What does Daniel 4:30 mean?
ESV: and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?"
NIV: he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"
NASB: The king began speaking and was saying, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty?’
CSB: the king exclaimed, "Is this not Babylon the Great that I have built to be a royal residence by my vast power and for my majestic glory?"
NLT: As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’
KJV: The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?
NKJV: 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?”
Verse Commentary:
Nebuchadnezzar must have felt secure and calm as he walked on the roof of his palace. He certainly felt immensely proud. Some years prior, he had been given a dream where his kingdom was portrayed as the golden head of a statue (Daniel 2:36–38). One year before the events of this verse, he dreamed of a massive tree that was sentenced to be cut down in humiliation (Daniel 4:10–17). Daniel indicated that this was an impending judgment on the king from God (Daniel 4:24–26), calling on Nebuchadnezzar to repent (Daniel 4:27). One year later (Daniel 4:29), possibly thinking the danger had passed, the king was caught unprepared.

King Nebuchadnezzar's ego was inflated as he peered over the city and applauded himself for his success. He didn't realize that his residence was about to shift from his palace to a field (Daniel 4:28). Nor did he realize his majesty was going to vanish and be replaced with humiliation. First Thessalonians 5:3 predicts that during the end times, people will put faith in their own security, only to suffer sudden catastrophe. At the end of the tribulation another powerful ruler and restored Babylon will burst with pride, prosperity, and a false sense of peace only to see it all collapse (Revelation 17—18).
Verse Context:
Daniel 4:28–37 records the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which Daniel had faithfully interpreted (Daniel 4:4–27). As God said would happen, the king's arrogance is judged with humiliation and insanity. Only when Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the supremacy of the Lord is he restored to his right mind. The passage returns to where the chapter began: with the king's praise for God's power and majesty (Daniel 4:1–3).
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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