1 One night during the second year of his reign,* Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that disturbed him so much that he couldn't sleep.1
2 He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers,* and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king,2
3 he said, "I have had a dream that troubles me. Tell me what I dreamed, for I must know what it means."
4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic,* "Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means."3
5 But the king said to the astrologers, "I am serious about this. If you don't tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be demolished into heaps of rubble!
6 But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!"
7 They said again, "Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means."
8 The king replied, "I can see through your trick! You are trying to stall for time because you know I am serious about what I said.
9 If you don't tell me the dream, you will be condemned. You have conspired to tell me lies in hopes that something will change. But tell me the dream, and then I will know that you can tell me what it means."
10 The astrologers replied to the king, "There isn't a man alive who can tell Your Majesty his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer!
11 This is an impossible thing the king requires. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live among people."
12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he sent out orders to execute all the wise men of Babylon.
13 And because of the king's decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.
14 When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.
15 He asked Arioch, "Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?" So Arioch told him all that had happened.
16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time so he could tell the king what the dream meant.
17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened.
18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.
19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven,
20 saying, "Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power.
21 He determines the course of world events; he removes kings and sets others on the throne. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
22 He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he himself is surrounded by light.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded."
24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, who had been ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, "Don't kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream."
25 Then Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, "I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell Your Majesty the meaning of your dream!"
26 The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), "Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?"
27 Daniel replied, "There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can tell the king such things.
28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.