Old Testament Story List

In Babylon

Among the children of Israel who had been carried off to Babylon, there were four handsome, strong, and intelligent boys, children of the princes. They were Daniel, Hananiah, Michael, and Azariah.

By order of King Nebuchadnezzar they were taught the Chaldean language. Their names were changed -  Daniel's to Belteshazzar,

Hananiah's to Shadrach, Mishael's to Meshach, and Azariah's to Abednego.

At the end of three years, all the Hebrew children were brought in to Nebuchadnezzar. He spoke with them and questioned them and found none like Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He kept them in his court to serve him, and in all matters of wisdom and understanding he found them ten times wiser than all the magicians and astrologers in his kingdom.

One night Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him deeply. He called all his wise men, magicians, and astrologers to him. They said: "Tell us your dream, O king, and we will tell you the meaning of it."

But Nebuchadnezzar could not remember the dream. He threatened to kill the wise men if they failed to tell him both the dream and its meaning. They protested loudly that no king ever had asked such a thing before and that there was no magician, no sorcerer, no astrologer in all the kingdom who could do it.

The king was furious and ordered that all the wise men in Babylon be slain, and the guards searched for them throughout the land. When they came to Daniel, he wanted to know why the king had given such an order. When he heard the story, he went to the king and said that, given a little time, he would interpret the dream. The king agreed.

Daniel went home to his house to tell his three friends. They all prayed to God that He might recall to them the king's dream, and that night, in a vision, God revealed the secret to Daniel.

In the morning they thanked and praised God. Then Daniel went before the king and said, "The wise men cannot know the dream you had or what it means, but there is a God in heaven who can, and He has shown it to me.

"In your dream you saw a bright, terrible image. His head was of gold, his chest and arms were silver, his stomach and thighs brass, his legs and feet part of iron and part of clay.

"Then you saw a great stone thrown at his feet - and they were broken in pieces. When the feet broke all the rest, the gold, silver, and all, crumbled and was blown away in the wind. And nothing remained but the stone, which became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."

The king was amazed, for that had been his dream.

Then Daniel continued: "That was your dream, and now we shall tell you its meaning.

"God has given you power, strength and glory, and has made you a mighty ruler. You are the head of gold. After you there shall be lesser kingdoms. Those are the silver and the brass. Where you saw iron and clay, the kingdom shall be divided - partly strong and parlty broken.

"In that day the divided kingdom shall not be left to other kings, but it shall be consumed. And God shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and it shall stand forever."

Nebuchadnezzar was so amazed and impressed that he fell on his face before Daniel and said, "Truly your God is a great God, a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, since you were able to tell me all this."

In his gratitude he gave Daniel many rich gifts, and made him chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.

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