4:1King Nebuchadnezzar. This final incident in the Book of Daniel associated with Nebuchadnezzar must be placed late in the king’s 43-year reign when his building projects were completed and his power was at its height (cf. vv. 4, 30). He represents the most powerful kingdom on earth (vv. 10–12 note) as opposed to the rule of the Most High God. Babylonian records of long periods of absence and blasphemous acts by King Nabonidus (ruled 556 to 539 b.c.; 5:1 note) resemble in some ways Daniel’s account of Nebuchadnezzar. Another composition called the “Prayer of Nabonidus” was discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls, documents hidden before a.d. 70 by a Jewish community at Qumran and found in 1947. This “Prayer” is also similar to what Daniel says about Nebuchadnezzar. Nabonidus is separated from society for seven years and restored with the help of a Jewish exile following confession of his sins. However, his affliction is described as a form of skin disease rather than mental illness.
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