17 But to Adam he said, “Because you obeyed your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ the ground is cursed because of you; in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, but you will eat the grain of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat food until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you will return.”
24 this is the interpretation, O king. It is the decision of the Most High that this has happened to my lord the king. 25 You will be driven from human society, and you will live with the wild animals. You will be fed grass like oxen, and you will become damp with the dew of the sky. Seven periods of time will pass by for you before you understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives them to whomever he wishes. 26 They said to leave the taproot of the tree, for your kingdom will be restored to you when you come to understand that heaven rules.
Notes and References
"... We should note that Genesis 3:18, requiring Adam to eat plants of the open country, would very likely conjure up in the mind of ancient readers or hearers the famous story of king Nebuchadnezzar, who was transformed from a human being into an animal for seven years. The story is found in Daniel 4, and tells how the king had dreamt of a great tree joining heaven and earth, affording food and shelter for all the animals: this tree was cut down, and only its stump remained. Daniel had explained the dream as signifying that the king, who is symbolized by the tree, would be driven away from human beings as a punishment for his hubris in refusing to recognize the divine sovereignty. In the event, Nebuchadnezzar crossed over into the animal world: he ate grass like cattle; his body was wet with dew; and he grew feathers like the eagle and talons like the birds. Above all, this process of transformation resulted in a loss of manda, ‘reason, understanding’, which is only restored to him when he returns to the human condition (Daniel 4:31, 33). The parallels with Adam are not difficult to discern: having been granted royal authority to name all the animals and to hold dominion over them, he disregards God’s commandment about his food, and is to be transferred into the animal realm as a result ..."
Hayward, Robert Targums and the Transmission of Scripture into Judaism and Christianity (p. 363) Brill, 2010
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