1 NEBUCHADNEZZAR THE king, to all people, nations, and languages that dwell on all the earth: May peace be multiplied to you!
2 It seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed toward me.
3 How great are His signs! And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. [Dan. 7:13, 14; Luke 1:31-33.]
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house and prospering in my palace.
5 I had a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts and imaginations and the visions of my head as I was lying upon my bed troubled and agitated me.
6 Therefore I made 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.
7 Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me the interpretation of it.
8 But at last Daniel came in before me–he who was named Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God–and I told the dream before him, saying,
9 O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you and no secret mystery is a burden or troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen and the interpretation of it.
10 The visions of my head [as I lay] on my bed were these: I saw, and behold, [there was] a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great.
11 The tree grew and was strong and its height reached to the heavens, and the sight of it reached to the end of the whole earth.
12 Its leaves were fair and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The living creatures of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches; and all flesh was fed from it.
13 I saw in the visions of my head [as I lay] on my bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven.
14 He cried aloud [with might] and said, Cut down the tree and cut off its branches; shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the living creatures flee from under it and the fowls from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the midst of the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of the heavens, and let him share the lot of the living creatures in the grass of the earth.
16 Let his nature and understanding be changed from a man's and let a beast's nature and understanding be given him, and let seven times [or years] pass over him.
17 This sentence is by the decree of the [heavenly] watchers and the decision is by the word of the holy ones, to the intent that the living may know that the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of mankind and gives it to whomever He will and sets over it the humblest and lowliest of men. [Dan. 2:21; 5:21.]
18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. And you, O Belteshazzar [Daniel], declare now its interpretation, since 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 God is in you.
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished and dismayed and stricken dumb for a while [concerned about the king's destiny], and his thoughts troubled, agitated, and alarmed him. The king said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream or its interpretation trouble or alarm you. Belteshazzar answered, My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its message for your enemies.
20 The tree that you saw, which grew [great] and was strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which was visible to all the earth,
21 Whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, on which was food for all, under which the living creatures of the field dwelt, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their nests–
22 It is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; your greatness has increased and it reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the ends of the earth.
23 And whereas the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, Cut the tree down and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth with a band of iron and bronze around it, in the tender grass of the field; and let him be wet with the dew of the heavens, and let his portion be with the living creatures of the field until seven times [or years] pass over him–
24 This is the interpretation, O king: It is the decree of the Most High [God] which has come upon my lord the king:
25 You shall be driven from among men and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; you shall be made to eat grass as do the oxen and you shall be wet with the dew of the heavens; and seven times [or years] shall pass over you until you learn and know and recognize that the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of mankind and gives it to whomever He will.
26 And in that it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be sure to you after you have learned and know that [the God of] heaven rules.
27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you; break off your sins and show the reality of your repentance by righteousness (right standing with God and moral and spiritual rectitude and rightness in every area and relation) and liberate yourself from your iniquities by showing mercy and loving-kindness to the poor and oppressed, that [if the king will repent] there may possibly be a continuance and lengthening of your peace and tranquility and a healing of your error.
28 All this was fulfilled and came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon.
30 The king said, Is not this the great Babylon that I have built as the royal residence and seat of government by the might of my power and for the honor and glory of my majesty?
31 While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you,
32 And you shall be driven from among men and your dwelling will be with the living creatures of the field. You will be made to eat grass like the oxen, and seven times [or years] shall pass over you until you have learned and know that the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He will.
33 That very hour the thing was [in process of] being fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and did eat grass like oxen [as Daniel had said he would], and his body was wet with the dew of the heavens until his hair grew like eagles' [feathers] and his nails [were] like birds' [claws].
34 And at the end of the days [seven years], I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding and the right use of my mind returned to me; and I blessed the Most High [God] and I praised and honored and glorified Him Who lives forever, Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion; and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. And He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand or say to Him, What are You doing?
36 Now at the same time my reason and understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me, and my counselors and my lords sought me out; I was reestablished in my kingdom, and still more greatness [than before] was added to me.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, Whose works are all faithful and right and Whose ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to abase and humble.