Daniel 4

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1 (H3:31) "Kuningas Nebukadnessar kaikille kansoille, kansakunnille ja kielille, jotka asuvat kaiken maan päällä: suuri olkoon teidän rauhanne!

2 (H3:32) Minä olen nähnyt hyväksi ilmoittaa ne tunnusteot ja ihmeet, jotka korkein Jumala on minulle tehnyt.

3 (H3:33) Kuinka suuret ovat hänen tunnustekonsa ja kuinka voimalliset hänen ihmeensä! Hänen valtakuntansa on iankaikkinen valtakunta ja hänen valtansa pysyy suvusta sukuun."

4 (H4:1) "Minä Nebukadnessar elin rauhassa huoneessani ja onnellisena palatsissani.

5 (H4:2) Minä näin unen, ja se peljästytti minut; ja unikuvat, joita minulla oli vuoteessani, minun pääni näyt, kauhistuttivat minut.

6 (H4:3) Niin minä annoin käskyn tuoda eteeni kaikki Baabelin viisaat, että he ilmoittaisivat minulle unen selityksen.

7 (H4:4) Silloin tulivat tietäjät, noidat, kaldealaiset ja tähtienselittäjät, ja minä kerroin heille unen, mutta he eivät voineet ilmoittaa minulle sen selitystä.

8 (H4:5) Mutta viimein tuli minun eteeni Daniel, jonka nimi on minun jumalani nimen mukaan Beltsassar ja jossa on pyhien jumalien henki; ja minä kerroin hänelle unen:

9 (H4:6) 'Beltsassar, sinä tietäjäin päämies, jossa minä tiedän olevan pyhien jumalien hengen ja jolle mikään salaisuus ei ole liian vaikea! Sano, mitä olivat ne näyt, jotka minä unessani näin, ja mikä on sen selitys.

10 (H4:7) Nämä olivat minun pääni näyt, jotka minulla oli vuoteessani. Minä näin: Katso, oli puu keskellä maata, ja sen korkeus oli suuri.

11 (H4:8) Puu kasvoi ja vahvistui, niin että sen latva ulottui taivaaseen ja se näkyi kaiken maan ääriin.

12 (H4:9) Sen lehvät olivat kauniit ja sen hedelmät suuret, ja siinä oli ravintoa kaikille. Sen alla etsivät varjoa kedon eläimet, ja sen oksilla asuivat taivaan linnut, ja kaikki liha sai siitä ravintonsa.

13 (H4:10) Minä näin pääni näyissä, joita minulla oli vuoteessani: katso, pyhä enkeli astui alas taivaasta.

14 (H4:11) Hän huusi voimallisesti ja sanoi näin: hakatkaa puu poikki ja karsikaa sen oksat, riipikää sen lehvät ja hajottakaa sen hedelmät. Paetkoot eläimet sen alta ja linnut sen oksilta.

15 (H4:12) Mutta sen kanto juurineen jättäkää maahan, rauta-ja vaskikahleissa kedon ruohikkoon. Taivaan kasteesta hän kastukoon, ja niinkuin eläinten olkoon hänen osansa maan ruoho.

16 (H4:13) Hänen sydämensä muutetaan, niin ettei se ole ihmisen sydän, ja hänelle annetaan eläimen sydän. Ja niin kulukoon häneltä seitsemän aikaa.

17 (H4:14) Tämä on säädetty enkelien päätöksellä, ja niin ovat tästä asiasta pyhät sanoneet, että elävät tietäisivät Korkeimman hallitsevan ihmisten valtakuntaa ja antavan sen, kenelle hän tahtoo, ja asettavan sen päämieheksi ihmisistä halvimman.'

18 (H4:15) Tämän unen näin minä, kuningas Nebukadnessar. Ja sinä, Beltsassar, sano sen selitys, koska ei yksikään minun valtakuntani viisaista voi minulle ilmoittaa sen selitystä. Mutta sinä sen voit, sillä sinussa on pyhien jumalien henki."

19 (H4:16) Silloin Daniel, jonka nimenä oli Beltsassar, hämmästyi hetkeksi, ja hänen ajatuksensa peljästyttivät häntä. Kuningas lausui ja sanoi: "Beltsassar, älköön uni ja sen selitys sinua peljästyttäkö". Beltsassar vastasi ja sanoi: "Herrani, koskekoon uni sinun vihollisiasi ja sen selitys sinun vastustajiasi.

20 (H4:17) Puu, jonka sinä näit ja joka kasvoi ja vahvistui, niin että sen latva ulottui taivaaseen ja se näkyi kaikkeen maahan,

21 (H4:18) jonka lehvät olivat kauniit ja hedelmät suuret ja jossa oli ravintoa kaikille, jonka alla kedon eläimet asuivat ja jonka oksilla taivaan linnut oleskelivat,

22 (H4:19) -se puu olet sinä, kuningas, joka olet kasvanut ja vahvistunut; sinun suuruutesi on kasvanut ja ulottuu taivaaseen ja sinun valtasi maan ääriin.

