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A new man —
and how it happened
Chapter 4 About 10 years afterwards in 570BC
How good God is!
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Note 1 Peace be multiplied to you. 2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God has wrought toward me. 3 How great are His signs! And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. Note 2
Another unexplained dream
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace: Note 3 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Note 4 6 Therefore made I 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. 7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known to me the interpretation of it. They were probably too afraid to tell him because its meaning was obvious enough to make the king afraid.
8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was [still] Belteshazzar [master of the magicians, in my mind], according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
9 "O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation of it."
A personal warning
10 "Thus were the visions of my head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height of it was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height of it reached to heaven, and the sight of it to the end of all the earth: 12 The leaves of it were fair, and the fruit of it much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs of it, and all flesh was fed of it."
13 "I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and a holy one [an angel] came down from heaven; 14 He cried aloud, and said thus,
"Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches,
shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit:
let the beasts get away from under it,
and the fowls from his branches:
15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given to him: and let seven times pass over him.
17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: Note 5 to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Note 6 and gives it to whoever He will, and sets up over it the basest of men." Note 7 ........................................... Back to Notes for The Revelation chapter 10
An interpretation is required
18 "This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Note 8
Now you, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation of it, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation: but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you".
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied [embarrassed] for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. Note 9
The king spoke, and said,
"Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation of it, trouble you."
Belteshazzar answered and said,
"My lord, [I wish] the dream be to them that hate you, and the interpretation of it to your enemies." Note 10
Gods protection is always available
20 "The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the heaven, and the sight of it to all the earth; 21 whose leaves were fair, and the fruit of it much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
22 "It is you, O king, that are grown and become strong: for your greatness is grown, and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the end of the earth. Note 11
23 "And because the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven, and saying,
"Hew the tree down, and destroy it;
yet leave the stump of the roots of it in the earth,
even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; Note 12
and let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
and let his portion be with the beasts of the field,
till seven times pass over him;"
24 "This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High,which is come upon my lord the king:"How are the mighty fallen!"
25 "That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times [7 years] shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever He will. Note 13
26 "And because they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; your kingdom shall be sure to you, Note 14 after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule.
The way out
27 "Because of this, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by [using] righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if [you do so] it may be a lengthening of your tranquillity [and life]." ................................. [Back to notes chapter 9].
The warning ignored
28 [But] all this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. Note 15
29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, and said,
"Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?" Note 16
31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying,
"O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken;
The kingdom is departed from you.
32 And they shall drive you from men,
and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field:
they shall make you to eat grass as oxen,
and seven times [or years] shall pass over you,
until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
and gives it to whoever He will". But it took a year of rejection.
33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails [became] like birds' claws. He was afflicted with a mental disease. Note 17
The new man Note 17a
34 And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured Him that lives for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: 35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say to Him, "What do You?" Note 18
36 At the same time my reason returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my honour and brightness returned to me; and my counsellors and my lords sought me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. He regained his political power.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase [or humble]. Note 19
For a good background to this chapter see this article.
"The Purpose of Human Life"
On to Chapter Five
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