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Darius elevates Daniel to high office, exciting the jealousy of other officials.

Knowing of Daniel's devotion to his God, his enemies trick the king into issuing an edict forbidding worship of any other god or man for a 30-day period.

When he wakes up, he realizes that the dream has some important message, so he consults his wise men.

Wary of their potential to fabricate an explanation, the king refuses to tell the wise men what he saw in his dream.

The book's influence has resonated through later ages, from the Dead Sea Scrolls community and the authors of the gospels and Revelation, to various movements from the 2nd century to the Protestant Reformation and modern millennialist movements—on which it continues to have a profound influence.

The division is reinforced by the chiastic arrangement of the Aramaic chapters (see below), and by a chronological progression in chapters 1–6 from Babylonian to Median rule, and from Babylonian to Persian rule in chapters 7–12.

All of this comes to pass until, at the end of the specified time, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges that "heaven rules" and his kingdom and sanity are restored.

Belshazzar and his nobles blasphemously drink from sacred Jewish temple vessels, offering praise to inanimate gods, until a hand mysteriously appears and writes upon the wall.

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In the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar has a dream.

The horrified king summons Daniel, who upbraids him for his lack of humility before God and interprets the message: Belshazzar's kingdom will be given to the Medes and Persians.

Belshazzar rewards Daniel and raises him to be third in the kingdom, and that very night Belshazzar is slain and Darius the Mede takes the kingdom.

Daniel receives an explanatory vision from God: Nebuchadnezzar had seen an enormous statue with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of mixed iron and clay, then saw the statue destroyed by a rock that turned into a mountain filling the whole earth.

Daniel explains the dream to the king: the statue symbolized four successive kingdoms, starting with Nebuchadnezzar, all of which would be crushed by God's kingdom, which would endure forever.

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