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Daniel 4:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

While the word was in the king's mouth - How awful to a victorious and proud king: "Thy kingdom is departed from thee!" All thy goods and gods are gone in a moment!

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

While the word was in the king‘s mouth - In the very act of speaking - thus showing that there could be no doubt as to the connection between the crime and the punishment.

There fell a voice from heaven - There came a voice; or, perhaps, it seemed to fall as a thunderbolt. It was uttered above him, and appeared to come from heaven. There was an important sense in which it did fall from heaven, for it was the voice of God.

Saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken - For you it is particularly intended; or what is predicted is now spoken to thee.

The kingdom is departed from thee - Thou art about to cease to reign. Up to this time he retained his reason, that he might distinctly understand the source from where the judgment was to come, and why it was brought upon him, and that he might be prepared, when he should be recovered from his insanity, to testify clearly to the origin and the nature of the judgment. The Codex Chisianus has an important “addition” to what is said here, which, though of no authority, as having nothing corresponding to it in the original text, yet states what is in itself not improbable. It is as follows: “And at the end of what he was saying, he heard a voice from heaven, To thee it is spoken, O king Nebuchadnezzar, the kingdom of Babylon shall be taken away from thee, and shall be given to another, a man despised or of no rank - ἐξουθενημένῳ ἀνθρώπῳ exouthenēmenō anthrōpō - in thy house. Behold, I will place him over thy kingdom, and thy power, and thy glory, and thy luxury - τὴν τρυφήν tēn truphēn - he shall receive, until thou shalt know that the God of heaven has authority over the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will: but until the rising of the sun another king shall rejoice in thy house, and shall possess thy power, and thy strength, and thine authority, and the angels shall drive thee away for seven years, and thou shalt not be seen, and shalt not speak with any man, but they shall feed thee with grass as oxen, and from the herb of the field shall be thy support.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Pride and self-conceit are sins that beset great men. They are apt to take that glory to themselves which is due to God only. While the proud word was in the king's mouth, the powerful word came from God. His understanding and his memory were gone, and all the powers of the rational soul were broken. How careful we ought to be, not to do any thing which may provoke God to put us out of our senses! God resists the proud. Nebuchadnezzar would be more than a man, but God justly makes him less than a man. We may learn to believe concerning God, that the most high God lives for ever, and that his kingdom is like himself, everlasting, and universal. His power cannot be resisted. When men are brought to honour God, by confession of sin and acknowledging his sovereignty, then, and not till then, they may expect that God will honour them; not only restore them to the dignity they lost by the sin of the first Adam, but add excellent majesty to them, from the righteousness and grace of the Second Adam. Afflictions shall last no longer than till they have done the work for which they were sent. There can be no reasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and an accepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more than a year after his restoration. Thus the Lord knows how to abase those that walk in pride, but gives grace and consolation to the humble, broken-hearted sinner who calls upon Him.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 533

To the last ruler of Babylon, as in type to its first, had come the sentence of the divine Watcher: “O king, ... to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.” Daniel 4:31. PK 533.1

“Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of
Babylon,
Sit on the ground: there is no throne....
Sit thou silent,
And get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans:
For thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.
PK 533.2

“I was wroth with My people,
I have polluted Mine inheritance, and given them into
thine hand:
Thou didst show them no mercy; ...
PK 533.3

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Ellen G. White
Education, 174-6

God has revealed in His law the principles that underlie all true prosperity both of nations and of individuals. “This is your wisdom and your understanding,” Moses declared to the Israelites of the law of God. “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life.” Deuteronomy 4:6; 32:47. The blessings thus assured to Israel are, on the same conditions and in the same degree, assured to every nation and every individual under the broad heavens. Ed 174.1

The power exercised by every ruler on the earth is Heaven-imparted; and upon his use of the power thus bestowed, his success depends. To each the word of the divine Watcher is, “I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me.” Isaiah 45:5. And to each the words spoken to Nebuchadnezzar of old are the lesson of life: “Break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” Daniel 4:27. Ed 174.2

To understand these things,—to understand that “righteousness exalteth a nation;” that “the throne is established by righteousness” and “upholden by mercy” (Proverbs 14:34; 16:12; Proverbs 20:28); to recognize the outworking of these principles in the manifestation of His power who “removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Daniel 2:21),—this is to understand the philosophy of history. Ed 175.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 162

*****

Extract from a letter written in 1898 from Cooranbong, New South Wales.—My brother, the Lord God of Israel must be your counselor. Satan has come down with great power to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. Lean hard on Christ. You have worked untiringly to bring about good results. Do not now make mistakes. Never, never seek to remove one landmark that the Lord has given His people. The truth stands firmly established on the eternal Rock—a foundation that storm and tempest can never move. 8T 162.1

Remember that just as soon as you allow your influence to lead away from the straight and narrow path that the Lord has cast up for His people, your prosperity will cease; for God will not be your guide. Again and again the record of Nebuchadnezzar's life has been presented to me to present to you, that you may be warned not to trust in your own wisdom or to make flesh your arm. Do not lower the banner of truth or allow it to drop from your hands in order to unite with the solemn message for these last days anything that will tend to hide the peculiar features of our faith. 8T 162.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 514-22

This chapter is based on Daniel 4.

Exalted to the pinnacle of worldly honor, and acknowledged even by Inspiration as “a king of kings” (Ezekiel 26:7). Nebuchadnezzar nevertheless at times had ascribed to the favor of Jehovah the glory of his kingdom and the splendor of his reign. Such had been the case after his dream of the great image. His mind had been profoundly influenced by this vision and by the thought that the Babylonian Empire, universal though it was, was finally to fall, and other kingdoms were to bear sway, until at last all earthly powers were to be superseded by a kingdom set up by the God of heaven, which kingdom was never to be destroyed. PK 514.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 126-7

Paul says further: “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Verses 14, 15. One of the lessons that we are to learn in the school of Christ is that the Lord's love for us is far greater than that of our earthly parents. We are to have unquestioning faith and perfect confidence in Him. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Verses 16, 17. 8T 126.1

May the Lord help you, as a diligent student in the school of Christ, to learn to lay your burdens on Jesus. And if you are free in His love, you will look above and away from these annoying trials. Think of what Jesus has endured for you, and never forget that it is part of the legacy that we have received as Christians, to be partakers with Him of His sufferings, that we may be partakers with Him of His glory. 8T 126.2

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