但以理书 5

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1 伯沙撒王大宴群臣

2 伯沙撒喝酒欢畅的时候,下令把他先祖尼布甲尼撒耶路撒冷圣殿里掠取的金银器皿拿来,好让他和他的大臣、妻妾、妃嫔用这些器皿来喝酒。

3 于是人把从耶路撒冷圣殿里,就是神的殿里,掠来的金银器皿拿来;王和他的大臣、妻妾、妃嫔就用这些器皿来喝酒。

4 他们喝酒,赞美那些用金、银、铜、铁、木、石所做的神。

5 指头在上写字当时,忽然有人手的指头出现,在王宫里台对面的粉上写字;王看见了那只正在写字的手掌,

6 就脸色大变,心意惊惶,两脚无力,双膝彼此相碰。

7 王大声呼叫,吩咐人把那些用法术的和迦勒底人,以及占星家都领进来;王对巴比伦的智慧人:“谁能读这文字,又能向我解释它的意思,他必身穿紫袍,颈戴金链,在国中掌权,位列第。”

8 于是王所有的智慧人都进来,却不能读那文字,也不能把意思向王说明。

9 伯沙撒王就非常惊惶,脸色大变;他的大臣也都不知所措。

10 太后举荐但以理太后因王和他的大臣所的话,就进入宴会的大厅,对王:“愿王万岁!你的心意不要惊惶,也不要脸色大变。

11 在你国中有一个人,他里面有圣神的灵;你先祖在世的日子,发现这人有灼见,有聪明,有智慧,好像神的智慧一样。你先祖尼布甲尼撒王,就是王的先祖,曾立他为术士、用法术的,以及迦勒底人和占星家的领袖。

12 这都因为在这但以理里面有美好的灵性,有知识,有聪明,能解梦,释谜语,能解答难题;这人尼布甲尼撒王曾给他起名叫伯提沙撒。现在可以把但以理召来,他必能解释墙上文字的意思。”

13 于是但以理被带到王面前,王问但以理:“你就是我先王从犹大掳来的犹大人但以理吗?

14 说你里面有神的灵,有灼见,有聪明,有高超的智慧。

15 现在智慧人和用法术的都被带到我面前了,我要他们读这文字,把文字的意思向我说明,可是他们都不能解释这文字的意思。

16 说你能解释异梦,也能解答难题。现在你若能读这文字,把它的意思向我说明,就必身穿紫袍,颈戴金链,在国中掌权,位列第。”

17 但以理直言责王但以理在王面前回答:“你的礼物可以归你自己,你的赏赐可以归给别人;我却要为王读这文字,也要把意思向王明。

18 王啊!至的神曾把国位、权势、光荣和威严赐给你先祖尼布甲尼撒

19 因神所赐给他的权势,各国、各族和说各种语言的人,都在他面前战兢恐惧;他要杀谁,就杀谁;要谁活着,谁就可以活着;要提升谁,就提升谁;要贬低谁,就贬低谁。

20 但他心气傲、妄自尊大的时候,就从国位上被赶下来,他的尊荣也被夺去。

21 他被赶逐,离开人群,他的心变如兽心,他和野驴同住,像牛一样吃草,身体被天露滴湿;等到他承认至的神在世人的国中掌权,他喜欢谁,就立谁执掌国权。

22 伯沙撒啊!你是他的子孙,你虽然知道这一切,你的心仍不谦卑,

23 竟高抬自己,敌对天上的主,使人把他殿中的器皿拿到你面前来,你和你的大臣、妻妾、妃嫔用这些器皿喝酒;你又赞美那些不能看见、不能见、什么都不能知道,用金、银、铜、铁、木、石所做的神,却没有把荣耀归给那手中有你的气息,和那掌管你一切命途的神。

24 因此,有手从神那里伸出来,了这文字。

25 解释墙上文字的意义“所的文字是:‘弥尼,弥尼,提客勒,乌法珥新。’

26 这文字的意思是这样:‘弥尼’就是神已数算了你国度的年日,使国终止;

27 ‘提客勒’就是你被称在天平上,显出你的缺欠;

28 ‘毗勒斯’(“毗勒斯”即“乌法珥新”的单数式)就是你的国要分裂,归给玛代人和波斯人。”

29 于是伯沙撒下令,人就把紫袍给但以理穿上,把金链戴在他的颈上,又宣告他在国中掌权,位列第

30 伯沙撒王被杀而亡国当夜,迦勒底人的王伯沙撒被杀。

31 玛代人大利乌夺取了迦勒底国;那时他六十二岁。(本节在《马索拉抄本》为6:1)

  
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The Feast of Belshazzar      

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

Belshazzar's Feast, by Rembrandt, showing the handwriting on the wall

This chapter begins with Belshazzar's feast for his friends. Belshazzar is presented in this chapter as the son of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. His name tells us something about him, for Belshazzar in the original Chaldean language means 'Bel Protect the King.' 'Bel' was a Babylonian god, so this name is about the relationship of the kingly, or ruling loves in a person, and the love of selfishness and dominion from that described by the god of the Babylonians.

