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Lesson: Daniel 4 - Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of a Tree

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Scripture Reading: Daniel 4:1-18.

Golden Text: Daniel 4:2.

1. Who was Nebuchadnezzar king over? (Daniel 4:1). Did he say "Peace be multiplied to you?"

Note: The word "peace" in this verse could be translated also as ‘prosperity’. The N.I.V. translates this as "May you prosper greatly!" In most cases prosperity comes in times of peace.

Note: This chapter is the only section in all of the Bible that we find composed under the authority of a pagan ruler. King Nebuchadnezzar is responsible for the content of this chapter. He wanted this lesson preserved and God permitted Daniel to record and preserve it. This section of the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic.

2. Did this pagan ruler give glory and honor to God? (Daniel 4:2). Is he going to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God did for him?

3. Did King Nebuchadnezzar say that God‘s Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom? (Daniel 4:3).

Note: Nebuchadnezzar was emperor of the great Babylonian empire and thought of himself as being the great one who had done all of these things by himself. He learned from this experience that his own might and power was temporal and that he was mortal. He learned that the Most High God has power that is eternal.

4. Was Nebuchadnezzar at rest in his palace? (Daniel 4:4).

Note: The word "flourishing" in this verse could be translated as ‘prosperous’. The N.I.V. translate this verse as: "I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous."

Note: At this point in time, approximately 570 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar had conquered many lands and had subjugated Syria, Phoenicia, Arabia, Egypt and Judea.

5. Did Nebuchadnezzar have another dream? (Daniel 4:5). Did it cause him to be afraid and did it trouble him?

6. Why did Nebuchadnezzar issue a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before him? (Daniel 4:6). Did he want an interpretation of his dream?

7. Could any of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, or soothsayers interpret his dream? (Daniel 4:7).

8. Who was it that finally came before King Nebuchadnezzar and told him his dream? (Daniel 4:8). Did this person have the Spirit of the Holy God? What was the Chaldean name of this man?

Note: Notice that this account is being given by Nebuchadnezzar, in first person grammar, and he is stating it word for word. Daniel was probably the scribe recording this account.

9. Was Belteshazzar (Daniel) chief of the magicians? (Daniel 4:9). Did Nebuchadnezzar realize that God’s Holy Spirit was in Daniel? Did he ask Daniel to explain the visions of his dream and to give him its interpretation?

10. Where was Nebuchadnezzar when he had his vision? (Daniel 4:10). What did he see in his vision that was in the middle of the land? How high was it?

Note: In Ezekiel 17 there is an account that is almost verbatim, word for word, of what King Nebuchadnezzar saw in his vision. Ezekiel’s vision was a description of the Assyrian Empire which predates the neo-Babylonian Empire. The old Babylon of Nimrod had fallen centuries before.

11. Did the tree in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision grow and become strong? (Daniel 4:11).

12. Were the leaves of the tree lovely and beautiful? (Daniel 4:12). Was the fruit of the tree abundant? Could the fruit be used for food? Did its branches and leaves provide shade for animals? Did birds dwell in its branches? Can a tree in the Bible represent a great country or empire? (Ezekiel 31:3).

Note: The cedar tree in Ezekiel 31:3 represented the Assyrian empire.

13. What else did Nebuchadnezzar see in his vision? (Daniel 4:13).

Note: This verse says "There was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven." This might have been one of the holy angels of God. The term "watcher" or ‘watchman’ means to be wakeful or on watch. Ezekiel 33:1-11 tells about Ezekiel being a watchman with a message. God says that the watchman has a responsibility to present a warning, a witness, to those people that he is responsible to. If the people heed the words of the watchman then they will be preserved. If they refuse to listen to the watchman then they will be destroyed but the watchman has done his job. In Nebuchadnezzar’s vision the watchman had the responsibility to give a warning to him as to what would occur to him because of the sins that he had committed.

14. What did the watchman say? (Daniel 4:14).

15. What was the tree stump to be bound with? (Daniel 4:15). Who was he to graze with on the grass of the earth?

16. How was his heart to be changed? (Daniel 4:16). How much time was to pass over him? How long is seven times?

Note: The word "heart" in Aramaic is "lebab" and can be translated as ‘mind’ as the N.I.V. translates it. Animals have instinct but the human mind has intellect or what the Bible calls the ‘spirit in man’ in which God gives man understanding (Job 32:8), where he can think, reason, talk and design. God either suppressed Nebuchadnezzar’s ‘spirit in man’ or allowed a strong demon to do so, so that he was like an animal with instinct only.

