Daniel 4


If chapter four of Daniel is seen as the fourth chapter in a series of God's dealings with Nebuchadnezzar beginning in 605 (604) BC through 569 BC we see God showing Nebuchadnezzar:

  1. Chapter one - God's dietary laws are better
  2. Chapter one - God's wisdom is 10 times greater
  3. Chapter two - God is the revealer of mysteries
  4. Chapter three - God can deliver from the fire and from the hand of the king
  5. Chapter four - God is sovereign ruler and will be recognized by even the highest in the land
  6. Chapter four - God punishes the unfaithful
  7. Chapter four - God restores those who repent and turn to him


This chapter is written in 562 BC


570 Nebuchadnezzar has this dream

569 Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt in fulfillment of Jeremiah 43:8-13; 46:13-26; and Ezekiel 29:19

            (Jeremiah is 79. Daniel is 54 years old and in the palace in Babylon.)

569-563 Nebuchadnezzar goes insane

562  in August Nebuchadnezzar is restored to his throne

            in September Nebuchadnezzar dies


Chapter 4:1

This is a letter written by the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar.


4:4 "Contented" is "seleh" and means "at ease, at rest"

"Prosperous" means "flourishing" and has the meaning of "luxuriant"


4:8 Daniel was called in only after his subordinates could not answer the question

Belteshazzar was the name he was known as by in Babylon

Daniel is 54 or so years old and has maintained his position as the chief "magician" for over 30 years.


4:13 "I looked and there before me" is an interjection showing surprise like "behold" in Matthew

"Messenger" is literally "one who is awake" and only occurs in chapter 4 ( 13, 17, 23).

This is the first mention of "the "Wakeful Ones" or the word that is translated as "Watchers"


4:16 "his mind" or "his heart" would  "be changed".

"Be changed" is an Akkadian verb for mental derangement

The man would actually believe himself to be an animal.

This is a psychological phenomenon known as lycanthropy which literally means "wolf man". This is where the idea of the wareworlf came from.

Zeus turned King Lycaon of Arcadia into a raging wolf

There are modern cases like this


4:19 Daniel is shaken by this dream.


4:25 "cattle" refers to bulls or oxen


4:27 "renounce" means "break off"

Demonstrated by doing what was right as Isaiah 1:17 indicates


4:28 Babylon was a great city.

  • surrounded by a broad  moat
  • a system of double walls with inner wall 21 feet thick
  • defense towers every 60 feet
  • outer wall was 11 feet wide
  • another double wall was added (25 feet and 23 feet) that ran 17 miles (chariot races were held on this wall)
  • eight gate systems with the Ishtar Gate which still exists in a museum 40 feet high
  • huge 7 level ziggurats 288 feet high
  • a bridge over the Euphrates connecting the east and west city
  • three palaces
  • hanging gardens
  • Most of the bricks taken out of Babylon bear the name and inscription of Nebuchadnezzar.
  • One of Nebuchadnezzar's recordings reads like this, "The fortifications of Esagila and Babylon I strengthened and established the name of my reign forever"