What does Daniel 4:4 mean?
ESV: I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace.
NIV: I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous.
NASB: I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and happy in my palace.
CSB: I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace.
NLT: 'I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity.
KJV: I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
NKJV: I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.
Verse Commentary:
Nebuchadnezzar begins his dramatic story (Daniel 4:1–3) here. It begins in his palace, where he was at ease and doing well. He was a mighty king with a broad reign (Daniel 2:37–38). He had built a comfortable palace and beautified the city of Babylon. Soon, however, he was extremely uneasy and impoverished.

This part of the book of Daniel was recorded in Aramaic, which was then the common language of Babylon (Daniel 2:4—7:28). The prophecies of this segment involve part of what Bible scholars refer to as the "times of the Gentiles." This era of world history will finish in the end times, in moments described by prophecies in books such as Daniel and Revelation. In that final time, a form of government will crush all opponents (Revelation 13:4, 7), and establish a version of peace and security. Revelation 6:4 depicts a rider on a bright red horse at the beginning of the tribulation as "permitted to take peace from the earth." This suggests that a form of peace will characterize conditions on earth near the end of the times of the Gentiles. First Thessalonians 5:3 predicts, "While people are saying, 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them." Revelation 18:11–21 depicts the cataclysmic end of Babylon's prosperity under God's hand of judgment at the close of the tribulation.
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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