Daniel 4

1 »Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.

2 »It seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.

3 »How great are his signs! How mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

4 »I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and active in my palace.

5 »I saw a dream that made me afraid. When I saw this vision my thoughts troubled me.

6 »I made a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon that they might explain the dream to me.

7 »The magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came to me. I told the dream to them. They did not explain the dream to me.

8 »Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, finally came to me. He has the spirit of the holy gods. So I told the dream to him saying:

9 ‘»O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and no secret troubles you! Tell me the visions I have seen in my dream. Give me the interpretation.

10 ‘»Here are the visions of my head: I saw a tree in the midst of the earth. It was very tall.

11 »‘The tree grew and became strong. Its height reached to heaven. It could be seen from distant parts of the earth.

12 ‘»The leaves were beautiful and the fruit abundant. In it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shadow under it. The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches. All flesh was fed by it.

13 ‘»I saw in the visions of my head: Behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from heaven.

14 »He cried aloud: ‘Chop down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches.

15 ‘»Leave the stump and roots in the earth. Apply to it a band of iron and copper in the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven. Let its portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.

16 ‘»Let its heart be changed from a man's, and let a beast's heart be given to it. Seven times should pass over it.

17 ‘»The decision is by the decree of the watchers. The sentence by the word of the holy ones! It is to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets over it the lowest of men.«

18 ‘»I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen this dream and you O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation! For all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make the interpretation known to me. You are able for the spirit of the holy gods is in you!’

19 »Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken dumb for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king said, Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or the interpretation trouble you. Belteshazzar answered: My lord, the dream may be to them that hate you and the interpretation to your adversaries.

20 ‘»The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to heaven, and was seen in the distant parts of the earth;

21 whose leaves were beautiful and fruit abundant, and in it was food for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the birds of the heavens lived:

22 It is you O king! You have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown, and reaches to heaven. Your dominion is to the end of the earth.

23 ‘»Since the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from heaven saying: Chop down the tree, and destroy it. Leave the stump and the roots in the earth. With a band of iron and brass leave it in the tender grass of the field and let it be wet with the dew of heaven. Let its portion be with the beasts of the field till seven times pass over it.«

24 This is the interpretation, O king. It is the decree from the Most High that has come to my lord the king.

25 You will be driven from men. Your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field. You will eat grass like oxen and will be wet with the dew of heaven. Seven times shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.

26 »Because they commanded to leave the stump and the roots of the tree your kingdom will be sure to you. After that you will know that the heavens do rule.

27 »Let my counsel be acceptable to you O King. Stop your sins by being righteous and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. May there be a lengthening of your prosperity.«

28 All this happened to king Nebuchadnezzar.

29 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon.

30 The king spoke: »Is this not great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?«

31 While the word was in the king's mouth a voice came from heaven, saying: »O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from you.

32 »You will be driven from men. Your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You will have to eat grass like bulls. Seven times shall pass over you until you know the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.«

33 That same hour it was fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from men and did eat grass like bulls. His body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair grew like eagles' feathers, and his fingernails like birds' claws.

34 »At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven and my understanding returned to me. I blessed the Most High and I praised and honored the one who lives forever. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation.

35 All the inhabitants of the earth are considered as nothing. He does according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth. None can stop him, or say to him: ‘What do you do?’

36 »My understanding returned to me at that time. The glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me. My counselors and my lords came to me. I was established in my kingdom with excellent greatness.

37 »Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, extol and honor the King of heaven. All his works are truth, and his ways justice. He is able to abase humblesubdue those who walk in pride.«