I, King Nebuchadnezzar, am writing this letter. I am sending it to you people from every nation and language in the whole world. May you have great success!
I am pleased to tell you what has happened. The Most High God has done miraculous signs and wonders for me.
His miraculous signs are great. His wonders are mighty. His kingdom will last forever. His rule will never end.
I was at home in my palace. I was content and very successful.
But I had a dream that made me afraid. I was lying on my bed. Then dreams and visions passed through my mind. They terrified me.
So I commanded that all of the wise men in Babylon be brought to me. I wanted them to tell me what my dream meant.
Those who try to figure things out by using magic came. So did those who study the heavens. I told all of them what I had dreamed. But they couldn't tell me what it meant.
Finally, Daniel came to me. He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god. The spirit of the holy gods is in him. I told him my dream.
I said, "Belteshazzar, you are chief of the magicians. I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you. No mystery is too hard for you to figure out. Here is my dream. Tell me what it means.
"Here are the visions I saw while I was lying on my bed. I looked up and saw a tree standing in the middle of the land. It was very tall.
It had grown to be large and strong. Its top touched the sky. It could be seen anywhere on earth.
Its leaves were beautiful. It had a lot of fruit on it. It provided enough food for people and animals. Under the tree, the wild animals found shade. The birds of the air lived in its branches. Every creature was fed from that tree.
"While I was still lying on my bed, I looked up. In my visions, I saw a holy messenger. He was coming down from heaven.
He called out in a loud voice. He said, 'Cut the tree down. Break off its branches. Strip its leaves off. Scatter its fruit. Let the animals that are under it run away. Let the birds that are in its branches fly off.
But leave the stump with its roots in the ground. Let it stay in the field. Put a band of iron and bronze around it. " 'Let King Nebuchadnezzar become wet with the dew of heaven. Let him live like the animals among the plants of the earth.
Let him no longer have the mind of a man. Instead, let him be given the mind of an animal. Let him stay that way until seven periods of time pass by.
" 'The decision is announced by holy messengers. So all who are alive will know that the Most High God is King. He rules over all of the kingdoms of men. He gives them to anyone he wants. Sometimes he puts the least important men in charge of them.'
"That's the dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now tell me what it means, Belteshazzar. None of the wise men in my kingdom can explain it to me. But you can. After all, the spirit of the holy gods is in you."