THE WILD MAN
He was not always a wild man. There was a time when he was of sound mind, a ruler of a great city, but arrogance and pride were the cause of his present demise.
So the wild man ran to a fro in the great forest that was near his city. He lived amongst the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air. He ate grass like oxen; and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. (1)
His once elegant raiment of royalty had become tattered rags. He found shelter under trees, besides rocks, and at times, in the dens of beasts. In time, the beasts of the forest had become so accustomed to seeing him that they paid him no heed, at times, even sleeping besides him during the evenings and during the hot summer days.
Thus the wild man lived for many years. It was during the seventh year of his living in such a state that he began to question his own worth and purpose of existence. One day, as he ran through the forest, he came upon a lion. He looked the lion straight in the eyes and lifted up his voice;
“Harken thee Oh lion, unto the voice of thy king” the wild man started, doeth not thyself recognize the presence of a king?” bow down and thus give unto me homage!”
“What, art thou indeed a king?” roared the lion, “Nay, for thou seemeth more likened unto a beast like us, for kingly apparel hast thou not, and thy mind, oh wild man, is without reason. Now, harken thee unto my words, giveth praises, honor, and glory unto the King of the Universe, the creator of all that is known to exist, the great I AM, the one El Elyon, to Him that created both man and beast, and who knows, oh wild man, perhaps He will restoreth unto thee thy mind.”
But the wild man did not heed the advise of the lion, and he went on his way, eating the grass like the oxen, and wild berries and fruit from the trees. His hair continued to grow long like eagles' feathers and his nails like the talons of hawks. The months went by and the wild man happened upon a hyena. He looked into eyes of the hyena and lifted up his voice saying;
“Do me homage oh beast, canst thou not recognize thy king? It is I, who hast reigned in this land for many years, and this kingdom is mine indeed.”
The wild man then awaited the response of the beast. The hyena looked at him, staring him straight in the eyes, then rolled over and started to howl, it laughed and laughed, hardly believing its ears.
“Art thou indeed a king?” said the hyena, in between its howls and laughter. “Nay oh wild man, but thou art a beast indeed, a beast like us. Eatest thou not the grass of the field like an ox?
Doeth thou not expose thyself to the dew of the morning? And kingly atire hast thou not oh foolish man. But if thou giveth praise, honor, and glory to the Creator of Life, to him who hath given thee the breath of life, and to all other living things, to the Great I AM, the great El Shaddai
who was before the universe began, to Elohim who hath made the heavens above and the earth below, then, thy mind and soul will be restored unto thee as before.”
Yet the wild man heeded not the words of the hyena and continued in his pride and arrogance.
The months passed and it was nearing the end of the seventh year that the wild man had been living like the beasts and fowls of the forest. It was nearing the evening and there appeared three stars in the heavens indicating the start of a new day. The wild man entered a clearing in the forest and caught sight of the Great Horned Owl, It sat on one of the branches of a tree near the forest's edge. It just sat there hooting and hooting, turning its head this way and that, blinking its eyes, as if looking for something, or someone.
The wild man looked up at the owl and lifted up his voice saying;
“Oh wise owl, how canst thou stay perched on high when thy king is below? Come down now and thus render me homage. Thus saith thy king and thy lord.”
The owl stopped hooting and blinking its eyes. It looked down upon the wild man, eyes glued to this strange figure of a man. It then opened its wings and flew down to where the wild man stood. It found a stump of a tree and hopped on top of it. The owl then opened and spread out its wings, and thus bowing its head, began its discourse;
“Indeed oh wild man, thou art king and doeth reign over this kingdom. I honor thee as king and lord over these lands. But sire, thy raiment and demeanor reflect a curse upon thy life. Hast thou not given praise, honor, and glory to thy king on high? For there is a king greater than thee who hast made all of what thou canst see
Then the wild man lifted up his voice in response to the owl's words saying;
“At last, a creature who bestoweth honor unto me as king, but was it not I who didst build this great city outside this majestic forest, and all that thine eyes canst behold?”