Note: The Moffatt translation translates the term seven times as seven years. Josephus who understood Aramaic recorded in his "Antiquities of the Jews" (Book 10, chapter 10, par 6) of this event used the term years.

17. Who was this decision by? (Daniel 4:17). Does the Most High God rule in the kingdom of men and give it to whomever He desires? Can God even set the lowest of men over countries, kingdoms and empires?

Note: One reason for the preservation of Nebuchadnezzar’s account is to show that God is ultimately allowing whatever takes place in the world. God has allowed physical Judah to be persecuted in the past for centuries and He will the allow the Church to suffer persecution in the future.

18. Did King Nebuchadnezzar command Daniel to give the interpretation to his dream? (Daniel 4:18).

19. What was Daniel’s Chaldean name? (Daniel 4:19). Was Daniel astonished at the dream and did his thoughts trouble him? Did Daniel tell King Nebuchadnezzar that the dream was not favorable to him?

20. Did the tree in the dream grow strong and tall and could it be seen by all of the earth? (Daniel 4:20).

21. Were the leaves of the tree beautiful and did it provide food for all? (Daniel 4:21). Did all of the animals of the field dwell under the leaves of the tree?

22. Who did the tree represent? (Daniel 4:22). Had King Nebuchadnezzar grown strong and had his greatness reached to heaven and did his dominion cover the whole earth?

Note: The tree represented King Nebuchadnezzar and the king represented Babylon because he was the king of Babylon. Babylon stretched from Egypt in the west to Elam in the east which was a vast expanse of territory.

23. Did the king in his dream see a watcher or a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field’? (Daniel 4:23). Did he also say ‘Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'?

24. Was Daniel able to give the interpretation of the dream to the king? (Daniel 4:24). Who actually issued the decree upon king Nebuchadnezzar?

25. Who was the king to be driven from and where was he to dwell? (Daniel 4:25). What was he to eat and was he to be drenched with the dew of heaven? How many times was to pass over him? What was he to learn from all of this? Who is it that gives kingdoms to men to rule over?

26. The command was to chop the tree down but to leave what? (Daniel 4:26). Was the king assured that his kingdom would be waiting on him after the seven times passed? What was he to learn from this?

Note: The tree stump indicates that the kingdom would be restored to Nebuchadnezzar. The normal course of ancient history is that if a king went crazy, one of his sons or a relative, or some other powerful individual, would come in and take over and would kill the crazy king. Obviously God was stating that He would intervene and prevent this from happening to Nebuchadnezzar. After seven years he was restored as king.

Notice the term ‘heaven rules’ in this verse is the only time it is used in the Bible. The word ‘heaven’ is a word for God and was commonly used in rabbinic literature. The Jews were superstitious in using the name of God and the word ‘heaven’ was a good substitution because God dwells in heaven.

27. Did Daniel advise king Nebuchadnezzar to repent and be righteous? (Daniel 4:27). To repent means to change. How was the king to show his change from his iniquities? What was the reward if the king repented?

Note: We are told here in this passage that king Nebuchadnezzar would be cut off for seven times which in prophecy represents a seven year period. Remember that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon and he represented Babylon.

What happened to Nebuchadnezzar was a type of what would happen to the empire of Babylon. He was off the scene for seven times or seven full years. Babylon would be off the scene for seven prophetic times. What happened to Nebuchadnezzar is different than what happened to the tree. He was drenched with the dew and lived among the wild animals.

Notice in verse 23 that the tree was to be bound with iron and brass (some translations say bronze). This indicates that as the iron and brass had an influence on the tree so prophetically the iron which represents the Roman Empire (see Daniel 2) and the bronze which represents Greece had influence on the Babylonian Empire.

Prophetically speaking Babylon has existed from the time of Nimrod (Genesis 10:8) all of the way to the end time as recorded in the Revelation 14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 10 and 21.

The iron and the bronze prevented any growth of the tree. Some tree stumps will sprout out shoots and another tree will grow in its place. The iron and bronze was on the stump to prevent the Babylonian Empire from growing for a period of seven prophetic times. What is under the stump? The root structure is under the stump which symbolizes that the Babylonian system is still alive and has never been destroyed. Revelation 17:5 refers to this as "Mystery Babylon the Great".

