Today Nebuchadnezzar has another dream which he asks Daniel to interpret – “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since 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 God is in you.”
Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a large fruitful tree that reached to the heavens. Then a holy one from heaven cried out to chop down the tree and said, “Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over him.”
Daniel explains that the tree is Nebuchadnezzar “for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.” Nebuchadnezzar’s pride is going to lead to his downfall and he will be driven to the fields like a wild beast for seven years “till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that if he will humble himself, repent, and turn from his sin “perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.” The Lord gives Nebuchadnezzar twelve months to repent but Nebuchadnezzar never humbles himself – “All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’”
The Lord is the one who established Babylon to accomplish His purposes, not Nebuchadnezzar. Therefore the Lord humbles Nebuchadnezzar and he becomes like a wild beast in the fields for seven years “and at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”
“At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”
We end the reading in the twenty-fifth year of captivity and fourteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Ezekiel receives his final vision from the Lord. The Lord shows him a new temple that He is planning and tells Ezekiel to “declare to the house of Israel everything that you see.” This temple is unlike the corrupt temple that the Lord showed Ezekiel twenty years ago.
More on the temple tomorrow. Keep reading.
(1 Chronicles 8:29-40, Daniel 4:1-37, Ezekiel 40:1-37)