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Daniel 4 (Lexham English Bible)

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Nebuchadnezzar Declares What the Most High God Has Done for Him

1 a Nebuchadnezzar the king to all of the nations, the peoples and languages that live in the whole earth: "May your prosperity increase! 2 It is pleasing to me to recount the signs and wonders that the Most High God worked for me. 3 How great [are] his signs and wonders, how strong [is] his kingdom, {an everlasting kingdom};b and his sovereignty is from generation to generation.

The Dream and the King’s Search for an Interpreter

4 "I, Nebuchadnezzar, was content in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 And I saw a dream and a revelation on my bed and it frightened me, and the visions of my head terrified me. 6 And a decree was {sent out},c [ordering that] all [the] wise men of Babylon [were] to be brought in before me [so] that they may make known to me [the] explanation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians,d the conjurers,e the {astrologers}f and the diviners came in and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its explanation.g 8 Then {at last}h Daniel came before me {whose name was}i Belteshazzar, {according to}j the name of my god, [and] {in whom was the spirit of the holy gods},k {and I related the dream to him}.l 9 " '[O] Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians,m I myself know that [the] spiritn of [the] holy gods [is] in you, and {no mystery is too difficult}o for you. [Now] tell [me] [the] visions of my dream that I saw, and its explanation.p 10 Now [these were] the visions of my head [as I was lying] on my bed: I was {gazing}q and, look, a tree [was] in the midst of the earth, and its height [was] exalted. 11 The tree grew and it became strong, and its height reached to heaven,r and {it was visible to the end of the whole earth}.s 12 Its foliage [was] beautiful, and its fruit abundant, and in it [was] provision for all. Under it the animalst of the field sought shade, and in its branches the birds of heavenu nested, and from it all the living beings were fed. 13 " 'I was looking in the vision of my head [as I lay] on my bed, and look, a watcher,v and [a] holy [one], came down from heaven. 14 He cried {aloud}w and so he said: "Cut down the tree and chop off its branches; shake off its foliage and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it, and the birds from its branches. 15 But the stump of its roots leave in the earth, {along with}x a band of iron and bronze; [leave it] in the grass of the field. And iny the dew of heaven let itz be watered, and with the animalsaa let his lot [be] in [the] grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from [that of a] human,bb and let [the] mind of an animal be given to him, and let seven times pass over him. 17 The sentence [is] by [the] decree of [the] watchers, and the decision [by] [the] command of [the] holy [ones], {in order that}cc the living will know that the Most High [is] sovereign over [the] kingdom of humankind, and {to whomever}dd he wills he gives it, and he [even] sets [the] humblest of men over it." 18 " 'This [is] the dream [that] I, Nebuchadnezzar the king, saw. Nowee you, Belteshazzar, declare its explanation, {for}ff all of [the] wise men of my kingdom were not able to make the explanation known to me, but you are able because [the] spirit of holy gods [is] in you.'

Daniel Relates and Interprets the Dream

19 "Then Daniel, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, was distressed {for some time},gg and his thoughts disturbed him. The king answered and he said, 'Belteshazzar, let the dream and its explanation not disturb you.' Belteshazzar answered and said, 'My lord, [may] the dream and its explanation [be] for [those who] hate you and for your enemies. 20 The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong and its height reached to heavenhh and {it was visible to the end of the whole earth},ii 21 and its foliage [was] beautiful and its fruit abundant, and [so there was] provision for all in it, [and] the animalsjj of the field lived under it and in its branches nest [the] birds of heaven,kk 22 --it is you, O king, who have grown [great] and you have grown strong, and [so] your greatness has increased and it has reached to heavenll and your sovereignty to the end of the earth. 23 And [inasmuch] that the king saw [the] watcher, a holy [one] coming down from heavenmm and he said, "Cut down the tree and destroy it, but the stump of its root in the earth leave with a band of iron and bronze in the grass of the field, and let it be watered with the dew of heaven and [let] his lot [be] with [the] animals of the field {until seven times have passed over him}."nn 24 This [is] the explanation, O king, and it [is] a decree of the Most High that has come upon my lord the king: 25 you will be driven away {from human society}oo and {you will dwell}pp with the animalsqq of the field, and you will be caused to graze grass like the oxen {yourself},rr and you will be watered with the dew of heaven, and seven [periods of] time will pass over you until that you have acknowledged that the Most High [is] sovereign over the kingdom of humankind, and {to whom he wills}ss he gives it. 26 {And in that}tt they said to leave alone the stump of the tree's root, so your kingdom [will be] restored for you {when}uu you acknowledge that heaven [is] sovereign. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable [to you] and your sin removevv with righteousness and your iniquity with having mercy on [the] oppressed, {in case there might be a prolongation of your prosperity}.'"ww

God Judges the King for His Hubris

28 {All this happened}xx to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the [roof of] {the royal palace}yy of Babylon. 30 And the king answered and said, "Is this not the great Babylon which I have built as a royal palace by the strength of my own power, and for the glory of my own majesty?" 31 [While] the words [were] still in the mouth of the king, a voice from heaven came, [saying], 'To you, King Nebuchadnezzar, [it] is declared that the kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from {human society}zz and your dwelling [will be] with the animals52 of the field and they will cause you to graze [the] grass like oxen, and seven times will pass over you, until you acknowledge that the Most High [is] sovereign over the kingdom of humankind and that he gives it to whom he wills.' 33 {Immediately}53 the word was fulfilled {concerning}54 Nebuchadnezzar, and he was expelled from {human society}55 and he ate grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven until his hair [was] like [the hair of] an eagle and his nails grew like [a] bird's [claws].

The King Praises and Extols the Most High God

34 "But at the end of {that period},56 I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and [then] my reason returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and {the one who lives forever}57 I praised and I honored. "For his sovereignty [is] [an] everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom [continues] from generation to generation. 35 And all the dwellers of the earth are regarded as nothing, and he does {according to}58 his desire in the host of heaven and [among] the dwellers of earth, and there is not [one] who can hold back his hand, or {ask him},59 'What are you doing?' 36 "{At that time}60 my reason returned to me, and [also] the glory of my kingdom and my majesty and splendor returned to me, and my advisers and my lords61 searched [me] out, and I was established over my kingdom and abundant greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and honor the king of heaven, for all his works [are] truth,62 and his ways [are] justice and that he is able to humble those who walk in pride."
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