但以理書 4

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1 王的宣告尼布甲尼撒王向住在全地的各國、各族和說各種語言的人宣告說:“願你們大享平安!

2 我樂意把至的神向我所行的神蹟奇事宣揚出來。

3 他的神蹟多麼偉大,他的奇事多麼有力;他的國是永遠的國,他的統治直到萬代!(本章第1~3節在《馬索拉抄本》為3:31~33)

4 “我尼布甲尼撒安逸地住在家中,在宮裡享受榮華富貴。(本節在《馬索拉抄本》為4:1)

5 我作了一個夢,這夢使我懼怕;我在床上所見的夢幻和我腦海中出現的異象,都使我驚惶。

6 我就下令把巴比倫所有的智慧人,都帶到我面前來,要他們把夢的意思向我說明。

7 於是術士、用法術的、迦勒底人和占星家都進來;我當面把那夢告訴了他們,可是他們卻不能把夢的意思向我說明。

8 把夢告訴但以理“最後,那照著我神的名,稱為伯提沙撒的但以理,來到我面前,他裡面有聖神的靈,我就把夢告訴他:

9 ‘術士的領袖伯提沙撒啊!因為我知道你裡面有聖神的靈,沒有甚麼隱祕的事能難倒你;因此,你要把我夢中所見的異象和夢的意思告訴我。

10 我躺在床上時腦海中所見的異象是這樣:我看見大地中間,有一棵樹,十分大。

11 那樹漸長,而且堅強,達於天,地極所有的人都看得到。

12 它的葉子美麗,果實繁多,所有的生物都從它得到食物;野地的走獸在它下面歇息,空中的飛鳥棲宿在它的枝頭上;各種生物都從它得著供養。

13 “‘我躺在床上,在我腦海出現的異象中,我看見有一位守望者,就是聖者,從天上下來,

14 大聲呼叫,這樣:你們要砍這樹,削斷枝子,搖落葉子,打散果子,把樹的走獸趕散,把樹枝上的飛鳥趕走。

15 然而,樹根的餘幹卻要留在地上,用鐵和銅的鍊子圍住,留在野地的青草中,使他被天露滴濕;使他像走獸一樣在地上的草叢中得他的分。

16 使他的心改變,不再是人的心,給他一個獸心,使他經過七年的時期。

17 這是守望者宣告的裁決,是聖者頒布的決定,好使世人都知道:至者在世人的國中掌權,他喜歡把國賜給誰,就賜給誰,甚至立最卑微的人執掌國權。

18 “‘這就是我尼布甲尼撒王所作的夢。伯提沙撒啊!你要把這夢的意思告訴我,因為我國中所有的智慧人都不能把夢的意思向我說明;只有你能,因為你裡面有聖神的靈。’”

19 但以理為王解夢於是那稱為伯提沙撒的但以理驚愕片時,他想到的事使他驚惶。王對他:“伯提沙撒啊!別讓這夢和夢的意思使你驚惶。”伯提沙撒回答:“我主啊!願這夢歸給憎恨你的人,夢的意思歸給你的敵人。

20 你所見的樹漸長,而且堅強,達於天,全地的人都看得到。

21 它的葉子美麗,果實繁多,所有的生物都從它得到食物;野地的走獸住在它下面,空中的飛鳥棲在它的枝頭上。

22 王啊!你就是那樹,越來越偉大堅強;你的威勢漸長,高達於天;你的權柄直到地極。

23 王既然看見一位守望者,就是聖者,從天上下來,:‘你們要砍下毀壞這樹,樹根的餘幹卻要留在地上,用鐵和銅的鍊子圍住,留在野地的青草中,使他被天露滴濕;使他的分和野地的走獸一樣,直到他經過那七年的時期。’

24 王啊!夢的意思就是這樣:這臨到我主我王的事,是至者的裁決。

25 你必被趕逐,離開人群,和野地的走獸同住;你必像牛一樣吃草,被天露滴濕,要經過七年的時期;等到你承認至者在世人的國中掌權,他喜歡把國賜給誰,就賜給誰。

26 守望者既然吩咐要留下樹根的餘幹,所以,等到你承認上天的至高者是掌權的,你的國就必再歸給你。

27 因此,王啊!請你接納我的勸告,施行公,斷絕罪過,憐憫受欺壓者,斷絕罪孽,你的平安或者可以延。”

28 夢境應驗這一切事都在尼布甲尼撒王身上實現了。

29 過了十二個月,王在巴比倫王宮的平頂上散步的時候,

30 :“這大巴比倫城不是我用大能大力建造作我的京都,為顯我威嚴的榮耀嗎?”

