God’s man Daniel

About this book

The events in the book of Daniel happened about 600 years before Jesus was born.

There is only one God. He made everything. But God’s special people, the Jews, did not obey God. So he punished them. He let Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and his army beat them. Nebuchadnezzar brought almost all the Jews who were in Judah to live in Babylon.

The first part of the book tells us about events that happened during the lives of Daniel and his friends. Many times the people in Babylon tried to cause them to forget God. They wanted them to worship images. The people in Babylon even tried to kill Daniel and his friends because they would not worship the images. But Daniel and his friends knew that images are not really gods. So they continued to worship the only God. Daniel became a very important man in the government of Babylon.

The second part of the book tells about Daniel’s dreams. They were strange dreams. Sometimes Daniel was awake when he had his dreams. They were special dreams that God sent to Daniel. God sent them to tell Daniel what would happen in future years. Some things that Daniel saw in his dreams have now happened. Other things that God told Daniel in his dreams have not happened yet. But God rules over events. God will do what he has promised.

God used Nebuchadnezzar, to punish the Jews, but Nebuchadnezzar did not know that. The book teaches us that God rules over events. He can use people who do not know him to teach us.

Chapter 1

God makes his servant Daniel ready for his work

Israel’s enemies take Daniel and his friends to Babylon

1 Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. He came to Jerusalem with his army. Then he caused his soldiers to live round the city. This happened when Jehoiakim had been king of Judah for longer than two years. 2 God caused Nebuchadnezzar to take Jehoiakim, king of Judah. God helped Nebuchadnezzar to take some holy things from God’s house there also. Nebuchadnezzar took those things back to Babylon. He put them among the valuable things in the house of his own god.

3 Nebuchadnezzar said to Ashpenaz, his most important officer, ‘Bring some of the Jews from Israel to me. Choose young men from the king of Israel’s family. And choose young men from the other important families in Israel.’ 4-5 Nebuchadnezzar wanted young men who were strong and handsome. The young men must be clever. And they must be able to learn and to understand quickly. These young men would be able to become King Nebuchadnezzar’s servants. They must learn the language of Babylon and they must learn from the country’s books. King Nebuchadnezzar also sent to them each day some of the same food and wine as he had. After three years, they would then be ready to work for him.

6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who were from Judah, were among these young men. 7 The important officer gave new names to them. He gave the name Belteshazzar to Daniel and he called Hananiah, Shadrach. He gave the name Meshach to Mishael and he called Azariah, Abednego.

Daniel refuses to eat the king’s food

8 But Daniel thought that God did not want him to eat the king’s food and wine. He wanted God to be happy with him. So, he decided that he would not have the food. So, he asked the important officer that he might not have to eat the king’s food. 9 God had caused that officer to like Daniel. And the officer understood what Daniel was thinking. 10 But he spoke to Daniel. ‘I am afraid of the king, who is giving your food and drink to you’, he said. ‘He might see that you are not as strong as the other young men. And then he will kill me.’

11 The officer had chosen a man to help Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So Daniel spoke to this man. 12 ‘We are your servants. Please watch us for 10 days. Give to us only vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then see whether we have good health. Look at us with the young men who eat the king’s food. Then decide what to do with us, your servants.’ 14 So the man agreed and he watched them for 10 days. 15 And after 10 days, their faces and bodies seemed more handsome than the young men who ate the king’s food. 16 So the man took away the king’s food and wine and he gave only vegetables and water to them.

God makes Daniel and his friends wise

17 God gave clever minds to these 4 young men. While they studied, he helped them to learn from books. And he helped them to understand the books. And Daniel could understand all kinds of dreams too.

18 The king had said that they must wait for a certain time. That time finished. Then the important officer brought the young men to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them. He discovered that there was nobody else like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they became the king’s servants. 20 The king continued to ask them to help him. They helped him to understand everything and to do good things. The king’s other wise men used every kind of magic to suggest what he might do. These other men came from every country that Nebuchadnezzar ruled. But the answers that Daniel and his friends gave seemed 10 times (10 ×) better than the other men’s words.

21 And Daniel lived there until the year when Cyrus became king.

Chapter 2

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

The king asks his wise men to explain his dream

1 When Nebuchadnezzar had been king for almost two years, he had dreams. His mind was not comfortable and he could not sleep.

2 He told his servants that they must bring the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and wise men to him. He wanted them to tell him what he had dreamed. So they came in and they stood in front of the king. 3 Then the king said to them, ‘I have had a dream that takes away my sleep. And so I want to know what it means.’

4 Then the wise men answered the king in the Aramaic language. ‘We want the king to live for all time’, they said. ‘We are your servants. Tell us the dream. And then we will tell you what it means.’

5 The king replied to the wise men. ‘I have decided what to do’, he said. ‘You tell me what my dream was. And you must tell me what it means. If not, I will cause people to cut you into pieces. And they will make your houses into hills of stones. 6 You must tell me the dream and what it means. If you do, I will give gifts to you. I will give many gifts and great honour to you. So, tell me my dream. And tell me what it means.’

7 They answered him again. ‘We are your servants, so please tell us your dream. Then we will tell you what it means.’

8 And the king answered them. ‘I certainly know that you are trying to get more time. You know what I have decided. 9 If you do not tell me the dream, you will all receive the same punishment. You are continuing to tell me lies and bad things. And you have agreed to do that. You hope that I will change my mind. So now, tell me the dream. Then you can tell me what it means. And I will be able to believe what you say.’

10 The wise men answered the king, ‘There is not a man on earth who can do that! No king has ever asked anyone to do anything like this. No magician, or man with the power to understand has ever done this. Even the greatest and most powerful king of all has never asked this. 11 You are asking a very difficult thing. Nobody can do it, except the gods. And they do not live among men.’

12 This made the king very, very angry. So he said to his soldiers, ‘Kill all the wise men in Babylon.’ 13 He sent them a message to kill all his wise men. So some men went to look for Daniel and his friends. They wanted to kill them too.

14 Arioch, the captain of the king’s soldiers, went to kill the wise men in Babylon. But Daniel spoke to him carefully. 15 He said to Arioch, the king’s captain, ‘Why is the king’s message so cruel?’ Then Arioch explained everything to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went to see the king. He asked the king for more time. Then he would be able to tell the king what the dream meant.

God shows the dream to Daniel

17 Then Daniel went to his home and he explained the problem to his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He told them that they should pray to God in heaven. They should pray about this problem. He told them that they should ask God to keep them safe. Then they would not die with all the other wise men in Babylon. 19 During the night, Daniel had a dream. God showed him in the dream what it meant. Then Daniel gave honour to the God of heaven. 20 He said,

            ‘Give honour to the name of God always

            because he is great.

            And he knows everything.

21 He changes times and seasons.

            He chooses kings to rule. And he stops them ruling.

            He causes some people to become wise.

            And he helps people to understand the things that they learn.

22 He explains difficult problems and secret things.

            He knows about all things, even when they are in dark places.

            But he lives in the light.

23 I thank you. And I give honour to you, because you were my ancestors’ God too.

            And you have made me wise and you have made me strong.

            You have shown me your answer to what we asked.

            You have explained the king’s problem to us.’

