Daniel 6

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1 It seemed good to Darius, and he appointed over the kingdom a hundred and twenty governors to be over his whole kingdom.

2 And three princes over them, of whom Daniel was one: that the governors might give an account to them, and the king might have no trouble.

3 And Daniel excelled all the princes, and governors: because a greater spirit of God was in him.

4 And the king thought to set him over all the kingdom: whereupon the princes, and the governors sought to find occasion against Daniel with regard to the king: and they could find no cause, nor suspicion, because he was faithful, and no fault, nor suspicion was found in him

5 Then these men said: We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, unless perhaps concerning the law of his God.

6 Then the princes, and the governors craftily suggested to the king, and spoke thus unto him: King Darius, live for ever:

7 All the princes of the kingdom, the magistrates, and governors, the senators, and judges have consulted together, that an imperial decree, and an edict be published: That whosoever shall ask any petition of any god, or man, for thirty days, but of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

8 Now, therefore, O king, confirm the sentence, and sign the decree: that what is decreed by the Medes and Persians may not be altered, nor any man be allowed to transgress it.

9 So king Darius set forth the decree, and established it.

10 Now when Daniel knew this, that is to say, that the law was made, he went into his house: and opening the windows in his upper chamber towards Jerusalem, he knelt down three times a day, and adored, and gave thanks before his God, as he had been accustomed to do before.

11 Wherefore those men carefully watching him, found Daniel praying and making supplication to his God.

12 And they came and spoke to the king concerning the edict: O king, hast thou not decreed, that every man that should make a request to any of the gods, or men, for thirty days, but to thyself, O king, should be cast into the den of the lions? And the king answered them, saying: The word is true according to the decree of the Medes and Persians, which it is not lawful to violate.

13 Then they answered, and said before the king: Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Juda, hath not regarded thy law, nor the decree that thou hast made: but three times a day he maketh his prayer.

14 Now when the king had heard these words, he was very much grieved, and in behalf of Daniel he set his heart to deliver him and even till sunset he laboured to save him.

15 But those mer. perceiving the king's design, said to him: Know thou, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, that no decree which the king hath made, may be altered.

16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of the lions. And the king said to Daniel: Thy God, whom thou always servest, he will deliver thee.

17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den: which the king sealed with his own ring, and with the ring of his nobles, that nothing should be done against Daniel.

18 And the king went away to his house and laid himself down without taking supper, and meat was not set before him, and even sleep departed from him.

19 Then the king rising very early in the morning, went in haste to the lions' den:

20 And coming near to the den, cried with a lamentable voice to Daniel, and said to him: Daniel, servant of the living God, hath thy God, whom thou servest always, been able, thinkest thou, to deliver thee from the lions?

21 And Daniel answering the king, said: O king, live for ever:

22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut up the mouths of the lions, and they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him justice hath been found in me: yea and before thee, O king, I have done no offence.

23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and he commanded that Daniel should be taken out of the den: and Daniel was taken out of the den, and no hurt was found in him, because he believed in his God.

24 And by the king's commandment, those men were brought that bad accused Daniel: and they were cast into the lions' den, they and their children, and their wives: and they did not reach the bottom of the den, before the lions caught them, and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then king Darius wrote to all people, tribes, and languages, dwelling in the whole earth: PEACE be multiplied unto you.

26 It is decreed by me, that in all my empire and my kingdom all men dread and fear the God of Daniel. For he is the living and eternal God for ever: and his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his power shall be for ever.

27 He is the deliverer, and saviour, doing signs and wonders in heaven, and in earth: who hath delivered Daniel out of the lions' den.

28 Now Daniel continued unto the reign of Darius, and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

  
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Daniel in the Lions' Den      

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

Henry Ossawa Tanner (United States, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, 1859 - 1937) 
Daniel in the Lions' Den, 1907-1918. Painting, Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 41 1/8 x 49 7/8 in.

Darius was the king of Babylon. This means that his correspondence falls into the same category as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Babylon, as we have seen many times, describes the love of ruling over other people from a love of self. Nebuchadnezzar represents the falsification of the Word and destruction of truth (AR 47) which draws its strength from an unbridled love of self. As his story unfolds, we see the impact of truth both on the love of self, bringing it into order, and the recognition of the Lord and His Word. In first four chapters, Nebuchadnezzar declines while Daniel ascends.

The final verse of chapter five tells us that Darius was sixty two years old when he came upon the throne of Babylon. Age in the Word always indicates state, and the number of years are the qualities of that particular state. So this age is an insight into the character of this new king.

As we saw in Chapter three, six represents a state of incompleteness, and has the same meaning as "two" (AC 900)—and for the same reason: it is one less than a number signifying completeness. Two comes before three as six comes before seven. Both "three" and "seven" represent completeness, for example, the Lord was in the tomb for three days, or the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The number seven is similar: after creation the Lord rested on the seventh day, and in the Ten Commandments we are instructed to obey that day and keep it holy. "Six" falls just short of this representation of perfection, and so illustrates a state of imperfection.

