1. In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions that passed through his head as he lay in bed. He wrote the dream down, and this is how the narrative began:
2. Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea;
3. four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the others.
4. The first was like a lion with eagle's wings and, as I looked, its wings were torn off, and it was lifted off the ground and set standing on its feet like a human; and it was given a human heart.
5. And there before me was a second beast, like a bear, rearing up on one side, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. "Up!" came the command. "Eat quantities of flesh!"
6. After this I looked; and there before me was another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird's wings on its flanks; it had four heads and was granted authority.
7. Next, in the visions of the night, I saw another vision: there before me was a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate its victims, crushed them, and trampled their remains underfoot. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.
8. 'While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth full of boasting.
9. While I was watching, thrones were set in place and one most venerable took his seat. His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool. His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
10. A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence. A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was in session and the books lay open.
11. 'I went on watching: then, because of the noise made by the boastings of the horn, as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames.
12. The other beasts were deprived of their empire, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.
13. I was gazing into the visions of the night, when I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, as it were a son of man. He came to the One most venerable and was led into his presence.
14. On him was conferred rule, honour and kingship, and all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His rule is an everlasting rule which will never pass away, and his kingship will never come to an end.
15. 'I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through my head alarmed me.
16. So I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him about all this. And in reply he revealed to me what these things meant.
17. "These four great beasts are four kings who will rise up from the earth.
18. Those who receive royal power are the holy ones of the Most High, and kingship will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever."
19. Then I asked about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws; it ate its victims, crushed them, and trampled their remains underfoot;
20. and about the ten horns on its head -- and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth full of boasting, and why it looked more impressive than its fellows.
21. This was the horn I had watched making war on the holy ones and proving the stronger,
22. until the coming of the One most venerable who gave judgement in favour of the holy ones of the Most High, when the time came for the holy ones to assume kingship.
23. This is what he said: "The fourth beast is to be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all other kingdoms. It will devour the whole world, trample it underfoot and crush it.
24. As for the ten horns: from this kingdom will rise ten kings, and another after them; this one will be different from the previous ones and will bring down three kings;
25. he will insult the Most High, and torment the holy ones of the Most High. He will plan to alter the seasons and the Law, and the Saints will be handed over to him for a time, two times, and half a time.
26. But the court will sit, and he will be stripped of his royal authority which will be finally destroyed and reduced to nothing.
27. And kingship and rule and the splendours of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High, whose royal power is an eternal power, whom every empire will serve and obey."
28. 'Here the narrative ends. 'I, Daniel, was greatly disturbed in mind, and I grew pale; but I kept these things to myself.'