24 So Daniel went to Arioch. He was the officer to whom the king had said, ‘You must kill the wise men in Babylon.’ Daniel said to Arioch, ‘Do not kill the king’s wise men in Babylon. Take me to the king. Then I will tell the king what his dream means.’

25 Then Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king. He said, ‘I have found a man. He can tell the king what his dream means. He is one of the people that you brought from Judah.’

26 The king spoke to Daniel (whose other name was Belteshazzar). He said, ‘Can you tell me my dream? And can you tell me what it means?’

27 Daniel answered the king. ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians or diviners can explain this dream to the king’, he said. 28 ‘But there is a God in heaven. And he explains hidden things. He is showing King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in future years. This is the dream and the thoughts in your head while you lay on your bed.

29 While you lay on your bed, you dreamed about future years. God showed you what will happen in future years. He explains hidden things. 30 I am not more clever than anyone else. But God explained the dream to me. He wants you to know what it means. And he wants you to understand the thoughts in your mind.

The dream

31 You looked, and you saw a large image with a man’s shape. This big image was in front of you. It was very bright and it frightened people. 32 Someone had made its head from clean gold. The top of its body and its arms were silver. Its lower body was bronze. 33 The image’s legs were iron and the feet had parts of iron and parts of clay. 34 While you looked, someone cut out a stone. But no human hand did this. The stone hit the image on its iron and clay feet and the stone broke them into pieces. 35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold all fell into pieces. They became like powder. The wind blew them away until nobody could see them. But the stone that had hit the image became a large mountain. And it filled the whole earth.

Daniel explains the dream to the king

36 This was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. 37 You are a great king who rules other kings. The God of heaven has made you king and he has given power and honour to you. He has made you strong. 38 He has given all the people, the animals on the earth and the birds in the air to you. He has made you king of them all, in every place that they live. You are like the head of gold in your dream.

39 After you, there will be another kingdom that is not as great as yours. Then a third (3rd) kingdom will rule the whole earth. It will be like bronze. 40 And there will be a fourth (4th) kingdom that is as strong as iron. Iron breaks everything and it destroys everything. So, like iron, that kingdom will destroy the other kingdoms. 41 You saw that someone had made the feet and toes from parts of clay and parts of iron. This means that it will not be a united kingdom. But some will be strong, like iron, because you saw iron with the clay. 42 Parts of the toes were iron and parts of them were clay. So that kingdom will be strong in some parts and weak in other parts. 43 You saw iron and clay mixed together. So, the people will mix with each other but they will not stay together. This is like iron that cannot mix with clay.

Verse 43 Students think that ‘mix’ means ‘marry’.

44 In the days when those kings rule, the God of heaven will begin a kingdom. And that kingdom will never end. No other people will have power over it. It will break up all these other kingdoms and it will destroy them. And it will continue for always. 45 You saw the stone that no human hand cut out. The stone broke up the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold. The great God has shown to the king what will happen in future years. That was the dream. And that is what it means. And you can be sure about that.’

The king gives important jobs to Daniel and to his friends

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar lay flat on the ground in front of Daniel. This showed that he gave honour to Daniel. He said that his servants must give to Daniel gifts and things to make nice smells. 47 The king said to Daniel, ‘It is true that your God is greater than all other gods. He rules over kings and he explains hidden things. I know this because you were able to explain this dream to me.’

48 Then the king made Daniel an important man and the king gave many great gifts to him. He made Daniel ruler over the whole of Babylon. He made Daniel the leader of all the wise men.

49 Then Daniel asked the king to give important work to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So the king told them that they must rule things in Babylon. But Daniel remained with the king.

Chapter 3

Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold

The king says that everyone must worship the image

1 King Nebuchadnezzar caused his workers to make a golden image. It was 30 metres (90 feet) high and 3 metres (9 feet) wide. He built it on the flat land called Dura, in a part of Babylon. 2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar told the king’s family, the rulers and the captains that they must all come together. He also told all the other officers the same thing. And he told the men who knew the law. And he told the men who kept the money. He told them that they must come together. They must meet in front of the image that his men had made. 3 So the king’s family, the captains and the other people came to the meeting in front of the image. Those who kept the money and all the officers and other important people came too. They all stood in front of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had built.

4 Then an officer shouted aloud. ‘You, people in every country who speak every language, listen. This is what the king says to you. 5 Listen for the sound of all kinds of music. When you hear it, you must go down on your knees. You must worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has built. 6 “I will punish anyone who does not do this”, the king said. “My servants will throw them immediately into a very hot fire.” ’ 7 So, when the people heard the different kinds of music, they obeyed. All the people went on their knees. They were worshipping King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image.

Daniel’s friends refuse to worship the image

8 Then some astrologers came to the king and they told the king about the Jews. 9 They said to the king, ‘We want the king to live for all time. 10 You, the king, made a rule. You said that everyone must listen for the sound from all kinds of music. Then they must go down on their knees and worship the golden image. 11 You said that everyone must obey you. You would throw them into a very hot fire if they did not obey you. 12 There are some Jews who do not obey you. You put them to rule everything that happens in Babylon. They are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and they do not give honour to your gods. They do not worship your golden image.’

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar was very, very angry. So he told his servants that they must bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to him. And they brought these men to the king. 14 Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke to them. He said, ‘Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not give honour to my gods? And you do not worship the golden image that I have made? 15 You will hear again the sound of all kinds of music. You must be ready, when you hear the music. You must go down on your knees. Then you will show honour to the image that I have made. If you do not worship my image, my servants will throw you immediately into a very hot fire. And no god can save you from my power.’

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered the king. ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, we know that we did the right thing’, they said. 17 ‘You may throw us into the very hot fire. But the God that we worship can save us. He will save us from your power if he wants to. 18 But if he does not save us, it does not make any difference. We want you to know that we will not worship your gods. And we will not give honour to the image that you have made.’

The king’s servants throw Daniel’s three friends into a very hot fire

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was very angry with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. His face became red. He said to his servants, ‘Make the hot fire 7 times (7 ×) hotter than usual.’ 20 He told the strongest men in his army that they must tie Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And then he said to them, ‘Throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the very hot fire.’ 21 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were still wearing their clothes. They were wearing their coats, hats and other clothes when the men threw them into the fire. 22 The king’s word was very powerful and the fire was very hot. So the fire killed the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into it. 23 But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, still tied up, fell into the very hot fire.

The king sees that God has kept Daniel’s friends safe

24 What King Nebuchadnezzar saw next surprised him very much. So he jumped up and he asked his officers, ‘Did we not tie up 3 men and throw them into the fire?’ ‘You are right, our king’, they answered. 25 The king said, ‘But I see 4 men walking about in the fire! They are free and the fire has not hurt them. The fourth (4th) man seems like a son of the gods.’

26 King Nebuchadnezzar went to the door where the very hot fire was. He shouted aloud to the men inside, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who give honour to the true God, you come out here.’ So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire. 27 The king’s family, rulers, captains and his officers came close to look at them. They saw that the fire had not hurt Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego. The fire had not touched their hair or their clothes. There was not even the smell from the smoke.

