Steller’s Sea-eagle at San Diego Zoo 2015 by Lee
“Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Daniel 4:33 NASB)
In the Birds of the Bible, we’ve written about this verse before Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers, but it came up again today. In our devotions this morning, we read chapter 8 of Daniel. Along with the reading from it, we were reading our notes from various Study Bibles.
Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) ©Wiki
Actually, the original article covers most of this about the king, but we read an interesting fact about his behavior. The fact that Nebuchadnezzar was eating grass like cattle is amazing.
This is from the King James Study Bible for Daniel “4:33. Two important questions arise from this incident: (1) Could it happen to a man? and (2) Could it have happened to Nebuchadnezzar? The answer to both questions is Yes. There is a mental illness known as zoanthropy in which a man thinks and acts like an animal. It is also called boanthropy, more specifically, when a man thinks of himself as an ox. In answer to the second question, this illness is not mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s annals, but one would not expect such a humiliating experience to be chronicled. On the other hand, his long reign of 43 years (605–562 b.c.) is more than long enough to include the lengthy sickness.”
Philippine Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus philippensis) ©Flickr Billy Lopue
I am not sure what his hair looked like, so I have added these interesting eagles with feathers that might give an example of the kings hair.
Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014
As for what his fingernails might have looked like, here are some bird’s claws:
Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) Feet by Lee at National Aviary
Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) on Right and Spotted Eagle-Owl on Left ©©
The best part of this Bible story of Nebuchadnezzar, is how this ends. He come to his senses, and looks toward heaven, as we all should:
Daniel 8:34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
36 At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Links and scripture from Bible Gateway)
Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers
Birds of the Bible
Birds of the Bible – Eagles
The Wise Owl