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The Book of the Prophet Daniel

From the Hebrew “God is my Judge”

 

Chapters 1-5 | 6-end | Next Book


 

Chapter 1

      In the third year of the reign of Jehoakim king of Judah, came Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it: and the Lord delivered Jehoakim king of Judah into his hand, with certain ornaments of the house of God, which he carried away into the land of Sennar, to the house of his god, and there he brought them into his gods treasury. And the king spake unto Asphanaz the chief chamberlain, that he should bring him certain of the children of Israel, that were come of the kings seed and of princes, young springaldes without blemish, but fair and well favored, instructed in all wisdom, cunning and understanding: which were able to stand in the kings palace, to read and to learn for to speak *Caldeith.      
      Unto these the king appointed a certain portion of his own meat, and of the wine, which he drank himself, so to nourish them three years: that afterward they might stand before the king. Among these now were certain of the children of Judah: namely Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias. Unto these the chief chamberlain gave other names, and called Daniel, Balthasar: Ananias, Sidrach: Misael, Misach, and Asarias, Abednago. But Daniel was at a point with himself, and he would not be defiled through the kings meat, nor the wine which he drunk. And this he desired of the chief chamberlain, lest he should defile himself. So God gave Daniel favor and grace before the chief chamberlain, that he said unto him: I am afraid of my lord the king, which hath appointed you your meat and drink: lest he spy your faces to be worse liking then the other springaldes of your age, and so ye shall make me lose my head unto the king.
      Then Daniel answered Melassar, whom the chief chamberlain had set over Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Asarias, and said: O prove but ten days with thy servants, and let us have pottage to eat, and water to drink: Then look upon our faces, and theirs that eat of the kings meat. And as thou seest, so deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And after the ten days, their faces were better liking and fatter, then all the young springaldes, which ate of the kings meat.
      Thus Melassar took away their meat and the wine, and gave them pottage therefore. God gave now these four children cunning and learning in all scripture and wisdom: but unto Daniel specially, he gave understanding of all visions and dreams. Now when the time expired, that the king had appointed to bring in these young springaldes unto him: the chief chamberlain brought them before Nabuchodonosor, and the king communed with them. But among them all were found none such as Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Asarias. Therefore stood they before the king which in all wisdom and matters of understanding, that he enquired of them, found them ten times better, then all the soothsayers and charmers, that were in all his realm. And Daniel abode still, unto the first year of king Cyrus.

 

*Caldeith= the exalted language of oppression

 

 

 

