Daniel 4:16

16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times[a] pass by for him.

Daniel 4:16 in Other Translations

16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
16 Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.
16 For seven periods of time, let him have the mind of a wild animal instead of the mind of a human.
16 Let him lose his mind and get an animal's mind in exchange, And let this go on for seven seasons.
16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let him be given the mind of an animal for seven periods of time.

Daniel 4:16 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 4:16

Let his heart be changed from man's
Not as to the substance, but as to the quality: and let a beast's heart be given unto him;
from a human heart, let it be changed into a brutal one; let him be deprived of the use of reason, and have no more exercise of it than a brute has; let him be wholly governed by the animal senses, and behave and act as a beast does; be as senseless, stupid, and savage, as that: and such a heart Nebuchadnezzar had; not that his rational soul departed from him, then he must have died; but the powers of it were sadly vitiated and depraved; his understanding, imagining himself to be a beast, not a man; his judgment, in not distinguishing the actions of a beast from those of a man; his memory of things past utterly failed; he forgot what he had been, and was; his will, inclination, and fancy, were towards brutal things, and ran upon deserts, fields, and grass; and he shunned the society of men: and let seven times pass over him:
while in this condition; let him remain so long in it; not seven months, as Abarbinel, and others; nor seven half years, or three years and a half, as some in Theodoret; dividing the year into two parts, summer and winter; and suppose, that seven of these seasons passed over him before he recovered; but seven years are meant, as Jarchi, Saadiah, and Jacchiades, as the phrase is used in ( Daniel 7:25 ) ( 12:7 ) , so many years the temple of Solomon was building, which Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed, and so long this madness must remain upon him: no notice is taken of this affair by Heathen writers, only Abydenus F14 says, that being under a divine afflatus, he foretold the destruction of the Babylonian empire by a Persian mule (meaning Cyrus), and by a Mede, and immediately, (hfanisto) , he disappeared; which some have understood of this time of his madness, which quickly followed upon this dream.


F14 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.

Daniel 4:16 In-Context

14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 “ ‘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.’
18 “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.”

Cross References 1

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "years" ; also in verses 23, 25 and 32