Daniel 5

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1 Le Roi Belsatsar fit un grand festin à mille de ses gentilshommes, et il buvait le vin devant ces mille [courtisans.]

2 Et ayant un peu bu, il commanda qu'on apportât les vaisseaux d'or et d'argent que Nébucadnetsar son père avait tirés du Temple qui était à Jérusalem ; afin que le Roi et ses gentilshommes, ses femmes et ses concubines y bussent.

3 Alors furent apportés les vaisseaux d'or qu'on avait tirés du Temple de la maison de Dieu qui était à Jérusalem, et le Roi, et ses gentilshommes, ses femmes, et ses concubines y burent.

4 Ils y burent [donc] du vin, et louèrent leurs dieux d'or, d'argent, d'airain, de fer, de bois et de pierre.

5 Et à cette même heure-là sortirent [de la muraille] des doigts d'une main d'homme, qui écrivaient à l'endroit du chandelier, sur l'enduit de la muraille du palais royal; et le Roi voyait cette partie de main qui écrivait.

6 Alors le visage du Roi fut changé, et ses pensées le troublèrent, et les jointures de ses reins se desserraient, et ses genoux heurtaient l'un contre l'autre.

7 Puis le Roi cria à haute voix qu'on amenât les astrologues, les Caldéens, et les devins; et le Roi parla et dit aux sages de Babylone : Quiconque lira cette écriture, et me déclarera son interprétation, sera vêtu d'écarlate, et il aura un collier d'or à son cou, et sera le troisième dans le Royaume.

8 Alors tous les sages du Roi entrèrent, mais ils ne purent point lire l'écriture, ni en donner au Roi l'interprétation.

9 Dont le Roi Belsatsar fut fort troublé, et son visage en fut tout changé; ses gentilshommes aussi en furent épouvantés.

10 [Or] la Reine entra dans la maison du festin, à cause de ce qui était arrivé au Roi et à ses gentilshommes; et la Reine parla, et dit : Roi, vis éternellement! que tes pensées ne te troublent point, et que ton visage ne se change point.

11 Il y a dans ton Royaume un homme en qui est l'Esprit des dieux saints, et au temps de ton père l'on trouva en lui une lumière, une intelligence, et une sagesse telle qu'est la sagesse des dieux; et le Roi Nébucadnetsar ton père, ton père [lui-même], ô Roi! l'établit chef des Mages, des astrologues, des Caldéens et des devins,

12 Parce qu'un plus grand esprit, et plus de connaissance et d'intelligence, pour interpréter les songes, et pour expliquer les questions obscures, et résoudre les choses difficiles, fut trouvé en lui, et [cet homme c'est] Daniel, à qui le Roi avait donné le nom de Beltesatsar. Maintenant donc que Daniel soit appelé, et il donnera l'interprétation, [que tu souhaites.]

13 Alors Daniel fut amené devant le Roi, et le Roi prenant la parole dit à Daniel : Es-tu ce Daniel qui es d'entre ceux qui ont été emmenés captifs de Juda, que le Roi mon père a fait emmener de Juda?

14 Or j'ai ouï dire de toi que l'Esprit des dieux est en toi, et qu'il s'est trouvé en toi une lumière, une intelligence, et une sagesse singulière;

15 Et maintenant les sages et les astrologues ont été amenés devant moi, afin qu'ils lussent cette écriture, et m'en donnassent l'interprétation, mais ils n'en peuvent point donner l'interprétation.

16 Mais j'ai ouï dire de toi que tu peux interpréter et résoudre les choses difficiles; maintenant [donc] si tu peux lire cette écriture, et m'en donner l'interprétation, tu seras vêtu d'écarlate, et tu [porteras] à ton cou un collier d'or, et tu seras le troisième dans le Royaume.

17 Alors Daniel répondit et dit devant le Roi : Que tes dons te demeurent, et donne tes présents à un autre; toutefois je lirai l'écriture au Roi, et je lui en donnerai l'interprétation.

18 Ô Roi! le Dieu souverain avait donné à Nébucadnetsar ton père, le Royaume, la magnificence, la gloire et l'honneur.

19 Et à cause de la grandeur qu'il lui avait donnée, tous les peuples, les nations, et les Langues tremblaient devant lui, et le redoutaient; car il faisait mourir ceux qu'il voulait, et sauvait la vie à ceux qu'il voulait; il élevait ceux qu'il voulait, et abaissait ceux qu'il voulait.