Chapter 2

      In the second year of the reign of Nabuchodnosor, had Nabuchodnosor a dream, where through his spirit was vexed, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call together all the soothsayers, charmers, witches and Caldees, for to show the king his dream. So they came, and stood before the king. And the king said unto them: I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was so troubled therewith, that I have clean forgotten, what I dreamed. Upon this the Caldees answered the king in the *Syrians speech: O king, God save thy life forever. Show thy servants the dream, and we shall show thee, what it meaneth. The king gave the Caldees their answer, and said: It is gone from me: If ye will not make me understand the dream with the interpretation thereof, ye shall die, and your houses shall be prized. But if ye tell me the dream and the meaning thereof, ye shall have of me gifts, rewards and great honor: only, show me the dream, and the signification of it. They answered again, and said: the king must show his servants the dream, and so shall we declare what it meaneth. Then the king answered, saying: I perceive of a truth, that ye do but prolong the time: for so much as ye see, that the thing is gone from me. Therefore ye will not tell me the dream, ye shall all have one judgement: But ye faine and dissemble with vain words, which you speak before me, to put off the time. Therefore tell me the dream, and so shall I know, if ye can show me, what it meaneth. Upon this, the Caldees gave answer before the king, and said: There is no man upon the earth, that can tell the thing, which the king speaketh of: yee there is neither king, prince, nor Lord, that ever asked such things at a soothsayer, charmer, or Caldeer: for it is a very hard matter, that the king requireth. Neither is there any that can certify the king thereof, except the gods, whose dwelling is not among the creatures.
      For the which cause the king was wroth with great indignation, and commanded to destroy all the wise men at Babylon: and the proclamation went forth, that the wise men should be slain. They sought also to slay Daniel with his companions. Then Daniel enquired Arioch the kings steward, of the judgement and sentence, that was gone forth already to kill such as were wise at Babylon. He answered and said to Arioch being then the kings deputy: Why hath the king proclaimed so cruel a sentence? So Arioch told Daniel the matter. Upon this, went Daniel up, and desired the king, that he might have favor, to show the king the interpretation: and then came he home again and showed the thing unto Ananias, Misael, and Asarias his companions: that they should beseech the God of heaven for grace in this secret, that Daniel and his fellows with others such as were wise in Babylon, perish not. Then was the mystery shown unto Daniel in a vision by night. And Daniel praised the God of heaven. Daniel also cried aloud, and said: O that the name of God might be praised for ever and ever, for wisdom and strength are his own: he changeth the times and ages: he putteth down kings, he setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and understanding to those that understand, he openeth the deep secrets: he knoweth the thing that lieth in darkness, for the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and pray thee, O thou God of my fathers, that thou hast sent me wisdom and strength, and hast showed me the thing, that we desired of thee, for thou hast opened the kings matter unto me.
      Upon this went Daniel in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise at Babylon: he went unto him ,and said: destroy not such as are wise in Babylon, but bring me unto the king, and I shall show the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought Daniel into the king in all the haste, and said unto him: I have found a man among the prisoners of Judah, that shall show the king the interpretation. Then answered the king, and said unto Daniel, whose name was Balthasar: Art thou he, that can show me the dream, which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered the king to his face, and said: As for this secret, for which the king maketh inquisition: it is neither the wise men, the sorcerer, the charmer nor the devil conjurer, that can certify the king of it: Only God in heaven can open secrets, and he it is, that showeth the king Nabuchodnosor, what is for to come in the latter days.
