Daniel 4

The Kingdom of the Beast

Mystery Babylon is explained as the corrupted kingdom of heaven that grows up and becomes a great tree so that “the birds come and rest in its branches” (Matt 13:31-32).

Daniel prophesied that the tree will be cut down and a band of iron and bronze would be put around its stump, until King Nebuchadnezzar, “the beast” learns that “the most High rules in the kingdom of men.”

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked toward me. 3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

Dan 4:1-3
To all peoples, nations and languages that dwell in all the earth – this prefigures the announcement of the Angel in Revelation 14:6-7, “to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue and people ..’fear God and give Him glory.'” Nebuchadnezzar’s focus, after realizing that God is the true God is to give God glory. (That the people of the earth should not worship his image, the image of the beast).

In Daniel 6, we are instructed in the law that cannot be changed (Daniel 6:15), representing the mark of the beast. And a nearly identical speech, to that of King Nebuchadnezzar, is made by King Darius in verses 6:25-27. But here Darius tells us that all men must “tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.”

These two speeches, of King Nebuchadnezzar, and King Darius, bring the message of Revelation that we must “fear God and give Him glory.”

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 I told the dream before him, [saying], 9 Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation of it.

Dan 4:8-9
in him is the Spirit of the Holy God – recognizing the Spirit of Christ in Daniel, see also Daniel 4:18.

10 Thus were the visions of my head on my bed: I saw, and, behold, a tree in the midst of the earth; and the height of it was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height of it reached to the sky, and the sight of it to the end of all the earth. 

Dan 4:10-11
the tree was great – we’ll see this description for Mystery Babylon, the false kingdom of heaven in Dan 8:9, which “grew exceedingly great.”

This is the kingdom of heaven, as a great tree, that grew so great, that Jesus said, “the birds of the air came and nest in its branches,” Matthew 13:31-32. Jesus was quoting Daniel 4:12. Originally this tree, whose root, Paul told us was the Jews (Romans 11:16), was holy, and the Gentiles, who were the branches grafted in, were also holy. However, this great tree became so great that the birds of the air rested in its branches. These birds are best described in Revelation 18:2.

In the next verse, Matthew 13:33, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to leaven that was hidden in three measures of meal. Three measures of meal are found in Genesis 18:6.  The true measurements of the kingdom must be followed strictly, this is the unleavened flour, the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor 5:8).  The significance of the “measurements” of the kingdom of heaven are described in Ezekiel 43:10-11.  The leaven represents the falsity that corrupts the true measurements of the kingdom of God.

As Paul said, initially the dough was holy (Romans 11:16), but Jesus told us it would all become leavened.

Dan 4:12
in it was food for all – Rev 18:3 describes Mystery Babylon to say: “the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches – Rev 18:2 called it: “a cage for every unclean and hated bird;” Jesus said “the birds of the air come and rest in its branches” (Matt 13:31-32). In Matt 13:4, Jesus described the birds as the workers of Satan who snatched away the good seed of the kingdom of heaven.

13 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and, behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the sky. 14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit: let the animals get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches. 

Dan 4:13-14
chop down the tree – the kingdom of the beast will be chopped down; a similar analogy is in Daniel 2:35, the stone struck the statue. In this moment, Babylon as the tree, is fallen, “Babylon is fallen, fallen,” (Revelation 14:8; 18:2).

15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its 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 the sky: and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth: 

Dan 4:15
leave the stump and roots in the earth – the root of the tree of the kingdom of heaven (to which the Gentiles were grafted in, will be left). The root was holy (Romans 11:16), this was the pure gospel given by the Apostles.

a band of iron and bronze around it – this prevents a tree from growing without killing it, allowing it to grow later when desired.

16 let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a animal’s heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him. 17 The sentence 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 rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men. 

Dan 4:16-17
Let him be given the heart of a beast – Nebuchadnezzar is the prefiguration of “the beast” in Revelation.

seven times – he will remain a beast for “time, times and half a time,” 2 + 4 + 1= 7,  that is 42 months which are described in Revelation 12-13, and 17.

Nebuchadnezzar 1795/circa 1805 William Blake 1757-1827 Presented by W. Graham Robertson 1939 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05059

Dan 4:22
your dominion to the end of the earth – the kingdom of the beast will “sit on many waters” (Revelation 17:1).

25 that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will. 

Dan 4:25
til you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men – this describes the sin that caused “desolation” in Daniel 8:11. The Bishop of Rome tried to rule over the kingdom of God. He “exalted himself as high as the Captain of the host” – as high as Christ. The end of the “the kingdom of the beast” is explained in Daniel 7:14: “then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom.” See also Dan 7:26 “they shall take away his (the beast’s) dominion.”