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eCourses Completion Status

Daniel Chapter 4 Lesson

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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We have restored on the WLC website, in the Scriptures quoted the Names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible.  Click here to download the Restored Names Version (RNV) of Scripture.  The RNV is a non-WLC resource.  -WLC Team

(Dan 4:1) Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

(Dan 4:2) I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the most high Eloah hath wrought toward me.

(Dan 4:3) How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

Nebuchadnezzar expresses awareness of the everlasting kingdom of Yahuwah, and that shows that he understood and accepted the lesson of chapter three, that his kingdom would end, and eventually there would be no kingdom on earth but that of Yahuwah. The lesson of the fiery furnace was an impressive one, but men are likely to fail to take the lesson or to forget it quickly.

(Dan 4:4) I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:

(Dan 4:5) I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.

(Dan 4:6) Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.

(Dan 4:7) Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

(Dan 4:8) But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my eloah, and in whom is the spirit of the holy eloah[s]: and before him I told the dream, saying,

While Nebuchadnezzar recognizes the power of Daniel’s Eloah, he does not relinquish idolatry. He still attributes Daniel’s skill to the “spirit of the holy eloah[s].” This ecumenical approach is typical of societies in which many peoples and cultures are gathered together. Babylon is an apt representative of the world today.

(Dan 4:9) O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy eloah[s] is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.

(Dan 4:10) Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.

(Dan 4:11) The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

(Dan 4:12) The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.

(Dan 4:13) I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;

(Dan 4:14) He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:

(Dan 4:15) Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:

(Dan 4:16) 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.

(Dan 4:17) This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

(Dan 4:18) This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy eloah[s] is in thee.

A whole system of symbolism was known to the Babylonian specialists. The reason they were unable to interpret the dream of Daniel 2 as well as the dream here, is simply because the symbolism differed from their system of interpretation. Their books of dream interpretation did not contain the relevant symbols. Reliance on dreams is a heathen practice. But Yahuwah took advantage of this heathen practice to warn the king on these two occasions. At the same time Yahuwah was glorified, and shown to be above the heathen art, which was unable to interpret the dream. The same thing happened to Joseph in Egypt. There is a difference between astrological and dream prediction and true prophecy. Yahuwah uses dreams as well as visions to reveal His will to prophets. But that is a very different thing from the heathen practice of fearing ordinary dreams and engaging in the art of interpreting them.

(Dan 4:19) Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My master, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

(Dan 4:20) The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;

(Dan 4:21) Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:

(Dan 4:22) It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.

(Dan 4:23) And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Babylonian, but especially Persian, mythology was rife with complex degrees of angels of various kinds. Some have suggested that the Jewish concept of angels developed under that influence. That may be true in regard to Jewish folklore, but where the Bible is concerned, the most we can say is that it may give more detailed precision in regard to celestial beings when the people were faced with Babylonian and Persian ideas. The figure of the watcher is found in non-canonical literature of the inter-testamental period, such as the books of Enoch and Jubilees.

(Dan 4:24) This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my master the king:

(Dan 4:25) That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

(Dan 4:26) And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.

(Dan 4:27) Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

Astrologers and interpreters of dreams generally flattered their patrons. Also, they considered that a favorable interpretation acted as a stimulus to produce success. An unfavorable interpretation could actually cause catastrophe. So Daniel’s response to the king was extremely brave. He gave the message of Yahuwah, rather than the message that culture and custom predicated. While most of us do not stand before kings, we stand before the world, either conforming to worldly expectations or bravely bearing the message of Yahuwah.

(Dan 4:28) All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

(Dan 4:29) At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.

(Dan 4:30) The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

(Dan 4:31) While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

(Dan 4:32) And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

(Dan 4:33) The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.

Nebuchadnezzar did not keep in mind the lesson he had learned from the dream of the image and from his aborted attempt to make his kingdom eternal through use of magic in building the golden image. His heart is lifted up with pride, the very sin that inspired him to hope for an eternal kingdom. By so doing, he set himself up as a rival deity, and Yahuwah intervened to humble him.

(Dan 4:34) And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

(Dan 4:35) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

(Dan 4:36) At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my nobles sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

(Dan 4:37) Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

It is easy to criticize Nebuchadnezzar for not learning his lesson well the first time, and having to go through an even stronger trial. But most people never learn the lesson of faith and obedience.