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Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar

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by , January 2nd, 2018 at 11:17 PM (127 Views)
Was Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar or Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon? Are they one and the same? Maybe. Nebuchadnezzar's war skills created the empire but was it by his design?
"Dan. 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
"Dan.4:30-31 The king (Nebuchadnezzar) spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee."

It is suggested here that he was a tool to accomplish the will of God. So is the prophecy in Dan. 4 speaking of Nebuchadnezzar only or does it go beyond him and to the Babylonian empire.

"Dan.4:14 He (the watchers, holy ones) cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches."

Is this prophecy about Nebuchadnezzar or Babylon? Was the man hewn down or the empire?
"Cut off his branches" means all the conquered lands are taken away.
"Shake off his leaves and scatter his fruit" means there is no shade or protection left and no fruit or living to be gotten from it. Everything that drew people to it is taken away.
The "beasts" and the "fowls" or the military might are gone.

"Dan.4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth."

The phrase "leave the stump of his roots in the earth" means the end of the tree. Is this prophecy about the end of Nebuchadnezzar or the end of Babylon? Nebuchadnezzar reigned for more than 40 years. He was over 70 years old when he died as king. Cyrus the Great overthrew Babylon 25 years after his death. And that was the end of Babylon as a power. Alexander the Great finished it off completely about 200 years later. History suggests that Babylon was the tree hewn down not Nebuchadnezzar.
"Even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field." To me, this means that the stump with his roots in the earth is a prophecy that Babylon will be destroyed but its influence lives on. What grows from the roots of the tree are the empires of Rome (iron band on stump) and Greece (brass band on stump).
"In the tender grass of the field" is among the men of the earth.
"And let it be wet with the dew of heaven" means God is directing all of this by his design.
"And let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth" means his lot will be with war and conflict among the men of the earth. (Does this mean against one man or will Babylon be embroiled in war?)

"Dan.4:16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him."

"Let a beast's heart be given him" means he'll be involved in war and conflict. (Does this mean against a man or against Babylon?)
"And let seven times pass over him." The seven times means the punishment of God for sins as in Lev. 26:21,24,28. Was this punishment against Nebuchadnezzar or Babylon?
Everyone has to make their own conclusion about interpretation. The prophecy may have been directed at one man but was there something more? That's up to the reader.

Besides that, the prophecy against Nebuchadnezzar just doesn't make any sense at all. Did he really go crazy for seven years and then just come back as king as some suggest. Like that's possible! Showing any weakness at a time like that and in a position like that and you're toast.

"Dan. 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field."

This means he'll leave the daily mundane life of man and become a warrior in the field of battle. So did he have to defend his kingdom against assault by another. Probable in that area. He built Babylon by defeating his neighbors.

"Dan. 4:33 ----and did eat grass as oxen" implies that he had the strength of an ox to devour men but the word "oxen" suggests that he was not alone.

"Dan. 4:33 -----and his body was wet with the dew of heaven" means he was watched over by a higher power.

"Dan. 4:33-----till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws."
This is the "great eagle with great wings ---full of feathers" of Ez.17:3. This the prophecy of Babylon taking Jerusalem.
The "hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws" is saying that Nebuchadnezzar became the eagle that took the prey to shed blood. He was at war against someone.

That's the only way he could step back into his kingdom as king. He returned as the conquering warrior.

So is the Prophecy of Dan. 4 about Babylon or Nebuchadnezzar? It's probably a little of both. The prophecy seems to be against Babylon but Daniel's interpretation of the prophecy against Nebuchadnezzar.

Babylon plays a big role in prophecy. In "Rev. 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

Babylon's influence lived on after its destruction. In this verse, God declares it as the mother of all the evils and corruptions that were carried into the following empires.

"Rev. 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come."

This prophecy is not about Babylon. It's about all the cities where evil and corruption flourish.

"Rev. 16:19 ----and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."

Here the cities of the nations are compared to Babylon and the same judgment will come to them as fell on Babylon.

So are the prophecies in Dan. 4 against Babylon or against Nebuchadnezzar? To me, the prophecy is against Babylon and Daniel's interpretation of the prophecy against Nebuchadnezzar.
Both the great city of abominations and the man of pride are judged.

"Dan. 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
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  1. tourist's Avatar
    Nebuchadnezzar is the king that is most often mentioned in the O.T and played a critical role as God's instrument in the chastisement of Israel and Judah for her apostasy. Babylon was his empire and a type of an evil system. He did have outstanding war skills but it was not by his design. God punished him later for taking all of the credit in the building of his empire which would one day crumble. He was made to act like an animal for 7 years until he came to his senses and acknowledged the majesty and glory of God.