Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Daniel 7-9
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
Daniel has a Vision of Four Animals Coming up from the Sea
1. In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream filled with visions while he was lying on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream in summary fashion.
2. Daniel explained: “I was watching in my vision during the night as the four winds of the sky were stirring up the great sea.
3. Then four large beasts came up from the sea; they were different from one another.
4. “The first one was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind was given to it.
5. “Then a second beast appeared, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and devour much flesh!’
6. “After these things, as I was watching, another beast like a leopard appeared, with four bird-like wings on its back. This beast had four heads, and ruling authority was given to it.
7. “After these things, as I was watching in the night visions a fourth beast appeared – one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. It had two large rows of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns.
8. “As I was contemplating the horns, another horn – a small one – came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things.
9. “While I was watching, thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His attire was white like snow; the hair of his head was like lamb’s wool. His throne was ablaze with fire and its wheels were all aflame.
10. A river of fire was streaming forth and proceeding from his presence. Many thousands were ministering to him; Many tens of thousands stood ready to serve him. The court convened and the books were opened.
11. “Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the flaming fire.
12. As for the rest of the beasts, their ruling authority had already been removed, though they were permitted to go on living for a time and a season.
13. I was watching in the night visions, “And with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him.
14. To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed.
An Angel Interprets Daniel’s Vision
15. “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed, and the visions of my mind were alarming me.
16. I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him about the meaning of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed to me the interpretation of the vision:
17. ‘These large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth.
18. The holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.’
19. “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet.
20. I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others.
21. While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating them,
22. until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.
23. “This is what he told me: ‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth that will differ from all the other kingdoms. It will devour all the earth and will trample and crush it.
24. The ten horns mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom. Another king will arise after them, but he will be different from the earlier ones. He will humiliate three kings.
25. He will speak words against the Most High. He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually. His intention will be to change times established by law. They will be delivered into his hand For a time, times, and half a time.
26. But the court will convene, and his ruling authority will be removed – destroyed and abolished forever!
27. Then the kingdom, authority, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be delivered to the people of the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; all authorities will serve him and obey him.’
28. “This is the conclusion of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me greatly, and the color drained from my face. But I kept the matter to myself.”
Daniel Has a Vision of a Goat and a Ram
1. In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me previously.
2. In this vision I saw myself in Susa the citadel, which is located in the province of Elam. In the vision I saw myself at the Ulai Canal.
3. I looked up and saw a ram with two horns standing at the canal. Its two horns were both long, but one was longer than the other. The longer one was coming up after the shorter one.
4. I saw that the ram was butting westward, northward, and southward. No animal was able to stand before it, and there was none who could deliver from its power. It did as it pleased and acted arrogantly.
5. While I was contemplating all this, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of all the land without touching the ground. This goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes.
6. It came to the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the canal and rushed against it with raging strength.
7. I saw it approaching the ram. It went into a fit of rage against the ram and struck it and broke off its two horns. The ram had no ability to resist it. The goat hurled the ram to the ground and trampled it. No one could deliver the ram from its power.
8. The male goat acted even more arrogantly. But no sooner had the large horn become strong than it was broken, and there arose four conspicuous horns in its place, extending toward the four winds of the sky.
9. From one of them came a small horn. But it grew to be very big, toward the south and the east and toward the beautiful land.
10. It grew so big it reached the army of heaven, and it brought about the fall of some of the army and some of the stars to the ground, where it trampled them.
11. It also acted arrogantly against the Prince of the army, from whom the daily sacrifice was removed and whose sanctuary was thrown down.
12. The army was given over, along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of his sinful rebellion. It hurled truth to the ground and enjoyed success.
13. Then I heard a holy one speaking. Another holy one said to the one who was speaking, “To what period of time does the vision pertain – this vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the destructive act of rebellion and the giving over of both the sanctuary and army to be trampled?”
14. He said to me, “To 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be put right again.”
An Angel Interprets Daniel’s Vision
15. While I, Daniel, was watching the vision, I sought to understand it. Now one who appeared to be a man was standing before me.
16. Then I heard a human voice coming from between the banks of the Ulai. It called out, “Gabriel, enable this person to understand the vision.”
