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Daniel’s Dream about Four Animals

7 During the first year that Belshazzar was king of Babylon,* Daniel had a dream. Daniel saw these visions* while he was lying on his bed. Daniel wrote what he had dreamed about. 2Daniel said: “I saw my vision at night. In the vision, the wind was blowing from all four directions. Those winds made the sea rough. 3I saw four big animals and each one was different from the others. Those four animals came up out of the sea. 4“The first animal looked like a lion, and it had wings like an eagle. I watched this animal. Then its wings were torn off. It was lifted from the ground so that it stood up on two feet like a man. And it was given the heart (mind) of a man. 5“And then I saw a second animal there in front of me. This animal looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat all the meat you want!’ 6“After that, I looked, and there in front of me was another animal. This animal looked like a leopard.* And the leopard had four wings on its back. The wings looked like a bird’s wings. This animal had four heads. It was given authority to rule. 7“After that, in my vision* at night I looked, and there in front of me was a fourth animal. This animal looked very mean and terrible. It looked very strong. It had large iron teeth. This animal crushed and ate up its victims.* And this animal walked on whatever was left of its victims. This fourth animal was different from all the animals I saw before it. This animal had ten horns. 8“I was thinking about those horns, and then another horn grew up among those horns. This horn was a little horn. There were eyes on this little horn—the eyes looked like a person’s eyes. And there was a mouth on this little horn. And the mouth was bragging. The little horn pulled out three of the other horns.

Judgment of the Fourth Animal

9“As I was looking, thrones were put in their places. And the Ancient King* sat on his throne. His clothes were very white; they were white like snow. The hair on his head was white; it was white like wool. His throne was made from fire. And the wheels of his throne were made from flames. 10A river of fire was flowing in front of the Ancient King.* Millions of people were serving him. Hundreds of millions of people stood in front of him. {This was like} court was ready to begin, and the books were opened. 11“I kept on looking because the little horn was bragging. I kept watching until finally the fourth animal was killed. Its body was destroyed and it was thrown into the burning fire. 12The authority and rule of the other animals had been taken from them. But they were permitted to live for a certain period of time. 13“In my vision at night I looked, and there in front of me was a person that looked like a human being.* He was coming on the clouds in the sky. He came to the Ancient King,* and they brought him before him. 14“The person that looked like a human being was given authority, glory, and complete ruling power. People from every nation and every language will worship him. His rule will last forever. His kingdom will continue forever. It will never be destroyed.

The Interpretation of the Dream about the Fourth Animal

15“I, Daniel, was confused and worried. The visions* that went through my mind bothered me. 16I came near one of those that was standing there. I asked him what all this meant. So he told me. He explained to me what these things meant. 17He said, ‘The four great animals are four kingdoms. Those four kingdoms will come from the earth. 18But God’s special people will receive the kingdom. And they will have the kingdom forever and ever.’ 19“Then I wanted to know what the fourth animal was and what it meant. The fourth animal was different from all the other animals. It was very terrible. It had iron teeth and bronze claws. It was the animal that crushed and completely ate up its victims. And it walked on whatever was left of its victims. 20And I wanted to know about the ten horns that were on the fourth animal’s head. And I wanted to know about the little horn that grew there. That little horn pulled out three of the other ten horns. That little horn looked meaner than the other horns. And that little horn continued bragging. 21As I was watching, this little horn began attacking and making war against God’s special people. And the horn was killing them. 22The little horn kept killing God’s special people until the Ancient King* came and judged him. The Ancient King announced a judgment on the little horn. This judgment helped God’s special people. And they received the kingdom. 23“And he explained this to me: ‘The fourth animal is a fourth kingdom that will come on the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms. That fourth kingdom will destroy people all around the world. It will walk on and crush nations all around the world. 24The ten horns are ten kings that will come from this fourth kingdom. After those ten kings are gone, another king will come. He will be different from the kings that ruled before him. He will defeat three of the other kings. 25This special king will say things against God Most High. And that king will hurt and kill God’s special people. That king will try to change the times and laws that have already been set. God’s special people will be in that king’s power for 3 1/2 years.* 26“‘But the court will decide what should happen. And that king’s power will be taken away. His kingdom will end completely. 27Then God’s special people will rule the kingdom. And they will rule over all the people from all the kingdoms of earth.* This kingdom will last forever. And people from all the other kingdoms will respect and serve them.’ 28“And that was the end of the dream. I, Daniel, was very afraid. My face became very white from fear. And I did not tell the other people about the things I saw and heard.”