Nebuchadnezzar’s new rules

28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke. ‘Give honour to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’, he said. ‘He sent his angel to save his servants. I am the king. But they believed that their God would save them. So they did not obey me. They might have died. But they would give honour only to their own God and not to any other god. 29 No other god can save like this. So I make a rule for the people in every country who speak every language. They must not say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. My servants will cut into pieces anyone who does not obey. I will also destroy those people’s houses.’

30 Then the king gave more important jobs in Babylon to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Chapter 4

The big tree

Nebuchadnezzar writes a letter

1 I, King Nebuchadnezzar, am sending this message to everyone in the world. I am writing to the people in every country who speak every language. I pray that you all have good and happy lives.

2 It makes me happy to tell you what the great God has done.

God has given many good gifts to me. He has done great and special things.

3 The things that he does are very great.

God’s kingdom will never end. He rules for all time.

The king’s wise men fail again

4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my king’s house. I was comfortable and I was happy. 5 Then I had a dream that made me afraid. I lay on my bed and the thoughts in my head made me afraid.

6 So I asked all the wise men in Babylon to come to me. I wanted them to tell me what the dream meant.

7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream. But none of them could tell me what the dream meant. 8 Last of all, Daniel came to me. I call him Belteshazzar like my god’s name. The spirit of the holy gods is in this man, Daniel. So I told him the dream.

9 ‘Belteshazzar’, I said, ‘you are the leader of my wise men. I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you. I know also that no problem is too difficult for you. So, here is the dream that I saw. Tell me what it means.’

The king tells Daniel about his dream

10 ‘This is what I saw in my mind. I saw it while I was asleep. I saw a tree in the middle of the earth and it was very tall. 11 The tree grew taller and stronger. Its top touched the sky, so everyone in the world could see it. 12 It had beautiful leaves and lots of fruit. There was enough food on it for everyone. It was a home for the animals. And birds lived in it. Every living thing ate its food.’

13 ‘While I was still sleeping, I saw an angel. He was holy and he came from heaven. 14 He shouted aloud. “Cause the animals that are under the tree go away”, he shouted. “Cause the birds that are in its branches to fly away. Cut down the tree. Cut off its branches. Tear off its leaves. Let its fruit fall on the ground. 15 But leave the part of the tree that is in the ground. Tie it up with iron and bronze. Then leave it in the grass.

Make him wet with dew from the sky. Cause him to live in the fields with the animals. 16 Take his own mind away from him. And give the mind of an animal to him for 7 years.

17 The angels who watch human people have said this. And this is what they have chosen. So now everyone will know that God rules in the kingdoms of men. He can give kingdoms to anyone that he wants to. And he can cause men who are not important to become kings.”

18 This was my dream’, I said to Belteshazzar. ‘Now, you tell me what it means. None of the wise men in any of my countries can tell me what it means. But you can tell me, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’

Daniel explains this dream to the king

19 Daniel, whose other name was Belteshazzar, was not happy for a time. His thoughts caused him trouble. The king said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or what it means cause you trouble.’ Then Belteshazzar answered the king. ‘Sir, I wish that the dream was about your enemies and not about you. 20 You saw a tree that grew. And it grew taller and stronger until its top touched the sky. Everyone in the world could see it. 21 It had beautiful leaves and lots of fruit. There was enough food on it for everyone. It was a home for the animals. And the birds built their houses in it. 22 You, the king, are like that tree. You have become stronger and more powerful. You have become very great. They have heard about you in heaven. You have power over the whole world.

23 Then you saw an angel. He was holy and he came from heaven. “Cut down the tree and destroy it”, he said. “But leave the part of the tree that is in the ground. Tie it up with iron and bronze. Then leave it in the grass.

Make him wet with dew from the sky. Cause him to live in the fields with the animals for 7 years.”

24 This is what the dream means. The true God has decided what he will do to my lord, the king. 25 People will push you out, so that you will have to live with the animals. And you will eat grass as cows do. Dew from the sky will make you wet. And you will live in this way for 7 years. Then you will know that God rules in the kingdoms of men. He can give kingdoms to anyone that he wants to. 26 The angel said, “Leave the part of the tree that is in the ground.” This means that you will be king again later. But before that, you will have to agree that God rules the world. 27 So my king, please do as I suggest. Stop doing bad things. Start doing what is right. Do not do bad things. But be kind to the people who are not happy. Then, perhaps, you will continue to be happy.’

Nebuchadnezzar’s pride

28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 One year later, he was walking on the flat roof of the king’s house in Babylon. 30 Then the king spoke aloud and he said, ‘Look how great Babylon is. My power has built this city to be the king’s home. It shows that I am great and powerful.’

The bad things that were in the dream happen to Nebuchadnezzar

31 While he was still speaking about his power, he heard a voice from heaven. ‘I am speaking to you, King Nebuchadnezzar’, the voice said. ‘I have taken the king’s power away from you. 32 People will push you away. You will live with the animals. And you will eat grass as cows do. I will cause you to live like this for 7 years. Then you will know that God rules the kingdoms of men. And he can give kingdoms to anyone that he wants to give them to.’

33 Then it all happened to Nebuchadnezzar as he had dreamed. People sent him away. And he ate grass as cows do. Dew from the sky made his body wet. His hair grew long. It seemed like what a large bird has over its body. And his feet seemed like bird’s feet.

God makes Nebuchadnezzar better

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up towards heaven and I prayed. I got my proper mind back and I thanked the true God. I gave honour to him who never dies.

His kingdom will never end

because he rules always and for all time.

35 All the people on the earth are worth nothing.

He does what he wants with the angels in heaven.

And he does what he wants with the people on the earth.

Nobody can stop him.

Nobody can say to him, ‘You should not be doing that.’

36 When I got my proper mind back, I also got my power back. People gave honour to me. My officers and important men came back to me. So I became the king again. And I became greater than I was before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, give honour to the King of heaven and I thank him. He does what is right all the time. He is always fair. And some people may think that they are great. He can teach them that they are not great.

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 A message on the wall

Belshazzar’s big party

1 King Belshazzar had a big party. He asked 1000 important people to come, and he drank wine with them. 2 When Belshazzar drank wine, he spoke to his servants. He said that they must bring to him the gold and silver cups from God’s house. Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken these cups from God’s house in Jerusalem. Belshazzar wanted his friends, his wives and his other women to drink their wine from these cups. 3 So his servants brought the gold cups that had come from God’s house in Jerusalem. Then the king, his wives, his other women and all the important people drank wine out of those cups. 4 And when they drank the wine, they also gave honour to their gods. Their gods were images that people had made out of gold, silver, bronze, iron and stone.

A hand writes on the wall

5 Immediately, the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and the fingers wrote on the wall of the king’s house. They wrote near the light that stood in the room. So the king saw the hand while it wrote. 6 The king’s face became white and he was afraid. His knees started to knock together and his legs became weak.

The king’s wise men cannot help him

7 The king shouted for his wise men: the enchanters, astrologers and diviners. When they came, the king spoke to them. He said, ‘Who can read these words? Who can tell me what they mean? I will put purple clothes on that person and he will have a gold ring round his neck. And I will make him the third (3rd) ruler in the kingdom.’ 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the words. They could not tell the king what the words meant. 9 So King Belshazzar became very afraid and his face became very white. His officers did not know what to do.