17. So he approached the place where I was standing. As he came, I felt terrified and fell flat on the ground. Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision pertains to the time of the end.”
18. As he spoke with me, I fell into a trance with my face to the ground. But he touched me and stood me upright.
19. Then he said, “I am going to inform you about what will happen in the latter time of wrath, for the vision pertains to the appointed time of the end.
20. The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia.
21. The male goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.
22. The horn that was broken and in whose place there arose four others stands for four kingdoms that will arise from his nation, though they will not have his strength.
23. Toward the end of their rule, when rebellious acts are complete, a rash and deceitful king will arise.
24. His power will be great, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause terrible destruction. He will be successful in what he undertakes. He will destroy powerful people and the people of the holy ones.
25. By his treachery he will succeed through deceit. He will have an arrogant attitude, and he will destroy many who are unaware of his schemes. He will rise up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken apart – but not by human agency.
26. The vision of the evenings and mornings that was told to you is correct. But you should seal up the vision, for it refers to a time many days from now.”
27. I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up and again carried out the king’s business. But I was astonished at the vision, and there was no one to explain it.
Daniel Prays for His People
1. In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, who was of Median descent and who had been appointed king over the Babylonian empire –
2. in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books that, according to the word of the LORD disclosed to the prophet Jeremiah, the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem were seventy in number.
3. So I turned my attention to the Lord God to implore him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
4. I prayed to the LORD my God, confessing in this way: “O Lord, great and awesome God who is faithful to his covenant with those who love him and keep his commandments,
5. we have sinned! We have done what is wrong and wicked; we have rebelled by turning away from your commandments and standards.
6. We have not paid attention to your servants the prophets, who spoke by your authority to our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors, and to all the inhabitants of the land as well.
7. “You are righteous, O Lord, but we are humiliated this day – the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far away in all the countries in which you have scattered them, because they have behaved unfaithfully toward you.
8. O LORD, we have been humiliated – our kings, our leaders, and our ancestors – because we have sinned against you.
9. Yet the Lord our God is compassionate and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.
10. We have not obeyed the LORD our God by living according to his laws that he set before us through his servants the prophets.
11. “All Israel has broken your law and turned away by not obeying you. Therefore you have poured out on us the judgment solemnly threatened in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against you.
12. He has carried out his threats against us and our rulers who were over us by bringing great calamity on us – what has happened to Jerusalem has never been equaled under all heaven!
13. Just as it is written in the law of Moses, so all this calamity has come on us. Still we have not tried to pacify the LORD our God by turning back from our sin and by seeking wisdom from your reliable moral standards.
14. The LORD was mindful of the calamity, and he brought it on us. For the LORD our God is just in all he has done, and we have not obeyed him.
15. “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with great power and made a name for yourself that is remembered to this day – we have sinned and behaved wickedly.
16. O Lord, according to all your justice, please turn your raging anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. For due to our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people are mocked by all our neighbors.
17. “So now, our God, accept the prayer and requests of your servant, and show favor to your devastated sanctuary for your own sake.
18. Listen attentively, my God, and hear! Open your eyes and look on our desolated ruins and the city called by your name. For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you, but because your compassion is abundant.
19. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, pay attention, and act! Don’t delay, for your own sake, O my God! For your city and your people are called by your name.”
Gabriel Gives to Daniel a Prophecy of Seventy Weeks
20. While I was still speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my request before the LORD my God concerning his holy mountain –
21. yes, while I was still praying, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen previously in a vision, was approaching me in my state of extreme weariness, around the time of the evening offering.
22. He spoke with me, instructing me as follows: “Daniel, I have now come to impart understanding to you.
23. At the beginning of your requests a message went out, and I have come to convey it to you, for you are of great value in God’s sight. Therefore consider the message and understand the vision:
24. “Seventy weeks have been determined concerning your people and your holy city to put an end to rebellion, to bring sin to completion, to atone for iniquity, to bring in perpetual righteousness, to seal up the prophetic vision, and to anoint a most holy place.
25. So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times.
26. Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them. But his end will come speedily like a flood. Until the end of the war that has been decreed there will be destruction.
27. He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”