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In this verse, Nebuchadnezzar is told that he will live with animals and act like a beast for a period of seven seasons. One explanation for this, suggested by the Sages, is that this is a punishment for the way he destroyed Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash. Although Hashem had foretold that the destruction would take place, Nebuchadnezzar did much more than execute God’s will. While he was meant to exile the People of Israel, he also killed many of them and treated them inhumanely. Furthermore, in addition to burning the Beit Hamikdash, he also destroyed the earth of Eretz Yisrael so that nothing could grow there for seven years. In retribution for his animalistic cruelty to the people and the land, Nebuchadnezzar actually became an animal for seven seasons. His punishment is a lesson about the sensitivity one must show to the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.


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