Answers for Daniel Chapter 4 Bible Study

About these Answers

Day One

Nebuchadnezzar

1.  Wow — isn’t this an interesting chapter of the Bible.  What do you see as unusual here Daniel chapter four?

First — the author.

It’s written as though it’s a letter from King Nebuchadnezzar — a pagan king!  It’s been noted that this “is the only chapter in Scripture composed under the authority of a pagan.”1

Secondly — the verb tense changes.

It jumps from 1st person (1-18, 19b-27), to third person (19a, 28-33), and then back to first person again (34-37). 

For the most part the material written in the third person (except v. 19a), describes the king’s madness, to which the king “would not have been a sane witness."2

  • Third — the viewpoint.

The chapter is written from Nebuchadnezzar’s viewpoint.3


2.  If we consider this chapter a proclamation by King Nebuchadnezzar, who is the audience and what’s the purpose of the proclamation?  

The audience is those of every people, nation, and language who live on the whole earth (verse 1).

The purpose is so that Nebuchadnezzar can inform them about the miracles and wonders the Most High God had done for him (verse 2).


Day Two

Daniel 4:3

1.  So what were the signs and wonders the king must have witnessed at the this point in his life that he mentions in verse two?

Chapter 2 — the king’s dream is revealed to Daniel as well as it’s interpretation

Chapter 3 — the rescue of from the fiery furnace of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego

Chapter 4 — the removal and restoration of both the king’s sanity and kingdom4


2.  In the context of the story, what was the sin Daniel encouraged King Nebuchadnezzar to turn from in verse 27? 

The sin was pride.  In verse 28, the king says: “Is this not Babylon the Great that I have built to be a royal residence by my vast power and for my majestic glory?” (CSB). 

God tells him that HE appoints kings and tells him that he should acknowledge that (vs 32).

Then, in verse 37, he says (about God): “He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” after he acknowledges this truth and repents from his pride. 

How ironic that the king who felt himself superior to other men had now sunk to a subhuman level.5


Day Three

The disease which the king was struck with is called “Lycanthropy” (lit., wolf-man).  This is where we get the idea of a werewolf and although the disease is rare, it has been observed as recently as 1946.6  

So, why did Nebuchadnezzar become (or think he was) a werewolf?

See verse 17 — so that the living will know that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms. 


Day Four

1. From the following verses, what does King Nebuchadnezzar say about God?

Verse 2:

  • he has done miracles and wonders for King Nebuchadnezzar

Verse 3:

  • his miracles are great 
  • his wonders are mighty 
  • his kingdom is eternal 
  • his dominion is from generation to generation

Verse 17:

  • he is ruer of human kingdoms
  • he gives kingdoms to whomever he wants
  • he sets the lowliest of people over kingdoms

Verse 34:

  • he lives forever
  • his dominion is an everlasting one
  • his kingdom is from generation to generation

Verse 35:

  • he does what he wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth 
  • there is no one who can block his hand or say to him “What have you done?”

Verse 37:

  • all his works are true
  • (all) his ways are just
  • his is able to humble those who walk in pride


2.  So what does this survey we just did tell us about King Nebuchadnezzar?

Of course the discussion here must turn to the question of the salvation of King Nebuchadnezzar.  The Bible doesn’t actually give us a clear distinct answer to this, however, we can see that Nebuchadnezzar recognizes that God is eternal, that he is sovereign, all powerful, true and just.  But it’s more than that isn’t it.  It’s clear that the king learns a good deal about himself also.

One commentator sums it up like this:

“At last Nebuchadnezzar had come to realize that Yahweh (“the Most High God”), not himself or the gods of Babylon, was sovereign. Through the experience recorded in this chapter, it was also graphically illustrated to him that his kingdom as well as his life could be taken away by the Lord at will.  

The king was now an old man and must have been acutely aware that soon death would bring an end to his life and thereby to his reign. Yet he acknowledged that Yahweh’s kingdom is “eternal” and “endures from generation to generation.”

Upon the lips of a pagan monarch, these affirmations concerning Israel’s God are truly incredible. Yet it is understandable considering the many ways in which Yahweh had demonstrated his reality and power to Nebuchadnezzar and the constant witness of Daniel in the court.”7

It seems fitting that as the king is reflecting back on his punishment for his pride and the God who imposed it — in the end the king says in verse 37, that all God’s ways are just. 

This is a remarkable declaration — an acknowledgement basically that he got what he deserved.


Day Five

Daniel 4:37

What’s the most remarkable thing to you about this story of Daniel chapter 4?

One man's answer

That God influences a pagan king to make a declaration to the entire known world that he is God almighty and he is sovereign, good, and true. 


Miller, Stephen R. 1994. Daniel (The New American Commentary). Vol. 18. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

2 Montgomery, Daniel, 223; cf. L. F. Hartman and A. A. Di Lella, The Book of Daniel, AB (Garden City: Doubleday, 1978), 174. Cf. J. Goldingay, Daniel, WBC (Dallas: Word, 1989), 82, 86.

3 Ibid

Miller, Stephen R. 1994. Daniel (The New American Commentary). Vol. 18. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

5 Ibid

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

We pray this Bible study of Daniel Chapter Four has blessed you.


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