      Thy dream, and that which thou hast seen in thine head upon thy bed, is this: O king, thou didst cast in thy mind, what should come hereafter: So he that is the opener of mysteries, telleth the, what is for to come. As for me, this secret is not showed me, for any wisdom that I have, more than any other living: but only that I might show the king the interpretation, that he might know the thoughts of his own heart. Thou king sawest, and behold: there stood before thee a great Image, whose figure was marvelous great, and his visage grim. The image head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his body and loins were of copper, his legs of iron, his feet were part of iron, and part of earth.
      This thou sawest, till the time that ( without any hands ) there was hewn of a stone which smote the image upon his feet, that were both of iron and earth, and brake them to powder: Then was the iron, the earth, the copper, the silver and gold broken altogether in pieces: and became like the chaff of corn, that the wind bloweth away from the summer floors, that they can no more be found. But the stone that smote the Image, became a great mountain, which filled the whole earth: This is the dream. And now will we show before the king, what it meaneth.
      O king, thou art a King of kings: For the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, riches, strength, and majesty: And hath delivered thee all things, that are among the children of men: the beasts of the field, and the fowls under heaven, and given thee dominion over them all. Thou art that golden head. After thee there shall arise another kingdom, which shall be less than thine. The third kingdom shall be like copper, and have dominion in all lands. The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron. For like as iron bruise and breaketh all things: Yee even as iron beateth everything down, so shall it beat down and destroy.
      Whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of earth and part of iron: that is a divided kingdom, which nevertheless shall have some of the iron ground mixed with it, for so much as thou hast seen the iron mixed with the clay.
      The toes of the feet that were part of iron and part of clay, signifieth: that it shall be a kingdom partly strong and partly weak. And whereas thou sawest iron mix with clay: they shall mingle themselves with the seed of simple people: and yet not continue with one another, like as iron will not be soldered with a potsherd.
      In the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up an everlasting kingdom, which shall not perish, and his kingdom shall not be given over to another people: Yee the same shall break and destroy all these kingdoms, but it shall endure for ever.
      And where as thou sawest, that without any hands there was cut out of the mountain a stone, which break the iron, the copper, the earth, the silver and gold in pieces: by that hath the great God showed the king, what will come after this. This is a true dream, and the interpretation of it is sure.
      Then the king Nabuchodnosor fell down upon his face, and bowed himself unto Daniel, and commanded that they should offer meatofferings and sweet odors unto him. The king answered Daniel, and said: Yee of a truth your God is a God above all gods, and Lord above all kings, and an opener of secrets: seeing thou can discover this mystery. So the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many and great gifts.
      He made him ruler of all the countries of Babylon, and Lord of all nobles, that were at Babylon. Now Daniel entreated the king for Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, so that he made them rulers over all the offices in the land of Babylon: But Daniel himself remained still in the court by the King.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

