Daniel 2

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1 In the second year of the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep went from him.

2 Then the king gave orders that the wonder-workers, and the users of secret arts, and those who made use of evil powers, and the Chaldaeans, were to be sent for to make clear to the king his dreams. So they came and took their places before the king.

3 And the king said to them, I have had a dream, and my spirit is troubled by the desire to have the dream made clear to me.

4 Then the Chaldaeans said to the king in the Aramaean language, O King, have life for ever: give your servants an account of your dream, and we will make clear to you the sense of it.

5 The king made answer and said to the Chaldaeans, This is my decision: if you do not make clear to me the dream and the sense of it, you will be cut in bits and your houses made waste.

6 But if you make clear the dream and the sense of it, you will have from me offerings and rewards and great honour: so make clear to me the dream and the sense of it.

7 A second time they said in answer, Let the king give his servants an account of his dream, and we will make clear the sense.

8 The king made answer and said, I am certain that you are attempting to get more time, because you see that my decision is fixed;

9 That if you do not make my dream clear to me there is only one fate for you: for you have made ready false and evil words to say before me till the times are changed: so give me an account of the dream, and I will be certain that you are able to make the sense of it clear.

10 Then the Chaldaeans said to the king in answer, There is not a man on earth able to make clear the king's business; for no king, however great his power, has ever made such a request to any wonder-worker or user of secret arts or Chaldaean.

11 The king's request is a very hard one, and there is no other who is able to make it clear to the king, but the gods, whose living-place is not with flesh.

12 Because of this the king was angry and full of wrath, and gave orders for the destruction of all the wise men of Babylon.

13 So the order went out that the wise men were to be put to death; and they were looking for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

14 Then Daniel gave an answer with wisdom and good sense to Arioch, the captain of the king's armed men, who had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon;

15 He made answer and said to Arioch, O captain of the king, why is the king's order so cruel? Then Arioch gave Daniel an account of the business.

16 And Daniel went in and made a request to the king to give him time and he would make clear the sense of his dream to the king.

17 And Daniel went to his house and gave his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah the news:

18 So that they might make a request for the mercy of the God of heaven in the question of this secret; so that Daniel and his friends might not come to destruction with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then the secret was made clear to Daniel in a vision of the night. And Daniel gave blessing to the God of heaven.

20 And Daniel said in answer, May the name of God be praised for ever and ever: for wisdom and strength are his:

21 By him times and years are changed: by him kings are taken away and kings are lifted up: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those whose minds are awake:

22 He is the unveiler of deep and secret things: he has knowledge of what is in the dark, and the light has its living-place with him.

23 I give you praise and worship, O God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and strength, and have now made clear to me what we were requesting from you: for you have given us knowledge of the king's business.

24 For this reason Daniel went to Arioch, to whom the king had given orders for the destruction of the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, Do not put to death the wise men of Babylon: take me in before the king and I will make clear to him the sense of the dream.

25 Then Arioch quickly took Daniel in before the king, and said to him, Here is a man from among the prisoners of Judah, who will make clear to the king the sense of the dream.

26 The king made answer and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Are you able to make clear to me the dream which I saw and its sense?

27 Then Daniel said in answer to the king, No wise men, or users of secret arts, or wonder-workers, or readers of signs, are able to make clear to the king the secret he is searching for;

28 But there is a God in heaven, the unveiler of secrets, and he has given to King Nebuchadnezzar knowledge of what will take place in the last days. Your dreams and the visions of your head on your bed are these:

29 As for you, O King, the thoughts which came to you on your bed were of what will come about after this: and the unveiler of secrets has made clear to you what is to come.

30 As for me, this secret is not made clear to me because of any wisdom which I have more than any living man, but in order that the sense of the dream may be made clear to the king, and that you may have knowledge of the thoughts of your heart.

31 You, O King, were looking, and a great image was there. This image, which was very great, and whose glory was very bright, was placed before you: its form sent fear into the heart.

32 As for this image, its head was made of the best gold, its breast and its arms were of silver, its middle and its sides were of brass,

33 Its legs of iron, its feet were in part of iron and in part of potter's earth.

34 While you were looking at it, a stone was cut out, but not by hands, and it gave the image a blow on its feet, which were of iron and earth, and they were broken in bits.

35 Then the iron and the earth, the brass and the silver and the gold, were smashed together, and became like the dust on the floors where grain is crushed in summer; and the wind took them away so that no sign of them was to be seen: and the stone which gave the image a blow became a great mountain, covering all the earth.

