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Daniel 4:1-18

Daniel 4:1-18

New King James Version (NKJV)


Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king,

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

3 How great are His signs,

And how mighty 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 on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 Therefore I issued 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 the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. 8 But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: 9 “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10“These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,

A tree in the midst of the earth,

And its height was great.

11 The tree grew and became strong;

Its height reached to the heavens,

And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.

12 Its leaves were lovely,

Its fruit abundant,

And in it was food for all.

The beasts of the field found shade under it,

The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,

And all flesh was fed from it.

13“I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried aloud and said thus:

‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,

Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.

Let the beasts get out from under it,

And the birds from its branches.

15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,

Bound with a band of iron and bronze,

In the tender grass of the field.

Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,

And let him graze with the beasts

On the grass of the earth.

16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,

Let him be given the heart of a beast,

And let seven times pass over him.

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,

And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,

In order that the living may know

That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,

Gives it to whomever He will,

And sets over it the lowest of men.’

18“This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since 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 God is in you.”

My Thoughts:

The Date was about 569 B.C. after Nebuchadnezzar’s 35 year of his 42 year rain.  By now he and Daniel were good friends and Daniel prayed for him every night, and it looks like God was soon to answer his prayers.

God gave the king a dream to warn him of what was to come if he did not change his ways. Looking back I can see all the times in my life that I too was given foreknowledge of things to come. How many of you have had this same experience?

This chapter is written by Nebuchadnezzar himself. And the most amazing part is that it reads like a diary and we catch a glimpse of his life as he saw it. So why did the wise men not give the king an explanation of his dream? Maybe after the last time the king called them in they almost died. But just as the last time Daniel knew what the dream meant, but he did not want to say.

God told him that he needed to change his ways of he would begin to act like an animal and he would turn to the fields and eat grass. Now a day there’s a name for this condition (wolf-man or Ox-man syndrome). And we see in (v.16) that this would last for 7 years.

Ellen White Statements:

“Because Nebuchadnezzar did not continue to walk in the light he had received from heaven, he lost the holy impressions that had been made upon his mind. But God, in his mercy, gave the king another dream, to save him, if possible, from appropriating to himself the glory that belonged to the Supreme Ruler.

The dream given at this time to the king of Babylon was a very striking one. In a vision of the night he saw a great tree growing in the midst of the earth, towering to the heavens, and its branches stretching to the ends of 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.”

As the king gazed upon that lofty tree, he beheld “a Watcher,” even “an Holy One,”—a divine Messenger, similar in appearance to the One who walked with the Hebrews in the fiery furnace. This heavenly Being approached the tree, and in a loud voice cried:

“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.”

The king was greatly troubled by this dream. It was evidently a prediction of adversity. He repeated it to the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; but although the dream was very explicit, none of the wise men would attempt to interpret it. Those who neither loved nor feared God could not understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. They could not approach unto the throne of him who dwelleth in light unapproachable. To them the things of God must remain mysteries.

In this idolatrous nation testimony was again borne to the fact that only the servants of God can understand the mysteries of God. In the early days of the king’s acquaintance with Daniel, he had found that this man was the only one who could relieve him from perplexity; and now, in this later period of his reign, the king remembers his faithful servant of old,—a servant esteemed because of his unswerving integrity and constant faithfulness. Nebuchadnezzar knew that Daniel’s wisdom was unexcelled, and that neither he nor his three fellow captives ever compromised principle in order to secure position in the court, or even to preserve life itself. The skill of his wise men proving ineffectual, the king sent for Daniel to interpret the dream.” {YI November 1, 1904, Art. A}

Last thoughts:      

Nebuchadnezzar know of God and even stated that He was the highest of all the gods. But after all the years with Daniel he did not know God. Daniel knew this and he would have prayed nightly for his friend.

Nebuchadnezzar forgot that it was God that gave him his kingdom and it was God that could take it away. So out of love Nebuchadnezzar was given one last chance. But Nebuchadnezzar was a proud man and was unwilling to change and for that he suffered for 7 years.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

4 comments on “Daniel 4:1-18

  1. Rosi
    November 10, 2011

    We all suffer with a bit of pride, some more than others. So often we think we can handle what ever has come along. we say”oh this is a little thing< I can handle this." or " I want this to work out this way and I know it is not God's will so I will just help it along to my will" Then there is always the pride that comes from doing something well and people compliment us. I have always had a hard time taking compliments, I always felt I was undeserving of any. In the last few years though, with God working through me, I have done things I would never have tried before and people say "Oh you did so well". My response most of the time is "Thanks" and a big head. /fortunately, I have good friends that keep me humble. 🙂 It is hard to give God the credit when we do well but it is something we all need to do. The pride that Nebuchadnezzar had was "inordinate self-esteem". When we have this pride we tend to think highly of ourselves and less of others. We tend to treat them badly Pride always leads us to forget our dependence on God. God is going to get Nebuchadnezzars attention once again but this time the lesson is going be rough. Proverbs 16:18 and Proverbs 8:13 talk about how God feels about pride.

    • bobh6
      November 11, 2011

      Here is my favorite illustration for pride:

      There was a bodybuilder on a late-night talk show the host asked the weight lifter if he would show off his muscles to the audience. With a big grin on his face, the bodybuilder faced the audience and cameras, flexing his muscles. “Boy,” the host said, “you sure do have big muscles. What do you use all of those muscles for?” The bodybuilder didn’t answer, but continued to flex and smile at the audience.
      Again the host asked, “What do you use those muscles for?” Still grinning, the muscleman remained silent and continued to show off. The answer was obvious. He didn’t use his muscles to do any useful work, but only to glorify himself.
      In this case it is easy to identify his Virus of Pride

      To many times we glorify ourselves in many different ways. We can use our looks, intelligence, job status, and personal accomplishments to glorify ourselves. We can even use our spiritual gifts and ministries to exalt ourselves instead of the God who gave us those gifts. And in his 3rd letter John address this issue by Identifying the Virus.

  2. Amalia Mullen
    November 10, 2011

    I see God is trying to bring home the message that He is in control of things. His will will be done; regardless if we’re on board or not. That may sound tytarin, but it’s not. He calls it as He knows it. He’s just showing/ proving his providence to King Neb and us still today. It should give us comfort that what God says will happen, our hopes are built on solid ground.

    Interesting King Neb personally seen God and His power. Her was soo impressed and rightly fearful and reverent of God, shared him with millions of people bringing soo many to the knowledge of God and maybe even some very sincere followers to God; yet he personally was missing the mark. He knew the letter of the law, but not the heart of the author of it.

    This could serve as a witness to us. Let us look toward wisdom (the Holy Spirit) for clearity and guidence even if we appear to have it right.

    • bobh6
      November 11, 2011

      I like what you said about God is in control of everything and yes there are times he insures that we follow. I also agree that this sounds tytarin or even that God makes us do things. But I see it as God using His foreknowledge to know what it will take for us to move in the direction He wants us to go.
      There is no doubt that God knows everything and with that knowledge He knows if He pushes one way or pulls another we will come around. But the same goes for people that will not choose to follow. It does not mean that He will not try but in the end we all have the choice.

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2011 by in Daniel and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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November 2011
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