Daniel 4
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INTRO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living serenely in my house, flourishing in my palace.

א  אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר שְׁלֵה הֲוֵית בְּבֵיתִי וְרַעְנַן בְּהֵיכְלִי׃

2  I had a dream that frightened me, and my thoughts in bed and the vision of my mind alarmed me.

ב  חֵלֶם חֲזֵית וִידַחֲלִנַּנִי וְהַרְהֹרִין עַל־מִשְׁכְּבִי וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי יְבַהֲלֻנַּנִי׃

3  I gave an order to bring all the wise men of Babylon before me to let me know the meaning of the dream.

ג  וּמִנִּי שִׂים טְעֵם לְהַנְעָלָה קָדָמַי לְכֹל חַכִּימֵי בָבֶל דִּי־פְשַׁר חֶלְמָא יְהוֹדְעֻנַּנִי׃

4  The magicians, exorcists, Chaldeans, and diviners came, and I related the dream to them, but they could not make its meaning known to me.

ד  בֵּאדַיִן עללין [עָלִּין] חַרְטֻמַיָּא אָשְׁפַיָּא כשדיא [כַּשְׂדָּאֵי] וְגָזְרַיָּא וְחֶלְמָא אָמַר אֲנָה קֳדָמֵיהוֹן וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לָא־מְהוֹדְעִין לִי׃

5  Finally, Daniel, called Belteshazzar after the name of my god, in whom the spirit of the holy gods was, came to me, and I related the dream to him, [saying],

ה  וְעַד אָחֳרֵין עַל קָדָמַי דָּנִיֵּאל דִּי־שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר כְּשֻׁם אֱלָהִי וְדִי רוּחַ־אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בֵּהּ וְחֶלְמָא קָדָמוֹהִי אַמְרֵת׃

6  “Belteshazzar, chief magician, in whom I know the spirit of the holy gods to be, and whom no mystery baffles, tell me the meaning of my dream vision that I have seen.

ו  בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר רַב חַרְטֻמַיָּא דִּי אֲנָה יִדְעֵת דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בָּךְ וְכָל־רָז לָא־אָנֵס לָךְ חֶזְוֵי חֶלְמִי דִי־חֲזֵית וּפִשְׁרֵהּ אֱמַר׃

7  In the visions of my mind in bed I saw a tree of great height in the midst of the earth;

ז  וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי עַל־מִשְׁכְּבִי חָזֵה הֲוֵית וַאֲלוּ אִילָן בְּגוֹא אַרְעָא וְרוּמֵהּ שַׂגִּיא׃

8  The tree grew and became mighty; Its top reached heaven, And it was visible to the ends of the earth.

ח  רְבָה אִילָנָא וּתְקִף וְרוּמֵהּ יִמְטֵא לִשְׁמַיָּא וַחֲזוֹתֵהּ לְסוֹף כָּל־אַרְעָא׃

9  Its foliage was beautiful And its fruit abundant; There was food for all in it. Beneath it the beasts of the field found shade, And the birds of the sky dwelt on its branches; All creatures fed on it.

ט  עָפְיֵהּ שַׁפִּיר וְאִנְבֵּהּ שַׂגִּיא וּמָזוֹן לְכֹלָּא־בֵהּ תְּחֹתוֹהִי תַּטְלֵל חֵיוַת בָּרָא וּבְעַנְפוֹהִי ידרון [יְדוּרָן] צִפֲּרֵי שְׁמַיָּא וּמִנֵּהּ יִתְּזִין כָּל־בִּשְׂרָא׃

10  In the vision of my mind in bed, I looked and saw a holy Watcher coming down from heaven.

י  חָזֵה הֲוֵית בְּחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי עַל־מִשְׁכְּבִי וַאֲלוּ עִיר וְקַדִּישׁ מִן־שְׁמַיָּא נָחִת׃

11  He called loudly and said: ‘Hew down the tree, lop off its branches, Strip off its foliage, scatter its fruit. Let the beasts of the field flee from beneath it And the birds from its branches,

יא  קָרֵא בְחַיִל וְכֵן אָמַר גֹּדּוּ אִילָנָא וְקַצִּצוּ עַנְפוֹהִי אַתַּרוּ עָפְיֵהּ וּבַדַּרוּ אִנְבֵּהּ תְּנֻד חֵיוְתָא מִן־תַּחְתּוֹהִי וְצִפְּרַיָּא מִן־עַנְפוֹהִי׃

12  But leave the stump with its roots in the ground. In fetters of iron and bronze Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, And share earth’s verdure with the beasts.