20 Mais après que son cœur se fut élevé, et que son esprit se fut affermi dans son orgueil, il fut déposé de son siège royal, et on le dépouilla de sa gloire;

21 Et il fut chassé d'entre les hommes, et son cœur fut rendu semblable à celui des bêtes, et sa demeure fut avec les ânes sauvages; on le paissait d'herbe comme les bœufs, et son corps fut arrosé de la rosée des cieux, jusqu'à ce qu'il connût que le Dieu souverain a puissance sur les Royaumes des hommes, et qu'il y établit ceux qu'il lui plaît.

22 Toi aussi Belsatsar son fils, tu n'as point humilié ton cœur, quoique tu susses toutes ces choses.

23 Mais tu t'es élevé contre le Seigneur des cieux, et on a apporté devant toi les vaisseaux de sa maison, et vous y avez bu du vin, toi et tes gentilshommes, tes femmes et tes concubines; et tu as loué les dieux d'argent, d'or, d'airain, de fer, de bois, et de pierre, qui ne voient, ni n'entendent, ni ne connaissent, et tu n'as point glorifié le Dieu dans la main duquel est ton souffle, et toutes tes voies.

24 Alors de sa part a été envoyée cette partie de main, et cette écriture a été écrite.

25 Or c'est ici l'écriture qui a été écrite : MÉNÉ, MÉNÉ, THÉKEL, UPHARSIN.

26 [Et] c'est ici l'interprétation de ces paroles ; MÉNÉ : Dieu a calculé ton règne, et y a mis la fin.

27 THÉKEL : Tu as été pesé en la balance, et tu as été trouvé léger.

28 PÉRÈS : Ton Royaume a été divisé, et il a été donné aux Mèdes et aux Perses.

29 Alors par le commandement de Belsatsar on vêtit Daniel d'écarlate, et on mit un collier d'or à son cou, et on publia de lui, qu'il serait le troisième dans le Royaume.

30 En cette même nuit Belsatsar, Roi de Caldée, fut tué;

31 Et Darius le Mède prit le Royaume, étant âgé d'environ soixante-deux ans.

  
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The Feast of Belshazzar      

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

Belshazzar's Feast, by Rembrandt, showing the handwriting on the wall

This chapter begins with Belshazzar's feast for his friends. Belshazzar is presented in this chapter as the son of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. His name tells us something about him, for Belshazzar in the original Chaldean language means 'Bel Protect the King.' 'Bel' was a Babylonian god, so this name is about the relationship of the kingly, or ruling loves in a person, and the love of selfishness and dominion from that described by the god of the Babylonians.

Belshazzar has a similar spiritual relationship to Nebuchadnezzar as the Lord Jesus Christ had to the Father. In the case of the Lord, His human set forth the Divine, making it present for all people to see. In the case of Belshazzar, he set forth the love of selfishness, Nebuchadnezzar, for all the world to see. Belshazzar represents the external manifestation of the deepest feelings of selfishness, translated first into thoughts, then actions.

The story of Daniel is about the power of truth changing us from being self-centered to being regenerated. Each person has a Nebuchadnezzar side, and also a Daniel side. In previous chapters, we see Daniel's impact on Nebuchadnezzar. So truth impacts our lives. When we begin the process of change, we follow the order given in chapters two, three, four, and five. Truth is first an intellectual idea which, in time, affects our will. To change, we must be willing to undergo the temptations described in chapter four, but for this to happen, we need to judge our behavior. This is the feast, where actions are judged and those incompatible with conscience are cast out.

Belshazzar commanded the vessels brought so that the guests could drink from them. To drink wine from them means drawing teachings from the Word that one needs to live properly (Apocalypse Explained 376). Before our minds are clear of selfishness, we may go to the Word for guidance. But we are not looking to be lead to the good of life, but to support the selfishness within. This is not unusual with people first introduced to the truths of the Word: as they learn, they may find that the teachings seem to support some of their attitudes, rather than undermine faults. We can see this in Belshazzar's use of the vessels: he did not treat them with respect, but profaned them. Sharing the vessels with his lords, his wives, and concubines shows the various thoughts and affections still tied to selfishness which guided him.

