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Daniel 4

1 - Nebuchadnezzar the king,to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth:Peace be multiplied to you.

2 - It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked toward me.

3 - How great are his signs!How mighty are his wonders!His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.His dominion is from generation to generation.

4 - I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.

5 - I saw a dream which made me afraid; and the thoughts on 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 to me the interpretation of the dream.

7 - Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known to me its interpretation.

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. I told the dream before him, saying,

9 - "Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10 - Thus were the visions of my head on my bed: I saw, and behold, a tree in the middle of the earth; and its height was great.

11 - The tree grew, and was strong, and its height reached to the sky, and its sight to the end of all the earth.

12 - The leaves of it were beautiful, and it had much fruit, and in it was food for all. The animals of the field had shade under it, and the birds of the sky lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

13 - "I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the sky.

14 - He cried aloud, and said thus, 'Cut down the tree, and cut off its branches! Shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit! Let the animals get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches.

15 - Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of the sky. Let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth.

16 - Let his heart be changed from man's, and let an animal's heart be given to him. Then let seven times pass over him.

17 - "'The sentence 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 rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men.'

18 - "This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and you, Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you."

19 - Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken mute for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king answered, "Belteshazzar, don't let the dream, or the interpretation, trouble you."Belteshazzar answered, "My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries.

20 - The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the sky, and its sight to all the earth;

21 - whose leaves were beautiful, and its fruit plentiful, and in it was food for all; under which the animals of the field lived, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their habitation:

22 - it is you, O king, that have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown, and reaches to the sky, and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 - "Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, 'Cut down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky. Let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him.

24 - "This is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which has come on my lord the king:

25 - that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.

26 - Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you will have known that the heavens do rule.

27 - Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility."

28 - All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar.

29 - At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon.

30 - The king spoke and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?"

31 - While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from the sky, saying, "O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: 'The kingdom has departed from you.

32 - You shall be driven from men; and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass as oxen. Seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.'"

33 - This was fulfilled the same hour on Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.

34 - At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever;for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,and his kingdom from generation to generation.

35 - All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;and he does according to his will in the army of heaven,and among the inhabitants of the earth;and no one can stop his hand,or ask him, "What are you doing?"

36 - At the same time my understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me.

37 - Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.

Daniel Images and Notes

The Book of Daniel

Daniel 6:15-16 - Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians [is], That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast [him] into the den of lions. [Now] the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

Daniel 7:13-14 - I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 9:24-27 - Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Daniel
Hebrew Name - Dani-El "God is my judge"
Greek Name - Danil (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Daniel (According to Tradition)
Date - 607 BC Approximately
Theme - The final kingdom of the Messiah
Types and Shadows - In Daniel Jesus was the fourth man in the fiery furnace

The First Day. Light.

Summary of The Book of Daniel

The prophet Daniel was actually taken captive during the Babylonian invasion on Jerusalem, the first attack in 607 BC. When Daniel came to Babylon he became a chief minister at Nebuchadnezzar's royal court. He became known as a man who could interpret dreams and visions. God did mighty miracles through Daniel that impressed King Nebuchadnezzar himself, so much so that he worshiped the Jewish God. Later when the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon King Cyrus ruled the Persian Empire. He also had visions that Daniel had given interpretation to. some of the great miracles mentioned in the Bible happened in the book of Daniel: the fiery furnace, the handwriting on the wall, and Daniel in the lion's den. Daniel can be seen in the Bible as the Empire predicting prophet, because he accurately  predicted the world governing empires before they came on the scene, first Babylon, second Persia, third Greece, fourth Rome, and in the last days would be another Roman empire where the antichrist would arise. At this time the Messiah will return and set up his everlasting kingdom. Daniel also predicted the exact day and year the Messiah would die. There is also a prophecy Daniel refers to as the 70th week, which speaks of a seven-year period in the future that will mark the second coming of the Messiah (Son of Man) coming with the clouds of heaven.