יב  בְּרַם עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי בְּאַרְעָא שְׁבֻקוּ וּבֶאֱסוּר דִּי־פַרְזֶל וּנְחָשׁ בְּדִתְאָא דִּי בָרָא וּבְטַל שְׁמַיָּא יִצְטַבַּע וְעִם־חֵיוְתָא חֲלָקֵהּ בַּעֲשַׂב אַרְעָא׃

13  Let his mind be altered from that of a man, And let him be given the mind of a beast, And let seven seasons pass over him.

יג  לִבְבֵהּ מִן־אנושא [אֲנָשָׁא] יְשַׁנּוֹן וּלְבַב חֵיוָה יִתְיְהִב לֵהּ וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוֹהִי׃

14  This sentence is decreed by the Watchers; This verdict is commanded by the Holy Ones So that all creatures may know That the Most High is sovereign over the realm of man, And He gives it to whom He wishes And He may set over it even the lowest of men.’

יד  בִּגְזֵרַת עִירִין פִּתְגָמָא וּמֵאמַר קַדִּישִׁין שְׁאֵלְתָא עַד־דִּבְרַת דִּי יִנְדְּעוּן חַיַּיָּא דִּי־שַׁלִּיט עליא [עִלָּאָה] בְּמַלְכוּת אנושא [אֲנָשָׁא] וּלְמַן־דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנַּהּ וּשְׁפַל אֲנָשִׁים יְקִים עליה [עֲלַהּ׃]

15  “I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had this dream; now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its meaning, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make its meaning known to me, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

טו  דְּנָה חֶלְמָא חֲזֵית אֲנָה מַלְכָּא נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר ואנתה [וְאַנְתְּ] בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר פִּשְׁרֵא אֱמַר כָּל־קֳבֵל דִּי כָּל־חַכִּימֵי מַלְכוּתִי לָא־יָכְלִין פִּשְׁרָא לְהוֹדָעֻתַנִי ואנתה [וְאַנְתְּ] כָּהֵל דִּי רוּחַ־אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בָּךְ׃

16  Then Daniel, called Belteshazzar, was perplexed for a while, and alarmed by his thoughts. The king addressed him, “Let the dream and its meaning not alarm you.” Belteshazzar replied, “My lord, would that the dream were for your enemy and its meaning for your foe!

טז  אֱדַיִן דָּנִיֵּאל דִּי־שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר אֶשְׁתּוֹמַם כְּשָׁעָה חֲדָה וְרַעְיֹנֹהִי יְבַהֲלֻנֵּהּ עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר חֶלְמָא וּפִשְׁרֵא אַל־יְבַהֲלָךְ עָנֵה בֵלְטְשַׁאצַּר וְאָמַר מראי [מָרִי] חֶלְמָא לשנאיך [לְשָׂנְאָךְ] וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לעריך [לְעָרָךְ׃]

17  The tree that you saw grow and become mighty, whose top reached heaven, which was visible throughout the earth,

יז  אִילָנָא דִּי חֲזַיְתָ דִּי רְבָה וּתְקִף וְרוּמֵהּ יִמְטֵא לִשְׁמַיָּא וַחֲזוֹתֵהּ לְכָל־אַרְעָא׃

18  whose foliage was beautiful, whose fruit was so abundant that there was food for all in it, beneath which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged—

יח  וְעָפְיֵהּ שַׁפִּיר וְאִנְבֵּהּ שַׂגִּיא וּמָזוֹן לְכֹלָּא־בֵהּ תְּחֹתוֹהִי תְּדוּר חֵיוַת בָּרָא וּבְעַנְפוֹהִי יִשְׁכְּנָן צִפֲּרֵי שְׁמַיָּא׃

19  it is you, O king, you who have grown and become mighty, whose greatness has grown to reach heaven, and whose dominion is to the end of the earth.

