What does Daniel 4:36 mean?
ESV: At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me.
NIV: At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.
NASB: At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.
CSB: At that time my sanity returned to me, and my majesty and splendor returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and my nobles sought me out, I was reestablished over my kingdom, and even more greatness came to me.
NLT: 'When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.
KJV: At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
As soon as Nebuchadnezzar humbly acknowledged the Most High and praised Him, his sanity returned (Daniel 4:28–34). This was the purpose of his divinely appointed judgment (Daniel 4:22–27): to learn humility. Those who acknowledge God by trusting in His Son Jesus as Savior begin to see things, including themselves, from God's perspective (Romans 12:1–2; 1 Corinthians 2:14–16). Second Timothy 1:7 affirms that God has given believers "a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
Nebuchadnezzar's acknowledgement of the Lord also resulted in his restoration as Babylon's king. In fact, Nebuchadnezzar's reign was greater than it was before he acknowledged God's sovereign rule in his life and in affairs of government. Years later, Daniel would tell Nebuchadnezzar's successor, Belshazzar, that Nebuchadnezzar's glory was taken from him (Daniel 5:20) "until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will" (Daniel 5:21).
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).
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.
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.
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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