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Daniel 2:33-41

Context
2:33 Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay. 1  2:34 You were watching as 2  a stone was cut out, 3  but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces. 2:35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were broken in pieces without distinction 4  and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors that the wind carries away. Not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain that filled the entire earth. 2:36 This was the dream. Now we 5  will set forth before the king its interpretation.

Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

2:37 “You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has granted you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 2:38 Wherever human beings, 6  wild animals, 7  and birds of the sky live – he has given them into your power. 8  He has given you authority over them all. You are the head of gold. 2:39 Now after you another kingdom 9  will arise, one inferior to yours. Then a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule in all the earth. 2:40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, one strong like iron. Just like iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything, and as iron breaks in pieces 10  all of these metals, 11  so it will break in pieces and crush the others. 12  2:41 In that you were seeing feet and toes 13  partly of wet clay 14  and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay. 15 

1 sn Clay refers to baked clay, which – though hard – was also fragile. Cf. the reference in v. 41 to “wet clay.”

2 tn Aram “until.”

3 tc The LXX, Theodotion, and the Vulgate have “from a mountain,” though this is probably a harmonization with v. 45.

4 tn Aram “as one.” For the meaning “without distinction” see the following: F. Rosenthal, Grammar, 36, §64, and p. 93; E. Vogt, Lexicon linguae aramaicae, 60.

5 tn Various suggestions have been made concerning the plural “we.” It is probably the editorial plural and could be translated here as “I.”

6 tn Aram “the sons of man.”

7 tn Aram “the beasts of the field.”

8 tn Aram “hand.”

9 sn The identity of the first kingdom is clearly Babylon. The identification of the following three kingdoms is disputed. The common view is that they represent Media, Persia, and Greece. Most conservative scholars identify them as Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

10 tc Theodotion and the Vulgate lack the phrase “and as iron breaks in pieces.”

11 tn The Aramaic text does not have this word, but it has been added in the translation for clarity.

12 tn The words “the others” are supplied from the context.

13 tc The LXX lacks “and toes.”

14 tn Aram “potter’s clay.”

15 tn Aram “clay of clay” (also in v. 43).



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