1 “Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.3 How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.”
Chapter four is the climax to Nebuchadnezzar’s spiritual journey. This is the third miracle Nebuchadnezzar witnessed. Daniel presents the chapter by Nebuchadnezzar’s personal account. Nebuchadnezzar moved from the bankruptcy of Babylonian wisdom to the wisdom of God.
The main thrust of chapter four is God’s sovereignty (vv. 17-18, 22, 24-26, 30-32, 34, 36-37).
Da 4:25, “They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
The timing of the events of chapter four is much later than chapter three. It may have been toward the close of his forty-three-year rule.
Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed a doxology in the first three verses.
“Peace” is the customary salutation in the east (6:25).
I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
Nebuchadnezzar came to increasingly respect the God of Daniel in the first three chapters. He now states the purpose of his tract to Daniel – to declare the glory of Daniel’s God.
“Signs and wonders” describe miracles. “Signs” are natural phenomena that evidence supernatural intervention. The word means something which points out. These signs pointed out God’s wisdom and power.
“Wonders” are supernatural manifestations of divine intervention in the course of nature. The word “wonder” means that which produces astonishment, surprise, awe. The name “Most High God” is clearly Yahweh (3:36). However, the king’s use of this name does not mean that he is a monotheist at this time.
How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.
The two words “great” and “mighty” stress the magnitude of God’s miracles.
Nebuchadnezzar declares that God’s kingdom is everlasting in contrast to his own temporal kingdom. God’s rule is eternal, stable, and unchanging.
The kingdoms of men change from “generation to generation,” but God’s kingdom is eternally perpetual and without change or loss of stability. No one will undermine this kingdom by a coup d’état. No one can assassinate Him or usurp His authority.
I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.
During 582-575 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar did not engage in military undertakings. This may be the time referred to here because he presents himself “at rest in my house.” “At rest” means to be free from fear.
“Flourishing” means growing green. The picture is a flourishing tree. His kingdom was prosperous. Nebuchadnezzar possessed all affluence a human could desire in his day.
I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
Nebuchadnezzar receives a second vision that terrified him, as did his first vision. This mighty world conqueror sitting behind his fortifications is afraid. Although Nebuchadnezzar was the wealthiest man of his day, he was unhappy and full of fear. The man who has everything has nothing.
Success cannot displace higher ends.
It is possible to be successful in every way humans can be successful and still be a failure. A man by modern status symbols can have the appearance of success. Success does not protect us from fear. True prosperity of soul is not possible without Jesus Christ. We can have everything and yet have nothing. Insecurity in the midst of success is vacuous.
Mark 8:36-38, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”