"I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel was among the Jewish captives who were brought to Babylon from Jerusalem after Nebuchadnezzar conquered the city. Daniel was still a youth but apparently of high status (Daniel 1:3). He was of such a high status that he was considered one of the wise men of the court of Babylon .He was quickly recognized in Babylon for his devotion to the one God Yahweh, and he refused to eat of the "dainties" which were brought to him by the king's servants. He also became recognized as the interpreter of dreams (Daniel 1:8-16), because when King Nebuchadnezzar being disturbed by a dream asked his own wise men to interpret they could not. Daniel offered to give the king the interpretation and the King was very appreciative to Daniel, he was so impressed that he allowed Daniel to rise to a place of great prominence in Babylon. Later when Babylon fell to the Persians the Jews had new masters over them, and Daniel was quickly recognized as a very special man and he had favor with the king of Persia. This caused many of those in authority to scrutinize Daniel and to look for flaws in his character and they could not find any. They developed a plot which forced the King to have Daniel thrown in the lion's den. The King recognizing their treachery and hoped for Daniel's deliverance, and when the Lord saved Daniel from the mouth of the lions Darius ordered his own leaders to be thrown into the lion's den and they were torn in pieces immediately.

Daniel the Empire Predicting Prophet

Daniel is clearly seen as the Empire predicting prophet. He was an interpreter of dreams, and God revealed through his interpretations his plans for the kingdoms that would rise to power in world history. At that time Babylon was in power, and in fact a world governing Empire in the ancient world. But Daniel said that Babylon would be defeated by the Medes and the Persians who would become a world governing empire. Then Greece would come and dominate the world, and after Greece the Romans would become a world governing empire. Then Daniel predicted that way in the future a final world governing empire would rise that would be like Rome, but different in that it would consist of 10 kings, and then finally 1 king who would rise to power. This 1 king would be a man referred to in the Bible as the antichrist. This would all take place in the final seven-year period known as the 70th week of Daniel. At its consummation the Lord will return, he will crush the enemy, and he will set up a kingdom, an everlasting kingdom, which will never be destroyed.

The 70 weeks of Daniel

The 70 weeks in Daniel are mentioned in Daniel 9, and they refer to a prophecy of Daniel where he claims that the king of Persia will release the Jews to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. When he makes this decree the Jews are to begin counting, and after 70 weeks (7 year periods or 490 years) the kingdom of the Messiah will be established on earth. But something interesting would happen, at the end of the 69th week (483 years) the Messiah will be "cut off" which indicates His death. The final seven year period is suddenly thrown into the future, to the time of the end of the world. This final seven year period is described in the book of Revelation as a time of the Messiah taking back the earth. It is divided into two 3 1/2 year periods and directly in the middle is when the antichrist sets up his throne in Jerusalem and reveals himself as God. Certain portions of this final seven years are mentioned in other prophetic books of the Bible like Zechariah.

Daniel, The Author of His Book

Daniel was the author of this book, and this was confirmed by Jesus himself, but there has been considerable criticism about the book of Daniel because of the accuracy of the prophecies. Many claim that these had to been written after the fact, and that Daniel could not possibly have known so much detail about the future. The first major critic of the genuineness of the book of Daniel was Porphyry of Tyre, a Greek philosopher of the third century AD who claimed that the book of Daniel had been written by a person living in the second century BC during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. His main reason for rejecting the book of Daniel was centered around the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, whom Daniel claimed was a prototype of the Antichrist. Daniel's prophecies written a few hundred years prior but were very very accurate in their detail. Many other critics have tried to discredit the book of Daniel, but the Bible and history have confirmed that Daniel was the author of this book, and therefore was written at the time of the Persian Empire (sixth century BC).

The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :

Outline of the Book of Daniel

Daniel is divided into two sections of six chapters each. Daniel 1-6 are largely historical, explaining how Daniel came to be in the court of Nebuchadnezzar and of his rise to power. It tells of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the image which Daniel interpreted to refer to the current kingdom and three world powers which would arise after it and of the kingdom of God "a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" which would arise during the era of the last of these great empires. This section also includes the account of the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace and of the handwriting on the wall which spelled out the defeat of Belshazzar at the hands of the Medes and the Persians.

The second section, Daniel 8-12, describes visions which Daniel received concerning the great world powers of the future and the kingdom of God.

The Greek translation of Daniel contains additions not found in the Hebrew and Aramaic text. These additions are found as separate books in the Apocrypha and are called The Song of the Three Holy Children, the History of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.

The book of Daniel assures God's people that their situation in exile would not be permanent, that God would keep his promise to Abraham, he would keep his promise through Jeremiah the prophet that they would return after 70 years. And he would also keep his promise that the Jews would still be the channel through which all nations would be blessed. The book of Daniel is a grand tribute to the providence of God and His lordship of history and the universe.

The First Day. Light.

Daniel Resources

The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

The Book of Daniel

More About the Book of Daniel
Daniel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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