with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air1--
you, O king, are that tree!2 You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.323
"You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one,4 coming down from heaven and saying, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.'5624
"This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree7 the Most High has issued against my lord the king:
You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched8 with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High9 is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.1026
The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots11 means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.1227
Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.13 It may be that then your prosperity14 will continue.15"
All this happened16 to King Nebuchadnezzar.
Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,
he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory17 of my majesty?"1831
The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.19