      Nabuchodonosor the king caused golden Image to be made, which was sixty cubits high and six cubits thick. This he made to be set it up in the *field of Dura, in the land of Babylon and sent out to gather together the dukes, lords and nobles, the judges and officers, the deputies and *shreves with all the rulers of the land: that they might come to the dedication of the Image which Nabuchodonosor the king had set up. So the dukes, lords and nobles, the judges and officers, the deputies and *shreves with all the rulers of the land gathered them together, and came unto the dedication of the Image that Nabuchodonosor the king had set up.
      Now when they stood before the Image, which Nabuchodonosor had set up, the *bedel cried out with all his might: O ye people, kindred and tongues, to you be it said: that when ye hear the noise of the trumpets, which shall be blown, with harps, *shawmes Psalteries, Symphonies and all manner of Music: ye shall fall down and worship the golden Image, that Nabuchodonosor the king hath set up. Whoso then falleth not down and boweth himself, shall even that same hour be cast in to an hot burning oven. Therefore, when all the flock heard the noise of the trumpets, that are blown, with the harps, *shawmes, Psalteries, Symphonies and all kind of Melody: then all the people, kindreds and nations fell down, and bowed themselves to the golden Image, that Nabuchodonosor the king had set up.
       Now were there certain Caldees, that went even then and accused the Jews, and said unto the king Nabuchodonosor: O king, God save thy life for ever. Thou being king hast given a commandment, that all men when they hear noise of the trumpets, harps, *shawmes, psalteries, symphonies and all the other melodies: shall fall down and bow themselves before the golden Image: whoso then fell not down and worshipped not, that he should be cast in to an hot burning oven. Now there are certain Jews, whom thou hast set over the offices of the land of Babylon: namely, Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago. These men, (O king) regard not thy commandment, yee they will not serve thy god, nor bow themselves down to the golden Image, that thou hast set up.
      Then Nabuchodonosor in a cruel wrath and displeasure, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago should be brought to him. So these men were brought before the king. Then Nabuchodonosor spake unto them, and said: what? O Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, will ye not serve my gods? nor bow yourselves to the golden Image, that I have set up? well, be ready hereafter, when ye hear the noise of trumpets blow with the harps, *shawmes, psalteries, symphonies and all the other melodies: that ye fall down, and worship the Image which I have made. But if ye worship it not, ye shall be cast immediately in to an hot burning oven. Let see, what God is there, that may deliver you out of my hands? Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, answered the king, an said: O Nabuchodonosor, we ought not to consent unto that in this matter, for why? our God whom we serve, is able to keep us from the hot burning oven ( O king ) and can right well deliver us out of thy hands: And though he will not, yet shall thee know ( O king ) that we will not serve thy gods, nor do reverence to the Image, which thou hast set up. Then was Nabuchodonosor full of indignation, so that the countenance of his face changed upon Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago. Therefore he charged and commanded, that the oven should be made seven times hotter, then it was wont to be: and spake unto the strongest worthies that were in his house, for to bind Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, and to cast them in to the hot burning oven.
      So these men were bound in their coats, hosen, shoes with their other garments, and cast in to the hot burning oven. for the kings commandment was so straight, and the oven was exceeding hot. As for the men that put in Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, the flame of the fire destroyed them. And these three men, Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago fell down in the hot burning oven, being fast bound. Then Nabuchodonosor the king marveled, and stood up in all haste: he spake unto his counsel and said: did not ye cast these three men bound into the fire? They answered, and said unto the king: Yee O king. He answered and said: Lo for all that, yet do I see four men loose in the midst of the fire, and nothing corrupt: and the fourth is like an angel to look upon. Upon this went Nabuchodonosor unto the mouth of the hot burning oven: he spake also, and said: O Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, ye servants of the high God: go forth, and come hither. And so Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, went out of the fire. Then the dukes, lords and nobles, and the kings counsel came together to see these men, upon whom the fire had no manner of power in their bodies: in so much that the very hair of their head was not burnt, and their bodies unchanged: Yee there was no smell of fire felt upon them.
      Then spake Nabuchodonosor, and said: Blessed be the God of Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago: which hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants, that put their trust in him: that have altered the kings commandment: and *ieoperde their bodies there upon: rather then they would serve or worship any other God, except their own God only. Therefore I will and command, that all people, kindreds and tongues, which speak any blasphemy against the God of Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, shall die and their houses shall be prized: Because, there is no God that may save, as this. So the king promoted Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago, in the land of Babylon.

