Daniel 4:19-33

Daniel explains the king's dream

19 Daniel, whose other name was Belteshazzar, was upset for a short time. His thoughts caused him a lot of trouble. The king said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or what it means cause you trouble.’

Then Belteshazzar answered the king. ‘Sir, I would like the dream to be about your enemies and not about you. 20 You saw a tree that grew very tall and strong until its top touched the sky. Everyone in the world could see it. 21 It had beautiful leaves and lots of fruits. There was enough food on it for everyone. The wild animals lived under its shade. The birds built their nests in its branches. 22 You, the king, are like that tree. You have become great and strong. Your power reaches up to the sky. Your authority reaches to the ends of the world.

23 In your dream, you saw a holy angel who came down from heaven. He said, “Cut down the tree and destroy it. But leave the base of the tree and its roots in the ground. Tie iron and bronze round it. Then leave it in the grass. Make him wet with dew from the sky. Cause him to live in the fields with the wild animals for seven years.”

24 Now sir, this is what the dream means. The powerful God above has decided what he will do to my lord, the king. 25 People will chase you away from the city, so that you have to live with the wild animals. You will eat grass like cows do. Dew from the sky will make you wet. You will live in that way for seven years. Then you will understand that the powerful God above rules over human kingdoms. He gives authority to rule to anyone that he chooses. 26 The command was to leave the base of the tree and its roots in the ground. This means that you will be king again later. But before that, you will have to understand that it is God in heaven who rules. 27 So King Nebuchadnezzar, please do as I suggest. Stop doing bad things. Start to do what is right. Turn away from your sins. Instead, be kind to poor people. Then, perhaps, you will continue to be comfortable and happy.’

28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 One year later, he was walking on the flat roof of the king's palace in Babylon. 30 The king said, ‘Look how great Babylon is! It is the city that I have built to be my home as king. It shows that I am a great and powerful king!’

31 While King Nebuchadnezzar was still boasting about his power, he heard a voice from heaven. It said, ‘I am speaking to you, King Nebuchadnezzar. I have taken away your authority to rule as king! 32 People will chase you away from the city so that you live with the wild animals. You will eat grass as cows do. I will cause you to live like that for seven years. Then you will understand that the powerful God above rules over human kingdoms. He gives authority to rule to anyone that he chooses.’

33 Immediately the message given to Nebuchadnezzar really happened. People chased him away from the city. He ate grass as cows do. Dew from the sky made his body wet. His hair grew very long, like the feathers of an eagle. His feet became like a bird's feet.