Daniel 4
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Nebuchadnezzar’s Proclamation

1King Nebuchadnezzar,

To those of every people, nation, and language, who live on the whole earth:a

May your prosperity increase.b 2I am pleased to tell you about the miracles and wondersa the Most High God has done for me.

3How great are his miracles,

and how mighty his wonders!a

His kingdom is an eternal kingdom,b

and his dominion is from generation to generation.c

The Dream

4I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace.a 5I had a dream, and it frightened me; while in my bed, the images and visions in my mind alarmed me.a 6So I issued a decreea to bring all the wise men of Babylon to me in order that they might make the dream’s interpretation known to me.b 7When the magicians, mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners came in, I told them the dream, but they could not make its interpretation known to me.a

8Finally Daniel, named Belteshazzara after the name of my god — and a spirit of the holy gods is in himb — came before me. I told him the dream: 9“Belteshazzar, head of the magicians, because I know that you have the spirit of the holy godsa and that no mystery puzzles you,b explain to me the visions of my dream that I saw, and its interpretation. 10In the visions of my mind as I was lying in bed, I saw this:

There was a tree in the middle of the earth,

and it was very tall.

11The tree grew large and strong;

its top reached to the sky,a

and it was visible to the ends of theA earth.

12Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit was abundant,

and on it was food for all.a

Wild animals found shelter under it,

the birds of the skyb lived in its branches,

and every creature was fed from it.c

13“As I was lying in my bed, I also saw in the visions of my mind a watcher, a holy one,a a coming down from heaven.b 14He called out loudly:

Cut down the tree and chop off its branches;

strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.

Let the animals flee from under it,

and the birds from its branches.a

15But leave the stump with its roots in the grounda

and with a band of iron and bronze around it

in the tender grass of the field.

Let him be drenched with dew from the sky

and share the plants of the earthb

with the animals.

16Let his mind be changed from that of a human,

and let him be given the mind of an animal

for seven periods of time.a B a

17This word is by decree of the watchers,

and the decision is by command from the holy ones.

This is so that the living will know

that the Most High is ruler

over human kingdoms.

He gives them to anyone he wants

and sets the lowliest of people over them.a

18This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because none of the wise men of my kingdom can make the interpretation known to me.a But you can, because you have a spirit of the holy gods.”

The Dream Interpreted

19Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was stunned for a moment, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king said, “Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.”

Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, may the dream apply to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your enemies!a 20The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, whose top reached to the sky and was visible to the whole earth, 21and whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant — and on it was food for all, under it the wild animals lived, and in its branches the birds of the sky lived —  22that tree is you, Your Majesty. For you have become great and strong: your greatness has grown and even reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to the ends of the earth.a

23“The king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump with its roots in the ground and with a band of iron and bronze around it in the tender grass of the field. Let him be drenched with dew from the sky and share food with the wild animals for seven periods of time.’ 24This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree of the Most High that has been issued against my lord the king:a 25You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals. You will feed on grass like cattlea and be drenched with dew from the sky for seven periods of time, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms, and he gives them to anyone he wants.b 26As for the command to leave the tree’s stump with its roots, your kingdom will be restoredA to you as soon as you acknowledge that HeavenB rules.a 27Therefore, may my advice seem good to you my king. Separate yourself from your sins by doing what is right,a and from your injustices by showing mercy to the needy.b Perhaps there will be an extension of your prosperity.”c

The Sentence Executed

28All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.a 29At the end of twelve months, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon, 30the king exclaimed, “Is this not Babylon the Great that I have built to be a royal residence by my vast power and for my majestic glory? ”a

31While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared that the kingdom has departed from you.a 32You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals, and you will feed on grass like cattle for seven periods of time, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms, and he gives them to anyone he wants.”

33At that moment the message against Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people. He ate 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.a

Nebuchadnezzar’s Praise

34But at the end of those days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me. Then I praised the Most High and honored and glorified him who lives forever:a

For his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

and his kingdom is from generation to generation.b

35All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing,a

and he does what he wantsb with the army of heaven

and the inhabitants of the earth.

There is no one who can block his hand

or say to him, “What have you done? ”c

36At that time my sanity returned to me, and my majesty and splendor returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and my nobles sought me out, I was reestablished over my kingdom, and even more greatness came to me.a 37Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of the heavens, because all his works are true and his ways are just.a He is able to humbleb those who walk in pride.c

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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