Daniel 4 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Dream: “Chop Down the Tree!”
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. 2 I had a dream that frightened me. While on my bed the images and visions in my mind[a] terrified me. 3 So I issued a decree to bring all the wise men of Babylon before me so that they could make known to me the meaning of the dream. 4 When the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and diviners came in, I recounted the dream to them, but they were unable to make known its interpretation to me.
5 Finally Daniel—whose name was Belteshazzar after the name of my god and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—came in before me and I told him the dream.
6 I said, “Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery baffles you. Consider my dream that I have seen and tell me its interpretation.
7 “These are the visions in my head while I was on my bed: I looked, and behold, there was a tree in the midst of the earth. Its height was enormous. 8 The tree grew large and became strong and its top reached to heaven; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 9 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Beneath it the beasts of the field found shade and birds of the sky lived in its branches, and from it all creatures were fed.
10 “I was watching the visions in my mind while on my bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven. 11 He called loudly, saying:
‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit!
Let beasts flee from under it,
and birds from its branches.
12 Yet leave a stump with its roots in the earth,
in fetters of iron and bronze,
in the tender grass of the field.
Let him be damp with the dew of heaven,
and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth.
13 Let his mind be altered from that of a man
and let an animal’s mind be given to him
and let seven periods of time pass over him.
14 This sentence is by the decree of the watchers,
this verdict by the command of the holy ones,
so that the living may know
that the Most High is sovereign over the realm of man
and bestows it to whomever He wishes,
and may set over them even the lowliest of men.’
15 “I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw this dream. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its meaning, for none of the wise men of my kingdom are able to make known to me its interpretation. But you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”
Interpretation: A King Eats Grass
16 Then Daniel, whose name is also Belteshazzar, was perplexed for a brief time; his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered, and said, “Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream or the interpretation disturb you.”
But Belteshazzar replied, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! 17 The tree that you saw grow large and strong, whose top reached to heaven and that was visible to all the earth, 18 whose leaves were beautiful and whose fruit was so abundant that there was food for all in it and beneath which the beasts of the fields lived and in its branches birds of the sky dwelt— 19 it is you, O king! For you have grown great and mighty. Your greatness reaches to heaven, and your authority extends to the end of the earth.
20 “‘You, O king, saw a watcher, a holy one,
coming down from heaven and saying,
‘Chop down the tree and destroy it!
Yet leave a stump with its roots
in the ground,
in fetters of iron and bronze,
in the grass of the field.
Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,
and let his portion be with the beasts of the field,
until seven time periods pass over him.’
21 “This is the interpretation, O king. It is the decree of the Most High that has come upon my lord the king:
22 “You will be driven away from people and will dwell with the wild animals. You will feed on grass like an ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass over you until you know that the Most High is sovereign over the realm of mankind and gives it to whomever He wishes.
23 “The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you[b] as soon as you understand that Heaven is sovereign. 24 Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you: Renounce your sins through righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps your prosperity will be prolonged.”
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream Fulfilled
25 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 26 At the end of twelve months, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 27 the king exclaimed, “Is this not the great Babylon that I have built as the royal residence by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
28 The words were still in the king’s mouth when a voice fell from heaven. “King Nebuchadnezzar, it has been decreed to you that your kingdom has been removed from you! 29 You will be driven away from men and you will live with the beasts of the field. You will feed on grass like an ox and seven periods of time will pass over you until you come to know that the Most High is sovereignover the realm of mankind and gives it to whomever He wishes.”
30 Immediately the word about Ne-buchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from men, ate grass like an ox, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
31 But at the end of the appointed days, I Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes up to heaven and my sanity returned to me. So I blessed the Most High and I praised and honored Him who lives forever.
“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom endures from generation to generation!
32 All the inhabitants of earth are counted as nothing.
He does as He wills with the army of heaven
and the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can hold back His hand,
or say to Him, ‘What have you done?’