The queen tells Belshazzar about Daniel

10 The queen heard the words of the king and his officers. So she came into the room where they were having the party. Then she spoke to the king. ‘I want the king to live for all time’, she said. ‘Do not be afraid. Do not let your face be so white. 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. He showed your father in his time, that he was very, very wise. He was wise like the gods. Your father, Nebuchadnezzar, made him the leader of all the magicians, astrologers, enchanters and diviners. 12 His mind was clever and he knew many things. He could tell what dreams mean. He could explain hidden things and answer problems. His name was Daniel, but the king called him Belteshazzar. Send a man to fetch Daniel. He will tell you what the words mean.’

Belshazzar asks Daniel to explain the message

13 Then people brought Daniel to the king. The king said to Daniel, ‘Are you Daniel? Are you one of the men that my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you. You are wise and you understand many things. 15 I told my servants that they must bring the wise men and enchanters. I wanted the wise men to read these words. I asked them to tell me what the words mean. But they could not explain them to me. 16 I have heard that you can understand dreams. And I have heard that you can answer problems. So, can you read these words? And can you tell me what they mean? If you can do that, then I will put purple clothes on you. You will have a gold ring round your neck. And you will be the third (3rd) ruler in the kingdom.’

Daniel tells the king that he has been bad and silly

17 Then Daniel answered the king. ‘You can keep your gifts for yourself. You can give them to someone else. But I will read the words for the king. And I will tell him what they mean. 18 The God who is great and true made your father Nebuchadnezzar king. God made him great and God gave honour to him. 19 Because God made him so great, the people in every country were afraid of him. The people who spoke every language were afraid of him. He killed anyone that he wanted to kill. And if he wanted someone to live, he let him live. He made people important if he wanted to. And if he wanted to make someone less important, he made that person less important. 20 He thought that he was the most important person. He thought that he could do anything. Then God took away his kingdom and his honour. 21 People pushed him out because he had an animal’s mind. So he lived with the wild horses. People fed him with grass that cows eat. Dew from the sky made his body wet until he changed his mind. But then he agreed that the great and true God rules the kingdoms of men. God gives authority over them to anyone that he wants to give it to.

22 You, Belshazzar, are Nebuchadnezzar’s son and you knew all this. But you did not keep pride out of your mind. 23 You think that you are more important than the Lord of heaven. You demanded the cups from his house. And you, your wives, your other women and your important friends drank wine from them. Then you gave honour to gods that people had made from silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood and stone. These gods cannot see or hear. And they cannot understand. But you gave honour to them and you did not give honour to the true God. He gave your life to you. He has power over everything that you do. 24 That is why he sent the hand that wrote these words. 25 And these are the words:

Mene, Mene, Tekel and Peres.

Daniel explains the words on the wall

26 This is what the words mean:

Mene means that God has counted the days of your kingdom. Now these days are finished and he has finished your kingdom.

27 Tekel means that God has measured you. He has measured you to see if you are right (as you should be). But you were too small when he measured you.

28 Peres means that God has cut your kingdom into two parts. He has given it to the people from Media and from Persia.’

The things that were in the message happen

29 Then Belshazzar caused his servants to put purple clothes on Daniel. They put a gold ring round his neck. Then the king told all the people that Daniel was the third (3rd) ruler in the kingdom. 30 That same night someone killed Belshazzar, king of Babylon. 31 And Darius from Media became king. He was 62 years old.

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Daniel and the lions

Some men are not happy because Daniel is very important

1 Darius decided to make 120 men rulers. Together, they would rule the whole kingdom. 2 He also made 3 other men officers. He made them more important than the rulers. The 3 men would watch over the work of the rulers. Then the king would know that they were working well. Daniel was one of these 3 officers. 3 But Daniel did his work much better than the other officers and rulers. He was very good at his job. So the king wanted to make him ruler over the whole kingdom. 4 The other officers and rulers watched how Daniel worked for the king. They tried to show that he was doing something wrong. But they could not find that he did any wrong thing. That was because Daniel was a good and honest servant. He always did everything that the king wanted him to do. 5 Then these men said to each other, ‘We cannot find anything that Daniel does wrong. We can beat him only with something from the laws of his God.’

The men decide that they will make the king angry with Daniel

6 So these officers and rulers went together to the king. ‘King Darius, we want you to live for all time’, they said. 7 ‘All the officers in the kingdom including the king’s sons, rulers and captains have agreed. The king should make a law. For 30 days, the people must pray only to you, the king. If they pray to any other man or god, then your servants must take them to the prison. The servants must throw them into the deep hole where your lions live. 8 Now, you, the king, should make the law and sign it. Then it will be a law for the Medes and the Persians, and nobody can change it.’ 9 So King Darius wrote the law and he signed it.

Daniel refuses to obey the king’s new rule

10 Daniel heard that the king had signed the law. Then he went home. He went upstairs to his room where the windows opened in the direction of Jerusalem. He went on his knees and he prayed to God. He also thanked God. He did this three times every day. This is what he had always done. 11 Then the officers and rulers met together to see what Daniel would do. They saw that Daniel was praying to God. And he was asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king. They spoke to him about the law that he had made. ‘Do you remember that you signed a law?’ they said to the king. ‘For 30 days, nobody must pray to any god or man, except to you, the king. If they do pray to someone else, your servants must punish them. Your servants must throw them into the deep hole where your lions live.’ The king answered them. ‘It is true. It is a law for the Medes and the Persians and nobody can change it.’ 13 Then the officers and rulers said to the king, ‘That Daniel, whom Nebuchadnezzar brought from Judah, does not obey you. He does not obey the law that you signed. He still prays three times every day to his God.’ 14 When the king heard this, he was very sad. He tried to think of a way to save Daniel. Until evening, the king tried every way to save Daniel. 15 Then the officers and rulers came back to the king. ‘Remember that it is a law for the Medes and the Persians. Nobody can change a law that the king has made’, they said to him.

Daniel in the lions' hole

16 Then the king sent his servants to take Daniel to the prison. So they threw him into the deep hole where the lions lived. And the king spoke to Daniel. ‘You obey your God’s rules and you are his good servant. He will save you’, he said. 17 Then they brought a stone. And they put it over the top of the lions’ hole. The king put a mark on the stone with his ring of authority. He also marked it with the rings of his important men. This meant that nobody could move that stone. Nobody could change it. 18 Then the king returned to his own house. He ate no food. And nobody brought to him anything that he could enjoy. And he was unable to sleep.

God has shut the lions' mouths

19 The king got up very early in the morning. He hurried to the deep hole where the lions were. 20 When he got near to it, he shouted aloud. His voice showed that he was very afraid. ‘Daniel, you are a good servant of the living God. Was your God able to save you from the lions?’ he said. 21 Then Daniel said to the king, ‘I want you, the king, to live for all time. 22 My God sent his angel, who shut the lions’ mouths. So the lions have not hurt me. God knows that I have done no wrong thing. I have not done anything to hurt you, the king, either.’ 23 The king was very happy when he heard Daniel’s voice. He told his servants that they must lift Daniel out of the lions’ hole. So they pulled him out and they looked at him. They saw that the lions had not hurt him. Daniel had believed that his God could save him. That is why the lions had not hurt him.