The picture of Darius begins to emerge as states laying the ground work of faith and goodness, as we put to rest the overt evil depicted by Belshazzar. Initially these states are weak, for they belong to our early regeneration. The root cause of the weakness should not be forgotten: Darius, by killing Belshazzar became the king of Babylon, thus representing our love of self.

But he is different from his predecessors: Nebuchadnezzar progressed in his understanding and appreciation of the Lord’s power, Belshazzar did not. Darius completes the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the chastised love of self. Selfishness is humbled in Darius: he places Daniel at the very head of his government, second only to himself. The implications of this accolade should not be lost: since selfishness is only subdued by the conscience, the conscience needs to become the prime motivator in our feelings, thoughts, and actions.

"Wise men" and "governors" are a theme in the first half of the book of Daniel. While usually failing, these are the first people kings seek advice from. They represent our habitual thoughts (the wise men) and loves (the governors) under our central selfishness. In this chapter, Darius divided his kingdom into one hundred and twenty provinces, each ruled by a "satrap" or governor.

In the internal sense, these officials represent the thoughts and affections springing from the central or ruling love. Darius, like Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar before him, was a king of Babylon, and thus represents our love of self, but a love of self under control. So the satraps represent the affections springing from this love.

The number "one hundred and twenty" is another compound number describing the affections represented by the satraps. In a perfect square, like the number one hundred, the length and breadth are fully equal. Thus the quality of goodness and truth is the same. Ten represents states of remains, or states of goodness and truth implanted in the human mind by the Lord. Ten multiplied by ten doubles this meaning—fullness of remains (AC 1988 [2]).

For "one hundred and twenty" we must add the final twenty. Twenty is ten times two. As we saw earlier, two represents the state before completeness, the necessary turmoil to achieve that completeness (AC 900). Yet the number two also describes the state of conjunction, where goodness and truth are brought into harmony through the trials and temptations of life.

So the one-hundred twenty satraps symbolize the approaching states of regeneration, where the love of self has been somewhat purified of the profanation, represented by Belshazzar. They mark progress in human regeneration. The truths we learn, represented by Daniel, find fuller expression in daily life.

Darius’ reign is one of promise, which is developed even further: over these one hundred and twenty satraps, Darius appointed three "presidents," of whom Daniel was the first. Daniel would control the land, the satraps would report to him, and he would rule as the de facto ruler of Babylon. This is a long way from the captive boy led out of Jerusalem—it is a long way from the first stirrings of conscience, to the point where our lives are firmly under the guidance and control of the conscience. Daniel’s appointment to this post of authority is a clear promise of victory for truth in our minds, if we are willing to listen to its leading, allowing it to humble and judge us, as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar were humbled and judged.

The satraps, seeing Daniel’s exalted position, plotted against him. When they could find nothing personally wrong with him, they planned to use his devotion to the Lord to undermine him. This is the essential point of conflict between our conscience and our love of self. Even when the love of self has been subdued, it still retains a tendency to exalt itself. There is something in us which causes us to look back with fondness to the days before we were fighting selfishness, a memory that can be fleeting, yet powerful. It is in that moment when we are vulnerable to temptation. This kind of weakness allows the thoughts and attitudes from selfishness to reassert themselves. We fall back into our old ways.

In these circumstances, though it may not seem so at the time, we are setting ourselves over God—we convince ourselves that our needs, our wants, our desires are more important than anything else. In what might later seem like a moment of spiritual madness, we set aside our conscience and embrace a concept, and attitude, an action we know to be wrong. Like Darius, we have been seduced by pride.

In temptation, our loves give us comfort. If we love goodness, truth, and doing the right thing, then those loves cannot be undermined by temptation. Love forms the basis of our spiritual lives, and if it is good, then it offers us a tranquility of mind and strength of spirit to overcome the temptation. Thus Daniel’s home, where he fled in the face of Darius’ unreasonable demand, is an image of our loves.

If a house represents our loves, then the chambers in the house are the good things springing from those loves (AC 3900). We cannot divorce good thoughts, feelings, and activities from our loves, for love permeates throughout our whole being once we have been regenerated. In temptation we take solace in these, we have to remind ourselves of the progress we have made, that the Lord in His mercy has given us the ability to turn our backs on the pure selfishness which nearly destroys us.

So Daniel knelt facing Jerusalem, his home city, which represents the church in us: the ability to humble and submit ourselves to the Lord. To kneel is a sign of humility and adoration. It contains a recognition of the Lord’s power over our lives.

But it is easy for our selfishness to make ridiculous demands on us, things which would bind the conscience and make it ineffective, things which go against the grain of our concept of truth. Having laid this trap for our conscience, we begin the process of pointing out its non-compliance. How often we tell ourselves we should do this or that, even though we know it is wrong. When our conscience pricks us, and reminds us of the truth, we turn away.

