Daniel 4

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1 Nebucadnetsar, roi, à tous les peuples, aux nations, aux hommes de toutes langues, qui habitent sur toute la terre. Que la paix vous soit donnée avec abondance!

2 Il m'a semblé bon de faire connaître les signes et les prodiges que le Dieu suprême a opérés à mon égard.

3 Que ses signes sont grands! que ses prodiges sont puissants! Son règne est un règne éternel, et sa domination subsiste de génération en génération.

4 Moi, Nebucadnetsar, je vivais tranquille dans ma maison, et heureux dans mon palais.

5 J'ai eu un songe qui m'a effrayé; les pensées dont j'étais poursuivi sur ma couche et les visions de mon esprit me remplissaient d'épouvante.

6 J'ordonnai qu'on fît venir devant moi tous les sages de Babylone, afin qu'ils me donnassent l'explication du songe.

7 Alors vinrent les magiciens, les astrologues, les Chaldéens et les devins. Je leur dis le songe, et ils ne m'en donnèrent point l'explication.

8 En dernier lieu, se présenta devant moi Daniel, nommé Beltschatsar d'après le nom de mon dieu, et qui a en lui l'esprit des dieux saints. Je lui dis le songe:

9 Beltschatsar, chef des magiciens, qui as en toi, je le sais, l'esprit des dieux saints, et pour qui aucun secret n'est difficile, donne-moi l'explication des visions que j'ai eues en songe.

10 Voici les visions de mon esprit, pendant que j'étais sur ma couche. Je regardais, et voici, il y avait au milieu de la terre un arbre d'une grande hauteur.

11 Cet arbre était devenu grand et fort, sa cime s'élevait jusqu'aux cieux, et on le voyait des extrémités de toute la terre.

12 Son feuillage était beau, et ses fruits abondants; il portait de la nourriture pour tous; les bêtes des champs s'abritaient sous son ombre, les oiseaux du ciel faisaient leur demeure parmi ses branches, et tout être vivant tirait de lui sa nourriture.

13 Dans les visions de mon esprit, que j'avais sur ma couche, je regardais, et voici, un de ceux qui veillent et qui sont saints descendit des cieux.

14 Il cria avec force et parla ainsi: Abattez l'arbre, et coupez ses branches; secouez le feuillage, et dispersez les fruits; que les bêtes fuient de dessous, et les oiseaux du milieu de ses branches!

15 Mais laissez en terre le tronc où se trouvent les racines, et liez-le avec des chaînes de fer et d'airain, parmi l'herbe des champs. Qu'il soit trempé de la rosée du ciel, et qu'il ait, comme les bêtes, l'herbe de la terre pour partage.

16 Son coeur d'homme lui sera ôté, et un coeur de bête lui sera donné; et sept temps passeront sur lui.

17 Cette sentence est un décret de ceux qui veillent, cette résolution est un ordre des saints, afin que les vivants sachent que le Très-Haut domine sur le règne des hommes, qu'il le donne à qui il lui plaît, et qu'il y élève le plus vil des hommes.

18 Voilà le songe que j'ai eu, moi, le roi Nebucadnetsar. Toi, Beltschatsar, donnes-en l'explication, puisque tous les sages de mon royaume ne peuvent me la donner; toi, tu le peux, car tu as en toi l'esprit des dieux saints.

19 Alors Daniel, nommé Beltschatsar, fut un moment stupéfait, et ses pensées le troublaient. Le roi reprit et dit: Beltschatsar, que le songe et l'explication ne te troublent pas! Et Beltschatsar répondit: Mon seigneur, que le songe soit pour tes ennemis, et son explication pour tes adversaires!

20 L'arbre que tu as vu, qui était devenu grand et fort, dont la cime s'élevait jusqu'aux cieux, et qu'on voyait de tous les points de la terre;

21 cet arbre, dont le feuillage était beau et les fruits abondants, qui portait de la nourriture pour tous, sous lequel s'abritaient les bêtes des champs, et parmi les branches duquel les oiseaux du ciel faisaient leur demeure,

22 c'est toi, ô roi, qui es devenu grand et fort, dont la grandeur s'est accrue et s'est élevée jusqu'aux cieux, et dont la domination s'étend jusqu'aux extrémités de la terre.