Belshazzar has a similar spiritual relationship to Nebuchadnezzar as the Lord Jesus Christ had to the Father. In the case of the Lord, His human set forth the Divine, making it present for all people to see. In the case of Belshazzar, he set forth the love of selfishness, Nebuchadnezzar, for all the world to see. Belshazzar represents the external manifestation of the deepest feelings of selfishness, translated first into thoughts, then actions.

The story of Daniel is about the power of truth changing us from being self-centered to being regenerated. Each person has a Nebuchadnezzar side, and also a Daniel side. In previous chapters, we see Daniel's impact on Nebuchadnezzar. So truth impacts our lives. When we begin the process of change, we follow the order given in chapters two, three, four, and five. Truth is first an intellectual idea which, in time, affects our will. To change, we must be willing to undergo the temptations described in chapter four, but for this to happen, we need to judge our behavior. This is the feast, where actions are judged and those incompatible with conscience are cast out.

Belshazzar commanded the vessels brought so that the guests could drink from them. To drink wine from them means drawing teachings from the Word that one needs to live properly (Apocalypse Explained 376). Before our minds are clear of selfishness, we may go to the Word for guidance. But we are not looking to be lead to the good of life, but to support the selfishness within. This is not unusual with people first introduced to the truths of the Word: as they learn, they may find that the teachings seem to support some of their attitudes, rather than undermine faults. We can see this in Belshazzar's use of the vessels: he did not treat them with respect, but profaned them. Sharing the vessels with his lords, his wives, and concubines shows the various thoughts and affections still tied to selfishness which guided him.

As the king and his guests drank from the holy vessels, they showed their true allegiance: they worshiped gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, compounding their profanation. Profanation is when the sacred and profane are brought together. One cannot believe the Word is holy, and mock it at the same time. No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

For a complete explanation of the different materials of the profane idols, see the explanation of the statue from Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2. The differences between the two rests in materials of the legs and feet, but in the internal sense, these differences disappear.

Amid this debauchery, a vision took place: the fingers of a man's hand appeared on the wall and wrote words in an unknown language. Belshazzar's fear reflects our own when it suddenly dawns on us that the activities of our life are in conflict with the very things we hold to be true. The conflict between good and evil within us is brought down to the level of our daily lives. The effect can be frightening: it is the realization of our shortcomings. Yet often, before the issues become clear, we feel a sense of unease, a feeling of dissatisfaction at the way our lives are going.

This vague feeling is Belshazzar's inability to read the words written upon the wall. They frightened him, but he did not know what they meant. Like us, he turned to the familiar, comforting voices which usually explained the unknown to him: the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the Chaldeans. These 'wise men' represent the thought patterns we have when our lives are disturbed: we look inwards to our usual justifications. Thus we blame others for our state of mind, or credit it to misfortune, without ever really going to the source of what is bothering us.

Belshazzar promised his soothsayers three distinct things:

"Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

The angels of the celestial heaven wear crimson clothes (Divine Love and Wisdom 380, True Christian Religion 686) as an expression of their love to the Lord. Clothing signifies knowledge (Heaven and Hell 179, Arcana Coelestia 1073, 2576, 5319, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536) so 'clothing of purple' represents knowledges about love to the Lord. But because Belshazzar is selfishness, the knowledge he offered represents re-establishing selfish love as the ruling principle in our minds. In addition to the purple garments, he offered chains of gold. As we have seen before, gold represents goodness from the Lord. But in this case, the 'goodness' originates in selfishness. The final promise is power. The characteristic of the love of self is the lust for power. Nebuchadnezzar extended his natural kingdom across the earth, as selfishness extends its power throughout our lives.

Unsurprisingly, the 'wise men' could not read the writing on the wall. When we are unhappy because of our selfishness, no thoughts from selfishness will set us straight. If we know that what we are doing is wrong, and yet make excuses for our behavior, we will find little or no comfort in these justifications—they are a part of the problem.

So the queen suggested to Belshazzar that he call Daniel. To convince him of Daniel's worth, she uses terms that describe the quality of a conscience formed from the truths of the Word. 'The Spirit of the Holy God' is the truth from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 183), where conscience is formed. Divine truth in the mind brings spiritual light (True Christian Religion 40) giving first understanding, and then wisdom. Conscience draws its being from the Divine truths from the Lord. The Babylonian 'wise men' all represent the various thoughts of a selfish mind. As the conscience is formed, it begins to take precedence over these thoughts, until it rules. So a person regenerating intellectually thinks from truth, but may still act from selfishness.