The influence of Rome has been very strong on much of western civilization. Greece followed Rome and had a tremendous impact on all western democracies which have been modeled after Greece. Our nation, the United States of America, is modeled after the republic form of the Roman Government.

The Babylonian form of government structure is simply not being utilized today where you have one supreme emperor who dominates everything.

The end time fulfillment of Babylon has one man called the ‘beast’ who dominates everyone probably without a senate, a republican system with no democracy. It will have a government just like ancient Babylon.

After the seven prophetic times the bands of iron and bronze will be removed.

A prophetic time is equal to 360 days. When you multiply 360 by 7 you get 2520. The seven times therefore equals 2520 years.

The scriptural reference for a prophetic day for a year is Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6.

The 2520 years would pass before the bands of iron and bronze would be removed so the tree could grow again from the stump. It takes time for the tree to grow and reach the stature that it will ultimately reach.

God does not say that the tree would immediately appear as a giant tree as in the days of Nebuchadnezzar.

In prophecy Babylon would not be utterly destroyed as king Nebuchadnezzar was not totally destroyed. Babylon would be suppressed for seven times then would be restored just as Nebuchadnezzar was restored after seven years.

28. Did a lot happen to King Nebuchadnezzar? (Daniel 4:1-28).

Note: From Daniel 4:1-27 the narrative is in the first person, now it changes to the third person. This narrative tells about what happened.

29. Where was King Nebuchadnezzar walking about twelve months later? (Daniel 4:29).

30. What did the king say? (Daniel 4:30). Was he pompous and arrogant in declaring that he had built all of great Babylon for the honor of his majesty?

Note. Here King Nebuchadnezzar was taking all of the credit . Babylon was a great city that had been constructed by the Assyrians and had been a major capital of the Assyrian Empire. Babylon fell to the Babylonians and King Nebuchadnezzar did strengthen the city. He has been credited with the hanging gardens, He constructed massive building projects, 20-40 temples and the Ishtar gate. He took the credit for it all but he didn’t do it all alone. God’s the one who gave him all of the nations that he had subjugated. It was God who delivered the Kingdom of Judah into Nebuchadnezzars’s hand (Jeremiah 27).

It was God’s will that he conquer the whole region. God was responsible for his greatness. By God giving him all of these nations, it gave him the peace and monetary ability to conduct the massive building projects that he undertook.

31. How fast was King Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom departed from him? (Daniel 4:31). Did he hear a voice from heaven?

32. Was King Nebuchadnezzar to be driven from men? (Daniel 4:32). Who was he to dwell with? What was he to eat? How long was he to be in this condition? What was he to learn from this?

33. How long did it take till Nebuchadnezzar was driven from men? (Daniel 4:33).

Note: Immediately what was said about King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:19-27 was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and he ate grass like the cattle. This condition lasted from 569 B.C., the year after he had the vision in 570 B.C. and it lasted for 7 years until the end of 563 B.C.

34. What happened at the end of the 7 years to King Nebuchadnezzar? (Daniel 4:34). Did his understanding and sanity return to him? Did he bless, praise and honor the Most High God? How long was God’s dominion and kingdom to last?

Note: The narrative now switches back to the first person with King Nebuchadnezzar talking.

35. How does God regard the people of the earth compared to Him? (Daniel 4:35). Is there an army of angels in heaven? Does He have the power to do as He pleases among the angels of heaven? Can anyone stop Him or challenge Him by saying 'What do you mean by doing these things?

36. What else was returned to King Nebuchadnezzar after his sanity and reason was returned to him? (Danile 4:36). Did his advisers and officers seek him out, and reestablished him as the head of his kingdom? Did he have greater honor than before?

Note: In this verse King Nebuchadnazzar says "excellent majesty was added to me." This is a reference to his character in that he had been humbled as a human being and he realized how powerful that God was.

37. Did King Nebuchadnezzar praise, glorify and honor God the King of heaven? (Daniel 4:37). Did he say that all of God’s acts are just and true, and that He is able to humble those who are proud?

Note: From the experience that Nebuchadnazzar had with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego and their being thrown into the fiery furnace and their survival of these events (Dniel 3:20-28), he learned that God could override any decree that a human ruler could make, but it wasn’t until this experience of having his sanity taken away, turned into an animal, that he realized how much he depended upon God in his life.

Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 B.C. perhaps six to nine months after his sanity was restored.

38. Let’s take a look now at Jeremiah 27. Did this message come to Jeremiah from the LORD early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah, king of Judah? (Jeremiah 27:1).