It is so easy to see only the immediate and positive benefits to ourselves, just as Darius must have felt so pleased that no one would ask a favor of any man or god, other than himself. In a country with thousands of household gods, this would have been the epitome of power. How long did it last? How long does any evil last? Many evils give only momentary pleasures before the effects begin to make themselves felt. Adultery, murder, theft, hatred, and revenge only last as long as given vent. Then we have the damage to contend with: guilt, fear, loss of prestige or esteem, loss of love, loss of friends.

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den is one of the best known in the Word. On the surface it tells the story of courage, deliverance and the defeat of pride. In the internal sense it tells of the final battle between selfishness and conscience. Every detail has meaning.

In the Word the image of a lion is used in connection with the Lord. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who was able to open the sealed scroll in the book of Revelation. He is the lion who roars as He comes to fight for Mount Zion (Isaiah 31:4). Thus the Lord as a lion illustrates His great love for fighting against the evils which infest humanity, and preserving us from them.

In this case, the lions change meaning from beautiful strength to fight against evil and falsity from the Lord’s power, to the "desperate boldness" springing from intense self love. Since self love is bolstered and supported by false reasoning, the den was sealed with a great stone.

The night the king passed in despair represents obscurity, a vital part of temptation (AC 1787, 2694, 7166). Temptations are characterized by doubt about the Lord’s presence, and whether regeneration is actually possible (AC 2334). The doubt begins mildly, but increases in time.

Just as the weeping women found the Lord’s tomb empty, guarded by an angel, so Darius found Daniel alive and well in the midst of the lions. This is a resurrection of sorts, for Daniel should not have survived the ordeal, and would not have survived but for an angel who had shut the lions’ mouths.

All through temptations, the Lord is at our side. He protects our good loves, our conscience, our very desire for regeneration. Divine Providence is always striving to lead us out of temptation, into the fullness and joy of the Lord’s kingdom. This can only happen if we are willing to undergo the temptation. These never take place for their own sake, but for our spiritual development.

Once we have made our decision to submit to the Lord, like Darius in the night, He sets us free from the bondage of temptation. When Darius found Daniel safe, he commanded him brought out of the lions’ den. Then the satraps, who had conjured up and manipulated this near tragedy, were cast into the den. This action, cruel on the surface, reflects the casting away of our final selfish loves.

The aim of the conscience is to bring us to the recognition that God is king. This is a story of victory. We need to know the baser side of our lives, when selfishness runs rampant. Unless we know who we are, we cannot change. Knowledge gives the power to change. Knowledge from the Word forms a plane in our minds into which the Lord can flow. His presence makes a difference to the way we act and react, think and feel. The Daniel side of our character is the means of our salvation, and as the Lord protected the historic Daniel, so He protects and guards our spiritual conscience, making sure it is strong enough to challenge us on points of selfishness, and powerful enough a presence to lead us into the states of blessedness and peace which are His kingdom.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10412

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 177


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 2788

Apocalypse Revealed 717

True Christian Religion 292, 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

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

said
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governors
‘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...

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...

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To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

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

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...

sunset
Sunset' denotes the end of a state.

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...

rising
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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Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

justice
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

saviour
The Lord from the essential divine, through the divine human, is the savior. The Lord became the savior by His spiritual temptations, or combats.

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 Close the Lion's Mouth
Color the lion, then fold to close its mouth as you retell the story.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Daniel and Lions
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel and the Lions’ Den
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Daniel Delivered from the Lions
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel: God Is My Judge
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Daniel in the Lions' Den
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

 Daniel in the Lions' Den
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
We need to place our trust in the power of the Lord.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Daniel in the Lions’ Den (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Diorama
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Retold
Story | All Ages

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Sequencing Activity
Cut the story strips for sequencing by one or more children
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel in the Lions' Den Story Line
Make a story line reflecting your perspective on whether the events in this story are happy, sad, or “neutral.”
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Daniel (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14

 Daniel’s Protection
Bad things do happen and they happen to good people as well as bad, so the Divine protection does not mean immunity from bodily harm. But Divine protection is a very real thing.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Daniel Worships the Lord
An illustrated story about Daniel's faithfulness to God and how he was protected in the lion's den.
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Dramatize the Story of Daniel in the Lions' Den
Retell the story while the children act it out. Have the angel go to all of the lions to "shut" their mouths.
Activity | Ages up to 6

 False Teeth
Use this picture of a lion roaring, to write a true idea and then a false idea that wants to "tear" at our understanding of the truth.
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 In the Lions' Den
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jigsaw Puzzle: Daniel in the Lions' Den
Print and cut out the color pieces of a jigsaw puzzle showing an angel protecting Daniel from the lions.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 King Darius, Daniel, and Me
Explore how the Lord helped both King Darius and Daniel, and how he helps us.
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 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: The Lord Protects Us
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Lions’ Den
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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