As the king and his guests drank from the holy vessels, they showed their true allegiance: they worshiped gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, compounding their profanation. Profanation is when the sacred and profane are brought together. One cannot believe the Word is holy, and mock it at the same time. No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

For a complete explanation of the different materials of the profane idols, see the explanation of the statue from Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2. The differences between the two rests in materials of the legs and feet, but in the internal sense, these differences disappear.

Amid this debauchery, a vision took place: the fingers of a man's hand appeared on the wall and wrote words in an unknown language. Belshazzar's fear reflects our own when it suddenly dawns on us that the activities of our life are in conflict with the very things we hold to be true. The conflict between good and evil within us is brought down to the level of our daily lives. The effect can be frightening: it is the realization of our shortcomings. Yet often, before the issues become clear, we feel a sense of unease, a feeling of dissatisfaction at the way our lives are going.

This vague feeling is Belshazzar's inability to read the words written upon the wall. They frightened him, but he did not know what they meant. Like us, he turned to the familiar, comforting voices which usually explained the unknown to him: the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the Chaldeans. These 'wise men' represent the thought patterns we have when our lives are disturbed: we look inwards to our usual justifications. Thus we blame others for our state of mind, or credit it to misfortune, without ever really going to the source of what is bothering us.

Belshazzar promised his soothsayers three distinct things:

"Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

The angels of the celestial heaven wear crimson clothes (Divine Love and Wisdom 380, True Christian Religion 686) as an expression of their love to the Lord. Clothing signifies knowledge (Heaven and Hell 179, Arcana Coelestia 1073, 2576, 5319, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536) so 'clothing of purple' represents knowledges about love to the Lord. But because Belshazzar is selfishness, the knowledge he offered represents re-establishing selfish love as the ruling principle in our minds. In addition to the purple garments, he offered chains of gold. As we have seen before, gold represents goodness from the Lord. But in this case, the 'goodness' originates in selfishness. The final promise is power. The characteristic of the love of self is the lust for power. Nebuchadnezzar extended his natural kingdom across the earth, as selfishness extends its power throughout our lives.

Unsurprisingly, the 'wise men' could not read the writing on the wall. When we are unhappy because of our selfishness, no thoughts from selfishness will set us straight. If we know that what we are doing is wrong, and yet make excuses for our behavior, we will find little or no comfort in these justifications—they are a part of the problem.

So the queen suggested to Belshazzar that he call Daniel. To convince him of Daniel's worth, she uses terms that describe the quality of a conscience formed from the truths of the Word. 'The Spirit of the Holy God' is the truth from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 183), where conscience is formed. Divine truth in the mind brings spiritual light (True Christian Religion 40) giving first understanding, and then wisdom. Conscience draws its being from the Divine truths from the Lord. The Babylonian 'wise men' all represent the various thoughts of a selfish mind. As the conscience is formed, it begins to take precedence over these thoughts, until it rules. So a person regenerating intellectually thinks from truth, but may still act from selfishness.

The queen's pleas made an impact on Belshazzar, and Daniel was brought before him. The king offered Daniel the same gifts he offered his wise men and astrologers. Daniel, of course, could not accept these, in much the same way, years before, he had been unable to accept food from Nebuchadnezzar's table. To accept the garments of purple, chains of gold, and a position of power in the kingdom was meaningless to Daniel. He was already, after all, in a position of power. Conscience does not need to be bribed: it stands firm and alone in our minds.

Daniel began his interpretation of the Writing on the Wall with a brief history of Nebuchadnezzar, as a summary of the progression of selfishness. He began with the fact that Nebuchadnezzar received his kingdom of from God. In chapter 1, we are told that 'the Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand.' This implies that not only was the Lord responsible for the siege of Jerusalem, but for all of Nebuchadnezzar's other victories. This verse reinforces that concept: Nebuchadnezzar's success was because of the Lord.

Daniel voiced the words of judgment eloquently: Belshazzar had not humbled his heart, he had lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven. He used the vessels of the Lord's temple to worship gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, yet he does not know that the Lord holds his life in His hand.

These well-spoken words of judgment are as much an indictment on us as they were on Belshazzar. Often we know the truths of the Word, we wrestle with them in our minds, we allow them to direct our feelings, and yet we do nothing about them. Spiritual procrastination is one of life's greatest dangers. As long as we put off spiritual progress, and wallow in the comfort of selfishness, as long as we hang onto old prejudices and attitudes, and habitual thinking, we are using the Lord's Word as a way of worshiping false idols. What needs to change in us are our loves, our attitudes. As these change, our external behavior must be brought into alignment with them.

