4 King Nebucadnessar to all the peoples, nations, and languages that live in all the earth: Great be your peace. 2 I have thought best to announce the tokens and wonders which the Most High God has performed in my case. 3 How great his tokens are, and how mighty his wonders! his empire is an eternal empire, and his dominion accompanies generation upon generation. 4 I, Nebucadnessar, was comfortable in my house and flourishing in my palace. 5 I had a dream, and it terrified me; and a nightmare in my bed, and the sights that came to my head alarmed me. 6 And my order was given to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon to make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the sorcerers, exorcists, Chaldeans, and diviners were coming in and I was telling the dream before them, and they were failing to make known its interpretation to me. 8 * But at last Daniel, whose name is Belteshassar after my god’s name, and who has in him a spirit from holy gods, came in before me and I told the dream before him: 9 * “Belteshassar, chief of the sorcerers, you who I know have in you a spirit from holy gods and for whom no secret is impenetrable, tell me the sights of the dream I had, and its interpretation. 10 And the sights that came to my head in my bed were—I saw that there was a tree in the middle of the earth, whose height was great; 11 * and the tree grew large and strong, and its height reached to the sky, and it was visible to the end of all the earth. 12 Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and it had on it food for everything; the wild beasts found shade under it and the birds of the air lodged in its branches, and all mortal beings fed from it. 13 * I saw, in the sights that came to my head in my bed, that a sacred watcher came down out of the sky; 14 he called out with a powerful voice ‘Cut the tree down and lop its branches and strip it of its foliage and scatter its fruit; let the beasts disperse from under it and the birds from its branches; 15 but leave its rooted stump in the earth, and in a band of iron and bronze among the plants of the meadow, and let it be wet with the dews of the sky and have its portion in the herbage of the earth with the beasts, 16 * and his mind be changed from human and a beast’s mind be given to him, and seven times go past over him. 17 The edict is by resolution of the Watchers and the finding is a behest of the Sacred Ones, with the intent that those who live may know that the Most High is sovereign over human empire and gives it to whomever he wishes and sets up over it the lowest of men.’ 18 This dream I, Nebucadnessar the king, saw; tell you its interpretation, Belteshassar, since none of the wise men of my kingdom have been able to make the interpretation known, but you are competent because you have in you a spirit from holy gods.” 19 Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshassar, stood aghast for a moment, and the things he thought of alarmed him. The king answered “Belteshassar, may the dream and its interpretation not alarm you.” Belteshassar answered “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you, and its interpretation for your foes. 20 * The tree you saw which grew large and strong and whose height reached to the sky and which was visible to all the earth 21 and whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and which had on it food for everything, the wild beasts lodged under it and the birds of the air perched in its branches, 22 * is you, your majesty, who have grown great and whose greatness has mounted till it reached to the sky and your sovereignty to the end of the earth. 23 * And as to your majesty’s seeing a sacred watcher come down out of the sky and say ‘Cut the tree down and mutilate it, but leave its rooted stump in the earth, and in a band of iron and bronze among the plants of the meadow, and let it be wet with the dews of the sky and have its portion with the wild beasts till seven times go past over it,’ 24 —this is the interpretation, your majesty, and it is the resolve of the Most High, which has reached to your majesty, my lord; 25 and you shall be driven out from mankind and your quarters shall be with the wild beasts, and you shall be fed on herbage like cattle and wet with the dews of the sky, and seven times shall go past over you, till you come to know that the Most High is sovereign over human empire and gives it to whomever he wishes. 26 And as to its being ordered to leave the rooted stump of the tree, you shall have your kingship permanently after you come to know that heaven is sovereign. 27 * So, your majesty, may my advice meet your approval: rid yourself of your sins by doing right and of your guilt by kindness to the unfortunate, in case there might be a lengthening of your prosperity.” 28 It all overtook King Nebucadnessar. 29 * At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon. 30 * The king spoke up and said “This is indeed the great Babylon which I built for a royal residence by the power under my control and for the grandeur of my majesty.” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth a voice fell from the sky “You are notified, King Nebucadnessar, that your kingship has passed from you, 32 and you shall be driven out from mankind and your quarters shall be with the wild beasts, and you shall be fed on herbage like cattle, and seven times shall go past over you, till you come to know that the Most High is sovereign over human empire and gives it to whomever he wishes.” 33 That moment the word was accomplished for Nebucadnessar, and he was driven out from men and ate herbage like cattle and was wet with the dews and rain of the sky till his hair grew long as vultures’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. 34 But at the end of the time I, Nebucadnessar, raised my eyes to the sky and my reason came back to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and glorified him who lives forever, that his dominion is an eternal dominion and his empire accompanies generation upon generation, 35 and all who live on earth count for nothing, and he does as he pleases with the legions of the sky and with those who live on earth; and there is no one who shall check his hand and say to him “What are you doing?” 36 * At that time my reason came back to me, and for my royal dignity my good looks and bloom came back to me, and my courtiers and lords presented petitions to me, and I was reinstated in my kingship and received notable additions of greatness. 37 Now I Nebucadnessar praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, all whose workings are truth and his courses justice, and who is able to bring low those who go loftily.
^ 4:8, 9, 18 Lit. of holy gods
^ 4:9 (sights) Susp.
^ 4:11 Lit. the sight of it was to the end
^ 4:13 Lit. a wakeful and a sacred came
^ 4:16 (mind, twice) Lit. heart
^ 4:20 Lit. the sight of which was
^ 4:22 Lit. greatness has grown great and reached
^ 4:23 Lit. seeing a wakeful and a sacred come
^ 4:27 Or of your sins by charity and of
^ 4:29 Lit. on the royal palace
^ 4:30 Lit. answered and said
^ 4:36 (second clause) Susp.