“Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. The messenger shouted, “Cut down the tree and lop off its branches! Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit! Chase the wild animals from its shade and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass. Now let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the wild animals among the plants of the field.” Daniel 4:13-15
The heavenly messenger cried aloud to the unnamed listeners, calling for the tree to be almost completely destroyed, with only the stump remaining. But the instructions given for this stump indicate that the tree will be revived later. The purpose of the stump’s band of iron and bronze is not clear, unless perhaps it helped preserve the stump by preventing it from either splitting or rotting, or from being removed. The band may also be symbolic of the insanity that would soon afflict Nebuchadnezzar and hold him symbolically in chains. The fact that the stump is to be surrounded by the grass of the field, to be wet with dew, and to have its portion with the animals describes what Nebuchadnezzar would experience during his insanity. The leaving of the stump is showing that the Gentile Emprises will raise again in the last days.
Like most kings – ancient and modern – Nebuchadnezzar wanted to believe that he ruled instead of God or anyone else. Both the Assyrian and the Babylonian kings thought of themselves as rulers over all the earth, so describing themselves in their inscriptions. Our leaders today are the same. Just like the Kings they feel that they can handle anything they don’t need help from God. Most of them don’t even acknowledge that there is a God. Just as we see in Nebuchadnezzar, God will show them that He is in control not them.