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Daniel 2: 1-48

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

2In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed such dreams that his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2So the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. When they came in and stood before the king, 3he said to them, ‘I have had such a dream that my spirit is troubled by the desire to understand it.’ 4The Chaldeans said to the king (in Aramaic),* ‘O king, live for ever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the interpretation.’ 5The king answered the Chaldeans, ‘This is a public decree: if you do not tell me both the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6But if you do tell me the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honour. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.’ 7They answered a second time, ‘Let the king first tell his servants the dream, then we can give its interpretation.’ 8The king answered, ‘I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see I have firmly decreed: 9if you do not tell me the dream, there is but one verdict for you. You have agreed to speak lying and misleading words to me until things take a turn. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.’ 10The Chaldeans answered the king, ‘There is no one on earth who can reveal what the king demands! In fact no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11The thing that the king is asking is too difficult, and no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.’

12 Because of this the king flew into a violent rage and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13The decree was issued, and the wise men were about to be executed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions, to execute them. 14Then Daniel responded with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the king’s chief executioner, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon; 15he asked Arioch, the royal official, ‘Why is the decree of the king so urgent?’ Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16So Daniel went in and requested that the king give him time and he would tell the king the interpretation.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

17 Then Daniel went to his home and informed his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 18and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions with the rest of the wise men of Babylon might not perish. 19Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel said:
‘Blessed be the name of God from age to age,
   for wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons,
   deposes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
   and knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
   he knows what is in the darkness,
   and light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my ancestors,
   I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and power,
   and have now revealed to me what we asked of you,
   for you have revealed to us what the king ordered.’

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, ‘Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will give the king the interpretation.’

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him: ‘I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who can tell the king the interpretation.’ 26The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, ‘Are you able to tell me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?’ 27Daniel answered the king, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners can show to the king the mystery that the king is asking, 28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has disclosed to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen at the end of days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed were these: 29To you, O king, as you lay in bed, came thoughts of what would be hereafter, and the revealer of mysteries disclosed to you what is to be. 30But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me because of any wisdom that I have more than any other living being, but in order that the interpretation may be known to the king and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

31 ‘You were looking, O king, and lo! there was a great statue. This statue was huge, its brilliance extraordinary; it was standing before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32The head of that statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34As you looked on, a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in pieces. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, were all broken in pieces and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 ‘This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37You, O king, the king of kings—to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the might, and the glory, 38into whose hand he has given human beings, wherever they live, the wild animals of the field, and the birds of the air, and whom he has established as ruler over them all—you are the head of gold. 39After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. 40And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; just as iron crushes and smashes everything,* it shall crush and shatter all these. 41As you saw the feet and toes partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the strength of iron shall be in it, as you saw the iron mixed with the clay. 42As the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so will they mix with one another in marriage,* but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever; 45just as you saw that a stone was cut from the mountain not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The great God has informed the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation trustworthy.’

Daniel and His Friends Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshipped Daniel, and commanded that a grain-offering and incense be offered to him. 47The king said to Daniel, ‘Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery!’ 48Then the king promoted Daniel, gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

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Psalm 145

1  I will exalt you, O God my King, ♦︎
   and bless your name for ever and ever.
2  Every day will I bless you ♦︎
   and praise your name for ever and ever.
3  Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; ♦︎
   his greatness is beyond all searching out.
4  One generation shall praise your works to another ♦︎
   and declare your mighty acts.
5  They shall speak of the majesty of your glory, ♦︎
   and I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
6  They shall speak of the might of your marvellous acts, ♦︎
   and I will also tell of your greatness.
7  They shall pour forth the story of your abundant kindness ♦︎
   and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8  The Lord is gracious and merciful, ♦︎
   long-suffering and of great goodness.
9  The Lord is loving to everyone ♦︎
   and his mercy is over all his creatures.
10  All your works praise you, O Lord, ♦︎
   and your faithful servants bless you.
11  They tell of the glory of your kingdom ♦︎
   and speak of your mighty power,
12  To make known to all peoples your mighty acts ♦︎
   and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; ♦︎
   your dominion endures throughout all ages.
14  The Lord is sure in all his words ♦︎
   and faithful in all his deeds.
15  The Lord upholds all those who fall ♦︎
   and lifts up all those who are bowed down.
16  The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, ♦︎
   and you give them their food in due season.
17  You open wide your hand ♦︎
   and fill all things living with plenty.
18  The Lord is righteous in all his ways ♦︎
   and loving in all his works.
19  The Lord is near to those who call upon him, ♦︎
   to all who call upon him faithfully.
20  He fulfils the desire of those who fear him; ♦︎
   he hears their cry and saves them.
21  The Lord watches over those who love him, ♦︎
   but all the wicked shall he destroy.
22  My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, ♦︎
   and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

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Revelation 7: 9-17

The Multitude from Every Nation

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’
11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12singing,
‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour
and power and might
be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’

13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ 14I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 For this reason they are before the throne of God,
   and worship him day and night within his temple,
   and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
16 They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
   the sun will not strike them,
   nor any scorching heat;
17 for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd,
   and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

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Matthew 5: 1-12

The Beatitudes

5When Jesus* saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely* on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.