King Darius punishes the bad men and he writes a letter about God

24 Then the king spoke to his servants. So the servants brought the men who had said bad things about Daniel. They threw those men and their wives and children into the deep hole where the lions were. Before they reached the floor of the hole, the lions attacked them. The lions broke all their bones when they killed them.

25 After this, King Darius wrote to all the people. He wrote to every country in the world. He wrote in every language. ‘I pray that you all will have good and happy lives.

26 I have made a law. In every part of my kingdom, the people must give honour to Daniel’s God. And they must be afraid of him.

He is the living God

and he will live always.

Nobody will ever destroy his kingdom.

It will never end.

27 He saves people. He keeps them safe.

He does great things in heaven and on earth.

He has saved Daniel from the lions’ power.’

28 So Daniel was a powerful ruler while Darius was king. And he continued to be a powerful officer, when Cyrus from Persia (Iran) became king.

Chapter 7

Daniel's dream

Four animals and a little horn

1 It was the first year that King Belshazzar ruled Babylon. Daniel had a dream. He saw pictures in his head while he lay on his bed. And he wrote down what he saw in the dream.

2 Daniel wrote, ‘I had a dream at night. I saw the 4 winds of heaven causing the great sea to move up and down. 3 Then 4 large animals came out of the sea. They were all different. 4 The first one seemed like a lion, but it had wings like a great bird. As I watched, someone pulled its wings off. They lifted it up and it stood on two feet like a man. They gave a man’s mind to it. 5 Then I saw a second animal. It seemed like a bear. It raised itself up on one side and it had three bones between its teeth. Someone said to it, “Stand up and attack! Eat lots of meat.” 6 Then I saw another animal. It seemed like a leopard, but it had 4 wings like a bird’s wings on its back. Also, this animal had 4 heads, and it had authority to rule. 7 Then I saw a fourth (4th) animal in my dream. It frightened me more than the other animals. It was very strong and it had large iron teeth. It broke things and people into pieces and it ate them. It destroyed everything else with its feet. It was different from the other animals because it had 10 horns. 8 While I was looking at the horns, I saw another little horn. It came up among the other 10 horns. It pushed out three of those other horns to make room for itself. This little horn had eyes like a man’s eyes. And it had a mouth that spoke strong words. That animal thought that it was the most important of all things.’

The time when God will judge people

9-10 Daniel continued to write about his dream.

‘I saw that the great authority of those animals ended.

Then God, who is always God, sat down to be their judge.

His clothes were as white as snow.

His hair was white like clean wool (soft hair of a sheep).

He caused thousands of people to become his servants.

Many thousands of people stood in front of him.

The books were open, and God began to judge the people.

God’s seat had wheels and it burned like a fire.

A river of fire came out in front of him.

11 The horn was saying how important he was. So I was watching. While I watched, someone killed the fourth (4th) animal. They destroyed its body and they burned it with fire. 12 The other animals lost their power too, but they continued to live for a certain time.’

13 ‘In my dream at night’, Daniel wrote, ‘I continued to watch.

Then I saw someone who seemed like a man. He seemed like a son of man. He came with the clouds of heaven.

He came near to God, who is always God.

God’s servants brought him close to God.

14 Then God gave authority, honour and a king’s power to him.

So the people in every country who spoke every language worshipped him.

His kingdom will continue always.

And nobody will ever cause it to become nothing.

Nobody can destroy it.

An angel explains some things to Daniel

15 I, Daniel, had much trouble in my mind. The thoughts in my head frightened me. 16 So I spoke to someone who was standing near me in my dream. And I asked him what all this meant. Then he explained it to me. 17 “The 4 great animals are 4 kings. They will rule with power on the earth. 18 But the true God will give the kingdom to his own people. Then they will have the kingdom always.”

The angel tells Daniel many more things about the fourth animal and about the time when God will judge people

19 Then I wanted to know about the fourth (4th) animal’, Daniel wrote. ‘It was different from the other animals. It made me very afraid because it was so bad and so strong. It had large iron teeth and bronze fingers. It broke things and people into pieces and it ate them. And it destroyed everything else with its feet. 20 I wanted to know about the 10 horns on its head. I also wanted to know about the little horn that came up among them. It pushed out three of the other horns to make room for itself. This horn had eyes, and a mouth. This mouth said that it was most important. And this little horn seemed greater than the other horns. 21 I continued to watch. And this horn fought against God’s holy people. It nearly won the fight. 22 But I continued to look. And God, who is always God, came. He was the judge. He said that the horn must not kill God’s holy people. Then the time came when he gave the kingdom to his holy people.

23 Then the person who was near me explained it to me. “The fourth (4th) animal means that there will be a fourth (4th) kingdom on the earth. It will be different from the other kingdoms. It will be as if its king eats up the whole earth. He will walk on the earth and he will break it into pieces. 24 The 10 horns mean 10 kings who will come from that kingdom. They will rule and after them, another king will come. He will be different from the other kings. He will fight and he will kill three of the other kings. 25 He will speak against God. And he will stand against God’s holy people. He will try to change the times and God’s Law. He will have power over God’s people for three and a half years. 26 Then God will judge him. He will take away this king’s power and he will destroy it. 27 Then God will give the kingdom to his own people. It will be a great kingdom and they will have great power. And they will rule all the kingdoms of the world on behalf of God. God’s kingdom will never end. And all rulers will obey him and they will be his servants.”

28 This is the end of my dream’, wrote Daniel. ‘And I, Daniel, had much trouble because my thoughts made me afraid. My face became white, but I did not tell anyone about these things.’

Chapter 8

The male sheep, the male goat and the little horn

The male sheep and the male goat

1 In the third (3rd) year that King Belshazzar ruled Babylon, I, Daniel, had another dream. 2 In my dream, I saw myself in the king’s strong house in the city called Susa. Susa is in the part of the country called Elam. I was standing by the stream called Ulai. 3 I looked up and I saw a male sheep by the stream. He had two long horns. But the longer horn grew up after the other horn. 4 I watched the male sheep while he was running to the west, and to the north, and to the south. He was more powerful than all other animals. Nobody could save any of them from him. He did whatever he wanted to do. And he became great.

5 While I was thinking about this, immediately a male goat came from the west. He went across the whole earth so quickly that his feet did not even touch the ground. The goat had a very big horn between his eyes. 6 He came towards the sheep that I had seen. The sheep had two horns and he was standing by the stream. But the goat was very angry and he ran at the sheep. 7 I saw him attack the sheep because he was so angry with the sheep. He hit the sheep and he broke the sheep’s two horns. The sheep had no power against the goat, so the goat knocked the sheep down. And the goat walked over him and killed him. And nobody could save the sheep from the goat.

The little horn

8 The male goat became very great. But when he was greatest, his big horn broke. Instead, 4 other large horns grew up in its place. Each one pointed in a different direction. 9 Out of one of these horns another little horn grew. It became powerful towards the south, and towards the east and towards the Beautiful Country. 10 It became so great that it attacked the stars in the sky. They are the army of heaven. It threw some of the stars to the ground and it walked over them. 11 It thought that it was as great as God, the leader of heaven’s army. It took away the gifts that the people offered to God each day. And it destroyed the honour of God’s house. 12 Because of the bad things that the people had done, the horn received power over God’s people. So God’s people did not give gifts to God each day. They gave them to the horn. The horn did not let people worship God any longer. It was able to do all that it wanted to do.

