The King Acknowledges God

[a]Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [b]languages who live in all the earth: “May your [c](A)peace be great! I am pleased to declare the signs and miracles that the (B)Most High God has done for me.

How great are His (C)signs
And how mighty are His miracles!
His (D)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 (E)happy in my palace. I saw a (F)dream and it startled me; and these appearances as I lay on my bed and the (G)visions [e]in my mind kept alarming me. So I gave orders to (H)bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, so that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the (I)soothsayer priests, the sorcerers, the [f]Chaldeans, and the diviners came in and I related the dream [g]to them, but they could not make its (J)interpretation known to me. But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is (K)Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is [h](L)a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream [i]to him, saying, ‘Belteshazzar, (M)chief of the soothsayer priests, since I know that (N)a spirit of the holy gods is in you and (O)no secret baffles you, (P)tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.

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

11 The tree grew large and became strong
And its height (S)reached to the sky,
And it was visible to the end of the whole earth.
12 Its foliage was (T)beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The (U)animals of the field [l]found (V)shade under it,
And the (W)birds of the sky lived in its branches,
And all [m]living creatures fed from it.

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

14 He shouted out and spoke as follows:
(AA)Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Shake off its foliage and scatter its fruit;
Let the (AB)animals flee from under it
And the birds from its branches.
15 Yet (AC)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 animals in the grass of the earth.
16 Let his [q]mind change from that of a human
And let an animal’s [r]mind be given to him,
And let (AD)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 (AE)know
That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
And (AF)He grants it to whomever He wishes
And sets over it the (AG)lowliest of people.”

18 This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, since none of the (AH)wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, because a (AI)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 (AJ)thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not (AK)let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘(AL)My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you, and its interpretation to (AM)your adversaries! 20 The (AN)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 animals of the field lived and in whose branches the birds of the sky settled— 22 it is (AO)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 (AP)dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And in that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “(AQ)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, let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let [v]him share with the animals of the field until (AR)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 (AS)come upon my lord the king: 25 that you be (AT)driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the animals 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 (AU)Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and (AV)bestows it on whomever He wishes. 26 And in that it was commanded to (AW)leave the stump [y]with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will [z]remain as yours after you recognize that it is (AX)Heaven that rules. 27 Therefore, O king, may my (AY)advice be pleasing to you: (AZ)wipe away your sin by doing righteousness, and your wrongdoings by (BA)showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a (BB)prolonging of your prosperity.’

The Vision Fulfilled

28 “All of this (BC)happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 (BD)Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king began speaking and was saying, ‘Is this not Babylon the (BE)great, which I myself have built as a royal [aa]residence by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty?’ 31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice [ab]came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: [ac]sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and (BF)you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the animals of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and (BG)seven [ad]periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the (BH)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 (BI)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 [ae]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [af]reason returned to me, and I blessed the (BJ)Most High and praised and honored (BK)Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an (BL)everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 (BM)All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But (BN)He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And (BO)no one can [ag]fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘(BP)What have You done?’

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

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Footnotes

  1. Daniel 4:1 Ch 3:31 in Aram
  2. Daniel 4:1 Lit tongues
  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 Probably master astrologers, diviners, etc.
  7. Daniel 4:7 Lit before
  8. Daniel 4:8 Or possibly the Spirit of the holy God, and so throughout the ch
  9. Daniel 4:8 Lit before
  10. Daniel 4:10 Lit of my head
  11. Daniel 4:10 Or land, and so throughout the ch
  12. Daniel 4:12 Or dwelt under it
  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 share 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 share 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 be enduring to you
  27. Daniel 4:30 Lit house
  28. Daniel 4:31 Lit fell
  29. Daniel 4:31 Or kingdom
  30. Daniel 4:32 I.e., years
  31. Daniel 4:34 Lit the days
  32. Daniel 4:34 Lit understanding
  33. Daniel 4:35 Lit strike against
  34. Daniel 4:36 Lit understanding
  35. Daniel 4:36 Lit returning
  36. Daniel 4:36 Or kingdom
  37. Daniel 4:37 Lit truth
  38. Daniel 4:37 Lit justice