36 This is the dream; and we will make clear to the king the sense of it.

37 You, O King, king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory,

38 Wherever the children of men are living; into whose hands he has given the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven, and has made you ruler over them all, you are the head of gold.

39 And after you another kingdom, lower than you, will come to power; and a third kingdom, of brass, ruling over all the earth.

40 And the fourth kingdom will be strong as iron: because, as all things are broken and overcome by iron, so it will have the power of crushing and smashing down all the earth.

41 And as you saw the feet and toes, part of potter's work and part of iron, there will be a division in the kingdom; but there will be some of the strength of iron in it, because you saw the iron mixed with the potter's earth.

42 And as the toes of the feet were in part of iron and in part of earth, so part of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will readily be broken.

43 And as you saw the iron mixed with earth, they will give their daughters to one another as wives: but they will not be united one with another, even as iron is not mixed with earth.

44 And in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will put up a kingdom which will never come to destruction, and its power will never be given into the hands of another people, and all these kingdoms will be broken and overcome by it, but it will keep its place for ever.

45 Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that by it the iron and the brass and the earth and the silver and the gold were broken to bits, a great God has given the king knowledge of what is to take place in the future: the dream is fixed, and its sense is certain.

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar, falling down on his face, gave worship to Daniel, and gave orders for an offering and spices to be given to him;

47 And the king made answer to Daniel and said, Truly, your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings, and an unveiler of secrets, for you have been able to make this secret clear.

48 Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him offerings in great number, and made him ruler over all the land of Babylon, and chief over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 And at Daniel's request, the king gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego authority over the business of the land of Babylon: but Daniel was kept near the king's person.

  

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Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar's Dream      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew M. T. Dibb

In the second chapter of the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon has a dream that troubles him. Daniel, inspired by God, is the only person who is able to interpret it. It's a powerful story in the literal sense, and its spiritual sense goes deep; it describes a step that we each need to take if we want to make spiritual progress.

The literal text sets the story in the "second year", which refers to a state of conflict that comes before regeneration. Generally, "two" means a union, and specifically the marriage of good and truth. But in this story, the marriage is between evil and falsity. Nebuchadnezzar is still on the throne of Babylon: the falsities from selfish love seek to establish dominion over every sphere of life.

So, in the second year, "Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him." Dreams are one of the ways the Lord revealed the Word to the ancients. It is not surprising to find Nebuchadnezzar greatly disturbed by a dream, to the point that "his sleep left him." Sleep, when dreams occur, depicts a state of obscurity. In Nebuchadnezzar's case, the obscurity arose because he represents false thoughts resulting from a selfish lust for power. Selfishness obscures the truth because it makes it impossible to focus outside of the self.

Nebuchadnezzar represents falsity from selfishness and the desire to dominate and control others. When this is in charge, people become manipulative, insisting that everything serve their own ends. They are willing to twist any truth, even destroy it, to justify their actions. The danger in this state is its attraction; it can invade the mind and establish an empire.

This is our state before regeneration. However, Divine Providence mandates that in order to remove this, we must become conscious of our Nebuchadnezzar states. This may be difficult because reflection requires perspective, which starts out obscured — asleep. Nebuchadnezzar, unable to remember or interpret his dream, commanded his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans to ease his mind.

When the wise men were unable, the king began killing them. In the internal sense, "to kill," means to turn truths into falsities. Daniel and his companions were to be included in the slaughter, but they were different from the other wise men, who represented falsity based on abuse or misuse of truth grounded in selfishness. Daniel and his friends served the Lord.

Daniel's name had been changed to 'Belteshazzar,' symbolizing the perversion of truth by love of self. Yet in this verse, they sought 'Daniel' and his companions to kill them. This shows a human quality hidden from daily life. If Nebuchadnezzar represents blind selfishness, to save us, the Lord must keep truth hidden from the flow of selfish thought. When his hidden name is used, Daniel represents this hidden thought, protected and ready for use against selfishness.

In chapter one, Daniel rejects Nebuchadnezzar by refusing to eat his food. Once again, he stands against the king who reveals his evil in his willingness to kill when displeased. Nebuchadnezzar is the epitome of self-worship, Daniel is the true worshiper of the Lord.

Daniel and his friends sought "mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret." Despite their position as 'wise men,' they humbled themselves to the Lord. This is a picture of the submission necessary for conscience to direct the unruly external self.

Daniel was given insight into the fallen human, the decline caused by selfishness. People faced with these insights often run and hide. Yet without self-knowledge, people cannot make any spiritual progress. By blessing the Lord, Daniel recognizes that only His divine power can help people put evils into order. Without this, spiritual life is over.