13 Then I heard two angels talking. One angel asked, ‘How long will the things in the dream go on? How long will the horn stop people giving the gifts to God each day? How long will God let the horn rule his house? How long will he let the horn walk on his people. How long before they can worship God again?’ 14 The other angel answered, ‘It will go on for 2300 evenings and mornings. Then they will make God’s house holy again.’

An angel called Gabriel explains the dream

15 When I, Daniel, had seen the dream, I tried to understand it. Then someone who seemed like a man appeared in front of me. 16 I heard a man’s voice. It was coming from the stream Ulai. ‘Gabriel, tell this man what the dream means’, the voice said. 17 So Gabriel came near to me. I was very afraid, so I fell down in front of him. But he spoke to me. ‘You are only a man, but you must understand the dream. It is about the end of time.’ 18 While he was speaking to me I was really asleep. So he touched me and he caused me to stand up. 19 Then he spoke to me again. ‘I will tell you what will happen at the end of time. It will happen because God is angry. The end will be at the time that God has decided.’

20 The angel continued to speak. ‘You saw a male sheep with two horns. These horns mean the kingdoms of Media and Persia. 21 The male goat means the kingdom of Greece. The big horn between his eyes means the first king. 22 Four horns grew to take the place of the broken big horn. They will make the Greek people into 4 kingdoms. But they will not be as powerful as the first Greek kingdom.’

23 The angel continued to speak. He said, ‘Near the end of the time when they rule, people will do many bad things. God will have to punish them. A very cruel king will appear. He will say things that are not true. And he will be very clever. 24 He will become very powerful, but this will not be his own power. He will destroy many things. And he will be clever. So he will be able to do anything that he wants to do. He will kill strong leaders and he will even kill God’s people. 25 He will kill people for no good reason. People will think that they are safe. But then he will kill them. He will think that he is very important. He will fight against the greatest of all kings. Then he will fail, but no human hand will do this to him.’

26 The angel continued to speak. He said, ‘This is the dream about the evenings and the mornings. And I have told you what it means. It is true, but keep the dream as a secret now. It will be a long time before all this happens.’ 27 After this dream, I, Daniel, was weak. I was sick for many days. Then I got up and I returned to my work for the king. The dream caused great trouble in my mind and I could not understand it.

Chapter 9

Daniel’s prayer and the 490 years

Daniel reads something in the Book of Jeremiah

1 This is what happened in the first year that Darius ruled the country. He was the son of Xerxes and he came from the country called Media. He became king of Babylon. 2 Before he had been king for one year, I, Daniel, was studying the words in God’s book. I read what the Lord had told Jeremiah the prophet. He told him that Jerusalem would continue to be broken and empty for 70 years. Nobody would live there.

Daniel prays about the words that he has read

3 So I started to pray very much to the Lord God, and I stopped eating food. I put on old clothes and I threw ashes over myself. I wanted to show how sad I felt.

4 I prayed to the Lord my God. And I said to him that we had done wrong things. ‘Lord, you are the great God and we give honour to you’, I prayed. ‘You keep your promises to those who obey your Laws. You always love those who love you.’

5 ‘We have been very bad’, I prayed. ‘We have done wrong and evil things. We have not obeyed your rules. 6 We did not listen to the prophets who are your servants. They told your message to our kings, to our rulers, to our fathers and to all the people. 7 Lord, you always do what is right. We are people from Judah, from Jerusalem and from all Israel. We have done bad things and we are ashamed. We have not been faithful to you. So some of us are near here, but you have sent some of us to countries far away. 8 Lord, we are ashamed because we have not obeyed you. Our kings, their sons and our fathers are ashamed. 9 Lord our God, we have not been faithful to you, but you forgive us. 10 We have not obeyed you, the Lord our God. You sent your servants, the prophets with your message. They gave your rules to us. But we have not obeyed those Laws. 11 None of the people from Israel have obeyed your Laws. We have turned away from you. We have refused to obey you. We read the book that your servant Moses wrote. We read about your punishments, but we did not do anything about it. So now, you have punished us because we did not obey you. 12 You did what you promised to do to our rulers and to us. So you punished us. You punished Jerusalem more than anywhere else under heaven. 13 You have punished us as Moses wrote in his book. And still we have not tried to make you happy, the Lord our God. We do wrong things still and we do not obey your Laws. 14 So you remembered the punishments that you had told us about. Everything that you, the Lord God, do is right. And we did not obey you.’

15Lord our God’, I said, ‘you brought your people out of the country called Egypt by your power. You caused many people to know your name. Many people know about you still. But we did more wrong things and we have been very bad. 16 Lord, you have always done what is right. Please stop being angry with the people from Jerusalem. It is your special city. All the people that live round us laugh about Jerusalem in a bad way. And they laugh about your people. That is happening because our fathers were so bad. And we have been evil also. 17 So now, our God, I am praying to you. Please listen to me because I am your servant. Listen to me while I pray! So then people will know that you are God. Lord, be kind to your empty house. 18 Listen to us, Lord. Look at the city that belongs to you. Nobody lives there now. We do not pray for things because we are good. We pray to you because you are kind. 19 Lord, listen. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen because the city and your people are yours. Do something quickly. Then people will know that you are God.’

God sends the angel called Gabriel to Daniel

20 I continued to pray. I was saying that all the people of Israel had done wrong things. I was praying to the Lord my God about his holy place.

21 And while I was praying, Gabriel came to me. He was the same man that I had seen in the first dream. He flew quickly to me. It was about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He came and he spoke to me. ‘Daniel, I have come so that you can understand’, he said. 23 ‘As soon as you started to pray, God sent the answer. I have come to tell you the answer because God really loves you. Now listen to me. I will explain what you have seen.’

24 ‘God has chosen 490 years (in other words, 70 × 7 years)’, Gabriel said. ‘This is about your people and the holy city. Then God will stop people doing bad things. He will pay for the wrong things that people have done. He will make everything completely good for always. All that the prophets wrote about will happen. And he will anoint the most holy one.

The 490 years

25 I want you to know and understand. Someone will tell men that they must build Jerusalem again. After 49 years (in other words, 7 × 7), people will build Jerusalem city again. They will build streets and a wall. But God’s people will have much trouble during this time. Then there will be 434 years (in other words, 62 × 7) more. Then, the special ruler that God has chosen will come. 26 After the 434 years, people will kill the special ruler that God has sent. He will have nothing. Then a foreign ruler will come with his army and he will destroy the city and the holy place. The end will be like a fast river. War will continue until the end of that time. God has said that people would destroy things. 27 The ruler will agree with many people for 7 years. In the middle of the 7 years he will stop all the sacrifices. He will put a thing that is not holy in the holy place. And it will stay there until God decides to kill this ruler. Then his end will happen.’

Chapter 10

God sends another angel to Daniel

When Daniel had his next dream

1 In the third (3rd) year that King Cyrus ruled Persia, God gave a message to Daniel. (Daniel’s other name was Belteshazzar.) The message was true, and it was about a great war. Daniel had a dream. This showed him what the message meant. 2 He wrote down this message:

At that time I, Daniel, was sad for three weeks. 3 I did not eat any good food. I had no meat or wine. I did not put anything good on my skin or my hair until the three weeks finished.

