(I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man.)
“I have been seeing visions in the night.
I saw that the four winds of heaven
were stirring up the great sea;
four great beasts emerged from the sea,
each different from the other.
The first was like a lion
with eagle’s wings;
and as I looked
its wings were torn off,
and it was lifted from the ground
and set standing on its feet
like a man;
and it was given a human heart.
The second beast I saw was different,
like a bear,
raised up on one of its sides,
with three ribs in its mouth,
between its teeth.
‘Up!’ came the command
‘Eat quantities of flesh!’
After this I looked,
and saw another beast,
like a leopard,
and with four bird’s wings on its flanks;
it had four heads,
and power was given to it.
Next I saw a fourth beast,
it had great iron teeth, and it ate,
crushed and trampled underfoot
It was different from the previous beasts
and had ten horns.
“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 that was full of boasts.
As I watched:
“Thrones were set in place
and one of great age 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.
A stream of fire poured out,
issuing from his presence.
A thousand thousand waited on him,
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
A court was held
and the books opened.
“The great things the horn was saying
were still ringing in my ears,
and as I watched, the beast was killed,
and its body destroyed
and committed to the flames.
The other beasts were deprived of their power,
but received a lease of life for a season
and a time.
“I gazed into the visions of the night.
And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,
one like a son of man.
He came to the one of great age
and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory an kingship,
and men of all peoples,
nations and languages
became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
which shall never pass away,
nor will his empire ever be destroyed.”
The word of the Lord.
R.) Thanks be to God.