Chapter 4 gives the dream of the cut-down tree and the seven-year madness of Nebuchadnezzar that was represented by it. Nebuchadnezzar reigned 43 years - from 605 to 562 BC, as closely as we can determine.
Babylon was the head of the image that represented the kingdom of men, so there was a special significance in what was divinely caused to happen to her and her rulers. The lesson in this chapter is expressed in verse 17,
"To the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."
A fact just as true today as then.
In a dream the king saw a mighty tree in the midst of the earth, lifting up to heaven, visible to the ends of the earth, harboring all the birds of the sky in its branches, and sheltering all the beasts of the field under its shadow. At the height of its prosperity, a watcher - a holy one - descends from heaven and issues a decree (verse 14),
"Hew down the tree...but leave its stump, and bind it with a band of iron and brass...and let seven times pass over it."
The vision appears to have a three-fold significance. First to Nebuchadnezzar himself, seven years; second to Babylon, seventy years; and third, to the kingdom of men as a whole, 7 times 360 years, or 2520 years.
Its immediate and typical fulfillment was in Nebuchadnezzar. Just a year later at the peak of his pride, he was divinely struck with madness, and for seven years roamed the fields like an animal eating grass.
The full scope of the vision is obviously greater than this, as further indicated by the binding of the stump of the tree with the band of iron and brass. The constitution of the kingdoms of men, since the fall of the Babylonian Empire, is just as pictured here - the Babylonian stump bound with a band of Roman iron and Grecian brass.
All, in any way familiar with history, are aware that our present-day civilization is principally bound by the customs, principles, and heritages of Greece and Rome in language, government, philosophy, art, architecture, law, science, literature, etc.
But there are fewer who recognize the basic Babylonian fleshly and religious stump. Students of God's Word know that the modern religious world is fundamentally Babylonian, and that BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH is the title that the scriptures give to this modern system.
Such documentary books as Hislop's Two Babylons expose the pagan Babylonian origin of the world's principle religious observations and traditions and festivals as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. God's people can have absolutely nothing to do with any such Babylonian corruptions.
...At the end of his madness, Nebuchadnezzar, typifying the kingdom of men cured from his present delusions and brought to the true knowledge and worship of God, declares (verse 35),
"All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say to him, What doest thou?"
This is the great value of Daniel for us today-the great truth we must keep in our minds, as we watch the futile maneuverings of the great sin-powers of the earth, as the final crisis approaches. Even a proud and terrible God himself, God says,
"I will turn thee back...and I will bring thee forth."
Russia, of whom the world in increasingly afraid, is merely fulfilling God's will and preparing the things for the manifestation of God's glory. We have nothing to fear.
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
In taking a general survey of the contents of the Book of Daniel, it may be seen that two great powers are the principal subjects of its predictions.
The one is styled "THE KINGDOM OF MEN" (Dan. 4:17); and the other, "THE KINGDOM OF GOD" (Dan. 2:44; 4:3; 7:27)....
It is true, that there are many symbols, such as the Image, the Fiery Furnace, the Tree-Stump, banded with brass and iron, the Four Beasts, the Ram, and the He-Goat; but these are signs in the prophetic heraldry, not of kingdoms distinct and independent of those which have preceded them, but of one and the same Kingdom of Men in the several phases of its existence.
EXPOSITION OF DANIEL
The kingdom of men under the Chaldean dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar
10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
All the earth = habitable...not Europe/America
12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
In showing what this signified, Daniel told the king that it represented his power which had "grown and become strong; for," saith he,
"thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth".
The tree was hewn down. Its fall represented the king's fall from the throne. The fair leaves of the tree shaken off, were the nobles and dignitaries of the kingdom detached from all political connection with Nebuchadnezzar during the seven years of his insanity.
16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
Christadelphian Interpretations Called in Question
If times, times, and the dividing of time, in Dan. 7:25, and Rev. 12:14, be 1260 years, how is it that the seven times of Dan. 4:16, are not 2520 years?
Because, when applied literally, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar's expulsion from Babylonish society, seven times are seven literal periods of 360 days each.
When applied symbolically, the time represented would be the period mentioned, viz., 2520 years; and it is evident from several facts in the case that this secondary sense is intended, though on the surface, the vision appears to be restricted to Nebuchadnezzar's individual experience.
The tree of the vision represented Nebuchadnezzar, but as Nebuchadnezzar represented the empire, of which he was the head (Dan. 2:38), the tree in representing him would represent the empire also, and with this suggestion several things agree.
First, a tree is a frequent symbol of a kingdom.-(Ezek. 31; Matt. 13:31, 32.) Second, the Nebuchadnezzar-tree after being cut down, was banded with brass and iron, (Dan. 4:23, ) which has no counterpart in the individual fulfilment, but answers to the political fortunes of the Nebuchadnezzar dynasty, inasmuch as Greece and Rome (represented by brass and iron.-Dan. 2:39, 40.) were politically wound around the Babylonian tree stump, after the tree had been shorn by the Medo-Persian sanctified ones.-(Isaiah 13:17.)