יט  אנתה־[אַנְתְּ־] הוּא מַלְכָּא דִּי רְבַית וּתְקֵפְתְּ וּרְבוּתָךְ רְבָת וּמְטָת לִשְׁמַיָּא וְשָׁלְטָנָךְ לְסוֹף אַרְעָא׃

20  The holy Watcher whom the king saw descend from heaven and say, Hew down the tree and destroy it, But leave the stump with its roots in the ground. In fetters 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 beasts of the field Until seven seasons pass over him—

כ  וְדִי חֲזָה מַלְכָּא עִיר וְקַדִּישׁ נָחִת מִן־שְׁמַיָּא וְאָמַר גֹּדּוּ אִילָנָא וְחַבְּלוּהִי בְּרַם עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי בְּאַרְעָא שְׁבֻקוּ וּבֶאֱסוּר דִּי־פַרְזֶל וּנְחָשׁ בְּדִתְאָא דִּי בָרָא וּבְטַל שְׁמַיָּא יִצְטַבַּע וְעִם־חֵיוַת בָּרָא חֲלָקֵהּ עַד דִּי־שִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוֹהִי׃

21  this is its meaning, O king; it is the decree of the Most High which has overtaken my lord the king.

כא  דְּנָה פִשְׁרָא מַלְכָּא וּגְזֵרַת עליא [עִלָּאָה] הִיא דִּי מְטָת עַל־מראי [מָרִי] מַלְכָּא׃

22  You will be driven away from men and have your habitation with the beasts of the field. You will be fed grass like cattle, and be drenched with the dew of heaven; seven seasons will pass over you until you come to know that the Most High is sovereign over the realm of man, and He gives it to whom He wishes.

כב  וְלָךְ טָרְדִין מִן־אֲנָשָׁא וְעִם־חֵיוַת בָּרָא לֶהֱוֵה מְדֹרָךְ וְעִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין לָךְ יְטַעֲמוּן וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא לָךְ מְצַבְּעִין וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלָיךְ עַד דִּי־תִנְדַּע דִּי־שַׁלִּיט עִלָּיָא בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן־דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנַּהּ׃

23  And the meaning of the command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots is that the kingdom will remain yours from the time you come to know that Heaven is sovereign.

כג  וְדִי אֲמַרוּ לְמִשְׁבַּק עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי דִּי אִילָנָא מַלְכוּתָךְ לָךְ קַיָּמָה מִן־דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּטִן שְׁמַיָּא׃

24  Therefore, O king, may my advice be acceptable to you: Redeem your sins by beneficence and your iniquities by generosity to the poor; then your serenity may be extended.”

כד  לָהֵן מַלְכָּא מִלְכִּי יִשְׁפַּר עליך [עֲלָךְ] וחטיך [וַחֲטָאָךְ] בְּצִדְקָה פְרֻק וַעֲוָיָתָךְ בְּמִחַן עֲנָיִן הֵן תֶּהֱוֵא אַרְכָה לִשְׁלֵוְתָךְ׃

25  All this befell King Nebuchadnezzar.

כה  כֹּלָּא מְּטָא עַל־נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מַלְכָּא׃

26  Twelve months later, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace at Babylon,

כו  לִקְצָת יַרְחִין תְּרֵי־עֲשַׂר עַל־הֵיכַל מַלְכוּתָא דִּי בָבֶל מְהַלֵּךְ הֲוָה׃

27  the king exclaimed, “There is great Babylon, which I have built by my vast power to be a royal residence for the glory of my majesty!”

כז  עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר הֲלָא דָא־הִיא בָּבֶל רַבְּתָא דִּי־אֲנָה בֱנַיְתַהּ לְבֵית מַלְכוּ בִּתְקַף חִסְנִי וְלִיקָר הַדְרִי׃

28  The words were still on the king’s lips, when a voice fell from heaven, “It has been decreed for you, O King Nebuchadnezzar: The kingdom has passed out of your hands.

