In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnez'zar, Nebuchadnez'zar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chalde'ans be summoned, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, "I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream." Then the Chalde'ans said to the king, "O king, live for ever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation."
The king answered the Chalde'ans, "The word from me is sure: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation."
They answered a second time, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation."
The king answered, "I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is sure that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation."
The Chalde'ans answered the king, "There is not a man on earth who can meet the king's demand; for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chalde'an. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and none can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."
Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. So the decree went forth that the wise men were to be slain, and they sought Daniel and his companions, to slay them. Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Ar'i-och, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to slay the wise men of Babylon; he said to Ar'i-och, the king's captain, "Why is the decree of the king so severe?" Then Ar'i-och made the matter known to Daniel. And Daniel went in and besought the king to appoint him a time, that he might show to the king the interpretation.