Daily Arts Web Nucleus
Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links
2019 May 16
William Blake (1757-1827)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Image Source: Wikipedia
[ Illustration: Today's image shows Nebuchadnezzar in his madness, as described in today's chapter. ]
[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]
Explanation: In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar addresses a letter to "all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth" (v.1). In this letter, he tells of a judgment sent upon him by God. Before the judgment, he received a warning in a dream from the Most High, the King of Heaven, who Lives Forever. Nebuchadnezzar was about to become like an animal for seven "times" (years?) as a punishment for his sins and his pride. Daniel attempted to persuade him to repent, but to no avail.
The judgment came; and when Nebuchadnezzar was delivered from it, he glorified God and wrote the letter preserved in Daniel 4. His conclusion was one of the finest declarations of the person and majesty of God in Scripture. He said, "At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble." (verses 34-37, ESV).
In the previous chapter, Nebuchadnezzar, after seeing the miraculous deliverance of Daniel's three friends, issued a decree which forbade his subjects to blaspheme God (in violation of the third commandment). In today's chapter, he exalts God; this is the positive way to keep the second commandment.
Over the course of 136 years, various decrees by various rulers helped to preserve and to advance the knowledge of God in lands near and far. This was in accord with prophecies by most of the prophets. They announced the spread of the knowledge of God in their time and until the end of time. Here is a list of those decrees, with dates appended, based on the Reese Chronological Bible, by Edward Reese (also see RCB Outline Download): Daniel 3:28-29 580 B.C.; Daniel 4 580 B.C.; Ezra 1:1-4 539 B.C.; Ezra 6:1-12 539 B.C.; Daniel 6:25-27 537 B.C.; Esther 8:7-17 474 B.C.; Ezra 7:21-28 474 B.C.; Ezra 8:36 458 B.C.; Nehemiah 2:1-9 445 B.C. The dates may vary somewhat in other chronologies.
Nebuchadnezzar Warned (1-27). The chapter opens with a statement by Nebuchadnezzar addressed to all the inhabitants of earth (his realm). He begins and concludes his statement with great praise for God (1-3, 34-35, 37).
He was at rest in his house and flourishing. But he saw a dream which troubled him greatly. He sought for his spiritual advisors, but they could not interpret the dream. So he called for Daniel (4-9).
He told Daniel that he had seen a vision of a great tree which was tall enough to see to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were fair; it had abundant fruit which fed all; it sheltered the animals of the earth, and the birds dwelt in its branches (10-12).
Then he saw a Watcher, a Holy One, come down from heaven. The Watcher cried aloud and commanded that the tree be cut down, the branches cut off, the leaves shaken off, the fruit scattered, and the animals and birds driven off (13-14).
A stump, bound with brass and iron, was to be left in the grass and the dew ("night mist of heaven"). It would remain this way for seven periods of time (years, perhaps). His heart would be changed from that of a man to that of a beast (15-16).
This decree was given to teach that God Ruled among men and gave kingship to whomever he wished, even to base men (17).
Nebuchadnezzar was confident that Daniel could interpret the dream (18).
Daniel was "astonied" (dazed, stunned, astonished) for an hour. The king urged him to give the interpretation. Daniel replied that for seven periods (perhaps years) the King would be smitten with madness, would be driven from men, would live among the animals, would have nails like bird claws, would eat grass like an ox, and would be wet with dew ("night mist of heaven") until he knew that God rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever he wishes. (Note the contrast of the affliction of Nebuchadnezzar's diet with the healthy vegetable diet of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Chapter 1). Therefore, Daniel pleaded with Nebuchadnezzar to repent (19-27).
Nebuchadnezzar Judged (28-33). A Year later, as Nebuchadnezzar bragged about his kingdom, his might, his power, his honor, and his majesty, a voice from heaven declared that his kingdom had departed from him, and all that had been prophesied came upon him (28-33).
Nebuchadnezzar Repentant (34-37). At the end of his ordeal, Nebuchadnezzar repented, confessed that God lives forever, that his dominion is everlasting, that he considers the inhabitants of earth as nothing, and that he does whatever he wishes, and none can stop him or make him answerable to them (34-35).
The kingdom was restored to Nebuchadnezzar, glory was added to him, and his officials sought him out (36).
And he extolled God for his works, his truth, his judgment, and his ability to abase the proud (37).
Alternate Chapter Outline: Various authors see a chiastic * structure in this and other chapters in Daniel. Below, I have presented the outline of David A. Dorsey, slightly modified, from his book The Literary Structure of the Old Testament (p. 261). I have made the main paragraph divisions of Daniel 4 in accord with Dorsey's chiastic divisions.
