Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked toward me. 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.
I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which made me afraid; and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known to me the interpretation of it. But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream before him, saying, Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation of it.
Thus were the visions of my head on my bed: I saw, and, behold, a tree in the midst of the earth; and the height of it was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height of it reached to the sky, and the sight of it to the end of all the earth. The leaves of it were beautiful, and the fruit of it much, and in it was food for all: the animals of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the sky lived in the branches of it, and all flesh was fed from it.
I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and, behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the sky. He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit: let the animals get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches. Nevertheless leave the stump of its 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 the sky: and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth: let his heart be changed from man`s, and let a animal`s heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him. The sentence 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 rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men. This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and you, Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, the animals of the field and the birds of the sky has he given into your hand, and has made you to rule over them all: you are the head of gold. Daniel 2
Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken mute for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king answered, Belteshazzar, don`t let the dream, or the interpretation, trouble you. Belteshazzar answered, My lord, the dream be to those who hate you, and the interpretation of it to your adversaries. The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the sky, and the sight of it to all the earth; whose leaves were beautiful, and the fruit of it much, and in it was food for all; under which the animals of the field lived, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their habitation: it is you, O king, that are grown and become strong; for your greatness is grown, and reaches to the sky, and your dominion to the end of the earth. Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Hew down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of the roots of it 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 the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him; this is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which is come on my lord the king: that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will.
Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule. Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility [an healing of thine error].
All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? While the word was in the king`s mouth, there fell a voice from the sky, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from you: and you shall be driven from men; and they dwelling shall be with the animals of the field; you shall be made to eat grass as oxen; and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair was grown like eagles` feathers, and his nails like birds` claws.
At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or tell him, What do you? At the same time my understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me; and my counselors and my lords sought to me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.
In the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, “Son of man, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his multitude: ‘Whom are you like in your greatness? Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with beautiful branches, and with a forest-like shade, of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs. The waters nourished it. The deep made it to grow. Its rivers ran all around its plantation; and it sent out its channels to all the trees of the field. Therefore its stature was exalted above all the trees of the field; and its boughs were multiplied. Its branches became long by reason of many waters, when it spread them out. All the birds of the sky made their nests in its boughs. Under its branches, all the animals of the field gave birth to their young. All great nations lived under its shadow. Thus was it beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its root was by many waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it. The cypress trees were not like its boughs. The pine trees were not as its branches; nor was any tree in the garden of God like it in its beauty. I made it beautiful by the multitude of its branches, so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied it.’ “Therefore thus said the Lord Yahweh: ‘Because you are exalted in stature, and he has set his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I will even deliver him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations. He will surely deal with him. I have driven him out for his wickedness. Strangers, the tyrants of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him. His branches have fallen on the mountains and in all the valleys and his boughs are broken by all the watercourses of the land. All the peoples of the earth have gone down from his shadow, and have left him. All the birds of the sky will dwell on his ruin, and all the animals of the field will be on his branches; to the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in their stature, and don’t set their top among the thick boughs. Their mighty ones don’t stand up on their height, even all who drink water; for they are all delivered to death, to the lower parts of the earth, among the children of men, with those who go down to the pit.’ “Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘In the day when he went down to Sheol I caused a mourning. I covered the deep for him, and I restrained its rivers. The great waters were stopped. I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to Sheol with those who descend into the pit. All the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the lower parts of the earth. They also went down into Sheol with him to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were his arm, who lived under his shadow in the middle of the nations. “‘To whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? Yet you will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the lower parts of the earth. You will lie in the middle of the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword. “‘This is Pharaoh and all his multitude,’ says the Lord Yahweh.” Ezekiel 31
It will happen in the day that Yahweh will give you rest from your sorrow, from your trouble, and from the hard service in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased! The golden city has ceased!” Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, who struck the peoples in wrath with a continual stroke, who ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that no one restrained. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet. They break out in song. Yes, the cypress trees rejoice with you, with the cedars of Lebanon, saying, “Since you are humbled, no lumberjack has come up against us.” Sheol from beneath has moved for you to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the departed spirits for you, even all the rulers of the earth. It has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. They all will answer and ask you, “Have you also become as weak as we are? Have you become like us?” Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, with the sound of your stringed instruments. Maggots are spread out under you, and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, shining one, son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God! I will sit on the mountain of assembly, in the far north! I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High!” Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit.
Those who see you will stare at you. They will ponder you, saying, “Is this the man who made the earth to tremble, who shook kingdoms; who made the world like a wilderness, and overthrew its cities; who didn’t release his prisoners to their home?” All the kings of the nations, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house. But you are cast away from your tomb like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain, who are thrust through with the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trodden under foot. You will not join them in burial, because you have destroyed your land. You have killed your people. The offspring of evildoers will not be named forever. Prepare for slaughter of his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, that they not rise up and possess the earth, and fill the surface of the world with cities. “I will rise up against them,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and son and son’s son,” says Yahweh. “I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and pools of water. I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says Yahweh of Armies. Isaiah 14:3-23