33 “At that moment my sanity returned to me, and my majesty and my splendor were restored to me, for the glory of my kingdom. My ministers and nobles sought me out and I was reestablished over my kingdom. I became even greater than before. 34 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, because all His works are right and His ways just. He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”
Themes seen in Daniel 4:
- (Nebuchadnezzar) learning who to worship
- Understanding Dreams and Visions
- The Sovereignty of YAHUVEH/YAHWEH ELOHIM Almighty
- Praise of YAHUVEH ELOHIM Almighty
|Daniel 4:27 “Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you: atone for your sins with righteousness, and your iniquities with mercy to the oppressed, so that your prosperity may be prolonged.”||We need to take a (humble) stand for what is right in the workplace|
|Daniel 4:33 Immediately the sentence was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from human society, ate grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails became like birds’ claws.||YAHUVEH GOD will bring the rules and kingdoms of the earth to an end|
King Nebuchadenezzar was compared to an Oak Tree in his vision. Why of all things trees and why of all trees an Oak Tree?
What about Oak Trees?
The following information on Oak Trees is copied from here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/native-trees/english-oak/
English oak is arguably the best known and loved of British native trees. It is the most common tree species in the UK, especially in southern and central British deciduous woods.
Common name: English oak, pedunculate oak
Scientific name: Quercus robur
UK provenance: native
Interesting Fact: acorns are not produced until the tree is at least 40 years old. Peak acorn fecundity usually occurs around 80 – 120 years.
A year in the life of an English oak tree
What does oak look like?
Overview: English oak is a large deciduous tree up to 20-40m tall. In England, the English oak has assumed the status of a national emblem. As common oaks mature they form a broad and spreading crown with sturdy branches beneath. Their open canopy enables light to penetrate through to the woodland floor, allowing bluebells and primroses to grow below. Their smooth and silvery brown bark becomes rugged and deeply fissured with age. Oak tree growth is particularly rapid in youth but gradually slows at around 120 years. Oaks even shorten with age in order to extend their lifespan.
Leaves: around 10cm long with 4-5 deep lobes with smooth edges. Leaf-burst occurs mid-May and the leaves have almost no stem and grow in bunches.
Flowers: are long yellow hanging catkins which distribute pollen into the air.
Fruits: its fruit, commonly known as acorns, are 2–2.5cm long, borne on lengthy stalks and held tightly by cupules (the cup-shaped base of the acorn). As it ripens, the green acorn takes on a more autumnal, browner colour, loosens from the cupule and falls to the canopy below.
Most acorns will never get the chance to germinate, they are rich food source, eaten by many wild creatures including jays, mice and squirrels. Acorns need to germinate and root quickly to prevent drying out or becoming victims of the harvest. Following successful germination, a new sapling will appear the following spring.
Look out for: it has distinctive lobed leaves with short leaf stalks (petioles). Leaf lobes are rounded.
Could be confused with: sessile oak (Quercus petraea). English oak has acorns on stalks (or peduncles) whereas sessile oak does not.
Identified in winter by: rounded buds are in clusters. Each bud has more than three scales.
Where to find oak
It is native to the northern hemisphere existing in cool regions right through to tropical climates.
Value to wildlife
Oak forests provide a habitat rich in biodiversity; they support more life forms than any other native trees. They host hundreds of species of insect, supplying many British birds with an important food source. In autumn mammals such as badgers and deer take advantage of the falling acorns.
Flower and leaf buds of English oak and sessile oak are the foodplants of the caterpillars of purple hairstreak butterflies.
The soft leaves of English oaks breakdown with ease in autumn and form a rich leaf mould beneath the tree, supporting invertebrates, such as the stag beetle, and numerous fungi, like the oakbug milkcap. Holes and crevices in the tree bark are perfect nesting spots for the pied flycatcher or marsh tit. Several British bat species may also roost in old woodpecker holes or under loose bark, as well as feeding on the rich supply of insects in the tree canopy.
Mythology and symbolism
The oak is held in high regard across most cultures in Europe. The oak was sacred to many gods including Zeus (Greek), Jupiter (Roman) and Dagda (Celtic). Each of these gods ruled over thunder and lightning, and oak trees are prone to lightning strikes as they are often the tallest living feature in the landscape.
Druids frequently practised and worshipped their rituals in oak groves and cherished the mistletoe that frequents oak tree branches. Royalty has had a long association with oak trees too; ancient kings adorned themselves with crowns of oak leaves, King Charles II hid from his pursuers in an oak tree at Boscobel House and Roman Emperors were presented with crowns of oak leaves during victory parades.
