I could not understand.
Gabriel and the Seventy Weeks
1 It was the first year that Darius, son of Ahasuerus, of the race of the Medes, reigned over the kingdom of the Chaldeans; 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, tried to understand in the Scriptures the counting of the years of which the LORD spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: that for the ruins of Jerusalem seventy years must be fulfilled.
3 I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD, my God, and confessed, “Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! 5 We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. 6 We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land. 7 Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you. 8 O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you. 9 But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you 10 and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God, to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.
11 Because all Israel transgressed your law and went astray, not heeding your voice, the sworn malediction, recorded in the law of Moses, the servant of God, was poured out over us for our sins. 12 You carried out the threats you spoke against us and against those who governed us, by bringing upon us in Jerusalem the greatest calamity that has ever occurred under heaven. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, this calamity came full upon us. As we did not appease the LORD, our God, by turning back from our wickedness and recognizing his constancy, 14 so the LORD kept watch over the calamity and brought it upon us. You, O LORD, our God, are just in all that you have done, for we did not listen to your voice.
15 “Now, O Lord, our God, who led your people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and made a name for yourself even to this day, we have sinned, we are guilty. 16 O Lord, in keeping with all your just deeds, let your anger and your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. On account of our sins and the crimes of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become the reproach of all our neighbors. 17 Hear, therefore, O God, the prayer and petition of your servant; and for your own sake, O Lord, let your face shine upon your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O my God, and listen; open your eyes and see our ruins and the city which bears your name. When we present our petition before you, we rely not on our just deeds, but on your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, pardon! O Lord, be attentive and act without delay, for your own sake, O my God, because this city and your people bear your name!”
20 I was still occupied with my prayer, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, presenting my petition to the LORD, my God, on behalf of his holy mountain – 21 I was still occupied with this prayer, when Gabriel, the one whom I had seen before in vision, came to me in rapid flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me in these words: “Daniel, I have now come to give you understanding. 23 When you began your petition, an answer was given which I have come to announce, because you are beloved. Therefore, mark the answer and understand the vision.
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city:
Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated,
Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified,
and a most holy will be anointed.
25 Know and understand this: From the utterance of the word that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt
Until one who is anointed and a leader, there shall be seven weeks.
During sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, With streets and trenches, in time of affliction.
26 After the sixty-two weeks an anointed shall be cut down when he does not possess the city;
And the people of a leader who will come shall destroy the sanctuary.
Then the end shall come like a torrent; until the end there shall be war, the desolation that is decreed. 27 For one week he shall make a firm compact with the many; Half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and oblation; On the temple wing shall be the horrible abomination until the ruin that is decreed is poured out upon the horror.”
Vision of War
1 In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel, who had been named Belteshazzar. The revelation was certain: a great war; he understood it from the vision. 2 In those days, I, Daniel, mourned three full weeks. 3 I ate no savory food, I took no meat or wine, and I did not anoint myself at all until the end of the three weeks.
4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month I was on the bank of the great river, the Tigris. 5 As I looked up, I saw a man dressed in linen with a belt of fine gold around his waist. 6 His body was like chrysolite, his face shown like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and feet looked like burnished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a multitude. 7 I alone, Daniel, saw the vision; but great fear seized the men who were with me; they fled and hid themselves, although they did not see the vision. 8 So I was left alone, seeing this great vision. No strength remained in me; I turned the color of death and was powerless. 9 When I heard the sound of his voice, I fell face forward in a faint.
10 But then a hand touched me, raising me to my hands and knees. 11 “Daniel, beloved,” he said to me, “understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 “Fear not, Daniel,” he continued; “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, 13 but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the days to come; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.”
15 While he was speaking thus to me, I fell forward and kept silent. 16 Then something like a man’s hand touched my lips; I opened my mouth and said to the one facing me, “My lord, I was seized with pangs at the vision and I was powerless. 17 How can my lord’s servant speak with you, my lord? For now no strength or even breath is left in me.”
