The Proclamation of Nebuchadnezzar
Read Time: 12 Minutes
God's people can have a tremendous affect on their community, town and even nation. Because Daniel was not afraid to speak God's Word he had an impact on Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar never became converted to worshipping the one true God but he did recognize His great supremacy at times. He even made proclamations that no one should speak against "Daniel's God".
Here in chapter 4 of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar's proclamation exalting God is given.
:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king,
unto all people,
that dwell in all the earth;
Peace be multiplied unto you.
:2 I thought it good to shew the signs
that the high God hath wrought toward me.
: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.
Listen to Nebuchadnezzar exalting God. 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 saw, once again, God work in his life. This proclamation of Nebuchadnezzar's is written after the fulfillment of the following dream.
:4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house,
and flourishing in my palace:
:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid,
and the thoughts upon my bed
and the visions of my head troubled me.
: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.
:7 Then came in the magicians,
and the soothsayers:
and I told the dream before them;
but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
Why didn't Nebuchadnezzar go to Daniel first? Daniel had already interpreted a dream for Nebuchadnezzar. Possibly, the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers were brought in first to serve some political purpose but also to demonstrate that God is the one true God and only God that can give the wisdom and understanding in the interpretation of the king's dream.
:8 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 before him I told the dream, saying,
:9 O Belteshazzar,
master of the magicians,
because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee,
and no secret troubleth thee,
tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen,
and the interpretation thereof.
: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.
: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:
: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.
:13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed,
and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
[watcher - a Chaldean name for an angelic being that watched over the affairs of men]
: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:
: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 [drenched] with the dew of heaven,
and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
: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. [seven years]
: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 [humblest] of men.
: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 gods is in thee.
:19 Then Daniel,
whose name was Belteshazzar,
was astonied [astonished] for one hour, [for a moment]
and his thoughts troubled him.
The king spake, and said,
let not the dream,
or the interpretation thereof,
Belteshazzar answered and said,
My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee,
and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
What God told Daniel about the dream troubled him. It is not good news for the king. Daniel could have gotten in trouble for delivering such a message. But Daniel trusted God and God told him how to tell Nebuchadnezzar the interpretation that God gave him.
First Daniel says that it is directed toward them that hate him. Then he explains that the tree is Nebuchadnezzar who has grown strong and his kingdom reaches far and wide. The tree being cut down is Nebuchadnezzar being dethroned for seven years. There were seven years of history where there is no mention of Nebuchadnezzar doing anything, which is possibly this time. Now, since the stump was left the kingdom is not wholly lost. This is done because Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten that God is the ruler of the heavens.
Daniel then warns King Nebuchadnezzar in verse 27 but to no avail.
: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.
[poor - anah, wretched, miserable - the Judean captives - E.W. Bullinger]
:28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
Take note; this is one full year after the dream and it's interpretation. There are many times when God's revelation doesn't come to pass immediately. We must learn patience and trust in Him to bring His Words to pass.
: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?
Whoa, who is getting the glory here? Nebuchadnezzar is getting pretty arrogant.
:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from
O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken;
The kingdom is departed from thee.
: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.
: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.
:34 [Nebuchadnezzar resumes the narration]
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:
: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?
:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me;
and for the glory of my kingdom,
and brightness returned unto me;
and my counsellors
and my lords sought unto me;
and I was established in my kingdom,
and excellent majesty was added unto me.
: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. [humble]
When Nebuchadnezzar finally became humble God restored his kingdom to him. Look at the time - it took one year after his dream for him to forget the interpretation or disbelieve it and then seven more years to come to his senses. When Nebuchadnezzar started recognizing God as the source of his power God rebuked the hand of adversary and restored his kingdom unto him.
When I see people living in a state of rejecting the Word of God I must still have patience. No one knows the heart of man except God. Even in my own life when I starting thinking that something is by my own great ability I must remember that it is God in Christ in me working to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is not me that is some great one but God works in me. I must trust in Him. Sure I need to do everything in my power to renew my mind and live according to the Word but the rest is up to Him to prosper me, give me knowledge and wisdom and keep me in the palms of His hands.