The angel appears to Daniel

4 On the 24th day of the first month, I was standing by the great river Tigris. 5 I looked and I saw a man. He was wearing good white clothes. He wore a gold belt. 6 His body was bright like a beautiful stone. His face was like a bright light. His eyes seemed like tongues made from fire. His arms and legs seemed like shining bronze. When he spoke, his voice was like the noise of many people’s voices.

Daniel and his friends become afraid and weak

7 Only I, Daniel, saw this picture. The people who were with me did not see anything. But they were very afraid, so they ran away. And they hid themselves. 8 Then I was alone while I looked at this great person. My face became very white and I became weak. 9 When I heard his voice, I fell down. I lay with my face on the ground and I started to sleep.

The angel explains why God has sent him

10 Then a hand touched me and it helped me to get up. I was on my hands and knees. But my body moved because I was afraid. 11 He spoke to me. ‘Daniel, God loves you very much’, he said. ‘Listen carefully to what I say to you. Stand up, because God has sent me to you.’ When he said this, I stood up. But I was afraid still. 12 Then he said, ‘Daniel, do not be afraid. You wanted to understand God. You became ready to do what he had decided. As soon as you did this, God heard your words. So I have come to bring the answer to your prayers. 13 The ruler of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for 21 days. But then Michael, who is one of God’s most important servants, came to help me. Until then, I had to stay there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I am here to explain this dream about future years. The dream tells what will happen to your people then.’

The angel makes Daniel stronger

15 While he was saying these words to me, I looked down at the ground. I could not speak. 16 Then someone who seemed like a man touched my lips. I opened my mouth and I was able to speak again. So I spoke to the person who stood in front of me. ‘My lord, the dream has given great pain to me and now I am weak. 17 My lord, I am your servant. I am not important enough to talk with you. I am very weak. I can hardly pull air into my body.’

18 He who seemed like a man touched me again. He made me strong. 19 ‘Do not be afraid, man’, he said to me, ‘because God loves you very much. I want your mind to rest. I want you to be strong, very strong.’ When he said this, I felt stronger. So I spoke again. ‘My lord, speak to me, because you have made me strong again’, I said.

The angel’s fights

20 Then he spoke to me again. ‘I will tell you why I have come to you. Soon I will return to fight against the ruler of Persia. When I have won that fight, the king from Greece will come. 21 But now I will explain to you what the words in the True Book mean. (Only Michael, your people’s ruler, will help me against God’s enemies.)’

Chapter 11

North, South and the very bad man

Darius and the kings of Persia and of Greece

1 ‘Since the first year that Darius from Media ruled, I helped him. And I saved him from his enemies.’

2 ‘Now I will explain to you the things that will happen’, the messenger said. ‘There will be three more kings in Persia and then a fourth (4th) king will come. He will be richer than all the other kings. He will become powerful because he is so rich. Then he will cause everybody to become angry with the kingdom called Greece.’

3 ‘Then a very strong king will come’, he told me. ‘He will rule with great power. And he will do whatever he wants to do. 4 After he comes, his kingdom will break into 4 parts. Those parts will be in the north, south, east and west. His children and grandchildren will not rule his kingdom. Other people will rule his kingdom, but they will not be as powerful.’

Wars in the countries near Israel

5 ‘Then the king in the south will become strong, but one of his officers will become even stronger. He will rule his own kingdom and he will be very powerful.

6 After some years, the king in the south and the king in the north will agree not to fight each other. The daughter of the king in the south will marry the king in the north. This should cause the two kingdoms to become friends. But the plan will fail and they will lose their power. Someone will kill her and her husband and her father and her servants.

7 Later, someone from her family will become king in the south. He will attack the army of the king in the north and he will go into the strong city. He will fight against the army and he will win the fight. 8 He will take away their gods that they have made out of wood or stone. And he will take away their valuable gold and silver dishes. He will take these things back to the country called Egypt. Then for several years, he will not attack the king in the north again.

9 After that, the king in the north will attack the country where the king in the south lives. But they will cause him to return to his own country. 10 Then his sons will prepare for war. They will bring together a large army, which will go to the south like a powerful river. The army will attack the strong city of the king in the south. 11 Then the king in the south will be angry. He will bring out his army to fight the king from the north. The king from the north might have a large army, but the king in the south will win the fight. 12 The king in the south will destroy this large army. So then he will think that he is great. He will kill many thousands of people, but his power will not continue.

13 The king from the north will again bring together a large army. It will be even bigger than the first army. After a few years, he will come back with his larger army. And this army will have all the arms that it needs to attack other countries. 14 At that time, many people will stand against the king in the south. And the angry men from your own people will also rise up. They will fight against him. This is what the dream tells us. But they will fail. 15 Then the king from the north will come. He will build up earth round a strong city. He will take the city because the army in the south will not be able to stand against him. Even their best soldiers will not be strong enough to win the fight. 16 The king from the north will do whatever he wants to do. Nobody will be able to stand against him. He will stay in the Beautiful Country and he will have the power to destroy it.

17 Then the king from the north will decide to go south with all his power. He will agree not to fight with the king in the south. He will give a daughter to marry the king in the south. He will want very much to stop that king ruling. But his plan will fail. She will not help him.

18 After this, he will turn and attack the countries by the sea. He will take many of those countries, but one officer will stop him. He will even cause the king from the north to stop fighting. Then he will not be able to take power over other countries. 19 So the king from the north will return. He will return to the strong cities in his own country. But he will lose another fight. And he will fall so that nobody will see him again.

20 Then the next king in the north will try to make himself even more rich. He will send out someone to take money from his people, but soon God will cause him to die. This will not happen in an attack or a fight.

The life of the very bad man

21 The person who comes after him will be a very bad man. He will not become a king but he will come to take power. The people will think that they are safe. That is when he will come. He will tell lies and he will do wrong things to become king. 22 He will fight a great army and he will destroy it. He will even kill the ruler of the promise. 23 He will try to agree with people from other countries. But he will tell them things that are not true. Only a few people will help him but he will become powerful. 24 He will attack the richest places. They will think that they are safe. That is when he will attack them. He will do things that his father and grandfathers did not do. He will take valuable things in war and he will give some to his servants. And he will try to discover how he might attack strong cities. But this will only happen for a short time.

25 He will feel strong and brave against the king in the south because he has a large army. And the king in the south will fight back with a large and powerful army. But the king in the south will not win, because people will make a way to stop him. 26 Even those who eat the king’s food will try to kill him. They will push his army away and many soldiers will die. 27 These two kings will want to do many bad things. They will sit together at the same table. But they will tell each other things that are not true. God has decided the time of the end already. So he will not let them do those bad things.

28 The king from the north will return to his own country. He will be very rich. He will hate those who worship the true God. He will do whatever he wants to do against them. Then he will continue his journey back to his own country.

