Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

[a] King Nebuchadnezzar to all (A)peoples, nations, and languages, (B)that dwell in all the earth: (C)Peace be multiplied to you! It has seemed good to me to show the (D)signs and wonders that the (E)Most High God has done for me.

How great are (F)his signs,
    how mighty his (G)wonders!
(H)His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    (I)and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream

[b] I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and (J)the visions of my head alarmed me. So (K)I made a decree that (L)all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then (M)the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but (N)they could not make known to me its interpretation. At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named (O)Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is (P)the spirit of the holy gods[c]—and I told him the dream, saying, “O Belteshazzar, (Q)chief of the magicians, because I know that (R)the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no (S)mystery is too difficult for you, tell me (T)the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. 10 (U)The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and (V)behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 (W)The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 (X)Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. (Y)The beasts of the field found shade under it, and (Z)the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in (AA)the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, (AB)a watcher, (AC)a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He (AD)proclaimed aloud and said thus: (AE)‘Chop down the tree and (AF)lop off its branches, (AG)strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. (AH)Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; (AI)and let seven periods of time (AJ)pass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of (AK)the watchers, the decision by the word of (AL)the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High (AM)rules the kingdom of men (AN)and gives it to whom he will and (AO)sets over it the lowliest of men.’ 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O (AP)Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because (AQ)all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for (AR)the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

Daniel Interprets the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, whose name was (AS)Belteshazzar, was (AT)dismayed for a while, and (AU)his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, (AV)may the dream be for those who hate you (AW)and its interpretation for your enemies! 20 (AX)The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 (AY)whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 22 (AZ)it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. (BA)Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, (BB)and your dominion to the ends of the earth. 23 And because the king saw (BC)a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, (BD)‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till (BE)seven periods of time pass over him,’ 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 (BF)that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made (BG)to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and (BH)seven periods of time shall pass over you, till (BI)you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 26 And as it was commanded (BJ)to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by (BK)practicing righteousness, (BL)and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, (BM)that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar's Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, (BN)“Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by (BO)my mighty power as a royal residence and for (BP)the glory of my majesty?” 31 (BQ)While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 (BR)and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, (BS)until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. (BT)He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Restored

34 (BU)At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and (BV)my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored (BW)him who lives forever,

(BX)for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    and (BY)his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 (BZ)all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
    and (CA)he does according to his will among the host of heaven
    and among the inhabitants of the earth;
(CB)and none can stay his hand
    or (CC)say to him, “What have you done?”

36 At the same time (CD)my reason returned to me, and for (CE)the glory of my kingdom, (CF)my majesty and splendor returned to me. (CG)My counselors and (CH)my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was (CI)added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, (CJ)praise and extol and honor the (CK)King of heaven, (CL)for all his works are right and his ways are just; and (CM)those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 4:1 Ch 3:31 in Aramaic
  2. Daniel 4:4 Ch 4:1 in Aramaic
  3. Daniel 4:8 Or Spirit of the holy God; also verses 9, 18

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Tree

[a]King Nebuchadnezzar,

To the nations and peoples of every language,(A) who live in all the earth:

May you prosper greatly!(B)

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs(C) and wonders that the Most High God(D) has performed for me.

How great are his signs,
    how mighty his wonders!(E)
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
    his dominion endures(F) from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented(G) and prosperous. I had a dream(H) that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed,(I) the images and visions that passed through my mind(J) terrified me.(K) So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret(L) the dream for me. When the magicians,(M) enchanters, astrologers[b] and diviners(N) came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.(O) Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar,(P) after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods(Q) is in him.)

I said, “Belteshazzar, chief(R) of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods(S) is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. 10 These are the visions I saw while lying in bed:(T) I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.(U) 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.(V) 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches;(W) from it every creature was fed.

13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed,(X) I looked, and there before me was a holy one,(Y) a messenger,[c] coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree(Z) and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.(AA) 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.

“‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times[d] pass by for him.(AB)

17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High(AC) is sovereign(AD) over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest(AE) of people.’

18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me.(AF) But you can,(AG) because the spirit of the holy gods(AH) is in you.”(AI)

Daniel Interprets the Dream

19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified(AJ) him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”(AK)

Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! 20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, 21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds(AL) 22 Your Majesty, you are that tree!(AM) You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.(AN)

23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one,(AO) a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’(AP)

24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree(AQ) the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched(AR) with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High(AS) is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.(AT) 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots(AU) means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.(AV) 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.(AW) It may be that then your prosperity(AX) will continue.(AY)

The Dream Is Fulfilled

28 All this happened(AZ) to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory(BA) of my majesty?”(BB)

31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.(BC) 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”(BD)

33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched(BE) with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.(BF)

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity(BG) was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.(BH)

His dominion is an eternal dominion;
    his kingdom(BI) endures from generation to generation.(BJ)
35 All the peoples of the earth
    are regarded as nothing.(BK)
He does as he pleases(BL)
    with the powers of heaven
    and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back(BM) his hand(BN)
    or say to him: “What have you done?”(BO)

36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.(BP) My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt(BQ) and glorify(BR) the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.(BS) And those who walk in pride(BT) he is able to humble.(BU)

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 4:1 In Aramaic texts 4:1-3 is numbered 3:31-33, and 4:4-37 is numbered 4:1-34.
  2. Daniel 4:7 Or Chaldeans
  3. Daniel 4:13 Or watchman; also in verses 17 and 23
  4. Daniel 4:16 Or years; also in verses 23, 25 and 32

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