但以理書 3

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1 尼布甲尼撒王造了一個金像,六十肘,寬肘,立在巴比倫省杜拉平原。

2 尼布甲尼撒王差人將總督、欽差、巡撫、臬司、藩司、謀士、法官,和各省的官員都召了來,為尼布甲尼撒王所立的像行開光之禮。

3 於是總督、欽差、巡撫、臬司、藩司、謀士、法官,和各省的官員都聚集了來,要為尼布甲尼撒王所立的像行開光之禮,就站在尼布甲尼撒所立的像前。

4 那時傳令的大聲呼叫:各方、各國、各族(原文是舌:下同)的人哪,有令傳與你們:

5 你們一見角、笛、琵琶、琴、瑟、笙,和各樣樂器的聲音,就當俯伏敬拜尼布甲尼撒王所立的金像。

6 凡不俯伏敬拜的,必立時扔在烈火的窯中。

7 因此各方、各國、各族的人民一見角、笛、琵琶、琴、瑟,和各樣樂器的聲音,就都俯伏敬拜尼布甲尼撒王所立的金像。

8 那時,有幾個迦勒底人進前來控告猶大人。

9 他們對尼布甲尼撒:願王萬歲!

10 王啊,你曾降旨說,凡見角、笛、琵琶、琴、瑟、笙,和各樣樂器聲音的都當俯伏敬拜金像。

11 凡不俯伏敬拜的,必扔在烈火的窯中。

12 現在有幾個猶大人,就是王所派管理巴比倫省事務的沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌;王啊,這些人不理你,不事奉你的神,也不敬拜你所立的金像。

13 當時,尼布甲尼撒沖沖大怒,吩咐人把沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌帶過來,他們就把那些人帶到王面前。

14 尼布甲尼撒問他們:沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌,你們不事奉我的神,也不敬拜我所立的金像,是故意的麼?

15 你們再見角、笛、琵琶、琴、瑟、笙,和各樣樂器的聲音,若俯伏敬拜我所造的像,卻還可以;若不敬拜,必立時扔在烈火的窯中,有何神能救你們脫離我手呢?

16 沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌對王尼布甲尼撒啊,這件事我們不必回答你;

17 即便如此,我們所事奉的神能將我們從烈火的窯中救出來。王啊,他也必救我們脫離你的手;

18 即或不然,王啊,你當知道我們決不事奉你的神,也不敬拜你所立的金像。

19 當時,尼布甲尼撒怒氣胸,向沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌變了臉色,吩咐人把窯燒熱,比尋常更加七倍;

20 又吩咐他軍中的幾個壯士,將沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌捆起來,扔在烈火的窯中。

21 這三人穿著褲子、內袍、外衣,和別的衣服,被捆起來扔在烈火的窯中。

22 因為王命緊急,窯又甚熱,那抬沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌的人都被火燄燒死。

23 沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌這個人都被捆著落在烈火的窯中。

24 那時,尼布甲尼撒王驚奇,急忙起來,對謀士:我捆起來扔在火裡的不是個人麼?他們回答王:王啊,是。

25 :看哪,我見有四個人,並沒有捆綁,在火中遊行,也沒有受傷;那第四個的相貌好像神子。

26 於是,尼布甲尼撒就近烈火窯門,:至神的僕人沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌出來,上這裡來罷!沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌就從火中出來了。

27 那些總督、欽差、巡撫,和王的謀士一同聚集看這三個人,見火無力傷他們的身體,頭髮也沒有燒焦,衣裳也沒有變色,並沒有火燎的氣味。

28 尼布甲尼撒:沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌的神是應當稱頌的!他差遣使者救護倚靠他的僕人,他們不遵王命,捨去己身,在他們神以外不肯事奉敬拜別神。

29 現在我降旨,無論何方、何國、何族的人,謗讟沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌之神的,必被凌遲,他的房屋必成糞堆,因為沒有別神能這樣施行拯救。

30 那時王在巴比倫省,高升了沙得拉、米煞、亞伯尼歌。

  

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The Fiery Furnace      

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

The third chapter of Daniel follows the same pattern as the first two: Nebuchadnezzar begins by making threats against those who do not bow to his every whim, and ends with his humbly admitting the Lord's power.

The similarities between the dramatic vision of the statue in chapter two and actually building an image in chapter three are not, however, mere repetition. Close attention to the detail in this chapter will show how in its pursuit of domination the selfish side of human nature continues to try to dominate, even though we might consciously submit to the Lord.

This third chapter opens with a huge image created by Nebuchadnezzar. The actual dimensions are important, not because of their physical impact, but because of the spiritual concepts they contain. Similarly, the impossibility of it being made from gold should not interfere with the spiritual exposition of the verse. The literal sense of the story is important only as a means of bringing out the spiritual sense.