Third, the seven times, symbolically construed, coincide with the other periods in this way, that 2520 years reckoned as the period allotted for the existence of the kingdom of men, and dating from the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, terminate 45 years after all the other periods are run out, and thus give a margin for the second exodus and the wonderful events by which the kingdoms of the world are wrested from the hands of their present rulers, and transferred to the dominion of the Son of David.
These constitute so many reasons for believing that even the seven times of Dan. 4:16, are representative of as many years as there are days in the period so described.
The Christadelphian July 1870
17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
In view of this, we are enabled to recognise a special providence in these political and military events that lead to changes in the governments of men. The movements of those governments stand related to the purpose He is working out in the earth. Therefore they are held in the lines and channels of His plan. The programme of their movements has been sketched in a rough and general way in the Apocalypse, for the information of His servants.
The execution of the programme has been entrusted to angelic hands. Consequently the events of European politics are not the haphazard operations of human whim, nor the chance achievements of human prowess. They are the results of carefully manipulated natural causes.
These causes are invisibly affected in their inception, and guided to the working out of intended effects. The results that come, in so far as they bear upon the divine purpose, are due to an invisible divine control. A recognition of this fact makes all the difference between the enlightenment imparted by the truth, and the scientific paganism of the natural men of modern civilisation who are by no means so keen sighted or profound as they appear to the public eye.
The Ways of Providence Ch 13.
This is the reason why men and women with so little wisdom, or rather possessed of so much positive folly and imbecility, are able to rule the nations without "setting on fire the course of nature." [See James 3:6]. When their wickedness and stupidity become obstacles to His purpose, He removes them out of the way, and introduces other actors upon the stage. In this way, He controls and regulates the world's affairs; but in every interference He shapes the course of events towards the consummation predetermined from the foundation of the world.
The Powers are so many chessmen upon the great Babylonian chessboard, whose policy and movements do not originate from themselves, but "from the Nave;" whence issue the impulses which cause them to utter great voices, and to make moves, which are often disastrous, and even fatal to themselves; but which in no wise disturbs or impedes, but judiciously secures the final success of the incomparable Player in the Nave, who manipulates the game.
23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
Band of Iron...Rome would become Great Babylon
Seven times see also v25. Lev 26:18 for 2520 years judgement on Judah.
Babylon's dominion is represented by a tree so lofty that it was seen from the end of the earth. But it was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar by what happened to the tree and to himself, that the dominion should not always continue in his family and the city he so proudly boasted of. He was, however, instructed by his seven years' expulsion from the throne, and the kingdom, nevertheless, being assured to him, that though Babylon should cease to be the throne of the dominion, the Babylonish kingdom would exist in the earth for the period signified by the seven times; when it would become apparent to all the nations of the dominion, that "the Heavens do rule".
The seven times during which Nebuchadnezzar herded with the beasts, were the sign-period significative of a longer period than itself; yet containing within itself the elements of the calculation. "A day for a year" is a rule to which all prophetic times are reducible. In seven times, which are less than seven years, we have 2,520 days, which are prophetically equal to the same number of solar years. The end of these is the terminus of the times of the Babylonish kingdom of men, or of the stump of the Babylonian Tree banded with iron and brass; that is, under its Latino-Greek constitution.
Exposition of Daniel
The constitution of the kingdoms of men, since the fall of the Babylonian Empire, is just as pictured here - the Babylonian stump bound with a band of Roman iron and Grecian brass. All, in any way familiar with history, are aware that our present-day civilization is principally bound by the customs, principles, and heritages of Greece and Rome in language, government, philosophy, art, architecture, law, science, literature, etc.
The constitution of the kingdoms of men, since the fall of the Babylonian Empire, is just as pictured here-the Babylonian stump bound with a band of Roman iron and Grecian brass. All, in any way familiar with history, are aware that our present-day civilization is principally bound by the customs, principles, and heritages of Greece and Rome in language, government, philosophy, art, architecture, law, science, literature, etc.
But there are fewer who recognize the basic Babylonian fleshly and religious stump. Students of God's Word know that the modern religious world is fundamentally Babylonian, and that BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH is the title that the scriptures give to this modern system. Such documentary books as Hislop's Two Babylons expose the pagan Babylonian origin of the world's principle religious observations and traditions and festivals as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. God's people can have absolutely nothing to do with any such Babylonian corruptions.
Bro Growcott - Daniel, A Man Greatly Beloved
25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and 7 times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
Within the seven literal times, the literal Nebuchadnezzar would have been found with the beasts, occupied herbivorously in the manner described, but as the seven times are long past, Nebuchadnezzar is no longer to be found spending his time in that way. He got wiser before he died.
