Daniel 4International Standard Version (ISV)
To the people of all nations and languages who live on earth.
Peace and prosperity to you!
2 It gives me great pleasure to tell about the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.
3 How great are his signs!
How powerful are his wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom, and his dominion lasts from generation to generation.
4 [c]I, Nebuchadnezzar, was resting in my home and prospering in my palace. 5 I had a dream that made me afraid. The thoughts that went through my mind while in bed and the visions in my head terrified me. 6 So I gave an order to bring in all of the advisors[d] of Babylon so they would tell me the interpretation of the dream.
7 Then the diviners, enchanters,[e] Chaldeans, and astrologers[f] came in, and I told them the dream. But they could not reveal its interpretation to me. 8 Eventually, Daniel appeared before me. (He is called Belteshazzar, in accordance with the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is within him.) I told him my dream:
9 “Belteshazzar, chief of the diviners, since I know that the spirit of the holy gods is within you, and no mystery too difficult for you, explain to me the vision of my dream that I saw, along with its interpretation. 10 This is what I saw in the visions of my head while I was in bed: I was looking and—listen carefully!—I saw a tree in the middle of the earth, the height of which was very great. 11 The tree grew large, became strong, and its top reached the sky. It could be seen to the ends of the earth. 12 Its foliage was beautiful, its fruit bountiful, and its food sufficient for everyone. The animals of the field found shade under it, the birds of the sky lived in its branches, and every creature was fed from it.
13 “Then I saw in the visions of my head while I was in bed—and take careful notice!—I saw a holy observer descend from heaven. 14 He called out aloud:
‘Cut down the tree and cut off its branches. Strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit. Let the animals get out from under it, and let the birds leave[g] its branches. 15 Nevertheless, leave the stump and its roots in the ground, but bind it with iron and bronze in the field grass. Let him be drenched with dew from the sky, and let him graze with the animals in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let him be given the mind of an animal until seven seasons of time pass by for him. 17 This order is announced by the observers, and the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over human kingdoms and grants them to whomever he desires, and he places the least important of men over them.’
18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. Belteshazzar, tell me its meaning, since none of the advisors[h] in my kingdom can tell me its interpretation. But you are able to do so[i] because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
19 Then Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) was greatly troubled for a while and was terrified by his thoughts. The king said, “Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream or its meaning terrify you.”
Belteshazzar responded, “Your majesty, if only[j] the dream were about your enemies and its meaning about those who oppose you! 20 The tree that you saw, which grew large and strong until its top reached the sky and became visible to the whole earth 21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit—enough food for everyone—and under which wild animals of the field found shelter and the birds of the air had nests in its branches— 22 it’s you, your majesty! You’ve become great and strong, your greatness has grown to the heavens, and your dominion reaches to the distant parts of the earth.
23 “Your majesty saw a holy observer descending from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump in the ground, along with its roots, bound with iron and bronze in the field grass. Let him be soaked with the dew of the sky and live with the wild animals of the field until seven seasons pass over him.’
24 “This is the meaning, your majesty, and this is the decree that the Most High has issued against his majesty, the king: 25 You’ll be driven from people, and you’ll live among wild animals of the field. You’ll eat grass like cattle and be soaked with the dew of the sky while seven years pass you by[k]—until you realize that the Most High is sovereign over human kingdoms and grants them to whomever he desires. 26 Just as it was ordered to leave the stump of the tree in the ground[l] along with its roots, so your kingdom will be restored to you when you realize that Heaven rules over everything.[m] 27 Therefore, your majesty, may my advice be acceptable to you: Stop your sinning, do what’s right, and put a stop to your wickedness by showing kindness to the oppressed. Perhaps your tranquility will continue.”
The Dream Comes True
28 All of this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 About a year later,[n] as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he[o] commented to himself,[p] “Isn’t Babylon great? I’ve built a royal palace in it by my own might and power, for the sake[q] of my majesty.”
31 As these words were being spoken by the king, a voice came out of heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, this is declared to you:
‘The kingdom has been taken[r] from you! 32 You’re to be driven away from people. You’re to live with the wild animals of the field. You are to be made to eat grass like cattle, and seven years will pass you by[s] until you realize that the Most High is sovereign over human kingdoms and grants them to whomever he desires.’”
33 The decree was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar immediately. He was driven away from people to eat grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky, until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
The King’s Sanity Returns
34 “When that period of time was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven and my sanity returned to me. I blessed the Most High, praising and honoring the one who lives forever:
For his sovereignty is eternal,
36 At that moment I recovered my sanity, and my honor and majesty returned to me, for the sake[t] of my kingdom. My advisors and officials sought me out, my throne was restored, and even more greatness than I had before was added to me. 37 In conclusion, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and give glory to the King of heaven:
For everything he does is true,
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! For just a few dollars each month, Bible Gateway Plus gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.