[This article was contributed by Apollos]

Q4 of this week’s TMS review asks “What was represented, or symbolized, by the immense tree in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? (Dan. 4:10, 11, 20-22)”

The referenced material from w07 9/1 states “The tree initially represented Nebuchadnezzar as the ruler of a world power. Since the rulership extended ‘to the extremity of the earth,’ however, the tree must signify something far grander.

Here the red flag is the word “must”. Let’s read the interpretation Daniel actually gave.

v20,22 “The tree … is you, O king, because … your rulership [has reached] to the extremity of the earth.

So in whatever sense the “extremity of the earth” was meant in the dream, God’s Word clearly states that it was fulfilled in the Babylonian empire of the time.

Where does the “must” come in?

An earlier article discussed how speculation becomes fact. The above example is in a similar vein to the things discussed therein. However rather than describing a process of reaching a conclusion, it demonstrates a method of reinforcing it when the foundation may be lacking in the first place. Words such as “must” and “evidently” tend to make the  reader less likely to examine the evidence for himself.  In the example given, the flawed logic is obvious when you read the passage straight from God’s Word, but honestly how many people are going to take the time to check something out for themselves when the passage is partially quoted and they are clearly told that something “must” lead to a certain conclusion?