In England the oak has for centuries been a national symbol of strength and survival. It has played an important part in our culture – couples were wed under ancient oaks in Oliver Cromwell’s time, the festive Yule Log was traditionally cut from oak, it features on the 1987 pound coin and is the inspiration for the emblem of many environmentally focused organisations, including the Woodland Trust.
How we use oak
Oaks produce one of the hardest and most durable timbers on the planet, even its Latin name, Quercus robur, means strength. However, it takes up to 150 years before an oak is ready to use in construction. It has been a prized hardwood timber for thousands of years, was the primary ship building material until the mid-19th century and remains a popular wood for architectural beams. Modern uses of English oak include flooring, wine barrels and firewood.
Traditionally the leaves, bark and acorns were believed to heal many medical ailments including diarrhoea, inflammation and kidney stones.
Historically humans also collected acorns and processed them into flour for bread making. These culinary techniques have mostly died out following the domestication of wheat production 10,000 years ago, leaving the harvest for wild birds and mammals.
Tannin found in the bark has been used to tan leather since at least Roman times.
Toxicity: Tannic acid in the leaves is poisonous to horses if consumed in excess, damaging the kidneys. Acorns are poisonous to horses and cattle, though swine can consume them safely in moderation.
Despite their high numbers in Britain and protection from over-harvest, our oak trees are threatened by a number of pests and pathogens. The oak processionary moth is a non-native pest that has been found in London and Berkshire. Not only does it damage the foliage of the trees and increase the oak’s susceptibility to other diseases, it is actually a risk to human health. The moth’s hairs are toxic and can lead to itching and respiratory problems if inhaled.
Acute oak decline (AOD) and chronic oak decline (COD) are serious conditions affecting Britain’s oaks, several contributing factors are linked to the diseases. Decline of mature oaks first aroused concern in the 1920s, today most cases are in central, southern and eastern England. Key symptoms include canopy thinning, branch dieback and black weeping patches on stems and lesions underlying the bleed spots.
Trees need your help…
In summary, what are Oak trees all about and why liken King Nebuchadnezzar to one?
- Spreads out a lot (remember that Abraham sat under an Oak Tree as per Genesis 18 to enjoy the shade from the sun. It was here that the three mysterious Heavenly visitors came to him thereafter receiving good news)
Remember the OAK OF MAMRE?
The site is located two kilometres (1.2 miles) southwest of Mamre, historically near Hebron and now inside the city. Also called The Oak of Abraham, it is an ancient tree which, in one tradition, is said to mark the place where Abraham entertained the three angels or where Abraham pitched his tent.
- Survives many things and a very long time
- Home for some wildlife
King Nebuchadnezzar was the great oak tree which was cut down so as to teach him a lesson and later on restored.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, represents the love of self in some of its worst forms. In the chapter before, he listens as his counselors tell him, “These men, O King, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:12) In other words, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego did not bring the image of self into every thing they did. Nebuchadnezzar, in his rage and fury, commanded his soldiers to bring the three men to him. The king then demands of the men, “You fall down and worship the image which I have made” or “you shall be cast…into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:15).
In Daniel, chapter 4, at the beginning, Nebuchadnezzar says, “I was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace.” (Daniel 4:3) Here the king of Babylon is telling us about his contentment in life. From his words it is clear that King Nebuchadnezzar was really believing that this world is everything, and he had made a good life for himself amidst worldly riches and activities. But something happened to him to trouble his ideal existence. The king says, “I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.” (Daniel 4:5) His thoughts are so stirred up that he can’t sleep, and the pictures he gets in his mind are so disturbing that his rest is gone. Odd that they didn’t seem to disturb him earlier when he was ready to kill three men for not submitting to his control and worshiping the images he brought forth. But now his thoughts and visions are troubling him. Wrong thinking and reasons always brings trouble, first to other people and then to ourselves.
Does this set you thinking? That is to say that when you or I want control of other people, as Nebuchadnezzar did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, do you or I really care how much you or I disturb their lives – just so long as yours or my ideal life is not tampered with? Could it be that we desire to be in control because we have an ideal in our minds that we don’t want to have disturbed, and that we will do anything to accomplish that ideal?