23 (H4:20) Ja että kuningas näki pyhän enkelin astuvan alas taivaasta ja sanovan: 'Hakatkaa puu poikki ja turmelkaa se, mutta jättäkää sen kanto juurineen maahan, rauta-ja vaskikahleissa kedon ruohikkoon; taivaan kasteesta hän kastukoon, ja niinkuin kedon eläinten olkoon hänen osansa, kunnes häneltä on kulunut seitsemän aikaa',

24 (H4:21) sen selitys, oi kuningas, ja Ylimmäisen päätös, joka on kohdannut minun herraani, kuningasta, on tämä:

25 (H4:22) Sinut ajetaan pois ihmisten seasta, ja kedon eläinten parissa on sinun asuinpaikkasi oleva; sinä joudut syömään ruohoa niinkuin raavaat, ja sinä olet kastuva taivaan kasteesta; ja niin on sinulta kuluva seitsemän aikaa, kunnes tulet tuntemaan, että Korkein hallitsee ihmisten valtakuntaa ja antaa sen, kenelle hän tahtoo.

26 (H4:23) Mutta että käskettiin jättää maahan puun kanto juurineen, se tietää, että sinun valtakuntasi pysytetään sinulla, ja sinä saat sen, niin pian kuin tulet tuntemaan, että valta on taivaan.

27 (H4:24) Sentähden, kuningas, kelvatkoon sinulle minun neuvoni: kirvoita synnit itsestäsi almuilla ja pahat tekosi vaivaisia armahtamalla; ehkäpä silloin onnesi kestäisi."

28 (H4:25) Tämä kaikki kohtasi kuningas Nebukadnessaria.

29 (H4:26) Kaksitoista kuukautta tämän jälkeen, kun kuningas oli kävelemässä kuninkaallisen palatsinsa katolla Baabelissa,

30 (H4:27) hän puhkesi puhumaan sanoen: "Eikö tämä ole se suuri Baabel, jonka minä väkevällä voimallani olen rakentanut kuninkaalliseksi linnaksi, valtasuuruuteni kunniaksi!"

31 (H4:28) Vielä oli sana kuninkaan suussa, kun taivaasta tuli ääni: "Sinulle, kuningas Nebukadnessar, julistetaan: Sinun valtakuntasi on otettu sinulta pois.

32 (H4:29) Sinut ajetaan pois ihmisten seasta, ja kedon eläinten parissa on sinun asuinpaikkasi oleva; sinä joudut syömään ruohoa niinkuin raavaat, ja niin on sinulta kuluva seitsemän aikaa, kunnes tulet tuntemaan, että Korkein hallitsee ihmisten valtakuntaa ja antaa sen, kenelle hän tahtoo."

33 (H4:30) Sillä hetkellä se sana toteutui Nebukadnessarissa: hänet ajettiin pois ihmisten seasta, ja hän söi ruohoa niinkuin raavaat, ja hänen ruumiinsa kastui taivaan kasteesta, kunnes hänen hiuksensa kasvoivat pitkiksi kuin kotkan sulat ja hänen kyntensä kuin lintujen kynnet.

34 (H4:31) "Mutta sen ajan kuluttua minä, Nebukadnessar, nostin silmäni taivasta kohti, ja minun järkeni palasi. Ja minä kiitin Korkeinta, minä ylistin ja kunnioitin häntä, joka elää iankaikkisesti, jonka hallitus on iankaikkinen hallitus ja jonka valtakunta pysyy suvusta sukuun.

35 (H4:32) Kaikki maan asukkaat ovat tyhjänveroiset; ja hän tekee, niinkuin hän tahtoo, taivaan joukoille ja maan asukkaille, eikä ole sitä, joka pidättää hänen kätensä ja sanoo hänelle: 'Mitäs teet?'

36 (H4:33) Siihen aikaan palasi minun järkeni, ja palasi minun valtasuuruuteni ja loistoni, minun valtakuntani kunniaksi. Ja minun hallitusmieheni ja ylimykseni etsivät minut, ja minut pantiin jälleen hallitsemaan valtakuntaani, ja minun valtani lisääntyi ylenpalttisesti.

37 (H4:34) Nyt minä, Nebukadnessar, kiitän, ylistän ja kunnioitan taivaan kuningasta; sillä kaikki hänen työnsä ovat totiset ja hänen tiensä oikeat. Ja hän voi nöyryyttää ne, jotka ylpeydessä vaeltavat."

  
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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:

Arcana Coelestia 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 1326, 3301, ...

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

Doctrine of the Lord 40, 48

The Last Judgement 54

True Christian Religion 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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