“I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve. Now tell me what my dream means. “‘While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed. I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth. The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see. It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. All the world was fed from this tree.” Daniel 4:9-12
The manner in which the King referred to Daniel did not mean that Daniel was part of the magicians. But rather that he was recognized as having more wisdom than all the magicians. Remember that Belteshazzar is Daniel’s Babylon name. The King used this name because Daniel was known in Babylon by this name.
This tree is symbolic of the Babylonian Empire, the empire stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Cataracts of the Nile into Asia Minor. As we can see, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream depicts the tree in specific detail. Nebuchadnezzar described the tree as growing, becoming very strong and very high until it was visible all over the earth, obviously exceeding the possibilities of any ordinary tree. It had abundant foliage, and it bore enough fruit that “all flesh was fed from it.” Symbolically, it included mankind as under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar as Nebuchadnezzar described his dream, the tree was pictured as growing, and becoming very strong and very high until it was visible all over the earth, obviously exceeding the possibilities of any ordinary tree. Abundant foliage characterized the tree, and it bore much fruit so that it provided for both beast and fowl and “all flesh fed of it.” This obviously included all beasts and fowls. Whether or not it was intended to apply literally to men is open to question, but symbolically it included mankind as under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. This rule was about to change. God was showing Nebuchadnezzar’s end was in sight.