As a result of the trouble in his mind, Nebuchadnezzar made a decree, telling his counselors “to bring all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of (my) dream.” (Daniel 4:6), however, those he considered wise could not do it. They were wise in flattering self and explaining how the world works as the usual tradition goes when addressing a king (for example, never give a King bad news or be careful how you give bad news to a king). The wise men lacked understanding of the spiritual matters from YAH’S/ELOHIM’S view point. Note here that when YAHUVEH ELOHIM decides this is the time for you to learn about HIM, then the mind becomes chaotic, like Nebuchadnezzar’s. “But at last Daniel came before me, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods.” (Daniel 4:8). King Nebuchandnezzar expresses relief here because of course, he knew who Daniel was. I also suppose that the RUACH HA KODESH (a.k.a HOLY SPIRIT who was residing in Daniel brought a peace or calmness into the situation as Daniel walked into the room. This is a picture of the love of self in us so distraught, it is driven to try the true religion as a last resort.
Daniel’s interpretation of the dream can be paraphrased as follows:
“This is the way life is, O king, there is a spiritual, and there is no other way to interpret it. You can no longer believe that you are the source of all good. There is a spiritual life after this one, and all your palaces and accomplishments and control of things and people in this world is not going to change it. You have to look beyond this natural life and reflect on yourself, because you are the problem.” Daniel says, “It is you, O king, you are grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown, and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22) This inward zeal of dominating, you have to let go of, for the heavens and the earth really are under someone else’s control.
Daniel then tells Nebuchadnezzar that he needs to be worried, for all the things he saw in his dream will come to pass. In addition to the spiritual doom, the literal is describing a feral state – that is, of turning back from a tamed state to a wild, animal one.
To help the king Daniel advises, “If it may be a lengthening of your tranquility,” “let my counsel be acceptable unto you, and break off your sins… and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.” (Daniel 4:27) To Nebuchadnezzar, who represents the exalted love of self and the world, the poor here probably means people who are in less wonderful states than him. Conceit is so grand. It drives us to do big and wonderful things. In Genesis, it drove the ancients to build a tower so high they thought it could reach heaven. (Genesis 11)
It is supposes that the king listened to Daniel for a while, but after some time forgo what Daniel had said to him for “At the end of twelve months, he (Nebuchadnezzar) walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spoke and said, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built… by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30) His and our abilities appear so great that we drive out of our minds all thought of the LORD YAHUVEH’S hand in them. The story continues, “While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven saying, “O king, Nebuchadnezzar…the kingdom is departed from you.” (Daniel 4:31).
“That same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and:
- did eat grass as oxen,
- and his body was wet with the dew of heaven,
- ’til his hair was grown like eagles’ feathers,
- and his nails like birds claws.” (Daniel 4:33)
One of the images here is of a wild bird, hair long and feathery, his nails overgrown and wrapped around. Birds correspond to the understanding, and one of the things talked about here is that Nebuchadnezzar’s understanding had gone astray, and had not been giving him any true understanding about who YAHUVEH ELOHIM is, who he (Nebuchadnezzar) is, and the ratio or proportion between YAHUVEH ELOHIM’S power and abilities and his. In other words:
- he was so far gone astray that he was not rational anymore.
- He was so addicted to power and the world’s glory that he couldn’t be with people anymore.
In spiritual things, the feral state is called profanation. The king had gone so far astray that his false reasoning couldn’t even serve him anymore and had driven others to not want to be around him.
The Word continues the story of the king of Babylon living alone in a wild state by saying, “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me.” (Daniel 4:34) What a time of joy this is – Nebuchadnezzar’s reason returned to him. It is like the addict’s relief – to be able to think and not do that addictive thing anymore – to not be impulsively addicted to power, or control, or alcohol, or sex, or co-dependency. His happiness is real. He can think when he is oppressed by the love of self.
Nebuchadnezzar did not describe the terrible things that happened to him, whether an army came and cast him out, or his people turned against him in rebellion, or influential, rich people wouldn’t support his state, etc. The Word simply says he was driven from men. Nebuchadnezzar only says, “I… lifted my eyes unto heaven, and my understanding returned to me.” He had gone through a tremendous change and didn’t even describe the details. He was not fixated on the bad things that happened. He had done something new. He had lifted his eyes up to heaven. The story continues, “and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored Him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion.” (Daniel 4:34)
Nebuchadnezzar’s story is one of gaining humility. And of letting go.