29 At the time that God has decided, the king will go to the south again. This time the result will be different. 30 People from the west will come in ships and they will stand against him. He will be afraid and he will turn back. He will be angry with people who worship the true God. He will give benefits to those people who have not kept their promises to God. 31 He will send some of his soldiers into God’s strong and holy place to make it dirty. Then it will not be holy any longer. Nor will they let people sacrifice gifts to God. They will put something that God hates in there. 32 The king will say that some people are good. Those are the people who do not obey God. But those who know their God will be strong. And they will work. 33 The wise leaders will teach the people, but the people will attack them for some time. People will kill some with sharp knives or they will burn them. They will rob them and they will put some of them in a prison. 34 When God’s people are dying, they will receive a little help. Many people who do not really know God will join them. 35 Some of the wise people will fall. Then God can make them clean (holy). And they will become the people that God wants them to be at the end. God has decided when the end will come.

36 And this king will do whatever he wants to do. He will say that he is greater than any god. He will even say very bad things against the God of gods. This will happen until God is not angry with his people any longer. God must do what he has decided to do. 37 This king will not have any interest in the gods that his father and grandfathers worshipped. He will not have any interest in the god that women love. He will think that he is greater than any of the gods. 38 Instead, he will give honour to the god that saves strong cities. His father and grandfathers did not give honour to that god. But he will give gold, silver, pretty stones and gifts to that god. 39 He will give honour to this foreign god who will help him to fight strong cities. Then he will give gifts to those people who give honour to his god. He will let them rule many people. And he will sell parts of the land to them.

The end of the very bad man’s life

40 In the end, the king from the south will attack him. The king in the north will fight back like a storm. He will have soldiers on horses and many ships. He will attack many countries and he will go through them like a great powerful river. 41 He will also attack the Beautiful Country and he will kill many thousands of the people there. But he will not take the people in the countries called Edom and Moab or the leaders from Ammon. 42 He will have power over many countries, including the country called Egypt. 43 He will take all the gold, silver and other valuable things in Egypt. He will also rule the countries called Libya and Cush. 44 But he will hear news from the north and the east that will cause trouble in his mind. So he will be very angry. And then he will go to destroy things and to kill many people. 45 He will stay with his soldiers between the sea and the holy mountain. But he will die there and nobody will help him.’

Chapter 12

The time of the end of the world

Trouble and the time when dead people come back to life

1 ‘At that time Michael will come’, the same man said. ‘He is the great angel who is good to your people. There will be a time of very great trouble. It will be the worst time since God made man. Then God will save those among your people whose names are in his book. 2 Many of those who have died will come back to life again. God will give life that will never end to some of them. But some will be ashamed and have no honour for all time. 3 And those who are wise will shine like the bright sky. Those who help many people to obey God will shine like the stars always.

Daniel must close the book and he must keep it secret

4 Now you, Daniel, do not change this message. Close the book and keep it secret until the end. Many will try to learn more about this.’

An angel says that the surprising things will finish after three and a half years

5 Then I, Daniel, looked up and I saw two other people. One of them was on this side of the river with me. The other one was on the other side of the river. 6 One of them spoke to the man who was wearing white clothes. He was beyond them over the water. He asked him, ‘How long will it be before these surprising things end?’ 7 The man who was wearing white clothes lifted up both his hands towards the sky. I heard him make a promise by God, who lives always. ‘It will end after three and a half years. Then the enemies who fight against the power of the holy people will stop. And that will be the end of all these events.’

The angel tells some more things to Daniel and he tells Daniel about God’s promise to him

8 I heard his words, but I did not understand. So I said, ‘My lord, how will it all end?’ 9 ‘You go now, Daniel’, he said. ‘This message will remain secret until the end comes. 10 God will make many people holy and good. But evil people will continue to do things that are wrong. Those bad people will not understand what God wants. But wise people will understand. 11 From the time that there is no sacrifice each day there will be 1290 days. That is from the time that they put the thing that God hates in his house. 12 The people who wait in a patient way for 1335 days will be happy. 13 You yourself must be patient and you must continue until the end. You will die. But then you will live again. And then you will receive the good things that God has promised at the end of time.’

Word List

ancestors
people years ago that your parents came from.
angel
angels live with God and they bring messages from God. An angel may seem like a man.
anoint
to mark a person with oil to show that God has chosen them.
astrologers
people who use the stars; they hope to know what will happen in future times; this is very bad and it is not from God.
bear
big animal with thick hair that eats meat.
bronze
metal that people make from two other metals; it is harder than gold.
clay
people mix earth and water to make clay. Then they can make things out of it.
dew
water like thin rain. It comes on the ground at night.
diviner
a diviner uses magic to try to see what will happen after today.
enchanter
an enchanter tries to make things happen by speaking magic words.
evil
completely bad, with nothing good in it.
faithful
to continue always to believe in someone or something; always to do what you should do.
forgive
not to cause someone to pay for a wrong thing that they have done; to forget it completely.
golden
something that someone has made out of gold.
Greek
Greek people come from Greece.
heaven
God’s home; but sometimes the word means the sky.
holy
completely good and clean with nothing bad in it.
honour
when you believe that a person is always good; when you believe that a person does only good things.
horn
sharp thing like a bone on an animal’s head. It points at anything in front of the animal.
image
something made to be like another thing. It might be round or flat.
Jew
a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
judge
to say who is right or wrong; the person who says who is right or wrong.
keep a promise
do what you promised to do.
kingdom
country that a king rules.
law
rules in a country; rules that a ruler makes; or God’s Law to help people to do what is right.
leopard
animal like a big cat that eats meat.
lion
animal like a leopard, but bigger.
lord
someone who rules or who is a master. God is the Lord who rules everyone.
magic
to make strange things happen to surprise people. These things are not usual. Magic is very bad and is not from God. When God’s enemies that are like angels do things. They do things that people cannot usually do.
magician
someone who uses magic.
Medes
people from a country near Israel.
messenger
a person who has something to tell to other people.
Persians
people from a country that is now called Iran.
prayer
words that we say when we pray.
pride
a person with pride feels more important than he really is.
prophet
someone who tells other people what God wants; or someone who tells other people what God will do.
punish
to hurt or to cause trouble for someone because they have done bad things. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to a prison.
punishment
when God or people cause trouble for someone because they have done bad things. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to a prison.
purple
dark colour, used for king’s clothes.
sacrifice
gift that costs much; often gifts that people give to God.
silver
metal nearly as valuable as gold.
sorcerer
a sorcerer uses powers not from God to do things (by magic). He does things that people cannot usually do.
tongue
large red part (of the body) in the mouth. It helps us to speak; the part of our mouth that we talk with.
wheel
round flat thing that people put under things to move them while it goes round.
wine
a drink that has alcohol in it; people make it from small, sweet fruit called grapes.
wing
birds have these instead of arms; they use them to fly.
wise
more than clever; someone who understands very well.
worship
to tell God that he is great and good and that we love him.

Book List

James Philip ~ By the Rivers of Babylon ~ Didasko Press

Stuart Olyott ~ Dare to Stand Alone ~ Evangelical Press ~ Welwyn Commentary series

J. G. Baldwin ~ Daniel ~ IVP Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries

Ronald S. Wallace ~ The Lord is King – The Message of Daniel ~ IVP The Bible Speaks Today

G. Coleman Luck ~ Daniel ~ Moody Press

René Péter-Contesse & John Ellington ~ A Handbook on The Book of Daniel ~ UBS Handbook series

Strong’s Lexicon

Bibles ~ AV, NIV, RSV & TEV

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2012

This version published August 2012

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.