THE TREE THAT WAS CUT DOWN AND GREW AGAIN
Daniel iv: 1 to 37.
HIS is the story that King Nebuchadnezzar himself told to
all the people in his great kingdom, of a strange dream
that came to him, the meaning of the dream, as it was
given by Daniel, and how the dream came true. He said,
"Nebuchadnezzar the king sends this message to all the
people, and nations, that live in all the world. May
peace be given to you! It has seemed good to me to show
you the signs and wonders that the Most High God has
sent to me. His kingdom is without end, and his rule is
from age to age forever!
"I, King Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and
was living at peace in my palace. One night a dream
came to me which made me afraid, and my thoughts and my
visions made me troubled in heart. I sent for all the
wise men of Babylon to come before me, and to tell me
the meaning of my dream. But they did not tell me what
the meaning was because they could not. At last came
Daniel, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and to
him I said:
"O Daniel, master of the wise men, I know that in you
is the spirit of the holy gods, and that no secret is
hidden from you; now tell me what is the meaning of the
dream that has come to me. This was the dream:
"I saw a tree standing upon the earth. It grew until
the top of it reached up to heaven; and it was so great
that it could be seen over all the earth. The leaves of
it were beautiful, and its fruit was in plenty, and
gave food for all. The beasts in the field stood in its
shadow, and the birds of the heaven lived on its
branches, and many people ate of its fruit.
 "I saw in my dream that a Holy One came down from
heaven. He cried aloud, and said:
" 'Hew down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake
off its leaves, and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts
get away from beneath it, and let the birds fly from
its branches. But leave the stump of the tree with its
roots in the ground, with a band of iron and of brass
around it, and the grass of the field growing about it.
Let the stump be wet with the dew from heaven, and let
it be among the beasts eating the grass of the field.
And let seven years pass over it; that those who live
may know that the Most High God rules over the kingdoms
of men, and gives them as is pleasing to his will.'
This dream I saw, and now, O Daniel, whose name is
Belteshazzar, tell me what it means. Then Daniel stood
surprised and wondering, and was in deep trouble. And
I, Nebuchadnezzar, said to him, 'Daniel, let not the
dream give you trouble. Fear not to tell me what is the
meaning of it.'
 "Then Daniel said to me, 'My lord, O king, may the
dream be to those who hate you, and the meaning to your
enemies! The tree which you saw, with green leaves, and
rich fruit, and height reaching to heaven, and in sight
of all the earth; that tree is yourself. You have
become great; your power reaches up to heaven, and your
rule is over all the lands.
" 'And as you saw a Holy One coming down from heaven,
saying, "Cut down the tree, and destroy it; but leave
its stump in the earth, with a band of iron and of
brass until seven years pass over it," this is the
meaning, O king, and it is the command of the Most High
God that shall come upon my lord the king.
" 'You, O king, shall be driven away from men. You shall
live with the beasts of the field; you shall be made to
eat grass like oxen; and you shall be wet with the dew
of heaven; and seven years shall pass over you, until
you know that the Most High God rules in your kingdom,
and gives it to the one whom he chooses. And as the
Holy One gave command to leave the stump of the tree
with its roots, so it shall be with you. Your kingdom
shall stand and shall be sure to you, and shall come
back to you when you have known that he who sits in the
heavens shall rule over the earth.
" 'And now, O king, take my advice, and break off from
your sins, and do right, and show mercy to the poor. It
may be that God will give to you more days of peace.'
"All this Daniel said to me, King Nebuchadnezzar; and
it came to pass. Twelve months afterward I was walking
in my kingly palace. I looked over the city, and said,
'Is not this great Babylon that I have built for my own
royal home, by my power, and for my own glory?'
"While the word was in my mouth a voice fell from
heaven, saying, 'O King Nebuchadnezzar, the word has
been spoken, and your kingdom is gone from you!'
"And in that hour my reason left me, and another heart
was given to me, the heart of a beast instead of the
heart of a man. I was driven out of my palace, and
lived among the beasts, and ate grass as oxen eat it;
and my body was wet with the dew of heaven, until my
hair was grown like eagles' feathers, and my nails like
NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S REASON LEAVES HIM
"And at the end of seven years my mind came back to me,
and my reason returned. I blessed the king of heaven,
and praised him
 that lives forever. My kingdom was given to me once
more, my princes and rulers came to me again, and I was
again the king over all the lands.
"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and honor the king of
heaven. His words are truth and his works are right;
and those who walk in pride he is able to make humble."
This was the story of the seven years' madness of King
Nebuchadnezzar, and of his reason and his power coming
back to him again.