39. Was this message also sent to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon through their ambassadors to King Zedekiah in Jerusalem? (Jeremiah 27:3).

40. Who did God say made the earth, animals and people? (Jeremiah 27:4-5). Did God say that He could give these things of His to anyone He chooses?

41. Who did God choose to give these countries to? (Jeremiah 27:6). Was King Nebuchadnezzar God’s servant?

42. Did God say that all of the nations would serve King Nebuchadnezzar and his son and his grandson? Did God say that Babylon would eventually be conquered? (Jeremiah 27:7).

43. Did God tell them to submit to Babylon's king and serve him? (Jeremiah 27:8). What was God going to do if any nation refused to be his slaves?

44. Did God advise them not to listen to their false prophets, fortune-tellers, interpreters of dreams, mediums, and sorcerers who would say, "The king of Babylon will not conquer you?" (Jeremiah 27:9). What did God say about these false prophets? (Verse 10).

45. What did God say would be the reward for the people of any nation who would submit to the king of Babylon? (Jeremiah 27:11).

46. Did God repeat this same message to King Zedekiah of Judah? (Jeremiah 27:12).

47. Were the people to listen to the false prophets? (Jeremiah 27:14-17).

48. Who were the people to serve and obey? (Jeremiah 27:17).

49. What did God say about the precious things kept in the Temple and in the palace of Judah's king? (Jeremiah 27:21-22).

In conclusion: King Nebuchadnezzar learned a very valuable lesson from God. It is much better to be humble than to be proud. Nebuchadnezzar said "I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me" (Daniel 4:2).


Scripture Reading: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of a Tree

(Daniel 4 NKJV) Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. {2} I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. {3} How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation. {4} I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. {5} I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. {6} Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. {7} Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. {8} But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: {9} "Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation. {10} "These were the visions of my head while on my bed: "I was looking, and behold, A tree in the midst of the earth, And its height was great. {11} The tree grew and became strong; Its height reached to the heavens, And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. {12} Its leaves were lovely, Its fruit abundant, And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, And all flesh was fed from it. {13} "I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. {14} He cried aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, And the birds from its branches. {15} Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, Bound with a band of iron and bronze, In the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, And let him graze with the beasts On the grass of the earth. {16} Let his heart be changed from that of a man, Let him be given the heart of a beast, And let seven times pass over him. {17} 'This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.' {18} "This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you."

Daniel Interprets the Dream

{19} Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, "Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies! {20} The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, {21} whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home; {22} it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. {23} And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'; {24} this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: {25} They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. {26} And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. {27} Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity."

The Dream Is Fulfilled

{28} All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. {29} At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. {30} The king spoke, saying, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" {31} While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! {32} And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." {33} That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. {34} And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. {35} All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?" {36} At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. {37} Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Golden Text: (Daniel 4:2 NKJV) I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

All Questions: See Scripture Reading.

27. (Revelation 14:8 KJV) And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(Revelation 16:19 KJV) And the great city was divided into three parts, 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.
(Revelation 17:5 KJV) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
(Revelation 18:2 KJV) And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
(Revelation 18:10 KJV) 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.
Finality of Babylon's Fall
(Revelation 18:21 KJV) And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
(Numbers 14:34 KJV) After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
(Ezekiel 4:6 KJV) And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

30. Judah to serve Nebuchadnezzar

37. (Daniel 3:20-28 NKJV) And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. {21} Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. {22} Therefore, because the king's command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. {23} And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. {24} Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." {25} "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." {26} Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here." Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. {27} And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. {28} Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!

38. (Jeremiah 27 NKJV) In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, {2} "Thus says the LORD to me: 'Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, {3} 'and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. {4} 'And command them to say to their masters, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; thus you shall say to your masters: {5} 'I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. {6} 'And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. {7} 'So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them. {8} 'And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,' says the LORD, 'with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. {9} 'Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." {10} 'For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish. {11} 'But the nations that bring their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let them remain in their own land,' says the LORD, 'and they shall till it and dwell in it.'" ' " {12} I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, "Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live! {13} "Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? {14} "Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for they prophesy a lie to you; {15} "for I have not sent them," says the LORD, "yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you." {16} Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, "Behold, the vessels of the Lord's house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon"; for they prophesy a lie to you. {17} 'Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste? {18} 'But if they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.' {19} "For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city, {20} "which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; {21} "yes, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem: {22} 'They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the LORD. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.'"