1In the third year that Belshazzar was king, I saw a second vision.2In the vision I suddenly found myself in the walled city of Susa in the province of Elam. I was standing by the River Ulai, 3and there beside the river I saw a ram that had two long horns, one of which was longer and newer than the other. 4I watched the ram butting with his horns to the west, the north, and the south. No animal could stop him or escape his power. He did as he pleased and grew arrogant.
5While I was wondering what this meant, a goat came rushing out of the west, moving so fast that his feet didn't touch the ground. He had one prominent horn between his eyes. 6He came towards the ram, which I had seen standing beside the river, and rushed at him with all his force. 7I watched him attack the ram. He was so angry that he smashed into him and broke the two horns. The ram had no strength to resist. He was thrown to the ground and trampled on, and there was no one who could save him.
8The goat grew more and more arrogant, but at the height of his power his horn was broken. In its place four prominent horns came up, each pointing in a different direction. 9Out of one of these four horns grew a little horn, whose power extended towards the south and the east and towards the Promised Land. 10It grew strong enough to attack the army of heaven, the stars themselves, and it threw some of them to the ground and trampled on them. 11It even defied the Prince of the heavenly army, stopped the daily sacrifices offered to him, and desecrated the Temple. 12People sinned there instead of offering the proper daily sacrifices, and true religion was thrown to the ground. The horn was successful in everything it did.
13Then I heard one angel ask another, “How long will these things that were seen in the vision continue? How long will an awful sin replace the daily sacrifices? How long will the army of heaven and the Temple be trampled on?”
14I heard the other angel answer, “It will continue for 2,300 evenings and mornings, during which sacrifices will not be offered. Then the Temple will be restored.”
The Angel Gabriel Explains the Vision
15I was trying to understand what the vision meant, when suddenly someone was standing in front of me. 16I heard a voice call out over the River Ulai, “Gabriel, explain to him the meaning of what he saw.” 17Gabriel came and stood beside me, and I was so terrified that I fell to the ground.
He said to me, “Mortal man, understand the meaning. The vision has to do with the end of the world.” 18While he was talking, I fell to the ground unconscious. But he took hold of me, raised me to my feet, 19and said, “I am showing you what the result of God's anger will be. The vision refers to the time of the end.
20“The ram you saw that had two horns represents the kingdoms of Media and Persia. 21The goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the prominent horn between his eyes is the first king. 22The four horns that came up when the first horn was broken represent the four kingdoms into which that nation will be divided and which will not be as strong as the first kingdom.
23“When the end of those kingdoms is near and they have become so wicked that they must be punished, there will be a stubborn, vicious, and deceitful king. 24He will grow strong — but not by his own power. He will cause terrible destruction and be successful in everything he does. He will bring destruction on powerful men and on God's own people. 25Because he is cunning, he will succeed in his deceitful ways. He will be proud of himself and destroy many people without warning. He will even defy the greatest King of all, but he will be destroyed without the use of any human power. 26This vision about the evening and morning sacrifices which has been explained to you will come true. But keep it secret now, because it will be a long time before it does come true.”
27I was depressed and ill for several days. Then I got up and went back to the work that the king had assigned to me, but I was puzzled by the vision and could not understand it.
Daniel Prays for his People
1Darius the Mede, who was the son of Xerxes, ruled over the kingdom of Babylonia. 2In the first year of his reign, I was studying the sacred books and thinking about the seventy years that Jerusalem would be in ruins, according to what the LORD had told the prophet Jeremiah. 3And I prayed earnestly to the Lord God, pleading with him, fasting, wearing sackcloth, and sitting in ashes. 4I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed the sins of my people.
I said, “Lord God, you are great, and we honour you. You are faithful to your covenant and show constant love to those who love you and do what you command.
