On Nebuchadnezzar

For first, in the vision of the statue, he was compared to gold, which is better than everything that is administered in the world.

In the vision of the beasts he was compared to a lion which is superior in its might to all other beasts.

He was compared again to an eagle which is more glorious than all other birds.

Whatever is written about him has been fulfilled in him. For the Lord said about him, “I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all the nations, and they will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. I have even given him the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven to serve him” (Jer 28.14; 25.11).

For when the king was like the head of gold, men served him like a king, and when he went out to the desert, the beasts served him as a lion.

When his hair was like that of an eagle, birds of heaven served him like an eagle.

When his heart was raised and he did not know that the power had been given to him from heaven, the yoke of iron was broken from the neck of the sons of men and he went out with the beasts, and instead of the heart of the kind, the heart of a lion was given to him.

When he became exalted over the beasts, the heart of a lion was removed from him and the heart of a bird was given to him.

When wings emerged from him like those of an eagle, he exalted himself over the birds, and then the wings were also pulled out and lowly heart was given to him.

When he recognized that the Most High had power in the kingdom of man to give ti to whom He wishes, then he sang praise as a man.

St Aphrahat. Demonstration V (On Wars), § 16

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