4:25 You will be driven 1 from human society, 2 and you will live 3 with the wild animals. You will be fed 4 grass like oxen, 5 and you will become damp with the dew of the sky. Seven periods of time will pass by for you, before 6 you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes. 4:26 They said to leave the taproot of the tree, for your kingdom will be restored to you when you come to understand that heaven 7 rules. 4:27 Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you. Break away from your sins by doing what is right, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps your prosperity will be prolonged.” 8
4:28 Now all of this happened 9 to King Nebuchadnezzar. 4:29 After twelve months, he happened to be walking around on the battlements 10 of the royal palace of Babylon. 4:30 The king uttered these words: “Is this not the great Babylon that I have built for a royal residence 11 by my own mighty strength 12 and for my majestic honor?” 4:31 While these words were still on the king’s lips, 13 a voice came down from heaven: “It is hereby announced to you, 14 King Nebuchadnezzar, that your kingdom has been removed from you! 4:32 You will be driven from human society, and you will live with the wild animals. You will be fed grass like oxen, and seven periods of time will pass by for you before 15 you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes.”
4 tn Or perhaps “be made to eat.”
5 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.
6 tn Aram “until.”
7 sn The reference to heaven here is a circumlocution for God. There was a tendency in Jewish contexts to avoid direct reference to God. Cf. the expression “kingdom of heaven” in the NT and such statements as “I have sinned against heaven and in your sight” (Luke 15:21).
8 tn Aram “if there may be a lengthening to your prosperity.”
9 tn Aram “reached.”
10 tn The word “battlements” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied from context. Many English versions supply “roof” here (e.g., NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); cf. NLT “on the flat roof.”
11 tn Aram “house.”
12 tn Aram “by the might of my strength.”
13 tn Aram “in the mouth of the king.”
14 tn Aram “to you they say.”
15 tn Aram “until.”