18 The one who looked like a man touched me again and strengthened me, saying, 19 “Fear not, beloved, you are safe; take courage and be strong.” 20 When he spoke to me, I grew strong and said, “Speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” “Do you know,” he asked, “why I have come to you? Soon I must fight the prince of Persia again. When I leave, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but I shall tell you what is written in the truthful book. No one supports me against all these except Michael, your prince,
1 standing as a reinforcement and a bulwark for me. 2 Now I shall tell you the truth. “Three kings of Persia are yet to come; and a fourth shall acquire the greatest riches of all. Strengthened by his riches, he shall rouse all the kingdom of Greece. 3 But a powerful king shall appear and rule with great might, doing as he pleases. 4 No sooner shall he appear than his kingdom shall be broken and divided in four directions under heaven; but not among his descendants or in keeping with his mighty rule, for his kingdom shall be torn to pieces and belong to others than they.
5 “The king of the south shall grow strong, but one of his princes shall grow stronger still and govern a domain greater than his. 6 After some years they shall become allies: the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north in the interest of peace. But her bid for power shall fail: and her line shall not be recognized, and she shall be given up, together with those who brought her, her son and her husband. But later 7 a descendant of her line shall succeed to his rank, and shall come against the rampart and enter the stronghold of the king of the north, and conquer them. 8 Even their gods, with their molten images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, he shall carry away as booty into Egypt. For years he shall have nothing to do with the king of the north. 9 Then the latter shall invade the land of the king of the south, and return to his own country.
10 “But his sons shall prepare and assemble a great armed host, which shall advance like a flood, then withdraw. When it returns and surges around the stronghold, 11 the king of the south, provoked, shall go out to fight against the king of the north, whose great host shall make a stand but shall be given into his hand 12 and be carried off. In the pride of his heart, he shall lay low tens of thousands, but he shall not triumph. 13 For the king of the north shall raise another army, greater than before; after some years he shall attack with this large army and great resources. 14 In those times many shall resist the king of the south, and outlaws of your people shall rise up in fulfillment of vision, but they shall fail. 15 When the king of the north comes, he shall set up siegeworks and take the fortified city by storm. The power of the south shall not withstand him, and not even his picked troops shall have the strength to resist. 16 He shall attack him and do as he pleases, with no one to withstand him. He shall stop in the glorious land, dealing destruction. 17 He shall set himself to penetrate the entire strength of his kingdom. He shall conclude an agreement with him and give him a daughter in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but this shall not succeed in his favor. 18 He shall turn to the coastland and take many, but a leader shall put an end to his shameful conduct, so that he cannot renew it against him. 19 He shall turn to the strongholds of his own land, but shall stumble and fall, to be found no more. 20 In his stead one shall arise who will send a tax collector through the glorious kingdom, but he shall soon be destroyed, though not in conflict or in battle.
21 “There shall rise in his place a despicable person, to whom the royal insignia shall not be given. By stealth and fraud he shall seize the kingdom. 22 Armed might shall be completely overwhelmed by him and crushed, and even the prince of the covenant. 23 After allying with him, he shall treacherously rise to power with a small party. 24 By stealth he shall enter prosperous provinces and do that which his fathers or grandfathers never did; he shall distribute spoil, booty, and riches among them and devise plots against their strongholds; but only for a time. 25 He shall call on his strength and cleverness to meet the king of the south with a great army; the king of the south shall prepare for battle with a very large and strong army, but he shall not succeed because of the plots devised against him. 26 Even his table companions shall seek to destroy him, his army shall be overwhelmed, and many shall fall slain. 27 The two kings, resolved on evil, shall sit at table together and exchange lies, but they shall have no success, because the appointed end is not yet.
28 “He shall turn back toward his land with great riches, his mind set against the holy covenant; he shall arrange matters and return to his land. 29 At the time appointed he shall come again to the south, but this time it shall not be as before. 30 When ships of the Kittim confront him, he shall lose heart and retreat. Then he shall direct his rage and energy against the holy covenant; those who forsake it he shall once more single out. 31 Armed forces shall move at his command and defile the sanctuary stronghold, abolishing the daily sacrifice and setting up the horrible abomination. 32 By his deceit he shall make some who were disloyal to the covenant apostatize; but those who remain loyal to their God shall take strong action. 33 The nation’s wise men shall instruct the many; though for a time they will become victims of the sword, of flames, exile, and plunder. 34 When they fall, few people shall help them, but many shall join them out of treachery. 35 Of the wise men, some shall fall, so that the rest may be tested, refined, and purified, until the end time which is still appointed to come.