 

*shreves = a kind of Babylonian priest. *bedel=beadle A minor parish official formerly employed in an English church to usher and keep order during services.[ Middle English bedel, herald ( from Old English bydel). *shawmes (cornet)
*ieoperde (jeopardy)

 

 

 

Chapter 4

      Nabuchodonosor King unto all people, kindreds and tongues that dwell upon the whole earth: peace be multiplied among you I thought it good to show the tokens and marvelous works, that the high God hath wrought upon me. O how great are his tokens, and how mighty are his wonders? His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his power lasteth for ever and ever.
      I Nabuchodonosor being at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace, saw a dream, which made me afraid: and the thoughts that I had upon my bed, with the visions of my head, troubled me. Then sent I out a commission, that all they which were of wisdom at Babylon should be brought before me, to tell me the interpretation of the dream. So there came the soothsayers, charmers, Caldees and conjurers of devils: to whom I told the dream, but what it be token, they could not show me: till at the last, there came one Daniel ( other wise called Balthasar, according to the name of my god ) which hath the spirit of the holy gods, in him: to whom I told the dream, saying: For so much as I know, that thou hast the spirit of the holy Gods and no secret is hid from thee: tell me therefore, what the vision of my dream ( that I have seen ) may signify. I saw a vision in my head upon my bed: and behold, there stood a tree upon the ground, which was very high, great and mighty: the highth reached unto the heaven, and the breadth extended to all the ends of the earth: his leaves were fair, he had very much fruit, so that every man had enough to eat therin.
      The beasts of the field had shadows under it, and the fowls of the air dwelt in the boughs thereof. Shortly, all creatures fed of it. I saw in my head a vision upon my bed: and behold, a watcher came down from heaven, and cried mightily, saying. Hew down the tree, break off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit abroad: that all the beasts may get them away from under him, and the fowls from his branches. Nevertheless leave the ground of his root still in the earth, and bind him upon the plain field, with chains of iron and steel. With the dew of heaven shall he be wet, and he shall have his part with the herbs of the ground with the other wild beasts.
      That mans heart of his shall be taken from him, and a beats heart shall be given him, till seven years be come and gone from him.
      This errand of the watcher is a commandment grounded and sought out in the country of him, that is most holy: to learn men for to understand, that the highest hath power over the kingdoms of men, and giveth them, to whom it liketh him, and bringeth the very out casts of men over them. This is the dream, that I king Nabuchodonosor have seen. Therefore O Balthasar, tell thou me what it signifieth: for so much as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to show me what it meaneth. But thou canst do it, for the spirit of the holy Gods is in thee.
      Then Daniel ( whose name was Balthasar ) held his peace by the space of an hour and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spake, and said: O Balthasar, let neither the dream nor the interpretation thereof fear thee. Balthasar answered saying: O my Lord, this dream happen to thine enemies, and the interpretation to thine adversary. As for the tree that thou sawest which was so great and mighty, whose height reached unto the heaven, and his breadth in to all the world: whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much: under the which the beasts of the field had their habitation, and upon whose branches the fowls of the air did sit.
      Even thou ( O king ) art the tree, great and strong. Thy greatness increaseth, and reacheth unto heaven, so doth thy power to the ends of the earth. But where as the king saw a watcher even an holy one angel, that came down from heaven, and said: hew down the tree, and destroy it: yet leave the ground of the root in the earth: and bind him upon the plain field with chains of iron and steel: He shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and his part with the beasts of the field, till seven years be come and gone from him: This ( O king ) is the interpretation , yee it is the very device of him, that is highest of all, and it touched my Lord the king.
      Thou shalt be cast from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: with grass shalt thou be fed like an ox. Thou must be wet with the dew of heaven: yee seven years shall come, and go upon thee, till thou know, that the highest hath power upon the kingdoms of men, and giveth them to whom he *list. Moreover, where it was said, that the root of the tree should be left still in the ground: it betokeneth, that thy kingdom shall remain whole unto thee, after thou has learned to know, that the power cometh from heaven. Wherefore, O king, be content with my counsel, that thou may lose thy sins with righteousness, and thine offenses with mercy to poor people: for such things shall prolong peace. All these things touche the King Nabuchodonosor.
      So after twelve months, the king walked up and down in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon, and said: This is the great city of Babylon, which I myself ( with my power and strength ) have made a kings court, for the honor of my majesty. While these words were yet in the kings mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying: O king Nabuchodonosor, to that be it spoken: Thy kingdom is departed from thee, thou shalt be cast out of mens company: thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, so that thou shall eat grass like as an ox, till seven years be come and gone over thee: even until thou knowest, that the highest hath power upon the kingdoms men, and that he may give them, unto whom it pleaseth him. The very same hour was this matter fulfilled upon Nabuchodonosor: so that he was cast out from mens company, and ate grass like an ox, His body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were as great as Eagles feathers, and his nails like birds claws.
      When this time was past, I Nabuchodonosor lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding was restored unto me again. Then I gave thanks to the highest. I magnified and praised him that liveth for evermore, whose power endureth always, and his kingdom from one generation to another: in comparison of whom all they that dwell upon the earth, are to be reputed as nothing.
      He handleth according to his will, among the powers of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that may resist his hand, or say: what doest thou? At the same time was mine understanding given me again, and I was restored to the honor of my kingdom, to my dignity, an to my own shape again. My great estates and Princes sought unto me, and I was set in my kingdom again, so that I had yet greater worship.
      Then did I Nabuchodonosor, love, magnify and praise the King of heaven: for all his works are true, and his ways right. As for those that go on proudly, he is able to bring them down.

 

*list.(whom he will, enlists)

 

 

 