This entire image was made of gold. But like the head of the statue in the previous chapter, this is not the gold representing love to the Lord, but self love. Every good correspondence also has an opposite sense.

The statue is described as sixty cubits tall, and six cubits wide. The recurring number "six" takes meaning from its contrast to the number immediately following. "Seven" is a state of fullness and completeness—the Lord rested on the seventh day of creation, clean animals entered the ark in sevens, we should forgive others "up to seventy times seven." As seven contains this sense of completeness, six represents a state of incompleteness.

"Six" is often used to describe the process of regeneration, especially in the creation series, and in the Ten Commandments. In the six days of creation, people are tempted and in a state of conflict, which must be overcome for the person to regenerate (AC 8494, 8539:2, 8888). The conflict illustrated in this chapter is between our sense of selfishness and our emerging conscience.

The number sixty is the fullness of this conflict, as sixty is a six multiplied by ten. If six represents the conflicts of temptation, ten represents completeness (AC 3107, 4638, 8468, 9416), or fullness of that conflict.

Ideally, the states of goodness, truth and their mutual expression should be equal. The shape representing a regenerate person would be a perfect cube, as described by "the Holy City coming down from God out of heaven" (Revelation 21:2).

But Nebuchadnezzar's image vastly different from this ideal: it was tall and narrow — ten times taller than it was wide, and no depth is described. It comes across as one dimensional, disproportionate, its most compelling feature the gold from which it is made.

As in the second chapter, Nebuchadnezzar calls together his advisers: before, it was astrologers and wise men. In this chapter he calls together the governors of his kingdom: the satraps, administrators and so on. When the Word speaks of governors, it speaks of our loves, because we are ruled and governed by loves. The list here gives a hierarchy of loves from the top, or ruling loves, down to the lesser affections we have.
We are shown our state when that ruling love is Nebuchadnezzar: he dominates the scene, his word is law. He controls a vast empire and has absolute control over life and death. Thus Nebuchadnezzar can summon his governors and order them around with the same ease with which he called together the wise men and demanded the impossible from them.

At the sound of music, his whole empire was to fall down and worship the gold image erected by the king. Music is used as a means of summoning the rulers of the land because if those men represent our various loves and affections, so music speaks to our loves.

If Nebuchadnezzar represents our selfishness and love of control, the Chaldeans come into the picture as a confirmation of this selfishness. The essence of profanation—evil pretending to be good—is the misuse of goodness and truth for one's own ends. Any state of genuine good or truth resisting this misuse would come into conflict with it.

Thus the Chaldeans with great enthusiasm name Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego who do not serve the king nor worship his golden image. By using their Babylonian names, they are refusing to recognize truth as coming from the Word. This is the very heart of profanation: to know something is from the Word, even to acknowledge it as such, and yet to deny it—just as those Chaldeans must have known that the three men were Jews, and that their Babylonian names were not truly their own. It is the ultimate denial of their identity, just as profanation is the ultimate denial of the Lord.

Nebuchadnezzar's life is first of military conquest and the expansion of his empire. This conquest comes with the dominion of religious things. Thus it was not out of character for him to command worship. As the love of self progresses, it demands greater and greater things, until it demands to be treated as the Lord Himself (AR 717).

"The evil of the love of self is not, as is generally thought, that external elation which is called pride, but it is hatred against the neighbor, and thence a burning desire for revenge, and delight in cruelty. These are the interiors of the love of self. Its exteriors are contempt for others in comparison with self, and an aversion to those who are in spiritual good, and this sometimes with manifest elation or pride, and sometimes without it. For one who holds the neighbor in such hatred, inwardly loves no one but himself and those whom he regards as making one with himself, thus he loves them in himself, and himself in them for the sole end of self" (AC 4750:5).

Each person in this world is capable of giving freedom to these feelings, and if we do, soon we find ourselves doing what Nebuchadnezzar did: demanding that people see the world through our own personal spectacles, and roundly damning them to hell if they do not.


As we saw earlier, Daniel represents the conscience developing in opposition to our selfish states. Conscience is the activity of truth leading and guiding our minds towards a life in harmony with the Lord's. The conscience, however, must be made up of individual truths, truths applicable to different parts of our lives. We have a set of truths to govern marriage, work ethic, social interaction, and so on.

These individual truths are Daniel's Hebrew companions. Each time we have seen them, they have stood on their belief in God, but each time at Daniel's leadership. This time they stand alone, willing to confront the imperial wrath and face death for their belief.

The consequences were, of course, dire. Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage, demanding that the young men be cast into a fiery furnace, heated to seven times its normal heat. The young men were prepared to accept this punishment rather than retract their belief in the Lord.