This gratitude embodies a New Church principle: all goodness and truth are from the Lord alone. Any insight people have into the nature of evils must come from the Him. Evil is blind to itself, but truth shows it for what it is. By thanking the Lord for insight, people can face their evils.

Before he can be killed, Daniel requests an audience with the king. Outward behaviors can be aligned with good or evil, and so Arioch, captain of the guard, acts on Daniel's request in spite of Nebuchadnezzar's orders. His words to the king show how useful things can ally themselves to the truth. So Arioch advocates for Daniel.

In his entreaty, Arioch emphasizes Daniel's heritage: "a man of the captives of Judah." This may have cast the king's mind back to his campaign in Judah, or even to the young man prepared for his service, filled with wisdom and glowing with physical health. In the internal sense, 'Judah' represents the church with a person, initially through truths. So Arioch identifies Daniel as truth from the Word. Nebuchadnezzar knew Daniel by his Babylonian name of Belteshazzar: when people in falsity are presented with truth, they view it as mere information for their own use. This is why an adulterer sees no difference between adultery and marriage, or a liar no distinction between truth and falsity.

Daniel is the conscience, which can be thought of as guilt or sorrow for actions. But at it's core, conscience is guidance by the truths of the Word. For truths to guide us, we must recognize their Divine authority and origin: none of the wise men, astrologers, magicians, or soothsayers could tell and interpret the king's dream.

In the sense of the letter, Daniel could begin because he established that the dream was from God, and thus interpreted by God. Daniel was simply a mouthpiece. For us, the self-awareness needed to move us from selfishness to charity comes from the Lord. Only He can direct our lives, but leaves us in freedom to accept that direction or not.

Daniel described Nebuchadnezzar's dream: the great image, with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet partly of iron and partly of clay. Even in the literal sense of the story one sees the steady decline from precious to base to valueless.

Many scholars describe this dream in political terms. They claim it describes successive nations or rulers in the earth, from the Babylonians, to the Greeks, the Romans, and so on. However, the Word deals with spiritual, not worldly things. In one sense, this dream speaks of the different spiritual eras that have existed in this world. This is called the "internal historical" sense. On this level, Nebuchadnezzar's dream describes the rise and fall of the ancient churches to the present. This exposition focuses on a deeper level: the regenerative series, or how the Word tells of each individual's spiritual life.

Nebuchadnezzar's dream symbolizes allowing selfishness to dictate our thoughts and beliefs. Babylon is a state of great selfishness, the opposite of loving the Lord. This is the origin of all evils, going hand in hand with falsity, which twists and perverts the truth, making it a slave to our desires. The dream describes how this state gains mastery of the human mind. It begins before selfishness gains a toehold in our thoughts, and ends in the destruction of our very humanity.

The vision begins with the head because it is the highest part of a human being. But the key to this head is that it is gold, symbolizing love to the Lord. The chest and arms are physically lower than the head, and silver is less valuable than gold. The chest and arms represent the rational parts of the mind. Silver represents truths derived from the goodness within. This change from loving the Lord to thinking from truth marks a change in focus: good embraces all, opening us up to each other in a life of mutual love and charity. Truth, on the other hand, is more open to abuse: ideas of truth have been the cause of many wars and conflicts. Truth is used to hurt as often as to nurture goodness. It is a double edged sword.

At the next level, the decline becomes more obvious: from the head to the chest to the belly and thighs – half way down the body. From gold to silver to bronze, precious metal turns to base. The belly and thighs normally depict the good of loving the Lord and the neighbor, called charity. Here, however, it is twisted into the opposite sense: disregard for others, and one's own interpretation of truth. To the person in this state, these things appear good. So the belly and thighs were made of bronze, an alloy that can be polished until it gleams like gold, but it is not, nor ever can be transmuted.

So we are brought to the lower parts of the body: the legs of iron. In place of truth, falsity takes charge. This is depicted by the iron, which merely looks like silver. The legs are followed by the outer extreme of spiritual life: the feet. The feet are the lowest part of our body. Feet correspond to the outmost of our lives, which should be the expression of the Lord's goodness and truth through us. Instead, the feet of the statue are a weak spot: a mixture of iron and clay. In this image, we see the entire devolution of selfishness – carried into our very action – a life devoid of real goodness or truth, only a false image.

