What does Daniel 4:1 mean?
ESV: King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you!
NIV: King Nebuchadnezzar, To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth: May you prosper greatly!
NASB: Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and populations of all languages who live in all the earth: 'May your peace be great!
CSB: King Nebuchadnezzar,To those of every people, nation, and language, who live on the whole earth:May your prosperity increase.
NLT: King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: 'Peace and prosperity to you!
KJV: Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
NKJV: Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
Verse Commentary:
This passage is in the form of an official document released by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. His tone is calm, in contrast to his prior moments of uncontrolled rage (Daniel 2:5; 3:19–20). This shows how God had changed Nebuchadnezzar through the humbling experience described in the chapter. Commentators suggest the incident with the furnace and Daniel's three friends (Daniel 3:28) may have occurred as long as thirty years prior to this declaration. Most suggest this decree was given shortly before the king's death in 562 BC. The language of the statement suggests that Daniel helped the king prepare his statement. It is also part of the segment of Daniel recorded in Aramaic (Daniel 2:4—7:28), rather than in Hebrew.

The Babylonian king refers to the Lord as "the Most High God" (Daniel 4:2). Earlier, Nebuchadnezzar bragged about himself, but now he gives credit to God for doing great things for him. In this chapter, the Babylonian ruler will be humbled and then restored, as predicted by his dream and Daniel's interpretation (Daniel 4:5–6).
Verse Context:
Daniel 4:1–18 introduces another of Nebuchadnezzar's mysterious dreams (Daniel 2:2–3). As before, the king summoned his wise men to interpret the experience. They failed, but Nebuchadnezzar also spoke with Daniel (Daniel 2:46–47). This time the king told his wise men and Daniel what he had dreamed. This sets the stage for Daniel's interpretation and the fulfillment of another prophecy.
Chapter Summary:
Daniel 4 opens with a proclamation in which Babylon's king, Nebuchadnezzar, declares what God has done for him. He recalls yet another frightening dream (Daniel 2:1). He sees a tree cut down to the stump, and a man made like an animal. Once again, only Daniel could interpret the dream's meaning. The news is terrible: the king will be driven insane for "seven periods of time" until he learns humility. A year later, this happens. Also as promised, Nebuchadnezzar humbles himself and regains his senses and his throne. He praises God for this miraculous work.
Chapter Context:
Daniel chapter 1 depicted Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar as powerful. Chapter 2 showed his vindictive nature. His extreme vanity was on display in chapter 3. Daniel chapter 4 records his submission, repentance, and return to prominence as the King of Babylon, all under God's humiliating judgment. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 continue to speak about Gentile rulers and related prophecies.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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