(2.) Kiel and Delitsch write that the king was avoiding the truth: “Kranichfeld has
decided in favor of this...supposition. “ The king,” he thinks, “knew from the
dream itself that the tree reaching unto heaven and extending to the end of the
whole earth represented a royal person ruling the earth, who could come to
ruin on account of the God of the Jews , and would remain in his ruin till
there was an acknowledgment of the Almighty. [This was the] reason for the
king keeping Daniel the Jew at a distance from this matter of the dream.”
b. Nebuchadnezzar will finally appeal to Daniel and we have here an encouragement
to not wait and take our lives and experiences to the Lord in prayer and the critique
1. H.A. Ironside: A story is told of a heathen chieftain who came from his distant
domain to visit Queen Victoria. One day he [wanted to know] if she would tell
him the secret of England’s progress and greatness. In response, it is said the
queen presented him with a Bible saying, “This Book will tell you.”
a. Daniel will tell him.
2. Unfortunately Daniel's words will not be that encouraging. For Daniel will tell
Nebuchadnezzar that the tree represents the king of Babylon himself.
III. Nebuchadnezzar in the unguarded moments of dreaming, has been spoken to by God.
A. His own inner mind has been revealed to him.
B. Nebuchadnezzar has been told that he is not a good king. He is to 'break off' or to stop his
wickedness (specifics have not been revealed) and show mercy to the less fortunate
(something he had not been doing). He is guilty of the misapplication of pride. He is told
to repent by Daniel.
1. We could say that Nebuchadnezzar was being rebuked for the cruelties he used to
establish and maintain his empire.
C. Nebuchadnezzar will be guilty of sinful pride and denying reality.
IV. There is much we don't know about Nebuchadnezzar.
A. The last thirty years of his reign are missing.
1. We have fragments, but we do know that Nebuchadnezzar had some crisis.
B. Berrossus writes that Nebuchadnezzar was involved in great building projects.
C. In 1981, a cuniform tablet was discovered. This ancient text places us closer to the
time of Nebuchadnezzar. This tablet stated that Nebuchadnezzar had some mental
disturbance and had to leave Babylon for a time.
D. We have to understand that the Babylonian historians of Nebuchadnezzar's time were
not going to say that the king was acting like Howard Hughes.
1. However, it appears that Daniel gives us the details.
E. Poole: “There fell a voice from heaven: this made the judgment more remarkable, and
argued the sin more provoking, and the anger of God more just against him.”
a. Clarke: “The madness that fell upon him induced him to forsake society, and to run
to the woods and deserts, where he lived like a wild beast, his hair growing long
and thick, so as to be a substitute for clothing; and his nails strong and hooked, that
he might the better climb trees and grub up the ground, in order to get roots and
earth-nuts. It was the mercy of God that thus clothed and [sustained] him.”
E. There was grace. We read that the angelic beings but a metal band around the tree to
preserve it. Since Nebuchadnezzar was the tree, the band indicated that God would not
take away his kingdom.
V. After a time, Nebuchadnezzar looks toward heaven.
A. ...not to the trees nor the ziggurats, but to heaven to the true and living God of Daniel.
B. He acknowledges that God is sovereign and Nebuchadnezzar finds his sanity is restored.
C. And in his renewed sanity he produces works of praise that bookend the chapter.
1. The beginning of the chapter features praise and the end of the chapter as well.
D. Nebuchadnezzar was shown a tree in his dream.
E. We look to the cross, also called “The Tree”; but a tree upon which Jesus was crucified
and in the process purchased our redemption.
VI. Christian philosopher Gordon Clark has written that we can translate 'logos' in John 1 not
only as 'word' but also as 'logic'. We can see the difference between Nebuchadnezzar and
Christ. Nebuchadnezzar became the mad king, the irrational king when he denied the
sovereignty of God. He wanted to ignore reality and lost his mind. Jesus, the Word, the Logic incarnate, entered reality, the world as it is, and faced the consequences of his calling.
A. Let us trust Christ the Word, the Logic, and as they say, “The Reason for the Season.”