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4The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then, as I watched, its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a human being; and a human mind was given to it.

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4. lion—the symbol of strength and courage; chief among the kingdoms, as the lion among the beasts. Nebuchadnezzar is called "the lion" (Jer 4:7).

eagle's wings—denoting a widespread and rapidly acquired (Isa 46:11; Jer 4:13; La 4:19; Hab 1:6) empire (Jer 48:40).

plucked—Its ability for widespread conquests passed away under Evil-merodach, &c. [Grotius]; rather, during Nebuchadnezzar's privation of his throne, while deranged.

it was lifted up from the earth—that is, from its grovelling bestiality.

made stand … as a man—So long as Nebuchadnezzar, in haughty pride, relied on his own strength, he forfeited the true dignity of man, and was therefore degraded to be with the beasts. Da 4:16: "Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him." But after he learned by this sore discipline that "the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men" (Da 4:35, 36), the change took place in him, "a man's heart is given to him; instead of his former beast's heart, he attains man's true position, namely, to be consciously dependent on God." Compare Ps 9:20.