Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about a tree
1 Several years after Nebuchadnezzar started to rule, he sent this message to the people of every nation and people-group and all language groups in his empire. He wrote,
“I wish/hope that eveything is going very well with you!
2 I want you to know about all the wonderful miracles [DOU] that the Supreme God has performed for me.
3 He performs great miracles,
and does wonderful things.
His kingdom will last forever;
his rule over people will never end.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace. I was living luxuriantly, and everything was going very well for me.
5 But one night I had a dream that caused me to be very afraid. I saw visions that terrified me as I lay on my bed.
6 So I summoned all the wise men in Babylon, in order that they would come and tell me what it meant.
7 All the men who worked magic, the fortune-tellers, the men who worked sorcery, and men who studied the stars came to me. I told them what I had dreamed, but they could not tell me what it meant.
8 Finally, Daniel came to me, and I decided to tell him what I had dreamed. One of my officials had given him a new name, Belteshazzar, to honor my own god. I knew that the spirit of the holy gods was in him.
9 So, using the name that had been given to him, I said, ‘Belteshazzar, you are the most important of all my fortune-tellers. I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and that you can reveal all mysteries. There is none that is too difficult for you. So, tell me what my dream means.
10 This is what I dreamed while I was lying on my bed: I saw a large tree growing in the middle of the land.
11 The tree was very strong and had grown very tall; it seemed that its top reached up to the sky, with the result that everyone in the world [HYP] could see it.
12 It had beautiful leaves, and it had produced a lot of fruit for people to eat. Wild animals rested in the shade of that tree, and birds built nests in its branches. All the living creatures everywhere in the world got food from that tree.
13 While I was still lying on my bed, I saw another vision. In the vision I saw a holy angel coming down from heaven.
14 The angel shouted, “Cut down the tree, and cut off its branches! Strip/Shake off all of its leaves, and scatter its fruit. Chase away the animals that are lying in the shade of the tree, and the birds that are in its branches.
15 But leave the stump of the tree and its roots in the ground. Fasten a band of iron and bronze around the stump, and allow it to stay there with grass around it.”
16 That tree seems to have represented a man, because the angel also said, “Cause that man to live out in the fields among the animals and plants. Cause the dew from the sky to make his body damp each morning. Do not allow him to continue to have a mind like humans; instead, cause him to have a mind like animals have, for seven years.
17 The holy angels have decided what must happen. They want to inform everyone that the Supreme God rules over all the kingdoms in this world. He is the one who chooses who will rule these kingdoms. He sometimes allows very unimportant people to become rulers.”
18 Belteshazzar, that is what I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw in my dream. Now tell me what the dream means. No one else can tell me. I asked all the very wise men in my kingdom to tell me what it means, but they were unable to do that. But you can tell me, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
Daniel explained the dream
19 I, whose new name was Belteshazzar, did not say anything for some time, because I was very worried/disturbed about the meaning of the dream. Finally, the king said to me, “Belteshazzar, do not be afraid about the dream and about what it means.” I replied, “Sir, I wish that the events that were predicted in your dream would happen to your enemies, and not to you.
20 In your dream/vision you saw a very strong and very tall tree. It seemed to reach to the sky, with the result that everyone in the world could see it.
21 It had beautiful leaves and it had produced a lot of fruit for people to eat. Wild animals rested in the shade of that tree, and birds built nests in its branches.
22 ◄Your majesty/O King►, that tree represents you! You have become very powerful. It is as though your greatness reaches up to the sky, and you rule people all over the world.
23 Then you saw a holy angel coming down from heaven. That angel said, ‘Cut down the tree, and cut off its branches! Strip/Shake off all of its leaves, and scatter its fruit. But leave the stump of the tree and its roots in the ground. Fasten a band of iron and bronze around the stump and allow it to stay there with grass around it. Each morning cause the dew from the sky to make this man, who was represented by the tree, damp. Cause him to live in the fields with the animals for seven years.’
24 ◄Your Majesty/O King►, that is what your dream means. That is what the Supreme God has declared will happen to you.
25 Your advisors will force you to live away from other people. You will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like cows do, and dew from the sky will cause your body to be damp/wet every morning. You will live that way for seven years, until you learn that it is the Supreme God who rules over the kingdoms of the world, and he appoints the ones whom he chooses to rule them.
26 But the stump of the tree and its roots were left in the ground. That means that you will rule your kingdom again when you learn that it is God [MTY] who is really the ruler.
27 ◄Your Majesty/O King►, please do what I am telling you to do. Stop sinning, and do what is right. Turn away from your evil behavior. Act mercifully to poor people. If you do that, perhaps you will continue to be sucessful.”
The dream was fulfilled
28 But the king refused to stop sinning. So what was predicted in the dream is what happened to him.
29 Twelve months later, one day he was walking on the flat roof of his palace in Babylon.
30 As he looked out over/across the city, he said to those around him, “I have built this great city of Babylon to be the place where I rule! I have built it to display my own power, in order to show people my glory, to show them that I am very great!”
31 While he was still saying this, God [MTY] spoke from heaven and said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, this is what I am saying to you: You are no longer the ruler of this kingdom!
32 Your advisors will force you to live away from other people. You will live in the fields with wild animals, and you will eat grass like cows do. You will live that way for seven years, until you learn that it is I, the Supreme God, who rules over the kingdoms of this world, and I appoint the ones whom I have chosen to rule them.”
33 Immediately what God predicted happened. Nebuchadnezzar became insane , so his advisors forced him to live away from other people. He ate grass like cows do, and dew from the sky caused his body to be damp/wet every morning. He lived like that until his hair was as long as eagles' feathers, and his fingernails became like birds' claws.
34 “After those seven years ended, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven, and I acknowledged that what God said was true. Then I could think correctly again. I praised and worshiped the Supreme God, and I honored him, the one who lives forever.
He rules forever;
his kingdom will never end.
35 All the people in the world are very insignificant;
we are not like him.
He has the power to do whatever he wants to do,
among the angels in heaven and among us people who live on the earth.
So no one can stop him [SYN],
and no one can challenge him,
saying to him, 'Why are you doing these things?'
36 When I was able to think correctly again, I was honored again, and I was able to rule my glorious/great kingdom again. My advisors came to me again to talk about what should be done, and I became greater and more powerful than I was before.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and honor [DOU] God, the king who rules in heaven. All of his actions are just and right. And he is able to cause to become humble those who are proud, like I was.”