4:10 Here are the visions of my mind 1 while I was on my bed.
While I was watching,
there was a tree in the middle of the land. 2
It was enormously tall. 3
4:20 The tree that you saw that grew large and strong, whose top reached to the sky, and which could be seen 4 in all the land, 4:21 whose foliage was attractive and its fruit plentiful, and from which there was food available for all, under whose branches wild animals 5 used to live, and in whose branches birds of the sky used to nest – 4:22 it is you, 6 O king! For you have become great and strong. Your greatness is such that it reaches to heaven, and your authority to the ends of the earth. 4:23 As for the king seeing a holy sentinel coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its taproot in the ground, with a band of iron and bronze around it, surrounded by the grass of the field. Let it become damp with the dew of the sky, and let it live with the wild animals, until seven periods of time go by for him’ –
1 tc The LXX lacks the first two words (Aram “the visions of my head”) of the Aramaic text.
2 tn Instead of “in the middle of the land,” some English versions render this phrase “a tree at the center of the earth” (NRSV); NAB, CEV “of the world”; NLT “in the middle of the earth.” The Hebrew phrase can have either meaning.
3 tn Aram “its height was great.”
4 tn Aram “its sight.”
6 sn Much of modern scholarship views this chapter as a distortion of traditions that were originally associated with Nabonidus rather than with Nebuchadnezzar. A Qumran text, the Prayer of Nabonidus, is often cited for parallels to these events.