At the climax of the dream, a stone strikes the image and breaks it to pieces. This shows us our true character and the power of truth to bring us back from the brink of disaster. The stone was cut without hands: it is not of human origin. Here the Divine truth contrasts with the king’s practice of consulting his wise men and magicians, who represent selfish human thought. Divine truth leads to all goodness when used the way the Lord intends. Detached from human rationalizing, the truth liberates.

This freedom is the new vision of truth: the stone grows into a mountain. "A mountain" symbolizes love – a new love from truth, that replaces the selfishness and the desire for control. The mountain filling the earth symbolizes the way this new truth and love become the center and focus of our lives. We are created anew by the Lord's truth.

Having described the dream in great detail, Daniel then explains its meaning. He begins with what seems like an affirmation of Nebuchadnezzar; the Lord gave us our love of self! He ordained that we should feel life as our own and have no sense of His life flowing into us. This allows us to act according to our reason, and respond to the Lord in freedom. Selfishness is the abuse of this gift from the Lord, and the kingdom changes its meaning from truth to falsity.

Nebuchadnezzar clearly confuses Daniel with the Lord, and ascribes the power to interpret dreams to him. But the reality of selfishness becomes clear when contrasted with the ideals of conscience. If selfishness cannot reflect upon itself, it needs to be confronted with truth – and truth shows the true nature of evil and convicts it.

Nebuchadnezzar promoted Daniel and his three friends to positions of power. He recognized their God as the God of gods, the Lord of kings. But he continues to recognize the previous gods who served Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar may have elevated the Lord above Marduk, the Babylonian god, but he was neither willing nor prepared to jettison his customary deity.

Spiritual life must begin somewhere, and this interaction between Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel symbolizes the beginning. There is still a great distance to travel before we are truly born again. The old selfish side will reassert itself, new arguments and battles will rage. Yet the promise of Nebuchadnezzar's dream is still with us.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 173


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 426, 1298, 1326, 1361, 1422, 1551, 1837, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 211, 538, 567, 664, 717, 775, 781, ...

Conjugial Love 73, 78, 79, 81

Divine Providence 328

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 42, 48

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 117

The Last Judgement 54

True Christian Religion 156, 275, 609, 625, 754, 761, 788


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 70, 176, 237, 411, 577, 650, 662, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 2, 37

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genesis 40:8, 12, 18, 41:8, 14, 26, 28, 41, 43

Exodus 7:11

Numbers 12:6

Deuteronomy 10:17, 29:28

Joshua 22:22

1 Samuel 6:2

2 Samuel 7:13, 16

1 Kings 1:31

2 Kings 5:15

1 Chronicles 29:10

Ezra 1:2, 6:11

Nehemiah 9:5

Esther 1:13, 3:2

Job 12:13, 18, 22

Psalms 2:6, 9, 96:4, 113:2, 136:26, 139:12, 147:5

Proverbs 2:6, 16:14

Ecclesiastes 8:1

Isaiah 28:16, 36:11, 47:12, 13

Jeremiah 25:1, 27:5, 6, 33:3

Ezekiel 26:7

Daniel 1:6, 17, 2:6, 31, 36, 37, 48, 3:1, 9, 12, 29, 30, 4:2, 3, 4, 6, 14, 18, 19, 22, 5:7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 28, 6:7, 27, 7:4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 23, ...

Haggai 2:22

Matthew 3:2, 21:44

Luke 1:33, 20:18

Acts of the Apostles 3:12, 10:25, 14:13

Romans 11:33

1 Timothy 6:15, 16

Hebrews 12:27

James 1:5

Revelation 1, 11:15, 12:8, 17:14, 19:15

Významy biblických slov

second
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...

dreams
A dream, as in Genesis 20:3,signifies being somewhat obscure.

sleep
In a general sense, sleeping in the Bible represents a state of obscurity about spiritual matters, a state in which you are not recognizing things...

chaldaeans
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

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...

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...

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...

dream
A dream, as in Genesis 20:3,signifies being somewhat obscure.

Sense
The common sense is where all particular sensation subsists.

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

rewards
A "reward" in the Bible represents something that brings people together, or brings spiritual states together, and binds them. It's easy to see this in...

see
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...

say
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...

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

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

daniel
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

Wisdom
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

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

heaven
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...

Vision of the night
'Vision of the night' signifies obscure revelation.

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Belteshazzar
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

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...

nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of the Babylonian empire. His fiery furnace and his dreams of the great tree and of the great statue are...

image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

sides
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

seen
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...

third
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...

truly
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...

chief
‘Governors,’ as in Genesis 41:34, signify common or general things, because they govern over particular things. ‘Governors of Israel,’ as in Judges 5:9, signify the...

daniel's
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

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