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I praised the Most High;
I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
The Moody Bible
Commentary describes Babylon as “the most glorious city of the ancient
world . . . Nebuchadnezzar was a great builder and expanded the city . . . He
also beautified it with magnificent buildings, temples, and palaces . . . On
the northwest corner of the king’s primary palace sat one of the Seven Wonders
of the World, the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon. . . Perhaps it was on the
roof of the Hanging Gardens with a view of his glorious city that
Nebuchadnezzar became filled with pride.”
God had warned
Nebuchadnezzar in a dream that his pride would be humbled. He even
specifically warned him that he would have the “mind of an animal” (v. 16).
Through God’s judgment, the prideful king, pictured as an enormous tree, would
be chopped down and learn the hard way about God’s greatness (vv. 17, 25).
Daniel interpreted the dream and advised Nebuchadnezzar to “renounce your
sins” and seek God’s mercy (v. 27). The king may have responded in the short
term, but a year later he arrogantly asserted his own glory and brought
judgment upon himself (vv. 29–32). For seven years, he suffered mental
illness, apparently “boanthropy,” before he learned his lesson and was
restored to the throne.
Today’s reading is a letter from
Nebuchadnezzar narrating these events, and he intended it to be read throughout
his empire. It’s essentially a public confession, no doubt influenced by
Daniel. Praise for God opens and closes the letter, emphasizing His impressive
attributes of eternality, sovereignty, and omnipotence (vv. 2–3, 34–35). The
Old Testament repeatedly emphasizes God’s sovereignty over all nations, as
we’ve seen throughout our study this month. As Nebuchadnezzar’s case shows,
not even the ruler of an empire can oppose the King of kings (vv. 37–38)!
Apply the Word
The Moody Bible Commentary is a recently published resource that
will prove helpful to you in your personal Bible study. With input from thirty
professors from Moody Bible Institute, this commentary offers background and
exegesis from Genesis to Revelation. Learn more and download Romans for free at
Pray with Us
Joe Gozales, Nok Prukpitikul, and Cherie Carson in Student Programs
minister to our students with various on- and off-campus events. Would you pray
for creativity for the team, as well as good teamwork for the staff and the