I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented1 and prosperous.
I had a dream2 that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed,3 the images and visions that passed through my mind4 terrified me.56
So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret6 the dream for me.
When the magicians,7 enchanters, astrologersa and diviners8 came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.98
Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar,10 after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods11 is in him.)
I said, "Belteshazzar, chief12 of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods13 is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.
These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed:14 I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.1511
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.1612
Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches;17 from it every creature was fed.
"In the visions I saw while lying in my bed,18 I looked, and there before me was a messenger,b a holy one,19 coming down from heaven.
He called in a loud voice: 'Cut down the tree20 and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.21