Dan 4-6; John 18
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
King Nebuchadnezzar to all mpeoples, nations, and languages, nthat dwell in all the earth: oPeace be multiplied to you! 2 It has seemed good to me to show the psigns and wonders that the qMost High God has done for me.
3 How great are phis signs,
how mighty his pwonders!
rHis kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
rand his dominion endures from generation to generation.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream
4 2 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and sthe visions of my head alarmed me. 6 So tI made a decree that uall the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then vthe magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but wthey could not make known to me its interpretation. 8 At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named xBelteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is ythe spirit of the holy gods3—and I told him the dream, saying, 9 “O Belteshazzar, zchief of the magicians, because I know that ythe spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no amystery is too difficult for you, tell me sthe visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. 10 sThe visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and bbehold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 cThe tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 dIts leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. eThe beasts of the field found shade under it, and ethe birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.
13 “I saw in sthe visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, fa watcher, ga holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He hproclaimed aloud and said thus: i‘Chop down the tree and jlop off its branches, jstrip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. jLet the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; kand let seven periods of time lpass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of fthe watchers, the decision by the word of gthe holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High mrules the kingdom of men nand gives it to whom he will and osets over it the lowliest of men.’ 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O pBelteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because qall the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for rthe spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
Daniel Interprets the Second Dream
19 Then Daniel, whose name was pBelteshazzar, was sdismayed for a while, and this thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, umay the dream be for those who hate you uand its interpretation for your enemies! 20 vThe tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 wwhose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 22 xit is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. yYour greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, yand your dominion to the ends of the earth. 23 And because the king saw za watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, a‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till bseven periods of time pass over him,’ 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 cthat you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made dto eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and bseven periods of time shall pass over you, till eyou know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 26 And as it was commanded fto leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by gpracticing righteousness, hand your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, ithat there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, j“Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by kmy mighty power as a royal residence and for kthe glory of my majesty?” 31 lWhile the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 mand you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, muntil you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. mHe was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.
34 nAt the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and omy reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored phim who lives forever,
qfor his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and qhis kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 rall the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and she does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
tand none can stay his hand
or usay to him, “What have you done?”
36 At the same time vmy reason returned to me, and for wthe glory of my kingdom, wmy majesty and splendor returned to me. xMy counselors and ymy lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was zadded to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, apraise and extol and honor the bKing of heaven, cfor all his works are right and his ways are just; and dthose who walk in pride he is able to humble.
The Handwriting on the Wall
5 eKing Belshazzar fmade a great feast for a thousand of his glords and drank wine in front of the thousand.
2 eBelshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that hthe vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father4 had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought in hthe golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine and ipraised the jgods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
5 kImmediately lthe fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw mthe hand as it wrote. 6 nThen the king’s color changed, oand his thoughts alarmed him; phis limbs gave way, and qhis knees knocked together. 7 rThe king called loudly to bring in rthe enchanters, the sChaldeans, and tthe astrologers. The king declared5 to the wise men of Babylon, u“Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and vshall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but wthey could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly xalarmed, and his ncolor changed, and his ylords were perplexed.
10 The queen,6 because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, z“O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you aor your color change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom bin whom is the spirit of the holy gods.7 In the days of your father, clight and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—dmade him chief of the magicians, renchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 12 ebecause an excellent spirit, knowledge, and funderstanding fto interpret dreams, explain riddles, and gsolve problems were found in this Daniel, hwhom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
Daniel Interprets the Handwriting
13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of ithe exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. 14 I have heard of you that bthe spirit of the gods8 is in you, and that clight and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now jthe wise men, the kenchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but lthey could not show the interpretation of the matter. 16 mBut I have heard that you can give interpretations and nsolve problems. oNow if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, oyou shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and pshall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, q“Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the rMost High God sgave tNebuchadnezzar your father ukingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, vall peoples, nations, and languages wtrembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But xwhen his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, yhe was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 zHe was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, zuntil he knew that the rMost High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son,9 aBelshazzar, bhave not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against cthe Lord of heaven. And dthe vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. eAnd you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, fbut the God in whose hand is your breath, and gwhose are all your ways, hyou have not honored.
24 “Then from his presence ithe hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered10 the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 TEKEL, jyou have been weighed11 in the balances and found wanting; 28 PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to kthe Medes and lPersians.”12
29 Then aBelshazzar gave the command, and Daniel mwas clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 nThat very night aBelshazzar the oChaldean king was killed. 31 13 And pDarius kthe Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
Daniel and the Lions’ Den
6 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom q120 rsatraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them sthree high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these rsatraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel became tdistinguished above all sthe other high officials and rsatraps, because uan excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned vto set him over the whole kingdom. 4 Then sthe high officials and rthe satraps wsought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, xbut they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, xand no error or fault was found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
6 Then these shigh officials and rsatraps came by agreement14 to the king and said to him, “O yKing Darius, live forever! 7 All the shigh officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the zcounselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an ainjunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish athe injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to bthe law of cthe Medes and the Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and ainjunction.
10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where ehe had windows in his upper chamber open ftoward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees gthree times a day and prayed and hgave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they icame near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign jan injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of cthe Medes and Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, k“Daniel, who is one lof the exiles kfrom Judah, mpays no attention to you, O king, or jthe injunction you have signed, but makes his petition gthree times a day.”
14 Then nthe king, when he heard these words, nwas much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no jinjunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”
16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared15 to Daniel, “May oyour God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 pAnd a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, qand the king sealed it rwith his own signet and with the signet of his slords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; tno diversions were brought to him, and usleep fled from him.
19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of vthe living God, ohas your God, whom you serve continually, wbeen able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, x“O king, live forever! 22 My God ysent his angel zand shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless abefore him; aand also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and bno kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and cthose men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.
25 Then King Darius wrote to all dthe peoples, nations, and languages ethat dwell in all the earth: f“Peace be multiplied to you. 26 gI make a decree, that in all my royal dominion hpeople are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,
for ihe is jthe living God,
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
jand his dominion shall be kto the end.
27 He delivers and rescues;
he works lsigns and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
he who has msaved Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and nthe reign of oCyrus the Persian.
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, nhe went out with his disciples across othe brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew pthe place, for qJesus often met there with his disciples. 3 rSo Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, sknowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, t“Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”1 Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 uWhen Jesus2 said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, t“Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 vThis was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, whaving a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant3 and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; xshall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews4 arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they yled him to zAnnas, for he was the father-in-law of aCaiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews bthat it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
15 cSimon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 dbut Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 eThe servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants5 and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. fPeter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 gThe high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken hopenly ito the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. jI have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, k“Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 lAnnas then sent him bound to lCaiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 mNow Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of nthe man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you oin the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and pat once a rooster crowed.
Jesus Before Pilate
28 qThen they led Jesus rfrom the house of Caiaphas to sthe governor’s headquarters.6 It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, tso that they would not be defiled, ubut could eat the Passover. 29 vSo Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, w“Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 xThis was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken yto show by what kind of death he was going to die.
My Kingdom Is Not of This World
33 zSo Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, a“Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, b“My kingdom cis not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, dmy servants would have been fighting, that eI might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, f“You say that I am a king. gFor this purpose I was born and for this purpose hI have come into the world—ito bear witness to the truth. jEveryone who is kof the truth llistens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, mhe went back outside to the Jews and told them, n“I find no guilt in him. 39 oBut you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, p“Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.7
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!