* A chiastic structure is a literary form of parallelism in which a succession of ideas leads up to an emphatic central point then repeats in reverse order.
a. Introduction: King Praises God (1-3).
b. King Prospers (4-7).
c. King Unrepentant; Daniel Interprets Dream to no Avail (8-27).
d. CLIMAX: King Smitten With Insanity (28-33).
c'. King Repents (34-35).
b'. King Prospers More (36).
a'. Conclusion: King Praises God (37).
[ Sermons: Eric Alexander. William Still. William Taylor. Various. ]
Bible Chronologies -- Genesis to Revelation
[Traditional Patriarchal Chronology. Judges Period Chronology 1. Judges Period Chronology 2. Kings of Judah and Israel #1. Kings of Judah and Israel #2].
[Intertestamental Period Chronology 1. Intertestamental Period Chronology 2. Intertestamental Period Chronology 3.
Intertestamental Period Chronology 4. Intertestamental Period Chronology 5.]
[New Testament Chronology 1. New Testament Chronology 2. New Testament Chronology 3. New Testament Chronology 4. New Testament Chronology 5.]
PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.
[ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Daniel 4: Daniel 1. Daniel 2. Daniel 3. Daniel 4. Daniel 5. Daniel 6. ]
 Daniel 3:4; Daniel 3:29; Daniel 7:14; Daniel 6:25-27.
 Isaiah 8:18; Daniel 3:26.
 Daniel 6:27; Deuteronomy 4:34; Psalm 72:18; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14, 27; Psalm 145:13; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 10:10.
 Daniel 3:1; Psalm 30:6-7.
 Daniel 2:1; Daniel 5:5-10; Daniel 7:28.
 Daniel 2:2; Genesis 41:7-8.
 Isaiah 44:25.
 Daniel 1:7; Daniel 2:11; Daniel 5:11-12.
 Daniel 1:20; Daniel 2:3; Daniel 2:48; Daniel 5:11; Genesis 41:38.
 Ezekiel 31:3; Psalm 37:35-36.
 Genesis 11:4; Deuteronomy 9:1; Matthew 11:23.
 Jeremiah 27:6-7; Ezekiel 17:23; Ezekiel 31:6; Lamentations 4:20; Luke 13:19; Genesis 1:26; Genesis 7:8-9; James 3:7.
 Psalm 103:20; Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalm 89:7; Jude 1:14.
 Daniel 3:4; Revelation 18:2; Daniel 5:20; Jeremiah 51:6-9; Ezekiel 31:12-13.
 Isaiah 11:1; Psalm 107:10; Psalm 149:8; Job 14:7-9.
 Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Isaiah 6:10.
 Daniel 5:21; 1 Kings 22:19-20.
 Isaiah 19:3.
 Daniel 7:28; Daniel 8:27; Jeremiah 29:7.
[20-21] Ezekiel 31:3, 16.
 Daniel 2:37-38; Daniel 5:18-23; Jeremiah 27:6-8.
 Daniel 5:21.
 Isaiah 23:9; Psalm 107:40.
 Daniel 5:21; Daniel 2:21; Luke 16:9.
 Luke 15:18-21.
 Acts 24:25; Zephaniah 2:2-3; Micah 6:8.
 Proverbs 10:24; Zechariah 1:6.
 Ecclesiastes 8:11; 2 Peter 3:9-10, 15; Revelation 2:21.
 Daniel 5:20; Proverbs 16:18; Luke 14:11.
 Daniel 5:4-5; Daniel 5:28; 1 Samuel 15:23.
 Isaiah 37:20; Isaiah 45:3; Jeremiah 27:5.
 Daniel 5:5.
 Psalm 130:1-2; Psalm 145:13; Isaiah 40:17; Isaiah 43:13; Isaiah 43:21; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15.
 Isaiah 40:15-17; Isaiah 40:22-24.
 2 Chronicles 33:12-13; Matthew 6:33.
 Daniel 2:26; Daniel 2:47; Daniel 3:15; Revelation 15:3; 1 Peter 5:5-6.
-- From Treasury of Scripture Knowledge & Others ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). PROVERBS: Book of Proverbs. ECCLESIASTES: Book of Ecclesiastes Dramatized. SONG OF SOLOMON: Song of Solomon Dramatized. ISAIAH: Isaiah Dramatized. JEREMIAH: Jeremiah Dramatized. LAMENTATIONS: Lamentations Dramatized. EZEKIEL: Ezekiel Dramatized. DANIEL: Daniel Dramatized. VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
HARMONY OF THE LAW
Gospel Harmony - Summary | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible
Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF) | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF)
HEBREW AND GREEK INTERLINEAR BIBLES
Daniel Detailed Outline
Map 1: Bible Nations | Map 2: Empire of David and Solomon Map 3: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel | Post Exile Chronology.
1. Spiritual Struggle in Babylon (1:1 - 6:28)
D. The Struggle with Pride - Won by God Humbling Nebuchadnezzar with Madness (4:1-37)
Tomorrow's Picture: TBA
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