Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
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. I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
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, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; 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: 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: Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
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 ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof 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, till seven times pass over him; This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
This chapter is an interesting turn from the rest of the Book of Daniel, because it’s a letter written from Nebuchadnezzar. It wasn’t that long ago that I learned and realized that this was Nebuchadnezzar but the more I read it, it seems like something that only he could tell about.
Have you ever had such an incredible experience that you had to tell it in your own way and at your own pace? AB has a habit of telling me to tell someone a story, but when I do, he gets all excited and starts to interject enough that I stop and say, “Would you like to tell them or should I?” LOL He usually says, “you.” Then I have to tell him to let me tell it then.
Well Nebuchadnezzar definitely had such an experience that he needed to write it out himself to whomever would receive it. A Testimony. And what a testimony.
Notice though, he begins his letter telling of God’s wonders. He is praising the God of Israel, which is opposite of his previous pompous and arrogant behavior. It seems that he finally ‘gets it’, and knows just how Mighty and Powerful the Lord is.
He describes in detail another dream, and as with the dream previous about the statue, he needs an interpreter to tell him what it means. When Daniel again interprets the dream, I can’t imagine what Nebuchadnezzar must have been feeling inside. He already knew that God had shown him true things in the past concerning his kingdom, and what the future would hold. To be told your kingdom would be torn up, and you’d be turned away to live like an animal, like an ox eating grass. I don’t think he was turned into a literal animal, but he definitely lost sense of himself for as long as it took to humble himself for real before God Almighty.
God has a way of grabbing one’s attention in dramatic ways, because our hearts are full of pride and we tend to prefer to do things, live life, our way. Nebuchadnezzar was king over the biggest empire of the known world, and was used to having every order obeyed, and doing whatever he pleased. Sure he had shown some acknowledgement of God when he saw what had happened in the furnace he’d ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into. And he realized that it was a divine power that gave Daniel the ability to interpret his previous dreams. He had seen enough to know that God IS, had seen evidence… seen the Lord in the fire, but in essence he had only made a decree to praise the God of the Jews as lip service. He’d not gotten it into his heart because his heart was still arrogant.
I know Titus 1:16 is talking about false teachers, but it actually fits Nebuchadnezzar’s, and anyone’s situation who’s hearts are hardened: They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.
God still had a purpose for Nebuchadnezzar, just as He does for all of us. But some of us, it takes Him to bring us to our knees, or to a place where we have no choice but to cry out to Him and let Him into our hearts. For those of us who are stubborn, it takes a few times. I know that from experience. But, as Nebuchadnezzar found, once he remembered the Lord, came to his senses somewhat, that God while a just and righteous ‘disciplinarian’, is also a good, gracious and merciful God who loves. And after that, the king found that for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Nebuchadnezzar was finally able to give glory and honor to the Lord from the heart. Give humble and genuine praise to God.
It was a hard lesson for sure, and one that could be avoided, but the same could be said for everyone. Even if or when He has to bring us to our knees we can learn to trust, honor, praise and glorify the Lord because of what He’s done for us, and more so, because He loves us.
Have a blessed and beautiful day all.