I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous.
I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me.
So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me.
When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.
Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods 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 bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.
Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
“In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven.
He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree 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.
But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “ ‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.
Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.
“ ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”