Having chastised Belshazzar, Daniel began to explain the writing on the wall. He began by stressing that the fingers that wrote 'were sent by Him,' meaning the 'Most High God' who gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom, majesty and glory. While Nebuchadnezzar had humbled himself before the Lord, Belshazzar had not. In the historical sense, it was important for Daniel to stress the relationship between what happened to Nebuchadnezzar and what would happen to Belshazzar.

The judgment, from the power of the Lord, lay in the words written on the wall: 'mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.' Four words in an unknown language that could only be interpreted by Daniel. Thus we see how our conscience, drawn as it is from the teachings of the Word, is the root of our resistance to evil.

Daniel begins by explaining 'mene' saying: 'God has numbered your kingdom and found it wanting.' To number means to know the quality of something. This is why Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem 'in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim,' and dreamed of the great statue 'in the second year' of his own reign.

The word 'mene' means the process of self-examination. There is no indication why the word is repeated twice; perhaps it indicates the need for an examination of acts flowing from both our will and our understanding—our actions from an inner love for them, and actions from a sense of duty.

The third word on the wall is 'Tekel,' which Daniel told Belshazzar means: 'You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.' When we examine ourselves, it is from truth: we judge how we compare to the truth. The next step is to assess our feelings. Thus 'one should be found wanting.'

Daniel interprets the final word of the four to mean 'your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.' This literally happened to Belshazzar, but in the internal sense, to divide means to disperse and expel (Apocalypse Explained 373, Arcana Coelestia 9093). This is the third stage of repentance: when a person has examined self, found one's self wanting, and is willing to change, the next step is to separate the evil from ourselves, and to expel it from our lives. It is only in this way that we can be cleansed of evil.

This is an indication of how our lives should progress: no man can serve two masters, the Lord said, we cannot serve God and mammon. We cannot serve self and be ruled by the conscience at the same time. One must increase and the other decrease. By giving Daniel these gifts in the face of the imminent end of his kingdom, Belshazzar shows us how the conscience must increase, while selfishness as the root of our evil must decrease.

Thus it happened that on that very night, Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain, and Darius the Mede received the throne, being about sixty-two years old.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326

Apocalypse Explained 587, 1029

L’Apocalypse Révélée 717

The Last Judgement 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 176

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcanes Célestes 1183, 3079, 3104, 5223, 8932, 9093, 9818, ...

L’Apocalypse Révélée 313, 316, 364, 459, 913

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

Doctrine of the Lord 48

Du Ciel et de L'Enfer 365

True Christian Religion 156, 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 183, 220, 242, 373, 376, 453

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

Genèse 41:15, 42

1 Samuel 17:26, 36

2 Rois 5:16, 24:13, 25:15, 28

2 Chroniques 32:25, 33:23, 36:23

Esdras 5:14

Esther 1:3, 10:3

Emploi 12:10

Psaumes 115:4

Proverbes 21:2

Ecclésiaste 8:3

Ésaïe 13:17, 21:5, 37:23, 47:11

Jérémie 10:23, 25:12, 50:28, 43, 51:28, 31, 39

Ézéchiel 28:3, 4, 31:10

Daniel 1:2, 6, 7, 17, 2:2, 4, 6, 25, 27, 32, 37, 39, 48, 4:4, 5, 6, 14, 19, 22, 26, 28, 5:7, 16, 6:4, 8:11, 20

Nahum 1:14

Les Actes des Apôtres 12:23, 17:25

Romains 1:21

Apocalypse 9:20

Významy biblických slov

Nébucadnetsar
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...

Jérusalem
Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, signifies the doctrine of love to the Lord, and how it governs your life. Jerusalem first comes to our attention in...

chandelier
(Luke 15:8.) By the woman lighting a candle to find the piece of silver she had lost, is signified inquisition in herself from affection.

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

astrologues
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

devins
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

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

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...

écriture
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

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

l'écriture
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

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

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...

n'entendent
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...

caldée
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

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 Belshazzar's Feast
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

 Belshazzar’s Feast
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Belshazzar’s Feast (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Belshazzar’s Feast (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Belshazzar’s Feast (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 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


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