The Daniel chapter 4 prophecy discusses the chopping down of a Great Strong
Tree and the passing of a period of '7 times'.
Although the text connects the great tree to the kingdom of Babylon, some
have considered this to be an allusion to a judgment upon Gentile nations
and some others have considered this to be depicting a judgment upon God's
The children of Israel were a tree planted by God:
Psalm 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, Our fathers
have told us, The deeds You did in their days,
In days of old:
:2 You drove out the nations with Your hand, But
them You planted; You afflicted the peoples,
and cast them out.
:3 For they did not gain possession of the land by
their own sword, Nor did their own arm save them;
But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the
light of Your countenance, Because You favored them.
80:8 You have brought a vine out of Egypt; You have
cast out the nations, and planted it.
:9 You prepared room for it, And caused it to take
deep root, And it filled the land.
:10 The hills were covered with its shadow, And the
mighty cedars with its boughs.
:11 She sent out her boughs to the Sea, And her
branches to the River.
Jer 11:16 The LORD called your name, Green Olive Tree,
Lovely and of Good Fruit. With the noise of a
great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and
its branches are broken.
:17 For the LORD of hosts, who planted you, has
pronounced doom against you for the evil of
the house of Israel and of the house of Judah,
which they have done against themselves to
provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.
The Daniel chapter 4 prophecy highlights that a watcher at one point
decrees the tree would be cut down.
The house of Israel was the first house to be removed by God, refer
2Kings 17:18. In respect to the house of Judah, God announced the removal
of the treasures in 2Kings 20:16-18, but the destruction of the house was
decreed in 2Kings 21:12-15. Even following the righteous reign of Josiah,
God would not change His mind (2Kings 23:26).
There is little doubt that the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by
the Babylonians was a key event, but it does not mean that the bands of
iron and bronze were placed on the stump at that time.
Many have realized that the '7 times' of Daniel 4:16, apart from marking
the passing of 7 years for Nebuchadnezzar, could easily be representing:
7 years x 360(days per year) = 2,520 years.
The bands of bronze and iron link the great tree prophecy to the great
image prophecy of Daniel chapter 2. Bronze and iron are the last two
metals of the great image. So the indication is that the start of the
image's bronze kingdom is the start of the banding of the great tree.
A possible period of 2,520 years.
The starting and ending points of the span of 2,520 years can only be
verified through the study of biblical chronology. The biblical chronology
presented in this site indicates the 2520 year period began following the
70 years of captivity to Babylon. At the time the Jews returned to rebuild
The era of 2520 years may be depicted in the book of Revelation in verses
Rev 11:2 & 13:5 as "42 months". In the context of Revelation chapter 13
it is apparent the period does not begin until the 'near mortal wound'
is healed, until the release from Babylonian captivity.
In the past the period of 2,520 years has been viewed from the perspective
of the Gentile kingdoms of Greece and Rome (in accord with the surface
teaching of Daniel chapter 2). However, the Gentile kingdoms of Greece
and Rome can not be neatly connected to the end-time or the period of
2,520 years. Actually, the 'nations' are not Gentile nations, but the
nations of faith (in accord with the promises made to Abraham, Gen 17:5,
"I have made you a father of many nations").
This revised perspective also allows a direct connection to the period
of 2,520 years. The bronze and iron bands being those of the Jewish
(post-Babylon) and Christian eras.
Whichever way the prophecy is viewed, it is important
to realize that upon completion of the allotted time
(with the bands having been removed) a branch would
spring from the stump.
Isa 11:1 There shall come forth a Rod (or shoot) from the
stem (or trunk) of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
Jer 23:5 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD,
"That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment
and righteousness in the earth."
Zec 3:8 ... For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the
Zec 6:12 ... "Behold, the Man whose name is the Branch!
From His place He shall branch out, And He shall
build the temple of the LORD;
This 'Branch' will again bring into existence the great tree.
In summary, the prophecy of the great tree is an outline of the history and
future of the work of God.