Daniel 2:1-16

The king tells his wise men to explain his dream

1 When Nebuchadnezzar had been king for two years, he had many dreams. He had trouble in his mind and he could not sleep.

2 He told his servants that they must bring the magicians, enchanters, diviners and wise men to him. He wanted them to explain his dream. So they came in and they stood in front of him. 3 Then the king said to them, ‘I have had a dream that gives me trouble in my mind. I want to know what the dream means.’

4 Then the wise men answered the king. (This is in the Aramaic language. ) They said, ‘Our king, live for ever! We are your servants. Tell us the dream. Then we will tell you what it means.’

2:4From here, through to Daniel 7:28, the book is written in the Aramaic language, instead of Hebrew.

5 The king replied to the wise men, ‘I have decided what to do. You must tell me what my dream was. Then you must tell me what it means. If not, I will punish you with death! My soldiers will cut you into pieces. They will knock down your houses so that they become a heap of stones. 6 You must tell me about the dream and tell me what it means. If you do that, I will give to you many gifts and great honour. So, you must tell me my dream, and tell me what it means.’

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

8 The king said to them, ‘You know that I will not change my mind. You are just trying to get more time for that reason. 9 If you do not tell me the dream, I will certainly punish you with death. You have agreed among yourselves to tell me lies. You want to deceive me until you can think of something better. So now, tell me the dream. Then I will believe you when you tell me what it means.’

10 The wise men answered the king, ‘There is nobody on earth who can know your dream! No king has ever asked anyone to do anything like this. No magician, enchanter or wise man could do that. Even the greatest and most powerful king has never asked this. 11 You are asking us to do something much too difficult! Nobody can do it, except the gods. And they do not live among men.’

12 This made the king very angry. So he said to his soldiers, ‘Kill all the wise men in Babylon.’ 13 He sent a message to command them to kill all his wise men.

So some men went to look for Daniel and his friends too. They went to punish them with death. 14 But Daniel spoke carefully to Arioch. He was the captain of the king's soldiers who had gone to kill the wise men of Babylon,. 15 Daniel said to Arioch, ‘Why is the king's command 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.