Chapter 5

      King Balthazar made a great banquet to his thousand Lords: with all these thousand he made great cheer, and when he was drunken with wine, he commanded to bring him the golden and silver vessels, which his father Nabuchodonosor had taken out of the temple at Jerusalem: that the king and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
      Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king and his lords with his queen and concubines might drink thereout.
      So they brought the golden vessel, that was taken out of the temple of the Lords house at Jerusalem. Then the king and his lords with his queen and concubines drunk out of then. They drunk wine, and praised their Idols of gold, silver, copper, iron, wood, and stone.
      In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it had been of a mans hand writing, right over against the candlestick upon the plain wall in the kings palace: and the king saw the palm of the hand that wrote. Then changed the kings countenance, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his body shook, and his knees smote one against another. Wherefore the king cried mightily, that they should bring him the charmers, Caldees and the conjurers of devils. The king spake also to the wise men of Babylon, and said: Who so can read this writing, and show me the plain meaning thereof: shall be clothed with purple, have a chain of gold about his neck, and rule the third part of my kingdom.
      Upon this, came in all the kings wise men: but they could neither read the writing, nor show the king what it signified. Then was king sore afraid in so much, that his color changed, and his lords were sore vexed. So by reason of this matter, that had happened to the king and his lords, the queen went up herself into the banquet house, and spake unto the king, saying: O king, God save thy life forever: Let not these thoughts trouble thee, and let not thy countenance be changed. For why ? there is a man in thy kingdom, that hath the spirit of the holy gods within him, as it was seen in thy fathers days. He hath understanding and wisdom like the gods, Yee the king Nabuchodonosor thy father made this man chief of the soothsayers, charmers, Caldees and devil conjurers: because that such an abundant spirit, knowledge and wisdom, to expound dreams, open secrets, and to declare hard doubts, was found in him: Yee even in Daniel, whom the king named *Balthazar. Let this same Daniel be sent for, and he shall tell, what it meaneth.
Then was Daniel brought before the king. So the king spake unto Daniel, and said: Art thou that Daniel, one of the prisoners of Juda whom my father the king brought out of Jewry? I have heard speak of thee, that thou hast the spirit of the holy gods, experience and understanding, and that there hath been great wisdom found in thee. Now have there been brought me, wise and conjuring charmers, to read this writing, and to show me the meaning thereof: but they could not tell me, what this matter signified. Then heard I say, that thou can expound dark things, and declare hard doubts. Well then, if thou can read this writing, and show me the meaning thereof: thou shalt be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and rule the third part of my kingdom.
      Daniel answered, and said before the king: As for thy rewards, keep them to thyself, or give thy rich gifts to another: yet not the less, I will read the writing unto the king, and show him the interpretation thereof. O king, God the highest gave unto Nabuchodonosor thy father, the dignity of a king, with worship and honor: So that all people, kindreds and tongues stood in awe and fear of him, by reason of the high estate, that he had sent him. For why? he slew whom he would: he smote, whom it pleased him. Again: whom he would he set up: and whom he list, he put down. But because his heart was so proud, and his stomach set so fast unto wilfulness: he was disposed from his kingly throne, and his majesty was taken from him. He was shut out from among men, his heart was like a beasts heart, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: he was faine to eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven: till he knew, that the highest had power upon the kingdoms of men, and setteth over them, whom he list.
      And thou his son ( O Balthazar ) for all this, hast not submitted thine heart, though thou knewest all these things: but hast magnified thyself above the Lord of heaven, so that the vessels of his house were brought before thee: and thou, and thy lords, with thy queen and concubines, might drink wine thereout: and hast praised the Idols of silver and gold, copper and iron, of wood and stone: As for the God in whose hand consisteth thy breath and all thy ways: thou hast not loved him.
      Therefore is the palm of this hand sent hither from him, to token up this writing. And this is the scripture, that is written up: Mane, Thetel, Phares. Now the interpretation of the thing is this: Mane, God hath numbered the kingdom, and brought it to an end: Thetel, thou art weighed in the balance, and art found to be light: Phares, thy kingdom is dealt in parts, and given to the Medes and Perses.
      Then commanded Balthazar, to clothe Daniel with purple, and to hang a chain of gold about his neck, and to make a proclamation concerning him: that he should be the ruler of the third part of his kingdom. The very same night was Balthazar the king of the Caldees slain, and Darius out of Medea took in the kingdom, being sixty two years of age.

 

*Balthazar = note: this is the exact same spelling as the kings name. RN

 

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