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Daniel 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Nebuchadnezzar the king,

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 that the Most High God has worked for me.

How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is 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, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head 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. 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 (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: “Belteshazzar, 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,
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.
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 a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried [a]aloud and said thus:

‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
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 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 that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since 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 God is in you.”

Daniel Explains the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts 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 the dream [c]concern those who hate you, and its interpretation [d]concern your enemies!

20 “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 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 “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, 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 drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven [f]times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and 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 Heaven[g] rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be 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 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 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has 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 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 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 who lives forever:

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

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. 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
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Daniel 4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The King Acknowledges God

[a]Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every [b]language that live in all the earth: “May your [c]peace abound! It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.

“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.

The Vision of a Great Tree

[d]I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions [e]in my mind kept alarming me. So I gave orders to bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the [f]magicians, the conjurers, the [g]Chaldeans and the diviners came in and I related the dream [h]to them, but they could not make its interpretation known to me. But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is [i]a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream [j]to him, saying, ‘O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.

10 ‘Now these were the visions [k]in my mind as I lay on my bed: I was looking, and behold, there was a tree in the midst of the [l]earth and its height was great.

11 ‘The tree grew large and became strong
And its height reached to the sky,
And it was visible to the end of the whole earth.
12 ‘Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches,
And all [m]living creatures fed themselves from it.

13 ‘I was looking in the visions [n]in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven.

14 ‘He shouted out and spoke as follows:
Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit;
Let the beasts flee from under it
And the birds from its branches.
15 “Yet leave the stump [o]with its roots in the ground,
But with a band of iron and bronze around it
In the new grass of the field;
And let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,
And let [p]him share with the beasts in the grass of the earth.
16 “Let his [q]mind be changed from that of a man
And let a beast’s [r]mind be given to him,
And let seven [s]periods of time pass over him.
17 “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers
And the decision is a command of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
And bestows it on whom He wishes
And sets over it the lowliest of men.”

18 This is the dream which I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, inasmuch as none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.’

Daniel Interprets the Vision

19 “Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries! 20 The tree that you saw, which became large and grew strong, whose height reached to the sky and was visible to all the earth 21 and whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged— 22 it is you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your [t]majesty has become great and reached to the sky and your dominion to the end of the earth. 23 In that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump [u]with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let [v]him share with the beasts of the field until seven [w]periods of time 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 that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven [x]periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. 26 And in that it was commanded to leave the stump [y]with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be [z]assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. 27 Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: [aa]break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’

The Vision Fulfilled

28 “All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king [ab]reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal [ac]residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ 31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice [ad]came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: [ae]sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven [af]periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ 33 Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

34 “But at the end of [ag]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [ah]reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can [ai]ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

36 At that time my [aj]reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were [ak]restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my [al]sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are [am]true and His ways [an]just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 4:1 Ch 3:31 in Aram
  2. Daniel 4:1 Lit tongue
  3. Daniel 4:1 Or welfare or prosperity
  4. Daniel 4:4 Ch 4:1 in Aram
  5. Daniel 4:5 Lit of my head
  6. Daniel 4:7 Or soothsayer priests, and so throughout the ch
  7. Daniel 4:7 Or master astrologers
  8. Daniel 4:7 Lit before
  9. Daniel 4:8 Or possibly the Spirit of the holy God, and so throughout the ch
  10. Daniel 4:8 Lit before
  11. Daniel 4:10 Lit of my head
  12. Daniel 4:10 Or land, and so throughout the ch
  13. Daniel 4:12 Lit flesh
  14. Daniel 4:13 Lit of my head
  15. Daniel 4:15 Lit of
  16. Daniel 4:15 Lit his portion be with
  17. Daniel 4:16 Lit heart
  18. Daniel 4:16 Lit heart
  19. Daniel 4:16 I.e. years
  20. Daniel 4:22 Lit greatness
  21. Daniel 4:23 Lit of
  22. Daniel 4:23 Lit his portion be with
  23. Daniel 4:23 I.e. years
  24. Daniel 4:25 I.e. years
  25. Daniel 4:26 Lit of
  26. Daniel 4:26 Lit enduring
  27. Daniel 4:27 Or redeem now your sins
  28. Daniel 4:30 Lit answered
  29. Daniel 4:30 Lit house
  30. Daniel 4:31 Lit fell
  31. Daniel 4:31 Or kingdom
  32. Daniel 4:32 I.e. years
  33. Daniel 4:34 Lit the days
  34. Daniel 4:34 Lit knowledge
  35. Daniel 4:35 Lit strike against
  36. Daniel 4:36 Lit knowledge
  37. Daniel 4:36 Lit returning
  38. Daniel 4:36 Or kingdom
  39. Daniel 4:37 Lit truth
  40. Daniel 4:37 Lit justice
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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