Daniel 4:31 Index
While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, 'O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.'
Research Material

"While the word was in the king's mouth . . . "

  • In spite of the warning he received, Nebuchadnezzar went on in his own strength, till God took from him the talent of wisdom, that he might be led to see and acknowledge that the God of Israel was able to create and to destroy. The kings who succeeded him failed to profit by his experience, and the kingdom of Babylon passed away because, in their prosperity, her rulers forgot God, and ascribed her honor and glory to human achievement. So today, when men forget God and refuse to obey his law, they are humiliated. God tests them, and if they do not humble their hearts and confess their sins, they receive the penalty of transgression. (The Review and Herald article "Loyalty or Disloyalty?" February 6, 1900)

" . . . there fell a voice from heaven . . . "

  • The proud utterance is immediately followed by the king's humiliation. It is not stated whether this voice was heard by the king alone or whether his entourage also heard the heavenly words. (4BC 793)
  • The time had come for Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation. A voice from heaven again announced the threatened judgment, and divine providence proceeded immediately to execute it. His reason departed. No longer the pomp and glory of his great city charmed him. God with a touch of His finger took away his capability to appreciate and enjoy it. He forsook the dwellings of men, and sought a home and companionship among the beasts of the field. (US 85)
  • Even as he boasted, a voice from heaven pronounced the judgment foretold twelve months earlier. Nebuchadnezzar lost his reason and was driven into the fields to eat grass like an ox. (MM 61)

"...the kingdom is departed from thee." (Isaiah 42:18; 1 Peter 5:6; 1 Corinthians 1:28-36; Jeremiah 51:13Isaiah 13:19; Isaiah 14:23; Luke 12:20)

  • God's judgment against men can be halted by repentance and conversion (Isaiah 38:1, 2, 5; Jonah 3:1-10). God announced the impending judgment upon Nebuchadnezzar for this reason. He gave him a full year to repent and avoid the threatened calamity (Daniel 4:29). The king did not change his way of life, and thus brought upon himself the execution of this judgment. (KC 49)
  • When God can not save men in prosperity, he brings upon them adversity. If in all this they reject God, then they bring upon themselves destruction. Let the results be as they may, God is clear from all censure. This is illustrated by Nebuchadnezzar's case. The proud and powerful monarch no longer swayed the scepter. He became a maniac, and for seven years he was found with cattle, the companion of beasts, feeding as they fed. His reason dethroned, he was no longer regarded even as a man. The mandate had gone forth, "Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit." (Daniel 4:14) (SNH 66)
  • It is necessary in the cause of God and in the world, that men bear responsibility. But when men are lifted up in pride and depend upon worldly wisdom, God can no longer sustain them, and they fall. Nations and individuals alike have this experience. Even the professed Church of Christ, when it departs from the humility of the Master, loses its power, and will certainly be brought low. The people who glory in wealth, or intellect, or knowledge, or in anything save Jesus Christ, will be brought to confusion. In Christ alone "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:3). Every brilliant thought, every intellectual idea, which in any way brings greatness, originates with our Lord. It is God who is dealing with humanity. He rules. (SNH 66-67)
  • Every nation that has come upon the stage of action has been permitted to occupy its place on the earth, that it might be seen whether it would fulfill the purpose of “the Watcher and the Holy One (Daniel 4:23)” Prophecy has traced the rise and fall of the world's great empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with nations of less power, history repeated itself. Each had its period of test, each failed, its glory faded, its power departed, and its place was occupied by another... While the nations rejected God's principles, and in this rejection wrought their own ruin, it was still manifest that the divine, overruling purpose was working through all their movements.... The history of nations that one after another have occupied their allotted time and place, unconsciously witnessing to the truth of which they themselves knew not the meaning, speaks to us. To every nation and to every individual of today God has assigned a place in His great plan. Today men and nations are being measured by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes. (Ed 176-178)
  • 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)
  • As the beasts have no knowledge of God, and therefore do not acknowledge his sovereignty, so Nebuchadnezzar had been unmindful of God and his mercies. Prosperity and popularity had led him to feel independent of God, and to use for his own glory the talent of reason that God had entrusted to him. Messages of warning were sent to him, but he heeded them not. The heavenly Watcher took cognizance of the king's spirit and actions, and in a moment stripped the proud boaster of all that his Creator had given him. (The Youth's Instructor article "Nebuchadnezzar's Humiliation" March 28, 1905)