We have several times in the past discussed Daniel 4 as an example of God cutting off all effectiveness and prosperity when men decline away from Him (truth) into delusion. Their corrupted thinking tells them national achievement and elevation is due to man’s efforts apart from God, or attributable to mere coincidence lacking any intentioned formula. This has been and remains the case with our nation.
Daniel 4 speaks of this “cutting off” in very similar terms to those we’ve been discussing in recent days. It speaks of it as the great tree cut off and only the stump remaining. It tells of this stump being in a field of grass, of the ruler eating this grass as an ox, and the dew of heaven being upon him until seven times have passed over him. The event begins with a decreed by the LORD that follows the ruler’s pronouncement of his own greatness building the kingdom. It ends with him realizing Almighty God’s hand does intervene in man’s government and all their affairs.
22 It is you, O king, that are grown and become strong: for your greatness is grown, and reaches unto heaven, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
25 That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will.
26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; your kingdom shall be sure unto you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule.
27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of your tranquility.
28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
30 The king spoke, and said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?”
31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from you.
32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make you to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will.
33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, “What are you doing?”
36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
The “dew of heaven” upon the king (him exemplifying the ruling establishment) is the water that appears as if a covering from heaven (of unknown origin). It is the seemingly unconnected occurrences in the world, which alone appear pointless, but when seen and understood in the context of the compounded picture the meaning beings to become apparent and recognizable. Here it is the time of correction between the time when a falling away has occurred and the nation cut off, and the return of understanding and the re-cognition of the reality of God’s necessarily being involved and integral.
When Daniel 4:24 tells of the decree that comes from the LORD it uses the Chaldean word gezerah (gzerah). It is from the root word gazar, meaning to cut down; and adding the suffix ah, meaning Yah (Jehovah), it is fully understood as meaning here, cut off by Jehovah.
Deuteronomy 33 speaks of the dew of heaven twice, the first being to begin Joseph’s portion of the blessing from Moses before his death. Remember, Joseph is the example of the one cut off from His brothers; also after his death began the affliction of God’s people. He is Just Rule even before there is a nation state, and it is quickly forgotten once he dies.
The name Joseph means the to add to. We are told that when Joseph was born it was said, “The LORD shall add to me another son.” This is also the point when Jacob decides he should return to His land. (Genesis 30:23 – 25)
When Deuteronomy 33 speaks of “the dew” of heaven it is telling of God’s promise of His providential hand always being involved in in every, seemingly, minor event, and the focus of all these will be to keep us safe, and when needed, when we stop listening, or forget, to bring us back to Himself.
The chapter mentions the dew in verse 13, which begins by telling of the “precious things of heaven,” that will bless the land of Joseph. Just after it references the dew as one of the blessings it follow with “and for the deep that crouches beneath.”
13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that couches beneath,
14 And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon,
15 And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,
16 And for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.
17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
Those who study along with us know when the sun and the moon are spoken of it is telling of church and civil governments as God intended them to shine and reflect His light on the earth. When they do so it is in the form of justice and equality as God defines it; when it becomes or is the perverted form under unjust and evil men, as it is here now, the sun and moon have become darkened, no longer shining God’s light on the earth. The ancient mountains are the ways of God’s wisdom and what truly elevates man to his intended heights, and are “the precious things of the lasting hills.”
The return of understanding comes through recognizing the one who was separated from his brothers. This happen as it did with Joseph’s elevation through the deep things of the LORD, and as with Daniel and His interpretation of the crouching [laying there in wait] things of these same depths.
The Hebrew word translated “deep” in Deuteronomy 33:13 is thowm. It is the same “deep” that the Spirit of God moved upon to begin creation, recorded in Genesis 1:2. It the same fountains of the “deep” that was broken up that began the deluge, recorded in Genesis 7:11. They are the “depths” that overflowed the army of Egypt, as they with hardened hearts thought they were chasing after God’s people to destroy them, and were themself destroyed, written in Exodus 15:5. It is the “depth” whose course (chuwg – compass) was established at the creation, and is testified to by God’s wisdom in Proverbs 8:27. It is the place where God preserves and keeps in store His life giving waters, to be separated from the fouled and corrupted waters of men, when He decides “it is enough.”
The word thown means abyss, as in a surging mass of water. In this we see the meaning of Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince [rulers] that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary [place of moon and sun]; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he [the rulers] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation [conclusion], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
That which is “poured out” and why it is are defined earlier in the chapter in verse 11.
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 And I set my face unto the LORD God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O LORD, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and from your judgments:
6 Neither have we hearkened unto your servants the prophets, which spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
7 O LORD, righteousness belongs unto you, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither you has driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you.
8 O LORD, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
9 To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him;
10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed your law, even by departing, that they might not obey your voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
12 And he has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven has not been done as has been done upon Jerusalem.
13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand your truth.
14 Therefore has the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
15 And now, O LORD our God, that has brought your people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and has gotten you renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
16 O LORD, according to all your righteousness, I beseech you, let your anger and your fury be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of your servant, and his supplications, and cause your face to shine upon your sanctuary that is desolate, for the LORD’s sake.
18 O my God, incline your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by your name: for we do not present our supplications before you for our righteousness, but for your great mercies.
19 O LORD, hear; O LORD, forgive; O LORD, hearken and do; defer not, for your own sake, O my God: for your city and your people are called by your name.
20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of your supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [The seven times of the dew of heaven’s correction.]
In verse 2 above Daniel mention understanding the seventy years that Jeremiah spoke of. It is a direct reference to a cutting off and return, and understanding what is written in Jeremiah 29:11 is what causes Daniel’s prayer. He understands it is the LORD’s intention to do us good and prosper us, and this END is Daniel’s focus. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Remember, Jeremiah means Jehovah rising up.
4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon [confusion];
5 Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
6 Take you wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that you may be increased there, and not diminished.
7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall you have peace.
8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.
9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, says the LORD.
10 For thus says the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
14 And I will be found of you, says the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, says the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
15 Because you have said, The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon;
16 Know that thus says the LORD of the king that sits upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwell in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:
19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, says the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, says the LORD.
20 Hear you therefore the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:
21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab [literally meaning – not a friend] the son of Kolaiah [voice of Yah – falsely claiming to speak for Jehovah], and of Zedekiah [the ruler – who should have been as his name – equity and prosperity of Yah] the son of Maaseiah [work of Yah – but not], which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon [confusion]; and he shall slay them before your eyes;
22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
23 Because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and have spoken lying words in My name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, says the LORD.