כח  עוֹד מִלְּתָא בְּפֻם מַלְכָּא קָל מִן־שְׁמַיָּא נְפַל לָךְ אָמְרִין נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מַלְכָּא מַלְכוּתָה עֲדָת מִנָּךְ׃

29  You are being driven away from men, and your habitation is to be with the beasts of the field. You are to be fed grass like cattle, and seven seasons will pass over you until you come to know that the Most High is sovereign over the realm of man and He gives it to whom He wishes.”

u-min a-na-SHA LAKH ta-r’-DEEN v’-eem khay-VAT ba-RA m’-do-RAKH is-BA kh’-to-REEN LAKH y’-ta-a-MUN v’-shiv-AH i-da-NEEN yakh-l’-FUN a-LAKH AD dee tin-DA dee sha-LEET i-la-YA b’-mal-KHUT a-na-SHA ul-man DEE yitz-BAY yit-ni-NAH

כט  וּמִן־אֲנָשָׁא לָךְ טָרְדִין וְעִם־חֵיוַת בָּרָא מְדֹרָךְ עִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין לָךְ יְטַעֲמוּן וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עליך [עֲלָךְ] עַד דִּי־תִנְדַּע דִּי־שַׁלִּיט עִלָּיָא בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן־דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנַּהּ׃

 4:29   And seven seasons will pass over you 

In this verse, Nebuchadnezzar is told that he will live with animals and act like a beast for a period of seven seasons. One explanation for this, suggested by the Sages, is that this is a punishment for the way he destroyed Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash. Although Hashem had foretold that the destruction would take place, Nebuchadnezzar did much more than execute God’s will. While he was meant to exile the People of Israel, he also killed many of them and treated them inhumanely. Furthermore, in addition to burning the Beit Hamikdash, he also destroyed the earth of Eretz Yisrael so that nothing could grow there for seven years. In retribution for his animalistic cruelty to the people and the land, Nebuchadnezzar actually became an animal for seven seasons. His punishment is a lesson about the sensitivity one must show to the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.1 comment

30  There and then the sentence was carried out upon Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from men, he ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like eagle’s [feathers] and his nails like [the talons of] birds.

ל  בַּהּ־שַׁעֲתָא מִלְּתָא סָפַת עַל־נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר וּמִן־אֲנָשָׁא טְרִיד וְעִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין יֵאכֻל וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא גִּשְׁמֵהּ יִצְטַבַּע עַד דִּי שַׂעְרֵהּ כְּנִשְׁרִין רְבָה וְטִפְרוֹהִי כְצִפְּרִין׃

31  “When the time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason was restored to me. I blessed the Most High, and praised and glorified the Ever-Living One, Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion And whose kingdom endures throughout the generations.

לא  וְלִקְצָת יוֹמַיָּה אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר עַיְנַי לִשְׁמַיָּא נִטְלֵת וּמַנְדְּעִי עֲלַי יְתוּב ולעליא [וּלְעִלָּאָה] בָּרְכֵת וּלְחַי עָלְמָא שַׁבְּחֵת וְהַדְּרֵת דִּי שָׁלְטָנֵהּ שָׁלְטָן עָלַם וּמַלְכוּתֵהּ עִם־דָּר וְדָר׃

32  All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account. He does as He wishes with the host of heaven, And with the inhabitants of the earth. There is none to stay His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

לב  וְכָל־דארי [דָּיְרֵי] אַרְעָא כְּלָה חֲשִׁיבִין וּכְמִצְבְּיֵהּ עָבֵד בְּחֵיל שְׁמַיָּא ודארי [וְדָיְרֵי] אַרְעָא וְלָא אִיתַי דִּי־יְמַחֵא בִידֵהּ וְיֵאמַר לֵהּ מָה עֲבַדְתְּ׃

33  There and then my reason was restored to me, and my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom. My companions and nobles sought me out, and I was reestablished over my kingdom, and added greatness was given me.

לג  בֵּהּ־זִמְנָא מַנְדְּעִי יְתוּב עֲלַי וְלִיקַר מַלְכוּתִי הַדְרִי וְזִוִי יְתוּב עֲלַי וְלִי הַדָּבְרַי וְרַבְרְבָנַי יְבַעוֹן וְעַל־מַלְכוּתִי הָתְקְנַת וּרְבוּ יַתִּירָה הוּסְפַת לִי׃

34  So now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of Heaven, all of whose works are just and whose ways are right, and who is able to humble those who behave arrogantly.”

לד  כְּעַן אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מְשַׁבַּח וּמְרוֹמֵם וּמְהַדַּר לְמֶלֶךְ שְׁמַיָּא דִּי כָל־מַעֲבָדוֹהִי קְשֹׁט וְאֹרְחָתֵהּ דִּין וְדִי מַהְלְכִין בְּגֵוָה יָכִל לְהַשְׁפָּלָה׃

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Daniel 3
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