36 “The king shall do as he pleases, exalting himself and making himself greater than any god; he shall utter dreadful blasphemies against the God of gods. He shall prosper only till divine wrath is ready, for what is determined must take place. 37 He shall have no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one in whom women delight; for no god shall he have regard, because he shall make himself greater than all. 38 Instead, he shall give glory to the god of strongholds; a god unknown to his fathers he shall glorify with gold, silver, precious stones, and other treasures. 39 To defend the strongholds he shall station a people of a foreign god. Whoever acknowledges him he shall provide with abundant honor; he shall make them rule over the many and distribute the land as a reward.
40 “At the appointed time the king of the south shall come to grips with him, but the king of the north shall overwhelm him with chariots and horsemen and a great fleet, passing through the countries like a flood. 41 He shall enter the glorious land and many shall fall, except Edom, Moab, and the chief part of Ammon, which shall escape from his power. 42 He shall extend his power over the countries, and not even the land of Egypt shall escape. 43 He shall control the riches of gold and silver and all the treasures of Egypt; Libya and Ethiopia shall be in his train. 44 When news from the east and the north terrifies him, he shall set out with great fury to slay and to doom many. 45 He shall pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the sea and the glorious holy mountain, but he shall come to his end with none to help him.
1 “At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people;
It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.
2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.
3 But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.
4 “As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time;
many shall fall away and evil shall increase.”
5 I, Daniel, looked and saw two others, one standing on either bank of the river. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was upstream, “How long shall it be to the end of these appalling things?” 7 The man clothed in linen, who was upstream, lifted his right and left hands to heaven; and I heard him swear by him who lives forever that it should be for a year, two years, a half-year; and that, when the power of the destroyer of the holy people was brought to an end, all these things should end. 8 I heard, but I did not understand; so I asked, “My lord, what follows this?”
9 “Go, Daniel,” he said, “because the words are to be kept secret and sealed until the end time.
10 Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, but the wicked shall prove wicked; none of them shall have understanding, but the wise shall have it.
11 From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the horrible abomination is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is the man who has patience and perseveres until the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 13 Go, take your rest, you shall rise for your reward at the end of days.”
1 Now there was a man that dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim: 2 And he took a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helcias, a very beautiful woman, and one that feared God. 3 For her parents being just, had instructed their daughter according to the law of Moses. 4 Now Joakim was very rich, and had an orchard near his house: and the Jews resorted to him, because he was the most honourable of them all. 5 And there were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year, of whom the Lord said: Iniquity came out from Babylon from the ancient judges, that seemed to govern the people.
6 These men frequented the house of Joakim, and all that had any matters of judgment came to them. 7 And when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went in, and walked in her husband’s orchard. 8 And the old men saw her going in every day, and walking: and they were inflamed with lust towards her: 9 And they perverted their own mind and turned away their eyes that they might not look unto heaven, nor remember just judgments. 10 So they were both wounded with the love of her, yet they did not make known their grief one to the other: 11 For they were ashamed to declare to one another their lust, being desirous to have to do with her.
12 And they watched carefully every day to see her. And one said to the other: 13 Let us now go home, for it is dinner time. So going out they departed one from another. 14 And turning back again, they came both to the same place: and asking one another the cause, they acknowledged their lust; and then they agreed upon a time, when they might find her alone. 15 And it fell out, as they watched a fit day, she went in on a time, as yesterday and the day before, with two maids only, and was desirous to wash herself in the orchard: for it was hot weather.
16 And there was nobody there, but the two old men that had hid themselves and were beholding her. 17 So she said to the maids: Bring me oil, and washing balls, and shut the doors of the orchard, that I may wash me. 18 And they did as she bade them: and they shut the doors of the orchard, and went out by a back door to fetch what she had commanded them, and they knew not that the elders were hid within. 19 Now when the maids were gone forth, the two elders arose, and ran to her, and said: 20 Behold the doors of the orchard are shut, and nobody seeth us, and we are in love with thee: wherefore consent to us, and lie with us.