31 這話在王的口中還沒有完,就有聲音從天上傳下來,:“尼布甲尼撒王啊!你的王權被褫奪了。

32 你必被趕逐,離開人群,和野地的走獸同住;你必像牛一樣吃草,要經過七年的時期;等到你承認至者在世人的國中掌權,他喜歡把國賜給誰,就賜給誰。”

33 這話立刻就應驗在尼布甲尼撒身上;他被趕逐,離開人群,像牛一樣吃草,身體被天露滴濕,直到他的頭髮得像鷹毛,指甲像鳥爪。

34 “七年的日子滿了,我尼布甲尼撒舉目望天,我的理智恢復過來,我就稱頌至者,讚美尊崇活到永遠的神。他的統治永無窮盡,他的國度直到萬代。

35 地上所有的居民,在他來都是虛無;在天上的萬軍中,他憑自己的意旨行事;在地上的居民中,也是這樣;沒有人能攔住他的手,或問他:‘你作甚麼?’

36 “那時,我的理智恢復過來後,為著我國的光榮,我的威嚴和光輝也都恢復過來了。我的謀臣和官員仍來求見我,我的王權重新堅立,我的權勢越發增加。

37 現在我尼布甲尼撒讚美、尊崇、榮耀天上的王,因為他所作的一切都正確,他所行的也都公平;行為驕傲的,他都能貶低。”

  

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Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream      

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

Floor mosaic of a the Tree of Life (as a pomegranite) from the Big Basilica at Heraclea Lyncestis. Bitola, Macedonia.

In the Book of Daniel, Chapter Four is narrated, after the events of the chapter, by a much-changed Nebuchadnezzar. In the internal sense, the story shows both the Lord's mercy in leading us, and also the depths of despair to which we sink before we willingly open our minds to the Lord and pray for His leadership.

At the beginning of the story, Nebuchadnezzar's idleness imitates the sense of complacency when things seem to be going right, when no temptations darken our skies, and essential selfishness asserts itself once again. Our mind is its house, its palace. We come into this state after a temptation or battle against our sense of selfishness, when we put the struggle aside and rest on our laurels. We are oblivious to the fact that regeneration is an ongoing state, that one temptation succeeds another, and that once conscience has been established in our thought processes, it will not be too long before the lethargy of selfishness is challenged.

While Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in his house, he had a disturbing dream, one unknown to him. As before when he did not understand his dreams, he called the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans and the soothsayers, who, once again, could not interpret the dream.

Often we feel that we face the same temptations over and over again. We might wonder if we will ever regenerate. This is because we fall into a state of selfishness, represented by the king at rest. But when we encounter resistance to that selfishness, we turn back to all our old thought patterns to help us.

Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar called Daniel to tell him his dream. As he recounts the story after the seven years of illness, he uses the words he had spoken before. He addresses Daniel as Belteshazzar, because that is how he saw him before the temptation. Even so, he recognized the presence of the Spirit of the Holy God within him, acknowledging Daniel's power to explain dreams and give interpretations.

The king's second dream took the image of a great tree, planted in the earth, so high it could be seen from the ends of the earth. This parallels the image of the great statue, whose head was gold. As we saw earlier, this image represents the initial state of perfection, followed by a decline as a person turns away from this ideal. The statue shows how self love takes dominance in our lives if unchecked, and brings us into a final state of spiritual destruction.

In this new dream, the tree in the midst of the earth is a reference to the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Both trees symbolize wisdom. The Tree of Life represented the perception the Most Ancient people had from love (Arcana Coelestia 103), but Nebuchadnezzar's tree is from the love of self and the different perceptions people have when motivated by that love (Apocalypse Explained 1029:6).

