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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

Daniel 4 New International Version (NIV)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Tree

[a]King Nebuchadnezzar,

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

May you prosper greatly!

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

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

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

I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods 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: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 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; from it every creature was fed.

13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger,[c] coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree 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. 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.

17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest 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. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

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

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 22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! 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.

23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one, 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.’

24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree 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 with the dew of heaven. 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. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 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. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.

The Dream Is Fulfilled

28 All this happened 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 of my majesty?”

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. 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.”

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 with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

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

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

36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. 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 and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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