Brit-Am Biblical Commentaries
The Book of
Like a Wild Beast!
Lycanthropy and the World Emperor!
[Daniel 4:1] NEBUCHADNEZZAR THE KING, UNTO ALL PEOPLE, NATIONS, AND LANGUAGES, THAT DWELL IN ALL THE EARTH; PEACE BE MULTIPLIED UNTO YOU.
In some chapter arrangements (such as that usually used in Hebrew Editions but actually borrowed from Christian translations) this fourth chapter of Daniel in the King James is 3:31 and continues to 3:34 when 4:1 is the equivalent of 4:4 below in this chapter.
[Daniel 4:2] I THOUGHT IT GOOD TO SHEW THE SIGNS AND WONDERS THAT THE HIGH GOD HATH WROUGHT TOWARD ME.
[It is to be noted that the originally Hebrew chapter and verse arrangement is somewhat different from that which is commonly employed and has a logic and significance of its own which is usually overlooked and we ourselves do not usually go into].
NEBUCHADNEZZAR in his own words relates an event that occurred to him and declares it to all his subjects.
[Daniel 4:3] 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.
[Daniel 4:4] I NEBUCHADNEZZAR WAS AT REST IN MINE HOUSE, AND FLOURISHING IN MY PALACE
[Daniel 4:5] I SAW A DREAM WHICH MADE ME AFRAID, AND THE THOUGHTS UPON MY BED AND THE VISIONS OF MY HEAD TROUBLED ME.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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
[Daniel 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.
<<TROUBLETH>>: Aramaic "Anis" related to Hebrew "Anus" (forced) meaning that no secret will be too forceful or strong for you not to be able to reveal it.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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:
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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;
<<A WATCHER AND AN HOLY ONE>>: "Ir VeKadish" Literally a Watcher and a Holy One as translated BUT the letter "Ve" used for "and" can also mean something like "which" and therefore the whole phrase is applicable to one being. Daat Mikra (Yehuda Kiel and Shmuel HaKohen) explain these words to mean "A Holy Watcher"
[Daniel 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:
[Daniel 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:
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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 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;
[Daniel 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:
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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;
[Daniel 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:
[Daniel 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 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.
[Daniel 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.
By doing charity etc the threatened punishment could be averted. We should all take this warning to heart. We all have a tendency to liken ourselves as equal to our neighbors but this can be deceptive. It may be that in some way or other we are more guilty than they or that more is expected of us. Therefore we should try and do our best when we can with what we can.
[Daniel 4:28] ALL THIS CAME UPON THE KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR.
[Daniel 4:29] AT THE END OF TWELVE MONTHS HE WALKED IN THE PALACE OF THE KINGDOM OF BABYLON.
[Daniel 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?
The decree had already gone out but it only went into effect at the time of transgression with excessive pride.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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.
Nebuchadnezzar may have been afflicted with a known mental illness called Lycanthropy.
Here are extracts concerning this disease:
In other words according to the above extract the afflicted person really does suffer from physical changes in their brain, i.e. in their consciousness and it may be that as far as they are concerned they become like animals.
There is also a mental illness called lycanthropy in which a patient believes he or she is, or has transformed into, an animal and behaves accordingly. This is sometimes referred to as clinical lycanthropy to distinguish it from its use in legends.
A Case of Lycanthropy
Harvey Rostenstock, M.D. and Kenneth R. Vincent, Ed.D.
The American Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 134, No. 10. October 1977
Lycanthropy, a psychosis in which the patient has delusions of being a wild animal (usually a wolf), has been recorded since antiquity. The Book of Daniel describes King Nebuchadnezzar as suffering from depression that deteriorated over a seven-year period into a frank psychosis at which time he imagined himself a wolf. Among the first medical descriptions were those of Paulus Aegineta during the later days of the Roman Empire. In his description of the symptom complex, Aegineta made reference to Greek mythology in which Zeus turned King Lycaon of Arcadia into a raging wolf. Thereafter, references to lycanthropy appeared in the ancient literature. Many medieval theologians envisioned lycanthropy as a consequence of the evil eye.