first year that Belshazzar was king of Babylon This is probably 553 B.C. vision(s) Something like a dream that God used to speak to people. leopard An animal like a tiger, but with black spots. victims People that have suffered some kind of hurt or trouble. Often this means people that were hurt or lost something during a crime. Ancient King Literally, “Ancient of Days.” This name for God shows that God has been the great king for a long, long time. a person … human being Or, “a person, a real human being.” Literally, “like a son of man.” This means he looked like a normal person, not an angel or an animal. vision(s)  Something like a dream that God used to speak to people. Ancient King Literally, “Ancient of Days.” This name for God shows that God has been the great king for a long, long time. 3 1/2 years Literally, “time, times and half time.” God‘s special people … all the kingdoms of earth Literally, “The rule and kingdom and greatness of the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the saints.”

Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat

8 During* the third year that Belshazzar was king,* I saw this vision.* This was after the other vision. 2In the vision, I saw that I was in the city of Susa.* Susa was the capital city in the province of Elam. I was standing by the Ulai River. 3I looked up, and I saw a ram* standing at the side of the Ulai River. The ram had two long horns. The horns were both long, but one horn was longer than the other horn. The long horn was farther back than the other horn. 4I watched the ram run into things with its horns. I watched the ram run to the west and to the north and to the south. No animal could stop the ram. And no one could save the other animals. That ram could do whatever it wanted to do. So the ram became very powerful. 5I thought about the ram.* While I was thinking, I saw a male goat come from the west. This goat had one large horn that was easy to see. This goat ran so fast that its feet hardly touched the ground.

6That goat came to the ram* with the two horns. This was the ram I had seen standing by the Ulai River. The goat was very angry. And it ran toward the ram. 7I watched the goat run toward the ram. The goat was very angry. It broke the ram’s two horns. The ram could not stop the goat. The goat knocked the ram to the ground. Then the goat stepped all over the ram. There was no one to save the ram from the goat. 8So the goat became very powerful. But when he was strong, his big horn broke. Then four horns grew in place of the one big horn. Those four horns were easy to see. Those four horns pointed in four different directions. 9Then a little horn grew from one of those four horns. That little horn grew and became very big. It grew toward the southeast. It grew toward the Beautiful Land. 10That little horn became very big. It grew until it reached the sky. The little horn even threw some of the stars to the ground. And it stepped all over those stars. 11That little horn became very strong. And then it turned against the Ruler of the Stars (God). The little horn stopped the daily sacrifices that were offered to the Ruler (God). The place where people worshiped the Ruler was pulled down. 12The little horn sinned and stopped the daily sacrifices. It threw goodness down to the ground. The little horn did these things and was very successful. 13Then I heard one of the holy ones* speaking. Then I heard another holy one answer the first one. The first holy one said, “This vision* shows what will happen to the daily sacrifice. It is about that terrible sin that destroys. It shows what will happen when people destroy the place where the Ruler is worshiped. It shows what will happen when those people step all over that place. It shows what will happen when the people step all over those stars. But how long will these things happen?” 14The other holy one* said, “This will happen for 2,300 days. Then the holy place will be fixed.”

