Bible Reading (Daniel 2:31-45)

(God will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; it will absorb all kingdoms.)

Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar,

“You have had a vision, O king;

this is what you saw:

a statue, a great statue

of extreme brightness,

stood before you,

terrible to see.

The head of this statue was of fine gold,

its chest and arms were of silver,

its belly and thighs of bronze,

its legs of iron,

its feet part iron,

part earthenware.

While you were gazing,

a stone broke away,

untouched by any hand,

and struck the statue,

struck its feet of iron

and earthenware,

bronze, silver,

gold all broke into small pieces

as fine as chaff

on the threshing-floor in summer.

The wind blew them away,

leaving not a trace behind.

And the stone that had struck the statue

grew into a great mountain,

filling the whole earth.

This was the dream;

now we will explain to

the king what it means.

You, O king, king of kings,

to whom the God of heaven has given

sovereignty, power, strength and glory –

the sons of men,

the beasts of the field,

the birds of heaven,

wherever they live,

he has entrusted to your rule,

making you king of them all –

you are the golden head.

And after you another kingdom will rise,

not so great as you,

and then a third, of bronze,

which will rule the whole world.

There will be a fourth kingdom,

hard as iron,

as iron that shatters and crushes all.

Like iron that breaks everything to pieces,

it will crush and break

all the earlier kingdoms.

The feet you saw,

part earthenware, part iron,

are a kingdom which will be split in two,

but which will retain something

of the strength of iron,

just as you saw the iron

and the clay of the earthenware mixed together.

The feet were part iron,

part earthenware:

the kingdom will be partly strong

and partly weak.

And just as you saw

the iron and the

clay of the earthenware mixed together,

so the two will be mixed together

in the seed of man;

but they will not hold together

any more than iron will blend with earthenware.

In the time of these kings the God of heaven

will set up a kingdom

which shall never be destroyed,

and this kingdom will not pass

into the hands of another race:

it will shatter and absorb

all the previous kingdoms,

and itself last for ever –

just as you saw the stone

untouched by hand

break from the mountain

and shatter iron, bronze,

earthenware, silver and gold.

The great God has shown

the king what is to take place.

The dream is true, the interpretation exact.”

The word of the Lord.
R.) Thanks be to God.

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