But when Nebuchadnezzar saw the tree in his dream, it was lovely. Everything in the dream which normally has a good and beautiful significance, instead takes on a negative meaning. The leaves and flowers, which should have been a picture of guiding truths (Arcana Coelestia 9553), represent the opposite, as the falsities which mislead us. We saw how the king called his false guides: the magicians, soothsayers, astrologers, and Chaldeans.

The birds represent the false thoughts from selfishness (Arcana Coelestia 5149). These give credence to selfishness, to justify it and find new ways to express it. So the tree takes on an intellectual picture of the selfish mind. But the mind is made up of both intellect and emotion. There were also beasts sheltering under the tree representing the things we care about.

When selfishness rules in us, just as Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon, all the lesser loves take their cue from this leading love. Thus the beasts of the field, were drawn to the tree for food and shelter.

After this scene is set, Nebuchadnezzar sees "a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven." The introduction of the indescribable watcher is the turning point in the dream, marking the beginning of the end for this marvel reaching up to heaven.

In a state of selfishness, we are spiritually asleep, just as Nebuchadnezzar was asleep when he dreamed. But the Lord never sleeps. Truth in our minds is always vigilant, looking for ways of bringing itself to our consciousness to lead us out of our selfish state. Just as everything seemed right in Nebuchadnezzar's world, he became aware of a watcher—the truth.

In an instant, the king's serenity was changed: a force greater than himself commanded the destruction of the tree, and there was nothing he could do about it. These words make it clear just how vulnerable our selfish states are. At their height, they seem so powerful, but in the face of truth they are shown for the sordid little nothings they are. Truth has the power to expose evil, and we should not be afraid to allow it to do so in our own lives. To stand indicted of selfishness is not the end of life, as it may feel, but the beginning of a new life of liberation.

But we still need some sense of self. There is nothing wrong with being concerned with our own well-being; it is vital to our lives. Selfishness is a part of us, but it needs to be kept under control, subordinated to the higher loves of serving the Lord and our neighbor.

This is why the watcher did not order the complete destruction of the tree: the stump is all that is left of a rampant selfishness, the bands of iron and brass represent thoughts and feelings which originate in selfishness, which can be used to keep it under control (Apocalypse Explained 650:32).

Finally, with the tree destroyed, Nebuchadnezzar himself had to be changed. The watcher commanded that the king is given the heart of an animal for seven years. In substance abuse recovery programs, it is said that an addict cannot change until they hit rock-bottom—when they realize the full necessity of change. In spiritual life, this rock bottom is a point at which we almost lose our humanity, we are so dominated by selfishness, greed and the lust of dominion that we lose our ability to think rationally. We become animals. The difference between humans and animals is our ability to think and act in freedom. Self-love destroys that freedom, thus destroying all humanity within us.

In this prophesy, we see a descent: from man, to beast, to ox. People are human because they are created in the image and likeness of the Lord. Thus human beings have the ability to think and act according to reason. This is the essence of our humanity (Arcana Coelestia 477, 2305, 4051, 585, 1555). When these are in tune with truth and goodness from the Lord, then we are truly human, because the image of the Lord is in us.

So again, we see this slide from an ideal to a lesser state: from man, the king became a beast. From rationality and freedom, he entered slavery. This fall appears earlier in the Word: when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they were cast out.

Finally he was told that he would eat grass like oxen. In a positive sense, oxen represent our affections (Arcana Coelestia 5198, 5642, 6357), or our love of the things of this world. But the opposite meaning of 'ox' is the perversion of goodness (Arcana Coelestia 9083), and the affection for injuring others (Arcana Coelestia 9094).

This humbling of the king represents the proper use of the love of self, and shows that the Lord does not eradicate it, because it is the foundation of true relationships with other people and the Lord Himself. But before it can become useful, selfishness needs to be converted into a humbled love of self, and we must return from the ox state.

