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Notes for

Daniel Chapter Four

1. Nebuchadnezzar wrote this chapter of the Bible in the Syriac language.

Proverbs 21:1-4 How God sets up and pulls down!

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will [just as a river follows a natural course]. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD ponders the hearts. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. A high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing [actions] of the wicked, is sin.

Psalm 144:9-10 God guides where He is listened to

I will sing a new song to You, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises to you. It is He that gives salvation to kings: who delivers David His servant from the hurtful sword.

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2. Ezekiel 18:19-22 Each person bears their own guilt

Yet say you, Why? does not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son has done that which is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes, and has done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

Ezekiel 26:7 He is called "a king of kings" by God

For thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.

This was about 10 years later than the previous chapter - c. 570BC.

He died c. 562BC.

God's kingdom is "everlasting" because only God’s plans are used in it.

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3. "at rest" means that there were no wars or rebellions at the time.

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4. Job 33:14-18

For God speaks once, yes twice, yet man perceives it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keeps back his soul from the pit [if He can], and his life from perishing by the sword.

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5. "watchers" (plural) = a council of concerned angels who wanted to warn Nebuchadnezzar of his danger.

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6. "that the living may know" = the purpose of this (and other) experiences is to teach those who would learn from them HOW God sets up and pulls down.

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7. "sets up over it" = Not directly as we have seen, but He suggests that even a bad man in charge is better than anarchy (every man for himself).

Romans 13:1-6 Consider these verses prayerfully

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation, for rulers are not a terror to [those who do] good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil [or lawbreaking], be afraid; for he bears not the sword [of authority] in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath [punishment] upon him that does evil.

Wherefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath [or fear of the punishment], but also for conscience sake [because you believe God knows he is there].

The "powers that be" when this was written were Nero and his companions! God does not stop tyrants from fulfilling their will, He simply protects His own as much as He is allowed.

"basest" = those who walk in pride (see 4:37).

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8. Acts 17:26-27 The rejection of the loving call of the Lord can make men mad

[God] has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us....

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9. Daniel had not expected this, yet he knew its meaning immediately.

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10. He did not wish harm to anyone. As a Christian he loved his enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48.) This was simply an eastern way of replying.

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11. Verse 22 "It is you, O king, that are grown and become strong..."

"tree" = Nebuchadnezzar. This was a personal message of warning. Its fulfillment is recorded in the next few pages.

Matthew 18:10 "a watcher" = a caring one.

Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.

Hebrews 1:13-14 "a holy one" = an angel as a ministering spirit.

But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Ezekiel 31:3-9

Behold, the Assyrian [Babylon was a portion of that empire] was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers to all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God [Judah] could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like to him in his beauty [or righteousness]. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

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12. "stump of his roots" = his kingdom would be restored to him.

A special madness or disease was to come upon the king which would make him behave like an animal and would last for "seven times" or seven years.

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13. Galatians 6:7 The madness was a result - not a punishment

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

1 Samuel 21:12 - 22:1 Madmen were thought to be possessed of a devil and left alone.

And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath, and he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. Then said Achish to his servants, Lo, you see the man is mad: wherefore then have you brought him to me?

Have I need of mad men, that you have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house? David therefore departed [from] there, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him.

"with the beasts" = He was mad until God could restore him. This dream was a solemn warning and an attempt to change history.

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14. "your kingdom shall be sure to you" = Daniel was to be a good caretaker of the kingdom.

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15. Jonah 3:4-10 In the following words God has shown that the fulfillment of all prophecy is conditional, therefore the impending madness could be averted.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them, for word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God: yes, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that he would do to them; and He did it not [because He had been able to get them to change].

Ezekiel 18:21-22

But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

Micah 6:6-8

Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? [Humble yourself to walk with your God, margin. Or, in plain English, "get off your high horse of pride and come down to My level of meekness and lowliness before you get hurt."]

Madness lies close to genius.

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16. Acts 9:5 Paul's experience

And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.

2 Chronicles 32:24-26 Another example of a delayed prophecy

In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed to the LORD: and He spoke to him, and He gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.

Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

Leviticus 26:18-19 Rejection of God's advice leads to great evil

And if you will not yet for all this hearken to Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

The original city (called Babel) was founded soon after the Flood by Nimrod. Genesis 10:8-10; 11:1-9. Nebuchadnezzar had enlarged it and called it "great Babylon".

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17. Proverbs 26:2 God does not bring the curse - it is cause and effect

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28

[Moses said] Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.

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17a. Ephesians 4:17-24 The change from worldling to Christian

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness [great sin], to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ; if so be that you have heard Him [and accepted His power], and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off concerning the former conversation [conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after [or by] God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:9-11

Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

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18. Jeremiah 51:8-9 God's desire for Babylon

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reaches to heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

Acts 10:37-38 Jesus lived His own words

[Peter said] That word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.

Isaiah 43:6-9 God gets His people even from the throne of Babylon!

I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yes, I have made him [into a Christian].

Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

Daniel 9:1-2 Nebuchadnezzar would have been able to read Daniel’s copy of Jeremiah’s book.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Matthew 11:28-30 Nebuchadnezzar believed the Son of God

[Jesus says] Come to Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke [of guidance] upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

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19. "praise and extol and honour the King of heaven" = help and healing come from God. Nebuchaddezzar's words of praise were from a grateful heart that was partaking of the mercy and grace, the righteousness and peace, of Jesus. He died about 8 years after this in 562BC having reigned for 42 years.

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