Nebuchadnezzar tried to scare the three men by heating the furnace to hotter than normal, which well describes the actions of evil spirits in temptation who,

"act against the affections of truth that make the conscience: as soon as they perceive anything of conscience, of whatever kind, then from the falsities and failings in the man they form to themselves an affection; and by means of this they cast a shade over the light of truth, and so pervert it; or they induce anxiety and torture him" (AC 1820:4).

The time the young men spend in the furnace represents a state of temptation, which occurs for the sake of regeneration (AE 439). Most simply defined, temptation is a battle between two sides within us, where the natural, or selfish side is subdued. Up until then, selfishness is seen as simply being a part of us, the way we are (AC 1820). In temptation, this self-image is changed, and we learn to see ourselves in the light of heaven (AE 439).

The power of the evil spirits is greatly illusory. Just as Nebuchadnezzar fell back after resistance, so the spirits also withdraw when we resist them. The greatest temptation we face is believing the Lord is unable to help us in our times of great need. If we cling to the believe that He can and does give help, then facing our inner selfishness becomes less difficult. The image the men were commanded to worship was, after all, an immobile object of gold, disproportionate and one-dimensional. Our selfishness is like that: seemingly monolithic, and yet devoid of any real life. Its attractions fade when seen in the light of heaven. Spiritual resistance is not so difficult, and the results give strength:

"Victories are attended with the result that the malignant genii and spirits afterward dare not do anything; for their life consists in their being able to destroy, and when they perceive that a man is of such a character that he can resist then at the first onset they flee away, as they are wont to do when they draw near to the first entrance to heaven, for they are at once seized with horror and terror, and hurl themselves backward" AC 1820.

Nebuchadnezzar is brought to awareness and appreciation of the power of the Lord, this time, with his own senses. There is a power in his acquiescence after witnessing the four men in the fiery furnace that is far more dramatic than his incredulity after Daniel foretold the dream in chapter two. This time he actually saw the power of the furnace, so strong that those who cast the three men in were killed by its heat, yet he saw the three men walk out unscathed. This proved the power of God to him more than anything before.

We see something of this process in the final verses of Chapter three, where Nebuchadnezzar praises the Lord, showing a new humility impossible for him before. As a result, the affection of truth begins to rule in place of the former selfish loves. Thus we see Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego promoted in the province of Babylon, presumably in place of the Babylonian satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the officials of the province who responded to Nebuchadnezzar's call to worship the gold image.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326

The Last Judgement 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 174


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

揭秘启示录 717

True Christian Religion 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

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 Blessings: Worship of the Heart
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Correspondences of Fire
Illustration of three stories in the Word that relate to fire. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Faith Conversations
Daniel stood up for his beliefs while captive in Babylon. Can you be true to your beliefs when talking to others about your faith?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

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Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Fiery Furnace Diorama
Use an oatmeal box and clay figures to make a diorama of the fiery furnace. 
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Fiery Furnace Song Act It Out
Listen to a song and act out the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abegnego in the fiery furnace.
Activity | Ages 3 - 7

 Fiery Furnace Wax Resist Picture
Draw the four men in the furnace with crayons or oil pastels, then use fire-colored watercolor paint to make the flames around them.
Project | All Ages

 Four in the Fiery Furnace
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Four Men in the Fiery Furnace
Make finger puppets and a shoebox stage to retell the story
Project | Ages 7 - 9

 Nebuchadnezzar, the Golden Statue, and the Fiery Furnace
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 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

 Quotes: Worship of the Heart
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Open the doors of the furnace to see the three men inside. Then hold the picture up to the light to see the fourth man—the angel sent from the Lord.
Project | Ages 3 - 6

 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the Fiery Furnace
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Angel in the Fiery Furnace
Use tissue paper and the included cutouts to make a picture of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with an angel in the fiery furnace to hang in a window.
Project | Ages 3 - 7

 The Fiery Furnace
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 The Fiery Furnace
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

 The Fiery Furnace
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Fiery Furnace
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Fiery Furnace
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 The Fiery Furnace (3-5 years)
Use crayons to make a picture of the four men in the furnace, then use fire-colored watercolor paint to make the flames around them. 
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Fiery Furnace (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fiery Furnace (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Fiery Furnace Jar
Make the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in a small jar where the angel is revealed when you add an electric tea candle.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fiery Furnace (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14

 Walking in the Furnace
Reflect on times when feelings of anger or hatred threatened you, and think about who might be willing to “walk with you in the furnace” and help protect you?
Activity | Ages 11 - 18

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As you draw the flames with orange and red crayons, you will reveal the four men in the fiery furnace
Project | Ages 9 - 12


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