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Daniel 4. The humbling of the king. Questioning Daniel 4 and 5. Timeline – Was Daniel written around 600 BC or 200 BC (Maccabean Period) Aramaic section, Hebrew section Was Daniel written by Daniel or someone else transcribing (with errors) much later? No outside validation of Chapter 4

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daniel 4

Daniel 4

The humbling of the king

questioning daniel 4 and 5
Questioning Daniel 4 and 5
  • Timeline – Was Daniel written around 600 BC or 200 BC (Maccabean Period)
    • Aramaic section, Hebrew section
  • Was Daniel written by Daniel or someone else transcribing (with errors) much later?
  • No outside validation of Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5 says Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but historians say there were 5 kings in between
answering the questions
Answering the questions
  • Chapter 5 speaks of Belshazzar, but historians said there was no such character until recent archaeological discoveries proved his existence and referenced his reign
  • He was a lesser figure in history and someone in 200 BC across the known world would not have known of him
  • How do modern day muslims react if they feel their religious leaders are being maligned? – misquote Nebuchadnezzar?
answering the questions ii
Answering the questions II
  • Jesus spoke of the writings of the Prophet Daniel as “spoken of by the prophet Daniel”
    • Matthew 24:15
    • Mark 13:14
  • Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
  • Mat 24:15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—
  • Mat 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
  • Good enough for me!

Daniel 4:30 ESV

(30) and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?"

This clay cylinder is one of three cylinders found in the ruins of ancient Babylon that describe Nebuchadnezzar's royal palace that he built for himself in Babylon. He actually built 3 palaces with his summer palace on the Euphrates River. The Nebuchadnezzar II Clay Cylinder is an important discovery in Biblical Archaeology, it mentions Nebuchadnezzar by name and confirms the Biblical account.

Material - Clay Cylinder Neo-Babylonian dynastyDate: 604-562 BCLength: 24.44 cm Diameter: 11.43 cm Depth: Babylon, southern IraqExcavated by: Robert Koldeway 1899-1914Location: British Museum, LondonItem: ANE 91142Room: 55, Later Mesopotamia

museum excerpt
Museum Excerpt

Cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar IIThe King's palaces describedThis clay cylinder was found in the ruins of the city of Babylon. The cuneiform text describes the three palaces which Nebuchadnezzar II (reigned 604-562 BC) built for himself in Babylon. The first palace was a rebuilding of the palace used by his father Nabopolassar (reigned 625-605 BC), which Nebuchadnezzar says had become dilapidated. When he had finished, he decided that it was not grand enough, so he built himself a new palace on the northern edge of Babylon. This palace had a blue parapet and was surrounded by massive fortification walls. Later Nebuchadnezzar erected new city walls around the east side of Babylon, and built himself a third palace next to the River Euphrates. This is known today as his 'summer' palace, as it had ventilation shafts of a type still used today for cooling houses in the Near East. All three palaces were built of baked brick and bitumen, with roofs and doors constructed from fine imported timbers, cedar, cypress and fir.Cylinders of this type were buried in the corners of all large buildings by Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. They were meant to be found and read by future kings whenever the buildings had to be repaired. 


The Babylonian Chronicle records events in ancient Babylon dating from about 750 BC to 280 BC. This tablet is part of that chronicle and records events from 605-594 BC including  Nebuchadnezzar II's campaigns in the west, where Jerusalem is. It also records the defeat of the Assyrians and the fall of the Assyrian Empire and the rising threat of Egypt. It records the Battle of Carchemish where Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon defeated Pharoah Necho of Egypt in 605 BC. It records Nebuchadnezzar's rise to power, it records the removing of Jehoiachin, king of Judah and inserting Zedekiah as king in his place, as recorded in Scripture, and it records the capture of Jerusalem on the 16th of March, 598 BC. The discovery of this part of the Babylonian Chronicle is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology because it contains several events mentioned in the Bible that correspond exactly.

Material - Cuneiform Clay Tablet Neo-BabylonianDate: 550-400 BCLength: 8.25 cm Width: 6.19 cm Depth: Babylon, southern IraqExcavated by: Robert Koldeway 1899-1914Location: British Museum, LondonItem: ANE 21946Room: 55, Later Mesopotamia, case 15, no. 24

museum excerpt9
Museum Excerpt

Cuneiform tablet with part of the Babylonian Chronicle (605-594 BC)Nebuchadnezzar II's campaigns in the westThis tablet is one of a series that summarizes the principal events of each year from 747 BC to at least 280 BC. Each entry is separated by a horizontal line and begins with a reference to the year of reign of the king in question.Following the defeat of the Assyrians (as described in the Chronicle for 616-609 BC), the Egyptians became the greatest threat to the Babylonians. In 605 Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian crown prince, replaced his father Nabopolassar as commander-in-chief and led the army up the Euphrates to the city of Charchemish. There he defeated the Egyptians. Later that year Nabopolassar died and Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon to be crowned. Over the next few years he kept his control over Syria and extended it into Palestine. In 601 BC he marched to Egypt, but withdrew on meeting the Egyptian army. After re-equipping his army, Nebuchadnezzar marched to Syria in 599 BC. He marched westwards again, in December 598 BC, as Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, had ceased to pay tribute. Nebuchadnezzar's army besieged Jerusalem and captured it on 15/16th March 597 BC. The new king of Judah, Jehoiachin, was captured and carried off to Babylon. A series of expeditions to Syria brings this Chronicle to an end in 594 BC. 

in his own words
In his own words
  • Nebuchadnezzar delivered an international letter, in his capacity as the most powerful king of his day, to tell the world that he recognized the God of Israel as the one true God.
  • Said it was his pleasure to share
  • And then praises Him [God]
from comfort to fear
From comfort to fear
  • In his own home, prosperous and comfortable he was presented with a dream from the Lord that frightened him “terrified me”
the dream
The dream
  • So frightful a picture of judgment on pride that Daniel shuddered to interpret it for him
  • Daniel warned him to repent quickly that he might stay the hand of God (4:27)
  • Nebuchadnezzar walked his roof in pride and the promise of the dream befell him and he was as a beast of the field
  • Dan 4:34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
  • Dan 4:35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
  • Dan 4:36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.
  • Dan 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
  • God restored Nebuchadnezzar to his place of honor when he had acknowledged (as foretold) that it was at the pleasure of the almighty God that any man stands
  • If you can’t be a good example, at least be a good warning sign…
  • Nebuchadnezzar memorialized a beautiful lesson for us so that we can seek God humbly in the hopes of his favor, which brings glory to men
  • We shouldn’t then forget the source lest we have to find out how grass tastes