21 But if thou wilt not, we will bear witness against thee, that a young man was with thee, and therefore thou didst send away thy maids from thee. 22 Susanna sighed, and said: I am straitened on every side: for if I do this thing, it is death to me: and if I do it not, I shall not escape your hands. 23 But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord. 24 With that Susanna cried out with a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her. 25 And one of them ran to the door of the orchard, and opened it.
26 So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door to see what was the matter. 27 But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed: for never had there been any such word said of Susanna. And on the next day, 28 When the people were come to Joakim her husband, the two elders also came full of wicked device against Susanna, to put her to death. 29 And they said before the people: Send to Susanna daughter of Helcias the wife of Joakim. And presently they sent. 30 And she came with her parents, and children, and all her kindred.
31 Now Susanna was exceeding delicate, and beautiful to behold. 32 But those wicked men commanded that her face should be uncovered, (for she was covered,) that so at least they might be satisfied with her beauty. 33 Therefore her friends and all her acquaintance wept. 34 But the two elders rising up in the midst of the people, laid their hands upon her head. 35 And she weeping looked up to heaven, for her heart had confidence in the Lord.
36 And the elders said: As we walked in the orchard alone, this woman came in with two maids, and shut the doors of the orchard, and sent away the maids from her. 37 Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her. 38 But we that were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, ran up to them, and we saw them lie together. 39 And him indeed we could not take, because he was stronger than us, and opening the doors he leaped out: 40 But having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us: of this thing we are witnesses.
41 The multitude believed them as being the elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. 42 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said: O eternal God, who knowest hidden things, who knowest all things before they come to pass, 43 Thou knowest that they have borne false witness against me: and behold I must die, whereas I have done none of these things, which these men have maliciously forged against me. 44 And the Lord heard her voice. 45 And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel.
Daniel Cries Out For Justice
46 And he cried out with a loud voice I am clear from the blood of this woman. 47 Then all the people turning themselves towards him, said: What meaneth this word that thou hast spoken? 48 But he standing in the midst of them, said: Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? 49 Return to judgment, for they have borne false witness against her. 50 So all the people turned again in haste, and the old men said to him: Come, and sit thou down among us, and shew it us: seeing God hath given thee the honour of old age.
51 And Daniel said to the people: Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them.
52 So when they were put asunder one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him: O thou that art grown old in evil days, now are thy sins come out, which thou hast committed before: 53 In judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and letting the guilty to go free, whereas the Lord saith: The innocent and the just thou shalt not kill. 54 Now then, if thou sawest her, tell me under what tree thou sawest them conversing together. He said: Under a mastic tree. 55 And Daniel said: Well hast thou lied against thy own head: for behold the angel of God having received the sentence of him, shall cut thee in two.
56 And having put him aside, he commanded that the other should come, and he said to him: O thou seed of Chanaan, and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart: 57 Thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness. 58 Now therefore tell me, under what tree didst thou take them conversing together. And he answered: Under a holm tree. 59 And Daniel said to him: Well hast thou also lied against thy own head: for the angel of the Lord waiteth with a sword to cut thee in two, and to destroy you.
60 With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God, who saveth them that trust in him. 61 And they rose up against the two elders, (for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth,) and they did to them as they had maliciously dealt against their neighbour, 62 To fulfill the law of Moses: and they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved in that day.
63 But Helcias and his wife praised God, for their daughter Susanna, with Joakim her husband, and all her kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her. 64 And Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thenceforward.
65 And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom.
1 And Daniel was the king’s guest, and was honoured above all his friends. 2 Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel: and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and sixty vessels of wine. 3 The king also worshipped him, and went every day to adore him: but Daniel adored his God. And the king said to him: Why dost thou not adore Bel? 4 And he answered, and said to him: Because I do not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, that created heaven and earth, and hath power over all flesh. 5 And the king said to him: Doth not Bel seem to thee to be a living god? Seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day?
