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Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Nebuchadnezzar the king,

(A)To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders (B)that the Most High God has worked for me.

(C)How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is (D)an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which made me afraid, (E)and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head (F)troubled me. Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. (G)Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. But at last Daniel came before me (H)(his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; (I)in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: “Belteshazzar, (J)chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10 “These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
(K)A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
11 The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
12 Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
(L)The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was (M)a watcher, (N)a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried [a]aloud and said thus:

(O)‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
(P)Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.
16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven (Q)times[b] pass over him.

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order (R)that the living may know
(S)That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
(T)Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the (U)lowest of men.’

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, (V)since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, (W)for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

Daniel Explains the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, (X)whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts (Y)troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.”

Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may (Z)the dream [c]concern those who hate you, and its interpretation [d]concern your enemies!

20 (AA)“The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home— 22 (AB)it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, (AC)and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 (AD)“And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, (AE)and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven [e]times pass over him’; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall (AF)drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you (AG)eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven [f]times shall pass over you, (AH)till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and (AI)gives it to whomever He chooses.

26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that (AJ)Heaven[g] rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; (AK)break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. (AL)Perhaps there may be (AM)a [h]lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking [i]about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king (AN)spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 (AO)While the word was still in the king’s mouth, (AP)a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And (AQ)they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven [j]times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

34 And (AR)at the end of the [k]time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him (AS)who lives forever:

For His dominion is (AT)an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 (AU)All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
(AV)He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
(AW)No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, (AX)“What have You done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, (AY)and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was (AZ)restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was (BA)added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, (BB)praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, (BC)all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. (BD)And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 4:14 Lit. with strength
  2. Daniel 4:16 Possibly years
  3. Daniel 4:19 be for
  4. Daniel 4:19 for
  5. Daniel 4:23 Possibly years
  6. Daniel 4:25 Possibly years
  7. Daniel 4:26 God
  8. Daniel 4:27 prolonging
  9. Daniel 4:29 Or upon
  10. Daniel 4:32 Possibly years
  11. Daniel 4:34 Lit. days

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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