As Daniel explained the meaning of the dream, he offered the king counsel: 'break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.' This is the next step in spiritual awareness. Seeing our selfishness, coupled with an increased awareness of the Lord, we reach the point where thoughts must become actions. At first glance, the concept of 'sins and iniquities' may seem redundant. But in the Word, pairs of synonymous words reflect two internal senses: the celestial and the spiritual (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 80). The celestial relates broadly to goodness, and the spiritual to truth. Together they make one.

Daniel's advice to Nebuchadnezzar is to repent. Repentance is the only way out of the quicksand of selfishness. The Lord taught that we should love one another as He loves us (John 13:34, John 15:12). To love ourselves alone, and to wish to control others is not in keeping with the Lord's teachings. The only solution is to listen to the voice of our conscience and allow ourselves to be guided by the truth.

In spite of everything, Nebuchadnezzar's pride was not reduced. As he walked around his palace, his heart was filled with pride: 'is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?'

A selfish person believes that everything they own or have accomplished is by their own power. There is no place for God or anyone else. When people do not listen to the Lord's teachings and reject His counsel, there is nothing the Lord can do but allow the person to reap the consequences of their choice.

The king remained in this ox-state until seven times passed over him, which illustrates that the Lord leaves us in this state until it runs its course. Sometimes it takes us a lifetime to see how our selfishness hurts others, and ourselves. Yet the Lord never leaves us. The promise of the root of the tree, bound with bands of iron and bronze is always there. The Lord works unceasingly to bring our selfishness under control until it can serve the higher loves of our neighbor and the Lord Himself.

Forgiveness begins in the recognition that we are in sin. In his ox-like state, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his eyes to heaven. Eyes represent understanding (Arcana Coelestia 2975, 3863), and to lift them to heaven is to lift our understanding to the truths the Lord has given us. The king had been given some truths in his dreams and in the interpretation of them. He knew from Daniel's advice that he needed to repent and change his ways. As he did so, his understanding and appreciation of the Lord grew. He realized how small he was in the grand scheme of things. The inflated ego of selfishness was deflated by the recognition that all things had been given to him by the Lord.

His story is our story. We each build our empires in one way or another. We hold the power of life and death over others in a figurative sense—do we not decide who we like and dislike, who is admitted out our 'inner circle' and who is beyond the pale? The warnings the Lord gave to Nebuchadnezzar apply to us, and like the king, we can also ignore them. The consequences in our lives are the same, as we are reduced to a merely animal-being, wet with the dew of heaven.

Yet can we hear the Lord's voice calling, for unless we do, we will remain in that state. Can we lift our eyes to heaven and search for the truth leading to the greatest declaration one can make, provided it is done with the heart and not with the lips:

Now I … 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 abase.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Revealed 717

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 175


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

属天的奥秘 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 1326, 3301, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 47, 60, 158, 173, 474, 567, 757, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 40, 48

最后的审判 54

真实的基督教 93, 644


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 204, 257, 650, 662, 1029, 1100

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

An Invitation to the New Church 22

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 30, 31

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Významy biblických slov

尼布甲尼撒
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...


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

永遠
It is hard for us to conceive this, but time does not exist in spiritual reality. Time is an aspect of physical reality that no...

占星家
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

告訴
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

下面
In the Bible, things that are lower down, or under, physically, generally represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases, the...


In the Bible, things that are lower down, or under, physically, generally represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases, the...


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...


The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...


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

建造
建造东西一般是指把各种比较简单的东西拼凑起来,做成一个有用的、比较复杂的结构,就像用木头或砖头盖房子一样,在圣经中通常是这样用的。在希拿地,人希望建造一座塔,在新约中耶稣建议聪明人要把房子建在石头上。但从代表意义上讲,意思是指建造一个精神和属灵的结构,就像教会的教义或灵性现实的个别概念在一个人的头脑中的个别概念。 建筑材料也是有代表性的。巴别塔是用砖头建造的,砖头是人造的石头,或者说是人造的 "真理",也就是 "真理 "不是来自神,而是人想出来的属灵的想法。聪明人要建造的房子是建立在天然的或 "神所造 "的岩石上,也就是来自于道的真理。

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