God of peace,
whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom
and restored the broken to wholeness of life:
look with compassion on the anguish of the world,
and by your healing power
make whole both people and nations;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: ‘As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever—for ever and ever.’
Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped what was left with its feet; and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and concerning the other horn that came up, and to make room for which three of them fell out—the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke arrogantly, and that seemed greater than the others. As I looked, this horn made war with the holy ones and was prevailing over them, until the Ancient One came; then judgement was given for the holy ones of the Most High, and the time arrived when the holy ones gained possession of the kingdom.
This is what he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth
that shall be different from all the other kingdoms;
it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them.
This one shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High,
shall wear out the holy ones of the Most High,
and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons and the law;
and they shall be given into his power
for a time, two times, and half a time.
Then the court shall sit in judgement,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and totally destroyed.
The kingship and dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High;
their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’
Here the account ends. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly terrified me, and my face turned pale; but I kept the matter in my mind.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
for it is good for the just to sing praises.
Praise the Lord with the lyre;
on the ten-stringed harp sing his praise.
Sing for him a new song;
play skilfully, with shouts of praise.
For the word of the Lord is true
and all his works are sure.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers up the waters of the sea as in a waterskin
and lays up the deep in his treasury.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
stand in awe of him, all who dwell in the world.
For he spoke, and it was done;
he commanded, and it stood fast.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to naught;
he frustrates the designs of the peoples.
But the counsel of the Lord shall endure for ever
and the designs of his heart from generation to generation.
Happy the nation whose God is the Lord
and the people he has chosen for his own.
The Lord looks down from heaven
and beholds all the children of earth.
From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze
on all who dwell on the earth.
He fashions all the hearts of them
and understands all their works.
No king is saved by the might of his host;
no warrior delivered by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
for all its strength it cannot save.
Behold, the eye of the Lord
is upon those who fear him,
on those who wait in hope for his steadfast love,
To deliver their soul from death
and to feed them in time of famine.
Our soul waits longingly for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
Indeed, our heart rejoices in him;
in his holy name have we put our trust.
Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us,
as we have set our hope on you.