Daniel 4 New Life Version (NLV)
Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream
4 King Nebuchadnezzar sent this letter to all the people of every nation and language who live in all the world: “May you have much peace! 2 I am pleased to tell you about the wonderful things which the Most High God has done for me. 3 How great are the special things He shows us! How powerful are His wonderful works! His nation lasts forever, and His rule is for all people for all time.
4 “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house. Everything was going well for me there. 5 But I had a dream that made me afraid. As I lay on my bed the pictures that passed through my mind filled me with fear. 6 So I called for all the wise men of Babylon to come and tell me the meaning of my dream. 7 Then the wonder-workers, those who learn from stars, and those who use their secret ways, came in. I told them about the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant. 8 At last Daniel came to me, who was given the name Belteshazzar after the name of my god. A spirit of the holy gods is in him, and I told him about my dream. I said, 9 ‘O Belteshazzar, head of the wonder-workers, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no secret is hidden from you. So tell me what dream I had, and what it means. 10 This is what I saw in my mind as I lay on my bed: I saw a tree in the center of the land. It was very tall. 11 The tree grew and became strong. Its top went up to the sky, and it could be seen to the end of the whole earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful and it had much fruit. It had enough food for everyone. The wild animals of the field rested in its shadow. The birds of the air lived in its branches. And every living thing was fed from it.
13 ‘In the dreams I had as I lay on my bed, I looked and saw an angel who kept watch. He was a holy one who came down from heaven. 14 He said in a loud voice, “Cut down the tree and cut off its branches. Tear off its leaves and throw away its fruit. Let the animals run from under it and the birds fly from its branches. 15 Yet leave the base of the tree with its roots in the ground, and tie a chain of iron and brass around it. Leave it there in the new grass of the field. Let him be wet with the water from heaven on the grass in the early morning. Let him share with the wild animals in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and for seven years let him have the mind of an animal. 17 This penalty is by the law of the angels who keep watch. This is what the holy ones have decided, so that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the nation of all people. He gives it to whomever He wants, and lets the least important of men rule over it.” 18 This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means. None of the wise men in my nation can tell me what it means, but you can. For the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’
Daniel Tells the Meaning of the Second Dream
19 “Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was afraid for a while. His thoughts filled him with fear. The king said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not be afraid of the dream or its meaning.’ Belteshazzar answered, ‘My lord, if only the dream and its meaning had to do with those who hate you and fight against you! 20 You saw the tree which grew large and strong, whose top went up to the sky and could be seen over all the earth. 21 Its leaves were beautiful and it had much fruit, enough food for all. Wild animals of the field rested under it, and birds of the air lived in its branches. 22 This tree is you, O king! For you have become great and strong. Your power has become great and has gone up to the sky, and your rule has gone to the end of the earth. 23 The king saw an angel who kept watch, a holy one coming down from heaven and saying, “Cut down the tree and destroy it. Yet leave its base with its roots in the ground. Put a chain of iron and brass around it and leave it in the new grass of the field. And let him be wet with the water from heaven on the grass in the early morning. Let him share with the wild animals of the field for seven years.” 24 This is what it means, O king. This is what the Most High said would happen to my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from all people and will live with the wild animals of the field. You will eat grass like cattle and become wet with the water from heaven. Seven years will pass until you understand that the Most High is ruler over the nations of men, and gives them to whomever He wants. 26 It was said that the base of the tree and its roots must be left. This means that your nation will be returned to you after you understand that it is Heaven that rules. 27 So, O king, may my words be pleasing to you. Turn away from your sins by doing what is right and good. Turn away from your wrong-doing by being kind to the poor. Then it may be that things will keep going well for you.’
The King Loses Everything
28 “All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of his beautiful house in Babylon. 30 And he said, ‘Is not this the great Babylon which I have built as a beautiful place for the king? I have built it by my great strength and for the greatness of my power.’ 31 Before the king was finished speaking, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is said: Your power over the nation has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from all people and will live with the wild animals of the field. You will eat grass like cattle. And seven years will pass until you understand that the Most High is ruler over the nations of men, and gives them to whomever He wants.’ 33 At once these words about Nebuchadnezzar came true. He was driven away from all people and began eating grass like cattle. His body became wet with the water from heaven, until his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails like those of birds.
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
34 “But at the end of that time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven and my understanding returned to me. And I gave thanks to the Most High and praised and honored Him Who lives forever. For His nation lasts forever, and His rule is for all people for all time. 35 All the people of the earth are thought of as nothing. He does as He pleases with the angels of heaven and the people of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ 36 At that time my understanding returned to me. And my honor and power were returned to me for the greatness of my nation. My wise men and my leaders began looking for me, and I was made king again, with even more greatness added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and honor the King of heaven. For all His works are true and His ways are right. And He is able to bring down those who walk in pride.”