Nebuchadnezzar II King of Babylon 634 BC - 562 BC

The Conversion of Nebuchadnezzar

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king,
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
3 How great are His signs,

And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.

5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
6 Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me,
that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.

7 Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream;
but they did not make known to me its interpretation.
8 But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god;
in him is the Spirit of the Holy God),

and I told the dream before him, saying:
9 “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you,
and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10 “These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
11 The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
12 Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed,
and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven.
14 He cried aloud and said thus:

‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.

16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven times pass over him.

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,

In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen.
Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation,
since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation;
but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. 
So the king spoke, and said,
“Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.”
Belteshazzar answered and said,
“My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies!

20 The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong,
whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the
21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all,
under which the beasts of the field dwelt,
and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home—
22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong;
for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens,
and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying,
‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, 
bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him’;

24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king:

25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen.
They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you,
till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

26 And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree,
your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules.

27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous,
and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon.
30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling
by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven:
“King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!
32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field.
They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you,
until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen;
his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me;
and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.

No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me.
My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.

37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice.
And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. (Daniel 4)

Details: The Management of the Universe

At the present time, and since Creation, God has been in charge of the government of the world through a host of angels, a kind of "divine council." This can be seen in the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job. The fallen high angel we know as Satan is a "member of the board." This high council is populated by a great many angels, great and small. Examples of the role of angels in human affairs can be seen in Daniel Chapters 8-11.

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:6-12, also Job 2:1-8)

Michael Heiser, an expert in Semitic languages, has spent his career on the subject of the angels and the divine council. The Divine Council seems to have been part of the original plan for the government of the cosmos even before the Fall of the angels and the subsequent Fall of man. God was always in complete control as Lord of lords and King of kings, and the council was never a democratic body ruling by voting or mutual consent (For my notes on creation and the earth history of the universe please see Articles on Creation--the subject is a bit complex). 

The divine council seems to have remained largely intact down through history. From time to time, Jesus, the CEO, has made major changes by changing the job assignments of the various archangels, angels, and ministering spirits on the council. These changes show up in the rise and fall of nations and as discontinuities in the flow of history. 

The whole time since the universe was created, the fallen archangel Satan has conspired to pull off a successful coups on earth. His first major assault on the right to run things is recorded in Matthew 4. The many attempts to this malevolent high angel are discussed by Arthur Custance in his book The Seed of the Woman, which is online. I consider this subject to be of great importance for every serious student of the Bible. Wikipedia has a good overview. Also see their discussion on the Messiah.

Radical changes took place after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, as far as the manner by which God would phase out the old divine council and restore man to his original role. Ray Stedman describes things to come in his commentary of Hebrews. In short, man is being restored to his rightful place as steward of the planet under God.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 

Who is Running Things Down Here?

The end of rule by and through angels is declared in Hebrews. God intends to restore Man to his original mandated role as steward over the earth. What was lost to us in the Fall of Adam is being given back to us in Jesus, the Second or Last Adam. 

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: 
“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him 
(man) a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” 

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:

“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
13 And again:

“I will put My trust in Him.”
And again:

“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.“ (Hebrews 2:5-18)

Homework Assignment

Daniel the Prophet (Wikipedia)
What Holds the Universe Together?
Kings of Israel and Judah
The Assyrian
Daniel Forum Class Series
King Ego
i am not god
The "I Am god" Problem
Jesus, Judge of All
Thy Kingdom Come by Ron Graff and Lambert Dolphin
Themes of Bible Prophecy by Ray Stedman
God's Final Word (Revelation) by Ray Stedman
What on Earth is Happening, (Olivet Discourse) by Ray Stedman
Daniel - The Key To Prophetic Revelation by John F. Walvoord
Ancient History Encyclopedia on Nebuchadnezzar
Chronology on the Times of the Gentles

Chronology of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
The Antichrist: Coming World Leader
The Beast and False Prophet
Gentile World Dominion

Human beings today are incredibly naive about who is running the universe. Our Creator has never ceased being the One, True God who created everything. He created us in His own image and gave us dominion over the earth. That dominion was lost to us in the Fall.

Please see Made in the Image of God, The Ruin of Creation, The Anguish of Adam, "Who is Satan?", Papers on Creation.

We are all fallen and lost!|

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

The very good news is that Jesus has purchased new life which is freely available for anyone, anywhere who grants permission to Jesus to rescue them.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

November 5, 2020
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