4:22 it is you, 1 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’ – 4:24 this is the interpretation, O king! It is the decision of the Most High that this has happened to my lord the king. 4:25 You will be driven 2 from human society, 3 and you will live 4 with the wild animals. You will be fed 5 grass like oxen, 6 and you will become damp with the dew of the sky. Seven periods of time will pass by for you, before 7 you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes.
1 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.
5 tn Or perhaps “be made to eat.”
6 sn Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity has features that are associated with the mental disorder known as boanthropy, in which the person so afflicted imagines himself to be an ox or a similar animal and behaves accordingly.
7 tn Aram “until.”