The queen's pleas made an impact on Belshazzar, and Daniel was brought before him. The king offered Daniel the same gifts he offered his wise men and astrologers. Daniel, of course, could not accept these, in much the same way, years before, he had been unable to accept food from Nebuchadnezzar's table. To accept the garments of purple, chains of gold, and a position of power in the kingdom was meaningless to Daniel. He was already, after all, in a position of power. Conscience does not need to be bribed: it stands firm and alone in our minds.

Daniel began his interpretation of the Writing on the Wall with a brief history of Nebuchadnezzar, as a summary of the progression of selfishness. He began with the fact that Nebuchadnezzar received his kingdom of from God. In chapter 1, we are told that 'the Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand.' This implies that not only was the Lord responsible for the siege of Jerusalem, but for all of Nebuchadnezzar's other victories. This verse reinforces that concept: Nebuchadnezzar's success was because of the Lord.

Daniel voiced the words of judgment eloquently: Belshazzar had not humbled his heart, he had lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven. He used the vessels of the Lord's temple to worship gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, yet he does not know that the Lord holds his life in His hand.

These well-spoken words of judgment are as much an indictment on us as they were on Belshazzar. Often we know the truths of the Word, we wrestle with them in our minds, we allow them to direct our feelings, and yet we do nothing about them. Spiritual procrastination is one of life's greatest dangers. As long as we put off spiritual progress, and wallow in the comfort of selfishness, as long as we hang onto old prejudices and attitudes, and habitual thinking, we are using the Lord's Word as a way of worshiping false idols. What needs to change in us are our loves, our attitudes. As these change, our external behavior must be brought into alignment with them.

Having chastised Belshazzar, Daniel began to explain the writing on the wall. He began by stressing that the fingers that wrote 'were sent by Him,' meaning the 'Most High God' who gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom, majesty and glory. While Nebuchadnezzar had humbled himself before the Lord, Belshazzar had not. In the historical sense, it was important for Daniel to stress the relationship between what happened to Nebuchadnezzar and what would happen to Belshazzar.

The judgment, from the power of the Lord, lay in the words written on the wall: 'mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.' Four words in an unknown language that could only be interpreted by Daniel. Thus we see how our conscience, drawn as it is from the teachings of the Word, is the root of our resistance to evil.

Daniel begins by explaining 'mene' saying: 'God has numbered your kingdom and found it wanting.' To number means to know the quality of something. This is why Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem 'in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim,' and dreamed of the great statue 'in the second year' of his own reign.

The word 'mene' means the process of self-examination. There is no indication why the word is repeated twice; perhaps it indicates the need for an examination of acts flowing from both our will and our understanding—our actions from an inner love for them, and actions from a sense of duty.

The third word on the wall is 'Tekel,' which Daniel told Belshazzar means: 'You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.' When we examine ourselves, it is from truth: we judge how we compare to the truth. The next step is to assess our feelings. Thus 'one should be found wanting.'

Daniel interprets the final word of the four to mean 'your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.' This literally happened to Belshazzar, but in the internal sense, to divide means to disperse and expel (Apocalypse Explained 373, Arcana Coelestia 9093). This is the third stage of repentance: when a person has examined self, found one's self wanting, and is willing to change, the next step is to separate the evil from ourselves, and to expel it from our lives. It is only in this way that we can be cleansed of evil.

This is an indication of how our lives should progress: no man can serve two masters, the Lord said, we cannot serve God and mammon. We cannot serve self and be ruled by the conscience at the same time. One must increase and the other decrease. By giving Daniel these gifts in the face of the imminent end of his kingdom, Belshazzar shows us how the conscience must increase, while selfishness as the root of our evil must decrease.

Thus it happened that on that very night, Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain, and Darius the Mede received the throne, being about sixty-two years old.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

属天的奥秘 1326

Apocalypse Explained 587, 1029

揭秘启示录 717

最后的审判 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 176

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

属天的奥秘 1183, 3079, 3104, 5223, 8932, 9093, 9818, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 313, 316, 364, 459, 913

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

Doctrine of the Lord 48

天堂与地狱 365

True Christian Religion 156, 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 183, 220, 242, 373, 376, 453

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解释
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迦勒底
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 Belshazzar's Feast
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Belshazzar’s Feast
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Belshazzar’s Feast (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Belshazzar’s Feast (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Belshazzar’s Feast (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14


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