The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, 1 and the guards 2 to bring out of the Lord’s temple all the items that were used in the worship of 3 Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. 4 The king 5 burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces 6 of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 7
He eliminated 1 the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices 2 on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices 3 to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.)
Solomon had made a bronze platform and had placed it in the middle of the enclosure. It was seven and one-half feet 1 long, seven and one-half feet 2 wide, and four and one-half feet 3 high. He stood on it and then got down on his knees in front of the entire assembly of Israel. He spread out his hands toward the sky,
Shout for joy, O sky, for the Lord intervenes; 1 shout out, you subterranean regions 2 of the earth. O mountains, give a joyful shout; you too, O forest and all your trees! 3 For the Lord protects 4 Jacob; he reveals his splendor through Israel. 5
So like a lion from the thicket their enemies will kill them. Like a wolf from the desert they will destroy them. Like a leopard they will lie in wait outside their cities and totally destroy anyone who ventures out. 1 For they have rebelled so much and done so many unfaithful things. 2
They will be spread out and exposed to the sun, the moon and the stars. 1 These are things they 2 adored and served, things to which they paid allegiance, 3 from which they sought guidance, and worshiped. The bones of these people 4 will never be regathered and reburied. They will be like manure used to fertilize the ground. 5
The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts, all the things that creep on the ground, and all people who live on the face of the earth will shake 1 at my presence. The mountains will topple, the cliffs 2 will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground.
Now in that very moment 1 this pronouncement about 2 Nebuchadnezzar came true. 3 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. 4
Shortly after his rise to power, 1 his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky 2 – but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.
“Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures 1 just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn 2 from these worthless 3 things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, 4 the sea, and everything that is in them.
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’ –
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.
He was driven from human society, his mind 1 was changed to that of an animal, he lived 2 with the wild donkeys, he was fed grass like oxen, and his body became damp with the dew of the sky, until he came to understand that the most high God rules over human kingdoms, and he appoints over them whomever he wishes.