Nebuchadnezzar then said that he can no longer look to people for an assessment of his worth; he has gotten a distorted view from them, or from the way they treated him as king. In this state of coming down from such aggrandizement and flattery, he says, “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing.” (Daniel 4:35) People had failed him, and he had failed people. Neither side has been perfect. It is YAHUVEH ELOHIM’S will that prevails. What Nebuchadnezzar has learned about YAH/ELOHIM is that “HE does according to HIS will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth…” The difference is that YAHUVEH ELOHIM does this with love. “And none can say to HIM, ‘What doest thou?'” (Daniel 4:35)
What does YAHUVEH GOD do to Nebuchadnezzar after all this? Well, the king says, “The glory of my kingdom, my honor and brightness, returned to me.” (Daniel 4:36) Slowly, the LORD YAHUVEH returned Nebuchadnezzar’s life to him, purified, losing what was from proprium (was a term coined by Allport which represents the positive, creative, growth-seeking, and forward-moving quality of human Nature (Hjelle and Zeigler p. 184), or self and the world, and having heavenly things in their place instead. Nor has the king lost with people, either. He said, “And my counselors and my lords sought unto me.” (Daniel 4:36) Where before he may have forced his way on them, now others willingly were seeking out his thinking and counsel. “And I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.” (Daniel 4:36)
This story and the one before it of the burning fiery furnace are of Nebuchadnezzar learning who to worship. The king says, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the king of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgement: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” (Daniel 4:37).
(Reference for this analysis of Daniel 4: https://newchristianbiblestudy.org/bible/story/nebuchadnezzars-dream-of-a-tree/king-james-version/nebuchadnezzar-pride-humility)
The following scripture is useful to read in relation to Daniel 4 and Tu B’Shevat it talks about trees but really it is talking about mankind in the spiritual sense:
Job 14:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
9 Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant.
The above Holy Scripture does not give us permission to just carry out deforestation anyhow or just cut down trees anyhow but rather offers a message of hope for those Children of YAHUVEH/YAHWEH ELOHIM who happened to fall by the way side or backslide and desire to be restored unto YAHUVEH ELOHIM or that their loved ones are praying for them earnestly to be restored unto YAHUVEH ELOHIM.
Psalm 1 Names of God Bible (NOG)
1 Blessed is the person who does not
follow the advice of wicked people,
take the path of sinners,
or join the company of mockers.
2 Rather, he delights in the teachings of Yahweh
and reflects on his teachings day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted beside streams—
a tree that produces fruit in season
and whose leaves do not wither.
He succeeds in everything he does.[a]
4 Wicked people are not like that.
Instead, they are like husks that the wind blows away.
5 That is why wicked people will not be able to stand in the judgment
and sinners will not be able to stand where righteous people gather.
6 Yahweh knows the way of righteous people,
but the way of wicked people will end.
Note that the Righteous man is likened to a tree… This tree does things according to YAH’S/ELOHIM’S timing (not his or her own timing! The tree’s foundation is also very good.
Psalm 11:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
If you desire verse 3 to be fulfilled in your life (and not verse 4 of Psalm 1), then YAH’S/ELOHIM’S TORAH (which is also YAHUSHUA the MASHIACH/MESSIAH) has to be your best friend!!! See Joshua 1:8.
We see some aspects of the Anti-Messiah (a.k.a Anti-Christ) in Daniel 4):
King Nebuchadnezzar had grown in his power and might just like an oak tree does! He was also the head of Babylon, the Kingdom that King Nimrod had started. The same Kingdom which practised all kinds of abominable idolatrous things. In fact, this was where Abraham was born but YAHUVEH ELOHIM removed him from there and took to what was known then as Canaan and today Israel. My point here is that the oak tree got to the point of believing that it had created itself and it can create and control others.
This points to the Anti-Messiah (a.k.a Anti-Christ) to come in the future like a mighty unshakeable tree who will do what King Nebuchadnezzar did and even worse until YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH will come and cut him down then cast him into the pits of hell the lake of fire for eternity together with all his followers and subjects!
Trees and Dreams
We can see trees in dreams and visions. When we do, we should pay close attention to such dreams so we do not pray amiss, that is to say pray aright!
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