Daniel 4:17 meaning

The angel finishes telling Nebuchadnezzar what will happen. Here he tells him why it will happen.

King Nebuchadnezzar has had another dream that disturbed him and that his wise men were unable to interpret. He has been recounting what his dream was about. He saw a mighty tree that provided for many animals, then saw it cut down with the roots left in tact. Now Nebuchadnezzar will learn why what he saw in his dream will occur.

The events that will happen to Nebuchadnezzar are by the decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones. God himself has commanded that these events will occur. Nebuchadnezzar had placed himself over God in Daniel Chapter 3 by commanding his entire kingdom to bow down and worship his statue. Although Nebuchadnezzar has recognized that God is powerful and holy, it seems that God is not done teaching him and all the living that the Most High is the ruler over the realm of mankind. He bestows the realm on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men.

God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to capture Israel in order to teach them that when they disobey Him there are consequences (Jeremiah 25:8-14). Now God is going to use Nebuchadnezzar to show everyone that He is in control, including the King. God is trying to teach Israel and Nebuchadnezzar that disobedience results in consequences, but the consequences are meant to bring about obedience which is for our good.

17This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers
And the decision is a command of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
And bestows it on whom He wishes
And sets over it the lowliest of men.”

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