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Daniel 4:28-37

Context

4:28 Now all of this happened 1  to King Nebuchadnezzar. 4:29 After twelve months, he happened to be walking around on the battlements 2  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 3  by my own mighty strength 4  and for my majestic honor?” 4:31 While these words were still on the king’s lips, 5  a voice came down from heaven: “It is hereby announced to you, 6  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 7  you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes.”

4:33 Now in that very moment 8  this pronouncement about 9  Nebuchadnezzar came true. 10  He was driven from human society, he ate grass like oxen, and his body became damp with the dew of the sky, until his hair became long like an eagle’s feathers, and his nails like a bird’s claws. 11 

4:34 But at the end of the appointed time 12  I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up 13  toward heaven, and my sanity returned to me.

I extolled the Most High,

and I praised and glorified the one who lives forever.

For his authority is an everlasting authority,

and his kingdom extends from one generation to the next.

4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing. 14 

He does as he wishes with the army of heaven

and with those who inhabit the earth.

No one slaps 15  his hand

and says to him, ‘What have you done?’

4:36 At that time my sanity returned to me. I was restored 16  to the honor of my kingdom, and my splendor returned to me. My ministers and my nobles were seeking me out, and I was reinstated 17  over my kingdom. I became even greater than before. 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all his deeds are right and his ways are just. He is able to bring down those who live 18  in pride.

1 tn Aram “reached.”

2 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.”

3 tn Aram “house.”

4 tn Aram “by the might of my strength.”

5 tn Aram “in the mouth of the king.”

6 tn Aram “to you they say.”

7 tn Aram “until.”

8 tn Aram “hour.”

9 tn Or “on.”

10 tn Aram “was fulfilled.”

11 tn The words “feathers” and “claws” are not present in the Aramaic text, but have been added in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Aram “days.”

13 tn Aram “lifted up my eyes.”

14 tc The present translation reads כְּלָא (kÿla’), with many medieval Hebrew MSS, rather than כְּלָה (kÿlah) of BHS.

15 tn Aram “strikes against.”

16 tc The translation reads הַדְרֵת (hadret, “I returned”) rather than the MT הַדְרִי (hadri, “my honor”); cf. Theodotion.

17 tc The translation reads הָתְקְנֵת (hotqÿnet, “I was established”) rather than the MT הָתְקְנַת (hotqÿnat, “it was established”). As it stands, the MT makes no sense here.

18 tn Aram “walk.”



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