Nebuchadnezzar’s Arrogance

Pride leads to a downfall, but humbling oneself before God brings restoration.

Pride is a danger to all. It is condemned throughout Scripture (Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall, John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.). It is not surprising, then, that one of the most evil men in history was also among the most outwardly prideful. In this lesson we will examine how God, through the profit Daniel, dealt with prideful King Nebuchadnezzar. Again, we will observe how God used a dream and the prophetic interpretation of the dream to accomplish his purposes. This lesson shows that arrogance (a proud, rebellious attitude toward God) unrepented of, will bring defeat and humiliation. Therefore, it is for our own well-being, to live with a humble and obedient attitude toward God.

There are two different types of pride. The first pride is the one of taking pride in something like our work or our children. This type of pride is not necessarily bad as long as it builds our integrity and uplifts others around us. The other pride is the one that causes arrogance. It is the feeling of greatness that causes arrogance towards other and rebellion against God. Question: as a Christian, which pride will build the church and which will tear it apart?


A. Contended and Prosperous

Dan 4:4  I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:

Dan 4:5  I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.

Dan 4:6  Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.

Dan 4:7  Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

…….Nebuchadnezzar already knew the other wise men were fake, but in his sinful determination he sought the entertainment of the wicked along with that of the righteous. Neb still refused to turn to God for guidance first.

B. Troubling Dream Told to Daniel

Dan 4:8  But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,

Dan 4:9  O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.

Dan 4:10  Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.

Dan 4:11  The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

Dan 4:12  The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.

Dan 4:13  I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;

…….Before he even told Daniel the dream Neb must have thought that God was speaking to him. His personal pride and material focus was so fixed that he couldn’t even determine when God was trying to speak to him.

Dan 4:14  He 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:

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:

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.

…….Many believe that since Babylon only had two observed seasons, (wet and dry) that the interpretation of seven times would have been 3 & 1/2 years. Others believe that it was a full 7 years and some believe it was 7 months.

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 4:18  This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.

…….Regardless of how plain and simple the Word of God is at times, it will always take a spiritual person to interpret it.


A. The King Has Become Great

Dan 4:19  Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

…….Daniel is troubled in his spirit because he is about to have to tell the king about his fall. Though it could have had him thrown right back into prison, or even had him killed he still done his job.

Dan 4:20  The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;

Dan 4:21  Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:

Dan 4:22  It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.

…….As of now we have a picture of such a great and mighty tree whose branches are shade for everyone that dwells under it. The fruit of it feeds all the people and animals alike and it’s leaves are fair to look at. Daniel tells Neb that the tree is a representation of his kingdom!

B. The King Will Be Driven Away

Dan 4:23  And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof 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 of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Dan 4:24  This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:

Dan 4:25  That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

…….Daniel’s interpretation is that the king would suffer a mental illness in such a way that the people would drive him away from society to live as an animal grazing in the fields.

Dan 4:26  And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.

…….This may not be in the interpretation, but there is a reason the stump was left. When we fail and fall and even in the midst of our arrogance, God doesn’t cast us away! There may be times that He has to cut us down and set us aside until we see His plan more clearly, but He never totally rejects us! In the times we feel like God is against us, He is always working things out for our good!

Dan 4:27  Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

…….Daniel knows exactly what is about to happen but he still pleads with Neb to turn to righteousness and separate from his sinful paganistic ways. Though Neb knew that Daniel was inclined to God and understood His voice, He would never change without a spiritually divine intervention! Not long ago Neb gave the duty of second in command and ruler over all to Daniel, but the pleasures of his sins were still too great!

It doesn’t matter whose council we are in or under, and it may be the most righteous and Holy group of people, but if we don’t change and fall in love with God, He will find a way to correct us.


A. Living Like an Animal

Dan 4:28  All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

Dan 4:29  At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.

Dan 4:30  The king 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?

…….Nebuchadnezzar shows his arrogance right here. His belief that all the accomplishments fell on his own abilities, built an arrogance of pride that God would not let him get away with!

We must always remember that material things in life will never grow us closer to God, nor do they show our relationship with God. Most of the time (in my personal opinion), the more someone has to show for material wise, the easier it is to live further away from God. How does this make since you may wonder? Because when we go through trials it becomes easier to busy our minds with the things that we have rather than turning our thoughts to God to get out of a trial. People don’t get things because they are close to God. But, the moment we take credit for what God has done or allowed is the moment we have separated our spirit from His!

Dan 4:31  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.

Dan 4:32  And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

Dan 4:33  The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

…….It is amazing to read of the immediate transformation that fell on the king! His appearance was so horrifying and repulsive, people couldn’t even stand to look at him. To think of it, that’s exactly what pride and arrogance does to a person. No matter how great and beautiful they look on the outside, and regardless of the majestic materials they wrap themselves in, if their attitude stinks so do they!

What kind of taste does our attitude leave in others mouths? When we walk away from a conversation do we think people leave our presence with negative thoughts, or are you the one people like being around because you cause them to want to grow closer to the Lord?! Not only is the son of boasting bitter, but so is the sin of cutting others down! Side note: I can’t stand to hear someone cut other down! No one wants to be around a person whose words only boast of themselves! I pray that my words are those that become a savor to others around….

B. Restored to Splendor

Dan 4:34  And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

Dan 4:35  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Dan 4:36  At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

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.

…….My simple thoughts here; it worked! And thank the Lord it did!

Gods soul purpose from the beginning was for Nebuchadnezzar to lift up his eyes to Heaven! Lifting up his eyes goes further than just looking at the sky! I imagine he spent many nights thinking in his mind to finally get the chance to give the glory to God! When that opportunity came, he was ready for surrender! Sometimes we have to go through seasons of misery so that when the opportunity comes we are completely ready to walk in it! No looking back, ever again!!!

…….King Nebuchadnezzar came out of the trial praising God and giving Him all the Glory for everything! That is the purpose, God blesses others so we can in return give the full credit to Him!

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