How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders!1 His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures2 from generation to generation.
I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented3 and prosperous.
I had a dream4 that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed,5 the images and visions that passed through my mind6 terrified me.76
So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret8 the dream for me.
When the magicians,9 enchanters, astrologersa and diviners10 came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.118
Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar,12 after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods13 is in him.)
I said, "Belteshazzar, chief14 of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods15 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:16 I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.1711
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.1812
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;19 from it every creature was fed.
"In the visions I saw while lying in my bed,20 I looked, and there before me was a messenger,b a holy one,21 coming down from heaven.
He called in a loud voice: 'Cut down the tree22 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.2315
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 timesc pass by for him.2417
" 'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High25 is sovereign26 over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest27 of men.'
"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.28 But you can,29 because the spirit of the holy gods30 is in you."31
Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified32 him. So the king said, "Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you."33 Belteshazzar answered, "My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!
The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth,
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 air34--
you, O king, are that tree!35 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.3623
"You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one,37 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.'383924
"This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree40 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 drenched41 with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High42 is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.4326
The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots44 means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.4527
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.46 It may be that then your prosperity47 will continue.48"
All this happened49 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 glory50 of my majesty?"5131
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.5232
You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."5333
Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched54 with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.5534
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity56 was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.57 His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom58 endures from generation to generation.59