6 Then Daniel smiled and said: O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, neither hath he eaten at any time. 7 And the king being angry called for his priests, and said to them: If you tell me not, who it is that eateth up these expenses, you shall die. 8 But if you can shew that Bel eateth these things, Daniel shall die, because he hath blasphemed against Bel. And Daniel said to the king: Be it done according to thy word. 9 Now the priests of Bel were seventy, besides their wives, and little ones, and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel. 10 And the priests of Bel said: Behold we go out: and do thou, O king, set on the meats, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast, and seal it with thy own ring: 11 And when thou comest in the morning, if thou findest not that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death, or else Daniel that hath lied against us.
12 And they little regarded it, because they had made under the table a secret entrance, and they always came in by it, and consumed those things. 13 So it came to pass after they were gone out, the king set the meats before Bel: and Daniel commanded his servants, and they brought ashes, and he sifted them all over the temple before the king: and going forth they shut the door, and having sealed it with the king’s ring, they departed. 14 But the priests went in by night, according to their custom, with their wives and their children: and they ate and drank up all. 15 And the king arose early in the morning, and Daniel with him.
16 And the king said: Are the seals whole, Daniel? And he answered: They are whole, O king. 17 And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table, and cried out with a loud voice: Great art thou, O Bel, and there is not any deceit with thee. 18 And Daniel laughed: and he held the king that he should not go in: and he said: Behold the pavement, mark whose footsteps these are. 19 And the king said: I see the footsteps of men, and women, and children. And the king was angry. 20 Then he took the priests, and their wives, and their children: and they shewed him the private doors by which they came in, and consumed the things that were on the table. 21 The king therefore put them to death, and delivered Bel into the power of Daniel: who destroyed him, and his temple.
22 And there was a great dragon in that place, and the Babylonians worshipped him. 23 And the king said to Daniel: Behold thou canst not say now, that this is not a living god: adore him therefore. 24 And Daniel said: I adore the Lord my God: for he is the living God: but that is no living god. 25 But give me leave, O king, and I will kill this dragon without sword or club. And the king said: I give thee leave.
26 Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and boiled them together: and he made lumps, and put them into the dragon’s mouth, and the dragon burst asunder. And he said: Behold him whom you worshipped.
The Rescue of Daniel
27 And when the Babylonians had heard this, they took great indignation: and being gathered together against the king, they said: The king is become a Jew. He hath destroyed Bel, he hath killed the dragon, and he hath put the priests to death. 28 And they came to the king, and said: Deliver us Daniel, or else we will destroy thee and thy house. 29 And the king saw that they pressed upon him violently: and being constrained by necessity he delivered Daniel to them.
30 And they cast him into the den of lions, and he was there six days. 31 And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given to them two carcasses every day, and two sheep: but then they were not given unto them, that they might devour Daniel.
32 Now there was in Judea a prophet called Habacuc, and he had boiled pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl: and was going into the field, to carry it to the reapers. 33 And the angel of the Lord said to Habacuc: Carry the dinner which thou hast into Babylon to Daniel, who is in the lions’ den.
34 And Habacuc said: Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den. 35 And the angel of the Lord took him by the top of his head, and carried him by the hair of his head, and set him in Babylon over the den in the force of his spirit.
36 And Habacuc cried, saying: O Daniel, thou servant of God, take the dinner that God hath sent thee. 37 And Daniel said: Thou hast remembered me, O God, and thou hast not forsaken them that love thee. 38 And Daniel arose and ate. And the angel of the Lord presently set Habacuc again in his own place.
39 And upon the seventh day the king came to bewail Daniel: and he came to the den, and looked in, and behold Daniel was sitting in the midst of the lions. 40 And the king cried out with a loud voice, saying: Great art thou, O Lord the God of Daniel. And he drew him out of the lions’ den. 41 But those that had been the cause of his destruction, he cast into the den, and they were devoured in a moment before him.
42 Then the king said: Let all the inhabitants of the whole earth fear the God of Daniel: for he is the Saviour, working signs, and wonders in the earth: who hath delivered Daniel out of the lions’ den.