5“We have sinned, we have been evil, we have done wrong. We have rejected what you commanded us to do and have turned away from what you showed us was right. 6We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our rulers, our ancestors, and our whole nation. 7You, Lord, always do what is right, but we have always brought disgrace on ourselves. This is true of all of us who live in Judah and in Jerusalem and of all the Israelites whom you scattered in countries near and far because they were unfaithful to you. 8Our kings, our rulers, and our ancestors have acted shamefully and sinned against you, Lord. 9You are merciful and forgiving, although we have rebelled against you. 10We did not listen to you, O LORD our God, when you told us to live according to the laws which you gave us through your servants the prophets. 11All Israel broke your laws and refused to listen to what you said. We sinned against you, and so you brought on us the curses that are written in the Law of Moses, your servant. 12You did what you said you would do to us and our rulers. You punished Jerusalem more severely than any other city on earth, 13giving us all the punishment described in the Law of Moses. But even now, O LORD our God, we have not tried to please you by turning from our sins or by following your truth. 14You, O LORD our God, were prepared to punish us, and you did, because you always do what is right, and we did not listen to you.
15“O Lord our God, you showed your power by bringing your people out of Egypt, and your power is still remembered. We have sinned; we have done wrong. 16You have defended us in the past, so do not be angry with Jerusalem any longer. It is your city, your sacred hill. All the people in the neighbouring countries look down on Jerusalem and on your people because of our sins and the evil our ancestors did. 17O God, hear my prayer and pleading. Restore your Temple, which has been destroyed; restore it so that everyone will know that you are God. 18Listen to us, O God; look at us, and see the trouble we are in and the suffering of the city that bears your name. We are praying to you because you are merciful, not because we have done right. 19Lord, hear us. Lord, forgive us. Lord, listen to us, and act! In order that everyone will know that you are God, do not delay! This city and these people are yours.”
Gabriel Explains the Prophecy
20I went on praying, confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel, and pleading with the LORD my God to restore his holy Temple. 21While I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came flying down to where I was. It was the time for the evening sacrifice to be offered. 22He explained, “Daniel, I have come here to help you understand the prophecy. 23When you began to plead with God, he answered you. He loves you, and so I have come to tell you the answer. Now pay attention while I explain the vision.
24“Seven times seventy years is the length of time God has set for freeing your people and your holy city from sin and evil. Sin will be forgiven and eternal justice established, so that the vision and the prophecy will come true, and the holy Temple will be rededicated. 25Note this and understand it: from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem, until God's chosen leader comes, seven times seven years will pass. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences, and will stand for seven times 62 years, but this will be a time of troubles. 26And at the end of that time God's chosen leader will be killed unjustly. The city and the Temple will be destroyed by the invading army of a powerful ruler. The end will come like a flood, bringing the war and destruction which God has prepared. 27That ruler will have a firm agreement with many people for seven years, and when half this time is past, he will put an end to sacrifices and offerings. The Awful Horror will be placed on the highest point of the Temple and will remain there until the one who put it there meets the end which God has prepared for him.”
Daniel's Vision by the River Tigris
1(In the third year that Cyrus was emperor of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel, who is also called Belteshazzar. The message was true but extremely hard to understand. It was explained to him in a vision.)
2At that time, I was mourning for three weeks. 3I did not eat any rich food or any meat, drink any wine, or comb my hair until the three weeks were past.
4On the 24th day of the first month of the year, I was standing on the bank of the mighty River Tigris. 5I looked up and saw someone who was wearing linen clothes and a belt of fine gold. 6His body shone like a jewel. His face was as bright as a flash of lightning, and his eyes blazed like fire. His arms and legs shone like polished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a great crowd.
7I was the only one who saw the vision. Those who were with me did not see anything, but they were terrified and ran and hid. 8I was left there alone, watching this amazing vision. I had no strength left, and my face was so changed that no one could have recognized me. 9When I heard his voice, I fell to the ground unconscious and lay there face downwards. 10Then a hand took hold of me and raised me to my hands and knees; I was still trembling.
11The angel said to me, “Daniel, God loves you. Stand up and listen carefully to what I am going to say. I have been sent to you.” When he had said this, I stood up, still trembling.
12Then he said, “Daniel, don't be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13The angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone in Persia. 14I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the future. This is a vision about the future.”
15When he said this, I stared at the ground, speechless. 16Then the angel, who looked like a human being, stretched out his hand and touched my lips. I said to him, “Sir, this vision makes me so weak that I can't stop trembling. 17I am like a slave standing before his master. How can I talk to you? I have no strength or breath left in me.”
18Once more he took hold of me, and I felt stronger. 19He said, “God loves you, so don't let anything worry you or frighten you.”
When he had said this, I felt even stronger and said, “Sir, tell me what you have to say. You have made me feel better.”