Daniel 8

Study the Inner Meaning

English: World English Bible         

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1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.

2 I saw in the vision; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai.

3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no animals could stand before him, neither was there any who could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself.

5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn't touch the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

6 He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power.

7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled on him; and there was none who could deliver the ram out of his hand.

8 The male goat magnified himself exceedingly: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable [horns] toward the four winds of the sky.

9 Out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious [land].

10 It grew great, even to the army of the sky; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled on them.

11 Yes, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the army; and it took away from him the continual [burnt offering], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

12 The army was given over [to it] together with the continual [burnt offering] through disobedience; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did [its pleasure] and prospered.

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who spoke, How long shall be the vision [concerning] the continual [burnt offering], and the disobedience that makes desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the army to be trodden under foot?

14 He said to me, To two thousand and three hundred evenings [and] mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

15 It happened, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.

16 I heard a man's voice between [the banks of] the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end.

18 Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright.

19 He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.

20 The ram which you saw, that had the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia.

21 The rough male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

22 As for that which was broken, in the place where four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.

23 In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce face, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and do [his pleasure]; and he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.

25 Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in [their] security shall he destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

26 The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true: but seal up the vision; for it belongs to many days [to come].

27 I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; then I rose up, and did the king's business: and I wondered at the vision, but none understood it.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 411, 1664, 2832, 10042, 10455

De Verbo (The Word) 5

Faith 63

Heaven and Hell 171

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 179

True Christian Religion 851

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 38


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 22, 1458, 1808, 2333, 2405, 2495, 2547, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 34, 36, 51, 151, 270, 447, 541, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 83, 85

Conjugial Love 26

Divine Providence 134

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 28, 52

Faith 61, 65, 66, 67

The Last Judgment (Continuation) 13

True Christian Religion 157, 537, 764


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 50, 63, 72, 179, 316, 412, 418, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 5

De Verbo (The Word) 15

Last Judgment (Posthumous) 220

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  PDF Resources


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Numbers 28:3

Joshua 5:14

Nehemiah 1:1

Esther 2

Job 34:20

Psalms 37:35

Isaiah 14:13, 21:2, 45:1, 2

Lamentations 4:6

Ezekiel 1:28, 2:1, 2, 20:6

Daniel 2:39, 4:10, 5:23, 28, 7:1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 21, 25, 28, 9:21, 10:8, 9, 14, 11:2, 3, 4, 16, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 31, 36, 45, 12:4, 6, 11

Habakkuk 2:3

Zechariah 1:9, 4:1, 9:13

Luke 1:19

Revelation 1, 17, 10:4, 12:4, 13:5, 17:14

Word/Phrase Explanations

Vision
Vision is the innermost revelation, which is of perception. Visions are according to the state of humankind. The visions of people whose interiors are closed,...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Elam
Elam, mentioned in Isaiah 21:1, signifies faith originating in charity, consequently, the internal church. Elam, in Jeremiah 49:34, (Jer. 49:34), signifies the falsification of doctrine....

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

ram
'A ram' signifies the Lord’s divine spiritual nature pertaining to a person. 'A ram' signifies the good of innocence and charity in the internal self....

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

northward
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

southward
'The land of the south,' as in Genesis 24:62, signifies divine light, for 'the south' signifies light, and the light of intelligence, which is wisdom,...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

Goat
From correspondences, a goat signifies the natural man. The goat which was sacrificed, as in Leviticus 16:5-10, signifies the natural man regarding a part purified,...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

West
'The west' signifies people in obscured good, and in an opposite sense, people in evil. 'The west' signifies the affection of truth.

Surface
A 'surface' denotes the extreme.

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

ground
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

horn
'A horn,' when spoken of the Lord, signifies omnipotence. 'The little horn that rose up,' as mentioned in Daniel 7:3-8, signifies the full perversion of...

Fury
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.

struck
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

winds
In the Bible, the wind represents the power of the Lord working on us through the heavens. The Lord is love itself, and by extending...

sky
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

South
'South' denotes truth in light.

army
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

stars
'Stars' signify the knowledge of truth and good. 'Stars' are frequently mentioned in the Word, and always signify goods and truths, but in an opposite...

disobedience
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

speaking
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Sanctuary
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Three hundred
'Three hundred' signifies fullness, because the number comes from three and a hundred multiplied. Both 'three' and 'a hundred' signifies fullness. The significance of products...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

seen
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

Gabriel
Gabriel signifies an angelic society in heaven that is made up of people who teach from the Word, particularly about the Lord’s advent.

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

touched
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

kings
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Media and Persia
The kings of Media and Persia' represent people who are in faith separate from charity.

Greece
Greece, in the Word, signifies the nations about to receive the truths of doctrine. Greece signifies the same as ‘isles.’ The king of Greece represents...

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

first
'The first and the last' signifies that the Lord is the only God.

nation
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

Prosper
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

Security
'Security' signifies the external delight of heaven.

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

sick
'The sick,' as in Matthew 25:35, signify people in evil, and those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but evil.

rose up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...


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