“Indeed” responded the owl, “thou didst lay the foundation and caused the bricks to be made, and thus laid with mortar, but who givest thee intelligence to thus build upon this city?” was it not the LORD God, king of the Universe? The great I AM, the most powerful Elohim, El Elyon? And who givest strength to the arms of those who carried the burden of bricks to build up the city of thy rule? And who hast given strength to the legs that carry a man to and fro? Meditate thus on these things oh king”.
The owl continued its dialog, looking at the wild man, deep into his eyes, penetrating his very soul with wisdom from above.
“Who is it that givest reason to the mind of man? And who is it that canst take away thus all of man's reason, and thus bringing such a man to such a state as thine oh wild king?”
The wild man stood in awe at the words of the owl. He did not know how to respond to such reasoning and wisdom. As he stood there pondering over the words spoken, the owl's discourse penetrated his most inner being.
“Now consider this oh wild man” continued the owl, “thine own self and thy present state of being, desireth thee not to be of sound mind like before? Yea but the LORD God of the universe can indeed restore thee to thy former self and state of being, if thou willst only give unto Him who rules over the hearts of all men, praise, honor, and glory.”
“Renounce thy pride and arrogance, and humble thyself in the sight of the LORD. Do these things and thy kingdom will be restored unto thee as before.” Thus the owl finished its oracle, and awaited the wild man's response.
The wild man thought, and thought, contemplating the owl's words. He then fell to the ground and lay prostrate, lifting not even his face. He then cried out unto the LORD of hosts. Lifting his eyes unto heaven, he repented of his pride and arrogance, giving honor and praise to the great I AM. (2) He repented of having put to the test the three Hebrew servants of God, casting them into the fiery furnace, and thus the king who became a wild man cried out before the God of all creation.
All of a sudden, reason and understanding returned to the king and he got up, now being in his right mind. He blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. Then he spoke these words of praise and honor to the LORD God of all that has life;
“Thy dominion is an everlasting dominion, and thy kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; Thou does according to thy will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain thy hand or say unto thee, 'what hast thou done?' (3)
After those words, the king looked upon himself lamenting “Oh how could I have arrived at such a state as this, with paupers raiment and beastly appearance?”
“Go quickly your majesty” replied the owl, “Return to thy palace and to thy wife and servants, as they await thy arrival, and yea, they will indeed rejoice to see thee again. They have all been awaiting thee for these past seven years. Thy subjects hath even visited this forest from time to time to observe thee, to see that no harm might befall thee.”
The king now in his right mind ran out of the forest as fast as he could run. In no time, he was at the gates of the city. The guardians of the gate let him in and he ran to the palace with all speed. His wife and servants opened the doors and received him with rejoicing and praise. They
They took him inside the palace and cut his hair, and trimmed his nails and beard. A bath was drawn for the king. His servants poured all kinds of sweet smelling oils and spices into the bath water. The king sat in the bath water all night long. He washed and washed, scrubbing his body clean once more. The king's servants dressed him with new royal raiment and placed the royal crown on his head.
He sat down once again on his throne and his advisers updated him as to the affairs of the city and kingdom. The king's servants prepared delicious foods for the king, and all the palace dined together in celebration of his return and of his sound mind again.
It was early evening when the king suddenly remembered the wise counsel of the owl. He went out on to the balcony of the palace, overlooking the forest where he had roamed for seven years. He looked up into the sky and saw three stars, indicating the beginning of a new day. The king then lifted up his voice and raised his arms towards the heavens saying;
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down!” (4)
As King Nebuchadnezzar finished giving praises and honor to God, he heard a familiar noise coming from the forest. It was the hoot of an owl. He smiled and nodded in the direction of the forest saying;
“Thank you my wise friend, tis no wonder that thou art named wise among the fowls of the air that thou even canst advise a wayward soul such as I, to recognize the most High God and thus return my kingdom to me once again.”
With these words, the king went back inside his palace and continued to rule Babylon for many years.
By Rabbi Jacob Ben Avraham
(1) Daniel 4:15, 16, 33
(2) Daniel 4:34
(3) Daniel 4:34, 35
(4) Daniel 4:37
Author's final thought: “If God could make Balaam's donkey speak, He could have done the
same with a lion, a hyena, and an owl.”