We have to do with his political counterpart and the seven times in their political elaboration, and here there is no difficulty in finding Nebuchadnezzar at the grass. The kingdoms of men are everywhere feeding on cabbage,
"walking after the imagination of their evil heart,"
as they have been doing now for nearly seven times of years. But there is hope. As at the end of the seven literal times, Nebuchadnezzar's wisdom returned to him, and he blessed the God of heaven, so at the end of the seven symbolic times, mankind will come unto Yahweh from the ends of the earth, (Jer. 16:19, ) even unto the name of the Lord unto Jerusalem, (Jer. 3:17, ) saying,
"Surely, our fathers inherited lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit."
The Christadelphian July 1870
26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens [shemaiyah] do rule.
'thy kingdom shall be continued to thee from (the time) that thou shalt know that shallitin, THE RULERS (are) shemaiyah, THE HEAVENS."
Holy Ones and Elohal Sentinels associated with the Most High and Holy One -- the Eternal Power Yahweh.
32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
The elohal superintendence of the affairs of the "thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers" of the world, is clearly revealed in the book of Daniel. In the fourth chapter of this prophet it is declared that the matter set forth therein was revealed to teach
"the living that the Highest One is the ruler in the kingdom of men, and that He giveth it to him whom He shall please, and sets up over it the lowest of men."
Besides this it shows, that though the ruler or Lord, He does not administer the government alone, but associates with Himself others, styled irin "watchers," who are, like Himself, kaddishin, "Holy Ones." These Holy Sentinels -- such as kept guard in the Garden of Eden over the tree of the two lives --are the rulers, or "lords" and "kings," alluded to by Paul in 1 Tim. 6:15, and John, in Rev. 17:14; 19:16, in the name that no man knows but He whose it is -- "KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords."
The temporary dethronement of Nebuchadnezzar, when he was driven from the society of men, and was compelled to dwell with the beasts of the field, to eat grass as oxen, and to be drenched with the dew of heaven, until seven times, or years, had passed over him -- allegorical of the fate that awaits the representative of His image-power in our latter day future -- the dethronement, I say, of this Chaldean potentate was, by the decision
of the Sentinels, whose report caused the Holy One to decree the punishment of his pride.
These Holy Ones and Elohal Sentinels associated with the Most High and Holy One -- the Eternal Power Yahweh -- in the government of the world, are aggregately styled shemaiyah, "the heavens," in Dan 4:26, as "thy kingdom shall be continued to thee from (the time) that thou shalt know that shallitin, THE RULERS (are) shemaiyah, THE HEAVENS." This class of watchers and holy ones is the heavens to which David refers in Psalm 50, saying "AIL, ELOHIM, YAHWEH (Power, the Mighties, He who shall be), spake, and made proclamation to the earth, from the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of splendour, ELOHIM (the Mighty Ones are) caused to shine forth.
Our Elohim shall come and not keep silence; a fire before His (Yahweh's) faces (the Elohim) shall devour; and around Him it is very tempestuous.
Phanerosis - Angelic Supervision Of World Events.
The vision appears to have a three-fold significance. First to Nebuchadnezzar himself, seven years; second to Babylon, seventy years; and third, to the kingdom of men as a whole, 7 times 360 years, or 2520 years. Its immediate and typical fulfillment was in Nebuchadnezzar. Just a year later at the peak of his pride, he was divinely struck with madness, and for seven years roamed the fields like an animal eating grass.Bro Growcott - Daniel, A Man Greatly Beloved
...in this 5th year of Jehoiakim, which was the 2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar, another event of immense importance took place which-though a long way away and under very different circumstances and surroundings-we can see was directly connected with, and dependent upon, this final appeal and witness by God, and His rejection by the Israelitish nation.
As Israel was rejecting God, God was revealing to an alien that He was rejecting Israel-that the Kingdom of God was to be cast down, and the Kingdom of Men was to be given unrestricted sway for seven times-2520 long, evil years.
For it was in this fateful year, we are told, that Nebuchadnezzar received his dream of the great and terrible Image, and he is told that it represents the Kingdom of Men that is to rule the world (with violence, bloodshed and lust) until God's rejected Kingdom is re-established. Measuring from this event (604 BC), it was exactly 2520 years to 1917, when the last desolator was driven out.
Because of the proclamation of Jeremiah's book of prophecy, Jehoiakim sought to seize Jeremiah, but it is recorded that "the Lord hid him." He was commanded to write the book again, and to "add many words unto it."
More evils were included because of Jehoiakim's insolent rejection. Among them may well have been the prediction that this king-of all the long line of mostly evil kings-should have the crowning indignity of the burial of an ass, his body cast out to abuse and insult.
Jehoiakim doubtless felt that he was quite a hero in daring to flaunt the Word of God, as is the custom of modern thought today. But God is not mocked, and the final end of the matter will show where wisdom lies.
All who reject God's Word will suffer the same end-the burial of an ass, or, as David expresses it:
"Like sheep are they laid in the grave. Death shall feed on them, and the righteous shall have dominion over them in the morning."
We can afford to wait in patience, seeking humbly to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling. Popular ideas of manliness are the direct opposite of godliness.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.17.