Delusions of being a wolf or some other feared animal are universal and, although rare in the industrialized countries, still occur in China, India, Africa, and Central and South America. The animals in the delusioned transformation include leopards, lions, elephants, crocodiles, sharks, buffalo, eagles, and serpents.
Not infrequently, bizarre and chaotic sexuality is expressed in a primitive way through the lycanthropic symptom complex. Patients whose internal fears exceed their coping mechanisms may externalize them via projection and constitute a serious threat to others. Throughout the ages, such individuals have been feared because of their tendencies to commit bestial acts and were themselves hunted and killed by the populace. Many of these people were paranoid schizophrenics.
One important factor may be differences or changes in parts of the brain known to be involved in representing body shape (e.g. see proprioception, body image). A brain imaging study4 of two people diagnosed with clinical lycanthropy showed that these areas display unusual activation, suggesting that when people report their bodies are changing shape, they may be genuinely perceiving those feelings. Body image distortions are not unknown in mental and neurological illness, so this may help explain at least part of the process. One further puzzle is why an affected person doesn't simply report that their body "feels like it is changing in odd ways", rather than presenting with a delusional belief that they are changing into a specific animal. There is much evidence that psychosis is more than just odd perceptual experiences so perhaps lycanthropy is the result of these unusual bodily experiences being understood by an already mixed-up mind, perhaps filtered through the lens of cultural traditions and ideas.
[Daniel 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:
[Daniel 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?
No-one can say to God Almighty why HE acts as HE does. The Book of Daniel appears to be relatively wordy but it is full of Wisdom.
[Daniel 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.
[Daniel 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.
According to the simple meaning of Scripture Nebuchadnezzar was followed by his son Belshazzar. Conventional History says that after the death of Nebuchadnezzar there were a few unsuccessful successors until Nabonidus took over, married a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar and he was the father of Belshazzar. They also say that during the last year of the life of Nabonidus Belshazzar ruled with him as co-regent. These are all reconstructions and for all we know may be correct but the simple Biblical account fits the facts better.
Our impression is that Nabonidus was also called Nebuchadnezzar.
It may be that since Nebuchadnezzar was made a Deity in his lifetime the Babylonian Chroniclers ascribed to "Nabonidus" (also known as Nebuchadnezzar) the less favorable aspects of the reign of the first Nebuchadnezzar.
Nabonidus is also recalled in the Dead Sea Scrolls:
Words of the prayer, said by Nabonidus, king of Babylonia, the great king, when afflicted with an ulcer on command of the most high God in Tem:
'I, Nabonidus, was afflicted with an evil ulcer for seven years, and far from men is was driven, until I prayed to the most high God. And an exorcist pardoned my sins. He was a Jew from among the children of the exile of Judah, and said: "Recount this in writing to glorify and exalt the name of the most high God." Then I wrote this: "When I was afflicted for seven years by the most high God with an evil ulcer during my stay at Tem, I prayed to the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood, stone and lime, because I thought and considered them gods..."'
Tema is in Arabia.
The [Babylonian] Chronicle of Nabonidus tells us the story of the rule of the last king of independent Babylonia. ...we learn that Nabonidus was not in Babylon for ten years. Instead, he seems to have tried to subject Arabia. In year three he conquered the kingdom Edom, which controls the direct road from Babylon to the Gulf of Aqaba. From year seven until year sixteen, Nabonidus stayed in the oasis of Tema in the Arabian desert, from where he could easily go as far south as the oasis Iatribu (modern Medina).
We find that the Biblical Accounts are more accurate than those of the nations spoken of themselves.
The Babylonian Chronicles says that Nabonidus "who after ruling only three years, went to the oasis of Tema and devoted himself to the worship of the moon god, Sin."
It may be that the pagan scribes did not wish to admit that their monarch had acknowledged to God of Israel so they ascribed to him the worship of the moon god.
What exactly happened is not sure. Tema in Arabia shortly after the sojourn of Nabonidus (Nebuchadnezzar?) appears to have been mostly settled by Jews or by Arabs who had converted to Judaism as noted in an edition of the archaeological publication "Eretz Israel".
After the Persians conquered Babylon the Babylonians unsuccessfully revolted several times and their leaders were referred to as Nebuchadnezzar-iii and Nebuchadnezzar-iv