4 “From King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar to all the peoples, nations, and language groups dwelling in all the earth: May your peace abound! 2 I am pleased to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed toward me. 3 How great are his signs, and how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his rulership is for generation after generation.+ 4 “I, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay on my bed, the images and visions of my head frightened me.+ 6 So I issued an order to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon so that they could make known to me the interpretation of the dream.+ 7 “At that time the magic-practicing priests, the conjurers, the Chal·deʹans,* and the astrologers+ came in. When I told them what the dream was, they could not make its interpretation known to me.+ 8 At last there came in before me Daniel, whose name is Bel·te·shazʹzar+ after the name of my god+ and in whom there is the spirit of the holy gods,+ and I told him the dream: 9 “‘O Bel·te·shazʹzar the chief of the magic-practicing priests,+ I well know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you+ and no secret is too difficult for you.+ So explain to me the visions I saw in my dream and its interpretation. 10 “‘In the visions of my head while on my bed, I saw a tree+ in the midst of the earth, and its height was enormous.+ 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached the heavens, and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth. 12 Its foliage was beautiful, and its fruit was abundant, and there was food on it for all. Beneath it the beasts of the field would seek shade, and on its branches the birds of the heavens would dwell, and all creatures* would feed from it. 13 “‘As I viewed the visions of my head while on my bed, I saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from the heavens.+ 14 He called out loudly: “Chop down the tree,+ cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit! Let the beasts flee from beneath it, and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump with its roots* in the ground, with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of the heavens, and let its portion be with the beasts among the vegetation of the earth.+ 16 Let its heart be changed from that of a human, and let it be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times+ pass over it.+ 17 This is by the decree of watchers,+ and the request is by the word of the holy ones, so that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind+ and that he gives it to whomever he wants, and he sets up over it even the lowliest of men.” 18 “‘This was the dream that I, King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, saw; now you, O Bel·te·shazʹzar, tell its interpretation, for all the other wise men of my kingdom are unable to make the interpretation known to me.+ But you are able to do so, because the spirit of holy gods is in you.’ 19 “At that time Daniel, whose name is Bel·te·shazʹzar,+ was alarmed for a moment, and his thoughts began to frighten him. “The king said, ‘O Bel·te·shazʹzar, do not let the dream and the interpretation frighten you.’ “Bel·te·shazʹzar answered, ‘O my lord, may the dream apply to those hating you, and its interpretation to your enemies. 20 “‘The tree that you saw that grew great and became strong, whose top reached the heavens and was visible to all the earth,+ 21 which had beautiful foliage, abundant fruit, and food for all, beneath which the beasts of the field would dwell and on whose branches the birds of the heavens would reside,+ 22 it is you, O king, because you have grown great and become strong, and your grandeur has grown and reached to the heavens,+ and your rulership to the ends of the earth.+ 23 “‘And the king saw a watcher, a holy one,+ coming down from the heavens, who was saying: “Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump with its roots* in the ground, with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field. And let the dew of the heavens make it wet, and let its portion be with the beasts of the field until seven times pass over it.”+ 24 This is the interpretation, O king; it is the decree of the Most High that must befall my lord the king. 25 You will be driven away from among men, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls; and you will become wet with the dew of the heavens,+ and seven times+ will pass over you,+ until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.+ 26 “‘But because they said to leave the stump of the tree with its roots,*+ your kingdom will be yours again after you come to know that the heavens are ruling. 27 Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you. Turn away from your sins by doing what is right, and from your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor. It may be that your prosperity will be extended.’”+ 28 All of this befell King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king was saying: “Is this not Babylon the Great that I myself have built for the royal house by my own strength and might and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the word was yet in the king’s mouth, a voice came down from the heavens: “To you it is being said, O King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, ‘The kingdom has gone away from you,+ 32 and from mankind you are being driven away. With the beasts of the field your dwelling will be, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.’”+ 33 At that moment the word was fulfilled on Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar. He was driven away from mankind, and he began to eat vegetation just like bulls, and his body became wet with the dew of the heavens, until his hair grew long just like eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.+ 34 “At the end of that time+ I, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, looked up to the heavens, and my understanding returned to me; and I praised the Most High, and to the One living forever I gave praise and glory, because his rulership is an everlasting rulership and his kingdom is for generation after generation.+ 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing, and he does according to his own will among the army of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth. And there is no one who can hinder him*+ or say to him, ‘What have you done?’+ 36 “At that time my understanding returned to me, and the glory of my kingdom, my majesty, and my splendor returned to me.+ My high officials and nobles eagerly sought me out, and I was restored to my kingdom, and even more greatness was added to me. 37 “Now I, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens,+ because all his works are truth and his ways are just,+ and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride.”+
^ That is, a group skilled in divination and astrology.
^ Lit., “all flesh.”
^ Or “leave the rootstock.”
^ Or “leave the rootstock.”
^ Or “the rootstock of the tree.”
^ Or “check his hand.”