Continuing in our series in Daniel, we begin a two-part look at chapter 4: the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, and his dream about a tree. Today, we’ll mostly just read the story (with a little bit of comment). It’s a long one, but we need the whole story before we can think about what we might learn from it.
Some context: remember that Nebuchadnezzar has twice been forced to acknowledge the power of Israel’s God (Daniel’s interpretation of his previous dream, in chapter 2; and the miraculous preservation of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo, in chapter 3). Yet it seems to take this encounter with God, in chapter 4, for him to completely get the message. It’s written in the first person, as a letter from the king to his whole empire, testifying to the lesson God had taught him: