The king leaves his throne immediately (Dan 4:33-4:33)

“Immediately,

The sentence

Was fulfilled

Against King Nebuchadnezzar.

He was driven away

From human society.

He ate grass

Like an ox.

His body was bathed

With the dew of heaven.

His hair grew

As long

As eagles’ feathers.

His nails became

Like birds’ claws.”

The result happened immediately in a very descriptive way. As soon as the words were spoken, the sentence was fulfilled against King Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from human society to eat grass like an ox. His body bathed in the heavenly dew. This text explains that his hair grew as long as eagle feathers and his finger nails became like bird claws.

The king will lose his kingdom (Dan 4:31-4:32)

“While the words

Were still

In the king’s mouth,

A voice

Came from heaven.

‘O King Nebuchadnezzar!

To you

It is declared!

The kingdom has departed

From you!

You shall be driven away

From human society!

Your dwelling

Shall be with

The animals

Of the field!

You shall be made

To eat grass

Like oxen!

Seven times,

It shall pass

Over you,

Until you have learned

That the Most High

Has sovereignty

Over the kingdoms

Of mortals!

He gives it

To whom he will.’”

While the prideful words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice from heaven told the king that he had lost his kingdom. His punishment was coming. He was going to be driven out from human society. He would live among the wild animals and eat grass like oxen. However, it would pass over him 7 times, until he realized that the Most High God ruled all the human kingdoms. Thus, God was able to give his kingdoms to whomever he wanted.

The great pride of the king (Dan 4:28-4:30)

“All this came

Upon King Nebuchadnezzar.

At the end of twelve months,

He was walking

On the roof

Of the royal palace

Of Babylon.

The king said.

‘Is this not magnificent Babylon?

I have built it

As a royal capital

By my mighty power.

I have built it

For my glorious power.’”

It is not clear if anything ever happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. However, some Jewish writings talk about his son, King Nabonidus (556-539 BCE), having some mental problems for 7 years. Anyway, this writing simply said that all this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. One day, a year later after the interpretation of Daniel, the king was walking on his roof, looking out at his beautiful magnificent Babylon. He had built this mighty powerful capital for his own glorious power. He was really proud of what he had accomplished.

The call for the king to repent (Dan 4:26-4:27)

“As it was commanded

To leave the stump,

As well as the roots

Of the tree,

Your kingdom

Shall be reestablished

For you,

From the time

That you learn

That Heaven is sovereign.

Therefore,

O king!

May my counsel

Be acceptable to you!

Atone

For your sins

With righteousness!

Atone

For your iniquities

By showing mercy

To the oppressed!

Thus,

Your prosperity

May be prolonged!”

Daniel continued with the interpretation of the dream. Just as the stump and the roots of the tree remained, so too the king would be restored or reestablished in his kingdom, as soon as he recognized the heavenly control of all kingdoms. Daniel gave him some more advice. The king was to atone for sins by doing right and good things. He was to atone for his iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed. If he did this, his prosperity would be prolonged.

The king will lose his kingdom (Dan 4:24-4:25)

“‘This is the interpretation!

O king!

It is a decree

Of the Most High,

That has come upon

My lord!

The king!

You shall be driven away

From human society!

Your dwelling

Shall be with

The wild animals!

You shall be made

To eat grass

Like oxen!

You shall be bathed

With the dew

Of heaven!

Seven times

It shall pass

Over you,

Until you have learned

That the Most High

Has sovereignty

Over the kingdoms

Of mortals!

He gives it

To whom he will.’”

Daniel then gave his shocking interpretation of the watcher’s cry to the king. He said that this was a decree that came from the Most High God. The king, Daniel’s lord, would be driven away from human society. He was going to live with the wild animals. He was going to eat grass like oxen do. He would be washed in heavenly dew for 7 years, until he would come to recognize that the Most High God ruled over all the mortal kingdoms. God was able to give his kingdoms to whomever he wanted.

Daniel repeats the dream wish of the holy watcher (Dan 4:23-4:23)

“The king saw

A holy watcher

Coming down

From heaven.

He said.

‘Cut down the tree!

Destroy it!

But leave its stump!

Leave its roots

In the ground!

Let it be bound

With a band

Of iron,

As well as bronze,

In the grass

Of the field!

Let him be bathed

With the dew of heaven!

Let his lot be

With the animals

Of the field,

Until seven times

It passes over him!’”

Daniel then repeated the dream wish of the holy watcher or the angel from heaven. The tree had to be cut down and destroyed. However, this holy watcher or angel told the king to leave its stump and its roots in the ground. They were to bind this stump with an iron and bronze band in the grassy field, so that heavenly dew would fall on it. This tree has suddenly become a ‘he,’ a masculine personality that will have to suffer like the animals of the grassy field. This was to last at least 7 years or pass over him 7 times.

The king was the great tree (Dan 4:20-4:22)

“‘The tree

That you saw,

That grew great,

That became strong,

That its top reached

To heaven,

That was visible

To the end

Of the whole earth,

It is you!

O king!

Its leaves were beautiful.

It fruit was abundant.

It provided food for all.

Animals of the field

Lived under it.

Birds of the air

Had nests

In its branches.

It is you!

O king!

You have grown great!

You have become strong!

Your greatness has increased!

Your greatness reaches

To heaven.

Your sovereignty reaches

To the ends of the earth.’”

Belteshazzar or Daniel told the king that he was the tree that he saw in his dream, since a strong man was often equated with a big sturdy tree. After all, the king, like the tree in the dream, had grown great and strong. His greatness had reached to heaven and was visible to the ends of the whole earth, because his kingdom was so great. Daniel described the tree with its abundant beautiful leaves and fruit that provided food for everyone. He used the same remarks as in the dream about the tree being a shady place for field animals and birds to build nests on its branches.