Daniel 4 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Nebuchadnezzar’s Letter about His Second Dream
4 King Nebuchadnezzar sent the following letter to the people of all nations and races on the earth:
Greetings to all of you!
4 I was enjoying a time of peace and prosperity, 5 when suddenly I had some horrifying dreams and visions. 6 Then I commanded every wise man in Babylonia to appear in my court, so they could explain the meaning of my dream. 7 After they arrived, I told them my dream, but they were not able to say what it meant. 8 Finally, a young man named Daniel came in, and I told him the dream. The holy gods had given him special powers, and I had renamed him Belteshazzar after my own god.
9 I said, “Belteshazzar, not only are you the wisest of all advisors and counselors, but the holy gods have given you special powers to solve the most difficult mysteries. So listen to what I dreamed and tell me what it means:
10 In my sleep I saw
13 “While I was in bed, having this vision, a holy angel[a] came down from heaven 14 and shouted:
‘Chop down the tree
‘Make sure that this ruler
18 “Daniel,[d] that was the dream that none of the wise men in my kingdom were able to understand. But I am sure that you will understand what it means, because the holy gods have given you some special powers.”
19 For a while, Daniel[e] was terribly confused and worried by what he was thinking. But I said, “Don’t be bothered either by the dream or by what it means.”
Your Majesty, I wish the dream had been against your enemies. 20 You saw a tree that grew so big and strong that it reached up to heaven and could be seen from anywhere on earth. 21 Its leaves were beautiful, and it produced enough fruit for all living creatures; animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. 22 Your Majesty, that tree is you. Your glorious reputation has reached heaven, and your kingdom covers the earth.
23 Then you saw a holy angel[f] come down from heaven and say, “Chop down the tree and destroy it! But leave its stump and roots in the ground, fastened there by a chain of iron and bronze. Let it stay for seven years[g] out in the field with the wild animals, unprotected from the dew.”
24 Your Majesty, God Most High has sent you this message, and it means 25 that you will be forced to live with the wild animals, far away from humans. You will eat grass like a wild animal and live outdoors for seven years,[h] until you learn that God Most High controls all earthly kingdoms and chooses their rulers. 26 But he gave orders not to disturb the stump and roots. This is to show that you will be king once again, after you learn that the God who rules from heaven is in control. 27 Your Majesty, please be willing to do what I say. Turn from your sins and start living right; have mercy on those who are mistreated. Then all will go well with you for a long time.
The Rest of Nebuchadnezzar’s Letter about His Second Dream
28-30 About twelve months later, I was walking on the flat roof of my royal palace and admiring the beautiful city of Babylon, when these things started happening to me. I was saying to myself, “Just look at this wonderful capital city that I have built by my own power and for my own glory!”
31 But before I could finish speaking, a voice from heaven interrupted:
King Nebuchadnezzar, this kingdom is no longer yours. 32 You will be forced to live with the wild animals, away from people. For seven years[i] you will eat grass, as though you were an ox, until you learn that God Most High is in control of all earthly kingdoms and that he is the one who chooses their rulers.
33 This was no sooner said than done—I was forced to live like a wild animal; I ate grass and was unprotected from the dew. As time went by, my hair grew longer than eagle feathers, and my fingernails looked like the claws of a bird.
34 Finally, I prayed to God in heaven, and my mind was healed. Then I said:
“I praise and honor
36 At that time my mind was healed, and once again I became the ruler of my glorious kingdom. My advisors and officials returned to me, and I had greater power than ever before. 37 That’s why I say:
“Praise and honor the King
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