Daniel 4:1-18

King Nebuchadnezzar's letter

1 This is a message from King Nebuchadnezzar.

I am sending this message to everyone in the world, the people in every nation, and who speak every language. I hope that you all may have good and happy lives.

2 I am happy to tell you about the powerful God who is over all.

He has done miracles and great things for me.

3 His miracles show his great strength.

They are very powerful.

His kingdom will continue for ever.

He will always rule.

4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace. I was comfortable and happy. Everything was very good for me. 5 Then I had a dream that made me very afraid. The thoughts in my mind gave me great trouble as I lay on my bed. 6 So I told all the wise men in Babylon to come to me. I wanted them to tell me what the dream meant.

7 When the magicians, enchanters, wise men and diviners came to me, I told them the dream. But none of them could tell me what the dream meant. 8 Last of all, Daniel came to me and I told him the dream. I call him Belteshazzar, like my god's name. The spirit of the holy gods is in this man, Daniel.

9 I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar you are the leader of my wise men. I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you. I know that no secret is too difficult for you to explain. So, here is the dream that I saw. Tell me what it means.

10 This is the vision that I saw in my mind while I lay on my bed. I saw a tree there in front of me. It stood in the middle of the earth and it was very tall. 11 The tree grew taller and stronger. Its top touched the sky, so everyone in the world could see it. 12 It had beautiful leaves and lots of fruits. There was enough food on it for everyone. Wild animals could live in its shade. Birds lived in its branches. It gave food for every living thing.

13 The vision in my mind continued while I lay on my bed. I saw a holy angel that came down from heaven. 14 He shouted aloud, “Cut down the tree. Cut off its branches. Tear off its leaves. Let its fruits go away to other places. The animals that are under the tree must run away. The birds that are in its branches must fly away. 15 But leave the base of the tree and its roots in the ground. Tie iron and bronze round it. Then leave it there in the grass.

Make him wet with dew from the sky. Cause him to live with the animals in the fields of grass. 16 Take his human mind away from him. Instead, give him the mind of an animal for seven years.

17 The holy angels who take care of the earth have decided this. It is their command. Now everyone will be sure that the powerful God above rules over human kingdoms. He gives authority to rule to anyone that he chooses. He causes humble men to rule as kings.” ’

18 Then I said to Belteshazzar, ‘This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, you must tell me what it means. None of the wise men in any region of my kingdom can tell me what it means. But you can tell me, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’