Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had a dream which frightened him.  He called for the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers to interpret the dream for him, but found no one that could interpret his dream.  (Daniel 4:4-7).  At last, Daniel came in to explain Nebuchadnezzar’s dream for him, and the king told Daniel his dream.  “Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless LEAVE THE STUMP OF HIS ROOTS IN THE EARTH, EVEN WITH A BAND OF IRON AND BRASS, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Verses 10-17).

We then read in verse 19, “Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar (his Babylonian name), was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.”

Daniel explains that the tree in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream represented Nebuchadnezzar, himself. (Verses 20-22).  The creatures in his dream represented the people under his rule. (Verse 22).  The fall of the tree represented the approaching time of the judgment of God upon him, and he would become like a wild animal for seven years (“seven times shall pass over him.”)  (Verses 23-25).

Daniel goes on to say in verse 26, “And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.” The basis, or nucleus of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom is still in existence in verse 26, represented by the stump, and the Lord commands the watchers to leave it standing.  It will later sprout again, and the band of iron and brass represented the guarantee that the Lord will protect what remains undamaged of the kingdom and He will return the king’s rule.   

Daniel urged Nebuchadnezzar to heed his council, repent and forsake his sins so that he might be spared this tragedy. We read in verse 27, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”  The king refused to listen to Daniel and the dream became reality (verses 28-33). 

We then read of Nebuchadnezzar’s restoration in verses 34-37, “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”

Once he blessed and praised the Lord, his understanding was returned, and his kingdom was restored to him, just as he had seen in his vision.  (CC)  (527.4)