The Vision Is Explained to Daniel

15I, Daniel, saw this vision.* And I tried to understand what it meant. While I was thinking about the vision, someone that looked like a man suddenly stood in front of me. 16Then I heard a man’s voice. This voice came from above the Ulai River. The voice called out, “Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.” 17So Gabriel, the angel that looked like a man, came to me. I was very afraid. I fell down to the ground. But Gabriel said to me, “Man,* understand that this vision is for the time of the end.” 18While Gabriel was speaking, I fell to the ground and went to sleep. It was a very deep sleep. Then Gabriel touched me and lifted me to my feet. 19Gabriel said, “Now, I will explain the vision to you. I will tell you what will happen in the future. Your vision* was about the end times. 20“You saw a ram with two horns. Those horns are the countries of Media and Persia. 21The goat is the king of Greece. The big horn between its eyes is the first king. 22That horn broke. And four horns grew in its place. Those four horns are four kingdoms. Those four kingdoms will come from the nation of the first king. But those four nations will not be as strong as the first king. 23“When the end is near for those kingdoms, there will be a very bold and cruel king. This king will be very tricky. This will happen when there have become many, many sinful people. 24This king will be very powerful—but his power does not come from himself.* This king will cause terrible destruction. He will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy powerful people—even God’s special people. 25“This king will be very smart and tricky. He will use his wisdom and lies to be successful. He will think that he is very important. He will destroy many people, when they least expect it. He will try to fight even the Prince of Princes (God). But that cruel king’s power will be destroyed. And it will not be a human hand that destroys him. 26“The vision about those times, and the things I said, are true. But seal* the vision. Those things won’t happen for a long, long time.” 27I, Daniel, became very weak. I was sick for several days after that vision. Then I got up and went back to work for the king. But I was very upset about the vision. I did not understand what the vision meant.

During At this point, the book of Daniel is written in the Hebrew language again. Daniel 2:7–7:28 was written in Aramaic, the official language of the Babylonian Empire. third year that Belshazzar was king This is probably 551 B.C. Susa The capital city of Persia. ram(s) A male sheep.  holy one(s) Here this probably means an angel. vision Something like a dream that God used to speak to people. Man Literally, “son of man.” This was a Hebrew way of saying, “human being.” but his power ... himself Some ancient translations don’t have this verse, so this may have been accidentally copied from verse 22.  seal(s) Small stones or rings with special shapes that could be used like a rubber stamp. When pressed into wet clay or hot wax, they left a special mark that was like a signature.

Daniel’s Prayer

9 These things happened during the first year that Darius was king. Darius was the son of a man named Ahasuerus.* Darius belonged to the Median people. He became king over Babylon. 2During the first year that Darius was king, I, Daniel, was reading some books. In the books, I saw that the Lord told Jeremiah how many years would pass before Jerusalem would be built again. The Lord said 70 years would pass. 3Then I turned to God, my Master. I prayed to him and asked him for help. I did not eat any food, and I put on the clothes that showed I was sad. And I put dirt on my head. 4I prayed to the Lord my God. I told him about all of my sins. I said: “Lord, you are a great and awesome God. You keep your agreement of love and kindness with people that love you. You keep your agreement with the people who obey your commands. 5“But Lord, we have sinned! We have done wrong. We have done bad things. We turned against you. We turned away from your commands and fair decisions. 6We did not listen to the prophets. They were your servants. The prophets spoke for you. They spoke to our kings, our leaders, and our fathers. They spoke to all of the people from Israel. {But we did not listen to those prophets!} 7“Lord, you are good, and goodness belongs to you! But shame belongs to us today. Shame belongs to the people from Judah and Jerusalem. Shame belongs to all the people of Israel—to the people that are near, and to the people that are far away. Lord, you scattered those people among many nations. And the people of Israel in all those nations should be ashamed. They should be ashamed of all the bad things they did against you, Lord. 8“Lord, we should all be ashamed. All of our kings and leaders should be ashamed. Our ancestors* should be ashamed. Why? Because we sinned against you, Lord. 9“But Lord, you are kind. You forgive people for the bad things they do. And we really turned against you. 10We have not obeyed the Lord our God. The Lord used his servants, the prophets, and gave us laws—but we have not obeyed his laws. 11None of the people of Israel obeyed your teachings. They all have turned away. They did not obey you. There are curses* and promises written in the Law of Moses. (Moses was God’s servant.) Those curses and promises tell about the punishment for not obeying the law—and all those things have happened to us. Those things happened to us because we sinned against the Lord. 12“God said those things would happen to us and our leaders—and he made them happen. He made terrible things happen to us. No other city suffered the way Jerusalem suffered. 13All of those terrible things happened to us. This happened just like it is written in the Law of Moses. But we still have not asked the Lord for help! We still have not stopped sinning. We still do not pay attention to your truth, Lord. 14The Lord kept the terrible things ready for us—and he made those things happen to us. The Lord did this because he is fair in everything he does. But we still have not listened to him.

