1. I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at peace in my house and content in my palace when I had a dream which appalled me.
2. The nightmares I had as I lay in bed, and the visions that passed through my mind tormented me.
3. So I summoned all the wise men of Babylon that they might explain to me what the dream meant.
4. The wise men, seers and astrologers came, and I recounted the dream to them, but they could not explain it to me.
5. So Daniel came in before me - he was renamed Belteshazzar after the name of my god, for in him dwells the spirit of the Holy God. I told him my dream in this way:
6. Belteshazzar, chief of the wise men, I know that you have the spirit of the Holy God and that no mystery is ever difficult for you. Examine the dream I have had and explain it to me.
7. These were my dreams as I lay in bed. There was a tree at the center of the world; it was very tall.
8. The tree grew, it became big and reached up to heaven, and its branches could be seen from the ends of the earth.
9. Its leaves were beautiful, its fruits abundant; there was food for all in it. Animals of the field found refuge in its shade, the birds of heaven nested in its branches and all living things fed on it.
10. I was looking at this interior vision when a watchful one, a holy one, came down from heaven.
11. He cried in a loud voice: Cut the tree down, cut off its branches, strip off its leaves and throw away its fruits. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds as well.
12. But leave in the earth the stump and the roots bound with iron and bronze bands, in the grass of the field. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, let him share the grass of the earth with the animals.
13. Let his heart cease from being human, and let a beast's heart be given him and pass over him seven times.
14. This is the sentence given by the watchful ones, the question settled by the holy ones, so that every living thing may know that the Most High is higher than any human authority. He confers power on whom he pleases and raises the most humble of men.
15. This was the dream I had, I, King Nebuchadnezzar. You, Belteshazzar, explain it to me, since not one of the wise men in my kingdom has been able to interpret it for me. But you can, for the spirit of the Holy God dwells in you.
16. Then Daniel, renamed Belteshazzar, was stunned for a while and looked very much upset. The king said, "Belteshazzar, what is in that dream or in its interpretation that upsets you so?" Belteshazzar answered,
17. "My lord, may this dream be meant for your enemies and its content refer to your foes!"
18. The tree you saw, which grew big and strong, and reached to heaven and was visible through all the earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, which had food for all, under which animals of the field found refuge and in whose branches the birds of heaven built their nests -
19. this tree is you, O King, whose power has increased reaching up to heaven, whose empire extends to the ends of the earth.
20. Now, regarding what the king has seen: a watchful one, a holy one, who came down from heaven and said: Cut the tree down, destroy it, but leave the stump and the roots in the ground with bands of iron and bronze, in the grass of the field; let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and share the lot of the animals of the field until they have passed over him seven times.
21. Now I shall explain it to you: This is the decree of the Most High regarding the king, my lord.
22. You shall be driven out from among men and live with the beasts of the field. You shall eat grass like the oxen, and be drenched by the dew of heaven. Seven times shall pass over you until you acknowledge that the Most High is higher than any human authority, and that he gives the power to whom he pleases.
23. The order to leave the stump and the roots means that you shall recover your kingdom when you have acknowledged that all power comes from heaven.
24. May it then please the king to accept my advice: wipe out your sins with works of justice, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; then perhaps you may lengthen your prosperity."
25. All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.
26. Twelve months later, while walking on the roof of the royal palace in Babylon,
27. the king said, "Is this not the great Babylon I built with the strength of my own power as my royal residence, and for the glory of my majesty?"
28. These words were still in the mouth of the king when a voice came down from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, I speak to you: your empire is finished.
29. You shall be driven from among men, and live with the animals of the field; you shall eat grass like oxen and seven times shall pass over you until you acknowledge that the Most High disposes of the power among men and gives it to whom he pleases."
30. These words were fulfilled at once. Nebuchadnezzar was driven from among men, he fed on grass like oxen, his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
31. At the end of this time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven and my reason returned to me; so I blessed the Most High: Blessed and glorified is he who lives for ever, whose dominion is everlasting and whose kingdom lasts through all generations.
32. All the inhabitants of the earth are before him as if they were nothing. He does as he pleases with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. No one can stop his hand or ask him to render an account.
33. At that moment, I regained my reason, I recovered my throne and again began to govern, for the glory of my kingdom. My counselors and my noblemen acclaimed me, they restored me to my throne and I was given still greater power.
34. So now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and glorify the King of Heaven. For all his works are true, and his ways are all just; he knows how to humble those who walk in pride.