Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

Daniel 2

1 In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar started having dreams that disturbed him deeply. He couldn't sleep. He called in all the Babylonian magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and fortunetellers to interpret his dreams for him. When they came and lined up before the king, he said to them, "I had a dream that I can't get out of my mind. I can't sleep until I know what it means." 4 The fortunetellers, speaking in the Aramaic language, said, "Long live the king! Tell us the dream and we will interpret it." 5 The king answered the fortunetellers, "This is my decree: If you can't tell me both the dream itself and its interpretation, I'll have you ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and your homes torn down. But if you tell me both the dream and its interpretation, I'll lavish you with gifts and honors. So go to it: Tell me the dream and its interpretation." 7 They answered, "If it please your majesty, tell us the dream. We'll give the interpretation." 8 But the king said, "I know what you're up to - you're just playing for time. You know you're up a tree. You know that if you can't tell me my dream, you're doomed. I see right through you - you're going to cook up some fancy stories and confuse the issue until I change my mind. Nothing doing! First tell me the dream, then I'll know that you're on the up and up with the interpretation and not just blowing smoke in my eyes." 10 The fortunetellers said, "Nobody anywhere can do what you ask. And no king, great or small, has ever demanded anything like this from any magician, enchanter, or fortuneteller. What you're asking is impossible unless some god or goddess should reveal it - and they don't hang around with people like us."

12 That set the king off. He lost his temper and ordered the whole company of Babylonian wise men killed. When the death warrant was issued, Daniel and his companions were included. They also were marked for execution. 14 When Arioch, chief of the royal guards, was making arrangements for the execution, Daniel wisely took him aside and quietly asked what was going on: "Why this all of a sudden?" 15 After Arioch filled in the background, Daniel went to the king and asked for a little time so that he could interpret the dream.

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