15“Lord, our God, you used your power and brought us out of Egypt. We are your people. You are famous because of that even today. Lord, we have sinned. We have done terrible things. 16Lord, stop being angry at Jerusalem. Jerusalem is on your holy mountain. You do the right things, so stop being angry at Jerusalem. People all around us insult us and make fun of your people. This happens because we and our ancestors* sinned against you. 17“Now, Lord, listen to my prayer. I am your servant. Listen to my prayer for help. Do good things for your holy place.* That building was destroyed. But Master, do these good things for your own good. 18My God, listen to me! Open your eyes and see all the terrible things that have happened to us! See what has happened to the city that is called by your name! I am not saying we are good people. That is not why I am asking these things. I am asking these things because I know you are kind. 19Lord, listen to me! Lord, forgive us! Lord, pay attention, and then do something! Don’t wait! Do something now! Do it for your own good! My God, do something now, for your city and your people that are called by your name.”

The Vision about the 70 Weeks

20I was saying those things in my prayer to God. I was telling about my sins and the sins of the people of Israel. I was praying for God’s holy mountain. 21While I was praying, the man Gabriel came to me. Gabriel was the person I saw in the vision.* Gabriel came flying quickly to me. He came at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22Gabriel helped me understand the things I wanted to know. Gabriel said, “Daniel, I have come to give you wisdom and to help you understand. 23When you first started praying, the command was given. And I came to tell you. God loves you very much! You will understand this command, and you will understand the vision. 24“God has allowed 70 weeks* for your people and your holy city, Daniel. The 70 weeks* are ordered for these reasons: to stop doing bad things, to stop sinning, to make people pure, to bring the goodness that continues forever, to put a seal* on visions* and prophets, and to dedicate a very holy place. 25“Learn these things, Daniel. Understand these things! From the time that the message went out to go back and build Jerusalem again until the time for the chosen king* to come will be seven weeks.* Then Jerusalem will be built again. There will again be places for people to meet together in Jerusalem. And there will be a ditch around the city to protect it. Jerusalem will be built for 62 weeks.* But there will be many troubles during that time. 26After the 62 weeks,* the chosen person will be killed.* He will be gone.* Then the people of the future leader will destroy the city and the holy place. That end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end. God has ordered that place to be completely destroyed. 27“Then the future ruler will make an agreement with many people. That agreement will continue for one week.* The offerings and sacrifices will stop for a half of a week.* And a destroyer will come. He will do terrible, destructive things!* But God has ordered that destroyer to be completely destroyed.”

Ahasuerus Or, “Xerxes.” ancestors Literally, “fathers, “meaning a person‘s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. curses Warnings about bad things that will happen to a person that does not obey God.  Do good things for your holy place Literally, “Let your face shine on your holy place.” vision(s) Something like a dream that God used to speak to people. week(s) Or, “units of seven.” The Hebrew word could mean “week, “or it could mean “period of seven years.” seal(s) Small stones or rings with special shapes that could be used like a rubber stamp. When pressed into wet clay or hot wax, they left a special mark that was like a signature. chosen king Literally, “anointed person.” killed Literally, “cut off.” He will be gone Or, “he will have nothing.” He will do … things Or, “He will come on the wings of terrible destruction.”

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