|Daniel 4 |
1 "Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God has wrought toward me.
3 How great are his signs! And how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.
5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.
7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them; but they could not make known to me its interpretation.
8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my God, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I told the dream, saying,
9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.
10 Thus were the visions of my head in my bed; I saw, and beheld a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached to heaven, and the sight of it was to the end of all the earth.
12 The leaves of it were fair, and the fruit of it plenty; and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelled in its boughs, and all flesh was fed of it.
13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
14 He cried aloud, and said thus, 'Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit; let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.
16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him.
17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men.'
18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now you, O Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able for the spirit of the holy gods is in you."
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was puzzled for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spoke, and said, "Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or its interpretation trouble you. Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, the dream benefits those who hate you, and its interpretation benefits your enemies.
20 The tree that you saw, which grew and was strong, whose height reached to the heaven, and in the sight of all the earth;
21 Whose leaves were fair, and its fruit plenty, with food for all in it; under which the beasts of the field dwelled, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation;
22 It is you, O king, who have grown and become strong for your greatness is grown, and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, 'Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, until seven times pass over him;
24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which has come upon my lord the king:
25 That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.
26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule.
27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor so it may be a lengthening of your tranquility.
28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
30 The king spoke, and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty?
31 While the words were in the king's mouth, a voice from heaven came down, saying, "O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken" The kingdom has departed from you.
32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.1
33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar; and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
34 "And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say to him, What are you doing?
36 At the same time my reason returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and brightness returned to me; and my counselors and my lords sought to me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment; and those who walk in pride, he is able to abase."
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1 The king of Babylon is an archetype for all men who persistently seek the Lord God. All such men have to be humbled by the hand of God; all such men have to be reduced to a beast, and know they are nothing more than a beast. Before a man is fit to serve the living God, he must have his pride destroyed by supernatural tribulation, which each man who seeks the Lord must endure. (See Lamentation 3). This tribulation is with the permission of the Lord, at the hand of the fallen angels, or demons. They surround a man, inflicting pain, ridiculing him, and judging his every thought. The Lord must break us, lower us, and humble us, before we are acceptable to his purpose. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. Psa 51:17. For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isa 57:15.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2. Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Pet 2:21.
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