BOOK OF DANIEL – The Watcher Speaks

Posted by on Sep 12, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Watcher Speaks

The Watcher Speaks

As we read Daniel 4:14-16 we hear what the angel of God says, “He shouted out and spoke as follows: Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; Let the beasts flee from under it And the birds from its branches. “Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, But with a band of iron and bronze around it In the new grass of the field; And let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, And let him share with the beasts in the grass of the earth. “Let his mind be changed from that of a man And let a beast’s mind be given to him, And let seven periods of time pass over him.” (NASB) What we are witnessing in the passage here is what is going to happen to the tree. As we break this passage down you will clearly see this is a metaphorical message that is applied to someone.

Verse fourteen – The tree is referring metaphorically to a person of high office who falls from power. However, there appears to be some hope of preservation in the next verse.

Verse fifteen – Here again is hope of the tree having some restoration. An arboriculturist [someone who is trained in the cultivation and management of trees] will tell you that a tree stump can produce sprouts with some being able to become viable trees themselves. The contents of this dream do not speak of new trees being formed from the one cut down. As to the band of iron and bronze, there is no specific explanation. Most scholars assume this implies that the stump is given a certain amount of protection by this action. The purpose of this is, again, implies restoration. The stump being left alone in the new grass of the field and drenched with the dew of heaven also implies some sought of preservation. The tree metaphorically represents a man and this man is to abide with the beasts in the grass. New grass in the field and wet with the dew of heaven is explained further in Daniel’s explanation later in the chapter.

Verse sixteen – The command orders that this man’s mind becomes that of a beast of the field and that this continues for seven periods of time. This is a clear reference to insanity. Whoever this poor individual is they are going to lose their mind.

In summary, as Nebuchadnezzar relates the dream to Daniel he tells him what the watcher has ordered to occur. The tree is cut down and stripped of its mightiness, power, and beauty. It is no longer a safe haven for all those who dwelt under it. All that is left is a stump. But there is hope. The roots have been ordered to remain in the ground meaning it has not been completely uprooted and destroyed. It is bound by a metal band to protect it and it sits in a field of new grass and is wet by the dew of heaven. But then this tree is identified as a man and worse, he loses his sanity for a period of seven times. On this note, many theologians claim this means seven years. I share that view based on the confirmation of prophecy where this phrase is used in relation to a period of time at the end of the tribulation period. But, to be fair, I have to make the point that the Aramaic word used in the original text never says years but times. The thirteen occurrences of this word, iddah, all appear in the book of Daniel. Not until we get into more prophecy as it relates to God’s kingdom in Daniel chapter seven will we see that the New Testament which, of course, is written in Koine Greek, do we see the same phrase used as times. However, when we get to chapter seven I will clearly show you via other Scriptures how the times used in Daniel chapter seven (which uses the same Aramaic word in Daniel 4:16) are identified as years. To suggest times in Daniel 4:16 are different in any way to times used in Daniel 7:25 would be somewhat mute. Only when we consult the Greek New Testament and see the same phrase used and then cross reference that with further Scripture can we conclude years are being referred to as to the time element. If you’re confused, don’t be. All will be made clear as we proceed.