23 Le roi a vu l'un de ceux qui veillent et qui sont saints descendre des cieux et dire: Abattez l'arbre, et détruisez-le; mais laissez en terre le tronc où se trouvent les racines, et liez-le avec des chaînes de fer et d'airain, parmi l'herbe des champs; qu'il soit trempé de la rosée du ciel, et que son partage soit avec les bêtes des champs, jusqu'à ce que sept temps soient passés sur lui.

24 Voici l'explication, ô roi, voici le décret du Très-Haut, qui s'accomplira sur mon seigneur le roi.

25 On te chassera du milieu des hommes, tu auras ta demeure avec les bêtes des champs, et l'on te donnera comme aux boeufs de l'herbe à manger; tu seras trempé de la rosée du ciel, et sept temps passeront sur toi, jusqu'à ce que tu saches que le Très-Haut domine sur le règne des hommes et qu'il le donne à qui il lui plaît.

26 L'ordre de laisser le tronc où se trouvent les racines de l'arbre signifie que ton royaume te restera quand tu reconnaîtras que celui qui domine est dans les cieux.

27 C'est pourquoi, ô roi, puisse mon conseil te plaire! mets un terme à tes péchés en pratiquant la justice, et à tes iniquités en usant de compassion envers les malheureux, et ton bonheur pourra se prolonger.

28 Toutes ces choses se sont accomplies sur le roi Nebucadnetsar.

29 Au bout de douze mois, comme il se promenait dans le palais royal à Babylone,

30 le roi prit la parole et dit: N'est-ce pas ici Babylone la grande, que j'ai bâtie, comme résidence royale, par la puissance de ma force et pour la gloire de ma magnificence?

31 La parole était encore dans la bouche du roi, qu'une voix descendit du ciel: Apprends, roi Nebucadnetsar, qu'on va t'enlever le royaume.

32 On te chassera du milieu des hommes, tu auras ta demeure avec les bêtes des champs, on te donnera comme aux boeufs de l'herbe à manger; et sept temps passeront sur toi, jusqu'à ce que tu saches que le Très-Haut domine sur le règne des hommes et qu'il le donne à qui il lui plaît.

33 Au même instant la parole s'accomplit sur Nebucadnetsar. Il fut chassé du milieu des hommes, il mangea de l'herbe comme les boeufs, son corps fut trempé de la rosée du ciel; jusqu'à ce que ses cheveux crussent comme les plumes des aigles, et ses ongles comme ceux des oiseaux.

34 Après le temps marqué, moi, Nebucadnetsar, je levai les yeux vers le ciel, et la raison me revint. J'ai béni le Très-Haut, j'ai loué et glorifié celui qui vit éternellement, celui dont la domination est une domination éternelle, et dont le règne subsiste de génération en génération.

35 Tous les habitants de la terre ne sont à ses yeux que néant: il agit comme il lui plaît avec l'armée des cieux et avec les habitants de la terre, et il n'y a personne qui résiste à sa main et qui lui dise: Que fais-tu?

36 En ce temps, la raison me revint; la gloire de mon royaume, ma magnificence et ma splendeur me furent rendues; mes conseillers et mes grands me redemandèrent; je fus rétabli dans mon royaume, et ma puissance ne fit que s'accroître.

37 Maintenant, moi, Nebucadnetsar, je loue, j'exalte et je glorifie le roi des cieux, dont toutes les oeuvres sont vraies et les voies justes, et qui peut abaisser ceux qui marchent avec orgueil.

  

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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:

L’Apocalypse Révélée 717

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 175


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcanes Célestes 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 1326, 3301, ...

L’Apocalypse Révélée 47, 60, 158, 173, 474, 567, 757, ...

Doctrine de a Nouvelle Jérusalem sur Le Seigneur 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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Významy biblických slov

Nebucadnetsar
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...

éternel
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...

l'explication
'Interpretations,' as in Genesis 40:22, signify prediction.

astrologues
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

devins
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

Daniel
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

sous
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...

dit
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...

vu
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

dire
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...

bâtie
Construire quelque chose signifie généralement assembler une variété de pièces plus simples pour en faire une structure utile et plus complexe, comme pour construire une...

à
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

éternelle
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...

justes
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...

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